Happy Wall 2016…

Happy Wall 2016

It’s time to take the cards down. I enjoy the space they take up on our wall and in our hearts every single year. All these people hold a special place for one reason or another – my fingers are crossed that the digital age doesn’t kill the Christmas card!!

Post Christmas Fun…part 2…

Amid all of our fun post-Christmas activities, we prepared for visitors to stay at our house – cousins came to visit!

My brother and his family escaped their Utah winter and enjoyed time outside with us.post-christmas-fun-2016-3899

We took them to our favorite bike park. It’s fun for all ages and it keeps every entertained and happy. (unless you’re Hunter on this trip and wreck on the first run – then it’s not so fun!)

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My brother joined us after he got off work – nicely dressed for a day at the bike park. He opted for a couple runs looking like a missionary without a nametag. He insisted on keeping the tie on!

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While the boys were busy on scooters and playing football we snuck away for some shopping. I always walk away a winner from this store.

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We played a lot of games. Games with kids. Games at night after kids went to bed. We squeezed in some decent playing time.

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On my birthday – before our foodtopia night (more on that later)  – we went for a family hike to the wind caves. We saw creatures, searched for Geocaching locations and took turns making up parts of the story. The landscape is just a little different than the hike we did when we were visiting them in Colorado last fall. The kids were careful not to fall on any cactus. Bennett came close to a cactus while he was holding hands with my brother hiking down the mountain and without skipping a beat and completely serious, Bennett shouted, “Why are you trying to hurt me?!” Being 5 years old is rough sometimes!

Family Wind Cave Hike Mesa, Arizona

Family Wind Cave Hike Mesa, Arizona

Family Wind Cave Hike Mesa, Arizona

Family Wind Cave Hike Mesa, Arizona

Family Wind Cave Hike Mesa, Arizona

Family Wind Cave Hike Mesa, Arizona

We brought in the new year early for our young kids with frisbee dodgeball at the church and a glow stick dance party. With the young kids tucked into bed, the adults played games and the older hung out until the clock struck midnight. We’re wild and crazy like that!

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We loved having our visitors. So much fun packed in so little time. And an awkward outtake as I was testing light because it’s just funny.

 

Post Christmas fun…part one…

Post Christmas around here is usually a little lazy and we move from productive mode to recovery mode. If the kids are in their pajamas all day, it’s okay by me. The day after Christmas is a great day. The kids have new toys that entertain and keep their attention all day long.

Hunter locked himself in his room and completed this Star Wars masterpiece. He’s pretty proud of his work.

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Bennett also received a lego set, and with a little help from Hallie, he was able to build it. He’s most excited that they’re his legos. Not Hunter’s, they’re Bennett’s.

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Bennett received this candy train right before Christmas and I’m pretty sure his first question every morning was asking to eat some of his train.

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These kids play the wii only a handful of times during the year. A few times during the summer when they exhausted the swimming pool and during Christmas break. I’m fine with them playing, but the minute there is crying and fighting it gets turned off. Sometimes this is a short amount of time, sometimes it’s longer. This day it was some good time. And Cannon just sits and watches.

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Our Boise State Broncos were playing their bowl game in Phoenix and we thought it would be fun to take the kids and Steve’s dad. Unfortunately, the Broncos let us down in a big way. I’m not sure they’ve played that bad all season. It’s never fun to watch your team lose – but the parachuters at the beginning of the game were awesome.

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We did a lot of organizing. The kids are some of my best assets when it comes to cleaning and organizing. I gave them a drawer in the kitchen to organize – they dumped everything out on the floor and put everything away that didn’t belong in the drawer. There is nothing like Christmas to really make me realize how much stuff we have. Steve and I looked at the pile of presents under the tree on Christmas eve and we both agreed with that much stuff coming into the home, twice as much needed to leave the home. The day after Christmas we had a truckload for donating – Steve tried on every single item he owned including belts and shoes and purged. And purged some more. It was amazingly gratifying.

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We had some visitors come through town. My college roommate, who I adore and hadn’t seen in ten years, came to Arizona to visit family and we were able to spend the afternoon together. Our kids had never met and within two minutes of walking in the door, our kids were running around with walkie talkies and playing games. (We’re missing three kids in this picture).

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It was so comfortable to sit down with them and talk life and family and careers. So much has changed since we were last together and we didn’t miss a beat. Great friends are amazing like that. Here’s to hoping our next encounter is much sooner!

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Cannon nursed a nice shiner. He was running through the playroom to grab a toy, tripped on the bean bag and fell face first into the train table. In no time it was discolored and swollen. It looked as though he stashed away food in his cheeks! A week later and it’s still quite noticeable.

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We talked of taking kids to the snow for the day, but then the headache of having to find and gather snow clothes for all the kids didn’t seem worth it. We promised ourselves we’d take them to snow during spring break. We’re pretty attached to our Christmas weather in Arizona!

Baby’s first Christmas…

He’s 10 months old and had his first Christmas. Fortunately, he had no interest in the tree and never tried playing with the ornaments. We purposely didn’t put out any gifts – although judging by his Christmas morning, I’m not sure he would’ve touched them anyway. We’ve had three fall babies – which means they all slept through their first Christmas. And then we have two spring babies who were old enough to be awake – but still not old enough to get it. Briggs was just old enough to crawl around and mess up his siblings piles! And when he wasn’t playing King Kong, he wanted to be held.

Baby's First Christmas

Baby's First Christmas

Baby's First Christmas

Baby's First Christmas

This is his, “I’m done being cute” face. Is it nap time yet?

Baby's First Christmas

And for comparison sake here’s a couple photos of baby’s first Christmas.

HALLIE:
Baby's First Christmas

HUNTER:
Baby's First Christmas

BENNETT:
(This photo was actually taken just a few days before Christmas – He looked a little different on Christmas morning after his accident with sitting.)
Baby's First Christmas

CANNON:
Baby's First Christmas

I wish more than anything I could squish Briggs’ long and lean body into this Christmas sleeper, but I think it might be considered torture!

Christmas Card 2016

If you’ve seen any of our past Christmas cards – you’ve probably caught on to the fact that we don’t do traditional cards. I post so many pictures on our blog every year that printing one out and sending it to our friends seems so boring. So instead of looking for the perfect family picture – I think how can I present the card differently. We’ve done a pop-up, we’ve done a spinning wheel, chalk drawings and interesting folds (with superheroes). The graphic designer in me just likes to be a little non-traditional.

This year’s card is no different. When we dressed up as fast food mascots for Halloween, we figured we’d make a card out of it. I saw a similar idea to this card online and I figured we could make it work for our themed card.

Creative Christmas Card

Creative Christmas Card

Yes, I’m on my Christmas card dressed as a clown – never thought I would say that! When the cards were printed I showed Steve and he laughed as he opened and shut the card multiple times. Then he said – You are a creepy clown!   True story. Short, red, permed hair will not be in my future.

Next year we’re going to surprise everyone and do a traditional photo without the funny business. 😉

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