We're all about that "Mabin" life.

Friday, May 13, 2016

We've made some really good friends here in Diamond Valley, the Roberts, and we are loving all the time we have been spending with them! They have 4 girls, two of which are very close in age to our 2 girls, so there's never a dull moment when we're all together. :) A few nights ago Amanda and I went out to their family's "cabin" (that is a mansion), hence the post name "Mabin." It sits on about 40 acres of alfalfa, has a cute duck pond and a little playground. We went out and took pictures of our girls and had a blast!

Finnley Joan: 4 Months.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Finnley Joan at 4 months old:

You are getting so chunky! You weigh 12.7 pounds, which puts you in the 28% for your weight. And you're 23.62in long, which puts you in the 26% for your length.

We have decided that you have the worst smelling gas for a baby. Your dad could totally blame his gas on you and I would believe him 100%. I know this is a little gross, but we want to document it to make sure we don't try to blame this memory on one of your siblings down the road when we can't really remember who it was. Haha :)

You are starting to giggle more and more at random little things that we do, especially when Kennedy talks to you and acts silly. And you do this really adorable thing where you kinda hunch up your shoulders and put your hands up to your mouth/face when you get excited.

You're starting to realize when I'm getting ready to nurse you and you start kicking your legs like crazy and make a laugh/cry kinda noise that's really cute and funny.

You've really started to enjoy playing with toys. This has been really nice since you haven't always been the biggest fan of being in your car seat; now we can give you a couple of toys while we're in the car and you're a happy camper!

You went to Disneyland for the first time (which you obviously won't remember) and you were such an awesome baby! I had you in my Solly Baby wrap the majority of the time and you were either sleeping, nursing or just hanging out, which has basically been the story of your life! You seem to have such a go-with-the-flow personality, which I hope you keep!

Like I always say, we're so glad you're in our family! Our love for you grows each day.

How's Kennedy these days?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

With Finnley being our new baby and getting a monthly post about her accomplishments, I realized that Kennedy deserved a little shout at for all of the things she's accomplishing and all of the joy she brings into our little family!

She's obviously a big sister now, which is a job that she does not take lightly! She adores Finnley and I'd say the adoration goes both ways now. Finnley's face lights up when she sees Kennedy and she even giggles at Kennedy from time to time (sometimes even if Kennedy just looks at her) which melts my mother heart.

She is now potty trained! I seriously never thought this day would come! Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. :) We had a couple failed attempts before Finnley was born and since I had heard quite a few people say that toddlers will often regress in certain ways (potty training being one of them) I figured we'd try again after Finnley was born and the initial adjustment period was over. I also got a simple and short little book sent to me by a friend who has a little girl close in age to Kennedy and third attempt was a success! She was definitely ready and so were we. We started at the end of February/beginning of March and she's now at a point that she hasn't wet her bed in about a month! She has had an accident here and there, but it's usually because she's too busy playing with friends to tell us she needs to potty, so I've learned to try and make sure she tries to go every couple of hours or so.

She has come to love the horses that live out behind our new place! She'll climb up on the fence and they'll walk right over to her and let her pet them and feed them carrots and apples. :)

Kennedy is also a princess fanatic, which is so fun since she has been gifted 5 different princess outfits! We also went on a last minute trip to Disneyland with Cole's mom and younger sisters a couple of weeks ago and she seriously was in heaven when she got to meet some of the princesses. I seriously was crying tears of joy because of how excited she was.

And she definitely loves our 6 baby chicks. They run away from us when they're outside and see us coming, but Kennedy still chases after them and tries to catch them, which is pretty funny. However, she heard Cole and I calling them "stupid chickens" since they ate the leaves off of our tomato, and jalapeno plants (they've been living in the greenhouse while Cole builds them a coop) so I've now had to teach her to call them silly chickens instead of stupid chickens... Haha! :)

We sure love our little Kennedy Lou! She makes life a little crazy, but a really funny and happy. We couldn't imagine life without her little spunky self!

Oh the blessings!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

We have officially lived in St. George for a year and man, what a roller coaster of an experience it has been! As I've reflected on our time here and the experiences we've had I can count so many good things that came our way in the midst of our trials. We will forever have this experience to look back on and glean from, and for the sake of documenting this time in our lives here's a small list of the blessings that have come our way over this past year.

I found out I was pregnant with Finnley on April 24, 2015, which was the day before we moved to St. George. My pregnancy was a very healthy one, just like it was with Kennedy, which was our biggest blessing. (#1) And finding out a few months later (in July) that we were having another baby girl counts as another blessing in my book, since we didn't need to buy anything for her since we were able to reuse everything that we had from Kennedy. (#2) We really would like a little boy someday, but I think Heavenly Father really had a hand in us having another girl for that same reason. Plus now that we have Finnley I couldn't imagine life without her sweet smiles and happy-go-lucky countenance!

Cole's job was going fine up until about the end of September/beginning of October when his boss just quit paying to him and stopped talking to him, so we began job hunting like crazy just to be able to make ends meet. During the job hunt, we started selling some of our belongings through Facebook yard sale pages and through a local high end consignment and furniture store called Urban Renewal. Because of the relationship that we had already established with them, Cole decided to go in one day to see if they were hiring. Not only was it a amazing that he got a full time job there, but they literally hired him on the spot (which he was told they never do). And if you know Cole at all, then you know he's a hard working and personable guy with a knack for organizing things on a large scale, which is just what Urban Renewal needed and wanted at the time. We've made some life long friends through his job there and we will forever be grateful for that blessing. (#3) He was also hired on as a seasonal employee at Costco, which meant between the two jobs he was gone A LOT, but that meant we were able to put food on our table and stay on top of our monthly bills. And this probably wouldn't have happened had he not been a previous employee at Costco when he was finishing up at BYU. (#4)

I was privileged to be a doula for one of our cousin's, which was good money for us and a great opportunity for me, since I was in need of a third birth to complete the required births for my doula certification. (#5)

Since Cole was making a lot less money at Urban Renewal than he was before, we were able to qualify for Medicaid, which made paying for our midwife's care a lot easier on us allowing me to have the birth I had dreamt of since she accepted Medicaid. And it meant that Kennedy and Finnley had free and really good health care coverage. (#6)

After we had Finnley, so many people gave to us out of the kindness of their hearts and it was so humbling, especially since she was born a week before Christmas; we really got a lesson in the true meaning of Christmas and meaningful gift giving. We got money from family members for Christmas which helped pay our bills and buy us food(#7), Cole's family came down once Finnley was born to help with Kennedy and to feed us and help us out in many other ways, like cleaning our whole house from top to bottom one day! (#8) We were the recipients of around 20 gift cards from our ward's Christmas giving tree (there was a Christmas tree with gift cards all over it to places like Walmart, Smith's, K-Mart, etc. and people picked which one they wanted to foot the bill for and gave money to the cause), which bought us groceries and some small Christmas gifts for Kennedy and ourselves that we otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford (#9). One night there was a knock on our door and we opened it to find a tower of Costco goodies and necessities like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, chocolates and Nutella! (#10) The next morning when Cole was leaving for work he found a little hand-sewn Christmas bag with hot chocolate, a $100 bill and a sweet, anonymous note saying that "they" knew how expensive having a baby could be. (#11)

While Cole was working at Costco, he ended up getting a side job that he did on the weekends and evenings in which he was doing the door casings, base boards and crown molding for a family that was doing some work on their second home in St. George. (#12)

We were blessed with a huge income tax return, which we were able to get out of credit card debt with that we had accrued when Cole's job started taking a turn for the worse. (#13)

Cole had signed up for an email from the Health Science Department at BYU in which they often sent out new job listings in the field of public health and he came across a full time job at the health department down here in St. George as an emergency preparedness specialist (aka his dream job), so he applied for it and blew them out of the water with his interviewing and presentation skills and GOT THE JOB! We seriously we were beyond thrilled that he got the job because it's getting him the experience and training he needs to be in the field he is passionate about. (#14) 

And last but certainly not least, the same day we found out that Cole got the job at the health department, we drove out to Cole's great uncle Bill's house (it was about 10 minutes away from where we were living at the time) to check it out and see if we wanted to live in his basement apartment while he and his wife were on a 6 month mission and of course we jumped at the opportunity! (#15)

I'm sure there are some other blessings and tender mercies that I'm not remembering right now, but even reminiscing on the ones I've listed and how we felt each time one of those blessings came our way is so humbling. Often times we are quick to say "why me?" when challenges come our way, but I strongly believe that challenges come our way so that we can learn from them and become better people through them, which we honestly feel is what has happened to our little family over the past year. Now I'm not saying I'd wish this trial on us again, or on anyone for that matter, but I love what has come from the experience and I look forward to many more ups and downs with this family of mine. There's not anyone else I'd rather do life with.