Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seymore Family

Ever since I saw this picture I've wanted to take photos in a cotton field.  Dreamy right?!!  This photo shoot was a wish come true and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.  I've taken pictures of the Seymore family every year and they are such a photogenic little family.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

five senses

The other day we had some rain and the girls begged to play in it.  Pure joy.

The temple lights.  Every year.

Pandora holiday music.  Michael Buble Holiday, Indigo Holiday,  and Mindy Gledhill Holiday.  Do you have any favorites this time of year?

Lots of soups.  This one is a good one.  I've made about 6 soup recipes from this site and they're all delicious.

Little Rupert as much as possible.  He's been sucking his thumb every day now.

The goji berry candle.  It was my birthday present to myself.  Smells divine.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rupert's blessing day

Today was Rupert's baby blessing.  He is now 10 weeks old and such a wise little soul.  In the circle we were blessed to have Bishop Dan Speakman, President Broc Hiatt (the Stake President), Dad, Chris, James, Garrett, Ammon, Riley Weber, and of course Andrew.  Peter and DJ arrived a minute too late so they missed out.

Andrew gave him a beautiful blessing.  Rupert is loved by Heavenly Father.  He will be strong physically, mentally, and spiritually.  This will help him when he serves his mission.  His family and friends will help him accomplish his goals that will not only bless his life, but those around him.  Those are some of the things I remember being said.

I bore my testimony about how it takes a village to raise a child and my ward and family are my village.  I couldn't raise my children without my support system.  I'm also grateful that Andrew took me to the temple to be sealed for all eternity so my children could be born in the covenant.  My heart is full today.

Andrew snapped these two photos right before church and I'm so glad he did because the blessing outfit was in the wash halfway during church.  Well, it was there when we needed it.  Love this little boy of mine!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Halloween

Isn't October such a great month?!  The kids are really excited for Halloween and got to wear their costumes early for a couple Halloween activities we went to last week.  Elliot has wanted to be Robin Hood ever since we went to Sherwood Forest this summer.  Still haven't gotten around to post photos from that trip but it was really fun.  Avery choose Snow White because she wanted to wear makeup and felt pretty with her red lips.  Zara is an angel because it's Avery's old costume.  Thankfully she loves it!

I have a monkey costume for Rupert but it's a bit big.  Speaking of big, I caught this BIG smile on camera last week.  He smiles more than my other babies did their first month and he really is a joy to be around.  He turned one month old on Sunday.  You know they say you take less pictures with each child.  Well, that's not true for him.  His first month is well documented.
Other things that have happened lately was my 10 year high school reunion.  Tear 'em up Westwood!  For being a big milestone it was actually pretty low key.  It was great seeing old friends and I was glad to have Andrew with me.  I heard there will be another one in five years.  I hope so because 10 years is too long.

My sister Julie announced they're expecting again.  My sister-in-law Sara is due in December and I'm glad Julie is continuing family pregnancy chain.  I'm not sure how long it's been going but I picked up after Ruth and last year there were five babies born.  Rupert was grandchild 20 so Julie's makes 22 and the oldest is 8.  It's been great raising our family at the same time as everyone else in the family!

Rupert had his 4 week check up last Thursday and he's growing juuuust fiiiiine.  He was 7lbs. 6oz. at birth and weighed in at 9lbs. 8oz. at the appointment. I'm a little sad he's growing so fast but also appreciating the fact that some babies are born bigger than he is now.

Elliot lost his 4th tooth today.  The second big one on top.  He's really proud of the fact that he's the only one that has lost more than one tooth this school year in his class.  You should see his smile :)

Happy Halloween and be safe!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Rupert birth story

Rupert is coming up to two weeks old and it's gone by quick!
Before too much time passes I wanted to share his birth story.  Naturally each one has been so different.  Elliot was born in a hospital in England, delivered by midwives.  I had gas and air and then an epidural.  He was my biggest baby at 7 lbs. 12 1/2 ounces and I tore with him so healing too longer.  Avery was born at Banner Desert Hospital and Dr. Holmes delivered her.  I had an epidural and she was smallest at 6 lbs. 7 ounces.  Zara was my first natural delivery and we didn't know her gender.  She was born at Mercy Gilbert Hospital and came before the midwife arrived but thankfully a nurse came in just in time to catch her.  My waters broke the same time she came out and she was 6 lbs. 9 ounces.

Since Zara's natural delivery went so well I knew I wanted to have another natural delivery with this pregnancy.  This time with the midwives at The Birth Haven in Gilbert which just opened up a year ago.  This pregnancy was different from the others because my morning sickness wasn't as bad.  I was heavier this time and I felt it.  I also had a lot of round ligament pains and started having Braxton Hicks daily since 30 weeks.  At 37 weeks I was dilated to one cm and 70% effaced.  At 38 and 39 weeks I was dilated to three cm and 80% effaced.  Since the girls came a week and a half early I really expected him to come earlier. 
^ ^ The tiniest little goosebumps after a bath. ^ ^

The day before he was born I had a lot of Braxton Hicks all day.  Like every seven minutes most of the day.  They never hurt so by the end of the day I just went to bed.  During the night every half hour or so I woke up to a little pain.  I was in pre-labor.  They could have gone away any minute so I tried to sleep through them.  During the night Avery came to our room so Andrew took her back to bed and fell asleep with her.  When he got back it was 3:45 and I told Andrew I was started to have some contractions but to go back to bed.  At that point I started to breathe through my contractions.  Half an hour I woke Andrew up and said to start getting things ready.  Not long after that I asked him to call my Dad to watch the girls.  By the time Dad got there I was ready to go.  Before leaving the house I even had a couple contractions where I started to feel the urge to push but knew I wasn't ready yet.  I didn't worry about delivering in the car because my body was going to wait until it was in the position I've delivered all my babies in.

It took less than 20 minutes to get to the birthing center.  I had a contraction in the car when I got there.  I went in and headed straight for the bed in my room and had another mild contraction.  Andrew went for the luggage and I had another contraction.  This time I felt the urge to push again.  Andrew made it back in time for my next contraction where I turned to my back and pushed.  His head can first with a little effort, then the rest of his body slid out.  My waters broke at the same time, similar to Zara's delivery.  They put the baby on my lower abdomen (he had a short umbilical cord) until Andrew cut the cord and I held him skin to skin.

Rupert Francis was born two days early at 5:47am, 7 lbs. 6 ounces.  He was here!  After birthing there are a lot of emotions.  I was so happy to be done, happy it went well and that I didn't tear.  Happy not to be pregnant and to have a beautiful baby boy.  So proud of myself for delivering naturally again and proud of Andrew and me for making such a sweet baby.  Just soaking in the moment.  Andrew and the midwives told me I did a great job and it was nice to hear that.  Such a long journey.  I now hold the record at the birthing center of fastest delivery upon arrival, something like 6 minutes.  Pretty cool.
It's getting to the point that pregnancy seems like a distant memory and we're all getting used to having a baby in the house.  He is really loved and the kids are doing great with him, although sometimes I think Zara loves him too much.  Still adjusting a little bit and we haven't made a trip with all of us in the car yet.  That milestone is tomorrow.  Looking back I wasn't emotionally ready to get pregnant when I did.  I wanted to wait a little more.  Now that he's here I know this was the perfect time for Rupert to come.  We need him and we love him so much!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

he's here!

We'd like to introduce you to our newest family member.
Rupert Francis Freeman 
7 lbs. 6 oz.
20 inches
born at 5:47 am on Friday, September 26, 2014
This little boy is such a dream.  My heart is so full and I can hardly believe how lucky I am to have such a perfect baby.  The kids have been really good with Rupert and Andrew has been an especially amazing and supportive husband these last few days since the birth.  I want to share the birth story soon!

Friday, August 22, 2014

happy weekend!

I hope you're August has been doing you well.  It has been flying by for us.  We've been back from our England trip for two and a half weeks already.  Taking my time posting pictures but we seem to be getting into the new routine over here with Elliot in 2nd grade, Avery in pm kindergarten.  Then there's dance and piano lessons.  I also got a new calling as the ward choir director, but haven't been released as the RS meeting coordinator yet.  My nesting has taken action in the form of painting kitchen cabinets again, oh what a project!  I posted some pictures from the trip on instagram if you wanted to see.  Not sure how long before I share them here but hopefully before the baby :)  Less than 6 weeks until the due date!  Tonight I'm looking forward to a date!  A little all over the place today but I hope you have a good weekend.
All these pictures were taken in Scarborough.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wardrobe Wednesday

So I can still see my feet, which I will enjoy as long as I can.  This pregnancy has been different than my other three.  Well, they have all been different but this time I'm hotter and heavier.  I usually only gain 20-25 lbs. during my pregnancies, which is on the lower side, but I have nearly already reached 25 lbs. and still have more than two months to go!  * sigh * I'm just trying to remind myself that this is all temporary and a healthy baby is the goal.  Today I have my glucose test.  Wish me luck!  At the birthing center instead of drinking that vile orange drink for the test I'm eating 28 Jelly Belly jelly beans 45 minutes before my appointment.  Why doesn't every lab do that?!  In these photos I'm 27 weeks.
Andrew has been so patient with me in taking these photos.  He deserves a big pat on the back.
scalloped collar top - Anthropologie
pleated skirt - thrifted
shoes - Old Navy, similar
bow earrings - Forever 21, similar
braided belt - H&M, similar

Monday, July 14, 2014

birthday boy!

Elliot turned seven today!  It's a really big deal over here.  A lot has happened since Andrew and I became parents.  We are so proud of our big boy.  We were going to have a party at the lake on Saturday before Andrew left for Seattle yesterday but we had to cancel because Elliot started throwing up and continued for two days straight.  Thankfully he was much better today so we could make all the rounds of free food.  Elliot is such an amazing little guy.  He has a great memory, he's a natural leader, always thinking of ways to make money and starting new businesses, he has such a huge imagination, and is a little bit of a perfectionist.  So much potential and drive.
Andrew and I like to say that personality-wise Elliot has the best of Andrew and the worst of me.  By that we mean he's stubborn like me and driven like Andrew.  Speaking of his Dad, he is so proud of Andrew and his English heritage.  We're so excited to go to Andrew's and Elliot's home country next week!  Since I don't do this every time I thought I'd share a glimpse at Elliot's life through a ton of photos.  I'm mindful that he will be baptized in a year and this is his last year of just being a boy, before the age of accountability.
This last photo was this first time we captured his smile, probably only a few days old.  It's very special to us.  We are so lucky to be Elliot's parents!

Friday, July 11, 2014

gluten free Strawberry and Coconut Scones

Recently Andrew has been trying out a gluten free diet.  Every once and a while he slips, sometimes on accident, but I have been trying to support him in this.  He gets really bad mouth sores when living in the states and we have tried special toothpaste and other things and eating gluten free seems to help.  Since Andrew couldn't eat the lemon blueberry bread I recently made I wanted to find a similar recipe that was gluten free.  Although this recipe wasn't my favorite it seemed to hit the spot for Andrew and he ate almost the whole thing without help.

gluten free Strawberry and Coconut Scones
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup oatmeal flour (or blended oats)
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup coconut
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. sugar for sprinkling

Grease 9 inch pie pan and preheat oven to 350.  Combine egg, coconut oil, and sugar.  Add oatmeal flour, cornstarch, vanilla, coconut, and baking powder and mix.  Toss strawberries in a little flour and gently mix into batter.  Poor into pie pan, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 35-40 minutes.  My scones were a little crumbly so you might want to add another egg to the recipe.  Enjoy this yummy gluten free breakfast!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wardrobe Wednesday

This is my first summer pregnancy in Arizona and I'm feeling it.  Elliot was born in July but we lived in England so the weather was ideal.  Avery was April, Zara was February which was just perfect!  I'll be the first to admit that this pregnancy wasn't my idea.  The timing, that is.  I was going to wait until after this England trip to start talking about it with Andrew, but Heavenly Father had other plans.  As hard as this summer pregnancy is, September really is the perfect time to have this baby.  We'll be settled into the new school schedule with Elliot in 2nd grade, Avery doing half day Kindergarten and Zara at home with me.  When the baby comes we'll start a new chapter in our lives - family of 6.  And hopefully by next summer I'll get the hang of having four kids.  Four kids.  It still sounds daunting.  But it's what we really want and our hearts will grow even bigger than we can imagine with the coming of this second son.  I'm 26 weeks in these pictures.
double knotted top - Anthropologie
pencil skirt - H&M
leather sandals - Last Chance
geo necklace - Forever 21
bracelet - H&M
flower earrings - made by me
favorite lipstick - Revlon Kiss Me Coral
undershirt - Down East Basics

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sycamore Creek

How was your Independence Day weekend?  We really enjoyed having a three day weekend with Daddy.  On Friday morning we went swimming with all our family who are in town and got a little burned through the overcast sky.  Then that night we had a last minute family BBQ with whoever didn't have plans and wanted to come.  We put the kids to bed at normal time and just before Andrew and I went to sleep we watched the downtown Mesa fireworks from our backyard.  It was magical, and probably the high light of my day.  I felt a little bad the kids didn't see any fireworks but they were just so tired.  Maybe next year!
We haven't gone on a family vacation since last Spring when Andrew's work had their annual partners' meetings in CA.  It was a quick three day vacation that just flew by and seems forever ago now.  Even though we're going to England in just two short weeks I have had major wanderlust all year.  On Saturday we went with my Dad to Sycamore Creek, near Sunflower, and it helped satisfy my need to get out of town.
Even though we've been living in a drought and it's off season for creeks we were able to find a little water.  Elliot and Avery made little damns with rocks for the tadpoles.  We all threw rocks around.  We saw lizards, a road runner, beetles, a quail, and I even almost walked into a rattle snake!  Thankfully no one got hurt.
We all look forward to going back again in the fall when there will be more water.  Maybe next year we'll even camp at Sycamore Creek.  Saturday afternoon we went to Sunsplash using our Pogo pass.  Elliot was tall enough to go on a lot of the rides and that was his favorite, while Avery and Zara liked the little kid slide area, and Andrew and I preferred the lazy river.  On Sunday Andrew had less meetings so he could skype his family and last night we went to Elmina's baby blessing at Ammon's parent's house.  I guess I haven't posted about Elmina here yet but she is Ammon and Ruth's baby.  Yesterday she was one month and one day old.  Such a sweet little thing. 
 So yep!  We had a wonderful and memorable three day weekend!  Happy Monday!

Friday, July 4, 2014

lemon blueberry bread

Happy 4th today!  It's one of those funny holidays in our home where all around us everyone goes all out in celebrating but being married to an Englishman he tends to roll his eyes and remind us the Independence Day is the day they decided to get rid of us Americans.  Either way you look at it, it was meant to be.  Here's a little recipe that sort of goes with the holiday.  It's blueberry season!  I keep finding them on sale and when my kids don't snack on them first I love to make lemon blueberry bread.  It's so good for a snack, treat, or even breakfast.  It's really good egg-free if you need that option.

Lemon Blueberry Bread
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg (optional)
1/1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries (tossed in 1 Tbs. flour)
1 Tbs. sugar for sprinking

First combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside and in another bowl combine butter and sugar.  Add egg (if desired), vanilla. lemon zest, and milk (I used powdered milk).  Combine with flour mixture and them fold in blueberries.  Sprinkle the top with sugar.  Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wardrobe Wednesday

Oooo, I really love this dress.  It's light and classy and really comfy.  The best thing is it's not maternity but I went up a size and it fits great.  It'll be the perfect post baby dress, although I suppose it's not very nursing friendly.  I suppose a dress can't be everything at once.  I'm 25 weeks along here.
dress - Forever 21, sold out but there's the same style in polka dot here
shirt - Target, super soft and comfy
shoes - H&M
bracelet - H&M
necklace - Forever 21