Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year Of Instagrams

I love using instagram to capture and share moments with family and friends.
In 2012, I took 418 pictures on instagram (unless I take more during our festivities tonight…if so, I will have to update!).
As I compiled all of them together, I loved seeing my kids grow up and remember all the fun we had in 2012.


Cannot wait to see what 2013 brings!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

First, some sad news…I broke my camera 5 days before Christmas, therefore all our Christmas pictures are taken via cell phone. So please forgive the crappy quality of these pictures (and if you have a suggestion for an awesome, reasonably priced camera, let me know!)

Christmas Eve:

When TJ was growing up, his family had the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve (a present other than the traditional pajamas).
So we carried this tradition on with our kiddos and let them open a present before we started our other Christmas Eve festivities.


After presents, we headed over to my mom’s house for our Christmas Eve fiesta.
Enchiladas and rice and a smorgasbord of other yummy food, definitely my idea of a good time.
After stuffing our faces, we prepared for our Nativity production.
My mom transformed the backyard gazebo into a stable and my dad built a giant star to light the way.
Riker was the cutest shepherd ever and TJ and I rocked our roles as inn keepers.


Next up, pajamas from Mrs. Claus.
Riker was a bit confused about who Mrs. Claus was since all we ever talk about it Santa, but he was happy to open another present!


This is the best picture I could get of all the grandkids with Grandma!

Next: the pinata!
Since Riker was the youngest grandkid old enough to actually hit the pinata, he got to go first and boy was he excited!
Of course, he was even more excited when the pinata was finally busted open and all the candy came pouring out!


And if he didn’t get enough candy…Gingerbread Houses!
Riker literally stuffed his face with as much candy as he possibly could.
He did manage to get quite a bit of candy on his house, but he definitely ate more than his share of candy that night!


After all the fun at Grandma’s house, we headed home to put the kiddos to bed.
Cookies and milk were set out for Santa Claus and the kids were tucked into bed with promises of presents in the morning.
TJ and I played our roles as elves and stuffed the stockings and set out all the presents.


Confession: I woke up at 4:30, 6:00, and 6:30 ready to get up and open presents with the kids. I finally just laid in bed waiting to hear Riker open his door!

Christmas Morning:
As soon as I heard Riker’s door open, I grabbed TJ and said “he’s awake!”
Riker waited in our room while I plugged in the Christmas tree lights and got Olivia out of bed.
When Riker walked out, the look on his face was priceless as he took it all in.
Santa brought Riker a big boy bike and Riker was pretty happy to see it…but he kept calling it a “girls bike”. We finally figured out that he thought it was a girl bike because we had put a big bow on the front of it!


Christmas morning with kids is definitely a lot more fun and magical!
Riker was thrilled with all of his presents and Olivia is always happy, even if she’s a bit clueless about what is going on.
The rest of our Christmas was spent visiting family, playing with cousins, eating more food, and playing games with family.
Definitely a fun Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Traditions! Traditions!

(yes, you should read that title in the style of Tevye from Fiddler)

holiday traditions are my favorite.
We missed 2 Christmases while we were living in Ohio and I absolutely missed participating in all of my family’s traditions.

First up: Santa claus
The last few years, my sisters and I have been taking our kids to see santa claus at Bass pro shop.
I know, it sounds kind of odd, but they really do it right!


Not only do you get a FREE 4x6 photo of your kids (unheard of with all the santas at the mall!), they also have a carousel and several “carnival style” games to play for FREE.

Temple lights:
I adore going to see the lights at the mesa temple! we’ve already gone twice this year!


We went once with my whole family when my sister Jessica was performing with the combined Gilbert Stake/St. Anne’s Catholic Church choir. perfect way to remember the reason for the season!

Sausage gravy & biscuits:
This is one tradition that has changed over the years but will hopefully never be lost!
Growing up, we met at my Grandma and grandpa knight’s house every Christmas morning for sausage gravy and biscuits.
I loved getting to see all of my cousins, show off our new presents from santa, and spend the day with family.


As our family has grown, we can’t all make it on Christmas morning so we instead gather for a sausage gravy and biscuit dinner the week before Christmas.
This picture shows just the GREAT-grandkids, to give you an idea of just how big our family has gotten!

upcoming traditions I’m still looking forward to:
*Christmas Eve Fiesta
*pajamas from Mrs. Claus
*the Christmas pickle

TJ and I are also trying to come up with some simple traditions to do with just our little family of 4.

What are some favorite holiday traditions that you do with your family?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Conversations with a 2-year old


R: Mom, I don’t want to go to church today.
Me: Well, too bad buddy. We go to church every Sunday.
R: Ugh. Hakuna Matata!


after leaving a restaurant one night…
r: (while putting both hands to his face dramatically) Oh my gosh! I forgot my food! I wanted to bring it home!


r: Oh, I just remembered! I really like m&ms! Can I have one?


r: mom, did you know that you are my best friend?
(usually he says this when he’s getting in trouble…he knows just what to say to melt my heart!)


(this pic is blurry but a prime example of the face I get when I ask him to say cheese)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Olivia’s Birthday Bash

We threw Olivia a little birthday bash the day after her birthday.
It was fun to have family and friends come over to celebrate our birthday girl!


I have seen the rainbow parties all around Pinterest and knew I wanted a colorful party for Olivia.
Seriously, how did anyone plan a party before Pinterest!!?


The highlight, for me at least, was the cake.
I tried my hand at a 6 layer rainbow cake and was totally impressed by the results!


I think Olivia liked it too!


It was a fun evening and Olivia loved all the extra attention she received!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Livvy Bug!

Today is my baby girl’s birthday.
She is a year old and I just cannot believe it.
This year has been a whirlwind, full of change and loss and lots of love.
day Olivia was born is still so fresh in my mind, I can think back and relieve the memories/feelings/thoughts from that day.
This little bug has been the sweetest addition to our family and we have thanked God every day for sending us this little angel.


Olivia at 12 months:

*drinking whole milk out of a sippy cup like a pro
*eating “people food” instead of baby food…her favorites include bananas, green beans, and apple sauce, but she has yet to turn her nose up to anything offered
*not walking yet, though she will take a few steps here and there when we try really hard to get her to!
*still sleeps like a champ, but must have a paci and her giraffe lovey to do so (a habit I’m not looking forward to breaking…)
*loves to accessorize and spends a lot of her free time trying to put shoes on her feet
*babbles all the time but the only words we have heard so far are momma, dada, and baba (though the only one she says constantly is dada…he’s her favorite!)
*her hair sticks up all over the place still, but at least I can tame it by sticking it in a couple of piggies
*she’s already a bit of a diva…tell her no or take something away from her and she will cry like you’ve deeply offended her! (and the second you give it back, she’s all smiles and giggles)
*absolutely loves bath time…if the bathroom door is open, she is in there attempting to climb in…if she’s sad, just tell her its bath time and she immediately makes a beeline for the bathroom!

Olivia is very much a sweetheart and I am so lucky that I get to be her mom!
Happy birthday Livvy Boo!