Cute Girl

Ember still sleeps in my bed every night. For naps though, it’s the swing.

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I don’t know how I’ll ever transition her to her own crib. I’ve read several sleep help books and tried a lot of things during the past 11 months but she’s quite content sleeping cuddled up next to mama. And if I’m honest… mama likes it, too. Sure I’d like to actually sleep 8 hours a night, but that little soft body curled into mine, that sweet happy smile at me in the mornings, oh heavens they’re irresistible!

Ember hates it when I do dishes or prepare meals. She crawls around at my feet crying and whining until I pick her up. Sometimes she plays in the cupboards while I cook and oh boy do I love it when she does. Cooking with both arms free is amazing.

The other day I was cooking and looked down and noticed her sitting in this pot!!

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I laughed out loud and ran for the camera! I rarely run for the camera these days because I’m just so flipping busy but I could not resist this! I stood there looking at her wondering how in the world she managed to climb in and sit so perfectly. It was cute!

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I’m feeling bummed tonight because I took my computer into Best Buy (spent 2 1/2 hours in that store, aagh, bad experience!) and was told that my four year old computer doesn’t have a good enough processor to support CS5. I was worried that that was the case 🙁

So for now I’ve decided to suffer through the 5 minute wait loading times (for realz) and put off forking out $700 for a new setup until next year.

Editing pictures is an endurance test these days :S

Ember was sitting on my lap nursing in a sleepy daze while I typed this (it’s 12:30am). She just sat up and said something that sounded like YA DA. I pulled her up onto my shoulder where her head went floppy and fell into the crook of my neck. Her hair is sweaty and her body is warm.

We’re off to bed 😉

Brooklyn’s Baptism

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Brooklyn when she changed into her white jumpsuit.
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We got two whole minutes to talk and smile at each other and I was able to talk to her a bit to calm her down. She had a bad case of nerves 😉
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Before leaving to go back to the sacrament room for the service she peeked at the font. This moment for her was crucial because she’d never seen a baptismal font and standing there I could tell she was imagining how it would go and gaining confidence in the experience 🙂
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I let her read the program. There was an insert with each child that was getting baptised that day and a paragraph about them. Allan and I spent time writing it last week and wanted to make sure it was special since she’ll have that forever. She LOVED what we wrote about her! I didn’t know it would mean much to her right now but it did! She gave me a hug and said, “Aww mom, you’re the sweetest!”
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There were a TON of people in the hall which made her extremely embarrassed when I snapped these next two. Since she was embarrassed I just took two as fast as I could and let her leave that spot. I’m glad that they’re in focus at all!
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She had this moment where she freaked out about taking that I’m a Child of God locket off. I told her we’d take it off before she was baptised but she wanted it off right that second! lol
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It took Allan near 15 minutes to get his jumpsuit on! We were all waiting for him! I guess since there were 8 baptisms (7 other men baptising their kids!) and they were all very close in size to him there weren’t any jumpsuits left that fit him! So he tried on five or six or ten until he found one that worked alright! I would’ve felt so annoyed at having an ill fitting jumpsuit in front of all those people! They’re unflattering enough already! lol
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SO when it was all said and done we went back to our house for a BBQ with the family that came. We chose hamburgers (I said NO to steaks with potatoes and all the fancy sides because I didn’t want more WORK!!) and had chips and salad. That’s IT! Easy peasy. I loved that!
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It rained and was absolutely gorgeous outside while Allan BBQ’d. The family went out for a bit.
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My brother-in-law, Marcor, ran through the rain with his kids. Emmalyn (who’s 3) wasn’t in this particular picture. That’s my nephew Marc in the picture who is 4 weeks younger than Ember 🙂
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I really like my brother-in-law. Marcor is the type of guy who gets along with everybody and is really laid back all the time. I love that!
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And my freaking adorable nephew, Marc. Oh my gosh I love that boy!! He and Ember are so cute together and they’re so similar and yet different, too! I love it.
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I was asked to run back outside a while later and snap a picture of Marcor with his kids on the swing in the rain.
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It was still hot outside, of course. It’s such a funny experience to be in 100 degree weather with pouring rain!
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After dinner Brooklyn spent time with Emmalyn. She adores Emma 🙂
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Those are all the pictures!

Today won’t be fun

I’m exhausted today.

Which is really sad because tomorrow is Brooklyn’s baptism and Allan’s parents and Allan’s sister’s family are coming to our house so I have a lot to do.

So the other day we played in the sprinkler again.

It’s hot here.
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I didn’t take any pictures of playing in the sprinkler until the end right before we went inside. Payson was in undies because he’d thrown the biggest fit ever to have me dry him off and put undies on. Then he immediately went back outside and ran through the sprinkler again 😛

That child!

Ember and I ran through the sprinklers together and she laughed so much. It was adorable. When I went inside to change Payson I changed her as well and she spent the last ten minutes in her high chair so my poor back could have a break!
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I told him he couldn’t run through the sprinklers once he was dry, so the second he went back outside he ran straight through the sprinklers. He blatantly ignores everything I say.
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The girls had been told to not stand there stomping in place because they were making a muddy mess. Did they listen? No.
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Payson got a sucker for peeing in the potty.
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Today he’s in diapers. I don’t even want to talk about potty training yesterday and how awful it went. It was one of the worst days I’ve ever had with my children. For the sake of my sanity the boy is diapered and clothed today :S

Potty Training, Home with 3 Kids

I started potty training Payson this week. I’ve been wanting to for a long time solely for the reason of he can’t go to preschool until he’s potty trained and oh boy do I want him in preschool.

Preschool’s only four hours a week but still… having a bitty break from this kid would be awesome!

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Potty training started off fantastic. He peed and pooped in the potty for the first half of the day we potty trained. Then… well, today he’s gone potty four times and none have been in the potty. So, I guess only time will tell if things improve.

Please, things- improve.

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Brooklyn started activity days* this Tuesday. Since it takes twenty minutes to get to the church and the activity is only an hour long we have to stay and wait for her there. I get bored out of my mind so we go on little walks and we also take pictures in front of the church building.

Photobucket*Activity days, as described on my church’s website, are meetings every other week to help girls ages 8 through 11 live gospel principles, develop testimonies, and build friendships.

The middle kids got suckers since Payson had pooped and peed in the potty at the church.

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Sierra gets a sucker anytime Payson does.

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I sat Ember down so I could take a couple of her and Sierra and Payson started making faces and talking to her to get her to smile. And she loved it.

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She does this expression a lot lately. Allan and I both think she looks a little weird. And the funniest part is she does this exact same face right before laughing and right before crying!

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Ember loves Sierra. She was reaching towards her.

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Then she started to pull up grass.

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Sierra was excited about having a blue tongue.

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Payson was excited about playing with my ipod.

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Near the end of the activity I walked down the church hall just because sitting on the couch got boring fast. We got to the door at the end of the hall and I looked out and noticed a coyote sitting out there in the grass!

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Then another one came. They were chasing the birds! I took these pictures because I knew Brooklyn would be disappointed. She has a major fascination with coyotes. She came out of the room one minute after the coyotes ran away. She was totally bummed she missed it and wanted to go outside to try to see them!

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The coyotes were long gone. But I got a picture of her on her first day of being in activity days.

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The next day (yesterday) after dropping Brooklyn off at school we came home and Sierra immediately changed into her new Halloween costume. She wanted makeup and her nails done as well. So I did them for her.

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And Payson wanted to be a part of everything so he got some light blue nail polish and a little lip gloss. lol

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And then they were really bored (they’re terrible at entertaining themselves) so I made a block building and played with them for fifteen or twenty minutes in hope that it’d spark their imagination and they’d play happily together.

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I got bored as soon as I was done helping them build it (I have no desire to play with toys! lol) so I got my camera out and took pictures while we talked about… I don’t remember.

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Payson laughed about this baby’s bum showing. He told me there was poop in it.

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Then they got silly.

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And Payson decided it was much more fun to destroy their castle than to play in it.

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Sierra looked so pretty all dressed up.

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They didn’t play with the blocks anymore after I stopped playing with them. Instead they just wanted mommy to play with them.

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I love these of Sierra. So funny. She laughs when she sees them, too.

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The Last Week and a Half!

Looking through my pictures makes me happy. I haven’t so much as looked at the back of the screen at my family’s pictures during the last two weeks so uploading them and going through them is a lot of fun!
I have never been so busy in my entire life. I thought public school would simplify things and it has but more stuff has piled on. I can’t imagine ever being caught up with life anymore.

I try to grab my camera at least a couple times a day and just snap pictures. I’ve been trying to capture little things that I will want to remember when I’m older but it’s hard to remember to do it.

There are hundreds of times every week where I think about going and grabbing a pen to jot down a funny phrase or saying or thing one of my kids did. Then I forget. Which is just so majorly disappointing because they’ve been so freaking funny this week.

One thing I do remember is we were all sitting on the couch talking, Payson was sitting in my lap, and randomly he says to me, “Mom, a pogo stick?!”
I looked at him and laughed and said, “What? A pogo stick? What are you talking about?” And he cracked up and said, “A pogo stick!”

And then I was laughing about it with Allan and like twenty seconds later he said something else totally unrelated with as much enthusiasm and we all laughed again. And he wasn’t trying to be funny, he just lives in his own little world and blurts things out whenever they cross his mind.

I really wish I could remember the other two random things he said that time!

Anyway, I’m going to go ahead and just post all the pictures I’ve taken and talk about them a little bit.

The day after we got back from Texas I dropped Brooklyn off at school and gave the other three sticker books to play with while I attempted to catch up on laundry. The catching up on laundry has yet to happen and the sticker books are now in the trash after they made the world’s largest mess all over the house with them 😛
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Payson’s new bowel regime. lol
Miralax, probiotic, liquid vitamin, tummy stimulant.
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I started taking pictures for a day in the life post on this day. It was last Tuesday I think.
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Ember hangs out in the tub while I do Brooklyn’s hair. Otherwise she’s off around the house eating and choking on everything in sight.
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It’s our new “thing” to let the kids play my ipod while I do their hair. It keeps them mellow and makes me want to hurt them less 😉
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With my house a wreck and hundreds of wedding pictures to edit and about a million other things going on the TV has been on all day every day! I wish it was a better babysitter. My kids get bored of it pretty fast, though.
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Ember has been clingy. To say the least.
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I look awful 100% of the time these days.
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The kids’ typical breakfast is a burrito with eggs, sausage and cheese. Payson gets the sausage and eggs and then hashbrowns as well. The girls eat hashbrowns, too. And they all get orange juice.
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Payson screams and throws fits a lot. He’s worse than he was at 2 years old and I feel like throwing him out the car window most days.
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Most of the time there isn’t even a reason he screams. Or the reason is because he wanted to wear shoes. Or because he didn’t want to wear shoes. Or maybe because he just likes hearing himself scream.
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Brooklyn complains when I drop her off from the car. She wants me to walk her in and out of school every day. I would, I do most times, but sometimes it’s freaking hot and I hate Ember getting all sweaty and beet red when Brooklyn can walk over to the air conditioned car!
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School has been awesome for her. I am in love with school. lol
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Payson’s fit didn’t end at the school. This particular tantrum lasted a good hour.
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If the little kids didn’t have a chance to in the early morning because they woke up late, they eat their breakfast when we get home.
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And I didn’t take any more pictures until lunch time that day. Sierra loves when I pack her lunch in her lunch bag like Brooklyn gets every day.
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Ember got into my journal and ripped out a few pages. She loves all the effort I put into keeping our family’s memories recorded.
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I bribe the kids with my ipod a lot. A very lot.
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This day he wouldn’t be quiet at all and wasn’t throwing a lot of fits, just was bored and Sierra wouldn’t play with him. I had played with him a ton that day so in order to steal some time to edit those darn wedding pictures I let him play the monkey game, as he calls it, for a good hour. Until my ipod died, along with my peace and quiet.
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Sierra got a paper out of my desk to write a note. You can see my fat free pringles there and that I was working on John’s pictures.
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We were all bored and restless so we went outside to play in the sprinklers.
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I gave Payson a bath because he stunk from being outside. I gave Sierra and Ember one just after.
I wrapped him in a towel and let him go in the living room while I changed Ember’s diaper. I totally forgot about him and when I came out five or ten minutes later he was reading a book on the couch. Naked. Luckily he didn’t pee!
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We have this little wall we sit on while we wait for Brooklyn to get out every day. There’s a small tree and a little bit of shade to escape the 110+ heat.
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Speaking of heat, I was told recently that this August has been a record high for heat. It has been pretty relentless. 114 yesterday!
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Ember and I play in Sierra’s room sometimes. Sierra’s room is pretty baby safe and Ember loves it in there.
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Probably because there are so many new (to her) toys to play with.
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She’s the first of my babies to like stuffed animals. She loves them. The rest of my kids only liked them once they hit 2 or 3 years old.
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We have movie nights sometimes.
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The girls get movie theater butter popcorn. Payson gets kettle corn because it’s dairy free.
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The movie this night was Cinderella.
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On the weekend Allan came home from South America. That was awesome!
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Ember spends all her time chewing things.
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Sierra rediscovered her makeup purse from her birthday and spent some time making herself over.
The result was… well, let’s be honest- frightening.
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Though it was 112 degrees at 7pm we decided to play outside anyway. It was suffer through the heat or annoy the hell out of each other in air conditioning.
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I didn’t think it felt that hot. Ember’s cheeks didn’t even turn pink.
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Allan got home while we were still out there. When Sierra came up to him his eyes got big and he said, “Well Sierra I think you’re pretty without makeup.” lol
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I have a ton of pictures on my other memory card. I’ll post them tomorrow!

The Trip

The plane ride on the way to Texas was probably in the top three most stressful times of my life. Kids screaming. Sore nipples. Breastfeeding in close proximity to strangers. Diarrhea diaper to be changed in the airplane bathroom (aka closet), toys and crayons dropped nonstop, just total and utter chaos and torture.

I knew it’d be bad before hand. Usually I’m the optimistic one when it comes to trips and traveling.
But flying? With a whiny butt three year old and a 10 month old wiggle worm? Oh hell no! I knew it’d be bad. It met my expectations and then some 😛

SOO, I didn’t take ONE single picture the entire trip there. Not of Payson’s first flight, first shuttle bus experience, nothing! WAY too stressed to even think about pulling out the mammoth beast 5d. And I didn’t even bring our point and shoot on the trip because I knew I’d be “pictured out” by taking the wedding pictures.

So, I did take a few personal pictures right after I took those of John and Julie in the post below.

It was HOT that day. I think the dash of the car said 105 and the humidity was… hell. haha! It was the hottest I’ve ever felt in my entire life. And I live in Arizona. lol

My lens fogged up the second I took my lens cap off the first time. I had to wipe it off after every single picture for the first half hour of the day!

So after suffering through pictures (which went fine, it was just SO hot) I headed to the temple’s waiting area to meet Allan. I needed the car so I could run to the store for some gluten free snacks for Payson and I really wanted to breastfeed hungry Ember in the car since it has really dark windows.

But.

Oh no.

Julie’s sisters didn’t show up to the temple to watch my niece and nephews like they said they would.

So, hey Ariana can you do it?

Ooookay. Of course I’ll do it, what am I gonna say- no?
I love my niece and nephews! And more importantly I don’t want anyone to miss the ceremony. I already had to, no reason to make another family member miss it, too!

So Ember is super cranky the whole time because she hasn’t eaten in 5 or 6 hours and I have three 3 year olds and a 6 year old to keep an eye on. lol.

Luckily I’m a mom of many and when you’re dealing with a group of small children those skillz come in handy. Things went completely smooth. I got some awesome bonding time with my niece and nephews and Payson had a blast playing with them. And Ember crawled around the room some of the time and was on my hip the rest.

Anyway, I’m only sharing that story because I have this cute picture to post: (lol)
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Those lockers kept them busy for the last ten minutes.
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It really was a blessing to be able to spend time with all of them. I am actually happy the babysitters didn’t show up 🙂
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Everyone came back after the ceremony and we headed back out to meet John and Julie at the temple doors.
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It was scorching hot out. Allan poured some water on Payson to cool him down.
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I set my camera settings for the lighting. Allan helped me out 😉
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And then *Kevin and Jenna helped, too! haha (love this picture!)
(*Kevin is Allan’s brother, Jenna is Kevin’s wife of course)
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I got in trouble for taking that. I guess you can’t take pictures when the temple doors are open!
(Side note for those who don’t know about mormon weddings… the ceremony is inside the temple, there is no photography allowed and only church members with a temple recommend card can go in)

So I’m not posting them but we took all the group shots and then some of John and his brothers and John with his brothers and sister and then Allan and I went back to *Don and Mary’s house to get Brookyln and Sierra.
(Payson could’ve been babysat there as well but I refuse to let anyone babysit him because of his diarrhea issues!)
(*Don is Allan’s other brother, Mary is his wife of course. lol)

I can’t remember if I took these next pictures on the way to the reception or the way back! But either way, almost every single time my kids got in the car they were out cold within minutes. They got so little sleep that trip!
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The only naps Ember took for four days were in the car or in my arms. That was rough.
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Back at Don and Mary’s house (where we stayed the whole time!) uncle Marcor (Allan’s sister’s husband; our brother-in-law) pushed Payson and two of his cousins around on/in this car.
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Payson had a good time. That’s Emmalyn and Aiden in the car.
Emmalyn is Allan’s sister’s daughter; Aiden is Allan’s brother’s son)
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We all wanted to get a picture of the cousins together. Here’s the quick set up.
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I took this to tease Payson with when he’s older. He lost two of his Cars sippy cups during the trip so he had to use Sierra’s princess cup. haha (he refuses to drink rice milk from a regular cup, stubborn three year old!)
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Ember loved Don and Mary’s house. There were a ton of baby toys in the family room and lots of kids around, too.
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Her cousin Aiden was never far.
(Aiden is 16 months old)
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I was playing peek-a-boo with them behind my camera.
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My sister-in-law Mary has been wanting the camera I have so she played around with it a little bit.
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This was heading to the airport. Most of us cried when we left because we miss our Texas family so freaking much but the idea of going home and getting back to our house and more mildly crazy life was such a relief.
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The kids were out cold again.
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Sierra couldn’t get comfortable in the booster.
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Happy to be heading home!
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We had just returned the rental car and were waiting for the airport shuttle.
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I dutifully kept my camera out the entire trip home to capture these moments for Payson. He was as excited about the shuttle bus as the airplane!
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Sierra was only a baby when she first flew so this was a brand new experience for her, too! And Brooklyn too, really, she was only just-turned 3 on her first flight!
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Payson was a cranky, cranky, cranky, cranky child during traveling. Allan used a bunch of daddy tricks to distract him from his goal in life of ruining his parents’ lives.
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Ember was happy on mommy’s hip, sucking mommy’s thumb.
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Then Allan saw someone we know.
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His parents found us in the airport. We were all on the same flight heading back.
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I snapped a few pictures as we waited in the check in line.
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Near our gate.
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Waiting for our flight.
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I was filled with dread. lol
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The kids got to watch some airplanes out the window. They loved that.
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And we made it on the plane. And Sierra got her turn to sit by the window.
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She was so excited!
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Brooklyn was on the other side of me.
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On the flight to Texas I’d had Payson and Sierra with me with Ember on my lap. That was not going to happen again. Allan got Payson this time. We had kind of a… disagreement/ confusion thing at the start of the flight.
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Baby climbs all over everywhere…
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or ruins airplane magazines.
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Payson peed through his pants on the flight. Allan cleaned everything up but we were totally out of clean pants for the boy.
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He was happy about being “diaper boy” in the airport.
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My kids love these things…
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This was all such a happy time for us. We were so close to going home. Yay, our bags are here!
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Waiting to ride the shuttle bus one more time!
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Inside the shuttle bus I was on the lower level with Ember while Allan and the three older kids went on the upper level. So I handed my camera to Allan and asked him to please get a picture of Payson since he was being so cute.
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And those are all of our traveling pictures! WHEW!

John and Julie

Wedding pictures!
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I’m not posting all of them of course, that would be a bit much for a blog post. I haven’t finished editing the group shots or the ones of you guys coming out of the temple. Did you know I actually got in trouble for taking pictures when the temple doors were open? Right before you guys came out some lady told me that wasn’t allowed. I didn’t know that!

I threw in a couple group shots I edited just in case you wanted to see what they are looking like and a few brother shots just for fun because I love them so much!

We had a good time with you guys. The heat wasn’t very fun but watching you two on your wedding day was! I’m happy I got to be part of it!

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2. (I have another more normal edit of this but thought that old car called for just one funky play!)
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The temple!
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A couple of the group shots I’ve edited so far.
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The brothers pictures!
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I guess I’ll throw a couple of us in here, too. I bet you guys got really sick of that camera in your face all day!
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We stopped only to kiss the baby.
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It was fun!
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Not so Well

We’re suffering from a stomach virus here. It’s been a brutal, brutal week for me 🙁

I feel very sorry for myself. lol

In order to not complain right now I thought I’d list the things I’m currently thankful for:

-clorox wipes

-a washing machine

-warm running water for the many baths Payson gets

-my husband and the fact that he will get home Saturday

-boobs full of milk which can get me thirty minute naps with my baby

-the fact that two of my kids can feed themselves if necessary

-TV to occupy a 3 year old

-ipods and preschool ipod games

-age and wisdom. lol- corny but true. I feel so very awful and my children are all so needy but I just walk through it all a little mopey but knowing that in a few days it’ll all be over. No reason to fret too much.

Mostly I’m thankful for my family. I am so lucky- I married up, and my kids are such sweeties sometimes. And even when they’re moody- I know they love me, they know I love them, we’re all fed and clothed. A stomach virus is a little problem in the grand scheme of things.

That’s all I’ve got currently. It’s 9 and I’m going to bed!

Home!

We just got back from our 4 day trip to Texas. It was intense, stressful, and a lot of fun! I have about a million things I want to write down to remember. It’s been busy since getting home Sunday. So much to do!

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I have 800 pictures to sort through. That’s a bit overwhelming!

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