Sunday, May 11, 2014

To a special mother

Dear Charlie,                                                                                                            May 10, 2014

                Hello, Little One.  I want to tell you a story—it is a very special story—it is special because it is about your Mommy…

                I am so honored that your mother invited me to be with her during your birth.  I remember -walking into the delivery room and your Mommy was smiling from ear to ear.  She was smiling that distinctive “I-am-about-to-be-a-mom” smile.  Her eyes were dancing with joy and excitement!  And it was, Charlie, it was a happy time because you were on your way to her arms.

                Then, when the labor pains became too strong for smiles; your Mama relaxed, and steadied her breathing- while your Daddy steadied your Mama.  Her hand sought his when she needed support.  He whispered sweet nothings into her ear from time to time to soothe and encourage her.  And when your Mommy needed someone to lean on, as her legs failed her, your Daddy was always close by.  He could never leave the side of the woman he loves.  Charlie, theirs is a deep love; a forever love.  And the beautiful thing about love is, it grows.

                Your Mommy was patient; she labored and waited, and waited and labored.  And then Charlie, it was time for pushing, and oh did your Mama push!  She pushed with all she had, despite her exhaustion.   She was so tired, Charlie, so tired-- twelve long hours she endured-- what a strong woman she is!  And it was all for you.  They say a mother would do anything for her child, well, this is what your mother did for you.  She pressed on, never complaining, the thought of you never far from her mind.  Your mother loves you Charlie.  Remember what I said about love?  It grows.  She will continue to love you for all time.

                When they placed you on your Mommy’s chest, she beamed!  There is nothing as beautiful as the face of a new mother.  Eyes with bags under them, flush from pushing and ratted hair from the oxygen mask, only add to the beauty of her triumphant smile.  The hard work of labor, quickly forgotten because you, Charlie, were worth all of it.  I am sure she would have done it all again if it were required.

                Your mother is one of a kind, Charlie.  You are blessed to have been sent to one so exceptional.

Lots of love to both of you,

Monday, May 5, 2014

To my darling Lily Fae,

                                                                             May 5, 2014
            Another year has come and gone—and what an exciting year it has been too—now, it is your second birthday.  Two years, Lily, two YEARS.  How fickle time can be, passing quickly when it should be savored and slowly when you would prefer it to be hasty.  I cannot believe how swiftly your childhood is passing before my eyes as I try desperately to enjoy it before it is gone.
            So much has happened this past year: you finally started talking, you have a full head of hair (at last!), and your baby brother Abram was born.  Earlier this past year, your father and I were deeply concerned about your lack of verbal communication.  You were nearing 20 months and you still didn't say anything but “shoe”.  Now though, you speak all the time!  Unfortunately, more often than not I cannot understand a word that comes out your mouth.  Although there are a few that come out loud and clear like, “NO!” and “Mine.”  Depending on the situation, it either makes me giggle or annoyed how you call for me, because you say … “Mommymommymommymommymommymommymommy…” over and over again until you have my full attention.  And if my attentions slips for a moment you go at it again.  That is going to be one of the things I miss as you grow older… if you stop calling for me that way, that is.  I honestly can’t decide if I want you to stop or not.
            Maybe it is just because I am a hairdresser… but you have a full head of hair and I am so proud!  I have had to cut it twice now, and your haircut is absolutely adorable- if I do say so myself.  You make me smile Lily, because you love hair too.  Often you sneak into the bathroom to grab the baggie of rubber bands to casually bring to me so I can put your hair up.  Other times you will come out with my big purple brush, which you take to Daddy, for him to brush and brush and brush your hair. You adore your Daddy- you two have a special bond, for sure.  Sometimes, when Daddy helps you get dressed, you come out wearing mismatched clothes topped with lop-sided piggytails and you grin from ear to ear while holding Daddy’s hand.  And the sight of it makes me so happy I don’t have the heart to straighten you out.
            I remember, it was early, early in the morning when Grandma woke you and Samuel to be there for the birth of baby Abram.  As his dark head started crowning you confidently stated, “Poop!  Poop.”  And oh how we laughed, for what you thought was poop, was most certainly not.  Once Abram slipped out you were immediately as close as you could possibly be.  You touched him once and he was “sticky!” so you didn’t touch him again, but oh how you adored him.  Your “Bebe” was here; you loved him and mothered him from the very beginning.  You are going to be a great mother someday, darling, because you know how to love with your whole heart.  Stay that way Lily.  Don’t forget how to love- especially yourself.  Take pride in the things that make you unique—embrace them—for you are a daughter of God and He doesn’t make mistakes.  He sent you here to Daddy and I, and we thank Him every day for you.  Our family wouldn’t be complete without you.
            You know, when I was a young girl I believed in forever families, but it wasn’t until I married your father and we started our own family that I knew.  I don’t ever want to be anywhere without your father.  I love him so.  What a happy day it will be when you are sealed to the man you choose to love, in the temple.  Beginning your very own forever family.  I am looking forward to that day- but for now, I need you to be my Little Miss for a little longer.  We have a lot to learn together still, you and I.  I love you my sweet Lily.
Happy birthday my wee darling!!
Lots of love,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Abram's Blessing Day

April 13, 2014

Mommy and Daddy:

Nana and Papa:

Grandma and Grandpa:

Funny story about Abram's blessing suit . . .
I made Abram's blessing suit from scratch, like, I made up the pattern and everything.  Well, I thought I made it "too big" and I was purposefully trying to do so.  When I had completed everything but hemming the pants and sleeves, my mom suggested we should try it on him.  (And it was a good thing we did too!)  His blessing outfit fit him like a glove- we had almost cut both the pants and sleeves WAY too short, because we were positive they were going to be way too long.  Also, we had to schedule his blessing for the next Sunday because he would have outgrown his blessing suit if we had waited any longer.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Great-grandbaby #100!

Last year, my Grandma and Grandpa were only a couple of grand-babies away from having 100 great-grandchildren.  (Look at those two love birds!)

It kinda became a competition to see who would win the badge of honor for producing the one hundredth great grandchild.  Well, I am proud to introduce you all to the winner. . .

Isn't he adorable?!?!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Number Four

AJ and I have an ironic, reoccurring number in our life together, and that number is four

We first met on August 4th, at a singles ward FHE.
It took AJ less than a week—four days to be exact—to convince me that I liked him better than the missionary I had been writing.
On October 4th AJ proposed to me on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Sometime while AJ and I were dating we noticed-- to our astonishment-- that we were exactly 4 years, 4 months and 4 days apart in age.
December 4th we were sealed in the Mesa Arizona temple- 4 months to the day after we met.
Soon after we were married, we learned we were expecting, our due date … September 4th.
Unfortunately, like 95% of babies, Samuel didn’t come on his due date, he came four days early instead.
At the end of my pregnancy with Lily, we were hoping she would come four days early too- so she would be born in April, the fourth month.
However, she was born on May 5th, four days late.  (The LONGEST days of my life!)
Abram’s claim to fame here is that he isn’t actually our third child, he is our fourth, and he was born in 2014.  (Maybe that is stretching it a bit?)
Bonus:  I was pregnant with our fourth child on our 4th anniversary, I can honestly say I never thought that was gonna happen.  Four babies in four years?!  That is kind of impressive.

                Well, that about sums it up for now.  I am interested to see where the number 4 inserts itself into our life in the future.

I am not going to lie, I will be looking for it. *Wink, wink*

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Let it go, Lily!!

Lily is starting to have favorites!  (I think it is just the cutest thing when little kids start picking favorites.)  Her favorite movie is Wreck-it-Ralph, her favorite snack is cheese, her favorite shoes are her brown boots and her favorite song is "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen.  She sings it all the time, and the moment she hears the music come on she starts belting out, "LET IT GO!!"

Friday, February 28, 2014

15 more days!! . . .

38 weeks
 Miss Lily wanted a tummy picture too.

And here are all of our tummies!

So far, Lily's guess date is the only one that has come and gone- she guess the 26th.  If you haven't made a guess yet there is still time!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Introducing: Little Hands Photography

Do you ever put your SD card into your computer to get some pictures off it, and find a whole slew of pictures you don't remember taking?

And then you think to yourself, there is no way I could have taken these because I don't fit under the table.

All at once you feel a little ashamed, because the artistic quality of these unknown photos far exceeds your own.

The movement is just fascinating-- it really captures your attention-- and you almost feel . . . lost in the photograph.

The subject matter is so raw and real, not to mention creatively placed- every image is truly a unique one. 

You also realize, this photographer has an exceptional talent for capturing moments in time, the beauty of a second that will never be again.

Whether the shot taken was high or low, in the hands of this talented artist, something exceptional is discovered.

For instance, something as ordinary as a door jam, becomes abstract and yet, still it's pleasing to the eye.

Or something as boringly dry as a head shot.

Lastly, this photographer understands the importance of lighting-- lighting can really make or break a photo-- natural light and artificial light both have their own beauty.

I would like to personally thank the talent behind Little Hands Photography for sharing his knowledge and work with me- I love you Mr. Samuel!!  Don't stop seeing the beauty in everything you see.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

23 days left . . .

Or 37 weeks, folks!  
“It’s an established fact. Some women can’t stand being pregnant, getting big and bloated, and hauling around a giant stomach, and some women, for reasons probably understood by Darwin, love it.”- Rich Cohen
(I am one of those women, for sure- I love being pregnant.)

“There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.”
- Pamela S. Nadav

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Beast

Back at the beginning of this year, my Mom bought Lily a brand new Beauty and the Beast coloring book,

because Lily loves to color.

As a result of Lily’s love of coloring, she colors A LOT, so of course she has a plethora of coloring books, and crayons, and markers and pencils … etc., to switch things up.  Recently, Lily asked me if she could “olo” (color), so I asked her which book she wanted.  She chose Beauty and the Beast then danced over to her seat at the table, while I gathered up a handful of coloring utensils for her.  I went back to my motherly duties in the kitchen—I have to stay close in case Lily decides to “olo” on things she shouldn’t-- while Lily chattered and babbled happily to herself.

Suddenly there was a pause, I turned and looked at her, she met my eyes then pointed at the page she was coloring on and said in a mysterious tone,

“Uh oh!  The Beast.”

Then she turn to the next page and repeated, very seriously, “Uh oh!  The Beast.”  Over and over, until she had pointed out every picture of the Beast in her coloring book.  Then, just as suddenly, she went right back to her coloring without any more mention of … The Beast.

Lily was "olo"-ing . . . on her face.

Sometimes it is just easier to carry your crayons in your onesie instead of your hands.

Monday, February 17, 2014

More Samuel Quotes

"Awwww!  It's lockeded.  We are stuck in here forever."  Said as he was trying to open the front door.  8/23/13

"Hey.  That's yucky.  Don't do that, that's yucky." About Mommy and Daddy kissing. 8/26/13

Let's read scriptures!"
"Well, what are we going to do?"
"I know what!! ...  These are my muscles." 8/26/13

"You want some cereal Samuel?"
"No!  These are not, these are not cereal.  These are FRUIT LOOPS."  (with 'duh' expression)  8/30/13

Spoken to Mommy:
"Look.  My tummy is getting really big- just like yours!" 9/17/13

While rubbing Daddy's tummy ...
"Is there a baby in your tummy too?"  9/18/13

"No, no, no.  Not those band-aids-- those are "spensive"-- Lightning McQueen band-aids."  9/30/13

"Can I walk with mine band-aids?  WOW!  Yeah.  I can walk."  (The band-aids were on his hands.)  9/30/13

"I was thinking about we were needing to watch a movie."  10/21/13

Mommy: "Samuel.  What do you think we should name the baby?"
*long pause*
Samuel:  "SANTA CLAUS!!"  10/24/13

Thursday, February 13, 2014

30 more days . . .

My view right now . . .

We also made a countdown to baby Abram, and everyone put their guesses on it.
Samuel wanted me to put Abram's guess on the calender too; I told him I didn't know Abram's guess but I bet Abram is going to guess the right day.  Ha ha ha.

What day do you think baby Abram will come?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We love Pete the Cat

very BIG, "thank you" to Amanda and Jake for showing these to us- we LOVE them!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Soccer Samuel - Little Rascal Kickers

Somewhat on a whim—we learned about the little league ONE hour before the first practice-- AJ and I decided to sign Samuel up for soccer.  The very first practice was on January 30th and we were 15 minutes late, so we missed the majority of practice time- whoops!  Samuel’s first game was on February 1st, and he played pretty well after having 10 minutes of exposure to the game of soccer . . . two days beforehand.

"That way coach!!!"
Samuel was assigned to the yellow team, and the first thing the coach went over was which way to run the ball.  The coach asked heartily, “Which way are we going team?!”  And all the players, except Samuel, responded-- just as enthusiastic-- “That way!!!” while pointing at the opposite goal.  Samuel, however, was looking in the direction everyone was pointing with a look that said, “Why are we going that way?  There are a lot of ways to go.”  The coach repeated the question, and the kids repeated the answer, Samuel included in spite of his confusion.  By the third time coach asked the question Samuel knew where to point although he was clueless as to why they were running that way. 

In a whir the game started, and all the kids, save my dear Samuel, were after the ball!  Kicking it this way, and that, all over the field, while Samuel stood- watching.  Suddenly he ran over to us, and explained in his innocent way, he would play with his soccer ball because there was no way he was going to get a chance to play with that one.  It was a struggle to clarify why he couldn't take his ball onto the field, because there is only supposed to be one ball.  We managed to convince him to try to kick “the” ball.  Then when he tried and missed he burst into tears and ran straight into Daddy’s arms.  This, is NOT a fun game, because they aren't taking turns.

I guess I will try again.

It took a lot of reassuring words and plenty of hugs to urge Samuel back onto the soccer field.  This time he was running after the pack of little athletes, still a slightly unsure.  Right away, he got a few opportunities to kick the ball so he perked up and ran a little faster, a wee grin on his face.  Until one of the blue team members scored a goal . . . Samuel BURST into tears, turned toward us and yelled, “WE LOST THE GAME!!!”  (Insert water works and a lot of gentle encouraging, all the while trying not to crack into a belly laugh.)    After Daddy made it clear that the whole point of the game was to kick the ball in the goal, Samuel decided it wasn't so devastating, and went back to playing.

Ok.  This isn't so bad after all.

Thankfully, that was our last waterfall outburst, and Samuel enjoyed himself for the last half of the game.  He kicked the ball hard into the legs of another player which made the little boy fall flat on his face.  In the heat of the game, Samuel ran off without helping him up or anything- oh, kids.  Children make me laugh because whatever direction they are coming at the ball, is the direction they are going to kick it.  So, Samuel was kicking the ball whatever direction he was facing, without thought.  Later in the game, he ran up to the ball and stopped, because if he kicked it, it would go towards his goal.  Samuel could see the problem, he just didn't solve it before another player came and stole the ball.

I don't want to be the goalie anymore.

Samuel also had the chance to be the goalie for a short while.  He stood back, inside the goal and watched the ball roll right by him, without so much as twitching a muscle.  Next he was down inside the goal facing the backwards, so he couldn’t even see the other players or the field.  Then, randomly, he decided he was done being the goalie and he took off to the other side of the field where the action was.  *Giggle* AJ and I greatly enjoyed watching our little boy’s first soccer game.  He is a champ! 

Soccer Samuel!

We are so looking forward to this season, and I believe Samuel is going to make some great improvement while having a fabulous time.

Oh!  The sun is bright.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Family pictures with the Rasmussen's (2014)

Do I even need to say who our fabulous photographer is?!

Thank you, thank you Impact Photography for your time and talent.
We are downright delighted with our newest family photos!

Find out more about Impact Photography Group by searching them on Facebook.
Or check out their website at

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Our visit to the Gilbert Temple

First and foremost, if you have not visited the Gilbert LDS temple yet . . .
you NEED to go!

Here is the website for making reservations:

If you can’t find a reservation time or day that will work for you that is OKAY.   Go anyway- there is a stand-by line, and you will still get in to see the temple.

Samuel loved the "baptize water" which being translated is the baptismal font.
Lily loved the cows- she kept mooing at them.
(The baptismal font sits on a sculpture of twelve oxen.)

Outside, the “bubbles”--fountain-- was a huge hit for Lily, she wanted to splash n’ play in the water.

Later, Samuel told us, being in the temple made his heart happy.
I am thankful he can recognize the peaceful feelings the temple has to offer.