Friday, December 31, 2010

Show me the Mommy - Funny Nose Edition

Hope everyone has a great start to the New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Today marks the 3rd year anniversary of my blog, just as the year comes to a close, which makes it kind of easy to wrap up another year of blogging with well, another year.

As I went back over my blog posts from the last year, I realized that this has been a rather big year for me personally. As the kids get older and they spend more time at school, while they still grow and change way too fast, it is far less dramatic then when they were babies or even toddlers. And I find myself exploring my interests outside of being a wife and mother. Who am I? What do I want my life to be? My husband and kids will never stop being the biggest and most important part of my life, no doubt. But striking a balance with my other interests and defining myself outside the roles of wife and mother was a big focus of this past year. And honestly, I think it definitely makes me a better wife and mother.

Therefore, I have 5 blog posts (I have in the past limited myself to three) that struck me as vitally important events in the past year:

Whether you know me well enough to realize this or not, because writing comes so easily to me, in real life I am a very guarded person. I am not easy to get to know. In the last year, I feel that I have made a huge leap in becoming comfortable with who I am and not being afraid to share it with other people. I used to hold back and care what others think much more than I do now. And for that I must thank every one of you who read my blog, whether you are an online friend I just met this year, a distant relative, a former co-worker or someone who has known me my whole life. Your acceptance of me in what is basically a very public journal of our life, reminds me that it is okay to just be me. And that is something I really needed and deeply appreciate.

I know it sounds cliche, but I wake up every day and I truly do feel incredibly blessed - to have a loving husband, two beautiful children and everything that comes with it. I know 2011 is going to bring me new experiences and new challenges. And I say, bring it on.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Semi Wordless Wednesday - Santa Hat Revisited

Jake 6 months

3 years

4 years

5 years

6 years:

Jadyn 6 months

1 year

2 years

3 years

4 years:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

And in less than 10 minutes, the scene we happened upon had turned into this:

But in that 10 minutes there was a lot of this:

Jadyn opened a few presents I had picked out for her myself that she had not asked for. She would open it and say, "this wasn't on my list, but I like it anyway!"

And then the big decision. What do I play with first????

Several hours later, I mentioned to the kids that we were going to Grandpa and Grandma's house for Christmas dinner. They were very concerned of course, about leaving their new toys. I told them they could each pack what they wanted in their backpacks. Well in 10 minutes flat, Jadyn had packed all her bean bag babies, the dog from her Barbie vet set and walkie-talkies and was ready to GO! Notice anything wrong? She is still in her pajamas! LOL!

Christmas with the Funny Nose family was lovely. The tamale dinner was delicious. The kids got to play with their cousins. More gifts were opened of course. And I got to take some pictures by the tree:

With their cousins posing:

And with their cousins playing dog pile:

Our niece Lilly playing with the box Jake's Nerf gun came in. How cute is she?:

Last year Grandpa Bob stole the show from our carefully chosen gifts for the kids with his "Bag-o-crap"(his words) that included noise makers and all kinds of other things parents generally won't buy for their own children for the sake of their sanity. Well leave it to Grandpa Bob to steal the show once again, this year with burp guns! Grandma asked the boys to pose for a picture and while concentrating on that, Grandpa came around the corner with a surprise attack. This picture is hilarious as not only did it capture the surprise on the boys' faces but Jake looks like he is going to inadvertently eat the ball. Needless to say, these guns were played with the majority of the night. And no Aidan is not about to cry. He was laughing about it. Trust me.

And so ends another great holiday. It took us all of Sunday to recuperate from all the excitement. Definitely a Christmas to remember.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

When the sun finally emerged from our week long rain, it was hard to believe that Christmas eve had already arrived. Friday was the last day of my mom and George's visit so before they left, we snapped a few pictures. There is a smiley one that turned out okay but this one with all their funny faces was my favorite:

Then it was time to get to work because we had a lot of baking to do! Joe had already done the oatmeal cookies the night before, but I still had the sugar cookies to bake and decorate and then he took over the kitchen to do his famous chocolate chip. Plus, we had Cruz and his visiting family over for Christmas Eve dinner so Joe also prepared cowboy beans (also apparently known as drunken beans, although we do not actually put beer in his Dad's version), twice baked potatoes and chicken and beef kabobs with grilled veggies.

Jadyn really likes to bake. I mean really likes to bake. Sure, she likes to lick the beaters and taste test the frosting but she also really enjoys the entire process and she really got into the decorating this year. Check out the carefully placed Nestle chip decorations on these cookies. That was all Jadyn:

And to prove that she put in some hard work, green frosting on her face and in her hair.

I like to spread out the gifts a little because I feel it helps the kids appreciate each one and they are more likely to remember who gave it to them. So that afternoon they opened presents from Great Grandma Anita and Grandpa Ken.

Later that evening, they also got to open more gifts from Cruz and our traditional Christmas Eve presents - a board game (this year was Uno Attack) and new pajamas. We also enjoyed playing our new Kinect Adventures game for the XBOX. After a quick glance on the NORAD site, it was determined that since Santa was in Iowa he was therefore getting close enough that the kids needed to get to bed.

I never want to forget Jake rushing around to do his bedtime routine, running outside to dump the reindeer food on the lawn and excitedly picking out cookies to leave for Santa. He was in such a hurry to get to bed so Santa could come. You just had to laugh.

But of course with that kind of anticipation, it is very hard to sleep and so our streak of getting to sleep in until a decent hour on Christmas morning was broken when he came into our room at 2am exclaiming that he couldn't sleep and could we go see what Santa left. He was fairly certain Santa had already came because he said he had heard the jingle bells before falling asleep. We told him it was too early but he proceeded to wake us up every 15-30 minutes from that point on wanting to know if it was time to wake up. We begrudgingly finally got up with him at 5 am but not before Joe looked over at me and repeated a line from one of my favorite Christmas movies, "Strong. Coffee."

When we made it into the living room, this is what was waiting for us:

And so earlier than we would have liked, Christmas morning had arrived.......

Friday, December 24, 2010

Joy and Magic

That is what our holiday greeting card wished for everyone - the joy and magic of the season. And just like I try to instill in the kids the idea of being thankful all year round, I also try to instill in them a sense of kindness, thoughtfulness and giving, which although at its height during the holiday season, should be carried on into and throughout the new year, each and every year. I think of the holidays as a time to simply celebrate it. I also hope that I can lead by example and practice what I try to teach to the kids. However, it is a journey, not a destination. And I am still very much on that journey. These are my thoughts as we approach the cumulation of holiday season, with Santa visiting tonight and 2010 quickly coming to a close.

And here are the best of the best from our 2010 holiday photo shoot. Last year we captured the beauty of the desert by taking our family photos in Joshua Tree National Park. This year, we went somewhere also located here in the basin but it is the one place you can go and briefly forget that you are in the desert because the landscape is SO different than what you typically see up here. It is one of my favorite places to take the kids to run around on the trails and it is also one of my favorite places to take company when they come to visit - The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.

And a big shout out to my dear friend Rose, who took family pictures for us two years in a row and really "got" what I was hoping to get.

Happy Holidays!













Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Claus is coming to town

And apparently due to my attempt to save money by sneaking candy into the movie theater on our recent trip to see Tangled (great flick by the way), I have been put on the naughty list. At least according to my kids. At any rate don't forget to track Santa's trip around the world via the NORAD Santa tracker. It's a tradition at our house!

And no, I do not know where Jake's recent obsession with flashing gang symbols has come from. If you noticed from the picture of us at the Wild Lights, he was giving the thumbs up. With this picture, we asked him if he was shooting guns but he said no. He was just trying to be silly. Well Jake, you have reindeer antlers on your head so regardless of what you do with your hands, mission accomplished!

Jingle Bells!

Jadyn has been singing this song NON-STOP! I love that she is so into the spirit of the season but seriously? It has now replaced Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as the song that has basically been put on a continuous loop. I tried singing some other Christmas carols with her, which prompted Joe to look for some rendetions on the internet. Apparently I don't have much of a singing voice (and that is really not news to me). Only two more days til Christmas.