Thursday, March 8, 2018

Daily Life Update #8

It's been nearly a year since I've done a post strictly dedicated to this, so I thought I'd give an update into our daily happenings. Here are some links to some previous ones (#5, #6, #7)


We recently did her one-year photo shoot. My friend, Niki, was so sweet and offered to do them for free when I asked if she would be up for taking them! Elaina was a champ and did great, and the weather was beautiful that day. So all the really great looking pictures in this post were taken that day :)

We are experimenting with going down to one nap a day with this kiddo. Some days are better than others. Though, I am a little bit annoyed. (skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to read about baby poop) She always used to have a bowel movement first thing in the morning, though sometimes she wouldn't have had one and she would wake up from her morning nap with a stinky diaper. Since starting her out on one nap, she has not had hardly any bowel movements in the morning! It is so frustrating. Because sometimes she will wake up after one hour with a stinky and then is so so stinking tired by the end of the day. Hoping this sorts itself out soon....

Still loves all books. She wants to read paper books now all the time. She's gotten better about not immediately tearing them apart to eat the pages, but I have to keep a close eye on her.

Still loves to eat. Food, paper, dirt, rocks--you know, she doesn't discriminate ;)

Elaina is getting such a personality to her and we love watching it unfold as it develops. She is so sneaky and will often tease Evie. Elaina will grab Evie's Bee-Boo, hold it out so Evie knows she has it, then will turn and run/crawl away, giggling all the while. Evie loves to chase her and then be chased in return. It is so special and fun to see them interacting more and more and actually playing together! Elaina has also started voicing her displeasure when Evie takes something from her. I have no doubt that a biting phase will ensue...especially as she's teething.

Speaking of...bleh. Molars are the worst! Poor baby will wake up just screaming in the middle of the night. It's the saddest thing ever!


Full on big sister. She loves it most days. That is, except when Elaina is following her around (something she'll need to get used to!). Evie has such a sweet heart and I love getting to hear her thoughts. She is always making connections and she has a fantastic memory. She is always surprising me with details and random things that she remembers!

Evie is very close to dropping her nap. Which kills me a little bit. But I'm also excited to do more "quiet reading time" with her...where I set a timer and get to read while she peruses her own books quietly. We've done this a couple times when Elaina was still taking an afternoon nap. We can get in 15 minutes no problem!

For the past month she has insisted on being called Moana. Only she adds an "l" and says, "No, say 'Malana.'" She was sick today (3/8) so I was only corrected maybe 5 times. In her sickness she forgot for most of the day and I made the most of my time, haha. I loved getting to snuggle with her more today and read to her lots and lots. It was great :) Elaina was sad to be missing out on her playmate though and kept going over to the couch to touch her face or tug on her blanket.


Graham is working nights. He loves his coworkers and where he works, but it is rough on his body. So pretty much we never know what his schedule is going to look like and what time he goes to sleep or wakes up. This is much harder on me than him, since I thrive on plans and schedules/routines.

Pretty much all that is on Graham's mind lately is our cruise and beach trip that we have planned! Graham and I will be going on a 5-night Carnival cruise in early July. He loves to research and has been enjoying that. In September we will be going as a family to Fort Morgan, Alabama with two other families to spend a week at the beach there. So excited!!


I've been on a podcast-listening kick lately and love finding a new podcast that I can go back and start at the beginning of, listening while I do dishes/laundry or while in the car (though Evie prefers to listen to audio books or podcasts she's already familiar with). Some current ones I'm listening to: Wild+Free, Risen Motherhood, The Next Right Thing, Storyformed, Read Aloud Revival.

I'm also in the middle of a million different books. I used to be a one book at a time kind of girl. Not so much anymore. It's nice to have a couple options so I can choose whatever I'm in the mood for at the time. My favorite at the moment that I'm reading is Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think We Do. So good. And right up my alley. Follow me on Goodreads for more of what I'm reading.

My days consist of taking care of a home and feeding/clothing two children. Warmer weather means less opportunities to easily keep them in fleece jammies all day long, but pj days are so much fun ;) I try to read my scriptures during the day, normally when I put Evie down for her nap. Elaina loves that I have something out that she knows she can't have, so of course she is immediately trying to climb all over me as I try to focus on reading. (Though this habit is getting tricky with transitioning nap schedules...It's always something!) I've also started setting reminders on my phone for things like "compliment Evie" or "pray for patience." I have these set on daily and I like using that as a means to refocus and be attentive.

Also, as I don't post on here often and my current use of Facebook is to share this blog, check a couple groups for ideas, and attend/host Usborne Books parties....if you're looking for more, request a follow on Instagram. But don't be offended if I don't approve it. Heh. I'm keeping my account followers to people I actually know and have an in-person relationship with.


My scripture for this month is Psalm 30:5. I've only memorized the second half of it. I'm undecided as to whether or not I'll memorize the first half. The second half is "therefore, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

xoxo, Marissa

Monday, February 5, 2018

Elaina's First Birthday

Another baby, another year older. If only it were so simple. But it's not! My little Elaina baby is now one...I'm trying to still be in denial. It's not working out well for me. She's been taking steps since she was 10 months old and is full on walking and climbing everything in sight now. She's ready to be a big kid toddler, even if I'm not ready for her to "move on."

She has the sweetest little laugh (but is oh so stingy with it) and giggles most often when she is tired or when she's with Graham. The second she hears his voice in the evening (he works nights and typically wakes up around 5-5:30pm) she stops whatever she is doing and practically runs to the bedroom to see him, with the biggest grin on her face. She loves her special little bunny as well as baby dolls, though my favorite is when she grabs a book and brings it to me to read to her. Her favorite books are touch and feel books, though flap books and ones with pictures of babies are high on her list too. She is ever so sneaky and bolts for the bathroom (if the door is left open), bedroom (if Evie is sleeping), pantry (again with the door open), or computer wires the second she sees I am otherwise engaged. Right now she also loves climbing on the little rocking chairs Graham's grandfather made (Elaina and Papa Lacy share a birthday, and she has always loved him!). She will stand in it and rock as fast as she can. Last week Evie climbed up with her which resulted in a tumble. (Evie was fine as Elaina softened her landing.) Elaina loves playing peek-a-boo, but hasn't quite mastered the technique required. Her hands either end up on her head instead of covering her eyes, or she forgets to remove them (Evie will often come up and pry her hands off to help remedy this).

On Elaina's birthday, we tried to include a few special things. We went to visit with some friends that have a farm and that was so much fun. We always enjoy spending time with them and I can always use an excuse to go visit ;) Since her favorite food is, I planned our menu like normal. I was ambitious and made overnight cinnamon rolls to have for breakfast. We had pepperoni pinwheels for her birthday dinner. We bought her a book for her gift (one can never have too many books in my opinion) and Graham's parents got her this adorable fox bonnet. (Go check out WeeBee Bonnets, they are so cute!!)

Mmm chocolate

One of the kids made a caterpillar from the magnet tiles!

For her birthday party we kept things very low key. You might say #secondchildproblems, but mostly it's our personalities. Check out Evie's first birthday post here to see what I mean. And even with her party I ended up doing several things last minute as I thought of little touches. Looking back on her post gave me a couple simple ideas for Elaina's party too.
close ups of these later in the post :)

We hosted at Graham's parents house (like we did for Evie's first birthday party) to have more space and could invite more friends. Since Graham works nights we planned her party to be from 4-6pm and invited friends to bring food in lieu of a gift. Party? Check. Dinner? Check! I made cupcakes, chicken salad and ham/cheese sliders (plus some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids) and guests pitched in for the rest! The food spread was really quite fantastic! Cinda has these magnetic tiles that Evie and Elaina love to play with so we had those out for the kids along with some balls. Evie also heard the song "I've Got This Feeling" by Justin Timberlake for the first time the night before Elaina's party and she thought it would be so fun to have a dance party--so we did! We blasted the song on David and Cinda's Amazon Echo and the kids had so much fun dancing before we sang "Happy Birthday" to Elaina and dug in on the cupcakes (crazy chocolate cake with chocolate icing and The Very Hungry Caterpillar toppers)


"But I want it now!"

All cleaned up with her aunts and Grandpa

It was a fun time and we were all exhausted by the end of the night :)

At the beginning of January I had this conversation with Evie. Me: “Evie! Can you believe that next month Elaina will be one?!” Evie, frowning and looking sad: “No.” Me: “Why does that make you sad, honey?” Evie: “Because then she will not be a baby anymore.”

Truer words were never spoken. My baby is growing up. I am so sad but also loving her as she grows into her own. Here's to all the years to come!

xoxo, Marissa

Also, for any interested:
My scripture for this month is John 15:11 (thanks for the recommendation, Dixie!)
I'm currently reading a slew of books: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (read-aloud with Evie), Little Women, How to Raise a Wild Child (nonfiction/parenting), Change Anything (reading with Graham, nonfiction), and The Life-Giving Home (nonfiction, reading a chapter monthly that matches the current month). Check out my Goodreads if you want to see what all I have read this year. I love using the app to track my reading--so simple!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018: My year of JOY

Hello, all! And happy (not so new) New Year! 

Maybe you have, or maybe you haven't, heard about the trend that's been going on for several year's now. It involves choosing a word to base your year around. Some people choose a word and then set goals based on that word, others choose to simply focus on their word throughout the year. After some contemplation, I chose the word joy for 2018. This is my first time to pick a word for the new year, and I thought I would give it a try. 

I picked joy because I felt like I had gotten into a funk--in my parenting, in my relationship with Graham, in my scripture reading and prayer, pretty much in every aspect of my life. I wanted to choose to focus on the good, to remember to find joy in the small, everyday moments. I have a printout from A Mother Far From Home that I used to brainstorm and flesh out my choice of word for 2018. One of the pages is taped onto the wall in my bedroom so I can see it every day. 

Some tangible, track-able goals I have for 2018 are as follows: 
  • Read 50 books (as in, non-picture books). I use Goodreads to keep track of my reading and I love it! I talk about it often and love it as a way to not only keep track of what I am currently reading but to also add books to my "want to read" shelf. In 2017 I think I finished the year with 31 books read. (In 2016, I believe I hit 40.) 
  • Go to the temple at least once with Graham 
And that's it! 

For everything else, I want to remember to choose joy and I have some changes that I would like to see because of it. And I kinda sorta have a goal to post once a month on here...we'll see. I think I can make it happen, I just need to reevaluate my expectations for my posts. ;) 

Also, I'm tossing the idea about in my head to choose a scripture to memorize each month (about joy) as well. This month I chose 2 Nephi 2:25 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." An easy one for me because I have it memorized from my early morning seminary days. 

Books I've finished this month: as of today, none. But I am very close (2 chapters left) to finishing The Secret Garden with Evie.

Books I'm currently ("category" noted in parentheses): The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (read aloud) , Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily P. Freeman (nonfiction), Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (fiction), and The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball (Sunday). 

Do you choose a word? Set goals? What are you currently reading? (I think everyone should set reading goals.) 

xoxo, Marissa

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wrap Up for 2017

You guys! It's the end of the year. I mean, how did that even happen?? Somehow, in the midst of middle of the night wakings, crying children, and the glorious (but conspicuously rare) days that go according to plan (including but not limited to: children napping at predetermined times, little to no screaming, fun times snuggled up on the couch reading or playing outside), this year has slipped right through my fingers.

And what a year it has been. 

We added a new member to our family, Graham graduated from Nursing school, and we moved because he landed his first job. On top of all that, Evie transitioned out of diapers (see this post about our experience), Elaina went from napping all day as a newborn to 4 naps, to 3 naps, to 2 naps, to 2 naps at different times (that did not line up with Evie's nap most days), and Graham started working nights (he trained on days for 8 weeks before switching to nights to finish his training and then be set loose on his own!). It's all of the daily life things that add up and make a year. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes anyone??? I'm breaking out in song in my head. I hope you are too. If not, go listen.

Goal Recaps 
So, if you'll remember back to this post where I listed my goals for 2017, you'll recognize this list below.

  • Read 24 books (at least 6 nonfiction) 
  • "Stay" sane with two kids 
  • Treat days every other day (eventually getting to two days a week) 
  • Get back into running after baby #2 is born 
  • Date nights with Graham 2 times/month 
  • Attend Temple at least once with Graham  

Some of these goals went better than others. I also gave a mid-year update here, if you want to check that out. 

I am happy to say that my book goal has been met and indeed, surpassed. I stayed right on track for the first 8 months of the year, and then I took back off and was able to read more. The contributing factors? I finished The Wheel of Time series (those books are monsters!), I wasn't so bone tired that my mind couldn't focus enough at the end of the day to read (still pretty darn tired at the end of the day, but my mind can handle reading a chapter or two instead of just vegging on Netflix), and I had an ever-growing "to read" list that wasn't getting any smaller (and I became super into reading various nonfiction books, like ones on parenting/motherhood). I highly recommend Goodreads if you aren't already on there. Super easy interface and it keeps track of what you read for you! I love it. I also love that I can click the "want to read" button below a book to add it quickly to my "to read" list. Then, when I'm looking at the library I can open up the app and find one on my list instead of walking around aimlessly reading inside covers...because 2 kids...ain't nobody got time for that.

Staying sane with two kids....some days are better than others ;) I'm sure all of you parents out there can relate with that!

Treats: I did get down to treats twice a week, and then decided I was sort of over it ;) In my efforts to limit my treat consumption I did realize how much of my desire stemmed from stress/emotional eating. I feel like I was able to work through most of that and now I am not as strict. If something is available (like the Peppermint milkshake at a spontaneous dinner at Chick Fil-A) I'll enjoy it. I do like having my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins just about every night though. So yummy :) I will say that at this time of year with treats out the wazoo, I am trying to stick to every other day so I don't go into a sugar coma.

Running/exercise: I am pleased with my work in this area! I did get back into running and ran two 5Ks this year. Most recently I've gotten into Insanity Max 30 workouts (got the DVDs from my friend Bailey) and have been doing those. Even doing the modified on most moves (my knee has been acting up and we live upstairs) these workouts are killer and are definitely whipping me into shape!

Date nights: I feel like we did really well on these at the beginning of the year, but with Graham working nights we still haven't found our rhythm (he started working nights in September). For December we looked at his schedule and selected one night each week to be our date night (mostly at home). I think that will be what we continue to do because with his schedule we can't say "Friday is date night!" because week to week it is always different.

That temple goal was for sure a stretch goal for us, and we weren't able to make it happen. Once Elaina is nursing less during the day next year and we can leave her for a longer period of time, I'm sure we'll get to the temple. It has been too long, that is for sure! 

As mentioned before, Graham is working nights. He is loving his job, but the nights schedule is crazy on his body, especially because he has to switch to be awake during the day sometimes (he has a seminar once a month and had several classes to take as well for different skills). He is picking up extra work when he can (sometimes they even offer double-time pay!) and he does a great job providing for our family so I can stay home full-time with the girls.

He reread the Ender's Game books recently, and read Oathbringer (by Brandon Sanderson) when it came out in November. I needed to reread the first two books in The Stormlight Archive before starting it (because I can't remember anything Mom brain). Much to his dismay he could not talk to me while reading it and anxiously awaited updates from me while I read it.


This girl. She has turned into a preschooler right before my very eyes. No longer a toddler, though I am loathe to admit it. She blessedly still naps (most days) and is such a good big sister (when she isn't knocking Elaina over or yanking toys from her grasp). People are always amazed at her vocabulary and how well she speaks (I am too, honestly!). She is full of love and is quick to say "I'm sorry." She loves books and asked me to read her The Secret Garden (unabridged) after reading an abridged illustrated version. I try to remember to read a chapter out loud to her in the afternoon while she eats her snack or is playing while I nurse Elaina. We are about 1/3 of the way through it right now. I am excited to be sharing books I love with her. She is loving Christmas and all things "baby Jesus." In fact, in her prayer tonight she said "Heavenly Father, I am thankful for baby Jesus." It was so sweet. Moments like that make me forget how I was yelling at her earlier in the day for kicking the bathtub while I was showering and Elaina was trying to nap... *sigh* (days without a nap are hard for all of us...) She is enjoying the Light the World campaign this year and when asked what it means she replies "serve others!"


My baby. Soon she won't seem like a baby to anyone but me. She is getting so big so fast! Try as I might to enjoy the small, everyday moments, they are slipping through my fingers like water. She is sneaky and the second I leave the room or she knows I'm occupied she crawls straight for the computer (or trashcan). She is quick! She cruises along furniture so fast I can't believe it, often with only one hand holding on. She has taken one or two steps on several occasions. I know that one day I will turn around and she will be walking across the floor. Too soon!! I'm not ready for her to be a toddler yet! I so love holding her in my arms and enjoying quiet snuggles while she nurses. Those seem to be few and far between as she constantly is distracted these days, but I enjoy them when they come. She loves food (no surprises there, coming from this family) and will often eat just as much as Evie. Some of her favorites are sweet potatoes, yogurt, cheerios, french toast, carrots, peaches, apples, popcorn, and well...really almost anything she can get her little fingers on. And, unlike Evie, she eats most of the dishes I make for dinner as well :) She loves touch and feel books, taking all the books down from the bookshelf (or DVDs from their shelf), and making a mad dash for the pantry or bathroom if the doors are left open. She always has a smile for her Daddy and loves to make faces at him. She does not like to be tossed in the air, but she loves falling backwards.


I did an update on myself already with the goals earlier in the post, but I thought I'd include a peek into my current favorites.

Currently Listening to (podcasts):
Read Aloud Revival: If you haven't listened to it already, you need to go check out episode 82 at the end where Evie is featured! Every episode they do a section at the end called "Let the kids speak" where kids share their favorite books that have been read out loud to them. You can leave a message on their website to be included and Evie's was on that episode! We were so excited and she loves listening to it over and over.

The Next Right Thing: This is hosted by Emily P. Freeman. 1) Her voice is incredibly soothing! 2) She invites you to create space to breathe, definitely needed in this day and age. 3) Each episode she shares a simple "next right thing" that you can do.

Risen Motherhood: This one I am loving! The hosts, Emily and Laura, tackle modern parenting/motherhood issues (from scripture study to potty training, reading, Christmas traditions) in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the reminders to turn everything back to Christ and to look for Him in my daily tasks as a Mother.

At Home with Sally Clarkson: This is another one about motherhood and the gospel. I love her wizened perspective as a mother with 4 children out of the house now. She shares scripture and ends each podcast with a prayer for the Moms listening. I'm excited to read some of her books as well.

Currently Reading:
I am working slowly but surely on The Stormlight Archive Book 3, Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson. I'm about 1/3 of the way through it as I write this, and I'm reading about 100 pages a day in it. Oh how I miss the days when I could curl up on the couch for hours at a time and just read when a new book came out! (But of course, I wouldn't trade being a Mom for that...most days ;) haha)

I am reading The Secret Garden  by Frances Hodgson Burnett out loud to Evie right now. She is loving it, but I think my British accent needs some work.

I am also reading The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball. I read this on Sundays and read about one chapter each week. It is a classic within the LDS church, but I can't seem to really get into it. I think partially because of when it was written and partially because I don't have a personal connection to President Kimball. His insights into forgiveness are worth it though.

Next up on my to-read list (which grows faster than I can read) are The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson, Change Anything by Kerry Patterson (and more), and Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (for book club). I also want to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson because I found it in a Little Free Library and I haven't ever read it!

Currently Watching: 
Elaina still wakes up at night sometimes to eat (and by sometimes I mean some nights she sleeps the entire night and other nights she wakes up 3 times), so I pull out the iPad and will watch some Netflix while trying not to fall asleep. Some nights I am more successful than others. I watched a super cheesy Netflix movie called A Christmas Prince. It was fun and I started it because the leading lady was from the show iZombie ;) The newest season of When Calls the Heart (season 4) is on Netflix, so now I'm watching that! I recently discovered that the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice is on Amazon Prime Video, so that will be next on my list to watch. Which will make my sister, Michelle (and my mother-in-law), so very pleased :)

I've been reading during the evenings after the girls are in bed (and listening to podcasts while doing the dishes/folding laundry) so the middle of the night is pretty much the only time I watch "TV."

That's All, Folks!
Thanks for hanging in there until the end of this post; I appreciate it! Do you have any other questions about what's going on with us? I'd be happy to answer in a comment or in a future post (but let's be honest, who knows when that would be!).

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
xoxo, Marissa

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Girls in Seattle

I had the opportunity earlier this month to go visit my sister, Michelle, and her family in the Seattle area. It was so fun to visit with my sister and her husband and boys. Evie and Elaina had a blast! I did as well. Graham stayed home and worked while we were away. Thankfully technology makes it easy to stay connected and we were able video chat with him each day (sometimes twice in a day). The girls did great on our flights out to Seattle. Evie was not a fan of the noise level, but she still did great, and Elaina took a small nap on both flights. On our second flight we sat next to the nicest Grandma, Ms. Susan, who was traveling to Seattle to see her first grandbaby. She was the best. She held Elaina when I needed to take Evie to the bathroom not once, but twice on the 2.5 hour flight, she read books with Evie, helped her with her sticker book, and made sure she could see Mt. Rainier as we were coming in.

Our first day visiting we took an easy day at home while the boys went to school and Michelle went to teach her class (she teaches Seminary every other day for half a day, which is awesome!). The girls had so much fun with their cousins and Evie loved going to the bus stop with the boys. Now, anytime she sees two intersecting green street signs she will say "Mommy! The bus stop!" 

On Thursday we went to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma. My sister's family has a membership and they get guest passes to use so we were able to get in for free with them. It was a cold, rainy day, but we still had lots of fun. Elaina was not a fan of the time we spent outdoors and every time we stopped to look at an animal she would start crying. We saw Red Wolves, a Musk Ox, an Arctic Fox (much smaller than I expected), a Reindeer, three Walruses, and a few others. Then we had lunch and went inside to the Aquarium. Elaina loved looking at all of the fishes, sharks, and sting rays. Such a fun day and both girls crashed on the way home. That night, both girls were in bed asleep at 7:30pm and I didn't know what to do with myself! So I curled up on the couch with a snuggly blanket, cup of hot cocoa, and my book. Then I made a huge batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins which were devoured within 36 hours. Well worth it.

On Friday we went into Seattle. My friend Bailey is living on the University of Washington campus while her husband is in Dental School there. We drove in, found the very last parking spot on the street (the front of the car was lined up exactly with the sign that said "No parking North of here."), and spent the day with Bailey and her daughter, Lyla. It was a blast! We made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (if you know anything about my relationship with Bailey, you'll know it always involves treats or food of some sort!), played at the playground that's right behind their apartment, and went to a field that was super close and blew bubbles and played and played. Pizza for dinner, kids in jammies, then drove home and got the girls to bed. 


 On Saturday we went to Jefferson's soccer game in the morning. So. Much. Fun. I loved it! And his coach wasn't super into coaching as the game went on, so I took it upon myself to shout tips to Jeffers throughout the game :) We went back home, had hamburgers for lunch with Bryce's parents and sister and her family. Everyone else (except Connor, who was deeply engaged in reading The Order of the Phoenix) went back to the soccer fields for Peter's game that afternoon. I stayed home with the girls so they could nap. Bryce's mom brought a Halloween craft for the boys and Evie to do and she had so much fun with it! She was focused on her painting and loved picking out each item (the paper design, color of paint, etc.).

Sunday was church and we had a great time there, as always. I felt like I was able to pay attention a little better and get more out of it than I do on some Sundays. I noticed a theme of developing our own faith in Jesus Christ and how to pass that on to our children. Then we had a relaxing day at home, went for a walk, and Peter and Michelle made muffins again. Again, devoured within 36 (maybe 48...) hours.

Monday was our final full day and the weather was gorgeous! We played out in the yard a little bit, Evie made granola with Michelle, and we went to a neighborhood playground that afternoon while Jefferson had piano lessons in a home across the street. We had Family Home Evening that night and for the activity Peter chose to play "Chubby Bunnies." Evie fell in love with this game. Not only did she say "and thank thee that I could play Chubby Bunnies" in her prayer that night, but she asked every night for the following week if we could play it again. She kept saying "it's time for Family Night. We can play Chubby Bunnies!!" and then would shriek and giggle in delight. On Monday night, October 23 her dream came true. We played Chubby Bunnies for our Family Home Evening activity.

On Tuesday we said goodbye to the boys at the bus stop in the rain, finished packing up our bags, and, after one final art project, said goodbye :( The girls traveled so great again and we met up with our friend from our flight on our way to Seattle, Ms. Susan. We hadn't seen her while we got on the plane, but when I took Evie to the bathroom we saw her and she held Elaina again for me. On our last flight home (from Denver to Tulsa) we sat next to her again. She was so sweet and I am incredibly grateful we were blessed to have her as a travel companion. Our second flight was delayed an hour due to some computer issues, so it made it an even later night than expected. Graham met us at the airport (and surprised me with a new phone for my birthday!!) and drove us home. Evie was so excited to see him (we all were) and she ran up to him and gave him a great big hug, giggling all the while. Elaina was all smiles once she saw him too. 

I told her she could pick out a treat and we shared this tasty sundae!

 We had so much fun on our trip and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to travel there with the girls. Evie had so much fun playing with her cousins, and Elaina loved to try and catch the cats. It took us a couple of days to get back to a "normal" schedule after returning home, but we are now enjoying the beautiful fall weather here and are loving our time back with Graham. We sure missed him! So grateful for forever families and the blessing that mine is to me each day. I just have to keep telling myself that when Evie throws her plate of food on the floor again. *sigh* Real life, you guys.

Love you!
xoxo, Marissa