Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve 2012

Wow, can you believe we are about to say goodbye to 2012?

It's been a wonderful year, full of love and good times and also some learning experience and some tough moments that I think only ended up making me stronger as a mommy and a wife and a person.

This year:

- In January we took a long trip to Reno. My sister and her family went at the same time and we got to introduce our two newest additions to each other. Our boys got to play and we had a full house as we spent time with Grandma and Gramps. 

-In February I turned 28 (eek!) and we finally got  a new car (the Element) which I still love so much! We bought the element from my brother who had eloped in December and just moved to France with his new wife!

-In March the flu swept through our house and we were pretty much homebodies! I did up my running routine this month and ended up participating in my first 5K, the Lozilu mud run!

-In April my parents and my sister and her family all came out to visit. We took our first family camping trip and had a blast, even though camping with three kids under seven and two infants was a little scary! We celebrated Easter with the family and got some great pics of all FIVE of our kiddos together! Also in April, S and I celebrated our Fourth Anniversary!

-In May we spent a wonderful Memorial Day with good friends. We also watched as L2 started to come into his own personality a little more and our boys began to really play and interact as brothers!

-In June we celebrated Father's Day, a day that I find to be very special. Not only do I have the best Daddy in the world, I am absolutely in love with how good of a Daddy S is to our boys. June also brought on the intense Phoenix heat and we settled into the lazy days of summer.

-In July we celebrated S's 28th birthday (eek!) with another trip out to California. One of my best friends also welcomed her first son into the world.

-In August I was tested as a mother. L2 had to undergo surgery and spent several long days at Phoenix Children's Hospital. It was one of the worst things I've had to go through, watching my baby hurting, but we are so thankful that today he is as happy and healthy as ever!

-In September my oldest baby turned THREE! I'm not even sure how that is possible.We also redid our master bedroom with a new coat of paint and some rearranged furniture. September is also the month I started to abhor the heat and dream of cool, crisp fall weather!

-In October L2  turned one! I also went to my ten year high school reunion (Omg, I'm really starting to feel old!) and hosted my best friends bridal shower and bachelorette party, and in Reno! We painted pumpkins and celebrated Halloween! The boys won a costume contest at our local Cold Stone with their "Ice Cream Hobo" costumes!

-In November my best friend married a wonderful man in a beautiful, yet absolutely freezing, ceremony on a boat in Lake Tahoe. We also celebrated Thanksgiving with family in California.

-And lastly, December. My favorite month. We reveled in the holidays. We decorated and listened to Christmas carols, and watched Christmas movies, and baked and shopped to our hearts content. I watched as L finally grasped the concept of Santa. Our hearts broke with the news of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and we participated in 26 acts of kindness to try and show our boys that Christmas is about more then presents and that the most important thing is to be kind to people. 

In 2012, we have laughed and cried. We have spend time with family and friends, and we drew on their support as we slept next to a hospital bed-crib. We learned and we made memories that will now be tucked away and cherished.

I'm ready for 2013. I'm ready to see what it has in store for us. I'm ready to rise to the challenges it brings and I'm excited to see the goodness that I know is in store for my family.

Happy New Year!!!!

California December 2012

We got back last night from our annual December California trip and now I'm starting to feel like the Holidays are actually over. The decorations are packed up, the tree is gone, toys have been taken out of packaging, and the "vacations" are over. It always make me a little sad, but I'm also happy to be home, looking forward to getting back into routine, and excited to see what 2013 might hold for our little family.

We usually take our trip before Christmas, but because of the way the families Christmas party fell this year and how Christmas fell, we decided it would be less stressfull to go after the holidays.

The boys were excited to see Grandma and Papa, to have a huge house and yard to run around and explore in, to see their aunts and uncles, and especially to have a "second" Christmas.

Papa looking on as the boys open their gifts.

S's Stepsisters.

L especially enjoyed spending quality time with his uncle, who quickly became his favorite after he built L a "fort Castle" the involved several mattresses, blankets and sheets stapled together, and spanned the width of an entire bedroom.

The boys also got to open presents from their wonderful "Uncles" (S's best friends!)

It was a relaxing trip and good to see everyone. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should, so I'll leave you with these last two of L2 tearing apart his grandparents kitchen!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Our day was wonderful.... filled with food and Christmas movies and presents and memories. L was so excited to see that Santa had come for him and ever present he opened sent him over the moon with happiness. He also assisted in helping L2 and mommy and Daddy open all their presents! L2 definitely got it more than last year, but I think it was still a little overwhelming for him!


I spent most of my time helping the boys open their presents, and that was perfectly fine with me! As nice as it is to receive gifts, especially from my loving hubby, it's much more gratifying to watch my boys, and my hubby, open the gifts that I spent so much time and thought into. Especially when those gifts turn out to be a huge hit.... I just love it!

L2 was trying to get into L's presents and L was not having it!

His new monkey backpack.... picked out for him by Daddy!

This was L2's big present.... a musical trio.... and he really liked it!  When I was growing up we always woke up to a few presents, and one big present, all unwrapped that Santa had left us and I want to keep that tradition going with my boys!

Our house was a disaster after, with wrapping and boys and tissue paper strewn everywhere and toys covering pretty much available service. And now our house has been pretty much "De-Christmas-fied". I know that probably sounds pretty grinchy, and I hated taking everything down on Christmas Day, but we are leaving for California tomorrow and the OCD freak that lives inside of me just couldn't imagine leaving everything in disarray. Also, we have a live tree so we needed to get that fire hazard out of the house before we left! I was worried L might freak out about us taking everything down, and he had a few moments, but luckily he was pretty distracted by all his new toys!

Just some of the new loot!

I am so blessed and so lucky to have this wonderful little family to call my own. I hope everyone out there had as wonderful a Christmas as we did!

Off to Cali first thing tomorrow!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

The stocking are hung, all the presents are wrapped and my boys are snug in their beds awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.

We have A LOT of presents this year. S keeps telling me I went overboard, but honestly, I didn't spend a lot of money. I just love them having lots of gifts to open and I love how much L gets it this year and how excited he is! So.... a little overboard? Maybe. But if you can't overdo it at Christmas when can you?

We started our morning by having our good friends and their son come over for brunch and mimosas and a present exchange for this kids.

Trying to get three kiddos under three to sit still, and sit together, and look at the camera without making a weird face is pretty much impossible, but we got a couple cute ones. And I had to include the one of just L and L2, because I think the look on L's face is priceless.

Before bed we upheld one of my old family traditions of letting the kids open ONE present and we did our family tradition of reading "The Night Before Christmas" in front of the Christmas tree.

L also took a minute to read their new book to L2. It was cute and I felt a little like a third wheel when I finally interrupted to read to them!

I feel like this Christmas season really flew by this year.... I can't believe tomorrow is the big day! We are all excited for Santa's visit tonight, although L keeps telling us he doesn't want Santa to come in our house.... he wants to go to his house!!!!

Merry Christmas Eve!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A little heavy hearted

I've had several posts floating around in my head for the last few days. We have been busy, busy, busy with Christmas activities and all sorts of fun stuff that I've been meaning to sit down and write about. But I haven't, because the truth is my heart has been so heavy since the tragedy in CT on Friday I haven't really known what to say. I know that I have been holding my babies especially close the last few days. I've let L have an extra cookie and skipped the gym so we could stay home and snuggle and watch movies. I've been switching between watching the news because I have this need to know the details.... to know why, even though I know there will never be a good answer, and wanting to shut it out completely because it makes me so incredibly sad I almost don't know how to deal with it. I don't get political on this blog. And I don't know what the answer to these tragedies is. I don't know a ton about guns or gun control. What I do know is we need to be kind to each other. We need to teach out children how to be kind, how to love each other. In the end, I think policy and laws can only get us so far..... we need to make this world a less scary place and we need to teach our children how to be good people.

With all that being said, we have been trying to soak in as much goodness with our little ones the last few days. We always do..... but tragedy has a way of making you step back and count all your blessing. On Saturday S's work had their annual Christmas party. They do something different each year and usually try to make it family orientated. This year, for the first time in about three years, they brought the circus in. It was awesome and my boys loved it. There were contortionists and acrobats and elephants. It was a short enough show that the boys didn't get antsy buy it was jam packed with lots of cool stuff.

L's favorite were the elephants and the motorcycle performers.

L2 was pretty much just entranced by all of it.... from the show to the big crowd!

We also did a lot of Christmas shopping this weekend and L is getting very excited to seeing the growing number of presents under the tree. I know Christmas is about so much more then gifts, but I love buying presents for people!

And in other, un-Christmas related, news: This mama has gone to the dark side! I've been itching for a change lately so finally I just took the plunge. I've been majorly blond for my whole life. Like platinum blond. And now I am full on brunette. It's dark and different and I love it. I was worried I wouldn't be able to pull it off, but I think it looks pretty good!  I'm sure one day I'll go back to blond, but for now I"m loving having a new look!

(I don't think this picture even shows how dark it actually is!)

This is also unrelated to anything... it's just a cute and funny picture of Mr. L2 trying to escape through the baby gate.!

Less then ten days till Christmas! I"m planning on spending the next week shopping, and wrapping, and baking and listening to Christmas carols and watching Christmas movies!  Oh, and also doing as much of this as is possible:

I know this pic is blurry and dark, but it was the best I could snap of us during some early morning cuddles!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

'O Christmas tree

This is how we spent our day today:

After two hours of driving to several different tree lots, S finally found one that met his (and my) specifications. As much as I wish we could put a tree up right after Thanksgiving with the rest of the decorations, I do like the we always get a real tree. I know it's not as perfect, or as easy, as a fake one, but it's a tradition I want to hold on to, at least for now!

And one of my favorite things about decorating the tree is pulling out all the ornaments and going through the memories that each one holds. This year L was asking me about each on so I got to tell him about all our dog ornaments (from before we had kids and our dogs were our babies!) And our first house ornaments, and L and L2's first Christmas ornaments. We also pulled out the dough ornaments we made last year with L's hand print and L2's footprint and it's amazing how much bigger they are now!

I love the contrast of his hair, the tree, and the Christmas skirt in this picture. My little red head!

L2 was very interested in the presents, even though they are all ones I've wrapped for family members that need to be shipped. He spent a good amount of time pulling all the wrapping out of one of the bags!

It really feels like Christmas now that the tree is up!