Fourth of July Weekend

It's amazing to me that July 4th, 2013 has already come and gone.  This time last year, we were enjoying our little family of four.  Zoe had just been discharged from the hospital after her G-Tube procedure and weeklong stay following her first stroke.  We were so blessed to be out of the hospital in time to celebrate Londyn's 3rd birthday.  Andrew had honored his priesthood and given Zoe a beautiful father's blessing with our family and ward bishopric in my parents home.   We were then in the midst of Zoe's condition beginning to worsen.  Her breathing was more strained than usual, cough becoming more violent and O2 sats dropping into the 60's.  I can still feel the fear that continued to build with each day that I watched my poor baby struggle more and more.  She fought so hard.

I'm so grateful that my sister-in-law Sarah was able to capture what would be our only family portrait.  This was taken on the back steps of Eric and Sarah's house.  We had a small BBQ there for the 4th and lit fireworks as a family.

This was the first time all of the Milne grandkids were able to hold Zoe.  With the concern of germs, this was a big occasion.  The cousins had been so patient.  I'm so glad we did this then because for most of them, this was the only time they got to hold their angel cousin.

We are so blessed to have eternal families and to know that we can be together forever, even after our time here on earth.  We miss you so much Zoe.

This year, we had a wonderful Fourth celebration.
We started the day off at a ward 4th of July breakfast.  The spread was pretty impressive!
Pancakes from scratch, eggs, sausage and lots of fruit!

After breakfast, we went to the Sherwood Summer Festival.  Lulu played carnival games, enjoyed a small petting zoo and we all played glow-in-the-dark mini golf.

In the evening, we had a small family BBQ with my parents and sister Jenelle's family.  The food and family were fabulous, but the fireworks were pretty amazing.  We had all contributed our own little supply of fireworks but a young man from down the street repeatedly entertained us with his illegal stash of fireworks.  He wasn't exactly "all there" but was extremely generous nonetheless!  Let's just say, he was equally as entertaining as the fireworks display.

We continued with the family fun the next day at Hagg Lake with my parents and the Christensen's.  My Dad has had his boat for a little over a year now and this was our second time getting to go out on it.  

The first time was at the very same lake.  We hadn't been able to get out of the house very much, so my dad made a special trip to take us out with my brother Kevin's family.  My dad and I took turns staying in the shade with Zoe and doing everything we could to keep her cool and comfortable.

Just like all of our firsts after Zoe, it was bittersweet to be back at Hagg Lake.  Being with family and having a blast in perfect weather made it a fun and relaxing experience.

Andrew tried water skiing and I tried knee boarding.  To summarize, we are both very sore!
Lulu LOVES Papa's boat.  She was the most easygoing child I have ever seen.  We were up and out the door by 8:30am and didn't get home until 8pm.  Not once did she complain!

To conclude a fabulous holiday weekend, I took Lulu to the local Farmer's Market and to play at the water fountains today.  

When isn't this kid dancing?!

To cool down, she got a tasty ice cream DONUT sandwich

I love these Summer days!

4 years

For Lulu's actual birthday, we had a Mommy/Daughter date ALL DAY LONG!
We started the day off at Safari Sam's.  She loved playing in the jungle gym and on the bounce houses.

After working up an appetite, we went to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch.  

So proud to be 4!

After a much needed nap, Grandpa and Grandma Milne took us out to Lulu's favorite restaurant, Red Robin.  She ordered her usual- mac & cheese, fruit and "regular" lemonade.
After opening her gifts from Gma & Gpa, she was determined to haul/drag the large bag out to the car on her own.  

Along with the extreme Heart House makeover, we gave Londyn her first big girl bike with training wheels.  She was a pro from the very first try!  She even had a tumble on the sidewalk and got a scraped knee, but got back on and kept riding.  That's our girl!

Happy 4th Birthday to my first born lovey girl. She lights up every room, fills our lives with joy and always keeps us laughing!

We are so grateful for our cutie girl, diva, baby face, dance lover, best snuggles, most sincere prayers, little comedian, most thoughtful big sister, craftaholic, sassy pants Londie-Lou. 

Happy Birthday sweet girl!