Monday, February 10, 2014

No more gummy grins (and giraffes!)

It freaks me out a little that Tenley is an active toddler, and not the teeny, snuggley baby I once knew. I practically feel like I'm meeting a whole new person every day! She has such a spirited personality and I'm impressed by the things I observe her doing all the time. She's learning a lot of skills that make her seem old to me: feeding herself with utensils, drinking out of cups, climbing up and down furniture and stairs, following my directions, babbling back and forth with me, figuring out the DVD player, hiding, and helping put her clothes on and take them off. However, one of the most obvious reminders to me that she's a big girl now is her toothy smile. Teeth! This girl has teeth! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Big families

In the first few months after Tenley was born, I remember thinking to myself on multiple occasions, "I won't be able to do this when I have a toddler at my feet". . .and then, one day, panicking, I thought, "or when I have multiple children at my feet!" Gosh. Taking care of lots of little ones will definitely be a challenge!! Overwhelmed, I asked my mom: "How do you take care of a baby when you have to take care of your other kid(s)? Like, I feel like this is so hard and there's only one of her. I don't know if I'll ever be able to manage more children." And, wisely, she said,"You don't know what you're doing with one and you're figuring it out. You won't know what you're doing with two, but you'll figure it out." And I guess that's how mothering goes. . . you just kind of figure it out. 

I'm grateful for the journey. I'm grateful for the ups and downs of figuring stuff out. I'm grateful for the exhausting, not-so-glamorous, patience-trying, faith-testing, down and dirty moments of motherhood (and life, for that matter). I'm grateful for the things I learn from being a mom, a daughter, a sister. When all of my siblings were home together with my parents for Christmas, I remembered so clearly why I want a big family, why I'll stick it out through those trying moments of "figuring it out." More children means more laughter. More perspectives. More insight. More helping hands. More smiles. More support. More connections. More memories. 

It was so good to be all together again after Jake's two-year mission trip. Oh, I just love them so!
^^Supporting Morgie at a basketball game.^^

^^Christmas Eve at the Alamo.^^

^^Christmas Sabbath in our red Sunday best.^^

^^Being silly in the jerseys Jake brought home from Argentina.^^