Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year's Eve!

Today I finished laundry, gave the girls a long long bath, and the big kids and I de-christmatized the house. #leastfavjobevah

Matt got home and got right to work on some grilled cheese and tomato soup. He's had so much time to help because HE FINISHED HIS MASTERS!!! I was going to post something especially about him, but we haven't done anything fun to celebrate yet. I was in Seattle when he turned in his thesis and also when he got the word that he was done. HALLELUJAH! We are soooo thrilled! And I am so proud of him, he worked so hard and graduated with a 3.7 gpa. It's been wonderful to have my husband back. I felt like a broken record "Matt's got to do homework..." No more! So thankful he's done. 

Anyhow, Lexi borrowed my phone to Instagram some New Year's Eve shots. 
Wit' da' homies. 
We didn't have any plans this year. Lexi got a neighborhood babysitting gig, so we let Chris go to a friends party. Since we've been out late several times lately, we decided to put the girls to bed on time and have some mommy/daddy time. And it's been wonderful. 
Before bed headbandz. The age is 7+ and we're learning why. 
35 more minutes of 2013. See ya lata' 2013, you won't be missed! You were an interesting year, but I'm ready for something new, thankyouverymuch. 

Helloooooo 2014!

zoo lights

I've wanted to do the zoo lights at Christmas almost as long as I've wanted to do the temple lights. so when I saw a living social deal, I snatched it up. that was before sweet baby Harvey and a surprise trip to seattle. so today was the very last day we could go and I am so glad we were able to.
after several plan changes we finally decided we should and could all go.
it's been a week.
and a day.
but anyway.
laney not loving posing for a cheetah picture with lexi.
just how could daddy say no to this little hoarder? or to her big hoarder sister who had 3 pandas, black, blue, and pink. not sure how he said no, but he did. and we were on our way.
we got there before it got dark and were able to see the cheetahs before they closed shop. I didn't realize it, but if you would like to see animals at the zoo, then zoo lights isn't for you. they pretty much close everything down as soon as the sun goes down.
I love when nice people offer to take pictures so the whole family can get in the shot. :)
Delaney wanted to be put down and then she'd say "i running!"
you run, baby girl.
you run.
my favorite tree. I love the colorful lights!
you can't tell because it's a dark pic, but i'm not the only ray missing from the above picture. a certain, bratty in a green coat was having none of the family picture taking. she's such a little punk!
the outdoor animals weren't out to see, but we enjoyed walking through all of the indoor exhibits.
 lil' sistah is a hot mess.
we loved these melting icicle lights too.
trying to get a picture of these 5 never gets old.
without flash and 2 aren't looking.
with flash, out of focus, and 3 aren't looking.
with flash, 5 aren't looking, and 1 is leaving.
aaand I give up.
our living social deal included free parking, 4 rides on the carousel, 4 tubing rides, and 4 train rides. the carousel made almost 1 whole rotation before Delaney was done. I held her the rest of the ride.
you can't tell, but that's brave girl addie sliding down.
and the bubba.
and then chris was gonna take addie back up and bring Frankie down because she had decided she didn't want to go (riders had to fly solo), but then down came matt and Frankie!
 so, the brave riders:
our next bit'o'fun was the train ride down by the farm animals.
this little beauty rode by herself on the other side.
while they waited in line and rode the train, the boy and I hiked back uphill to bring the car down. I made him take a picture with me, so he chose the blue and white tree.
it was a fun and cold night! not sure if we'd do it again, but the price was right and it was fun. we are working at doing more things as a family, so another bonus. :)
and speaking of bonus, this little lady at the temple.
orrrr if you are every person we talked to at the temple, this little man. she does look rather boyish, what with her unisex duds and mullet, but she's wearing brown and pink slip ons.
dead giveaway.

The chitlins

While I am thinking about it, a few thoughts on the kiddies. 

*someone asked me the other day if I was gonna miss Lexi when she leaves for college and I said something stupid like "well, I'll still have my hands full, soooo..." And then I immediately felt bad. I will miss Lexi. I'm sure I can't even comprehend it now because it's so far away and I've never had a child move out. But, at the same time, I'm so excited for her, and if all goes according to plan (oh please let all go according to plan) she will be going someplace really good. And that is even more exciting. So. I take back saying that I won't miss her. That's craziness. I am going on the record as saying that I am cautiously optimistic about her future. 

*christian is growing into such a little man. He's been so cute with his indoor track running, it's been really good for him. He's the teachers quorum president and has really stepped up to the duties required of him. He's my quiet (sometimes pouty) child, and i often wonder what's going on in his brain because he doesn't share as much as the girls, which is probably just on account of him being a boy. I've also noticed that he watches me closely, and when I'm frustrated he really tries to step up and help, especially with the little girls. He's doing really well driving and is super excited to get his license in September. 

*addie is becoming quite the little peace maker. When we have tense moments, (we've had a few lately) or if she has bad news to share, she'll say "mommy, (or daddy, sissy, bubba) remember, before you get mad, you have to smile, okay?" And then she'll drop the bomb. ("Frankie put stickers on her dream lite. Again. Remember to smile!") she is also quite the protector of her bubba and sissy. I often get a "mommy, be nice to Lexi," reprimand whenever lexi gets a reprimand. She's also big on saying "I need a kiss and a hug! Now mommy ad daddy, kiss and hug because you love each other." And it's not because we're fighting either, it's always just random. She wants to make people happy and yet she will still stand up for what she feels is right and fair. She's full of energy and fun and sugar and spice. It's so special to me to see her developing into this sweet little person. 

*frankie is so fun. And that fun girl doesn't sleep. She will stay up late and wake up early and just keep running! She's at a funny in between sizes stage - her 3's are too small and she swims in most of her 4's, so she looks kinda pretty funny in all of her jeans. She has learned how to aggravate laney and she loves to do it. She spent her last Sunday in nursery and is excited to be a big sunbeam next week!

*delaney and I have been best buddies since our trip. She's usually a daddy's girl, but she's having none of it lately. She's having none of anyone else lately and I have to say, I'm kind of enjoying it. (: she loves the movie frozen and wants to watch YouTube clips all day long. She sings and dances and it's super adorable. Since our trip she's been eating horribly, or I should say, not eating horribly. Sleep has been another challenge. But as I rocked my last little baby to sleep tonight, and every time I tried to sing to her she told me "noooo," I just soaked it in and loved on her. These are sweet days, these last few weeks before my baby turns 2 years old. 

Parenting is a challenge. We played apples to apples with the McCombs the other day and Laura won a green card from me for saying that parenting was shocking. It is. But it's wonderful too. Thank goodness the wonderful moments come, otherwise oh.my.goodness. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas dinner and temple lights

We ate our "Christmas" dinner of steaks, baked potatos, corn on the cob, and asparagus on friday night. 
It was a nice surprise to have Lexi home because she was supposed to work. But when we went to drop her off, the lights were all off and the door was locked. She called to find out what the deal was and turns out someone lost the key, so thy didn't open at all on Friday. Strange place. 
In awesome mom news, Chris took a tumble down the stairs and, after assessing that he was ok, I sniped him. 
On Saturday we drove up to see the temple lights. I'm embarrassed to admit that we have never done that before, during any of the 5 Christmas seasons we've been here. 
It was so pretty! The girls were super wound up and running all around. 
But who worries about that? We had selfies to take. (;
Kid code = see water, even dirty, gross water, must touch. I swear these girls would have fallen in if we'd let them. 
We stayed for a concert by the Lyons girls. I also got to name drop as we were leaving. I was all "oh yeah, they're in my ward, so you know." And they were like "oh that's cool. Which one is older?" And I got to expound on my Lyons girls knowledge. Awesome, I know. 
Also, best part of the night was running into this guy. 
Elder Anderson is going home in like, a week, so it was so fun to see him again. 
We saw the concert, the lights, and half of our ward, and then it was time to hit the road. 
We rolled up around 11pm and got up bright and early for our last week of 9am church for a whole year, yay!!!
Other than that we've been lazy lazy. We've watched some terrible movies (grown ups 2 and the internship), stayed up way too late, lounges in our jams, and eaten lots of candy. It's been a nice, quiet Christmas break. 

harvey's memorial

Thursday was spent getting things ready for Harvey's memorial.
everyone worked together and I think things came together really nicely.
they printed several pictures of our sweet baby boy and had them displayed along with ultrasound pictures and mementos.
bonnie's sister, felicity got this floral arrangement.
my mom bought this precious angel ornament for our sweet angel.
our family contributed to special lockets for Thomas and bonnie to keep some of Harvey's ashes always near them. bonnie's has Harvey's handprint on it. it was so nice that everyone came together to help make things special.
bonnie has a friend that makes urns.
they sent her a picture of what they wanted and she did an amazing job.
the sweet jams he wore and his hospital bracelets in the shadowbox.
wrapped around the urn is the blanket bonnie made for Harvey that they wrapped him in at the hospital.
these are things that Anthony had helped to pick out for Harvey along with some drawings he'd made.
aren't those just the sweetest little vans?! the heart necklace was in a packet I picked up from my neighbor who lost her baby to trisomy 13 a few years ago. I thought it was sweet that bonnie included that in his shadow box.
bonnie's baby shower invitation.
baby boys birth announcement and program for his memorial. his precious hand and footprints were included on both.
alli and I mingling with bonnie's dad.
the message alli shared was really funny. she read a song from one of their favorite shows and tom/bon laughed. it was super sweet. :)
he did a really good job playing baby mine. it was really, really sweet.
this is one of my favorite pictures. it was a very emotional night. I love the way Anthony is looking at his mom. he loves her so much and he was so sad when she was sad. gah, pulls at my heart strings just looking at it. bonnie and tommy have done a really good job of being strong for each other and for Anthony.
this one was precious too. bonnie's brother went to give her a hug and she broke down. then their sister came and it was a sweet sibling moment. Harvey brought our families together and strengthened those bonds that can be stretched thin when people live so far apart. I'm very thankful for that.
and from those sweet pictures, let's talk food. it was interesting to see the way another church serves. for example, they served an egg nog punch. at first  I was like - 
egg nog punch? sounds delicious! punch is delicious, egg nog is delicious, so mix the two? deliciousness! 
sadly though, egg nog punch was not so delicious. it was egg nog and sprite, and I didn't like the combo.
it was so nice to visit after the memorial, we stayed for almost 2 hours talking, laughing, and crying.
 I think the church volunteers were ready to go. :) 
Melanie and lauri. or Kristi and lauri, whatever. ;)
and an alli  photo bomb!
it was a special memorial and I am so thankful I was able to be there.
Harvey is such a special boy and I know he felt as honored and loved as he is.