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Winter - Page Text Content

S: Brower 2012

FC: 2012 | The Brower Family of Four 2012

1: January -Gracie was born -Nat turned 28 -Matt started teaching at WSU February -Gracie 1st Smiles -Matt turned 28 -Gracie 1 months -Slept through night March -Grandma Roberts Died -Hallie started potty training -Gracie 2 months April -Gracie 3 Months -Blessed Gracie May -Kim, Nic, Ez, & Kyle graduate from College -Grandpa Norr Died -Kim & Ez Moved here -Gracie 4 months -Gracie rolled over in both directions June -Lake Powell -Matt rode in MS bike ride -Chris Home from Mission -Gracie 5 months -Gracie started solids | July -Victor Idaho Reunion -Bought Trampoline -Gracie 6 months August -Gracie 7 Months September -Hallie turned 3 -Gracie 8 months -Hallie 1st day of Joyschool -Brigham City Temple Openhouse -Gracie started crawling Sept 26 -Bought Suburbn October -Gracie 9 Months -Gracie got 1st 2 teeth on Oct 31st -Matt sang in General Conference -Hallie learned to ride her bike alone -Hallie had a heart echo -Took Away Hallie's Binki -Thanksgiving with Browers November -Gracie 10 Months -Gracie started walking -Gracie started climbing stairs December -Katelyn & Ben's Wedding -Gracie 11 months -Christmas in Las Vegas

2: 39 Weeks Now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel I headed to my 39 week appointment I was dilated to a 4+ and completely effaced. My colitis continues to get worse so my dr asked what I wanted to do in which Matt quickly replied get her out as soon as we can. Dr. Boheen said how does Friday work? Matt said great and I sat there trying to keep up with the conversation it all seemed like a dream. So then it was decided if she hadn't come on her own by Friday morning they would induce me. My final weight ended up at 160(32 up from pre-pregnancy). This picture is on Friday morning(induction morning). | January

3: A New Year=A New Addition On Friday Jan 6, 2012 our little girl hadn't arrived so we headed to the hospital to be induced. I had called my mom Wednesday after my dr appt and she made arrangements to be here Thursday so she could stay with Hallie while I was in the hospital. We had to be there by 7:30AM so we got up about 7 got ready and headed in to the hospital. The more I really thought about what was going to happen the more anxious and nervous I got. We got checked in and settled into our room by about 8:30AM. My nurse came to place my IV and Dr Boheen came to break my water all about 8:45 they had decided not to start my pitocin sooner because I had gone so quickly with Hallie. When Dr. Boheen broke my water I was dialated to a 6+ and she suggested if I wanted an epidural(which I totally did) to get it before they started my pitocin. So about 9 I got my epidural and they started my pitocin. Matt and I just visited as we waited. One detail I want to remember is that Matt always thought she would come on the 5th or 6th so he was very proud of himself that he was right. Dr Boheen visited with us and the nurses she said she wasn't leaving because as soon as she did she would have to come back and she was right. After about an hour or turning from side to side to help speed things up Dr Boheen checked me at 9:20 and said I was complete and said to the nurse to set up for delivery the nurse said did you say she is a 7 and Dr Boheen replied no set it up she is complete. Matt jokingly said do you think we could have a baby by 10:30? Dr Boheen informed him that was probably a little optimistic but it turned out to not be so far off. After 3 contractions of pushing(3 sets of pushing per contraction) our new little one arrived at 10:34AM. My initial thought was that she was a lot bigger than Hallie and that turned out to be pretty true. Weighing in at 7lbs 9oz and 19.5 in she was 1lb and 1oz bigger than her sister(boy was I glad we hadn't waited another week for her). She has more and darker hair than Hallie and didn't really look like Hallie at all. She has the same big eyes and good temperament but that was about it. It is really hard to believe that in a matter of a couple hours we had gone from a family of 3 to a family of 4 but I think we are still letting that one sink in. I was really bummed because with RSV and an outbreak of pertussis they had very restrictive visitation so we could only have 2 visitors and no one under 14 so Hallie couldn't even come visit(was not happy about this). Hallie was very nervous and couldn't understand why I had to have an IV and couldn't hold her and most of all why I had to come to the hall to visit and couldn't go home with her and she couldn't see the baby but luckily she is still at the age that she is easily distracted. Since I have had Hallie they have also changed a few other things they bathed the baby in our room and Matt got to do her footprints on top of also getting to help with the bath. He did an awesome job even the tech was impressed. It was fun because I got to watch and take pictures Daddy loving cuddle time after her bath

4: Although we had minimal visitors due to the restrictions we did have several family and close friends come to see us or more likely our new little girl. My mom, Hallie, Nic, and Rigden came as soon as we got moved over to our new room and settled. Matt's mom came to visit later Friday evening Anne Farner also stopped by briefly with a gift and to hold our little one. As well we had several of my coworkers from the nicu that came to say hi. The Bennett's came to visit Sunday and brought us some yummy dinner Nick made. Kim and Ez came up for the weekend since they had Martin Luther King day off of school. Hallie really enjoyed hogging their attention..kim and ez were very good to play with her. We were lucky enough to have Nic & Ky come up to hangout with us throughout the weekend we did a lot of eating and playing games as well as just hanging out and visiting. | Visitors

5: Our Week with Grandma My mom was great enough to come for a whole week when Gracelyn was born although I originally thought I wouldn't need help that long I am so grateful that she was here and to have the extra help was awesome. My mom came Thursday night since we were being induced Friday morning. Saturday morning it snowed for the first time almost all winter so she took Hallie out to build a snowman which upon completion she promptly kicked it over and then wanted to build it again. She also took Hallie to the mall to run some errons and to ride the train. She loves the train at the mall and is always asking to go for a ride on it. On top of being a huge help with the kids she cooked, cleaned, and helped with anything and everything I needed help with. Thanks mom come back soon

6: Gracelyn Michelle Brower Born 1/6/2012 10:34AM 7lbs 9oz 19.5 in

7: Coming Home We came shortly after our 24 hour mark due to visitation restrictions and Hallie so on Saturday afternoon after labs were drawn and paperwork complete we came home here are some pictures of the big event. Because we came home somewhat early we had to take her back to the pediatrician at 2 days for a weight check and overall assessment. She weighed 7lbs 5oz and is doing very well

8: Time is going to fast as usually but I still don't think I will ever get used to it. Gracie is now 12 days old and is another little blessing in our life. I still have times when I have to stop and remember that we have been blessed and entrusted with 2 sweet daughters of god I don't know how we got so blessed. Gracie is a great baby she eats every 4 hours around the clock. I have been supplementing with a bottle after breastfeeding but are now down to doing that only a couple times a day. She has very awake times after eating but usually within an hour is back to sleep for at least a couple hours. She really only cries when she is hungry. She look so what like Hallie but at the same time has a look of her own which is yet to be determined who she looks like. Here she is during some of her awake times. She likes to be bundled and I quite often find that she has wiggled down so you can barely see her face. Our girls in their PJs. Hallie has no interest in holding her but loves to pose in pics.

9: Hallie and her Pouting Hallie has started what I like to call a "phase" in hopes that that is exactly what it is. We have been ignoring her and it has already stopped at times so I will remain hopeful but I can't help documenting this and the pictures that say it all. After a few minutes of being ignored and possibly laughed at..real mature I know | Family of FOUR!!! | Matt & his girls | 1st Matching Outfits | Matt's Favorite Thing Matt isn't like most dads that prefer older kids that they can play with although he does like that too. He loves the newborns and the cuddling aspect. When Hallie was little he would sit in the rocker or on the couch and watch football for hours with Hallie asleep on his chest...he has wasted no time starting that with Gracie. I love this picture he is such a great dad

10: 1st Bath Five days after Gracie was born her umbilicaL cord fell off and on day 7 she had her 1st bath. I think she really enjoyed it and didn't cry until I got her out | Our Girls I love the way "our girls" sounds when I refer to Hallie and Gracie. We are very much enjoying having 2 girls. Hallie is a big help and is very concerned and loving towards Gracie although she still doesn't want to hold her unless it is momentary while we take a picture. Since the beginning of the year Matt has been teaching a class at Weber State which leaves the girls and I home alone 1 night a week. I frequently ask Hallie to watch Gracie while I run downstairs or in the other room to get something the other night I came back to find Hallie laying by and singing to Gracie. I hope they always like each other

11: 2 Weeks Wish I could say that time has slowed down since our little Gracie arrived but unfortunately the days seem to go faster than ever. At her 2 week apt Gracie weighed in at 8lbs 4oz(43%) and 20.5in long(52%) we aren't sure what to do with a child that has made it out of the single digits percentile wise since Hallie hasn't in her 2 1/2 years. She is healthy and growing well. She is a great baby and was pretty much born with a babywise schedule. She eats every 3-4 hours during the day is awake for about an hour and then sleeps until we repeat it all again. At night she sleeps 4-5 hours and then goes right back to bed. She eats between 3-6oz at a time and luckily has never been spitty to this point. She is however a big pooper and has blow thru several outfits in her first couple of weeks. The sleep deprivation although minor compared to some of my friends is killer with Hallie I slept when she did and now having 2 that isn't always the case. I feel like when they are both sleeping that I have a lot to accomplish but recently have found that I get more done and everyone is more happy if I get some extra sleep when I can. The guilt has been really difficult no matter what I do I feel like one of the girls isn't getting the attention they deserve so when Hallie does nap I hold Gracie usually for the entire time Hallie is asleep(2-3 hours) it helps me feel better. Hallie is a huge help and want to get me everything for Gracie. She also wants to have her picture taken every time we take Gracies' picture which is nice because she was at a point she didn't want her picture taken before the baby.I am learning that getting out of the house is a bit more of a chore than it used to be and can't be done quickly unless we look like we just got out of bed it can be frustrating at times that it is noon and no one is ready for the day but I am trying to focus on the fact that we are all fed, teeth brushed, and have at least clean PJs on. So to sum it all up we are adjusting and will someday be back to fully organized and somewhat sane.

12: A Day at the Zoo Over the last 3 weeks we haven't been anywhere really staying inside where it is warm and where we can limit germ exposure(yes I'm a germ-a-phob)and to be honest I was getting stir crazy so when I called Brit and she mentioned she was taking the girls to the zoo we jumped at the chance to get out in the fresh air. The weather was perfect about 50 degrees we didn't even wear all of the snow gear I had packed for us. Hallie loves playing with her cousins so it made it even more fun to go with Brit and the girls(carson was at school). I think either the monkeys of giraffes were Hallie's favorite. Just in case anyone thought Gracie might get cold...pretty sure she didn't had this plus a blankie, carseat cover, and another blanket just for good measure We had a great time and are planning on going next month as long as the weather is good...it was so nice to get out in the fresh air and some great company. I sometimes forget that Brit is my sister-in-law and not just one of my friends they have been so wonderful and thoughtful to us we can never thank her or Nick enough

13: Hallie 28 Months Well my 1st baby is now almost 2 1/2 and she never ceases to amaze/entertain us. She just keeps getting more and more fun. It seems like ever stage becomes a favorite. Her imagination is growing like wild..where do kids get some of the things they say or do? There are moments in a mother's life when you regret every time you ever yelled at your child. Every time you told them no and broke their heart. Every time you ignored them to get something done that you thought was "more important". Every time you silently said you wanted to lock them in a closet for 5 minutes or send them to the zoo cuz they HAD to be the worst behaved kid on the block. Right? Well I have had a lot of moments like this. But then there are also moments when your child tells you endlessly how much she loves you and how beautiful you are as well as saying/doing some of the cutest things you can imagine. I have to think that God has a sense of humor when it comes to parents and their children. For just as you think your patience is gone one of those tender moments occurs and gives you the patience to go on a little longer. Month after month I find I write a lot of the same things about Hallie so I decided to switch it up a bit and share experiences Giving Gracie a bath is one of Hallie's favorite things to do these days most mornings she asks if Gracie needs a bath. Although Im not sure if she likes helping bath her or just playing in the water. After giving Gracie a bath the other morning I moved Gracie to the living room to get her dressed. After getting her dressed I went to check on Hallie and found her playing in the bath water. I asked what she was doing and she said don't worry mommy I'm helping you by doing the dishes. If you look closely in one of the pictures she has a bottle with a wash cloth cleaning it. While eating lunch and watching Team Umizoomi the other day I noticed Hallie sliding down in her chair and putting her hand up. I asked what she was doing and in a whisper she informed me that she was hiding from the bad guy so he couldn't see her. Hallie from the moment we took her to treehouse has loved it and to be honest its nice to have a place to take her where she can socialize and play without destroying my house. The older she has gotten the more fun the trips have been. Since her imagination has really kicked these are my favorite trips. Posing with her Bike This bike is the one she got for Christmas we have kept it inside since its to cold to ride it outside she does everything from ride it to sitting on it while she watches tv...she even delivers stuff on it. Babies loaded up and ready to head to school. Driving the firetruck Farm Sets a for sure favorite. Posing by the Swing..silly girl Every time we take a picture of Gracie Hallie wants her picture taken with either Gracie or just one of herself but lately she has wanted to pose with various objects including the swing, her bike, a pillow, and whatever she is eating at the time. All dolled up and ready for the dayWhile my mom was here she would get Hallie dressed and ready for the day. My mom has four girls and needless to say is very good at doing hair and for sure has more of an imagination than I do. Hallie loved getting ready and then asking for you to take her picture. Another side note is that once you take a picture of her she wants to see it almost to quick sometimes that the picture is blurry because she wants to see it before you even finish taking it. A Sippy, a bed, and a show These are all common occurring events at our house. Grandma Joy made Hallie this blanket for Christmas and it is just the right size to fold it in half to make a bed I asked Hallie if she wanted to help me make dinner(she loves to help cook) after about 10 minutes in she said she was tired and wanted to go to bed so she headed for her bed. I followed her I asked her for a hug and kiss. She informed me that she would give me a hug but she wasn't giving kisses today. After getting my hug I stole a kiss. I stood at the top of the stairs watching her somewhat in awe at how big she is getting and how she is to smart for her own good at times. She turned around and said aren't you supposed to be making dinner, I need to go to sleep. And I saved my favorite for the last. Matt has been teaching at Weber since the beginning of the year which leaves me to get the kids ready and in bed one night a week some nights this is a major chore and other nights it goes very smoothly. I had got Hallie into bed and story and songs done by 8:30 so I headed upstairs to feed Gracie. I thought I heard Hallie about 9 when I looked on her monitor I found her light was on, stuff was all over her bed and I could hear her talking so I impatiently headed downstairs to put her back to bed. I quietly stuck my head into her room and found that her books were spread all of her bed and she was reading to her stuffed animals.It didn't take her long to realize I was there and quickly gave the explanation that "they" weren't tired and needed her to read to them. I tucked her in and then she said she couldn't go to sleep until she put all her stories away so we quickly picked up her stories and back to bed. When I got back upstairs it hadn't been five minutes and I could hear her singing. I checked the monitor she was still in bed with the light off so I let her be. I couldn't help but smile as I heard her sing song after song then tell her stuffed animals it was time for bed and then she would say oh you want to sing another song...well ok just one more(I bet you can guess this is how every night goes down at our house)and then pick another song. This continued for about another 30 minutes then she said I'm tired now go to sleep. Love you, goodnight and I didn't hear another peep from her. About five minutes after she had stopped Matt got home so I told him what had happened and said if he wanted he should go down and tell her good night before she was really asleep. He went to tell her good night and she said daddy the sun is still asleep you need to go to bed.(we regularly tell her she needs to go to sleep and stay in her bed until the sun comes up). Silly Girl but moments that make us smile and make life brighter

14: 28 Months

15: Cousins These pictures weren't easy to get as you probably guess by all the pictures included. Rigden wanted to eat Gracie's bow so we had to move her to a safer location next to Hallie. Then not everyone would look..no surprise so this is what we got

16: February | Matt's B-day I was a little unsure about having a party with Gracie being not even a month old yet so we kept it small and enjoyed our time with some close friends and family. It worked out nicely that it was also Super Bowl Sunday so we added that to the festivities but really we visited and ate more than we watched the game...any one else do that? Matt's birthday actually fell on Monday. Hallie and I made cupcakes and ice cream to take to Matt's work and latter that night we went to Texas Road House for dinner and then came home to enjoy a relaxing night at home. Gracie turned 1 month old on Matt's birthday..here they are together. Funny enough Matt had asked for golf clubs for his birthday and they went on sale in mid-January and he brought them home on my birthday and on his birthday we finally found a double stroller we liked so we bought the double stroller that I had been wanting on his birthday. Matt put together the stroller that night. Now we just have to wait for some warm weather to get out and use it. Happy birthday babes.

17: Hardware Ranch & Meeting Grandpa We had planned on making it to Hardware Ranch before Gracie was born but with the holidays and other plans we didn't make it so last Saturday we decided to make a day of it. We were lucky enough to have Nic, Ky, and Rigs join us. We rode over together which was really nice because we got to catch up and visit and the kids entertained each other in the back seat...mostly they slept really. We had lunch at Firehouse Pizzaria and then headed up Black Smith Fork Canyon to the Ranch. Once we got there we realized how cold it was and were very glad we had brought everyone's winter clothes. After getting everyone dressed we walked around the visitor center before heading down to go on the wagon ride. Hallie was so excited and kept asking when she was going to get to see the reindeer. We kept reminding her that they were elk but after a while we just let her think they were reindeer which then lead to her asking if we were going to see Santa. Then she had to specify all the "reindeer" as a boy/girl or a mommy/daddy. Being a little kid Im sure gets really confusing sometimes. We had to wait about 10 minutes before it was our turn on the wagon but the horses kept Hallie plenty entertained..this kid loves animals. Once it was our turn we headed out into the field. Our guide explained they had about 300 head on a daily average but usually about his time of year they have 700 but because of the lack of snow they haven't been forced to really look for food. I couldn't believe how mellow they all seemed they just sat on the ground or watched us as we drove past them. Here is Hallie and I trying to stay warm...Gracie stayed super bundled in her carseat and slept the entire trip(6 hours) After getting thawed in the car we headed for Tremonton to visit grandpa for his birthday(also feb 6) he turned 92 this year! We wanted to visit for his birthday and also introduce him to Gracie. His memory is slipping a little and he kept asking whose baby she was. I wanted some pictures but by the time we got their Gracie was starving and Hallie with no nap was not a happy child. Grandpa was thrilled to see us and said we had made his day. His new hearing aides are helping a lot so it makes it more enjoyable to have a conversation. On our way home we swung by Pizza Plus to get some breadsticks and show Kyle what great food is all about...we should have bought 2 boxes. By the time we got home we were all exhausted so we spent the remainder of our night watching the Jazz game and just hanging out

18: 1 Month Its hard top believe but it has been a month since Gracie joined our little family of four. She has been nothing but a joy and I feel very blessed to have been given another wonderful baby...lets hope she stays this way. She is very scheduled...don't know whose child she is. She eats every 4 hours although at night she goes sometimes up to 6 hours. After she eats she is awake for an hour or two then down for a nap until its time to eat again. My favorite time is when Hallie naps I sit in the recliner and hold her for usually at least 2 hours uninterrupted sometimes we read, watch tv, or nap too cuddling is my favorite.She eats a lot more in the evenings and we usually put her to bed about 9. She looks a lot more like Hallie did than we originally thought except for the dark hair. She also is about a month a head of where Hallie was weight wise which makes it seem like she is growing a lot fast although she is "normal" I'm not quite used to that. She loves to watch Hallie doing whatever. Hallie has started calling her Gracie Girl and I think it will stick.

19: I don't need a nap I have heard this a lot lately at our house. Although I am unsure if it is part of her adjusting to Gracie or just her getting older Hallie hasn't been napping and if she does it isn't for very long. She is like her mom and her aunts on my side and gets very cranky very quickly when she doesn't get her rest so needless to say we have had many moments of deep breathing and reminding myself that she is only 2 which is very frustrating when I know what a happy child she is when she does sleep. I really hope it is just adjusting because I love that she naps...it keeps me sane and gives me some one on one time with Gracie. The other day she informed me she wasn't tired but when I told her she couldn't watch a show she totally melted down and I told her that if she was going to throw a fit to go to her room so I didn't have to listen to her until she could be happy. I went down a few minutes later to find this....her on the floor sound asleep...yeah she wasn't tired!

20: Valentine's Day Activities Matt and I have never liked going out on valentines day ..way to many people. This year we didn't even have the option due to Matt teaching. So we were lucky enough to get out the weekend before. Saturday night we dropped Hallie off at aunt Nikki's(have I mentioned how much I love having them close..oh and just today they put an offer on a house 10 minutes from here!!!)we decided to take Gracie but should have left her she was somewhat of a handful at dinner and the movie. We met up with Nick & Brit to have dinner at Biaggi's...it was amazing and then headed to the movie. I had wanted to see "The Vow" since I saw the 1st preview and lets just say it was a big letdown and money would have been better spent on a redbox movie. A novel thing did happen we remembered to take pictures. We did have a great time with Nick & Brit and think we should leave the kids home more often to spend time with them. This was also the night they told us they are expecting baby 4!! | Sisters Hallie is such a great big sister. She is the first to respond when Gracie cries and whats me to "fix" her immediately. The other day I was in my room getting ready when Gracie started to fussy before I could say anything I heard Hallie say, "Hold on just a minute Gracie girl, I'm coming don't cry." Gracie settled right down for her and then I heard Hallie singing to Gracie in the front room, no song in particular she just kept singing, "don't cry I love you, I love you." I walked out and found Gracie had not only settled for her but had a big grin on her face. Moments like this make it all worth it and melt my heart.

21: I hesitate to mention every time we head to Treehouse but it seems like every time we go Hallie finds a new favorite area to play in. And awesome for us Nick & Brit now have passes to so last Friday we met up and headed to play. Our pass their has been worth every dime, especially since having Gracie. I think it has been wonderful to get out of the house for all of us. This time it was the cowboy hat | 6 Weeks...already Friday Gracie turned 6 weeks, its the same story as always I can't believe it has been that long but I also can't imagine our life without her. She is such a good baby and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. She is a great eater, sleeper, and at this point is pretty "Hallieproof." She eats every 4 hours and is still following her babywise schedule to a T in fact just last night she slept for just over 8 hours!!! I really appreciated that once I checked on her and found her alive and well. She is very alert during her awake time she has also in the last couple of weeks started smiling when you smile and talk to her. Her hair is still really dark and at this point not much of it has fallen out she looks very similar to Hallie when she is asleep but not much when she is awake...it makes me excited to see what she will eventually look like. She is darker complected, has beautifully clear skin and fat roles on her legs. She is growing faster than I would like her to she is wearing a size 1 diaper and 0-3 month clothes. Hallie still wont hold her but loves to help with her or to pose with her for pictures | So I have been saying for quite a while now that Hallie knows her ABCs and loves to sing but she has been going through a stage where whenever I turn on the camera she stops doing whatever I wanted to record or take a picture.

22: Smiles Smiles What parent doesn't love those first smiles that come from their sweet baby? To me it is proof that they are being taken care of, feel loved, and are happy with whatever is going on. I also love the twinkle they get in their eye right before they smile its priceless. I have captured quite a few smiling pictures so far but that hasn't stopped me from wanting to take a picture and cherish every single one that she shares with us

23: Family Date Night So since the first of the year Matt has been great about planning dates and making sure they happen. I think we are realizing all the time how important dating your spouse is especially as we add more kids to the mix. Anyways we decided that once a month that it would be a "family" date night and include one or both of the kids depending on what we are doing. I think as kids get older its important to not only spend family time all together but also one on one time with each child. I hope these are the beginning of wonderful relationships and memories in our little family. So this past weekend we went to dinner at Pizza Factory and after headed to Fat Cats to play in the arcade. She was so excited to go play games she had a hard time focusing on dinner. We had the play place all to ourselves, not much to it but Hallie enjoyed it. We had a lot of fun and made it home just in time to get ready and head for bed. Can't wait til next month the plan is bowling...that could be interesting

24: Treehouse Birthday Wednesday was Treehouse Museums 20th Birthday Celebration. They had a big party that included an awesome puppet show, a magician, and of coarse cake and ice cream. Hallie loves going to the treehouse and when they have special events Matt gets to come with us too. I was actually quite happy with the bad weather because there weren't many people at the party. Eating our cake and ice cream. And when we got home we for almost the 1st time shoveled the driveway

25: Playing in the Snow Its hard to believe that it took until March to have enough snow to be able to go out and play in it but that was the reality so we tried to spend as much time as we could playing outside. All dressed up to head outside. Although the driveway didn't need shoveling we used out shovels to carve out a snake in the yard...she loves her snow shovel. The snow didn't cooperate to make a snow man so we played follow the leader and had a snowball fight. I showed her how to make snow angels and she went to town and then she was repeating to me the instructions on how to make a snow angel...she really does listen. Once we were done playing we headed inside for some hot chocolate, cookies, and a movie. I love days like today where we have no place to go and the whole day just to play | 2 Months Hallie wanted to pose to she will be 2 1/2 at the end of the month. On March 6 Gracie turned 2 months. When we went to the dr he was very impressed with her development both physically and cognitively. She was a little shy at first but after some prompting shared several smile and coo'd a little. She weighed in at 10lbs 10oz(43%) and 23in(75%). What she didn't like was when she was given 3 shots and her rota virus liquid to drink. I hate that cry and the look of why are you letting them do this. But I love the way they sleep once we get home. She still has dark hair and somewhat of a mullet in the back..I wish she would go some more on top. She continues to wear a size 1 diaper and 0-3 month clothes at this point they fit perfectly but soon will become to short for her long legs. She is an awesome baby sleeping about 8 hours at night and eating every 4 hours.

26: Happy Birthday Brit Although Thursday was Brit's birthday we celebrated on Friday night with yummy dinner and cake. It made it extra exciting when Brit announced to Matt's mom that she and Nick are expecting baby #4 in October(strangely enough her and my sister Kim are due the same day Oct 7). We have know since the weekend of Valentine's Day when we went on our double date. We have been so excited it has been hard not to slip and say something. We can't wait til October when we will add 2 new additions to our family. Here are some pics of the yummy cake

27: Grandma Evelyn's Funeral & Time with Grandma Sheryl On March 4 Grandma Robert's returned to be with our heavenly father. It had been a long time coming she has been sick for a very long time. Saturday was her funeral when someone is as old as she was(95) and as sick as she has been the day was more of a celebration than a day of sadness. I thought that Hallie would be content to run around and play with my cousin's kids but in fact she was very interested in what was going on at the funeral. We talked to her ahead of time and explained what would happen we wondered if she understood. Once we got there we figured out very quickly that she was listening and remembered everything we had talked about she wanted to see everything. The morning of the viewing was the 1st time Nate got to meet Gracie as you can see from the pic she really likes him. My little brother, Nate, although he would like to think that he is tough is just in fact a big sweet heart that is very tender and sweet. You wont find many 17 yr old boys out there are wonderful and talented as he is. While holding Hallie at the funeral Hallie asked where grandma had gone and why she had to leave...it made Nate emotional he said because he had a hard time explaining to her why the people we love are taken away from us even temporarily. So I took her aside and explained to her(the best you can to a 2 yr old). Then while the casket was being closed and a few of us were emotional she said, "don't be sad grandma is with jesus and doesn't hurt anymore" don't worry this just made the tears come even faster. I am thankful for our sweet Hallie and her innocent and loving personality. Hallie's flower for grandma. We are always excited when something brings my parents to Utah and this was no exception. After the funeral we celebrated Nate's birthday with Pizza Plus pizza and homemade ice cream and toppings. My family got in as much playing as possible while they were here. My dad spent hours outside playing with Hallie, the ducks, and a ball. While my mom spent most of her time cuddling with one of the 2 younger grand kids. She still has the touch and both slept most of the time

28: Spring Time=Yard Work I think the title to the post says it all when the weather gets warm our attention gets turned to the exterior of our house and the ways we can improve it...this spring has been no different. We have expanded our garden and Matt and I are trying together to find our green thumb so that we can be more self sufficient. Hallie has loved helping to plant and loves playing in the mud. Gracie on the other hand just loves to sit in her bouncer and watching. Among other projects Matt and his friend Isrel poured a new concrete step, a garbage can slab, new fence posts, a new water spigot, and a place for my new planter. This past week we had new curbing put in and on the agenda for this week is new plants, mulch, painting our front steps, and grass.(weather permitting) | Gracie Update What can I say about our Gracie girl except she is growing like a weed. She is a great baby...I don't think I can say that enough. I love when she smiles and her whole face lights up when you talk to her. It melts my heart when Hallie talks to her and Gracie watches her like she just can't get enough. I love her sweet little spirit and her mellow personality. She loves to watch tv and seems to really enjoy music. She likes to be where things are happening. Within the last couple of weeks she has found her hands. She likes to interlock them and suck on them...a lot. She loves to be in motion whether it be in the car or stroller. She enjoys bath time. Sleeps best in her crib while swaddled. Her hair is filling in and it looks at this point to still be dark. She is getting more and more into laughing all the time..usually when surprised. She quite often finds someone or something to stare at that brings a smile to my face..I always wonder who it could be? I love to get up with her in the stillness of the night and just enjoy the quite time with her. I have really been struggling with my ulcerlative colitis and just recently switched treatment plans in hopes of curing it rather than treating it. I was having a particularly hard day. I had finished feeding her and was tucking her back into bed when her face lit up and a smile filled her face I could have sworn that I heard a voice say, "It will be ok mommy we will figure this out you just have to be patient." I stood watching her for a long time with tears streaming down my face as she quickly fell back to sleep. It was truly one of Gods tender mercies. I'm so thankful for her sweet spirit and her thin veil that has once again enlightened our lives. I think my kids help me find perspective in life...what an eternal perspective.

29: Hallie Update I still hold to the stage that each child is in is always my favorite just as I think the stage Hallie is in is my favorite she continues to grow and change and then that stage becomes my favorite. She has gotten to the stage that she says and does some of the funniest things and continues to display her personality more and more. Some include Nate asking Hallie if she spoke Spanish to which she responded, "Im Hallie, not Dora." In sacrament meeting last week as the priesthood brought around the sacrament Hallie got excited and said, "look mommy they have baskets just like the easter bunny." First thing we do when getting up in the morning is go potty on day 3 of potty training Hallie went potty, jumped off the potty, hugged me, and told ME she knew I could do it and was so proud of me. haha The past week we have done potty training and just let me tell you I would rather do just about anything other than potty training. I attempted to potty train Hallie just before her 2nd birthday and before Gracie arrived which failed miserably..I don't think she was ready. But having turned 2 1/2 this week I decided it was time she is way to smart to not understand what to do maybe just lazy. The 1st day went great 3 accidents all day it was day 2 and 3 that were just about enough to pull my hair out. I had to remind myself often that Hallie is 2 and we are learning together. Gerber thick training pants and water proof pantie covers have been my saving grace. We have spent a lot of time talking while she is sitting on the potty. I stared asking her some questions the other day and was quite surprised that she was giving me full answers. Some of her responses were her favorite color is green, favorite food sausage and bacon, and favorite place to go is on a walk. She seems to do the best when she is naked. Thursday I let her run around naked most of the day and we had NO accidents. She would be sitting on the floor playing and quickly get up and run to the bathroom...to bad we can't go everywhere naked. After a week she still isn't asking to go but will sit on the potty when I remind her. We are and will get there and I refuse to go back. I will say before I start this story that we always sing when Hallie sits on the potty, various songs and sometimes just made up silly ones. We were in Walmart yesterday and Hallie needed to go potty(adds a whole new hardness of getting out of the house) we went in the bathroom and she sat on the potty and said mommy you need to sing so I began to sing...quietly. After a moment she said you need to sing louder like this and started singing her potty song at the top of her lungs she proceeded to go potty and then said, "now that wasn't so hard now was it".. I couldn't help but laugh and I heard some giggles from the other stales. Which leads to my next thought. Hallie loves to sing and has gotten very into princesses. She loves to wear long shirts or skirts she spins in a circle and dances while singing. She loves to sing everything and anything. This morning I found her on top of the kitchen table singing songs from little mermaid. We have been watching a new Disney movie at least once a week for movie time. She is very into pretending. While cleaning out my closet the other day she asked if she could get married. I said that was fine and had no idea what she was talking about she returned after a few minutes dress for her "wedding" in her dads golf hat and our decorative plant. She has figured out how to pedal her bike and had her 1st official haircut. She is a super helper and wants to help and ask questions about everything we are doing. She still loves to read and lately we have found her sleeping with books with her light on when we check on her right before we go to bed. I have realized lately now that we are settled into a schedule with Gracie that I have been spending significantly less one on one time with Hallie. So now at least once a week during Gracie nap time we have mommy/hallie time. We paint our fingernails, take bubble baths, watch movie/cuddle/eat popcorn, play in her play room, read stories, or whatever she wants to do. She will often ask where Gracie is or wants her to have her involved in what were doing. Often times I am surprised that Hallie isn't resentful towards Gracie but are extremely grateful that she isn't. Now that the weather is warmer and RSV cases are decreasing we have been getting out a little more. Hallie is such a loving little girl and has missed all her little friends alot. She is very sweet and tenderhearted. She is always concerned for others but isn't afraid to stand up for herself. The other day at treehouse she was "planting" carrots in the garden area with a shovel and watering can. A little boy twice her size came into the area and tried to take her shovel and watering can out of her hands to which she pulled them back and told him that taking without asking was naughty. This was the same day we went to treehouse with Rosty. On the way out Rosty was crying and was ready to go home Hallie walked up to him and held his hand. I typically hate pictures like this because they see posed but this occurrence has possibly changed my thought process.I often sit in awe, Hallie is so confident and self assured. I can only hope that she continues to realize what a special daughter of God that she is and the potential she has. Our lives would certainly be dull without her beautiful smile and shining eyes. We are so blessed that she is a part of our eternal family

30: 3 Months Last week(Friday to be exact) Gracie turned 3 months. When I typed in the title I put 2 months then sadly realized that my baby is 3 months. The last 3 months have been wonderful since the addition of Gracie. She is a wonderful baby. Very mellow to say the least. She only cries when she is hungry. She is very smiley and is now freely laughing often which is so fun. We are loving this stage. She will now hold toys that Hallie gives her. She loves Hallie and lights up when she talks and sings to her. Here is our beautiful girl celebrating her 3 months with some smiles and laughs.

31: Easter Weekend It was a busy and fun packed weekend. My parents made it here Thursday afternoon they helped us finalize some yard work and played with the girls. Friday along with Gracie turning 3 months Matt's mom turned...as Matt would put it old. We were able to go to dinner with Ris, Joy, and Brit to celebrate. Originally we were going to go to dinner with all the adults but unfortunately it didn't work out which was disappointing. My parents were great enough to watch the girls so we could go to dinner and finalize all the food for the blessing. Friday night my mom gave the kids their Easter. She did cute little packages for the grandkids. Each of them got a new outfit, a toy, and a few other random things. Hallie loved her shirt and has worn it several times already and Gracie got a darling swimsuit and ladybug outfit. Saturday morning we decided we would do Easter so that Sunday would be left for the true meaning of Easter. The Easter bunny left a trail of eggs for all of us to follow to find out baskets. We knew Hallie was awake when she yelled up the stairs "where did all this candy come from...oh the Easter bunny must have come."It took her about five minutes and some help from Nate to collect every piece of candy from her room to her basket. Once she collected all of the candy she found her basket. She got books, a movie(Tangled), and golf clubs. Gracie got some clothes and books she could barely contain herself...for sure. Nate may act like a tough 17 yr old boy but he really is one of the sweetest kids I know the girls love him. We got everyone ready in their new outfits and the boys headed off to play some golf while the girls did some shopping. Rigs is very curious about Gracie and loves headbands...I hope for Nic's sake when she has another one it is a boy.!Once it warmed up and the boys got home from golfing we had a mini Easter egg hunt the kids loved it..even Gracie got in on the action. Kimber brought some AMAZING sugar cookies she got from a store in St. George the cookies and the frosting well I will just say I wish I could have eaten ALL of them and the one I did eat was worth being sick over. Here is Hallie enjoying one of these little jems. Then of coarse we had to dye eggs...like I said we were really busy. Then last but not least it was Maddie's 12th birthday on Saturday so we ordered chinese food and had cheesecake before starting up the "spanking machine." It took some convincing but maddie did ultimately crawl through the tunnel(faster than I have ever seen her crawl)

33: Winter Memories | Blessing Day On April 8, 2012 we blessed our Gracelyn Michelle Brower. It was a beautiful spring day and just so happened it was also Easter Sunday. We were lucky enough to celebrate with many family and friends. Matt gave her a beautiful blessing. Both our families in their entirety were there as well as Grandma Harris, Aunt Jeanette, Kelly/Julie, Jim & Tamara(Issac,Jude), Braydon Martin, and Grandma/Grandpa Edstrom. We learned from Hallie's blessing to do pictures before and Im so glad we did. My mom made Gracie's dress and Kim made her headband that was extra special because it was made out of Grandma Norr's pearls and cloth. Although we can't name all of our girls after her I was very touched that Gracie had a piece of her with her on her special day. In fact we actually picked the pattern and material based on the headband. The bishopric, Daddy, Papa, Uncle Kelly, Ez, Kyle, Tyler M., Randy Hatch, Grandpa Brower, Grandpa Edstrom, Aaron and Nick were the priesthood that helped give you a name and a blessing. Daddy talked about loving education and using your mind to learn all you could, being tolerant and nonjudgmental of the people around you, to someday find a worthy young man to take you to the temple, as well as having patience with yourself and others. It was a beautiful blessing Matt did an awesome job. Afterwards we were able to do the luncheon at Wadman so we would have plenty of space(for future reference this was an amazing idea) I didn't have to clean my house before and after, there was plenty of space, the kids had room to run, and I didn't have to sanitize my house with bleach after everyone left...yeah I'm OCD. We were so blessed to have everyone there to celebrate Gracie's special day.

36: 3 Months=All New Fun Gracie is getting more interactive all the time so the past couple of weeks we have started pulling out the toys. First the play mat, although I think she is still somewhat unsure of all the toys(overwhelmed probably) she seems to enjoy it. Second, the bumbo. I have always loved once they get to this point she can now sit on the counter and watch while Hallie and I make dinner or just baking. She always seemed very intrigued with what we are doing. Sunday she got all dressed up to go to church(sacrament meeting) aside from getting blessed the week before we have stayed away from church due to the prolonged RSV season and probably will stay away for a while longer. She now can sit up to the table with us for dinner instead of watching from her swing. | Spring

37: Life Is Hard Life around here lately has been more difficult than usual. Between me trying to figure of my new gluten free/dairy free diet for my ulcerlative colitis and the occasional scheduling conflicts with my girls I am constantly juggling trying to read about my dx, clean, spend time with the girls and Matt, cooking/baking(which is a new challenge), and staying on top of life in general I have really struggled. There are a lot of days that I cry for feeling overwhelmed and feeling like my family or my care of myself are lacking in some way. Over the last couple days Hallie has started "demanding" my attention more(throwing fits, wanting to be held/cuddled, and constantly wanting me to be with her) this is uncharted territory seeing as we never have had this problem even when Gracie was born. I feel guilty spending time trying to take care of myself especially when she is so outwardly needing me but at some point we are hoping to find a balance. Today we had one of those moments I had just gotten Hallie settled with her lunch in time for Gracie to wake up and want to be fed. I started to feed her and Hallie wanted me to tuck her in for a nap. I explained to her she would have to wait a minute until I was finished with Gracie. She started to cry and crumpled to the floor momentarily until she realized it hadn't changed my answer, she then went downstairs, After I finished taking care of Gracie I went down to find Hallie. All the lights were off but when I peaked in her bed she wasn't there I looked around the basement and couldn't find her in a little bit of a panic I looked a little harder and found her asleep in her closet. I hadn't seen her initially because she has shut both doors. After my panic subsided I had to smile to myself and then felt guilty. I think as a mom you want to be everything that your kids need 24 hrs a day and for me I am realizing that at times then have to fend for themselves. Matt tells me all the time its good for Hallie have to do that at times...me Im not so convinced. I just never want her to question how loved and special she is to me. I hope years from now once we figure this all out it can be a memory we laugh at and that our girls will know how much they are and always will be loved. | Helping Nikki Nic and Kyle recently bought a house in Kaysville right off the 200 N exit. They are getting settled into their house and we were lucky enough to go down and help them move in and Hallie, Gracie and I have been able to help Nic get unpacked and all decorated this past week. It is getting more fun all the time now that we both have kids and can just hang out and let them play. Rigden gets so excited when Hallie comes over and crawls to follow her all over and he loves when we put Gracie on the floor so he can come check her out...which unattended doesn't happen(we usually put her somewhere safer). Gracie has found some new things to play in at their house and tuckered herself out. Hallie has loved getting to go places without being "ready" for the day...don't we all.

38: On a Happier Note Sometimes in the middle of a bad day one of gods tender mercies shows up...today was one of those days. Hallie had just gotten up from her nap and the mail man had just come. We went out to get the mail and Hallie had a PACKAGE!! I think every little kid like to get mail..who am I kidding I like presents in the mail. It was a new music playing Tangled book from aunt Kim. Hallie loved it and made me cry! You see aside from my previously mentioned guilt Kimber has been trying to finish all her school work while stressing about her hygiene boards and being constant prego sick. And in the midst of all of that she thought of us and Hallie. It is nice to know that when you feel like you are lacking in some places that your family can feel those places...Thanks Kimber your the best. Also I hadn't mentioned between the end of last week and beginning of this week(5 days) Matt and I managed to fit in 3 date nights! Yeah that is a record for sure. Matt has done a great job at planning and lining up date nights. Thursday we got invited to the ABC dinner at the Sheridan in Salt Lake. Matt is on the board as a representative for Wadman. They were receiving an award for a museum they did in Jackson Hole. Thanks to Nick & Brit for watching our girls. Then Friday was the hardhat presentations for graduation. Matt is on the Alumni association, is now on staff at Weber as faculty, and is a representative for Wadman. He help present the hardhats, presented scholarships from Wadman, and was recognized as completing his 1st semester of teaching. He is looking forward to teaching either in the fall or spring he quite enjoyed it. Thanks to Jim & Tamara for watching Hallie that night. And then last but certainly not least on Monday we were invited to the Jazz game to sit in the executive suite. And let me tell you we were not disappointed. When we got there we were seated at our table and then filled our plates at the buffet that included salad, butternut squash soup, sushi, prime rib, catfish, shrimp, lobster, sides, and then at half time a whole new buffet of dessert. After we finish our dinner the game was just getting started. We took our seats on the front row of the box and watched one of the best games of the season complete with triple overtime! We were on the edge of our seats for quite a while and even wondered at times in we would get home by breakfast but in the end the Jazz pulled it out. We had a wonderful time and wished we could go to the Jazz game like that all the time. A big huge thanks to Kerry & Joy for stay up past all of our bedtimes to watch the girls.

39: How lucky are we?!? We had an amazing and exhausting weekend full of fun and family. Friday morning Kim called to tell us her and Ez were on their way up so Ez could take his final at BYU and then they would be staying the whole weekend. They got here Friday night late and visited before heading to Nikki's to sleep(she was so excited to have her 1st overnight guests). The girls love their aunt Kim and its not hard to figure out why she always sends them fun little things and will play with them a lot while she is here even when she is tired and not feeling good...she is going to make a great mommy.! Saturday morning after getting ready and some quick planning we met at Nic's and decided to head to City Creek so do some shopping and walking around. We decided to grab some lunch first and weren't disappointed by the selection at all...Hallie loved that we sat next to the window and she could watch the waterfall the entire time. She also got this balloon that as far as balloons go was awesome it had a plastic holder at the bottom so it couldn't float away and it was easy for her little hand to hold it. They had the fountains on(there were even some crazy parents letting their kids run through them(it was 55 degrees))but they did have an awesome fountain show. Then we headed to The Living Planet Aquarium with Kim and Ez while Nic and Kyle headed to a softball game for Kyle's sister. I think the otters were the coolest and we spent the most time watching them, they put on quite the show. I think Hallie may have liked them equal to the sharks and sea turtles. They had a tank you could even touch the sting rays. Kimber was so good to hold Hallie up or help her see things. Poor Gracie was so tired she slept through the whole thing...not a peep all day, she is so good. The penguins were a bit of a let down..its a good thing we didn't go just for them. Hallie loved the sea turtle...it was probably as big as she is. We finished our day with a little more shopping and some yummy dinner before heading home to hang out and watch some basketball. Sunday Kim & Ez headed to Tremonton to see grandpa. After church Joy came to have lunch with us, sometimes its nice to have her all to ourselves to visit and play with. We had missed doing pictures with her at Gracie's blessing and finally got some way cute pictures of them together. Then after a quick nap we headed to Nic's house for dinner and games. After dinner and a few games we layered up and headed outside to play some baseball. Kimber got some good pictures and we decided that with Rig's hat Gracie looked like a glow worm(anyone remember those?) So excited for more nights like this and the presence of summer. We are really looking forward to getting together for Sunday dinners and next month Kim & Ez will move up here too...we couldn't be more thrilled to have family closer.

42: Graduation Thursday Matt worked a half day and then we headed to St George. After some yummy dinner we had cake and ice cream to celebrate Nic's birthday. She loved posing with her cake..not.!Then we headed over to Kimber's dental hygiene pinning. After feeling momentarily like we were back in school they presented their pins. Each graduate got to choose someone to pin them...Kimber chose Ez. Congrats Kimber you have worked and studied many hours to get to this point now just enjoy it. Saturday morning before the graduations started we headed over to Kneaders for breakfast...it was yummy. Hallie loved the yogurt parfait. We enjoyed sitting outside in the warm sun and just having everyone together. Hallie was so funny and wanted her picture taken with everyone. After breakfast we did a quick change and then headed to get seats for Ez graduation(BS in Biology). It went fairly quickly. One thing they did that I liked was announce what everyone's plans were now that they graduated..everyone but Ez in biology were going on to dental school..haha. We had time for everyone to have a nap, get some lunch, and then head to Cedar City for graduation #3. Kyle received his Master's degree in accounting. The girls were so good and Gracie napped pretty much on schedule...it went much better than I anticipated. Afterwards we went to dinner with everyone including Kyle's family then home to bed after we quickly stopped and bought a new movie to watch. Saturday morning we got cleaned up and headed back to Cedar for Nic's graduation(BA Elementary Education). By this point everyone had had it. It was time for lunch and a nap!!! We tried to get a picture on Nic jumping(my mom tried to get everyone to do it but Nic was the only one that would do it) but our cameras were to slow. After we ate at a delicious BBQ place that we will probably be visiting again. Then we all headed our separate directions. The girls fell asleep quickly and slept pretty much til Fillmore when we stopped to feed Gracie and let Hallie play on the playground. We made it home in good time, got unpacked, and ready for bed. We got Hallie to bed about 7:30 and she slept til 9:30 then after some breakfast and clothes she went back to sleep til we went to Jim & Tamera blessed their baby at 245. She went to bed about 8 last night and slept again til 9. We must have worn her out good but we had a great time. We are so proud of Kim, Nic, Kyle, and Ez for their hard work and accomplishments. I don't think there are many parents that have all their kids and their spouses graduate from college especially not with all bachelors degrees. Yeah for brighter futures and education. | MAY

43: Kyle | EZ | EZ

44: Nikki

45: Hallie Update Hallie is such a fun loving kid. She is very into pretending, loves to play in the water(no matter where it is), she is an awesome big sister and loves to help take care of Gracie(I don't think they come much better). We are getting excited for summer she is going to be doing swim lessons and some preschool playdates" mostly because she just needs more social practice(sharing, playing well with others, ect) not really anything educational wise. She love spaghettios and regularly asks for them for breakfast(we don't eat them for breakfast). She says tons of funny things...last night after being tucked in for about 30 minutes she came and said she needed to go potty so I went in to take her potty I had Gracie with me and she just kept talking to her. I said pretty sternly "it is bedtime go potty so you can go back to bed. She looked at me and growled(this is new) I said what was that for and she replied well Im not allowed to yell and you are making me angry so I growled. I had to leave before I laughed. After that she went back to bed. She loves to be outside and I love that she likes to play in the dirt(minus trying to get her clothes clean). I really just want my kids to be well rounded...I feel that girls can do anything boys can do. My neighbors often stop when Hallie and I are out mowing the lawn and say, "why doesn't Matt do that?" I have 2 answers to that he works all day why can't I do that? and I have dozens of other things I want him to do once he gets home, including just spending time with us if there is something I can do to make his day easier I will. Also who ever said mowing the lawn was a guys job? Anyways so I just want Hallie to be able to experience life from all angles. Her favorite thing to do is probably still to read stories, I frequently find her down in her room reading stories and at this point we have read enough that she can pretty much tell all the stories that she is reading...its quite impressive. She likes when I will ask her questions about what her favorites are(they change daily), how she is doing, what she wants to do for the day, ect. She will say ask me some more questions mommy. She also loves to sing and loves to make up songs, my favorite is when she sings to Gracie and their faces both light up when Gracie smiles. At this point she still naps once a day for 2-3 hours and somedays I think that time is my saving grace. She is at this point, dare I say, completely potty trained. I really don't even ask her anymore she will just jump up and say she needs to go, then asks for help getting wiped and clothes back on. She can completely dress herself which helps me a lot and she thinks it is so cool. When I first started having her dress/undress herself she got quite frustrated so I started breaking it down into simple steps I knew she could do. As she would accomplish one at a time she would get so excited and her confidence that she could do it would grow. I never realized how many steps it can take to take off a shirt for someone that has never done it before. I love to see her so happy once she has accomplished something that only days earlier was so frustrating to her. I can never thank Brit enough for capturing my girls and their personality through pictures...to me they are priceless. Here are some of my favorites.

46: Gracie-4 Months I really can't believe it has already been 4 months someone asked me the other day if I had started her on solids after letting the question sink in a minute I realized that I guess she could start having solids anytime now...she really is old enough to do that I think once they hit about 3-4 months they start to change so much. Her stats include wt 12lbs 12 oz(19) ht 25.2 in(72) head 15.6in(9). The dr is slightly concerned with her weight(she didn't gain as much as they wanted her too) She loves to suck on her fingers usually 2 of them but sometimes 3. She gagged herself once that I have seen(she didn't like that) and hasn't done it since. I guess I found it funny how young we can be when we learn cause and effect and change our behavior so it doesn't happen again. She is such a good baby and still rarely if ever cries. I often find her in her crib cooing and playing these days to let me know she is awake. Just last week I changed her to size 2 diapers. I think she is going through a growth spurt she has been eating a lot. She had her 1st stuffy nose the last couple days but nothing some saline and a bulb syringe can't fix but oh sometimes what I would give to have a suction canister and a BBG for those boogers I can't quite get. Our front room have turned into what appears to be a baby circus. With her play mat, exersaucer, bumbo, and bouncer/swing, Hallie thinks the toys are cooler now then when she was at the age to play with them. Gracie has now become very good at grabbing toys/blankie/burprags and shoving them in her face to suck on. The bumbleball thingy toy is a favorite as well as a rattle with multiple little places for her to hold on to. I think the bumbo and exersaucer are her favorite the last couple days because she is able to be up and see whats going on. She has been sleeping between 10-12 hrs at night and then eats, plays for about an hour to an hour and a half, then back to sleep til I wake her up at her 4 hr mark again. This girl sleeps a lot! She has really started to pay attention when I read to her, she seems to like the pictures and actually focuses on them while I read. She is a very smiley/giggling baby. She actually laughs the best when you gently startle her(we found this out because we have had to teach Hallie to surprise her a little more gently:) She likes to watch basketball on Matt's lap(which he is very proud of). All and all God has given us 2 very happy and good kids(so thankful for this). We feel very blessed.

47: Remembering Grandpa Norr Weekend On May 3 at 92 yrs young, grandpa passed away in his sleep in the recliner that he loved to sit and rock in. After a fun day of going to see the temple in Brigham City and a stop for ice cream after dinner he told the aide he was tired and was going to have a rest the next time they went to check on him, he had passed away. We received the call shortly after attending Kim's dental hygiene pinning. I was glad we were all able to be together, minus Nate that was away at youth conference. Nic really had a hard time seeing as it was also her birthday. Grandpa always had a special spot for Nic so it almost seemed fitting that he would want to be reunited with grandma on her special day. But on a positive note it ment that we would get to spend another weekend together. On Wednesday my dad and Maddi headed to Utah while my mom stayed behind until Nate was done with school on Friday. On Thursday Nic and I loaded up the kids and headed to Tremonton to help my dad go through grandpas stuff. As we went through his belonging I actually enjoyed seeing different "stuff" that jogged our memories of time with grandpa. After the 1st box I noticed that Maddi wanted to keep anything that none of the rest of us didn't want. After talking to her we realized that she didn't get to grow up with grandma and grandpa as her second parents and therefore doesn't have as many memories of them which then lead to the discussion that physical items wont make you miss them any less or create more memories. It was at that moment that I realized the best thing to do is to keep the memories close to your heart, talk about your lost loved one often until the day when you can then be reunited to make more memories. While cleaning out the boxes grandma was so good to watch the kids. I am so glad my kids are getting to know the grandma that never existed when I was little. She has become a more patient, loving and thoughtful person. She is great with the kids. Saturday was the funeral. We got up early and headed to Deweyville. We had a great turn out and I couldn't get over how beautiful the flowers were. Since grandpa was in the military he was buried with military honors....which was way cool. Pictures below include trumpet player and riffle shots. Folding the flag to present to family. Presenting shell casings to family. Saluting the family after flag presentation. Pallbearers placing boutineers on casket. I really enjoyed the funeral once we got the girls to fall asleep. It was a mostly happy memory filled talks. Most of my memories of grandpa were ones that grandma would tell him to leave us girls alone and he would go out to his wood shop to get away from us or sit on the back patio rocking with a pepsi in hand. After grandma passed away all that changed he became the loving nurturing one. He came to all of our special events(volleyball games, graduations, baby blessings, ect). I am happy that my girls at least got to meet and spend sometime with the grandpa that helped raise me. He and my grandma are in most if not all of my wonderful childhood memories. Although Im selfishly sad I am really very happy that grandpa has now been reunited with my grandma that he has missed very much for a long time. At times like these the only comfort we have are the promises the gospel gives us now and in the life to come. It was a great day to honor a great man. See ya later grandpa!

49: Baby Animal Days I love having Nic so close and can't wait for Kim & Ez to join the fun. Last Friday Nic & I loaded up the kids again and headed to baby animal days. Im not sure who was more excited me or Hallie. We walked around to see all the baby animals first. They had a tent with ducks and bunnies and plenty of them to hold and love. Some of them were dirty and Hallie didn't want anything to do with them but the clean fluffy ones she was all over. You can see her below looking into the bucket picking one to "love."Hallie loved the shearing the sheep demo. I thought she would watch for 5 seconds and move on but she wouldn't leave even when Nic and I were ready. They also trimmed the sheep's hooves and gave out some of the shaved wool. The bean bag toss. Now to the main event Hallie has been asking to ride a horse since we took her last fall. In most places she is to small to ride but not here we had to wait in line for about 20 minutes and I thought that once she got on she would cry and want off but it was the exact opposite. They had a few small horses for the smaller kids but Hallie asked to ride the big brown horse. One on the horse she waved like a rodeo queen and still is talking about how she rode the big brown horse and wants to know when we can go again. Last but not least was the face painting she asked for a butterfly and that is just what she got. We had a great time and if/when they do this again we would for sure go.

50: Puppies & Picnics Hallie really does love just about any animal out there so when we found out some of our friends had 5 week old puppies we knew we had to go....we were not disappointed. There we six of them Hallie would stand on one end of the yard and clap calling them and they would all run and knock her over and lick and lick her she couldn't stop laughing. We wore them all out including Hallie. Once we were done playing we headed home to grill. Grandma has an awesome backyard that is all shaded and backs onto a pond with a swing, ducks, and lots of running space. We put all of it to use. Grandma was the awesome designated babysitter she has become someone totally different then the grandma I have grown up with. I'm so glad that my girls are getting to know my grandma and she is so good with them.. The rope swing first me then Hallie swinging with Maddi. Then of coarse feeding the ducks. I think this should become a common occurrence this summer. To family and fun!and just being together. | Hallie | Nat

51: After Gracie's 4 month shots..look how long she am

52: Happy Mother's Day Thanks to this wonderful guy I have these 2 beautiful girls that make me a mom to celebrate Mother's Day. For mother's day after attending church we had a nap and then headed to Tremonton. We got to see Chris for a few minutes via Skype and then ate. After some food...that didn't end up on the floor we headed over to my grandmas to see her and my mom before heading back home. Hallie loved the chocolate covered strawberries most of the chocolate ended up on her hands but she ate the strawberry. The kids had a great time dog piling in the back yard....no one was injured because none of them weigh more than 10 lbs...haha good thing Brit and I have little kids. All in all it was a good day, Hallie gave me a cute card and kept telling me all day that I was the best mommy and happy mother's day. Being a mom may not always be the easiest or most glamorous job but I wouldn't want to do anything else. | Uh-Oh Shopping While my mom was here we did a little shopping(no surprise there). She has been looking for some kelly green flats so once again loaded up all the kids and headed to the mall. I have taken Hallie shoe shopping before but not lately and boy has she changed. She couldn't get her hands on enough shoes to try on. It started by her asking to have her shoes off so she could try on these pink flats she wore them most of the time we were there in between different pairs. After while we were waiting for them to check different locations for shoes Hallie tested out all of the little car toys. After the mall we headed over to the DI(a fav for sure). I have decided if I was going to be a hoarder it would probably be for children's books. I just can't seem to buy enough and the DI is helping me fulfill that. We came away with 25 new books. They were all like new and included bernstein bears, little critters, clifford, and some other cute hard backed books. We had a great and fun day and came home just in time for all of us to have a nap. I'm not sure how I got so blessed to have 2 sweet girls with personalities to match.

53: Demolition Derby Saturday night was family date night. It has been a lot of fun to make sure we get out and about with our little family. We have loved exposing Hallie to activities of all kinds. On that note I love the demolition derby even if most people consider it white trash. We got a great seat, on the 2nd row, and even got showered with some dirt on multiple occasions which added another element to the fun. This was one of the first activities I noticed a personality difference in Hallie and Gracie. Hallie initially covered her ears because she said it was to loud and Gracie, who slept through the first 2 heats(that girl can sleep through just about anything), on the other hand wiggled until she could see the cars and didn't want her ears covered. Im sure this is just one of the many personality differences we will find in the years to come. After a couple heats Hallie mellowed a little and then was willing to watch and cheer without her ears covered. She picked a car in the truck heat and it actually ended up winning she kept saying, "look at my car smashing all those other cars." We had a great time and Im sure there are many demolition derbies in our future. | Moving Kim & Ez So this pasted weekend we helped move Kim and Ez into their new apartment in Daybreak in South Jordan. Saturday Matt went to help unload the truck then on Sunday we all headed down to help unpack and help clean up. We carpooled with Nic & Ky and pack lunch and dinner for all of us. The kids had a great time playing in the stroller box. We got a lot accomplished and even had some down time to watch the basketball time. We are so excited to have Kim & Ez closer and even more excited to meet their new little addition that will join us in October.

54: Bubble Blower Gracie is so fun she love to talk and recently learned to blow bubbles. She drools a ton so when she does blow bubbles the drool just dribbles down her chin. She will blow bubbles then laugh at herself. What a fun and happy baby she is! | Real Soccer Time We renewed our pass of all passes this year and the Real soccer games was one of the main reasons. Matt grew up playing soccer and has become quite a fan of Real. So Tuesday night after having dinner with Kim and Ez we headed over to the game. We had a great time watching the game and eating treats. Hallie was particularly fond of Kim's cotton candy. The weather was perfect were excited for the warm weather and lots of fun family time. | Soccer Time

55: Adventure Date Night-Rock Climbing So to avoid the usual date night that includes just going to dinner we decided to make things a little more fun and add what I call an "adventure" date as one of our date nights during the month. We decided rock climbing was a great place to start. Rock climbing was something out of both of our elements and something we hadn't done since college. We definitely weren't in the best shape for rock climbing and after about an hour had had enough. It was a lot of fun and I think we will do it again soon. Joy was so great to come down and watch the girls they had a great time reading and singing songs.

56: Life Long Friends There are very few friends that as life goes are there for the long haul. Matt has been lucky enough to have 2 such friends. Although we don't see them as much as we would like the times we do get together its as if we have never been apart. Memorial Day was a great day and it just so worked out that the boys could get together and have some "man time" while Mindi and I hung out with the kids. Although I do give Matt a hard time about a possible "bromance" he has with each of them I'm really glad he has good friends to spend time with. After their morning of golf we BBQed and enjoyed catching up. It was a great day!

57: Hi Ho Hi HO A Hiking We Will Go Yesterday we packed up shortly after getting up and ready and headed for the 29th St trailhead. We have previously tried to hike Waterfall Canyon but sadly got lost and ended up hiking twice as far to nowhere. So we regrouped this year and off we went. Hallie decided she didn't want to ride in the back pack so she walked the entire way minus about 5-10 minutes of being carried. When we got back to the car we had walked 4 miles in about 2 hrs not bad for her little legs. One thing that kept Hallie going was all the dogs on the trail...most of which we stopped to pet. Gracie slept on the way up except for momentarily peeking out to see what was going on. We stopped about half way up to rest a minutes and let Hallie play in the stream. Please ignore Hallie's poor sad eyes she had conjunctivitis and the swelling was so sad. But didn't seem to bother her. Except when she woke up in the morning with them sealed shut. Anyways back to hiking. Now that we made it to the top it was time for a rest and some refreshments...for all of us. The water was coming off the rocks as it came down the rock face and Hallie kept saying it was raining(slightly confusing) so we moved a little further back so we wouldn't get wet. Gracie got a "snack." After having our snacks we had just enough time to get pictures in front of the waterfall and head home for lunch. We thought Gracie would enjoy the hike down facing forward so she could see....we were wrong she quickly fell back to sleep. We had a great time and it was the perfect hike for our little family. I think we will be doing it again very soon. | Happy Birthday Rigs!!! While we were at Lake Powell Rigs celebrated his 1st birthday. Nic & Ky got him some sand toys and a couple other little things that day but saved the real celebration for when we got home so Sunday afternoon we got together at Nic's house and had a yummy BBQ. Aside from being super tired from Lake Powell it was a great time. It was great to see Kim & Ez that we super missed at L.P. this year. Rigs was so tired that he had to have a nap in between eating dinner and eating his cupcake. So while he slept we played some games and then ate yummy cupcakes. Happy Birthday Rigs! | JUNE

58: 5 Months Our little Gracie turned 5 months on June 6th, those first couple months just fly as we adjusted and settled into our new life with our 2 girls. Gracie is such a good baby although I am realizing as Gracie gets older how different our girls are. I do realize that they are 2 completely different people but I can't help but compare because Hallie is all I have even known. Gracie is VERY interested in the food we are eating(Hallie wasn't really like that) and by that I mean she reaches and makes noises to let you know she would like some so on June 7th I gave in and let her have some rice cereal..she didn't love it but she ate it. Veggies and fruits are next. -Rolled over back to tummy May 24th -Rolled over tummy to back May 25th -Found feet around June 6th -Reaches and grabs everything and most goes into her mouth -Started solids June 7th(rice cereal)-didn't love it -Still loves to be bundled(I have to take a pic of her with her arm out though) -Started holding her own bottle -Eats btw 4-8oz a feeding(still nursing) -Naps 3-4 times a day for 1-3 hrs each -Sleeps 8-12 hrs a night

59: Lake Powell One of my favorite places in the whole world is Lake Powell we have been there every summer for as long as I can remember this year was different for a couple of reasons...Kim & Ez couldn't make it having just moved and accepted jobs and it was Matt and I's 1st year with 2 kids we knew we were in for an adventure. We tried to think ahead and borrowed a trailer for one of Matt's coworkers mostly so we could have a cool space to lay the girls down for naps and bedtime. We got the trailer loaded up on Monday night and waited in anticipation for Tuesday afternoon to come. Matt worked a half day and then we loaded up and got on our way. We had also borrowed a V-10 4-wheel drive truck to pull the trailer. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into about half way there we realized we were going to spend ALOT on gas more than double what we had budgeted. I guess that's when we realized we were paying for life experience. We ended up getting 4-6 mpg...which is ridiculous! After what seemed like a super long ride(the girls were great but I found myself wonder when we would be there). But once we got there the money was all forgotten and the fun began. We set up the trailer, it took about 5-10 minutes before Nate and Maddi decided to move into us, and headed for bed. Day one Nic and I decided the trip would be a success if we could keep the kids from not getting sunburned so here are their before pics! I told Hallie she had to wear her hat or sunglasses at all times...she did very well and rotated back and forth between the 2. She was also good to remind us that she thought she needed more sunscreen on a regular basis. This was Hallie's 1st yr at LP potty trained(it was awesome) so she of coarse peed in the lake after seeing her other little friends doing it. Later in the week Hallie said she had to go potty and before I could help her she ran into the water about 2 inches dropped her swim bottoms and proceeded to slightly squat and pee. I couldn't get to my camera fast enough.. probably because we were all laughing so hard. Then she quickly pulled them up and went about her day. Rigs just can't help himself he just loves Gracie(and babies in general) so we spent a lot of time trying to protect Gracie from getting attackedWhat you may have a hard time seeing are the herd of big horn sheep on the rocks, its amazing that they can even survive in this environment they were on there way back after getting a drink. Swimming is a must when it is so hot so in between skiing, kneeboarding, and tubing we took multiple swim breaks...Hallie thought the water was a little cold but Gracie appeared that she liked getting cooled off. Matt of coarse in true fashion tried to disable himself...while surfing got his arm stuck in the rope(he is lucky he didn't get his arm ripped off). Gracie loved the sand and spend most of her time in the shade playing in the sand or sleeping in the trailer. Thursday while we were there Rigs turned 1 yr old!! He decided to celebrate among everything else by tubing for the 1st time with his mom...he liked it and it made Nic a nervous wreak(oh the joys of being a mom) Hallie loved being with Maddi and was her shadow most of the trip. Saturday we did some celebrating for father's day and of coarse we had to get a picture of Matt with his girls. We even made it to the marina for some fun and ice cream. Nate is such a good uncle and way more mature than any other boys I know his age...love him. He is so good with the kids. As you can see from the pics how could you not love this scenery? We usually got up early and skied until the rest of the boaters realized what they were missing then in for breakfast and playing on the beach before going out to swim or site see. Then after dinner while everyone else was worn out we would once again ski on awesome smooth water with awesome sunsets. Hallie was very interested in helping to drive the boat this year...only problem is that she wanted to do it by herself. She settled for helping. Hallie and Maddi were constant buddies as well as some new friends we made(Addi, Carter, and Ethan). Hallie showing me her starburst..can we just say she probably lived on candy and powerade(I guess thats what vacation is for). Of coarse there was a lot of sand castle building going on the boys also started a VW bug but we played to much and ran out of time to finish it. Oh and my sweet Gracie what a wonderful baby she is. The entire trip she was pretty content to do whatever and spent quite a bit of time in the trailer sleeping. I was really glad I had taken the video monitor I just kept it in the common place so we would know if she was awake or not without worrying.

60: She loved the boat and actually slept during some of our site seeing...I had forgotten how acquired babies are in bulky life jackets. The trip did a great job of making us all tired and worn out this was on our last day on our way to the marina the kids all gave up and slept. Nate is included in the sleeping too. Sadly on our way back to reality. It was definitely bitter sweet. We had so much fun but I was ready for the comforts of home and to not have to worry about the kids, drowning, life jackets, and keeping everyone hydrated. While we dumped the trailers we took some pics and ate popsicles to keep cool. Grandma with her 3 grandbabies...we wish they lived closer...especially now that we all live so close. What a fun trip we had and I find myself hoping there might be another one..maybe later this summer? I have decided I like the boating site seeing, and we even got a way fun game of beach volleyball going. Friday was my favorite day. Gracie had woke up about 630 ate and we were all ready by the time my family wanted to boat so we went, came back and hung out until lunch, played volleyball(with just the adults) for a couple hours, made dinner then boated until dark, had a fire with smores, and went to bed. Although I loved the trip for memory sake I do want to remember a few things. Note to self nursing while at LP is a pain in the butt, 2 kids is definitely at least 2x as much work as 1 to worry about sunscreen, fluids, sleep, and drowning but at the end of the day totally worth it, verify what kind of gas mileage you get before you drive that far, remember to take a deep breath and enjoy the trip(it took me almost 2 days to really get settled in) naps will wait and kids can eat better once they are home making memories is most important if it was only as easily said as done. Hopefully we will be back having fun in the sun again very soon.

62: Lake Powell 2012

63: Treehouse Summer Party Every summer Treehouse Museum has a members only summer party. We have found that the couple parties they have during the year are way fun and that we have to attend when we can so Thursday while Matt took the trailer to Logan(for the MS Bike Race) I took the girls to the party. The theme this year was dragons. They had statiions to make dragon hats, dragon wands, a puppet show, and a dragon and knight to meet and have pictures with. First Hallie wanted nothing to do with the knight and dragon and was terrified that the dragon would get her so no pic of that. We first made a dragon hat then headed to help dance a Chinese dragon dance(she really like this).We had to stop and play with the trains on our way to the puppet show. Hallie thought it was so cool that we could take a picture of our reflection. Then as we were leaving they gave everyone creamies for the treat(I don't blame them for not wanting them inside) It was a beautiful night so we decided to walk down to the fountains and eat our popsicles. Hallie is so full of personality and so fun at this age. She love popsicles and to play in in the water so it was a great combination. Gracie was content to be along for the ride. I really think I am finally getting the hang of taking both the girls to events by myself. I don't think I ever recognized how much planning and work it can be to take 2 kids somewhere instead of 1 but so worth it. Silly enough I really do find it an accomplishment to take them somewhere where we get to stay as long as we want and we all leave happy and not stressed. This night was a great one. I guess she is getting to the posing stage, she loves those sparkle shoes grandma gave her. While we were getting some stuff for Matt's race Hallie saw the pop rocks and wondered what they were...I couldn't resist(what kid doesn't like pop rocks). She said they made her mouth sparkle. I love my girls and all the time I get to spend with them. Yes I do get frustrated and yell on occasion but I wouldn't change anything because when the end of the day comes and I make sure both are tucked in before I go to bed watching them sleep brings everything back into perspective. Im so lucky that my heavenly father has entrusted me with 2 of his special daughters.

64: Gracie Goo Update Funny enough we really do call Gracie, Gracie Goo. What a calm sweet baby she is and getting more interactive everyday. She has become a rolling expert she is at this point. The below pictures are how she likes to watch tv. I cant lay her down with out her rolling over almost instantly. She has also started trying to scoot herself when there is something she wants around her. She has also started putting her arms out when she wants to be held and making a specific noise(almost like a grunt) when you show her the bottle and she wants it. She also recognizes her immediate family and gets very excited when she hears us even when she cant see us. She is full of smiles...all of the time. I seriously don't know another child that is so smiley. Last week while making dinner I sat her in her bumbo in front of the toys on the fridge it was a huge hit she loves pulling the letters off the fridge and pushing the button on the radio for it to play songs. She was so proud of herself. How is my baby getting so big?

65: Matt's MS Bike Ride So back in January Matt asked if I thought he could ride 40 miles for MS. I will admit 40 miles seems like a ways but I told him of coarse that it may take some training but that he could do it. Luckily Brit was pregnant so Matt was able to borrow her rode bike to train and to race. The months went faster than either of us thought they would. Lots of things came up and Matt's training got put on the back burning in total he was able to get out about 4-6 times so needless to say I was a little nervous for him when it came time for the race. Wadman offered incentives to the top 2 people that raised the most money to donate and Matt ended up being number two raising a total of 1500 dollars and won an Ipod! Thursday evening Matt took a trailer we had borrowed up to Logan fairgrounds to find a a place to camp(it fills up super fast). Friday after work we headed to Logan, after eating Pizza and famous Ham and Cheese salads at Fredrico's we went to check out our camp spot and get settled for the night. It was a quiet little spot next to the creek all grassy..it was perfect. I honestly was wishing we were staying more than just one night. Hallie loved playing in the water for short periods of times(it was really cold). Right before heading to bed we gave Matt his good luck poster that we had made. He kinda knew it was coming because Hallie kept asking if we could give daddy his posted so she could have some candy. Bright and early(6AM) the boys were dressed and ready to go. This is Matt's friend and coworker Tyler he was the number 1 person for fundraising with an awesome 2500 dollars to donate(that's why he has the cool jacket). Here they are ready to go. And they are off...look how fast they are..haha Then I went back to bed with these 2. We found Gracie on her tummy(another tummy sleeper?) Oh how I hate the initial panic it gives me. But of coarse she was fine. This picture totally describes how we felt Saturday morning..what a busy couple of weeks. I couldn't resist taking a picture of Hallie's hair before we fixed it for the day and as if on cue she just happened to yawn. So we got ready and were there to watch our daddy cross the finish line. When I asked him how it had gone he said he wished he had ridden further. So next year he will do further. He said he felt like he had just gotten warmed up. We are so proud of him and all he has done to help find a cure for MS. After getting some icees and meeting up with Matt's family(Matt rode faster than anticipated so they missed him coming across the finish line..but its the thought that counts) we headed over to the bounce house and slide. The kids had a blast. Ris's kids are so good with Hallie especially Austin and Braydon. Hallie kept calling them hers". It meant a lot that with everything going on some of Matt's family made time to come and support him. After we got loaded up and headed for Tremonton for some more family fun. Grandma had filled up the pool and had snacks for everyone to enjoy. Both our girls napped while Matt and I sat and visited with the family. I love this picture Mayci asked if she could hold Gracie. I wanted to take a picture but I didn't realize how cooperative they were both going to be. The highchair parking section, Hanging with Uncle Chris, And of coarse what is a weekend at grandmas without dress up clothes. After lunch we quickly got everything together so we could get home so Matt could fly to Tucson for work. After he left I couldn't find my keys so I called to see if he had seen them only to find out he had both sets of our keys! And then he forgot his Zoom in his truck at the park n jet. Oh my with as many things as we had going on this weekend we are lucky that's all that happened. I am definitely grounded until he gets home. We are looking forward to a slower week this week.

68: On Wed June 20th Chris came home after serving 2 years on a LDS Mission in Brazil. We all met at the airport with signs and balloons to greet him. I really didn't know what to expect(I have never been to the airport to greet a missionary). There were a couple other families waiting for their missionaries as well. One thing I didn't expect was to be emotional. When all the missionaries came down the escalator to be reunited with loved ones that they have missed and us them for the past two years. I had to step back and take it all in. There was a family next to us that their oldest child was returning home and to see all his small siblings be so emotional as they finally got to see their brother again makes me teary eyed as I type this post. After initial hellos and hugs we headed to Brit's house to eat. Later Chris went to Tremonton to be released. Then on Saturday after Matt's race and we headed to Tremonton and were lucky enough to go to dinner with all of Matt's siblings. I really hope that we can start making this a common occurrence when were all together. Sunday was Chris's "homecoming" we had a great lunch...it was hot and spend time with family.

69: Where is the summer going so fast?!? I can't believe June is almost gone and July here. Since my sisters moved here was have tried to make a point of planning things so we can all get together. Kimber has been especially good at helping to plan things. The zoo was one of the 1st things that came to mind. We met at the zoo around 10 so we could get to the elephant encounter by 1030. I had never been to the actual encounter so it was really cool. They demonstarted all the tricks the elephants can do, feed, and give them a "bath." Hallie has been talking about going to the zoo for weeks so she was in heaven running from one animal to the next or to just watch an animal in general. She loved that the elephants could kick a ball and wash themselves with their trunks. Hallie loves Kimber and frequently says she is her favorite. Kimber is also so patient and loving with her..she carried her a lot because Hallie kept asking to be carried for 5 seconds..haha She also read most of the signs and explained to her about all the animals. Im not sure what Gracie thought but she seemed to enjoy watching the animals move around and make noise. Next was the bird show that was a little bit of a downer from the last time we went the wind was blowing(which was awesome because it helped keep us cool) and the birds had a hard time flying. After the bird show it was time for some food. They had plenty of shaded places to sit and eat, it was nice. Kim made chocolate cake over the weekend and had been telling Hallie about it, so she brought her a piece. It was yummo!Gracie fell asleep while we ate lunch and ended up sleeping 2 1/2 hrs. Then back to the animals....Then we got to the new exhibits and we were not at all disappointed. This is a model of a bald eagles nest next to their exhibit. Then there were the river otters. Then Hallie asked if she could take some pictures...this is one of them that worked out? They had interactive toys and stuff the kids could play in and with. Then my favorite part of the day the sea lions, seals, and polar bear. The sea lion is huge(they said 200 lbs bigger than the polar bear). We loved the glass down lower so we could watch them play. The polar bear was so funny and interactive with us. He would jump in the water, float on his back, come up against the glass and seemed like he was sniffing. Then get out and start all over again. No this bear is not dead but very asleep. The always favorite giraffe. The one was licking the cinder blocks with its black tongue it looked like a slug on the wall..yuck. Hallie took this...pretty impressive. The baby orangutan was so cute and playful, but I did notice the hotter the day got the less iterative the animals were. Our "group" picture Gracie was still asleep. Rigs and Hallie loved climbing all over this gorilla. Then there was the play ground. Rigs ate wood chips while Hallie played. Silly boy! Then Hallie decided to take a break. While we were at the playground Gracie woke up just in time to play in the water a little bit before we headed for home. This picture is so what our house is like. Gracie loves to watch Hallie. Hallie often will read, sing, or just talk to her. Me and my girls after a great day at the zooI was very surprised at how long we lasted we didn't leave the zoo until after 3. Then we headed to Jamba Juice for smoothies and enjoy the air conditioning. You may have noticed the necklace Hallie is wearing in most of the pictures...Kimber made that for her and brought it to the zoo she has worn it all day today too.

70: Hogle Zoo

72: 1st bike ride Friday we were invited to bike the Ogden River Trail with Eric & Whitney Daems. After a quick dinner we drove down to 12th St to start our bike ride. This was the 1st time both our girls have been in the bike trailer and the 1st time ever for Gracie. The trail is mostly shaded and next to the water so although I was worried about it being hot it wasn't at all. They both loved it and laughed and smiled while having snacks in the back. We wove around with the trail til we got to a play ground but not just any play ground a modern grown up kid playground with rock climbing, kyak park, and 15 ft climbing net. After some playing we headed back before it got dark. But don't be mistaken this trip was not without its issues when we were almost back to the car my pedal on my bike fell off and stripped the screw so I walked the short way back to the car as well as needing to tighten Matt's handle bars. We had a great time though and hope to go again really soon. | Day at the Lake and Sibling Date What a fun day we had Saturday. Its funny in life how small the world can be. When we went to Lake Powell my parents invited some friends that are in their ward and they in turn invited some of their family. Well among their family we found some great friends that we really enjoy spending time with. Their names are Ryan and Melissa. They live in Tooele and have 3 kids(Ethan, Carter, and Addi). I can't say enough how cute their kids are with ours. Addi is Hallie's age and the 2 boys are older but they all play together so well. Anyways back to our Saturday Ryan invited us to join them at Echo Reservoir to have some fun in the sun. We got there about 10 got everyone sunscreened then out we went. Hallie was so excited to see the kids. This is Hallie and Addi being silly in the boat. Matt learned to surf while we were at Lake Powell and has really grown to like it. After we boated a while we headed in to eat some lunch. Gracie fell asleep in the boat so when we got back we put her in the carseat under the shade and she just kept on sleepin. Just as we were finishing our lunch our friends received an alarming call that a family member was in the hospital. We quickly helped them load up and while they headed to the hospital we headed home to shower and get ready for our first "sibling" date. Kimber had the idea to get together, leave the kids home, and just the adults go out and have a great time...and that's exactly what it was. After a quiet dinner with good company and conversation we walked around and found Hopefully we will continue to do it. What a great time and fun day we had....summer is so fun but going too fast.

74: Seven Peaks with friends Last week after boating Melissa invited us to join them at Seven Peaks to have more fun in the sun. I tease her that we don't know what each other looks like in street clothes with hair done and make-up since we have spent all our time at the lake or in the water. We left as soon as we were up and moving I was a little nervous about doing the water park thing with both girls by myself but it was great and not as bad as I had anticipated. I left Hallie in her life jacket and just kept an eye on her while playing in the water with Gracie. After swimming for a couple hours we had a break for lunch. As you can tell Gracie had carrots and is a big fan of real food. My sweet girls...Hallie loved this little slide and the water was shallow enough at the bottom that she didn't get dunked at the bottom. Hallie played with Ethan a lot he was so cute with her and caught her at the bottom which ultimately knocked them both down. All the kids getting ready to head home. I am now feeling more comfortable one event at a time with the 2 girls I really think its the only way to figure it out. We love spending time with our new friends.

75: Our 4th of July No surprise that we spent the 4th in Deweyville...to be honest I don't remember a 4th not in Deweyville. I have so many wonderful memories of great friends and fun events that we want to share with our girls so the Deweyville tradition continues. We decided this year we would sleep in and just catch from the parade on. Here is Hallie with her 2 kinds of cereal and no milk(a common morning at our house). So after some confusion we ended up getting there a little early and did some catching up with life long friends. Just before the parade started Hallie found uncle Chris we have enjoyed the few times we have seen him since he got home but of coarse she was to distracted to look at the camera. The distraction continued as Rigden was fascinated by the vintage fire truck and ambulance that was in the parade. Grandma even came over tus. She is so different than the grandma that I grew up with and Im grateful for the times both my kids and I get to spend with her. Hallie was so excited when she got there she chased her car and waited patiently for grandma to park before she had to give her a big hug and tell her how much she had missed her. Me and my sweetheart...my life would be nothing without him. The annual Kim and Ez picture(as Ez would say)..next year it will include their little one(Luke). Brad and Sue are always so nice to offer and let Hallie ride with Brooke on her horse. We eventually had to take her off she probably would never have gotten off on her own. Then Rigs had a ride he kept petting her and making a gasping sound it is so fun to watch kids discover new things. Then we played with the sheep and fed the fish...dog food...who knew. They were crazy about it. There was also an awesome swing but we were having to much fun for a picture. Then we headed for Randy and Holly's house where we ate too much yummy food, the kids played in the water, and we visited til we were all ready for a nap. So we made the drive home and everyone but Kim and I slept for a couple hours. After getting rejuvenated we BBQ'd and took it easy. Poor Rigs was so sad after dinner and after some medicine and some loves he slept while we played games. Kimber and Hallie frosted the cake...well Kimber frosted the cake and Hallie ate frosting. When the time came to leave for the fireworks we decided to stay home and play games in our PJs. It ended up that we could see the fireworks from our house anyways so we didn't miss anything. I love the summer and the multiple opportunities we have to spend time with family and friends.

77: Motor Vu Drive In Saturday after some planning we finally got to go to the drive in. I remember the few times we went to the drive in growing up...I thought it was so cool. Kim/Ez, Nic/Ky, Nick/Brit met up at our house and ordered some take out chinese and played until just before dark. Then we got PJs on everyone and headed out. Ky was so tired they passed on the movie. The rest of us loaded up and after a quick drink/slurpee stop we got there just in time to get settled before the movie started. Nick and Brit brought their truck and we took both the yukon and the truck so we would have room for all of us and would have a car to take the girls home in if they didn't make it through both movies. Kim had made a huge bowl of popcorn and cookies that we quickly ate and were out before the movie was even half over. First was Brave we initial tried to lay Gracie down but she wanted nothing to do with that and sat very intently on my lap and watch most of the movie. Gracie got tired about the last 10 minutes and quickly fell asleep in her car seat. Hallie made it through the entire movie and asked to watch it again as soon as it ended. Next was Avengers we laid Hallie down and both girls slept until it was time to head home. It was about 230am when we got home. We quickly unloaded, transfered both girls into bed and went to bed ourselves. It was a lot of fun and having it go so well with both girls means it will probably happen again soon. Love the fun we have with our little family! | Swim Lessons Last week we started Hallie's 1st set of swim lessons by herself(we have done a couple sets of mommy and me). I was really excited that she could do them alone so I wouldn't have to worry about what to do with Gracie. She was very excited. They start each session with what they call "Whale Tales" where they talk about water safety followed by a 30 minutes session in Hallie's age group(everyone else is a hour). They have a bunch of toys for the kids to throw and retrieve. They have also learned to float on their backs, beginning of leg and arms for swimming, getting their face wet, and jumping in. Hallie has been timid for about the 1st 5 minutes of each session and then seems to warm up and love everything. Weber State does a great job and has four kids to one teacher at Hallie's level and 3 kids to one teacher until they are competent swimmers. I also like that there are only 4-5 groups it equals decreased ciaos. But a note for next time M-Th for 2 weeks is too much I think we will try the 2x a week for a month this fall and see if we like it better.

78: Our New Toy I am extra proud of this new toy for the steps we took to purchase it. Matt and I have always been very fortunate to always have plenty of money in order to live and to save. So in the past when we wanted something we just go out and buy it. In an effort to teach Hallie some concept of money and to save more money we decided we would have to save all the money for the trampoline on top of the money we were all ready saving for other other stuff. We decided a couple of months ago to go to a cash system for most of our purchases and budget better since once the money was gone we had no more to spend. I have been quite impressed how it has changed my perception of our money and the purchases we make. Many things that once seemed like necessities now I know certainly are not. And in a matter of a month we managed to save the money for a new trampoline. Hallie loves it and I can't wait for it to cool down so I can let her jump on it all day.

79: Another Fun Filled Family Weekend We spent another fun filled weekend with my family. It started with Nic and I spending Friday getting decorations ready for Kimber's Shower we will be hosting in Aug(it will be here quick). Luckily the kids did good entertaining themselves in the back yard. Then after a short break for naps and to shower we headed off to the Blaze(arena football) game. Hallie came up from her room dressed like this and asked if she could wear what she had on I agreed she looked pretty cute. So I'll be honest arena football isn't really my thing but Matt and I want our girls to experience all activities so they can decide what they like..but were more than happy to go in order to spend time with family. Here's the whole gang...man we love spending time with them. And we did end up having a lot of fun. Saturday morning we got up and ready to head to South Jordan for a fun packed day. We got there played some wii and visited before lunch. Kimber had a great idea to theme the food we brought towards foods that reminded us of our Grandma Norr...it was way yummy. Kimber was so thoughtful and made a batch of gluten free rolls so that I could have a bun with my sloppy joe...she is awesome. After lunch we put the kids down for a nap and we visited, slept, played more wii, and read. After the kids woke up and situated we headed to the Kennacott Copper mine. We all squished in the Yukon and off we went. On the way we saw a mommy and her baby deer crossing the road Hallie thought that was so cool. Once we got there we weren't disappointed. I was a little skeptical but really thought it was cool, the view was breath taking. This is a tire for one of the dump trucks it was HUGE!! So if you can imagine how big the dump trucks are if you look closely you can see on the right a small dot...well thats a full size Ford truck! In the video they said the dump trucks are as big as a house and have a staircase to get to the drivers seat. Hallie loved the shiney rocks. And the mini versions of the tractors they use at the mine. Hallie wanted a picture with each plaque someone told her it had cool stuff on them..thanks Ez. He also taught her to say that learning is cool. Ez enjoying the wind in his hair. Our family picture minus half of Kyle who refused to pose for one more picture...creative I will give him that. After we got home from the mine we grabbed some dinner and headed out for a bike ride. Gracie was ready for a nap so we put her in her car seat and she rode in one bike trailer while Hallie and Rigs rode in the other. Daybreak has so many trails and was so fun. So we rode our bikes around for awhile while Ez fixed his bike tire then rode our bikes down to the boats at the lake. Once we got to the lake we decided to take turns on the boat and the rest of us rode our bikes around the lake. Hallie loved the boat and was pretty good at helping to paddle. Poor Rigs refused to nap while the girls did and he finally gave up on the bike ride....don't ya love how kids can sleep anywhere and refuse to in some of the most comfortable places. Kim and I decided to take the kids over to the playground while everyone else rode the boats. Once Gracie woke up she loved the ride. The playground was really nice, it was next to the water so of coarse the kids had to feed the ducks. Then headed for the swings and slide. The base was sand so it was fun to put our feet in the sand and build. Rigs isn't one to frequently share smiles or laughs but once Kyle put him on the swings with Hallie he was a riot and at times had a hard time catching his breath. What a fun day we had. I hope we continue with our family dates, dinners, and days with the kids. I have always hoped that my kids would grow up spending lots of time with family making those same memories that I remember making growing up. Im thankful for family that takes advantage of the time we spend together and the sacrifices they make so that it all works out. Days like today make my heart happy:)

81: Kennecott Copper Mine

83: Family Time

84: Victor and the Tetons Over the 24th we got together with Matt's family. We left on Sunday after the girls got up from their naps and we were all packed and ready to go. We drove the 4 hours to Victor, ID without any problems I think the drive bothered me the most. Gracie slept for about 3 hours of the trip and Hallie was content to read stories and watch movies. Once we arrived we got all our stuff set up and had some dinner followed by a lesson by Chris. It was really hard to listen with the kids running around and so excited to be out of the car and with all the other kids. Then we settled in for the night. The girls really struggled going to sleep...Hallie wanted to be up with the older kids and I don't know why Gracie was awake but she was all smiles and wanted to play. We finally got both of them settled about 11. I was a mess I was worried about the girls waking each other up, the other kids up, or getting woke up. It was hot so I couldn't sleep the girls would stir (hallie a lost binki/gracie was sweaty) it made for a long night but by about 4am it had cooled off and we got a few good hours of sleep. Monday morning came way to quickly we had yummy breakfast and got ready for family pictures. Most the grandkids Our little bunch We couldn't have been done with pictures soon enough for the group that was going fishing they had been planning and talking about it for quite a while. So after getting some lunch and some fly fishing practice they were off to the river. As for our little family we decided to take naps and visit. After the girls got up from their naps we got them fed and packed to head to the Targee Ski Resort. But before we left I decided to let Gracie have a cookie(vanilla/chocolate/cream filled one) and oh my she made a mess but seemed to really enjoy herself. Once she got a mini bath(because she was a mess!) we drove the beautiful 30 minutes to the resort. We got our tickets and walked the short distance to the lift. Hallie was a little nervous but once we got moving she loved it. The views were, for lack of a better word, AMAZING(which still does it no justice) Once we got to the top(it took about 15minutes) we took a couple short hikes to a few observation points and the view just got better and better. We had been talking to Hallie about taking her to the big mountain which she equated to Dora's Big Mountain so she was very excited when we made it to "big mountain" aka the Tetons. Our view at the top Can you see in the picture below how the storm is coming in? Well just as we were getting ready to head back one of the workers came to warn us that the storm was coming so we got a few last pics and headed down the lift. It probably dropped 10-15 degrees in the hour we were on the mountain luckily we had packed jackets just in case but the girls didn't seem bothered at all. Once we got to the bottom we wanted to take some pictures and then before we knew it Hallie wanted her picture taken next to every flower pot they had because she said they were so beautiful. Then we headed back to the cabin. The kids got to play bingo before dinner and Joy had some fun prizes(Hallie chose books). After dinner we went for a bike ride (forgot my camera) although I probably wouldn't have taken pictures which

85: anyways because I about died. I had failed to notice on the way out that it was a slight decline so on the way home it was all up hill. I really didn't think I was going to make it...ridiculous! After some fresh air and some water I felt better and joined the rest of the group that had started their "talent" show which really ended up being some funny skits and Joy playing some songs for the kids to sing and dance to. Hallie thought it was great. After we gave the girls a "bath" it was time to try the bedtime thing again which to spare the details went miserably and we got to bed about 2am. Tuesday morning we got up and packed to head for home our original plan was to head for Jenny Lake and hike to the falls but on the way there Matt and I realized how truly exhausted we all were and decided to bag that for some spectator rafting and lunch. I have many memories of going to Jackson with my family rafting growing up and Bubba's is one of them my dad loves their breakfast so as we drove past I had to get a picture. We decided to watch from the "lunch counter" which we coincidentally packed our lunch and ate it while watching the boats come through. It made Matt and I miss rafting a lot hopefully we can talk my parents into going at least another couple of times to at least help teach us the particulars so we can keep going. Note:this is about the only time you will catch me dirty camping! Anyways back to lunch and the river. Hallie had a hard time focusing on her lunch and preferred to watch the rafts come through the rapids. Hallie watching the boats with her daddy. I had packed pickles in my baggie and decided to let Gracie try one...she was in heaven and gnawed on it the entire time we were hiking around. Can you tell by her face she liked it? Love my little family and our adventures. Then we headed for home. The girls alternated napping on the way home. We got rained on most of the way and the drive was for the most part really pretty. I'm so thankful for good riders because I hate to drive anywhere and if they weren't good riders I don't know if we would go anywhere. Once we got home, unpacked, and showered we enjoyed the peace and quiet of our cool house(you really don't realize how much you love AC until you don't have it). Then I realized I hadn't documented Gracie's latest trick she now can sit up all by herself and has been for about a week now. And she is quite proud of herself.. I had such a good time with my little family and the new little adventures that we did. Hallie had a great time with her cousins and loved the books Joy gave as prizes. We are excited to get some R&R before our next camping trip with friends this weekend. I sometimes wonder if summer is over so we can stay home but until then we will do our best to enjoy every moment we have together.

89: JULY

90: Take Me Out to the Ball Game We have really enjoyed our pass of all passes this year and have used them quite a bit. This year they added Salt Lake Bees tickets. So last night Matt came home from work and we headed down to enjoy the summer weather and some baseball. We have been lucky enough to have Kim & Ez come with us to several of the events lately. My girls just love them and get so excited to see them. During several of the events we have been to Hallie has asked for cotten candy and I am not a fan of paying 7 dollars for 10 cents of sugar but count on Kimber to be super thoughtful. She made a trip to the store to buy a bag of cotten candy before the game for Hallie...she was very excited. Oh my sweet Gracie that is excited to be where ever when ever....always our happy girl. Our 1st baseball game as a family of 4. Initially when we got there it was so hot but the sun quickly went down and it was perfect weather to watch a ballgame. It was "dollar dog" night so we even enjoyed some yummy hot dogs with our treats. This little family of 2 will soon be 3 we are soooo excited to meet little Luke. Hallie has started a new "trick" she calls sneaking. Somewhat like Swiper the fox but in her own little way. When she tries to sneak something she laughs and asks if your ready for her to sneak...not so sneaky. Kimber also helped her to perfect her rolling down the hill...she thought it was pretty fun and soon enough there was a whole group of little girls rolling down the hill with her. Daddy even caught a baseball for her(a first for both of them)...bare handed and later were able to show it to the ushers and they gave us a pizza coupon for free pizza to go with our ball. I think Hallie enjoyed her cheese and crackers I have tried buying them before and she didn't like them but I guess that's why they say try try again. Singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch. Three strikes your out! One more night of great memories for the books this summer. Fun, family, food, and baseball.

92: Camping we will go...not again for a while! Friday after Matt got off work we headed to Hyrum and up Blacksmith Fork Canyon to Friendship camp ground. We were invited by some friends to camp Friday and and boat Saturday. I am no dirt camper unless its next to a lake so this was a bit of a stretch for me but decided to give it a go. We got there just in time to set up camp and start dinner. We went with the Lewis,Calders, Gulls, and Brunsons. I do have to say the families we went with all have older kids and we have the younger girls that require more supervision. I love that my girls are little and hope they grow up slowly so I can enjoy every minute but it can be quite frustrating and exhausting to be with families with grown kids that can be pretty much independent, don't worry about naps, and whether or not they need to be fed. But we always give it a shot luckily I have a wonderful husband that is always a huge help. The kids played in and by the creek before dinner...before it got cool. After dinner we built a fire and roasted marshmallows before putting the kids to bed and playing games. The weather was perfect and cooled down so we slept pretty well. We got up about 8:30 minus Gracie who slept til 10..she must like camping in a tent. Hallie loved sleeping in the tent with her princess air mattress and sleeping bag I couldn't resist taking some pictures of her in her camping PJs. Here is how Gracie slept..she must have been comfy I was a little concerned both girls would get cold but neither of them complained. After we got everything packed up we headed down the canyon to Hyrum Dam to do some boating. We got there and got everything set up just in time for the wind to start. It blew so hard we had sand everywhere and ultimately ended up heading for home after eating lunch full of sand. Both girls fell asleep quick and slept til we got home. We had a good time getting to know new friends and getting to play in the dirt. But I think were done running, at least for a couple of days, we need a break. I now have laundry to do from 2 trips so if you need my Ill be home...doing laundry.

93: Treehouse & Dancing We love Treehouse all seasons of the year in the summer it is a great escape from the heat and snow in the winter. This summer has been filled with so much we finally made it and as always it didn't disappoint. We got there just in time to do art in the garden with puff finger paint(fyi-super cool). Can you tell from Hallie's face she was pretty excited! In all honesty she was a little timid at first but once she saw it washed off she had a ball. After a good nap and some puzzles. I started to get dinner ready. I have started turning on music for the girls while I make dinner. Hallie has elaborated this by adding skirts and necklaces and this particular day she brought one for Gracie too. After a little help getting Gracie dressed the dancing began. Hallie likes to hold Gracie's hands and sway side to side. She is always very good to make sure Gracie is included and this is a prime example. I love dance time and needless to say sometimes dinner just has to wait.

94: 1st Play Last week I took Hallie and Gracie to their 1st play. Grandma Joy puts together a children's play every summer revolving around Wheat and Beet Days. We were lucky enough to go and support her and my cousin's little girl Lexi. It was a great play and just short enough to hold the girls attention. After we got to visit with grandma for a few minutes before stopping for corn and Pizza Plus pizza before heading home. A big thanks to grandma Joy for the invite.

96: To Grandma's House We Go This past week we headed to the airport to take the quick flight to visit grandma in Las Vegas. It gets even better...I was able to go with both my sisters too. Since this has been in the works for quite some time I think Hallie had started to wonder if we ever really would go to grandmas. While in the line for security there was an Asian lady in front of us in line. Hallie got really excited and said "Look mom its Mulan." I couldn't help but laugh...what a cute naive girl. My excited girls on the flight down. We had planned on sitting with Nic but with our 3 babies and us there were only 4 oxygen masks so we settled for sitting behind them. Gracie slept on the flight while Hallie colored and read stories. The flight attendance came around to take our drink order(which Hallie was super excited about) then there was to much turbulence for them to pass them out so no juice=a sad girl but nothing some fruit snacks can't fix. Once we got there and settled in for the night we got the girls tucked into bed. Sunday we went to church and when we came home my mom pulled out all the stuff she had bought for the girls. Among them was this cute bumblebee that will be perfect for Gracie for Halloween(so when you see this same pic in a couple months "bee" surprised..haha) After church, naptime, and dinner it was bath time. My mom has the perfect sink for bath time. My chubby baby...what a happy girl she is. She has always liked bath time but this time for some reason she started splashing, playing with the bubbles, and laughing it was so fun to watch. I was glad my family was able to be a part of it. And with lots of play comes lots of sleep. I would say this picture sums up the fun we had. This is Rigs dump truck that grandma got for the sand box or backyard but he liked it more for a chair. Gracie loved the pool I wish I would have remembered her floater we probably could have let her float all day. After this summer I am hopeful that she does in fact have my skin and not Matts' which burns easily. Hallie initially was not a fan of the pool because she wanted to be held the entire time. Then enter in the start shaped floaty..she was set to go. I love this pic. My cheesy poser these days every time I tell her I want to take a picture she poses but I will take this over the acquired smile any day.. Maddi is the best aunt that is still young enough to want to play. Here is Hallie getting ready to be a princess...rollers and all.. Most of our time was spent being lazy and watching olympics, floating in the pool, or sleeping. But Tuesday we ventured out to a field trip to Petco for a tour. Hallie loved seeing all the different animals...me not so much. Im not a fan of rodents or reptiles which was most of what they showed us. This is Hallie after she was petting the gerbil.Just before we were ready to head the the airport we got a pic with grandma probably the last pic of three of them before Luke joins the group in early October. Then the circus was off to the airport. A circus we did look like 3 kids under three, a prego girl, and 2 tired mommies. Thanks heavens for skycap and priority TSA and boarding. In the middle of the process our sweet Gracie gave up and went to sleep(I can't even say enough what a good baby she is) On the flight home Hallie wanted to sit by aunt Kim so Nic and I sat together with the babies. Rigs fell asleep pretty quick which was a huge blessing. The girls were good and had snacks and drinks til we got to Salt Lake. Kimber was my life saver the last little bit of the flight the turbulence was so bad that I had to give Gracie to Kim to hold because I was so sick. It took a few minutes on the ground to even get my bearings back Hallie finally got her juice. Once we got home we decided to it was about time to buy this little Tigger a bouncer....she hasn't been disappointed. I have been meaning to post her 6 month(almost 7 month stats) wt-15lbs 8oz(28%), ht-26 3/4 in(73%) and head 16.1in(7%)

98: Jon Schmidt Last weekend we got some family together and had a great night in perfect weather enjoying some great music. Wadman is a great supporter of all things community and for their sponsorship they are given tickets to various events and we have been lucky enough to get to go. The piano guys are a definite favorite and we have been looking forward to this weekend since we went last year. It is held at Wolf Mountain in Eden. Everyone brings blankets and chairs and sits out in the fresh mountain air and by about dinner time the weather is perfect for a jacket. This year we stopped for KFC before heading up to have a picnic, play games, and visit before the concert....that was a great plan and so fun. The kids danced and played while the adults did their thing we did sneak in some pics between the boys taking a trip to the snack bar. Love my 2 sisters and words can't describe how much we have enjoyed having them around since they moved up here.. Chris and his date Chrissy were able to join us also. Hallie loved playing with both of them and wasn't shy to sit with Chrissy most of the night. Once the sun started to go down it was time to put on more layers Hallie loving the ranch wheat thins and rockin her princess shirt(once she has it on I have a hard time getting it off) Rigs is so funny and so obsessed with Gracie he just wants to be with her whenever they are together Im impressed all the time of how he is quickly learning to be gentle with her...as you can see him holding her hand. Our growing girl is has super perfected sitting(this it her sitting on the hillside). She is so so so ticklish....most people use this info to their advantage. I guess we both got the memo to wear strips I didn't even realize it til I saw these pictures...great minds think alike. They did a brief intermission and threw piano guy t-shirts and of coarse my lucky husband caught one and even better its to little for him...just my size...thanks babes. Gracie is loving real food here she is eating a vanilla wafer. We had a great time and can't wait to go again next year(hopefully we will have that opportunity). Love relaxing time spent with family making memories that last way longer than just the events

100: Life as of Late The other night Hallie asked if Gracie could swing with her and I couldn't find any reason to tell her no so in the swing she went and after the first push I wondered why I hadn't put her in it much sooner. She loved it to say the least. Hallie and Gracie both giggled and had a great time Hallie pushed Gracie while I changed the sprinkler and sat on the grass soaking in the moment. My 2 sweet girls laughing and enjoying each other what a wonderful blessing...these are the nights I don't want summer to end. Video at bottom of this post This year we got serious about a garden and about improving our "green thumb." In the spring we expanded our garden and got to work preparing and later planting various seeds/plants and we are now seeing the results from our work. We planted peas, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, regular cucumbers, spaghetti squash, beets, zucchini, pumpkins, and corn. We have already bottled our beets and we now have more tomatoes and zucchini than we know what to do with. It has been nice to realize that I can learn new things while teaching Hallie to. At this point she loves to help with everything(weeding, watering, and of coarse the picking part) I told Matt last night some that we will have this gardening thing down to a science.The love Pinterest I really do and I told myself when I really got into it that I had to complete at least 1 project a week because whats the point in pinning something you will never use? I am happy to report we have had so much fun from all the new awesome recipes I have found to the craft projects to preschool activities we have had a lot of fun. These are the girls "Tangled" wigs Hallie is very into Tangled right now and when I saw this I knew I had to make her one and we can't leave sister out so of coarse Gracie needed on too...Im so grateful that Hallie always wants Gracie to be apart of whatever she is doing. Matt has been traveling a TON and when I say a ton I truly mean it like gone at least 3 days a week it has been hard but we are managing and I think Im getting quite good at it. I should have known this was coming it talks about it in my patriarchal blessing but I just keep telling myself I was raised to be a strong independent women and although I would rather have Matt around I have been raised and given the tools to take care of myself and my girls. Now on a not so bright note Gracie got sick for the 1st time really this past week. She is such a good baby and Sunday night she cried pretty inconsolably for over an hour in the middle of the night. I was a little panicked but felt in my gut that she was ok. Monday she started a low grade fever and that night she cried for even longer. Having a sick child is the worst feeling in the whole world....your so helpless. Tuesday she spiked a temp of 104(Im not comfortable with that) and we were heading to 7-Peaks with Kim & Ez so before we left I decided to run her up to the dr they found she had a bad cold virus, was teething, and the very beginning of an ear infection(1st and hopefully the last). We made the choice to go ahead and treat her and after another rough night she seemed to be on the mend. She has still be pretty happy but at night it seems like it always gets worse. I didn't realize how much I missed the twinkle in her eye and that genuine smile she gives freely when she is herself. I really enjoy my time with the girls being silly and fun.

102: To the Fair The fair gets more fun every year because Hallie gets more and more into it each year this year she was so excited to see the horses and dancers. Matt got called out of town and was supposed to be back in time for the parade but his flight got delayed so we met up with him at the fair later. Hallie kept asking if she could ride one or if she could dance in the street with the girls. Gracie was content to bob her head to the beat...I think they both have pretty good rhythm. Here they are waiting for candy. When Hallie saw the flag I didn't have to say a thing she looked for it and put her hand on her heart...well initially it was her 2nd heart on the right side but she has the concept down. She loved her little indian hat and of coarse the cereal that malt o meal gives out she couldn't wait any longer she was hungry. It was a long parade 1 1/2 hr to be exact. I was very impressed that she listened very well and stayed out of the road and only took the candy in her space which is more than I can say for a lot of the kids around us. After the parade we went and picked up our dad at Grandma Joys and headed out to the fair after some GF greek food we went exploring. After getting a few new shirts for me we met up with Grandma and Nick & Brit. Grandma was nice enough to buy a bunch of tickets so the kids could ride a few rides. Hallie was thrilled to ride the carousel because she was riding a horse(which she had been wanting all day). The one problem with the fair is there is to much to do in just one night and it gets so late so fast. Gracie even got in on the action but I think she felt indifferent. Hallie thought it was so cool Grandma rode with her. After she said mom we got to ride horses just like Mary Poppins huh?...smart girl. Gracie enjoying her ride. Hallie informed me this was her favorite part of her day but when I asked her about her candy she said she had 2 favorites. Although it was probably time to go home we had to see the animals...another Hallie favorite. Gracie watched Hallie climb the fence and then proceeded to (what we think) to climb it also. Good thing Hallie is such a good girl or I would be more concerned that Gracie wants to be her shadow. We had a great time at the fair Im glad Matt made it back in time to be a part. I always thought of the fair as an ending to the summer and this year that makes me really sad but it truly has been a great one full of memories and fun family times.

103: The missed pictures As I was going through pictures I realized in the midst of Gracie being sick I did take a few pics and wanted to remember the memories that went with them. A couple Sundays ago we went for a walk Hallie was ready for a rest but we had a house showing and had to stay out a little longer. We walked past a house up the street an saw the swing...it was just what we needed...until we had to leave and then she cried:( the life of a tired girl. 7 Peaks closed after Labor Day so we decided since Kim and Ez had bought pass of all passes that we better sneak in a trip before they closed. Matt hasn't been there for years even though I have been several times the last couple of years with our passes. It was a lot of fun and after about 3 hours we were done. Notice the common theme in this post....Hallie's tiredness. Sometimes I wish it was acceptable for moms to throw fits when they're tired. But luckily Kimber was there to save the day Hallie better watch out look arrives in just 5 weeks. So excited. Then there was poor Gracie this day was in the day we started antibiotics for her "ear infection" she was still so good and slept while we played we just parked her next to the pool where we could see her. | AUGUST

104: Happy UN-birthday Hallie So Hallie's "real" birthday is in September. But Aug 25th was the day that worked the best for the party. Kimber is due to have her baby in about 5 weeks and we did her shower on Friday my parents wanted to be here for as much as they could so we decided we could do Hallie's party early she doesn't care. Since attending a friends birthday party in May she has been saying all she wants for her birthday is a bounce house and that is exactly what she got. We decided since it was going to be so hot it would be fun to have a water bounce house. It took a lot of help to get it up and down. Matt and the boys(Ez, Nate, Ky My dad) went to get it and set it up Sat morning while the girls(Kim, Mom, and Nic) started on the cake and the remaining food. Maddi is content to be with the boys and usually more interested in what they're doing. The bounce house obstacle coarse was 2 pieces one 400 lbs piece and one 200 lb piece....yeah it was big. 60 feet long and 16 feet tall at the highest to be exact. Assessing the situation. It didn't take long once it was up to make sure it was safe for the kids...or that's what they were saying. The boys + Maddi went down to flowrider to try their hand at surfing they had a ton of fun next time we will have to go when we don't have so much to do. They got back just in time to help decorate and set everything back up before our friends and family arrived. The kids played on the swings, jumped on the tramp, and of coarse the bounce house. The guy had told me that it was a smaller one great for kids 2 and up but it was a little hard to climb up so it was a good thing the guys wanted in on the fun. My mom brought this hat for Hallie to wear for her special day I think we all wore it before we convinced her to wear it, But in the end it did work and we even got a smile. This is most/handful of the friends that attended. Ethan, Kolson, Hallie, Kaylee, Addy, Carter, and Issac who belong to Melissa/Ryan, Nick/Brit, Jim/Tam, Erin/Brett. And here is the cake I have been so excited to make this cake(probably more excited than Hallie) and I couldn't be more pleased with how well it turned out. I hate fondant and I refuse to put it on any cake I think that a cake should be edible and I don't consider fondant edible so I am always looking for cute ideas without it. We did have a few problems in that the donuts settled and began to squish each other so we took it all apart froze them and added a few more donuts when we put it back together. Other than that with a solid structure to build it on it was actually really easy. Nate although he acts tough really is a softy especially when it comes to the nieces and nephew. What a great young man he has become. Right before they came to Utah he was made the seminary president...couldn't be more proud of him. Probably my favorite picture of the entire day. My sweet baby girl who now thinks she is 3 growing so fast. Blowing out her candles...I still remember when we sang to her on her 1st birthday and she cried. She has come a long way and loved the singing. Hallie and her buddy Ethan he is so good with her. Hallie with her piece of cake..the top of the tower. We also did ice cream sandwiches from Caspers a super good idea we will totally do again. My dad and Nic..love this picture of both of them. Hallie got caught eating the frosting off the cake...I would act surprised but Im not. This girls LOVES frosting. I really liked the order we did things in although it made for a long party. We ate after about an hour then let everyone play for another hour then we did cake and sang then played some more then finally we did presents since people needed to leave. So present opening is always interesting it seems like all the kids want to help open the presents which makes it really hard to see what she got and keep it together so it doesn't get lost and thrown away so this year we sat Hallie on the table...did it help? Who knows. Hallie is very much into sparkly things and got lots of stuff that sparkles even the present wrappings. Notice the Dora chair she is sitting in Kimber got it for her...she loves it and has spent a lot of time sitting in her reading corner reading in it. She got some fun and super cute stuff we were very spoiled to have so many friends and family attend. We had a great day. We got Hallie a few more things we will save for her real birthday but for now she thinks she is 3 and Im not going to try and change her mind of that knowing that she will be 3 in just a few weeks. That night when we tucked her in bed she said he wish had come true she got a bounce house for her birthday. Im glad she wasn't disappointed. We love our Hallie bug and feel very blessed to have her in our lives.

105: 3rd | Birthday

108: Our New Car Wednesday we got a call and someone wanted to test drive the Yukon but what we weren't prepared for was for them to make a full price offer and want to come get it the next day. It took Matt and I a few hours to let it sink in then the panic started...we had to find a car. We loaded up the kids and went to look and after we put the kids to bed we searched the Internet. It took us a few days and really messed up our plans for Labor Day. For Labor Day we were supposed to go to Lava Hot Springs with some friends but between not being sure if we were going to have a car, a death in our friends family, our friends lost job, and the bad weather we decided to bag it and stay home. Friday night we were awakened by thunder and lightening that lit the sky and shook the house. I don't ever remember thunder and lightening that bad. So we spent every spare moment looking for a car and then we stumbled upon a 2007 Chevy Suburban with only 47,000 miles and we knew we had to have it. So after more than 15 hours at the dealership Matt negotiated and finalized a price and paperwork(oh I hate car salesmen). I just drove down to sign the papers. I am loving my "new" mommy mobile and what makes it even better is that we are now one step closer to buying a boat:) | SEPTEMBER

109: Wheeler Farm So with our plans for Labor Day a little messed up we decided to get out and enjoy the early fall weather. I love Fall and only wish that it lasted longer. So we headed to Wheeler Farm. Neither Matt nor I had ever been there and it was really cool. It is a working farm that is open to the public for free. Gracie slept the entire time while we checked out everything there was. Hallie was a little overwhelmed and didn't know where to start she just loves animals of all kinds. The farm workers were feeding the cows so we started there. Then there were the baby pigs...which were actually cute as far as pigs go. Hallie liked feeling the different textures of all the animals. They have so many cool props and areas to take pictures we will have to do that soon. Feeding the goats they had such cute little baby ones. And then there were the poor ducks that Hallie chased and had a great time doing it. We fed the ducks and geese bread and from all the other kids there I would say the ducks NEVER go hungry. The farm is surrounded by beautiful houses both new and huge and older antique. Our little family plus Gracie sleeping in her carseat poor girl must have been tired. It took us about an hour and then we were ready to head for home. We stopped at Nick & Brit's for a BBQ which is a must for a Labor Day...right? I love the days Matt doesn't have to go to work and we can be together as a family.

110: Our Growing Girls This summer has been so busy..although fun I am ready for the fall slow down. I am trying to cherish the time before we have to be tied down with the girls in school and early mornings. Im not going to deny I love to sleep in and our girls have always been good sleepers so we sleep a lot at our house. Anyways Hallie turns 3 in a few weeks and I can't believe the bounds and strides that she is always making. She has gotten really good at riding her bike this summer and the pedaling part of things. She gets so excited and proud of herself when she accomplishes something she hasn't been able to do in the past. Its moments like that that make being a mom the best. As for Gracie she is a growing little weed that is much like Hallie but totally different at the same moment. She still likes to go to bed bundled but often before she falls asleep she unbundles herself and recently has decided she likes her belly. She is such an eater with anything and everything. We have started a lot more finger food as she has gotten super good with her coordination and being able to feed herself. Today was pears...what a mess she was but can you tell she had a great time.

111: 1st Preschool Field Trip So the time has come all to quickly to make decisions about preschools and extracurricular activities...how did my baby get so big. Matt and I made the decision that in our opinion many parents schedule their kids with to many things at a young age and then there is less time for the parents to spend teaching kids and hopefully building relationships that will last much longer than any extracurricular activity. So we decided to for go all the extras for this year and participate in a "joy" school. We are doing 2 separate groups to have smaller groups for lessons but will do our monthly field trips together. For September we are doing L is for leaves and we started with a nature hike. We took a short hike in which we saw several different kinds of seeds that they collected in their bags to show everyone at the top. Once to the top the kids played in the stream, ate peanuts(a seed) and apples(with seeds) while doing some exploring. The kids had a blast and it was fun to get out in the fresh air. Hallie with her peanut(have you ever seen 8 toddlers try to crack peanuts...enough said?) Gracie was so good and got so excited when I put her in her carrier. She excitedly flapped her arms and legs most of the hike. Hallie loved playing in the water. Me and my little hikers..I'm one lucky mommy. Hallie and her friend Allie. I'm excited about what this year of "joy" school will bring. I have all the lesson plans put together and we will be rotating teaching by months. We will be focusing on a letter, shape, and color for one month with activities focused towards helping them learn more through experiences than actual book work.

112: Bowling Months ago...like when the summer started and we sill ad time for family dates we bought a groupon to go bowling and last week got a reminder tat it was expiring. There is noting like a deadline to make you complete stuff. So Tuesday night we headed up to Weber to go bowling. Hallie was so excited from having her 1st field trip and now going bowling...she thought she had died and got to heaven. Our pass came with 2 games of bowling, drinks, and nachos. Hallie had a hard time waiting for it to be her turn the first couple of rounds but by the end she knew just where she fit in and when it was her turn. They had a cool ramp contraption for the kids that helped the ball gain speed and hit more pins. The ball she picked weighed 8 lbs Matt and I had our doubts whether or not she could pack it around but she wanted the pink ball and had no problems. It weighed 1/3rd of what she does! She would roll the ball then run back to see what the screen would say. As for Gracie she was content to eat snacks and watch the action. About 1/2 way through the 2nd game we bundled her and she slept til we got home. Hallie loved waiting to see what pins she could hit all by herself...miss independent. Our little bowling family. Once we got snacks Hallie was all about our snacks and bowling was an after thought. This girl loves pop and since she doesn't usually get it she didn't want to let it go. I don't think there is anything more fun than watching your child try something new, love it, and be so proud of themselves for accomplishing something. | September Hallie-3 yrs Gracie 8 months

114: 8 Months Oh my how the months fly when your having fun. Gracie turned 8 Months this past week. She is growing and developing so quickly. She is one of the happiest if not the happiest baby I have ever met. She is really good about her schedule which keeps the rest of us happy and sane. She gets up about 830-9 eats her rice cereal and fruit with a bottle then about an hour later goes back to sleep and wakes up just in time to have lunch which usually consists of some finger food(she has gotten very into feeding herself), a veggie, and a bottle. About a hour after that its back to bed then up for snacks and a bottle, repeat the sleeping pattern just in time for dinner. She usually stays up until taking a quick 45 minute nap before waking up to have a bath, pjs, and a bottle before bedtime at 830-9. She occasionally cries out in her sleep at night but beyond that sleeps til we hear from her in the morning. She is much more into food and feeding herself than Hallie was. This past week we went to a BBQ with friends while we were waiting for dinner to cook she got a little impatient. I gave her a Chetto...needless to say she loved it. She has found her voice and uses more vowels and consonance everyday. She has started saying dada but doesn't associate it with Matt yet. We were trying to get her to say mama the other night and Hallie comes over and says teach Gracie to say my name. Now I find Hallie talking to Gracie saying my name is Hallie can you say Hallie. Its so cute. She uses rolling to get wherever she wants to go but has started scooting. She will try to get up on her knees and ends up doing a plank looking move before falling down again. But she is getting to close to being mobile for my liking. She is content to play with her toys or loves to pull the letters off the fridge and just last week figured out how to push the buttons to make the radio on the fridge play. The first couple of times I think it scared her as she got the pout on her face and cried a little. She has kinda grown out of loving her jumper but she does like it once in a while.We happen to go to dinner with some friends the day after she turned 8 months. Once we got the kids their ice cream she was reaching and eyeing the ice cream so we let her have it she loved all of it....til she dropped it on the floor:( She still has no teeth but that hasn't slowed her down at all. She likes to(what we think is) dance. by kicking her legs, waving her arms, and turning her head side to side. She gets the most excited when Hallie dances and she gets involved. We lovingly call her Gracie Goo. I can't imagine what our lives would be like without her she is such a sunshine in our little family.

115: Ziplining & Frizz Fest We kinda got off our dating track with the crazy summer. Our date nights turned into a quick dinner and grocery shopping or at times non existent. So now as summer slows down we got to do one of the things we have been wanting to do for quite sometime now...ziplining. Saturday morning Matt got up early to run in our wards 5k fun run and once the girls were up we got ready and headed over to met him for breakfast. His goal was to be under 30 minutes and he did great coming in well under that. Im really proud of him for rededicating himself to getting in shape. After breakfast we ran home to pack up and head to Daybreak to meet up with Kim & Ez. We grabbed some lunch on the road and got to Kimbers just in time to drop the girls off. One of Hallie's first questions was if she could sleep with Kim's prego pillow(she loves that thing). So then we were off on our adventure for the day. After signing our lives away we geared up and headed up the mountain on the four wheelers. The view from the top was beautiful! The trees are starting to change and the temperature was just perfect. We had 2 guides. One would go in front of us while the other would bring up the rear if we had any problems. There we 6 legs that gradually made there way back down the mountain to where we started. Our guides were great and offered to take several pictures of us...made documenting lots easier. Can you see the speck in the distance I believe that is Matt. I couldn't believe how long each leg was. Initially I was nervous but after the first one got the hang of when and how much to break After we finished we headed back to Kim & Ez's to attend Fizz Fest...it didn't disappoint. While we were gone Hallie had taken a 3 hour nap with Ez and Gracie had slept for 2 so we were well rested and ready to go. Hallie was most excited about the fire truck and ambulance tours they gave. Or more they had the doors open and she got to climb all over checking it out. Then there was sidewalk chalk painting and hula hoops. Getting their hair sprayed a variety of colors(Hallie picked Blue) Then probably my favorite..the cupcake decorating. Hallie piled the frosting on high(she is definitely my girl) But then she got bored and decided to eat the sprinkles..out of the bowl So we added sprinkles to her cupcake and then enjoyed the finished product. Gracie even got in on the action...at least she got a bite. While we waited in line to have the girls faces painted we enjoyed the live band...mostly Hallie. Take you pick one kid looking in one and one kid looking in the other. Hallie was so excited to be able to pick her rainbow colors and sat super still while they painted her face. Gracie loved having her face painted with her lady bug and giggled most of the way through it...maybe it tickled? I was worried she wouldn't hold still but for the most part she did really good. After face painting we headed home...it was time for bed. What a busy fun filled day. I love this time of year when the weather starts to cool down which makes being outside a lot more enjoyable. A big thanks to Kim & Ez for watching our girl. Im sure they both love it but Hallie is always asking when we can go back or when Kim & Ez are coming here. We are lucky to have family so close that love our kids and make time to make memories with them.

117: Daddy/Daughter Date I have always been grateful for the time that we spent as a family but I also wish that I had been able to spend more one on one time with my parents. I think its important to spend individual time doing fun things with each of your kids. So we have started individual kid dates where either Matt or I take Hallie to do something fun. Monday Matt took Hallie glow golfing. Both Matt and Hallie were very excited but Matt said once they got there Hallie was pretty much only excited in the fact that everything glowed. At this point I think Matt was a little disappointed because I don't like golf...at all. So I think he was hoping to find that in Hallie...oh well maybe when she gets older. They did manage to finish an entire game and then it was time for some ice cream. Im so glad that Matt is just as excited about this as I am I just hope we can keep it up.

118: 1st Day of Joyschool After months of discussion we decided rather than sending Hallie to 3 years of preschool we would do "joyschool" for this year. Realistically she is already well above where she needs to be for kindergarten but we wanted her to be able to enjoy the social aspect and get used to somewhat of a structured learning environment other than me. So we got together with a couple of friends and decided to start this last week. There is another group of "joyschool" kids who are older and we will be doing monthly field trips with them. Hallie was so excited and was great about eating, getting dressed, and having her pictures done so we wouldn't be late(we ended up 5 min early). Can you tell she was excited. All morning she kept telling Gracie, "I have to go to school but Ill be back to play don't be sad." Which is funny because Gracie could careless...haha. What a sweet thoughtful girl we have. Then of coarse she had to have a picture of her princess backpack that she is in love with. It was fun to take her to pick it and all her school supplies out she was so excited about all of it. The month of September is L is for Leaves and mostly talking about fall. I put together all the lessons but we are rotating who is teaching. Each month has a letter, shape, number, and color to focus on. Each month is centered around the happens of the month. What a fun time of year for that. I can't wait to see her learn and grow.

119: I Love to See the Temple We have been planning tour temple open house trip for some time now and in some ways it felt like it would never happen but of coarse it did and now it is just a time with great memories and pictures. Kim/Ez, Nick/Ky & Rigs joined us. We decided the weather was perfect so instead of going to dinner we got food and had a picnic at the tabernacle. The weather was perfect. Yeah were at the temple. After we ate we even had a few minutes to take pics and go potty before going to stand in what seemed like the forever line. It went really fast. Kimber went to the dr before joining us she is due in 3 weeks and is dilated to a 2 we will see if she makes it to her due date...so excited to meet this little man. And well lets just hope since Nic has been buying girl clothes that this next one is a girl. Gracie hanging upside down..a whole new outlook on life. Once inside the parking garage there was a place to get water and wait in line to watch a short video about the church and its temples. Hallie was super excited about the booties everyone was wearing...til them put them on her then of coarse she wanted them off. Nic had told her that the temple was where princesses got married(she is super into princesses right now) so in every room she asked if this is where we get married. After the movie they announced that after we finished our tour there would be a drink and cookies. And the only thing Hallie heard was cookie. She couldn't wait til she was done to have one. The cool temple mosaic. Our little eternal family. We wandered around the temple grounds but since the sun was down it was cool. That didn't stop Hallie from wanting to play in the fountain. We had a fantastic time I'm so thankful for temples and the promises that it ensures to us if we keep our promises. My hope is that our two princesses choose a prince to take them to the temple someday just like I found mine.

122: Ethan's birthday This summer while at Lake Powell we met the Wilden's we have enjoyed doing various things with them since and have had a ton of fun. Strangely enough Hallie and their oldest Ethan share the same birthday just years apart. We were lucky enough to get to go to his part of his birthday party too. Melissa rented out a gym with various fun things to do trampolines, bounce houses, swings, a foam pit, and tumbling mats. The best part was that the adults got to be in on the action too. The birthday kids. Matt and Gracie on the trampoline...she loved it. Hallie and I on the bounce house slide. Needless to say after a couple of hours of planning topped off with cake and ice cream we all slept good. Having kids makes birthdays so much more fun.

123: The girls' new pictures Brit was great enough to make some time to take and edit some pictures of the girls before she has her baby. Hallie turns 3 and Gracie turns 9 months all within a week of her due date.

124: Learning a new skill to make something old...new My grandparents had this dresser in their bedroom for as long as I can remember. When my grandpa passed away I asked for it rather than sending it to the DI and decided to try to figure out how to refinish it...Im kinda sentimental like that. Here are the before pictures. I think it turned out really well and was pretty simple to refinish with the right supplies. I let Hallie pick out the knobs since it was going in her room she narrowed it down to these or purple flowers and had some encouraging to pick these ones after that. She thinks they are cool since their flowers. And here are the after pictures. | Silly Gracie Gracie is now 8 months and as usual changes everyday she has recently gone through a growth spurt with makes me pretty sure she will catch and possibly pass Hallie in the weight department. She is still a beam of sunshine. And has started doing some pretty cute stuff to. She is super mobile without crawling or walking she prefers to roll where ever she need/wants to go. She has started pulling herself up on furniture or her stand and play toy. She has also learned when she wakes up to roll on her belly and pull down her bumper so she can see out her door. Once she sees you she will squeal in delight and kick her legs like crazy excited. Who knows maybe she will skip crawling for now but to be honest I'm ok with her being limited mobility wise. But whatever she decides to do we love her to pieces.

125: Fun Times We have always tried to get together and go to the What Women Want Expo and now that Kimber lives here it was just that much easier. So we headed down after naps. We left the boys with the kids and headed to the expo. We didn't find much to buy but we found a couple awesome booths. One that was doing birth videos that Kimber has been seriously looking into for Luke and a 4D ultrasound that they were doing demos for free. It took some convincing but Kimber decided to do it. It was so fun to see him(they didn't know if they could because she is due in 2 weeks). I have never been to anyone elses ultrasound but it just made me that much more excited to meet him. Kimber has had such a rough pregnancy and has been such a trooper taking it all in stride. I hope he comes out a great baby for her.He was a little(alot) more chubby than she remembers from her last ultrasound. After we got back from our girl fun we all went to dinner to a BBQ place that came highly recommended. It was date night so everyone gets a glass of sparkling cider. Im pretty sure that was Hallie's favorite part...she had 3 refills. And Gracie...lets just say she liked all of it. This girl loves food. We have really enjoyed having Kim and Ez closer. Hallie loves them both and looks forward to visiting them or their visits. We have been lucky to spend quite a bit of time with them this summer doing fun things and are super excited for Kim & Ez to become parents as well.

126: Happy 3rd Birthday Hallie On Wednesday Sept 26 our little Hallie turned 3 yrs old. I always wished growing up that birthdays had been a bigger deal but since we all know you can't change the past having kids is the best way to feel that so the whole day was a lot of fun. We had a big party in August with friends and family so for the day it was pretty much us. The night before Matt and I decorated Hallie's door with balloons and streamers and the squeals the next morning were awesome. Matt was able to go into work late so we made breakfast complete with funfetti pancakes, hash browns, sausage, and chocolate milk. Hallie was so excited and kept saying how much she loved all of it. After getting ready for the day it was time for preschool. Hallie had requested grape cupcakes for her birthday and after some pinterest had the vision which came out beautifully. Hallie was thrilled with the purple frosting and pink sprinkles with wonderful grape flavor. After the lesson the kids had cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches, and sparkling apple cider but not until they sang Happy Birthday. Then we came home for a nap...birthdays are hard work. After a couple hours of down time Hallie and Gracie played downstairs. They play so well together Hallie is always great to include Gracie and make sure she is involved to. I went back to find them with crowns, wands and Hallie in a skirt she said she couldn't get one on Gracie but I'm guessing she tried. They were listening to Disney princess music and couldn't have been happier. When Matt got home we loaded up and headed to Texas Roadhouse...Hallie asked to sit on the saddle for her birthday and we were happy to oblige. We met up with Grandma Joy. Hallie got a free kids meal of mac n cheese and apple sauce and then got to set on the saddle. When they actually brought the saddle she was a little nervous so Matt sat with her while they did the yee ha" then she was fine and sat there for a while. We were excited that Grandma Joy was able to join us and gave Hallie some money to buy a souvenir at Aladdin. Happy Birthday to our sweet girl I can't believe its been 3 years already.

128: Aladdin & St George So for birthdays rather than doing gifts that the girls probably will never remember we are going to do a small gift or a few and then plan to "do" something sometimes with just the birthday child and other times as a family. This year we decided we would take Hallie to see Aladdin at Tuachan with just us since Gracie was to little to get in. Thursday morning we got up and finished packing and hit the road just after lunch. We were a little nervous about the fact that our new car doesn't have a dvd player and worried that Hallie would be bored out of her mind which means it would be a LONG ride. We shouldn't have worried at all. Hallie read stories and colored and Gracie fell asleep just as we got on the freeway and slept til we got to Cedar City. We stopped to get some groceries in Cedar and headed the last 30 minutes to get to our house. We made dinner and got the girls all cleaned up before heading to the show. My mom came up from Las Vegas to watch Gracie and stay with us for the weekend so it made it a little easy since I knew Gracie was in good hands. Hallie was really excited this is on the way to the show. Once we got there and got our tickets Hallie loved running up and down the side walk with the water fall til we were ready to go into the show. We took some pics while we waited. Hallie did great during the show she decided on a slushy as her snack and took most of the show to eat it. We all slept really well once we got home. I think it will be great for us to be creating memories with our kids rather than giving them things that they really don't need hopefully it will continue to go as well as we hope. On Friday we got up and going and headed out to do some shopping(St George has some of the best shopping for us) and then headed back for lunch and nap time. After full bellies and well rested kids we headed to the Washington City Rec Center. We had never been there but it was a lot of fun. Mostly indoor and the water temp was warmer than most the pools we have been to. They had these cool jumpers in a shallow end where the girls could jump and play in the water without having to hold them the entire time...Im telling you truly genius. Gracie loved them..seriously so cool. Hallie enjoyed playing with Grandma Sheryl splashing and cuddling to stay warm in the sun. There were a handful of slides and 1 particularly big one that we left Gracie with Grandma while Matt and I took Hallie. Pics of Hallie going down the "big" slide with Matt & I. All wrapped up ready to head home for some dinner. Saturday after some more shopping, napping, and eating we completed Hallie summer wardrobe for 2013 I love summer end clearance. Sunday morning we headed for home Gracie once again slept most of the ride while Hallie played on Matt's zoom. We dropped Grandma Sheryl off and stopped at Kim & Ez's for lunch. By this point we were all exhausted but no one more than Hallie. Once we left Kimbers this was about 10 minutes later. She slept til we got to Lake View Hospital to see Brit and Preston(post to come). We had such an awesome weekend and now is the perfect time of year to spend some time in the sun in St George. Happy birthday to Hallie and fun for us.

130: Preston Clark Bennett On Friday Sept 28 our extended family grew when Nick & Brit added their 2nd boy and 4 kid to the mix. We stopped on our way home from St George.. 6lbs 13 oz 20 in She actually asked to hold him and although it didn't last long she did hold him and talked about it a lot for the next couple days.

131: October | October Field Trip Preschool so far has been a great experience and I have even started to look forward to spending some one on one time with Gracie and the field trips for all of us are a fun thing to look forward to. For October we went to Black Island Farms. I took Hallie last year and had a great time but I didn't realize til today how much we didn't do. today was seriously one of my most fun days as a mom. Here is how it went....we got there and waited to take the hayride out to pick our pumpkins. It was just our little group in trailer so we had plenty of room to visit and talk. The pumpkin field we picked from hadn't been picked by any other groups so it seemed like everywhere we looked there was a pumpkin but still the kids wandered til they found one they like. And once they found it they had to raise their hand and the tractor driver would come cut the stem for them to take their treasure home.We even found one for Gracie they were both pretty excited about it. Hallie thought it was so funny that hers was big and Gracie's was little since she is the big sister and Gracie is the little sister. Then we rode back in to play in the field and do all the activities they had. Issac and Hallie they have been good friends since they were born. I love this candid pic of them being silly together. Here was our group of kids. After the hayride we had pumpkin rice krispies and a drink before going to play. They had pig races which were as you can imagine hilarious. They had the kids yell as loud as they could so the pigs would run faster it actually was quite effective...and funny. Then they rode the train a couple times in a row since there was no line...it was a little dusty but they had a great time. Then the pumpkin shaped bounce house which they thought they would like a lot but it turns out it wasn't so much fun and was a short lived adventure. Oh and the slides....I think there were 4 of them in various shapes and sizes for all the kids. The cornbox which is just as it sounds a sandbox set up with corn kernels. They took turns burying each other and brought plenty of it home with them in their socks, shoes, and pants. The petting zoo portion was a favorite last year but we also learned that we need to take our own carrots to feed the, because after all thats the most fun. They have checker boards in which the pumpkins are the playing pieces but I think mostly the kids just stacked and played with them Gracie gave up and went to sleep shortly after lunch and slept til well after we got home. Seriously one of the best and fun days I have had as a mom. We ended up staying 4.5 hours and even at that we made the kids leave they played so well and will sleep very well tonight Im sure.

134: Luke William Irvin Little Luke joined our very anxious and excited family on Oct 4, 2012 at 1:48am. After an exhausting delivery that left Kimber and all others involved exhausted and a 12 hr labor they found her pelvis was to little for this little guy and she had a c-section...I would imagine there is isn't much worse than having to pretty much do both kinds of delivery with one child! Weighing in at 7lbs 14 oz and 19.5 inches long with tons of sandy blonde hair it quickly became obvious that it was all worth it. It took us a while to figure out who he looks like but after about a week we have found he looks a lot like Nate did as a baby so basically the Norr genes must run pretty dominant since all of our kids look mostly Norr. Hallie is much more interested in him than she ever was with Gracie..probably because she is older but who knows. He had to come home on bili lights since he had jaundice but besides the bed they sent them home with a bili blanket so we still held him most of the day. Grandma Sheryl and Papa with all their grand kids a good rounded out 4 at least for a couple more months til Nic adds #5 the end of March. Look at all his hair! And his cute face I can't believe how much he has changed so quickly they grow to quick. Oh I love him and he is so good. Kimber has been so dedicated and has him on a great 3 hr schedule and he rarely if ever cries. Lucky for us they are only an hour away so we will be close enough to share in all his fun things..we have been down there 4 times and he is only 2 weeks old...but I just cant get enough of his cute face! Congrats Kim & Ez he is Perfect!

135: Gracie place at the table Since Gracie started eating she has been sitting in her bumbo but she is getting a little to squirmy and wiggly for that so we decided it was time for her to have an official seat at the dinner table. She quite enjoyed it although I think a lot more floor cleaning is now in the works for me. Oh our growing Gracie why don't you stop awhile.

136: CMT Tailgate After Matt graduated from WSU Construction Management program he has been on the alumni presidency as well as teaching as a adjunct. After getting his current job at Wadman he was put on a board help be the go between them and the ABC board so needless to say he has stayed very involved and it has given our little family many opportunities to be involved in fun things. On this occasion it was the WSU tailgate. We ate, played on the bounce houses, and then got awesome suite box for the game. It was a pretty chilly day so we were excited to get to our heated suite with lots more yummy treats and food. They handed out coloring/activity books for the kids(all 4 of them) to keep them entertained so the rest of us could watch the game. Although they all seemed to like half time and the marching band. I love this picture. Gracie was content to hang out on one of our laps. Our little heated suite box and of course a tv to watch other important games. We had a lot of fun and can't wait to go again soon...go wildcats!

137: Singing in Conference Although it probably isn't a surprise to see this title equated with the Brower name but you may be surprised to know that it was actually Matt that sang in the Priesthood session of conference this time. It took a lot of time a dedication on all of our parts and Im kinda glad its over. Im so glad Matt had this opportunity and t I know he enjoyed it but I was glad to hear him say that he also thought it was a lot of work and probably a once in a lifetime thing. | Kids can sleep anywhere Our girls have always been really good sleepers...something I have always been grateful for. Gracie is much better than Hallie about sleeping where ever and whenever she is tired which I think its mostly me because with Hallie I always made sure I was home for naps and now with 2 if I did that I would never get anything done. But while we were out the other day usually Gracie will kinda fuss til I give her her binki, bundle, and cover her before she goes to sleep but not this day I looked in the rear view mirror in between stores and she was out. I love how sweet they look when they sleep. The arm you can see under the curtain is Hallie's. We have been spending sometime at Kim & Ez's since Luke arrived and have taken multiple naps there. Hallie loves Kim's prego body pillow and asks to sleep in it every time we go. On this day we had gotten the pillow out and tucked her in. About 20 minutes after we laid her down Kimber went to change her clothes and couldn't fins Hallie after a second of panic she noticed her arm sticking out from under the curtain and sure enough she was totally asleep and slept there for almost 2 hours! Oh silly kids and the places they find to sleep

138: Gracie 9 months 17lbs 8oz(28%) 27.2in(41%) What can I say about one of the sweetest, happiest, laid back babies you will ever meet. She is growing and changing a lot faster than I would like her to. She is wearing size 9-12 month clothes and size 2 diapers. She sleeps all night and takes 3-4 naps during the day that range from 45min to 3 hrs. She is a late sleeper and sleeps til anywhere from 8-9am which I love(I think there is a lot of truth to if you train the 1st one right it trickles down). She started crawling on Sept 26(Hallie B-day). She started out with the army crawl and resorts back to that when she is in a hurry but has now also mastered the "real" crawling. About a week before she started crawling she started pulling herself up on furniture and walking holding on to it. To be honest I really wondered if she would skip crawling but I was wrong. I remember with Hallie wanting her to do all these milestones so I knew that she was developing correctly and with Gracie I would like her to stay unmobile(probably not a word) as long as she wants which has already passed. She still has no teeth but doesn't let that stop her from eating anything. She loves snacks and would eat the whole container if you'd let her. She has the smile that lights up not only her face but the room. She started drinking out of a straw on Oct 15 when Hallie shared her icee with her. She loves to feed herself and is very independent. Below she fed herself a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie my sister gave her and managed to enjoy it this much....I think she liked it. A bout a month ago when she started pulling herself up on furniture we decided that we better move her crib down a bit and just as we suspected it was only a matter of time and just today after nap I went in to find her standing in her crib. This is her army crawl .

139: Hallie 3yrs 25lbs 13oz(6%)first time above 5% since birth whooo!! 36.3in(32%) What a special little girl our Hallie Mae is she has developed quite the little personality over the last 3 years. She is very polite and always the 1st to offer to help someone. She has really enjoyed joy school and is still very much ahead of most kids her age. We have started doing more reading and writing full words with her. She love to be outside and to play with friends. She loves the trampoline, sandbox, and swingset with slide. She is great at helping us to remember to say prayer and read our scriptures. She is very mature for her age. She loves music some of her favorite songs include Payphone, Call me maybe, Thousand years, and Wide Awake. She loves guacamole with chips and eats everything we do. She is very good at trying things at least once to see if she likes them. She is very much into princesses and loves to dress up and dance. She has developed quite the imagination and I quite frequently find her talking or teaching her dolls something I had said or taught to her. We just started her with an allowance and some "responsibilities" so we will see how that goes. She loves to watch tv and play electronics of any kind and sometimes I think she know better how to run them than I do. She is very good at listening and rarely gets put in time out. She is great at sharing with Gracie but at times has a hard time sharing with other kids. One of her favorite things this summer has been to pick raspberries off our raspberry bushes and eat them by the handfuls...I don't think I will ever get to do anything with them we eat them to quick. She has loved helping the the garden, mostly picking the fruits and veggies. Today after we finished the yard work she asked if we could wash her car like we wash our car.(She just got this car from a friend last week and it was pretty dirty). So we pulled out the soap, sponges, and rags and gave her car a good wash. After we got it cleaned she said that's much better now it looks loved and taken care of(we have been talking about how we treat and take care of things) it made me smile and my heart happy. She is so sweet and thoughtful of Gracie. Yesterday while in Walmart on the shaving isle she informed me she needed a picture with Gracie. I thought it was so cute and is just one example of what a sweet little girl she is. She wants to make sure everyone is included and happy. Where have the last 3 years gone? Matt and I feel so lucky to have such an amazing little girl that helps teach/remind us to be better everyday.

140: Consistent FHE Truth be told we have never been good at doing official FHE. Matt and I grew up spending lots of time with our families but never having consistent FHE so needless to say it isn't something we have ever done consistently. We spend a lot of time doing things together but decided it was time to make the goal of doing official FHE. So we sat down over the weekend and set up lesson plans for the month and decided a date and time for us to do it each week. So yesterday was the day...we covered our responsibility chart and discussed savings jars which we will finish next week(short attention spans). And of coarse everyone favorite part...treats(raspberry filled donuts). Hallie has been really excited about her chart and savings jars so now we just have to keep up the consistency and hope she stays somewhat excited but here's to setting goals and taking steps to achieving them! | 1st Snow of the Year I love the look of wonder that kids get when they see the snow outside I remember as a child and still now the giddiness that comes with the snow and watching the white flakes falling from the sky. This last week was the first time I have had that feeling in a while. Last winter the only time we got enough snow to build a snowman was when I was in the hospital the day after having Gracie so Im really excited to get in some playing in the snow this year. Oh I love how kids help remind me of the magic in the simple things in life

141: Hallie's Heart Echo When Hallie was born they heard a murmur but after seeing a pediatric cardiologist at a year they decided to wait and see if it would go away on its own(I guess 80% close in the 1st 5 years). When I took Hallie to her 3 yr check her pediatrician decided that it was time for an official dx and the way to do that was a heart echo. We went in on Thursday morning, we left Gracie with a babysitter so I wouldn't have to wake 2 of them up and ready. I woke Hallie up just in time to get to the hospital. For a couple days before I had been talking to her about it and we had played dr to show her what it would be like(I think in retrospect it helped ALOT). When we got there we were met by child life who gave her a doll, ball, and bubbles. She got to draw a face on her dolly and get her dressed in the same kind of gown she had to wear for her echo. Then it was time for the echo...they put on her monitors and she watch Tangled with her blankie while they completed the test. She did great and never whined once. They had peds sedation there just in case but she was very cooperative so that made it easier. When we were done she got stickers and a color book. She was very proud of all of her prizes. Then we waited for the results so to kill sometime we watched a movie and ate cookies while Gracie had a rest. They called shortly after lunch and said the murmur that was almost so small they could hardly see it would be dx as an innocent murmur but could possible close itself by the age of five. It is a ASD(atrial septal defect) with a flap that was causing the murmur. It was quite a relief to know our sweet girl is a-ok. That night before we put her to bed once I had taken her hair out it was crazy but she thought it was so cute...like princess hair. That night I went to make sure she was tucked in before Matt and I went to bed to find her surrounded by her baby stuff. Cradle and stroller next to the bed, diaper bag by her side and the babies lined up next to her all tucked in for the night. She is at such a fun stage...but then again I think that about all of them!

142: Braids This is what I would call my 1st pathetic attempt at braiding Hallie's hair. Its hard since her hair is still not full thickness and has a bunch of baby hair. She was very good to hold still so there is hope | Bike Riding Hallie loves to ride her bike and has been riding her bike in the garage a lot lately now that the weather has cooled off. Saturday once it warmed up we headed out for a walk just she and I. She has mastered the pedaling and now is just working on the breaking and pedaling. She did great keeping up and it was fun to see how proud she was of herself. I think riding a bike is such a milestone for kids and so much fun but it makes me sad she is growing so fast.

143: Gardner Village Gardner Village is a fun place to visit this time of year. Different silly witches spread throughout a small place to walk around and do some window shopping and try some yummy treats. It usually is a family affair but with the boys at work we decided to make it a girls day. We got there just in time for lunch we packed and sat at the picnic tables in the shade. The weather was perfect. Hallie was so excited about going and wanted to wear her costume to match all the other witches. After eating our lunch Kimber bought donuts to share complete with fall sprinkles. Gracie enjoyed it...alot if you couldn't tell(what a ham). Hallie was a little hesitant to sit next to the witches but her we are me and my girls. Then there was the idea of putting all the kids together...that was fun...but really they did great. The petting zoo was a first for us the kids had a great time petting the goats, horses, donkey, shetlan pony, ducks, lamas, cows, sheep, and rabbits which I think was the favorite. Hallie loved riding the horse swing...pretty clever indeed. Some pictures of my sweet witch. A big thanks to my mom for making her dress she has spent a lot of time in it over the last couple of weeks and was thrilled when I let her wear it all day today! By the time it was time to go we had two kids asleep and two kids ready to go to sleep but we did manage to get a group pic just know the two babies are in their carriers. We had a great time it is definitely something we look forward to every fall. We made it home just in time to get to swim lessons. Now only one more day of October to enjoy Hallie is so excited for the trunk or treat!

145: Painting Pumpkins This past week we painted pumpkins. We invited Erin, Brett, and the kids over to paint with us. Hallie had no interest in carving her pumpkin but was thrilled when grandma gave her a pumpkin bedazzle kit so she painted it with pink and purple(which we had to let dry over night since the paint was so thick) before we could bedazzle it but she had a ball doing it. Matt's pumpkin is one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen it is actually a pumpkin painted yellow and blue with some accessories isn't he so cute.

146: Happy Halloween By the time Halloween got here I think I was pretty ready for it to be over we had the cold floating through out our family and friends so we haven't had many days lately where we were all healthy. But holidays dont wait even if you don't feel good. We had preschool that morning and then headed to Matt's office to do some trick or treating before naps. On the way home from work Matt stopped and got us some pizza and I made chili for us to enjoy before heading to the ward trunk or treat. Hallie thought the jack o latern face was pretty cool. We got to the trunk or treat just in time to set up our trunk and take some pictures the only downfall is that in the 5 min between our house and the church Gracie decided she was tired and proceeded to sleep the entire trunk or treat so that is why she is missing in our pics but she was a happy camper once she woke up. Hallie and her friend Allie have so much fun together and play so well together she was thrilled when I told her she could trick or treat with her for the 3rd time in a week.(We went to a nursing home and took her with us to Matt's work) Once we got home Gracie was awake and ready to take pictures...here is our little bumble bee and witch. This year was the 1st year that Hallie really understood the concept of Halloween and was Happy to say trick or treat knowing what the result was. We let her pick a handful of her favorite candy and left the rest for the switch witch to take in exchange for some prizes that weren't candy. It was kinda a last minute idea this year but I think in years to come it will be a great option for us to keep our kids minimally sugered!! Happy Halloween

147: Fire Station Field Trip Our field trip for November was the Ogden City Fire Station. Hallie loves the field trips and I like the change in scenery. The fire fighters were so nice and made it so fun for the kids. They gave them a tour of the firetruck and ambulance. They turned all the lights on. Showed them the axes that they explained in their favorite tool. How they get the ladders down from the top of the truck. The hoses on the back of the truck 900 feet in total! The exhaust hoses to pump out the fumes while the truck is running. All the valves and gauges. They even got to climb through the ambulance. Then they got to feel the uniforms and hold a small fire hose. And put on the oxygen tanks which was heavier than I anticipated. She looks so little next to the fire truck. Then they showed them where the firemen hang their gear in the firetruck . Then they each got a packet with fire fighter badge stickers, an emergency number magnet for the fridge, a color book, a pencil, and a bouncy ball. All the kids with their firefighter friends...Hallie was so excited when one of the fire fighters told her she could come back any time she wanted. Me and my sweet girls...oh how I love being a mom. Then they had snack and posed with Smokey the Bear. Hallie said her fruit roll up was the best snack she had ever had..maybe I need to buy them once in a while.

149: Sledding!!! Last year we never got enough snow to go sledding so on Saturday morning when we woke up to about 6-9 inches of snow we were super excited. My favorite part of the snow is when it glazes the trees and looks like a beautiful winter wonderland. We got Hallie and Matt bundled(Gracie has had a runny nose so we decided to keep her in) up to make a snow man....unfortunately the snow packing was a little more difficult then anticipated so they decided to head up to the near by school with a great sledding hill and do so sledding. Hallie did great going down both with Matt and by herself she is getting more brave all the time. I hope this is the beginning of a very wet and white winter. Christmas just isn't the same without snow...let it snow let it snow let it snow! | Good Friends These are my cute girls. It makes my heart happy to see them be such good friends and play so well together. I really couldn't ask for more Hallie is extremely great with her, shares, loves, but doesn't smother. I feel very blessed and can only hope that it stays this way:)

150: Gluten Free Success To some people reading this post it may seem silly to see someone so excited of a loaf of bread and to be honest I may have thought the same thing over a year ago. 1 year ago this month I was dx with ulcerlative colitis and changed my life forever. After a bunch of trial and error it seems like being gluten free relieves my symptoms and helps me to live a relatively normal life. Back in June I stopped taking my Rx meds after further researching the side effects in an attempt to control my UC by myself. To this point it has been successful as well as extremely frustrating and depressing. I am someone who loves to bake and eat treats so making something that only turns out 1 of every 10 times was a big blow to my ego. I have always wanted to be the mom that when the kids get home from school or have friends over the house smells of delicious baking items. That everyone talks about what a great cook I am. And I frequently have to remind myself I can still do that it just will take me a lot more practice and patience. The one thing that keeps me going in this is that my father in heaven wouldn't have given this to me if he didn't think I would figure this out. So for the time now I am taking it one recipe at a time but for the 1st time in a year I made a loaf of bread that wasn't flat, dense, or strangely textured. I actually became pretty emotional as I took it out of the oven and immediately had to have Matt come look at it for fear I was dreaming. And the best part it doesn't taste GF...but then again that is the point!

151: 10 Months Gracie Goo is now 10 months old she sleeps from about 830-830 with 2-3 naps throughout the day ranging from a short 45 minutes in the evening to 1.5-3 hours the other 2 times. She has 3 meals with us plus 4 bottles and a couple snacks. This girl will eat anything for the most part she has become not such a fan of rice cereal so we have now moved to oatmeal with fruit. She loves "real" people food(table food) and we are now working on getting rid of her bottle replacing it with a sippy. She has also started saying "mama" which I love hearing with her sweet little voice and realize that she knows who I am(makes all the work worth it). October 31st these 2 little beauties showed up as a pair it has taken them til now to get high enough to get a good picture. These are her 1st teeth. She is extremely active and loves life. She almost always is smiling. She has started to "help" with the laundry which entails pulling it out of the basket(as she pulls out I fold them) and pushing the basket around using it as her walker. She wants to walk so badly but hasn't mastered it yet. She crawls like a speed demon and switches between the army and regular crawling. Caught in the act. Today while on a walk I guess Gracie got to tired to stay awake. She does this like whisper jabbering when she is really tired I noticed her doing it and then realized when it stopped she was completely asleep sitting up and gripped to the tray. I just love this growing bundle of joy. Although she can be very busy. The other night she was getting into a cupboard that she wasn't supposed to and Matt said "Gracie no no that cupboard isn't for you" she looked at him shook her head no and shut the door. We were both very impressed and hope she continues to listen that well. We never really "baby-proofed" the house with Hallie except for the important ones with the cleaning supplies in them hopefully we will be able to leave it that way. She is very good at playing quietly with the farm set...mostly because she likes to suck on all the animals. She is starting to care/make a fuss when Hallie takes something from her but she and Hallie usually can manage their way through it with out my interfering much. I can't believe my baby will be 1 year in just a couple months...slow down time.

152: Angel Tree Since we got married we have tried to sponsor a family for Christmas or get names off the angel tree. As we have had kids it has become even more of a priority to teach them that because we are so blessed we should help bless those in need. Hallie is getting to the point she is starting to understand it and talks about it frequently. Matt & I feel that the world is becoming more and more selfish all the time and everyone thinks of only themselves. I want my girls to grow up in a world where you find the best in everyone and help when you can. Hallie was really excited to pick a tag from the tree. We usually pick children close to our kids age and then let them help pick the gifts out. The Monday we went shopping for FHE Hallie picked out a dolly with interchangeable clothes and a stroller as well as some necessities. Gracie's name just needed necessities so not much fun to report there but we had fun picking out cute clothes. Now just to deliver them to the organization so they can take them to the families. As we have done this this year we have surprisingly got some people that were less than supportive for various reasons and to them I say if someone wants to be dishonest about asking for help that is their problem not mine. All that is asked of me is to help when people ask for it...that is what I will be judged for. Merry Christmas. | New Haircut Hallie's hair has never been super thick but recently it just seems a little long and stringy so I decided it was time for a change and couldn't be more thrilled with the results. Although it does make me sad because this new hair cut makes my baby look even bigger than she did before:(

153: No More Binki So last week I decided it was time fore the binki to go. My original thought was I would cut a slit in it but of coarse Hallie is to smart for that and just wanted one that wasn't broken. When she went down for her nap was the first time she found it she came up to tell me that it was making a funny noise. And needless to say there were a lot of tears and no nap. That night we went through about 1 hr 40 min of crying before she gave up and slept the rest of the night. The couple of days continued with no naps with diminishing crying at night. Sunday we decided to tackle the nap thing. We decided to call it "rest time" where she didn't have to sleep but needed to lay down and either read or sleep. Within 15 min she was asleep. I wish I could say rest time has continued to be that easy. She has had a nap only 1 other time the other days she quietly reads or plays in her room for at leas an hour and it has allowed us to move up her bed time. There is usually a few minutes of not wanting to go to bed but once she settles in she sleeps all night...which I am very grateful for. She is getting much better and doesn't even ask about her binki. She decided she wanted to throw her binki in the river so away it floated...pretty undramatic. I thought it would be cooler to tie it to some balloons and watch it float away but we let Hallie decide and water was the choice. Although getting rid of the binki seems to have gone pretty smoothly she has started to pee her pants when I ask her why she says because she wants too. I can't help but think she is either rebelling since we took her binki or crying out for attention but it is extremely frustrating. I for the 1st time in becoming a mom feel unkind feelings toward my child...sure I have had moments of this over the last couple of years but they are usually a fleeting thought and I feel so guilty for having these feelings its pretty overwhelming to me. But Im trying to address all the possible issues and are spending more one on one time with Hallie doing various fun things(baking, crafts, reading, riding bikes, ect) and we went and got a few rewards for when she stays dry for 1-2 days(new princess panties and a princess dinner plate) we will see how it works. If there is one thing I am definitely learning patience a little at a time but I am truly blessed to have my 2 little sweet girls as we learn to navigate the road of life together. | Sleeping Hallie I can't remember the last time either of these things happened but we will enjoy it while it lasts. Since taking away Hallie's binki she has had a really hard time napping consistently and quiet time only works occasionally these days. So needless to say there are days that she is so tired I have found if I will "slow" our day down and turn on a movie as well as build her a bed on the floor or couch she often falls asleep...then my only problem is keeping Gracie away from her...haha

154: Thanksgiving & Walking This year was our year to spend Thanksgiving with the Brower's for some reason I had a really hard time not being with my family. I had been going through a bit of a hard time both with myself & with Hallie and just wished I could be with them...I guess. We headed up after Gracie had a morning nap about 1pm just in time for lunch. For the possibly the 1st time ever both Matt and I ate without making ourselves sick and could enjoy the rest of our day. Truth be told neither Matt or I really like turkey and the rest of the food was great(we do ham with my family) which is what we prefer. I think Gracie enjoyed her 1st Thanksgiving dinner. Our little family eating our dinner. After lunch we hung out, visited, and played some games. In true Gracie fashion she started walking on Thanksgiving Eve just in time to show everyone at Thanksgiving dinner. We headed home in time to get ready to do our Thanksgiving night shopping. It was the first time we had ever done thanksgiving shopping with the kids but it went really well. We went to Walmart at 8pm to buy a new blender the parking lot was a joke so I dropped Matt off and drove around the parking lot while he got it and paid. It only took maybe 10 minutes and we were off again. Next to Shopko but they didn't open til 9. Hallie was very disappointed that she didn't get to go into Walmart so she waited in line with Matt til Shopko opened while Gracie and I waited in the car. The weather was a little on the cooler side but much warmer than normal this time of year. About 5 minutes before the doors open I but Gracie in her carrier wrap and we went to get in line just in time for them to open. We split up each getting 1 of the 2 things we came for and then went through the line and headed home in about 15 minutes. They were great shopping partners and I would totally take them again. It was a fun Thanksgiving day filled with family and friends...just how it should be.

155: Brower Christmas Party We decided since everyone would be here for Thanksgiving to do our Christmas Party also. We were lucky enough to do it at Wadman so we had enough space to be comfortable which can be difficult with a family this big(we even had quiet places to put our babies down for naps)! I was not thrilled when I woke up on Friday with pink eye luckily I got on antibiotics quick and could still be a part. We had a great time we did some dancing...I should say most of them danced. Matt's family is very theatrically and comfortable with singing and dancing anytime any where...me on the other hand am not..but I'm trying and getting better. I can usually busy myself to get out of it Hallie had a ball though. We even had a little movie space with a projector and blankies to watch Arthur Christmas...way cute. Joy wanted the party this year to include some service which I thought was a great idea. I think it is really easy this time of year to forget how blessed you are to slow down and help others. We did tie fleece blankets we had hoped the kids would be more into it but most were still a bit young but they enjoyed tying each other up and running around(just like kids to make toys out of nothing...I love that). Then of course we had to have food...what good party doesn't have awesome food. Tiff & Chris were in charge of games one of the games they played was duck..duck..goose they loved it. Then we had craft time that entailed...candy trains and candy cane reindeer. Grandma Joy had a book and a little gift for each of the kids. She read them a story and sang some songs with them before opening them. Our tripod attempt at a group photo..our husbands decided at the last minute to trade wives..haha After we were done we loaded up the older kids and a group of us went to take the blankets to the hospital to donate to the pediatric sedation group to give to kids that come to have procedures done. Meet Tricia, Chris brought her to the Christmas party to meet the family. She is very nice and good with the kids. Carson has a major crush on her and informed Chris that he was his so he should leave...we shall see. In the elevator to deliver the blankies. Jennifer explained to the kids what the blankets would be used for and gave them a tour of their procedure area. She was great and answered all the kids questions. All the blankets donated. It was a great day hopefully we can replicate it every time we get together for many years to come.


158: Preston's Blessing To top off a very busy weekend Nick & Brit blessed Preston on Sunday. They had a lot of family and friends in attendance and we were thrilled to be part of it. Nick gave him a beautiful blessing surrounded by many worthy priesthood holder that he can look up to as a great example. After we had a light luncheon and visited before many family members hit the road and headed home. Gracie not to be outdone acquired a new skill that day...blowing kisses which is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. After everyone went home we gave them our Christmas gifts for them. I hope they like them. Ill be the first to admit I hold a pretty high standard of how I hope/wish for my time to be spent. I often don't give enough credit to my in-laws for the time they spend in our behalf. I will say most times when we get together it can be extremely stressful and it feels as if there is a lot of tension...but this weekend as a whole was completely different. Everything just seemed to fall into place, children cooperated, and everyone seemed to get along. Everyone has their ideas as to why this happened but I think and hope its because we are all learning to love each other for what we are and what we aren't. I know myself personally have come to the realization that sometimes schedules take a back seat for a day of fun with the family. I can only hope it continues to stay this way. | Hallie's New Blankie Isn't life always as such that the one blanket that isn't very cute or frilly becomes your child's favorite one? Well that totally happens at our house all the time Hallie has a white blanket with pink polka dots that she hauls everywhere and recently it got a hole in it...I saw this as a perfect opportunity to make her a new one to trade for. Update:she loved it for about 1 day and then wanted her old one back so we went to JoAnn's and let her pick new fabric and gave this one to Gracie. The new one has princess and castles and she still wont let her white one with the pink polka dots go...it was worth a try but really I don't care what blanket she loves.

159: Christmas here we come We decided to kick December off a little different this year and let the girls open their PJs on the 1st so they can enjoy them all month long since they are both Christmas themed. They also got a movie so the 1st activity for our Advent calendar was a Christmas movie night with new PJs and snacks. They were both very excited and cooperative. We will see how it goes but it seems to me that their gifts may be more appreciated if they don't get them all at once. Welcome December...now bring on the snow!!!! | December

160: Time with the Bennetts Sunday we headed to Woods Cross to help Brit with a new carseat cover for Preston and have dinner. Brit was very thoughtful and made dinner gluten free so I could eat with everyone else which isn't easy and I don't think people realize how difficult it can be until they try it. It is really nice when people take the time and effort in your behalf. The kids did some coloring while we finished sewing before dessert...Hallie got a little wild with the marker and colored on Gracie but she didn't seem to mind. Monday was Treehouse's Members Only Christmas Party that Nick & Brit drove up to join us at. First was the cookies which I think may have been the favorite of all. Then the Here Comes Santa Claus program I love the look of wonder that kids get when they see Santa..makes Christmas that much more special. Gracie even found some time to practice her walking during the program. And of coarse Hallie's favorite area the horse. Treehouse holds many memories for our little family and I think will continue to for many years to come

161: Playing in Lights Our little Gracie loves playing in the lights..here she is at 11 months

162: Our Little Presents Merry Christmas from our Presents. Possibly the only picture we have of Gracie upset..she was done with pictures | Christmas Village & Mrs Claus For our preschool field trip this week we went to the Christmas Village here in Ogden for a tour by Mrs. Claus she showed us around and told us about the different exhibits as well as letting the kids sit on her lap for goodie bags. Nic & Rigs came up to join us so we bundled up and had a great time. Gracie actually reached out for Mrs Claus to hold her...no sad faces here. On the way to the car I opened Hallie's goodie bag. On the way to the grocery store Hallie asked if she could share a piece with Gracie I not even thinking said yes and thanked Hallie for being so sweet to share. When we got to the store this is what I found...I think she enjoyed it though! After 3 wet wipes we were good to go again

163: A Visit to Santa This past week I took Hallie to see Santa since she had only seen Mrs Claus to this point. We were happy to find that there was no line as Santa rode in on the Mall train...Hallie thought that was really cool. I was pretty disappointed when I was told I could take no pictures due to some stupid copyright on the backdrop and call me cheap but I refuse to pay 20 dollars for one picture with Santa. Hallie walked right up and told him she wanted some barbies, a barbie house, and a barbie car. Santa told her he would see what he could do. Just as she went to get off Hallie said wait my sister Gracie needs to sit on your lap and Ill tell you what she wants. Santa happily agreed and I sat Gracie on his lap along with Hallie. Hallie told Santa that Gracie wanted a dolly and some barbies just like hers. Gracie just sat and smiled while Hallie talked. After she finished they each got a coloring book and a candy cane. After I took a picture of her next to one of Santa's Christmas trees but Gracie wouldn't hold still long enough. Hallie and her cute crooked smile. She was so excited to wear her Rudolf shirt to show Santa her favorite reindeer.

164: 11 Months-Gracie I really can't believe I am writing this and in a few short weeks my baby will turn 1 yr. At 11 months she is more active than I would have ever imagined. She is a little more stubborn than Hallie. For example when I told Hallie not to touch the tree when she was younger and was redirected she didn't attempted to touch the tree again. As for Grace when you tell her no she looks at you with a mischievous smile and goes back to doing whatever she was doing before but after getting her hand slapped a couple times she doesn't touch the tree anymore which makes my life a lot easier because I refused to completely overhaul my house to make it "babyproof" She is still such a good eater and sleeper. She takes 2-3 naps a day ranging from 45 minutes to 3 hours. And is a really good eater. She still takes a bottle but is disinterested in it more and more all the time. She likes pretty much anything you feed her. She can practically run at this point and loves when Hallie chases her..Ill work on recording that. One day while emptying the dishwasher I went to go help Hallie with something and came back to this mischievous little girl in the dishwasher she definitely keeps me on my toes. We love this little bundle of smiles..Matt at times calls her perma-grin because there are few moments that that bright smiles and sparkling eyes aren't on her face. | Kate & Ben's Wedding This past weekend was one we have been looking forward to for a long time the fun started Friday when the girls and I headed to The Brigham City temple with my family to be part of Kate & Ben's special day. Matt and the other brother in laws had to work so it was us and the kids luckily I have very involved parents and other siblings that made the day go very smoothly and enjoyable. Gracie loves all of them and was thrilled to be packed around all day. Here we are waiting for the bride and groom to make their 1st appearance. Me and my beautiful mom and sisters these girls are all so special to me. Grandma bough Hallie this barbie she was happy to have something to play with while we were in the temple. The new bride and groom. After some quick pictures...it was freezing! We headed over to Maddox for the luncheon. This is Kimber & I's pile of "stuff" we were lucky and got an end table so we had a place for all of it. We were definitely not traveling light for our day out. Our table for dinner. Once Gracie woke up she very much enjoyed her 1st meal from Maddox but I think the rolls were her favorite. The timing of the luncheon couldn't have been better just after settling in to eat the rain/snow mix started coming down and didn't quit until way into the night. Hallie was exhausted she was a sleep before I even got the the freeway(notice she still has that barbie). We were so excited we got to share in Kate & Ben's special day. I hope they find marriage as much fun and a blessing as it has been for us. To time and all eternity!

165: Ben & Kate's Wedding

166: Family Pictures Saturday turned into a lounge around day for most of us. Dad and Kyle went hunting while the rest of us stayed home where it was warm and watch movies and ate Christmas treats. After they got home we all got ready and headed to the Salt Lake Capital to take family pictures. I know it takes a lot of time and patience to get everything put together but I’m always so thrilled when we are done and have some great pictures and this time was no exception. The weather was great for what we expected it snowed lightly during most of the pics but nothing that stopped us from taking a few outside. I love this pic Hallie started to panic a little she was nervous she was going to drop Luke. I think my parents like these kids a little bit. Brit did a great job with these and I know she was super nervous about it. I really think these are my favorite pictures we have had done. Im glad that everyone involved took the time and the effort to take these so we can have them forever. | DECEMBER

169: Temple Square Saturday after pictures we headed over to Temple Square and City Creek we ate dinner at the Blue Lemon...which left much to be desired. Then we bundled up and headed to see the lights. It was cold so we made a quick trip around and headed for home. Gracie really liked watching the nativity she seemed memorized. Hallie's favorite part was the floating lights in the reflection pool although she didn't believe it was Mary, Joseph & Jesus she thought they looked like rocks. She was pretty upset. We stopped on the way home for ice cream strangely enough since we had promised Hallie some if she was good for pictures. Once we got home we had pizza, watched a movie, and drank hot cocoa while we all cuddled on the couch..perfect end to a chilly but beautiful night | Temple Square

170: Luke's Blessing To top off the weekend it ended up working best for both families to bless Luke. So the weekend madness continued. We had the luncheon before so that all those traveling couldn't have plenty of time to get home before it got to late. It worked out great we all had plenty of time to visit, eat, and take pics before we headed to the church. The man of the hour...Luke William Irvin. It was a long lack of sleep type of weekend I don't ever remember Hallie sleeping in the car this much ever. The only thing that made them leaving better is that in less than a week we will be all together again celebrate Christmas. Yeah for another fun filled weekend with family

171: Dinner with Brower's and Stair Climbing The Friday before Christmas we met up with the Browers and Bennetts for dinner at Chuck o Rama. I thought it was a great idea since no one including me wanted to cook for everyone or dive all the way in one direction or the other. It was so nice to have a variety for everyone and it made it pretty easy for me to find something to eat as well. Hallie and Kaylee played so cute while the rest of us ate and visited. The girls got to open their presents from their cousins. Hallie got a little makeup kit and Gracie a dolly of her very own. I let Hallie keep some of her "beauty" stuff mostly the stick on earrings but took the rest. I am way not into makeup especially since she is only 3 I think the time will come for that soon enough. Maybe this is silly but I want her to see the true beauty in herself inside and out before the superficial stuff comes in to play. We did however take her and let me get some lipgloss and pretend makeup so she has something for her bag. I love this picture of her and Kaylee. I was going through my phone the other day and found multiple pictures Hallie had taken...they are quite good and I found myself second guessing whether I have taken them or not. Among them was this picture of Gracie climbing the stairs(a new thing in the last couple weeks) Thanks Hallie for helping me to document our lives.

172: Christmas Eve & Morning This year we headed for Vegas on Christmas Eve. Matt's work party was supposed to be the morning of the 24th but at the last minute they changed it to the previous Friday in order to give the employees more time off with their families. But by the time the party had changed flights were to expensive to change so we decided to spend the weekend relaxing before heading out on Christmas Eve. Because we were flying we decided to leave most of Matt and I's big stuff home so we didn't have to travel with it. Matt got a new hand gun with some fun accessories and I got a new sewing machine and a sewing box(mine had seen a better day and was my great grandma's machine before it was mine). I have already sewn some sleeping bags for the girls on it and it seems to work alot better than the one I have before. We flew out about 5pm and got to Vegas just in time for some gag gift exchange, dinner, and games. Then the not so fun started. For some reason the girls REALLY struggled. Gracie was up most of the night crying(which has never happened in her whole life) and of course because we were all sleeping in one room it meant Hallie was up a lot also. I tried my best to find quiet spots so we didn't disturb anyone but that was near impossible with everyone there. I was extremely frustrated and even more so when Hallie came down the stairs in the middle of the night when we were setting out Santa stuff. Fortunately she was mostly asleep and hardly noticed as we quickly ushered her back to bed. Gracie finally fell asleep for longer than 20 minutes about 4am so needless to say we slept in Christmas morning and got up about 9am. Hallie was excited to see what Santa brought her. Growing up we always opened our stocking presents first usually while we waited for Grandma and Grandpa Norr to get there to spend the rest of Christmas with us. So in true Norr fashion Hallie opened all her stocking stuff. Most the adults sat around eating breakfast before opening many of our presents. Hallie was really the only one dying to open gifts. Rigs didn't really seem to get it or care and Gracie slept til almost 11am. Some of the things Hallie got new panties, paint markers, popup circus tent. Hallie thought her circus tent was a perfect princess castle. She told us at one point if we needed her she could be reached in her castle...oh to be a kid again. Hallie has been asking for a purple Tangled dress since her birthday party and she finally got it...this is what she wore for most of the day. Then she opened the gift my mom made for her it was a beautiful princess dress made to look like Ariel from Little Mermaids wedding dress complete with veil. I love the picture with Hallie in her dress partially because Rigs is totally photo-bombing it of course he wouldn't smile until I wasn't trying to take a picture of him. About that time Gracie decided to be part of the world again but she wasn't sure what all the fuss was about. Santa brought Hallie a barbie set. Once Graie got some food in her she was a little more interested in what was going on. She spent some time opening Christmas gifts with just about everyone. Cindy & Jerry(my dad's cousin) joined us since their families were far away. Jerry was great to play tea party/picnic with her. Gracie in her new pom pom hat. That afternoon while reading stories Hallie's head started to bob and then st practically fell over(she had completely fallen asleep. I moved and laid her down, she continued to sleep there for a couple hours in the middle of the house...she must have been so tired! Once again with the photo-bombing...thanks mom for the laugh. Then we made gingerbread houses my mom had gone after Halloween and bought the clearance ones they ended up a lot cuter because they were all different styles and not just square with a roof and bonus they were pre-built so we just had to decorate. I think this is such a cute picture of Rigs when I ask him to smile he usually doesn't but not this time. Hallie really likes her paint markers they are basically a

173: water paint that built into a marker type thing so you don't need separate water, brush, and paints. And here it is after all the hard work and good time visiting. And that is our Christmas in a nut shell. It was fun to be all together but this will probably be our last year traveling for Christmas it was hard. We left some of our Christmas home since we didn't want to pack everything there and back. After we all opened our gifts we basically packed them back up and it made me sad that we didn't spread them out and play with them more(future post) I think we will now revert to how we were raised by rotating houses for a Christmas Eve party and Christmas dinner. We will just invited my parents to come with the younger kids and hopefully they will be willing what our grandparents did growing up. They would rotate whose house they slept at on Christmas eve and on Christmas day travel around to see what everyone got. I love that my sisters now live close enough that we can do that because after this year I'm not traveling again

175: Christmas 2012

176: Christmas Vacation We spent a lot of our weekend relaxing and cuddling in our pjs. In this pic we had been reading stories with Luke before he fell asleep. Everyone left at different times we were last so we drug out the emotions for my mom. She said the day we were leaving that it would have been easier if we would have left the same day we will have to remember that for next time. So Nic & Ky went home on Wed, then Kim & Ez on Thurs, and us on Friday but Thursday after Kim & Ez left we decided to head to the Bellagio and see the tree, flower display, and fountains. This is something that never disappoints...it was beautiful as always. This picture is the epidemy of what Maddi did most of the time we were there and Hallie was happy to sit next to her and do the same thing...pretty cute. The next couple pics are brought to you by Hallie photography. Friday morning we celebrated Gracie's birthday since my parents will be in Vegas. She got some darling books and ones like we don't have...surprise. Some boots, bows, and some money for us to get her something she needs. Then off to the airport we went. Another picture brought to you by Hallie. Because of mandatory staffing at the hospital we got home just in time to get unpacked and head for bed but I felt so bad about the Christmas and the girls toys we decided to set out all their Christmas and have a repeat. Hallie was so excited when she got up and found a whole bunch of presents to play with. We had our own little Christmas breakfast and spent the day relaxing, playing with our toys, and napping to recover from our week in Vegas. I was way glad we redid Christmas it made me feel a lot better about the whole situation and I don't think anyone complains about having 2 Christmases

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  • By: Natalie B.
  • Joined: almost 7 years ago
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  • Title: Winter
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  • Published: about 6 years ago