double dipping


In February, we took a fun little excursion to Ventura, CA for a baby blessing. It was nice enough to swim that weekend. Well, at least for the kids. :) It was the Littles’ first time visiting the ocean. And Marisa and I were so excited for our kids to spend some time together. There are 11 children between the two of us now. It was awesome to watch the kids get along so well. We got to eat at Tito’s…even though a car had just backed into the restaurant…we were the last order to be taken before the Health District shut them down for the night. We also visited the Los Angeles Temple Visitor’s Center. It is recently reopened, and completely worth the trip. Very Cool!


What’s even better is that a couple of weeks later, the Brown family came to stay a couple of days with us. Again, it was nice enough to swim! The kids had a blast. Annie still asks where Lyndie is. :) I felt so spoiled in February…twice in one month? Whoever would have thought it possible between our busy schedules.


Marisa and I have been friends for a decade now, and I am so grateful to her for the influence and friend that she is in my life.

auntie amy comes to visit


Auntie Amy was in town for business back in October. As soon as she visited, the mayhem of three more children hit our family, and I forgot to document her visit. How could that happen? :)

While she was with us she spoiled the children, as usual. She purchased and played Operation with the ninos, which is the favorite new game in the family. She read the kids two bedtime stories. And she all around loved on them in her awesome Amy way. We also got some alone time: shopping at Target, eating at PF Chang’s, and bringing home Baskin Robbins.

It was the perfect visit.


Thanks, Auntie Amy. We love and appreciate you. We’ll take whatever time you give us.

bff trippin’

Six more days and I am on a plane to Denver. It is Amy’s turn to host our third annual bff trip, which I am soooo excited about. My back injury this past summer foiled our original vacation. We had planned a summer vacay with our three families. I know the girls, including myself, were super disappointed.

On the bright side, we get a girls weekend all to ourselves. Massages, scrapping in the mountains, and lots of talking on our short list. I am sure we will throw in a McDonald’s breakfast and a couple of diet coke runs just for good measure. Ladies, I can’t wait to see both of you!!!

Zackary Jameson’s grand entrance


Baby Lea has actually been a part of our lives for as long as we have had the ninos. And now he is finally, and officially, here! 

The night Zackary was born, I took the ninos to see their new little cousin, and they were in total awe over the new little alien. I think they were in even more awe over their Tia. They were curious about everything, and they had a million questions for her, which she answered in typical patient Tia style despite the fact that she was exhausted. These were firsts for the ninos–visiting someone in the hospital, and watching someone go through an entire pregnancy with a live little baby to show for it. I can tell that they understand the process a little more now. (Maybe Tia J. will eventually post some of those pics for everyone to see)

Welcome to the world, and the family, little Zack!

thank you is a good place to start

It has been an impressive, emotional, unforgettable week here at the McCracken home. It will take a few days for me to sort through all of the pictures and events. For those who didn’t make it this weekend, be prepared for a barrage of pictures and text. So much happened in so little time–I can’t wait to document it all. There might even be some tears on your end. Heaven knows there were many happy tears on ours.

Knowing that sorting pics might take awhile, I don’t want too much time to go by without thanking everyone who did make the effort to attend. From the bottom of our hearts we thank each of you for your participation, support, and hard work. Whether you prepared food, provided supplies, donated time, or simply arranged your schedule to be in attendance….we thank you. We appreciate you. We honor each of your efforts in gracing our family.

Our children feel so much love. I see your patience, your caring and your kindness healing their little wounded hearts. It is unbelievable to me, eight months into this journey, how much gratitude I feel for each person who has stayed the course along side Adam and me. Our love for each of you continues to grow. We know you continue to invest in our children and in us. Sometimes that is not an easy thing. And yet, you continue on. That is why we care so deeply for each of you. That is why sharing this weekend with our close family and friends meant so much to us.

Whether you came from across the street, across town, or across a few states, we are grateful for your investment in our family. Whether you are of our Faith or not, we are grateful for your support. Whether you have known us for decades, or for a few short months, we feel gratitude for your service on our behalf. We would not change our situation for anything in the world. Thank You!!!

happy 31st, babe

31 reasons I love being married to you:

1. you are loyal.

2. you are kind.

3. you are honorable.

4. you play with our kids.

5. you take our kids wherever you go, whenever you can, because you want to.

6. you scratch my back every night.

7. you download my shows even though you have little interest in them.

8. you are handsome.

9. you never complain when I cut your hair a little crooked.

10. you do your duty.

11. you love try very hard to follow the Savior in word and deed.

12. you get all giddy about Scouting!

13. you are tenacious, but not uptight.

14. you allow me to see you vulnerable.

15. you do not like to watch ESPN.

16. you push me to do things that I think I can’t.

17. you never say a word about my scrapbooking piles.

18. you kept your buckets of legos for your future boys.

19. you love to travel.

20. you love me despite my failed attempts at producing offspring.

21. you are the quintessential “phone-a-friend.”

22. you talk to people when I don’t want to.

23. you don’t take my ice cream anymore.

24. you let me have your extra fries.

25. you don’t have a lazy bone in your body.

26. you are a really great best friend.

27. you can see both sides of an argument.

28. you are fair and honest.

29. you keep this house technologically sound.

30. you are a friend to everyone.

31. you just love me!

in two weeks…

In two weeks, Danny will be baptized in our friends’ pool.

In two weeks, the six of us will be dressed in white looking toward eternity.

In two weeks, the kids will finally meet primos Victoria and Chase.

In two weeks, I get to squeeze newly adopted baby Truxton, and brand new baby Leslie.

In two weeks, we will join with family and friends in great celebration.

…………………… two weeks

helluva lucky girl

A simple card….

“Once there was this guy. A nice guy, really. And he met this girl. An incredible girl-truly amazing. So naturally the guy falls head over heels in love with her, and pretty soon they’re picking out china patterns and rings and there’s a wedding and the starry-eyed couple rides off into what will surely be a rosy future.

Okay, so now some time has passed and the guy is living in that future. He’s still married to this girl, but now their life includes a lot of stuff–appliances and bills and loads of laundry and home repair projects. But between all the to-dos and have-tos, there are these moments when the guy stops for a minute and looks around him.

He looks at his wife, who is still truly amazing, he looks at their life together, all the ways and different directions it’s grown, he looks at all the responsibilities he’s got, and he thinks to himself, so, this is my life.

And then he thinks, I am one helluva lucky guy.”

A perfect reminder.

simply, thank you

“The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar, which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.”–Thomas Hardy

You know who you are. And we are so very grateful.


planning meeting 2009


One of our favorite friend traditions is our annual planning meeting. Aside from our monthly family night rotation, we have monthly car camping trips on the books. Our other excursions include:

April–four days in the Grand Gulch area, UT. This is the backpacking trip Adam and I did last March, but were unable to finish. This year we will be more prepared, and we will finish! 

May–5th annual Zion Nat’l Park Adventure, UT. We are camping this year to save money. Bye bye, Spa. Hello, kids. :)

August–Baker Lake/Johnson Lake Loop, Great Basin Nat’l Park, NV.This is a four day backpacking trip up in Northern Nevada. We will actually be hiking in trees and near a creek, yipee!

2009 will be a great year!!!