3:27 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

November was another busy month for us. Craig had three interviews so he was traveling almost every weekend (luckily we were able to join him in Texas). We spent as much time together as we could. We celebrated our second anniversary with a nice dinner with our favorite third wheel. Craig held Max in his arms as we ate and talked about our life together, and I literally started weeping in the middle of the restaurant. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and love for these two. I can't believe how blessed we are. 

Max hit 4 months at the end of November and according to the charts (or my interpretation thereof), he is growing WAY too much, WAY too fast. He is 15 lbs 6 oz (50%) and 27 inches (100%)! He loves to practice sitting up and even more, standing. He giggles once in a blue moon, and it is the sweetest sound in the world. He is so happy, sleeps 8-9 hours at night, and is the most pleasant babe to be around. I absolutely adore hanging out with him all day and miss him whenever we are apart. Even though no one else gets it, we think he is the funniest little person and laugh at everything he does. 



1:22 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

We found out last minute that Craig didn't have to go into his rotation for Thanksgiving, so we headed up to Utah for the holiday! We left as soon as he got off on Tuesday and drove all night to Cedar (next time we are definitely waiting until morning to leave). We spent half our time in Cedar and the other half in St. George.

Jennie and her family drove up from Texas, and Sean and his family flew in from Connecticut! My aunt Pam conveniently just bought a house across the street from my parents, and so we filled both houses up with Prince kids. It was a BIG deal that three of us were together in Texas, and an even bigger deal that three of us were together at my parents' house only three weeks later! 

I was feeling extra grateful this Thanksgiving for my family. Boy do I miss my people when we are apart. It is no fun being spread across the country. There is probably no better feeling than when all 7 of us are together, and it has happened only once in the last 4 years. We are all super excited for next summer when we'll finally all be together for the Prince-Markham wedding! We are SO happy for Steve and excited for Melissa to join our family!
The Gobbler: Princes ran the 10k, 5k, and the 1k... and of course we ran the 1k.

Keeping warm in his wild thing hat from Aunt Kim and bear suit from Aunt Jennie

Pretty sure Max came in first for his age division

Max and cousin Landon (4 & 8 months... Max was bigger!)

Max and cousin Carly (4 & 6 months... Max was bigger!)



11:19 AM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

Craig is in the middle of interviewing for residencies. He has four down and three to go! One of the places where he was invited to interview was Denison, Texas, which is about an hour north of Jennie and Steve in Dallas. When I was buying plane tickets for Craig, I saw that they were $82 ROUND TRIP (!!!!), so OBVIOUSLY Max and I had to tag along.

It was a blast. I absolutely love getting to see my family. We stayed with Jennie's family and got to spend time with Steve and Melissa after work. They took us to eat the world's best ice cream (Braum's) and some delicious tacos (Torchy's). Max was an angel all week and loved [getting smothered by] his cousins. He actually slept 10 hours a night there, which I take as a sign we need to move to Texas because he does not sleep that long for me in Phoenix!

We really loved the feeling of Texas. Who knows? Maybe you'll see us there in 2016.



12:28 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

Octobers are generally fantastic (hello, birthday), and this year was no exception.

We drove up to Sedona to meet Broc & Kim at Slide Rock. Friends came to town. Craig had his first interview. We drove to California and saw friends at the beach. We celebrated my 24th birthday with Snooze and German chocolate cake. We took Max to Utah on his first flight. We visited with old friends and college friends. And we went to the temple to see friends get sealed. 

Max turned 3 months in October, and boy, it seems like those 3 months both flew by and lasted a lifetime. It's hard to remember life before Max. I am constantly in awe over how much I love being his mama, considering how I was terrified of babies most of my life. But he is so much a part of me that it almost feels like we were destined to be together from the start.

He is the happiest little babe, and I'm so glad he's mine.

 Slide Rock State Park (of course we didn't get any pictures with Broc & Kim)

Can you even believe this is how he wakes up in the morning?!

Newport Beach with Erin & Kyle (and of course no picture evidence) 

Max had a rough weekend in CA but was happy as a clam to be back home. So happy that he learned to roll over!

Survived our first flight (to Provo)! Max had so much fun with Grandma while we went to the temple

Westy got married

Max met my college roommates and Jeru pals and had everyone swooning



Motherhood (and why it makes me cry)

3:13 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

For the first two weeks of Max's life, my mom was by my side helping me keep it together. Then, for the next three weeks, we followed her to St. George where she continued to hold my hand through it all and where we were surrounded by family. Then, we came back to Arizona and began life as a family of three. I was terrified that I would be overwhelmed and lonely trying to do it all by myself.

Well it took me about a month but I am completely, entirely in LOVE with this new life. I love being a mom. I love being at home with Max. I feel like I'm still winging it every day, but I'm okay with that. There is something absolutely magical about motherhood.

I wish I could shout from the rooftops how wonderful it is, how it changes you, but I get stuck every time I try to put it into words. I can never quite figure out how to describe the feeling and do it justice. 

When I was pregnant I read and re-read a talk by Sheri Dew called "Are We Not All Mothers?" In it she describes why all women are inherently mothers. It calmed my utterly terrified heart and gave me hope that I would be able to be a mother. I read it again today and realized that it partly describes what I have been feeling. She says:

"Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.
"...As mothers in Israel, we are the Lord’s secret weapon. Our influence comes from a divine endowment that has been in place from the beginning. In the premortal world, when our Father described our role, I wonder if we didn’t stand in wide-eyed wonder that He would bless us with a sacred trust so central to His plan and that He would endow us with gifts so vital to the loving and leading of His children. I wonder if we shouted for joy at least in part because of the ennobling stature He gave us in His kingdom. The world won’t tell you that, but the Spirit will."

Yes! I believe that with my whole heart. Not only was I prepared for this, but this is who I was meant to become! I have never been so proud to be a woman. When I look back on everything I've accomplished this past year, I honestly feel like superwoman. Motherhood is incredible. Women are incredible. And whenever I look at baby Max, I DO stand in wide-eyed wonder that my Heavenly Father would bless me with the sacred trust of raising and loving and leading this sweet boy. I love him so much it hurts. And I cry about it. Often.

Motherhood has changed me -- and it's only been two months. It may sound sappy, but life makes so much more sense. This is happiness. This is the plan! This is what God wants for us. My heart is so full and I can't even imagine how it will feel when Max grows up. God is so good, always.


Max is blessed

4:39 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

Craig likes to take his boards at Dixie State because the testing center is small, familiar, and low-key. He scores a lot higher in a setting like that, and so he scheduled to take his boards in St. George at the end of August. After Max was cleared for travel at his two-week appointment, we drove right up to my parent's house in St. George. It's been so nice to be with my parents while Craig is studying his life away in the library. Plus, we love getting to introduce our little one to his great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

We decided to bless Max while we are in Utah since we really wanted to have family attend, and in Phoenix it would have been a ghost town. On the other hand, it felt weird to do it in another ward where no one would know who we are. So we decided to do it at Craig's parents' home in Cedar City. I didn't even know that was possible, but I'm sure glad someone told us! It was intimate and perfect. Three of Craig's siblings and their families, his parents, my parents, and my grandparents were all there to support us.

Craig gave a beautiful blessing and I was able to successfully record and transcribe a copy. I'm a big-time journaler/record-keeper, so I'm really excited it worked out. Max is definitely a special boy, and as I look at him as he naps I know with more certainty that he is meant to be something incredible. I can't wait to get to know this little guy. Babies are amazing.



5:02 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

Everyone warned me about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, but no one talks about recovery. It's hushed up like a well-kept secret. But it's hard. Like the hardest thing I've ever done. Much harder than carrying a child and a million times harder than my delivery. I think I had a pretty bad case of the baby blues for the first two weeks. Everyone kept telling me to "soak in those first few days" and "enjoy every minute," but I couldn't. I really did not get the appeal. I had no idea what I was doing, my body felt destroyed, and everything -- I mean everything -- made me cry.

My mom flew in the day after my delivery and stayed for two weeks. In that two weeks I think I had an emotional breakdown every other day. I was certain that despite what everyone said, it was not going to "get better." Thankfully, it did. It took what seemed like an eternity and was painfully slow (emphasis on the painfully), but it got better nonetheless.

It's still a hard adjustment. As the kind of person that needs a solid 8 hours of sleep to function, I feel incapable of adapting to permanent parental exhaustion. Working my schedule around a tiny person whose own schedule is TBD is embarrassingly challenging for my "planner personality." I get anxiety when I have to leave the house because I don't want to be stranded somewhere when he's crying or hungry (definitely haven't mastered nursing in private let alone public). I've always loathed packing, and now that I have to pack 20 times as much, I'm a wreck whenever we stay somewhere for an extended period of time (what if I forget something important like a pacifier? Yes, it's happened already).

I blame my perfectionist personality, because I feel like I'm doing everything all wrong, and I'm paralyzed with fear of embarrassment from messing up! But the truth is, I'm just doing everything for the first time! Of course it's scary and hard; it's completely new. I have so much to learn that it seems overwhelming sometimes, and the biggest lesson of all is to let myself be okay with imperfection. I will forever be bitter towards anyone who says being a mom is easy.

Luckily for Max, he won't remember the days when I clearly had no idea what I was doing and his grandma had to do everything for him. I hope that one day he can appreciate how lucky he is to have my mom as his grandma. She truly is incredible, and I know I could not have done this without her. These past few weeks she has taken care of not only me, but also my Max. And yes, I'm terrified to leave her in a week and a half and try to do it on my own.

Although motherhood hasn't felt exactly natural for me, loving Max has! Sure, I don't know everything, but I do know how to love him. Max is teaching me SO much already. I feel unworthy to be his mother, but boy am I glad I have the blessing of taking care of him. I love this sweet, sweet boy.

Max loves his grandma!


Two weeks with Max

12:54 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

Max's first week was a hard one. For the first 5 days of his life he went to the doctor every single day. He had jaundice, so they had him supplement with formula to flush it out. However, we still had to take him in to get his bilirubin levels checked two more times. At one point he was so dehydrated and didn't have a wet diaper in 36 hours -- we were terrified! Within a few days, the formula did the trick and his levels went down from high risk to low risk.

Then he was circumcised. Then he had to get his one week blood tests. The poor kid was poked too many times in one week, and it was so hard for me! He is too little for so much trauma! And let me tell you, it was definitely traumatic. For everyone.

Despite the initial trauma, he really has been a good baby. He eats, plays, gets the hiccups, sneezes them away, and goes to sleep. Over and over and over again. He smiles in his sleep like it's his job. He is the cuddliest, sweetest boy. He loves to curl up in a tiny little ball, and when he does, his fuzzy head makes him look like a hedgehog (think croquet in Alice in Wonderland or Sonic).

Probably my favorite thing about having a baby is watching Craig obsess over him. BIG time. I guarantee you that he hasn't said the word "cute" so many times in his lifetime. In fact, he probably said "cute" more times in Max's first day of life than he said it in his entire lifetime. He makes up songs for him, smothers him with kisses, forces him to dance, and flies him around the house like Peter Pan. He was born to be a dad.

And now for a slew of pictures because I can't narrow it down because his little face changes so much so quickly!

 2 days old
 2 days old
Born to be a dad 
 3 days old
 5 days old
 1 week! He already looks so different!
 Clearly LOVING his bath time

 Craig turned 30! 
 Happy birthday Craig!
 11 days old
 Happy baby dreams
Swooooon. Smiling boys.