merry christmas

One of my favorite things about Christmas time is receiving all the Christmas Cards with updates about everyone's families.  Here's a quick update on our family.

11 years old.
Sixth Grade.
LOVES soccer and is still playing on a competition team.  This past year they won the President's Cup Tournament and his team took first place in their division.
Great student.  School is easy for him.
Babysits for Dad & Mom all.  the.  time.
Ridiculously responsible.
Endures Piano.
Obsessed with all things sports.  Soccer.  Football.  Basketball.  Had fun playing fantasy football this year and likes to spend way too much money on jersey's and nike elite socks.
He is the easiest son and such a joy to have in our home.  He really steps up when Tim is out of town and takes over the "Man of the House" role very well.  Never have to ask him to do anything twice.  He is an ideal oldest child!

8 years old.
3rd Grade.
Started taking Piano and LOVES it.  His favorite thing to play is a Beethoven song his Grandpa taught.  We hear it at least 30 times a week.
Loves school.  Loves his teacher.  Loves his classmates.
An amazing big brother.  Peace maker/Fight starter of our home (depends on the hour).
Loves animals.  Does pretty good taking care of his Guinea Pig and Leapord Gecko.  Always asking to get more pets. 
Family clown.  He loves to be silly and make people laugh. 
Of course, he plays soccer (a requirement in our household).
He has a heart of gold.  Always wants to be good and do good.  Very sensitive to everyone around him.  Love his creative spirit, which means he is always leaving something laying around the house, but usually that is combined with some sweet note that he has written for someone or a bracelet he made for one of his brothers.

 5 years old.
All boy.  Loves superheros.  sports.  wrestling.  weapons.  fighting.  being wild.  chaos.
Has an incredible imagination and lives in "la la land" much of the time creating amazing scenarios in his head.  Tells people he's left handed and allergic to peanut butter (both not true).
Loves school...especially that he is old enough to be in the same school as his brothers.  His favorite part is taking the bus to and from school, recess and all his new friends.
Loves playing any sport, but especially loves playing soccer with Dad as his coach.  He really turned it on this past season and left "la la land" a few times to score some goals.
Super competitive.  Always arguing with his brothers or friends about something.  If you say your Dad is 30, he says his Dad is 50!!  (Sounds bigger and better, right?!?)  That's Cooper.
At the end of the day, this all boy, boy is the biggest sweetheart.  He gives the best kisses and hugs.  He tells us over and over how much he loves us.  He really has the softest, sweetest, side that is just bursting to come out when he's not busy trying to keep up with his two older brothers and his millions of friends.

2 years old.
Mommy's sidekick.
A year ago we thought he wasn't saying enough words and now he won't ever stop talking!
Loves singing "twinkle, twinkle little star", "how much is that doggy in the window", and "follow the prophet" (which he learned in nursery at church).
Loves playing with "guys,"  obsessed with Hulk and chose to be him for Halloween.
Keeps up just fine with his 3 older brothers.  Is constantly following them around and trying to do anything they are doing.
Also obsessed with his Daddy, especially when he's working on a project around the house.  Loves to help with tools.
He is the light and joy of our family.  We love this incredible age of learning and growing.  We all want to bottle him up and keep this little guy like this forever.  He keeps us all laughing and smiling all day long!

Working hard.  Traveling lots.  Supporting our family.
Still playing soccer.
Still coaching soccer.
Still obsessed with soccer.
The best Dad that 4 boys could ever ask for.  He is constantly running around the house kicking the ball with them, shooting hoops, throwing the football, or (trying) to beat them in video game sports. It's always a party when Dad's around!
Amazing husband.  Works hard so that I can stay home with these wild boys and spend all his hard-earned money.

Me (Brittany)
Not as old as Tim.
Busy trying to keep up with all these boys.
I spend most of the time cleaning, doing laundry or shuttling the boys around.
I think my family would agree I'm a professional "nag"
Love watching my boys play soccer, piano or just play with each other.
Still love organizing.
Still love running.
Spend more time updating my instagram instead of blogging about our family, but hope to get back to updating this blog more in the next year.
Life is beautiful.  2013 was such a fun year for our family and we can't wait to see what 2014 brings!  We'd love to keep in touch with all of you and hope you're all doing well.

Much love!


week in review...

I have felt so compelled to write lately, but since I've taken quite a long break, I almost feel like I don't know where to get started. I think this is the easiest way for me is to dust off this blog of mine.  I'm feeling an urgency to journal my thoughts and my life.  I'm sure this will be lots of rambling, but hopefully this will help get my rusty writing skills back on track. 

Life is busy.  My days are filled from morning until evening with stuff.  Things to do.  Places to be.  But, we are in a beautifully content spot in our lives.  I love my kids ages.  I'm loving the time I have with Tim.  I love our life right now.  Every week my iphone is filled with pictures like the ones below.  These probably give the best sneak peak into my life.

I always get a wild hair and start projects like this on a whim.  One day, after the cleaning the playroom, i felt like the Lego's weren't being utilized as well as they should.  Who could find anything in that huge container, with millions of different Lego pieces?  I HATE having things in my home that are not being utilized!  I wondered if they were organized better if the kids would play with them more.  Therefore, this project was born:

We spent the weekend sorting Lego's in our free time, which actually turned out to be perfect since I came down with a nasty cold and didn't have much desire to do anything else.  A few days later, our Lego's were all organized and now look like this.  I need to spruce it up a little more and give them some proper Lego's, but I'm so happy we got this far.  I got this idea here from the blog I heart organizing.  Hoping to make mine as cute as hers soon!  I am happy to report that my boys have been playing with Lego's for a week straight and they are still perfectly organized in the bins.  (Wish me luck).

Tim was trying to participate in "Movember" but couldn't do it any longer.  This is what he showed up to dinner looking like one night.  I'm happy to report that nobody approved of the handlebar mustache and it was removed shortly hereafter!  (Please note the can of coconut milk on the table!  I asked Cooper to go downstairs and bring me up a can of mandarin oranges, this is what we got instead!)

I take pictures of EVERYTHING!  What did I do before I had an iphone?!  When I want to remember a quote or send it to someone, I just take a picture of it.  The result is lots of these pictures on my phone.  I love that I will have documentation of these inspirational things.  I really do love the idea being taught here.

Crew has a friend!  He has more than one friend, but he now has a friend that he is always asking to play with.  "Call Mack", "Mack's House", "Mack come over."  They are adorable together (most of the time).  Sometimes Crew can be a bit overwhelming to Mack, but I love watching these little relationships form. 

Parker has a million friends!  This kid is the life of the party.  Tim and I were at the school for Cooper's parent teacher conferences, which were held during the day and decided to go spy on our other boys.  We found them in the lunchroom.  Here is Parker's crazy group of boys that he was eating lunch with.  I couldn't get any of them to hold still long enough to take a picture! 

In a magical moment, Payton was also in the lunchroom!  He had to be a dun-dun-dun LUNCH WORKER.  Ugh, he hates it because you have to miss recess.  And it requires work.  This kid would not even acknowledge that he knew us so I did what ever normal parent would do, pulled out my camera and started taking pictures.  (Maybe I am just a little embarrassing!)

Whizzing by me as fast as can be...

Sometimes a clean playroom needs to be documented...

And a delicious dinner that was thrown together with a bunch of leftovers...

And these crazy kids dressing up and having fun...

One of my favorite moments of the week, was how excited Parker was about his Cub Scout den meeting.  They did a service project where they handed out "free smiles" and suckers to people that were coming into the rec center.  How would this not brighten anyone's day?  He has the best Cub Scout Leaders and always has so much fun!

Other notable events from this past week were the boys Parent Teacher Conferences.  They are all great kids.  I'm happy their teachers seem to know them and love them.  I'm happy my kids are able to do well and don't need too much help from us!

Cooper almost got hit by a car in the Target parking lot.  Happy I didn't see it, but scared us to death for a few days.  Reminded to slow down just a little bit and focus on what's most important!

Time out for Women, Catching Fire, Bergstrom's Thanksgiving Dinner, Sophia's Birthday party, indoor soccer games...it's all in a weeks work, but I love it.  I'm where I always dreamed I would be!



I am in checklist mode.  This means that anything I have put on the checklist is essential.  I put "journal" on the checklist and managed to neglect it last week.  This week I must do better.  Today our lesson in Relief Society was a culmination of all the things I have been trying to implement in my life over the past month (six months, sixteen years).  BALANCE.

I started using these checklists.  Getting back to my organizing roots and the last two weeks have been amazing.

First things first.


Big picture.

Now...I've even returned to this journal.  I've realized this is something essential to my life.  I'm happier when I'm reflecting on my week through writing in a journal.  I absolutely love looking back at the past.  Typing is a much easier venue than pen and paper.  Now that google reader is no more, I don't even fear that anyone will read my deepest, darkest, journaling tales.

I feel like when I'm not journaling, I'm being ungrateful for the many blessings and memories that Heavenly Father has allowed me to have.  I also have the worst memory and, although I have a picture, I can barely remember the details of what happened last week.  This is my resolve to be better.  Not perfect.  Just better.   

Back to the checklists.  These have changed my life over the past couple weeks.  I'm so happy to be starting week 3 and feeling better than ever.  Sure, they are great for my kids.  I'm certainly not nagging as much and I don't have to hear, "You never told me to do that."  But, my favorite checklist is not the one I made for my boys.

My favorite checklist is mine.  Who knew that by checking off a little box, I could make sure my teeth were brushed by 8 am every morning (instead of remembering around lunchtime)?!  Who knew that I could be so diligent in my scripture study?!  So far, I've missed a few exercise check marks, but for the most part, this has been fabulous.  Apparently, keeping things super simple works for adults too.

I love that I get to spend more time with these cute boys!  It was the first Utah Football game on Thursday.  Tim & Payton were the lucky ones who got to go to the game.  The rest of us were busy with birthday parties, soccer practice and house chores.  

Parker went fishing for Cub Scouts.  He loves Cub Scouts.  He loved fishing.  He is lucky that he has super awesome leaders who send me these adorable pictures.

I am blessed.  My life is chaotic and messy and crazy, but sooo wonderful.  I don't ever want to forget these amazing memories!


my tan

 I have a tan.  The high today was 34 degrees and it hasn't stopped snowing at my house.  I'm covered head to toe in clothing, but underneath it all I'm tan.  More than my tan, I'm glowing.  I'm refreshed.  I'm on a post vacation high.  Not ready for a reality check.  Even the reality check's that have come our way since coming home can't get me down.

Piled up bills & mail.  Who cares.
TV's not working.  Big deal.
Kids whining about stuff.  Love them so much.

It seems that nothing can get me down right now.  After a full nights rest in my own bed after 8 nights away, I woke up this morning feeling like the past week was a dream.  As my kids hopped up on our bed asking for milk and breakfast I was certain last week didn't happen.  As I showered, in my very own shower, I noticed the scrapes on my leg.  Must have been from the coral reef on the ocean floor.  As the thought crossed my mind, I realized how dreamy that sounded.  I also noticed the blister on my toe.  I remembered that it was from my flippers.  Just 24 hours earlier I had been snorkeling.

Now I was in my own home, my own bed and my own shower feeling like it was all a dream.  For Tim & I it was a dream come true.  8 days away in Hawaii.  Spending time together.  Laughing with our friends.  Waking up to palm trees and perfect weather.  Going to sleep to palm trees and perfect weather.  Lots of sand, ocean, food, fun and friends in between.  All while our children were happily at home being taken care of.  Being in the middle of our child rearing years, I honestly felt like this day would never come.  It was a huge sacrifice for my Mother-in-Law who cared so well for our kids all week.  We know it's not something we get to do every day so we enjoyed every second of our time away.

It was a dream and I'm not ready to wake up.  Thank goodness I have a tan.  I hope that as it fades my memory of our Hawaiian days will not.  I took lots of pictures with "my heart."  Thanks to my cute friends suggestion.  I also took plenty of pictures with my camera.  I'll be posting those just as soon as the laundry is done!


home sweet home

After 5 or 6 hours in the air, we had a brief layover in LA and then headed home to Salt Lake City. The red eye flight was brutal. Tim hated it much worse than I did, but neither one of us was able to sleep much. We arrived in Salt Lake to this. Ugh...

And home to this...

But it was so worth it because of this...

My older boys wouldn't take two seconds to pose for the camera.  They were so busy throwing snowballs, building forts and sledding.  They were in heaven!

I was happy to be back in my awesome neighborhood with more great friends and the gorgeous weather that Utah has to offer.  Truly, I was feeling beyond blessed and grateful today!

Tim had to catch up on some work, but we mostly soaked up every second with our kids today.  I didn't even bother unpacking until Saturday morning.  I was so happy to be with my boys.  I definitely feel so re energized.  I'm on a Hawaiian high that I'm not sure I'll come down from anytime soon. 

I love that Cooper spent the afternoon asking how to write "Hawaiian" words.  He is too cute!


Hawaii - day eight

How could it possibly be the last day of our trip?  I woke up on our last day feeling sad.  I was NOT ready to leave.  Sure, I wanted to get home and see my boys, but they were having so much fun with Grandma I still really wasn't worried about them or missing them terribly bad.  I thought about just having them fly to Hawaii and meet us.  Then I realized that all good things must eventually come to an end.  It's always great to leave on a high note, right?  The weather was beyond perfect.  The food was amazing.  Our company was fabulous.  This was the most fun that Tim and I have ever had on a trip.  (Maybe we just don't get out enough?!?)

I ran through the resort on the last day and took a lot of "pictures with my heart" plus a few with my camera.  Another gorgeous sunrise...

The lava rocks that surrounded the entire resort...

The beautiful golf course club house...

After we packed up all of our stuff and stored it in the car for the day, we headed over to A bay again per my request to do some more snorkeling.

More snorkel nerdyness...

I stared at this scene realizing how much I was going to miss this in just a short 24 hours.  Sitting by the beach, soaking up some sun, great conversation, sand between my toes, saltwater stinging my throat and palm trees swaying in the wind. 

Tim used a bad mask the first day and had a bad experience, he gave it another try today and loved it this time.  We rented the gear for half a day today.  Tim and I spent most of this time exploring the water.  My friends loved making fun of me as I would get beached up onto the shore by a crashing wave and call out for Tim to come collect the seashells from me that I had just found on the ocean floor.  They were not that impressed with my new found snorkeling skills, but it did provide them a morning of entertainment!

After spending the morning on the beach, we headed back to our resort for lunch.  I'm glad we finally ate here because the food was really good!  One last picture of the group.  Tim & Josh are "smiling with their eyes" or doing a "pedismile" as they so observantly named it.  Creepy.

After lunch (and a super long debate about legalizing marijuana, which Tim, Melissa and myself removed ourselves from) we spent our last day in our favorite spot in the pool.  Tim & I played some one on one volleyball, while Melissa chatted it up on the beach chairs with one of our new friends.  When the rest of the crew was finished with their debate, we had a water slide contest.  Yes, we were very juvenile and it felt amazing!  Annie dominated that contest and then proceeded to give the rest of us water slide technique lessons.  Who knew.  As 4:00 pm rolled around we knew it was time to get showered up.  Boo.  Did I mention that I was not ready for this day or this week to end?  Ever.  Luckily, in another moment of awesome serendipity,  our resort was having a Hula show (a luau show without the huge buffet of food) that evening.  After we got all ready, we were able to watch an amazing show.  I took more video than I did pictures, but trust me, it was awesome!  The perfect way to end our fabulous Hawaiian adventure.  Tim, Jordan & Josh even got to join in the show and dance.  They've got some skillz.    

I took one last picture of the resort as we headed to our car.  Goodbye paradise...

Tim getting to hold Hallie one last time... 

We made a couple stops then ended up at the airport.  As soon as we arrived there, I was ready to be home.  Unfortunately, there was 10 hours between this airport and home.  We were so sad to say goodbye to our friends.  I hate goodbyes.  We were ready to rejoin our family at home though.  This Hawaiian adventure was unforgettable and would not have been the same without our awesome friends.  Tim and I felt so blessed to be there and to be with some really great people who we learned some much from and enjoyed laughing so hard with.  



And anything else that might mean thank you, thank you, thank you and goodbye :(