I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

July 8, 2009

For an entire month, Madelyn, Mason and Jalen anticpated and counted down the days until they got to leave and meet Nanna and Grandpa for their week long stay in Utah without Alan and me. They were so excited and new they would have a blast with all the family...what could be better! Everyday for weeks, the kids made pictures to give to Grandpa and Nanna. They had a gift bag full of cards, pictures, and projects. So sweet!

Here they are, buckled and waiting in the car for at least 30 minutes while we finished getting things ready to go. They've never waited so patiently in their lives!!

At last we made it to Page, AZ and met my parents for the swap. While eating at McDonald's, Mason came up to me and gave me a big hug and said, "I'm going to miss you, mom. Bye. Love you!" We weren't even done eating yet and he was already trying to get rid of me. As we loaded everything into the suburban for my parents, Mason again kept saying, "Just shut the doors! Let's go! Okay mom, we're all ready!" As we finally drove away, the kids happily waved goodbye. No tears. No hesitations. I didn't know if I should be happy or sad about this. Although I'm so glad that they love their grandparents, I also felt a little disappointed that they were so anxious to leave me! But of course I knew they would have a great week and the memories created and one-on-one time spent with my parents would be priceless.

For the first time since Madelyn was born, Alan and I enjoyed time together without children. It was so relaxing and fun to have conversations without interruptions; eating a warm dinner because 3 other mouths didn't need assistance; remembering how enjoyable sacrament meeting can be; and taking late night walks when we felt like it. We decided we had to take advantage of the fact that we had no children and without real planning or reservations, ventured to Sedona, a beautiful resort town near Flagstaff. It was a pefect weekend get-away!

My mom planned a great week filled with lots of fun everyday. The kids enjoyed participating at a music and art camp, had PE class in Nanna's backyard that even came with uniforms, swimming, jeep rides, sleepovers with cousins, and lots and lots of playing.

My sister Kera just got a new yellow lab puppy, thanks to my brother Travis, and Madelyn absolutely adored it. She packed it around like it was her baby, made a bed for it, and totally doted over it. Kera thought she was going to have to send it home with us...luckily that didn't happen!

Hallee and Madelyn with Marley

Here are the kids in their matching PE outfits. They absolutely love them!

Moon sand party

The kids all love Grandpa... his endless teasing, bouncing on the trampoline, and bedtime stories. They especially love when they get to go for a 4-wheeler or Jeep ride!

Jalen is right in his element in Utah...shooting his gun, wearing cowboy boots and farm pants, and running around without a shirt! For him, life doesn't get any better than this!

As you can tell, they definately played hard and finally gave in for a little nap!

Bathtime fun!

My mom was not the only cool and ambitious Grandma in the neighborhood. Two other ladies also had their grandchildren for the week so for famiy home evening they roasted hot dogs and marshmellows together.

Hunter and Mason became very good buddies. They were inseparable...had to eat, sleep and always play right next to each other. They had a great time!

Madelyn met a fun new friend at music camp...Gracie who is actually one my high school friend's daughter! They were big helpers in the kitchen making brownies for all the boys.

Madelyn, Mason and Jalen are so lucky to have such awesome grandparents! Thanks Mom and Dad for making the sacrifice and effort to give these kids a whole week with you. They love and adore you both and don't enjoy their time better anywhere else than with you!