Monday, January 30, 2012


Dear Collin,

As I look back over the past two an a half years that we've known each other, there are a few days I can remember exactly what I was doing at any point in the day. This is one of those days. Two years ago today was a Saturday. Aunt Lolo and two of our other friends picked me up at 5:30 in the morning and we drove as fast as we could to the airport. We spent the whole day flying across the United States trying as hard as we could to get to Miami as fast as was humanly possible. Aunt Lolo slept, she'd earned it, she'd been awake pretty much 24/7 since the earthquake and after having done everything she possibly could to get you and Nate and all of your friends home to us, she'd finally given in to exhaustion. I was tired, but too nervous and too excited to sleep, so instead, I chatted with Natalie's daddy Matt while he prepared the English lesson he would have to teach in a few days.

I remember that my mind was moving faster than the airplane. I worried that you were scared or confused or that you'd sustained some sort of injury in the earthquake that no one was telling me about. Mostly I worried about what kind of mommy I would make for you. I knew from the moment I first held you in my arms that you were an amazing little boy and deserved the very best. I worried whether or not I'd be able to deliver on everything you deserved.

I remember thinking about the people that Heavenly Father put in our lives to make the miracle of you coming home possible. Aunt Lolo, who at the time, should seriously have run for public office. She had THOSE kinds of connections. (Who else has a Senator's office on speed dial?) Auntie Chareyl, who is quite literally an angel walking among us. I'll never know how she had the strength and the courage to do what she did. Uncle Brent and Scott who gave up two weeks of their lives and their health to go to Haiti and bring you home. And Harry. I don't know Harry very well, but I know what he lost that awful day of the earthquake, and even in the face of all that tragedy, he went looking for you. The people who'd never met you, but were willing to donate enough money to fuel a plane in one day. All of mommy's friends who called, emailed and showed up at our door, just to be there for me. I was in awe that I was a part of such a miracle. I still am.

Most of all I remember being humbled by the tender mercies of a Heavenly Father, who loved both of us enough to make sure that we found each other. Even in Haiti. I love you so much my little boy. I'm so proud of you. Of the person you already are, of the person you will become. Thank you for making my dream come true.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Did you know that if you leave your camera sitting on a nearby table on Christmas Eve, Santa will take a picture before he leaves? True story.

This was our second Christmas together, and this year, Collin had a much better idea of what was about to happen. Or so he thought...

I call this Collin's "Wow that Santa knows me inside and out!" look... :)

Collin LOVES anything that allows him to jump in the air and throw a ball. Of course, Santa knew that. (And how to assemble it all alone, at midnight, on Christmas Eve. Just sayin'...)

And of course, it couldn't be any sort of a celebration with out our new friend Thomas adding a couple of more "friends" to his station. (Seriously, how many friends does a talking train have to have?)
And after all of the "projects" that went on at our house over the past year, Santa knew Collin had to have his own little workbench. Otherwise, he might fall behind in the home repairs.

And what is Christmas without a crazy snow hat and mittens? Especially if our favorite Grandma has stuffed money inside?
So far, I've only been reminded about 67 times since, that we have to be good so Santa will come down our chimney after we're asleep. (And after he builds us a chimney, cuz we don't actually HAVE one...) We hope your Christmas was filled with just as much joy and laughter!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Collin!

This year's birthday party started out as a Frosty the Snowman party, but somewhere around the second gift morphed into somewhat of a Thomas party. Should have seen that one coming. For those of you following along, I have 8 siblings. There are 5 girls and 4 boys in my family. All but two of them already have children. Which means, somewhere along the line I have purchased a toy that either lights up, plays music, talks, moves or in some other way annoys at a decibel far exceeding safe levels, that has wound up in each of their homes. This was apparently their year to get even.

Lights up and talks...

Moves and talks (mockingly I might add...)

Moves and WHISTLES.

Didn't say a word, but sure tasted good. For a blue dinosaur that had nothing to do with Frosty or Thomas, but Collin wanted it.

One very happy 4 year old who loves to play with all of them at once. Thank you family for making my house seem like a house full of children! Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy! I know I lived my life before you, but I sure don't know how. I love you!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It Wasn't Thomas, But It Would Do

When I was growing up, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was bundling up with my family (all 11 of us) and driving up to see the lights at Temple Square. A couple of months ago, Collin discovered Thomas the Tank Engine, and a love for all things "train" was born. Stay with me, I promise I'll bring the stories together and wrap them up with a cute little Christmas bow. One thing I learned growing up, was that I HATED downtown traffic. It seemed like the buildings were too tall, too close together and there were too many people trying to get to or away from them. This year, I found a way to bring my love of Christmas lights and Collin's love of trains together into a brand new family tradition. But first a nap was required for all prospective travelers...

Except for mommy, who spent nap time trying to figure out how to work the new camera. Then we picked up best friends, Aunt Lolo and Nate and went to dinner. I told Collin he could order whatever he wanted from the kids menu...

He chose pancakes and french fries. Looks fabulous doesn't it? Then it was off to the train station to catch a ride on our very first train. (Okay, really, it's light rail, but looks like a train, it runs on a track, it's a train to us!)

They were so excited!

I don't know what this face is, but I promise he was having fun!

When we got to Temple Square, Collin was more excited that he got to ride the train again to get home than he was to see the lights, but he did indulge me a few pictures. Aside from the train breaking down three times on our return trip, causing one near potty disaster, (Yay! for mommy carrying a pull-up in her bag!) I think I like this new tradition. We may give it a whirl again next year.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shiver Me Timbers!

Well, we're a little behind in posting, but I didn't want to skip Halloween. As soon as you see his costume, you'll understand why. This was Collin's first Trunk or Treat experience. I'm not sure who came up with this idea, but I've decided they are BRILLIANT!
Wandering up on side of a parking lot and down the other and ending up with a bag of candy? Sheer genius!
Doing it with your best friend? Priceless!
Pretending to take off your best friend's head with your fake plastic sword? Well, it was Halloween after all...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bob the Builder? Amateur!

I apparently forgot to post this one...

This is how Collin builds a cabinet.

Step #1 - Line all of the screws end to end

(Uncle Jed apparently still needs directions...)

Step #2 - Smile patiently while Mommy takes yet another picture

Step #3 - Instruct Uncle Jed on the "proper" way to hold a hammer

Step #4 - Repeat until they get it right

And wouldn't you know it, all of Mommy's picture taking DIDN'T include one of the finished product. Oh well, it's standing up in our garage.