Loving Arizona and Missing Hawaii

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

If you are anything like my family, you will still enjoy wishing "Merry Christmas" even though Christmas day has once again come and gone. There is something sweet about the expression; children can feel it and connect it to those two simple words long before they can ever eloquently express their feelings in other words. I can remember back to last year's Christmas time... and even months after Christmas had passed, our oldest child, Catherine, who had just turned three years old, would come up to me and say, "Merry Christmas, Mom." She said it in the most endearing way, and with the sweetest smile. It left me with a feeling as if she had just told me she loved me... After contemplating that experience for some time now, I have discovered that the love I felt was more than just the love between a mother and child.

I'd like to take this moment to reflect and share my feelings on this expression of love found in the phrase, "Merry Christmas." The phrase seems to encompass all of the love that has been or ever will be shared. I think of the reason we celebrate Christmas: the birth of Christ. I think of a perfect father giving the gift of His perfect son because He loves us. I think of the Son giving His life because of His love for our Father in Heaven and His love for us. I think of Mary and her love for Jesus, not only as her baby but also as her Savior. I think of the love of Joseph. I think of the overwhelming love I felt as I gave birth to each of my three little angels. I think of the love I share with my dear husband, my greatest friend. I think of his love for me. I think of the love I share with my earthly parents and the love I have for my Heavenly Father. Love between family... love between friends... and the list goes on and on.

And so it is with this "Merry Christmas" expression of love as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, His love and His life that we bring this message of love and friendship to you: May His love be yours and your love be His now and forever.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pure, Victorious One

Four years ago, time stood still as I laid in my hospital bed snuggling my firstborn child. I remember so vividly the quiet reverence that abound in that very room where this miracle of birth took place... Four years ago, exactly, the machines, doctors and nurses were all gone... it was quiet and peaceful. Nothing impeded the Spirit -- my heart was forever changed -- and as I beheld my Father in Heaven's miracle in my arms, I knew I was resting on holy ground. I didn't think about what I would be doing or where my life would be 4 years from then. At that time, I couldn't possibly have fathomed it.

Catherine Victoria has brought joy, love, light, goodness, purity, peace -- an outpouring of the spirit -- into our family for the last 4 years. Her gentleness and selflessness are a constant reminder to me of who I would like to become... she reminds me very much of her two grandmothers... wonderful women who endlessly give of themselves and find their greatest joy in bringing joy to others.

Catherine is intelligent, talented, spirited, creative and imaginative (to name just a few)... I could give hundreds of examples of each of these attributes, but that would be only a meager attempt at describing this noble child of God. One of her greatest attributes, by far, is her ability to feel and show compassion far beyond her years. She is humble and grateful.

I'm grateful for the last and best four years of my life... and it just keeps getting better! I love my girl. My life is forever changed.

Four years ago today...
After 37 1/2 weeks, and 17 1/2 hours of labor...

Our 5 pound, 7 ounce miracle came into our arms and hearts,
and our lives have never been the same.

Happy Birthday, my love. I hope that our celebrations this weekend helped you feel just how treasured and loved you are. I hope that in some small way it gave back to you even a portion of the joy you have brought to others your entire life.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Daily dose of joy

I just can't help but be happy, optimistic, full of love, joy and gratitude when I'm with my littlest angel.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5-month old pictures, Noah

I finally got around to posting some more 5-month-old photos of Noah. Melanie's been asking me for a couple weeks now, but I've had so many other shoots and images to process that I forgot. So...without further delay, here they are!

Pumpkin Patch!

We went to the pumpkin patch for Family Home Evening the other night. We've gone to this same patch for the past couple years so Catherine and Ethan were somewhat familiar with it and they all had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

4 pockets + one boy = endless possibilities

front pockets:
1 puzzle piece
1 quarter
3 pennies
1 outlet cover
10 rocks

back pocket #1:
water bottle cap

back pocket #2"
1 cootie game piece
1 lego (not ours, it came home from a friend's house... in a pocket)

a dear friend, an amazing example...

We had the privilege of spending some time with our dear friends, the Glausers, this past August while we were on vacation in California. I love that we have a timeless friendship. Each time we get together with them, it feels as though no time has passed. And although it has been 2 months now since we saw them, Meli's words still ring loud in my mind...

Meli is an amazing woman... she is a wife and a mother, a daughter and a sister, and most dearly to me, she is my friend. As we talked about our children and how quickly they are learning and growing up, the conversation topic of preschool came up. We talked a little about the types of things children learn in preschool, and I told Meli about the preschool curriculum that I had written for Catherine. The next thing Meli shared with me will stay with me forever.

She expressed that although she agrees that reading and writing and arithmetic are important for children to learn... eventually they DO learn those things, whether at home or at school. She would rather spend her time teaching her son values such as kindness, love, compassion and honesty... to give him a solid and sure foundation before he is off to school, out "in the world" and bombarded on every hand with the lies and deceptions of the world.

Thank you, Meli. Thank you for reminding me why we are here on this earth and what is most important to learn. Thank you for reminding me how we as mothers have the greatest opportunity and responsibility while our children CAN be at home all day with us, if we so choose, to teach them eternal principles and truths.

5 months old

Not so little anymore! Noah is 14 pounds 12 ounces!

It's hard to believe our little Noah is already 5 months old! While it feels as though he was just born, thoughts of our family before his birth now feel so distant and empty! We feel very blessed that he is a part of our family!

Great photos of Noah at 5 months coming soon...

Monday, September 14, 2009

look alike contest...

so, now tell me. i mostly hear that our kids "look just like Larry!" but on occasion, i hear that one of them looks just like me... of any of them, i have felt that Noah may have gotten more of my genes than the others (like maybe 10% to their 1 or 2%) ;) But mostly I think they all look very uniquely different until they get to the toddler age.

Catherine and Ethan, I think look a lot alike right now... nothing alike as babies... could be the hair. (or lack thereof)

Noah, I think looks most like Catherine did as a baby. But also, I feel he has a look all of his own.
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Here they are at 4 months old:

This last image is for all of my friends from TVA days... go ahead, smile and sigh. Enjoy the sweet little memory. I know you all know that sidewalk view very well. :)

dialoguing for Noah

mmmm, my first ride in the wagon... this should be fun!

WAIT! Mom, you're not coming with me?!!

You're actually letting a 2-year-old push me around?!!

WAAA! I want my mommy!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

fun to come

For those of you who don't know, I love to dialogue! I've done it for as long as I can remember, and honestly, I don't think I even realized how much I did it until my husband pointed it out to me. The good news is, he loves it... AND it keeps life fun and interesting.

A lot has happened in the last almost 4 months since Noah has joined our family! I haven't had time to blog about it because I spend every waking moment just soaking it all in!

Now that the dust is starting to settle... there are actual times when all three of my children are napping at the same time! That means, more sleep for me!!!! Okay, okay, well... hopefully you can count on a lot more fun posting coming along!

First, I plan to entertain you with some of my daily dialoguing humor!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Noah's Bathtime

Melanie will often ask me to take photos of Noah when he's in the tub...I think it's because he's usually very happy to be hanging out in the water. I really like the light reflecting in his eye...we usually bathe him in the kitchen, where we have multiple lights overhead.

Happy Birthday Ethan, Horseback Riding

We went out early this morning to take the kids horseback riding to kick off Ethan's birthday. We're lucky enough to have great friends who made this possible and are very thankful to them for that! Ethan got to ride Skeeter and Catherine rode Lulu. Since we live really close to the desert it took about 5 minutes to find a great spot to let the kids ride. We started the day off right with some Dunkin' donuts and then put the kids on and led them around for about 45 minutes. They also got to feed the horses and see their big teeth!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Noah: The Progression

It's been a while since we blogged so we thought we'd post some photos of Noah over the past 2 months. Here (in order) are his 2, 4, 6 and 8 week photos. For an "official" 2-month photo of Noah, check out my blog here...enjoy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome, Noah!

We are excited to announce that Noah Robert Reeves joined our family on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:48 am.

Due to medical necessity Melanie was induced and labored for 6.5 hours. She did an excellent job through the labor and delivery! Both Melanie and Noah are healthy and recovering well. 

Thank you all for your prayers, help and support to allow Melanie to carry Noah to 37.5 weeks. We feel very blessed that everything turned out well. 

Catherine and Ethan are ecstatic for their new baby brother. Ethan can't keep his hands off of him and has let out plenty of squeals. Catherine is the perfect little helper/mother and they both love to give him kisses. 

We enjoy the special spirit that Noah brings to our home. He gets plenty of love, hugs and kisses in return. We are happy to have him as a part of our family. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

How far you've come!

It has been almost 2 years since I bought Larry his first pro camera for his birthday...  He has always had a talent to match his love for photography, and I was curious to see where he'd go if he had the right tools for it.  

I'm in awe of where he is today.  What an amazing example he is to me of perseverance and diligence in developing the talents our Father in Heaven has blessed us with!

For those of you, like me, who don't understand much about photography and all the artistic rules... there's a lot a person can do to edit a photo to try to make it look better than it actually is.  There's a huge difference between good pictures straight out of the camera, and those that have been edited to look good.   

These pictures of my "crusty, unkempt kids"  are straight out of the camera, and I love them because they capture the true, un-sugar coated memories of our life!  

Thank you, Larry!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We love Uncle Brad!

A big thank you to Uncle Brad for coming over to visit us tonight!  We just love him.  He's an amazing brother and Uncle.  Both kids were practically hanging on his legs all night, and Catherine was begging him to spend the night... she was hoping to keep him all to herself forever. 
Have a safe flight back to Hawaii... please be sure to double check your bags for stowaways!
See you in June!