Friday was my 28th birthday and I was spoiled rotten. I'm not too ashamed to admit it. I had a fantastic day with my sweet children and husband and recieved so many wonderful phone calls and birthday wishes. We went to Red Robin for dinner, which I enjoyed immensely, and we had chocolate molten cakes for my bday cake. I recieved more than my share of wonderful gifts and wanted to say thank you for everything! Thank you Mom and Dad for the ice cream maker(which we are using tomorrow! Yeah!) and Visa gift card (it's almost gone already!!! I got some awesome clothes!) You always spoil us kids way more than you should and I hope you know how very much I appreciate all that you do for me! Thank you Patty and Eric for the three year subscription to Family Circle magazine. I am sooo excited to recieve it! Thank you Katchie and Jeff for my awesome purse--I can now walk around in public without being afraid of being made fun of! :) Thank you MaryRose and Adam for my turquoise shirt--I love the color and it is so pretty! Thank you Trey for the sweet pickle card and contributing to Mom and Dad's gift! I always love reading what you write! Thank you Silvia and Doran for my beautiful necklace--Aleece will love that I have something fancy to wear now! Thank you to my sweet children for my new books--they know me too well! :) And thank you to my dear husband for my awesome new camera. I can not wait to dig in and start taking some incredible pictures! You all spoiled me way too much! I'm not sure I deserve it! I have to admit I got teary eyed several times thinking about how wonderful of a family I am a part of! I even got a happy birthday email from Elder Bubba this past week! Thank you, thank you, thank you--all of you!!! I love you all so much, and the only thing that would have made my day any better would have been if all of you were here to have celebrated with us!
Lennon has begun smiling! You can tell he now really knows who you are when he looks at you and when he smiles, it just melts your heart! I was able to get a few pictures of him smiling this morning and thought I would share them, so you can all see what I got to enjoy when I woke up!
The girls love their little brother so much! They both insist on holding him at least once a day. They put on their "magic soap" (aka hand sanitizer), hop up onto the couch, place the boppy on their laps and ask for the baby. I can already tell they will both make excellent mothers! They are so sweet! Lennon is growing well and I swear he changes a little every day! I've really enjoyed the past five weeks since he was born. The relationship the three children have is amazing and I love watching it evolve as they each grow and learn new things.
It's hard to believe that Lennon is four weeks old today! It seemed like those last two weeks of being pregnant lasted forever, and now here we are celebrating his first month of being in our family! He continues to grow and we wouldn't be surprised if he surpassed his big "little" sister before he hits a year! He loves to eat and cuddle and he is getting to be so strong! He holds his head up so well and he loves to make eye contact. He has this adorable little squeal that he uses when he doesn't think you are paying enough attention to him. He also has developed a love for his swing. He is very content when he is in it. He also loves to be held by his big sisters and just this morning while all of us were lying in bed, he looked at his sisters and gave them the biggest smile! Aleece is such a good helper to us and she grows up more and more each day! She will be starting preschool in just a few weeks! She is very excited to go to school and make new friends. Madelaine is so funny--she also has redeveloped a love for the swing. If Lennon isn't using it, I will often find that Lainey has climbed in and is swinging and singing and having a grand old time! She also has developed some great mothering skills. She and Aleece will get out their baby dolls and bundle them with blankets and carry them around or place them in Lennon's bassinet if it is empty. They both come running if they hear there brother crying and Leecy T is excellent at helping give Lennon is pacifier. He is actually the first of our children to actually enjoy using a pacifier! It has been so fun watching our three children interact. They are so precious to us and we love them more than words could ever describe!
our three pride and joys! Biggest sister and little brother!
It's hard to believe it's been six years since Val and I were sealed for time and all eternity in the Nauvoo temple. So much has happened in that time---we have had 3 beautiful children who we love so very much, finished a college degree, lived in three different states and 7 different homes, started working on a master's degree, traveled through at least 16 states, had multiple jobs, and more. But through it all we have loved each other each and every day. Our love has continued to grow with each blessing, with each trial, with each day that the sun rises. We have been through so much together and I am anxious to see where life continues to take us. I couldn't ask for a better companion. Val brings so much to my life--he brings out a part of me that no one else can. He completes me and I am so grateful, every single day, that he asked me to marry him. He has truly made me happy and I couldn't ask for more. Happy Anniversary sweetie. I love you!
Here is the story of our week leading up to Lennon's blessing, as promised. Our families arrived from various places across the country last week, and we decided it would be a fun thing to do some of the touristy things here in the city of Memphis, while they were all here. On Friday evening we went to the Peabody Hotel in downtown. We parked in a parking garage with security and assumed our vehicle would be safe. How wrong we were. We had a lot of fun watching the Peabody ducks make their grand march from the lobby to the roof and enjoyed some BBQ on Beale St. The girls were even treated to a Cinderella carriage ride through Memphis, by their Granny and Grampy! When we decided to head back to our cars, Val and Trey headed back before the rest of us to switch some of the car seats around. I was quite surprised to get a phone call from Val informing me that our car had been broken into. Apparently someone tried using some kind of screwdriver or something to get into the car and when that didn't work they just bashed in one of our windows. They then proceeded to turn the car pretty much inside out. Fortunately not much was taken, and what was taken was of no real importance to us. It was traumatizing for us, but we are so thankful that it happened to things and not people. Things can always be replaced, people can't. Sometimes I think we take our safety for granted, and this helped me remember how grateful I am for the Lord's protection in our lives. When you turn on the news, and hear about some of the things that occur in this city, it is downright frightening, and I know that our Heavenly Father watches out for us. Well, after the police arrived and filed our claim we managed to get everyone home and decided not much else could go wrong before the blessing....right? Wrong. We had a fantastic day on Saturday. We visited Mud Island and waded in the "mini Mississippi" and tried to stay cool. The temperature that day was 102 degrees before including the heat index! It was definitely hot! But it was fun to do things we hadn't done before and we got some great pictures! That evening Aleece had a slight runny nose, which at the time we attributed to the poor air quality and allergies. Wrong again. Within the less than 12 hours from the time she went to bed to the time she woke up, Aleece was having major breathing difficulties. Her chest was retracting and she had a lot of stomach breathing, her breathing was wheezy and she was absolutely miserable. Madelaine was also not feeling well and we actually spent a couple of hours in the night up on the couch with all three of our children. We raced to get everyone ready for church and luckily made it there in time, but not without challenges! It sometimes seems as though the harder you try to do the right thing, the more that can go wrong! Fortunately we made it to church on time and Val offered Lennon a blessing that was beautiful and the Spirit was strong. Immediately after the blessing our bishop unlocked one of the larger church rooms for us so that the priesthood holders in our family could offer Leecy T a blessing also. By this time she was just curled up in a ball in my mom's arms, completely miserable. Aleece was also given a beautiful blessing that promised her that her body would begin to heal itself immediately. She fell asleep and a short while later, while returning home she opened her eyes and began to talk and we could see the miracles that were occurring. She was pretty sick all day and we still contemplated taking her to the hospital but could see that there were continuous minor improvements. We started breathing treatments on her as soon as we arrived home and 24 hours later she was infinitely better that we had imagined she would be. We don't know what triggers these outbreaks in her, the word asthma has been tossed around by several doctors, but we are grateful for the Lord's hand in our lives. The girls have continued to improve since Sunday and we are so thankful for that. After the blessings on Sunday we were able to all enjoy one another's company and we had a wonderful meal. We are so grateful for our families and for their unconditional love and support that they offer us. We love them so much and are thankful for the time we got to spend with them. We know that the adversary enjoys making us suffer, but as much as we know how hard he works, we know that our Father in Heaven works just as hard to make us happy. And that is what we are.
The Peabody ducks Our sweet families (part of them) Eric and Leecy T the Cinderella carriage (Granny, Grampy, Leecy, Lainey, Patty and Eric) Patty, Eric & Lainey our car after being broken into Mud Island--fun in the mini Mississippi Granny & Trey at Mud Island Grampy & Leecy at Mud Island
We had the opportunity to bless our sweet baby boy this past weekend and had lots of family here for the occasion. Lennon was promised many beautiful things and we are so grateful to have him in our family. We know firsthand how hard the adversary works when you are trying to do the right thing, and had many "adventures" prior to Sunday's blessing....but that will be another post! We are so grateful for all of our family members and are thankful for all of there love and support! We enjoyed every moment with them and missed those who were unable to be here (though they were all there in Spirit). Here are a few photos from Lennon's blessing....