Wow, it has been 8 years since I married my love. I remember the days at Ricks College and our quick courtship. Matt was in a class with my roommate and best friend, Maggie. I was convinced he liked her but apparently he was in to me. Once I figured that out it was a fast, exciting and fun courtship and engagement. April 2nd was our first kiss, we were engaged on the 1st of June and married in the Billings, Montana temple on August 30, 2002.
My goodness was I in love! Yet, I do love Matt more than I did 8 years ago. We have had our share of tough times but we have had many more good ones. We have added 4 beautiful daughters to our little family and have enjoyed watching them grow. I am so grateful for the way Matt strives to provide for our family and the dad he is to our girls.
It hardly ever happens anymore that I am together with all my sisters (mom included). While we were in Utah all of us were together and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to take one night and hang out together. (Next time we need Sarah with us! We missed you!)
Linds, Celeste, Mom, Dede, Kenna, Carli, and Kenzie
Oh, and the Indian in the back...heeheehaha!
Poor Carli was feeling so pregnant sick and we were so glad she came anyway! I love laughing and talking with my sisters. They are so great!
I feel so blessed to come from the family I do. My parents are amazing and I am not sure how they successfully raised all 8 of us without killing anyone! Now that I am a mom I am in awe of the great job they did. I hope I can measure up.
I recall our years growing up. We lived several places and I remember Montana the most. We lived in a 3 bedroom trailer for a year while we looked for a house and we were cramped! Kids sleeping on couches and in bathtubs. Good times. We fought and argued and hit and yelled. But now I am so grateful for all the tough times and family bonding times we experienced to get us to where we are. I love my parents and I love my siblings! It has truly paid off now that we are older and having children of our own. Our relationships keep getting better and better. I have a special and different relationship with each one of them. I could honestly say they are each my favorite for very different reasons.
Lindsay has the most tender and caring heart. She will call and say hello often and I love that about her. She is genuinely excited when wonderful things happen and mourns with me when I am sad.
Dede is one of my best friends. We experience life at the same rate and get along so well. Since we were younger we were partners in crime...I can share anything with Dede and she listens. From sitting in the back seat to sharing bedrooms we were in it together...for better or worse!
Carli is my sewing genius! I can go to her with any sewing problem and Carli will solve it. She is the most understanding person and willing to help anytime even when she is barely able to help herself. She is always thinking of others. And I won't even start on her ability to find a deal!
Caleb is my buddy. Since we were younger I was always the older kid paired with Caleb since I was the only one that could get along with him. :) I have loved the time since he has been home from his mission. I just have a connection with Caleb that is hard to explain...I love him. He makes me smile.
Sam makes me laugh...hysterically! He always has something to say that can lighten a mood or give you a giant bear hug that just envelops you. He is so charismatic and full of happiness. I can't help but smile when I am around him.
Kenzie is my soul mate. We were always the same. We both liked sports and balls more than barbies and dress ups. But don't let that tough exterior fool you. Inside is one of the most caring and gentle people I know, yet she can be very sarcastic with a funny bone of her own. We get each other.
Kenna is my ray of sunshine! What would I do without her bubbly personality!? I always tell her I want to be just like her when I grow up. I can laugh with her and cry with her and really think I need a mini Kenna to carry around in my pocket. She turns my frown upside down.
I am so glad my parents had all 8 of us...we wouldn't be complete without any one of us! We are unique and different and normal all at the same time, but mostly it is perfect...I couldn't live without any one of them!
Molly has adopted several undesirable phrases that I wish she would forget! Among them are: "You stop!", "I'm tired of you!", and "You be mean!". I am fairly certain that this 2-year-old is just that...2. When asked where she learned these lovely phrases she responds, "Kylie told me!" At least I am not to blame for this one!
I recall just a few months ago my blog posts consisted of words of praise for my little Molly. I just loved her loving and silly attitude. Now she is developing quite a typical attitude for a 2-year-old. Perhaps this is punishment for laughing at my sisters, Dede and Carli, as they relayed stories of my mischievous nieces Maddie and Evie. I suppose it is my turn, however, I was hoping my sweet little Molly would stay just that way!
Although these undesirable phrases keep coming I can't help but love that little girl...its a good thing she is so darn adorable!
WHAT A SUMMER! Talk about packing a million things in! Noelle was born at the end of June and then 3 weeks later my mom and sister, Kenna, came down to Texas for a week. We celebrated Molly's 2nd birthday and then we jumped in the car and headed up to Montana. Matt had to stay home since he just started his new job at Wells Fargo.
The drive from San Antonio to Glendive, Montana is about 1600 miles. That translates into one motel room, a few naps, several...no...many movies in the car and snacks, snacks and more snacks! Noelle did amazing only crying a tiny bit and Kylie and Megan were awesome. Molly was...well...she needs improvement when it comes to traveling! She did not enjoy the drive and wanted to sit in the front, then the back and she wanted food the whole time. When she got the food, chips, sandwiches, suckers, anything, she would throw it at Kylie and Megan and she thought that was so funny! Surprisingly we made the drive in only 2 days thanks to Kenna's help driving (and we only had one near death experience...hahaha). Here are our traveling girls!
Yep, I know...taking pictures of crazy Kenna...maybe not the best idea, however, this was not our near death experience. :) Love you Kenna!
Such a good little traveler. What an angel! I was worried how she would do with her tender little tummy, but I was pleasantly surprised.
AT GRANDMA'S HOUSE
We were so glad to finally pull into Grandma and Grandpa's driveway where we were met with hugs and kisses. We rushed the tired kids off to bed and Molly insisted on sleeping in the bed with me. She was not too sure about the crib. I think she thought I was going to drop her and run. As long as I let her sleep in my bed she went to sleep and stayed there with no problems.
My sister, Carli, came up for a few days and brought her adorable girls. Hannah wanted to sleep with Kylie and Megan in their bed. Here are the little slumber partiers...although it only lasted about 30 minutes and then Hannah went to her mom's room! :) Cute picture though!
Occasionally I would lose my little baby. I would often find her curled up with Kenzie while she was watching TV. Thanks for all the help, Kenz. I love my sisters!
Noelle was getting so strong. She would hold her little head up and it made Grandpa giggle.
Have I mentioned that I love my sisters?
This is the first time I got Noelle's smile on camera. Kenzie and I were sitting her up against the back of the couch getting her to smile and she kept falling to the side. It was adorable and we thought it was pretty funny especially since it looks like she was laughing along with us.
My sweet little baby at 6 weeks.
10 YEAR CLASS REUNION
I can't believe that 10 years have gone by since I graduated from high school. It was so convenient that my class reunion was just a week before my brother's wedding. I really enjoyed getting together with all my classmates and seeing where life has taken everyone. I was so lucky in school to have a strong group of friends that made high school fun and it was easy to make good choices! Only a portion of our group was there but it was wonderful to reconnect with them. It is crazy to see everyone with spouses and children but so good! I only wish Matt could have been there. The last day of the reunion we had a picnic and everyone brought their families (this photo was taken there).
Eric, Celeste, Kristin (with baby Lucy), Jessie, Susan (pregnant), Stephen (my locker buddy and trading card partner), Denae and Kevin Pena with their little guy.
THE FIRE PIT
Out on the back patio Kenna has a firepit for all her gatherings. It was so much fun to go out at night and sit around the fire making S'mores and talking. The big girls loved it. The weather was gorgeous up there and the temperature cooled off at night so it was pleasant sitting around the fire.
Molly hated the fire. It terrified her! She came out this night but stayed inside every other time we did a fire.
My dad baptized a man in Australia on his mission and he came to Glendive with his family while we were there. His daughter, Sydney, just turned 8 and she and Kylie had so much fun together all weekend.
There is Molly keeping her distance from the fire!
RANDOM PICTURES FROM GRANDMA'S HOUSE
I love my mom so much. She is my best friend! I am so glad I was able to go and spend a month with her.
This makes me laugh so hard! Molly was "helping" Grandma do the laundry. She would only take the underwear out of the dryer and she wanted to wear them all. It was so funny. She wore them around for about 20 minutes before she would take them off.
CALEB AND SARAH'S WEDDING
My not-so-little brother got married to Sarah on the 14th of August. They were sealed in the Mount Timpanogos temple at 8 am. That was a little early for the kiddos but it was so lovely to be there. The sealing was amazing and Caleb and Sarah are so happy. We snapped a couple pictures outside the temple while we were waiting for them to come out.
All the kids rushed Caleb after they came out.
This is while we were taking pictures and the kids were soooo not happy! Everyone was tired and hungry. Luckily we were almost done.
My mom really wanted a picture of all her grandkids together. Things didn't go like we had hoped and it was rather difficult to get the three 2-year-olds to sit for a minute for the picture. This is the best one I got that had everyone in it. :)
At the reception there was a dance floor with a mirror close. The kids loved dancing in front of the mirror, including my Megan.
Katelyn and Kylie
After the Utah reception we drove back up to Montana for the reception up there. It was beautiful and here is a picture of Grandpa dancing with Molly and Evie.
Congratulations Caleb and Sarah! I am so happy to have a new sister-in-law and look forward to the many memories we will make in the future!
After being gone for a month we headed back to Texas. The girls were anxious to get home and start school.
This was the funniest sign. Apparently there are speeding problems here on this road but not when we went through. There was an accident that caused slow traffic but Matt and I thought it was so funny that the speed limit was 55 and we were only going 5...hahaha! I think this was somewhere in Colorado.
The last few snapshots in the car...we were only an hour or so away! Anxious to be out of the car! Silly Megan and sleepy Molly.
Still friends after about 5000 miles of driving!
Still smiling...and being silly.
What a wonderful summer trip full of family, friends and fun!
Where did the summer go? Today marked day one of 1st grade for Kylie and kindergarten for Megan. My little girls aren't so little anymore! Both girls were so excited and looking forward to today. They both popped right up out of bed the minute I said it was time to get ready for school.
They are each meeting new teachers and classmates today and have a year ahead full of learning and fun. I look forward to watching them learn and grow over the school year. My heart aches a bit as well as they are getting more and more independent and developing their own attitudes and personalities. Oh, how I love my daughters.
Here they are right before we left the house (of course Molly wasn't going to be left out!).
Last night before bed Matt gave the big girls a father's blessing. Matt finished the blessings for Kylie and Megan, when Molly said, "Mines turn!" Absolutely adorable and it almost made me cry. She sat super still as Matt gave her a blessing as well. I am so grateful for the priesthood in my home!