Alec Turns ONE!

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It’s hard to believe one year has already come and gone. Our little sweet boy has changed so much and has only grown cuter and sweeter each day!

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We had a very simple, low-key birthday celebration for little Alec. It was a very busy Wednesday, but we made sure to do plenty to shower the birthday boy with love.

The girls insisted he open a gift the moment he woke up. He was so excited and loved the gifts from his grandma and grandpa Johanson!

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After the bedhead was taken care of, Alec and I had a little birthday photo-shoot in the yard. All he wanted to do was run around and play, and he wasn’t interested at ALL in doing pictures. Luckily I was able to capture a few good ones. Well…it’s actually not that hard to get good ones of this boy! He’s so cute!!!

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The day was a busy one, but I so enjoyed running around with my new one year old! At his one year appointment, he weighed in at 19 pounds and stood at 31 inches. He has always been on the tall side. We’ll see if he ends up staying tall!

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After dinner, we presented the birthday boy with his very own and very first cake. At first he was interested in little tastes, but he did NOT like his hands being sticky. He didn’t end up eating much of his cake…which meant his mom ended up eating a lot of his cake…

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We did more gifts after cake. Alec loved his dumptruck from his Uncle Matt and Aunt Mary (and family) and his dinosaurs from his sisters.

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He started the day with a gift from his Johanson grandparents, and ended the day with some PJs from his Grandma Marshall. We love CARS in this family!

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The birthday boy had a great day. Thank you to everyone who sent gifts, cards, calls or texts. He is one special boy. He really is so sweet. This past year with him has one of the best of our life. We love you Alec! Thank you for being born!

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Once There Was a Tree…and She Loved a Little Boy.

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When my son Jack was in the hospital, he had regular echocardiograms to check his heart. During one such exam, the technician told me that when Jack is sixteen, and asks for the car keys, I can just say “no” because in his infancy, Jack had already expended his allotment of lifetime stress and worry from his mother. I told the technician that if Jack lived, and I was able to raise him, that he could have whatever he wanted from me. Whenever he wanted it.

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Since then, that has been the attitude I have had toward all my children. It’s not a laissez faire kind of attitude, and it doesn’t mean I don’t discipline them, but there isn’t anything my children could do that could diminish my love for them, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for their every happiness.

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In a quiet moment right after Alec was born, when it was just him and me, I held him so close and whispered a promise to him that I would love him so much; even more than I loved myself, and that I would spend every day of my life showing him that I loved him. In a way, I was reminding Jack that I would have done the same for him and that I still loved him so much and I will give my everything to live happily with him forever.

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Shortly after we brought Alec home, I was reminded of the book, “The Giving Tree.” The book is about a female tree who loves a little boy, even more than she loves herself. She gives all she has to the boy to make him happy. In the end, she is just a stump and the boy, who is then an old man, uses her as a place to sit and rest. There are lots of interpretations of the book, some sweet, some not-so-pleasant, but for me, it symbolizes the love I have for my little boy. He can cut me down to a stump if that’s what he needs from me. I will love him unconditionally and forever. Whatever he wants. Whenever he wants it.

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Alec is now one year old. I will teach him his entire life the principles of the Gospel. I will teach him that God loves him and I will always direct him to the paths that lead to eternal happiness. And I will always love him, no matter what, more than I love myself. Happy Birthday to my sweet little Boy. You and your sisters make me so happy. I promise to always do the same for you.

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11 Months!

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I can’t believe my little boy is 11 months old.

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I have been trying so hard to enjoy each month and enjoy watching him get older. But this is ridiculous! Next month he’ll be one!!!

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This month he worked a lot more on walking. He walks all over the place, but still likes to crawl too. He likes to have what he wants quick style, so crawling is still his best bet to get him from point A to point B super fast. He is definitely a boy who knows what he wants and he is really great at letting us know when he doesn’t get what he wants! He has such a calm and happy personality, but man, he can get unhappy real quick if he doesn’t get his way! It’s endearing and sweet and fortunately for him, there are a lot of people in this house who are anxious to let him have whatever he wants. The little guy owns us all.

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Alec is very curious, inquisitive, and focused. He loves his sisters and is eager to keep up with them and do what they are doing. He’s pretty quiet, and just seems to be taking it all in.

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He’s a happy little guy. He loves to be out and about. He waves “bye-bye” and will wave at the door if he wants to go outside. He says “mama” and “dada” and “ball.” He loves to rough house and be physical. He is just so easy going.

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I can’t believe next month we will be celebrating his birthday. I just love him and can’t imagine life without him. He makes my heart so happy. I hope I can always do the same for him.

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Alec is 10 MONTHS Old!

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You guys! My goal for month 11 is to post his update the day he turns 11 months! I hate getting so behind.

Look at this adorable 10 month old!! I can’t believe how fast time is flying! I love him!
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Alec is seriously growing up too fast. He is not walking yet, like I thought it would be, but he does take a few steps here and there. He was much more anxious to walk about a month ago. Now he has lost interest. What is that all about?! Ha! He just knows his mommy will pick him up and carry him anywhere he wants to go. Smart boy!

He has no problem going up and down the stairs. He can also lower himself off of chairs and couches and beds. He likes to be active, and he is very quiet and calm about it all. He just does his own thing. He is so sweet and calm.

He had his 9 month check-up a couple weeks after he hit 9 months, and he was weighing in at 19 pounds 3 ounces (37th percentile) and 29.5 inches tall (85th percentile.) He still has just 8 teeth. He will have a second surgery in May or June, and that should be his last surgery! All his doctors say he is doing great!
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He loves to play with cars, blocks, and anything that makes music. He LOVES to dance. He gets pretty upset when the music stops.

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He longs to be outside, all day-every day, and reaches and points for the door at any chance he can. He is napping twice a day still, and I am hoping that he doesn’t wean down to one nap, but I think that day is soon upon us. He loves playing with his sisters; especially wrestling and crawling all over them.

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He continues to be such a happy and sweet baby. We love love love him!

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JANE TURNS 3!!!!

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Jane celebrated her third birthday in Las Vegas. It’s fun having her birthday right after Christmas because we have so many family members around to celebrate with her!

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Jane finally got the grasp for birthdays a few months before hers, so she has been asking for months if it is her birthday! She was so excited to wake up on her actual birthday to a ton of balloons and a ton of cousins wishing her happy birthday!

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We kept it simple with a Disney Frozen theme (Jane LOVES Frozen!!!!) We had snow-cones, white snowy cotton candy, ice cream and cake. After treats, we opened gifts with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. She received lots of “Frozen” items and was very happy about that. It was a wonderful day for a wonderful three year old!

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Thank you to everyone who helped make Jane’s special day so special. Happy birthday to the world’s cutest, sweetest, funniest, most wonderful three year old!

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Alec turned 9 months old the day after Christmas.

Have I mentioned how sweet and wonderful this boy is??? Well, he is. As he is getting older, he is becoming more and more fun. We can tell that he is going to be quite the funny little guy. He is all about laughing and smiling and happiness. He is such a joy.

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He has mastered crawling up the stairs, and slowly works his way down a couple as well. He stands for long periods of time independently, and I continue to feel certain we will have an early walker on our hands (like within the next month or so!) He is sporting 8 adorable pearly whites, and has just the most adorable toothy grin.

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He loves his sisters, and enjoys playing with them in their room more than anything. He longs to be outside these days, but it’s just too cold and wet. He is a good little eater, but he still mostly nursing. He has no interest in baby food…at all…so we let him have safe table foods and he is all over that.

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He seems to be quite the parrot, and can repeat back “dada” and he can say “ball.” He loves to play ball and drive little cars across the floor. He is so cute and such a little boy!

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Because of the holidays, his 9 month appointment will be a little late, so I am not sure his stats. I would estimate that he is tall (ha!) and weighs around 20 pounds. He is growing great and just owns our hearts!

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Christmas 2013

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I know I am not going to do the holiday justice with this post. It is so hard for me to keep up with my blog these days. Can I just refer you to my sister’s blog: here? She is way better about it than I am!

We had a wonderful Christmas. Each year we learn a thing or two that we can do to make the next year even better (especially for Megan) and this year was really great. We spent time with both of our families and did lots of fun activities.

Our family ready for Christmas Sunday, or the Sunday before Christmas.

Our family ready for Christmas Sunday, or the Sunday before Christmas.

Baby Reese was blessed the Sunday before Christmas.  I choose this picture because of Sam looking at his little girl.  I am not sure I have known new parents who were more enamored and in love with their baby then Sam and Kaylee are with Reese Rose.

Baby Reese was blessed the Sunday before Christmas. I choose this picture because of Sam looking at his little girl. I am not sure I have known new parents who were more enamored and in love with their baby then Sam and Kaylee are with Reese Rose.

This daddy loves his baby.

This daddy loves his baby.

The three Marshall babies born in 2013.

The three Marshall babies born in 2013.

The blessing attendees.  It was a beautiful and sweet blessing.

The blessing attendees. It was a beautiful and sweet blessing.


19 of my mom's 25 grandkids.  What a gorgeous bunch! Another great moment captured by Sarah.

19 of my mom’s 25 grandkids. What a gorgeous bunch! Another great moment captured by Sarah.

Baby Reese and me.  A little slice of Heaven.

Baby Reese and me. A little slice of Heaven.

We spent most of Christmas eve Day with the Johansons. My beautiful boy with his Grandma Jo.

We spent most of Christmas eve Day with the Johansons. My beautiful boy with his Grandma Jo.

Jane with her grandpa Johanson.  Jane sure loves her grandpa.

Jane with her grandpa Johanson. Jane sure loves her grandpa.

Bentley and I.  I think of all the Johansons, Alec resembles Bentley most.  No complaints here!

Bentley and I. I think of all the Johansons, Alec resembles Bentley most. No complaints here!

Loren once again planned an awesome Minute-To-Win-It activity at the church.  Megan doing the ping pong challenge.  She LOVES Minute-To-Win-It.

Loren once again planned an awesome Minute-To-Win-It activity at the church. Megan doing the ping pong challenge. She LOVES Minute-To-Win-It.

Some of the girl cousins.  Marshalls make beautiful children.  Just sayin'....

Some of the girl cousins. Marshalls make beautiful children. Just sayin’….

My mom rocked Jane to sleep a few times during the vacation.  Thank you mama!

My mom rocked Jane to sleep a few times during the vacation. Thank you mama!

My mom bought all the children nerf guns this year.  My mom is pretty fang awesome.

My mom bought all the children nerf guns this year. My mom is pretty dang awesome.

Locked and loaded.

Locked and loaded.

A few of the nativity participants.  Sarah prepared an awesome program.  Megan was narrator. She LOVED her role.

A few of the nativity participants. Sarah prepared an awesome program. Megan was narrator. She LOVED her role.

I love this sweet picture of Angel Jane.  Sarah is so good about getting pictures of the children.

I love this sweet picture of Angel Jane. Sarah is so good about getting pictures of the children.

Angel Megan.  So beautiful.

Angel Megan. So beautiful.

Christmas Eve pjs.

Christmas Eve pjs.

Christmas morning with the gang.  I love my family.

Christmas morning with the gang. I love my family.

The girls discovering their stockings on Christmas morning.  They had a wonderful day!

The girls discovering their stockings on Christmas morning. They had a wonderful day!

Megan mostly asked for books for Christmas.  She got what she asked for and she was pretty happy about it.

Megan mostly asked for books for Christmas. She got what she asked for and she was pretty happy about it.

Alec on Christmas morning.  He loved his Tegu Blocks.  I love them too!

Alec on Christmas morning. He loved his Tegu Blocks. I love them too!

Enjoying Bradley's new Christmas gift.

Enjoying Bradley’s new Christmas gift.

Visiting Jack on Christmas Day.

Visiting Jack on Christmas Day.

Making gingerbread houses.  Megan took it pretty seriously.

Making gingerbread houses. Megan took it pretty seriously.

Jane mostly ate her gingerbread house.

Jane mostly ate her gingerbread house.

Our family visiting Jack on his angel anniversary.  We love and miss our little guy so much.  We are 5 years closer to seeing him again.

Our family visiting Jack on his angel anniversary. We love and miss our little guy so much. We are 5 years closer to seeing him again.

There are many things that we did that aren’t pictured here. So…like I said…visit my sister’s blog. She is waaaay better at documenting than I am. I mostly threw some pictures in here and added some captions. You are welcome, Megan!

As I was writing this post, I realized just how lucky I am that I have so many wonderful family members who work so hard to make our holidays great. With really little effort on my part, wonderful activities are planned, food is prepared, and the season is made so much more magical. Big thanks to my mom, my sister Sarah, my brother Loren, my brother Tad, and my in-laws, for all the many things they did this holiday that made it more special for my little family.