Thursday, June 29, 2017

The road to Sacramento

Our easy, breezy drive from Los Angeles to Provo was most definitely not replicated on our trip from Provo to Sacramento. We took a trillion potty breaks in every dumpy little Nevada town, had attitude and fighting and whining galore, we hit traffic and accidents and wow, were the Highway Patrol on their A-game keeping people like me from driving as freaking fast as we normally do! I had planned on a 10-hour drive and it really took us 13; which if you're wondering, is WAY too long for a Mama to be stuck in a car with her four little cubs. I don't know that I've ever been more exhausted in my life. 

But one of the potty breaks forced us to frolic through the salt flats for the first time, and you didn't find me complaining about this memory of laughing at the funny feeling of salt between our toes that the kids and I will always share. Worth the extra time? Yes. And then we made a pit stop at a park in Elko where our Los Angeles besties were visiting family and even though it had only been a few days since we parted ways we had all missed them so much and seeing their faces was feeling at home. Worth the extra time? You know it! And oh boy, once we got to Sacramento it was fun from sun up to sun down and I would make that drive again and again to get to soak up Mema and Pepa's goodness. Hanging with them was definitely worth the extra time!

Our summers in Sac never seem long enough, but it was so nice to enjoy the heat at a water park, escape the heat at a movie, pick Pepa's vegetables first thing in the morning and enjoy precious time with both sides of the family. The real purpose for this trip was to attend Great Papa's memorial service (which I did not get a single picture from, but I will document in another post) but suffice it to say that his lovely farewell had both James and I committing to be more caring, outgoing, inviting and warm people. We feel a sense of pride at the legacy Great Papa created for the Wigginton name, and we want to follow suit.

And just like that, back in the car we went for the drive home to Los Angeles--this time with a Daddy in the passenger seat to help pass the time. It was a great first week of summer break, but we all felt happy to be home for a while to enjoy all the perks of So Cal summering.   

The cover of their first album.

It won't be long before she's running around too!

I love Melissa and her sweet, sweet Mom!

Early morning gardening while Mom was rolling out of bed. Who are these early birds I'm related to?!

The funnest Mema at the funnest water park.

Cars 3 was fantastic! I can't wait until it comes out because I'm for sure going to buy it. It was so similar to the original Cars (and not anything like Cars 2) which was perfection.

Army men in the garden are one of his favorite pastimes. 

Potty break in the middle of HOT and scenic Central California for her three siblings, but this girl just needed a good stretch out of her car seat. She is such a trooper!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


As far as priorities go, being an aunt ranks way-hay-hay high on my list. That's why when I found out Kai had a baseball game the day I was driving to Utah come heck or high water I was going to be there for it. This may have meant that we left before anyone else in the world was awake, we only stopped to potty once and it was on the side of the freeway and I may have been driving with "the flow of traffic" the whole way, but it also meant that I was there when Kai hit a brilliant home run and to see him beam in my direction was to see my heart explode all over the bleachers. Gosh, I love that kid and all my littles and I was so happy for the chance Ash's marathon afforded us to be all together again.

So far, our babies seem to come in clumps. We have the first four who were born in consecutive years, then a by year, the triplets, then a by year, and then these twins who were born one month apart. They're similar height but Hunter is so much more mature and Quinn kept saying, "Whoa! Hunter is a kid now!" It's always fun to see our little groupies together and I can't wait for more groups of babies to come (from the boys, me and Ash are out!)

Jordan let us in on his summer buzz fun and kept us entertained for hours as he slowly lowered the gauge on his clippers. It's almost annoying how handsome he looks both with and without hair--some guys can pull off anything, and he's one of them! Seeing Lucy try to make sense of the situation and rub Jordan's bald head was just too cute for words.

Eight of the nine cousins after Sunday church, basically the more naked the child the crazier they are!

I know that puppies grow up to be dogs and I know that I can't handle any extra commitments at this point but geez, these furry friends made me want to break my no-pet policy! I asked. James said no.

A rainy Provo day set the perfect backdrop for a wild morning at Nickel City Arcade. $15 was all it took for hours of entertainment and the kids all left with a prize memorializing their video game success stories!

Lacey and Spencer were just as intrigued by T's new grow-a-pet as he was. And by grow-a-pet, I really mean grow-some-pets. Twelve in all, ranging from a cat to an aardvark to a buffalo but all looking pretty much the same if I'm being honest. They were all made of cheap foam material but they might as well have been gold-plated with how happy these little friends were with each and every one.

Everett was so excited to show Papa and Gigi his new reading skills, and I think they were as impressed as he was pleased. They were sure he had read that book before because his reading was crystal clear and the inflection in his voice was on point, but in fact he was reading it for the first time. Good job, Evie Knight!

Logan seriously does so much to make me feel comfortable and happy when I'm visiting them in Utah. From cleaning my car, to feeding my sugar addiction, to watching late night movies (and not hating me when I fall asleep) to bringing a chicken into the house in the middle of the night because I was sad that I was leaving the next morning and hadn't had a proper visit, he goes above and beyond what I would ever need. I am so grateful for such a stellar brother-in-law and husband to my favorite sister who puts up with my constant crazy! Thanks for the trip you guys, mwah!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Sister, the Marathoner

After nine months of training and a lifetime of dreaming, Ashleigh checked a major box off her bucket list and finished her very first marathon. I couldn't be prouder of her accomplishment if I tried, and after cheering every few miles for her whole race I literally sobbed as I watched her run the last mile down University Avenue to cross the finish line. My sister is a marathoner; and I'm definitely in the running for her biggest fan!   

Ashleigh ran the Utah Valley Marathon which boasts an "easy run down Provo canyon," but after watching her conquer hill after hill during the race we realized that "down the canyon" was talking about elevation, definitely not direction. Those darn hills not only tested her physically (particularly the knee that has been causing all sorts of problems for the last eight weeks) but also mentally. When hills kept coming and her knee kept hurting her brain started saying, "Hey, let's quit! This is dumb. Let's just be done already!" and she had to fight, fight, fight to free herself of those thoughts. Sometimes it was easy to do, sometimes it seemed impossible and sometimes she needed a little push from a pal, but fight she did all the way to the victorious finish. 

In so many ways, Ashleigh's run was a perfect portrait titled, "The Race of Life." It was so beautiful and wonderful and amazing despite of, and maybe because of the bumps in the road, the unexpected detours, the unpredictable pace and the intense forces working against her. The race didn't go exactly as Ash had planned, and neither does life. The race felt easier at times, and absolutely intolerable at others,, right? The race was just one small moment in her full existence, which is just like life--a tiny dot on our eternal road map.

No, life so isn't perfect.  But if we cross the finish line at the end surrounded by family that thinks we are pretty close to perfect and loves us fiercely, well I'd consider that a win. And let me tell you, when Ashleigh finished that race I don't think there was a family around that was prouder, or happier, or more concerned about the number of orange slices and jamba juices she consumed! The metal they placed around her neck may as well have been gold because she came in first place in our eyes. 

Congratulations Ashleigh for completing a life-long goal and thank you for allowing me a front row seat to watch your dedication in accomplishing it, your positive and fearless attitude and your stick-to-it-iveness in the good times and in the bad. You're an inspiration to me and for this reason and so many others, I love you big!  

The kids were soooo good throughout the whole race! Most of the time they cheered their hearts out for Aunt Ash/Mommy, but other times they watched movies in the car or climbed up massive piles of rocks and dirt. We were just super grateful that they were so accommodating of our cheering so really, these dirt piles made us all happy! 

I don't want to toot our own horn or anything, but our cheering section ROCKED! We had music playing and we were all screaming/cheering/losing-our-voicing and those neon yellow shirts we made the night before the race were basically the best idea ever. Ash told us that we were what kept her going through the canyon, but I was shocked at how many other people told us through the race and at the finish line that we had helped them continue as well. Turns out I did get some of my mom's cheerleader genes after all, and I love every second of it!

Mom has been here before so she was the perfect person to give Ash some "hit the wall" advice. She ran the last few miles by her side and gave her some love (and from what I hear, sometimes tough love) as she finished off the race. 

It was SUCH a beautiful day for a marathon--clear and mild weather. Those mountains are something else! 

This was when she was almost to the finish line and this is when I completely lost it. Look at how gorgeous she is after having just run A WHOLE MARATHON! 

The gang's all here (except for James--work shmerk).

I wish I was more like both of these athletic and wonderful women. I love them so much and consider them some of the greatest blessings I know.

A little rest in the grass was what the doctor ordered and then it was time for pizza, an ice bath and a few good massages. The next time you decide to run a marathon Ash you know I'll be there again. So proud of you, girl!

Monday, June 26, 2017

One Year Old Stats

85th percentile for both head and weight, and 100th (off the charts) for height. Our doctor said she is the size of an average two year old and I must admit the thought of tall daughter-women by my side someday makes me giddy as heck so I hope the trend continues. She has 11 teeth with a few more on the surface, has transitioned from formula to whole milk (with some assistance from prune juice), and is showing more personality than I ever imagined this little thing possessed. Four shots brought lots of screams but her cheering squad quickly covered her with stickers and alls well that ends well, right?!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Coco is ONE

One year ago on June 8th I held a brand new baby in my arms and wondered how I had lived through bringing her into the world. I remember clearly the frantic moments where I thought I may slide to heaven at the same time she slid down to earth. The pain. The fear. The shock. The desperation. The total lack of control. (more of that story here) When she was finally out and I was finally stable I remember thanking Heavenly Father for my life in a way that I had never, ever done before. I was alive! More alive than I ever could have been without welcoming that healthy baby girl. And she was alive. More alive that she ever could have been without my strong and accommodating body. And oh was I thankful.

One year ago on June 8th I held a brand new baby in my arms and wondered how I had ever lived without her in this world. Cora Nicole Wigginton, she was as sweet, soft and perfect as I knew she would be and cuddled right into my chest like a puzzle piece long missing. How could our family ever have been complete without this precious angel? It couldn't have been. I've said it before and I will say it again, I would struggle through a million horrible deliveries if it meant that Coco could join our family. She is worth it, oh so worth it.

Last week on June 8th I held a one-year-old toddler in my arms and wondered how I had witnessed a year pass by in a manner of blinks. How in the world did yesterday's newborn transform into today's wide-smiled, walking and babbling babe? Ever her lot in life, Coco's birthday fell on the boys last day of school so there were parties and events galore to attend and her birthday celebrations were sandwiched with theirs. But piggy-backed as they were, celebrating her was what this day was all about and it's so easy to do because she is so easy to love. She smiled through her waffle breakfast, beamed on our morning stroll, and didn't shy away from her cake as T's whole scout troop stood around admiring her sweetness. She opened presents, played with toys, kept her cool when Quinny commandeered the lot and reminded me that life is beautiful and precious and perfect. Cora, sweet Cora, we absolutely could not love you more. Happy birthday, my love.

Our little Wiggy circus is keen on their hooded bath towels and a first birthday meant that Coco graduated from her newborn mouse towel (that Quinny also used) to a brand new hot pink flamingo towel. She looks so big as a mouse, but so small as a bird and while I thought I might feel a little melancholy nostalgia at this little step I could feel nothing but excitement over Coco's cuteness and the fun new stages in store for our family.

I probably won't dress these sisters in the same outfits for every major milestone (probably!) but I bought these cute kitty jammies for Quinny to wear on her first birthday and I couldn't help but put Coco in them on hers. It's so much fun to have two little girls and I love the idea of them sharing life together. (Including kitty pajamas!)

Sappy, sappy Mama made James stop working at 11:59 pm and come watch our baby as the clock turned our 0-year-old Coco into a one-year-old Coco. I could have stared at that cute little bum all night long!

Fun birthday surprises for our fun birthday girl in a fun and festive birthday dining room! (With a few last day of school presents for the kids for good measure!)

Including a cheetah fidget spinner for our scary cheetah girl. She got the hang of that baby really fast but tbh, it could have been a rock painted like a cheetah and she would have been thrilled.

I mean, c'mon!!! This girl was thrilled about quite a few things in this picture, least of which was the fact that I smeared lots of syrup on that toasted waffle! Never a happier friend.

She took her first steps the Sunday before her birthday but she was still fine-tuning the process and decided to crawl on our morning jaunt and snack on the purple snow from the Jacaranda trees while she was at it.

One one balloon for our one-year old (with three pink ones for extra pizzazz!)

First she picked off every strawberry and threw them on the ground...then she went for the cake. Because hey, we're all about healthy eating over here but birthday's are definitely cheat days!

Happy birthday beautiful Cora. You are such a bright light in my life and I couldn't feel more honored to be your Mom (especially when I saw you devour that cake, wink wink! #thatsmygirl).