Today this beautiful, sweet, joyful little girl turned three years old. Words can not begin to express my feelings for little Afton. She is a light in our home and such a blessing in our lives. I can remember the day she was born so well. We thought we were done having kids, but after a five year wait she finally joined our family. It is the only time I remember crying at the birth of one of our children. I can definitely see the hand of God in how things happened because the timing couldn't have been more perfect and we were so ready for her when she arrived. To say we were happy would be an understatement.
Afton could not wait for her birthday. She has been talking about it for months and planning. It has been very challenging for her to watch so many others celebrate and she kept asking us when it was her birthday. We celebrated last Sunday with all the Higbee's and you've never seen a little girl so thrilled to have people singing 'Happy Birthday' to HER! She celebrated again at preschool yesterday and picked special cupcakes to share with her class. She enjoyed all the phone calls and birthday wishes today as we went about our normal routine. We will round out 'birthday week' with a celebration Sunday evening for my side of the family.
How to describe Afton... she is definitely all girl. She loves to dress up and pretend she's a princess (with Cole or Dad as her prince) and she lives for her ballet class. She loves to play pretend and assigns everyone their roles. She speaks well beyond her years and comes up with the funniest stuff. We are always laughing when she is around. She sings all the time and loves to call us Chris and Katie. She started pre-school this fall and couldn't be happier. We are just sure she is the smartest one in her class. She is still teeny-tiny and only wears a 2t, but eats very well and will eat almost anything. She loves everyone with all of her being and isn't afraid to let it show. She is a total cuddler and very physically affectionate. And, just so you won't think she is absolutely perfect: her new favorite words are 'idiot' and 'stupid' and she has recently started hitting Cole thinking that if she says sorry it makes it all okay.
I can't even describe how much we love this little girl. She is my almost constant companion, my little sidekick. What a sweetheart. 

Happy Birthday, sweet Afton. 
Hope this next year is just as great as the last three.
(photos from our beach vacation last August)


Flashback Friday- Who IS this kid?!?

Back in June I was getting ready for a photo shoot and asked Max to pose quickly so I could test the light. I didn't think much about it until I pulled the pictures up on my computer and was shocked at how old he looks. It's crazy to me how fast he is growing up. He's gotten taller, his interests are changing and he's even taken to proudly showing us his armpit hair (gross... I know, but it's endearing how excited he is). I decided to pull up a pictures from exactly 1 year ago to see how much he's changed.Shocking, isn't it. My baby boy is in Jr. High now, turns 12 next Friday and is turning into a man before my eyes. Some days I love it, other days I want my sweet little baby back. He was such a sweet baby. At church recently a 14 year old young man gave a talk. I sat there listening thinking that he is only 2 years older than Max, but he was tall, had a deep voice and looked more like a man than a kid. Max still looks like a kid, and it hit me how much he is going to change in the next 2 years. I know Max is ready, but I don't know if I am. I guess I better get used to the idea because it's going to happen wether I like it or not. 


Cole's new favorite thing to do (when he isn't climbing on the piano... and yes, I do mean ON) is definitely peek-a-boo. He'll play it anytime, anywhere with anyone. Next time you see him try it out. It's funny, even though every baby in the history of forever has played this game... it never seems to lose it's novelty or cuteness factor when your baby learns it. We do it over and over and over and we are all laughing along with him. Ah, the simple joys of life with a baby!


Cole's 1st Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA!!

Well... it was actually just a little Sunday evening get together with family for cake and ice cream to wish Cole a happy first birthday... but it was still fun! We started out playing "How well do you know Coleman". It was packed with pretty tricky questions about Cole's life so far and I think people had to pretty much guess on most of them.
Granny was the champion and answered the most questions correctly, 2nd place was a team effort by cousins Cole's cousins Taylor and Ben and 3rd place want to another cousin, Christopher. They all got a bag of my very favorite sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting from Smart Cookie... for being so smart!
Time for cake! Cole was fascinated by the flame and kept trying to grab it.
He was a little tentative at first but once he got going there was no stopping him!

Once he was bored with the cake he had fun playing peek-a-boo with the balloons.
After a quick bath in the sink it was time to open presents.
We are so grateful to all our family who came to celebrate Cole's first birthday with us. It means the world to us to have you all in our lives and we appreciated the effort you all made to come.
4 generations: Cole, me, my dad and step-mom, and my grandparent's (my dad's mom and dad) and 3 generations: Cole, his dad, and his grandparents.
With his Uncle Luke, Uncle Peter, Aunt Aubrey, Granny and Grandpa RJ
With Great Grandpa and Grandma Farnsworth
With Grandma and Grandpa Higbee
With his Great Uncle Joel and cousins Dallas and Katlin
Uncle Marvin
Kisses from cousin Alyssa and Aunt Jolie
Cousin Matthew, Aunt Leisa and Cousin Chris
Uncle Sam and Aunt Saundra and cousins Lizzie, Taylor, Ben and Sarah
Aunt Karen and Cousin Alec
Us! Max, Chris, Cole, Afton, me, Abby, Cassidy and Roxy.

Coleman sure does have a lot of people who love him.
What a lucky little boy!


Flashback Friday- Water Fun

Abby got out of school a week before all the neighbor kids and was so excited when they were finally done too. The very first Monday she and her friend, Bridgette, spent the entire day together going back and forth between houses and playing all sorts of fun stuff together. During one stop out our house they pulled out the water toys and got busy. It was so fun to watch them and such a beautiful afternoon so I got my camera out to play with the settings. They obliged me by posing, doing cartwheels, handstands, leaps and just being generally silly. They kept saying "take a picture of this" over and over! It reminded me of the carefree days of summer when I was a kid and things were less structured than they are today... when you just roamed and did whatever you felt like whenever you felt like it. Looks like it is going to be  a great summer!Oh, and guess who is NOT afraid of water? Cole crawled right into the middle of the action. He was fascinated by the squirty things and didn't even flinch when they squirted him in the face. He sat and explored and watched them and laughed until he was literally soaking wet and shivering! 



I just finished tucking Cole into bed. Last year at this time I was sitting in a hospital bed in American Fork wondering at the beauty of this sweet little boy straight from God. It was joyful. I felt just as much joy tonight as I sat nursing him and rocking him and thinking about the last year with him in my life. I know it's what every mother says, but I seriously can not believe a whole year has passed since that night. On one hand it seems like it was just yesterday and on the other hand I can barely remember my life before he was in it. I guess the lesson here is to really live each minute of life because it goes fast!So, in honor of Cole's special day I am going to tell you a little bit about Cole right now. I usually try to do one for each year of life, but that won't really work for this one so I am going to do 1 for each month instead.

*Cole is my most consistent baby. He has always napped and gone to bed at pretty much the same time every day and with the same routine. 
*Words he says: mama, dada, Afton, Roxy, thank you, hi, bye bye... i think that's it. words he signs: milk, more, eat, and all done.
*Cole is a climber. He literally attempts to climb the walls! He also likes to climb on boxes, toys, tables, you name it... he tries to get on top of it. Instead of playing nicely with toys, he prefers to dump everything out and play in or on the basket the toys were in. This also applies to laundry baskets, kitchen drawers, etc., He does everything BIG and LOUD!
*Cole is a great eater! Always has been. His favorite foods are watermelon, corn, veggie bites, and whatever ever you are eating.
*He is a great mimicker and can usually be found following one of his older siblings around trying to copy whatever they are doing. He really loves them all so much!
*Coleman loves everyone. He truly lights up when he recognizes people... which makes everyone very happy to see him.
*Favorite nicknames include Colie, Cole-man, and monkey.
*Another favorite nickname is Houdini because the kid can get out of anything. And I do mean anything: stroller (either one), grocery cart, car seat (yeah, that's fun). The only thing that can still hold him is the high chair... and I'm not sure how long that wil last.
*Cole started rolling, crawling, and walking early but he has gotten his teeth late (he still only has 2).
*It is very hard to change his diaper, get him dressed or put him in the stroller, high chair or car seat when he doesn't want to be put in them. He has perfected the art of flailing, arching his back and twisting faster and better than any baby I have EVER seen.
*Cole never stops moving (unless he is asleep). He is constantly on the go, even while trying to nurse. It is very exhausting.
*Coleman has the cutest giggle you have ever heard. It comes quickly and is truly contagious.
Happy Birthday!! We love you so much!


Our Labor Day Weekend "Stay"-cation

I hope you all enjoyed a break from your labors this holiday weekend. I know we did. We  had plans to leave town but we decided to cancel it last minute. We still didn't feel quite recovered from our vacation in August and the start of school, Chris actually had some work to do in preparation for a business trip and we thought we'd rather use the money on something else. So, we decided on a "stay"-cation and tried to do something fun everyday. I took very few pictures so here is the run-down:

Friday night we went to dinner at one of our favorites, "Rubio's" and then, after a stop at the video game store, went home and played on the wii for the rest of the night. Saturday morning was a day of work and we got a lot done. We thoroughly enjoyed the BYU game that evening!! Sunday morning we went to church and enjoyed a Sunday evening drive and walk through the river bottoms. It was such a beautiful evening. On Monday we went up to Park City to do a little shopping at the outlet mall and then enjoy the resort. We topped the day off with caramel apples at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and the only pictures I took of our Labor Day adventures!
Happy Labor Day!