Noah is FOUR!

Noah had a birthday & is now a 4-year-old. It's official - my kids are growing up. At four Noah is happy, loves to make people laugh, is always willing to share whatever he has, & still is cuddly & affectionate. It's not uncommon for him to walk up to me (or anyone in our family) & give a hug & a kiss & say something like, "I love you SO much!" He adores Ruby & can usually be found wherever she is. He has the best smile that he can hardly suppress even when he's mad, & to know him is to love him. Happy Birthday, Noah! We love you!!!

1. Appreciate the little things in life - there's beauty & goodness all around you. Don't forget to see it. 
2. Be a builder. Builders look for the good in others, compliment others, & share in others' successes. Builders are happy. 
3. Share & be generous with those around you. You're already so naturally good at this one. You're willing to give anything you have no matter how much you love it, & you do it so happily. It's such an amazing quality you've been blessed with. 
4. Always talk to your mom. I know you're only four, & I know this one is almost entirely for me, but I hope you'll always do it. I love knowing what you're thinking & feeling. I love hearing about what you did at school or at a friend's house. I love listening to anything you have to say & no matter how old you are, I know this will never change.

Ruby's Birthday Party

This was an "on" year for birthday parties & Ruby had an Ice Cream themed birthday party. She had her heart set on having another bounce house which was awesome, because then there was way less planning/entertaining involved. She was insistent on having only girls to her party this year "except for Noah", which I think they were both pretty happy about;) She was all about Barbie's this year & made out with a ton of them & had a blast. Birthday success!
How is she six already?!

This cake was so fun to make. I'm a total amateur but I love to make my kids' birthday cakes & they are always so excited about them despite their imperfections. 

Noah dancing - this boy is always trying to do anything he can think of for a laugh. 


Happy Birthday, Ruby!

Ruby is SIX!

Ruby turned six yesterday & we loved getting to celebrate her & what a great girl she is. At six Ruby is an awesome helper - I know that whenever I ask her to help with something she'll do it & she has a habit of leaving her room clean & bed made without being asked every day. She's sensitive, empathetic, has endless energy, & loves her little brother & is his biggest cheerleader. She's also witty & has a really good sense of humor - the other day we were in the kitchen & she said to me, "I'll take another bowl of cereal scullery maid." When I incredulously told her I was most definitely not a scullery maid she said with a smile, "Well you do all the cooking & cleaning so I'm pretty sure you are." I don't know where half the stuff she says comes from but she keeps us laughing every day. We sure do love you Ruby, Happy Birthday!!!

Here are a few things I want you to remember: 
1. We named you Ruby after the scripture in Proverbs 3:15 that says, "She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her." You are so precious to us. 
2. You're really good at being brave. You already have this incredible ability to face your fears & do things that are hard for you. It's one of the things that I'm most proud of. 
3. Learn how to laugh at yourself. 
4. It always works out. Sometimes things we face in life seem impossible to overcome, but when we do our best, they always work out. 
"It takes so little to make a child happy that it is a pity, in a world so full of sunshine & pleasant things, that there should be any wistful faces, empty hands, or lonely little hearts."
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Men


Noah has been counting down the days till Pre-K started & has been looking forward to it for a solid year. He's been packing & repacking his backpack the whole week before it started & carefully thinking over what he wanted to bring for show-and-tell. He faces new things with so much excitement & confidence which always amazes me. When we pulled up to Pre-K he got out of the car & after asking me, "Mom, you're just dropping me off, right? You're not staying, right?" several times, he ran to the door all smiles & excitement. The joy this little boy brings to my life is indescribable. He's just as sweet as he looks & I'm really grateful he's a September baby because that means he'll have 2 years of Pre-K - I'd be a mess if I were sending him off to Kindergarten next year! And it's been fun getting to have a little more one on one time with him now that Ruby's in school. He literally talks my ear off I don't think I knew it was possible for a child to talk so much. And while sometimes I think about how nice it would be to be able to have a single coherent thought, I mostly just want him to promise me that he'll always talk to me about everything. Oh, how I love this little boy!


Well, it happened...Ruby is officially a kindergartener. She was so nervous the few days before school started & kept telling me she didn't want to go. I think I experienced every range of emotions in those few days, & I wanted to tell her to never leave me & just forget about this whole school thing! But instead, I hid my tears & told her all about how great it was going to be & all that she would learn & all the friends she would make. I think I was just as nervous as she was & it all sounds so dramatic, but sending your first child out into the world is no joke. It filled my mind with so many images of her as a newborn in my arms, or a strong-willed toddler, & the beautiful almost 6-year-old she's become seemingly overnight. And when it really comes down to it, I realized it wouldn't matter how much time I've had with her, I never would've really been ready for this moment. She picked out her favorite dress with a matching bow, ate cinnamon rolls I made for breakfast, & then our whole little family walked her over to the school.  And although I was dying inside, as I watched her walk into the school with her class, I caught a glimpse of her looking so brave & grown & I suddenly was filled with peace. She's ready. And she's good to the core, & she's kind & strong. And she'll be just fine. When I picked her up she was all smiles & excitement & said, "My day was great! I love kindergarten!" Thank heavens!!! And while I spent the day thinking about her & praying for her, it turns out 2:45 came a lot quicker than I thought. So maybe this school thing isn't the end of the world after all. Maybe. But you better believe I'm going to be up there with Noah eating lunch with her & volunteering in her classroom on the regular!


After a few days of camping we headed to Salt Lake for the rest of the week. Nothing makes you appreciate a hotel quite like camping for a few days first. We got into town & then headed over to see family & celebrate the 4th. Tyler's family is so close with all of their extended family & it's always a highlight for the kids to get to play with their second cousins. They came running out of the house as soon as we pulled up & somehow always start back up where they left off the last visit. Utah summers are the best!

Noah is the token "baby" of the group & I don't think he walked most of the night - all the kids wanted to hold him & carry him around. Good thing that kids loves to be babied. 

After a lot of coaxing we finally got Ruby to hold a sparkler. This was a big deal for her & in true Ruby fashion she started out pretty timid & after a few minutes was twirling & dancing around with it saying, "I love sparklers!"

Far Far & Mor Mor

Ruby loves getting to water Mor Mor's flowers

Temple Square with some of our favorites!