Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Post all for Natalie

I picked Natalie up at 12 today because I was already in the car with the boys after grocery shopping and I honestly couldn't bear thinking about dealing with the stroller/waiting/after school pickup today. So, she's home with us. I called the school and said she had an appointment, and when I picked her up Natalie asked what we were doing and I said, "a mommy appointment!"

 Kindergarten pictures, 22 years apart!

It's a weird day, but in a good way! Wednesdays are always Omaha days but since we didn't go because of the flat tire, we're having a normal home day and it's great. Jack is having a nice nap, Natalie is eating hot cheetos and watching 12 Dancing Princesses, and Stockton is eating watermelon and excited about the watch he is wearing. I'm actually blogging, in the afternoon, with all of my kids at home! Miracles abound!

SO excited about her school shirt!
Holmes Hedgehogs haha
Natalie has been so darling lately. She loves writing, coloring, drawing, and project-ing of all kinds. She gets a creative idea and can't rest until it has been realized. She loves notebooks, pens, markers, crayons, glue, tape, ribbon, paper...everything. She writes letters to people all the time, some of which we actually send and some that I find later under her bed or in her backpack to unknown recipients. She loves going on outings with me and I love it too!

 331 is our house address, and she puts it on every letter

for Sydney and Crawford, church friends
***she now knows not to use stamps without asking***

"Natalie, what's that in the middle there?"
"A dolphin!" (as if I'm completely daft)

...good call
she said the girl on the right said the girl on the left
should have drugs and the girl on the left said NO
(and the writing in black says "I don't like drugs"
Lately we've been having Mommy/Natsby dinner dates and it's so fun. Natalie loves the whole restaurant experience and is happy wherever we go.

 she was very amused by making her napkin a bib, and we pretended the salt/sugar shakers were a prince/princess who liked to nap a lot and made them pillows out of the sugar packets

 We went to Olive Garden last week and were sitting at a table by the window overlooking a little pathway with some flowers and trees. Natalie sat looking out the window for a minute and then gasped and said, "hey!! This must be why they call it Olive Garden!!" She says funny, smart things, ALL THE TIME and I'm always mad when I can't remember them.

 She's so sunshiney and fabulous! 

Last week at church people were bearing their testimonies and Natalie was actually watching and listening (she doesn't usually key into what speakers are saying). She looked at them and then looked at me and said, "how do you do that? Can anyone go up there without being called on?" I explained that yes, if you feel like you want to go say what you believe about Jesus Christ and the good things we learn at church that anyone is welcome to go up there. She thought about it for a minute and then put her little hand on my hand and said, "really? Like I could even go?" I said of course she could go, but that I wasn't going to tell her what to say or stand up there with her. She went back and forth with me, finally agreeing to do it if I at least walked up with her and then bore my testimony too. I took the deal and it was so cute watching Natalie watch for the end of the current testimony for us to go up on the stand. She walked up there confidently, moved the stool over to the podium by herself, and hopped right up. You could barely see her little head over the pulpit! People were laughing a little because she was just so cute, and she said, "I'd like to bear my testimony that I know the church is true. I bear my testimony of every good thing. name is Natalie. Amen." It was so so so precious and I was so proud of her. I'm glad that she felt the Spirit and wanted to tell everyone what she believed, even though she was scared, and I'm glad that she did it all of her own accord without any prompting from us. She's such a good girl and I just love her so much. Afterwards she said, "but Mom, they were laughing at me." I explained that in this case, they just thought she was so sweet and cute and they were proud of her and they showed that by laughing a little. I'm curious to see if she will ask to bear her testimony again next month!

I'm so glad to have a little daughter. I love when people tell me she looks like me, or that they think she's going to be just like me, not because I'm prideful but because it's a compliment that this precious, smart, creative, happy little girl in some way resembles me!

My 27th Halloween!

I turned 27! I really like getting older. I feel like I fit my circumstances better. I'm a young mom still but I'm not so young that I feel judged or doubted, by others or by myself. I love Austin even more, I love having multiple children, and, as always, I love looking ahead to what's next in life. Grammy Bee always tells me to "enjoy whatever season you are in," but I guess I have a grass-is-greener complex about the future because I'm always excited for the next season, even while enjoying the current.

Renetta sent me this picture from the surprise party she threw for me last year.
It was fun to remember! Everyone needs a friend like Renetta.
My birthday, in typical Jessie fashion, was celebrated over many days (and weeks, to be honest). I just love birthdays. We participated in many birthday celebrations and festivities, and they were all wonderful! I loved getting super juicy mail from Ananda (Harry Potter-related, naturally), and getting all the cards from my grandparents. I love reading all the messages on Facebook and getting texts/calls all day, especially from people I don't talk to regularly. It's good to feel connected.

 new bedding from both parents, Plumbs and Poulsens!

"my birthday present, to me.....I'm soooo happy" - kuzco
I got myself some new Chacos since my Birks are fading away 

 Max got me this fun card to surprise me with Les Mis tickets in December!!!

Jack got me a pedicure, and he helped watch the kids while my mom and I got our toes done. It was relaxing and delightful. I could get a pedicure every week and not be tired of them. Then we got some amazing, like truly amazing Indian food and enjoyed every bite. I love spending time with Jack, since we are twins, after all! And my mom is awesome, so yeah.



My actual birthday was on a Sunday, so for dinner we made the Papa Murphy's pizza that we had picked up the night before, and it. was. perfect. No dishes, no prep, super delicious, and everyone likes it. We'll have to remember that for holidays to come. Our friends came over to share a new recipe with us (gluten free chocolate pudding cake - it was AMAZING!!! Here's the should try it!) and watch the newest Spiderman Homecoming movie. All in all, an almost perfect birthday. (My perfect birthday consists of some sort of crazy travel adventure, like Rome or Mt. Everest or something. But pizza and a movie are good enough for now!)

my dad surprised me with this flag when he
left the morning after my birthday! I've
wanted one forever!

Then it was Halloween! Stockton dressed up as a bee (of course I forgot to take a pic -_-/ he wasn't wearing it long enough to take one haha) for trick-or-treating at ACT clinic, Jack didn't care about Halloween AT all, and Natalie was interested for half an hour until she "had enough candy and her feet were cold." So we kept it really chill, enjoying our standard Papa John's/Hocus Pocus combo with PopPop to provide trick-or-treating support as needed. I couldn't believe how few people were out - hardly five people knocked on our door all night, and less than half of the houses in our neighborhood were even handing out candy! I think Halloween is a great opportunity to connect as a community and literally open our doors to each other, so it's a shame that we're evolving away from traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.

Dorothalie! (who also looks like a troll, haha)

She was happy I was walking with her and always got a little nervous when it was time to actually go up to the house, but I could practically see the mental pep talk she gave herself before she confidently flitted up to the door. She's so cute : )

cozy and warm in jammies, giving PopPop the report

We ended the night with a few episodes of the office (hey, Darryl!) and the few straggling trick-or-treaters we had. We gave the extra candy to my dad for his students and called it a night!

Fall Kids

Fall is a magical time. I don't care how cliche it is to love the fall - it's just the best. The crisp air, no need for a jacket yet but not roasting in the humidity, crunchy leaves, pumpkins everywhere, leaving windows open, all the bugs's just wonderful.

We enjoyed our fall, although it went too fast! I supposed technically it's still fall, but we have temperatures in the 30s regularly and it even snowed once, so I'm calling it. I really miss being able to go to the park...I want to personally thank everyone who made playgrounds so prevalent everywhere, but especially Lincoln. There are so many good parks here!

look at that streaming sunlight!
(and streaming conference....: ) )

"I'm a car.....I'm a car...."

 heading into ACT clinic
sweet boy

a contemplative Jack surveying the rain

 grocery store outings and HyVee pizza

they love their aunt : ) she moved home from St. George!! Yay!

 walking (running) to get Will from school

Remember the post about how awful after-school pickup is with the boys? Here's proof. -_-

sometimes we get Sonic after school so I can have some peace and quiet
(we get one medium slushie and split it between three cups)
(...not that I'm not the kind of mom that would buy three medium slushies...)

Daddy reading Strega Nona, complete with Will and Mabel.
Jack ADORES this book. He calls it "pasta pot" and
brings it to us to read to him all the time.
 Sometimes he literally levitates with excitement

we switched up strollers to see if it helped with
school pickup.....not really haha

 washing the table and studying the snow flakes

 Stockton is OBSESSED with keys lately. It's really cute.

spending some one-on-one time with the $3 Christmas tree

This was taken at 7:57 in the morning. Jack was already napping. Takes after his mother, I guess : )

Grateful for the time we get to spend together! I love my family!