Friday, October 12, 2012

June in Chi Town

When I got put on bed rest at 22 weeks Jeremy and I looked at each other and then at our three girls and thought, Now what do we do? But Charlotte and Brian had an idea. And that's how my girls came to spend the first three weeks of summer in Chicago with Nana, Papa and Aunt Charie. I was miserable without them. I would have been more miserable trying to take care of them from the couch, but it was so hard to send them away. Fortunately, they didn't feel the same way. They had a total blast!
I love love that Cooper is in the family picture!

Nana bought Elisabeth the "Happily Ever After" pajama set seen above. She hardly took them off for two months.

Aunt Charie's new ride. Now all my girls aspire to drive pick up trucks some day. I love it!

Summer fun!

The girls flew home on July 3rd and for days after their return Kate kept whining, "I want to go back to Chicago. I'd rather live with Nana...she lets me eat whipped cream on top of my fruit every time. Please can I go live with Nana?" I understood. Some days we all wish we could live with Papa, Nana and Aunt Charie!


We decided to go camping with my brother David's family. This idea was inspired by our desire to show our three Glidewell nephews, who were visiting us in Denver for 3 weeks, a good time. The not so inspired part of this idea was that we were camping during the fire ban (half of Colorado and Utah was burning from wildfires) therefore making it difficult to cook s'mores and stay up late talking. These photos represent my last weekend of freedom before bed rest began. So, maybe camping wasn't the best idea. But we had a blast!
The ladies are chillin'

My job was to supervise everyone else from the comfort of a camping chair. Since I was feeling a lot of suspicious contractions, I was happy to magnify this role!

Truly, Jeremy was born in the wrong century. Sometimes I believe he wishes we lived in a tent instead of a house. The ultimate boy scout, he is totally in his element!

Not everyone was so enthusiastic about setting up camp.

I love Tiernan's smile!


And sometimes cousins can be creepy!

We stopped at the Buffalo Bill museum on the way home.

After sleeping in a tent and eating three bags of marshmallows, Elisabeth had HAD it!

We brought our own wild to this wild west museum.

I can't get enough of this girl's smile!

I took this photo on a whim and it's become one of my favorite visual descriptions of Madeleine's personality. Everyone else is running around the campsite and there she is, writing in her journal and making notes about the camping trip. My heart feels such a loving connection to my "school nerd" daughter!

Life Goes On

Our lives didn't stop just because I was pregnant this year...even though sometimes it felt that way. These photos were taken back in May 2012, only a week before I went on bed rest, at our girls' dance recital. They started the year in separate ballet classes, but since Madeleine was having a hard time in her class they switched to a different class...and they were the only students. So at the end-of-the-year recital they performed their own dance number: Arabian Nights!
Kate was more excited to wear make up than she was to dance in the recital. 
I'm trying to hide a five month pregnant belly!
In some ways I think performing just the two of them helped them to feel closer to each other. For once they weren't rivals!
I love the sassy poses! 
Sisters, sisters, 
There were never such devoted sisters!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our Chubby Little Rain Drop

Elisabeth participated in her first dance recital last weekend. Like the devoted parents that we are, we were howling with laughter from the audience. Afterward two complete strangers came up to me to tell me that our chubby little rain drip stole the show. I guess I'm not the only one who has a weakness for fat ballerinas!

Look closely and notice how her costume is too tight, she is practically squishing out the top of it! 

She is nothing if not ready to pose and smile for the camera!

I can't resist those cheeks!

 This is one of her best friends. They couldn't stop hugging and posing before the recital started!

I think she gets her moves from me!

 Not only is her hat slipping down to her eyes, keeping with current gangsta' fashions, but holding the poster board like that makes her look like she is naked behind it! Winning combo!

Both little girls have a death grip on the umbrella, neither willing to yield an inch!

 Ready to take a bow at the end.

 She is clutching her rose, so happy to have something that her older sisters don't have, for once! We celebrated at Dairy Queen with some of the other dancers afterward. What a great day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Night Circus

It is Sunday evening, the obvious time to begin a circus. What you are seeing is the circus elephant parading three lovely ladies around the arena.If you look carefully you'll see the elephant is blowing his trumpet. I wasn't fast enough with the camera to record the tight rope walkers, but it was a happy, happy circus at our house tonight!

Valentine's Day 2012

We like to do a fancy dinner on Valentine's Day. We didn't take very many pictures this year, but it is such a sweet memory I wanted to post the ones that I have.

We ate a three course meal including salad, lasagna, and Valentines' cookies and chocolates for dessert. During dinner we talked to the girls about the qualities to look for in a good husband! We also practiced our best table manners although I'm not sure it was sinking in with Elisabeth. I think she hollered, "More Punch!" while holding up her cup about six times throughout the dinner.
This is really the best picture because it shows how the girls got themselves all fancy while I was cooking dinner downstairs. They picked out their own outfits and helped each other with hair and make up. Don't miss Elisabeth's lovely lipstick! That's my girl.

Madeleine's Baptism

In the days leading up to Madeleine's baptism Jeremy had surgery to fix his deviated septum and I came down with the WORST stomach virus I've ever had in my life. Plus, we were trying to finish painting the interior of our house which has been the home improvement project from...well, it hasn't been pretty, let's just leave it at that. But despite these hang ups the weekend of her baptism was perfect.

Her cousin Ashley flew in from Virginia for the baptism. Ashley rode the airplane ALONE all the way from the D.C. airport to Denver. It was by far the best part of the weekend for Madeleine! They were inseparable.
I'm so glad Madeleine is setting such a great example for her younger sisters. Katherine can't wait for her turn to be baptized in a couple of years.

Jeremy's mom, Charlotte, gave a beautiful talk on the Holy Ghost at the baptism. She also made Madeleine a white comforter as a gift. It is on Madeleine's bed and I know she loves it.
Both of my parents came to town too. We weren't organized to get photos of everyone, but I'm sure grateful to Jeremy' parents and Charie, my dad and Jane, my mom and Terry, my brother David and his family, my sister Carolyn and her family, and my sister Vauna and her family and Ashley for making the effort to be here.

We had a family luncheon at my house after the baptism. It was a lot of fun. We also watched the dvd that Aunt Lorie made for Madeleine, which made me get all weepy. It showed pictures of Madeleine's life set to music, and Lorie also integrated quotes from the journal I've been writing in since Madeleine was born.

These are some thoughts I posted on my writing blog a few days after Madeleine's baptism. I think it is the best expression of how I feel about that day:

There are so many rites of passage that happen to us simply because we are human. Our first visit to the emergency room. Our first kiss and then later on, the kiss that ruptures something inside of you and makes you see the world in color. The nursing of a broken heart, saying goodbye to someone you might never see again, or attending the funeral of a loved one. These are the fibers of our shared human experience and often the moments that make us feel that intense human vulnerability. I suppose that's what qualifies them as rites of passage. We leave something behind and move forward, somehow changed.

But I believe there are rites of passage that we can choose as deliberately as we choose the clothes we put on and the food we digest. These are the things we do on purpose in order to stake our life in a certain direction. It is a way of saying this is who I am and who I hope to become.

Last weekend my oldest daughter Madeleine was baptized. I know many religions choose to baptize children as infants, but I love, love, love that our church waits until the child is eight years old, the age of accountability. Over the past few weeks I have watched Madeleine participate in every part of the baptismal process and I am continuously astonished by her maturity. She met with our bishop. She chose who would speak and say the prayers at her baptism. As I helped her get dressed on Saturday morning she reached for a white pair of underpants, knowing without being told that it probably wasn't a good day for turquoise or hot pink underclothes. Nearly thirty family members flocked to our home to be part of this event and while the day was mostly a swirl of happy chaos, there were a few moments that remain frozen and exquisite.

Friday evening Madeleine approached me with tears in her eyes and said, I'm nervous. What if I get it wrong? Before I could say a word Jeremy intervened. With the confidence and certainty that every single child deserves to hear from their parent he knelt down and said, I am the one baptizing you and we won't get it wrong. Don't worry about a thing. I promise you will never feel happier.

And so the next morning I stood in the wings of the baptismal font watching my husband offer a prayer and then gently lay our daughter into the water to be cleaned and prepared for all that her life has in store for her. She came up out of the water with a radiant smile and climbed out of the font into the towel I held in my arms. I held her tightly and we retreated into the changing room so I could help her dress. We worked quickly and quietly, both intent on the details of drying her, sliding her white dress over her head and combing the wet tangles from her hair. I'm ready, she announced. I knelt down in front of her. Before we go back in I want you to know how proud I feel. You have chosen a path that will not fail you. I love you so much. Then I took her by the hand and we returned to the other guests.

There are so many uncertainties about my daughters' lives. I don't know if they will grow into happy, well adjusted adults. I don't know who or what they will choose to love. I don't even know how long we will have each other during this life! But this week my thoughts keep returning to my desire to create a few rock solid memories in their childhood that will beam a light on their future. I want them to know there were a few rites of passage that were beautiful, certain and true. I want them to remember their baptism as a time when they felt confident and loved because there will be so many times when they won't feel that way. I keep remembering that moment when Madeleine's wet, shivering body came toward the towel I was holding and I wrapped my arms around her. All of this is on purpose, I wish I had whispered.This is how a mother's love ought to feel. This is how Heavenly Father's love feels. This is where you want to be.

I would not trade that moment of holding my daughter in my arms for any other prize on earth. It is the sensation that every new mother feels when her newborn baby is handed into her arms. It is a moment I had been waiting for without knowing that I was waiting for it. There must be so many more of those up ahead. She is eight. She is baptized and accountable. She is radiant. And I cannot wait.