Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I'm Still Here

Wow. It's been three months since I've posted. I feel really bad about that. I guess you could say that things have been a little crazy around here. Since I posted last, a lot has happened! We put our house up for sale in mid-March and it sold in less than three weeks. What a relief and a HUGE blessing!! It has gone so smoothly. We have to be out on June 6th. 
We took a little trip out to Twin Falls to house hunt and so Bryan could meet with some people there before he starts his new job in August. Our families both came up to see us over Easter weekend. We had a blast! We spent Easter Sunday at a park and had so much fun. The kids loved playing with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I can't wait until we get to see them more often!
We did some house hunting and were disappointed. There was not much to choose from and nothing that we loved. We decided to meet with a builder to see what our options were if we went that direction. To our surprise, it was totally doable for us! So, we are building a house!! Our plans are all finalized. I got the blueprints today. They should start the digging in the next week or so. It will be so nice to have a brand new home! I have had so much fun planning it out and designing it. Bryan has kind of given me the reigns and I'm loving it.



The kids are doing really well. The girls love school and they are amazing students. They are getting sad that they have to leave their friends soon. It will be hard for them to say goodbye. Benny is still happy and just goes with the flow. He can entertain himself for hours on end. He is a good big brother to Bridger and they love to give 'brother hugs' as Benny calls it. 



Hard to believe, but Bridger is almost six months old! Seriously?! Where did those months go? We are in a routine now so life is not so overwhelming- at times it is- but we are loving this little man. He is sitting up already but he refuses to roll over. He wants to eat anything he can get his hands on. He loves to chomp on his fingers and anyone else's who will let him. He has started on some solid foods now and loves that! He is not a good sleeper- at night or during the day. He likes to take cat naps and he really LOVES mom's bed at night. Ugh. I'm hoping that we wear him out this summer with all of our moving around and he'll just start sleeping for us! 

I am doing well. I got released as Primary president a couple of weeks ago. It was bittersweet. I feel weird in Relief Society. It's been over two years since I was there so I feel a little out of place. Bryan is finishing up his residency. He is finishing strong!
 
Life is good. Crazy, but good. We are looking forward to our adventures that will start this summer. It's the start of a new chapter!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Birthday, Baptism, and Blessing

Niah is eight years old! Crazy. She is so grown up and such a sweetheart.

She had a great birthday. She wanted to go rollerskating for her birthday party. She invited six friends. plus we took Chloe, Benny, and Bridger. Let me just say- taking eight little girls and one little boy rollerskating who have never been before was not the smartest idea I've ever had. I should have had parents come to help or done something different, but I think the girls had fun anyway. We only had a couple of bruised tail bones! Ha. I didn't even get any pictures at the skating rink because it was too chaotic. Niah just enjoys being with her friends so I think she considered it a success.
 
She got her very own set of scriptures! I think she liked them!
 
Niah was baptized on January 26th, 2013. She looked beautiful and she was so happy. It was a wonderful day. She was lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents there, Tam and Todd and their kids, Kaitie, and Grandma Shannon brought Halee and Rilee as a surprise to Niah. She was so elated to have everyone there to witness her big day. It was a special day that I know I will remember and I think Niah will too. I am so proud of Niah. She is growing up to be a fine young lady. I love her.


 
On Sunday, January 27th, 2013 we blessed Bridger. It just made sense to wait since we had all of our family in town! He did great and the outfit Grandma Shannon made him looked so handsome on him. He was a good boy during the blessing and didn't make a peep.



Trying to get a family picture these days is pretty ridiculous. This is the best we got. Chloe was in a mood and wasn't cooperating.
 
The two kiddos on their big days! Niah is such a good big sister to Bridger.
 
We are so grateful that we got to enjoy our special weekend with family. It was so wonderful to have them here with us. I can't believe that I have a kid who is baptized. What is happening to time?! It really needs to slow down. My kids are growing too fast. I am so grateful for all of them. I'm grateful for Niah's example to her younger siblings. They look up to her so much. Congrats, Niah on your baptism. Mom and Dad are so proud of you.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Mason Family Newsletter

Our lives have been turned upside down now that we have four kids. There is so much to do in a day and sadly, blogging has been put at the bottom of the list. I'll admit, life with four has been hard. I am exhausted and overwhelmed. I'm in survival mode and just take one day at a time. I can't get anything done around here. Taking care of the kids, especially the baby, is all I get done. Everything else has just had to wait. My house is a disaster, I keep forgetting things (I hate being forgetful and flaky), laundry piles up faster than I can get it washed and put away, Bryan is busy with work, and my church calling is overwhelming right now. Trying to run primary with a baby is a whole new experience! My friend sent me a funny video of Jim Gaffigan (hope that's his name, I can't remember for sure!) and he puts it perfectly- "Just imagine you're drowning and then someone hands you a baby." That about sums it up for me.
At the end of the day, I know taking care of the kids is the most important and other things will just have to wait. Most of the time I feel frustrated and overwhelmed with life, but there have been many moments when I have felt so grateful and blessed to be a mother and wife. Those moments are the ones I hang on to and they get me through.
I thought that since it's Christmas time and I didn't get a newsletter out with our Christmas cards, I would write an update here so that friends and family can know what we are up to.
Bryan is halfway done with his third year of residency. He has been busy, to put it nicely. It seems that the hospital always gets slammed when he's working. The nurses and other residents have even teased him about it. He started moonlighting at a nearby ER in August. This past summer he was called to be a temple worker in Chicago so he goes on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. It's almost a three hour drive so it makes for a long day. He enjoys it though and we have been blessed because of his sacrifice. He is also serving as 1st counselor in the Young Mens. He's a busy guy. He accepted a job in Twin Falls, ID. We will be moving there in July.
Niah will be turning eight in January and she is so excited to get baptized. She is in 2nd grade and is a wonderful student. She enjoys reading, breakdancing, being with friends, and helping with the baby. I can't believe how grown up she is.
Chloe will be six in February. She is our spunky kid. She has lots of personality and keeps us laughing. She is in Kindergarten and is a bit of a teacher's pet. She is very good at following rules and she gets very worried about getting in trouble- which has never happened nor do I think it ever will! She enjoys getting fancy, practicing her reading, doing crafts and helping around the house. She loves to work!
Bennett is three now. He is all boy and is such a funny kid. He is always dressed up as something- astronaut, knight, prince, superhero, power ranger, cowboy, spy- you name it. He is always wearing some kind of accessory. He loves playing with Mabel, watching movies, playing dress up and being with mom. He is a happy kid who just goes with the flow.
Bridger is the newest addition. He is seven weeks old now. He is finally sleeping better at night ( by that I mean waking up once or twice a night to eat), which I love. He loves to eat and during the day he loves to be held while sleeping, which I don't love so much. His smile makes me so happy. His eyes twinkle and it takes his whole body to get a big smile out! He is a good baby and is adored by his big siblings. We love our little boy.


As for me, I think I said it all above. I am busy, busy, busy. I love it though. I am excited for Christmas at home with my cute family. There is nothing better than spending Christmas with my kids and hubby. I am also looking forward to celebrating our big ten year anniversary on Thursday. I can't believe it's been that long. We have accomplished so much and grown a lot in those ten years. I can honestly say that I love Bryan even more than the day I married him. He has made me a better person.

We have had a wonderful year full of memories and good times. It will be exciting to see what 2013 brings and what adventures await us! We are grateful for this Christmas season and for the joy and peace it brings with it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Merry Christmas

Stationery card
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bridger Duke

We are now a family of six! Bridger Duke joined our family on November 4th at 1:31 a.m. He was 7 lbs. 4 ozs. and 20 inches long. His labor and birth went so fast! Saturday was a normal day. We did chores, played, and just had a day at home. Bryan had been at a life support class all day so when he got home the girls and I decided to run to Sam's Club and then go get pedicures and manicures. During my pedicure I turned on the massage chair and joked with the girls that i was going to shake the baby out! Well, on the way home at about 6:50 pm, I had my first contraction. They kept coming and they were pretty painful already. After timing them for a couple of hours and trying to get the kids down to bed, I decided it was time to head to the hospital. Thankfully, our friends, the Beck's, helped us with the kids and I knew they were in good hands. We got to the hospital at 10:15. at 10:30 they checked me and I was still only a 2 and 50 % effaced. (I had been that for a couple of weeks now.) I was so sad. I felt like crying. I was sure they were going to send me home and I would have to fight them and say, "NO, I really am in labor. This is too painful to be a false alarm!" The baby's heart rate dropped a couple of times during some contractions, so they decided to keep me instead of make me walk the halls. Phew! That was a relief. An hour later the doctor checked me again and I was a 4 and 90% effaced. I was so happy to be progressing. They admitted me and I told them before I even got to the room that yes, I would like an epidural and ASAP. The anesthesiologist got in the room and was done with my epidural by 12:45. Luckily, he was quick and got it on the first try. Sitting up holding still during a contraction for the epidural is really the worst part of labor! The doctor checked me again and I was a 7 and 100% effaced. She then broke my water. I was able to enjoy the epidural for about twenty minutes then it started to wear off. By this point I was feeling pressure and like I was ready to push. I'm not sure, but I think it was around 1:15 or 1:20. Sure enough, I was complete and ready to go! I pushed through two contractions, feeling quite a bit of pain, and then Bridger was born. He had meconium in the water, but he came out crying and screaming so the pediatric team didn't even have to take him. I got to hold him right away. Here are the first few minutes after his birth.

It is all kind of a blur because he came so fast. When he came out, the cord was wrapped around his neck twice and once around his arm. I'm glad he came out safe and sound and that he is healthy!
The kids came the next morning with Bryan to meet their new brother. I think they are all in love! They are so sweet with him. After being in the hospital room for a while, I looked at Benny and he was all teary eyed and wiping his eyes with the saddest face on. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I don't want to name him Bridger! I want him to be named Prince Caspian!" I tried so hard to hold in my laughter, but it was not possible. We talked for a minute and Benny came to the conclusion that when he gets older we can call him Prince Caspian! :)

Bridger's first bath. The girls were fascinated.







 
All ready to go home from the hospital. He looks so little in his carseat.
Benny chillin' on the bed watching Disney Channel while we get ready to load up and head out. It was election day the day I went home so we made a quick stop at the polls so I could vote!
 
The four kids. When and how did I get four kids?! Where have the last ten years gone?! Crazy.
 
Family of six. That's a lot of people. I am so proud to be a mom to the most beautiful children there are! Every time I have a baby I am overwhelmed at how precious they are and that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with his sweet children. I am truly so blessed. I am also very thankful for my mom who is here for two weeks to help us out. I would be dying without her and in Bryan's words, "we would all be very cranky!" So true.
 
Welcome to the family little Bridger! We love you very much and are so happy you're here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekend with Friends

We were lucky enough to see some of our best friends this past weekend! The Mickelsens and the Randalls came to our house so the boys could go to the BYU vs. Notre Dame game. It was so great to see them and for the kids to hang out with their friends and get reaquainted.

Group hug! Saying goodbye was hard for my girls, especially Niah.

Having twelve kids and six adults in our house sounds crazy, right?! Well, it actually wasn't! The kids all got along great and just played and played. There wasn't one fight. I was pleasantly surprised. Here they are all tucked in watching a movie before bed.

Thanks Randalls and Mickelsens for a great weekend! I wish it could have been longer!! We need to do it again- sooner rather than later.
 
Here's Benny today playing outside while the girls were at school. He loves to go out there with Mabel and just swing and play by himself. What a good boy.

Benny Bolt and his sidekick, Mabel! (the girls gave Benny that nickname when he wears that cape!)
 
And here I am at 37 weeks and five days prego. I am ready to be done- not because I'm terribly uncomfortable- just because I can't wait any longer to meet this little boy. The anticipation is killing me! I can't wait to see what he looks like and how the other kids  interact with him. They are getting really excited too.
I have felt so grateful the past few days for all of my blessings! Healthy kids, for all of Bryan's hard work and him finding a great job (more on that later), a healthy and fairly easy pregnancy, and so many other things. I am truly blessed!

Here we are at the top of Niah's castle!

Here's Niah and her best friend Addi playing in the dirt!

Bryan's favorite things:

  • BYU Football
  • Pandora.com
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Mountain Biking
  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  • Kayaking

Natalie's Favorite Things

  • Naps
  • Blogging
  • Cooking
  • Going on dates with Bryan
  • Reading good books
  • Being a mom

Niah's Favorite Things

  • Hannah Montana
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • High School Musical
  • Reading books with her dad
  • Singing
  • Disney Princesses
  • Playing outside with her friends

Chloe's Favorite Things

  • Being outside
  • Her binki
  • Bananas
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Playing with Niah
  • Taking a bath