Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Breakfast With Santa 2014

One of our favorite Christmas traditions since moving to TN, breakfast with Santa. We know that Santa has lots of "helper" Santas, but THIS one is the real deal. Requests have been made now we just wait. Wait and HOPE we've been good enough to make it on the nice list. It's questionable... ;)

Cute 'ole man has been doing it since he was in his 30s. Grows out his beard every Fall.

Friday, August 8, 2014

He'll grow into those teeth someday. ;)

You know that awkward stage that kids start going through about age 7? The stage that lasts a few years (if you're lucky it's only a few!) ;) Noah B has started to hit it. He'll grow into those teeth someday...hahaha! ;) Gosh I love this kid. Handsome little devil, isn't he?
NOah B 7 years old photo noahb7yearsoldteeth2014blog_zpsc9658f13.jpg Noah B 7 years old photo NoahB7yearsoldAug2014blog_zpsec479cdb.jpgPictures taken while outside playing 8/8/2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Not like riding a bicycle

Every time before I go in to have a baby, I get nervous. I'm anxious, excited, scared, basically a little bit of everything. It's definitely NOT like riding a bicycle. It's new every single time and it's a little bit, okay a lot a bit, scary.

The night before I had Cole I snuck in and kissed Chloe, Sophie, and Noah like it could be the last time (ya, I know, I'm overly dramatic,...but what if something went wrong?!)

This pregnancy was hard on me. Maybe because I turned 30 this year? I hear 30 is when things start headed downhill with the ole' body. Do I dare say this go around was even harder than carrying the twins? Maybe I just forgot? When the doctor recommended that I be induced at 38 weeks due to high amniotic fluid, I didn't mind one bit. But then I started to panic. What if he wasn't ready to come 2 weeks early? What if his lungs weren't developed enough, what if, what if, WHAT IF?! Ya, I get all CRAZY with "what ifs".

You'd think that after doing this a couple times, it would be like "riding a bicycle". It's not.

Luckily, this is all now in hindsight. Cole's beautiful birth story to come.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Patience and Waiting

In a world where we want everything yesterday, this quote have given me great comfort and perspective that the things which are most precious are most definitely worth the wait.


 Announcing a pregnancy has become somewhat of an awkward thing for me. Believe me when I say I am bursting at the seams to share my exciting news, but I've also learned the fact that many around me (including myself) are often silently wishing and praying for the same thing. Getting pregnant has never been the easiest thing for Brad and I to accomplish.  It's no secret we have to "practice" a lot to get these little miracles here.  As fun as that may sound... it's not. Anyone who has a hard time getting pregnant knows what I'm talking about. ;) We practiced, and prayed, and practiced some more for almost 2 years to get pregnant with Noah.  Then worked on getting the twins for just over a year.  After graduate school we were back in the saddle again.  For some reason I thought it would be a walk in the park this time around? We worked at it for almost a year and we were finally pregnant, (yay!), but then were shocked and broken-hearted with a miscarriage. It's been an emotional, spiritual, physical, and overall exhausting rollercoaster. Hence the reason we decided to wait a bit to announce our newest little blessing on the way.

The biggest lesson I have learned in the last 10 years is that the only thing you can plan on, is not being able to plan on anything. I simply can't plan out every detail of my life. I can't plan out my family details, I can't plan out the timing of my children, I can't plan exactly where I want to live, I can't guarantee our financial future and I most certainly can't plan on when I will actually get to use that "dream house pinterest folder". But that's okay. Looking back on it, it's been absolutely perfect. Heavenly Father has given it to me exactly the way it's supposed to look, and quite honestly, it's better than my original "plan". I've learned a lot about myself, learned a lot about trials and compassion, and am slowly leaning what life is really all about.

As for today I am so very grateful. Grateful for my countless blessings and, specifically, grateful for the little miracle on the way.


Noah, Chloe, & Sophie have been wanting a baby for quite some time. We let them know that we have to ask Heavenly Father to send a baby to our family, so for the past 2ish years, every night during family prayer they sweetly ask, "Please bless mommy can have a baby." Melts my heart every. single. time. It's been especially sweet lately as Brad and I peek at each other and give a little wink knowing that the news they've been so sweetly praying for, is already on it's way.

At 19 weeks I was definitely starting to show, but somehow my kids hadn't noticed. Baggy sweaters were key. ;) We planned a little surprise party to let our children know our special news.

They all got in their pajamas and ran into the girls room to find pink and blue balloons everywhere. We asked them, "What could all these blue and pink blues be for?!" And pushed, "What has our family been praying for?" They all shouted, "A BABY!!!"
We asked Noah to turn on the fan and down came the blue confetti! A BROTHER, A BROTHER! Noah wanted nothing more than a baby brother and baby brother is officially on his way.
 We celebrated with cupcakes and ice cream to honor our baby brother. Hopefully he will arrive the end of March (due date: April 1st).
We ALL can't wait to meet you, hold you, and love on you Baby Brother.  You have no idea how very loved you are already...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sleeping Beauties

This is one of the reasons, if when asked, "Would you be okay having twins again?" I would most certainly say "Yes."

Every night we put them to bed in their own separate beds, but when we go back in to tuck them in for the night, they are usually in one twin bed, on one pillow, surrounded by books and evidence that they fell asleep having fun. Having a built-in best friend and sleepovers every night is definitely a special perk of having a twin sister. I am so lucky to be their mom.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Letting Go... His first day of Kindergarten

 photo noahsfirstdayofkindergarten2013blog_zpse28fdad1.jpgLots of tears knowing as I am realizing this is my first real moment of "letting go". I know there will be more: middle school, high school, college, a mission, marriage!! As I walked out the door, not knowing ANYTHING about what his day would be like, I hope he feels comfortable. I hope he meets new friends. I pray that the teachers will learn to love him like I do, guide him and know there is a mommy 2 miles away thinking about him every minute he is gone. 
 photo noahsfirstdaykindergarten2013blog1_zps2253f95e.jpg

I found this sweet poem and it totally sums up how I'm feeling:

"I wonder what you're doing right now, 
And if everyone is treating you kind. 
I hope there is a special person, 
A nice friend that you can find.

I wonder if the teacher knows 
just how special you are to me. 
And if the brightness of your heart 
is something she can see. 

I wonder if you are thinking about me, 
and if you need a hug. 
I already miss the sound of your voice 
and how you give my leg a tug. 

I wonder if you could possibly understand 
how hard it is for me to let you grow. 
On this day know that my heart breaks, 
for this is the first step in letting my baby go." 
 photo noahfirstdaykinderblog_zpsa69d7c1c.jpg
Seriously an emotional wreck.
Love you baby boy.
 photo noahsfirstdayofkindergartenblog2013_zps0bbfab3c.jpg

Sunday, March 31, 2013

And then my trials seemed small...

Just as I was feeling super sorry for me and all I was dealing with, the day after I miscarried to be exact, my brother Justin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A BRAIN TUMOR! My trails then seemed small. This was my brother, a husband, a daddy. My "poor me syndrome" stopped and my focus immediately turned to him and his family. What a scary scary diagnosis. He had been having slight balance and vision issues that he had dealt with for a couple years and decided to have it looked into. It was a tumor, the size of a lemon, in the back of his head. I saw the fear in his eyes, Tessa's, and the heartache of the unknown.
We all live together right now. Justin, Tessa, Brad, me and our children. I have watched him struggle through brain surgery, twice, while 7 month pregnant Tessa stood by his side. My parents came out and were with him 24/7 at the hospital for days and days. Luckily, this is all hindsight now and the tumor has been removed, it was non-cancerous, and thing are looking promising. It was amazing to see prayers, faith, and blessings happen over this difficult time. Really, really amazing.
I think I am doing better with my heartache. I pushed aside all my emotions when this happened and I think time helped heal. I still breakdown occasionally. How far along I would be now, what sex the baby was, etc. All I've ever wanted is to be a mom, and I sure do love the three blessing I do have. I hope and pray there are is another one (or more?) sweet spirits waiting to come to our little family. My prayers continue...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Heart Broken

I never thought it would be me. It always takes so long for us to get pregnant, I never imagined I'd actually have a miscarriage. My heart is broken.

When we had the twins I thought a 3 year gap would be perfect. Then we went to graduate school. Brad was looking for a job, so we didn't start "trying" until we knew he had found work. It took 8 long months to finally get pregnant. That was much less than the 21 months it took to get pregnant with Noah and the year it took to get pregnant with the twins. But still, 8 months is much longer than I had hoped. Finally, on Jan 27th, I took a positive pregnancy test. There was a much bigger gap than I had hoped for (4 1/2 years) but I was thrilled nonetheless.  It was my personal little secret for 3 days. I wanted to tell Brad in a special creative way, and I admit, having this little secret that for a few days that was ONLY mine, made me feel giddy. I was glowing.

I took silly self photos from our web cam, printed them out, and wrote "Am I glowing?....How about now? What if I pull my hair back.. etc" I was so excited to finally share my secret with Brad. Our little one was due October 3rd, 2013. Our wait was over.

I started buying maternity clothes for the summer, dreaming of what baby would be for Halloween, and started planning how our little family's future would fall into place.

Feb 15th that all changed. I noticed a little brown spotting, then pink, them blood. I fell on my knees right then and there begging that it wasn't a miscarriage. I immediately called the temple to have my name put on the prayer roll. I was scared. I then called my Dr.'s office and the nurse told me it wasn't uncommon to spot. A little relief.

Feb 16th. More bleeding. More period like bleeding :(

Feb 17th, cramping. More blood, clots and lots of tears. I knew it was a miscarriage.

I feel empty. It takes us so long to get pregnant, and I'm afraid of being back at square one again.

Was it something I did? Did I work out too hard? Did we have sex when we shouldn't have? Was the baby not growing properly? Why?! :(

I'm trying to understand Heavenly Father's will, but in my grief, all I can do is hurt right now.

My sister (Kara) brought dinner last night (Feb 16th). She walked through the door, gave me a huge hug, set dinner on the counter and handed me a new book. She said, "Something to help keep your mind off it." Of course I bawled like a baby the second I saw her, but I am so grateful for her love. She was an angel to me that night. My mom was all the way in Oregon, and my thoughtful sister was just what I needed.  Brad has been super sweet, and has really tried to understand, but let's be honest: men just don't get it. They have no idea of the emotional heartbreak, the physical aspect, or the mental disappointment.

I'll call my OBGYN's office tomorrow (monday). Not sure what they'll have me do. My 8 week appt, where I supposed to see that little heartbeat flashing away on the ultrasound screen, was only 3 days away on Wednesday.  It's all been taken from me.

Heavenly Father, please, please, please help heal my broken heart. Help us to get pregnant again soon, and to have a healthy pregnancy. Please help me have faith and trust in you.

Once again, my favorite quote seems to find meaning in my life:

“Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come.” -Joseph F. Smith

Patiently waiting, once again...

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Last Year of My Twenties

As I often remind Brad, I am STILL in my twenties. Then he reminds me, "You are closer to thirty than twenty". Then I quickly respond, "But I'm STILL in my twenties". ;)

I'm 29. How did that happen? The last decade of my life has flown by all too quickly. I literally feel like it was yesterday that I was a freshman in college: flirting with Brad, falling in love, getting married. The big 3-0 is creeping up and I fully intend to enjoy the last year of my twenties. The thing I am most grateful that this last decade has given me is this:
I am sure lucky to have this sweet little family to call mine. 

Here is to my last year in my twenties.
I have a little bucket list that I will hopefully add to this post soon. The top of that bucket list: 10 year anniversary vacation with hubby. Really,...where did these last 10 years go?! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sr. Pre-K



No, not preschool, because that would be what he did last year. ;) Noah could technically go to Kindergarten this year because his birthday is July 7th. This little smarty pants would have held up just fine had we sent him. I mostly wanted to write this post so Noah B, could someday know exactly why we decided to approach school this way.  ---It was a hard, prayerful decision, but these were the facts:


*We JUST moved to Tennessee (mid-July) and school starts Early August here! (Ack)
*I knew little to nothing about the school system here.
*Kindergarten in the West is half day. Usually 9-12 every morning. Here it's 9-4 everyday. That's like a JOB!!!! (Sniffle)
*He is a Summer BOY birthday, so not only would he be the youngest in his grade, he'd be the smallest. Sports are NOT a necessity at all, but if he'd LIKE to play when he gets older, I'd like him to have the opportunity.
*I don't want him to be a young "follower" trying to fit in with older kids.
*Sr. Pre-K here is for children turning five before December, so it is indeed a more advanced Pre-K.
*I just read "The Outliers". A book of statics on how and why people are successful. Great read.


Basically, what it comes down to is, my mommy heart just wasn't comfortable with all of the above. I think that was an answer to my sleepless night prayers. (Yes, I lost sleep over this one). I know he is my baby, and he probably would have done just fine, but I want to give him every advantage I can. And, let's be honest, this decision means I get one more year of him in my home now (yes, I really needed this year), AND it gives me one more year of time when he is older. I like the idea of having my high school senior, 18 year old boy, in the arms of his momma one more year before sending him off to college/mission.

Now, what this means for our family life. The twins and Noah will be ONE year apart in school. ONE YEAR!!!! This means all of Noah's friends will be "CRUSHING" on my beautiful twin girls, and my beautiful twin girls will be flirting with all of Noah's  friends. Of course Noah will be interested in the twins' friends too, and they will all be chasing my handsome Noah B. --Whew. The teenage drama to come. ;) Bascially all of this sums up to one thing:

I hope the year gap is a fun, positive thing for the three of them. I pray they don't feel overwhelmed by how much they will be involved in each others lives. In my future idealistic world, they will LOVE the situation and be incredibly grateful for each other. Fingers Crossed.

Noah B. you are going to ROCK Senior Pre-K this year. :) I wish I could put in to words how in love I am with you. I hope someday you will appreciate this hard decision and not wish we had pushed you through.  

{Ha, you probably won't even care. Yes, your Momma worries about everything}.
I'm so glad you are my little boyfriend.PhotobucketPlease don't grow up too fast on me.Photobucket

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

9 Years Strong, Got it goin' On!

Has it really been 9 years? We've sure been through a lot together. It so many ways it feels like yesterday and in so many other ways, I can't remember my life without him. I am lucky one lucky girl and I know it.Photobucket

Happy Anniversary Mr. Coates. I'm so glad you are mine.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bright Neon Flowers

Mother's Day. It's a good holiday.  I really love that it falls on a Sunday. Motherhood is a heavenly calling and it's so nice to feel the spirit testify the sacredness of the role. Back when we were "practicing" to have children, my heart ached on Mother's Day. I always knew I wanted to be a mother. It was a calling I dreamed of since before I can remember. Seeing the cute little primary children sing songs at the top of their lungs to their moms, was almost more than I could bare. That time in my life has only made me more grateful for the blessings I have now. This Sunday, I cried because it was little Noah B singing from the pulpit. Children Singing = Me Bawling. It doesn't matter what they sing. ;) I also sang in sacrament today with Brad and two of our friends. An acapella version of Love At Home. I love singing with Brad, melts my heart every time. One of the many reasons I love him... 

Speaking of loving him, ANOTHER reason I love him is the effort he gives special occasions. Like Mother's Day. Yesterday he took Noah out to run some "very special mommy errands". When they came back, Noah was beaming and couldn't wait until the next day to give me my presents. So, I received my beloved gifts last night. The ugliest/cutest flowers picked out by Noah (of course he opted for the artificially dyed BRIGHT NEON FLOWERS), a cake decorated by his two little hands (our local bakery ran a promo letting kids decorate cakes for their moms), the cutest hand written note (oh how they melt my heart), and a much needed spa gift card.
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketAnd of course Mother's day wouldn't be complete without paying tribute to two wonderful women who have blessed my life in more ways I can even imagine. My mother, and my mother-in-law.  1. My Mom. How grateful I am for all she did for me THEN, and now. I'm realizing how much she did years ago, and how much she continues to do for me daily. ;) She is truly the best example of what a mother should be. So grateful to call her mine. 2. And the woman who raised the man of my dreams. Without her, he wouldn't be the incredible man he is today. 

What a beautiful day to reflect on Mothers. XOXO, 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DEAR MOME (aka Mommy)

I knew the day would come, when Noah would learn to sound out little words and write them down. What I didn't know, was that his first attempt would be a letter,... to me.

He was at the top of the stairs yelling down to Daddy. What makes the "OOOOOO" sound Daddy? Tell Mommy NOT to come upstairs. :)


Somethings are worth scanning. And the original is worth keeping forever and ever.

I LUV YOU too Noah B. -

Monday, April 9, 2012

False Advertising

The other day, Noah came into the family room with a straw and an orange in his little hands. With a puzzled look on his face he said, "Why doesn't this work?"

Brad and I had no idea what he was talking about. "What doesn't work buddy?"

He tried showing us by poking the straw into the orange (to suck out orange juice).

"You can't do that silly boy." Frustrated, he ran into the kitchen and grabbed the Tropicana Orange Juice in our fridge and pointed at it. "See! It's the same! Straw, straw. Orange, orange!" He even had a striped straw.

Bwhahaha! He's right. It doesn't work. I'd call that false advertising Tropicana. Shame on you. ;)
I love that he noticed this picture, trusted it, and decided to try it. Sweet, sweet boy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Say Abre!

So my girls like Dora. Wait,... they LOVE DORA. I am convinced they are going to learn Spanish before they learn English. ;)  Most recently they've become obsessed with the word "Abre". "Abre" means "Open".

They started out using it IN context. For example they would hold out there arms at the top of the stairs and not let me through until the magic word was said. Chloe: "Mommy, say Abre!" Me: "Abre".  Chloe: "Say PL-EASE" Me: "Please".



At first it was really cute. Until they started using it out of context.

Me: "Sophie, put your PJ bottoms on. One foot in..."
Sophie: "Say Abre".
Me: "Abre"
Sophie:"Say PLEASE".
ME: "Please. Now put your other foot in"
Sophie: "Say Abre"
Me: "ABRE!"
Sophie: "Say Please"
Me: "PLEASE!!!! Now put your shirt on."
Sophie: "Say Abre!"
Me: "ABRE!!! PLEASE!!!!"



Quirky little girls. ;) Lots of "Abres and Pleases" going on in the Coates home. {The daily drawings on their tummies are a whole different topic. A suspenseful cliffhanger...}
{***Disclaimer --- Yes my girls look homeless in these pictures. And yes, I let them run around in their underwear all day. They are newly potty trained and pee 12-24 times a day. Makes it lots easier for me. ***}

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roses twice received.

Valentine's Day.  Brad wasn't home from school yet.  Noah walked out of his room with a dozen roses which he found hidden in his closet.  He walked down the stairs and proudly said, "Happy Valentine's Day Mommy". I replied, "Thanks Buddy! Does Daddy know you gave those to me?" He pauses, "Nope. But I thought it was great idea!" -HA.  I'd have to agree.
My heart melted.  I literally was a puddle.  I took the roses, tackled him, and kissed him all over.
They immediately went into a vase sitting on my table. :) Photobucket
Later, once Brad came home from school and realized Noah's untimely delivery, he took them off the table. We had a good laugh.  Brad helped Noah with their ORIGINAL "scavenger hunt for mommy" plan.  So,... I received the same roses twice.  
I wouldn't have it any other way...