Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Because Of Him

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Baby Hoopes #3!

After we had been trying for quite some time for Caleb, it wasn't until my sister Megan left on her mission when we finally saw those two lines. She claims Caleb is hers, and I don't blame her. I know her service is what helped us get him into our family. I've always felt very strongly about that. She offered a blessing the day she went to the MTC that I will never forget. Instead of blessing her mission, and her upcoming life change, she blessed me that my womb would be filled, and that we could finally become parents. That sweet prayer was answered 2 weeks after Megan left on her mission. 

Having my parents leave on a two year mission was difficult for all of us. I made the joke that if we are going to sacrifice my parents for 2 years, I better get a baby out of it. After the heartache of trying to get Codi into our family, the thought of doing that all again seemed so daunting. Little did I know how quickly we would see the blessings of their missionary service.

In the middle of January, I ordered a bunch of ovulation kits/pregnancy tests from the company that I had ordered from a bazillion times with Caleb and Codi. I started testing around the time ovulation should have occurred, but never tested positive. I figured I wasn't ovulating and thought "here we go again." 

A couple weeks later on my birthday I decided I would take a test "just in case." I figured by some SMALL chance I was pregnant, how cool would it be to find out on my birthday. When I saw a very faint second line I couldn't believe it. I ended up taking 4 tests that day. It was seriously the best birthday present ever! It ended up being the sweetest birthday I've ever had. What a gift!

Caleb was able to tell Dan because when I told him I was going to tell Dad at dinner, he was way too sad about it. He wanted to see Dan find out! Dan was SHOCKED and so so so happy! We were giddy little kids for the rest of the night. We still can't believe it. 

With my history, worry set in. The ecstatic honeymoon phase wore off pretty quickly. But I mostly felt hope. It just seemed like such a huge blessing I couldn't imagine it being taken away. How could we have gotten pregnant the first try? That doesn't happen to us! My parents had only been out a week, and we. were. blessed!

Which brings me to the first "meeting." I had my first midwife appointment on Monday and was so nervous. They were darling, and after going through all of my history, and how excited we were for this baby, they were just as excited as I was when we saw baby's HEARTBEAT! I cry just thinking about it. I am filled with such gratitude for this gift we've been given. The ease has been amazing to experience (other than I feel like poo, hence my lack of blogging). This doesn't happen to us, and we feel so grateful we get to experience it this way! Out of 7 pregnancies, this is the first to happen on its own without multiple meds. 

Below is the email I sent to my parents after the appointment. I wanted to post it here to keep record of it. Life is good, and we pray all will continue as it has! 

March 31, 2014

Went to my first midwife appointment today. I was so nervous going in because of the fear of reliving seeing a baby with no hear beat. Well, everything is PERFECT!!! It was amazing seeing that little beating heart. We can't believe how easily this little one has come into our family. We know it is a direct blessing from mom and dad serving in London! 

Yesterday as I was looking at instagram, I saw a name of a little girl that I just knew was the name of our daughter the second I saw it. I was wrong about sex last time, and I might be wrong again this time, but I really think  this is a girl. If it is, her name will be London Andrea Hoopes. I love the name, but the meaning makes it even more special. Couldn't think of a better name for this miraculous little baby. Now lets hope it really is a girl;-).

Love you all and am so grateful for your love, prayers, and support. It looks like we really will be welcoming a baby come this October/November. We are SO EXCITED!!!!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


This girl loves her tubby. Almost every time I change a poopy diaper she says "tubby". Glad Dan got this on video!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Playing Hooky!

The beginning of last week was rough with Caleb. My patience has been extremely short with him, and I am constantly feeling guilty for how I react to him. One particularly rough morning he said "Mom, you don't even play with me anymore." That hurt my heart.

Since Caleb started school, our schedule is the same every day. I run my errands while Caleb is at school, we go to the gym, and do the basic necessary activities that need to be done. Add rainy weather, and we have a recipe for a boring mundane life I suppose. In New Mexico we would frequently go to the zoo, park, playgroup, etc. so when I heard those words, I heard the cry from a little guy that missed his fun mom.

We woke up Friday of last week, and the sun was shining! It was such a beautiful day. I decided there were more important things than school. We played hooky! We quickly ate breakfast, got ready, and headed up the canyon to do the Twin Falls hike (about 3 miles there and back). It. Was. A. BLAST! So gorgeous, we were the only ones there, and my kiddos and dog were in Heaven! The trail was closed at .75 miles due to a land slide which would have been a huge bummer if I followed rules. We climbed over the fence(s) and were able to enjoy the entire gorgeous hike. Caleb hiked it like a champ, and Codi was my little chatter box buddy on my back. Afterward, we decided it was a special occasion to try out an authentic Thai restaurant I've been really wanting to try. Caleb LOVED it!

It was one of those magical days that don't come up very often. I'm so grateful that we as parents can make it up to our kids at times. I often feel like I am not parenting the way I'm supposed to, and it breaks my heart. Sometimes my kids drive me nuts, and the guilt, oh the guilt. But the day we ditched school together was a day that all was right with the world. Hopefully I can continue to break out of our routine here and there to create such beautiful memories with my littles!

I wish the video showed it more clearly, but here is our little Codi flirting with the people sitting near us. She is a CHARACTER! This girl is just TOO MUCH! We adore her! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nature, The BEST Gym!

Saturday always starts with my GRIT class followed by either Yoga or Body Pump...always. I am very anal about my gym time. Sometimes too anal. It is my release, and keeps me happy and healthy. Dan has been taking Caleb to his ski lessons on Saturday morning which has been so helpful. He has been trying to talk me into going up with them, but the thought of chasing around a toddler in the snow for 2 hours and missing my workout did not sound fun.

Last Saturday morning he finally convinced me to skip out on the gym and head up the mountain. There was only one requirement, that we bring the snow shoes! If I would have thought about it before, we would have been doing it EVERY week!

It. was. AWESOME! It was breathtakingly gorgeous, and Codi had a blast! I carried Codi so I could get a good workout, and LOVED having that little chatter box on my back. She is a character. The entire hike we only heard happy sounds from the little lovey. She loved it. Not to mention our Gracie was in absolute Heaven.

I needed that time in nature. It is part of who I am. Since having children and Dan being so busy, I have gotten in a routine that works. Breaking out of my routine can be hard because I am so single focused at times. It was exactly what I needed. Nature is the best gym. You better believe we are going to take advantage of Caleb's last ski lesson on Saturday! Me, Dan, and my lovely lady are going snowshoeing!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Caleb's Valentine

 Above is a picture of the Valentine's Day card Caleb and his classmates were asked to make for someone they love. I'm sure most kids in the class made theirs for their mom or dad. Maybe a grandma or grandpa. But I had to giggle when I opened Caleb's card to find to whom he loved and made his card for.
Gracie has been with us since Caleb was 2 months old. He will never know life without her until she finishes hers. This card was a reminder of why I put up with the endless shedding that I HATE with a passion. Other than her shedding, she really is such a good girl. We really hit the jackpot with this ugly mutt rescue! Thank you Gracie for loving us. I know you mean a lot to a certain little boy! 

Love Is All You Need!

Here is our family greeting card we mailed out to family and friends. It is such a pain to get it all together, but once you start gathering addresses, and putting them in the mail, it is all worth it. It was so much fun going through all of the people who have blessed our lives over the years. It reminded me why we go through the hassle of doing it. I wish we had been diligent in doing it every year. My only regret is that I was cheap. I only ordered a small amount. There are several people we weren't able to mail it to. Bummed. So I am posting it here as a record. I also loved doing it this month because it is so low stress! I think a Valentine's day card will become our family tradition! But next year I will order at least 50 more. Below was what we printed on the back of the card. Happy Valentine's day to all! We love you! 
How in the world has it been 5 years since our last update? A lot has happened in the last 5 years. Dan finished his orthopedic surgery residency in July. Albuquerque, New Mexico was good to us and definitely became home for our little family. We miss it every day. We are now living in Seattle for fellowship (sub-specializing in lower extremity). The best part about Seattle is that we get to spend a year living near Steve’s family (Dan’s brother). Can't believe we are 6 months away from finishing up training. It has been a very long difficult, fun, and adventurous road. I am incredibly proud of all the hard, exhausting work Dan has put in the last 10 years. It has been a huge sacrifice for the whole family, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
WE ARE GOING HOME! At the ripe old age of 37 Dan will start his first “real” job with Central Utah Clinic in Provo, Utah! There is a long story behind it, but it was an unexpected blessing and miracle that Dan ended up getting what had been his unavailable dream job. We are thrilled and excited to raise our children with many of their cousins and grandparents (currently serving a mission in London, England) nearby. But let’s be honest, we are also very excited for the SKIING! Dan starts September 1st, which means all of August will be our much needed family time!
 Caleb is in kindergarten and loving it. He is also the sweetest big brother. Not many things move me more than seeing our children love each other. He often says how he wishes Codi would stay this age forever because he is so smitten with her (most of the time).
Speaking of Codi, on June 4, 2012 she was born at home. Her coming into our family has been the highlight of the last 5 years. Getting that feisty babe to us required much heartbreak, patience, loss, tears, and faith. She was worth the wait. We adore her and pray we can grow our family by at least one more.
We know a Valentine's card is random, but besides my laziness to get something out before Christmas, we thought it was very fitting. It really is all about love. I want you to know that if you are getting this card from us, you are loved, and we have felt your love for us. We want deeply to thank you for the love and support you have given us over the years. Know that you have blessed our lives. Happy Valentine's Day!

Much LOVE, 

The Hoopes                                                                                               February 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Anyone who knows me knows about my love of horses. You can imagine why I absolutely ADORE the Budweiser commercials. They make me cry. Seeing these draft horses running takes my breath away. The barn? I yearn to be there. I love everything about these commercials. Then you add a dog, and it is a perfect storm.

I suppose my love has been inherited by my son. He watched this commercial close to 40 times yesterday while I made dinner. He had tears in his eyes and really felt the message (minus the beer...ha). Yesterday I realized I really might have to have a farm. Not just for me, but for him. Horses really are good for the soul!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cutest Baby Ever!

This girl kills us daily. She is such a hilarious, sassy, sweet, naughty little munchkin. Caleb frequently says "I wish she would stay this age forever". We love our Codi Joyce!

When she says "owie" after I tell her to say Caleb, it's because he accidentally bit her when she was giving him a bite of her corn tortilla. He felt so bad that he put himself in timeout.

Monday, December 16, 2013


We get a free Issaquah newspaper a couple times a week, and I find it annoying. We don't read it, and it ends up in the recycle. Such a waste of resources. Caleb loves it though. He gets so excited to get it and put it on Dan's desk thinking that Dad will be excited to read it.

Yesterday morning I got a knock on my door. It was my neighbor. She was ticked. She went on to tell me that Caleb has been stealing their newspaper a couple times a week. They finally found out who was doing it when they saw him run across the street. It all made sense why there were sometimes thick papers on Dan's desk. I. Was. Mortified. I apologized profusely. I headed upstairs to find Caleb. He was hiding under his bed and I'm pretty sure he heard the whole conversation.

We started talking about it, and he was shaking. I knew I didn't need to get mad because he was so embarrassed and feeling horrible already. I asked him why he did it. He was doing it for Dad. I asked him why it wasn't OK to take their paper, and he understood that it was because he was stealing. I knew he would not do it again, and went in to talk to Dan (who was still sleeping) about it.

Caleb was beside himself. He could not handle the emotion he was feeling. He was running around hiding in our closet, then coming out, going into our bathroom, roaming. We kept trying to calm him down so we could talk. He could not sit. He was devastated. Dan finally forced him to come into bed with us. He had to physically pick him up (while Caleb resisted and squirmed to get away) and bring him into our bed. We kept telling him that it would be OK. He made a mistake, but he can be better. We went on to share times where we made mistakes as children. He finally calmed down, but was visibly shaken from the experience.

The lesson in YW later that day was on how to create a Christ centered home. The teacher handed out scripture verses for each of us to read. The one I was given was not by chance. I knew it the second I read it.

2Nephi 26: And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins.

 I felt strongly that I needed to share the experience of that morning. Especially the part about how he was so devastated and how he was hiding. My heart was sad, yet filled with the spirit. My prayer and probably one of the greatest hopes of my heart is that my children will know as to what source to look to for a remission of their sins. My hope is that my sweet son will not allow the pain and anguish to overtake him and force him into hiding.

This was one of my favorite and most used verses on my mission. Little did I know the impact it would have on me on a certain Sunday morning in the future.

God spoke to my heart. I am so grateful for the atonement. I am so grateful that through Christ, we can stand tall and be forgiven. We do not have to hide. I am grateful that I was given this message today, and I pray that we were able to teach this to our son. This was such a great reminder during this time of year when we get to celebrate His birth. God is good.

Update: Dan posted a comment that I want on this post because I thought it was so dear. Love the man who is the father of my babies!

Dan: Caleb experiences things very deeply. I don't think I remember having the kind of understanding of guilt and repentance that he has gained. Even though these kind of experiences are hard, they're nowhere near as hard as if we have to learn them when we're older and the stakes are much higher. 

Thanks, Bri, for capturing the feeling of the morning and the anguish he was going through while he came to grips with the fact that even though you are doing something with good intentions, it can still be wrong. Like you said, I hope we aren't too hard on him and that the teachings of Christ and repentance overpower the Enemy's teachings of hiding, secrecy, and shame. I hope that when I come to the great and last day that I remember it also and don't try to hide in closets, bathrooms and laundry hampers, just because I can't bear the sight of a Father that I think is disappointed in me. He loves us and just wants to hold us and help us to know that it CAN be ok and that we CAN feel forgiven and eventually feel whole, clean, and pure in His presence. I know, because I felt it myself yesterday from the other side of the relationship.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I love to work out. It has always been a big part of my life and is necessary for my mental/physical health. I need it. All I have to say is that my gym here in Issaquah is amazing. I know it sounds cheesy, but it has been a huge blessing for me in this transition of leaving everything we knew and loved to come to a place we would only be for a year. My classes rock. They push me. I am frequently sore, and the classes are helping me get my body back (I've lost 12 pounds in the last 2 months)!

Here is a video on one of the classes I take 3 times a week. Jealous? You should be:-). It is a blast. I WISH the Gold's in Orem had GRIT. I plan to work my hardest to get them to bring it in. I will miss my gym and the girls there when we move.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

One more Halloween down! I love Halloween. It was pretty low key this year though. This is the first Halloween that Dan has missed since Caleb was born. Not sure how we've made it this long. He was able to get home in time to see them in their costumes though. It was a fun night, but I was surprised how few trick or treaters were in our neighborhood. Today I realized that Halloween isn't nearly as fun when I'm not eating candy right now:-(. We are sending 90% of Caleb's candy to the hospital with Dad tomorrow. Best part is, Caleb didn't even blink an eye when we said for him to choose a few pieces and put the rest in a bowl to take to the hospital. Love that boy! 

Unfortunately the days of  choosing Caleb's costumes are over. We've had a good run, but this year he wanted to be batman. I still think he's cute! As for the little lady? I think she is the cutest monster around! Anyone who knows Codi will understand why this is so funny. She IS a monster! Although she seems to be growing out of some of her monstrous behaviors! 
The kids often dance when we leave the gym because there is music playing outside. I think they are adorable! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I know I should probably not post this, but even though I was disappointed, it later cracked me up. Luckily it was only his PE teacher, but still, not OK. 

When I decided to put Caleb into Kindergarten this year, I was nervous (he will do it again next year when we move) because he is so young, and well, has a hard time following directions...ha. Sound familiar mom? Since it was half day, and preschool here is about 300 a month, I figured I would take advantage of the amazing schools out here and use it as a free preschool. It has been awesome. He loves it, and it works great for our schedule. 

I emailed his teacher about this incident, and asked how he was doing in class. She did say he does have a hard time focusing sometimes, but that he is responding well to a stamp chart she has in the class. We decided to also do a sticker chart at home that correlates with how many stamps he gets at school. Mrs. Pierce emailed me yesterday and said he tried really hard yesterday and got the maximum 5 stamps. Go Caleb! She said he is such a happy smiley boy who is friendly to everyone. I've got a wild child, but he is so dang lovable most the time. 

On the same day I got this, Codi had a biting incident at the gym...ha. She is such a PILL. I laugh about this day now, but I felt like a failure. The girls said that if she does it again, they will have to come get me out of class and be done for the day. I started a 30 day fit/health challenge Monday. I am praying she gets her act together. It is all so embarrassing. Having the problem child at the gym is funny, yet I'M THAT MOM...ugh! The thing about Codi is she is happy, hilarious, sweet, with A LOT of sass! She is rough, and we are working on it. But even as an infant, she would pinch me while nursing....little stinker. I have my hands full with this girl, but she is so stinkin endearing. The girls at the gym love to watch her because she is hilarious, but she keeps them on their toes. What am I going to do? 

Anyone have tips on dealing with a biter? They said she did much better today at the gym. 

I'm sure my mom is laughing through this whole post. Laugh on woman, laugh on! Good thing I know they will be fine. I sure love these two. They might not be easy, but they have spunk which I love. My kids will never be called boring, that's for sure! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013


This is what I see every time I turn my phone on before I unlock it. Cracks me up!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Charlotte's Web"

We recently started reading "big boy books" with Caleb. I LOVE it! I have looked forward to the day I could read fabulous books to my children for a long time! We started with E.B. White. First we read "Stuart Little" which Caleb liked, but I wasn't all that impressed. But today we finished "Charlotte's Web". Such a great little story. We all loved it. We are now reading "The Trumpet and the Swan". 

Caleb LOVES screen time. He is obsessed with all things screens which I'm trying to figure out if it's because he doesn't get much screen time, or he is just obsessed. We have to be very careful with his screen time because it affects his mood. We use it sparingly, but I think it's really neat to read a book and have him look forward to watching the movie when we finish. Tonight we had our little "Charlotte's Web" movie party with his favorite girls who live down the road. We had popcorn and treats. Even though Codi was super annoying to watch a movie with, it was a lot of fun, and I LOVED that the movie really stuck to the book. It was fun hearing Caleb narrate parts throughout the whole movie because he already knew the story. It was magic for me to see Caleb watch the story we've been reading day after day come alive on the screen. 

My Caleb has always been a tender boy. I figured he would probably get emotional when Charlotte died. How he shows emotion is the cutest thing. He holds it back because he is embarrassed, but his eyes glisten, and his little mouth turns down as his voice shakes while he talks. We have seen it quite a bit with touching movies we have watched with him. It is something I don't want to forget because it is so cute. 

Tonight after the girls left, he was asking me questions about Charlotte. We have talked a lot about death in our family. He understands it, and we have always been very open about it. He was asking if all spiders die after they lay their eggs. he wanted to know details as to why they died. I talked to him about how Salmon also die after laying their eggs because their life's work is done. 

We talked for a while, and then came the question I knew was inevitable at some point. With his adorable trembling voice he asked "if you died who would take care of me?" "When will you die?" "You said you were old, isn't that when we die?" We had a sweet conversation. Caleb has always had lots of questions about death in the past, so I'm surprised it wasn't until we met "Charlotte"  that he started asking the big questions. 

I love this boy of mine. I love his inquisitive mind. I love that he is tender. I love that he loves to be read stories. I hope to impart the love of reading to my children. It opens worlds. "Charlotte's Web" is such a sweet story of friendship, loss, and love. Thank you Charlotte for aiding in teaching my son these lessons. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Codi Laughs!

I love this so much. This baby is such a little spunky diva.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mission Call!

I have tried to be excited, I really have. But I. am. struggling. These two people are our glue. They are our biggest cheering section. What are we going to do without them? They love my children in a way that is overwhelming. I know 2 years isn't forever, but it's LONG! I was planning on writing more about this, but after reading Ashlee's blogpost, I thought it was said so beautifully that I got permission to post it here. It shares my sentiments exactly. My children (AND ME) will also be blessed for their grandparents sacrifice! Thank you Ashlee for letting me share this. It puts it perfectly. 


Tonight my parents got their mission call.  We have been waiting for six weeks for it to finally arrive.  Prior to submitting their papers they were recommended by Elder Bruce Haphen to serve in the young adult center in London, England so when they received this call we were not surprised.  They will be serving young adults by creating a place, activities and missionary opportunities for those living in and around London.  They have certainly been prepared for this calling by teaching institute to young adults, serving as a BYU young adult ward bishop and by constantly having a home filled with young adults who were friends of their children.  They will be perfect.  Those youth in London are in for a real gift!  The only surprise was that the call was for two years (23 months to be exact) rather than the eighteen months they had requested.

As my five prospective missionaries huddled around the phone listening to their grandparents read their call I was a bit overwhelmed; to say the least!  I was full of gratitude for the example of my parent's willingness to leave all behind to serve the Lord.  The intense range of emotion from ecstatic to sorrow is something I am going to have to get used to.  Tonight was a little taste of what I will get to go through five times with my boys.  I cannot wait for those calls to arrive, but in the same instant my heart breaks to think of it!  So exciting, such an opportunity, such a gift.  Yet, such a sacrifice.

The reality that my boys won't have their grandparents around for two whole years of their lives breaks my heart.  They will miss a significant portion of my boys' growing up, but the blessings that will come for my future missionaries will be worth the sacrifice.  My two big boys were thrilled with the call to London because it is a place they have been.  A place they can easily imagine their Babs and Mags being.  The second they heard two years however, they broke down.

I sat in the next room listening to my Tanner sobbing in the shower for 15 minutes.  He later asked me with tears streaming down his cheeks, "Mom, I can barely stand being away from Baba for five days!  How am I going to be able to handle two years?!"  What can I say to that?  I tried comforting Little Lukey by promising him we would still go on trips while they are gone.  To which he said through his sobs, "But it won't be any fun without them!"  Again, what can I say to that?

I have been thinking in preparation for this call that the example of my parent's sacrifice is what will bless my boys the most.  After tonight I think it goes further than that.  This mission call requires a sacrifice from my boys as well.  They will have to test their own developing little testimonies by letting their grandparents go.  They will be far better prepared to one day leave themselves because they are learning while they are young to sacrifice.  They are giving up one of the most important things in their lives: their Baba and Maga.  I am so grateful for this lesson, for this chance to sacrifice.  I am so grateful for my parents.  I am so grateful for my own testimony that confirms to me that while this is hard, it is right and good and worth it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Marin's Birth!

Between our move from New Mexico to Seattle, I was able to be Megan's doula for the birth of her sweet daughter Marin. It was an absolute honor that she trusted me to be a part of one of the most miraculous events she will ever experience in her lifetime. It was an incredible experience to witness Megan fulfilling the measure of her creation, and watching/supporting her in her goal to have a completely natural birth. She ROCKED it.

I asked her if she wanted me to capture her birth through pictures, and I am so glad she did! That is my biggest regret in regards to Caleb's birth. It was so neat to be behind the camera capturing the beauty of birth. I'll tell you what though, I could hardly see anything through my tears. There are some priceless shots. The one where Megan is smiling during labor is when a baby who was just born in another room cried for the first time. I love that!

I just have to say that American Fork Hospital was amazing. They were so respectful of Megan's birth plan. The nurses and midwife were so supportive, loving, and peaceful. You really could not get a better hospital experience other than them allowing a water birth. It was such a blessing I got to be a part of her experience.

I look forward to when I will actually have access to the necessary childcare to become a certified doula. There really is nothing more incredible than watching a woman bring her baby into the world. It is such a spiritual powerful experience. I hope this is the first of many births I will witness in my lifetime.

I love you Meggie. You did such incredible work bringing Marin into this world. You were seriously a warrior mama. This experience will be on the top of my list of bests for sure! Love you sweet girl!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Suck...

I cannot believe I haven't written in so long. I sure miss the days before the big social media push where blogs were what kept us in touch with friends instead of Facebook and Instagram. It is hard to stay motivated to write when it is so convenient with those other avenues. It's sad because I miss the days of REALLY knowing what is going on in peoples lives versus getting snippets on FB. What I need to realize is that I don't write blogs for other people, but for myself and my children/family. I love going back and reading old posts about our life. I am saddened that this last year has had very little recorded. Part of that is probably because this last year has not been the easiest year (translated: one of my hardest ever), but that is no excuse. There are so many awesome things to be grateful for, and I need to record.

Instead of trying to catch up, I am going to post pictures from my instagram which were taken the last couple of months. I am now vowing to be better about posting.
Caleb loves to bring us flowers. Dan woke up with Caleb's gift on his chest. Love him!

Playing ring around the rosies with Grandma Diane when they came into town for Dan's graduation dinner. 

My two lovies during Caleb's swim lessons he took in Albuquerque. 

Here is Caleb walking to his creek which happens to be in our front yard! We are excited to see the Kokonoe salmon run up it next month to spawn!  

This girl, this girl. She is too much for me to take. I seriously want to consume her daily. I can't get enough of this lovey! 

This is our backyard here in Issaquah. It is to die for! We love it. This is a picture of Caleb playing "King and Queen". They are friends. This makes my heart very happy. 

Our first family shot. I love them!

This dude started school last week. He LOVES it! A few days before starting I asked him if he was nervous. His reply was "why would I be nervous, why are you asking me that question?" as if nervousness would not even register for him. I am so grateful to have a boy who feels safe in this world and confidence in himself. I love this guy so much. His fourth year was a rough one for me. The hardest so far. It seems that five years old suits him. I am loving it! I also love that kindergarten is only 2.5 hours a day! I'm not ready to turn this guy over to the school system just yet. 

I had to add this one for good measure. We call her our monster, but I'll tell you what, this girl brings this type of joy into our lives EVERY DAY! 

We are doing well here in Issaquah. I absolutely love this part of the City. So grateful we listened to our brother in  law by moving a small way out of Seattle. It is really awesome here. I love my gym too! It is a life saver! 

Dan is super busy. This rotation is absolutely brutal. But now that I know what to expect (to not see him during the week) we are doing well. It has actually proved to be worse than residency during the week. Thank Heaven we have him on weekends. This rotation ends in December, and we CANNOT WAIT. It was heartbreaking when a few weeks ago Caleb said "I think we should move back to Albuquerque where dad came home"...poor guy. He is doing fine with it now though. Caleb has some wonderful friends in our neighborhood. Life is hard but good. We are grateful to be closing the last chapter of training (HOORAY!) here in Issaquah! More news on where we are headed soon! 

Old Video Of Sister Walking!