You’re not inadequate, you’re the perfect fit.

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family walk time

I got a phone call from a friend I haven’t spoken to since – 2008? Now that I count it up, almost a decade ago! Wow. Thank goodness for social media to help keep tabs on those friends!!

We talked of many things, but something that stayed on my mind was the feelings we shared in our ability to be good mothers.

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run baby run

After pondering on the matter for some time, the thought came into my mind that my children chose me.

They chose me.

Of all the brilliant, kind, talented mothers in the world, these kids chose me.

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run dance run

I don’t have any evidence to prove to you that this is true, it was just something that came to me and brought me peace.

I want to remember that feeling any time the temptation to feel inadequate creeps into my life.

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our deep thinker

They knew you before they came to this earth and thought, “yeah, you’re going to be the perfect fit!”

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He loves to bring me flowers

Keep trying your best. Keep giving them your time, your love, your hugs and kisses.

Keep praying that they will continue to grow up to become the incredible humans you pray they will be.

Keep taking the time to do the things they want to do – even if you can’t finish all the things you want to do.

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They need you. They want you. They are your greatest treasure.

There are still long days ahead. They will need your guidance, your patience, your understanding and most importantly…

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everyone gets a turn on daddy’s back

They need to know that you love them.

Each child will understand, feel and show love in different ways.

Just like you understand, feel and show love in different ways.

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Take the time to learn how they communicate.

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In time you will see that not only were you not inadequate, you were exactly who they needed you to be.

“Life must be understood backward. But… it must be lived forward.” -Søren Kierkegaard

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hold on as long as you will

In writing this open letter to myself I want other parents to know that you are doing better than you think you are.

XOXO

Me

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Enjoying more fully the Light.

I read a story about post-partum depression today, it wasn’t a happy one, which reminded me that I haven’t updated the internet on the state of my health:  mind, body and soul.

It’s good news. [Sigh of relief]

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My baby boy.

I don’t really feel like talking about the depression, it’s part of my past now and I know that it could potentially be part of my future. For now I’m going to tell you what I’ve been doing, about what makes me happy.

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My oldest niece, the Mermaid. (side note, this was a candid shot, I caught her mid-imagination).

I needed more Family time, spouse time and time just for me.

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First, I called my mom and asked if she would pay for my gym membership. I knew that all the time away from the gym was one reason I was sad. I missed regular exercise!! I started making better choices with my food and I started pampering myself.

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Anyone who knows me, knows that when you think of me, you don’t necessarily think “cheapskate.” But, for years I have rarely paid for haircuts (ask a friend or sister to just cut it right over a trash can), I almost never go into a salon, I have never had a manicure and I only get pedicures once or twice a year (because if I didn’t, my entire foot would turn into a callus). I also never spent money on makeup, hair supplies or skincare.

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My sister, her husband and their sixth baby.

My skin care routine – up until this year – was usually going straight to bed without washing my face. Rinse face in morning or just wait till I took a shower…whenever that was.

Wearing makeup was usually reserved for Sundays and the makeup I did own was either purchased for me by a mother or sister or given to me by a sister or my mother (because it came as a free gift during a purchase)! I spent very little money in the hair, skincare and makeup department.

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Candid shots really are the best.

In the spring and summer of 2016 when I struggled with pink eye, I had to throw away all of the makeup I did own – which included some new and nice (gifted) things. In addition to throwing out all my makeup, I threw out all my bed pillows (nice, newer pillows I couldn’t afford to replace).

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We were also very broke when this happened.

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Somewhere between back to back pregnancies, a husband who was gone all the time for school and with church responsibilities, a four year old just barely potty training (read “three kids in diapers”) – I was feeling pretty haggard.

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My sister and her baby and she’s pregnant with her seventh! (how amazing is she?!)

Well, I discovered a multi-level marketing company that has amazing skin care and makeup. I knew I couldn’t afford to buy/wear good products unless I sold some. So, I signed up to distribute.

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Along the way, I started having fun with my life again and taking care of myself made me feel good.

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So, I’m going to the gym, taking care of my body, eating healthier and getting better sleep – now at bedtime, I don’t lay in bed trying to un-wind from a day that pulled and stretched me, I go to bed, I think of all the things I’m grateful for and all the things I can do better tomorrow.

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Then, I stop thinking and go to sleep.

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I started singing around the house more often, letting the messes sit later, snuggling with my babies a little longer.

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I decided that dates with my husband were worth the cost of a babysitter (again, where I tend to be cheap – “let’s just not get a baby sitter and stay in or take the kids with us.”

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These two never want their daddy out of their sight!

I re-took my Athletic Training exam (to re-certify) and was 23 points short of passing!! [I mean, I can’t be too sad, I’ve been out of practice 11 years!! With very little study time I squeezed in, I almost passed!! Yes, I’m taking it again].

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My mother in law fostered a love for the ocean in my husband, and here she is with her grandchildren (whiny and all).

My energy levels increased and the chemicals in my brain have found balance as I allowed for more positive thoughts.

I consciously made it a daily effort to push negative thinking away and only see the positive. I had let negative thoughts camp too long in my mind and I didn’t want to be sad anymore.

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Happiness had been my life before and I wanted that life back.

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I never stopped praying during my struggles. I never stopped hoping. I knew that change would come if I just kept trying.

God knew me, He had faith that I could overcome my circumstances and He has faith in you too. The tools are there, we just need to reach out. Ask for help and take steps to change.

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Those ‘gulls see food and in they swoop.

Postpartum depression is not an old friend, but foe. An enemy I may face in the coming years. But I have hope that my faith and past experience will help me defeat him again.

Disappointments still arrive, but I see the light and know that everything will work out.

Story time, since I am iced in tonight.

In 1989 I wrote a very short story called, The Lonely Mouse. I was seven.

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I still own the original. Story, by Katie, art by Katie, binding the papers and everything else? Katie.

My childish creation was trying to connect how Mickey Mouse might have felt before Minnie came along.

He had a dog, but humans (and obviously mice) need more.

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everyone had to start somewhere, right?

So in this story, he meets Minnie, they fall in love and have triplets, just in time to hear that Mickey got that dream job of his at Disneyland.

That, is my story in a nut shell.

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and some ‘vegetables’

My mother thought it was so adorable, she sent a copy to every one of our extended family for Christmas.

Twenty years later I tried re-writing the story (in a rhyming salute to Dr. Seuss who is an all time favorite) I began to write:

Lloyd P. Mouse, lived in a house right on the edge of town.

Late one night, when he turned out the light, his face made a little frown.

“I’m all alone in this cozy home, I should find a mate 

I can’t go through life without a wife, what an unfortunate fate.”

Lloyd went to bed with dreams in his head of finding the perfect girl.

She would be witty, funny and pretty – a gem of a lady– a pearl.

Morning arrived – Lloyd opened his eyes as sunlight danced through his window.

He whistled a tune that rang through the room, peaking to a crescendo.

An hour later, after reading the paper, the clock said eight thirty-four.

After donning some gloves and a scarf, hmph! Tug! Lloyd scurried out the front door.

…which is how it sat for another seven or so years.

Until now. [insert grin]

I took the story and went in an entirely new direction –

which cannot be revealed until after Christmas, because I had it printed out and my family reads my blog. I’ll give you this:

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I would like to thank the folks of flickr – I took a lot of awesome photos from you and used Preview on my Macbook to cut and paste my little characters. I will make zero profit off this story, as it was only intended for my family as a DIY gift.

Should I ever hope to make a profit from this story, the photos would have to be changed entirely, as I do not hold the rights to any of the ‘backgrounds.’

It’s okay to laugh now.

Our Protagonists are fighting the odds, making their way towards the promise that lay in the future…one day at a time.

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Family walks

Can I tell you about the last few months? Then I will tell you about all the beautiful souls who helped us along the way.

Things were supposed to be really good for us, after a tough Spring and Summer, when fall came, everything would be grand. Dan would have this awesome great job and we would buy our first home!!

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My baby girl – how I love you!

It was such a beautiful dream and everything was falling into place – just like dreams do – and God laughed, because like little children we were “asking our mom to open a packet of Ranch dressing mix for us to eat, because it looked so delicious – while she was busy preparing an actual meal for dinner – and she smiled at us and shook her head.”

We had several new families move into our church ‘ward’ this summer and one of those families gave us a huge pile of boxes and paper for wrapping. (then the couple who gave us all the boxes, stayed a little longer and fixed our front door!)

Things are coming together!

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My first born, you’re such a bright and funny boy. You’re also a very dramatic child…like you’re mother.

Ten days before we were to close on the home, Dan’s job didn’t work out, we couldn’t get our home and since we told our current landlord we were “absolutely moving” – he sold the house we were living in…

We had ten days to find a new home, we had a flea infestation, we’re packing, cleaning, looking for a new place to live, Mom got a stomach bug and the steam cleaning vacuum had to be returned three times…because it didn’t work.

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Wiley took this photo! I want to share my love for photographs with him. 🙂

Katie eventually got the steam cleaner to work by turning it on and off again. It worked for a solid 15 minutes…before it didn’t.

and as far as Mom is concerned, fleas are just as nasty as EBOLA!

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My baby just turned 10 months old this last week. [not ready for her to stop being my baby.]
Everything must be washed.

and bug bombed.

washed.

and bug bombed.

Washed.

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pieces of my couch – some parts washed, some not – it’s currently 10:36pm and I still have a few more to go.

This is a sad, and somewhat comical from where I stand now, story of how to clean up after you find your small children covered in flea bites, while you have a stomach bug, during a house move.

Here’s the beautiful part of the story –

The women of the Relief Society. What a relief they have been.

I have had a different woman volunteer to take my children for several hours, each day the last week and a half, offers to bring us meals or help in any other way possible – here’s the kicker – without being asked for help, they just heard we were moving!

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Late night fun! Whoo!

I have a visiting teacher (my previous ones are always missed!) who just moved here not long ago – we had never met – and just after being assigned to visit me, she inquired about me and found out we were moving and took my boys twice in a matter of days into her home (along with her small children) so my husband and I could tackle the cleaning and move.

Then, our home teacher called (again, another new family to the area)! Our home teacher is a new medical resident, his wife stays home with three small kids, and everyone is busy, but they wanted to help us too. Wiley is making lots of new friends.

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None of my children are [ever] ready for bed. 🙂
It felt like our world had turned upside down in a time in our life when I really and truly felt like I had earned some good things in my life.

Today, I see the good things in my life.

We didn’t get the house, he didn’t get the job, we had a lot of extra physical labor and we’re all covered in flea bites…but we have been lifted by heavenly hands and helped by angelic people here in Columbia, Missouri.

It’s been nothing short of a miracle to see this kind of love. We have felt all the prayers said on our behalf and we are grateful.

I know that God is love, and He knows our needs.

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My family – taken by a friend – capturing our porch garden, the busted front door and mailbox that took on a tree many thunderstorms ago.

I also know it’s a lot harder to feel His love, if we sit and mope about all the things that aren’t going right, so we stand up and move forward with hope.

The cleaning is almost finished and General Conference is this weekend.

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Next post I need to share the rest of the photos my friend took of the family! Haven’t had much time to go through them, really.

The light is growing.

We’re new to the duplex life – hope the neighbors don’t mind crazy kids…hehehe

Only one more month of summer…

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Back in May, my very first family shoot (outside of family members)…it was an overcast day, until they showed up. Out came the sun!  We had a few posers in there. hehehe

This summer raced by with record speed. My baby is officially eight months old today!

This breaks my heart just a bit, as she is the best, sweetest baby girl and I’m obviously going to need another baby sooner than I originally planned.

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It’s good to practice on friends, they don’t bat an eye when you ask them to do re-takes…

Because babies are my absolute favorite…and no, this is not a pregnancy announcement.

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Babies!!!

What on earth have I been doing this summer?

What have you been doing this summer?

I asked first…

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Another sunny day, found a huge tree with lots of shade. Look at this family. To quote the excellent animated film ‘Cars’ – “there’s a lot of love out there, man.”

Mostly just all the great mom things of laundry, dishes, cooking…I’ll be completely honest here and admit that I have not been reading many books to my kids this summer, there has been a lot more tv and I have zero guilt about this.

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I used to hate it when my kid didn’t cooperate during pictures. As a photographer, I love it when little kids let their personality shine.

Last school year wore me out. Then in the spring I got pink eye and battled it all the way through July 4th weekend. I have not had any pink eye since that weekend, still have a bit of dry eye, but that is so much easier to deal with.

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Can you guess which one is the future class clown?

What we have had is lots of cuddles – indoors – lots of dirt in hair from the hours spent outside in the backyard, lots of forts. I got tired of putting the boy’s mattress back on the bed, so it’s still on their bedroom floor, surrounded by toys.

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I’m gloriously less stressed these days.

I want to attribute the goodness in my life to God.

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In the chaos of this world, He gives me peace and hope that good things will come.

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In addition to having the support of my husband, the women of the Relief Society (the women’s organization from my church) have gone above and beyond to serve me here in Columbia, Missouri.

I hit the jack pot – and it’s not just the women in my LDS ward – there are women in surrounding wards who have served me too.

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Those acts of service (making us dinner, taking my kids, swapping baby clothes, having us over to play, teaching my children) have lifted my load.

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Playing at the park.

If only the news was full of the stories of these life transforming women – the world wouldn’t seem so dark to me – it would be the light of God’s love shinning. A beacon of hope for humanity.

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The women I go to church with lift me with their testimonies, their compliments, their smiles, their friendship.

In return, those women let me take their picture. I wish I could tell their stories from a photojournalist point of view – as an alternative to the terribly distressing news as of late.

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Behind the scenes with my little ballerina. I had all three of my kids with me…so I didn’t get past testing the lighting. I was done the moment Brantè said, “Tyler get out of the toilet.” We’ll try again.

Motherhood (since I’m a mother)/Parenting takes a lot of work/sacrifice and without this village of helpful women I would have lost my mind long ago.

(Note about photos – all are SOOC (straight out of camera) photos – because I’m currently too poor for Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.)

[Below are photos taken by a friend – with a nicer camera, nicer lens…nicer skills]

It helps to have a hobby.

View More: http://kenseydeephotography.pass.us/katie-shannon
Can you say, “lens envy”?

Mine is record keeping. Family record keeping. Which is the main reason for blogging. It’s also why I love taking photos.  I have made several family photo album books this year. It takes me awhile to make family yearbooks, but I enjoy reliving our time together as I pick through our photos from the year and write about our time spent together.

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I had no plans to be in photos when I got ready for the park! She mentioned taking some of me, so I threw on a coordinating shirt. So, this is me in all my mom glory!

It is the reading of and looking through those memories that draw me nearer to my extended family and friends.

View More: http://kenseydeephotography.pass.us/katie-shannon

Anyone up for pictures? I can’t promise they will look mystically amazing, but I’d love the practice and you will have a moment of time captured forever of that day your three year old got gum stuck in his hair and your baby had poop up his back…

and those memories are worth preserving.

View More: http://kenseydeephotography.pass.us/katie-shannon
What our children prefer over having pictures taken…

 

Raising children in an uncertain world.

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Every other day I wonder what kind of world I’m raising my children in…

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I want to shelter them forever from the absence of love, so I love them more.

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I want to shelter them from anger, so I try to be more patient with them…

I don’t always succeed in that, but I will keep trying.

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I want to shelter them from unkindness, so I try to teach them to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please.’

We’re still working on sharing.

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I want to shelter them from other people’s bad choices, to I teach them to be aware.

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I had a happy childhood and I want my children to know what happiness is, so they can look for safe and longterm solutions to cope with the world.

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I want them to know how much God loves them, how much God loves every human on this planet and how we need to see each other as brothers and sisters.

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I want them to know that every human has the potential for greatness – not the world’s definition of greatness – that, in the words of Howard W Hunter,

“True greatness [comes from] the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice that constitutes the giving, or losing, of one’s life for others and for the Lord.”

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Children, your time for service and sacrifice is coming. Your job now is to know joy, to know love, to see beauty in the world you live in and to know that in the end, everything will be alright.

Indeed, in the end, our life is in God’s hands.

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Play on babies, play on.

Our oldest turns Four years.

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This boy makes me laugh – No, I didn’t make him sit like this.

Today at church I briefly stood before my congregation and bore my testimony of God’s love, how sometimes in His love  (and infinite wisdom) He asks us to do hard things…because He knows that it will make us strong.

Motherhood has been a struggle for me lately. Particularly with my first born. He is determined to help me be strong. Really strong.

After my testimony, I returned to my seat.  Wiley was so happy to see me and said, very enthusiastically, “Mom, you did a great job!” followed by a sweet little boy kiss.

Floating – his kiss and exclamation had me floating the rest of the day! (much like the hot air balloon we saw fly over our home.)

God sent me a strong willed, funny, intelligent, happy, passionate, particular and loving boy we call, ‘Wiley.’

Wiley turned 4 years old last week.

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Lord knows time is flying and somedays it doesn’t fly fast enough to bedtime…

I am well and healthy today, but the entire month of April I was sick.  So, as Wiley’s birthday neared, I knew he wouldn’t care if he had a party, but I wanted his day to feel really special. I wanted him to know I thought he was special.

He started his day with cartoons. I had blown up several orange balloons to litter the floor and got him four floating balloons and two dinosaur puzzles.

[go Dollar General!!!]

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Happy Birthday!

I had to coax him away from the TV for a morning outing – just with mom.

I took him to the grocery store and let him pick out anything he wanted! Cause, I’m money bags like that.

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The birthday boy wanted fresh strawberries, raspberries, whipped cream and donuts.

He also wanted a “grown-up sippy cup” (those plastic drinking glasses with straws/screw on lids) colored orange. The boy likes orange.

I’m pretty sure most of his t-shirts are orange.

Kind of fits his personality.

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Dad and Wiley had about 30 minutes of just ‘them time’ before I came out.

After our breakfast outing, he wanted to put his dinosaur puzzles together with me. He and his little brother had hours of fun playing with the balloons. I read some books…and I let him play on the iPad, because that was just what he wanted!

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I love his face as he bites into that marshmallow.

Daddy took Wiley and Tyler to the “big slide park” for about two hours later in the day.

(I love, LOVE, when Dan takes them to the park – no bedtime troubles – and quiet time for mom.)

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The grand finale to the birthday boy’s day was after the two babies went to bed.

Daddy made a fire in the fire ring and they roasted marshmallows!

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It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten marshmallows, they aren’t my favorite.

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We didn’t have cake, I pointed them out in the store, but he wanted donuts for breakfast and marshmallows for dessert; who am I to argue with the birthday King?!

Wiley stayed up late. I wish I could say it was way past his usual bedtime, but he typically refuses sleep until around 10pm every night, so it was business as usual.

Wiley finally passed out on the bed next to mommy and his sleeping baby sister.

Fighting sleep till the bitter end.

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Dream a little dream…

My little family got a short break two weeks ago to visit my parents for two days…the remains of our Spring Break.

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My dad cuddling my baby girl before bedtime.

Wiley loves and frequently asks to go visit his “cousins” down there.

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I can’t post their sweet faces for the public, but here are two of my parent’s foster (hope to adopt) children! Wiley…being wiley. 🙂

My parents began fostering children a few years ago – with the hopes of adopting.

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They are such sweet kids! It’s no wonder Wiley can’t wait to see them again!

So those children that Wiley considers ‘cousins’ are more than likely to become his legal Aunts and Uncles.

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Wiley is not great at helping with chores, but it is good for him to go with the kiddos to learn the ropes…some day, he’ll be helping out on the Wanch too!

Since relocating to the city life, I am always happy to visit family (here in Missouri and down in Texas) where my babies can run free in the country with their cousins.

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I can now post photos of this little guy, because he is officially ours!! So are the dogs and ducks littered about…the back hoe in the back ground, not ours.

I’m a big believer that children need to be outside – as often as possible!!!

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What’s that popping up on the other side of mom’s garden??

City life has it’s perks and I’m not one to complain about being two blocks from the library or the grocery store, but my husband and I both have plans to make our way to the country.

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Mom and dad are building a house for my Gramma! So excited!!

Or at least closer to the country…presently, we live off the main street in our town.  So, a little further away from the city center.

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Walking back from Gramma’s house.

We are very lucky to have Danny in school – considering all the small children we have collected since we married – Dan has had quite a load.

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How many other 29 year old engineering students do you know with three kids under the age of four? Hahaha, well, there aren’t many at Mizzou…I’m sure BYU could name a few.

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My pink eye had mostly cleared up…before it came back. But, my face was still puffy, hence the glasses.

Although we have quite a handful, we have a lot of help from our church community and family. I’m not sure I’d survive mentally without my church community of moms!

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Daddy and Wiley

Most of our time spent at mom and dad’s is filled with chasing babies, making sure they stay out of the pond and jumping on the trampoline.

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Mom getting the engineer’s opinion on the retaining wall…

Danny and my brothers spend an equal amount of time as the little children on the trampoline, doing flips.

My dad made a new rule after he bought the new trampoline…only one big boy (that’s Dan or my brothers) allowed to jump at a time. My husband and my three younger brothers managed to collapse the old tramp – I mean, it was old, but yeah – too much weight es no bueno.

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Little Kon Bon – Konny Bon? My baby brother Konnor – the man of many nicknames.

Speaking of jumping…

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Mom came in to help choreograph a few scenes for Peter Pan.

I got to visit my brother’s dance rehearsal.

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Everyone was a little tired from rehearsing all day…but, they pressed on!

Cabool, Missouri has a new ballet school – totally legit! Children’s Ballet of the Ozarks was opened by a family friend, who recently moved to Missouri from Utah and with Cabool already the home of The STARS Foundation (which produces excellent music and theater), Cabool is like, the center of everything awesome here in Missouri…especially for all the youth in the area.

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I have this love for vintage photos, which may help you understand why I chose this particular lighting. I dig it!

It’s kind of miraculous this tiny little spot on the American map has so much to offer a community. All it takes, is for someone to take a leap of faith on a dream.

Because building your dreams, just might help others pursue their dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Breaker 2016: Sick Parent Edition.

Last week was our Spring Break (Dan had the week off from school) – we were going to head down to Texas to see family…

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The day before I woke up with pink eye, Easter eggs hunt with Wiley’s pre-school class and their younger siblings. I was starting to feel more sick as this day wore on.

Seven days before break, I got a little cold, the Thursday before Spring Break, I got pink eye. I knew I didn’t have time to mess around, so I went to a walk-in clinic for eye drops.

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Day 2, both eyes goopy and felt like sandpaper.

On Friday, I woke up with Pink eye in both eyes and my face was so swollen…I called my sister and told her I was not coming and maybe if things cleared up by Monday, we’d head down then?

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oh, hey Monday.

Come Monday morning, Danny was doing better and I had two pink eyes and a sinus infection.

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The internet is where you put un-flattering photos of yourself, right??! Had to wear the head band for 8 days, to keep fly away hair from getting into my eyes and therefore my fingers.

I was really bummed to use our break for sick days, but, Danny was able to spend a lot of time at the park with his little boys.

I was really really bummed that I wasn’t able to smother my baby girl in daily kisses.

Each new day I didn’t see much progress – I even woke up every three hours to put those drops in my eyes. Was it a viral infection? yes, but I thought, ‘hey, it can’t make it worse,’ will it?

We did a lot of resting, played with a silly face swap app on the iPad…

Wiley got ahold of my phone and took pictures while I nursed the baby in my room.

Not bad, not bad. hehehe

Thursday morning, nearing the end of break, my pink eyes cleared and although I still had sinusitis, we decided to head down to my parents a few hours south.

So, to my family in Texas – I’m sorry we couldn’t make it down. I hope that we get to see ya’ll soon, here’s some fun photos from our Winter:

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I’m so crazy from being stuck indoors, I’m going outside, I don’t care how cold it is! We’re just prepping for that time we live in Finland?

 

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My little super boy! He loves playing with Daddy’s chess pieces, I’ve had to hide the ones he has not yet lost.

 

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Tyler loves food. When he finishes his, he usually goes after Wiley’s plate…because Wiley doesn’t care much for the stuff.

 

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Ty will help Daddy finish too.

 

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Don’t leave food on the table…or the troll will climb up and eat it when you’re not looking.
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Also, Moms, don’t leave your oatmeal on the kitchen counter, because that pesky troll will pull it off and eat that too.

 

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Playing chess again. Meanwhile, in potty training…two steps forward, one step back.

 

Always wondering when Daddy will come home:

 

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The complete guide to Lego Star Wars – captures even the smallest imaginations.

 

Ah well, I feel like another road trip is in our future:

Naming a child, with your spouse.

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Two and a half months. My children all get this look from time to time, I love it.

Dan and I agreeing on a name when I was six months pregnant, was the soonest we decided on a name.

We had driven down to Texas for my sister’s August wedding, so we had ample time to talk names.

On our drive back to Missouri, Danny had his cellphone out and was telling me all the cool bird names he liked (because I really like the name Birdie, and we were trying to find a bird name for awhile).

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Birdie?

I smile when I hear ‘Kestrel’…my youngest sister could have been Kestrel.

So, from Houston, TX to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Danny and I tossed names back and forth.  Separately, he and I decided we liked the name Bell, but not as a first name.

Our little family made a really fast stop in Tulsa to stretch our legs and visit a close friend of mine.

My friend Rachel happens to now work at our alma mater, The University of Tulsa. It being August, the football team was in the middle of their two-a-day practices.

So, our brief stop was in the football training room to catch up with Rachel.

As she and I were catching up, one of the long time Orthopedic Doc’s came into the training room and joined our conversation.

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I think some things are truly meant to be.

Out of no-where, Rachel says to Dr. M, “So Katie and her husband are having a hard time choosing a name for their baby girl.”

Dr. M has been a long time friend of my mother’s family, so when he got a sparkle in his eye and said, “I know a nice name.” I knew he was going to say, “Adrien.”

Dr. M’s wife died of cancer in her early forties, and I have heard, for many years from my Grandmother, what a lovely and gracious lady she was. He never remarried and adopted The University of Tulsa athletics as his family (in addition to his children).

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Rachel and Dr M said how they liked the sound of Adrien (how his wife spelled her name) with our last name.

An hour later, Dan and I back in the truck swapping names again, I asked Danny what he thought of the name Adrien.

He said he liked it!

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Dan looked up the origin of the name, depending on where you look, “dark one” or “one who comes from Adria” which makes way more sense to me.

Adria is on the north eastern coast of Italy, sitting on the Adriatic Sea.

Now that Dan is neck deep with research in Water Engineering, it only makes sense that he said, “if we spell it ‘Adrian’ after the body of water.”

And that is how our sweet little Adrian Bell came to be named.

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Adrian Bell at three months!

Alert, Smiles all day, babbling, a great sleeper (when she isn’t sick) and trying to get up and walk to keep up with the boys.