Thursday, January 29, 2015

4 months

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     Happy 4 months to this beauty. My goodness.. Could she be any cuter? This last month there hasn't been a lot going on.. Chicago had a freezing week and then it snowed.. then it got warm.. then it snowed.. And now it's been nicer again. We have spent most of our time indoors, watching mom work out to Insanity dvds or at the gym (til we got kicked out because Lydia is younger than 18.. poop). I could just stare at her all day.. and sometimes that is exactly what I do.
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      She loves sitting up and will often get really excited and push herself over with her feet.
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She loves bath time these days.. It gets more and more fun to bath her and we get everywhere more and more messy. She loves kicking and splashing the water. (You can tell she splashed her eyes a bit too much in these pics because they are all red ha)
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Her rolls on her thighs!!! 
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This view.. getting this girl from her naps as she just plays. I love the sound of her waking up. photo DSC_0101_zps6y1lacqj.jpg
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    And then.. because she rolls herself over, I get this look like, "So.. you gonna get me so we can play or what?" And then her excitement when I do pick her up... oh it makes everything worth it. photo DSC_0097_zps9r6cuikb.jpg
    I love these two.. So much. They make my world go round and round!  photo DSC_0018_zpsizj8ewrs.jpg  photo DSC_0013_zpswyalpthp.jpg And then one of my favorite pictures of all time.. if I could explain this girl's personality in one picture only.. I would choose below.. Delight, pure delight. photo DSC_0010_zpsfgt2w3sg.jpgWhen she gets burped.. below is her face almost always ha. photo DSC_0004_zpsijfmp6ws.jpg
     One thing that people always seem to comment on is Lydia's eyes. She has huge bright eyes and they seem to make her look more alert. She is our gorgeous blue-eyes babe! This girl has the BEST expressions. She is so animated. photo sitting up_zps53g52xx3.jpg
   Winter is usually a hard time of year because we get stuck inside because it is too cold to do much outside. But this year I haven't minded it because I have this baby to enjoy it with. Brian and I are always trying to invent new ways to make her laugh and giggle. She loves when we lay on our backs and put her on our legs superman style. She makes the best "oooo" sound like she is doing in the above picture.
    A typical day for me is when this girl gets up around 8. We eat and work out and put her down around 10. She sleeps til 12:30 while I clean, paint, sew, or whatever. Then she is up and we will go to the gym or to our neighbor's house Kelsey and her 8 month old Lincoln and chill.. then it is back for shorter naps from 2:30-3:30 and we make dinner in between for dad (Lydia loves making dinner because mom lets her try new flavors) then it's back for a 3rd nap from 5-6 and then bedtime at 7:30. It is a very nice and chill schedule.
       I just want to squeeze her all the time. Especially those chunky thighs. We love this girl SO much. These last 4 months have just flown by.. maybe it was the holidays or being with family or just having my time spent busy with this moose, but I want it to slow down so I can keep enjoying all the drool kisses and squeals.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ski Utah

   A few weeks full of our wonderful families definitely included many wonderful friends as well. Miss Becca here returned home from her mission to Paraguay. I personally feel Heavenly Father was showing me his love for me times 10 when it comes to this girl. He probably knew how much I would miss her.. and so when she got her mission call-the letter "happened" to come when I was visiting in Utah for a week in February.. and then her farewell? Well it "happened" to be when I was visiting Utah for Brian's little sister's wedding.. and then her homecoming "happened" to be when we were visiting Utah fro Christmas this year. Coincidence? I think not. I love this girl so much and am SO proud of her!

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   We drove to Logan to see the Tanners and our wonderful special needs friend, Denise who we met through the Best Buddies program at Utah State 3 years ago. She has still called us almost every day for the past 3 years!  photo friends_zpsb31d4flc.jpg
    The Knecht's moved from our presence last year and are living back in Idaho. It was so great to see them again and their new little boy-Ellis, who is a month younger than Lydia. Future lovers maybe?? photo knechts_zpsfmpagl2s.jpg
     And then.. after a few weeks of family/friend fun-our last day in Utah.. we scavenged for snow gear and hit the slopes!
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     There is nothing like skiing Utah. Flying down the mountain with these views=heaven on earth. As you can see in the pic above, my parents are really enjoying themselves.. ha
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    We miss it already. Hopefully someday we will be back in an area where we can ski regularly. And then sadly, our 3 weeks came to a close and it was time to go home to Chicago. We had quite the scare a the airport though in almost missing our flight. The line was the longest I have ever seen and we made it just minutes before take off. Talk about a close call! photo fly away home_zps6iud7f4e.jpg
    Lydia was an amazing traveler. Not only did she smile at every person we saw-she didn't cry and would just fall soundly asleep when she was tired.  It was hard to leave.. but good to be home in our own comfy bed and to put Lydia on a routine! Love my little growing family!

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Oh and a few more pictures of Utah.. because it is so beautiful. This is the view from my parents' backyard. What a beautiful and stunning sunset!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Catching Christmas

    There's nothing like Christmas in Utah surrounded by family. Adding a brand new baby this year made this Christmas even more special. Sometimes the hardest part about living away is thinking that this precious baby won't grow up knowing her family and them knowing her. 
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    We were so happy that we got to spend 3 weeks in Utah.. and the best way to sum up that time is through pictures. With the blessing of modern technology, society has the opportunity to document their lives through taking pictures. It's a modern form of journal keeping and in so many ways it is a big big blessing! 
     I feel like with Lydia I just want to capture all my favorite things about her. Her squeals and smiles when I get her from her crib in the morning. Her spasms of energy when she gets really excited, and even her pouty face when she is about to cry... things that I know will quickly disappear.
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    Whenever I see these two pictures, I just can't help but feel a twitter in my stomach from all that cuteness. I just want to squeeze that cute face! I loved having my family meet and see this girl in all her glory!
    She sure loved seeing her aunts and giving them big smiles. And I think Lydia was obsessed with all the Christmas lights on the trees and houses. She loved to just stare at them all.
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      Grandpa Kendell and Lydia.. (the lights from the tree reflected on my camera lens and reflected back on them.. whoops haha) photo DSC_0062_zps161d3f9c.jpg
    Holding my baby girl helped me imagine a bit more about how Mary may have felt holding baby Jesus and the love that she felt for him, I too feel for this baby girl.
   Christmas Eve we had our traditional "Gingerbread house making" which pretty much just mean taking graham crackers and candy and build something awesome. We saw some great things this year!
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Brooke made an awesome beach house, Raquel and Brad moved into their first home over Christmas and so she made a graham cracker version while Brad made a fourwheeler. Camille made Noah's Ark, complete with animals ha. My mom made a Christmas tree. Claire was making a barn but ended up eating more than she put together and Ben made a stadium! All were pretty clever and well done!
     I still think my last year's topped all I have ever done.. last year I did the Salt Lake Temple.. This year's was pretty fun though.  I made Quidditch complete with a teddy graham keeper, 2 chasers, and a harry potter diving for the snitch. Brian made Teepees complete with a chief!! Even Lydia made an appearance in her swimsuit ready to go hot tubing-just in time for a quick picture!. 
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Up close pics of Harry Potter and Chief Powtan. Ice Skating the night before-with Brooke doing some Michael Jackson moves.. 
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   Lydia and her cousin Jace that is 4 months older. And then some more cousins below. It was so fun to have Lydia meet them all! Kyler stayed home from school so he could play with her and Claire kept saying, "Oh I wish my name was Lydia! I wish I could keep her!" photo Cousins_zpsd7wd3fui.jpg 
We went to Christmas Village and to the Ogden Temple. Boy is it beautiful! It was chilly but it was so fun to bundle Lydia up and walk around with that cute girl!  photo christmas village_zpswgq602pu.jpg  photo christmas village2_zps5mucv2so.jpg 
I had to take a picture with her by the light-up moose since that is my nickname for her. Christmas Eve we also went to Speedway and got real with the go carts. Phew! The Kendell Clan is one competitive group of crazies! What a blast! photo Dec 2014 iphone 092_zpspxfz1lgw.jpg 
     Christmas Day we got the chance to talk to my brother James who is serving in Seattle Washington on an LDS mission. What a hunk! "The relationships you build with Christ at the foundation are the strongest. (dang...that was a good can quote me on that if you want.)" -Elder James Kendell
      He couldn't have said it any better. That is our family perfectly... So grateful that we can all be together forever through the sealing power of the temple.
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Then it was off to spend time with the Larson's. Here are the adorable granddaughters altogether! Such beauties!  photo DSC_0068_zpsb2ble74p.jpg  photo DSC_0030_zpsfjxch0a9.jpg
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Oh how we love our Larson's! The was the first time we were all in the same place for a very long time. It was an energetic bunch and full of so much love! Love all these people!
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     "It is a glorious thing to have old St. Nicholas in our hearts and in our homes today, whether he enters the latter through the open door or creeps down the chimney on Christmas Eve. To bring happiness to others without seeking personal honor or praise by publishing it is a most commendable virtue. . . .
     Good old St. Nicholas has long since gone the way of all mortals, but the joy he experienced in doing kindly deeds is now shared by millions who are learning that true happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service."                                                                                              -President David O McKay

What a MERRY 2014 Christmas!! I hope to catch a bit of this Christmas spirit and love and keep it in my heart all year long.

Sleepless Nights, Morning Snuggles, and Chubby Toes

    "Enjoy your sleep now" people would say when I was 8 months pregnant, "you won't be getting sleep for awhile when you have that baby!" I knew that I would be getting up to feed the baby a few times a night, but I guess I didn't add in the whole 'not getting more than a 4 hour stretch' part. 
    So, it's true that we are flying through life on not much sleep. This little moose is down to bed from 7:30 pm-8:30 am... and while that sounds like a great 13 hours.. she's is up to eat every 3-4 hours. She has a late night feeding at 11, she's up at 2:30, then back up at 6:30 and then sleeps in til about 8:30. She had some great 6-7 hour stretches a few weeks ago-but then she got a cold and then traveling in Utah.. and well, that hasn't happened for a while.
   And to mention--- those few long stretches had me up checking on her to make sure she was still breathing. So while she may have slept long.. I on the other hand was still doing the 3-4 hour stretches. Ha.. I swear I will get this mom thing down one of these days.
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    But getting up with her has not been that bad.. Heavenly Father knows his stuff. He helps give us moms extra energy to run on little sleep and still run the household. He knows that these darling babies better be cute for us moms to keep waking up to their beautiful perfect faces.
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   He helps us to love and adore them so that even when we should be sleeping, we sit beside their crib and just watch them sleep.. just because we want to capture that moment and hold on to it forever. 
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    Seriously though.. Sometimes after I feed her each night and she falls asleep in my arms, I just hold her close and stare at her beautiful angelic face and listen to the little squeaky snores. If I could hold on to these moments just a little longer I think I would give up all the sleep in the world. This girl has my heart more than I imagined she ever could.
    Lately I've been "trying" to sleep train her by giving her, her binkie at the 2:30 am feeding instead of feeding her. So far... not so good. Trying to stick to the book Baby Wise isn't as easy as the book makes it seem. But again.. I'll figure it out someday, for now.. I really am just loving this mother thing.
    I love the small details about this girl that I-as her mother-get to notice every day. Like the way she gets so happy to be picked up in the mornings that she throws her hands back and squeals, the way she smiles with her tongue covering her gums, the four rolls on her left thigh and the 3 rolls on her right, and the way her adorable chubby toes curl from all that chunk.
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   Morning snuggles are the best. Pulling this bright-eyed girl into bed with me in the mornings is so tender and it is the best way to start the day.
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    Well, and this man.. this stud right here.. Boy am I one blessed lady to have that handsome face to wake up to as well as the beautiful toothless smile of my daughter.
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I wouldn't have any of this any other way. Those eyes and all that chubbyness just make my heart sing!!