My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Friday, August 29, 2014

the note

A few weeks ago, Mary decided that she wanted to get a bigger hamster, so we began the process of trying to sell her two dwarf hamsters.  Ironically, this week, one of them randomly died.  It was pretty sad, and Mary cried when she buried it, but she still held on to her quest of finding a home for the other one.

In Mary fashion, she didn't give up, and found a home for her other hamster.  She also decided that she was done with hamsters completely, and has come home from school twice this week with books about Parakeets.

Yup, Parakeets.

I have been finding these books "subtly"  placed on my bedside table, under my phone, on the stove, and in my home d├ęcor magazines. 
She has also been "subtly" dropping hints like, "hey mom, aren't birds such pretty animals."  or "Did you know that parakeets are supposed to be one of the easiest pets?"  or : " Hey mom, my friend told me that she had a parakeet once and ...."

She has also lured her friends into the scheme.  Today, I answered the door, to find her friend Bailey standing there.  She proceeded to tell me that she "found a book about Parakeets" and they she thought they were so pretty and would be a really cool pet. She also told me that a blue Parakeet, or a yellow one, would look really good in Mary's room.   hhhmmmmmm

Mary also decided that for her reading time after school, she wanted to read out loud to me.  I thought it was a great idea, and then I soon discovered that I was being read a book all about the proper care and training of Parakeets.

Finally, a few days ago, she actually asked for a Parakeet.  She very smoothly and calmly squelched every single concern or negative feedback I gave her.  There was absolutely no argument that was strong enough on my end.  This girl had done her full research, and I couldn't help but admire it. She had a very good point, and pleaded her case extremely well.

In the end, after all of Mary's research, and some talking between Ben and I, we decided today to let her have a Parakeet.  She will be completely paying for it, and has already sold her hamster and the hamster cage.

When I went out to tell Mary we had decided to let her have the bird, she grinned from ear to ear, and then matter of factly came up to me and said, "oh good, now I don't have to give you my "oreo analysis."  I am sure my deer in the headlights look said it all, because she sighed like I should know better, and then handed me a piece of paper and said, "well, you can have it anyway.  Here you go."

And this is what I got, and will definitely keep forever.

I wish I could flip it the right way, but the computer won't let me.

Basically, OREO stands for:
Opinion, Reason, Explanation, and Opinion again.

Here is what Mary wrote:
Opinion:  cute, cool and cuddly
Resins:  Ther ease to take care of.  Ther super cheep, and ease to feed.
Explinashons:  Thay will stay ther, and if you talk to a boy, it will talk.
Opinion:  Thay are rilly rilly pretty and nice.

Looks like we are off to the pet store tomorrow.

I love my little girl, and her amazing ways!

Disclaimer:  Ben and I are not push overs, and willing to get our kids anything they ask for in creative ways.  We also did our own research, spent a few days discussing it, checked things out at the pet store, and discovered that Parakeets really are good pets.  Believe me, there are plenty of things we have had to say no to, over and over and over again.

38 weeks

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant.  I had an OB appointment today as well.

They did another non stress test on baby girl, and she passed with flying colors.  Few!  She is still measuring small, but now they are wondering if she is just short.  Luke was short, so this wouldn't completely surprise me.  I just want her to be healthy, no matter how long or short she is.

The test also picked up my wonderful contractions I have been having on and off all week.  It was nice to see actual proof that I am not just moaning about nothing.  There was no denying the line that would spike up and back down, then back up again. Now, if only the contractions will become consistent and stronger...

I also had the pleasure of the doctor "checking" to see if these contractions are doing any good.  That is always oh so fun.  (please note the sarcasm here)

I hate it when women walk around telling people how dilated their nether parts are, and how progressed they are.  I don't think people really care or appreciate knowing that much info. about just anyone's cervix.

However, this is my blog, and someday I may want to remember this, so skip this is you want to.  I don't blame you at all.
I am 4+  centimeters dilated, and 80-90% effaced.  The baby's head is also already engaged.  That would explain why I have been extremely uncomfortable sitting down for long periods of time lately, and literally have to waddle in the mornings for a while after I wake up.

The good news is that I am more than ready to give birth at any given time...according to the doctor. 

The doctor seemed thrilled to tell me this news, and basically told me that she has not had a patient more ready to give birth than I am right now.

Unfortunately, the bad news, is that I have heard this all before, and have never gone in to labor on my own.  I walked around at a 4 and 80% effaced for two weeks with my last pregnancy, and still had to be induced with full Pitocin before Luke even attempted to come.  Pretty much the same story with the others.  I think I must have a full 5 star hotel in my womb, because my babies cling to it like it's the best thing in the world to be folded 5 times over, smashed in between organs, and getting your head squished over and over and over again with Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks on end.  They literally have to be forced out kicking and screaming.

 The only new thing this time, is that the baby's head is engaged.  With the others, I dilate early, but the baby's head is still high.  This time, baby girl is already very far down. This gives me a little more hope of an end being is sight sooner than later.

We also set up an induction date.  Monday, September 8th will be the big day (10 days from now), unless the miracle of blessed relief comes sooner.

So, there it is.  I have one more OB appointment in a week, they will do another non stress test on the baby, and check my progress again as well.  Dr. Sabella seemed doubtful that I will make it to that appointment still pregnant, and even more doubtful about me making it to the induction date, but I insisted that I will most likely be there.  Let's hope our little girl proves me wrong.

I guess we will see......

Thursday, August 28, 2014

and he's off

Today is William's first day of preschool!   He did preschool last year, so technically, it's not his very first day of preschool, but he is at a new school, he is riding the bus, and it is 4 days a week. 
It is all very new for him, and for me. 

William gets to go to preschool at Heber Valley Elementary, where Mary and Sam are as well.  He is in the duel immersion, Spanish speaking class.  I can't wait to hear him speaking a little Spanish as the year goes on.

We went to back to school night for him last night, and he seemed to like his classroom.  He has a really hard time with any kind of change or new things (wonder where he gets that from?), so he would not interact with his teachers or really talk to us. We figured it was his little defense mechanism.   He did play with the toys though, and looked around the room, and seemed to be happy.  On the way out the door, I asked him if he was excited to be in that classroom, have fun toys, snack time, be in the same place as Mary and Sam, and to ride the bus.  He just smiled and put his arms in the air, and said, "I am happy for everything!"  My heart soared, and I prayed that this attitude would stay.

This morning, in preparation for preschool starting today, we went out and got some new pants for him to wear.  I bought him some yesterday, but as soon as we got home, and he tried them on, he didn't like them.  No surprise.

 He only wears his green shorts, and has been doing that for about a year and a half, so this was is a big, big deal.

I let him pick out some pants he said he liked, and crossed my fingers. 

After we got pants, he and Luke also got haircuts.  They look so cute!

After shopping, William came home, ate some toast (his favorite food) for lunch, and it was time to go to the bus stop.

William kept on putting on different pants every 5 minutes, and could not decide which ones he wanted to wear.  We literally almost missed the bus, because he kept on changing pants.  Nothing compares to his green shorts in his mind, but thankfully he did finally settle on a pair...that did not match whatsoever, but hey, at this point, I was just thrilled to have those green shorts peeled off of him.

He started off in jeans (he picked them because they had an orange belt...his favorite color).

Luke really wanted to be a part of it all, and William was good to include him.
And he ended up in blue warm up pants with white stripes.

More than anything, William has been so excited to ride the bus!  He has been talking about it for months.  He was really happy walking to the bus stop, and only seemed nervous when he realized that he would be riding the bus with 5 girls!  No boys at all.  The girls are all in our ward, so at least he knows them. He quickly got over it, and joined in the game of red rover while waiting for the bus.

When the bus pulled up, I scooped up Luke, grabbed Williams hand, and we walked over to the bus door.  William marched right up into the bus, and then I saw his face start to crumble, and his bottom lip poked out, and my heart sank.  I absolutely could not leave him with his big lip out and trembling.  I quickly got on the bus, and asked him if he was OK.  He just looked around and said he didn't know where to sit.

The poor kid just wanted to have a seat.  Thankfully, there is an aid on the bus that helps them get a seat, and buckles the preschoolers in.  Once he was all settled in his seat, he was smiling again, and I was able to force myself off the bus, where Luke and I waved and waved and waved, and William waved back.  We continued to wave long after the bus was gone.

 Thankfully, he will ride the bus home with Mary and Sam, and Mary will be sitting right by him.  That is comforting.

I think I would have worried and stressed a lot more, but Luke ended up throwing a fit the entire walk back home.  I am sure we were quite the site.  Me, with my pregnant belly, pushing an empty stroller in one hand, and a thrashing toddler in the other.

Luke  caught me by surprise this school year.  I was sure that William would be the sad one with Mary and Sam going back to school, but Luke has been the one who has literally bawled every single morning they walk out the door.  It was no different with William this afternoon.  The poor kid!  It is heartbreaking.  I am sure he will soon realize the perks that come with having mom to yourself for an afternoon, and all will be well.

And here we are.  Luke is finally asleep, and here I sit, not knowing what on earth to do with time to myself. I have a lump in my throat, not out of sadness, but because I just worry about my William buddy and all of the new things he will be facing this afternoon.  I wish I could just follow him around and give him hugs, and squish his squishy body throughout the school day, to reassure him that all is well.  I REALLY hope his teacher is doing that for me.  I pray that he will have a good experience today, and that he will willingly go back tomorrow.  We will see.

As for me, well, I am going to try to enjoy the next week or so, before the baby comes.  It will be my tiny blip of time in the afternoon, where Luke will be sleeping, and everyone will be at school.  My couple hours to myself!  I honestly have no idea what to do.  I am just not used to this at all.

Happy first day William. I have a big container of "poky donuts" waiting on the counter, for when you get home.

 Love you Babo!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

happy birthday to me

This year, for my Birthday, I asked for backsplash in the kitchen.

As projects seem to be going around here this summer, there were lots of unforeseen delays, and issues, so it has taken a little over two months to get it completed.

With lots of help from our neighbor Mike Phillips, who is a tile guy, we finally got it finished today!

I am THRILLED with how it turned out!  I absolutely am in love with it.  It looks amazing!

It looks cozy yet elegant.  Perfect.

I was so worried about the color.  Nothing in our house, that is color, is permanent.  We kept all of the major things like stone, floors, walls, counter tops, etc, all neutral colors.  I was worried about picking the color of the tile, and then not liking it later. I decided to go for it though, and I am so glad I did.

It ended up working so well with the colors in our kitchen, and I have no regrets! 


These pictures show the actual color of the backsplash pretty well.

We actually ripped out the granite that went up the walls, and put it in the window sills.  It looks great!

The finished project!

Sorry for all of the light reflecting off everything.  It was hard to get an accurate picture.

 Ta da!  Happy Birthday to me.

37 weeks

So, here I am.  37 weeks today.  Technically, 3 weeks left to go. If I get induced a week early, 2 weeks left to go.  Induction is sounding better every day, for numerous reasons.  Don't judge.

Three weeks sounds like nothing. Sounds like tomorrow huh?  Bahahahaha!  um no, feels like FOREVER to me.  Every single minute feels like an eternity right now.

I cannot wait for the day, hopefully sooner than later, when I am holding my sweet baby girl in my arms, and eating some crazy yummy, warm, gooey, sugary, carb filled treat.  Please, oh please, let it come soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


We are on day two of Mary and Sam being in school.  I am now the sole provider of entertainment for William and Luke.

So far we have played Lego Star Wars sword fights with our lego people, had light saber battles, built train tracks, let Luke vacuum everything, gone to the store, and watched movies. 

It has rained for two solid days, so we have been trapped inside.  It has actually felt a little like winter, which I am really not ready for.  We need the sunshine and to play outside as much as possible, for everyone's sanity. Hopefully, we can get out to the park soon.

All of this playing with Luke and William has already bonded us a little closer though.  Granted, it is not always easy for me to get on the floor with my big belly to build train tracks, or to maneuver gracefully while sword fighting, and we have already become bored throughout the day, but we make do.

 I am trying to utilize the time together with William and Luke before preschool starts next week for William, and the baby comes in a few weeks.

I guess William is really appreciating the gestures, because this morning, as he was playing with Legos, he told me to close my eyes.  When I was told to open them again, he said, "Here are some flowers for you mom."  He had a big cheesy grin and was holding out this lovely bouquet for me.

Love it!

first day

Today Mary and Sam started school.  I honestly can't believe it!  It totally crept up on us. What a whirlwind we have had lately, geesh.

We were able to see who their teachers were last week, and we were really excited to see that they both got the teachers they wanted.  I was able to sigh a breath of relief knowing that my kids were happy and excited to start the new school year.  We have been on the opposite side of the spectrum, and it is so, so hard.

The night we got back from all of the wedding festivities, I got an email from the school saying that they had to create a new 2nd grade class, and Sam was switched over to it.  Not only was that frustrating, but he was put with a teacher that Sam was not fond of, and his best friend was put in the class Sam was originally in.  It was a huge disappointment, and it did not settle well in my mind, or in my heart.  I didn't feel good about this new teacher and class for Sam.  Sam wasn't any happier about it than I was. 

The next day (one day before school was to start...yesterday), I called the school and left messages with the principle and the secretary, begging them to switch Sam back.  I also got ahold of the secretary at one point, and she said that switching Sam didn't sound promising.  I didn't give up.  Something about it just did not feel right at all.  I knew that something needed to happen.

I prayed all day, throughout the day, and Ben prayed as well.  I just knew that Sam needed to be back in his original class, it was really weighing on me.  I was pretty nervous about it all day.

Finally, around 7:00pm, after I had started to lose hope and become extremely frustrated, I got a call from the school secretary, and they were able to put Sam back in his original class!!!! 

I knew that the Lord had heard our prayers, softened hearts, and paved the way.  Sam was thrilled to hear the news, and finally, all felt complete for my kids to start school.  I was very humbled and grateful for the answer to our prayers.

We had our FHE last night, and used it to talk about school, behavior, being an example, picking good friends, working hard, and to let Mary and Sam talk about any feelings they were having about the upcoming school year.  After the lesson, Ben gave Mary and Sam their school blessings.  It was a very neat experience to see them recognize the holy ghost touching their hearts, and to see them recognizing the council that God was giving them through Ben.  Mary especially recognized it this year, and had tears flowing down her cheeks during her blessing.  It was really precious.

The kids were so excited last night, and spent a while setting out their new clothes, getting backpacks all ready, and trying to handle the excitement and the nerves.  I remember feeling the same way, and it made me chuckle and feel those same feelings as well.

We were all up bright and early this morning, with excitement in the air.  After pancakes, getting hair just right, locating shoes, taking a few pictures (which Luke insisted on being in) and a family prayer, the kids were off to the bus stop with their friends, leaving a trail of excitement in their wake....and a VERY sad Luke who was left behind.  The poor kid just bawled!
2nd grade and 4th did this happen so fast!

I had to go to the school to get Sam set up in his new class, and to do some last minute preschool registration for William, so I soon left as well, and headed to the school.  As much as I tried, the kids did not want to ride to school with me.  They were too excited about the bus!

I happened to get there the same time Sam and Mary were getting off the bus!  Perfect timing. They came to the office with me, and then I was able to walk them to their new classrooms.

I dropped Sam off at his classroom first.  He was SO excited to be with his best friend Blake, and to have Mr. Alshie for his teacher.  He just grinned and grinned.  I told the teacher that Sam was officially in his class again, and watched as the teacher gave Sam a high five, and made him feel so welcome and special.  Sam looked so happy. It was then that I could leave Sam, and know for sure that he was in great hands.

Then, Mary and I headed to her classroom.  Mrs. Foy was so kind, bubbly and welcoming.  We requested her to be Mary's teacher, and she thanked Mary for choosing her. She hugged Mary, and gushed over her, and also invited me to come in and check out the classroom.  Mary just beamed and walked right in.  The room was FULL of crafts and projects....the exact reason Mary wanted to be in the class.  Mrs. Foy does a lot of fun projects. My heart felt content seeing and knowing that Mary was also in good hands.

On my way out, I checked in Sam's room one last time.  He had just picked out a huge lizard book (Sam's current obsession) and was sitting down at his desk...a HUGE smile plastered on his face.

I walked away from the school with a good feeling in my heart, and knowing that my kids will be alright.  As a mother, I was very happy to be feeling this way, and so grateful. 

I can't wait to see them in half an hour and hear all about it!


Sometimes there are times in my life when time seems to slow down, and that moment I am experiencing becomes clear, while everything else around me fades away.  In that moment, it is just me, God, my thoughts and feelings, as a vision of what I am supposed to be seeing is laid before me.  I don't have many of these, but the ones I do have, I hold special and sacred.

Some of these moments I share, some I don't.

I was able to have a "moment" this weekend at my sister Kelsey's wedding reception.

My parents backyard was all lit up with lights, the sky was fading to dusk and the stars were beinning to appear, there was magic in the air, sweet music was playing, the decorations were elegant, timeless and beautiful and it almost felt as if we were in an enchanted forest surround by serenity and beauty.

As I was taking this all in, and enjoying the surroundings, my eyes landed on Mary...and all of the sudden time froze, everything else faded away, and I just watched my little girl.

She was dressed in a beautiful cream and white dress with lace on the bottom.  She had an adorable flower wreath on her head, with her long blonde curled hair flowing down from it.  She was holding a flower ball with sparkles and ribbon cascading down from it, and she was twirling and jumping on the trampoline.

She was alone, and had a perfectly happy smile on her face as she twirled, jumped, flipped her dress and danced around on the trampoline.  She had placed green crab apples on the trampoline around her and she was bouncing around in them.

To me, it was all in slow motion.  Every jump, every twirl, every smile she made, seemed to be in slow motion, and so preciously timed. My daughter looked like an absolute angel, in completely peace and happiness, living a little girl dream, twirling and dancing in her own world.

It was something straight out of a dream.  The feelings I felt in my heart for this precious girl of mine were indescribable and I felt blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  I felt that somehow, I had seen this moment before, even before Mary was even born, and I had yearned for this little girl and to see this moment, and to know she was mine.

I wanted to freeze her like this forever, freeze this image in my heart and memory and never let it go, and keep Mary in her peaceful happy magical world, safe from everything she will have to face in this life.  I was too lost in the moment to take time to find a camera to grasp the moment, but deep down I knew that no picture would ever do this moment justice.  It went beyond what the human eye was seeing.

It was a very precious moment, and a gift.  I will never forget it.

I love you Mary girl.

the wedding

Friday morning was a bit nuts.  Ben had to work, and I had to get all of the kids, and myself ready, and to Salt Lake by 11:00 for my sister's wedding. 

The kids were troopers that morning, and the boys didn't even complain about the bow ties and suspenders they were asked to wear.  We got all ready,  ate breakfast, packed a bunch of stuff to help us survive the day, we got gas, got snacks, and headed down the canyon to Salt Lake. It was intense, but the kids were really good, and made it do-able.

We met Ben in Salt Lake off the exit and followed him to the parking garage, where we all met up and headed to the temple.

We got there in time to get the kids somewhat settled with a babysitter in the waiting room, and for Ben and I to find our places in the sealing room.

Again, after a rushed and crazy morning, it felt so wonderful to be in the temple, and to feel the peace and regain the right perspective again.  It is always cool to look in the mirrors and to see family members and loved ones all together in such a sacred place.

My sister was glowing and looked so pretty and mature.  It was pretty crazy for me to see my little sister getting married.  It was so right and so special though.

After the ceremony, we got our kids and then the waiting, the pictures and the wedding madness began.  It went like this for a little while, but then things settled down.

Again, our kids were very good sports for the most part.  I was proud of them for putting up with the heat and all of the pictures.  The looked absolutely adorable!  Mary looked like a beautiful little angel in her white dress and flower headband, and the boys looked so stinkin cute in their suspenders and bow ties that I could not stop taking pictures of them.

Gotta love the nose picking

My FAVORITE picture of Luke.  Melts my heart.

By the time of the luncheon, we were all starving and hot, so it was perfect timing.  It was in the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and it was cool to show the kids the building where all of Ben and I's wedding pictures were taken.

After the luncheon, we started making our way back home, and stopped at Target for school shopping on the way home.  I know, like the day wasn't big enough, but there really was no other time, and we had to get them ready for school!

We finally got home, and crashed from a big day.  Whew!

Saturday, Sam woke up with a burning fever and a sore throat.  William and Luke were also up all night with fevers.  I got a text later on in the morning from my sister in law, Juliet, saying that my brother Ryan and their daughter Lilly had just tested positive for strep throat.  I groaned outloud, and prepared for a day of sick kids on top of traveling, running errands, and getting back to Idaho for the reception. Oh, the timing.

The morning actually turned out ok though, with the help of Advil, motrin, and an awesome pediatrician who called in prescriptions for us without even seeing us.  We were able to get everything done that we needed to, and drive to Idaho once more.

We got there just in time to get the kids all dressed up one more time, take a few more pictures, and be ready for Kelsey's reception.

The reception was absolutely gorgeous!  It was in my parents back yard, and it was stunning!  The lights, and flowers, the yummy food, the colors, the music.  It was truly magical.  It was fun to see so many friends, family and neighbors that I grew up with, and to see my kids, all dressed up in their adorable clothes running around having a good time.

The "candy bar" was a favorite hang out for the kids.

Of course, because of strep throat going around,  there were moments of fevers, tears and fatigue, but everyone held out really well considering the sickness.

It was a very fun, magical night, and it ended with a dance with Ben.  We haven't danced in a long time, and it was pretty neat to dance with my best friend.  I sure love him.

Sunday we got up, hung around for a while, let the cousins get as much time together as they could squeezed out of their last day together, my dad gave us all some very good family counsel and advice, as the patriarch of the family, and then we said our goodbyes and headed home.  My family has no idea when we will all be together again, it could be years.  That thought made us all sad, but also grateful for the time we have had these past few weeks.

It was a HUGE month, and an even bigger past week and a half, but it was full of things that are most important in life.  Temples, family, time together, and making memories.

all in a weeks time

Last Sunday evening, the kids and I headed back to Pocatello to spend more time with family, while all of my siblings would be able to be together.

We spent the next three days boating, playing, bouncing in the bounce house, talking, and hanging out.  The kids LOVED boating, and are very brave on the tube now.  It was hilarious to watch Mary, Sam and Ezra all on the tube screaming their lungs out.  I love to watch my children bond with their cousins and make memories with them.  I was blessed to be close to my cousins growing up, and it had a big impact on my life.  I am so happy that my kids have that too!

It was fun to watch Ryan do the ski course, he can still make it all the way through.

my crazy siblings

his wink cracks me up!

The girls had a lot of fun with loom bands, making bracelets, necklaces, snowcones and snakes.




By Wednesday, I had been juggling the kids by myself for 4 days, bouncing from one event to the next, and juggling sleep and play myself.  The kids were having a blast, which is why I decided to go to Pocatello again, but even they were wearing down. I wasn't feeling that great in the pregnancy department, and could tell all of the playing and traveling was getting to me, so we headed home.  We had a great time, but decided to get home and rest up before all of the events the rest of the week.

Thursday morning I had an OB appointment, and it ended up lasting 3 hours!  The baby is measuring too small, and she isn't moving much.  The doctor checked on me, then did a non stress test on the baby, followed by an ultrasound.

I am dilated, at a 2 or 3, which is nothing new for me (I was at a 4 with Luke for 2 weeks, and nothing happened), and blood sugar is still going fine, as long as I stay strict with my diet.  Doctor is predicting she should arrive around her due date, but who really knows.

Baby girl worried us a little with the stress test, but she looked great (yet small) on the ultrasound.  All of my fears of her turning out to be a boy were put to rest during the ultrasound, as she was very kind let me see that she is for sure a she.  We will see at the end of next week if she has decided to grow any more.

Thursday was another traveling day.  My sister went through the temple that evening, in South Jordan.  We loaded up the kids and headed down the canyon, where we dropped them off with a babysitter, and all of their cousins, and made our way to the temple.

It was really neat to be in the temple with my whole family, and to watch the very last member of my family fulfill sacred ordinances.  I was pretty frazzled the past few days leading up to the temple with worries of the baby, some family issues, and from traveling so much, and it was so refreshing and uplifting to be in the temple and to feel peace and gain perspective again.  I love being there. It was also so nice to be there with Ben.  We usually take turns going, so it was nice to look across the room and see him there.  It means a lot to me to be with him there.

The temple evening ended pretty cool with an amazing sky, complete with a rainbow, perfectly place over the temple! 

We picked up the kids soon after, and headed back home through the canyon.  It was another big day, but a day very well spent.

I am so grateful for the temple and for a family that is worthy to be together in such a sacred place.  There is nothing more important, and I pray every day that my children will all keep this goal in their hearts and strive for it.  I would love for this to be a picture of my own family someday, with all of my children.  I want nothing more.