Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, Darlings

Here is a picture of our family with Santa.

Reasons I love this photo include the following:
(From Left to Right)
1. There is an antler bulging out of Braddock's head.
2. My face looks like it was stung by a bee.
3. Dawson has no sense of direction when the person taking the picture says, "Everyone look at the camera!"
4. Santa is cute.
5. Emma is sporting her awkward face because she knows everyone is looking at her.
6. Jim appears to be 3 times the size of Santa. And he's kneeling down.

And on a more serious note, our family read some great scriptures last night that tie in with this wonderful season....

"Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets."
3 Nephi 1:13

As overwhelming and chaotic as Christmas sometimes feels, we all have reason to lift our heads up and be of good cheer because Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hey Ya'll, It's Fall!

I am so far behind, it's ridiculous. I give up and I totally blame it on Facebook. I have so much I need to post between here and April, but the more I think about it, the less I want to blog, so I am just going to do what I want to do and post the current happenings.

My house is ready for the fall season and I love it. Nothing extravagant, but I am learning more and more that I'm not a fan of clutter and that simplicity is the way to go.

Here are the things that are making me happy right now:

1. These cute fall blocks that my sister, Alyssa made last year when she helped me with my Super Saturday projects. They have fall written all over them....literally.
Mwahahahahah, I'm funny.

2. Orange lights on the piano. Yes, yes, and YES!
3. A thankful tree that the kids and I made. On the back of each leaf, the kids wrote down things that they are grateful for. It definitely looks homemade, but it holds some major sentimental value. I love it and I love that when my kids talk about it, they say "The leaf-is look so pretty!"
("Leaf-is" = Leaves)
And here's a Christmas creation.
No, I'm not decorating my house for Christmas yet, although many of you probably wouldn't be surprised if I did.
My sister, Jenna came up with the idea to make this after seeing something like this on display when we were on vacation in Grand Lake, Colorado.

It was so fun and simple, I thought I would share.
All you need are a set of branches from Hobby Lobby, some miniature jingle bells (I used red, but silver is really pretty too), and some clear beads.
The bells and beads slide right on and then you hot glue them to keep them from moving.

Tie some ribbon at the base of them stems and you have yourself a beautiful arrangement of jingle bell branches!

Now I will move onto us ( just in case you forgot who we were).

This is pretty much my favorite picture right now. Jim would die if he knew I posted this,
but oh well.
I love it because it currently describes how my man is when he gets home from work. He loves his kids and he makes sure they know it. As many of you know, Jim is a contractor and he works very hard. I often take for granted all that he does to ensure mine and the kids' happiness. Running a business is kind of a big deal, but he does it happily and comes home happy too! All three of my kids turn him into a jungle gym when he walks in the door every night.
It's tradition.
Don't mind this next picture. I look like a goon and Emma's hat is two years too small for her. It's sad when you have to ask your 5 year old if he can take a picture of you because no one else does.

Anyhow, life is going really well for me, not easy by any means, but I really have nothing to complain about. I feel very privileged to be able to stay home with my three little ones, and take care of our home. Yesterday, I was able to just keep things low-key at the house. We didn't have to go anywhere, nor did I have any desire to. My kids spent the entire day playing in the living room with a bin of their toys, while I did a bunch of laundry, ironed, cleaned bathrooms,mopped floors, and even made some bread! I do these things every week usually in a rush and stressing out about how I am going to get it all done, but yesterday I really tried to think about what a blessing it is that I get to do ALL of these things.
What a difference it made in my day!
Next up, we have this little dude who is turning into a very big kid. Braddock turned 5 last month and just started preschool this fall. He loves to wrestle, build anything with Legos, and pretend like he's in combat( Honestly, our house always sounds like a battle is going on). Braddock also can color like it's nobody's business. He will spend an hour on one coloring page until it is perfection. He is extremely meticulous about his work and very visual. Hopefully this will one day apply to the way he does his chores :) .
Emma is as feisty at they come. She has a strong spirit in a petite little body and wants everyone to know that she can do it herself. In fact, she tried to prove this to me yesterday when I specifically told her not to pick up a two gallon container of salsa that needed to be brought in the house because it was too heavy for her. Seconds later, I discovered that the 2 gallons of salsa was now flooding my driveway, thanks to our little ambitious Emma. It looked like someone had hurled from my car to the front steps.
Nonetheless, Emma is very smart, and loves to learn anything and everything. Her brain is a sponge that seems to retain everything she sees and hears (which means I have to be careful what I say and do). Emma's current favorite movie is "The Sound of Music". She loves all of the songs from it, especially "My Favorite Things". In fact, Emma is going to dress up as Fraulein Maria for Halloween.
Lastly, is our little Dawson who is growing up way too fast! He will be 8 months old tomorrow and I am not sure HOW that happened. For the last month, he has been crawling all over the place and is now pulling himself up onto anything he can get his hands on. He is by far my busiest kid, but he has a very bubbly personality and a contagious smile that melts my heart like butter every time! I'm pretty sure he'll learn to use it on me anytime he knows he's in trouble.
As a whole, we are enjoying our time together and this glorious fall season!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby Blessing

On May 8th, our little Dawson was given a baby blessing by his dad.
It was a wonderful day to have all of our family together, and I mean TOGETHER.
It was a very cold and wet day, so all 40+ of us huddled in our home!

This day was also Mother's Day, so I really lucked out being able to celebrate the blessing of our newest addition AND honoring the beauty of motherhood.

I took a whole 2 PICTURES that day - they're the ones you see right below this. Before I could even get myself out of the car, Jim had already taken his suit jacket off. Oh, how I love my Jim.

The blessing that Jim gave to Dawson was very special. Two things that I distinctly remember him blessing him with were:
The desire to always put others first
To always bring honor to Heavenly Father's name and to his family's.

Dawson, I hope these blessings will always be instilled within you.

We sure are proud to have this little man in our home!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3 is the Magic Number

Before our latest bundle of joy arrived, I was convinced that raising three children would be quite simple. (I guess you can call me an idiot).
I was so wrong!
I've definitely got my work cut out for me and then some!

I thought I would post some pictures of the little ones throughout the last couple of months while I share with you some of the things that I have learned about being a mother of three.

1. Eating out is awesome.
2. Heading out to the post office (which is like .25 miles away from my house) is kind of a big deal.
3. Getting ready for the day is overrated.
4. Wearing tennis shoes anywhere and everywhere I go is a must.
5. The grocery store is a dreaded place to be with three kids. Especially when your oldest trips on the cart and then mommy runs him over with it.
5. My house never looks clean until 9 PM .
6. Taking pictures of all three of them at once is a joke.
7. A 32 oz Diet Dr Pepper from Conoco can rid you of all of your troubles.
8. Children know they can get away with anything when mommy is nursing.
9. It is super hard to lose weight.
10. Having my kids dressed and ready for the day before 10 o'clock is rare.
11. The laundry somehow has multiplied itself by like 100.
12. Locking your kids outside isn't such a bad thing anymore. In fact, I kind of like it.

13. Prayers are more important than ever.

14. The love in our home is overflowing.

Despite the challenge that I am faced with daily, I sure am grateful for the joy these little ones bring to our home!
To those of you who are considering having a third, I hope I didn't scare you - it really is so much fun!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

3 Weeks Ago.......

How can this be?! How can it be that my little tiny baby is already 3 weeks old?!
I am baffled at how fast the time goes by.
3 weeks ago today (well actually, tonight) our little Dawson was born and placed into my arms for the first time.
I thought I would jot down some of the things that happened on his birthday for my own sake. I really don't want to forget this , which means I need to record it.
Saturday, the 26th of February, was no ordinary day. You see, it was my sister Alyssa's birthday and since she lives right across the street from us, our little family was able to go over and eat breakfast with her and my mom that morning. It was a wonderful way to start the day!
After visiting there for a couple of hours, we took the kids back home and pretty much just laid around. My 39 week pregnant body was already past the whole nesting thing and just wanted to lounge around for the next 10 days. My contractions would be 2-5 minutes apart for an hour, but would stop as soon as I took on the thought of going to the hospital.
I had given up.
Then the phone rang, and my awesome OB doctor who had the day off, called me just to check up on things. He suggested I come to his office so he could check to see how my labor was progressing.
Did I mention my doctor is AWESOME?
So the whole family piled into the minivan to go to his office.
I was now at a 4 and 70% effaced.
Woo hoo!
But no, I couldn't believe that things just might be progressing. My body was playing tricks on me the whole week before and I didn't want to actually believe that I just might have the baby soon.
Apparently, however, our doctor knew better than me because we left his office with him saying, " Alright, we will see you guys tonight!"
We then headed off to the grocery store where Jim turned into my drill sargeant and had me doing laps around the isles.
Still, nothing.
What a joke.
Then we headed over to Jim's parents' house where my husband became a Nazi and was having me do the XBox Kinect Dance Central.
Still, nothing.
Then my sister Alyssa headed over to take part in all of the fun. She even brought us all Bajio on her own birthday! After a couple hours of dancing, the contractions became consistent and Jim and I headed to the hospital.
They monitored my contractions for about 45 minutes, which were constantly at 2 minutes apart. Then our doctor arrived and broke my water.
This is when the contractions became extremely intense and I began wondering where in the heck my epideral was. After about 10 minutes of hard-core pain, the anesthesiologist came to my rescue!
Yes, I am lame. I endured a whole 10 minutes of natural labor.
Epiderals are our friend.
Once the epideral was given, I felt like a new woman and was happily enjoying my rest on the hospital bed. My doctor even came in and visited with us for a long while. We talked about labor and running and half marathons...and I don't remember what else. I think I was in and out of
la-la land.
Still at 4 cm, I decided I would take a snooze while Jim, Alyssa, and my mom watched tv.
But no sooner had I made this decision, did I begin to feel a lot of pressure and discomfort. Jim decided to get a nurse to make sure the epideral was working properly.
The nurse came in, checked me, and was surprised to find out I was already at 10 cm!
She ran out of the room to call the doctor, came back shortly after with another nurse to get everything prepped, and then it was time to push.
I think I pushed for about 2 minutes before little Dawson arrived.
His little cry was the sweetest little sound I had ever heard.
Look at his thick little body!
He looks really angry here and I don't blame him.
This was the first time we had delivered at this hospital (weird, considering it is right across the street from my house), but if we ever have any more babies, I will make sure we have them here!
They kept Dawson in the room with us for 3 hours before they took him to the nursery. I loved having him stick around for so long!

The whole 3 hrs he was with us he did not close his eyes nor did he cry. I loved every minute of it!

Dawson and his Nanna.
I'm so glad my mom was there to see her grandson be born. She held my hand through all of it and helped make our experience that much more enjoyable!

The birthday boy and girl!
I love that they share this day together and that Alyssa got to be a part of it all!
Braddock & Emma came to meet their baby brother for the first time the very next morning.

I don't even know what to say about this next picture except that I am in love with it.
Emma with her baby brother.
Can you feel the love?

This next picture I love so much.
This is what he looked like after every feeding. I loved how he would rest his fat lil' cheeks in my hand and crash.

Can I just say I feel so blessed to add this little boy to our family! I can't believe that 3 weeks has come and gone.
Still, I am grateful for the memories that we have been able to create. I will always look back on this moment as a wonderful and amazing experience.
Thanks to all of our family and friends who came to visit us, tended our children, brought us food, and showed their love.

I recently read a post on my friend's blog that says "There is hope smiling brightly before you. That hope is in the faces of our children."
I don't know of a more true statement.
I am so grateful for the gifts that Heavenly Father has given to me, my three little children. I love them all so much and look forward to creating many memories with them!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Welcome, Baby Boy!

We went from this........... THIS in just 4 very short hours.

Dawson McCray Epps
Born February 26, 2011 at 9:55 PM
8 lbs 5 oz. 20.5 inches

Our family is so happy to welcome this little man into our home!
He could not be any sweeter and those cheeks of his could not be any more kissable!

{ We will post more soon just as soon as I learn to adapt to being a mother of 3!}

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What have we got here?

A couple of Sundays ago, when I was finishing getting ready for church, I walked into my bathroom to find this nonsense going on.

Total concentration....
(I don't think she even noticed my presence there or the fact that I was flashing pictures like crazy).
Finishing up.

Wow! Seriously?!
My little 3 year old cannot already be wanting to be into all of this stuff!
When we got in the car and headed for church, Jim looked at her and said, "Emma, your eyes look really pretty. What did you do to them?" He had been at meetings all morning and did not know that she had in fact done her own makeup.
I don't think I know what I am up against with this little diva.