Saturday, December 17, 2016

Welcome to Alaska: Dec. 16-17, 2016

This year we went back to Alaska to visit my family for Christmas break. I was so excited to have my kids experience a "white Christmas." I was praying that the weather would cooperate and that we would have LOTS of beautiful snow, just not when we were trying to fly in or out of the state!

I was studying the weather report the weeks leading up to our trip, and luckily it looked like things were in our favor. We excitedly went thrift shopping for cold weather clothes and packed our bags!

We left Texas December 16 with a return flight for new years eve, December 31, just in time for Lucy to start school Monday January 2nd.

First up: Anchorage Airport!

We made it! The welcoming committee was excited to see us.

Second up: Brunch at my cousin Natalie's house!

Adorable line up of second cousins. Or once removed. Or something.
Lucy (6), C (6), E (4), Clara (3), Henry (1), O (1).

Us hungry pregnant women enjoying our second brunch a few hours later. Gotta feed those growing babies!

Lucy's snow dreams come true!

Henry enjoying the swing

Amazing view from their back yard. 

Mini snowman making

Adorable-barely-noticeably-pregnant Natalie. <3

Time to relax and watch Rudolph. 

A perfect start to our Alaskan Christmas vacation! Oh how I wish more family lived closer! <3

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Texas Christmas 2016

In anticipation of being in Alaska for Christmas break, we decided to celebrate with my in-laws and the kids before leaving so we wouldn't have to bring presents for them to open to Alaska.

We set up the tree and a few Christmas decorations to enjoy for the few weeks before heading out.

Notice that the tree got lights, but I never got around to putting any other decorations on it knowing it wouldn't be up for long.

Starting Christmas off right with a visit to Bass Pro Shops!

"Christmas Eve"

Excited and ready to go downstairs!

My exciting haul.
Note: Compression socks recommended by my eye Dr. to help prevent future blood clots while flying to AK.
Not pictured: the chalk board eraser that made all my Christmas wishes come true. Thanks, Zach! <3

Lucy with her spoils.

Clara's loot.

Henry's bounty.

Also not shown: All the winter clothes and gear purchased for our Alaska trip.

 Apparently I never took a picture of Zach, Kay, or Greg's gifts. Oh well.

Merry Fake Christmas!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

2015: Final Goal Review

Here are the final results from my 2015 goals!


1. Ukulele: Nope
My goal was to at least learn how to tune my birthday gift, but no luck yet! I have found a few musically inclined friends who might be willing to help me figure out the basics. But this goal is unachieved, as of yet.

2. Read: Accomplished!
- Read TONS of books
- Kids and I participated in summer reading program at the local library and received free books of our choosing

I'm on Goodreads if anyone wants to see what I've been up to.

3. Organize and Downsize Closets: Yes! 
- Put in extra wire shelving in Lucy's closet, including a half-bar so she can reach and hang up her own clothes
- Put in extra shelving in library closet to maximize vertical space
- Went through closets and cupboards and donated a lot of unused items
- Researched and bought filing cabinet
- Sorted through all papers, threw out old papers, and organized the remaining papers into new filing cabinet 

Such a satisfying victory. I love, love getting rid of stuff I don't need, want, or use. Donating it to someone else who needs it and getting junk out of my house = bliss!

4. Downsize Makeup: Yes!
- Taught beauty night for 16-18 year old girls at church and gave away LOTS of unused/unwanted makeup and samples

- Used up lots of samples

Still need to go through lipsticks and try each one out, to determine its ultimate fate. Did give a few away, though!

Anyone want to have a makeup swap/ladies night?

5. Flowers around the house: Yes!
- White orchid in master bathroom
- Real orchid for kitchen table

Still on the hunt for the perfect arrangements for guest room, guest bathroom, and master bedroom side table.

6. Record history: Win!
Even though technically most of my success in this one has been since the new year, I'm counting it!

I successfully recorded one StoryCorps interview and posted it for posterity, as well as a few private family conversations.

I've also been helping my in-laws sort, organize, label, scan, and post family pictures and documents to facebook and My family tree is looking great! I've learned a lot about my husband's side of the family in the process, and have really been enjoying it. 

7. Master a recipeSo much, yes! 

I learned how to make:

- Cream Puffs! Waaaay easier than I thought. (Thanks, Serena!)
I'm drooling just thinking about these... 

- Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting
- Fruit whip
- Chicken vegetable soup
- Roasted butternut and apple soup

All of these are now my favorite recipes. Mmmm.

8. Dance!
Kind of?

We have had a few family dance parties and I attended one cardio dance class at church. But not really the amount I was hoping for. I still enjoyed what I got, though! 

9. Hang it up: Achieved and surpassed goal!

Goal Hangs:
- Chalk board: Done!
- Print and hang bluebonnet pictures: Yay! Hanging in Lucy's room
- Print and hang family picture from 2014: Done! It is the first thing you see when you come in the front door. <3
- Height measuring chart: Done! (Although has since been taken down from the nail because Henry learned how to crawl and kept trying to rip it down.)

Welcome Home!

Bonus Hangs:
- Wedding picture in front room

- Anchorage LDS Temple in front room
- Engagement picture in front room
- The Family Proclamation in front room

- Family picture in master bedroom
- Diptych abstract watercolor in Lucy's room

- Mini photo gallery in library

- 13 Articles of Faith above toddler bed in library
- 3 shadow box butterflies in downstairs bathroom

My house looks awesome! It makes me smile every time I pass by and see any of these pieces hanging in my home. And that is the whole point of having art in your home in the first place!

10. Family Pictures 2015:
Done! I was so happy to have made friends with a lovely woman who was willing to take family photos for us on the cheap! (Thank you so, so much Stephanie!) 

Ah, a satisfying year! I'm giving myself an 8 out of 10! Not bad at all, and some of my successes were overachieved! I'm excited to start my fun goals for 2016! 

Any suggestions or successes of your own? 


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Henry: Week Four

Four weeks old and lookin' fine!

Henry re-living the womb days. They are only little once, so drink it in while you can!

All four of my sweet babies have worn these old Care Bear pajamas. <3

Happy one month, Henry!

Two sweeties. It looks like she is trying to kiss him, but she was actually just rubbing her nose all over him. Weird, but cute.

Henry says, "Hello."

Henry in his first non-pajama outfit. Had to snap a picture before he outgrew it!
Thanks for the onesie, Aunt Jenna!

"Hey Mom."

Too cute!

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