Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As 2013 comes to a close, and as my 2014 resolution to blog more begins, I thought I'd whip together a "what you missed" post to wrap up our year in about thirty or so photos.  Kind of like how TV shows give you five minutes of last season's highlights before jumping into a new season each fall.  "...and that's what you missed on Glee."

Who watches that show, anyway?!   Not me.  Ever.  I'm (ahem) 28, ya know.  

So back to 2013.  Let's just jump right in, shall we?  

(I had intended for this to go chronologically, but apparently blogger has other ideas)

I announced my pregnancy to my family via this photo. Apparently I felt more pregnant than I looked.  Nobody got it.
We spent many warm weekends at the condo in St. George
Rob and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.  He surprised me with a trip to Vegas and California.  
Seth was born - and we took this Benjamin Button of a baby picture.  Whose old man baby is that anyway?!  
Rob wrestled with his children on a nightly basis.  Usually just in time to rile them up before bed. 

We learned that Claire was destined for stardom:

We sobbed as we left our first little home. 

Rob turned 33, and I botched his cake

We celebrated halloween with a skeleton, a witch, Merida and Ariel
Madelyn was baptized
We took this photo.  
We blessed our little Sethy Boy
We said a swift goodbye to Rob's parents
We carved awesome pumpkins
Ella Bell turned five.  Jude made her a bow - which she proudly wore to school.
Claire Bear turned 17 2

Rob reached a big milestone with his business
Juders turned 6

We painted Easter eggs (with monkeys?)
Jude killed at LEAST sixteen acres of rainforest with all of his creating
The hole in the mouth happened.  
Bowser ate four of Yoshi's five limbs, and we finally had to get rid of them (yes...somebody actually bought 1/3 of a lizard)
Miss Maddie turned 8
We blew the neighborhood away with our amazing fireworks display.  (ARE THOSE SNAKES COMING OUT OF THE GROUND?!) 

We sent three incredibly tired looking kids to school (Ella - preschool, Jude - 1st Grade, Maddie 3rd Grade)
I turned 28(ish) and cried while trying to blow out my candles.  Thanks, hormones. 
Rob read to Maddie's class, and we learned about beef jerky.
My brother and his wife came to visit us from Chicago
We utilized our zoo membership (and actually saw real animals as well as lego animals)
Ella grew her hair out

Then chopped it

....we spent two weeks in Chicago with my family and forgot our camera.

All in all, I'd say 2013 was a pretty darn good year.  It had its ups and downs, but we've definitely been blessed.  We are happy, healthy alive, and ready to embark on all of the joys that 2014 will bring to our family.  

Wishing you all a wonderful 2014...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Maddie's Baptism

The end of last summer was a busy time for us, as I mentioned in my last post.  The entire summer our family was looking forward to Madelyn's baptism.  We knew it would be the first Saturday in August, since she had turned 8 in July...which also fell in the same week I was supposed to be induced.   It was a really big and exciting day for Maddie, so naturally I was a bit worried that little boy Seth would decide to come JUST in time for me to have miss it, or come at a time that would force us to reschedule.  

Thankfully, the boy held out and we were able to enjoy a beautiful day with our amazing little girl.  Maddie was so sweet, and thrilled to baptized by her dad.  Having so many friends and family around to support her only made the day that much more special.  Rob and I are so proud of her desire to be like Christ, and couldn't adore this sweet child more.  
We love you, Madelyn!  

The bottom is the last family picture we took before Seth joined us.  I went into labor the very next day.  Thanks, Seth, for not stealing Maddie's thunder.  Your timely arrival saved Maddie years of resentment, and saved me thousands of dollars on therapy for Madelyn later in life!  

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Yeah, it's been a while.  I'm just going to make this a blog of excuses so people understand what I've been dealing with.

In August, Maddie was baptized, I had a new baby, school started, and we began packing.  In September we moved - while taking care of the crankiest baby on the planet.  Yes - Seth was a bit of a beast. We moved into my in-law's basement while they were still upstairs for one month. (They are serving a two year mission and needed someone to house-sit, so we turned our home into a rental and moved in.)  Then they left and we moved (what seemed like) a second time - upstairs.  Two weeks later we took a two week trip to Chicago, and just got back to find two kids with RSV.  Yeah.  Did I mention I'm still driving the kids back and forth to their old school?  Not a super long drive, but an extra half hour every morning and afternoon.

Yes, yes....I could complain all day, but I'll keep it brief.  On top of everything, and maybe even the biggest contributor to my lack of blogging has been trying to raise the funniest, most dramatic, and most demanding redhead that this world has ever seen.  When I asked her to say cheese for the camera, she struck this pose:

100% Claire.

The kid kills me.  Then makes me laugh.  Then makes me run into my room and lock the door.  Then kills me again. Then stops me in the middle of a sentence to say, "Love you, Mom." Last week I overheard her starting a riot in nursery.  Think fist-pumping-chanting of "RED! RED! RED! RED!" getting other kids to join in so she could get her way. I apologized over and over to the nursery leaders for my outspoken daughter when I picked her up and they said, "Oh, she's hilarious.  VERY ARTICULATE."

Very articulate indeed.

 Heaven help me.  If this kid ever stops napping I don't know what will become of my life.  Either way, if this kid gives me a break every once in a while I'd like to be back on board with this blogging thing.  It used to make me pretty happy.  Guess we will see what lies ahead for our little Merida.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dear Seth

Dear Seth,

It has been three weeks since you joined our family.  Just the thought of how fast this precious time has flown by brings tears to my eyes.  The last three weeks of my pregnancy seemed like an eternity, yet the same amount of time with you here has been a whirlwind of feedings, diaper changes, naps, and accomplishing whatever I possibly can while you are sleeping.  Luckily I have been able to treasure every single moment of you sleeping in my arms.  It is your absolute favorite place to be.  You often cry just to be held...which I don't mind a bit.

Your birth story is one I thought I would never tell, because you, my darling son, were the only child of mine to come naturally.  I figured that like every other one of my labors, yours would be induced.  I was actually scheduled to be induced on Wednesday, August 7th.  It was planned specifically for that date due to an insurance "glitch". We knew that if you came even an hour early, insurance wouldn't cover your or my hospital bills.  We really didn't think we would have any issues making it to the 7th, seeing as how your official due date wasn't until August 14th, but alas - you had other plans.  On Sunday August 4th, at about 8pm, I realized there was a chance I was in actual labor.

Contractions started coming every 12-15 minutes for about two hours.  By about 10pm, the contractions were coming every 8 minutes.  It was at that point I decided to (of ALL things) clean the house.  I mopped the floor three times (long sticky story) cleaned all of the bathrooms and vacuumed.  Looking back I still laugh about the fact that I was most concerned about having a clean house for your Aunt Callie to come to.  Heaven forbid the babysitter see a mess while you're in the hospital, right?

Naturally, this was also the ONE time I told all of the kids they could camp out in the backyard with your Dad.  They had been begging all summer long, and I realized that with you coming on Wednesday, it was probably the last night they could sleep outside before school started.  Didn't happen.  At midnight, the contractions were coming every 5 minutes, so Aunt Callie came over.  Bless her heart - it wasn't until I texted her and asked her to come over that she responded with, "Yes!  Oh, and I just got engaged!"  Again, great timing on your part! We brought four crying kids in from the tent and headed to the hospital hoping that this was real labor.  At that point I still wasn't sure.

We got to the hospital at about 1am, and got checked in.  (I had your dad leave all of his stuff in the car fearing that they would tell me I wasn't really in labor and send me home).  But the nurse came in to get all of my information and check me at about 1:30, and I was dilated to a 6.  I was so excited that I had recognized REAL labor, and just kept saying, "I can't believe this is REALLY happening!"

After answering all of the nurse's questions, and getting everything settled, Rob and I decided that we should try to get a little bit of sleep before you were born.  He got comfy on the couch, and I rested my eyes in bed.  Rob and I dozed off, but ten minutes later I awoke to a very strong contraction that broke my water.  I called in the nurse, and she informed me that I was fully dilated and ready to push.  We called the on-call doctor, and at 3:10 am, you entered this world weighing 7 lbs 3 oz and 19 inches long.  The whole thing went so fast that I was almost sad that it was already over, but I immediately fell in love with you.

After many hours of debating your name, we finally chose Seth Crosby.  Seth after one of our favorite bands The Avett Brothers (our favorite brother is named Seth) and Crosby is my Grandpa's middle name - along with some really great music associations (Crosby, Stills and Nash and Bing Crosby).  From the day we found out you were a boy your name was going to be Crosby Seth, but for some reason Seth Crosby just made sense when we saw you.

All hospital bills aside, I am so grateful that I was able to experience natural labor.  Don't get me wrong - I eventually got an epidural - but I loved knowing that my body was actually capable of delivering a baby, and the whole experience was so amazing.  You are such a beautiful and sweet baby boy, and the love that I have for you feels like it's been inside of me forever.  I can't wait to see your personality and  how you fit into this family, but for now I'll just enjoy the time that I can hold you close and pat your back as you curl up into a little ball on my chest.

I love you, Seth.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ten Years

Today Rob and I are celebrating our TEN YEAR anniversary.  It is so crazy to think about how fast that has gone by.  Somewhere along the lines we became (what I used to consider) old!   We should be (according to my previous thought) boring, set in our ways, and established.  Sure, we have boring days...yes we definitely know how our particular schedule works, but established we are not.  Our life still feels like one big whirlwind of ever-changing elements.   I thought for our special day I would treat you all to a little stroll down Anniversary Lane.

Lets start from the very beginning:
Rob and I were married May 23, 2003.  SO LONG AGO, that digital pictures were only a new thing.  This was the clearest digital shot we have of that day.  Rob was 23 and I was 21.  Babies, I tell ya!  
We moved into this little apartment complex, and still laugh about the fact that we only paid $250/month for rent. With both of us still in school  at the time, it was actually a hard payment to make!  
To make the apartment a little bit nicer, we refinished the kitchen cabinets from dark (bottom) to light (top).  Funny that I really thought we had made some sort of improvement!  

We had two separate receptions.  One in Utah and one in Indiana.  They were a week apart, so we spent our first married week staying at some of the time shares that Rob's work let us use.  This is a shot of us at Bear Lake.  After our second reception, we went to Maui.  Oddly, I have no digital pictures of that trip.  

We spent our first anniversary at Walt Disney World on a trip with my family.  Here we are on Splash Mountain. 
A few weeks after our second anniversary, we brought our first child into the world.   This is where the pregnancy tally begins.  
Rob and I spent our third anniversary in Vegas.  It was a business trip for him, but Maddie and I tagged along.  While Rob worked we ordered room service, and watched a LOT of TV.  I am once again pregnant in this picture....but don't know it yet.  I just thought I had a bad stomach bug.  
For some reason, this is the only picture I have of our fourth anniversary.  Rob bought me a new band for my wedding ring.  Jude was four months old.  Thankfully, I am NOT pregnant in this picture - although the finger size would suggest otherwise!  

For our fifth anniversary, Rob surprised me with an ACTUAL trip to vegas - without kids.  We saw the Beatles LOVE show, ate our hearts out, and saw just about every attraction Vegas has to offer.  And yes, I am four months pregnant in this picture.  Here comes Ella!  This was the year that Rob finally finished school.  He was such a trooper - working 8-5, then going to school from 6-10pm five days/week.  

For our sixth anniversary, Rob and I went mock-skydiving.  It was an amazing experience. I don't know where all the pictures from that went, but here is a picture taken of us right about that time.  (Not pregnant!)  

Anniversary #7.  Rob and I ate at one of our favorite restaurants, The Roof.  It has a beautiful view of the city and serves amazing food.  Every year he gives me a bouquet of flowers with one rose for each year we have been married.  In this picture, I am hiding my pregnant with Claire belly! 

Anniversary #8 - Rob and I spent the night in Park City and had dinner at Ruth's Chris - another one of our favorite places.  Not pregnant.

Anniversary #9: Although technically this wasn't over our anniversary, Rob and I considered our trip to Kauai our anniversary gift to ourselves.  Seven days without kids in paradise was unbelievable!   (Again, not pregnant - must have been going for some sort of record here!) 

Which brings us to 2013, the big #10.   Anniversary details to come in a later post! (But yes....once again pregnant!) 

Together Rob and I  have:
Moved three (soon to be four) times
Brought 4 (soon to be five) children into the world
Celebrated 39 birthdays
Changed over 18,000 diapers (this is on the LOW average end!)
Held (combined) 7 different jobs
Had 7 different cars
Traveled to Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wyoming, Arizona, Mexico, Nevada, and Florida
Owned 2 pets (now more like 1.5 due to cannibalism, but that probably deserves it's own post) 
Survived 1,320 (ish) days of me being pregnant

It might not seem like the most exciting life to you, but it's our life....and we love it.  I wouldn't trade my crazy life for anything, and am so grateful to have had this amazing man stay by my side.  He is, hands down, the most loyal, honest, trustworthy man I have ever met.  He STILL does the best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression I've ever heard, and rubs my neck and feet more than any woman deserves.  He is my rock and my best friend.  I truly love him to all ends of the earth and couldn't be more thrilled to call him mine.

Happy Anniversary, handsome!