Harmon's Haven

Meet amazing dad Robbie, mother-in-training Jesika, 7 year old best big sister Bree, 5 year old boy in every way Gabe, 3 year old who thinks he's 10 years old who makes us all laugh McKay,
and 9 month old sweetest Quinn Marie...the Harmon Family!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Costa Rica Casita

Hola! We have been waiting since Monday for them to come set up our internet...so we haven't had too much access. Once we have it in our home I hope to be better about posting! But here I am and welcome to the grand tour of the Harmon casita. We love it! The back of our house faces the road, so as you walk from the road you come around to walk up onto our porch then into the door and you see this. Next to the door are some double doors that also open if you want. You look to the left and you have our kitchen. Tons of counter and cupboard space compared to Baity Hill!! Beyond the kitchen is the little laundry room. Here you see all our clothes nicely hung after the first time I did the laundry... and waited two days for the them to dry and then noticed they were stinky :) Now we have a clothes line to hang them outside and I am much happier :) Then you look to the right and see this nice familiy room. A little couch, couple of chairs, desk and a book shelf. PLUS a white board on the wall to write up our Spanish words! Directly up the stairs is our bathroom with a sink and shower... and warm water for the first one who showers, or for no one if we have done some laundry already :) On the right side is the kid's room and on the left side is our room. All the floors are tile (which is easier to clean up after meal messes than carpet!) and with this nice weather our windows are open day and night. Costa Rica just finished with the rainy season (where it rains every day!) and now the dry season is brought in with about a month of breeze and sunshine. Then in February it gets a lot hotter. But the major humidity shouldn't set in until late summer. So we timed this just right! We are at the end of a cul de sac with the playground right next door :) and have some GREAT neighbors! Just a five minute walk up the hill is the main campus with an exercise room, the pool, and the buildings where Robbie will have classes starting next week. The campus is all gated in with security guards in several places, so we feel so safe.

This week has been SO much fun! It has been a huge blessing to have a whole week with Robbie home before he starts school next week. I will be posting about the Tope (cool horse parade) the beach, some cooking adventures, and the fun times with daddy home as soon as we get our internet set up! Oh and someone must have prayed for me because I found wheat flour at a store this week!! GRACIAS!!
Hasta Luego!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My totally awesome wife!

I just want to quickly say how incredible Jesika has been since arriving in Costa Rica. She has learned how to make delicious (and nutritious) meals with very different resources. She made Christmas memorable for everyone, despite being thousands of miles away from family and friends and a bazillion things going on for weeks beforehand. She is full of faith. She is determined to learn Spanish (writing down words she hears during the day and looking them up at night). The list goes on. She's beautiful...she's sweet...and she's mine, all mine! I love it!

~ Robbie

Costa Rica!!

Wow. Wow wow wow pretty much sums it up so far. As of December 22nd our home is here in Costa Rica. While I admit it hasn't all been a perfect happy vacation in paradise, there are some definite perks: The weather is perfect...cool in the evenings and sunny with a touch of humidity in the day time. We're surrounded by gorgeous greenery with bright beautiful flowers. We have a pool up the street, a nice little house all to ourseves with a playground literaly next door, and Robbie doesn't start school for another week still!! Bree LOVES getting to wear dresses and skirts any time she wants without leggings underneath :) I will be happy when Gabe starts walking though since all of the floors everywhere are tile...not super clean for a crawling child. Yes we have found all sorts of fun surprises in his mouth! But I think with all of the craziness of having a Christmas Dance concert with the four dance classes I taught all last semester, being in charge of our ward's Christmas activity, moving out of our apartment and putting all of our stuff in storage and saying good-bye to people and a place we have loved living for almost four years, oh ya and preparing for Christmas, I didn't get to properly prepare myself for this trip... let's just say there have been lots of surprises. Having been on a mission I was prepared to be discouraged about not knowing the language...but I knew I would hate not being able to speak and that I am going to learn, so that bit of frustration was to be expected. BUT, there are a few other things that have thrown me for a loop: Like our clothes take two days to dry (on a line) and if they aren't drying in direct sunlight they start to stink...it gets light at 5:30 AM and so both my kids are up then no matter how late we but them in bed...our legs are covered with mosquito bites...big red ants everywhere, especially in the grass... I can't find whole wheat pasta or flour anywhere :( ... and while we are grateful to have a stove I didn't think about how long it takes to make food, and warm things up without a microwave! :) All week I have just been waiting to go to church, knowing that with all of the unfamiliar, crazy transitions into a new culture at least I could go to church and feel that same familiar spirit, even if I couldn't understand what they were saying. I failed to remember however, that I have an 11 month old son, who can't sit still and won't stay in Sacrament meeting, Sunday School or Relief Society or Priesthood for more than about ten minutes!! (this was the age that with Bree I seriously questioned why I even went to church!!) Ah yes, and the halls in the churches in Costa Rica are tile and echo his sounds nice and loud. Robbie took him out during Sacrament meeting so during Sunday school it was my turn. I walked outside with him and almost broke down. The worse part about all of these "new things" was that it was causing me to have little to no patience with my children...and I really don't like that feeling. I wanted more that anything to pick up a phone and call someone...my mom, my dad, my sisters or brothers, in-laws, friends...ANYONE! But as has happened two other distinct times in my life when I have felt utterly alone and completely helpless, I knew that my Heavenly Father wanted me to talk to him. He wanted me to reach deep inside and let him help me grow from this experience. I plead with him to help me and asked forgiveness of my bad attitude. I hate even admitting all of this...because I feel like I am usually an optimistic person ready to take on any challenge life throws. But I know that the only way to learn and grow is through trials and challenging things. So I should be grateful right :) I came home and wrote down ways that I could overcome the little difficulties I was facing and goals for learning Spanish. I KNOW that I am going to learn so much here in these three months and that it's going to fly by and I'm going to love it. I'd better take advantage cause I'll never have this chance again! So, Pura Vida baby in Costa Rica :) Bring it on.

And don't worry, I will post pictures soon! This place is amazing!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh how they love eachother!

The older Gabe gets the more fun it is to watch him and Bree together. They seriously love each other so much! I love that since he is bigger and can crawl and stand up he can take it when his sister tries to pick him up (and kind of drops him), or when she plays a little too hard...now he just laughs! And then they both just start laughing so hard! I don't think there are many more beautiful sounds to a mother than hearing her children laughing together (well the soft silence when they are sleeping is pretty sweet too :)! And they get a kick out of the funniest things...

And then I had to add some of Gabe's latest: I was doing Bree's hair and I looked down and saw this! And I just discovered what was happening to the sides of the crib (notice the scrape marks!). All because of these bad boys! For some strange reason both of my children get their bottom two teeth, then the top side two BEFORE the middle two! And it happened for both of them right before Halloween. We should have dressed them up as vampires I guess!
If life is this fun with two, I can't imagine what it will be like with twelve! I'm kidding :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Sweet Boy

First, I'll warn you that the picture with this post is pretty graphic. So shield your eyes if you have a weak stomach! We have had quite an eventful couple of weeks here in the Harmon family. It started two weeks ago on a Wednesday after Gabe went in for his 9 month check up. He has always been great at the doctors, but this time he hated everything she did...which she said was normal for kids this age (and Bree always hated the doctor) so I wasn't worried. He got especially worked up when he saw them coming in for his flu shot, but quieted down after they left. We came home, started having lunch, and after a few bites he just stared crying and shaking terribly. I got him out of his high chair and thought maybe he was tired, a tooth hurt, something that ordinarily bothers a small child. So I tried putting him down for a nap. After sleeping for maybe 20 minutes he awoke, but when I went in he still had his eyes closed and was crying and making these grunting sounds like something seriously hurt. My sister Lizzy was in town visiting (oh how I love you sister!!) and was taking a nap, as was Bree, so I tried to calm him down. But no matter what I did he was inconsolable. I tried taking him outside, walking in the halls, playing with toys, nothing helped. Whether I was holding him or if he was laying down it was the same crying in pain. So after a couple of hours I called Robbie who came home and gave him a blessing and I took him back to the doctors. He calmed down a little bit, but was still doing that grunting like he couldn't really breath thing. She checked him out and just said we'd have to give it a little time to see what it could be. He didn't have a fever or anything so she just gave me her cell phone and said call her if anything changed. Well, he ate ok that night and actually slept. Then Thursday he was fussy, but ate and napped and acted semi-normal. We had planned to head to Jacksonville, FL for my best friend Laura's wedding, and since he was doing better (and it was my best friend's wedding!) we took off. It was an 8 hour drive, and we planned to leave before dinner so the kids would sleep at least half of the drive. Well, it would have been a good idea except that our poor little boy cried 3/4ths of the way! No matter if I was holding him or if he was in his car seat it was that same pained crying. We got to the hotel around midnight and after getting Bree in bed Robbie told me that he was taking Gabe out (since there was no way any of us could sleep with him in the room crying) to calm him down. I argued that he had just driven the whole way so I should take him, but his adamant comeback was that since I was in the wedding, I had to look refreshed so I needed the sleep. I reluctantly went to sleep and woke up at 6:00 and Robbie and Gabe still weren't back?! I went out of the room, looked around, had no idea where they would be, then saw he had sent me a message...the sweet hotel manager had let them use another room for the night for free! So I went down there and sweet Gabe was still whimpering, kind of asleep and Robbie said he had slept for only maybe an hour! We decided he would call our doctor and take Gabe to the ER and then when Bree woke up she and I would head down there. Then I heard nothing for two hours! I was dying. Then Robbie came back in! His phone had died, but Gabe had fallen asleep in the car so he drove around to let him sleep and thought he would get us before he headed to the ER. Well, it was better that he hadn't gone to the hospital that was close by, because we found out that there was a Mayo Clinic (one of the best hospitals in the country) ten minutes away. It was good we went in the morning because we got right in. The sweetest, funniest doctor checked him out and decided to do an X-ray....and thank heavens he did!! Our sweet little boy had a hole in his diaphragm! A diaphragmatic hernia. Apparently it is congenital (he was born with it) and they usually only see this in infants. Gabe's must have been so small that it didn't effect him (he's grown quite nicely up till now!) but over time his stomach must have put pressure and pushed his insides up making the hole larger. Basically, his small intestine was up inside of his chest cavity. I asked the doctor how we could fix it and he said surgery. Ya, I lost it. My sweet little boy can't have surgery! Well, to make this super long post a little shorter, they suggested we do the surgery when we got back to Chapel Hill. We stayed for the wedding (Laura was GORGEOUS! The wedding was so picturesque on the beach! And Bree was the cutest little flower girl!), even though it meant that Robbie was in the hotel room with Gabe a lot of the time and when they weren't Gabe just looked awful. The only thing worse that all the pain my son was in was that all these people who had never met my family didn't even see Gabe smile once! Nor did they get to be around my wonderful husband. The miracle of it all though was Laura's uncle who was there is a chiropractor. After we got back from the ER he did a couple of adjustments on Gabe that he said moved his stomach down, decreasing the pressure. Gabe actually slept better that night and though he was clearly in pain the next day, wasn't crying near as much. We did take off Saturday right after the wedding ceremony to drive home, and Gabe slept most of the way, which I think was also a blessing from above because the moment we got home at 3:00 AM he started crying again. I stayed up with him this time (Robbie had been amazing the whole Jacksonville trip) and after three hours I called my doctor. She suggested we take him into the hospital now (he wasn't scheduled to meet with the surgeon until Monday) and she called ahead to let them know we were coming. They scheduled him for emergency surgery on Monday and said he couldn't eat anything until then. The poor thing had hardly eaten anything the past three days so it hurt me to see him in pain and starving! All of Monday he was so miserable, but past the point of caring. He was just limp and so sad. He finally went in at 5:30 PM the next day. As Robbie and I handed him off to the surgical team we felt so much peace and that everything would be ok. (Gabe pooped right as we handed him off and Robbie was proud that his son would have a surprise waiting for them :) 2 1/2 hours later the surgeon came out and said everything went as well as it could have. As you can see in the picture they stitched up the hole (top right). The bottom left is the small intestine that they had to pull out of his chest cavity (bottom right is the actual hole). Dr. Lange told us that she was able to do it all laparoscopically, with just four small incisions. We found out later that she was known for trying if possible to do surgeries this way so that the recovery is better and there is less scaring...even if it takes longer. So even though poor Gabe had to wait almost 48 hours to get into surgery, it was a blessing to be the last one of the day so that she could spend that time. I only write this much detail for my family history purposes (since this blog acts as a sort of family journal), but because of all the detail, as I am writing this I am overwhelmed at the place God's hand had in everything. We were so blessed! From Laura's uncle being their to ease some of Gabe's pain, to my sweet daughter who was SO good through this all, even with so much attention being on her brother and not on her, to having energy on such little sleep, friends who were so willing to help out while we were in the hospital for four days, to family member's prayers, to my mom being able to come out, to a pediatrician who was always on call (oh she felt so bad!! She started crying when she came to see us at the hospital!), to having just the perfect surgeon and getting in at just the right time...the list goes on. If something like this has to happen what a blessing to know that God cares. And if he doesn't take the burden away, he will make it seem lighter AND make you strong enough to carry it. I don't think I have felt this loved before. Really. SO many people have been SO wonderful. I have never felt so much power and strength from the prayers of others. Thank you everyone who was there for us. And I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who cares about us so much that he lets us experience things that will make us stronger. And it's only in recognizing his hand that we see how blessed we truly are. Gabe is doing so well now and I am SO happy to have my happy little boy back!! Don't worry, my next post will be happy pictures of Gabe!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Go daddy!

This past weekend Robbie did a 10 mile race! He signed up with several of his friends a few months ago, and though he wasn't able to train totally like he wanted, he still did awesome!! We were so proud of daddy! Even though we forgot to bring the sign we had made for him :( It was on this trail that used to be a train track...so it was just cut out of the trees...so beautiful! Nicole and I barely made it to the finish line to see our hubbies finish (that's another story!). We were so proud of our men! I only wished I ran it with him! We're going to try and find a race to do while we're in Costa Rica!!
I have been meaning to post these next pictures for the past month or so...just some fun highlights of our past couple of months: Bree started Pre-school! (A little coop that I do with a few other moms...it's been SO FUN!!) Funny story, we were at Costco and there was a table of pajamas. Bree had been needing some and so I was looking through the pile; there were purple ones with crowns and jewels, there were pink ones with ballet slippers, and then there were these green ones with balls all over them. I grabbed them before she saw the others and said, "Whoa cool! How about these!" Bree was kindof excited, and then I saw some for Gabe and said, "You could be twiners with Gabe!" Then she was way excited. When we got home she was so excited to wear them. I was thinking, "Yes! Success!" (Nothing against all the princess stuff, I just want her to be well rounded...and she has a little too much "princess" influence sometimes!) But after putting them on she went straight to her room, got a necklace, bracelets, and her princess shoes... :) Well, I tried!
One of Bree and Gabe's favorite games is Bree will go to the far end of the room and she'll run straight for Gabe. He gets the biggest smile on his face and then laughs hysterically when she tickles him...one of those things you love to watch as a mom.

Never a dull moment around here!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The women in my life~

I've been wanting to write this post since May actually...but the past weekend just impressed this point even more. I have AMAZING women in my life! First I have the most amazing mother (who just pulled off an incredible wedding!!) and most amazing mother-in-law (who never ceases to amaze me) in the world! Amazing grandmothers, sisters, cousins, and aunts from whom I learn so much every day. But God has also placed some of the most amazing friends in my life from whom I have also learned SO MUCH. I realized this last May when several of these amazing women moved away...living away from home has allowed me to get so much closer to women around me because I don't always have a mom to rely on. I think God knew that I would learn faster this way...they are all things that my mom probably did or does, but because I was so close to it I didn't always notice. I have learned things like stepping in when seeing a mother who needs some help (Ami how do you always know?!), how to be the perfect hostess (Lizzy Stevens I'll never quite reach your level!!), to loving being pregnant (I'm still working on that one Emily!)...and wish I could list everything and could name all of the women who have impacted my life so much, but that would take all night! This past week while we were in Utah for my sister's wedding (pictures from that to come!) I got to spend a little time with one of my dear friends. She came to the reception right as Robbie and I were about to run my sister's and Dave's stuff to their hotel room (since they were being driven from the reception in a cool old car to the hotel and then taking a shuttle to the airport in the morning). We were going to take our kids but she said, "Just leave them with me and you guys run...have a little time together!" I sat there thinking, wow! Did she really just suggest that? It's too nice to be true! It really was the sweetest thing, especially because she had come to the reception just to see me! As we were taking their stuff in the room Robbie brought out a bag Dave had given him with candles and rose petals to put all around. I thought about how fun that would have been with Gabe crawling all over eating the petals and Bree blowing out all the candles after we lit them...it would have taken twice as long! So she entertained them at the reception while we were gone for a 1/2 hour! So I have to THANK YOU!! Thank you to all the women in my life who have done something like that for me...and for others. Because of your service do I think of doing those things for others! And through you I see the example of our Savior whom I want to be like more than anything. I am so blessed and hope to be like you all in so many ways!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baity Hill

So living at Baity Hill (the married student housing at UNC) has been amazing. We have been here for over three years and I have really loved it so much! Though I am excited to move to Costa Rica and then to ? (we'll know in a couple months!), I'm realizing that it's going to pull my heart out to leave North Carolina. It seems like every day someone asks me, "Oh are you getting excited for Costa Rica? When do you leave?" Yes I am getting excited, but I want to enjoy every minute of being here while I can!! One of my most wonderful friends just moved last weekend, fortunately just accross down, but it hit me just how little time we have left here! So, we are going to live up these next three months!

On a funnier note, one thing we love about Baity Hill are all of the international neighbors we have. They are so sweet and come from wonderful cultures with wonderfu languages...most of them are learning English and we have loved hearing some of their comments that I'm sure sound better in their language :)

From our neighbor from Turkistan after looking at Gabe just a few weeks ago in the elevator: "...oh his eye-balls are so different? So cool!" (eye-balls?)

From the sweet Chinese woman who just moved in after meeting Gabe: "...he's so fat!" (picture the asian accent... "hees soo faat!")

From our nicest custodian, Zlati from Bulgaria, who was a doctor there but moved here for his son's schooling and since he can't speak English very well can only find work as a custodian: "...what a beautiful lady! You are a movie star!" And he was talking to Bree :)

From the Korean lady whose name I can never remember because I can hardly pronounce it:
"...she is so skilled!" as Bree was climbing up the ladder at the playground :)

Oh so fun!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sharing a room

This is the first night we put Gabe in Bree's room...Gabe had been asleep for about 45 minutes and Bree was so good about being quiet as we sang songs and said prayers...and then ten minutes later I thought I heard laughing? This is what I found:

I think it's going to be a bit of a transition...I'm just expecting the worst for the morning! (Not to be pessimistic, just knowing that he'll probably wake her up, or she'll wake him up and it will take a few weeks for them to get used to each other's noises! And if I expect the worst I can only be delightfully surprised! But don't think that I live my life expecting the worst :) By "expecting the worst" I mean that anything can happen, so I'd better be ready!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The sacrifices we make...

This was so funny (and embarrassing, but you just may be able to relate) I just had to share it. So this summer I have been taking a dance class...first time since I got married and had two children. I am going to be teaching four children's classes in the fall (starting next week) and so to keep up my technique I really wanted to take a class. Robbie was so sweet and really wanted me to and can I say, I have been in HEAVEN!! It's crazy that it's been three years since I took a class when I have danced my whole life (except for on my mission I guess), because it doesn't even feel like I left it! I often talk to one of my girlfriends on my way home and she said tonight, "you're always on cloud nine after dance!" And it's true. I JUST LOVE TO DANCE! And afterwards Bree always wants me to show her what I "learned", and she just thinks I'm the best dancer. It's so cute.

Well, the class I am taking is an advanced modern/jazz. I absolutely love the teacher but tonight we had a substitute. She seemed nice, and at the start of class announced that she would be doing a strictly jazz class. The class was going great, I liked the teacher. Then she said we were going to do jumps. Fine. I hadn't done jumps (8 in first position, 8 in second, 8 in fifth, etc...) since ballet in college...and not that I can't still do repetitive jumps, it's just that...I've had two children!! For those of you who haven't given birth yet, the area where you birth your child doesn't exactly close like it used to...and so if you have any liquid in you at all...yup, you guess it, LEAKS OUT!! So I didn't think about this as I started jumping, about my third jump I thought, "Oh crap..." Of course I was on the front row and right about that third jump the teacher walked right in front of me. So I couldn't just run out when she was right in front of me!! So the lame "competitive, want to impress" inside of me proceeded with about 8 more jumps and finally she walked on and I ran out to the bathroom. So a little wetness in the pants...ok a lot of wetness in the pants. And the best part was, I was wearing grey pants! I walked back in and they were doing kicks across the floor. Ha. Needless to say I got home a little early from dance tonight!

All I can say is the sacrifices we make for our children...are totally worth wetting my pants :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

SuMmEr FuN!!

So I need to post for two reasons...first, I haven't posted for way too long... and second, to get that huge picture of ME down so that it's not the first thing you see when you pull up our blog! The day after I cut my hair my girlfriend called me, "Jess your hair cut is SO cute! I just love it!" I was a bit confused because I hadn't seen her since I cut my hair, then she said, "I just saw the picture Robbie posted on your blog..." What?! Awe man! Did he really?! I immediatly sent him a text at work: "So what do you know about the picture of my haircut that was posted on our blog?" His reply: "You cut your hair? We have a blog?" He tricked me into taking a picture saying that it was to send to our families...But I will say that he is so good at making me feel "smokin hot" :) and I just love him for it!

We have been having some serious summer fun! My brother got married the end of June so it was back to Utah...but with Robbie, so it was WAY more fun! My brother married an absolutely WONDERFUL girl named Rachel Petersen, and the wedding couldn't have been more perfect. Bree loved the dress she got to wear :) and even though Gabe looked so cute in his little tux, he didn't love it (well maybe it was staying up so late!). Then we stayed through the 4th of July with Robbie's family and had a blast! We enjoyed all of the Freedom Festival festivities- Bree's first time trying cotton candy, seeing a giant snake, face painting, an airshow (Bree didn't want to get out of the little airplanes!), and Robbie and I were able to attend the Freedom Festival Awards Banquet. There they honored four individuals who have made a large contribution to the cause of freedom. (One of the original eight "Frog men" which became the navy seals, and even President Packer!) It was SO neat and SO patriotic! I left wanting to be a more active contributor to our country. My whole 4th of July week really helped me see how much our country needs patriotism! Patriotic celebrations have such a unifying effect. Someday I would love to start a Freedom Festival of sorts wherever I live! And it was so wonderful being with my handsome husband. He is such a great example to me of patriotism and looks up to our founding fathers so much.
Then we always love coming home to our little apartment, but it was a big adjustment this time; the kids getting used to the time change, and Bree getting used to not having ALL attention on her! Oh we will be grateful when there are more grandchildren :) But we have had fun teaching Gabe to eat "real food"...so far he loves squash, carrots, bananas, applesauce, and sweet potatoes. Bree loves to help (picture her inserting the spoon into his mouth and he gags because she puts it so far in :) gotta love siblings!). But Gabe really does love the food. Though it doesn't seem it from this picture (it was his first time!), he just wants more more more! Then we finally took our first trip to the North Carolina beach!! It was a B-L-A-S-T!! We went to Topsail, which is about 2 1/2 hours away. We took off first thing in the morning with some of our favorite friends, and spent the whole day just having fun! (Oh and on the way we passed Rocky Mount where my cousin Tanner is serving and honked and waved!) Bree seriously loved it! I had to ask her to eat (which is very unusual for her!), she just wanted to play in the waves and the sand all day!! And Gabe was an angel...he just sat under the umbrella and played with his toys. And the best part was, when we first got there and were unloading a man walked by and asked if we needed any help carrying stuff, then he proceeded to say that his beach house was just across the street and they had an outdoor, all enclosed shower that we were welcomed to use at the end of the day! (Since we all grew up going to Lake Powell and not the beach you have to know that beach sand doesn't come off in the ocean!! There was a little faucet by one of the bathrooms that we would have had to wash off with and drive home mostly sandy!) So this way we got all showered off, stopped at a park to have our picnic dinner (oh so delicious...just like dinners at Lake Powell :) and then let the kids crash on the way home (it seriously took Bree LESS than one minute and she was out!)! It was a perfect trip! Robbie actually enjoyed it WAY more than he thought, being a mountain/Lake Powell kind of guy. We can't wait to go back!!

Then this week on Monday for Family Home Evening we went to a Durham Bulls baseball game! Bree and her friend Maddox had fun running up and down the stairs, cheering when everyone else clapped, and kept saying, "throw the ball to me!" Maddox had a glove and really wanted a ball to come to us (we were sitting in the outfield seats). Well, the kids had to go to the bathroom, so the dads took them and Nicole and I stayed with Gabe. Sure enough while they were gone a ball got hit right to us...no joke! I would like to say that I jumped up and caught it, but I looked up in the air and saw it coming straight for us and since I was holding Gabe I got so nervous that it would hit us so I just screamed, closed my eyes, and covered Gabe!! It landed right behind us! Nicole and I were laughing so hard but felt so bad that our husbands had taken the kids!
Summer is the best. Life is good!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Wife is Blazin' Hot!!!

I just want to post a picture of Jesika with her new haircut. I am a lucky man to have such a good lookin' woman!

- Robbie

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For Chris and Lisa!!

This past weekend some girlfriends and I ran a Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure 5K. As I was running I started thinking about cancer. It hit me in such an unusual way that there is no cure! NO CURE! I knew that obviously, but I'd never given it that much thought I guess. For so many other illnesses there are medicines, procedures, and recommendations for changes in lifestyle, that can cure you. But for cancer there isn't! As I was running I almost started crying. I wanted so badly for there to be a cure. I felt so helpless just running down a beautiful North Carolina street with thousands of others who had signs on their backs with things such as, "In memory of our mother...", "In honor of our friend..." It made me want to tell everyone about the Savior's love and his sacrifice that would bring them comfort, peace, and even reunite them with the one they lost. Though it doesn't make up for there not being a cure, it gives meaning and purpose to the suffering many experience. Oh that everyone knew this!!

We did have so much fun. There were TONS of people. The girls I ran this with are just awesome! Ceri, Ali and Kristen are the kind of friends you want to surround yourself with...happy, bright, and so much fun! Oh it was SO HOT...I was drenched in sweat the entire time :) Gotta love the good ol' North Carolina humidity! And it was so fun to have Robbie bring the kids there to see us at the finish line! I love when Robbie is Mr. Mom for a while :) He's so good at it. But it is always eventful (well, when is life with children not eventful really?)! Once we finished I ran to grab some stuff and Robbie went to hang out in the shade and feed Gabe. He called me only a couple minutes after we separated and said Bree had had to go to the bathroom while he was feeding Gabe but the port-a-potties were clear across the way...and they didn't make it. As you can tell in the picture Robbie forgot to grab the bag with extra underwear :) There were lots of fun sponsors, like Yoplait, so it was fun sampling some goodies afterwards! There was a band playing and Bree stopped to dance while she ate her yogurt and this lady noticed and just thought it was the cutest thing. She stood there by Bree for the longest time just dancing like Bree was and imitating her eating yogurt. It was kind of funny! And Bree acted like she didn't really notice! And as we were walking to the shuttle back to our car we looked down and Bree had been "sharing" her water with Gabe. "Look mom he likes it!" she said. He couldn't actually suck out of the cup, but he was loving chewing it!
It was a wonderful event. And while I hope to support it in the years to come, it inspired me to be better at sharing my knowledge and testimony of the Savior with those around me! Because ultimately that will bless them more than a cure ever could!
I included the website so that you can find a Race for the Cure near you! http://ww5.komen.org/

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Together Forever!

Where to begin!! We have had quite the past couple of months in the Harmon family.

Tonight Bree, Gabe and I were eating dinner (well, Gabe was technically pulling the place-mat and sucking on a toy) and Bree looked at me and said, "Mommy, I love you." I looked at her and said, "Wow. Thank you so much Bree! I love you too!" That was the first time she had ever really said that. Whenever Robbie or I say it to her she just nods her head and says "Uh-hu". Then a little bit later I said, "Bree I sure love you." She said, "Thank you so much mom!" and then she said, "I'm going to tell my daddy that tonight when I see him." It was like you could see her thinking about it in her head, like she really knew what it meant. I LOVE seeing my children discover things for themselves. I think that is probably how our Father in Heaven feels when we figure something out, or even learn from a mistake. I've been doing a lot of learning lately...How can you not with two children :) But the only sad thing about her comment was that her daddy is out of town! That has been our last four out of five weeks...without daddy!! It's been awful...much harder than I thought to be honest. BUT, we were all able to make some great memories, even though they would have been better if we were together!! First, my amazing husband was in Nairobi, Kenya for three weeks in May. He was chosen to go with four other students from the Business school here at UNC to redesign a business training curriculum for a micro-credit organization (in other words helping those who teach the people from the slums how to start successful businesses once they get micro-credit loans, teach better...so helping the teachers be more effective). It was really successful and he did amazing work, it was just TOO LONG to be apart!! AND the hardest part was that we could hardly communicate either. He didn't have much internet access, and when he did skype wouldn't even work very well. But he was good to post up pictures so we could see what was going on. I would look through them with Bree every time we saw new ones and it was so cute, one day she saw this picture and then this one of the three boys after, and she said, "Those boys are smiling because they're with my daddy!" It was the sweetest. She really missed him and was SO excited when we finally reunited! And this third picture is my favorite...yes, that is Robbie dancing in the middle of the group :) He had a good experience but the poor guy worked so hard, but only slept and ate little.
(I think cause he missed us so badly!)

While he was in Africa the kids and I went out to Utah. Yes, me flying with two kids. Fun. Well, maybe a more accurate description is, survival. Actually the whole trip I just felt like I was in survival mode. Don't get me wrong, it was so fun being with our families, but I think that having the kids away from home, off their schedules, without their daddy, was a little too much for me. And really I was just crazy being without Robbie. Honestly it was like my brain didn't work! Half of me was missing and it was awful. But I saw more clearly than ever before how perfect God's plan is. A father, mother, children, all learning and growing and helping together...it just works better than anything else and is the best way to live life! I just LOVE my life with Robbie Harmon! I thought that so many times while we were apart. Yes we were having fun with our families, but I just LOVE being with our little family more than anything else! And the fun just wasn't complete without Robbie there. Our reunion was so sweet in the Raleigh/Durham Airport! As I hugged my wonderful husband I couldn't help but hit him too...Don't you ever do that to me again!
Here are a few of the fun things we did in Utah: Gabe got to meet everyone! Grandpa Mark had been waiting for four months! And Gabe loved him right away! Our favorite thing: The ranch!! It was a little bittersweet being there because it's Robbie favorite place in the whole world...but we tried to enjoy it for him. This was Bree's first time on Buddy. And Gabe's too :) Bree loved "super dog" from Uncle Tanner (also known as under dog) and loved petting her first goat. I got to see my dear friend and mission companion Lauren Starr, and her husband Shane and daughter Lydia. She is just SO amazing and taught me everything about being the best missionary! I STILL want to be just like her! Bree also loved mowing the lawns with Grandpa Lon, doing dress ups with Aunt Sarah (don't be embarrassed by this picture Sarah :) And meeting soon-to-be Aunt Rachel! (We can't wait to have her in the family - Good job Mike!! AND, if any of you St. George girls think she looks like someone you know...she is Melissa Petersen's cousin! Their dads are twins too!)
And Gabe was just pretty much smiles the whole time :)

Oh and I have to include a picture of the Mother's Day breakfast we made...I tried them out on Robbie before he left and got good reviews... though nothing could do justice for my amazing mother who deserves the best of everything!
And now Robbie has been in Minnesota on business for the week...he was supposed to be home already, but his plane was delayed twice out of Atlanta :( And I don't want to go to sleep one more night without him! With him being gone so much Bree is getting confused I think...her prayers for the past week have been, "And please bless my daddy in Minnesota, and Africa, and Kenya..." Poor thing. He'll be home soon Bree!! I can't wait!