27 January 2015

Moving On

We're moving! Next week, we're packing up and heading westward. 
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Troy was recruited to a new company that just so happens to be in one of our favorite places in America.

Every single time we've visited Southern California, we've said to each other, "Why don't we live here?" We can hardly believe that one of our dreams is becoming a reality.

Change is always bittersweet. It’s hard for us to think about leaving our great friends that have become our family. I'm sure that many tears will be shed in the upcoming days as we say goodbye to the only home our four boys have ever known. We're leaving loads of memories behind as we close the door on this chapter of our lives.

But we're also thrilled for what lies ahead. Throughout the entire interview and relocation process that has spanned over the last four months, I kept referencing these insightful words:
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This move is our "packet of sunlight" in so many ways. Too many things have fallen into place and we feel calm and peaceful about going forward. 

It has come as an answer to prayers after some pretty intense trials, not the least of which was Troy's unsustainable long work hours. We're looking forward to a better work/life balance and feel incredibly blessed to have been given such an amazing opportunity.

We are happy and excited about the way our lives are headed. It’s a little crazy and we're okay with that.

Sunny SoCal, here we come.

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26 January 2015

First Grade Spelling

Lately, Blake has been bringing home books that he writes during his free time at school. They are usually about his family and I love them so much. 
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Translation:
Finn smiles a lot.
He is a good baby.
I love him.
I make him smile.
I play with him everyday.

Chapter 2
Crew loves Finn.
He hugs him all the time.
Nash plays with him a lot.
My mom feeds him a lot.

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Translation:
Nash sucks his thumb a lot.
Nash has a great smile. I love it.
He goes to preschool.
His favorite food is macaroni and cheese.

Blake
Blake goes to 1st grade.
I love going to 1st grade.
I have 3 recesses!
I have 3 brothers!
I read to mom.

First grade spelling is the best.

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20 January 2015

String Art World Map

I have a knack for picking the busiest, most chaotic times for big projects. Somebody explain to me why I do this.

I had the vision to make a string art world map a year and a half ago when we finished our basement. I saved the wooden planks from another project and bought the nails and string. And then it all sat in the garage for over a year.

For some unknown reason, I decided to finally tackle the project during the month of December while the craziness of Blake's birthday and Christmas prep was swirling around us. 

After staining the wood and securing the planks, I printed out an enlarged map and pieced it all together. I vastly underestimated the amount of time it would take to hammer in tiny nails at each geographic turn. It took me weeks since I could only pull out the hammer while no one was napping. Once I had all of the nails in place, I ripped off the paper template and strung away with rolls and rolls of string.

I was hoping to complete the map as a birthday present for Blake but I didn't wrap it up until the following week. He beams with pride at the creation that now hangs in his room. He told his classmates about it and he brings everyone that comes to our house down to his room to show it off. 

A completed project is much more exhilarating when you get a nod of approval from your seven year old.
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18 January 2015

Christmas Break Wrap-Up

We're only 18 days into 2015 but it already feels so ancient to write about the end of 2014.

It was so nice to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's at the cabin. If we would have been at home, I would have found a thousand things to do. But being away forced us to relax. We bowled, we swam, we watched movies, we built new toys, we played new games on repeat and we avoided going outside in the below freezing temperatures. 

Grandma gave all the boys matching shirts for a photo op, which ended up being incredibly tricky to squeeze in. With four babies on different nap schedules, there was rarely a time where everyone was awake. I knew we'd have higher quality photos in the daylight but it just wasn't in the cards. We made do late one evening with as many indoor lights as we could find. 
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We had Troy's aunt and uncle and cousins over that evening, so at least there were lots of extra helpers to encourage the little ones to cooperate. Somehow, Finn slept through all the commotion.
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We stayed up late playing the game Quelf with cousins. There was one point where we had to use sign language to communicate (which none of us knew) and we were laughing so hard it brought us to tears. 
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It got too cold to play in the snow so we ventured out to the hot tub instead. 
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It took 7 people, 3 days and 1700 Lego pieces to complete the Salt Lake temple replica. 
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We finally got to the gingerbread house and gingerbread cookies once Christmas was over. 
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It was so cold on New Year's Eve that when Troy went out to the car, he found that a bottle of sparkling cider had frozen and exploded, sending tiny pieces of glass all over the vehicle. 

We opted to take the family to an indoor aquatic center to avoid the cold. 
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Blake let Crew push him into the pool over and over and over. 
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Finn slept through the event as usual. 
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We kicked off the New Year with takeout and watched fireworks from the hot tub when the clock struck midnight. 

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13 January 2015

Finn | Four Months

Finn is quite possibly the happiest baby I have ever known. He just smiles nonstop; at anyone and anything. He is quite the little flirt.

At four months, Finn is rolling all over the place. And just like all of his brothers at this age, he gets pretty mad when he gets stuck on his tummy. 

He gave up the binky and traded it for his thumb. That means that three out of our four boys are thumbsuckers and I kind of love it. Thumbs never get lost or dropped out of the crib over and over. They don't need to be taken away before two years of age. And, let's face it, it's adorable to watch Finn become coordinated enough to keep his thumb in place while clutching his nose with his remaining fingers. I'm a fan of thumbsucking. Especially when the self soothing means more sleep for me.
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