little home

Our Athens adventure has been off to a great start.  I have loved settling in our new little home.  There is something so fulfilling to me about making our space our own and creating something beautiful for us to live in. 

They day we moved in John, Michael, and two of my seminary boys unloaded all of our things in to our apartment faster than I thought was possible.  Ever since seeing the place a few days before that I had created and decorated each room in my mind already. I knew where the beds and furniture would go and what pictures I wanted where.

The men all left and I had 6 hours to my self before John and the children came for the night.  I remember unpacking boxes with full steam ahead speed.  I was a machine! By the time they got here there were only two boxes left and almost everything had found its place. The only reason all of the pictures weren't hung is because I couldn't find a hammer. Ha! I'm notorious for banging holes in all of the walls, I have a bad reputation for it according to my mother and sister. 

I love making our home a beautiful place where we feel the spirit.  I love organizing it and knowing where every item is.  

We are so happy here and it is just the right amount of space.  In fact it is so fantastic going from an enormous house that I could clean and tidy for an hour after bedtime at night to something I can clean in 10 minutes flat! I don't even have to unplug my vacuum to get to the whole house. It is bliss here.

So here are some pictures of the place we call home now.

Happy home! 



This week I was able to go take a break from all of life.  I had reached a point of frustration in motherhood and life and I desperately craved and needed some time to pray and think and sort things out for my self. So, when Amy invited me to join her in Myrtle Beach for a couple of days I jumped on that opportunity!

I enjoyed the 5.5 hour drive listening to John Bytheway talks the whole way there and they whole way back.  Stopping on the way there to surprise a sick McLain household with slushies and a cherry limeade from Sonic.  Then on the way back costing my cousin Brit and her family. 

I had time to pray on the beach, take long walks, read the first 1/3 of Stephanie Neilson's book Heaven is Here, I journaled twice, we watched 3 movies, ate PF Changs in bed with chopsticks and a whole little of San Pelligrino, I wrote music out on the porch, we played cards, and talked, i read my scriptures, and just sat and thought about my life.

Stephanie's book is gave me just the perspective I was craving and needing the past few weeks.  Sometimes being a mother is just plain hard and exhausting in every way possible.  But it is also wonderful and full of joy and eternally important. I'm so grateful for a couple of days to myself to remember how sacred my role as a mother is and to prioritize all of the things I want to do and be in this life. "Shortly, Nicholas would smear food everywhere, and the table would erupt in noisy conversation, but those few seconds before the prayer fueled me. I had learned that doses of quiet joy like that can be brief, but their effects are long-lasting and often carried me through the busy and challenging times of running our household." -Stephanie Neilson #heavenishere

The answer I feel like I got from God regarding my motherhood is that it is ok if it is hard.  It isn't supposed to be perfect and that I am to make the best and most of everything. 

I came back renewed reenergized and ready to tackle the task of being a great mother!!

tale as old as time

Two weekends ago Evaleigh and I got to go to the Fox Theater with my Dad and Grand-Jenny to see Beauty and the Beast.  She was transfixed the whole time.  She dressed up in her Belle princess dress and felt so special.  We ate at Mary Mac's Tea Room.

I am so grateful for our children's grandparents and the time they take to make special memories with our children.  My father always made special memories for my sister and I growing up.  He took time to teach us about the arts and creativity through giving us opportunities to see performances and I've never forgotten it.  The magic of those nights lingered for a long time and it is where my love for music and performing began to grow.  I know Evaleigh will remember this for a long time. 

When it was over we asked her what her favorite oart was and she said, "Everything!"

It was so fun to see her feel special. 

two little monkeys

Two little monkeys caught jumping on the bed.  

Our move to Athens has turned out to be the best possible thing for Evaleigh and Avett.  It has been heart warming to watch them grow in to not only better siblings but friends.  They stay up past their bed time giggling in to the night and chatting about who knows what that sounds like the most exciting conversation. John or I have to pop back in with reminders to "go to bed!" Sometimes gentle and sometimes not so much.  We love to look at each other with a grin as we hear them over the monitor concocting plans or laughter making the lights spike to their highest frequency. We smile at one another with an indentical silent thought that this is just about the best thing in the world.  The first few weeks we let it go on in to the night some times as late as 11pm.  Once we let them experience the joy of room sharing it was time to get down to business.  Now most of the time they are asleep within 20 minutes or so.

They are sharing and growing together.  If Avett gets upset Evaleigh will offer to give service and will slowly run his cheeks as he sits in my lap until he calms down.  Then they start to laugh all over again. 

Avett loves her so much and if Evaleigh is ever in another room he asks me, "where's sissy?".  She is one of his absolute favorites. 

We love Athens and are settling in so well.  We've made some friends, found some great food, and we love our little apartment.  We are so happy here.


E: I don't really like going to church.

Well why not?

E: Because there is so much singing and the songs are so long.

But we go to church to learn more about Jesus Christ.

E: Well but who is he really?

He is our Savior and he came so that if we make mistakes we can be forgiven and still go back to live with Heavenly Father. We all make mistakes even mommy has made a lot of mistakes.

E: But I've never seen you make a mistake mom.

If only I could see myself through her eyes....



Oh this little mess of a boy right here.  I've got such a crush on him. I miss him when he sleeps (sometimes) and when the morning comes we are ready to snuggle right away. 

He is so attached to the blanket he was given by our friend when he was born.  It is truly his favorite thing next to his mom. He can sit for an hour and play trains and cars and motorcycle. Bless his heart we have been inundated with girl toys that he had, for the most part, adapted to playing with pink, princesses, and dress ups. He hasn't minded a bit and really neither have we.  But we've recently made an effort to start stocking up with more super heroes, minions, and motorcycles. He is soaking it up.

He always says, "tan-too" thank you.

Whenever I give him any direction he always say, "Oh..." As if he is hearing it for the very first time.  Even if I've said it 100 times. 

He loves his batman shoes (which are two sizes too small) and chocolate milk.

He is so tender.  If he hurts me and I *cry* he will kiss me all over.

He loves LOVES his sister.  They love sharing a room and giggle until we have to shut it down. 

He is making a very valiant effort at potty training. Batman underwears are his favorite.

He needs me and I need him so much.  I love that little boy and his unruly blonde straight hair. 

Evie says....and a paper dress

I just adore our girl.  She is brilliant, organized, responsible, kind, loves to give service and create.

Today we made a paper dress.  She stood so still and just directed me as to what she wanted me to do. It was so fun.  Then she posed and posed and posed, which is not normal for her.  She typically has a very short picture limit.  

Also here are some things she has been saying lately:

My feet smell perfect

There's an ant in my eye or something

Maybe when I grow up and be a mom I can buy that Ariel bottle we saw at the grocery store.

During mom's homecoming talk she was speaking about Adam-on di-Ahman and Evaleigh looked up to me and said, "mom, we've been there to Adam ondi Aman."  It made me so happy!

While eating lunch Evie said, " come here dad I want to show you something!" When john got there he said he didn't see anything. And she said, "exactly because I ate it!" Haha

Can I have some more Cheetah chips? (Pita chips)
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