Saturday, January 20, 2018

Talmage Scott

There are a few things 8-year-old Talmage just couldn't live without. His red racing bike is one of them, although his new silver scooter is a definite close second in the wheels department. Then there's the hot wheels track he got for Christmas. Wow, Santa had his number with that gift! It's the first thing he's playing with when he wakes up in the morning and I can hear the whoosh of cars down the track as I'm on my way to tuck him in at night. The third, books. He eats 'em for dinner and I can barely keep up with his obsession (he read all five Percy Jackson books in one week over Christmas and they're now his tied favorite for first with Harry Potter). Such a little guy, such a big guy, all in the same guy.

In just a few months Talmage will be nine which is not only a big deal because it's one year away from being a double digit dude but also a big deal because that means he's halfway to 18, to high school graduation, to a mission, to college, to leaving the nest that I've built around him, to leaving me. At the sake of sounding sappy, that's where my head has been lately. He's. Growing. Up. And I'm trying to be extremely intentional about how I treat him, about what I say and about the memories we're making because I know in what will feel like a few moments I'll be publishing a blog post about his letters home, about how quiet life is without his endless questions and about how much I miss him.

Do you think 18-year-old T will still love hot wheels? Do you think he'll beg me to go on a scooter ride around the block with him and want to show me how much air he can catch off the tree root bumps on our sidewalk? Do you think he'll come into my room in the morning snuggled up in his Pokemon blanket and ask for a bowl of mini wheats? Do you think he'll belly laugh to Studio C reruns and beg to play Imagine Dragons on Alexa? A few weeks ago I was getting after him about something or other and he looked at me with these big brown rational and humble and beautiful eyes and said, "You're right Mom, I'm sorry. I see what you're saying and I'll try to do better." Do you think teenager T will be as mature as his current counterpart?

I'm getting ahead of myself, I know, but I can't help it when there's so much goodness in someone so small and sometimes I want to freeze him solid at this very stage forever. Oh, that that were possible. Instead I'll be sure to adore 8-year-old T and his many amazing qualities extra hard as I wait and see how this wonderful boy blossoms.

^^^Our weekday scooter crew.^^^

^^^Pizza jammies to match with pizza night, he told me, and his beloved blanket and race track.^^^

^^^He now officially can tie a tie!!!^^^

Friday, January 19, 2018

Everett Knight

Last week I went on a field trip with Everett and his first-grade friends. We rode the metro from Culver City to Santa Monica and then we got off, made a little loopty-loop around the station and got back on a train headed for Culver City. So no, it wasn't the most thrilling of field trips, but what was thrilling? Spending the morning with my sweetest little man.

Something I particularly love about Everett is how much he loves me. I know this sounds selfish or prideful and don't get me wrong, there are a million other reasons why I love this boy, but despite him getting taller and older and some of his friends shunning their parents he is still very much content with holding onto his childhood and being my baby boy. He still loves to cuddle on the couch and he won't turn down a story or a back scratch but what's most special to me is that he loves me to be around him with all his friends, he wants to share his world with me. He begs me to go on every field trip with him, he loves it when I'm a guest in the classroom and he can't stop telling everyone how I'm coaching his basketball team. "That's my mom and I'll call her mom, but you can call her Coach Heather because she's the coach, ok?!" he says to his ten teammates with his signature Evie Knight grin. There's something so refreshing, so invigorating and so comforting about being loved by a pure little person, and Everett Knight is the greatest at delivering that gift.

On that same field trip last week one of Ever's friends said to him, "I love your mom. Do you love your mom, Everett?" and without even thinking and without even considering there was another option he said, "Of course I do!" and I smiled so big, because having a lovey son like Everett is like living in a dream.  

^^^They had no money, nor any idea what they were doing, but that didn't stop them from trying to get a tap card from the machine. What is it about babies and buttons?!^^^

^^^The construction site I knew Quinny would love.^^^

^^^Evie and a few besties. He's been blessed with such great friends.^^^

^^^All six of these friends were riding in the backseat of my minivan. Partay, partay!^^^

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Quinn Isabel, Quizabel

Three years and three months is looking gooooooood on my little Quinner Cat. I can't put my finger on exactly when it happened but all I know is that for the last couple of weeks I've gone from completely dreading my days to being delighted to share them with my little buddy. She wants me to play with her, she tells me how much she loves me, she listens and responds rationally and she says multiple times a day, "You da best mommy in all da mommy's!" I can't adequately explain how much of a 180 this is except to tell you that in a prayer last month I told Heavenly Father how much I loved Quinny and she interrupted my prayer and said, "Oh, well I don't love you Mommy." Yep, actually happened. How rude! Let's just say that we've hit a sweet spot in our relationship and she's hit a sweet spot in her life and I never, ever, EVER want it to change. Ever. It makes me so glad that I followed the impression I received to keep her home from preschool with me for one more year because I can't imagine missing the little moments we've shared lately.

Quinny at three years and three months loves Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam and anytime we pass a construction site she begs me to roll down the window so that she can tell the workers how she's going to be working with them someday. She likes smelly spray and lipstick, but the wild child can't keep her clothes clean or her hair looking decent to save her life. She values her afternoon show while Coco naps and she's almost memorized her favorite book Don't call me Choochie Pooh that she begs me to read every night before bed. Just this morning she stayed in bed reading books instead of waking up her sister, me, her Dad and the rest of the house at 6am and it may have been a fluke, but she was so proud of herself and I kind of think it was on purpose (and please, please let it be the first morning of many). She's growing up and from where I'm sitting (eh-hem, snoozing) it's a beautiful thing!

^^^There was half a second where I thought she may go dressed up as Bob the Builder to her friend's princess party but alas, the Belle dress made the cut!^^^

^^^I don't call her my sunshine kitten in vain, look at that smile lighting up the park.^^^

^^^A little summer shopping with this cute thing. She'll take alllll the glasses.^^^

^^^Quinny spotted Brother Steenblik in his cheetah vest on the stand and was desperate to take a picture with him. I had to keep her from running up to him after the sacrament, but you better believe when the final "amen" was uttered she was pulling him by the arm to my side. That girl and her love of cheetahs!^^^

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cora Nicole

Cora is turning into more of a person by the minute and more endearing every second. Sure, bossier as well with her "No's" and signature growls, but even those are kind of darling coming from such a little person who takes herself way too seriously. The most recent accomplishment added to Cora's list of cuteness is jumping, or at least attempting to jump. I count to three and she bends her little legs and even with all of the force she can muster those feet of hers don't seem to ever leave the ground. That doesn't stop our clapping and cheering however, because Cora is universally adored around these parts and just seeing her give the effort is enough for her fan club. 

She's talking more, but still not much, but she understands everything and when she shakes her little head yes, signs please, or brings me a diaper on command the kids and I immediately comment about how she's the smartest baby around! Smartest, and most loved.  

This may be the last time I experience toddlerhood with a child that I bore, but in some ways experiencing Coco's milestones feel like I'm doing this for the first time--it's so exciting, so fun and so special. This may be in part due to motherhood amnesia and I'm sure there's also a case for my forgetful brain, but then there's also the clarity that comes in knowing that something will never happen again; it makes you appreciate it more, makes you soak it up and enjoy. And oh how I'm enjoying 20-month-old Corabelle. 

^^^This girl was at our friend's house for dinner. She loves some spicy drink, even if it's just the dregs!^^^

^^^This is what 5 pm looks like when my little lady screamed her way through a 90 minute nap. So good at so many things, but sleeping has never been her strong suit.^^^

^^^Cora begs to cuddle with Quinny in her bed. She really wants to sleep there for the night, and Quinn is totally on board, but I've told them we have to wait until Coco is two before any sleepovers happen. Oh my goodness, the cuteness of a sister sleepover is almost too much for me to think about!^^^

^^^My most recent good mom moment came when I strapped Coco to my front and took her on a scooter ride around the neighborhood. We both thought it was totally worth the dirty looks people gave us!^^^

^^^There is NO POSSIBLE WAY we could adore this little nerd more!^^^

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

We thank thee oh God for a {new} prophet

I first met President Nelson as a missionary in Taiwan. His granddaughter Sarah Jane was my trainer and I was able to say the prayer at the meeting where he spoke, a special experience I still remember perfectly. That was the same meeting that found the music director mysteriously missing so as the opening song started I caught President Watterson's eye and before he could even ask I was up lip-syncing and waving my arm in front of a large group of missionaries! I am anything but musical, but I remember being so happy that I was there when President Watterson needed me, especially in front of such an honored guest. I was able to shake President Nelson's hand, give him a hug, and even spend a few extra minutes with him and Sarah Jane. She had already filled my soul with so many wonderful stories of him and their family, and meeting him was the icing on an already sweet and perfect cake.

You would think that would be my favorite memory with our new prophet, but ten years later, and just six months ago, my children had an experience with him that took the gold for this mama bear. My Dad was being released from the stake presidency and James' Dad was being called to the stake presidency and President Nelson was the one presiding at their conference. We were able to have a little time with President Nelson before James' Dad was set apart and he was so tender and kind with Talmage and Everett (we sent our girls home with my parents). He asked them about their lives and about our family and when T asked if they could take a picture together, President Nelson opted to sit and cradle the boys on his lap instead of stay standing. I think any mother has extra adoration for a person who pays her children special attention, and that feeling was magnified when on the way home my boys said, "Wow, I think President Nelson loves me Mom!" Of that I was, and am, sure.

The transition from one prophet to the next is always kind of tricky for me. Not because I don't love, respect, honor and sustain the new prophet but because those emotions are also mixed with mourning the last one who was adored and will be sorely missed. But as I have learned over the last ten years without my dear President Hinckley, they're never really gone and their messages are always with me, and so it will be with the amazing President Monson.

But now we have a new prophet! Indeed, we thank thee oh God for a new prophet, President Nelson. This morning in a special press conference he was telling a story about a little boys earnest prayer on his behalf and afterwards he thanked God for "children like this, and for parents who are serious about their commitment to righteous, intentional parenting." My eyes filled with tears, a lump in my throat, and a deep feeling of gratitude rested in my heart for a prophet who carries messages from on high. I can't wait to learn more from him in the future and feel the love he has to give. We will keep on the covenant path with him at the helm. We are lucky to call him ours.

Friday, January 12, 2018


We went to ride the ponies and the trains at Griffith Park for the first time and it had me wondering why we hadn't done this before. It was cheap as far as Los Angeles is concerned, and not far from our house, but you know how it goes when life gets busy and fun things stay on your to-do list forever. But thanks to an invite from a fun friend, we finally checked this off. And it was SUCH a fun day!

T got to go on a big horse and it was running so fast! This picture is deceiving because it looks like that guy was holding the reigns of his horse the whole time, but really this was the very end right before T got off. In actuality that horse was going so fast I was half smiling and half praying that T would hold on tight!

The best and funniest picture of Quinny's quick little pony. That cute open mouth!

I was shocked that Ever Knight wanted to ride a pony, he usually opts out of adventures like this, but I was so proud of him and he had such a great time. His smile when that pony was trotting around the track was like nothing I'd ever seen. Wow, he is cute.

Quinny's horse, Pepsi, decided to just stop about 50 yards from the end of the run. Quinn was patting her neck and saying, "Come on Pepsi! Stawt wunning, ok. You can do it!" It was so cute.

This little chica was not about to get near an animal, but she was all smiles as long as I was close!

My crew.

The train ride was really adorable, and well worth the $2 ticket price. What a fun day in sunny LA!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Peace Out Cast

The cast is off, and T was beyond excited to see it go. We were expecting it to smell up the whole room (hence T plugging his nose) but it was actually nothing but roses! It took everything in me not to bring that cast home and put it up with the trophies, but I decided that a few pictures of all of those signatures was good enough. Here's to no more casts in 2018...or ever!