27 May 2010

My Man

(I'm not sure what happened, but after I posted this earlier it didn't include any of the photos except the last one... so here comes try number 2.)

It's true that May has been a big month for Luke.

But it's also true that May has been a big month for the other man in my life, My Adam.

And I would be remiss if I failed to tell you about it.

On the 18th he had his graduation ceremony from POST (Police Officer Standards Training, aka Police Academy).

Here's his graduating class. They were receiving some last minute, pre-ceremony instructions from their Captain. Adam considers these guys brothers.

There were a couple of sisters in there too.

Aaww, there he is. I think he was pretty excited to hear his name called, walk across the stage, and receive that certificate. It was a long and exhausting seven months! I will definitely not miss his schedule. And neither will he, I'd be willing to bet. It was a grueling process.

I love this picture. I'm not sure why. But I do.

My favorite picture of the night, though, is this one:

Because now it's official. Adam has successfully completed POST and he has the certificate to prove it. I am so proud of him for his time and energy and determination and perseverance. Because it surely took all of those things for him to be able to do so well!

Woo Hoo, Adam! Congratulations!

26 May 2010

My Little Man

It has been a fairly eventful month for my little man, Luke.

He has four teeth now (two on top and two on bottom).

He started what I call Commando Crawling at the beginning of April (he propels himself forward using mostly his arms and the tips of his toes while the rest of his body stays low to the ground). He is getting the hang of the more conventional hands-and-knees crawling, but he still seems to favor the Commando style. It must be a boy thing! He doesn't stay on his knees very long but he sure is one fast little bugger now. He really moves! It'll be fun in the coming months as he learns to walk.

Which probably isn't too far off considering his new favorite thing is to Commando his way to anything low enough for him to grab onto and pull himself to standing.

He hasn't started cruising yet, but he loves to stay and sort of sway from side to side or do this foot tapping thing while holding on for balance. It's cute.

(Really, Mom? Can you just put the camera down?)

And the other new development in Luke's life is his new haircut. Both of my children have been relatively bald compared to their peers. Audrey didn't have her first hair cut until she was almost two years old! Luke's hair was by no means long, just sort of wispy in awkward places - like right above his ears.

The Before:

(you expect me to smile after you say my hair looks awkward?!)

And the After:

It's kind of like a deer-in-the-headlights fist pump, but I'll take it!

24 May 2010

I Looked Out the Window...

And what did I see?

A thin layer of snow on the ground! And sleety-snow-rain falling from the sky!

Did I mention it's the 24th of May?


I don't think it's often that you see snow-laden Wisteria blossoms...

So I had to capture the moment... for posterity's sake... and for you too.

Now, this, THIS is more like it:

Patiently (or not) waiting for the warm weather and blue skies to return,

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21 May 2010


On Monday my sister had a baby. A strapping (8 lb 11 oz) baby boy. The long, natural (medication-free) labor ultimately lead to an emergency C section. (I can relate to that!) Following the birth, baby Hugh was rushed away because there were some concerns about an infection in his lungs. The hospital in the small town where she lives quickly determined that baby Hugh would need to be transferred to a hospital with a bigger and more equipped NICU. So, while my sister had to stay in small town hospital to recover from the C section, her newborn baby had to be taken to big city hospital (that's about 2 hours drive away). It has been a rough and emotional week. The good news is that Megan was released from small town hospital yesterday and was able to be taken to big city hospital to be with Hugh. She was able to hold him for the first time and I am sure the feelings she had were indescribable.

And as emotional as this past week has been - it does not compare to the gamut of emotions that she has been through in pursuing her dream to be a mother. It has been a long and painful journey to get here. Her story has been filled with ups and downs and it has required a lot of faith and hope and spiritual endurance to make it through.

With all of this and the events of the last few days I have been able to think of little else. All day yesterday and into this morning a song has been stuck in my head. And I can't seem to sing the words of the song without thinking of my sister. So I wanted to share this in honor of the trials that she has had to face and for the grace with which she has faced them.

I really love this song. I love it's message. It rings true to me that if, no matter the challenges, the trials and the heartaches that we are compelled to face, if we can face them with love in our hearts we will be unstoppable. And once we have made it through the trial, if we can look back and remember the Love how blessed we will be. To choose to remember the Love that helped us get through it, to remember the Love that we have for the people and things that we have lost - that is strengthening. If we measure the Love we have given, the Love we've received - all of the Love that we have experienced, anything is possible.

Love is the most powerful balm and tool that we have in this world.

My sister taught me that.

15 May 2010

My Dad

I'm not sure when this picture was taken. I'm guessing that I was probably about four years old. Maybe five. It really doesn't matter when it was taken.

I just love it.

It was obviously my dad's birthday and all of the kids had gathered around in the Living Room of our home to sing Happy Birthday and for dad to blow out the candles on his cake.

I love how close I am sitting to his knee.

I love how my hand is resting on his leg.

I love that I am looking at him instead of the camera.

I love this picture because it seems to illustrate a part of the love and affection that I feel
for my dear father.

I love it because I love him.

This picture was taken last summer - just a couple of weeks before I had Luke - my dad and I decided to take Audrey on a short walk (waddle in my case). I love the calm that exudes from this picture - calm, that's my dad. Calm and gentle.

This picture exudes the excitement and joy that is also very characteristic of my dad. He loves, loves, LOVES his grandkids. He is a wonderful Grandpa.

I am so glad that my kids are so close to their grandparents. Particularly my dad. I'm glad that they will know the gentle love and affection of my dad. He is not a common man. And I feel so blessed to be his daughter and to have such a tender, loving man as my father.

I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday!

14 May 2010

You Wouldn't Think it Would Be That Difficult!

The other day I was lamenting to Adam that we didn't have any recent family pictures. We have bunches of the kids. A few here and there with one of us and one (of sometimes both) of the kids. But pictures with all four of us? Together? As a family? The last one was taken at the beginning of October:

We were definitely overdue for a good picture of the four of us! Seven months is a long time! Look how little Luke is! And Audrey too, for that matter!

So, last a couple of Sundays ago (I know, it's been awhile since I've posted anything), we decided to take a drive and maybe stop and take a few family pictures. It didn't seem like a lot to ask. It didn't seem like it would be that big of a deal. We did not anticipate the struggles that we would have on this seemingly simple quest.

To begin, we stopped near an outdoor mall where they have some pretty trees and shrubs. We spied a place where we would be able to set our camera down and put it on the time delay function (we did not bring a photographer). That was probably mistake numero uno. The thing (a sign for a nearby office building) that we decided to place our camera on was just a little low, so we grabbed our small first aid kit out of the back of the car to add some lift (we do not have a tri-pod). Not having a tri-pod and wanting to take pictures without a photographer is mistake numero dos a nueve.

But the first one really wasn't that bad:

So we pushed on. We tried again:

Again, not bad. But not great. If we had had a photographer we probably would've been able to arrange ourselves a little better. But still, it's decent. We pressed forward and tried another location down the path from were we were - I bet every local person (or anyone who's spent time in Provo) knows where we were.

The second place we stopped was nice. I was excited at the potential.

But a couple of things went awry. First of all, Adam must have shifted ever so slightly because we are definitely not centered. HE is, but WE were not. And secondly, Audrey decided it would be fun to try to take a flying leap out of my arms right as the time delay function ran out of time - it's still a pretty funny picture. And Adam sure looks handsome.

Speaking of handsome... here's another great shot of Adam. And Audrey is her usual adorable self. We must've forgotten to check the camera to be sure everything was centered, because me and Luke kind of got the shaft on this one. It's still a great shot of Adam and Audrey though.

After that we decided to try a different location. One where we could sit (to help eliminate the shifting that was apparently going on with the previous pictures). This turned out to be on of the better pictures of the day:

Only drawback: Luke was looking down. But for the way things were going: not too shabby!

It was after this that we gave up on the family picture idea and decided instead to just get a few cute shots of the kids. Simple, right?


It took awhile to convince Audrey to sit down, but when she did this is what we got:

Neither of them are looking at the camera but both of them are very cute. Unfortunately, before I could snap another picture, Audrey decided the lovely green grass-covered hills were simply too hard to resist. And she got up...

effectively ending our picture-taking session. But, really, it was ok because Luke had discovered the lovely green grass on which he was sitting and decided it looked like a pretty good little snack.

Luke, don't eat the grass, little man.

Hey, Luke!


Icky! That grass is not going to taste good. No, don't eat the grass!

No, really, I don't think that's good for you! Luke! Do ya hear me?

I know what he's thinking - "Oh, Mom! Chill out. It's only grass!"

Meanwhile, Audrey was having a blast running up... pausing...

and then running down the little hills.

And I know what she's thinking too - "this is SO much better than sitting still and letting Mom take a picture!" (And she would be right - but still, i would've loved to get a few good shots of my kids together!)

We did try one last time...

but it wasn't the most successful - Audrey would not sit closer to Luke (at that point it was a miracle we got her to sit down at all), and Luke would not stop looking, pulling and eating the grass! Stinkers!

But they are my stinkers and I love them so much!