Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Recap and My One Little Word for 2015

Happy New Year! 2014 flew by and somehow it is already 2015. So hard to believe! Overall 2014 treated us pretty well. We're all healthy and happy, that says something, right?

Here is our year in pictures:

Weekly trips to Lagoon (here & here)

 Running through a spring time wonderland

 Hailey finished up her first year of preschool

 My baby sister got married- the wedding prep kept me fairly busy for the few months leading up to it

We made mozzarella cheese with Curtis and Chelsea

 We tore up our backyard, brought in topsoil and leveled it out

 Kyle and I went bowfishing for carp at Utah Lake

 Kyle busted out a new deck on the back of the house

 We laid we new sod!

 Hailey conquered her fear of the diving board and deep end

 We all had a blast spending a week in Washington pool side

Kyle and I left our 20's behind.

 I took the girls to explore nature around us

 Hailey and Keira were Batgirl and Robin for Halloween

 Hailey turned 5 and had a Batgirl birthday party

We spent Thanksgiving in Colorado with Kyle's family

On to 2015.

I love the beginning of a new year. It's a new start, which always feels refreshing. Every year I fail to set goals for myself. Maybe it's because I'm afraid I won't accomplish them, or maybe I'm afraid of being held accountable for something- or maybe both. I would like to make this year even better and try to improve myself. I've thought about setting some specific hard goals, but I can't commit. Instead, have you heard of the idea of choosing One Little Word to focus on? I've seen it all around bloggy land and I love the idea. Instead of demanding specific things out of myself (which is a good idea, just not for me) I have chosen to focus my year on one little word:


This is something I feel strongly I need to work on. I always thought I was a patient person, until I had children, and until life became busy and sometimes complicated. It's easier to be patient when all you have think of is yourself, right? I want to be more patient with my children, so much more patient with them. I want to be patient with my house, it isn't how I want it to be, and it might not ever be that way, but with time we can transform it. I want to be patient with myself and work on improving my time management, my physical health (maybe I should try better to excerise...),and my spiritual health. I want to be patient with earning my own source of income, this totally falls under time management, but also having the patience to see the fruits of my labors blossom (which I totally have yet to even begin on, but I dream every year of running a small home business to give me something to do for myself and also a way to add income to our family).

This is my goal for 2015: to be more patient. Wish me luck!

Have you thought about it? What is your one little word?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

This Christmas was a bit of a struggle for our family this year. Early on I struggled to find some real Christmas spirit and that just seemed to carry through to the holiday. I tried to fend it off by doing some baking and a craft with the girls, but it still carried on.

What really didn't help the mood was that poor Kyle was sick, his entire break from work. He came home Tuesday with a sore throat, head ache and severe chills. After that it was a couple of days of a temperature of 102, aches, no appetite, and no energy. Kyle spent his holiday on the couch, sick, sick, sick. It was so disappointing, for everyone. I tried to get past my grinchiness and carry on with Christmas festivities with the girls. It just wasn't the same without Kyle. Luckily, I don't think the girls noticed too much. They're still young and don't have as high expectations for the holiday as I might.

Our Christmas Eve was spent at my parent's house (except for Kyle, he stayed home alone on the couch watching movies). We enjoyed my family's traditional Christmas meal of ham and yummy potatoes (more commonly known as funeral potatoes). After dinner was my family's traditional Christmas program of reading scriptures and singing Christmas hymns, to remind us of the real reason for Christmas- the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Then it was the much anticipated moment of the night, opening presents! (Yes, my family is crazy. We open them Christmas Eve.) The girls were spoiled with scooters from my parents and Hailey received the much loved Magic School Bus DVDs.

Afterwards we came home and opened up Christmas PJs from Papa and Rara Hill. The girls placed mint Oreo cookies on a plate for Santa, which sadly Santa was too sick to eat. Mrs. Claus enjoyed them alone. :) I wrapped presents and excitedly placed them under the tree. I may have been grinchy, but I was totally excited about watching those girls open their gifts.

The next morning poor Kyle was still so sick. We let him sleep in while the girls and I turned on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and I put our breakfast quiche in the oven. Once Kyle was awake we opened presents. Keira was ultra enthusiastic and it took some reminders to get the routine down of taking turns and watching others open their gifts. Santa came through for Hailey and brought her the movie How to Train Your Dragon 2. That is all she wanted for Christmas. I have never seen her have such a strong desire for anything before. The poor girl cried silent tears at the store a few weeks before Christmas when she asked me to buy it and I told her to wait for Christmas. She was so anxious! Little did she know it was already hidden in my closet waiting for the big day. :) The girls were gifted a few other movies, some games, new Legos and Mega Bloks and a load of new clothes.

Kyle surprised me with a new rice cooker- all I really wanted for Christmas! Mine died over the summer, I've been making it on the stove since- which totally works, but it's not quite as convenient as in a rice cooker. Actually, I was lucky enough to be given TWO rice cookers. I failed to mention to Kyle that I had requested one from my parents. :) Still- I was completely surprised, and I thought it very sweet of him. It was perfect!

Kyle and I normally don't exchange gifts. In the past we've made some sort of large purchase we can both enjoy, like the monster sacs in our family room. We didn't do that this year, which is fine. What I look forward to most is exchanging stockings. We go on a date to Target armed with $10 cash (plus one extra for tax), split up and shop for stocking stuffers. It really is fun trying to hide from each other and be creative with what we can put in the stocking for only $10. That limited of a budget is difficult! But it's fun. This year... it didn't happen. It kept getting put off, and put off, until finally Kyle was too sick to go out. So, Christmas Eve I left the girls at my parents and made a last minute trip to Target and spent both of our $10 on his stocking. The store was pretty picked through, but I still managed to find a few gifts to give him: a new loofa (which he desperately needed), a new shirt, new lights for his bike, and a bar of ultra dark chocolate.

What did make me happy on Christmas was the snow! Our first REAL snowfall of the year. Finally! I sent the girls outside for a little bit to play. I think they were only out there for about as long as it took them to get bundled up. Oh well. It was so pretty though!

Christmas really didn't go as planned. Kyle felt terrible, I was in a bit of bad mood of a result of it (totally my fault, I shouldn't have let a little disappointment bring me down), we postponed our Christmas dinner of homemade pizza and root beer floats so Kyle could enjoy it with us, and the day just lost it's excitement. I don't think the girls noticed. I think they were perfectly happy. For them Santa came, they opened presents, they played in the snow, they went to Papa and Rara's house, and I let them eat more sugar than they usually get. It was a great day for them! And that is really what matters most. 

I did finally feel a bit of some love as our family sat together and watched Hailey's beloved How to Train Your Dragon 2. Keira was cuddled up next to me, Hailey sat beside her absolutely happy, and Kyle joined us from the opposite side of the couch- we were doing something fun together. And that was great!

I do wish we could have a Christmas do-over and that Kyle could get his days off back. But I guess that's life, no do-overs. At least we have New Years. Hopefully we can make up for some Christmas lameness!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fall Photo Dump: November

I finally have part 3 of the Fall Photo Dump ready to share! (Part 1 and Part 2

November was a busy month. Really, once we hit Halloween life stays fairly busy until the new year. Hailey's birthday is a week after Halloween, Kyle's is a week after Hailey's and Thanksgiving is just two weeks after Kyle's. Of course after Thanksgiving it's all about Christmas and then we relax. :) 

Hailey's birthday fell on a Saturday this year. She had a busy day. Her partying started Friday night when my parent's took her via the train to Salt Lake City to make her own bear at Build-A-Bear. Saturday morning we hosted a birthday party, then Hailey was wisked away to lunch with her fabulous Aunts and Uncle, after which Kyle took Hailey out to the movie theater to see How to Train Your Dragon 2, and then it was dinner and opening family gifts. Whew! That is a lot to do for a 5 year old! She had a blast of a birthday.

We don't do birthday parties every year- too much work and money (and she gets way too spoiled with presents)! But, turning 5 is a big deal, so it merited a birthday party. Not just any birthday party, a Batgirl birthday party. We had masks and capes for all of the attendees, a photo booth, and Kyle set up a batcave in the family room with bats hanging from the ceiling. The girls practiced their Batgirl skills by tossing bat-a-rang bean bags, and by playing pin the bat-a-rang on the robber. Of course we finished up with cupcakes and presents. I was a little unsure how the Batgirl party would be received, it's not the traditional princess party most of the girls her age have. The girls loved it! They all wore the masks and capes and were super excited about entering the batcave. A big part of this party wouldn't have happened without Kyle. Like most of it. I did the masks and capes, cupcakes and invitations. Kyle did the rest. He is awesome, boy am I lucky!

And then came Thanksgiving. We drove to Colorado to spend Thanksgiving with Kyle's family at his aunt's house. It was the perfect weekend. We had a blast. There was a Turkey Table Tennis Tournament complete with brackets (both winning and losing), a night of Bingo with Target dollar spot item prizes, a fun run (2 miles, 4 miles, and a kids 100 yard dash), the girls watched enough movies to last them an entire year, we ate amazing amounts of delicious food, mostly not the healthiest-and loved it, did some shopping, and just relaxed. It was great. We were sad to come back home to real life again.

Admittedly, I didn't even bring the camera. We were packing so much stuff already I didn't want to add another thing to our load, and I just felt like enjoying the week and not feeling any pressure to document it. Luckily Kyle's mom snapped pictures on her phone and shared them with me!

Ok. Now we're all caught up. Bring on Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Keira is 2!

Keira is 2 today! It feels like this day has taken forever to come. It seems like this girl has acted two for the past 4 months or so. And now we are officially here! 2 years old!

She is a funny, funny girl. She is just naturally goofy. She loves to have a good time.  

Keira is a smarty pants. She doesn't miss a thing. I feel like I can tell her just about anything and she gets it. Hailey went to play at Cate's house last week. I told Keira I would take her over to Rara's while Hailey played. Keira put the pieces together, "Hailey, Cate. Rara, me." I love that she understands. That means I can potentially prevent a breakdown by explaining what is happening, or will happen, and what we can do afterwards. She gets it and is patient to wait until we're done with whatever we need to do before we can do what she wants.

Keira has picked up a bit of counting... by 2's. Her counting goes 2, 4, 6, 8. Playing hide-and-seek with Hailey she covers her eyes, quickly counts 2,4,6,8 and runs to find her. No matter how hard I try, she will not repeat 1, 3, 5, or 7 with me. I say one, she says two. Oh well, she's starting to get it.

Everything is the color blue. She will repeat back to me the colors I tell her, but when asked what color something is it is always blue.

Keira is a little mimic. She repeats everything she hears immediately after it has been said, with no hesitation. She jabbers all day long. Non-stop talking. She gets a lot of practice in, which is why I feel like she is a pretty good little talker. She is starting to put together her own creative sentences. They are short, and often incomplete, but she is able to fully get her point across. Just the other night Kyle was sitting at the kitchen table. Keira was underneath his chair and let out a toot. She said, "Dad... Dad... Dad..." finally Kyle responded, "What?" she poked her head out from the chair and looked up at him, "I toot."

Keira is getting quite imaginative in her pretend play. She totes Monkey around with her and pretends to wipe his bum, or feed him food. She likes to get him dressed in doll clothes and put him to bed to sleep. She also enjoys cooking in the play kitchen and occasionally brings me food to eat. 

She is a non-stop eater. Need to motivate Keira? Just mention food and she'll come running. "Yay! Snack!" There isn't anything she doesn't like, besides refried beans. Though just last week we had a bit of a breakthrough. She ate refried beans, all on her own. Sometimes Keira devours her food so fast, she doesn't know what happened. One day Keira ate her clementine orange so quickly she was genuinely confused where it went. "Where'd orange go?" I had to explain to her that she had already eaten it. She wasn't so happy about that answer. 

Keira loves to read books. The second I sit down on the couch I have two little girls racing to the books to get back to me with the first one. Keira is always patient when it's Hailey's turn. As soon as Hailey's book is finished she sprints back to me (I don't know why she never wants to sit and listen to it too) with a new book, "My turn!

Keira is the most polite toddler ever. She is quick to apologize, even to inanimate objects, like the couch. I love her "Sorry, Mommy." Her thank you's are adorable. She always mentions the person she is thanking by name, "Thank you Hey (Hailey)." Keira is also very good at sharing. She's never happy if you take from her, but if you ask nicely she is nearly always willing to share.

Keira is a pure delight and wins me over daily. Happy Birthday Keira!


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