Toddler-Sized Faith

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Craig and I have a phrase that we seem to repeat to each other a lot, and that is, “the faith of a toddler.” We say this in times when your kid dives off of a chair and into your arms, absolutely sure that you’ll catch them. Or when they just know mom or dad can for sure fix something. You know, things like that.

Its been over a year now since this happened, but we gained yet another reason to continue saying, “the faith of a toddler,” and its a story I think about all the time because it really moved me. It was, without a doubt, a thing that happened in our family for us to learn from for years and years to follow.

We love to go on family walks. We always have. Sometime last Summer we were out on a walk on our usual route. Both our boys had brought a small toy with them. At one point we let Harrison out of the stroller to run around for a minute when we noticed he was tossing his little toy, a very small Woody figurine, up into the air over and over. We warned him to be careful to not lose it, and for a while he did fine, but then all of the sudden, Woody was nowhere to be found. Craig and I tried to recall where Harrison had stood the last time he’d tossed his toy, but try as we might we just could not find that tiny Woody toy anywhere – and of course, he was standing in the middle of a large, grassy field. Craig, Harrison and I looked for a while, desperately seeking this tiny little toy. 

It started to get darker, but we kept on looking. My sister had texted me around this point and I explained to her what was going on, then next thing I knew, my whole family and one of my sisters friends showed up to the field to help us look. I don’t even know how long we looked, but it was a long, long time. It was completely dark by the time we finally decided to call it quits and cut our losses. We walked back home with a very devastated Harrison. My family had stayed in the field a while longer and said a police officer even stopped by to help (probably because we all looked so crazy out there digging through grass haha!) but they too had no luck.

The next day we decided to look one more time – just give it a shot. At one point, Harrison approached me and told me he was going to say a prayer. It made me pause. I’ve always tried to teach my kids that there is never a bad time to pray. Prayer is always a good idea. I’ve also tried to stress to my kids that whenever you feel a need to pray, you should pray. I’ve taught my kids this – yet, in this moment, I hadn’t thought to pray, but Harrison, my (then) 3 year old, did. I was so proud of him and so proud of the faith he had. He knew that there was no problem too small to take to Heavenly Father. So he said a little prayer asking that he would find his toy, my heart melted and we continued searching. 

My family joined again and we started combing through the grass yet again. Thinking about it now, I have to laugh thinking about how silly we looked. This field was on a main road and cars were passing nearly constantly. I told my family how Harrison had prayed about it and my dad made the comment that we better find the toy or we’d have to have a tough conversation with a three year old about how not all prayers are answered how we want them to be haha! 

It took a while, but guess what? We found it. My mom happened upon it and excitedly raised it into the air and we all celebrated! Harrison was overjoyed and we all felt a great sense of relief. The faith of a toddler is truly incredible and it reminded us all of something very important that day. There really is nothing we can’t take to the Lord and I’m glad Harrison made me recall that. Harrison victoriously took his Woody figurine home, and we then explained to him that after Heavenly Father helps us with something, we should pray to thank Him. He did that, and his little simple prayer of gratitude was incredible. I adore him. 

This all happened quite a while ago, but I still think about it all the time. The faith of a toddler is inspirational, and I’m thankful I’ve got some sweet toddlers to continually remind me of how important it is to keep your faith strong and to remember that Heavenly Father cares about everything in our life – even the tiny little things.

The Big Brothers

It struck me just recently that next month, these wonderful little energy-bombs are going to become big brothers. One of them will become a big brother for a second time and the other will become a first time big brother (and new title of middle child). Like, wow.

Harrison was born to be the oldest. He was born to be the big brother. I have no doubt, that just like he did when Emmett was born, he’ll take on the new title of Big Brother x2 easily and quickly. He has always had this responsible, caring, kind and protective manner about him. Even as an almost two year old when Emmett was born, he never skipped a beat once he became a big brother. He just is meant to be one. I can’t wait to watch him interact with his new little sister and to hear what he has to say about her. I can’t wait to watch him care for her and her well-being. I can’t wait to see them grow up together.

Emmett is going to be unpredictable as a big brother. He will be sweet, excited and so happy to have a baby in the house, but I can also see him being kind of rough, wild and at times, jealous about his new little sister. However, I know overall that he will be so proud of her and eager to show her off. He loves babies, so I can’t only imagine how much he’ll love his own baby. I think he will be fascinated in everything she is doing, even when she is doing nothing. I imagine there will be so, so many questions asked and I can imagine him trying to take care of her all by himself, sneakily, behind his parents backs. He will love her fiercely and I can’t wait to see that all happen. I can’t wait to see how he helps shape his little sister and how he’ll protect her (and probably also drive her nuts) as they grow up together.

I only have sisters, but I always wished I had a big brother, so I feel really excited that my daughter gets two of the very best big brothers, ever. They will each treat her, love her and protect her so differently, and I hope that she’ll always be grateful for them, even if she doesn’t want to admit it at times. I hope they’re always close friends and that they see how much they can learn from one another. I hope they form a bond that never breaks. I’m so excited to see it all. I can’t say that enough. I’m just so excited to see it all happen.

Of course there are the pieces of guilt and worry that sneak in before you add a baby to the family and change the dynamic of the family. But I’ve felt very fortunate this time that the guilt and worry doesn’t completely consume me. More than anything, I am consumed by the excitement and wonder. I keep hearing how a little girl will change the whole dynamic of our family. I keep hearing that Harrison and Emmett are going to be the best big brothers.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT ALL HAPPEN!!

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I very recently hit 25 weeks with Baby Sister and this ones really feeling like an exciting milestone. 25 weeks! Thats 15 weeks left of this pregnancy at the longest! I’m so glad time is passing – and moving a little faster every day. I think thats a benefit of subsequent pregnancies. You don’t have as much time to dwell on time and how fast or slow its moving when you have other kids to chase around. Its a pretty great thing that I’m grateful for.

I’m feeling so thankful for a healthy baby girl growing inside of me. She’s already blessed my life and is starting to give me hints of her personality stronger than she used to, and I’m loving getting to know her better and better. I can’t wait to meet her and get to know her even better. This little girl is really going to change the dynamic of our family – I can just tell and I’m eager to witness it all happen. Craig and I are making great progress in her nursery and I need to start working on organizing her closet/clothes/bows/etc and I know thats going to make it feel all the more real and exciting!

Now, just to mix up these periodic bump update pictures, here is a little collage of my three pregnancies, all at 25-ish weeks! You have Harrison first, Emmett in the middle and baby sister on the right!

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Dinosaur Boys Take Jurassic Quest

For Christmas, my grandma got us tickets to Jurassic Quest – a big, traveling dinosaur exhibit type thing that we knew the boys would be obsessed with, given that they’re currently so incredibly obsessed with all things dinosaur. We (especially Harrison) have been very anxiously counting down the days until Jurassic Quest finally was here, and alas, it came and it lived up to all the hype we’d given it and I think its safe to say that the boys dinosaur dreams certainly came true.

They got to ride on dinosaurs, meet/pet dinosaurs, make dinosaur themed crafts and trinkets, there were lots of activities to take part in and so many bounce houses! The boys had the best time and we stayed way longer than we originally thought we would, which I think is an awesome sign of just how great of an event it was.

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What I Hope We Remember from Summer 2019

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Dear Boys,

2019 has held my very favorite summer that I can remember, and I have you to thank for that. The season started off really rough for me. I was in a sad, frustrating, emotional spot and originally I believed my summer and maybe even the rest of the year would be stained with sadness. I wasn’t feeling motivated to be all that fun and push us to have an exciting summer. But as you two always do, you encouraged me with your adorable little voices, consistent begging and precious faces to at least try. So at the beginning of the summer I decided to go forward with the attitude of ‘fake it til you make it’ to have a fun summer with you guys. In no time, after several fun outdoor playdates, pool visits, splash pad adventures, evening walks, porch sits and so much more, we were having the best summer ever and I’d completely forgotten about the crumby beginnings of the season. Again, I have you two to thank for that.

Once the ball got rolling, I decided to dedicate the summer to you two. We didn’t have vacations planned or anything big and exciting in the warmest months of the year. So I let you guys call the shots and that was the best thing I could have done. We had a blast spending time together, the three of us, and times got even better when dad could join after work.

You two are so young still, so I don’t know what, if anything, you’ll remember, but I hope I can at least remind you often of what a great time it was. I hope we remember all the swimming in Grammy and Pops pool that happened – how Emmett gained so much confidence in the water, floating in his puddle jumper by himself and figuring out its not the worst thing ever to get water in your face, or how Harrison really started to get a grasp on swimming by yourself, pushing yourself and feeling brave in the water.

I hope you remember the trips to the farm, the zoo, the Museum of Curiosity and the Dinosaur Museum. You two were filled with wonder, excitement and lots and lots of enthusiastic pointing and squealing. You learned so much, you explored it all and you never wanted to leave. “I want to stay here forever!” – Harrison after leaving most places.

Then there were all the visits to the Splash Pad. I know we have access to our own private pool, but sometimes the Splash Pad was what you guys desired. Emmett hated it the first time. The cold water touching him upset him and he was happiest to sit on the blanket with mom, but by two or three times in, he was just as happy as Harrison to get in the water, to get splashed and soaked. Harrison made friends at the Splash Pad, he shared, he returned lost toys, he helped kids who fell down, he covered every inch of that place.

I hope as you two grow up, you always think back fondly to our family walks. We’ve done this since before either of you were born, but they just keep getting better now that we are adding kids to our evening walks. Our walks involve playful conversation, big decisions, lots of “I Spy,” animal watching and people watching, and so, so many questions from you two. Our walks are something I look forward to the very most with you little boys.

Lastly, I hope we remember the times in our very own yard. There were countless hours spent on the porch on the rocking bench, talking, watching birds fly by and chatting. There were hours in the front yard playing fetch with Penny, racing, playing Avengers and dinosaurs and riding our bikes and scooters. In the backyard, we had our tiny kiddie pool, sprinklers to run through and the large cement pad where thousands of chalk drawings were made.

There were so many wonderful, simple, perfect memories made this summer. I’m so happy for that time. I’m so happy that you two turned my whole attitude around. You two are wonderful and magical.

I love you to infinity and beyond,

Mom

Baby Cow

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You guys. We went to the farm a few days ago and can I just tell you real quick how sweet my little H is? I mean, I already knew this, but he just proved that to me even more here. I’m going to tell you the story real quick because I have to tell the world just how adorable he is.

We saw a big cow. It was exciting because my boys love animals. There was a way to walk around back of the cage the cow was in, so to get closer to the cow, we walked that way. When we came around the corner, much to our excitement, we saw that behind the big mama cow, WAS A TINY BABY COW! It was just laying there by the gate being all sweet and cute. H, without hesitation, walked quietly up to it, stuck his hand in and started softly scratching the top of this baby cows head. The cow started closing its eyes, very relaxed and happy. Mama cow watched as H took care of her baby for a minute. Then, because monkey-see-monkey-do, sweet little E also joined in on scratching the baby cow. They were very quiet and soft and the moment just felt so special and pure.

I love how soft H is. He reminds me daily the value in being kind, sweet and peaceful.

My Hulk Boy

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Three is a funny age. You always hear about ‘terrible twos’ but I dare say that whoever coined that phrase hadn’t parented a three year old, yet. H is hilariously unpredictable. Most of the time he is our happy, enthusiastic, curious, adventurous, rambunctious little boy. He enjoys doing good, he follows rules and he is kind.

But every once in a awhile lately he turns.

He goes from that sweet boy explained above, to a little Hulk. (fitting thats his favorite Avenger right now) He explodes with rage. He screams and starts kicking and punching. He gets mean and mad and there is no calming him down.

I’m truly at a loss right now to know how to control these outbursts, while still allowing him to be himself and let him know its ok to feel things and express how he feels. You know? But at the same time, its not ok for him to kick and punch me all the time, right? Oh, the joys of motherhood. As frustrating as it can be I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world.

He is a great boy who I feel very lucky to be able to witness grow up and learn more about each day. This is fun. It really is.

What I Hope My Kids Learn from Disney

Dear Kids,

You come from a family of Disney obsessed people. Your great grandpa started this journey, passed it to Grammy, she passed it to her kids (one of those is me) and now I’m doing my part to make sure you guys all have a special place in your heart for Disney and all its magic and wonder. I don’t know how the Disney-love will translate in your own lives as you grow up. I don’t know if you’ll find yourself saving your money to take another trip to the park or if you’ll be to every Disney movie on opening day, if you’ll have Disney decor throughout your home or if you’ll be more of a quiet and reserved fan. I’m aware of the possibility that you may not all be as Disney-crazed as some of the rest of this family, but as I said before, I just hope there is always a special spot inside of you that respects Disney and is able to identify the magic it brings into our lives.

Because Disney magic is raising you. You’re being built by Disney Magic. When I think of all the ways I want you to grow up and all the ways I want to be a good mom to you all, I find myself thinking of things I’ve learned from Disney. As silly as it sounds, its 1000% true.

Disney can teach you to dream. Disney can give you hope. Disney can remind you that there is good in the world and that most people are good. Disney can help you find joy. It can help you cope when you’re sad. It can teach you lifelong lessons and it can implant song lyrics into your mind that you’ll never forget. It can be a source of happiness. It can be a safe place you run to, to get away from reality. Disney can be a refuge. It can help you feel carefree when you are feeling weighted down. It can create magic in a regular day and a regular moment. Disney can help you embrace who you are and the unique, special individual you’re meant to be. Disney can help you change your point of view and look on the bright side. You’ll find things and characters you relate to. You’ll have moments in Disney Parks you reflect on for years and years.

Disney is a part of your childhood, I pray you always think of that with a smile on your face and are thankful for your Disney roots.

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Love, mom

Avengers Assemble for a Birthday Party!

We had another successful, fun birthday party! Yesterday H turned three and we had such a nice day. During the day we got breakfast at Kneaders, ran a few errands and made a special stop at Costco – the birthday boys request!

His birthday party was held in our house with family and it was an Avengers theme! It was a great party with lots of chatting, kids playing, getting super excited about presents, yummy food and delicious cake and ice cream. A day perfect for our big three year old!

I’m so grateful for how loved my kids are. Seeing people gather together for their birthday is really special. H is very lucky to be surrounded by such incredible, loving family.

Happy Birthday buddy!!