And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Family Christmas Card

This year I decided to go the easy route on our Christmas Card. Since we just moved I still wanted to send them out so people would have our address, but I didn't want to go through the hoopla of having formal pictures taken since we were doing pictures with both of our families during the holidays.  That, and I am HUGE with baby so I'm trying not to document it a million times.  So we did some impromptu photos at Disneyland while Grandma and Grandpa were here and they turned out perfect.  Completely indicative of our new home here in sunny San Diego!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!







Monday, December 12, 2016

Ballet with Boys

I have never claimed to be a culturally well rounded person. In fact, I once (only once) saw the movie Les Miserables and 20 minutes in I asked Tj in a worried voice "is this whole movie going to be sang?"  Art and dance are just not my thing...and I doubt that will change.  Needless to say, as a mom of two boys I don't feel that art and dance will ever need to be my thing.  However, with the new little bundle of girl that will be coming into our home here shortly I feel like I might need to force a little art and dance into our home...and if anything else it will broaden the horizon of my little boys too!!

Well the opportunity arose to chaperone Dominiks 1st grade field trip to the Nutcracker Ballet and I jumped on the opportunity.  I took my mom a few years ago to the Nutcracker, and yes we both fell asleep just after intermission.  But I'm older now and it's a children's ballet so the version is quicker and more engaging.  I was herding Dominik and his 3 little rambunctious friends so I was a  little Leary as to how well they would sit and watch the ballet.  

We started off with a full backstage tour where the kids were able to see props, equipment, and meet some of the actors.  Then the director had all the kids in their seats and went over some terms of the ballet...complete with volunteers and interactive lessons.  The kids ate it up!!  
 

 

 


Then the ballet started and I was amazed.  Mostly because these were kids and they were performing in a beautiful and majestic way.  Ballet is such a powerful and commanding form of dance...and even had all the boys completely enthralled.  Well this lasted for a good 30 minutes before the boys started to get a little fidgety.  Dominik kept asking me why the actors weren't talking and then when it ended he exclaimed "that was it?!?"  He is definitely my son!!  I quickly explained to him that ballet was a form of expression through their dance where acting is an expression through verbal and nonverbal movements.  Different forms of art.  He still had an expression of "well that's an hour of my life I'll never get back." But I gave myself a parenting win back pat at the culturing lesson my son just got.  We win some, we lose some!  

 

 

 
Overall the field trip was a success.  I had fun hanging out with D and together we learned to "tolerate" this form of dance.  I hope and pray that our little girl is a tom boy, but if she is in to dance I think I could do more of this too!!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

1st Dental Christmas Party

Christmas work parties in Okinawa were always at the bottom of my priority list when it came to holiday festivities.  They usually included outrageously priced tickets due to an open bar, mediocre food, and having to find a sitter because kids weren't invited.  So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that 1st dental was having a Family Christmas party, only $50 a ticket, and it was at a hotel right in the beach in Carlsbad.  So we all got dressed up in our Christmas best and headed out; as a family!!

 
The kids looked so so cute in their holiday sweaters!!  All the kids at the party were dressed up so cute and there was even a designated kids room fully equipped with video games, toys, coloring books, and so much more.  This allowed Tj and I some mingeling time for cocktail hour where we could briefly feel like adults instead of just mom and dad.  The kids rejoined us for dinner, which actually was quite delicious.  However, being pregnant and always hungry has lowered my standards as to what constitutes as "delicious."  TJ thought the food was average.

 
The highlight of the night was meeting Santa!  You would have thought that a celebrity was in the room because Parker was completely star struck.  He waited so patiently for Santa to make his rounds and then when it came to his turn he very politely and quietly spoke to Santa about what he wanted for Christmas; so cute!!!  

 

 

 

The kids spent the rest of the night dancing away on the dance floor and running around with the other kids.  This was by far the best Work Christmas party we have ever attended.  It also makes me excited to be a part of 1st dental and see what else is in store for us!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Third Time Around

You would think that by the third time around this whole pregnancy thing would be old hat.  Turns out that each pregnancy has been unique in its own right and completely different.  I'm not saying that I remember each pregnancy with finite detail, but this pregnancy in particular has been special and more challenging in every way.  I have been super sick, now I have acid reflux at night time, and I am fatter than I have ever been.  My hips are always aching and I CANT. STOP.  PEEING!!!  Too much information...probably!!  Well we couldn't be more thrilled to be having a girl though.  So all the challenges are worth it to think about all the girly things that we will be able to do once this girl arrives.  The boys are going to be her great protector and I can't wait to see Parker slip into big brother mode.  He is so protective of Roxy that I can't help myself thinking about how he is going to save the day for little sister.
 

 

I'm without words to describe the immense blessing that this little girl is.  Each of our children has not come without trial and this little one is no exception.  The fact that we waited with great anticipation for two years and are now blessed with a girl, leaves me completely speechless . I just hope and pray that we can raise her to know and understand that she is a daughter of God who loves her...and so do we!!!  Stay tuned.  She will be making her appearance February 27th, 2017...or sometime around that.  

Friday, December 2, 2016

So much to be Thankful for

I can't even describe how blissful it is to be back in the states for all these holidays.  There is not much better than seeing the joy in your child's face when they are surrounded by family and participating in family traditions.  Thanksgiving is no exception to the cornucopia of family traditions either! This was the "on" year for thanksgiving and there was supposed to be an estimated 70+ people in attendance.  We were looking forward to celebrating with family but I'm not going to lie...I was pretty anxious about having so many people staying the weekend under one roof!!

We arrived on Wednesday evening after our not too bad 6 hour drive.  The kids were in good spirits and most people had not arrived yet so the house was still relatively calm.  We chatted and played for a bit and then hit the sack.  The next day was thanksgiving and slowly but surely the fleets started arriving.  I had already made my thanksgiving contributions which consisted of homemade green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole.  Both were recipes to be made in advance which made for a nice and relaxing day. There were so many people in the kitchen so even when I tried to help I couldn't find an inch of space to do so. 

Dinner was later than most traditional thanksgiving but was absolutely perfect.  Every kind of food you could imagine and surrounded by family.  Picture perfect thanksgiving if you ask me!!  There was fried turkey, smoked turkey, roasted turkey, and even ham!!  Sooooo yummy!!  It was a fat pregnant lady's paradise!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the weekend was celebrated by playing with family, building benches (yay for me and my new bench), and just rejoicing in the fact that we were back in the states and spending this great holiday with family!!  I loved every second!!!  My kids were dirty, the house was loud (at all times), and there was people everywhere...but I wouldn't have changed a thing!  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have so much to be thankful for!  I love this holiday and the opportunity it affords to reflect on our bounteous blessings.  I'm grateful for my family first and foremost.  Near and far they are the glue that holds me together!  I'm so grateful to be a mom to two beautiful boys and a girl on the way.  I'm grateful for my handsome husband hat tirelessly provides for our family and never complains.  I'm grateful for the health and safety my family enjoys.  I'm grateful for the house we live in, the cars we drive, and the new city we get to live in.  I'm grateful for the gospel in my life and the peace, joy, and understanding that comes with it.  I'm grateful for my Saviour and His redeeming sacrifice for me and my family.  I'm grateful for the blessings I continually receive despite my many shortcomings...I have so much to be thankful for!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quick But Worth Every Second

When grandma and grandpa decided to make San Diego a pit stop on their Utah Thanksgiving trip, we could not have been more exited.  The weekend happened to fall on not only grandmas birthday, but also grandparents day at Dominik's school.  Dominik knew that grandma and grandpa were coming for the weekend, but had no idea they would be there in time for the grandparents celebration put on by the first grade classes at EBS Elementary.  TJ picked up grandma and grandpa late Thursday morning at the airport and I was able to get Dominik up for school and out the door without him even knowing they were sleeping in the guest bedroom.  When he came out on stage to sing his song and find me in the audience he was over the moon when he saw who else I was sitting by.  His little face said it all and made it all worth it!  After the song performance grandma and grandpa got to go into the classroom with Dominik and do a thanksgiving craft.  Parker and I wandered around the school campus and then we all headed over to the book fair to check it out.  Dominik was walking on cloud 9 the whole time!!


After the school celebration we met up with TJ for lunch and then headed home for some birthday festivities.  I decorated the house and TJ BBQ up some delicious steak and shrimp, completed with salad, potatoes, and brussel sprouts.  We rounded out the evening with some pumpkin pie and of course the boys had to help blow out the candles.


The rest of the weekend was spent exploring Old Town, hanging around the house, and perusing California Adventure.  The boys had an absolute blast and while they love going to Disneyland and California Adventure, I think their favorite time with grandma and grandpa were when we were at our house just hanging out.  I'm so lucky that despite the long distances between us over the years I have a mom and dad who work hard to have a relationship with their grandkids.  They may not see each other every week, but my kids know how much they are loved...and they know who really loves them!!







Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Taking it Back...Way Back...to 1998

The holidays have a way of speeding up and becoming a blur; for us, these holidays have proven to do just that.  By the time I had unpacked from our Utah trip we were already in full swing preparations for Grandma and Grandpa to come and visit.  Grandma was coming to celebrate her birthday with us and get in some good holiday snuggles with the boys before heading over to Utah for Thanksgiving.  We knew we wanted to show her a good time...so that's just what we did!

We started off by heading down to the Mormon Battalion visitors center and then planned to finish the day off in Old Town San Diego.  Dominik pre-planned his outfit because he wanted to make sure he dressed the part...and I quote: "I want to dress really old, like from 1998."  So he picked out his cute little outfit, slicked his hair back, and completed his ensemble with a dagger (just like the had in 1998...you know, before guns).  As soon as we arrived at the visitors center I took the boys to the bathroom.  Dominik was appalled that they would have bathrooms in the visitors center because they certainly did not have bathrooms in 1998 - this kid is hilarious!



The visitors center was incredible.  There was interactive rooms you walked through and learned about different events in chronological order that made you feel as though you were part of the battalion.  Real life accounts and stories brought a whole element of personal connections to the Mormon Battalion that spun the information in a heartfelt way.  The sister missionaries giving the tour were so passionate about the stories and information they shared and I loved how they bore testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and how the Lord prepared the battalion in order to provide a way for the saints to move west.  I had chills almost the entire tour!






Once the tour was over we got to go outside on the terrace and pan for gold.  Parker just loved playing in the water while Dominik really got into it and thought he was rich from all the gold he was finding.  They let us keep two pieces each and the boys could have not been more excited; although Parker would have been just as pleased with any of the rocks as he was with the fools gold. At the top of the terrace was a look out tower where you could see all of Old Town.  Such a beautiful view!






Old Town itself was like a walk back in time.  The people were dressed in costume, lots of fun vendors selling old time items (taffy, hand dipped candles, paintings, and much more).  The whole vibe of the town was historic and beautiful.  Much of what we saw while living on the east coast.  I enjoyed seeing this kind of history preserved so far out west.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Fred's Mexican cantina and then continued our venture down Old Town.  Dominik and Parker loved all the old fashioned toy shops, my mom and I loved just taking everything in, and TJ was the most excited about the root beer store.  We all sampled some delicious root beer floats, picked out the perfect caps to complete our bottle cap table, and selected some micro brewed root beers to take home and try later.













All in all the day was pretty perfect!  Getting to explore our new city was pretty great, but being able to do it with Grandma and Grandpa made it so much more special!  We know that they are only here for a short while...but we are going to make the most of every second!!!