A Good Day for a Photo Jam

Today is a good day for catching up on Fall and Winter 2017 photos and happenings. Note that I used to do this monthly or so but now I seem pretty happy with myself if I get to it on a quarterly basis. Life…right?!

Caroline’s 7th birthday festivities (Please ignore the various tripping hazards):

Nate-er Gator turned the big 1-2 in December.

After, let’s see…10 years?…I finally convinced Rob to put on a jacket for church again. Doesn’t he look oh, SO debonair?

Whoops! Wrong picture. My bad! Here’s the one I meant to post. Of course, he had to throw in the ever-so-classy Hogwart’s tie:

Christmas woodland creature pjs.

What the…morbid massacre?!

See that giant trophy? Madeleine joined the school’s ballroom dance team and they won the sportsmanship award. I guess they don’t do “winners” but it was the second biggest trophy awarded so that must mean something, right?

 

She only looks a tad nervous.

This is the sweetest. Madeleine is helping her read.

One story from Little Miss Literal:

Over the spring Caroline started complaining more and more about sore legs. She would collapse when she was running outside and would crawl inside to tell me, very sadly, that her legs hurt too much to play. At first I didn’t think much of it but it kept happening more and more and she was miserable because during those episodes she couldn’t put any weight on her legs. During one of these episodes I told her that I would carry her so she didn’t have to try to walk. I assumed it was growing pains, but then remembered she had some hip problems as a baby and her joints are loose like mine (which flare up occasionally).

After a month or two of these fits, and me carrying her around regularly, I decided to just have her checked out by her orthopedist (since she had hip issues before) because all this was happening right before we were headed to Europe where we’d be walking a lot.

At her doctor appointment, which Cara literally limped throughout, the diagnosis was…wait for it…growing pains. Betcha didn’t see that one coming! After the appointment Cara was walking juuuuust fine. I confronted her, asking “What the heck?!”

Her response…”You said that one time that I should rest my legs so that’s why I’ve always been having you carry me around, but they don’t really hurt.”

Cue the deep mom sigh…

Love this cuckoo crazy family of mine…even on days like today…

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Things I Admire About My Children

I have been thinking a lot lately about my children and how much I truly admire their individual qualities.

I can definitely understand why Christ tells us “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Nathan:

  • Has always been the nicest big brother. He helps his sisters with everything. He is so patient with their demands. He gives them his advice. He teaches them. He makes them smile.
  • Loves to have discussions with his mom and dad. He likes to talk about the day, his interests, struggles, politics, anything having to do with science, and the gospel.
  • Gets very sensitive about hurting feelings, his own guilt, and disappointing others. It takes very, very little to correct him. 

Madeleine:

  • Is gregarious, joyful, smiley, and playful. She reads, acts, sings, dances, bounces, and loves life to the fullest.
  • Tries really hard to be inclusive. She is a caretaker. She gives up her own needs for those of others. She is gentle with little children. She is selfless. 
  • Craves physical touch and loves to hug, wrestle, hold hands, and anything else that helps her feel important and connected with others.

Caroline:

  • Has constantly shifting emotions but tries really hard to be her best self. She works to follow rules and instructions. She tries hard to overcome obstacles and impulses. She never gives up.
  • Is soulful. She is learning what feeling the spirit is like and what she can do to feel it more often. She is in tune with how good it feels to have the Holy Ghost with her and bursts into song about it. 
  • Smiles a lot. She laughs. She giggles. She loves surprising others and making them laugh. She wants to be in on the joke.

Admittedly, I don’t always feel only gratitude and awe at these little ones…but I’m realizing more and more how much I need them.

I need them to teach me. I need them to lead me, guide me, and walk beside me. I need them to help me find the way.

I also need them to love me.

And the amazing thing is that even through all of my seemingly insurmountable motherly imperfections, they do!

What a gift.

Snowy Ice Castles

As a member of a photography group, Rob was offered 5 free tickets to the Ice Castles in Midway, Utah in exchange for 5 professional photos of the event. Score!

It was frigid that night. 5 degrees, I think? The kids had a blast and barely noticed the arctic temps. Rob and I were frozen solid but enjoyed watching the kids have fun. 

Verdict: Pretty cool. Kinda fun. Glad we didn’t pay to go.  
Here are some pics of us exploring and playing around.

Here are the requested “candid photos of people enjoying themselves” that he shot for the marketing campaign.

(Can I just say that it takes a VERY good photographer to be able to pull off these AMAZINGLY crisp and PERFECTLY exposed pictures of both people and colored ice at night without even using a tripod?!!)

A Romantic Trip to Mexico 2016

I just finished putting together a video of our adventures in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico earlier this year. I made this video for Julie and me to enjoy over the years and so it is quite long (20 minutes). If you want to watch you’ll see wonderful places we visited and listen to the great songs we chose for the trip.

The songs we used in the video are as follows:

  • Stay Alive by José Gonzales (Link)
  • Where You Go by Young Romans (Link)
  • Saint by Mission South (Link)
  • So Much Sky by The Temper Trap (Link)
  • Only Love by Ben Howard (Link)

Julie posted a quick outline of the trip back in February in case you are interested (read about it here).�

Joy at the Park

Our kids live for their friends. Playing, pretending, partying, participating, performing, painting faces, planning, panting, perusing, parading, and any other fun “p” word you can think of…

Hmmm…these girls look like they’re up to something (they usually are)!

It’s the little things…like throwing a rock and running as fast as you can to see who can grab it first!

Fun summer times!
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Park Pics

One Sunday evening we went to the park to enjoy some fresh air at golden hour while I practiced how to use our new camera…hence some blurry shots. Oh, well.

We played

 

We picked flowers

We shot some hoops

And that’s all, folks!

**Can you tell that ever since I’ve been writing more for work my writing on the blog has been sparse? It’s hard for me to want to sit here and write all creatively when I already do it for a couple of hours every day. Plus, summer is BUSY. So for now you get short, sweet, and to-the-point posts. Sorry.**

A Hike with Friends at Battle Creek Falls

Kids on Hike

A couple of weeks ago we were invited on a hike to nearby Battle Creek Falls on a nice October morning by some friends on our street. I was looking for an excuse not to go to work and this was it!

Here is a short video I put together from photos and video clips I captured during the hike. These kinds of hikes (short with a cool reward at the end) play right into our game plan of giving our kids great hiking experiences so they’ll love doing longer ones when their older. All part of the master plan.

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Click here if the video does not show up (and remember to watch in HD). Also, you can download the video and photos from this gallery.

Cara the Playful

My sweet little Caroline is one playful girl when you catch her in the right mood. In fact, she can be impossible to slow down when she gets into full swing. Earlier this year I was able to goof off with her for a few minutes while snapping some photos. I think these may be some of my favorite photos of Caroline. Hope you love these as much as I do.

Random Times in February

Don’t worry, you are not crazy. That title really says February and it is the last week of October! The first few pictures I want to post just show the kids in their natural environment. These were all take in the loft (great place that loft). Sometimes these photos are up way to close and without much “polish.” I enjoy photos like this. Good fun.

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The girls freaking out while riding the swing downstairs!

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One of Julie and another one of me (wandering at Home Depot).

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Breakfast light saber battles…

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Everyone in a while before departing on a trip we have some cooking ingredients that can be considered expendable. That is what happens to them….

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Now you know about our random moments back in February. Aren’t you privileged now?