Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Always California.

We recently got back from a glorious three weeks in California. Since moving from California 3 1/2 years ago my world has felt so divided. I remember feeling like this when I first moved to California from Montana when I was 18. It took a good long time, but eventually California started to feel like home. Actually, it started feeling like home right around the time we started looking to move. Interesting how that works. And now, here we are in Idaho, a place that has captured both Caleb's and my heart, but has not filled the California shaped void in our hearts. We left behind incredible people. Family that means the world to us and rare friendships that few people find in their lifetime. 

Lots of our trips are exhausting and hard. I do most of the traveling by myself and doing that with three small children is no easy task, but always worth it. This trip I left like I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The children remained mostly healthy and we got relatively good sleep, two things we've seldom had before. Their ages are easier and we got into the swing of things quickly. Everything went so well we extended our trip an extra week and we still weren't ready to say good-bye. But that's the best way to leave I think. Not over staying your welcome and anxious for the next visit. 

I can't say the transition back home has been quite so smooth. I got pretty sick and have yet to get better. I know I will soon though, and it was well worth the price of our stay. We drove this time, which we've only done one other time. Call me crazy, but driving is my favorite way to go. I absolutely love it. The ride went perfect and took us about 14 hours. Caleb stayed with us for the first week. He was at a conference while the kids and I stayed with my sister. He flew home at the end of the week and we made our way up to his parents house for another week and then back again to my sisters for a week. He flew back down at the end of our three weeks and drove us home. 

Amelia turned 3 while we were away. We had celebrated at the L.A Zoo with family and had a blast. I took more pictures on my phone of her birthday and our time in Bakersfield, but I'm having a hard time uploading them. I'll have to post those another time. 

Amelia calls Katie "Aunt No" cause Katie has, on a number of occasions, told her no, which she does not prefer. But I think they had some break through moments and when we crossed over into Idaho Amelia started crying for her. 

Our time with Becky was short since they live about 21/2 hours south, but so sweet. Becky always knows how to make the most of her moments.

Andrew was quite independent and busy keeping up with everyone, but never without food in hand. I've never seen a baby hike a mountain with a Yoplait and spoon in hand, but he did it like a champ.

The boys were in character almost the whole time, from one imaginary game to the next and always ready to pose like a super hero.

There was also an attempt at a cousin picture. I think out of the hundreds I took there's not one with everyone looking, but it was the perfect picture of life in this stage. 

Vanessa however is always picture ready and held this pose for the first 50 pictures regardless of what was happening around her. 

Jonathon's face just about sums up the whole thing and Amelia is in the background crying with a possible broken arm at this moment, which deserves it's own blog post, but I'll just say this, we won't be riding another zip line any time soon. (and her arm ended up not broken) 

This one David is sporting the "just keep smiling" face. 

And this might be our best. Since sitting wasn't working too well, we thought we'd try standing, but with how Andrew likes to wander, we didn't do much better.

Until next time....

Monday, March 2, 2015


For three years you've brought joy to our family. In the earliest days rocking you to sleep I looked in your face and all I could think was joy. Your favorite thing is to make us laugh. You do something, or say something that you know will make us smile and then look at us out of the corner of your eye to make sure we're smiling.
Your brother and sister adore you. Elijah thinks your his little pal. He likes that your a bit of a tomboy and will play superhero's with him. Vanessa likes to pretend she's your mom and you are just fine letting her. You call her 'my Nessie.' 

The other night you got out of bed. You just couldn't fall asleep, which is rare for you, and you crawled in my lap and asked to sit up with daddy and me for a little bit. I said, I think you need to get back in bed. Then I looked over at daddy to see what he was thinking, and I knew he wanted you to stay with us. You have his heart. He loves quiet moments to hold you and tell you how much he loves you. 

Your favorite things are, never being left out. Baked beans, you would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in fact some days you have. Sucking your thumb, it's going to be a hard habit to break, but we're trying. You're polka dot blankie. Singing, loud. Dancing, all the time. The other night Granddad, Nana, and Abigail were over, and you danced in the living room for them for an hour. You would have danced for two, but bed time called. You love animals, but especially dogs. You say, "cause want to" to everything, even if you don't want to. Or, "Need to" and I ask why, and you say "cause want to" it's incredible cute.

When you joined our family and these last three years, are some of our happiest. We love you more than you can comprehend. Our pray for you is to grow in love and obedience to God. After that everything else will fall into place. 

We are a much louder and joyful family because of you.
Happy 3rd birthday Amelia Elisabeth.

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