Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Christmas Holiday.

Opening the first few things.

Not afraid to get right up to her elbows.

Little Ruby and her favorite present: a binder with paper, dividers and sheet protectors.

Lillie with her "puppy hat".

Happy Ruby.

Grace furiously organized her gifts into sections and keeps scrupulous track of every single thing.

Broke her concentration from her motherly duties for 1.4 seconds.

I think this belongs in National Geographic or something.

Girls with new vests, Grace riding her new bike.

Off they go.

Swingin' with a beautiful profile.

Laughing out loud at that fun "swinging" feeling.

We had a lovely Christmas and weekend. I simultaneously feel very blessed and extremely fatigued! We spent Christmas with just us and our four babies. We were so excited on Christmas eve. Each of the gifts we passed between us, wrapped and talked about each of the girls' personalities. We talked about memories we had of past holidays when we were young and all the things our parents did for us. It's with great honor that we exercise similar traditions and excitement now with our own girls.

January is coming and as hard as it is here in Utah with the clouds and gloom, it's also a fun month. The calendar is pretty empty, there's no gift-buying scheduled, and I can hide in my house for days at a time undetected! Hooray!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I hope everyone experiences lots of joy and love this weekend. 

Monday, December 19, 2011


It's not apparent here, but this baby girl is a total maniac. Lillie will skip into the living room with a shirt that she wants to wear in hand. Tada grabs ahold of the shirt like an american bulldog and doesn't let go. Even when Lillie pulls back with all her might, it only causes her little sister to hold on through the dragging and twisting and turning.

She's given up naps completely. She did about a month ago. There are many problems with this, including the fact that she walks around from 5-7pm like she's had a few too many. She runs straight into things. Or falls backwards for no reason. She really enjoys that euphoric overly fatigued feeling. Sometimes she even walks around the house with her eyes closed. The older girls are quick to save her life... Thanks, girls.

She is the most precious thing and gives the juiciest kisses.

'Night, Tadd, sweet dreams. See you at 7 when you wake me up with a face slap.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's hard to find the motivation to visit this space, my little blog. It's interesting how slowly my mind has progressed, moved on, from these confines. There's so many things that have distracted me. Among those, the longing for a bit more privacy, and that I'm so busy photographing families, and that my little ones are excited for a certain Christmas morning of which we are now the parents in charge. We've gone and grown up and had our own family, and as the Christmas cards arrive in my mailbox, I realize that everyone else is growing up, too. And being a "full-fledged family" as my sister-in-law Rebecca calls us, takes more mental energy than I was ever told it would!

I'm always behind. I've got someone's shoulder to rub or hand to hold or someone's angry that I'm not paying attention to them, and people are hungry, tired, dirty, sad and it is most definitely my job to fix it. And the neverending email and calendar and reminder chatter, plus doing something for people that have it way, way, worse than me. I finally get my babies fed, washed up and mentally stable... they climb into bed and all is quiet. I look around and there are little piles of clothes everywhere. Pieces of paper, pencils and toys scattered into the corners. I save it for another day.

That's not to mention documenting our lives. Lives that go by so quickly that sometimes I swear it's just a dream. A jumble of toes and words and warmth, phone calls, weather, laughter, vacuuming and dinner. It's such a good life, such a great fountain of freedom and creation. I love it. I plan to find a balance between work, enjoyment and documentation. I know I can.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tada Talking.

This is our littlest one talking. She has been a really slow talker and only says a handful of words. Here she is saying "Ruby" and "Grace" for the first time!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Sunday Photos.

It gets harder and harder to blog every week. It would be easy to give up if it weren't for those big beautiful blog books sitting on my bookshelf. With photographs of our last few years of kids and birthing and sleeping and playing. It makes me so happy that I can record our lives.

Late last night Ruby was fast asleep but moved around her bed like a caterpillar. I smelled her hair. And her neck... and I realized I searched for that Ruby smell, the one she had as a baby. I found it there, in her collarbone crease. I hoisted her up her body and moved through the dark toward the bathroom.

There in the blackened hallway, I could feel the proximity of my sleeping family. Grace slept on the edge of her bed, to make room for her possessions that she keeps there in piles. Lillie had taken an eternity to fall asleep and I had just tucked her in. She is so still and peaceful when she sleeps. Tada sleeps in her crib with no side. Dad built a safety rail so she won't fall out. When I look at her sleeping, she looks older and bigger than I remember.

I scooped Ruby from the bathroom and brought her back to bed. Her little body curled upon contact with her cold sheets and I tucked the comforter around her back.

I walked into the living room and looked again at the most magical tree we've ever had. I complained to Jake about the subject of trees earlier this weekend, so he drove to fetch one. It is the most beautiful, magical thing I have ever seen. Truly. And it smells like a forest.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Photos.

When I come home from being gone all day the girls are all mussy-haired, some still in pajamas, wild-eyed and half full of junk food. But they are LOVED by their daddy. Look at the ocean of eyes! Last weekend I came home to four pairs of fingernails painted neon green by the man himself.

Here's to Monday. Here's to no more bloody wounds in the Ikea showroom. That was so last week.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My forever baby.

She kills me with Rad. Runs me over with loveliness. I lie in the street, wounded, and in the distance her waddle is barely visible in the trail of dust and bodies she leaves behind. Beautiful, funny, spunky. She truly has it all. My forever baby. And she gives delicious kisses.

Winter is setting in. Today was a dreary day, the air so heavy with white and gray. We found things to do, even in our little shoebox by the canyon. Girls were restless. When they get like that I have them make lists. Advent calendar lists. Positive/negative lists. Lists about January. Math, happiness and improvement lists. And then I put them in my "keep these papers forever" basket on the dryer.

I cross my fingers that this day will be one they put in their quiver of normal days. The ones they draw on when they are older and gone. When they think back with lazy nostalgia on what life was all about with two crazy parents and too many sisters to count.

I hope these little ones that make me a complete person will carry this feeling with them. Of love and chaos, laughter and gratitude...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

After School.

When the girls get home from school, I throw a blanket over the day. "That's enough", I think, "that's enough of everything. You're mine.". I fuss over them and clean them up. Wash school off their face and hands. Get them comfy. Take off their shoes, get their backpacks hung up, check them over. Breathe on them, nose into their business, and generally stare. They tolerate me.

Tonight I told the older ones that mommy has one wish: that they hold their sister's needs over their own. That they put their own wants on the shelf. They let their sister have the first drink, the first choice of dish and cup and spoon. Set goals for unity instead of selfishness. (We shall see.)

By Morning's Light.

Lillie woke me up around midnight. I had just fallen asleep and was shooting off into outerspace when she came to the side of my bed. I made out her silhouette speaking to me, muttering about pee, since we let her sleep without a diaper for the first time. I got up using the momentum of my stiff legs. With the guidance of walls and doorways through the darkness, I put a few towels down on her bed, changed her clothes and put her back to bed. She came back into my bed within minutes for lonely snuggles.

Around 4:30 I heard it again. Her lying next to me, muttering about pee. I hopped up this time to feel my shirt was wet. All over my bed and all over her. Ugh. My muscles tightened and I did the whole sequence again. I came back from washing my hands and nearly stumbled over Ruby who had just walked out into the dark hallway. "I peed my pants". Um, what? Lillie, Ruby and I, standing in the hallway, a long pause while I tried to understand if this was my reality. It was. So I took care of Ruby the same way I had taken care of Lillie. I tucked her tiny body back into bed and Lillie and I went back to my bed together.

Just another day in paradise.

But look what I have! LOOK! A baby with bedhead, in a diaper, with a plump lower lip, digging through the trash. She makes my mornings delicious.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Rube Reading.

My little Rube doing some reading on a snowy Sunday. I love to get my babies' socks on and snuggle them into bed when they are cold. I talk to them in a baby voice... they love it. Their toes always suffer during the winter months. I set aside some time every night to kiss their faces. Some prefer less, some more. Ruby lets me eat her nose and cheeks. She knows I will nuzzle her for as long as she lets me. Even as an infant, she always let me. Grace puts up with it. Lillie will tell you flat out: no more kissing! Tada lets me if she's distracted or is drinking milk.

When I close my eyes and think about my babies, all I feel is warmth and skin and tiny freckles and shoulders and socks and shoes on the floor and crackers and tears... a few birth marks. Some teeth. Some questions. Papers and pencils. Change. And knuckles.

Time is getting away from me. I hopped on a sled and it's tearing down the hill. The cold wind in my face, I don't stop myself, I keep going. It's good, after all.

I had two hours to myself this afternoon. There was inversion and the temperature outside is less than desirable. I put on Pandora, my space heater, edited some family photos and let the heat and energy of life and love bounce off the walls of my chest. It's another day and I am happy.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Lillie Lu Lu.

Found this in my archives.... Granola Girl doing some shopping.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ninja - Scientist - Unicorn - Snow White

They all lay peacefully in their beds with clean faces and hands. Another holiday gone. Lillie was exactly Tada's age and size when we moved from Florida to Utah. Here we are now, walking through the neighborhood on a cold October night with our little girls. Growing older by the second. They trick-or-treat with dear friends. Grace's friend walks right beside her and they talk between houses. Their voices float together as they teach each other things about life, both just 8 years old. Just like I did with my own friends today.

I wake every morning thankful for my life and my babies. And all of my family. For the sweet-smelling air of this place and for simple food and places and people. For all the laughter that will come my way. For those in my life that give me love. For Jake. For our privileged existence.

I can only hope it will always be this good.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Photo & special offer.

We have had a beautiful week. When I look outside and see my girls playing together, my lungs fill with sweet, fresh air. 

As a family we try to look for ways to give, and for this cause I offer:

For one day only...... Get your fall family photo taken by My Matilda Photography for $50...

Here's what to do:

                      ~ Request a session time {} for Sunday, November 6th. 

~ Donate online to the Utah Food Bank in the amount of $50 or more. {} 

~ Forward me your confirmation email and your time will be reserved.

What you receive:

~ A 30-minute family session in or around Big Cottonwood Canyon. Approximately 10 digitally processed images are yours on CD within 10 days. 

What we give our community:


Limited sessions available -- Offer stands until space is full -- Feel free to share this elsewhere on the web!!

The Hone family today in the canyon: