'Tis the Season

A post about all things Christmas
The holiday open house at the dance studio...
Miss Nora

Miss Tess

The nativity play at Grandma Conna's...

New PJs on Christmas Eve...

The booby trap for Christmas morning...this way the kids can't come upstairs from their bedrooms without alerting us. (We wouldn't want a repeat of Christmas 2006 when Tess opened all the presents before the rest of us even woke up.)

The high-tech computer that Santa brought for the kids. Check out the depth on that monitor. Only the best for our kiddos.

Christmas morning...

Relaxing after a long day...

Seeing the lights at Temple Square...Also known as the night Nora almost got frostbite. :(

Ice skating...

Hope you all had a splendid holiday!


Yes, we did go.
We went with the extended family...Nate's brother and sister, Scott and Kristy, and their families. Grandma Conna (Nate's stepmom) also joined us which was a HUGE help and so fun to have her along. This past November marked the 10-year anniversary of the car accident that killed Nate's dad, brother Brian and sister April. We wanted to get away and honor their memories with some family fun and togetherness.

Some highlights:

The tag that saved David's life. (We put this tape on the back of all the kids' shirts.) David wandered off just once and hid in a store "to get away from the bad guys." Luckily a worker found him and called us...after only about 5 minutes of panic.

Nora eating an entire cube of butter for breakfast. Do you think that's what her doctor meant when he said to increase the calories and fat in her diet??
Tess deciding she got to choose who was invited on the day's activities based on her feelings toward you at that moment. (Uploaded sideways...why does it do that??)

It was a GREAT trip. We'll have to do it again soon! :)

Dec 21- David turns 4

Opening Presents...

As you can see, Will is just as excited as David.

His "rhinosaurus"

The Party...

David couldn't decide on a theme. First it was race cars, then Transformers. Because we are awesome parents, we accommodated his every whim.

He even got a visit from Spiderman.

This is the real Spiderman! Not convinced? Just ask the kids.

Things I never want to forget...

... about 4 year-old Davey:

  • Whenever he's changing his clothes he has to take a moment to run around the house and sing "Naked Underwear Pants." (Man I wish I had a video.)

  • He has the conversational skills of an adult, regularly engaging perfect strangers in lengthy discussions. (not the safest thing, but very endearing)

  • He sleeps with an entire army of stuffed animals. Probably to ward off the octopus that he's convinced lives in the closet.

  • He regularly gets his head stuck in the back of the chairs at church. He also likes to take off his shoes at church. And his socks. And occasionally his shirt.

  • He loves to destroy. It's how he plays. He must take everything apart.

  • He can recognize letters but he thinks they are all "D." For example, when you point to a 'W' and say, "What's this David?" He'll say, "That's D for William." An N is "D for Nora." And when asked what his full name is he'll say, "It's like D as in David."

  • He has a great tackle...

  • ...and a heart of gold (He always helps you up after knocking you to the ground and asks if you're okay.)

  • He's a total mama's boy. All of my other children prefer their dad because, well, he's the "fun" parent. You can hardly blame them. But David has attached himself to me. Only his mom can sing him a goodnight song. Only mom can walk next to him and hold his hand. (Mmm- soft squishy hands. I'll cry when he grows out of those.) What can I say? He loves his mom...

...And we love our David!


Quotes of the Night

Nate and I just got back from our date night. My bro Wyatt and his wife, Chelsea, babysat for us. Here is the note that sat waiting for us upon our return:

  • Tess: Will! Help! Go get the gun!
  • Chelsea: No kicking in the face, okay Tess?
  • Tess (to Wyatt after tying his wrists together): Tonight you can stay in the dungeon (corner of the playroom). Tomorrow you can be our servant.
  • Tess: When our parents were in Thailand they got their butts rubbed.

Physical evidence on that last one:

A HUGE thanks to Wy and Chels for putting up with our motley crew. They love love love when you guys come over.


Sorry ladies....he's taken

So I have several things that I need to blog about, but right now I need to take a moment to gloat.

This is my guy.
Mmm- I love him.

On Christmas Eve he gave me soft, warm, fluffy footed pajamas. So cozy. I reluctantly take them off only to go out into public.

Then on Christmas morning he presented me with this gift:

(For some reason it's uploading this picture sideways. No idea.)

What is it? Only the best present in the history of the world! In that box are 101 things he loves about me, typed up on individual pieces of curly paper. And they aren't generic things that guys say just because they know girls like to hear them. They are well thought out reasons. Things I have never heard him say before. Things like this:

  • I love the way you look when you're asleep.
  • I love the tone of your voice - it is just right - perfectly comfortable to me.
  • I love that you've put up with driving a red minivan for 4 years.
  • I love that you can enjoy a good burger.
  • I love how you've come to terms with not being perfect.
  • I love that you don't have to be fashionable.
  • I love how I can never put anything over on you - you always have me figured.
  • I love how level-headed you are and how you're not afraid to tell me when I'm not.
  • I love the way you move; even your walk is graceful.
  • I love that you are moved to tears by other's suffering.
  • I love how I feel when I kiss you. It is still exciting.

Okay I'll stop. But really, am I not the luckiest girl? Especially when you consider that the final paper read this:

  • I love that you will love this gift: I promise to do the dishes every night for an entire year.

Now that's love.

Still swooning.



Okay all my blogging wizard friends. I need your help. I am trying to give this here blog a makeover but there is one thing that is really stumping me. How the heck (and I'm really tempted to swear right there because I have been trying to figure this out for about an hour now) do I get rid of the 2 inch margins on either side of my blog???? I don't want it all squished in the middle. I want it to fill the whole page, left to right, like so many of your lovely blogs. But how do I do it???


You won't convince him otherwise

Will is pretty sure that this particular area of the Christmas tree needs more apples.

Don't try to tell him differently. Don't even try.


We're Off

Tomorrow (or I guess today) we leave for Disneyland. Wahoo!
This is picture of the night we told the kids we were going. Nate came home from work with the Fairy Godmother's phone number and told the kids that they could call her and make one wish (which of course would be to go to Disneyland!). Clever right? Ya- we thought so too until Tess blurted out, "I want a puppy...no, a swimming pool!!" Hmmm, think fast. "Well Tess, remember how Dad is allergic to dogs (barely), and if we got a swimming pool then there wouldn't be room for the swing set or tramp in the backyard. Let's think of something that we can all do as a family...like maybe we could go someplace...(lots of blank stares on her part)...like maybe Disneyland." Thinking about it for a few seconds, "No, I want a swimming pool." Drat. This isn't going very well. Finally we convince her that Disneyland is by far the best choice and we make the call. (The 'fairy godmother' was a darling girl that Nate works with.) In the end Tess was pretty excited about the whole Disneyland idea, but a few days later she did say to me, "You know I think that we HAD to wish for Disneyland. I don't think that we really got to choose whatever we wanted." Hmmm- she's onto us. I think we are going to have to think things through a little more clearly from now on.

And here's a picture of the Pilgrim and sombrero-clad Indian that came to our Thanksgiving dinner.

Also, just had to share...
Nate and I and his new iphone went on a date the other night, in which I was definitely the third wheel, and we discovered a great little corner in SLC that you locals have GOT to try out. It's on 9th South and 3rd East. Start at Chanon Thai Cafe for yummy Pad Thai and Red Curry in a straight-from-Thailand, mismatched-place-settings kind of atmosphere, and then head next door to Cocoa Cafe for a mug of hot chocolate that literally tastes like a chocolate bar melting down your throat. Mmmm. Heaven.


The Non Plan

My story. In honor of National Adoption Month.

I'm a planner. I carry my calendar everywhere. I like to know what's going on tomorrow, next week, in a year, in five. I like it all laid out. I like to feel prepared.

Adoption was NOT part of my plan.
I come from a long line of very fertile women. It never occurred to me that things would be any different. I always thought (and truly believed) that I would have a big family of mostly girls that came along every 2 years alternating spring and autumn births. Yes- it was all on my calendar.

But things didn't go according to my plan.
And I had a really hard time accepting that. Month after month there was the disappointment of not being pregnant. Again and again. The pain was so tangible. I ached all over. I felt broken. And like I was less of a woman. Night after night I cried myself to sleep. I couldn't understand why this 'righteous desire' of mine was not meant to be. I began to doubt myself. Obviously God didn't trust me with children. There must be more I needed to learn. People would tell me that it would happen "when the time was right." And I couldn't imagine how it was the "right time" for the crack mother, and not me. It seemed so unfair. Why would God deny me the one thing I wanted most? How could He be so cruel? Did He really love me at all?

And then I surrendered.

After many moons it became apparent that we needed to come up with a new plan. Explore other options. We had undergone test after test. Been poked and prodded. Done everything medically there was to do. And we were still as unpregnant as ever. Adoption was something that had always been at the back of my mind. Over the years Nate had said, "What about adoption?" And I was never ready. Adoption wasn't part of the plan. It wasn't something that I wanted to do. But I got desperate. And I surrendered. I decided to go forward with the Non Plan just to see what would happen.

I did my homework.

For the next few months I checked out every book in the library about adoption. I talked with people about it. We met with a social worker from LDS Family Services. From the moment we started down this course, things started happening very quickly. Everything fell into place. I still wasn't completely sold on the whole adoption idea. But I knew I wanted to have children. And the more I learned, the more I liked the idea. I was trying to have faith that it would all work out the way it was supposed to.

And then I held my daughter.
Tess was born 8 short months from the time we first met with our social worker. I first saw my little girl about 24 hours after she was born. We went to the hospital. Her birth mother was there as were her birth grandparents. The moment I took her in my arms and looked into her eyes something inside of me changed. It is probably the most sacred moment of my life. I'm not going to share details because, well, they're sacred. But God smiled upon me in that moment and blessed me with understanding.

I have a testimony of adoption.
I know that adoption is of God. I know that my adopted kids are meant to be mine. I know that God always intended them to be Meekers and when Nate and I couldn't make that happen He sent them to us another way. I feel strongly that our adoptions are something that Nate and I agreed to in the life before this one. That Tess and David agreed to them too. That we knew long ago that this is the way they were to come to our family. I know that their birth moms made the most selfless decision anyone could ever make. And that the Lord is now blessing them for their goodness. We are much better people for having them in our lives. We love and honor them beyond my ability to express it in words.

I trust in the Lord's will.

God's ways are not always our ways. His plan is not always ours. We must surrender control and trust Him. This is a lesson that a loving Father has tried to teach me over and over again in life. At first when things don't go my way, I resist. But then I remember. The Lord does love me. He is mindful of me and my family. And when I submit to His will things always turn out wonderfully for us. It's not necessarily the way I always imagined it would be...it's EVEN BETTER. I feel so blessed to have had experiences that have enriched my life beyond what I could have ever imagined.

more unexpectedness
It just so happens that this week brings more changes for the Meeker family.
Unanticipated, out-of-nowhere changes.
(No nothing to do with more kids for those of you who are reading way too much into this...just church stuff...not a big deal...except to our family.)
It took us a moment to wrap our heads around these changes. But of course we know that change is good. It provides a chance for growth. For refinement. So we are embracing this newness. And we thank our Father for the opportunity.


Grandpa's ER

So you know when you begin a phone call by saying, "Dad, do you have a scalp stapler?" that your day's not going well.

Yesterday, just after (and I mean JUST after) I had updated my facebook profile by saying that I was "loving that I had nowhere to be today," I hear a big crash and David's immediate high-pitched screaming. I run into the family room to see a trickle of blood running down the back of his neck. Okay, don't get light-headed. Stay focused Erin.

I page Nate with our family emergency code (our number + 911) and he promptly calls back:

Nate: Hey what's up?

me: (with David screaming in the background...about the blood getting on his PJs mind you and not the pain) Um, David hit his head. Really bad. There's a 1/2 inch gash and blood is dripping down his back.

Nate (ridiculously calm): Hmm- did he pass out?

me: No, he was screaming right away. But there's a lot more blood than our usual head injuries.

Nate: (totally unruffled): Okay, well do you want to drive up here and let me take a look at it?

me: Ya- I'll be right there.

Nate: Why don't you page me with a code so that I know you're here. What code do you want to use?

me: Yes.

Nate: Erin- listen to me. What code are you going to use?

I finally muster the brain power to focus on the sound of his voice and give him a code. (Can you tell why Nate's the doctor and not me?)

Now it's almost 11:00 a.m. and the kids are all still in their PJs. But as I stated previously, we didn't have anywhere to be. So don't judge me. We throw on snow boots and hop in the car.

After inspecting the wound Nate says, "Wow Dave- you can see the fatty tissue under the skin. That's pretty awesome." Then to me, "We're going to need a scalp stapler. Do you think your dad has one of those at his office?"

Hence the phone call to my dad, who by the way, does NOT have a skin stapler, but promises to do stitches if necessary. (Nate's reaction..."Ah, but the stapler is so much more fun!") Now my dad is not an ER doc. He's a dermatologist. But this past year his office has also served as the Meeker family on-call emergency room. (Why you might ask since Nate works at a hospital. And the answer is...there's no co-pay at Grandpa's ER!) It brings such great comfort to our minds (and of course, wallets) knowing that "Doctor Grandpa" can take such good care of us each time we gash our heads open. THANK YOU DAD! Last year we took Will in with a split forehead. We decided against stitches and just butterfly bandaged it. David was not so lucky. He got 2 stitches. (I know- all this fuss over 2 measly stitches, but hey, it was the first set of stitches for our fam so it was a big deal!)

David was such a trooper. He didn't make a sound, just kind of pouted.

I promise it looked a lot gnarlier before the stitches were in.

Enjoying burgers at Five Guys afterward. In our PJs. (Blood-stained PJs for David.) At 1:00. Whatever you guys. I'm a good mom.

I also feel compelled to share that before all of this happened I was on the treadmill and interrupted 5 TIMES (literally, no exaggeration) for bathroom breaks during my 30 minute jog. If I were to write an autobiography about this portion of my life it would be titled, "Going Potty: Memoirs of a Mother with three 3 year-olds"... do you think it would sell?


Adoption Walk with Me

On Saturday I took the kids to Liberty Park for the Adoption Walk with Me 5K (which really turned out to be about a 3K as it was just one lap around the park). This is an annual event sponsored by Families Supporting Adoption. Its sole purpose is to help spread adoption awareness. We were a rather small group but it's always fun to be among people that we know have had the same experiences as our family and regard adoption as an incredible blessing and miracle in their lives just like we do.

Nate was able to score tickets to the BYU football game that day (thanks Mark) so he wasn't able to walk with us. No worries- I brought lots of help. A big thanks to Mom, Dru and Maddie for helping little ones around the track and supporting our family. Love you guys.

The camera was on a weird setting, but here are the kids and me at the starting line.

And here's our gang beginning the walk.

Look how happy Maddie and Mom are to be there.

Dru got a hold of my camera. Awesome.

Tess likes going to adoption events and seeing the other kids that are just like her.

Nora actually pulled David in the wagon for a little stretch.

The highlight of the walk was definitely the dead bird. The kids were so fascinated. At first they stood back, but then started inching closer and closer.

David taking a turn pulling Nora.
I promise Will was there too. I just don't have many pictures of him because he was being his usual trailblazing self. He would run ahead of our group and then pop out from behind trees to scare us.
What a fun thing for our family. And it was such a gorgeous day. (I'm loving this autumn like no other.) I think we will have to make this walk a yearly tradition... and next time we'll know to wear orange. :)


Jesus and the crocodile

This is a picture of the Jesus bust that we have sitting in our den at home. And here is the conversation I had with Will about it today...

Will: (with a worried expression and small voice) Mom, what happened to Jesus?

me: What do you mean?

Will: Where are Jesus' arms?

me: Oh that's a bust of Jesus. It's supposed to be just his shoulders, neck and head.

Will: (now very worried) Mom...did the crocodile eat Jesus' arms??

Apparently he thinks that Jesus' robe looks like a crocodile mouth.

I will never look at the bust the same way again. Creepy Jesus bust.