Stages

One of my favorite things to do as a mom raising daughters is to take some time to think about each one of them, individually.

I love to think about my daughter’s talents, fears, personality, tendencies and ways I can be a better mom to her.

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It usually happens when I’m looking through pictures on my phone, or they say something in the car that makes me smile.

God loves each one of us individually, and perfectly. Being a parent is not a one size fits all ordeal.

As my children grow, I’m realizing it stretches me to look outside of myself. It stretches me to ponder, pray and rely on God to help me raise my daughters. He knows them perfectly. He sent them to me as His spirit daughters and He wants them to return to live with Him someday.

That is my whole purpose as a mom– to prepare my children for exaltation and eternal life.

I want to teach my children how to come to Christ. How to know Him, how to be enabled and forgiven through His atonement. I want them to become like Him, serving others and bringing light everywhere they go.

Their smiles fill my heart with joy and light, every single day.

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After scripture study we say our family motto: “Pursue the light, stand for what’s right, together in family unity, our love lasting beyond eternity!”

Each person says a line and puts a hand in the center. Then in true family cheer fashion, we get to yell the last line together! It’s been fun for them, and I’m sure they’ll think it’s lame when they’re teenagers, but whatever.

We have a family motto, and now we also have a family mission statement.

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This is why our family exists. The principles we mentioned are based on The Family Proclamation, which is celebrating 20 years!! It is divine guidance from our prophet and leaders that help us know how God feels about families. It helps me know how to guide my family, and I love it.

So back to these beautiful babies.

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Carmen…

Carmen has a way with people. She is social, friendly, and always says hello to people. She is constantly giving compliments to others and coloring pictures for others. She holds the people in her life very close to her. She attaches to her aunts, teachers, church leaders, coaches, babysitters, and especially her grandparents. She has so much love to give and she is full of personality. She is very motherly and a good example to her sisters.

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She is easily frustrated, and is opinionated about very little things. She spends time picking out her clothes, sneaking lip gloss, and writing her letters. She is fragile and needs attention. She is helpful and sincere and is so much fun to have around.

Nora…

Nora has blossomed lately. She is now 3 and she is turning into a wonderful little girl. She is always moving. Jumping on the couch, running through the house, you name it, Nora is there. She is active and outgoing at home, but as soon as we leave the house she is behind mom with her lips sealed. I’m learning new things about parenting a shy child, and it’s helping me grow. I love our conversations in the car, and she is really smart at reasoning and problem solving. Nora loves to build things, play with play dough, she is attentive to detail and loves to sing. My favorite time with Nora is cuddling with her, reading her a book or just relaxing on the couch. She has an infectious laugh that lifts me all the time.

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Just last night she was singing her made up song, “The sun goes up and the sun goes down…” Repeated over and over. I started giggling because she moved her hand up and down, as if it was the sun. She thought it was funny too, and just started busting up. She couldn’t stop laughing. That’s why I love my NJ. She’s helpful and sweet and makes me smile.

Afton is a crack up. She is bursting with personality in her little 15 month old body. I didn’t know I could love someone so much. She’s totally got her own agenda and is more and more independent.

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She’ll roam the halls of church by herself, without a care that I got stuck behind a crowd. She claps when she’s proud of herself, and is constantly reading books. She loves dogs and duck books, and will open and close them over and over. She’s a great sleeper, and probably needs her alone time in her crib to wind down. Her hair is dark and awesome, and she is always getting compliments. She’s learning her body parts and makes a funny noise when I ask her to show me her “tongue.” She runs to Dada when he comes home, and makes everyone feel so special. She eats oatmeal every morning, and is one of the big girls. She likes to splash, play and run. If she can’t reach something she’ll curl her toes over and stand on top of them, until she can reach it. She grunts and moans and is very sure of what she wants.  She isn’t a fan of her car seat, and puts up a good back arch. She is pretty and cute, and has a ton of teeth. This smile is too much. I love Afton Marie.

 

My sweet babies. I really treasure the times I sit down and document the stage we are in. Re-reading things from just a year or two ago, I realize how quickly I forget. I never want them to grow up, and I never want to forget what it’s like. I know that’s inevitable, so that’s why I have to document each stage they are in. If I can’t keep them little, I can have a little reminder when I read back.

Love you girls with all of my heart.

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