Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fourth of July Photo Shoot- Our Caboose

When I found out I was expecting our fourth child I was terrified. Not terrified about childbirth or any of the normal things that usually trouble pregnant women. No, I was terrified because what if it was another boy? I love my boys- don't get me wrong, but at the time, I just didn't know if I could handle another one.

We had just made an international move from a place that we loved to a place we weren't sure we would end up loving just as much. We had purchased a home, accomplished various improvement projects, finished the basement, replaced all of the flooring, and painted until I couldn't see straight. All of this we did within six months of moving back to Utah.

I was tired...and pregnant on top of that.

It was time to have another baby that much I knew deep down, I just wasn't very excited about it like I had been about the others. My only hope was that I would have a girl.

At our ultrasound appointment I was sure the technician was going to tell us it was going to be another boy- 99.9% sure, so when she announced it was a girl I about went into shock. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. Ashton got really upset and started saying nasty things like the boys were going to pull her hair and lock her in the crawlspace. We managed to leave the office without DCFS being called and it hit me again- I was going to have a girl!

I was relieved. I was elated. I was back to being terrified again.

I had three brothers and no sisters. I have three boys. I have always naturally gotten along better with boys than girls. Boys were easy, girls on the other hand....well, honestly, I didn't know much about girls- even though I am one! But I needed to find out quick because we were going to get a girl even though I kept asking myself, "What would we ever do with her?"

Well, almost four years, and one beautiful baby girl with big soft brown eyes later, I still ask myself questions regarding what we should do with her- only now the questions have changed slightly. Now I ask myself, "What would we ever do without her?"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fourth of July Photo Shoot

Ben wasn't the only one in our family who had the opportunity to get in on the fun at the Fourth of July photo shoot, in fact, the whole family had a chance to get in on the action...

Including my parents, who were down visiting for the holiday.

One of the things I love most about Jason's style of photography...

Is his ability to capture my kids how they really are...

Or a look of how they used to be...

And sometimes, perhaps, how they long to be again.

Now tell me, what is better than that?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Belated Birthday Wishes

I love the month of July.

Not the sticky heat of summer or the mosquito laced nights that July brings, but the reverent and patriotic feeling for the country that I love that garners the hearts, homes, and streets of our nation.

And in Ben's case, his face.

Happy Birthday America!

 I'm a little late, but better than never.

Thanks to Jason at Backroads Photography for the idea of such a fun photo shoot and, of course,  for sharing the fantastic images captured from it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How I Stack Up

Can I tell you that going camping generates a lot of laundry? And can I also tell you that so does being gone the week before at Girls Camp? Especially when you come home to find the one load of laundry that had been started still sitting in the washer...two days later?

We've been inundated with dirty laundry here at the Parke home.

More so than usual.

The other day I decided to hit it hard and plow through as much as I could. In between loads I was running children back and forth between various lessons, so the loads came out of the dryer into a giant mound just outside the laundry room door waiting to be folded and put away later.

After about 3 loads, the mound was starting to look like a small mountain and it got me thinking. So I asked Richard if he thought I could  get the mound to be as high as I am tall...a whopping  5 foot 3 1/2 inches, let's just round that up to a massive height of 5'4".

Richard laughed and told me the stack would topple before it would reach that height.

The challenge was issued.

I was up to the challenge.....

....or should I say that about 3 or 4 loads later the challenge was up to me?

It's the little accomplishments in life that make me happy.

 I know they will be a wrinkled mess, but I like to think of it more like my family will just be showing off the wrinkles of my success.

If they don't like the wrinkles of my success, they can learn to iron.

And, no. That is not the end of my laundry quandary. There is still plenty more where that came from.

Seriously, who needs a service project?