MY LIL FALL FOR FALL...

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Well, Fall is HERE. I'm a Summer girl, 1000%, but you can't deny that Fall is a heart throb. It used to be my favorite season, actually. I grew up in Utah County, and being in a world that actually, really had a Fall of course gave me a special love for Autumn time. But after acclimating (literally) to St. George and the glorious feeling of heat on our skin, and then after becoming a mother and experiencing how stifling winter can be with little babes, Summer won me over. Gimme a local pumpkin patch with my chicklets, though (and some stellar pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!) and let me tell you...

COSTUMES AND CUPCAKES: OLIVIA IS FIVE!!

We basically worshipped her for her entire birthday weekend, our fabulous, five-year-old Olivia. Juuust kidding just kidding, not worshipped. But was the doll adored and dotted-on? Yes. Olivia is a feeler - she runs on her emotions - so something like having her very own day to celebrate her very own entry into the world always feels "soooo amazingly special!" Which is amazingly awesome for Mom, because whatever we do on her day is perfect, even (if not especially?) a last-minute friend party, aptly titled, "Costumes + Cupcakes..."

OLIVIA SAYS, CLAIRE SAYS: WRITING DOWN MY LITTLE GIRLS' SWEET WORDS

Friday, September 15, 2017
I got my first haircut since having Emmy last week (oh how it was time 😌). Since you always talk deep with your hairdresser, I asked her what she wish she would've done differently as a mom when her girls were little. Of all the things (her girls are adults now), said she would've "written down the funny things they said. I scrapbooked all the time. I have a hundred photos of them, but I don't have record of their funny phrases and sweet comments, and so much of what they said made up our lives, and made them who they were then...I miss that part of them now!"

Well, talk about a shot through the heart (bless you, Deanne). I have a hundred photos of my girls. And yes! They are saying hilarious, wonderful, crazy, things all the time. And yet, nooo! I've barely captured their perfect voices here. Rarely do I write down the things they say and I need to start writing down the things they say. Because they really are perfect-to-me little girls, and while I blog motherhood and life here in part to help them as future women and moms, maybe one of the most helpful things for them later will be looking back through this lens to relish and remember themselves as the little girls - who they were, what they said, that they were perfect (especially in their mama's eyes) - and that they always will be. 

A SUMMER AT THE SWIMMING POOL

What would we do without water. Seriously, though. We lived at the pool this hot hot summer, and I've never been so grateful for water in my life. I took the girls almost every day when Ryan was studying for the Bar. The big girls would suit up in floaties, Emmy and I would watch from the side in the shade (and eventually nap. Well, Emmy napped. I snugged). Or, we'd luck out and Ryan's mom and brothers would come - then the girls would not suit up in floaties and instead swim their little hearts out with The Uncles and Grandma by their sides. Emmy and I would still watch from the side in the shade (next summer she'll be old enough for that bright sun and sunscreen), so happy for the chance to be outside in that water. 

Then Daddy finished the Bar and where'd we go on the daily? Back to the pool. Ryan is a water man. Which is why waving to us from inside the house while we drove away to swim on the daily could've killed him. Thank GOODNESS the Bar ended, and he got to live at the pool for just a little bit, too... 

HI (BY WAY OF YELLOWSTONE)!

Friday, September 1, 2017
HI. 

As in "hello!" not Hawaii. ;) 

Lots has happened since I last made some time to write! Ryan took the California Bar Exam in San Diego (cue the tears - he worked so hard and we girls have so loved having him back). As soon as Ryan got home from CA, we hit the road for three weeks to celebrate that our daddy was finally getting some summer time. Week 1 found us in Utah County. We had a reunion with our law school family (it was so good to see everyone!), and the girls had mega cousin time while we stayed at my sister's. Week 2: Sundance! My family had our first, official family reunion, which was awesome and weird all at once (are we that old?!) It was such a good time. After having to pass on more than one big family party over the last three years, it was good to be with our people full-time. 

Week 3: Yellowstone! And beyond. :) 
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