Pictures from Sunday

My mom took pictures of us last night and I could not get them to download for some reason. The problem fixed itself this morning, so I will just post the pictures now.

After an AMAZING day at church, we came home and rested all day. After Saturday’s excitement, the slow pace was very welcome. The pictures were taken during FHE. We had it a day early because Betsy is throwing a Pi Party for Pi Day today. I have wanted to go to her Pi Parties for half a decade, but we’ve always lived in a different state. I’m so excited for tonight.

On two sad notes, my mom returned home today. We miss her so much. This morning Lydia ran into my room with a picture of a sad girl that she’d drawn and asked me to write, “I miss you, Nana” on her picture. ūüôĀ Also, we all went to the dentist this morning and I have FOUR cavities. I have never had a cavity in my life!! I was devastated. The dentist said that you usually get three cavities per pregnancy, so I guess Ammon just wanted me to make up for my last two cavity-free pregnancies. So sad.

IMG_3109 IMG_3110 IMG_3111 IMG_3112 IMG_3113

Lydia’s Birthday Party

Lily and I are officially on different energy schedules. I wake up and feel like a truck hit me and I don’t feel functional until noon and she wakes up at 6, springs out of bed and goes on a walk outside, but then is exhausted during the latter half of the day.¬† This is a long explanation for why I’m blogging again, but I think it is kindof funny.

Today was Lydia’s birthday party. Super kudos to Lily for orchestrating it and having the great idea to throw it at the Little Gymn. It was so fun to see my parents and so many friends that we haven’t seen in a while.¬† It was also so easy!¬† 15 little kids showed up and had a great time bouncing and playing at the Little Gym, and then we had pizza and an ice cream cake and then opened presents and we were done.¬† I think we should do there every year! I also think Lydia and all the kids had a super good time, and Lydia has been enjoying playing with her new presents this evening.

Below are pictures with captions.  Enjoy!

-This is a video of all the kids flapping a giant something (what would you even call that?) and then walking in a circle as they sang “The Wheels On the Bus.” My favorite part is watching them trying to figure out how to all walk counter-clockwise ūüôā

IMG_5118

This is Lydia's hiding spot for hide and seek.

This is Lydia’s hiding spot for hide and seek.

Is that Spiderman or is it Mary?

Is that Spiderman or is it Mary?

My dad holding Ammon (the sweetest, cuddliest and drooliest baby)

My dad holding Ammon (the sweetest, cuddliest and drooliest baby)

Lydia, Ada, Nile and Gunner (in order right to left)

Lydia, Ada, Nile and Gunner (in order right to left)

The Marshall Children. So cute!

The Marshall Children. So cute!

Group Photo!

Group Photo!

Lily and Georgia, tired after all of the festivities

Lily and Georgia, tired after all of the festivities

 

 

 

Harp lesson

Ever since I have been little I always expected that my children would play the piano. But for the past couple years, I have prayed and prayed over what kind of musical education and experience to offer Lydia and Mary. Somehow, the piano did not feel right. Through the promptings of the Spirit, I felt guided to the harp for Lydia.

This is a shock to me. Never in a million years did I ever picture my children playing the harp. I know almost nothing about the harp. But after I felt God guiding my thoughts toward that instrument, I discovered that one of the best harp teachers in the country lives less than ten minutes from my house–and she is, incredibly, accepting students. BYU also has the largest harp library in the country, and Logan (a relatively close city) is home to the country’s only Suzuki harp institute.

As if those were not signs enough, today we met Lydia’s harp teacher for the first time. As we were in the car driving to Mary’s eye doctor, Debussy’s composition for harp and orchestra came on the radio. I had never heard it before, but it was breathtakingly beautiful.

When Lydia sat down to the harp for the first time with her new teacher, I felt a spiritual whoosh that confirmed this path to me in a powerful way. Everything felt so right. I want to hang on to those feelings when the practicing gets hard. But today was one of the only days I have ever felt proud of myself for something I did as a mother. Normally I am racked with guilt for not being a better mother, but today I felt like giving myself a pat on the back for breaking out of my own preconceptions and following God’s lead on Lydia’s musical path.

Now I need God to help me figure out how to potty train Mary. Sometimes I honestly picture her as a ten year old in diapers. Please somebody tell me that won’t happen.

On another note entirely, Mom and I binge watched Poldark. We finished the entire season tonight. It was fun!


IMG_3087 IMG_3088 IMG_3091

Spring walk

Yesterday Mom and I were up late watching¬†Poldark, so I skipped blogging. We’re watching again right now, but I’m blogging so that yesterday doesn’t repeat itself.

Today we had fun touring American Heritage with my mom and the kids. We also went on a lovely walk when Abe came home. It’s getting to be sooooo nice outside. I love the Utah seasons. Winter always makes such a polite, timely exit.

Here are the pictures from yesterday and today.

Yesterday we had fun playing the game Mom got Lydia for her birthday.

Yesterday we had fun playing the game Mom got Lydia for her birthday.

This morning we took some cute pictures of Lydia and Ammon together.

This morning we took some cute pictures of Lydia and Ammon together.

IMG_3080IMG_3066

Lydia turns 5!

I cannot believe that my oldest daughter turned 5 today. ¬†Every day I watch her grow up more and more. Getting more intelligent, more mature, more beautiful and more fun every day. ¬†It’s so crazy to me that she is 5 now. ¬†It’s amazing doing things with her like playing catch, working on a puzzle, playing a board game or watching her ride her bike (with training wheels (by herself) and reflecting on how toddler Lydia never could do any of those things. It’s also amazing to watch her grow in character and have shining moments of sharing with Mary and dote on Ammon (she’s completely obsessed with giving love and attention to Ammon). Today was a very significant day for me (Abe) because 5 feels sooo much more different than 4. O-K, I know I’m not giving her the car keys yet, but my girl is growing up!

Today Lily pulled all of the stops for Lydia’s birthday. ¬†Needless to say, she is passed out right now after putting on an incredible day for our cherished 5 year old, so I’m happy to do my small part and blog. ¬†It amazes me how much love Lily has for our children and how important it is to her that they feel an overflowing of love on their birthday. All I can say is, “Lily, thank you for giving such an amazing day to our precious five year old. It was a day to be remembered and a day you created with forethought, love and sweat. I’ll do my best to capture it below.”

Lydia was so excited about her birthday, that she could not sleep last night. When Lydia woke up, she came downstairs to find pink and white balloons in the living room. ¬†I was at the store getting some final items for the day when Lydia first got up, but I got to see her as soon as I finished my errands. ¬†At home I literally had 2 minutes to spend with Lydia to watch her open one present (a new doll) and then I had to rush off to work to try to be on-time. ¬†After I left, Lily made waffles with whip-cream and applesauce for the children and Suzanne called to with Lydia a happy birthday and Lydia opened another present (her cinderella costume). ¬†I came home only one hour and thirty minutes later to meet the electrician who was fixing three different electrical issues we’ve had over the past year. ¬†While home, I mostly did work, but I did have a chance to spend more time with Lydia and share in her excitement with it being her birthday.

At 11:00, I headed back to work just as Chelsea and her children were entering to eat pizza with Lily, Georgia and the children before heading to North Salt Lake for a tour of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s candy factory. That’s right I, I said they headed to a candy factory. ¬†When Lily asked Lydia (weeks ago) what she most wanted on her birthday, Lydia said (to our surprise) that she wanted to tour a candy factory. Major kudos to Lily for actually making that a reality. All I know about the candy factory visit was 1) it was a super long drive 2) they all ate insane amounts of candy 3) Lydia kept repeating how this was her favorite birthday ever.

Back at home, Lily and Georgia prepared for dinner while the kids played, and Lydia opened another present (an elsa dress and wand). ¬†I arrived at 6PM and helped with a few final touch-ups for dinner. ¬†My mom came over for dinner and we had one of my all-time favorite dishes that Lily makes which is¬†spaghetti bolognese. I’m pretty sure she uses the American Test Kitchen Recipe. It is to die for!

My mom came over a little after 7:00 and we all had a great time chatting over dinner.  After dinner, we sang to Lydia and ate an amazing rainbow cake that Lily made yesterday for Lydia.  After cake, we all sat in the living room and chatted while Lydia opened more presents including: an awesome potholder maker kit (weaving activity for Lydia), a new game, Princess Sophia legos from my mom and new Cinderalla shows. Lydia and Mary played nicely and quietly while the rest of us visited with my mom. Then it was clean-up time.

My hat goes off to Lily for making this (in Lydia’s words) “The best birthday I’ve ever had.”

This is the next morning and it’s Lily here. I am adding the pictures and captions in order because Abe did not have time to organize them last night.

Lydia took these pictures of Ammon on Sunday. I did not blog that day so I am tacking them on here.

Lydia took these pictures of Ammon on Sunday. I did not blog that day so I am tacking them on here.

IMG_5050

Nana arrived late the night before Lydia's birthday. Both girls had been too excited to sleep, and Nana was nice enough to read to them before they finally went to bed.

Nana arrived late the night before Lydia’s birthday. Both girls had been too excited to sleep, and Nana was nice enough to read to them before they finally went to bed.

Lydia's first present of the day was this doll she named "Daisy."

Lydia’s first present of the day was this doll she named “Daisy.”

Then she discovered her balloons.

Then she discovered her balloons.

After baths and getting ready for the day, we had breakfast. We sang to Lydia over waffles and whipped cream.

After baths and getting ready for the day, we had breakfast. We sang to Lydia over waffles and whipped cream.

A

A

Ammon had fun looking the strings of the balloons, even thought he couldn't reach them.

Ammon had fun looking the strings of the balloons, even thought he couldn’t reach them.

We met up with Chelsea and her kids for lunch, and then we all drove to North Salt Lake to go to Mrs. Cavanaugh's candy factory. It was so fun to see how chocolate candies are made! We were very impressed by the ladies who hand dip and mark each piece. The only sad part is that they do not get to lick their fingers.

We met up with Chelsea and her kids for lunch, and then we all drove to North Salt Lake to go to Mrs. Cavanaugh’s candy factory. It was so fun to see how chocolate candies are made! We were very impressed by the ladies who hand dip and mark each piece. The only sad part is that they do not get to lick their fingers.

IMG_2618

Ammon enjoyed the smells and sights of the tour, but by the end he was hungry. Poor baby. He was not allowed to eat any chocolate samples. Even worse, I had forgotten part of his bottle, and so I could not feed him the milk I had pumped until we got home.

Ammon enjoyed the smells and sights of the tour, but by the end he was hungry. Poor baby. He was not allowed to eat any chocolate samples. Even worse, I had forgotten part of his bottle, and so I could not feed him the milk I had pumped until we got home.

Eating chocolate samples.

Eating chocolate samples.

The tour ends with a cute little train display and then $1 ice cream cones.

The tour ends with a cute little train display and then $1 ice cream cones.

IMG_2625

Enjoying her balloons and Cinderella dress.

Enjoying her balloons and Cinderella dress.

IMG_5069

Grandma, thank you for the craft!! Lydia loved it.

Grandma, thank you for the craft!! Lydia loved it.

Karin joined us for a birthday dinner after the tour.

Karin joined us for a birthday dinner after the tour.

IMG_5074 IMG_3051 IMG_3063

I made Lydia a rainbow cake, but I think I am allergic to food dye. After I ate a piece, my hands got very swollen.

I made Lydia a rainbow cake, but I think I am allergic to food dye. After I ate a piece, my hands got very swollen.

IMG_5080

Present time.

Present time.

IMG_5087 IMG_5097

 

neighbor play date

This morning was perfect for a run, so I spent a beautiful morning running and walking outside. When I came home Abe went to the church for basketball. The rest of the day was for cleaning, groceries, taxes, cooking, and dinner.

The girls played outside a lot with our neighbors. Then they all came over to our house and played some more.

IMG_5018 IMG_5019 IMG_5022

Lydia starts reading

Abe here. ¬†I had a very good day at work today. ¬†This will probably be the first sales quota I will miss since starting at Qualtrics, but I’ve been learning a lot from the struggle and today was just an all around good day.

When I got home, Lily made an amazing dinner that she totally improvised. She called it, “egg in a nest.” ¬†It was a egg on top of a veggie stew that she roasted in the oven. It was delicious. Our girls have been really interest in nests recently and that gave Lily the idea.

After dinner we spent time together and I caught this cute video of Lily singing to Ammon. ¬†After dinner, we got the girls ready for bed and then Lily read to them for quite a while. After a bit of reading, Lily yelled to me to tell me to come up stairs. I came up-stairs to see that Lydia was reading. She was sounding out words letter by letter and it was absolutely delightful to watch . She’s tried to do that before, but this is the first time that she was really getting it. ¬†Here is a picture of them reading together!

IMG_5016

 

 

 

I forgot to press “publish” yesterday.

…So here is yesterday’s post that I wrote before falling asleep at 9:45 pm. Guess I was tired.

I took the girls to the park today for a picnic. Five minutes after we got there Lydia peed in her pants. Oh, well. We still stayed and played anyway.

Then this evening i got to see my friend, Cierra. She is in town from London, where she and her husband have been living for almost three years. She is one of my most favorite people, and I felt so lucky to get to see her during her short time in the States. Abe watched the kids while we got sushi.

Now Mary is playing quietly in her room and I’m pretending not to notice. Abe can put her to bed when he comes home from the temple.

IMG_2591 IMG_20160304_012643

warm day

I took the girls to the park after ballet finished. Before I figured out I could put Ammon on the grass so that I could hoist the girls onto the swings, they figured they were on their own and just stood there forlornly pushing the empty swings. Then they made a “bird nest.”

I have a picture of Mary pushing her swing while Lydia built her nest.

IMG_2590

My milk supply is still distressingly low, although today I just decided to continue exercising and watching what I eat regardless. I can’t just lie around every spare second praying for my milk supply to go up.

Also, a huge shout out to Abe. He cleaned the whole house when he came home. We had surprise visitors from the ward taking donations for the flag service they do. Thanks to Abe, the house was not a total disaster when they came in.