Summer has been pretty awesome actually. I was expecting some major stress from having all the kids home, all together, all the time, but it's been really good. Not good for the fast food budget or my housekeeping aspirations, but good for our family, especially me. This summer has given us a much needed break from all the pressures that I didn't realize were bogging us down--extra curricular activities, adoption stuff, Simon's therapy--we've just had less of everything and it's been awesome. We weren't in our new house last summer quite yet, so It's been fun to explore all the summer things there are to do in our new neighborhood and city. (and by that I basically mean that it's been fun to scope out and try every snow cone stand within a five mile radius. What is my deal!?)

Eating snow cones--look who's sharing! 

Also, it was my birthday this last month and I turned 31. For a special gift to me Taylor refinished a bench that we found in our shed when we moved to our new house. He let these kids help him after Simon went to bed. I think I like this picture and the bench the same amount. Both were really good birthday presents.

We also went on a date for my birthday to a magic show in Salt Lake City. I love this man.

And one of our favorite summertime things to do--the Lehi Roundup Rodeo. It was Simon's first time and he was unsure of how excited he was to be there, which made him extra cuddly, which was okay with me. 


Land of the Free

We had a fun day of celebrations and tonight I am feeling so grateful for this country we live in. The fun and fireworks and special events have been even more meaningful this year as I watch Simon, now a US citizen with rights and freedoms and all of the things that we are blessed with because we live in this nation. My heart is full of appreciation and amazement and feelings of hope. I love the familiar words, "God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above." I am thankful that I live in a land where my family can thrive because of the freedoms we enjoy. God bless America. 

Up early to see the hot air balloons

Looking quite chipper at 6:30 in the morning. 

At the neighborhood party and parade.

Simon's scary love face. (when he loves you so much he's going to squish you)

Taylor was kind of like the self-appointed grand marshal of the parade.

Sparklers! They make me so nervous. 

Happy Fourth of July! 


Summer anxiety

What's happening here tonight is that I'm more than a little terrified of summer this year. I love my kids, and also I have not had them all home from school for more than a few days since Simon came home, and I'm scared. Tomorrow is like the first day of summer because they only go to school for an hour, which is strange. In preparation, I didn't come up with a way to celebrate the beginning of summer. I don't have a plan of how we will survive it. I didn't make chore charts or a summer bucket list. I did tell Anna and Max and Charlie that really smart people never get bored, because someone once said the same thing to me and then I never wanted to whine, "I'm bored" again for fear of appearing to be less than extremely intelligent. So that's pretty much the only thing I've done so far to get ready for summer. We'll see how it goes. Anna asked me if they had to get dressed in the summer and I said yes. Charlie asked me if we still had church in the summer and I said yes. So I guess we've also covered those areas of concern. Anyway, bring on summer. I am most definitely not ready.


My favorite part of today might have been when Taylor and I were watching the kids play after dinner from a picnic blanket on our lawn. We had just eaten some caramel popcorn, which got all over everyone. Charlie came and sat on us and said, "Mom, here's a joke...what is something that is sticky?" and I said, "You're face." and he said "NO! A stick!" (hysterical laughter). That was my favorite part of the whole day. 

Also Charlie graduated from preschool this week and he'll start Kindergarten in the fall. We loved his teacher Mrs. Young. 

 According to Charlie all the girls in his class were in love with him, so he's kind of glad it's summer now. I guess he needs a break. 

Happy graduation to a big, handsome boy.


The merry month of May.

Just surviving May here. I'm amazed by all of the things we decide to fit into this little recitals, more soccer, school carnival, school backwards day, school art show, first grade store day, third grade drop-eggs-off-the-top-of-the-school day, preschool graduation, field day, dance festivals, mom and me tea, ice cream parties, and three field trips. Kind of ready for summer so we can just be boring for a while. 

In other news, Simon is talking! (in English) Some of his best words are... hi, bubble, mom, dad, Anna, Max (for either Charlie or Max), JoJo (Georgia), more, soft (he can say it but he can't really be it.), all done, I do, stop, bus and yeah. Also, he had a check up last week and he is now a whopping 27 lbs. Watch out! He's growing and talking and keeping us all on our toes. 


Temple Day

Last weekend we were able to be sealed to Simon in the LDS Provo Utah Temple. We finalized the adoption on Wednesday, May 6th and went to the temple on Saturday May 9th so that Simon could be sealed to me and Taylor and be part of our family forever. I am thankful for the amazing blessings of the temple and of families. I am thankful that my children were able to feel the peaceful spirit in a sacred place that is profoundly special to me. Those are the kinds of peaceful feelings I wish we had in our home all the time. We can work on that, possibly. I love being in the temple and being there with all of our beautiful children as a family were some of the most tender moments of my life. I hope they remember it forever, and I hope they all five know how much we love them. I am thankful for a Father in Heaven and a Savior who love me--I feel that love in the temple. 

It was an  emotional week for me of looking back on all the things we've experienced to get Simon here. I am amazed at the tender mercies and help from heaven we have received these last six months. I am amazed that we adopted a sweet little boy from Hong Kong. I did not foresee that in our future a few years ago, and I am so thankful that Simon is part of my life now. It has been a challenging six months as we have all worked to adjust and also a period of time that I know we will look back on with such happy, precious memories (and butterflies in our stomachs). It was hard to wait for six months to feel like he was finally 100% ours forever, but I am also so thankful for where we are now in the process of adjusting compared to where we have been. 

We were thankful to be surrounded on Saturday by so many people we love. Our kids stuck gold when it comes to grandmas and grandpas an aunts and uncles. We had a crowd at our house after the sealing and I was so thankful for every single person there. Here are a few pictures of our special day.