Monday, December 31, 2012

December on Instagram

I'm gonna try my best to add collages of Instagram pics from time to time.  
They can't be documented too many times, right?

1.  Sleeping Macy.  So sweet.
2.  Napping under the Christmas tree.  Wow, I love Christmas.
3.  Santa Baby
4.  Marshall is such a great brother!  He wanted to brush her hair and was so tender with Baby Sister.
5.  Pretty girl at Grandma's house.
6.  Tyler's style cracks me up.  Nothing like skin tight jammies and cowboy boots.
7.  Pretty sure painted baby nails are my favorite thing in the world.
8.  She sleeps like such an angel.
9.  Our impressive snowman we built in the middle of the night on a school night!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Morning 2013

Christmas was so great for us this year.  We are truly blessed with anything we could ever want... tons of health and happiness and a wonderful family!

Here we are in our annual PJ picture in front of the tree on Christmas Eve.  Daddy picked out the boys' matching Angry Bird jammies and Mom kept with the color scheme for the girls.  Macy's shirt said "all Mommy wants is a silent night" which wasn't as humorous as I had thought because since she was just a couple weeks old she slept for five hours at a time at night.  She's a little angel, I tell you.

I love how we are still the ones that rush to pull the kids out of bed nice and early because we just can't wait to get the party started.  One of my favorite pictures from Christmas morning is their sleepy stroll into the family room with that marvelous bed head.

Santa didn't disappoint with the scooters and other surprises!  Marshall got the whole set of books we've been borrowing from the library that have helped him learn to love reading.  Tyler got a couple different spiky balls.  They must have been good little boys.

The boys have gotten good at choosing great gifts for others and it makes me so happy.  The got Daddy this remote control truck that has an attached air soft gun.  He had way too much fun shooting those BBs at anyone that came around.

Here's Macy with her spoils.  She got a couple super soft blankies and some cute stuffed animals.  That deer is my favorite!!!  I think one of my favorite things was to let the boys pick something for their little sister.  Marshall just couldn't decide what type of rattle he wanted to get her so we were at the store forever.  I helped him decide on the princess rattle.  Tyler picked her out her very own pink cell phone.  Because every child needs a cell phone these days.

We got spoiled at Grandma & Grandpa Stratton's... it was one of my favorite years.  So many thoughtful gifts and good time spent together.  Plus everyone was there for the first time in a couple years.  I guess I've gotten tired of my camera being an extension of me at every stop because these were the last pictures I took on Christmas Day.  I promise to do better and document the people and fun at each house next year.  It's always fun to look back at how everyone has grown up and have pictures of the kiddos with their great grandparents...

I guess I've gotten tired of my camera being an extension of me at every stop because these were the last pictures I took on Christmas Day.  I promise to do better and document the people and fun at each house next year.  It's always fun to look back at how everyone has grown up and have pictures of the kiddos with their great grandparents...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Snow

Christmastime didn't really feel like Christmastime this year.  The beautiful fall weather was hanging on for dear life and it seemed like it was only about a week before Christmas that it actually got cold.

The first real storm came in on a Tuesday evening and Colby and I were with the Young Men and Young Women from church for a little trip to the St. George Temple.  We got home a little late but decided the kids needed to play in that snow!  I've gotten to be a bit of a stickler on bed time around here, but we all know that snow in Hurricane doesn't last long and I was sure we wouldn't have time to play in it before school, so I told the kids to put some snow clothes over their PJs and get out there!

They loved it!  Their favorite game was "hit Mommy with the snowballs" so it was a great time.

In the meantime, Baby Sister stayed inside.  She just hung out on her blanket, totally ok with sharing Mom with her brothers for a bit.

After trying everything they could think of with the snow (apparently throwing snow at the house is HILARIOUS) they built a snowman.  He was a cute little guy that lasted a couple days...  
The first picture is him the next morning looking cheery.

We got another fun storm the day after Christmas and they shot their new bows & arrows and rode their new scooters all over in that snow.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Essentials

After learning about the true meaning of Christmas today at preschool, this was my conversation with Tyler.

Me: How was school, Tyler?
Ty: Good. We dressed up like when baby Jesus... I got to dress up and be Moses.
Me: You mean Joseph?
Ty: Yeah. Joseph. He was Jesusus (that's how he said it) dad.
Me: Yep. He was. That's special you got to dress up and tell the story of Christmas.
Ty: (after a pause)Was baby Jesus born when the dinosaurs and dragons lived?
Me: (I chuckled a little) No. The dinosaurs were not alive anymore when Jesus was born.
Ty: And not the dragons either?

I think we need to go over the Christmas story a few more times.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Macy's Dress

I am so in love with Macy's blessing dress.  I searched all over for the perfect dress and the one I loved the most had me questioning my judgement a little bit.  It cost over $100 and after tax and shipping I'm sure it would have been at least $150.  The thing that was concerning was that I was ready to pay it.  

I asked my sister in law what she thought was the most she would pay for a blessing dress and her answer got me a little more concerned.  I showed the dress to Colby to see if he was ok with it and he thought I was crazy.  At that point, I had definitely lost my chance to ask forgiveness rather than permission so I had to come up with another plan.  

So I took a picture of the dress over to Colby's mom and asked her if she could help me make it.  She was happy to oblige so I picked up some soft fabric (Colby's requirement... he doesn't believe it should hurt to be beautiful) and I watched her whip it together like it was nothing.  I did actually help because I was in charge of the flower details and those flowers took some time.  One more thing I accomplished that I figured I would never attempt.  I even made her headband, at Colby's request, even though I had ordered two custom ones from an Etsy shop because I couldn't decide which one would be more perfect.

I loved this dress because it was so simple.  It wasn't too ornate and distracting from her pretty face, yet it was definitely unique and eye catching and it was long.  I really wanted it long.

Here's another pretty picture of Macy with the blanket that Grandma made for her too.  What a spoiled girl.

Macy's Blessing

My dear Macy girl,

Yesterday was your blessing day.  Daddy gave you a beautiful blessing.  It was so tender and like nothing I've ever heard.  It's clear he loves you oh, so much.  We all do.  The spirit was incredibly strong and I have no doubt you are a precious gift from heaven.  

He blessed you with modesty, which is so much more than what you wear.  It's the way you think, talk, behave... it is what will make you stand out from the filth of the world and be something truly special.  It will give you strength and value as an individual and disciple of our Savior.

He blessed you to have love and kindness.  The kind that will help those around you feel special and cherished.  He also blessed you to be happy and cheerful and to always find the peace in situations and to be a peacemaker.

He blessed you to have a strong relationship with your Heavenly Father that will help you to make good choices and stand for the right in times that are hard.  We know you will encounter many "hard" times throughout your life.  The world is a beautiful place but has a lot of scary and dangerous possibilities.  That's why you need to be ready to stand for the right, no matter what.  

You were also blessed to go to the temple.  That you could find a friend to be your eternal companion and have a family.  The temple is the key to keeping the joy and happiness that family brings.  You can have that blessing forever if the temple is the place you root your family.  We, as your parents, want this more for you than we can express.  Our family is our greatest possession and we are so blessed to have the chance to keep you all with us forever.  It will take a lot of work, for all of us, to keep such a lasting bond, and we are ready to help you do so in any way we can.

You are such a blessing to us.  We love you.

With all my heart,

Monday, December 10, 2012


This time of life is so precious.  These quiet moments I get to spend late at night, just Macy and I, are some of my very favorite.  I don't remember loving this so much before.  Maybe that's because it was so long ago that I can't remember.  Maybe it's because I'm a bit wiser now and have learned to value this a little better- something I know won't last forever.  I'm really not sure why...

I'm just glad I get to have these moments.

Glad to be a mommy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

So I Never Forget

Remember all that name picking drama?  I do.  And I hope I never forget the process.  Turns out it was quite the experience for us this time.  One Sunday during Sacrament Meeting (Remember how Colby was only home one day a week for months???  Sunday was our only time to accomplish anything together.) I was itching to discuss names, but we certainly couldn't just have a little chat right then so I started writing notes to my sweetie.  Before church I had asked Colby his opinion of the name Claire, and he just gave me a dirty look that seemed somewhat bewildered... like "why in the heck would you even ask me?"  It caught me off guard, but I learned that he wasn't a fan because he grew up his whole life knowing a man named Claire, so it just seemed wrong to him.  So I had names on the brain and had to take care of it.  I happened to save the paper full of notes and I'm so glad I did.  It makes me laugh every time I look at it.  I'm going to recreate it here...

(Andrea:) Do you like the name Jillian?
(Colby:) -no answer-
On a scale of 1-10?
What's your opinion?  I know you have one.
-no answer-
So this is where I resort to forcing answers...
Macy and Mercedes are...?
What are Roxy?
These were all names we'd talked about but besides the top two, I never got anything but a "no."
Do you have  ANY other names floating around in your head?
-Lily & Charlie-
I was then asked to rate those.  Colby hesitated to mention Charlie even though he's always loved it for a girl because him and I had earlier agreed that we absolutely wanted our daughter to have a truly feminine name.  So I suggested Charlotte with the understanding that he could call her Charlie all he wanted, but her real name would be Charlotte.
4, but if it weren't so popular I would rate it a 7
...and so Colby had to rate my suggestion...
So then we continued.
Megan suggested Ellen
I like the name Scarlet...
-negative 3-
(Hahahaha.  I guess he hated that one.)

Even though it has nothing to do with our funny note writing, here's some pictures for good measure.  Macy was five days old in these and playing with Tyler.  She loves her brothers.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Growing Girl

These pictures were taken when Macy was one week and one day old.  Since day one, when she is awake she is wide eyed and alert.  She has the cutest face when she it taking in the world.

I'll need to adopt a paparazzi mentality again soon in order to catch her three week old expression while observing the world around her.  It's still so sweet, but it has also taken a dainty kind of quality that I love.  

And yes!  She is three weeks old now.  At her check up last week she weighed in at 10 lb. 7 oz. and grew a whole inch and a half, putting her at 22 inches now.  I may have almost cried as I asked Heavenly Father yesterday why they couldn't stay small just a little longer.  They have their whole lives to be grown...  She has a whole basket of clothes she will never wear!  Mostly a lot of short sleeved onsies being neglected on account of the weather, but still! Why can't they just be tiny a little longer?

Macy has had us completely enchanted, but there is one thing missing.  She doesn't have that "newborn cry!"  You know that one that melts your heart and part of you never wants that cry to go away?  She doesn't cry like that.  She'll start with a soft, whiney sound and if that doesn't get your attention she will go straight to yelling!  She's a lot like Newborn Marshall in that respect... oh, so sweet but sort of demanding.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Doll Baby

Macy was born early Sunday morning.
She weighed 9 lb. 10 oz. and measured 20.5 in.
Getting her here went pretty smoothly and didn't scare me from having more babies, even though she was so big.  Honestly, everyone in the delivery room was shocked at her size and there were many comments made about how incredible it was for her to make her debut once she was no longer a "newborn."  I love her full cheeks and cute little rolls on her legs.  She has darling long fingers and long skinny feet.
She has us completely enchanted.  She's so sweet and I could just sit and hold her all day.
I'm not one that gets crazy over babies, but my own babies always amaze me by the way they take over my whole heart and help me really see the world in it's true perspective.

We love you Macy Girl.
Glad to have you here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Good Kind of Tears

Saturday I cried a lot of useless tears.  
I cried because I woke up still pregnant.  
I cried because I sat down on the couch with my family and couldn't get comfortable.  
I cried because I had to go to the bathroom.  
Just a lot of crying over nothing.

Tonight I sit here with so much to be grateful for... and I'm grateful to have something great to shed some tears over. 

I was just sitting there, holding my sweet, new, little baby girl.  
As I held her and marveled at her innocent perfection, 
I looked up at my boys that were giggling along with their awesome daddy as they watched Madagascar 3.  
I was overwhelmed by the reality that this is my life.  
My three sweet children, my forever best friend... my whole world that I get to be blessed with forever.  I was overcome by gratitude that this is my life.  

And then I cried.  Just a little, but they were the tears I like to shed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween!!!

This year Halloween has been a little different... being at the very end of a pregnancy takes all the fun out of me, I guess.  We have basic decor, the kids have begged to put up spiderwebs for weeks with only the most pathetic results, and everything is getting done at the very last second.  For example, as these photos were loading I quickly looked up the recipe for our traditional pumpkin casserole and now I'm trying to decide if I have time to make it... which I'm still at maybe.

Marshall has been excited to dress up as Frankenstein for almost a year now.  It's been a special treat for him that I told him he didn't need to have his hair cut until after Halloween so his spiky hair could be really out of control.  It's been a good month and half and he wishes I would let him grow it as long as Justin Bieber.  Sorry pal.  Not happening.

Tyler wanted to be a bat this year and wouldn't back down!  I was actually fine with that plan until I tried to find a bat costume and realized I would surely be making one.  All the ones you can buy are really dorky looking and I couldn't let him be a dorky bat.  And I surely wasn't going to waste money on one of those stupid costumes.  Our friend Max dressed as a bat last year and luckily his mom let us borrow his costume that she worked so hard to make (she's a great friend).  I ended up making him his own shirt since I didn't want to be responsible for the mess that could appear on it after wearing it to preschool and then tonight's festivities.  Good thing too because he thought it made a perfect napkin after eating all the yummy treats from school.  I made his mask too.  Which I have to fix before tonight... I'm glad I blogged these pics just now.  I would have forgotten.

I totally forgot to not procrastinate for Tyler's Halloween party on Tuesday at preschool.  I made his costume the morning of and I almost just sent a bag of candy but had REALLY wanted to make these goodie bags (found on Pinterest) and Marshall's class wasn't exchanging treats so this was my only chance.  I stayed up late the night before putting them together.  I think I'm glad I did it.  Haha.

We had our annual friends Halloween party and it was so fun.  Everyone was relieved (as far as I could tell) that Colby's trend of wearing less clothes each year did not continue.  I thought his preppy costume was hilarious.  Until seeing these pictures, I really hadn't realized how enormous I have become.  Well, maybe that's a lie.  I know I'm enormous.  I can't do anything anymore because this big belly just gets in the way!  I just don't usually have reason to just look at it.  9 months pregnant is such a good time of life.  Haha.  You'll find a picture down there of the "festive" cake I made for the occasion.  Seriously, I would love to go above and beyond with everything these days but I have to pick and choose.  Otherwise I'd self destruct and lay in a crying/sleeping heap on the couch.

Here's a picture of our Bunco group at Nikki's house earlier this month.  
It was a costume required witches night and it was SO fun!  
I wore this outfit again last night at Young Womens when we went "Reverse Trick or Treating" and gave out treats to random families in our ward.