Steve & Melissa (August)

2:49 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

After four weeks of away rotations, Craig headed home to Colorado. Unfortunately, Max and I were in Utah, and we headed straight to Dallas for Steve's wedding. I was obviously really excited to see my family (since it happens only once every other year or so), but it was kind of unfair that Craig headed home and we didn't even get to see him for another week.

My parents had rented a house near the wedding venue that was big enough to fit all of the kids and grandkids - and that honestly was the best part of the trip. We spent each day swimming in the fun pool, playing on the playground, and running around the big yard. We watched old family videos, played games, and ate all day (okay maybe just Max because he is a bottomless pit). One night my dad was a "human piƱata" and wore a shirt with candy hot glued to it and let the grandkids pick off the candy. We did it by age groups so Max just got to toddle over to him, but the big kids chased him around the house (and got whooped since my Dad is a big-time runner!). It was really fun.

Then the last Prince was married! Steve and Melissa were married on Thursday, August 4. Ryan actually officiated the wedding, which was kind of hilarious, but he did a great job (and so did Aubrey, who wrote most of it). The older grandkids cracked me up with their matching bowties and suspenders, and they were such goofballs all night. It was super late at night so it was kind of challenging with Max, and we had to leave "early" (after 10), but I am impressed he made it much past 8. We were super sad that we missed the milkshake shots though. 

A huge round of applause for Steve and Melissa for hiring photographers who were obsessed with taking pictures of Max. It almost makes up for having another year of Prince family pictures without Craig. Maybe SOMEDAY there will be photo evidence that I do in fact have a husband. I really am obsessed with all of these pictures of Max. He was such a trooper all night.

Thanks Steve for getting married and giving us an excuse to get together! I sure love my Princes. And welcome to the family, Melissa! You make our family complete.


Max Turns ONE (July)

1:43 PM Marcie Parson 0 Comments

In my dreams, Max would have had a little first birthday party, complete with a BBQ and maybe even swimming with friends. After we moved far away from Phoenix and far away from our friends, I realized that wasn't going to happen. Which was honestly really sad for me.

I'm not one for throwing parties. And I definitely think birthday parties for kids (especially babies!) are WAY overdone and absolutely ridiculous. But I wanted something. To be honest, my motive was completely selfish: I wanted to celebrate US! We survived a year of parenting! A terrifying, emotional, overwhelming, exhausting, and wonderful beyond anything I could expect year. I wanted to celebrate how far we'd come, how much we had changed, how much we had grown. We have learned so much in a year, much more than I ever could have imagined.

Instead, we were in Utah, far away from Craig and from our friends. Even my dad went out of town on Max's birthday, so it was just me, my mom, and Max. But we tried to make the day as special as possible for the three of us. While my mom worked at the temple in the morning, Max and I went to the pool. After a long afternoon nap, we took Max to Ready Set Play, which is literally a big indoor playground -- perfect for the St. George heat! He LOVED running around that place. It was almost completely empty too, which was a bonus for us.

That night we picked up Chick-fil-A for dinner and treated Max to his very own birthday cupcake. My mom ordered one plain from Sweet Tooth Fairy and made her own almond milk frosting on top since we're still dealing with that pesky dairy allergy. Max was getting so worn out by our day that he was uninterested in his dinner (except for the apple juice) and kept rubbing his eyes, but when we brought out the cupcake, he DESTROYED it. It was hilarious. I didn't know what to expect since I know some babies are not interested in cake smashes, but Max went to town... and ate the whole thing.

We finished the day with a few little gifts for him, but not too much since I had literally zero room to bring anything home in our bag. His favorite gift of all, of course, was the mylar balloon we had for him. He carried around everywhere with him.

The days surrounding Max's birthday were filled with memories and emotions. I cannot believe how much has changed. I remember my last few weeks of pregnancy wondering if I had made a mistake. Wishing I could take it back. I was so terrified of having my baby and being responsible for him. I was so sick of being pregnant yet so paralyzed by the future that I wanted my old life back. Oh how I wish I could have understood then what I understand now. 

Motherhood is certainly more than just bearing children. It is incredible how much it changes you - your body (obviously), your heart, your desires, your mind, your spirit. Your world is different. Your perspective is different. And it's something that you can't ever understand or realize that you're missing until you become a mother yourself. 

I think what I love most about it is how much and how quickly my relationship with God has grown. I thought I had a pretty good relationship with God before I had a baby, but it's amazing to look back and see how much clearer I see things now. I understand Him so much better, as a loving parent who wants what is best for us, and I understand the intention behind the plan of happiness like I never have before. It is so empowering to me to understand what women are capable of and what incredible things God has destined for us. I know with even more conviction that families are of God, and that this is exactly what God wants for us! 

Above all, I've come to realize what a miracle motherhood really is. If you stop to think of the miracle it is that humans are sent to this earth entirely dependent on their mothers (who don’t have a clue what we're doing), you realize that the most beautiful thing about being a mother is the partnership formed with our Heavenly Father and our Savior.  That not only are our children growing exponentially every day, but that we, too, are learning and growing in ways we didn’t think possible. God really knew what he was doing when he sent us to earth in families. 

Happy birthday, Baby Max!

Max at O N E   Y E A R: has just two bottom teeth. Says uh-oh, buh-bye, and all done. Signs for more, all done, and milk. Asks for "more" (food) all. day. long. Drinks a bottle of almond milk every morning and night. Walks and crawls about an equal amount, but can't stand up on his own yet. Babbles in gibberish. Has had 3 haircuts. Has so much energy and excitement for life. Called King Max (king of the wild things), Maximus, or Maximilian. We love him, we love him.