Dear Ande,

My sweet oldest boy. My right hand man. Happiest of 10th birthdays! Just last night, I was getting warm in your bed as we read scriptures and you came and snuggled up to me. It reminded me of when you were three and we laid down together on my bed for nap time day. I would close my eyes and pretend to sleep so that you would fall asleep. We would play music on my phone and I often fall asleep along with you. It's a special memory for me, and I'm so glad that you still enjoy snuggling up to me even though you're three times as old as you were then. 

You are an amazing young man. I am constantly flooded with pride when I see your kindness, love, and desire to serve others. It really is something special. You are smart and helpful and the best big brother. You are my go-to when it comes to asking for help around the house and with Lila. You always jump up to help me and never complain. You often come and grab Lila or play with Lucy without me even asking. You seem to sense when I need your help. 

Right now, at ten, you still love Legos and creating cool trucks/buildings/contraptions. You designed a little robot/transformer and started selling them to your friends! I love your creative mind and can't wait to see where you take it in life. You are in the Lego League at school designed robots and going to competitions. You make friends easily and are a kind, fun friend. You transitioned to fifth grade at a new school so easily, I was amazed at your ability to fit right in.

For your birthday this year, you asked for an obscure Optimist Prime transformer. You also got to go on a trip to New York City with Nana and Papa! You love architecture and had so much fun learning about One World Trade Center. 

I am really enjoying have a ten year old. It makes me feel a little old, and I love to think about our time when it was just you and I, but I am loving the stage you are in now. You are a joy to have sitting next to me in the front seat of the van. You are one of the only people that thinks I'm funny, and I just love the person you are turning out to be. 

Happy Birthday Anderson!

Here are some photos from your birthday back in April...

Could It Be Spring!?

I have so many pictures from this spring that I absolutely adore. Mother nature really puts on a show in the spring, and I just can't get enough of it! Interestingly, behind these beautiful photos is the whirlwind of life that we were living at the time. Lila was really struggling in the sleep department, and I was really struggling to keep my head above water being so sleep deprived. Along with that, the boys were tracked out and we packed up every morning to trek over to my parent's house while our house was being renovated to sell. During that time, we spent as much time on adventures outside as we could, because WOW the flowers! and our house was a construction zone!

There is this one special tree at Pullen Park in Raleigh that we absolutely MUST visit every spring. It really puts on a show with it's beautiful pink blooms!

As we prepared to sell our home, and leave our wonderful neighborhood, I tried to snap a lot of photos outside of our house. Our home and our neighborhood gave us 9 years of amazing memories. I hope the older kids never forget their lives there. It was such a bittersweet time for us. We are so excited in our new home, but change is always hard. I tried to really just let myself feel all of the feelings as we left that little house. I walked through every room, though of all the little happy things that happened in them, and said goodbye.

These pictures of Lucy were taken right across the street from our house, a spot I looked on often, and the entrance to the pathway that led us to the hidden neighborhood playground. We walked that path so often to go meet friends and explore.

As we finally said goodbye, we spent a couple weeks living with my parents. This was also a special time of transition, trying to push through each day although I was SO tired, and getting ready to start fresh in a new place. I loved spending some extra time with my parents and going through all my old toys with my kids.

Here are some special photos from spending Easter at their house.

At the end of April, we finally moved into our new house! Curtis was a work horse and did so much of the moving and lifting (pretty much ALL of the moving and lifting) with the boys help. It surprisingly felt like home right away and we spent the rest of spring settling in.