Lincoln: He is such a goofy, hilarious, observant little boy! He read his first word on Tuesday, January 6th: "mat." He was so excited he jumped up and hugged me. He was laughing with delight at learning a new skill. He feels silly when he works on writing letters and they look, "a little wonky." I do my best to introduce him to all kinds of music (Jazz, Classical, Symphonic, International, etc.) and his favorite station on Pandora is?. . . Weird Al Yankovic. While I was boiling pasta for mac and cheese (deceptively delicious style) he said, "The noodles are dancing in the bubbles!" Also, he requests for Atley to nurse his bunny, and gets upset if/when she refuses to, "But he's hungry! My bunny needs to eat!!" He loves to be read to. The other day I read Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece to the kids before nap time. Lincoln was walking around the house later that day singing, "Oh, I'm looking for my missing piece, I'm looking for my missing piece. High-dee-ho, here I go, I'm looking for my missing piece!" He's getting schooled in the ways of old school cartoons by his dad: on Saturday mornings he gets to watch one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Spiderman, and eat a bowl of sugar cereal. (Sugar cereal from his Dad's Christmas stash - the poor man requested Peanut Butter Crunch as a gift this year, as I've been depriving him for about a year, now. ;) ) He started attending Sunbeams on Sunday. I think he was both excited and shell-shocked by the transition. He ran to hug his dad when he saw him in singing time. (We team teach the other Sunbeam class together in our ward.) I'm looking forward to seeing him warm up to the whole experience and really start singing in singing time because he has a great ear and voice for music. He'll be four in February.
Atley: She is one sweet, independent little gal as evidenced by her insistence that she do everything "self!!" But she isn't so independent that she doesn't love to snuggle close to me in bed each morning and whisper, "Love you, Mama. Love you." She is often wearing several dress-ups and accessories at the same time. This little woman has style! She LOVES pink so much that it is a rare day (and very precariously discussed) that I can get her to wear anything else. She got a play food set for her second birthday - the kind that slices apart. She brought me a piece of bread with a strawberry attached at the velcro and said it was bread with jam. We recently fought (and won!) the "like it!" (Translation: "I don't like it!") food battle with her and she is feeling pretty proud to be eating food on her plate, "Self!" She has the cutest little nasally voice. She loves her baby "Jothelyn" and helps me by bringing me dipes and wipes for her. She also helps me put away the dishes from the dishwashing machine each morning. She is quick to be a helper and listener which is wonderful for her mama! Sometimes, she whispers her answers to questions I ask her. I have no idea why she does this, but it makes me laugh. Squire has been away for interviews a lot lately, and Atley always insists we pray for "Daddeeeeee! or "Daddy-O."
Jocelyn: She is very observant and alert. She is really cooing and baby talking now which I adore as much as her bright smile that can be found in both her mouth and sweet round blue eyes - these often go together - double win! She is keeping her baby hair so far *fingers crossed we bypass the old man hair-do.* It is still light brown, but auburnish in the right light. She has one longer patch of hair on the crown of her head that curls straight up. I call her my little cockatoo because of this. She is calm in nature, but very active and strong. She loves being worn in my Sakura ring sling - she requests with some squawking to face out to see the world these days. She is delighted by the toys that hang from the bar in her bouncer and coos at them with joy. She nurses great and sleeps a manageable amount. I'm not a total zombie! ;) She is gaining weight and her double chin is growing, but she has a less chunky baby body than Atley did so her g cloth diapers fit just right.
Squire: Squire has been interviewing at residency programs all over the Western part of the United States (Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada) for the last couple of months which has kept him away from home quite a bit. He just finished an independent study and wrote a research paper on Obesity and ways to treat it with lifestyle and medicine. He is almost done with medical school at the U of A and will graduate this May!!! I'm not sure which one of us is more excited. Our 3 1/2 years in Tucson have gone by in the blink of eye. He loves to listen to Dave Ramsey while helping around the house or wood-working, and he is excited to start making money so that we can pay off our debt. He doesn't care that we have a lot of money, he just wants to be able to care for his family's needs and do that with a career he has felt led to do by God. I'm so proud of all he has accomplished, and the good, loving man that he is. He has the most unique dance moves I've ever seen - those get busted out regularly for Hepworth family only dance parties. ;) He is always reading a novel of some kind to the kids. This past year he read the first couple of books from the Little House on the Prairie series, and is currently reading Charlotte's Web to them. He is so loved by our kidlets. They like to ride him like a cow. Not a horse. A cow. We just read Christmas Jars together - a tear-jerker that inspired us to implement a new family tradition in our home.
Me: I am feeling overwhelmed . . . with joy and peace! I love my life and my little family! I never divulged much on this blog, but last year for several months (really, much of the year before I got pregnant with Jocelyn) I had a lot of struggles with my physical and emotional health. I suspect I was struggling with adrenal fatigue and some postpartum depression. It was hard. Really hard. There was a lot of time when I didn't know how to keep going when all I felt like doing was curling up in a corner to sleep or disappear, but I am pleased to report that I am fully back to my own self in mind and body now, and I am cherishing this wonderful time by sucking the marrow out of life. Having Jocelyn has been a gift in our home. I'm enjoying my kids and homemaking more fully than I ever have. I get a kick out of doing Zumba and other video workouts with my little rugrats these days. It's hilarious - and also kind of difficult to not step on them with their excited frenzies about it all. I'm currently reading a lot because nursing forces me to sit quite a bit. Right now I'm working my way through Approaching Zion by: Hugh Nibley and pondering on the topic of preparing my family and associates for the Second coming of Jesus Christ. ("What does Zion look like? How can I create that in my home? How can I foster that in my relationships with others?") I pressure-canned chicken for the first time in November with my family and Misty's help, and am getting ready to pressure can beans, and to learn to sprout. I'm feeling really motivated to add a slew of new, healthy recipes to our repertoire, particularly dietician approved and low-meat or vegetarian dishes. (If you have any you love, I'd love if you'd send them along!!) :) I am looking forward to see where God is going to lead our family for residency - we find out in March. I'm excited about all the possibilities and know that wherever we go, it will be just the right place for us.
2015 is starting out as a beautiful and exciting year for our family. Life is good. I hope things are going just as well in your corner of the world! Thanks for caring enough to read about our lives. That means a lot to me.