Tag Archives | traditions

Tag Archives | traditions

Easter weekend 2017

We doubled up on holidays this weekend celebrating our sweet Major’s birthday along with Easter, my favorite Holiday.  It was hectic and lovely and filled to the very brim with goodness and love. (I’ll post about Major’s birthday in another post)

On Saturday, we walked to the Art’s Festival which is my very favorite weekend in St. George.  Easter is wonderful everywhere, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s the best spent in our little Southern Utah town.  I have gone EVER single year my whole life and I love bringing my own children now.  I also love living downtown this time of year (and every other time of year, too, actually).  There’s just a happy bustling down the streets, trees blossoming into Spring, flowers blooming all over the colorful houses.  I love it down here and think I maybe never want to leave.

After the arts festival, our church ward had their annual Easter Egg hunt at the park.  Of course it was a hit:

After that, MY cousins were in town and they stopped by the Miller Manor for dinner Saturday night.  I was having too much fun to snap any pics, but I super loved having my cousins and aunt and uncle over for dinner.  It made me feel like a kid and a grown-up all at once, which is a pretty neat feeling.

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Easter Sunday, my honey spoke in another ward, so me and the little Millies (sans Stella who had woken up with strep!) headed to support our main guy.  Mr. Miller is a fantastic speaker in church, and with his new church calling in the high council, he is able to speak a whole lot!  I think it’s a perfect fit.

My Mr. Miller gave the neatest talk about that first Easter.  My favorite part of his talk is when he spoke about Mary and her broken mother heart, seeing her baby on the cross like that.  Jesus did the hardest thing anyone will do, but I think Mary had to do a big part of that too.  As I sat with my own precious baby son on my lap, my heart broke for Mary – someone I have grown to understand and deeply love since becoming a mother.  I love that my husband paid tribute to this sacred moment, and it’s been on my mind ever since.  The atonement and resurrection are so vast that most of the time I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all, but when I can spend time pondering little aspects of it, I gain a testimony of the little pieces, and they weave together a testimony of hope, faith, truth, and love for my Savior and what He did for us.  

It’s amazing that the lives we enjoy today, the forgiveness we rely on, the happiness and hope we can feel is because of that sacred day when Jesus conquered death.  I have spent the last ten years of my Christianity learning to grasp this, and I’ve no where near mastered the enormity of this concept, but I’m learning, and I am awe-struck over the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Easter is my very favorite holiday.  It’s one of simplicity and love and beauty, and I love it just as much now (more so, actually) as I did as a little girl.  Each Easter, as I line up my darling babies to photograph them in their Easter ensembles I am overcome with gratefulness.  Grateful that my life took such a wonderful turn back there somwhere, and that by turning my heart to Jesus Christ, I have created this beautiful life.  It never ceases to amaze me.  This year I had a bench full of MY own children, and nothing could make me happier.

Of course, Jesus isn’t the only man we were feeling extra grateful for this Easter.  Celebrating my only son’s first birthday on this special day felt a little like magic.  In his dapper little Easter outfit, my heart nearly burst right open.  I sure love my little prince!

As I mentioned, sweet Stella woke up in the night with a hot fever and felt miserable all day on Easter. (She was also sick for Valentines – what luck!) I brought her to the doctor Monday morning and she has strep!  Poor sister.  We had to skip on the cousin Easter-egg hunt at Nana and Papa’s house and my girls were SO bummed.  But you better believe Nana and Papa brought that Easter Egg hunt to them on Monday so they didn’t have to entirely miss out.  (Thank you Grandma for braving the sickness and letting us come to your house on Easter!  You saved the day!)

 It takes a village to raise a happy family, and I am so grateful for ours.  This Easter weekend was one of my very, very favorites.

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Harlo’s baptism day

This weekend was a sweet one for our family as we celebrated Harlo’s baptism.

As Christians, we believe we are trying to follow Jesus Christ’s example.  It has been important to me to allow my children room to develop their own relationship with God.  I didn’t have a relationship with God until I was an adult, so I’m not exactly sure what that is supposed to look like for kids, but what I have found is that these children of mine are more of an example to me than I am to them.  Like praying when they need help with something, leaning into faith when they don’t have another answer, having forgiving hearts, loving unconditionally – like Jesus taught.  In areas that I over-think, my girls easily cling to truth.  Turning 8 in our church is special, because we believe it’s the time these children can clearly understand right from wrong, they can start to understand how the holy spirit guides us, they can see goodness and truth.  So a baptism at this age just feels so fitting.  It has been so sweet for me to watch Harlo mature in this way, and I am so excited for what is in store for this precious girl of mine.

For Mr. Miller to be able to baptize our girl was such a special milestone for us.  Harlo is our constant reminder of how far we’ve come in this life, and she was the perfect strong soul to push us to be better, do better, love better.  We truly are eternally grateful she came to us.

With each and every milestone that passes, I can see so clearly why Harlo was sent here first, as the head of our children.  She was naturally born with the unique gifts she would need for this role in our family.  I loved watching her younger siblings so eager and excited to watch her.  Grae and Stella have been talking about their own baptisms and how they too want to be baptized just like Harlo.  Harlo has been excitedly telling them all the inside details, how she feels, and how excited she is to see them be baptized some day, too.  As their mother, there is nothing better in the whole world than seeing them love and support each other in their own little ways.

At the end of the night, as I tucked the girls in for bed, I asked Harlo, “What was your favorite part of the day?” (between wearing a fancy dress, having a baptism, a special after-party with her favorite things, and being the guest of honor) she sighed and said, “Just being baptized.” and Stella chimed right in, “That was my favorite part too, Harlo.”

Bless their little hearts.

 

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(photos: cher houston photography)

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Happy New Year 2017

New Years came with such a happy heart for me this year.  Last year at this time, we were in the middle of a tough time with some close relationships in our lives really struggling.  I walked into 2016 with a sore heart and discouraged spirit.  There was a lot of uncertainty in 2016 and I knew I had a lot of work to do. Of course, expecting our fourth baby, I knew 2016 would also bring such blessings.  So we pressed on.  My word for 2016 was “more”, and my goodness that was the perfect word for me this year.  More babies, more love, more time with friends, more self love and acceptance, more God, more happy, more travel, more Mr. Miller.  That is exactly what I got this year.

2016 was a year that I know was so necessary for my own personal growth.  I was brought to some despair, but more importantly through despair.  I had a real trial in faith last year, but as I was willing to let God take care of it, He did.  I saw Him work hard in my life like I hadn’t before.  That trial really was a blessing because I feel my faith is much stronger now.

2016 was a year that my marriage became more solid.  I had to lean on my husband this year, and he never failed me.  I knew he was a good husband, but I didn’t know the depths of his faithfulness like I learned this year.  He is such a great partner for me.  He was able to gently call me out when it was necessary, extend such unconditional love to me when I needed it most, pick up and take care of things when I couldn’t, and celebrate along side of me at all the goodness.  We saw the highest of highs, and experienced some pretty low lows and we are stronger, and deeper rooted because of it.  We really grew, and grew together this year and I think that’s the trick for a strong marriage, growing individually as well as growing together.

My children blossomed in 2016, our family dynamic was blessed beyond measure with the welcoming of our boy.  We learned better the type of family we want to have, and that we are raising.  I was so proud of us this year, all of us.  We have never let the number of kids we have hold us back, and it felt so good to have such a year of fun times and travel and adventure with our FOUR children.  We had the best year together.  My biggest accomplishment and my greatest blessing is being the mother in this wonderful family.  I am so grateful.

Our friends became our family this year.  They rallied with us, loved us, encouraged us and set the tone for such a wonderful year.  This year was the year of our tribe.  I truly feel like we have found it.  It took us a while, and it’s even better than I imagined.  The friendships we have in our life are friendships of a life time.  I can’t thank them enough for loving us like they did this year. Whether it was a shoulder to cry on, a celebration to join in on, a late night conversation, our friends delivered.  They helped me grow as a wife, a mother, a woman.  I know God brought me these people specifically, and what a blessing they have each been to my life.  We are thrilled to be doing life with them.

It only made sense to have a couple of our bests over to ring in the new year.  We filled up the Miller Manor!  We ate yummy food, played Just Dance until we laughed so hard we cried, and talked and laughed until our kids were melting down.  We cheers’d to the new year (east coast time) and called it a very successful night.  And year.

2016, you were a growing year.  I am grateful you’re over, and grateful you came.  I am starting 2017 a better woman in so many ways.

 

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Christmas 2016

Christmas was so good to us this year.  I just know that having four little children in our home will go down as our very favorite Christmas memories.

One thing I was so surprised by this year was how fun it was to see little boy things under our tree!  This whole boy world is just so so new to me.  I’ve never in my life lived with a little boy until now, so each new detail is just so new and wonderful.  My heart was bursting at the little toy trains, wooden cars, non-pink fabrics… it was almost too much for me to handle.  Maj didn’t even know what to do with himself Christmas morning.  I think his favorite gift was a new “boo” (what we call favorite blankets around here).  He has gotten pretty attached to one of the girls pink blankets with silk trim around the edge, so Santa brought him a grey one so he can be seen in public with it. ;) He has taken right to it!  I have the blanketest kids, I swear!

This was the first year our big girls got different things from each other, and I worried a bit about jealousies creeping up, but of course I worried for no reason.  They were thrilled for each other and have been so gracious about their Christmas gifts.  My mama heart has been overflowing with love all week long.  The magic is still very much alive for our sweet girls, and I am milking every last drop.

Grae.. my goodness.  Our very own little “Cindy Lou Hoo who was not more than two”.  Mr. Miller and I have decided that there is nothing as magical as having a two year old at Christmas time.  For the weeks leading up to Christmas when we’d ask Grae what she wanted from Santa Clause, she would say “A present!” and when I’d push further and ask what kind of present, all she wanted was “Madam Gazelle” which is Peppa Pig’s school teacher.  OF COURSE, Santa delivered.  At the Christmas Eve party, she could hardly wait for her turn to sit on Santa’s lap.  She followed him around with the biggest grin she could muster.  Mr. Miller and I were absolutely dying over her adoreableness.  It was so fun waking her up Christmas morning to tell her that Santa Clause had come.  Each morning since, she asks “Mama, did Santa Clause come back?!” Oh we love that little girl.

Mr. Miller and I agreed that this was probably our favorite Christmas to date.  We really have grown into our roles as mom and dad, and so enjoyed having FOUR children to celebrate with this year.  We really enjoyed this holiday season, and my heart was really full ending the year this way.

 Mostly I’m just so grateful to be the mom of this family.

 

 

 

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