Tuesday, August 30, 2016


School was officially out for a few weeks in August and the whole family spent those weeks enjoying each other's company.

Hannah graduated from first grade with honors and is very excited for second grade. She had one play date with a cute girl named Kylie over the summer, but wanted to spend most of her time playing with Paige. Paige also completed a successful school year, and was very sad to leave Wright Elementary. She had a great experience there. The girls got along so well during the break, hardly any fighting or hard feelings. They were lucky enough to attend Jr. Ranger camp at Spring Mountain Ranch in the mornings for three weeks. They took hikes, made crafts, and did science experiments. They also played a lot Pokemon.

Sam had a great summer break as well. While the girls were involved with the Spring Mountain Ranch camp, Sam spent the mornings with Mommy and Daddy taking hikes, exploring SMR and finding crawdads. He loved being out doors, running around on the lawn and playing soccer. We enjoyed a picnic every day. 

Jonathan turned four months old. He weighs 18 lbs 6 oz, our blue eyed bruiser. We sure love him, and we're grateful for him every day. He has quite the cute personality, and wants to be a part of the action all the time. He also enjoyed our hikes around Lake Harriet at Spring Mountain Ranch, and loves being outside. 

We went on a quick weekend trip at the beginning of August to visit Nana and Papa. The kids spent the whole visit in the pool. As a family, we spent quite a lot of time soaking up the sun at Wet n Wild. We spent many hours floating around the lazy river, trying to coax the girls to try water slides. Hannah would do all the slides at the kiddie area but Paige wouldn't finally on one of the last days of the summer Paige said, "I like these slides now" and spent all day on them. Another fun thing we did as a family was attend a 51s game together as a family. The girls especially enjoyed it. 

One of the biggest events was Adam and I celebrating our ten year anniversary. Ten years. We are so grateful for our wonderful marriage that blesses our lives each day. We can't believe this beautiful life, this beautiful family we have. Along with that we celebrated ten years of living in Las Vegas. Though sometimes it has seemed like a life sentence, we have grown to love our oasis in the desert, and are proud to call it home. 

Of course all good summers must come to an end, unfortunately, and the girls started back to school. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a big gaping hole in my heart, especially with Paige doing FULL DAY kindergarten. She is so extremely happy to be there, and I'm happy for her, but I'm also missing her tremendously. The night before school started Adam gave the girls a blessing and blessed Paige that she would be courageous. She started crying, and of course I was sobbing and we spent a good hour crying together, telling each other we'd miss the other. On Monday morning, however, the girls woke up before the sun, got their own lunches packed, dressed, had breakfast, and brushed their teeth, because they were SO excited. Paige was slightly nervous once we got to school, but for the most part everything went beautifully. The only tears were mine.


Hurray for the end of a successful year of first grade! At the beginning of the year Hannah was reading on a end of first grade/beginning of second grade level and now she's reading at an end of fourth grade level. She was very into Magic Tree House books, Minecraft, and Pokemon. She's great at math, too. She dreams of growing up and being a teacher and she currently wishes she was a child actor or a YouTube star. She made a lot of friends, learned to ride her bike and tie her shoes. She got a baby brother. She traveled to California, Utah, and Colorado. She also turned seven. We're looking forward to seeing what next year brings!

While out to dinner tonight at our favorite family restaurant a sweet man came up to us mid meal and said, "You have such well behaved children, I'm so impressed with you both, you are doing something right. What a beautiful family." We thanked him, and I felt so happy, but honestly my first thought was "I hope he leaves before our kids start brawling."

Happy ten year anniversary to my love. We've been married long enough that we aren't considered newlyweds anymore but we aren't yet considered experts either. We've spent the last ten years growing. Growing closer (by a lot), growing more mature (a very little), growing a family. In many ways we are completely different people from the two love birds we were ten years ago, but on the other hand we are still the same. I still love holding his hand. He still tells me he loves me, kisses me,and makes me laugh everyday without fail. He also makes me crazy and I annoy him endlessly. He is very long suffering, and I wish I had a dollar for every time he told me he's argued with me in his head (the man has only ever raised his voice to me once in ten years). He's quiet, I'm loud. He's the calm, I'm the storm. He has the patience, I have the passion. He's a realist, and I vacillate between extreme optimism and pessimism. He is my rock and I am his waves. We essentially bring a near perfect harmony to our family with our complimentary components. It's not always easy to live with these differences, but we've come to navigate them somehow. Looking back on the last ten years I'm proud of what we've accomplished, but I'd say our highlights are hands down 1) Hannah 2) Paige 3) Samuel 4) Jonathan. Adam, you are one of the best people I've ever known. I don't know how I was so blessed to be loved by you. You make me better, and together we've built a beautiful life. Just let me stay here by your side. That would be enough.

We celebrated ten wonderful years tonight with dinner at Cafe Mayakovsky, a delicious Russian restaurant downtown. As soon as I tasted the pelmeni I was transported back in time to Moscow 2006. It was CRAZY. Thanks, Cori, for watching our kids!

We were playing Guess Who Family edition where we pick a family member and everyone asks yes/no questions to figure out who we are thinking of. When it came to Paige we asked if it was a boy. Paige said "Yes, and I'll give you a clue... He's my favorite." In unison we all said, "Uncle Caleb!" She LOVES Caleb so much.

August 12 at 7:20am · Instagram · 
This picture popped up on my google photos. It was one of the first family vacations we took, back in 2010. Hannah was barely one. I have such vivid memories of this time in my life. I remember the texture of that shirt (and in my memory it was often wet) I remember the feel of trying to take her binkie away and her clasping on with her tiny teeth (that she's losing now). I remember the smell of her skin, her favorite foods, the sound of her laugh, and what it felt like to squeeze her chubby thighs. I'll never feel like I have enough time with any of my kids. I ache for those moments with Hannah. I ache for other memories of Paige. I look at myself six years ago and I think "You have no idea what's to come, and even though you'll be exhausted and frustrated, and at times terribly lonely in motherhood, it's also the sweetest, most beautiful time of your life." I'd tell me to soak it all in, except I feel like I did, I am. I feel like I'm doing my best most of the time. I don't think I'd change anything because to change me would be changing tiny bits of them and I wouldn't do that. If I could go back I'd just give that baby a kiss, squeeze her hands and thighs one more time, and stare into those big blue eyes that I still love so much.

Adam Turney and I are planning an epic road trip across the United States when Jonathan finishes first grade (in seven years). It may sound silly, but it's helped me cope with saying goodbye to the baby stage of my life. Last night I had a dream I was on a road trip to Vancouver with one of my favorite Canadians, Bree Johnson. I asked Adam if we could include Canada in our trip and he said "I don't know, I don't have those details yet." Really? You don't have details for our hypothetical road trip we're loosely planning for almost a decade from now? How about we just say yes.

 his bouncer seat. He dislikes: getting colds (currently suffering through his first one) getting Hot Wheels to the face (courtesy of his brother), and being left alone. Sometimes he likes to sleep through the night, but mostly he likes to wake up once and then nurse next to me for the rest of the night, which might be why he's such a fatty. I'd say he's my very best baby but to be honest, it's a four way tie for first. All my babies have been wonderfully low maintenance.

Hannah said, "Mom, you know how I want to be a scientist, teacher, geologist, and a ballerina? Well, I think I can do all of it if I teach science and then if the kids need a break we can dance to songs about rocks."
Good plan, Han.
Paige says she wants to be a doctor, teacher and ballerina.

When Adam asked me to marry him I knew it meant moving to Las Vegas. I was up for it, I'm always up for an adventure. He was doing his student teaching here and then would build a resume...two, maybe three years tops, or so I thought. Now we are celebrating ten years of life in Vegas. It makes me feel so humbled to look back at Adam and I starting our life together in an unfamiliar place where we knew nobody, had no family around, and we had to do it all on our own. It was scary and at times, miserable. I hated Vegas and at times I even resented Adam for taking me away from the comforts of family and "home" (Utah).
Here we are ten years later and home means Nevada. I remember driving back to Vegas after one of our trips to visit family in Utah or California and feeling the sense of familiar comfort of coming home, and I realized what Las Vegas meant to me. It was a place in the desert that was in between our two families, nearly equal driving distance to the Turneys and the Marsdens. It was where Adam and I struggled through that first year of marriage, trying to figure out life together. It was where I earned my undergraduate degree and Adam his masters degrees (Go Rebs). It was where I carried and bore my children, where traditions were made that just belonged to the two, now six of us. Where we met some of the greatest people in the world, and where the term "ward family" actually means something, because sometimes your ward is the only family you've got.
A while ago someone asked Adam and I if we were originally from Vegas. Before we could answer Hannah jumped up and said, "I'M originally from Vegas!" And I couldn't help but smile, because I thought of her Daddy and I, and all the effort we've put in to create a happy life for our kids, so they could have a strong sense of home, in a home made from scratch.

Four month old check up! 97th percentile for height and 90th for weight (18lbs 6oz heavyweight champion). Jonathan is rolling over and scooting a bit. He's a gem, we love this blue eyed bruiser.

Sam is the grumpiest guy when he wakes up from his naps. Whenever he is grumpy for any reason there is only one cure: books. This afternoon I had a stack waiting outside his door for him I said, "Sammy, would you like Mommy to read you?" He said, "yeah, I love books, right, Mom?" 💙😘 Right, Sam.

The moment I realized Jonathan was coming too fast and there would be no doctor, nothing to ease the pain in the slightest, was the scariest moment of my life. I kept thinking "I can't do this!" and then something inside said "You HAVE to do this, you don't have a choice."
Which pretty much sums up adulthood for me.

Hannah: When I grow up I want to be a Native American. Well, half Native American.
Ummm... Sorry?
Hannah: Who is the fastest? 
Me: umm Usain Bolt?
Hannah: At reading.
Me: Oh, I don't know.
Hannah: I think it's you.
Paige: And I think it's Jesus.
I just don't know how to answer that.

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