Monday, February 20, 2017

Dear Lola & Ellie - 8th Birthday Letters

Eight, 8, Ate … EIGHT… my little girls have turned into big girls right before my eyes… I have tried not to blink, so I didn’t miss one moment, but that was impossible.

Girls, when I think back to some of my earliest memories, the year that your memories start to become clear and vivid, it was my second grade school year. Thinking about this makes me so happy that the memories you are making now will be with you forever, but also a little weary. Weary in that,  … ugg… we have done so much cool stuff and your dad and I have put so much effort into the last 8 years, the thought of you both not remembering much makes me sad. Yes, this is why I take so  many pictures, to prove to you that believe-it-or-not there was a day (way back when) when I had energy and all of me was for both of you. But also weary for the opposite reason. That … AHH… you are going to remember everything from this point forward. Man this is a lot of responsibility. I better be on my toes, be the women I want you to emulate and be ever more intentional and purposeful with my words, actions, and examples. Give even more effort (if that is possible) to making your childhood worthy of remembering. Lola and Ellie, I ask in advance for your forgiveness.  For I am not perfect, I am still learning how to parent, and to be honest - I am already exhausted- in a good way, but exhausted nonetheless.  I believe one day when you look back at this blog or our photos and memories books you might understand how much I love you, but even more so I hope that my love for you both is felt in your hearts by my actions, efforts (even the failed ones), and the memories that will start to be imprinted permanently into your mind. 


You have blossomed into a beautiful young woman this year. You have this composure about you that is so refined. How can I explain it … you pay attention to the details in everything. From how your jewelry matches your outfits, and how your hair looks better this way or that way with each changing mood, to how your room is set up and cleaned.

This year, I have started to see a little bit of me in you. You are planner and a person who always follows through. If you want something, you make a plan to get it and you don’t let anyone stop you. When you accomplish what it was – because you always do somehow- you don’t brag about it, it just is what it is. It had to be done. Basically you are intentional and purposeful with you actions, appearance, and environment.

You have become very assertive with your free time. You know when to say no. You yourself have made such wise decisions; turning down sleepovers, lessons, and treats because you listen to yourself and your body. I LOVE that about you. You love softball, being at home, and playing “teacher.” You love organizing, designing and giving your family a fashion show.

The older you get the more you are revealing your love language. You love language is definitely time and gifts. You love alone time with us, love playing games with us, you love shopping and receiving special gifts.


You are kind.

You are content.

You are wise.

You are worthy.

You are very much loved.

Happy 8th birthday - mom


You have gained such a personality and confidence this year. You are so funny, but even more so you like to make others laugh by being funny. You love the attention, but at the same time when it comes to showcasing your talents like singing or playing the guitar, you are so shy.

When I watch you with your friends I notice you as leader. They look to you. They are entertained by you. I hope your dad and I can guide that personality trait in the right direction, where you will be able lead gracefully, but also be okay when others do not follow. 

You love theatre and love softball. Playing softball games is so exciting for you. You have an adventurous spirit, but at times are timid to try things that scare you a bit. You play it safe.  It might be because you are intelligent beyond your years and realize the risk involved. You love movies and watching them with your dad. You love creating in your playroom and playing “house” with your dolls.

You too have reviled your love language a bit more as you get older. Your love language is touch and time. You love being cuddled, massaged, held, tickled, wrestled with. Good thing because I love tickling and tackling you. I believe that is how you feel loved.  It is also the reason you ride on Daddy’s lap any chance you get. You feel love through being close.


You are funny.

You are sweet.

You are intelligent.

You are worthy.

You are very much loved.

Happy 8th Birthday -mom

*** The girls, of course can read now... and they recently have been looking at my blog books. They came across past birthday letters I wrote to them and read them. One time I saw Lola reading them and she was crying. I asked why she was crying and she couldn't really tell me... it was one of the sweetest moments. I bring this up, because they asked me this year if they could read their birthday letters. This, alone, makes my heart happy.***

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Age 8 birthday interviews

Lola- age eight birthday interview:

 Ellie- age eight birthday interview:

Fun times in January

January was busy but 2017 started out with some fun too! 

I spent some time with Amy learning how to use my new insta pot! Always fun to cook with a friend. 

 On a sad note: my hubby- Tony is absolutely devastated that his team, his fun, his hobby- is gone. I can't quite put into words how sad he is... it really is a loss for him. When I came home from work one day Tony has removed all of his charger gear from his closet and has vowed not to wear it. Truly it makes him sick. In Tony's condition this is one thing - His Chargers- that he could truly share with his girls. They were starting to be such big fans.  

He shared that it was Thursday when the doctors told him he would paralyzed for life. Friday he was a bit bummed, but come Saturday all eh could think about the Chargers home opener. 1994 the charger had a fantastic season- They went to the Super Bowl that year. It was the Chargers Tony said that got him through the trenches, the read, and the realization that he would never walk again. He even got invited to watch a game field side during this time.  It was a good distraction, the excitement, and the thing to look forward too as he learned how to life his life paralyzed. 
Charger football was a part of him. 

 January gave us some storms, so one night when Ellie was at theatre class Lola and I filled sand bags to protest our back yard.  She was so helpful and it was her pleasure to do it. 

This cute girl is loving theatre... 
she just looked so cute as I dropped her off at theatre class I has to snap a picture. 

Dress up like your favorite book character day at school. 
Lola was Amelia Bedelia and Ellie was Niki Maxwell from Dork Diaries. 

The moments you get one kid to your self. It is happening more often these days as the girls are into different activities and have different friends. Ellie and I got to share coffee and reading time together!

The Gator Run! 

 This girl and her talent. I love hearing her play and listening to her sing. She's got something! I look forward to see her grow musically. 

Cotton Candy Machine! 
 Baby Rosy, got baptized at the mission. Lola and Ellie were so happy to attend this service and help hold baby Rosy at the reception. 

Another opportunity for alone time with just one of them. 
Lola could not have been happier that we got to eat in the Hodads BUS!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Happy New Year - From Bend, OR

 OMG- We were so excited to finally make it to Uncle Mark and Auntie Missi's new home! 
These two ladies were beside themselves and so cute in their winter coats if I do say so myself!
 I had to snap this shot of them, right after they got off the small jet and took the stairs off a plane for the first time. LOVE the Fur!
After squeezing everyone so tight (can I say our airport greeting was amazing), we could not wait to get out and play in the snow! 
  Mount Bachelor here we come! 

We played, seeded, and had a few snow ball fights.

 These girls have no fear... check this out!

 (yep, those are Lola's legs in the air)

 What a fall... they got right back on the saddle.

I missed this guy! My Bro

Bend is a cool place, to grab some pizza and beer. There were lots of cute Breweries! 

During down time at home there was a lot of cousin love. 

On our first morning there we woke up to a beautiful snow fall! Amazing!

 Lola loved the snow flaked in her hair!

 Mark and I drank coffee and watched those crazy kids...

 Breakfast, I loved our lazy morning. It's kind of what the holidays are all about. 

The next day we went to this awesome open air ice skating rink. We let the kiddo go have fun while Missi and I drank tea by the fire. (Honestly going around in circles at a rink makes me dizzy now... I'm getting old). 

Hiking the Dechutes river. 

 We had our own little Christmas together. The cousins had a blast. 

 Very late that night Matt, Mo, Athena, and Haven joined us.
 We woke up to know 7 out of the 9 total cousins  playing Pie in the face. 

All of us (except Matt who took the pic)

I love this picture for so many reasons. 
(Ellie -7, Athena-13, Haven-11, Aiden-10, Sydney-3, Lola-7, Liam -6)

 All bundled up and time to take the older cousins sledding. 

 We are ready for round two and so much more fun! 

Love this guy! 

The warming house.
Matt brought out his big camera for some fun shots... though I didn't get all of them. 

 Love this picture... Aiden

 So Sweet!

 The Sister-In-Laws

Back and the house and time to start bringing in the New Year! Lemon drops are a must!

  We all had so much fun cooking together and making some pretty cool cocktails. 

 Can I say Left, Center, Right... so much fun! 

 Before the ball dropped we headed outside to roast up some stores. 

 Happy New Year 2017

 Though we missed daddy and Shaun's family,  it was such a fun way to bring in the New Year. We all never get enough time together so when we do it's always a blast. These moments are so precious and the cousins truly love each other and can't get enough. 

Our flight left early the following morning (I should say was scheduled to leave early - we were delayed 4 hours out of Bend and then of course missed connecting flights). Needless to say we traveled all day to get home - oh yeah and Ellie was sick as a dog. I know I say it everytime I blog about trips, but these girls are the best travelers. Ellie is throwing up, I'm running off two hours of sleep and Lola she's just picking up the pieces at every turn.  

We made it home and are so glad we went and can't wait to go back again this summer. 

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