This is my family

It was about time we had an updated family photo to hang in my parents house. Something to finally replace this one:

please and thank you.

Shelby did an incredible job with the chaos we presented her with. She is so sweet and so talented and I was grateful for a chance to catch up with her. Can I spam you with a bunch of pictures that she took? Here's my family:

Warm feelings to all of that.

Blessing Day

I am overwhelmed lately with gratitude for all that is family. Not only for what they mean to me in my life, but for the strength I see as a result in those who surround me. 

Family is strength
Family is growth
Family is peace 
Family is joy
Family is safe
Family is home

We blessed Carsen and gage over conference weekend back in April. It was at my Parent's house after conference had ended. Only our 2 families were there, and the simplicity of that made it so sweet. Those two little boys are loved beyond words by so many people who would do anything for them. Isn't that what it's all about? Family, love, service?

I just can't shake the strong feeling I've had lately of the importance of our relationships. We are here to love and to serve those around us, to really connect and share our deepest selves, and some of the most important love and service we will give will be to those we call family. Ram daas said "we are all just walking each other home," and I'm so grateful for the ones I am walking next to.

Every part of me is grateful for what Carsen has brought into my life. His face and that smile. The healing power his little spirit provides. The ever-growing rolls on his legs. 

Blessed is family. Blessed are we to have this sweet boy in our lives.

To my girl

Hadi I've been so negative when it comes to you lately and I want to apologize for it. I keep having the feeling I need to be more positive in the way I talk about you. Maybe you are feeling all the negativity from my words the same way I am. This stage is so. hard. This stage with you has challenged me in ways I never knew possible. You are growing so fast and I want to soak up every ounce of it while I can, but it's hard when I'm already so full of frustration and my patience is on empty. I pray something gets a little easier. I want to sit at the end of the day and feel gratitude for our interactions, rather than just relieved I have a few hours before the fight reconvenes.  I'm tired, dad is tired, and I know you are too. Maybe that surrendering white flag is hidden somewhere in the mess of your room. Somewhere between the dress ups, the dolls hiding in your kitchen "from the wind"  and the books filled with your money that you "buyed for me."

I love your spirit and your crazy funny personality. I love your questions and your ideas that come flying hot off that wheel that never stops moving in your head. I love the way you bounce and dance and groove through your everyday motions like pulling forks out of the drawer. I love the silly faces you make at every opportunity, and the made-up words you use in addition to normal ones - just to make words that much more fun. You are confident. You are fun. You are brave. You are outgoing. You are more spirited than I thought was possible for one being. And yet you are sweet and loving and kind - as long as you can do those things with flair. There is such a "hadi-ness" to you that cannot be put into words, it has to be experienced. Anyone who has met you could nod their head at that sentence and agree. As I'm typing I'm picturing your goofy walk you do when you're trying to make me laugh - the one that moves those tiny hips side to side, your shoulders back to front, and your face that makes "that voice" come out of your mouth. You know the one. The one I always laugh at when I know I shouldn't. The one that you came up with all on your own. 

I'm typing and laughing and crying all at once because I am so full of love for you I could burst. I just hope the past year of struggle (and I am sure the years ahead that will follow, because let's be honest, that attitude has no where to go but up) don't get in the way of you knowing and feeling everything I love about you. Because miss Hadi, I love so much about you. Don't you forget it. 
(meant to post this weeks ago... whooops)
Hey there. My newborn just learned how to sit up. Oh, and roll over.

And before you start with the "almost 5 months is not a newborn" talk, you stop right there. Because he most certainly IS, and will continue to be for the time being, my newborn. 

And while I hate it, I also kind of love it. Only because his cute face is so darn proud.

Moved. Again.

We moved.

It's done. Over. And I am alive still. Surely if you didn't believe in miracles before, you do now. 

Every morning I wake up here and each box that I unpack makes me more sure this is where we should be. Carsen and I walked in that first time and I breathed deep after holding my breath for months. Not even a week of being here and we can already call this home.

We've got a wholllle lotta unpacking to do but I don't even care. I've got the 6th Harry Potter on non-stop and all the time in the world. Which is why this morning we are hanging out at our personal park filling our socks to the brim with sand and building houses over the ants. This is happiness friends. 

(Oh and lest you get the wrong impression, there was a large screaming tantrum on the way back inside from the park. So not only are things happy here, they are very much normal.)


So Hadi learned how to text. And take selfies. And now I regularly find things like this filling up my phone:

Every dad I spend with this child I become more and more positive that I am actually raising a teenager in a 3 year old body.