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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Photo Update

So, it turns out I haven't taken a single photo since coming back from our trip. It's officially added to my unofficial list of things to do tomorrow. But, so is grocery shopping. And, right now I'm doing pretty good if I can accomplish one item per day... and food might just trump a photo shoot. Time is going so fast with my crazy days having three under three.

But, I went through our photos from the last couple of weeks and found some that I thought were worth sharing.

These first five photos of Lucy were taken when she was three weeks old. She got the cutest leg warmers in the mail from one of my dear friends and I had to let Lucy try them on!

As you can see, she is clearly not starving! I'm still a little shocked she's grown so much in her first month! Ben and Hugh better watch out...

Swaddled, three weeks.

I think I've mentioned how much Ben loves holding Lucy, also insisting on having the burp cloth on his shoulder. (Have I mentioned that Ben says "shoulder" in the cutest way? He says something like "sheizures" and it's so stinkin' cute!)

When we were in Utah, I got to meet up with one of my companions from my mission. It had been probably eight years or so since I'd seen her last and it was so much fun! She would hate for me to boast on her behalf, but I think it's pretty amazing to have a friend in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! I actually have some pretty funny stories of her trying to teach me to sing alto during our companionship study time in the four months we were together... turns out she's an awesome teacher and I'm a terrible student... or at least singer! Fun times, though! Camille, if you're reading this, let's not let another eight years pass before our next visit! TVB!! Ma, tantissimo!

Some more photos from our sailboat adventure at our family reunion. Notice me trying to keep Ben from falling (aka: jumping) into the water. That was how I spent the entire boat ride. I was exhausted by the time we reached land.

Here Ben is laying on the dock, trying to get as humanly close as possible to the HUGE carp swarming around in the water below. If he wasn't sticking his finger down to get bitten off, he was trying to lean in close enough to get a kiss. Not joking. I keep wondering when (or IF?) this boy of mine is going to understand boundaries that are meant to keep him safe. No fear of anything!

I can't remember if I already posted this one, but it's one of my favorites right now. So cute!

As is this one!

Playing with trucks in my sister's yard:

Oh, and if you'll notice Hugh's t-shirt - those were our family reunion shirts for this year. Marc designed them and I made them (ordered the shirts and ironed on the decals). Pretty fancy, eh?!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lucy - one month

I really need to put some more photos of Lucy up, but I just haven't gotten around to getting them off the camera. I'll try to do that soon, but in the meantime she had her one month appointment the other day and I figured I'd at least update her current stats.

Lucy is tipping the scales at 11 pounds 15 ounces! (That means she's gained two and a half pounds since birth.)

She has already grown three inches - is now 24 inches long!

And, her head is measuring at 15.4 inches.

The nurse was so shocked at her length and had to re-measure her to make sure she got it right. She's in the 95th to 98th percentile for both height and weight - we clearly have a very healthy baby girl! She is already smiling lots and just starting to make cooing sounds. She typically wakes twice during the night - usually sometime around 1am and 5am. She hates laying down flat if she's awake and prefers a sitting up position to see what's going on. Both boys are growing more and more fond of her and constantly want to hold her and kiss her. Lucy has added so much happiness to our life in her first month. We are thrilled to have her in our family!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Baby blessing

While we were in Utah, we decided it would be a good time for Lucy to be blessed. My sister, Mandi, also blessed her nearly-three-month old Ezra on the same day. Usually baby blessings are done in church, but since we were attending a congregation that wasn't our own we made arrangements to have Lucy blessed at my sister's house after church.

As I dressed Lucy in her white blessing dress (with a pink slip underneath), I thought of my Grandma Hedy. She made the dress over 40 years ago for my older sister on her blessing day. That same dress was then worn by me and Mandi, and then again by my sisters' daughters - McKayla, Audrey, and Talea. And, now I was able to dress my baby girl in the same blessing dress.

As I handed Lucy to Marc and he was joined in a loving circle of other important men in her life (her Daddy, Grandpa, Uncles - Jamie, John, Matt, Danny, Dwight, Adam, and cousin Colton), I loved the feeling of protection and strength that came with that visual. I felt a calm reassurance that my little Lucy will be just fine with such good men in her life protecting her and loving her.

I won't recount here the specifics of her baby blessing, but there were some beautiful promises made and I got a tiny glimpse into the special soul of my baby girl. I feel so blessed and lucky to be the mother to this little spirit.

Family Time

We just got back from our first road trip as a family of five. I normally would not be going anywhere with a brand new baby, let alone on a 13-hour car ride two states away, but this particular getaway was something planned long before we even found out we were pregnant.

This particular getaway took us to a cabin at Bear Lake in northern Utah where we gathered with my family for a family reunion and to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary (which is coming up in a couple of weeks). We've been planning it for over a year and knowing my entire family would be together, I was determined to do everything in my power to be there with them, even making the drive with a three-week old and two two-year olds.

And, actually, all three kids did surprisingly really well in the car. We planned to make stops every 2-3 hours along the way to nurse Lucy and to let the boys get out and run around. It ended up taking a bit longer, but it was worth it to keep the kids happy. And, fortunately my recovery from Lucy's birth seemed to drastically improve just in time for our departure.

The family reunion was a bit like getting a glimpse of heaven, even with all the chaos that is bound to come with 48 people under one roof. That's right. Forty-eight. That's just my parents, my siblings and spouses, and grandkids.

We found the perfect balance of planned activities - family talent show, storytelling by Grandma and Grandpa, sailboat rides, swimming, fishing trip, photo shoot - and free time to just sit back and enjoy each other. It was three years ago that we were last all together, which meant that some in my family were meeting all three of my kids for the first time. Funny how much our situation had changed since our last reunion.

Ben and Hugh typically get really overwhelmed when surrounded by lots of people they don't know, so we fully expected them to be a bit clingy and uncomfortable being in an unfamiliar place with a large group of unfamiliar people, but right from the moment we first arrived they were running around screaming and being crazy with all of their 30 cousins. It was a little shocking, but so much fun to watch them warm up so quickly and have so much fun.

I didn't take nearly as many photos as I should have or would have liked, but luckily we had some done professionally that I'll share when they're available. Here's just a tiny glimpse of our time together.

It was wonderful to be reminded of how blessed I've been to have been given the family I have. While we are far from perfect and our relationships are continually evolving, it's pretty amazing how well all eight of us get along and enjoy being together. I think part of that is from our long road trips growing up - Christmas trips to Grandma's in Utah, then the two super long road trips to Alaska and New York (ten years apart, though). My parents were constantly providing memories and experiences for us to spend time together as a family, and even if those long hours trapped in a car at the time were less than fun, somehow they solidified our love for each other.

It was equally wonderful to celebrate the fifty years my parents have been together and to spend some time reflecting on how they did it and how much I hope we can accomplish the same. We are approaching the big ten year anniversary in two weeks, so we're on our way! I feel blessed to be surrounded by an incredibly supportive group of siblings (and their spouses) and to have parents who have provided a legacy of love and a foundation of faith for us to build from.