7 Years

It is truly hard to believe that 7 years have come and gone since this sweet, angelic, happy, energetic, exciting, awesome, smart, wonderful, peaceful, content, spirit came into our world.

The days just before and after his birth were not easy. His little newborn body had a lot of adjustments to make, but with the help of doctors, surgery, intuition, Heavenly intervention, and time our baby boy became an example of strength and endurance.

How did he grow from baby to boy so fast?! Every year, most days, actually, I catch myself wishing my kids would stop growing. At the same time I relish it: watching them grow, anticipating their future, enjoying their success and crying through their hardships with them. When a birthday comes along, I just have to wonder, "How is the time going so fast?! Am I doing everything I can do to give my kids the life they deserve? Am I teaching them enough - the important things?" I hope the answers are yes.
When I look in THESE eyes, though, I am comforted that at least right now at this moment I'm doing my job.
Austin-Boy, you are one amazing kid. Thank you for being the helper and the peace-maker and the hard worker and the busy-body and just for being you!

Happy Birthday, Buddy. We love you!

gluten-free birthday treats for his school class. He wanted cupcakes, but he was happy with the way these turned out.

We celebrated transformer style. Austin decorated his own cake. I was feeling like a sell-out mom letting him do it instead of making something more "fancy!" But he LOVED being able to do it himself and he was awesome to let Isaac help him. They had a good time doing it together.

Cameron was on TDY in Texas so we waited until we knew he'd be in his hotel room and put the phone on speaker. We all sang Happy Birthday and then Austin made sure to lick the frosting off every candle.

Ella looked like it was her birthday too! She was covered in chocolate frosting and wanted "more, more, more"! Isaac was pretty much covered in frosting too! Landon-boy was wiped out from football practice so I wasn't too surprised he didn't ask for more cake. But Austin really surprised me, since I was talking on the phone to Cameron I didn't notice how much Austin ate until he was helping himself to his 4th piece! Guess he liked it!

After dinner (Garlic Shrimp and {gluten-free} noodles) we opened presents. Cameron had bought Austin a camelback for me to give him and Isaac and I picked out a few other things earlier in the day. Austin was a little bummed that Isaac kept telling him what he was getting (I kept telling Isaac not to spoil the surprise and he kept insisting that it wasn't a secret!) but Austin was still excited when he opened each thing. Just looking at his face opening the presents and blowing out the candles makes me happy.

okay, so now that you're 7 do you think you could finally stop growing up? I'll give ya more cake! :)



Sometime this Spring we started thinking about where we would go for a family vacation this summer. There are lots of places we want to go. But as we looked into prices of resorts and cruises and plane tickets and gas prices we realized that we could almost buy a boat. So at the end of June that's what we did and we have been loving our "summer vacation" every chance we've been able to get on the water since. Seriously, the boat is the best "family-time" investment we've ever made. Some of our best, happiest moments this summer have been on the boat: being together, laughing, giggling, relaxing. We LOVE it!

For the love of the tube! The kids LOVE it. We took it to a YW/YM activity and the kids waited in line to ride with us (we also had cookies and cinnamon bears - always a winner with kids!). It's just a fun tube. It goes airborne easily (for the big kids, NOT the little ones!) but doesn't flip. So it's a great ride.
The FIRST thing Austin wants to do as soon as we get on the water is jump in, in fact he jumps in any time the boat stops, if we let him.
Can't get enough of the tube. And yes, it was me driving. I'm a pretty good driver but so not good at trailoring or docking. I can pull Cameron on the ski pretty well too. I'm getting great at driving in donuts. As long as Ella has her blanket she sits on the seat next to me while I drive. It works out great.

The other night we went for family night after Cameron got off work. During the last ride of the night Austin yelled, "hey it's night and day at the same time!" Too bad these summer days have to end!


Dear Grandma:

Thanks for all the cute clothes you give us!

I wear this Lego shirt ALL. THE. TIME.

This dress is perfect for our 99 degree weather days.

We Love You!


We Call Her Linus

See Why?!
Sometimes one blanket isn't enough. So she gets two. I try to keep them in her bed so she only has them for sleeping but the girl won't let them out of her sight. If I do manage to get her out of bed without the blanket, she sneaks back in her room when I'm not looking and steals it out of the crib. If she can't reach it she shrieks until someone gets it for her. She's just happier with her blanket(s). So, why not let her have them? (I wash 2 loads of blankets a week, fyi!! kinda gross to have her drag 'em around. Oh well.) And yes, I really do call her Linus; the name just kinda fits her right now :)