Wednesday, August 27, 2014


My sister Carly and her husband, Michael came to visit us this month!  We had a BLAST!! I hadn't seen her in a little over 3 years and hadn't meant her husband yet.  It was so fun getting to chat with Carly and Michael.  We would stay up late into the evening almost every night chatting as couples. Michael is one cool guy!  We all loved him but Bella especially was his pal.  While they were here we went to the beach and then out to lunch.  We had fondue for our Sunday dinner since it is a family tradition that we did every year around Carly's birthday, plus who doesn't LOVE fondue?!! We went to the Natural Science Museum of Raleigh and lunch a McDonald's per the kids' request.  And then on their last night we went out on a double date to a place called, The Pit. It was DELICIOUS!  Heck, I'm still dreaming about it.  The Pit is a place in downtown Raleigh that does Carolina BBQ.  It was tons of fun.  We didn't get nearly enough time with them but are glad we had a chance to visit with them!  Hannah and Bella cried when they left.  Hannah said, "You said they would be here for a week...." in between tears.  I had to explain that it HAD been a week :)  I guess time flies when you're having fun.  Here's some fun pictures:

Natural Science Musuem

Ice cream at McDonald's!
Charlie at the beach.  He had a rough time :) it doesn't help that he rubbed sand in his eyes!

Carly and Michael.

Bella.  She was rolled by some waves ( And Carly may or may not have landed on her ;) and came back covered in mud and shells complaining about her ear.  She actually got a pretty bad ear infection several days later. 

Waiting for our lunch at a small place near the beach.  The food was AMAZING!

That's our Charlie, he'll push you away and then a moment later.....

he'll have you in a head lock.

My awesome hubby!

This little one slept through lunch.

Our fondue spread.  It was also pretty delicious.

These two were inseparable!

It was so much fun.  We hope it won't be over 3 years before we see them again but it probably will be :(.

Bella turns 4

I can't believe this baby I held in my arms for the first time is now 4 years old!!  I can't believe she's starting a full day preschool and then will be in Kindergarten next year!  How can that sweet, adorable baby be 4!! Bella is special to me because of the love she brings to our family.  She always has hug and loves to give.  She is also my super independent child.  I took her to her first half day of preschool yesterday and she didn't even look back, I had to ask for a wave and hug.  She loves all things beautiful.  It's important to her to have beautiful things.  It cracks me up.  She asked for a Frozen (after the Disney movie) birthday cake with Elsa on it.  We had a family party for her on Sunday with pizza. Here's some pictures from her birthday:

Sweet Darling

Faith is 3 1/2 months old.  I can't tell you how fast I feel like time is going by (maybe you feel the same way :) but we've all been enjoying this time with such a sweet little face to keep our spirits lifted.  She's always smiling, talking and we can get her to chortle.  I love when she talks to me because she looks me in the eyes and will  just 'talk' for several minutes at a time.  She is such a sweet and easy going baby.  She does get her moments when she's getting tired and she'll start fussing.  She does get A LOT of attention ;)  sometimes she loves it, sometimes not so much.  She brings me such happiness.  The other night I was taking a bath with her and was telling her where she came from and how special she was.  She calmly kept eye contact with me and listened to every word.  I had a moment  where the Spirit spoke to me and said that she was sent to me just like how I was sent to my mom to bring me happiness and companionship. She would bring me so much joy.  It was such a precious moment that I am so glad I can have to always cherish. She's my precious angel.


This post will probably be a bunch of miscellaneous thoughts I've been having lately. So let me start of by saying, Life is good!  The last 3 1/2 months have been scattered with emotions.  You're probably thinking it's because of my sweet baby girl, but that's not why.  All my emotional highs and lows have a lot to do with being released from my calling, ward Relief Society President.  It was so funny because while I had the calling I was so stressed and busy a lot of the time just trying to meet all the demands that were placed upon my shoulders, I just wanted a break! Once I was told I would get that break and it would be permanent, I was a mix of relief and sorrow.  It's funny because I never would have seen how hard it would have been to be released from a calling.  I was not prepared for the loneliness I would feel with out that mantle.  I wasn't prepared for just how hard it would be to see someone else take over where I had left off.  I just wasn't prepared.  So I took several months to mourn the loss as I waited for another calling.  It's so hard to go from being so completely immersed in serving and then to all of sudden not to be!  It took awhile for me to get over that desire.  Then I went through the phase where I didn't want to talk on the phone or reply to emails, which is when I made the post about being gentle.  It wasn't until my sister in-law, Becca said that it sounded like someone who had been released as Relief Society President.  I had to laugh when I realized that is what was behind all of those feelings.  I was finally happy with taking that break and needed to stop feeling guilty.  Now I'm in the phase of just enjoying  less stress and enjoying my family and I am now looking for ways to serve and help others!  I learned SO much serving in the capacity I did for those 10 months.  They were the best and the hardest 10 months of my life.
 There's a quote I read this last Sunday given by David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, that reads, "Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness. Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that matter most."
Now that I've had a heavier load, it's hard to go back.  I've decided I'm now going to fill my load with things that I was not able to do because of my calling but equally as important!  I'm going to get even more personally involved in missionary work, I was involved in many discussions and helped with fellow shipping but it was really hard to fit that and my calling in if I wanted to do anything else.  I can now be part of it but also spend more time on fellow shipping.  I am looking forward to making and strengthening friendships. I'm going to find ways to serve and visit sisters on a different level then as the RS president (I can be the one to jump at service opportunities.)  I'm going to start a food storage/self reliance group with my sister in-law, Shalyse.  We are both VERY excited about it!  I'm going to go to the temple more often.  I'm going to enjoying the evening with my family more because with both my girls starting school next week, that will be a big part of the day I will get to spend with them!  No more millions and millions of evening meetings! I want to be a more proactive visiting teacher.  I've always known how important it is but now I have an even greater understanding of how important it is. I learned SO much and it helped me to grow in so many ways.  Someday I hope to be able to share some of the really touching experiences but for now I can not. 

I'm very excited for what the future holds.  I'm also excited to get another calling that I hope I can magnify to please The Lord!  3 1/2 months is a long time to not have a calling but I know I needed it.  I needed to mourn and then be ready for the next big task He has in mind for me!  Because now I. AM. READY! ;)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Random photos from the last 18 months

A lot of the following pictures are ones I missed the last year or so!

Hannah with her two teachers.

Miss Faith

Every Saturday when it isn't raining we go to my in-laws home and work on their yard and make sure everything is taken care of.  We usually bring a lunch for the kids to enjoy.

Big bright eyes!  She reminds me of  Bella in this picture.

The kids started bringing me breakfast in bed when Faith was about 3 weeks old.  In this one I was given oatmeal no bake cookies, a cupcake, cheese, grapes and a glass of milk :).

Having fun with Hannah's hair.

In the hospital when I became pretty sick in March.

First snowman!

We got SO much snow this winter.  We decided to try snow cream.

Look at all that snow!!!  NC hardly ever gets this much snow.  Dan ended up walking home from Sunset Lake Rd one day after work we had so much of it.  Snow and high humidity don't mix well :) 

Playing in the snow.

My mom visited back in November and we went to Pullin' Park while she was here.

Sweet Bella.

Halloween.  Cutest giraffe!

He was not a big fan of the gloves :)

Like I said, cutest giraffe.

Bella the morning she had her ear tubes placed in her ears.

Our sweetest Bella.