one year home

It's been one year since we traveled to Hong Kong and brought Simon home to be part of our family. It has been a hard year, with challenges I never thought would be part of my mothering, but also with blessings and growth we could have experienced no other way. It has also been a beautiful year, that I know I will remember and cry about when I think of all the tender mercies that our family has experienced, and when I remember Simon's brave little heart and how he has come to love us and let us love him. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father made a way for this little boy to be ours. He brings so much love and energy to our family and a change of pace and perspective that makes me more of who I want to be. We love him so much. I can't believe it's been a year, and then I can't believe it's only been a year. 

November 2014--pictures from the airport. 

 We celebrated this week with a trip to the children's museum and a dinner at Smashburgers because french fries.

Big boy on his first day of school this year. 

Love you Simon Kent!


Just some random pictures from my phone. Life is so good and busy here. I'm just working on holding down the fort while all these little guys tell me everything and eat everything and try to find their shoes. 

We put together this puzzle during conference this last weekend--Anna, Max, Charlie, Taylor, and I. It was a somewhat trying experience for me--lots of patience was needed, and lots of puzzle etiquette was discussed, but we finished. We put the last piece in together, all trying to hold on to a tiny millimeter of it, because some of us were ready to fight violently for the right to put in the very... last... piece. 

Just a special moment at the doctors, sharing a chair while we wait.

Mommy and Simon selfie. 

Mommy and Georgia selfie.

I should mention that these buddies are about exactly half of the time laughing and being silly together and half of the time sort of screaming and fighting with each other. It's exciting. I am so glad though, for the friendship that is there. They are going to love each other all their lives. 

And these last three pictures are from a night when we had Violet and Lizzie and Eden over and we swam in the kiddie pool one last time. Sweet cousin time. 


Little updates

Simon is talking so much! A lot of what he says is babbling that I can't understand, but he obviously knows what he's saying. My favorite intelligible thing he says is "I do!" He'll find my shoes and bring them to me and then say, "I do! I do! I do!" Or he'll push the water dispenser on the fridge and get water all over the floor and say, "I do! I do! I do!" 
This week he surprised me and his bus driver when she buckled him up one morning and he yelled, "Let's go!!" We were both so surprised and he was so proud.

Georgia is loving preschool. She told me on Thursday that from now on whenever she says "One, two, three, eyes on me" I have to say "One, two, eyes on you." and then I have to look at her "in the eyes" She is serious.
She also told me tonight when I said she was my baby girl that, "She's not shaped like a baby anymore, she's shaped like a big girl." And she's right.

Charlie is a big boy because he is in Kindergarten and he walks there with his friend Kiki who thinks he's funny. I get pretty much no information out of him when he gets home from school. (How was your day? Good. What did you do? Regular stuff. Like what? Nothing.) So then I ask him at bedtime and he tells me everything. (The teacher has a really big smile and always wears lipstick everyday and he has to sit on the green square and they are not supposed to chase any girls and he was the King of the Jungle last Tuesday.) 

Max has recently become a passionate BYU fan and educates me and Anna about BYU sports. Last night at the BYU football game Anna asked him where Tyler Haws was and he just put his head down in his hands and took some deep breaths while I explained. 
He is such a serious little guy and works so hard to be a good boy.

Anna is playing the Ukulele these days and I love hearing her strumming away. She is quite a good musician and entertains Simon and all the rest of us with her songs. I can't believe I have such a sweet, smart, giggly Fourth Grader. 


Preschool and a campout

Georgia finally started preschool and I'm trying not to think too much about it. She had a really hard time waiting for the last two weeks while all the other kids were in school and was so excited to go. She didn't even want me to walk her to the door. 

Last weekend the big kids and dad loaded up the Madsen bike with camping stuff and Charlie and rode up the canyon to camp by Bridal Veil Falls. Poor Simon was desperate to go with them, and Georgia was glad to be staying home. In the morning I took the two little ones and we brought breakfast up to the campers. I think it will have to be a tradition.



Last month we celebrated our 10th anniversary and I feel like it just happened to fall right at the end of a kind of  chapter in our lives. We have been through a lot in the last 10 years, just like any couple who is living life together, and looking back keeps making me cry. (which is normal around here) I'm glad I didn't know what we were getting into ten years ago, and all of the events that would take place--happy and hard, because I think I would have been too overwhelmed and afraid to move forward. We did it, though. We made it through what these past 10 years held: degrees and moves, and new responsibilities, fertility and infertility, ups and downs and new jobs and old jobs, parenting (sheesh), fatigue and anxiety and disappointments and surprise blessings. I am so thankful for this man who has been by me no matter how I'm handling real life. Sometimes it's really not pretty and he still loves me. He is kind and brave and funny and my best friend. I can't wait for more and more anniversaries that I can cry about. 

Back to school

This year we have a Fourth Grader (Anna), a Second Grader (Max), a Kindergartener (Charlie, and two Preschoolers (Geo and Simon).

Everyone is going to school! I would maybe cry about it, or celebrate, or something, but the way schedules worked out, I'll still have a buddy at home at all times. (I like that.) Max and Anna started last week, Simon and Charlie start this week, and Georgia starts the next week. Simon goes in the morning four days a week, Charlie in the afternoon everyday, and Georgia goes in the afternoon two days a week. I think it might take us a few weeks to get it down, but we're all very excited about new teachers, new friends, new clothes, etc.

Anna and Max on the first day.

Charlie at Meet the Teacher--pretty awesome photo op in his classroom.

Uncle Taylor being awesome.

A back to school supply free-for-all--except it wasn't free for me.

My buddy Geo.

My buddy Simon.