Sometimes Nick and I just look at each other, shake our head and laugh. How did we end up in this happy bubble of never-ending chaos? We both love the quiet time reading in front of a fire and I'm convinced that no one envisions us in that setting, and you'd be right. It's pretty crazy over here. Luckily our little ones lend their energy to our love of hiking and the beach AND we still live in the perfect spot.
Most of the time I feel pulled in 10 different directions at once. There is always an immediate need and always someone getting put off. There are always messes. And there is always a healthy serving of guilt. But we've survived having 2 more babies while here on the coast and I know that I've learned patience, or maybe it's an "ignoring the crazies so you will survive until bedtime" technique so I don't lose my mind.
But there are times that I let the messes accumulate and eat nothing but leftovers and that would be New Years this year!! My kids are FINALLY old enough to play the big games with us. So. SO SOOO exciting. We no longer have to search out new people to teach the games to or find friends that already know how to play. We have our own built-in gaming buddies AND they are always willing to smack around some dice.
It was a perfect way to ring in the new year, getting to see the personalities of our boys a little closer.
Cooper 11y, as always, excels in school and maintains a high GPA. When I pick the boys up from school, he is talking to me about his day as soon at the car door cracks open. Nothing goes unsaid. He loves Minecraft and is roaring like a freight train towards puberty. I hate that word.
Sean 10y, still his curious and troublesome self. He reads science books and memorizes every fact about bugs, animals, rocks, history or whatever. Sean is very well spoken and eloquently lets you know how he feels. He is my absent-minded professor and I'm learning to just deal with him instead of trying to change him.
Mason 7y, is still my bundle of energy. He is so very happy and free with his affection. His constant bounding around and talking can get a little old, but we love his ready smiles and helping nature.
Rand 22m, is finding his words. He says your typical, dada, mom mom, bye bye, manana, yeah, keee (kitty), boodee (bri), ball, hat, etc. He hadn't learned to say NO yet, which is quite surprising, but yesterday he busted out with "mine!" and Nick just said, "oh no, it's starting." But he's still completely adorable and hypnotizes everyone he meets with his charm and cuteness.
Briallen 3m, is growing quickly. So very fast. So far, she just a baby and the fact that she's a girl only manifests itself when we get her dressed. She is a wonderful sleeper (she sleeps too well and it worries mom sometimes) and a happy baby. She loves getting her diaper changed, getting walked around by Sean and staring at her baby einstein baby thing in her crib. She loves music, getting sung to and sucking on her binky.
Nick is finishing up dental school! Less than 6 months and we'll be calling him "Doctor Nick." He's working very hard and has a lot on his plate. In 2013 he took his boards and had to deal with a pregnant wife, did awesome in school and applied to residency programs all while serving as EQ president. He makes killer sushi and has been smoking up bunch of meat in his big green egg. He manages to gather us for family prayer and scripture at night and continues to amaze me.
Emily has been busy with little ones. I forgot how much work it is having babies and toddlers around and unfortunately the spoils of my efforts are all around me (IE the house is a mess. like. always. and it drives me almost. insane). This year I will turn 40 and it amazes me that even at my ripe old age, I am still learning about who I am. Not just the fact that I'm sprouting a turkey neck and an aching back, but internal stuff too, some good. Some not-so-good. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many helpers and they are always so willing to chip in without complaining. I think it's because they have a good example in their dad. Still spending lots of time in the kitchen and behind the shutter, but mostly just changin' diapers and helping kids with homework over here.
We are eagerly looking forward to see what 2014 brings. We will be leaving California and moving on. If Nick gets into a residency program, we'll be moving to New York, Washington or Hawaii in mid June. If he doesn't then our next location is TBD. We'll find out on Jan 27th and are squirming until then! Hopefully this year we'll also get a family photo done and get to visit much-missed family.
Hugs and prayers to all!