time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life - brian andreas

Saturday, December 31, 2011


One early Sunday morning in mid-June, I dragged my sleepy buns out of bed and arrived at church on time.
{Insert: this may have been the last time I was on time for church...and it was 6.5 years ago.  I'm awesome.}
I walked to the back of the room and sat in the very last row...alone.
During the opening song I looked up and saw a familiar face.
A big smile spread across his face as he changed course and slid in next to me, leaving all his friends behind.

For the entire hour, we were those annoying people who gab through the whole meeting.
We had to catch up...it had been 4 years since we'd seen each other.

That same week, we went on a 'friendly date.'

4 days later, we decided to get married.

2 months later, he proposed.

And at 10:00am on December 31st 2005, we were married.

Every minute of every single day since that moment, I have been thankful.

Thankful for his honesty and patience as I learned to love again.
Thankful for a guy who trusted his heart.  Even when it had been less than 96 hours.
Thankful for a man who loves me unconditionally...probably more than I deserve.
Thankful for someone who makes me want to be better.  A better wife.  Mother.  Friend.
Thankful for the perfect father he works to be.

Thankful for a brave boy who left all his friends behind, for a girl he barely knew.

I love you Dylan Hatfield.

tracy lynn

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Here are a few things that are AWESOME in my life right now:

-This week we had a conference at church.  The woman behind me was clipping her nails throughout.  I'm pretty sure there were some in my hair after. 

-We are moving (again)...4th time in 2 years.  Not that I'm keeping track.

-Finals week.  Enough said.

-Last week I went to step up onto the toilet seat.  I didn't check to be sure it was down... and realized it wasn't when I felt the water gush up my pant leg.  I love living with 3 boys.  

-I have already gained 4 pounds and it's only mid-December. 

-This Christmas card my parents sent out:

Having trouble seeing it?  Take a closer look:

2 words: Scotch tape.
And, you're welcome.

Things that really are awesome:

-In 22 days I get to see all my sisters.  With no kids.  And no husbands.  I think the last time this happened was 10 years ago.  I can hardly wait.  There will be LOTS of Scotch tape.

-We had family pictures, and everyone cooperated (well, except for Dylan...see here):

Everyone was smiling and we only had to do one retake of Dawson...because he is a total cheeseball and was literally grinning from ear to ear.

-Although I despise moving (see above), I am excited for a garage, extra 2 bathrooms, extra bedroom, and washer/dryer...holla.

-I fell off the anti-soda wagon and find myself drinking Dr. Pepper almost daily.  I suck.
But it's so delicious that I hardly care.

-I took a very cute little girl on a date last weekend.  We saw the play Wizard of Oz...it was AMAZING and we both loved it:

i look bald in this picture.  but i'm not in real life.

It was this much fun:

-Sunday I got a 3 hour nap.

-I have my Christmas shopping done and all my cards sent out...early. 

-Harper flashing 'gang signs'...where did she even learn that???:

The end.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

tree cutting

Last weekend we went to Helvetia Tree Farm, a charming U-Cut farm about 25 minutes from our house.
Dylan's sister Jade (and her husband Tyler) organized the trip...I would never be stupid desperate brave enough to go at it alone with all the kids.
We all had a blast.
Chalk this up to one more reason I love Oregon (that brings my list to 4: Goodwill, beautiful outdoors, Goodwill, and charming U-Cut Christmas tree farms.  Oh, and Goodwill).

As soon as we pulled up, I knew it was going to be fun.

There was a snow machine (fun fact: it wasn't actually snow.  it was bubbles):

There were free marshmallows for roasting:

There was one person who especially liked the roasting pit. 
Can you guess who??

He liked them too:

There were TONS of trees to choose from:

And an amazing view:

There were perfect trees, saws to cut them, and lots of willing little helpers:

There were lots of sweet little moments along the way:

figuring the age of the tree...it was 7 years old
And there were 3 happy little people at the end of it all...

...thanks to wonderful family, a perfect Christmas outing and some very messy candy canes:

baling the tree in netting


Monday, December 5, 2011

dear santa...

It's been weeks since I've posted.
I'm lame.

However, Dylan surprised me and did a guest post last week...it was very sweet...(cue: 'awwwwwww').
I especially enjoyed the 'prom pose' picture.
I'm sure you did too.
Especially you...mom, dad, grandma.
You're welcome.

Since I have been MIA on the blog-front, I have some catching up to do. 
Christmas is in full swing at our house and we've been filling our evenings with carol singing, movie watching, and letters to the Big Guy.

This is the first year that the kids have really acknowledged Santa...
Dawson is so excited he can hardly stand it.  Every morning, he asks me the date. 
Then he figures out how many days until Christmas and announces it as I'm making his breakfast.
Here is his list to Santa this year:

1. super her hulk.  2. toy wolverine (thank heavens he clarified he'd like a TOY wolverine, lest Santa misunderstand and bring him a REAL wolverine). 3. transformer....
and then we run out of room.

...(transformer) bumble bee.  4. toy star wars (again, glad it's a toy). 5. paints.

And then there was this little guy doodled on a separate page...just for Santa and the Mrs.

File that under 'things that melt your heart.' 
Seriously...cutest. reindeer. ever.

Harper has already informed me that, 'Santa isn't real.  He's just a fake man.'
Her list:

1. hair stuff. 2. nail polish. 3. doll food (i might add here...she wants REAL doll food.  none of that fake stuff...so in reality, #3 should read: food for me to eat and pretend it's for my doll).
4. gumball machine. 5. paint.

She has been working SO hard on perfecting her writing...I LOVE how she signed it at the bottom...it's so cute.
And then this picture of 'Santa'...if that is even his real name:

 Beckham has no clue. 
In life...or about Santa.
But he's 2...so we'll let it slide this year.
The highlight for him has been the daily treats from the advent box:

We've also been doing the bear every night before bed:

Not familiar with the bear? 
It works like this:  

gather close...

read the directions each day...

move the bear as we could down to christmas

The kids love it.
Okay...I love it too.  It makes me feel like I'm 5 all over again.

I've also been collecting some Christmas books:

our newest christmas books...all ready to be opened and read.  tonight we read 'Snow" and LOVED it.
we have some classics: 'Twas Night Before Christmas, The Velveteen Rabbit.  and some non-classics: The Snowman and Santa's Christmas

And we've already managed to watch: Rudolph, Frosty, Merry Madagascar, Beauty and the Beast Christmas, and Mickey Mouse Christmas...and it's only December 5th.

We also received a gift from Grandma and Papa Conklin:



little people nativity

the wise men (and a cute little girl)
There was a lot of fighting arguing bickering  playing going on:

Then a true Christmas miracle happened. 
The chaos died down (thus the miracle) and the children were nestled all snug in their beds.
And one tired mother went downstairs and found this:

...and realized that even with the holiday distractions: the gifts and Santa lists, movies and candies, carols and books...

3 young children understand that the real reason for the season, is one tiny child that was born years and years ago in a manger.