A Birthday Party for Nate, er I mean David

It's gotta suck having your birthday near Christmas.
We hope that David doesn't realize this for a long time!
On Dec 21st, we stop all things Christmas, and take the day to celebrate our Davey.

The gift theme this year was definitely Legos.
Which is perfect since he does little else all day long.

He spent the day creating Star Wars battle scenes.

He also got a punching bag which he quickly put to good use:

And then on to his party...
Each year we have his party right on his actual birthday.
We pick some venue- this year's was BOUNCE- and we pretty much have the place to ourselves.
Apparently, everyone else in town is a bit busy with Christmas stuff.

A good time was had by all....
...but mostly Nate.

Would you like me to hold your tie?

But really, it was David's big day so let's end with some more cute pictures of him...

Is that a mistletoe cake? Why yes, yes it is. (Hey, David picked it out.)
CanNOT believe it's been six years!
Love you baby boy.


Happy Birthday Sweet Davey

"I dreamed of how you would look, smell, even what you would sound like. And every day I thought of how wonderful it would be to hold you in my arms."

"I started seeing you everywhere, in the leaves of the giant oak and in the bark of the pine, Even in the stars! Oh, how I longed for the day that you would arrive, when God would find us you."

"And then I came?"

"Oh, no. No matter how much I prayed it would happen, I still had to wait."

"You waited and waited and waited?"

"And waited. But I knew that someday you'd arrive, when God
would find us you."

Dear David,

Today you are six.

When you were 2 days old, we brought you home.

I held you in my arms and whispered in your ear that I would never let you be the forgotten middle child.

Little did I know that you'd have a personality so big, the entire world couldn't contain it.

You are hardly one to be forgotten.

I love you to the moon and back,


David's "cool yet sophisticated" look. He currently has exactly 4 shirts that he will agree to wear.

"That is my favorite story of all. When God found us you, it made me the happiest mother in the world."

"Just by comin home?" Little Fox asked with a yawn.

"Especially by coming home," Mama said.

(Excerpts taken from "God Found Us You" by Lisa Tawn Bergren)


A Room with a View

Last night for FHE we went doorbell ditching.
Yes, we left goodies and love notes.
But mostly, we just wanted an excuse to ding-dong-dash.
Because that's good fun. Yes siree.
The kiddos love it.
They pretend they are sneaky spies.

Have I mentioned that we currently live in a 3rd story, 1100 sq ft, unfurnished apartment?
It's awesome.
I could go on and on (and on and on) about the woes of such living arrangements for a family of 6 plus a 65-lb dog.
But instead let's focus on the positive:
  • It takes us a total of 1 hr and 15 min to clean this place from top to bottom

  • There is a swimming pool & hot tub across the street.

  • The apartment below us is rented, but no one currently lives there...(a huge blessing considering the amount of noise we generate each day. Think 4 screaming kids and 1 dog running up and down the hallway all day long.)

  • We have this view:


Downtown through the trees

3 stories up



This morning

Pretty pretty right? It's hard to imagine that we have lived here long enough to see 3 seasons worth of views.

Here's to hoping that we will be in our newly-remodeled home by the time the 4th season comes along!


Check out Tess' art. She's really getting good!

Someday I plan to have only original artwork by Tess Meeker hanging in my home.

Anyone want to place an advance order?


Watch out boys

The other day the boys were giving Nora a hard time.
"No girls allowed in our room!!"
I walked in to do some mediating.
"Boys- how would you feel if you were the one left out??"
They just looked at me.

It was Nora's turn.
She stood completely unruffled.
With hands on her hips, she calmly said,
"When you're mean, you give Satan power."

Whoa. Take that.

We high-fived, Nora and I, and then looked at the boys like this:

Because we knew we had won.

They back-tracked: "Well, uh, maybe only girls that are twins can play in our room."
Shoot- I guess that counts me out.
But at least Nora could stay.

A word of advice:
Don't pick a fight with my Nora.
She is not afraid of you.
And you will lose.

P.S. Dear blog- Hey, remember me? I'm the one who's been neglecting you. You see- I needed some time away from you to refocus and reprioritize. There were moments that I thought about abandoning you altogether. But in the end I decided you were worth it. It turns out that I miss documenting the cute things my kids do. And I want family and close friends to know what's going on with us in Boise. Oh yes (yes!)- we moved to Boise. I should tell you about it sometime. Just as soon as I get the last year's worth of pictures organized. Ta ta for now. I'll (try to) write again soon.


I can never pass up a good tag.

A - Attached or Single: Happily attached.
B - Best Friends: Nate and kids. We're BFFs. (I make the kids say it regularly.)
C - Cake or Pie: um chocolate cake, no question (I didn't even have to change your answer Dru.)
D - Day of choice: TGIF
E - Essential Item: chap stick, cell phone
F - Favorite Color: any mixture of blue and gray
G - Gummy Bears or Worms: gummy nothing unless it's covered in chocolate
H- Hometown: Salt Lake City. Always. Even if I live in Boise til the day I die.
I - Indulgences: chocolate (mass quantities daily) and cherry coke zero (one daily)
J - January or July: Fireworks/sun/tan/my birthday vs. bitter cold. Hmm...that's a tough one.
K - Kids: Just seeing that word makes me smile.
L - Life is incomplete without: Nate's kisses and butterfly kisses
M - Marriage Date: 2/16/96
N - Number of Siblings: 6- 5 sisters, 1 brother (But the real question is...should my kids have more siblings??)
O - Oranges or Apples: Mango
P - Phobias or Fears: heights, bees and my kids getting hit by a car (recurring nightmare)
Q - Quotes: I have them hanging everywhere. Right now I'm looking at one (a scripture) that says: "Lord, Here am I. Send me." I want that to be my basic philosophy in life.
R -Reason to smile: my Savior
S - Season: Fall- I love the colors and the start of school
T - Tag Three Friends: nienie, cjane and seriously so blessed. (Okay, so they don't actually read my blog, or even know who I am, but we are bosom friends nonetheless.)
U - Unknown fact about me: I hope to be a Broadway star in the next life.
V - Very favorite Store: I love the style of Anthrologie best, but I buy the most at Old Navy.
W - Worst habit: eating until I feel stuffed
X - X-ray or Ultrasound: I've had an Xray for a broken arm and ultrasounds to see my babies. Which do you think?
Y - Your favorite food: Mom's homemade chicken pot pie...the ultimate comfort food.
Z- Zodiac: cancer (that's an awful name for a sign, don't you think?)


Today you are 9.

Dear Tess,
Last night I watched you sleeping.
I climbed into bed with you and listened to you breathe.
Then I felt for your heartbeat because it's strong, steady rhythm comforts me.
I thought back to the day you came into our lives 9 years ago.
You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
Button nose. Sweetheart lips. Smooth, soft skin.
You walked into my heart, entirely and completely, the moment I saw you.
I had no idea that could happen.

You were the first.
You made me a mother.
You made us a family.
You'll always have a special place in my heart.
Happy birthday sweet girl.
I love you. Forever.


"The" talk.

Last night Nate and I took Tess to her favorite restaurant, Katmandu.
Indian and Nepali cuisine. Mostly she loves the naan.
We had decided that it was time to have "the" talk with her.
You know, the one about the birds and the bees.
I had been told by friends that if we hadn't discussed it by the time she was 9, we would be too late. She would have already heard it all during recess.

Well, I'm happy to report that innocence remains.
The look of shock and horror on her face said it all.
She was able to stammer, "What?....How?....But doesn't that hurt?!" before bursting into tears and begging us to "please stop talking about it."
We tried to convey that it was actually a very beautiful and sacred (and fun) thing when done at the proper time. That it actually brings a husband and wife closer together.
And then we told her that if she ever had any questions she could always come to us and ask.
She responded that she would "never want to talk about it ever again."

Oh sweet, tender-hearted Tess.
We love you just the way you are.

Here are some pictures of younger, simpler times:

Parents day at Tess' dance class.

Tess dances at Virginia Tanner on the U campus.


It's over. And I survived.

me, LynnEl "Mama Springer" and Amy Springer- it's Amy's fault I had to speak.

Thanks to everyone that came to hear me speak at Women's Conference.
It meant so much to have loved ones there.

Actually, I wasn't all that nervous, if you can believe it.
It's amazing what putting your trust in the Lord can do for your confidence.
Of course, watching the hundreds of women file into the room made me a bit jittery.
But Nathan pulled me into a side room and gave me a quick priesthood blessing.
And again I was calm.
I just love that guy.

Luckily I got to speak early on in the conference so that I could enjoy the rest of it.
Absolutely loved Julie B. Beck's image of a mother as a "lioness standing at the gate" fiercely protecting her home.
Also, loved this quote from Dallin H. Oaks-"It's amazing how much you can get done if you don't worry about who gets the credit."
I took lots of notes.
And doodled Nate's name in the margin of my notebook.
Just like when we were dating.
Because thinking of him still makes my heart skip a beat.

Can't wait for next year. I anticipate it will be a lot less nerve-wracking.
Although for anyone that may be speaking ...can I ride in your car?...the parking privileges are the bomb.


This is not the place.

The Meekers are moving...

Because Nate found a really incredible job
Only a short 5 hour drive from SLC
Into the "City of Tress"
Skiing, Boating, Canoeing, Fly fishing
Everyone come visit!

Have you ever met anyone from Boise that didn't just love it there?
Well, we haven't.
People love their Boise.
It seems like a pretty great place.
We'll let you know when we get there this summer.

The Boise River runs right through the heart of the city.
The Greenbelt (20 miles of paved pathway for walking/biking) runs alongside the river.

My conversation with Tess about the move (a month before the final decision was made)...

Tess: Mom, I heard you talking on the phone about us moving.

Me: Yes, we might move. How do you feel about that?

Tess: I think it sounds awesome!!!!! I told Grace that she could come play at our new house.

Me: Well, that's the thing. We might be moving pretty far away.

Tess: Like downtown??!!

Me: No, farther. Like out of the state of Utah.

Tess: I've always wanted to live in Texas!

Me: Well, it wouldn't be Texas. It would be a place called Boise, Idaho. It's near Sun Valley.

Tess: OMGosh!! I love Sun Valley!!

Me: Okay, but you realize that moving to Boise won't quite be like vacationing in Sun Valley. We would have to do all of our regular things like school, lessons, chores.

Tess: (rolling her eyes) Duh mom. I know that.

Me: And it means that we won't be able to go to grandma and grandpa's for Sunday dinner each week.
Tess: (The first hint of sadness)... Well, at least we won't get their hot tub dirty anymore.

Me: So it still sounds pretty fun?

Tess: It sounds awesome!!.....Can I have an upstairs bedroom in our next house??

So there you have it. Even the most cautious among us is ready for the adventure!

Well folks, I guess I'm off to Idaho to raise my family.
(Truly, truly never thought I would hear myself say those words.)
But we are (very!) excited nonetheless.


Just a tad out of my comfort zone.

Did you all get your flier for BYU Women's Conference in the mail this week?
Well, I got mine.
And I must admit, I almost had a heart attack when I opened it up and saw my name in print.

I guess it's officially official.
I will be speaking at Women's Conference.
I've known about this since the end of December.
But I've been living in denial.
I've felt quite certain all along that I would get a phone call taking it all back.
"I'm sorry...we had you confused with another Erin H. Meeker."
"It's come to our attention that you're total crap and that just won't do."
But now my name's in print.
So I guess this is on.

How did I get involved in this??
Good question.
Obviously, it's because of my awesome spiritualness.
Okay, okay. It's because I happen to have a good friend on the planning committee.
(Love you Amy.)
A friend that has never heard me speak, I might add.

When I got the letter back in Dec saying that I had been "invited" to speak at WC,
I burst into tears.
Then I read my topic: "Urgent Demands and Deep Breaths: Managing Stress"
And I threw the letter on the ground.
Clearly I know a lot about managing stress.

So ladies, please come to Women's Conference.
It is going to be completely incredible.
But for heaven's sake, don't come to my session.
Because I'm a total sham.
(Although my co-presenter seems quite lovely.)

P.S.- Amy- I promise I will do my very best.
P.P.S.- And don't worry - I won't use the word "crap" in my talk.
P.P.P.S.- And everyone- if you have any thoughts on managing stress...send them my way.



Dear woman at Toys R Us,
Now that I am in a better mood I can clearly see that I was a total you-know-what today.
I should know by now to not let David out of my sight.
And when you returned him to me and then later approached me with raised eyebrows
and told me that "he was heading outside!,"
I should have thanked you profusely for keeping my little guy safe
instead of snidely remarking,
"So I need to watch him better? Is that what you're trying to say?"
I'm sorry I took my frustration out on you.
No doubt I am a total brat sometimes.
(Just ask my husband for verification on this.)
Let's face it- this whole mothering thing is a bit over my head sometimes.
And it will definitely take the entire village to raise my David.
He's bound and determined to not make it to his next birthday.
My little Houdini.
Anyways, you're great.
Thanks for helping me today.
Let's have lunch in the next life.


I'm a sucker.

It was Sunday.
We were at church.
Nora developed pink eye mid Sacrament Meeting.
(Yes, truly mid-meeting.)
Nate had to take her home.
I could read the look of injustice on Will's face...
"Dad and Nora get to go home because of one irritated eye?!"

Fast forward one hour.
Will's cute teacher comes to get me.
She says, "Will has an itchy bum.
I tried to wipe it for him but he said it didn't help.
He says he 'can't concentrate' and he can't seem to hold still."

Itchy bum?
Good grief- what am I supposed to do about that?
"Will, I'm taking you home to your dad."
And then a grin the size of Texas spread over his face.

That's when I knew I had been played.
Totally schooled.
C'mon Erin. Itchy bum? Does that sound like a real symptom of anything?

But it was ward conference and I had stake leaders to attend to.
So I walked Will across the street, (because we live across the street), to the pediatrician.
I told Nate that we needed something for "itchy bum" stat.
And he looked at me with his oh really? expression.
I knew what he was thinking...
C'mon Erin. Itchy bum? Does that sound like a real symptom of anything?

Totally outsmarted by my 4 year old.
Are they really supposed to be this cunning?

I guess it's time to step up my game.
Bring it.


Nora. Lover of fine literature.

"Fairy yellow, fairy red,
Fixing wings with fairy thread.
Fairy orange, fairy blue,
Fastening up their fairy shoes.
Fairy pink, fairy white,
Carrying lanterns shining bright.
Rainbow fairies one and all,
Ready for the fairy ball!"

Nora read this book through 12 straight times this morning.
(Okay, not really "read" since she has it memorized.)

She then exuberantly declared, "I love this book!"
Will: "Why?"
Nora: "Because it is so, SO amazing."

Nora knows a good rhyme when she sees one.
Anyone need any book suggestions?
Just ask Nora.

And David thinks my hair smells like cranberries. Just in case you were wondering.


Augustus Gloop

Waking up to the sound of the kids running around with the dog,
fills my heart with happiness.

Am I a dog person?
Not particularly.
Is Nate?
A little more than me, but still no.
So why did we get one?
For the kiddos of course.

(Aren't his green eyes to die for?)

We went to my uncle's house and I watched my kids playing with his big Labrador, running and
and I was completely undone.
How could I deny them of this any longer?
I realized then and there that growing up with a dog is an experience that can't be duplicated in any other way.

So we found our Auggie.
Has it been worth it?
Tess and Nora now have someone to smother with all their well-intentioned motherly affection.
Will has gained confidence.
(He used to be afraid of dogs. Now he and Auggie are snuggle buddies.)
David has found a perfect wrestling partner.
(Although he doesn't get that when he plays rough the dog thinks he can too.)
"Mom- he bit me!!"
Perhaps that's because you tackled him David.

Auggie has been the perfect little addition to our family.
Now if he could stop peeing all over my house, I just know we will be the best of friends.

Fun Facts

Full name: Augustus Gloop. We were trying to think up a name that has a chocolate connection because of his chocolate coloring. We came up with the chubby kid on Willy Wonka that falls into the river of chocolate.
(Aren't we clever?)

Breed: Labradoodle f1b (3/4 poodle, 1/4 labrador)

Full size: 65 pounds

Temperament: Perfect. He loves to play with the kids but can also calm down very easily.

And today he has stale, moldy-cheese smelling gas.
Here's to hoping he feels better tomorrow.