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Preview: The Spencer Family

The Spencer Family

Updated: 2018-03-06T04:21:30.752-06:00


Summer: Part One


There could be so many titles for these upcoming posts:The Summer I Fell Apart and MANY People Witnessed ItAlicia: The Service ProjectAlicia and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad SummerThe Summer I Came UngluedOf course it didn’t start out that way. In fact the beginning wasn’t bad at all and there were even some REALLY REALLY good parts (birthdays, new baby!, houseguests galore) but by the end of the summer things went south and I was D.O.N.E. I’ve decided it’s worth recording the events of this past summer so if by chance I forget how hard it was and think about agreeing to do it again, I can look back and be reminded.So here it goes!Part OneLuke left mid April to manage a team selling garbage contracts door-to-door in Wilmington Delaware. We missed having him around but honestly I was so busy with the daily school routine, chasing after Abby, finishing up my night class and online class, coaching run club, growing a baby, etc. that time flew by. Grandma Lucy came to visit and help out. Then my sister came to visit and help out. Before we knew it, it was the middle of May and a trip to visit Luke was in order. We spent the weekend exploring Wilmington Delaware. We checked out the local zoo, had lunch in Newark home of the University of Delaware, and most importantly spent time with Luke when he wasn’t working. It was a very quick trip but so worth the long drive.The rest of May and June marched along. We kept busy with school, going to the gym, play dates, and I coached a second session of run club. The end of June/beginning of July was a bit crazy and HOT. Jordan turned 7 and then finished up Kindergarten the next day. My run club girls ran in their race (I was too pregnant to run with them) and then I turned 31. The icing on the cake though was in the midst of all this our air conditioner stopped working. It was the end of June (hot!) and I was 35 weeks pregnant. Awesome. Luckily the homeowner was able to get someone out to charge the Freon and we only sweated through a few days and nights.At this point it had been almost seven weeks since we’d last seen Luke and a trip north was in order. Luke’s office in Delaware had dissolved a few weeks prior and he and a few reps had gone down to Northern Virginia to sell pest control. This was great for us since it meant a shorter car ride AND Café Rio – yay! I went to my 36 week appointment that morning, packed up the car, stopped at school to meet Jordan’s new teacher, and then we hit the road for Virginia. We had a great time! During the days I would take the kids to the gym and let them play in the child center while I laid by the pool and rested. Then we’d spend a few hours swimming, head back to Luke’s apartment for naps and be ready to party when he got home from work…at 9:30pm. It was actually a nice little vacation because I didn’t have to do any cleaning or cooking. We were able to spend most of Independence day with him. We went swimming and bbq’d and set off our own little fireworks in the church parking lot. Very low key and just what we needed.   We returned home to Raleigh on Monday and I had a list a mile long of things I wanted to get done before the baby came. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to nest and get things in order, I had zero energy. Jordan went to a little theatre camp each morning at a friend’s house and on Friday we got to go and watch him perform a little play. On Saturday I was exactly 38 weeks and despite having no energy I was motivated to get my house clean and in order. My mom was coming that night and I wanted to be able to enjoy her visit. I worked hard all day cleaning every inch of my house (and re-cleaning it since Abby kept undoing every thing I did) and ended up working myself into labor... [...]

Kindy Graduate and 7 Yrs Old!


Yesterday was Jordan's birthday and he woke up bright and early at 6:15 ready to open presents. I made him stay in bed til 7 (though it was kind of pointless because he 'checked' on me every ten minutes) and then finally let him go downstairs. He had picked out this ginormous stuffed puppy at Costco the night before when we were picking up treats for his class. I was surprised he chose that over a trip to Toys R Us to pick out Lego's or Skylanders or some other toy but he insisted that he really really really wanted "Cocoa" the puppy. He opened his presents, played for a little bit, got ready for school, and then we headed off to meet friends for donuts. I had to work on the night of his birthday so he chose his new favorite babysitter to come over and had more fun playing with his presents.

Tonight we went out for his birthday dinner. He chose Cici's Pizza (blech!) and claimed it was the best having his birthday stretch over TWO days. He's a pretty easy kid to please!

He's in the green shirt in the front.

Today was his last day of Kindergarten. He has had a great year and learned so much. His best subject is math and he loves science. He is often asking to do experiments at home. He is becoming a great little reader and very good at spelling. He received a school award this year for having 'good judgement'. At his class graduation his teachers predicted he would be a web designer when he grows up because he is so good with technology. I had to explain to him what a web designer is and he thought it sounded like a good job. He is a sweet kid, a great big brother, a kind friend, and a good little thinker. He often comes in after I've put him in bed to ask questions--lots and lots of them.

We're sure lucky to have him in our family!

Lucky Turtle


The other day as I was rushing off to pick Jordan up from school I spotted a turtle in the neighbors yard. I debated telling Jordan about it because well I didn't want the turtle to suffer a heart attack...or worse. Jordan proved me wrong though and was very gentle with the turtle and put him back when we had to go. 

After we got back from swimming he found the turtle again and this time Abby got in on the action too--though we wouldn't let her touch it. 

 These two kids love animals and Jordan is constantly talking about the pets he wants to get when we own a home.

Ready to Pop.


Not really but I feel like it.

Today 33 weeks 6 days
(post workout and mowing the lawn hence the red face)

Today at the gym a lady walked past me setting up my weights and said, "woah you look ready to pop!" Nope, I still have six weeks to go but I do feel huge. I actually appreciated her comment because it validated how I feel. All the comments of "your belly is so cute" or "your so tiny" just make me feel like I'm a wimp for all the soreness and aches I'm experiencing. I already feel so much bigger this time around.

 This was me at about the same time pregnant with Abby.

Last time at about 33-34 weeks Abby stopped growing and I stopped gaining weight. So I've had a few ultrasounds this go round to keep an eye on things and so far 'new girl' is looking good and if you go based off of ultrasounds (which are so not accurate--hahaha) she will be my biggest baby yet. I'm really hoping that means low 7's????? Abby was 5.1 and Jordan was 6.15

Left: 34 weeks pregnant with 'new girl' (any name ideas?)

Right: 36 weeks pregnant with Abby (back in the day when I only had one child and I actually got dressed and did my hair :) )

Picture Dump


 Bedhead is the best. Especially when accompanied by dried breakfast crusties. Welcoming warm summer nights with ice cream cones and bare feet. I couldn't get both of them to look at the camera and smile, but they'll easily smile for each other. This girl is a monkey. She is constantly 'swinging' on things--the edge of the kitchen table, the church pew in front of us, the tops of slides, the handles in the car...She LOVES clips. She is constantly climbing in her booster seat and clipping herself in and then freaking out for someone to come unclip her....all to do it over and over again. Bathtime is awesome. So is dumping out and opening all the snack baggies. This girl LOVES to look at books. One of her current faves is Each Peach Pear Plum. Such a sweet boy. Almost 7. Almost a 1st grader. Yikes!And a creator. He has a hard time falling asleep and eventually when I check on him he has created some masterpiece in his room and then passed out.[...]

Big Brother


Jordan really is the best big brother. He is so patient with Abby. He lets her play with his toys (ie. destroys them). He reads to her. Shares a room with her. Gets her out of her crib in the morning. One of his favorite games to play with his friends actually involves Abby...though I don't know that she knows that yet. He will give her anything and do pretty much anything for her. He really is the best big brother!

 She climbed up and was helping him with his homework.

Happy Birthday Luke!


 For Luke's birthday we surprised him with an indoor skydiving experience. He loved it!

As we were waiting for his turn we got to watch a group of very skilled sky divers do some tricks and training. Even Abby was amazed.

Then it was Luke's turn. They got him all suited up and went over the instructions.

He had two turns to fly and this is a video of his second flight.

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He walked away with a huge smile on his face and I felt successful in giving a great present this year.

Happy Birthday Luke!

Easter Egg Hunt


One of my favorite traditions is the town Easter egg hunt. This was our third year attending and the town does a great job. It seems the weather never wants to cooperate though! Our first year there were tornado watches and they had to hold the hunt in the community center gyms. The second year the rain held out just long enough for the egg hunt and then down poured the rest of the day. This year the weather was a tad bit warmer than the days proceeding it, but still very chilly. Nonetheless we bundled up and got our hunt on.


They distribute all the eggs on two separate fields (younger and older kids) and then at 10 sharp they blow the horn and in a matter of seconds it is all over. It was Luke's birthday so he got a free pass to go play basketball and not 'endure' the crowds and the family time. ;) Jordan did a great job and gathered lots of eggs...Abby on the other hand did not want a single one. I even cornered one just for her and she sat down and started crying. Maybe next year. Jordan had fun but was a bit disappointed that there were no golden prize eggs (budget cuts?) or candy this year--just little toys. Fine by me. :) Now I just have to wait a few days for the novelty to wear off and then all the toys will be gathered up and taken to goodwill.

Happy Easter!

The New Girl


Jordan and I were playing cards at the table the other day and he said, "mom I like how the new girl is pointing her finger." I was totally confused as to what he was talking about until I realized he was looking over at the ultrasound pictures on our fridge. The New Girl. Awesome. Baby number three is a girl and will be making her debut this July! Let's hope we can come up with a better name for her than The New Girl before she gets here.



A conversation Jordan and I had last night...J: Mom do bad people get to come back to life?A: Um, well, everyone will one day be resurrected and then God will choose who was good and gets to go to heaven with Him and who was bad and doesn't.J: (thinking for a minute) Well that's easy he could just ask you how many years you got a present from Santa and how many years you got coal and then it would be an easy decision for Him.Nice logic kid!For Christmas this year we went to Chicago. Santa holds a lot of stock right now so Jordan was pretty anxious to make sure Santa would know where we were. Luckily he found us!Some things I just don't understand. Jordan and Abby share a room. Jordan has a bunk bed but has only slept in the top bunk a handful of times. It is pretty high up and doesn't have a guard rail so I can understand why he might not want to sleep up there. Well now he is this phase of wanting to sleep on the floor?! I don't understand it. How uncomfortable! We'll even go in there before we go to bed and move him into his bed and he has asked us not to. He likes sleeping on the floor.Grandma and Grandpa Bishopp got Jordan a bike for Christmas and we picked it out a couple weeks early. He LOVES it. He rides it before school and after. We'll go on bike rides to the playground or on the greenways and he is a speedy kid. We recently were given one of those pull behind bike chariots and now Abby can come on bike rides too.Jordan is on a year round school schedule and because we flew to Chicago for Christmas he got out of school a few days early. Then after the Christmas break instead of going back to school he was "tracked out". So since December 18th this kid has not been in school and it shows...One day he decided to take the mattress topper off his bed and use it to slide down the stairs. He had so much fun and thankfully didn't get hurt. Jordan really is an awesome big brother. He shares EVERYTHING with Abby. He is so good about helping out and making sure she is happy. He loves to play a game with his friends where they hide from Abby and lose points if she sees them. His friends come over and ask to play with her and he's such a good sport about it. She's pretty lucky to have such a kind big brother.At 6.5 he has lost his two bottom teeth in the front, he is in Kindergarten and likes it most of the time, he's still not a fan of primary and especially singing time, he loves watching the Star Wars movies, plays games on and Luke's old cell phone, stays up late and sleeps in, and is a very sweet and kind little boy who can be very emotional at times. We sure do love him! [...]



 Abby is a little foodie. Eat is the only sign she knows and the first thing she "says" when she wakes up and all day long. We are entering the phase where she wants to feed herself with a fork and spoon. A messy phase that I am NOT looking forward to. I'm thinking it might be smart for me to embrace her love for food and teach her to cook as soon as she has enough fine motor skill. Wouldn't it be great if in a few years she was doing all the cooking? :)*The two pictures above were taken about two months apart. A love for cheese must be in our family's DNA.She loves taking a bath (most of the time) and usually gets at least two a day (thank you self feeding). As soon as you turn on the water she scoots right up under the faucet and stays there until you turn the water off. Oh does this little girl drive us crazy! She is busy and fast. As soon as she hears Luke walk out of his office she runs in there and climbs up in his chair and onto his desk. She loves to 'organize' his papers, 'type' his proposals, test out all the functions on his calculator, and cause destruction. She has since learned to climb up on my desk too and now we try to remember to close our doors when leaving.Abby is a sweet sweet girl who at 16.5 months is busy busy, loud (but not saying very many words), still digesting things she shouldn't (this week it was a nickel!), loves her brother except when he's bugging her, sleeping through the night and taking one long nap a day, attached to a binki and has blanket preferences, doesn't mind car rides but hates bike rides, loves to climb on Jordan's bed, loves to look out the window and yell, and makes the best stink face. We sure do love this sweet girl![...]

Sunday Girl


Abby looked so cute in her dress and bow(!) this morning and I was surprisingly ready for church a little early so I tried to take some pictures of her. I know the bow probably looks a little ridiculous because of its placement but she has almost no hair and the little patch I could gather was barely holding this in place. None the less I am one proud mama that my little girl is FINALLY wearing a bow in her hair. :)

We have reached the stage where taking her picture is hard. She is so busy! Good thing for digital because I deleted a lot just to get these three.

 Stink face. She gives us this look a lot. It's actually pretty cute in person.

  And she's off!

Raven Rock State Park


Luke surprised us yesterday and suggested an adventure to Raven Rock State Park. We were surprised because Luke hates car rides and Raven Rock is a little over an hour from home. We jumped at the chance for an adventure! Jordan's friends were spending the day with us while their mom was at work. We ended up hiking almost four miles and had a great time. The kids loved climbing all over the rocks and Luke even timed them and videotaped them racing up a slick rock face.     [...]

Mess Maker / Ballerina


Abby is a total mess maker. As fast as I can pick up she is right behind me dumping things out and making messes. Her current favorites are the games in the armoire and the drawers in the kitchen. She loves to stand at the tupperware drawer and throw each and every piece across the kitchen floor. She also loves to pull all the tin foil and wax paper off their rolls.I shut the bathroom doors all day long because she loves to pull all the toilet paper off the rolls. Wet wipes? Don't stand a chance in our house. She pulls each and every one out. I have to unload the dishwasher when she is not around because she likes to try and "help". If only I could channel her energy into folding laundry or cleaning...Abby was a ballerina for Halloween. Kind of a cop-out costume but she looked pretty cute. Of course she would not keep the bow on.And wouldn't pose for pictures unless bribed with fruit snacks.And she's off!Enjoying her first mini-tootsie pop after the ward trunk or treat. She loved it! It also helped her to forget the gash in her head she got from flipping over the car seat. Poor girl! [...]

Pumpkin Picking


Monday night we went and picked out our pumpkins. There is a little farm house near us that puts out pumpkins and gourds and mums and other fall items. You take what you want and leave money in a mailbox. The prices are great and its super close to our house-win win.

 This little boy has finally learned that if he smiles the first time I won't bug him for a million pictures. Cute kid!
He is constantly smothering her with love and even though she gets so annoyed, she always comes back for more.

Jordan found a pumpkin that was already worms! He said we should buy it for Abby and carve a little smile beneath the two eyes.

Instead she picked out her own mini pumpkin.

Jordan chose the pumpkin with the stem and the one with the broken stem is our witch pumpkin. By Jordan's request, we are really halloweening our house this year!

That'll Leave a Mark


Abby started walking about a week ago.  She's still a little shaky on her legs but determined to walk wherever she wants to go.  Yesterday she stumbled and fell face first into the edge of the door.  The indent and bruise started forming instantly.  Poor girl!  Now she's rocking a scar like Scar on The Lion King.

174 Days - 24 Sundays


After chasing and wrestling Abby for the last two hours of church today, the countdown has officially began.  Only 174 more days until nursery and 24 Sundays spent walking the halls.  March 3rd will be a glorious Sunday--that's if I don't sneak her in a few Sundays early.  You know to ease the transition. 

First Day of School


In 2 short years Jordan has grown so much.  He went from the little preschooler the big kindergartener below.

I always thought I would be sad when he started kindy but surprisingly I'm not.  He's ready for more--more learning, more social interaction, more stimulation--and I'm ready for him to have all that.

Now between the hours of 8 and 4 Monday through Friday, this little chickie rules the roost.  She's already keeping me busy.

Summertime Colds


 are the pits.  Even watching movies all day long isn't fun when you're sick.




My brother and his family recently moved from Virginia back to Seattle. While we only saw them a few times a year, it was nice knowing that they were just a car ride away.  We'll miss having them close by but look forward to seeing them when we visit Seattle AND at the outer banks in August! In June we drove up to visit them one last time before they moved.  We spent Friday doing a few DC things...Library of Congress, Martin Luther King Jr Monument, Department of Treasury. Reese and Abby are two of the sweetest girls around. Saturday we played tennis.  These boys have some mad tennis skills. Followed by some rooftop swimming.Not pictured were all the delicious meals--Famous Dave's with my BYU-I roommate Robyn and her family and Cafe Rio TWICE!  We had a great time, great food, and great company.  We're sad to see our cousins leave the East Coast but are excited for them and their new adventures.[...]

10 Months


It's really hard to believe she's ten months old.  Where is the button I press to stop her from growing up?!


Adventures in Eating


This girl LOVES to eat.  As soon as we sit down to the kitchen table she army crawls her way over to get in on the action.  We started out feeding her the typical baby foods--mashed bananas, rice cereal, oatmeal, applesauce, etc.  Then we'd give her little tastes of what ever we were eating and she LOVED that.  Very quickly she has graduated from mushy simple baby foods to salmon, mahi mahi, tomatoes, cous cous, hummus, pasta with creamy goat cheese sauce, beans, bell peppers, whole wheat bread, waffles, cheese, the list could go on and on.  No simple purees for her!  In fact the other day I pulled out some frozen zucchini puree I had made a few weeks ago and warmed it up.  She was not interested at all.  Mixed with a little hummus and she couldn't get enough.  I think we have a foodie on our hands!

Interestingly she does not hum like her brother.  Yes at almost six years old, he still hums while he eats!

Skylar's Striders


Goodness it has been forever since I blogged.  This past weekend was all about cystic fibrosis.  You may remember Jordan's best friend Wyatt's older sister Skylar has CF.  Every year she and a friend throw an ice cream social to raise money for the cystic fibrosis foundation.  The local grocery stores donate all the goods and she and her friend scoop bowls of ice cream for donations.  Last year we missed it (what we're we thinking?!) but this year we made sure to be there.  No pictures since I was already juggling Abby who was trying desperately to get my bowl of ice cream all while trying to catch up with old friends.  Good times!

Oh my!  Can you tell this kid rarely gets soda?  He was nursing that can all afternoon.

Then Saturday was the big CF walk (look how much J has changed since last year!).  I have been really bad at being on time to things lately (just ask Jordan's preschool teacher!) so of course we were late and got there just as they were finishing up the walk...but in time for lunch!  We all were decked out in our tie dye Skylar's Striders t-shirts--including Abby!

We love Skylar!  She is an amazing, sweet, optimistic girl!  If you want to donate to her team, let me know and I will send you the information.

Blueberries for Jordan


Jordan loves frozen blueberries with his cream of wheat. He puts half in the bowl to cool off the hot cereal and the rest he eats straight. It makes for some crazy staining though. I'm sure people see his blueberry stained fingers and mouth and think he's dirty--nope just full of yummy blueberries!(image)

These two.


These two make my heart melt. There is five years between them and yet they are best buddies.
(image) (image) When I put Abby in her car seat she looks over to see if Jordan is there next to her. As soon as he gets in the car from preschool he holds her hand and makes her smile.

She loves to climb all over him and pull his hair. We pretend she thinks it's cotton candy.

He loves to have me pretend to be her voice. 'She' can be a bit sassy and boss him around. We call her Boss Baby. She threatens to eat his legos and break his toys while he's at school. He thinks its hilarious.

He LOVES to show her off to everybody. The kids at the playground, people at the store, the different teachers at carpool. He is so proud of his little sister.

Only once since she was born has he been jealous of her. A few weeks ago I was pushing both of them on the swings and apparently was paying too much attention to her.

He can't wait to see her when she wakes up in the morning and a few times has gotten her up and played with her in his room while Luke and I slept a while longer.

These two really do make my heart melt. I hope that they continue to be best buddies for years to come!