Monday, August 20, 2012



Last Thursday was just one of those days I wanted to hold on to.  Nothing really spectacular happened.  It just felt nice.

I must’ve closed the front door a hundred and eighty times.  We have a new family member besides Gabe now, and the girls couldn’t be happier about that fact.  Meet Megan the kitty.  Yep, I succumbed.


Carlie pretty much lives on the front porch now.  We’ve never ever had a real pet, but now that we’re out here in the country for a while, we’re taking advantage :). 

She’s learning to soften her tone and be a little more patient about life which I’m very pleased about.  Pets have a way of doing that.



AnnMarie is such a sweetheart to her little brother.


She attended Kindergarten Open House and met her teacher, my old college roommate Shawni.  I can’t believe it:  1) that she’s starting kindergarten…in the States…for a little while at least, and 2) that her teacher is Shawni (Miss Lyman).


We’re starting to see lots of smiles around here.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

AnnMarie is 5


Little Miss AnnMarie turned 5 last month, and it sorta’ kinda’ happened way too fast.

I really really love this girl.  Her smile truly brightens a room.  Her laugh is contagious.

She has always been “tough” and extremely independent.  She understands how to do hard things at her tender age.  She knows the world is big, but she’s not afraid of it.  I love that about her.

I couldn’t ask for a better oldest child.  She’s very competitive, but she always sees the good in others.  She’s got an eye for detail and an amazing memory.  I am so proud of her and her ability to pick-up Spanish this past year.  She loves to read, write, draw, and create.  She’s so ready to start kindergarten next week.

She’s very sensitive to spiritual things and healthy eating habits :).  She loves to sing the Children’s Primary Songs, and she’s an excellent Nursery Assistant in our Argentine branch.

Her favorite food is spaghetti, and she absolutely loves family movie night. 

She’s beautiful inside and out.

We love you A&M.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Gabe - 6 Weeks







Gabriel is growing, and I’m so glad. 

He’s so alert, and I absolutely adore that about him.  He has a head of hair on him with plenty of cowlicks, and he loves to snuggle up on my shoulder.

It just so happened that he decided to really start smiling a few days after these pictures were taken.  He looks a little concerned some of the time, but he does have two wild sisters running around all of the time.

I’m not sure what I did to deserve such a sweet little boy, but I love him so much and am so grateful for every day I have with him.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spoiling My Kids Just Right

Mommy Memo No. 6

“Loving a child is a circular business.  The more you give, the more you get, the more you get, the more you give.”  - Penelope Leach

My dear Mother, Julie:

Yes, my kids are spoiled, but are they spoiled rotten or spoiled right?

When it comes to parenting, I have never believed that food and shelter was enough.  As a mom, I have learned not to worry so much about letting your kids stumble and learn from their failures.  You don’t have to let that happen.  It just happens.  No matter what you do, life will teach your kids some hard-knock truths.  But in the meantime, we should all play an integral part in shaping their lives, creating enriching experiences for them, and challenging them to be their best possible selves.  Wouldn’t you want that for yourself?

I’ve always wanted to be as involved in my kids’ lives as much as my parents were in mine.  Always there for me…helping and encouraging me through the emotional, financial, and practical obstacles I faced.  Thankfully, everyone of my kids are more resilient than I have ever dared to hope.

Stacy and I have always wanted to be there for our children to help shape them, even as adults.  We never wanted to hold their spoon, but without a doubt, we wanted to expose them to different things so that they could find what they liked to do and what they were good at.  Like most parents, we have always wanted them to have a full rich life. 

Healthy meals, swimming lessons, bagpipe lessons, drum lessons, soccer, theater…yep – they did all that.  Football, baseball, piano lessons, college, and yes….business.  Are my kids spoiled?  Perhaps, but are they spoiled rotten or are they spoiled right, because, and I stress, because - they are gracious, appreciative, work oriented, service-minded adults with high moral values.

My kids have it good.  They are ‘lavishly indulged’ compared to most industrialized countries, I am sure.  (I know this because I have a daughter who lives in Argentina.) 


My three children say thank you for every blessed thing.  They said thank you when I took them to the library.  Thank you for the burrito from the drive-thru on the way home from something.  Thank you for getting my hair cut, thank you for taking the family to the movies.  When they were two years old and had diarrhea in the middle of the night, like any two year old, I changed them, and when I put their jammies back on they said , ‘fank you mommy’.  OH melt my heart!!!

Okay - this is making my kids sound really good, and don’t let me fool you, they are not angels all the time.  But most of the time, they are awesome, I will admit.  Parent your child how you see fit, but please oh please, I hope that means teaching them how to be responsible when they are older, thanking folks when they have something done for them, and speaking for themselves when they have a problem. Teach them to be sensitive to other peoples’ ways and feelings. 

If you want to shower your kids with Juicy Couture clothes, Ugg boots, new cars, lap tops, whatever, make sure they APPRECIATE it.  I like nice things.  (If I could afford it, I would buy the next Marc Jacob’s bag in a hot second!)  But teach them to know where it all comes from.  Someone’s working hard for it. 

Let me clarify one thing….I like nurtured kids.  Spoiled kids - not so much!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Favorite Holiday


The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. 

I love love love it, always have.  I love being in my mom & dad’s backyard; it’s amazing – like any kid’s hide ‘n seek secret garden dreamland amazing. 

I love the ridiculous amount of food, AND even though I grabbed a sparkler when I was 3 years old and had to go to the ER, I still love the fireworks. ;) 

It always seems like the 4th of July is the epitome of a picturesque summer night.

This year was not the exception.



The ‘65 Ford…


Notice my brothers…entertaining us all with the Scottish snare & bagpipes.  They are both so talented.






Gabe looks so tiny in this picture; he was only 5 days old.


This calls for a Gabe update. ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

That week in July (after I had a baby)


No, I am definitely not in this picture.  That would’ve been insane & scary all at the same time.  I was recovering from childbirth while my family was having fun on the water celebrating the arrival of our new little bundle…

or the 4th of July, one of the two.

My in-laws showing the water who’s boss:


My husband trying to show the water who’s boss:


Okay, this one’s better:


My niece, Kate, definitely…without a doubt showing the water who’s boss:


My girls absolutely love tubing.  I’m so glad they had the chance to be out on the water with their Dad while he was here.  They’re still completely enamored by it.