Monday, May 25, 2009


We went to Cracker Barrel on two different occasions on this trip!
I am so in love with her curls!
Amber just looks like one of the little ones!
A beautiful paved trail we were able to "hike" with our kids in a stroller!
Adorable boy in a hollow tree- what fun!
The Boys and their little guys!
Carter was such an easy guy to get along with!
Evan looking as handsome as ever!
We were so cold- but happy to take a drive to the top of one of the mountains! Amber and Kira were so much fun. I love to see them as mothers and watch how they parent. I am so glad that Joe's closest friends from college married women that I can get along with so well!

You should be aware of the difference between the smog/pollution and the natural blue mist that the Smokey Mountains produce that give them their name.
The kids helped me wake Joe up one morning!

My kids being cute and throwing rocks in the river.
We had an awesome trip to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee last weekend. We met up with two of Joe's closest friends from college and their wives and sons. We stayed in a cabin together- each had our own bedrooms and bathrooms. We bought groceries and had a nice little place to live for a few days.  It was 100 times more fun than staying in hotels.  The kids were wild but safe and we were able to either pack up and run around the foothills and small mountains or just lounge about the cabin.  A highlight of the weekend for me: the "church meeting" we held in the cabin on sunday. It was very spiritual and made me even more grateful for friends that place their relationship with Heavenly Father at the top.  There is something about seeing guys that are so at home cracking jokes and doing silly things all the time that aren't afraid to show their sensitive/spiritual side.

We saw a bear, lots of deer, a Scottish Yak looking thing and other more common wildlife.  I also got to meet Joe's mission president and his wife. We were not smart enough to take a picture but it was a very nice visit and delicious food. I love you guys and I can't wait to get together in two years!! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Small Victory

Today I had one of those moments where you feel like, "This is why I stay home with my kids. This makes all the tough stuff worth it."  

As of yesterday I thought it would take months for Joseph to warm back up to the pool. As of yesterday he would not practice any of his former swimming skills. We've been swimming off and on for a month already but he would not jump in the pool from the side- even where he could touch. He would not put his face or head in the water and if there was a float around he begged to be in it and "swim" on top of the water. He would not let me hold him in the water.  He would not try to swim anywhere, to me, from me, or by himself. Even though he took lessons and swam well last summer, he insisted that he could not do any of those things. That he was too scared and there was no way. He would not listen to bribes or reason or playful attempts to get him in the water.  We left the pool feeling discouraged to say the least.

I don't know if it was the heat and nice temperature of the pool, or the fact that it was just the three of us, or if it was Millie swimming that looked so fun, but today he swam.  He started out sitting on the steps but he quickly began putting his face in the water and laughing, swimming in place over the steps, and gradually swimming farther and farther distances under water from the steps to the wall.  It was fantastic. He even started experimenting with a new skill: picking up his head mid-swim and taking a few breaths or continuing with the doggy paddle.  All he required of me was attention and lots and lots of praise. Now, that I can do.

The best part of the whole thing is how pleased he was with himself.  How the fear was gone and replaced by confidence and joy at having tackled that fear.  He did not want to leave the pool- he was having so much fun.  I actually looked around and thought, "What better thing could I be doing with my time?"

I do have those moments, frequently. I should write them down more often so I remember how amazing it is to be a mother.