Wednesday, April 22, 2015

To the Zoo

Yesterday I woke up with an excess of energy (amazing) and Ellie woke up with a desire in her heart to be outside all day, shocker. Right after she ate breakfast she proceeded to undress herself, or as well as she could at least. Thank goodness she hasn't mastered the art of taking off her clothes yet. Once she does I fear we'll have a nudist in our midst. This is about as far as she got. Those dang sleeves can be so frustrating!


After we were dressed for the day she was begging to go outside. Sadly, we have the most boring back yard on the planet, so she never wants to stay back there. She had been playing with some mixing bowls the night before and they turned out to be (kind of) the perfect make-shift water table. Kind of. She was able to empty the bowls about every 5 minutes, but the 45 minutes of entertainment was worth it. Worth it enough actually that I found a cheap water table online that will hopefully be here right in time for it to rain this weekend, dang it.


After thoroughly saturating herself, we stripped her down and put her for a nap. Just as I was wondering what in the heck we were going to do with the rest of our day, my friend Heidi texted and asked if we wanted to go to the zoo. Thank heavens! A combo of animals, her buddy Holden, and all the outside she could dream of, what more could this Ellie bean ask for?

We were magically able to fit 3 car seats in the back seat of Heidi's truck. It was wonderful. We thought our days of driving together were over for a while. Sadly, it'll end again in September when our next one comes. I guess it will be time to get a bigger vehicle, right j.rue :)


We made it there with hardly and fuss, of course the second that we pulled into the parking lot all 3 kids read each other's minds and decided to start whining at the top of their lungs. We couldn't get them out and into their strollers fast enough. Once they were all sunblocked and hatted up, we were ready to go. Ellie is such a fly girl.


I really just need to get her one of those animal backpack leashes because she was out of her stroller for a majority of the afternoon, and happy about it. It's just so nice to have your own personal pack mule that's not you, the mother. Ellie loved running around, and away from me through out the day. I relished in the moments when she would pause and hop on some sort of animal sculpture. She could have run around that place until the sun went down.


One of her favorite parts was watching the elephants. I say that because that's probably the longest she stopped to look at anything. We caught them doing tricks and she thought that was pretty neat, along with the sucker Heidi's mom had given her. 




Oh these two, that have the most interesting love/hate relationship. Holden loves to torment Ellie and Ellie loves to tattle on him by using her highest pitched squeal. She secretly loves it, I'm sure. We hit up the carousels next. You won't be able to tell by the pictures that Ellie loved it, but she did. She hopped animals about 10 times before we actually started. I wish she would show just the tiniest bit of emotion on new experiences, but like always, nothing.




 We finished up the trip with big soft serve cones and a train ride. Ellie showed more emotion for the ice cream. We headed home and two out of the three napped. Can I say again how much more fun driving together is? Driving separate removes the best conversations from the mix. Once we got home I threw together dinner while Ellie played with her water bowls again and then we finished off the night with a nice bath (for Ellie) and a later than usual bed time. J.rue's been working late this week and Ellie starts asking about him around 5:30 or so. It makes for a longer evening, but she sure is glad when daddy comes home. So am I.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Everyday



While I'm waiting for our rice to cook and watching Jane the Virgin (do you watch it? I kind of love it. Waaaay different than what I thought it was going to be!), I figure I might as well squeeze in a quick blog post. It's amazing how when you start doing something everyday, that something gets so much easier. About a month before Ellie turned one, I was reading The Happiness Project blog she had the most simple blog post about how if you want to develop a habit plan on doing it every day, like exercising, tidying up, etc. At the moment I was on a little weight loss journey and really took it to heart. It resulted in a 20+ lbs. weight loss so after it proved it's worth I decided to start implementing it into other aspects of our lives.

As hard as I try, I've never been able to nail down a solid routine with Ellie and before it would drive me insane. Our days were always unpredictable and we could have no activities going on and I would still end the day feeling like I got nothing done. I was just overwhelmed with life in general. Instead of a set routine, which at least in our reality will never be, I've tried to do certain things every day, and it's totally worked. I can even remember the days when I give Ellie a bath. Sometimes, I seriously couldn't remember. Haha oh I fall short in so many areas. Stinky cute babies are one of them.

One of my favorite things, that I've actually just been doing for about a week, is getting up early, around 6:30, to get a few things done before Ellie wakes up. I had read another blog post (bless you blogs and internet ideas) written by a mother of a toddler and twins (!!). She wakes up every morning at 6 to get what she calls her "farm chores" done. She talked about how her day went so much more smoothly by doing these few things before her kids started their day. So of course, I'm obsessed with the idea. I'm still working on getting up at 6, it's rough, and I used to do it every day!

Since I only have about 25-35 minutes before Ellie wakes up I'm a little rushed but so far every morning I've been able to get the bed made, dishwasher unloaded, start a load of laundry, start breakfast, and get my workout clothes on or shower for the day if it's an off day for the gym. When I can finally get my booty out of bed at 6 I plan on getting in some good prayer and scripture time in, baby steps. Ever since I've started doing this my house stays cleaner. Since I'm keeping up on the basics I'm more motivated to do the heavier cleaning, like mopping the floors every Monday (ugh). I'm also able to get more packing and purging done each day because I' able to spend less time cleaning up little messes that had been accumulating since the night before. I'm staying up on my laundry better than ever before because I can totally handle folding and putting away one load of clothes a day, and it usually gets done by noon! I'm making it to the gym almost everyday again just because I'm already dressed and ready to go. Plus, weekends are much more enjoyable.

Luckily enough, having a solid list of morning "farm chores" has lead to an easy list of evening "farm chores". These include a 10 minute tidy up, taking meat to defrost for the next day's dinner, loading and running the dishwasher, taking a load of laundry down to the laundry room, laying out mind and Ellie's clothes, and then lots of time for guilt free relaxing. I also take about 10 minutes to make a to-do list for the next day and updating my planner, which brings me way more joy that I'd like to admit. I'm a list girl to the core.

Another thing that has helped my life organization is weekly tasks that give my week a route. On Mondays I don't plan on going anywhere, no one seems to be doing anything anyway. That's when I get my bigger maintenance cleaning done (so nice to have that done at the beginning of the week!), Tuesday I focus on a specific room or area of the house and spend 15-30 minutes on a few deep cleaning projects, Wednesdays are for grocery shopping and errand running, this is also a day off from the gym that I kind of love a little too much. Thursday is a clean out day; car, fridge, purse, etc., with any maintenance or random projects that need to be done. We make it light towards the end of the week. On Friday, again, no specific cleaning besides the farm chores, and a lovely day it is! Through out the week we make it out for fun outings like playgroup, lots and lots of park time, or other outings with friends, I need my friends as much as Ellie needs to be outside. I'm lucky to have such good ones.

Because of these simple everyday habits I've been able to take some "me" time during Ellie's naps and after she gets to bed, which I never felt okay about before. I'm reading, blogging, watching studio 5, napping, and painting my nails more than I eve have been able to before. There always will be some things to do, but since so much has already been done I can justify it, and easily at that. And while Ellie is awake, we're playing and reading so much more, which feeds my mama soul to no end. I make dinner almost every night and know what I'm making a week in advance. I'm also driving J.rue less insane because I don't have a running list of things that I need to do instead of hanging out with him in the evenings. You guys, I'm happy. So happy!

As I'm reading through this, it's probably the most boring blog post in all blog posts history and I almost hope that no one made it through to the end. But, I love having a record of this, of a time in my life when I feel good about myself, my mothering, my home, and my life in general. I don't get (as) caught up in the comparison game, I feel like I am & have enough. Isn't it crazy how much doing a few things every day can make such a difference?

Tomorrow I'll get back to the regularly scheduled Ellie photos, but today, this needed to happen. And here's one of Ellie just because I have to.


Monday, April 20, 2015

The Weekend! The Weekend!

This weekend (like all other weekends) flew by. We geared up for some house projects and got to have some lovely family time to top it off. Friday night we laid low to prep for our busy Saturday. I would go insane if we did that every weekend, but it was nice to eat a slow dinner, play, and then clean up at a decent hour.

We woke up early on Saturday morning (thanks to our cutest alarm clock, Ellie) and had some snuggles before we had to start the day. J.rue is the best and will go and get Ellie out of bed. He's done it since day one. It doesn't sound like a huge deal but Ellie is in the basement, and walking down the stair while caught in a mist of sleep is pretty ghastly, at least to me.


After that, j.rue was off to Lowe's to collect project supplies and Ellie and I took a stab at making our first batch of sour dough pancakes (they were amahzing, thanks Melinda!) and then we were off to the gym.

It seems like we've been working on a never ending list of house projects. Truth be told, we're getting ready to list our house. But I don't like to talk about it because it makes me so sad to think about leaving our first home, the best ward, and some really really really good friends. I don't know if any other neighborhood could top ours, really and truly. So, Saturday's project was redoing the cement. The walkway to our house was gnarly. I'm not even kidding. Basically, the biggest chin zit ever. See?


Are we glad that no one has died coming to visit us? Yes, yes we are. Lucky for us, j.rue's brother James came to help fix things up. Between the two of them, they got that cement looking nice and pretty. Thank goodness for willing family. We would be sunk without them.




It was a lot of work that I was (truthfully) thankful that I could opt out. While the boys were sweating it out outside, Ellie and I were sorting, throwing, and organizing our laundry room and office, the inside chin zits of our home. We finally go the laundry room looking nice (except for our mountain of towels. When did we get SO many towels?) and orderly, the office still has some major work to be done, but we'll get there. 

Once we packed up some of our stuff, Ellie was just begging to go "side" with dadeeee! So I happily obliged. She spent the next hour or so running up and down the sidewalk. She has a path she likes to stick to and if she can escape my grasp she's off and running.



Her other favorite activity is playing in the car. She asks for the "teyes" very matter-of-factly, grabs my hands and walks me out to the car over to the drivers side. She then proceeds to stick the key in the lock and I unlock the car for her (it's quite the team effort) and then asks to "pease" be lifted into the drivers seat. Once I set her down (sans keys) and roll down all the window she promptly reminds me to close the door by pointing and saying "door". Girl keeps her verbal cues simple. Most of the time I'll hunker down into the passenger seat and scroll thru IG, but today it gave me the freedom to help j.rue clean up the concrete mess without having a heart attack every time she would dart off on a different running adventure. Heaven help me when it gets to warm to play in the car.



We spent the evening taking a load of stuff up to James & Melinda's to store and had a fancy dinner of pizza and ice cream bars. Ellie got to end the evening playing with her two cousins Boopy and Kaka (Brooklym & Kendall) and the rest of us got to relax and chat.

I went to bed that night anticipating church the next day. Why? Ellie's first day of nursery! I've been waiting for this moment since she was, oh, 11 months old. I put her in her prettiest dress and took extra time to do her hair so of course we were running later than I wanted to be. I was still determined to take a picture. I did end up getting a good one, but not before this I caught this gem:


Doesn't she look like she's off to her first day of Young Women's rather than nursery? Ugh. Here was the blue ribbon shot that made it worth it, cute little stinker.


We walked to church and she was the first one to get to nursery. The sweet nursery leaders were there waiting for her and even knew her name. I loved that. There was a brief second that I was a tiny bit sad that she was so old, but those thoughts were quickly squashed once we entered the church and she took off in a sprint. She beat me to nursery and before I could even say "bye, love you!" She was in nursery and loving life. I haven't had such a blissful 2 hours of church in forever. Still, I was so excited to pick her up. She ran right out to me with the biggest grin and the best bear hug ever, she still loved me thank goodness. She cried a little about 20 minutes in but I'm pretty sure they distracted her in 2 minutes with food, or a baby, or something else that she loves almost more than anything else. I even got to bring home a picture that she colored with her name on it. I'm keeping. Forever.

That afternoon we got to go to Ciara's (a cousin on J.rue's side) homecoming. We loved listening to her speak and I know she was the best missionary. Ellie didn't get to sit by her cousins, so she spent half the meeting trying to get Brooklyn's attention, but we made it through. She was so happy to see her after sacrament meeting that they had to dance and then hold her hand as much as possible. Oh she adores her Brookie Jayde.



After the meeting we went back to Ciara's home and ate delicious food and visited with family that we don't get to see enough. Oh and I ate waaay too many desserts, but you know, I'm pregnant. We love you Ciara and we're so happy you're home!


Once we made the trek home we took a moment to admire j.rue's handy cement work. Look how pretty!


The rest of the evening was spent watching Curious George, we watch so much Curious George, and then J.rue had to retreat to the office to work and I spent the evening cleaning up. Does it seem like I'm always cleaning up? I think I am. Sigh.

Counting down the days until the next weekend...6.5!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Baby Rue #2

We're transitioning from a party of 3 to a party of 4 and evening the family score with a little baby boy! I'm due September 25th, the day before j.rue's birthday. If he decides to come the same way his sister did, he'll be born on his daddy's birthday. We're so excited to be adding to our family and to see Ellie transition into big sisterhood. It's honestly the thing that I'm most excited for, the moment they meet, the first kiss she gives him, and hearing her say love you {insert name here once we decide}. How wonderful will that be?


As far as symptoms for the past 4 months, my pregnancies have been similar. I'm nauseated from exactly 6-13 weeks, which is far too long if you ask me. I'm exhausted and so far I haven't gotten any of my energy back in the second trimester. I'm just planning on being tired until the baby learns to sleep through the night like last time. I do feel like I started showing sooner so I was convinced I was going to be huge by this point, but it seems like things quickly evened out. Luckily. Unlike last time I was exercising before, but it's definitely been put on hold. I'm gradually easing back into it, but it's amazing how quickly you can loose it. Dang you nausea. Because I had been working out before the weight definitely came on more quickly than last time, but I'm trying my darndest to not let it get to me too much. I mean I'm still shoveling in the ramen, cold cereal, and salt and vinegar chips, so you know. I give into the cravings. Here's a 1st and 2nd pregnancy comparison. It's amazing that I actually had a matching picture. I was not good at documenting with Ellie. I should have just done monthly like I'm going to do with this one. Much easier. Can I also just say that I loathe this pictures. I'm not good at the angles and I always look tired. It's for records sake (repeats over and over again...)


The biggest difference about this pregnancy is how quickly it's flying by. This makes me happy and sad. I love that it's going by without even thinking about it. I'm 17 weeks today and how am I almost half way done?! Every time Friday goes around I'm in awe that another week has come and gone so easily. The first 8 weeks seemed to take forever, but I think I just like getting past that point. I'm sad because I know my one of one time with Ellie is coming to an end. I think she knows too because her cuddliness has increased by about 1000% in the last 2 months. She loves to poke my general stomach area and say "bebe". Oh how will I love another child as much as her? I know my heart will make room but I know it's one of those things that I won't even be able to begin to understand until this babe joins us in September.


I really do wonder how Ellie will be with a new baby in the beginning. I have high hopes because of her love for babies in general. She loves pointing out their tiny baby parts and squealing "soooo cuuuute!" Because of this, I think we have a fighting chance. I know she'll miss the one on one time, but I know she'll adjust quickly. I just have to remind myself that the difference between 18 months and 2 years is huge. Yes, they will be 2 weeks short of 2 years apart. I'm going to have to get creative with her, especially over the winter...you know, considering she doesn't like the snow. Little brother is going to have to learn how to travel well, and quickly because his sister never stops. Isn't it funny how many worries come to mind when you have a new babe on the way? It would keep me up at night if I didn't have my trusty 1/2 unisom. There are so many things that can go wrong before they even get here, and then there here and well...you have even less control. Babies really are your heart walking on the outside of your body. But when I get too overwhelmed with fear I just remember that whoever is meant to join our family will and our family will be perfect in it's own little way.


We can't wait to meet you little one! You are already so loved.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ellie Lately

Our little Eleanor Bean Blythe is 18 months old! I can't believe it. I'm devastated and over the moon all at the same time. She's an amazing little human, seriously the coolest. I'm sure I'm biased, but that's what moms are for, right? I'm most definitely her biggest fan. There's bunch of cute and some not so cute things that I need to remember so list form it is!


At 18 months Ellie Bean:
- must be sitting on my lap/stomach when we're watching movies or shows. Not next to me, not on j.rue's spot on the bed, right on my lap. She's gotten a million times more cuddly than she's ever been. I wonder if she knows her world is about to be rocked in April.


- along the lines of TV watching, she's a Frozen fanatic. We have the DVD upstairs on our bedroom TV, the blu ray in the basement and a digital copy on my ipad and phone. Her first string of words was "let it go".

- When she wants me to pick her up while I busy cleaning, making dinner, etc. she kisses my leg over and over again. She knows how to work me over.

- She still loves her babies and stuffed animals with all of her heart. Nothing else reigns superior. Nothing.


- She's learned how to point her finger and say "no, no,no". To the dogs, her babies, birdies, and even me. It's lovely.

- She loves all animals and is always pointing out birdies and begs to go and see the "mamas" (llamas) every few days. She loves feeding them carrots.


- She recognizes herself in pictures when we ask her who 'that' is. She responds with Eyee and a huge grin on her face.

- Her favorite foods to eat are string cheese, any kind of dink (drink), cereal, green beans, bananas, and cookies (which include crackers, donuts, cake, and any other sweet), and snacks (which are specifically fruit snacks).

- She loves bath time and bubbles, but loathes water in her face while I'm rinsing her hair.


- Little lady has a big thing for shoes. She's always making sure she and I both have a good pair on. Most of the time she insists that I wear my Nikes  everywhere we go. That usually doesn't fly.

- She runs faster than I do. If she gets more than 5 paces ahead of me I have to do a full on sprint to catch her.




- She also loves Curious George and calls him Georgie.

- She's a huggie girl. Whenever she sees her friends or cousins the first thing she does to is run to them and give them a big hug.


- However, if she feels that she is wronged in anyway, she just as quickly throw herself on the ground or shriek high enough to break glass. No one gets in her way.

- Although I know she has no idea that she has a sibling on the way she loves to point to or kiss my stomach and say "lub you bebe". It melts me. Does it get any better. I honestly think she's going to looooove this baby right away. The loss of constant one-on-one attention will be hard, but oh does she love babies and their tiny toes.

- Doing her hair is getting a *little* bit easier. She'll usually leave her pig tails in for most of the day.
 

- When we get her out of the crib in the morning no man is left behind. No blankets, babies, or cups. Don't even try or you'll have to walk all the way back downstairs to get them while she's throwing a master tantrum in your arms.

- Ellie never got stranger danger.

- She loves Cooper & Maggie and puts them in headlocks daily to show her affection. They tolerate her.

- Pedicures are a favorite post-bath time activity.

- She loves brushing her own teeth, but strongly dislikes when we insist on doing it for her.

- She runs away the second we take her diaper off...still.

-She loves the carts with the cars on the front. I've learned that I'm  terrible at driving them. I hit every corner...every time.


-Ellie still has a love affair with makeup and all things lip gloss.

- When she has something she knows she's not supposed to have and is caught (like lip gloss) she runs away as fast as she can and then we she knows she's caught she throws said object as far as she can and keeps running. Girl knows how to cut her losses.


- She's finally taking a liking to books. Hallelujah!

- She refuses to be fed. She either takes the food off the for we're offering with or take the fork from us. She usually just likes to have her own fork and figure it out herself. She's pretty good at it and that's great for my lazy parenting style.

- I never realized how much I sayd "ok?" until she started responding to me with "ok mama" even when she's really sad. This is really cute.

- Ellie would spend every moment outside if she could, unless there's sand or snow. If she sees a door or looks out a window she's begging to go "side".


- She's a really good jumper. She can usually get both feet off the ground about an inch.

Like I said a million times, she's a dream come true even on her worse days. I love my sassy sidekick.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mama Moments: Cinderella

Yesterday J.rue and I took Ellie to the new Cinderella movie. We would have normally tried to pawn her off on a sitter, but since the movie theaters are doing $5 Tuesdays we decided to brave the theater. Ellie has only ever been to two other movies, Saving Mr. Banks when she was 3 months old and then a couple weeks ago we took advantage of the $5 Tuesdays and went to see an animated movie called Home. We made it about 45 minutes. She wasn't feeling it and neither was I so I gladly packed up and hauled out of there.



I've wanted to see this movie since it came out, plus I had heard good things about the cute Frozen Fever short before the movie. If anyone has Frozen fever, it's Ellie Bean so I was confident we'd at least make it through that part. So we met up with our friends and their two kids and hunkered down for the next two plus hours.

As expected Ellie loved the Frozen short. She didn't move a muscle the whole time, except the few mutterings of "let it go". Once it was over and the movie started she kept looking at me and pointing to the screen and asking, "let it go?" She even let out a few whimpers of sadness when it was over. It was cute because she cut it out pretty quickly.

With Ellie and her two blankets on my lap, I quickly started to overheat so I took off my pullover. Of course, since I removed a piece of clothing Ellie had to follow suit. So she watched the movie topless, and eventually sockless. We're really good parents and also forgot to put shoes on her, so you know, naked movie Tuesdays!

I loved loved loved the movie. It had me teary eyed within the first few minutes watching Cinderella's relationship with her mother. (Note: this is where I'm going to get cheesy) I loved holding my daughter on my lap and vowing to do better to make the everyday a little more magical and to teach her to "have courage and be kind". I've always loved the prints "work hard and be kind", and while a strong work ethic is more than important having courage in today's world is even more important than that. Ellie is going to have to grow up having courage to stand up for her beliefs and what she knows is right and the first place she is going to have to learn that is here, at home. I also loved the quote, "Just because it's what;s done, doesn't mean it's what should be done". Again, the makings of a strong foundations to raise a strong girl. I just couldn't get enough of those bits of the movie. If I can raise I strong, kind, and righteous woman, I will be a happy mama.

Ellie's favorite parts were the fairy godmother bit. She loved when the animals were transformed. During the whole things she was pointing towards the screen with her best surprised fact (mouth in a BIG oooohhhhh). But even more than that she LOVED the fireworks over the castle during the ball. That was when she let out an audible WOAHHHHHH several times. Oh the fireworks are going to be fun this year. Seeing her in awe is such an amazing thing to witness. She just amazes me daily.

She made it through the whole movie quite nicely, especially with her daddy's help. Of course we came equipped with lots of popcorn, soda, candy, and fruit snacks, so that helped and j.rue was ready and waiting to pass over anything we needed. She sat on my lap most of the time so we got some good snuggling in. She's become quite the mama's girl over the past few weeks and I don't hate it. She's never been a snuggly girl until lately. I can't get enough. During the last part of the movie while they are trying the shoes on all of the girls, Ellie kept handing me her foot and saying, "shooooes!" This girl loves her shoes, so anytime she would get antsy I would remind her that shoes were being heavily discussed and she would revert her attention right back to the screen. She clapped when the movie was over and then should couldn't get over to her little buddy, Holden, fast enough. She just loves him.


The best part of being at the movie was being with Ellie. At random parts of the movie she wanted to make sure I was catching the awesome thing that was happening and she would look at me, whisper "mama!" and pat my cheek and point to the screen. Having a girl has been better than I ever could have imagined. We have a special relationship that I'll cherish forever. She's my mini me, which is good in some ways and not so much in others. I just have to chuckle when I see some of my ridiculous idiosyncrasies come out in her little personality. She is my heart and soul.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter Sunday + General Conference weekend turned out to be a pretty perfect combo. I've been anticipating G.C. for a few weeks. First, because I love the spiritual guidance that I so desperately need by the end of the last six months and second, Ellie will be joining the ranks for nursery goers this coming Sunday, FINALLY! But really, it's mostly hearing from our beloved Apostles and Prophet. Adding Easter into the mix just makes it that much sweeter. Amazingly enough, I kind of blogged about Easter last year. Look how much my baby has grown up!


This year was Ellie's first "interactive" Easter. Last year I think she was big enough to sit up and poke at the things in her basket. This year was much more fun. We went to two Easter egg hunts this week (almost three, but we slept through the actual city egg hunt). The first one was at our church with our weekly playgroup. Everyone brought 10 eggs filled with non-candy prizes. Ellie loved opening up her eggs and finding little toy animals, stickers, and, her most favorite, two tiny pink rubber duckies. She's carried them around since then! Melinda hosted the second and went all out. She had sweets and treats and gobs of eggs. The kids had a blast and the mommy company was just as good.





Besides the fact that I'm super impatient when it comes to presents, I also like focusing on the true meaning of Easter on the actual day, so the bunny came Friday night and Ellie got to play with her Easter goodies all Saturday long. Jeremy went to play basketball that morning, so he covered her basket up with one of his sweatshirts. It worked, quite well actually. Once he was home he showered and we decided to finish the first session of conference before showing her the basket. The next thing we know she's running down the hall, basket in hand, biggest grin ever, and stops right at my feet and promptly dumps out her whole basket. Little stinker. At least she had the decency to bring it to us before diving in. After inspecting each Disney princess, she managed to inhale 4 Peeps in about, oh 22 seconds. I'm not exaggerating. Holidays with kids are the best, the besty best.



The rest of the Saturday was spent lounging and watching conference and then our traditional girls night while the brothers went to Priesthood session. The girls got good and tuckered out at the park and Melinda and I got some good chatting in, as always.







On Sunday, Aunt Tori came and spent the day with us. We watched the morning session of conference at home and then made the trek to North Ogden to eat Easter dinner with my grandparents, cousins, and some aunts and uncles. Honestly, it was a bit of a zoo, but I'd never have it any other way. Of course, the food was delicious and it was so nice seeing family that we never get to see enough.Sadly, it was so crazy and we were so busy talking, I didn't get a single picture. We all looked lovely.  Also, I got my most favorite book from my grandma today. When I was little, the second we got to their house to visit I would run downstairs to their bookshelf and pull this book out and read it cover to cover, twice.


We finished off the evening chatting with the rest of our families and wishing Happy Easters to each other. My mom and brother are actually with my in-laws in Hawaii. We're jealous of all of them. We loved spending the day with Aunt Tori. Ellie was able to finally master the saying of her name, and loved all of the attention that she gave her. Come and spend the day with us again soon!

 I'm so thankful for weekends like these. General Conference weekends are almost like a new start every six months, and Easter and spring bring new beginnings. I'm grateful for the chance to be better. Be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and just a better person in general. I'm thankful for this gospel, the Savior and His atonement.