Jammies 2013

My favorite tradition at Christmas time is matching jammies.  It is one of my fondest memories of my childhood and one that I look forward to every year.  This year I got on the ball early, which is not like me, and love what I picked up!  My girls love the "fuzzy and warm" jammies as Summer would say, and you can't go wrong with the sports theme for the boys.  I hope this is a tradition that my kids enjoy and will pass on to their own families someday.

Silly Miss Emma

I could just eat this little one up.  She is growing up way too fast and is learning new tricks daily.  She loves to be the center of attention...my mom captured these adorable shots as she was showing us that she discovered she could scale the outside of the railing.  I love this little bug!

Nick is #10

 This picture captures his personality perfectly.  Handsome and silly.  I love this boy.  He is so full of energy and life and brings nothing but joy (except for when he is really stubborn) to our family.  He is a fierce competitor and loves playing ball.  He has a smile and laugh that lights up any room and a nose full of freckles that someday some lucky lady is going to love.  Nick is a kid for of testimony and strength and I know he will grow up to do awesome things!  Happy big 10 Nick Holland!

Life is STILL happening...

Yes, we are still alive and life is still happening.  We went from Kindergarten Graduation to the First Day of School - I am terrible, I know!  Oh well.  At least my little ones are documented, right?  Here they all are on the first day of school.  Happy, great teachers, awesome friends!  We really are in a groove around here right now.  Most days I think I might actually be doing okay as their mother.  Emma and I are pals three afternoons a week which is nice.  They are growing up and becoming independent.  What's a mother to do?  I'll admit a few tears have been shed in the last few weeks.  I feel like we are doing okay, but are we really doing okay?  All we can do is give our best as parents and hope that they take it all in, apply it, and turn out as decent human beings.  I think we are on the right track.  One thing is for sure...I love each of them to the moon and back.  Their personalities are SO DIFFERENT yet they all make me smile in their own unique way.  So, here are the classic first day of school pictures!  Enjoy...

Another Graduate...

It has been way too long since I posted last but life seems to get busier by the minute and I am struggling to keep up with all the things I think that I "should" be doing.  So, I am going to try and be better at documenting life at the Holland house.  What a better way to start then with the most recent....

 "Hi Mom!"  Could he be any cuter?  The glasses melt me.  He is pretty adorable if you ask me. 
 We LOVE Mrs. Taylor.  Nick had her and we were happy to see another child receive their Kindergarten education with such a fantastic lady.  He has LOVED her this year! 
 Grandpa and Grandma Holland made the trek from Logan to come support Austin on his big day.  He was excited to have him there and even more excited when they took him to Cafe Rio for a post graduation lunch! 
 We are looking older but are still proud parents! 
 Someday maybe this picture will be found on a wedding video?  Austin and Kamri.  Neighbors and friends.  Both as cute as can be.
And there he is with his official certificate of Kindergarten completion.  I must admit I was a little emotional during their little graduation performance.  Kindergarten kids are the cutest.  So innocent and sweet and still excited about life and learning.  Austin is a good kid.  He tells me that he loves me every time he leaves the house and is always the first to give me hugs.  I hate the thought of him being gone all day next year - tackling new experiences like the lunchroom and the "big" playground.  The kids are growing up.  I guess that is what they are supposed to do but man it has happened fast.  

Happy Graduation Day, Austin!  We couldn't love you more! 

One Year Ago...

One year ago today I became a mom for the 5th time.  I remember it being one of those experiences where I wanted to savor every. single. moment.  I remember being on the operating table, looking up at the bright lights, thinking "I will never do this again", and it made me sad.  There is something special about every delivery.  There is bonding between husband and wife, newborn and our Heavenly Father that only happens in that wonderful moment when the first cry is heard.  I have really struggled  processing the fact that I will not have that experience again.  Not too long ago I was making a visit to an elderly woman in our ward who was in the hospital and it hurt to walk those halls.  I remembered taking a stroll a few days after delivery and walking those same halls in a hospital gown...anxious to get back to the nursery to snuggle my sweet new baby.  I loved the hospital.  I loved the endless hours of peace, quiet and bonding.  I loved eating hospital food.  I loved visitors, especially my dad who was already there seeing patients and would pop in when I needed an uplift the most.  I loved everything about each delivery experience.    

Such is life.  We push forward, day by day, not knowing what wonderful experiences lie ahead of us.  Some days are beautiful and somedays are difficult but each day happens and something new is learned.  Emma has completed our little family and has taught me so much this year.  I didn't think my heart could love as much as I love my children.  This year I have not slept through the night once but have loved every single minute snuggling Emma in bed with me while she nursed herself back to sleep.    Knowing that she is my last baby has made me love every milestone that much more.  Today I find myself smiling but sad as we celebrate Emma.  Smiling because she is mine forever and because she brings me so much joy but feeling sadness as I understand that there will likely not every be a first birthday celebrated in our house again.  So today we will celebrate right.  Happy Birthday Emma Renee!