Six months with Max

12:41 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

Max turned 6 months old this Thursday. I used to not understand why people documented their babies' milestones in weeks or months, but I do now. Babies are little sponges. They learn something new every day. They start to understand how to move, how to make sounds, how to smile, then giggle -- and it all happens very fast. Their personalities appear and develop. Their tiny bodies quickly double and even triple in size. They seem to become entirely new people in such short periods of time.

Max is the best part of our life. He is good-natured and happy. He takes 4 naps per day and sleeps 8-9 hours at night. He usually only cries when he's tired. He gasps in excitement when he sees someone he loves. He smiles ALL the time but is stingy with his giggles. He sits up very well on his own but flops over every once in a while if he gets distracted. He rolls front to back and back to front, but shows no interest in crawling. His hair is getting SO long on top but is secretly SO short on the sides for some reason. We've had multiple people tell us he looks like a mini Donald Trump because of his feathery comb over. He loves mirrors, flying around the house like Peter Pan, dancing to "Sweet Baby Max" (sung to the tune of Sweet Caroline), and being outside.

I think everything he does is hilarious. While he's nursing he likes to stick one arm straight up in the air and find my face. He flaps his arms like a little baby bird when he gets wound up. He gets so excited about baby food that he leans forward to chomp on the spoon as if it's not coming fast enough. He'll cuddle up against me for a few seconds and then whip his head up to look around... and repeat over and over and over again. He has awesome serious eyebrows and can raise them one at a time. He has the best facial expressions. When he lays on his tummy, he lifts his head up and throws his arms straight back like a penguin. One of my favorite things Max does right now is reach out toward my face with both hands and pinch my cheeks. [Now where could he have learned that from?]

Craig and I often talk about how, with each "big step" we've taken together, we've become better people, grown closer together, and gained a bigger perspective. Max has definitely checked each of those boxes for us. I have so much more joy and fulfillment because he is in my life. I wish it were possible to express my feelings in a way that would clearly explain the beauty of motherhood. I think it's so hard to explain because it is nearly impossible to describe the perfect love that God has for His children, and you get to experience a tiny piece of it as a mother. It's a beautiful thing. A gift, really.

So happy 6 months to my favorite baby, King Max.
You make me so happy, and I love you oh so very much.


Christmas break

1:02 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

Craig had two weeks off for Christmas, so we took off and spent our holidays in Utah. I was so grateful I got to spend a few days with my parents before they left for Virginia and Texas. Why is it so nice to be home for the holidays?

I was particularly grateful that my mom humored me and let us make all of my favorite Christmas foods, even though it was way too much for the four of us, and we had to give 90 percent of it away. One thing I love about my family is that we have so many traditions. Sure, most of them revolve around food, but they somehow bring us closer together. A few of my favorite Christmas foods, ebilskivers and fry cakes, are Danish traditions passed down from my grandma (or really, my great-great-grandma)!

I have always loved hearing my mom tell stories of her family making these treats together because it helped me feel my grandma's presence in my life. She passed away when I was three, and even though I don't remember her, my mom made sure I knew her. and I really feel like I do. I have always felt her love. I get so excited about carrying on these traditions and sharing them with our kids! I hope it makes them feel connected to their family like it does for me.

Being with my parents is just absolutely wonderful. I think a big part of why I feel so connected to them is because I was the youngest, and with five years between my brother and me, I had them all to myself for five years. We went through some hard things together, like moving across the country and only having each other. They're my friends. So when I get to see them, it's so nice to just be together, cook, watch movies, and play games.

I think Max is starting to understand how great they are too. While we were in St. George, he went through this super serious phase, which was unusual for our super-happy child, but he would always crack up whenever he played with grandma. At first I was feeling jealous -- like what does she have that I don't?? -- but honestly it made my heart so happy. I love that he recognizes how truly wonderful she is.

After we had our own Prince Christmas on Christmas Eve, all five of us headed up to Cedar City for a Christmas Eve dinner with the Parsons. I am so glad that our parents are friends. They are SO different (pretty funny to think about actually), but I love that we can all get together and be buddies. It was fun to spend Christmas Eve together.

We stayed in Cedar for another week after my parents left. The Parsons had everyone (!!!) in town for a few days for family pictures. The house was overflowing with crazy children, but it was a pretty fun. I was super happy with how our family pictures turned out! We took them in their backyard because it was less than 20 degrees outside and snowy, and we shuttled families in and out of the basement to keep warm. Craig "shook his hands" and his wedding ring FLEW OFF INTO THE SNOW! I was panicked and livid at the same time, and everyone told me to wait until spring to find it, but I miraculously found it in a tiny hole in the snow. And I briefly considered not giving it back to Craig... just kidding. Anyways, family pictures were a big success.

One thing I love about Craig's family is that they love games. Well, they mostly only love scum. But luckily I love it too, and I even win a few hands every once in a while. We played a lot of scum, watched a lot of football, and went out to eat a few times. I humored Craig and saw Star Wars even though I told him 1239874586239847 times I wouldn't like it, and surprise! I didn't like it. We bundled up and took a walk up the canyon in the freezing cold, and we all agreed that Max was probably the warmest of us all (see below).

We had a great time in Utah but are happy to be back in warm, sunshiny Phoenix. Sure, I've never loved the cold, but on this trip, we both agreed that we have officially become Arizonans because we have never felt so cold. It was SO COLD! In fact, the day we left Cedar, it was 10 degrees, and the following day in Arizona was 70!!! We celebrated by hiking Camelback with Rach before she went back to Provo.

(Max is squinty, not grumpy. He loves his carrier and loves hiking!)

We have been so incredibly blessed this year. We are so grateful for all we have - family, friends, health, our happy little Max, our marriage, etc. I get weepy reflecting on our many blessings. Above all, I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and his plan for me. It is a wonderful feeling to look back at the end of the year and see how far you have come, and an even better feeling to know you have a clean slate and a possibility for change in the new year. I pray I will continue to grow and become a better person in 2016.

Happy New Year!



7:50 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

I admit that I was sad to see December go. Just today Craig told me that the Christmas season came and went so fast that he wanted to leave our decorations up another month. December was truly a month of giving. Before we went to Utah for the break, I spent most of my time gifting -- for YW, neighbors, friends, and family. We did our annual Christmas service in lieu of gifts for my parents. Even though we don't have much to give, serving/giving will always be my favorite part of the Christmas season. 

Max also had an eventful month. We took him to our ward Christmas party with the best intentions of getting a perfect Santa picture with our always-happy child, and instead he missed a nap and freaked out -- and I still laugh every time I see the picture. He has been practicing sitting up and is getting SO good! He can pretty much do it by himself. His hair is getting outrageously long (I may or may not have chopped off his mullet a little too short) and is growing in WHITE underneath all of that light brown. His cheeks keep growing, and I squish them all day every day. He loves to chomp on his fingers (sometimes 4 at a time) and grab his toes. He opens and closes his fist like he is giving you a nice back/arm scratch whenever you hold him. He wakes up all-smiles and just chats with himself in his bed until I come get him.

Max has become SO interactive and even more smiley, although there was one week where he went through a super serious phase and would only giggle for grandma. It's so much fun that he is getting bigger and becoming this little man, but I'm secretly so sad that he's growing up. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that because I always thought it sounded so dumb when people would cry over their babies growing up... but I'm officially on that bandwagon now. We LOVE this little boy and can't believe how much fun he becomes every day. 

Alexis's bball game. I don't know if I will ever enjoy a calling as much as this one. I love YWs with all of my heart.


 I will never get over seeing how much these two love each other.