Monday, January 30, 2017

Happy Birthday, Bubba!

Where has the time gone?

How, in the blink of an eye, could you have turned from this:

Into this:

I always feel so sentimental on Nathan's birthdays. It makes me think back on the morning he was born, and those first few weeks of his life where I felt more love, fear, joy, and anxiety than I had ever experienced all at once. There's something really special about celebrating the birthday of your firstborn. I celebrate myself in a way, because that was the day I became forever more, a mother. 

Nathan had his first donut a couple of months ago and hasn't stopped talking about it since. Those fried sugary balls of dough really leave an impression, don't they? ;) So for his birthday second breakfast (we made him eat a real breakfast first) we met up with Mike and Heidi who drove in from Boron for Nathan's birthday and had some birthday donuts! 

Heidi, Mya, Mason, Mike, Nathan, Cameron 
That night we had a special dinner for Nathan's birthday with some of his favorites, his cousins!

Cameron and Mike made delicious cinnamon rolls for dessert!

Menu: homemade mac n cheese, hot dogs, salad. This is what dreams are made of, people.

Nathan was in hot heaven. Adden, Mason, Mya, and Ben all in the same room at the same time!? He could hardly contain his excitement.

Happy Birthday, my boy

Frosting covered bliss:

The next day was Nathan's party. We kept it small, just the cousins, but that was enough to keep this mom on her toes. (that's a nice way of saying I was going nuts ;))

We decided to do a pirate theme because Nathan is ALWAYS talking about the Pirates of the Carribean and wants to watch video of the ride all the time. He randomly blurts out, "dead men tell no tales...." or "yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me,"

Here are our cute pirate cupcakes

Ready for the treasure hunt!

Adden, Mason, Ben, Nathan, and Dwayne (Mya didn't want to be in the picture)

I think the past week between Christmas and the birthday celebrations the day before Nathan was too tired to put his heart and soul into the treasure hunt. The older boys ran from place to place while Nathan went from walking really slowly behind everyone and begging me or Cameron to carry him. (insert disappointed face emoji) haha. This kid.

Nathan was more interested in trying to get the boys to use the zipline than continuing on the next clue. I learned a valuable lesson-3 years old is a little bit too young for a treasure hunt. Oh well. 

Once again, not interested in the clue, more interested in the play set

Asking to be carried :-|
Finally found the treasure!!

Now THIS he was excited about.


Cupcake faces!

Dear Nathan,
You are so special. I am so grateful for the boy you are. You keep me on my toes, that's for sure. You are so much fun, you keep us all laughing constantly. You love people and friends. You know no strangers. The other day you met some of daddy's highschool friends and you yelled at one of the women, "hey, guwuwl (girl) I'm gonna get your bunsies!" (butt) You love everything boy. Meaning you love everything violent. haha. You love wrestling, playing swords, playing guns, and anything active. You are obsessed with Star Wars and PJ Masks and are constantly telling people you are "Dar Vadar!" a "Storm Trooper" or "Catboy" (everyone thinks you are saying "cowboy") You will go along with anything we do as long as we call it an adventure. You say, a "benture!?" and you're all up for it. You are such an amazing spirit. I am so lucky to be your mom! I can't wait to see all you do and how much you learn and grown in the next year! Happy Birthday!

Christmasing 2016

Christmas 2016

PHEW. The holidays were so busy and took so much out of me it took me over a month to get to blogging about it! 

To start things off we went to our ward Christmas party that was a Whoville (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) theme.  

Those of you who know me well know that I love dressing up. I tried to gather costumes for us to look Who-ish, but got frustrated because they weren't coming together because I had started too last minute. So we just wore our festive reds (Cameron hates Christmas, apparently, and decided to wear orange ;) I can only be in charge of so many people's outfits, guys)

I was honestly a little disappointed when I heard they were going to have the Grinch at the Christmas Party instead of Santa Clause because this was Penny's first Christmas and all. But, seriously, look at these pictures of Nathan on the Grinch's lap:

Solid gold.

Mind changed.

Penny was too grouchy to sit on anyone's lap anyway (we didn't start eating til 7, which is her bedtime. Which was a little frustrating, since it is a FAMILY Christmas party. But whatever) so I was thoroughly entertained by watching Nathan with the Grinch.

Nathan is a little spooked by watching the live-action Jim Carey version of the Grinch, so seeing him in person kind of freaked him out. But in a good way. It's like he enjoyed the thrill of it. Like the same reason people go to haunted houses because they like being scared. I myself HATE being scared, so I don't get this thought process, but it seems like our almost-three-year-old is a bit of a thrill seeker. No surprise there.

The next day was church and when we got to the church building he asked, "we're gonna see the Grinch?" Nope, dude, that was a one time thing. I couldn't tell if he was disappointed or relieved.

Christmas Eve morning I met Tara and my parents at the gym and we got our sweat on before the gluttony began.

When we got to my parent's house Tara had Nathan open up his present, which was a Captain America costume and shield. I have never seen him so excited about a present. He kept looking at himself in the mirror, and striking hardcore poses.

He was so stoked. Hopefully this makes up for me making him be Mickey Mouse for Halloween.
Probably not.

Aunt Tara for the win

Penny girl got a fun ball toy too!

She was pretty stoked about it!

After we all got ready we went and visited my Grandma Shirley in the Assisted Living home she lives in. My grandmother has dementia, which over the last 4 years has gotten progressively worse and worse. When Nathan was born she was still a little coherent (didn't really know exactly who we were, but knew we belonged in her family, and could carry a somewhat normal conversation), but since Penny was born she is pretty far gone. I wanted to get a 4 generation picture with my grandma to show Penny when she is older. It makes me so sad that my kids wont know the smart, strong, and ever-giving Grandma Shirley. She wasn't a lovey-dovey kind of Grandma, but she always showed us how much she loved us by the time she spent with us and the endless service she gave. Its a really weird feeling missing someone who is still here.

My dad, sisters, and I sang some Christmas carols for my grandma and the other old ladies in the home. They all seemed to enjoy it, and one of the ladies even sang along!

I'm grateful for my mom for giving us this opportunity to give service on this day. It made the holiday more complete.

When my mom told her that we were all related and how she was just blown away that we were hers. I feel the same way. <3

Later that evening we celebrated Christmas Eve when Matthew and Carrie's family arrived and we went next door to my Grandma Shirley's house which has now become my Aunt Lynn's house. It is always such a joy to celebrate with family. I love seeing my children participate in family traditions I participated in as a child.

Present time!

Nathan, Adden, and Ben got remote control cars from the Grand aunts


This girl makes all holidays and gatherings more fun! 
Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters

Penny got the cutest little fox from Aunt Jean!
Lovely people <3

Christmas Day

Cameron and I were housesitting the week of Christmas, and since our children (mostly Nathan) wake up at the buttcrack of dawn, we had some nice quiet family time on Christmas morning. It was so nice to watch Nathan open up his Stocking in a quiet house with just the 4 of us. Unfortunately I had to miss Penny girl opening hers because I had to be to the church at 8:15 am because I was part of the choir program for Christmas Sunday.

Nathan enjoying his special sugar cereal from his stocking....he thought he had died and gone to heaven ;)

After church we took some poor quality family pictures for your enjoyment (Penny fell asleep)

We didn't get very much time all together, but the little time we did have was really nice. I just love this family of mine.

When Penny woke up we got a few pictures of her in her beautiful Christmas dress

Geo and Penny are only about 6 weeks apart in age. So fun to see them together! 

Benny was such a sweetheart to Penny. Love to see these cute boys dote on our one precious girl!
Nathan got an Iron Man outfit for Christmas from Santa. So he can now alternate between kicking and punching us as a mini Captain America and a mini Iron Man. Lucky us.

After lunch we headed to Santa Maria to celebrate Christmas with my dad's side, the Griffiths.

I wanted to make sure I wasn't the only mom assaulted by a mini Captain America, so Nathan gave his cousin, Luke, who is 3, a Captain America costume too. They had so much fun running around playing together. It is so nice going to my Aunt Lisa's house where I know our kids will just be one among all of the crazy kids running around. I don't have to worry too much about Nathan when he has so much entertainment! 

Here's the whole group:

A few days after Christmas we enjoyed a glorious day at the beach. I can't believe sometimes how incredibly blessed I am to call this place home! 

We also FINALLY got to meet our friends Russell and Claire's baby girl, Mia! Mia and Penny are only like 10 days apart, which is super fun. Penny enjoyed a snack of fists full of sand while dainty Mia played in her little red bucket.

It was nice to visit with the Johnsons. Like always, we left wishing we lived closer to these wonderful people.

Snapped these adorable pictures of my parents with Geo and Penny