Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day after Christmas plus Vivian’s UT Birthday Party…

The Morning of December 26, 2010, we decided to join Jared’s parents for their Church since it would be one of the last opportunities to see them before they left on their mission.  When we got out of church it started to snow.  It came down really fast and Christian was really excited to see some real snow so he put on his boots and went tromping around.  After a while, Jared and he got in a little snow-ball fight.  When he finally came in, Christian was really surprised at how cold his hands were…. “that wasn’t in the frosty the snowman movie”!  Gotta love my boy!IMG_6773 IMG_6782

In the “heat” of the battle.IMG_6797 So even if we didn’t have a white Christmas at least we did get to see some snow.  I’m so grateful that I don’t have to deal with that all of the time even if it is fun to be in for a little while!

When Vivian woke up from her nap, we took her to see Grandma and Grandpa get set apart and then she got to check out the snow a little. IMG_6802

After Jared’s parents were set apart, we went back to my parent’s and set-up for Vivian’s birthday party. IMG_6815 Here’s a photo of the set-up.  I made this banner (now I know why people buy cricuts, it took forever for me to cut all of those letters by hand)! I also made 52 cupcakes that my sister-in-law Megan, helped me place in the shape of a numeral “1” which I got the idea from my great friend Charisse.IMG_6816  IMG_6822

Here’s our little birthday girl!  She was really excited about the balloons we blew up.IMG_6826 Here’s the candle all lit.  I was so nervous.  Christian was a lot less hands-off with fire than Vivian is.IMG_6832 I think she liked it, once she dug in!IMG_6849  After a messy treat, Vivian opened her gifts. I hate it that you can see he bruise on her right cheek.  That’s the price babies pay for learning how to walk which is what she’s been working on lately.IMG_6851

My niece Elizabeth, Grandma Linda and Grandpa Gerald.  IMG_6853Our friends, L-R: Alan, Brooke, Michaela and her mom, Charisse.  I was so happy to have them all there!   IMG_6859   My nephew Shaun, and my sister April holding my sister Julie’s baby, Kate who looks like a little elf!

IMG_6863 Jared, explaining something with his hands ;).IMG_6865My niece Trystan and her mom (Jared’s sister) Deborah.  They were really sweet and came all the way from Saratoga Springs.  It was great to see them there!  IMG_6869 Brooke and her baby boy, Ammon.IMG_6870  Jared visiting with my Grandma and Alan.IMG_6872 A cute photo of my niece Autumn and my friend Charisse’s daughter Michaela checking out Vivian’s loot.IMG_6895 The little kids (who were wildly crazy that night) playing a game of ring-around-the-rosy!IMG_6908  Kate enjoying a cupcake!  IMG_6910

Detail on the Cupcakes.


It was a fun party, even if it was a little crazy to do it the day after Christmas….I guess I didn’t have too much choice in the matter when Vivian was born!  I’m so grateful that we could celebrate my little girl’s first birthday with family and friends.  I miss them all so terribly!

Christmas 2010

Christmas in Utah this year was not white.  It was bright though.  The Christian and Vivian woke up later than anyone else (my brother’s were going a little crazy) and then we all went out to see what Santa Claus brought.  Vivian was pretty excited.  I took more videos than pictures but here are some good ones.

IMG_6712 Vivian checking out her new clock toy.

IMG_6715Christian posing in his new hat from Grandma Jaydene his expression is pretty funny…I can’t tell what he’s thinking….


After presents, we all had a delicious breakfast of breakfast casserole that my mom made and then Jared’s parent’s stopped by to wish us Marry Christmas and to see what Santa brought the kids.  Shortly after they left we stopped by my sister April’s house to see the kids before they went to their dad’s and check out April’s gorgeous Christmas Tree.

IMG_6727 Here’s a cute shot of the kids together.  Vivian on the floor, Christian, Shaun and Autumn.  I wish we lived closer, Christian talks about his cousin’s non-stop and keeps asking me to call them and tell them to come visit.IMG_6733 Here’s a picture of her tree.  The pictures just don’t do it justice because it is amazing!

After visiting April and her kids, we stopped by Jared’s parent’s house.IMG_6735

Vivian was a little timid but she was happy to roam around.IMG_6736

Because Gerald and Linda kept talking about Germany (they left for their second mission to Freiberg, Germany the next morning), Christian kept asking them what country everything was from.  It was making me laugh.  He was so interested that they had figurines from Germany, Chocolate from Switzerland, candy from Turkey, and a coloring book from China.  It was a crack-up!

After all that visiting, we took Christian and Vivian back to my mom’s for a nap.  Once they woke up, we went up to my Grandma’s house for a Christmas visit.IMG_6751 Here is a picture that shows Christian’s delight of finding an envelope with his name on it off of the “money tree”.IMG_6761

Not the most flattering picture of me but this is reality :). IMG_6764 Great-grandma giving Christina and Vivian loves.  Vivian wasn’t too sure what to think.  Christian was really happy to visit though.IMG_6767 We had a lovely Christmas.  I was a little tired myself, but I think that’s the price of being a parent.  I’m so thankful that Christ chose to come down (even if it wasn’t in December) and live in the most humble of circumstances and live and die for all of us so that we could have the opportunity and choice to be with our Father in Heaven again.  What better gift could anyone ask for?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

This year for Christmas Jared (because he’s at the bottom of the totem pole at work)  couldn’t get much time off so we drove up to Utah after he got off of work on the 23rd and drove to Kanab.  The next morning, Christmas Eve, we drove the rest of the way up to Salt Lake.  It was a pretty foggy and murky looking drive.  There was once point when we were by Bryce Canyon where the sun finally broke through at the tips of the mountains that we got a gorgeous view.  It reminded me of an analogy to life that sometimes things get really difficult and life seems so dreary and dismal and so endless but if you keep looking up there can be moments where the sun brakes through the clouds—giving hope until the storms pass.IMG_6651

I am so grateful that I was able to go see my family and some friends for Christmas.   They really bring so much light in my life.  I have been blessed to have already made some friends here (my next door neighbor is awesome as well as some other great girls I’ve met at church) but I have been really lonely for the things and people who I’ve known the longest.

I love living in my new home and our neighborhood and I know that it’s a blessing to live somewhere with less storm systems coming and going all the time (I was in a lot of pain in Utah with my back) but I wish I could be with my family more.

When we got to my mom’s we had a fun evening hanging out and enjoying the company of those in my family that could come visit.  We had a soup dinner with April and Bill’s family’s and then Julie’s family stopped by later. IMG_6660

Here’s my sweet niece Abby enjoying a cracker. She has the best smile and I love her smiley eyes!

IMG_6662 We also did a little gift exchange with the cousins.  Vivian got this neat stroller from Sandy and Abby.  It was so neat in fact, that all the kids fought over it :).IMG_6669 Here’s the amazing Kate and her ability to sleep in loud rooms with rambunctious children running all around.  I love her look of concentration! She did wake up once they took her coat off…IMG_6683

Here are the two December babies, Kate and Vivian playing by each other! IMG_6692

It was really cute at one point when they both started crawling as fast as they could to the fridge and then stood by it playing with the nativity magnets.   IMG_6686

Here’s a stinking cute picture I got of happy Kate grinning away!

IMG_6702Here’s a cute one of my niece Autumn with Lilly and Christian.  Autumn was so patient to play with the silly little kids.  Christian just adores both Autumn and Lilly…he kept asking me over and over again on the drive home “Now why can’t you marry cousins?”IMG_6705 Here’s a picture that demonstrates Vivian’s orneriness and Kate’s obvious happiness to be with family.  Vivian is a little timid when it comes to all of the family members she’s not used to seeing.  I feel bad that she acts so cranky when we’re with everyone because at home she’s really a sweetheart.  I’m going to make a book for her that I’m going to read daily that has a picture of everyone in the family.  If you want to be in the book, let me know and get me a picture you like of yourself.


I really do have more hair than this picture shows…Here’s a picture of my sister Julie and I.  I think we’re starting to look more alike than we did when we were younger…interesting….

It was a nice relaxing evening.  We even watched “The Man in the Santa Claus Suit” which is an movie that my parent’s recorded off “the air” in the 80’s and we used to watch every year.  It has some hilarious commercials recorded on the video (like Mr. Clean…).Why don’t they make commercials like they used to?

Then everyone left and we got Christian to bed an ourselves to bed by about midnight.  Even despite the long drive it was worth being with family.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Time is Here!

This week has been full as well as fun.  Monday, for family night, we took pictures of the children in front of the tree. The only problem was that Vivian was not interested in having her picture taken or actually holding still.  She was much more interested in her new climbing skills that she learned that morning, much to my dismay.IMG_6574

Vivian getting up into a chair…she was so proud!  It took her until the next day to realize how to get down though…IMG_6485 Here’s a picture that perfectly displays Christian’s frustration.


She’s trying to get away.

Now for some good ones:IMG_6489  IMG_6495 IMG_6532 IMG_6548 IMG_6611


After a lot of frustration with Vivian and trying to pose with her, we let Christian take a picture of us.  If you notice, I broke down and got bangs the Saturday before…after realizing that Vivian’s pulling habit was really ruining the visual appeal of my hair ;).     

On Friday night, I had a cookie exchange with four other couples and their children.  We had so much fun I totally forgot to pull out the camera! I hate it when I do that.  I am thinking I’ll have to make my exchange a tradition every year….especially since we don’t have family here and having people we love around us is what helps us feel the Christmas spirit.

On Saturday we decided to go find Santa Claus.  The mall near us had him as well as a real snow making machine outside the magical set that was for Santa. Christian was very excited to tell Santa what he wanted.  Guess what he asked for.… a cell phone.  Good grief.  I suggested that maybe he should learn to read first….and then maybe wait about a decade.  I never even wanted a cell phone until I was a mommy! Vivian was really excited while waiting in line because the family in front of us had two beautiful dogs that she wanted to kiss.  When it came to meeting St. Nick, Vivian didn’t know what to think when I placed her on his lap and made a perfectly adorable pout.

Santa pics 12-18-2010 

Sunday, we went to my friend Kalei’s baby’s blessing and then afterwards, decided to detour to the temple and see the lights as it was about 4 pm and we would be just in time to see them first lighted.  We got there at the perfect time, dusk, because there was a perfect front row spot to park right by the visitor center.  There were 92 crèches displayed this year from all over the world and the missionary there explained that they were mostly from a collection of a sister Johnson who owns over 400 crèches.  Amazing.  I love how each culture has their own techniques and/or materials that they use to make these beautiful works of art.IMG_6639

Here’s the visitor’s center all lit up.

After looking at the display, we went outside to enjoy the lights before Vivian got too cold (we forgot her jacket…I know that sounds terrible, until you realize that it was about 74 degrees earlier that day).


Christian was very excited to look at the lights especially when they were near the water.  I was afraid a couple of times that we were going to bring home a wet child with the way he was playing near the reflecting pools.IMG_6637

Vivian, on the other hand, was not very excited about the lights.  She was pretty tired after a day with broken-up naps and a non-existent schedule.  She’s such a patient little thing when we are being crazies with her schedule. IMG_6627

Here’s a picture a sweet lady took of our family.  She saw me taking a picture of Jared with the kids and ran over to offer to take a picture with me in it too.  I was really touched.  I’ve been wishing for a family picture all month.


I love that we have a temple nearby that displays beautiful lights and helps me feel a little more of the Christmas spirit…it almost makes me want to go crazy with the lights in my own yard…almost :).