Friday, June 23, 2017

An Unexpected Celebration

Hi there Sweetie Pie,

Okay, I'm really almost caught up, and seriously... we've got to come up with a better plan for execution. Whew! But let's rewind to April for a moment.

I wasn't going to do Easter. I was a tired mom. And... while I always enjoyed the whole Easter Bunny thing as a kid, I've just struggled to get behind it as an adult. While Christmas is entirely too commercialized, there is still so much about the Christmas spirit that makes it a whole season of joy. I turned on Winnie the Pooh to an Easter episode and it was all about a celebration of spring. Uh... huh?

A week or so before Easter I happened upon a video of Libby having her first easter egg hunt when she was just a little older than you, and it was ADORABLE!! Suddenly, I had to take you to find easter eggs. Around the same time I also happened upon the most handsome little outfit ever while I was out picking up a few easter-y things; basically you had a crazy awesome Easter without any intention whatsoever. Side note: I did find some really cool things to do leading up to Easter that I'd like to implement next year. Things to help us actually understand more about the true reason we celebrate.

The Palfreymans' were kind enough to let us join their egg hunt (it's just not the same with one kid and almost no yard) and it was a BLAST watching you figure out the whole experience. The best part was when you realized what was inside. At that point the gig was up. No more hunting; it was time to eat candy.

We were lucky enough to have Grandma and Grandpa Cottle in town for most of the weekend, so the joined us for the egg hunt, and Grandma took lots of pictures. She also helped me do the shopping that led to lots of Easter fun the next morning.

The Easter Bunny tried to keep the candy to a minimum (there were lots of eggs, but most of the candy disappeared before you knew it was there), but you got some cleaning toys (a broom just your size since you love to use mama's) and some toys to play at the beach. Dad was off in the mornings both Saturday and Sunday, so we all got to enjoy at least a few hours of celebrating together.

I decided to invite some friends for Easter dinner, so we had a turkey and lots of other good food. It was so fun to celebrate with loved ones all weekend!

For not planning to make a big deal, we sure had a lovely, and eventful holiday. Definitely one worth remembering. So, it looks like Easter is a tradition however we celebrate each year. But Devin, I hope as time goes on you come to understand the true, incredible blessing this day is, and why we truly celebrate. Because of our Savior, Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, because He lives, we will live again too.

I love you sweet boy. You are the light of our lives. And I am so grateful that because of our Savior, we are a forever family.


Mom and Dad

More? Okay.

Hi Devy,

I have decided I need to start adding to the blog every day, and I think we're definitely going to have to start working toward a weekly post instead of monthly. You are changing and growing so much, and saying the funniest, silliest things every day all the time. I was out of town for work this week, and I feel like your vocabulary doubled while I was gone! Here are just a few ways you make me smile:

Whenever you're answering in the affirmative, your choice of response is typically, "okay". It is super helpful that you can tell me yes or no, but even better that your method is so endearing. When you're super upset I know I'll get an "okay" as soon as I get to the right solution. When you don't want something, your "no" is matter-of-fact, but with an almost question-like inflection. It's adorable, even when it's occasionally frustrating. Typically you still don't use it in an angry way, and I'll take that as long as it lasts.

You've finally started saying "yeah" occasionally when an "okay" won't quite do, and you've also started saying "Yes!" with a fist pump, but it comes out as "Ye...sss!" A-freaking-dorable.

Whenever you'd like someone to take you somewhere you reach out and say, "hand?", so we will take your hand and go with you. You use this tactic particularly when we are in the middle of dinner and you want to go outside instead of staying in the dining room while we finish. You've also learned to brush your hands together and say "all done" when you're ready to get up from the table. I think occasionally you don't actually mean it, but most of the time you really are ready to at least get down.

You are getting more clever all the time. The other night Dad was trying to brush your teeth and you laid your head on his shoulder and started fake snoring. You fake sleep a lot, but it was the first time you'd outrightly tried to use this tactic to get out of something. Who knew that would start so young?

You know how to find Mommy, Daddy, Devin, grandparents, and an occasional cousin in any picture, and you talk on any type of phone (or anything you can pretend is a phone) to Mimi.

You can say most of the blessing on the food by yourself now, though you have no interest in even folding your arms for a prayer at night. We're still figuring that one out.

You give the best kisses and snuggles EVER, and I hope that lasts for a long, LONG time. Our nighttime routine (on good nights) always includes me laying you most of the way down, and then swinging you back up for 3 or 4 "one more kissies", and you laugh and laugh, and sometimes we have to do it a few extra times because you just want to keep playing.

You are obsessed with choo-choos, The Incredibles, and being outside. You love playing in the car, and dancing whenever you hear music. You love people and have friends everywhere you go. You also love dogs. Brad snapped a photo of you at the park and said, "there were 15 kids at the park and this is who Devin was playing with..." My heart melted. I don't really want any animals, but you made me think hard about whether it could be worth it to have a dog.

You love food, and of course any kind of treat, though you're typically not obsessive about sugary things. However, I've made the mistake of not paying attention to what's laying around and realizing you've discovered a treat on your own. The worst was a bag of Dove chocolates Dad had left out, and you were just sucking the chocolate out right through the metal wrapping, making a crazy chocolatey mess, and so proud of yourself.

You are getting big enough to get into real mischief occasionally, and we've found you doing all sorts of silly things when we're not looking. I have to pay special attention to the table now, because you can climb up onto the chairs (and then the actual table if so inclined) and get to the food and drinks within reach. You also love to unscrew things, so I definitely have to keep my lip gloss (and especially lip stain) out of arm's reach. We've only had one or two minor mishaps so far. When you got the red stain right around your eyes, you just had to look like you had pink eye for a day because I could only do so much to get it off.

You say cheese whenever you know you are getting your picture taken, which leads to some silly faces, and you also LOVE meeting Disney characters! We went to see Minnie and Pluto at EPCOT and they were just eating up every second as you danced for them, kissed their noses, fist bumped and gave them fives.

You're now starting to enjoy story time, and we read a book (or two) every night. When we read Little Blue Truck, you make all the animal noises, the VROOMs of the trucks, and the beep, beep, beeps of Little Blue. You can basically finish just about every page. We also read Away in my Airplane and Goodnight Moon often. You love to read them over and over and point out all the things you can like the moon, starts, airplanes, etc. I discovered you're even honing your counting skills as you count all six (well with a little help sometimes) airplanes on one of the pages.

You also love the car. You could play in the car all day every day, and anytime you can "help" drive (like backing the car in and out of the driveway), you are in heaven. You hang out in the car often while I'm vacuuming or cleaning it out. 

You love your Dad so much, and it makes my heart so happy to hear you playing together. You and Dad were home all by yourself while I worked out of town a week ago, and you had an awesome time together. While you went through a phase of only wanting mom, suddenly you get pretty sad when Dad is not around. He's the first person you want to see when we get out of bed in the morning.


Okay, one last thing. So, whenever we are going to bed and have to find your little bunny (we've been calling him Lovie) I always ask where he is, and start calling to him, "Lovie!! Oh Lovie, where are you?". Last night as we were getting ready to snuggle up and watch a movie you wanted to find him, so you put your hands up to your face and called out, "Bun!" (You now call him "Bun", short for Bunny), "Bun!" I could not even handle it. Those are the moments I want to just keep forever to pull out and relive over and over.

A little friend you met on the train platform at Disney.
She just took your hand and you guys were besties. 
Our cute neighbor girls. They are super good to you.

Swim Time!

There are a million other adorable things you do every day that melt my heart, make me laugh, and just make life so beautiful, but I couldn't let any more time pass before I captured at least some of them to remember. The time is passing so fast, and though I'm excited to get to know the beautiful person you'll become, I know this time is fleeting, and I want to keep all the sweetness close to my heart forever.


Mom and Dad

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Family Time

Hey Big Kid!

As you can clearly see, I've been a bit of a slacker over the last couple months. You've grown so much, and we've had so many fun adventures, so I decided to break things down a bit. This will only be about our travels and special visits, and it's still going to be a LONG post.

April and May brought lots of fun with family and special friends. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives that are so good to us!

One of the first highlights of the last few months was a visit from the Krauses'. They are one of our Florida families, and it was so fun to have them over for a day. Their boys were so cute and fun with you! While we only live about 45 minutes away, it's crazy how hard it can be for schedules to line up, so we soaked in every minute we had together.

Just chillin' out with Grayson

Grandma and Grandpa Cottle came down to Florida to see us for a quick weekend in April (more on that trip later), and then came back for a visit with Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Ken in May. They brought you a GIANT kite, and lots of other fun things to play with, and of course we had some fun all together at Disney as usual. You were also a big helper with a few little projects that they took care of around the house.

Flying our new kite with Dad

Animal Kingdom with Grandpop
We went to EPCOT with the Cottles' and you had a big time dancing to the music around the World Showcase and riding on Grandpa's shoulders. And you played lots of hide-and-seek in clothes racks with Grandpa and me, while Grandma and Tiffany shopped at Cast Connection.

Dancing through EPCOT with Mommy

Baby Ruger had his blessing day in April, and I couldn't pass up an opportunity for you to be together with all of your cousins. I told myself we wouldn't be doing any major travel this year, but of course I couldn't totally stick to that. It was worth the trip with so many Randalls in town, and we even got to see some unexpected extended family. You finally met Aunt Sissy and Uncle Ron, and Cousin Shelley surprised us all by showing up Saturday afternoon. Shelley even came and hung out with us at Instacare where you were diagnosed with your first ear infection, and it was a doozy!

The long flight
She offered to let you sit on her lap. You
were against the idea until you realized
it was your only way to see out the window.
Suddenly you were best buddies.

We stayed with Aunt ArVae, which was very fun since she lives super close to Mimi's house, and we didn't used to get much time with her before she moved to Centerville. She played blocks with you and snuggled with you and treated you to lots of cookies while we were there. As soon as we sat down at the table you would point right to the cookie jar. you knew where the good stuff was!

Baby Ruger is really sweet and crazy adorable, and it was fun to see you with a little baby cousin. You also LOVED all the dogs! Nick's new dog is named Karl Malone, and you would follow him around saying, "Karl! Karl! Karl!" Actually, you just called all the dogs Karl.

Kisses for Baby Ruger

Matchy-matchy cousins!

You went to your first movie with all the cousins, and it was fortunate we ended up in an empty theater. You were glued to the screen for the first half, and then you were pretty ready to be done. So, we danced in the aisles to the music, and you climbed the stairs. We'll definitely be waiting a little bit before we try again. It was a pretty great time anyway.

We had a super fun adventure to a new aquarium in Utah and you loved being able to stick your hands in the water, touch the turtles, and run around with your cousins. You also loved riding the kid-sized four wheeler at the house (just the thing I ALWAYS wanted as a kid). You loved driving, and you managed to get the "go" part down, but you needed a bit (or a lot) of help with the steering.

Riding the train at the mall with your cousins

Dad took on a temporary assignment as a VIP tour guide at the end of May which meant extra long hours, so you tagged along for my work trip to Utah, and we stayed a few extra days to be with family and some awesome friends. Nick and Drea are staying at Mimi and Papa's house, so you got to spend lots of time with them. Your little face lit up every time Nick walked up the stairs and you would say, "Nick!!" When I would lay you down in your bed, you'd say, "Nigh nigh Nick, and Mimi, and Papa, and Drea, and Karl...", it was super sweet. You actually slept crazy well while you were there, which was a pleasant surprise after our last trip. You and Drea also got lots of quality time, since she spent lots of time with you while I was at work. She melted when you said "love you" to her at naptime. We did lots of hanging out with Drea, and we were a terrible influence on each other in the shopping department. We had way too much fun shopping for little boy's clothes. I almost had to take an extra suitcase home!

Representing HireVue
You are big on saying "Cheese"!

We took a very sweet trip to the Bountiful cemetery on Memorial Day with Mimi, Papa and ArVae, and you were curious, but also reverent as if you understood we were somewhere special. This is the first year that both of my grandparents are gone, and I loved spending a few moments remembering them with my family. After leaving the cemetery you got a little restless in the car, so Mimi taught you her "turtle song". You were in heaven. And you would say, "Moe, moe" so she would do it again and again. You held her hands so you could "snap" at the minnows and fleas with her, and you even sighed at the end just like she did when she did it for you while slightly out of breath.

You may not carry the Randall name, bit but it made
my heart happy to see you with the Randall name. I
am proud to be a Randall!

We couldn't leave Utah without a visit to one of our SSS families. We loved seeing the Woolstons', and you and Corban are getting just big enough to (sort of) play together. It's so fun to be able to have our boys growing up together, even if we don't get to see each other often.

With Uncle Soren in the sandbox. One of your favorite
places to be

Working on your rockstar skills

While we've had lots of fun with others, we've also had a wonderful time with our own little family the last few months. You are absolutely delightful to spend time with, and every day is a new adventure. I love waking up to your sweet smiles, and my heart melts when you snuggle up with your bunny and say, "Nigh nigh, Lu loo" at the end of the day. I lu loo, little boy!


Mom and Dad