OUR BLESSED EMMY EVE!

Monday, July 17, 2017
Our precious Emmy Eve was given a name and a blessing on Sunday, just after church at my parent's home in the company of our immediate families. "Baby Blessings" are customary in my faith - a sweet little tradition we carry out, primarily as a nod to this scripture here, but it's an old custom (IE the naming of John the Baptist here) - and as a mama, it's something I so look forward to. The Spirit is close. There is a keen feeling heaven is near, and that heaven always has been in my baby's behalf. I totally believe that my children have a past - a heavenly past - and that my job as a mother is to just nurture their divine nature out in full. So hearing what their personalities are like (slash, what they have been like for ages!), what their missions are in life, and how much their Heavenly Father loves them pulls at my mother heart in the best possible way. 

Emmy's sweet blessing was as tender as they come. I am so grateful for this strong soul. She is precious!
Emmy and Daddy. Emmy gets most of her looks from that guy right there - the long limbs, the long face and the almond-ish eyes. Lucky girl! ๐Ÿ˜
My sweet mom helped me prepare the blessing clothes, and while looking through her box of Baby Blessing goods (the woman had six kids -- she has the goods!), she found the teensy, tiny 14K gold ring that she got for me on my blessing day. I couldn't have thrown it on Emmy's finger faster. It was the most special, daintiest detail!
 Heart BURSTING. Emmy!!! Can't express my love enough for this little woman. ๐Ÿ’ž I'm so honored to be her mother.
The big girls were troopers - kind of? ๐Ÿ˜‚ While they physically left the ice cream party that followed the blessing to snap a few pics as a family, they were (clearly) mentally CHECKED OUT. Emmy wins, though - Baby Girl mentally and physically checked out! She conked right after the blessing, the sweet thing.

We squeezed the below photo outta them (barely!) and they were off. Ryan's brothers - "the Uncles" - were calling. Can't compete with those guys.
This one kills me. Emmy!!! (I think I'll say her name in an obsessed-with-you tone for the rest of her life) Dream and drool big, my baby.

So grateful that my sweet grandparents are close enough to pop in for these kind of events. They live just up the street - he's the Grandpa Great with the cows and she's the Grandma Great with the cutest house, according to my girls - and how we love them.
Now that I'm writing this, I'm wondering how on earth I didn't get a picture of the whole group -- ?! ๐Ÿ˜ Bless my tired mama heart (next baby)! Just let it be known that having our parents, Ryan's siblings, and my grandparents there was so special for us. Being enshrouded by our families this whole summer long has been quite the novelty and such a blessing in its own right. Families! Such a gift. 

You are loved, Emmy Eve. Fiercely and forever. Thank you for coming to our little family. We could not be more complete for the next while. Can't wait to see your incredible life unfold, my dear. All is well, all is well!

AN INTERVIEW WITH "ABOUT PROGRESS!"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
I had the funnest opportunity back in May - right after we moved from VA! - to be interviewed by the stellar Monica Packer, the brains and blood behind the blog and podcast, "About Progress." Monica is with-it, brilliant, and beating back the ugly parts of the WWW so well with her uplifting and inspiring work. I was totally honored to chat with her about so many things that I love about life. We covered tons of ground -- stuff that I've talked about here, like finding joy (my fave!!) and other stuff that I haven't talked about, like transitioning from running Let's Playground (now known as Gathre), back to full-time motherhood and what that really looked like for me.

Give the interview an ear HERE, and keep your eyes on Monica from here on out. You'll be glad you did. ๐Ÿ™Œ

XO!

TEACHING CHILDREN TO WORK: THE CHORE CHART! PLUS A PACKET OF CHARTS FOR YOUR CREW

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
KIDS THESE DAYS. Most of the time I use the phrase correctly - in the context of being obsessed with my children because they've done something hilarious or witty or brilliant (or all of the above). But I confess that I also think of the phrase (with a slight shudder) in the face of a particularly green and increasingly prevalent modern-day monster: entitlement. 

I'm sure you've seen entitlement in your babies -- I've seen it in my Olivia more than anyone. At the end of last year, we couldn't walk down any aisle of any store (Target was the WORST ๐Ÿ˜ฉ) without her asking for something "because I just want it! I need it!" Claire caught on. Claire once asked for a jumper cable - a jumper cable! - just because it was in front of her, something to be had, something to ask for, something to "just get." It was hilarious. And then I was like, ?!?! I decided then that even though my girls were 4 and 2-years-old - comparatively itty bitty in the grand scheme - they had to start experiencing reality. "The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there" (Vince Lombardi). Especially with arms full of stuffed animals, new sandals on his feet, and a heart bursting with feelings of success.

My girls had to start working. 

LESSONS FOR LITTLES: TEMPLES!

Monday, July 10, 2017
Hiii friends! 

So glad I'm here - back at the blog - even if it's just for a second. Miss Emmy is squawking at a stuffed bunny on the floor next to me, so I've got as much as time to write here as she and her little friend have time to chat ๐Ÿ˜Œ.

I wanted to pop in and share a short, easy lesson to use when teaching your family about God's temples today - the purpose of temples and answers to FAQ's about temples. Ryan and I spoke in church yesterday all about temples, and in my personal prep to speak, I took the girls to the St. George Temple's grounds and we had the best, sweetest conversation about temples. They asked me allll the questions, and I was challenged in providing them true, concise, simple answers (of course I studied up on temples throughout the week in prep)! I figured if I can simplify and clarify the temple to the point that THEY can understand, I could convey some facts and feelings to a crowd of babes, teens, and grown-ups, too, yeah?

You can read the questions and elaborate on the answers to fit your family's needs -- it'll make for a good time (specially if you read my girls' questions exactly as they asked them, which is exactly how I wrote them below ๐Ÿ˜‰). All of my aanswers were sourced here.

TEMPLES! WHAT THEY'RE FOR + WHY WE CARE

SWEET IS THE WORD! 3 NEPHI 27:14-15 - A POSITIVE APPROACH TO DISCIPLINE

Monday, June 19, 2017
Pic via: my old-new bedroom floor. We are living with my parents this summer, so I'm back in my bedroom from the good ol' high school days. Emmy, my DOLLY (I'm obsessed with her), had just finished a diaper change, and since the other girls were occupied and I had 10 minutes before needing to dash to church, I grabbed my scriptures and read as sincerely as I could, knowing that I had such a short amount of time.

Little punches of power. Most of my studying these days is so short, but so sincere, because the time I can give is "now or never." How grateful I am to still feel a strong connection to Heavenly Father via shorter study sessions. I think He's grateful for any time that we pause to genuinely give.
Entry from Thursday, June 15*
"Our Good Shepherd" and 3 Nephi 27:14-15

"Surely the Savior did not condone adultery. But he also did not condemn the woman [that was caught in adultery and brought to Christ by the people for disciplinary action]. He encouraged her to reform her life. She was motivated to change because of His compassion and mercy." 

That piece is as good as gold for me as I raise the girls and have to discipline them. They will not follow me if I do not have the greatest compassion and love for them. "The Savior's compassion, love, and mercy draw us toward Him," not any withdrawal of love, harshness, and anger.

3 Nephi 27:14-15 "After that I had been lifted upon the cross I might draw men unto me...For this cause have I been lifted up."

He endured the Garden of Gethsemane and His crucifixion, giving Him perfect empathy. Empathy begets compassion. Compassion promotes change.

Grateful for this lesson and Christ's example. I will go and do!

*Half of my scripture study came from the April 2017 General Conference talk, "Our Good Shepherd," from the apostle, Elder Dale G. Renlund, which is why I found and included that quote up there.  :)
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