Friday, November 29, 2013


In general, I really enjoy cooking and the idea of inviting our closest family and friends over for a home-cooked meal sounds like a lot of fun. However, this year, the thought of slaving away in the kitchen to prepare a Thanksgiving feast just sounded like.....a whole lot of work. And so the decision was made to eat out. No shopping, no cleaning, no prepping, no cooking, no hosting. Just show up and eat. Sounds like a winner to me! Well, kind of. In reality, it was more like, just show up and wait two hours and then eat. Happily, the boys were so patient while we waited in a line that curved and wound all the way down the hallways of the Little America Hotel. They amused themselves playing with their cousins, snacking on a few pre-dinner cookies, and stretching their legs on walks up and down the hall. Unfortunately, their good humor was spent by the time we finally got seated at our table in the grand ballroom. Rocky was tired but wouldn't be pacified with being bounced and rocked. Joey was tired from missing his nap and had snacked on so many cookies that he wasn't interested in eating a thing. Ben was unsettled from the noisy surroundings. Instead of taking our sweet time and savoring each and every bite as we had planned, Aaron and I took turns making trips through the buffet line and shoveling food into our mouths while the other bounced Rocky and offered Joey icecream and cake to keep him happy. So, when it was all said and done, I think our dining experience, although plentiful and tasty, only reinforced my feeling that Thanksgiving actually isn't about the food at all! The success of my Thanksgiving isn't determined by the quality of the pumpkin pie, it's all about being with the ones I love most and giving thanks for our abundance of blessings. Long lines and fussy kids aside, my life is rich because of the five little boys and sweet eternal companion that I share it with and for that I am grateful.

The Making of a Smile

I have been waiting and waiting to capture Rocky's first little baby smiles, but oh how it's been worth the wait! From those early little sleepy half-smiles, to the giant open-mouth smiles, to that perfectly sweet little baby grin, I just love all of his facial expressions. Poor Rocky, he probably can't figure out why Mom always has a phone in front of her face, but I can't help it, I just have to photo document his precious little face. His little smile just melts my heart. So sweet.

HaNky BOy

Every phase has it's good points, and I try to enjoy them all, but boy am I loving this great place that Hank seems to be in right now. Hank isn't a baby anymore. He's a fun, smart, helpful kid...and it's awesome! I love that I can ask him to do something for me...and he can do it! I get really excited when it's time to pick him up from school in the afternoon because I love to hear about his day. I really enjoy sitting down together after school and working on his math and reading homework together. Sometimes Hank and his buddies will play little boy games like cars and trains, but they're also beginning to just enjoy shooting baskets or playing baseball like big kids. Hank does still like to watch cartoons, but he's also old enough to start sharing some classic movies with him. Hank is just fun to be around. I like to spend time with him. I like to listen to his thoughts and ideas. I don't just love him, I really like him, too!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Halloween Fun

More impressive than the fact that we amassed two over-flowing grocery bags of Halloween candy in our trick-or-treating (first at the ward trunk-or-treat, then trick-or-treating on mainstreet, at Nana Grover's neighborhood, and later at our own neighborhood on Halloween night), is the fact that I haven't eaten ANY of it! It has taken a herculean amount of will power to keep myself out of that candy stash. Luckily, the boys are more than happy to eat my share for me.

What a fun Halloween we had! I lugged the 4 youngest to Hank's school to watch his costume parade and catch a 1/2 second glimpse of him in his G.I. Joe costume. All three school-kids had class parties at school, so they came home full of treats before the real fun even started. After school we went straight to downtown Lehi where we trick-or-treated up and down mainstreet. Since it was still light outside and the weather was nice, it was the perfect experience for Ben and Joey's first time participating in trick-or-treating. Ben got tired of walking pretty quickly and didn't get too excited about the candy, but he enjoyed the stroll outdoors. Joey, on the other hand, got the hang of things real quick and started holding out his hands to any and all passersby, attempting to collect candy from anyone. Afterwards, the boys joined Nana Grover for her neighborhood's trunk-or-treat where more candy was collected. As soon as it started to get dark, we headed back home to meet our friends for even more trick-or-treating in our own neighborhood. Whereas last year I was having to drag Max along from house to house while he complained about carrying his heavy bucket, this year I was having to remind Max to slow down and wait for me to catch up because he was racing so fast from one house to the next.