Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving part I, II and III {we love to eat}

Easily the best thing about having my family and E's family all local is the holidays. Sure, they get a little hectic, trying to fit everyone in on Christmas, for example, can be stressful. But Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is perfect.

Many years my family hosts later in the weekend and lets E's family host Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day. This year, however, my Aunt Laura requested Thanksgiving months in advance and we were excited to switch things up a bit.

Lots of food, loved ones, presents for the birthday boy, and pie. Can't forget the pie. Everything was amazing.

Smoked brie wheel was amazing.
This little shy girl didn't want anybody smiling at her, talking to her, or god forbid, looking her in the eye.

My two boys. My two favorite boys ever.

James loves acting crazy with his uncles.
Lots of happy madness.

The next night we took a few photos in the backyard as well.
Juliet was not in the mood for pictures.
Or kisses.
Driving up to Midway is always such a treat. Chelsea and Joe hosted Thanksgiving this year and it was amazing!
Main Street Heber.
Cousin Emilia loves Juliet. She follows her around like a lost puppy. Seriously adorable.
Baby girl is getting big!
More birthday presents for this happy four year old.

And, finally, today, we celebrated the last of our Thanksgiving fun. For years my dad has been doing Dim Sum instead of trying to wrangle all the kids together on Thanksgiving Day. Dim Sum with my family is amazing because we are all adventurous eaters. Bring it on! Everything was divine. 

And if you can believe it, James got even more presents. Man this kid made out like a bandit.
Can this girl get any sweeter?

I promise, James's wolfy photos and interview are coming. And did you notice my new header? Eeep! The holidays are here!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I am most thankful for {happy thanksgiving}

This year has been tremendous in my growth. Sure, the kids have grown leaps and bounds. James starting preschool, Juliet starting to walk, talk, feed herself and get opinions about everything.

But this year has been huge for me too because it's been hard for Juliet, and therefore a little bit heartbreaking for me.

Juliet is what I am most thankful for today. Of course (of course) I am also most thankful for James and E too, but oh Juliet, you've really shown me what it would be like without you.

The year started with you getting very very sick. You were not hospitalized, but close to it. Your doctor said if you got any sicker, you would need to go to the ER. It scared me oh so much, but i knew you'd be okay. You were big, and feisty, and a fighter.

And then in the middle of summer, in the middle of our family vacation, you got into GG's medicine. Not knowing if you had taken any we called poison control as asked what to do. They said take you to the ER. This particular medicine could cause major problems with your heart.

I was terrified. So so scared. But also bummed this had happened in the middle of our vacation, because my gut told me you were ok. That you hadn't taken any of the pills. Twenty four hours in the hospital confirmed that, you were fine. Oh oh oh I was thankful.

And then, and then, you fell of the bridge at Sugarhouse Park. Oh what a year we've had.

For the first time since becoming a parent my worst nightmare was realized. I saw one of my children in mortal danger and I couldn't do anything. I ran. I fell. I thought I would find my baby dead.

This still haunts me. I think about it daily. I wake up at night, every night, with flashbacks of seeing you fall. With thoughts of "what ifs". What if the outcome had been different? What if today, Thanksgiving, I was not celebrating with my both my children?

This thought haunts me.

But I'm doing ok. Instead of being overcome with fear, I quickly pick up you, my girl, and kiss you. Hug you. Read a story to you. Laugh at all your silly antics. And when you're  tantruming I smile, because there is no place I'd rather be than next to you.

Here I am, mothering my beautiful daughter, the daughter I've wanted forever. She's here, she's amazing, she's feisty, she's mine. And she's healthy.

I am so so so thankful.

*Above, Juliet is blurry, happy and crazy (look at that hair!). Just like she should be.

**James's four year interview and Wolfy photos to come. After James got the stomach flu it hit us all. We've all been barfing. Yuuuuck...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

James's four year interview

James's favorite things, in his own worlds. And if you watch all the way to the end there's a little treat: a sweet and adorable Thanksgiving song he learned at preschool.

Kiddo, I love you to the moon and back.

And to see James's three year interview (which is adorable and darling too!) click here.

James's four year interview from HappierStill on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

James at FOUR {Wolfy photos!}

Mr. James is FOUR.

Four is big. He goes to preschool. Wearing diapers and sleeping in a crib are distant memories. He has a little life apart from me for the first time in his life. It is amazing and wonderful. He is amazing and wonderful.
While looking through the lens when taking this photos, it stuck me. He's a big boy. I can see what he'll look like as a ten year old. I can almost see a hint of his adult self. So bittersweet.

James is a strong headed kid, a kind tender soul, and a Mama's boy through and through. He still loves fruit of any kind and playing outside is one of his favorite activities no matter the weather.

His sister, most the time. Especially trying to boss her around. We tell James 100 times a day that he's not in charge of Juliet.
Waterfalls, bolts, and dark pipes. He's such a goof. No idea how these became his favorites, but alas, they are.
Diggers. For two plus years (half of his little life) he's loved all digging machines.
The mountains. He is an outdoorsman at heart.
Fruit. He tells me strawberries are his favorites.
His snuggly friends in his bed. He loves each and every one.
Naps, most the time. He still is napping 80% of the time.

Being told no. He really knows how to push my buttons, but he has gotten easier than some of his hardest times at three years.
Staying home. He likes to get out and about. Every morning he asks "what's the activity?"
Not being in charge. He's a little type A like his Mama.
Large crowds where everyone wants to talk to him. Even at four he takes some time to warm up to people, even people he knows well.
He always says the funniest stuff. Here are a list of my favorites:
  • Jaguar helps my think abouts go away. (When having a hard time going to sleep because he was over thinking things.)
  • The kiddos are something else.
  • Look at those to Steamworkers (when seeing a smokestack)
  • When snugging daddy "I don't want to hear your nose sounds anymore."
  • Yo Mama! Maybe when I'm an elephant I could eat hay. And it will taste so good for me!
  • When I was sleeping I was hearing the most beautiful sound of my whole life! It was a siren!
  • You know why I swallow buggers? They are yummy. I'm a bugger eating James!
  • The steam clump is working'! (exhaust pipe)
  • Turn here on Granoavard (boulovard)
  • Bee-nok-lee-ers (binoculars)
  • Is this a foxy path or a birdy forest?
  • You are the best mommy of the whole wool-ard
  • I love you mommy. And I love my family. I have a a great daddy and a great mommy.
  • I'm eleventeens old. Look how big I am! That's pretty big.
  • (Touching my boob) Is that a baby?
  • Doggies love chomping on skeleton bones.
  • When I was mad at him "I like your nose!" Then when I laughed he said "you like that? I'll say it again!"
  • Spying his reflection "I look darling do I?"
And, my favorite part. Check out how much he's grown:

Happy birthday James! {letter}


Today you are four. And today you are not yourself. You are not spunky and feisty and full of energy (and backtalk). No, today you are sick. You see, you woke up in the middle of the night barfing. NOT FUN. Spending your fourth birthday with the stomach flu is not what either of us imagined.

But it's ok.

Being sick on your birthday is a major bummer, but you'll be back to your old self soon enough.

Your old self? Is AWESOME. You are one amazing kid. You are kind and gentle and school, saving your biggest smiles for your teachers.

You are feisty and determined at home. You know what you want and will not give up without a fight. Much like your Mama, kiddo. You give huge hugs, tell me you love me often and are more independent by the day second.

You are an amazing brother. Amazing. You teach Juliet so many things, you always include her in your play, and whenever she is upset or sad you run to find her lovie so she can begin feeling all better.

At four you are fascinated with water. Waterfalls, grates, pipes, anything and everything to do with even the tiniest drip of water makes you so happy.

And seeing you happy? Nothing in the world is better.

Over four years you've gone from a baby, to a toddler to a preschooler. You are so dang smart, fast, determined, excited and everything else. You are spectacular. You are my son.

Happy fourth birthday kiddo. I love you more than you will ever know.


(Wolfy photos to come, once his sweet smile returns.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baby Eve

Every once in awhile I am lucky enough to have a friend that has a baby. Recently a friend of mine gave birth to her second baby, a daughter, and I offered to take some newborn photos for her.

This little dear is amazing. Beautiful. Stunning. Just like her Mama and big brother.

Baby Eve, I adore you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sunday in the garden {video}

We love visiting Red Butte Garden. It might be our favorite activity for each family member, and it's pretty neat we all agree on its awesome-ness.

I've taken so so many photos there over the years I've stopped bringing my big camera as of late. Although the children are growing leaps and bounds, the garden stays the same. Or mostly the same. The seasons shift, and the garden grows, but photos and blog posts seem to feel repetitive.

So last time, instead of taking photos, I took some short videos. Tonight I edited them together and added music. I'm no way a pro at this (I would love to get better!) but it is fun to see my family in action every once in awhile.
Red Butte from HappierStill on Vimeo.

And if Vimeo doesn't seem to work on your device, here's a link to YouTube.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Navy dress {then & now}

I've mentioned a couple of times, both here and on IG, that my favorite current outfit of Juliet's is the navy vintage dress that once belonged to my sister Melissa. I love how classic it looks. I love the big victorian era collar. I love my baby girl in navy.

This dress started out pretty special too. It was a gift from my mom's best friend. For an entire year my mom's friend lived in London with her young family. When she retuned she brought my mom's (then) three children each a special gift. I got a Peter Rabbit tea set, Brandon got.. something..., and Melissa got this beautiful navy dress.

My mom loved this dress as much as I do now, and it fit Melissa beautifully. One day when the leaves were gold and Melissa was happy, my mom did a little photo shoot in our front yard and got some super sweet photos of Melissa.

And ever since my mom let Juliet have this dress, she's been wanting me to recreate the photos under the weeping birch tree.

Plus, Juliet and her Auntie Melissa look so much alike. Twins, if you will.
Look at her curls! She still has amazing curls today.
Juliet, on this particular day, was grumpy about something. (She's been grumpy all month). Throwing leaves on her head and asking for a smile just wasn't working.
As you can see...
Thank you baby girl, for the mini smile.
One thing that always cheers her up when she's mad at me? Her brother. And I'm ok with that.
Thank you Melissa for lending us your dress. It's yours, when you have a daughter of your own.

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