Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"I'm Super Lucie...Let Me Zoom!"

(photography by: Jena Marie Christensen)
It wasn't quite bedtime after we finished baths, lotion, and jammies this evening for the girls so I thought it would be fun to play out on our front lawn for a few minutes to get all our extra wiggles and giggles out. Chelsea walked out first and was so proud she "listened first time." Lucie saw that she was carrying two toy fairies in her hand and wanted to bring "just one toy" out with her. So, she went inside and grabbed a stuffed toy monkey that can velcro his hands around your neck. I offered to help Lucie get him attached, but she said she could do it herself and she did. Lily came out with Daddy and was happy to run up and down the hill singing at the top of her lungs, no toy needed. Anyway. Michael and I took the girls around back to see our growing garden, which isn't as successful as last year due to pregnancy (lack of attention); however, we have some pumpkins growing! Which we are all really excited about. After taking a few minutes to examine our masterpiece we started heading back to the front yard. I grabbed Lucie and Lily's hands in order to guide them to the front yard. After a few seconds Lily ran ahead but Lucie was still struggling to come so I kept holding her hand. After another moment or two (picture Lucie with a stuffed monkey attached around the back of her neck) Lucie exclaimed emphatically, "Mom, I'm SUPER LUCIE, Let Me Zoom!" I dropped her hand so quick (laughing hysterically) and let her zoom and zoom she did. (There are so many things I am taking home from that statement as her mother: need for independence and confidence from me among them! I love you, Lucie!)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Face Painting the Island

I feel like our baby could come any day! Although, my doctor thinks I'll make it to my due date or thereafter (which I am so grateful I'm bracing myself for that). So, I wanted to make sure to tell you of our happenings of the past couple weeks before my life was not my own for a little bit. First, Michael and his bro-bies were asked to serenade the crowd for their sister Megan's ward party and we were lucky enough to tag along. It was a great party! So much good food and fun stuff to do. The girls loved getting their faces painted (pictured above). Chelsea wanted to be "circus" (clown), Lucie wanted to be a "big one lion" and Lily wanted to be a "Kitty Cat" They loved it so much Lily was pretending to paint her face in the car the other day (two weeks after the party-she's my little creative bug). Our next adventure was surviving without Mimi and Papa (Michael's parents who live a half mile from us) for a week and a half while they celebrated their 30th Anniversary. They went to Texas (where Michael's dad served his mission) and then to Florida for some fun and relaxation. Needless to say we are happy to have them back and loved hearing about their travels and tender mercies. We also got to spend some much needed family time in Island Park, Idaho at my Gram's cabin with my family! We live about an hour north of my parents and sometimes it might was well be a state away, we don't see them near enough so we were grateful to spend the weekend with them. We love them so much. And the girls can't get enough of their Miche and Grandpapa! Oh, boy. We could spend weeks up there it is so nice and relaxing AND the girls just loved it.  We came home late on a Saturday night and then spent the next morning finishing up preparing for our Sunday Lesson. I am now a Laurel Advisor in the YWs and I was asked to teach about Marriage and Family to the combined YW and I thought who better to teach with me than my beloved husband. He is amazing! He brings so much love and insight into our marriage. I currently only have a few classes left of my degree in Family Studies and I feel like when I discuss what I'm learning with him he already has the knowledge and wisdom of my tenured professors and truly understands of the beauty of marriage and family. I love him so much and am so grateful for his patience with me (and his willingness to step in these last few weeks of pregnancy - he is currently grocery shopping for me - thank heavens!).

Here are a few pictures from our fabulous trip. Our cabin is located right on Moose Creek so as soon as we got there we got swimming suits on the girls and jumped right in (for a few minutes at least, it was FREEZING):

Chelsea loved the cold water - she even walked across the creek all by herself! (to give you an idea of how cold it was I could barely put my toes in for a few seconds before feeling like I was going to freeze them off)

Lily's signature Kissy Face.

Lucie was braver than I thought she would be! She was loving the water.

Showing Off their Lot from the Candy Store! It's my one time a year I get myself a bag full of TOOSTIE ROLLS!

Big Springs! These girls were loving the outdoors. We went on this little gem of a hike and saw a muskrat.

Gotta love OLD FAITHFUL!

Thanks for taking time today to come and read this (all 3 of you). We love being a family! Michael and I attended the temple together this morning  and were reminded of how blessed we are to live in such a wonderful place and to have the opportunity to learn and grow together and to someday live together forever for all eternity. We love each other and our girls so much and can't wait for our little baby boy to join our forever family (12 more days until my due date . . . so excited!).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mommy! + a little R&B soul

So, one of the many perks to being married to a music maniac who happens to work at a recording studio are birthday presents like this (it makes me cry every time, so sweet and thoughtful and not to mention, super hip, too!):

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


What a fun day! We woke up and got ready early so we could drive my sweetheart to work just in case we needed the car AND it turns out we did...to go to the park! We have an elementary school close to our home that has the perfect playground for our girls; complete with tunnel slides, tunnels, bumpy slides, bridges, you name it! It is by far my favorite playground in Bountiful. We had a blast! On our way home we noticed some water activities going on at our church across from our house and I had forgotten today was Primary Water Party Day (my girls were sick last Sunday so I missed the reminder)! So we hurried inside, put on swimsuits and had ourselves a splash-filled time, complete with popsicles! I love my ward so much. Seriously, some of the dearest people you will ever meet! And such good kids and friends for my girls, they love to go to nursery and primary to play with their friends. After that we had ourselves some PB&Honey sandwiches, grapes, and milk for lunch and I put the girls down for naps. I was ready to relax for a few minutes when I noticed the twins playing in their room, I thought to let them play for a minute to see if they would settle down... BAD IDEA! After a minute or so I went to check on them and as I got closer to their room I could smell something rank. Not only was this awful smell all over the carpet, beds, blankets and toys, but they had managed to paint a masterpiece on the wall x 2. They were having a ball! So I put them in the bath while I tried to clean up a little bit, wash their blankets, etc. Needless to say, we are getting closer to being completely potty-trained, but not quite there yet (if we survive potty-training twins, I'm pretty sure my husband will take me to France). The girls got settled after their bath and had a nap and I then took a nap, grateful to have that behind us and also grateful my husband had come home for lunch who helped immensely.

Tonight I had a sweet experience while sharing with my girls one of my favorite meals (Potato Soup) and Chelsea helping me do the dishes. Somehow having these girls want to be like their mother helps me want to always be my best self. While the dinner was cooking Chelsea stood on a little stool next to me and washed everything she could easily put her hands on and stayed helping until the dishwasher was loaded and started, she even got to press the button (her favorite part). And then after I made the dinner, it was so sweet to see these girls eating and enjoying a food that I love so much! It made me think how important it is to share my traditions and loves with my children, as well as sharing experiences, like doing the dishes, with them. Although it was such a simple task and usually mundane, having Chelsea help me today made it so worth while and enjoyable.

Chelsea: "Highest Tower" Lego Champion

Lucie: "Special Headband" Champion

Lily: "Super Hugs & Kisses" Champion

Jenny: "Found the perfect curtains for my kitchen" Champion

Michael: "Plays the guitar & sings like a maniac" Champion *swoon*

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The girls and their sweet Daddy!

The day after my birthday Michael took us up to Pineview Reservoir
and we just swam and built sandcastles!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Say Cheese!

Most mothers (and fathers) will tell you that being a mom is no picnic. Now, when you times that by 3 children, 3 and under, soon to be 4 children, 3 and under (for a few months, at least) and when November rolls around it's still 4 children, 4 and under, which doesn't sound much better, we've left the picnic arena and graduated to the full on 5-course meal from the fanciest restaurant around. So, if it's not easy, why do my husband and I and so many other couples choose to bring children into the world? This is the lesson I feel I have been learning over the last few weeks as I've entered the last month of pregnancy. There is something so special about creating a life, I'm not only talking about creating and bringing a newborn into this world, although that in and of itself is a true miracle, I'm talking about how everyday I have the opportunity to help shape another human being into someone remarkable and the joy that comes from doing just that. For example, I was so excited when my babies learned how to walk! I would practice with them for days, weeks, and months on end and the moment they each took their first steps I was overcome with joy and accomplishment! But why? I didn't take the step for them. It is something they had to do all on our own; but, somehow I felt validated for all the work and love I put into that first step and the many steps that followed (and now, I've been feeling this same way about potty training!). I find so much joy in helping my children learn!

The hard part is knowing what to teach them and how! Recently, I watched a Conference talk called The Greatest Challenge in the World-Good Parenting by President James E. Faust. It was so good to be reminded that #1, yes, it is a challenge to be a good parent and takes constant effort, and #2, that with the Lord's help, it is possible.

Some other things that I love about being a mother are dress-ups, movie-time snuggles, watching my girls pretend (when they don't know I'm looking), mealtime conversations, reading and making up stories (my girls love being turned into butterflies that live in flowers who get so tired they have to have a nap), park trips and playgroups, swimming parties, when my girls say they are grateful for mommy & daddy during family prayers, thank you's from my Chelsea Rosie for taking her to Cherry Hill (with no prompting), my girls telling me they love me when they are in time-out, smiles, hair-dos, and the list goes on...

Here's a few pics of my loves: (being "mac & cheesy" as usual) 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Young Women's Inner/Outer Beauty Night!

Tonight was so fun with my Mia Maids! We started off the night reading the story, "The Friend I Could Have Been." I shared with them that no matter how you look what matters is how you treat other people. I then set out and showed them what I do every day for make-up (which is a lot compared to what middle/high schoolers look good doing!). I had prepared ahead of time a "goody bag" of clear lip gloss, blush and eyeshadow (triple color: browbone, crease, lid). I gave one to each of the girls and shared a few beauty tips while they opened it. Then the fun began!

I gave each girl a mini makeover from their mini makeup kit (which is all the makeup they really need) and explained why and how to put on each cosmetic item. I wish I had brought a mirror! But, it was good for each girl to see how I put it on the other girls. After the makeovers we went through a handout I made (I was so surprised I couldn't find anything like this already online so thankfully I have a Photoshop genius for a husband and he helped me piece this together):

After going through the handout I demonstrated each hairstyle on every girl. They then had the chance to try it on themselves and each other. I reminded them that I had been doing this for a long time and still had to practice, practice, practice while watching movies, with friends, on my children, everywhere. Doing hair/braids is a lot like riding a bike, once you learn it you don't have to re-learn it (or it's super fast the next time). I also told them to look up tutorials on YouTube and that I can show them again if they have questions. After the hair tutorials we talked about the importance of not comparing ourselves to others and to be grateful for each of our own individual worth and beauty. Overall, it was a really fun night and it gave me an opportunity to get to know each of the young women better. I think basic beauty tips are really useful for young women especially when some of their friends are already wearing too much makeup.

Refreshments (which we ate while we watched the makeup/hair demonstrations): A simple fruit salad (cantaloupe, green & red grapes, and strawberries) and water.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Home, Sweet, Home

We are finally moving in to our new home! After 10 months my in-laws house is finished and they have moved into their new home that is just a few blocks north of ours. We closed on their home last May and they were supposed to move out into a home they were under contract with 3 days after we moved in but as we were loading the moving trucks they got a phone call telling them that the sellers had decided not to sell. They were homeless! The endless search began and they decided to try to find a new home. After so much looking they happened upon a new development on 400 N. in Bountiful. So, although they had never dreamed of building a brand new home, that is what happened. And they couldn't be more grateful! They have their perfect home and now we have ours. For the last 10 months they have been occupying the upstairs and we the downstairs. And you know what, it wasn't all that bad. It just would've been easier with a bathroom in the basement, that is, with a newly potty-trained 3-year-old and a 4 months pregnant body of mine. Although, we can be grateful for the extra exercise.

Now, the fun begins! We are wanting to paint, revamp the laundry room, do some landscaping, and make this house our own. We've already found curtains for the kitchen and Michael got me a gorgeous chair from Pier 1 Imports (pictured below) to go in the living room:

It is a rare opportunity to live in the house you grew up in. Michael and his father have done tons of amazing wood work to this home (a custom train around the kitchen, cabinets, trim, etc.) that I am excited to keep the tradition going and finish what they started. We have plans to redo the fireplace and put wood planks on our master bedroom wall. I want to keep you posted with before and afters! It may take us years to get to all the things we want to do but I am pretty sure we are going to be here that long, plus some!! This is such a wonderful place to live and we love the people. I am so excited to fill this home (and this blog) with memories of our experiences here at our new home, sweet, home!