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Holden’s 3rd birthday fell on Easter. It wasn’t ideal, as it was already a packed day, but we managed to squeeze in presents and cake. I’m pretty sure I threw this poster together that afternoon. Being proactive is not my jam these days! But dang, if he’s not the cutest little three-year-old I’ve ever seen!!!

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And, of course, no Gibson kid’s birthday is complete without the “last” picture…the last time ever I’ll have a two-year-old…

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When it came to party planning, my friend Brittany and I had one free day to plan parties, so the only possible solution was to combo them up. She’d already planned a “How to Train Your Dragon” party for Josie, so we just hopped on in and had a Gibson Boy/Josie birthday bash. It all felt very last minute, as the weeks leading up to it were already packed, but the kids had so much fun hunting for eggs, dragon racing, and devouring a gorgeous cake by the amazingly talented Kimberly Dixon!

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About a week later, we celebrated Coen’s actual 5th birthday, starting with dinner and video games at Lamppost Pizza. Earlier that week, we were displaced from our house thanks to a burst pipe in our crawl space, so we got to celebrate his official day at a hotel! The kids thought it was awesome and got chocolate muffins for breakfast every morning. What’s not to love?? So here we are, a three and a five year old. These years are just flying by!

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Is it possible for a pet to die from a broken heart? I think it just happened in our house. Our poor Cooper, the last of the original Gibson foursome, has gone on to play in the great beyond with the rest of his crew.

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Aside from having a little trouble jumping up on the bed, which has been happening for a long while, Cooper seemed perfectly healthy. After Jett left us, he started acting super depressed. He’d spend a little time out and about with the kids, but mostly, just slept in a hidden-away corner. He seemed to be eating and drinking normally, but in the last week, he just laid lifeless under a table or in the corner. The light from his eyes was gone. He just gave up.

Tuesday, as I was loading the kids into the car, he was laying in front of the coat closet. He wouldn’t move when I tried to open it, so I just scooted him a little to the side. He didn’t even get up. I knew he was on his way. When we got home from school, I went inside first to make sure the kids weren’t going to walk in on a cat carcass. He was no where to be found. We all made it inside and once I started calling for him, he started crying. Addie found him under the piano bench. I picked him up and put him on a blanket on the rug, and he was just too weak to even stand.

Jimmy, as has become his duty when it comes to the pets, took him to the emergency vet where they determined he had kidney failure. The vet said he probably could have lived another year or so before we started to see signs but after losing Jett, Cooper probably just gave up.

So, now, for the first time in over 15 years, we have no furry friends in our house. It’s very weird. Something definitely feels like it’s missing. Addie had a rough time with this one, just in the day he passed. Coen gets sad about once a day and says he misses Cooper. Ugh. The heartbreak of pets.

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So long, our handsome, feisty love. We miss you already!

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Farewell, Jett

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Tonight is a strange night in our house. Though we had four children huddled in the living room playing, somehow it felt empty. This afternoon, we said goodbye to our sweet Jett. In his 14 years, he brought us so much joy. He was playful, fiercely loyal (to Jimmy!), and such a good snuggler. For the past month or two, his hips have been slowly giving out, until recently he could barely find the strength to stand. It was time. We planned for the vet come to our house. The kids had a chance to say goodbye. It was quick and peaceful. And still, so very sad. I know he’s pain-free and I’m sure Marlie was waiting for him when he crossed that rainbow bridge. You’ll forever be in our hearts, until we meet again.

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Somehow, we managed to way over-schedule Addie this fall. Back in August, our church started rehearsing for the children’s Christmas play. Practice was once a week, one hour, easy-peasy. At the last minute, someone didn’t end up participating, which left Addie with a pretty big speaking part. She was an over-dramatic news reported, with HUGE hair! It was awesome!

At the same time, I decided to sign Addie up for piano lessons with a brilliantly talented friend of ours. Again, just once a week for less than an hour. Plus, she loved violin at school last year, and with the change of schools, she wasn’t getting that musical exposure, so it just made sense.

About a month later, her school sends out an email that they’ve been invited to audition for the Peanutcracker, a condensed version of the Nutcracker designed for children in our local community. So, of course, she wanted to audition, and she ended up getting cast as a party girl and a soldier. Wow, we suddenly became very busy!

All of these awesome things culminated in December with performance after performance. December 1 (the best day of the year, as you know!) was her first round of Peanutcracker performances, plus her first ever piano recital that evening. She and I spent the morning in Carson City, then rushed home to gather the boys for her recital that evening, where she played Over the River and Through the Woods. Both experiences were completely amazing!

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So, that was the first weekend in December. Weekend #2, church play, 7th birthday, a party, then the last round of Peanutcracker. Friday, the day before her birthday, was holiday free dress day, plus cupcakes for her birthday. We started her actual birthday with a donut in bed, followed by a balloon fight and presents. Then, she had a three hour dress rehearsal for the church play. Followed promptly by one final peanutcracker rehearsal, then our church group, where we had cake, yum! Busy day, to say the least! Sunday morning, she performed twice, then rushed off to her party, and more cake. She wanted to have this big, elaborate, crafting party at our house. I did not want to clean (or prep for crafting), plus, our clubhouse was booked, so plan B, she wanted to go to this pottery place and paint. Perfect! Except, I kind of planned it at the same time as this huge budget meeting at church, which I didn’t realize until the week before the party. Oh well, my parents helped get things started and Addie had a great time! I’d say turning 7 was a success!

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And, while we’re talking about this awesome girl, right after all this December fun, she decided she wanted to donate her long, beautiful curls to make wigs for children, so off we went to our amazing hair stylist for family haircuts (the boys were all pretty shaggy!). So, 8 inches later and she’s practically a whole new child!

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Peanutcracker by day, hospital stay by night. Immediately after Addie’s last Peanutcracker performance, Coen had enough of sis getting all the attention and decided to create some drama of his own! Sunday night, he crashed hard after a long day of Addie’s birthday and playing with Haylee. He woke up in the middle of the night breathing funny and a slight fever. He had a random rash for a few days prior, but the dr. said it looked like eczema and wasn’t anything contagious. After Addie’s final show, I dropped her off at my mom’s and picked Coen up to head to the dr. to figure out this terrible day he’d been having. He was a mess, quick, short breaths, and just not well. The dr. gave him a breathing treatment which seemed to help, but then after a second treatment, he sounded much worse. Bring in the oxygen! She decided she wanted him to stay in the hospital overnight for observation. Oh, and by the way, he had to go by ambulance since he was on oxygen. Oh, and did I mention Beckett had botox scheduled at Shriners in Sacramento the following day, so we were planning to head out of town right at that time? I’m a planner by nature, so strategizing what to do with 2 kids and a dog, while trying to dictate to Jimmy what to pack for me to stay at the hospital in Reno with Coen while trying to get him to Sac with Beckett, all while sitting, stuck in the dr.’s office, while waiting for the ambulance to arrive was all a bit too dramatic for my liking. There was no way I could be at the hospital without a car while Jimmy’s in another state, so instead of riding in the ambulance with Coen, I drove behind an looked at his calm little face through the window. Insanity, right?! Everyone was situated, Coen and I hung out at Renown, and by 8pm, he sounded and felt 100 times better. He was negative for flu and RSV, so still no idea what was going on, just some virus of some sort that caused his bronchial passageways to swell. I was sending Jimmy pictures of Coen in his hospital bed while Jimmy was sending me pics of Beckett prepping for botox. That was fun. Let’s not do that again, OK?!

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Oh, shoot! With all the things happening lately, I almost forgot this little gem…Beckett lost his first tooth last week! When we were in EDH for Haylee’s birthday, I noticed his bottom two teeth were beyond wiggly, one just barely hanging in there. A week later, it finally came out! Hooray for gap-tooth smiles!

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Another recital in the books! Addie danced hard this year and pushed herself way outside of her comfort zone. She did a leaps and turns class which had mostly competition team students. Addie was the youngest and easily the least experienced in the class. She spent a month in tears every week, and just when I was about to let her quit, something flipped and she loved the challenge. She also didn’t want to do another combo class, and instead chose to do tap. Her teacher is the owner of the studio and an amazingly talented tapper. Addie had a great time and really improved this year. Their routine was very challenging. They did great and had so much fun performing. But Addie said her favorite part of the recital was dancing on stage during the finale with her friend Elle.

It’s been so fun to see her progression from age 3 to now. Isn’t she the cutest?

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