he melts my heart. literally, every time he smiles. 

he has several smiles, by the way.

laughing. smirking. mouth open wide. shy. grin. 
he smiles, most of the day. which means yes, i am melting most of the day. combine that with the best little boy giggle and we have a heart breaker.

and my absolute fave is a combo of everything. i wish i could get a picture of it- eyes squinty, open wide but lips kinda curled, nose scrunched.  pretty much the funniest thing ever. 

this picture makes me laugh because his mouth is closed- a pretty rare occurrence for him, considering he is always smiling, laughing, babbling, growling, grunting, or eating- which is his fave. 



hey pretty girl.

you truly are my sunshine. you are getting waaaay too big, and its killing me. there is no baby in your tummy, but there is one in mine, and i can't wait for you to be such a big helper with the baby.

you turn three (what???) in two short weeks, and you are so excited. you want PINK for your birthday, whatever that means. we will probably have lots of pink balloons, and pink cupcakes.

you have a hard time sitting still. i knew you would, from the moment you were born, you were quiet, but holding your head up to figure out the world. i sometimes think the little spirit inside you is vibrating constantly, just waiting until you are big enough to do so many great things. the only time it rests is when you sleep, and even then you wake up and instantly, you are ready to tackle the world. or at least all the furniture. you started walking super early, a clear indicator of the kind of kid you are. you have things to do in this life, and i can't wait to see them happen.

you are everyone's friend. strangers do not exist in your world. you are concerned about everyone's happiness. you are (usually) so great with your little brother. now that he is big enough to, er, fight back, you guys can get a little rough. but you still love him to pieces, and always feel bad after you get rough. you are currently teaching him some of your mad dance skillz, and i couldn't be happier.

baby girl, i love you so much. you might drive your nursery leaders crazy, make a mess with just about anything that you find, and get into all the things you shouldn't, but you light up the world of everyone around you, especially mine. i couldn't trade you for anything.

love, mom.

picture by claire's aunt lindsay. she is not a professed photog, but she does good work with my kids, considering that they don't. sit. still. ever. 


real pictures. what?

doing what i can to embrace fall. definitely some slacking, but i'm trying. the last monthish.  

 claire looking cute with her headband. headband lasted 2.9 seconds. we try. 
take that back. i try. she doesn't.
 model man. and screeching katelyn in the background. but cute bubbers.
 i live like 2.9 seconds from here. GORGEOUS this time of year. and this isn't even super pretty yet. (this was a couple weeks ago.)
 stink bug changed her mind about pictures.and headband.
shifting gears.
family time. thats all five sibs together. missed mom and dad! and happy bday sarah bear. FINALLY 18. that took forever. 
 shifting again.
hee haw farms. i gotta know- are all pumpkin patch/hay ride/corn mazes this ghetto? i was expecting a little more..... either way. both kids had a BLAST. like, giggling most of the time.
 as soon as claire saw this dumb animal train she wanted to skip the pony ride (which was LAME.) and hop into the pig asap. silly girl. joe got in on the action though, so that was kinda fun.
 probably her fave thing after the corn box.
 pig touching. can you spot my little blondie? that was fun for her too.
 corn box. i decided this should be what playgrounds have instead of sand or wood chips. i'm sure it was dirty, but way less dirty than sand and no splinters. no sand in the eyes. awesome.
 sweet hair dude. he was unsure at first, but got into it when he saw claire going to town.
we even did this twice the kids loved it so much.
good times for everyone! we even ran into some friends and picked out pumpkins with them. the kids were kinda done by then, and claire kept getting frustrated she couldn't carry any, but so fun anyways. yay for family time! 

and yay for non-phone or ipod pics! thats a miracle, huh?
back to the byu game. i should probably not watch those. they make me physically ill, i get that into them. probably send me into labor. 


band aid babe

Pretty girl.
Joe and I love figuring out what personality and character traits each of the children have, and who they got it from. Claire's genes are a perfect storm, you could say.... A lot of great things, but combined and it's a constant storm watch. Like, Joe was very much into 'getting into' things growing up, liked to climb a lot. And I had an absurd knack for monkey bars. Claire has both. And playgrounds are her forte. So we are constantly on guard, inside the house and out. But some things we like to think came from other extended family members, so we aren't totally to blame for everything.
Take the above picture. That band aid is making her eye feel all better. She gets the affinity for those special magical bits from her auntie Sarah. she was known for emptying boxes of them and stickin' 'em up and down her arms, and not always for actual owies, but somtimes just being itchy.
So funny how kids turn out, huh? And how each one is so, so different.
By the way, Claire tells everyone she knows there is a baby in HER tummy. I cant convince her otherwise. (stubborn thing.... Another auntie trait she inherited???) Her baby is a girl. mine is a boy, but it is still her sister. For bubba man's sake, I hope it's another girl. He adores all the girls I watch. And starting in a couple weeks, there will be a total of five EXTRA girls I watch, not including Claire. Not all at once though, thank goodness. Most are only a few hours per week. It's funny to me that it's only girls. The only boys ive watched never work out. Maybe bubba should be a ladie's man for Halloween...


Stink bug. Loves and hates pictures. Life is so good. I can't seem to remember that. I have this weight that feels like something really hard is coming (grad school) so I should be gearing myself up for it. Crazy. We still have no idea at this point where we will be next year. Here, Virginia, Nevada, arizona, Texas... No clue. Starting to seriously freak me out. But everyday I've been trying to find something to be really happy about. Making cookies. A pasta roller. Bubba dancing. Claire being so sweet and telling me everyone she loves. Joe getting to spend a few extra minutes with us. Making dinner, with everyone home, AND eating it. Dancing with Claire in a bee costume and roller-skates. Little things, you know? Last night Sarah showed up from Idaho to spend some time with the sibs. She and Lindsay came over as we were putting kids in jammies and getting ready for bed. Then linds tricked me into letting Claire have a sleepover.... Yeah I didn't want to let her go to a grown up sleepover! I can't stop thinking what they did all night. But I love how much that girl adores her aunts. And all of her family. She has some incredible people to look up to, and when I think of it that way, I don't mind for a minute that she wants to hang out with them.