Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

Today started off wonderfully! I went the gym and was able to get a good workout in. Then, I came home and was able to talk to Alex as he celebrated NYE in Afghanistan. We even had a Face Time New Year kiss. :)

Shortly after we were off the phone and I was cleaning, getting ready for my friends to come over tonight for a NYE celebration, there was a knock on the door. There was a delivery man holding the most beautiful flowers. Alex had sent me flowers with a sweet note saying he wished he could be here tonight.

After the kids were up from their quiet time, we played around with their New Year's Eve crowns. We were able to get some fun pictures. I didn't think Hudson would wear his, but to my surprise, when he saw Madison and I wearing ours, he kept pointing to his head and saying please...that was his way of asking for his crown! So below are our silly pictures that we took for Alex so he could see us and feel like he was part of the fun!

The many faces of Hudson!

Me and my babies!

More fun with the crowns!

I didn't have anyone to take a picture of the three of us, so this was my best attempt!

Once the kids went to bed, a couple of my friends came over that live in our neighborhood and we just hung out and ate a plethora of homemade snacks and goodies! We also just had fun catching up with each other. Once we were all satisfied and full, we took it up a notch and brought out the competitiveness and played some serious rounds of Catch Phrase and a rousing game of Guesstures. I would just like to add that the ladies won the Catch Phrase match and we also won Guesstures (by 2 points). 

The Ladies: April, myself, and Brittney....the Champions of the Night :)

The Guys: Matt and Seth...our fierce competitors 


Some high lights from our game playing time:

 Seth and April


Brittney and Matt

 Alex was able to Face Time with us around 11:00 for just a little bit before he had to go to work (they were given a late start day for New Year's Day). It was so fun to have him on the phone with us all. Then he surprised me and was able to call my phone just before midnight, so that he was on the phone with me when the ball dropped! We were blessed to celebrate two NYE's together today.

This is a picture of me toasting to Alex and being thankful that it's finally the year 2013.
The year Alex and I will be reunited! :) 

 Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It Hailed Today!

Today our church started a new sermon series titled: Storage Wars! Part 1, was is the link if you'd like to watch it:

Storage Wars: Part 1: All In

After church, I came home and quick prepared the kids their lunch! I then had a wonderful afternoon of spending time with two beautiful ladies: Sandra and Lisa, while we went and watch the most amazing movie: Les Miserables! (It hailed on our way to pick up Lisa...strange and crazy weather we had today). We went to the Arclight Theaters at UTC in La Jolla! What an amazing theater! I am learning so many fun new places to go on my fun outings with Sandra!  Back to Les Miserables, now I've seen this movie before, but this was such an amazing rendition of the story! I am so excited to watch it again with Alex when he gets home! If you haven't seen it or are on the fence as to whether or not you'd like to see it, let me help you out: GO SEE IT!!!!! I really enjoyed my time with these two wonderful ladies and I discovered today that Lisa and I share the same birthday! How fun! I have a birthday twin/buddy!  :)

While I was at the movies, Alexis was at the house watching the kiddos. She took some cute pictures and texted them to me, so I thought I'd share them! While Hudson was napping, Madison and Alexis were having some silly fun "mean mugging" and taking pictures. I came home to several beautiful pictures that Madison made with all of her new arts and crafts items she received for Christmas! I love how much fun the kids always have with Alexis. She is watching them for a long time for me next weekend, while I go to a friend's wedding! They are so excited for some more Alexis time! :)

So serious! :)

Here is one final picture from the day. It's the kids being cute together, while eating their afternoon snack! :) Love these kids!

Sandra and Lisa, thank you again for a much needed ladies afternoon at the movies and a wonderful conversation in the car ride. Alexis, thank you for always loving on my children and giving me peace of mind while they are in your care! :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Movie Night #2

Today was a relaxed day. We got up and played with some of the kids new toys and we read some of their new books. When Hudson when down for his nap, Madison and I played some of her new games. We played Blokus Jr (which is a type of strategy/puzzle game) and I taught Madison how to play checkers on her new GIANT checkerboard. She loved both games!

After we were done, Alex was able to call for a little bit, so we talked with him. Then, it was time for lunch. After the kids were done eating, we headed for the YMCA so that they could play and I could get in a good workout! Even though I ran while I was at my parents, it just wasn't the same as being at the Y in my routine! :) 

When we got home from the Y, it started raining outside, so I told the kids that after quiet time we could have another movie night. Madison and I picked, The Lion King as our featured movie! The kids were so excited to have two movie nights in a row! :)

Once the kids were in bed, I finished putting the last of the Christmas things away and now I am off to write Alex a letter and do a little reading! :) Hope you all have a lovely evening!

Friday, December 28, 2012

They're Finally Yellow

Today, the kids and I drove back to San Diego from Thousand Oaks. When we arrived home, we found that several of our lemons were finally yellow (it's only taken a year and a half) and almost ready to pick! I am hoping they are ready in time to maybe make a yummy lemon dessert for New Year's Eve.

We had a quiet day, but a good day. When we arrived home, we all ate lunch and then Hudson napped and Madison and I had some good one on one time. We read some of her new stories and we talked for a little bit and then she went to quiet time and I got busy unpacking the car, starting laundry and putting some of our Christmas decorations away. Then, I got out the bread maker and started our dough for family movie and pizza night.

The kids were both excited to have our movie night and to use Hudson's new blanket that he received for Christmas. Now they each have their own blanket, although tonight they kept alternating which blanket they wanted to sit on. During the whole month of December (until now) we watched a different Christmas movie every Friday. Tonight, Madison's pick was Secret Wings (no surprise there, she is kind of obsessed with that movie). We had a wonderful time!

After the movie was over, Hudson went and grabbed his new airplane, that he received for Christmas, and brought it out into the living room. It plays a bunch of different sounds, including some silly music. Hudson began dancing to it every time it played. I recorded the time I pulled my phone out, he wasn't being quite the ham that he had been, but it's still pretty cute (if I do say so myself). Hope you enjoy!

A Work In Progress

Okay, so this is a work in progress, but I grabbed the photos I could find that were on my computer:


2006 (Pregnant with Madison)

2007 (There was no Christmas Party this year, but we did a Christmas breakfast)

2008 (Jaclyn was engaged to Barry)

2009 (I know this one isn't the traditional one, but this is the year our hard drive crashed and this is one of the only Christmas photos I have on my computer from this year)

2010 (I was pregnant with Hudson)

We didn't have a 2011 b/c Jaclyn was at her husband's family's house for Christmas last year

2012 (Alex is deployed, Hudson is 22 months, Madison is 5 1/2 years old, and Ava is 3.5 months)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Christmas, Annual Christmas Party

Today, was another fun day in Thousand Oaks. I had a fun morning with my parents and kiddos. I don't think I mentioned it in yesterdays' post, but Madison came down with a fever shortly after we arrived, so we had to stay pretty low key. As a result, my parents graciously offered to stay home with the kids tonight, so that I could still go to the after Christmas, annual Christmas Party at Dana's (Jaclyn's mom) House.

Before leaving for the party, I snapped a few cute pictures that I had to share.

This one is of Hudson trying to play with Brinkley. We told him to give Brinkley his new Christmas toy and this is how Hudson chose to give it to him...while I get that the picture doesn't capture all of the silliness of the moment, I still thought it was pretty cute.

This one is of Hudson discovering my parent's massage chairs, while sitting with Grandpa! He loved it and stayed there for quite awhile.

This last picture is of Hudson, while he was being crazy, stopping to give me his best "cheese" face b/c he saw me pull out my phone!

After the kids were all dressed in their jammies and mostly ready for bed, I kissed them good-night and headed out to the party! It was such a special treat to get to spend two evenings in a row with my sisters. Tonight was extra special though because I was getting to meet my niece (Jaclyn's daughter) for the very first time. She was born on September 8th and the funny things is, that my birthday is the 6th and Kami's is the 7th. Anyway, I was smitten with her and had the best time holding her and loving on her! 

Here is a cute picture I snapped of Jaclyn, Ava and Dana! 

The evening was absolutely lovely, as always! I was able to catch up with several friends/neighbors from my childhood and I was able to spend a wonderful evening with Kami, Jaclyn, Tyler (Kami's little brother...aka my little brother as well), and Barry (Jaclyn's husband...aka my brother-in-law). I love all of these people so much! 

Below are some pictures from the evening, but just as an aside...the very first picture below is a traditional picture that we take every year that we are together at Christmas time. I think we have them all the way back to starting when we were in Jr. High and this party started! :) Sometime I will have to collaborate with the girls and see if we can't get all of the pictures from each year and post them!

This was the final picture of the night before we all parted! Sweet Ava was yawning and Kami always knows how to make a picture memorable! :) Love these guys!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Thank You"

For the longest time Hudson has said, "Mum Mum" when he would say, "Thank You." Within the last two weeks or so it's finally transitioned to, "Tank You." I finally had my phone around when he was doing it and captured him saying it a couple of times. Hope you enjoy!


Today, the kids and I got up and headed to Thousand Oaks to go see my parents and to go see Jaclyn and Kami. Every year, around this time (sometimes it's for Thanksgiving) Jaclyn gets to come visit from New York and Kami and I make a point to be home so the three of us can get together as much as possible. :)

I love these two girls so much! They are my sisters and it's soooo wonderful to be around them and to just hang out and be together!

Well, tonight we'd scheduled a girl's night out. Kami and Jaclyn came over to my parents house and very thoughtfully brought Madison and Hudson the most darling Christmas gifts. After the kids opened their presents, the three of us left to go out to dinner. My parents watched the kids for me! :)

We ended up going to Stone Fire Grill for dinner. I had the most delicious salad. It was their version of a BBQ Chicken Salad. It was super tasty! I am going to be researching to see if there is a Stone Fire Grill out here, so that I can get that salad again in the near future! 

Jaclyn, Kami and I sat and talked for about three hours and enjoyed our dinner nice and slowly! Can I just mention how nice it is to be able to eat at my own pace!?! Also, it was wonderful to just be able to sit and have great conversation with my sisters! Of course, I always wish we had more time together, but I am so thankful for the time we do get with each other!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Happy Birthday Jesus!!!!

Alright, so here's the run down of our day:

This morning we woke up and went and checked out our stockings :) The kids had so much fun! Some of the items they'd received last night were now put together and others now had batteries, plus they had a ton of fun loot from their stockings. It was so fun watching their eyes light up. Madison's favorite gift this year was her Strawberry Shortcake Remote Control Car and Hudson's favorite gift I think was either his little Leap Frog Little Lap Top or his Tool Bench!

After everyone had opened their stockings, breakfast was started. We had country ham (a tradition for Christmas sent to us by my Great Aunt Peggy and Great Uncle Hoyt), biscuits, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and blackberries.

Once breakfast was finished, it was time to say farewell to my parents and then finish prepping for my in-laws to arrive. Hudson was down for his nap, Madison was busy playing will all of her fun new toys, art supplies, books, etc...and I was blessed with another wonderful phone call from the love of my life. I was able to talk to him for a little bit and then we had to part ways, but he had planned on setting an alarm to attempt to call a little later when his parents were over.

When Hudson was napping, Madison and I sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and Madison told me the story of Christmas, using our nativity set. It was so sweet!

For our late lunch/early dinner we had oven roasted teriyaki (homemade sauce) chicken, garlic and onion roasted diced red potatoes, sauteed brussel sprouts with bacon, and a broccoli salad that Hilda brought.

As we were finishing up our meal, Alex finally was able to get through on the wi-fi connection. It took him over an hour to get a good connection! Love that man, he kept trying without giving up. We all took turns talking to him for a little bit and then we went into the living room and let the kids open their presents. Alex was able to stay on face time the whole time and watch the kids open their gifts. (I wasn't able to really get any pictures of this part because Alex was on Face Time on my phone, so I have one just before Alex called and that is it). 

Alex's parents stayed for the afternoon and just before they left to head home, we remembered to take a picture of them with the kids.

As soon as Alex's parents left, I began prepping for our trip to my parents' house tomorrow. I am going to get to have dinner with my sisters tomorrow night, meet my new niece Ava, and then go to the annual Christmas party on Thursday night and see wonderful friends and family that I've known since I was four years old! So, the laundry went in, the packing began, and so on...the kids played with all of their new stuff for a little bit and then I had to figure out what I was going to throw together for dinner since I was silly and forgot to plan something. So, the kids had egg salad sandwiches, beef stick, yogurt and fruit! They were happy! :)

Once the kids were in bed, I tore our Christmas tree apart as quickly as possible. I have many reasons for doing this. The most practical reason being that the trash comes tomorrow, but that is definitely not the main reason. I have received flack from different people for not relaxing tonight and for taking the tree down, when there is plenty of time to do it. While I know it's all out of love, I just want the tree out of the house. I don't want to come back to it on Friday when we get home! Here's the deal: While I absolutely LOVE Christmas and everything it stands for, I am ready for it to be over. I can't really explain it, but while yesterday and today were so much fun, a big piece of my heart was missing and therefore it just wasn't the same. Thus, I am ready for it to be over. I am ready to move on to the next big event and to be that much closer to my love coming home! So, the picture below is all of our trash from Christmas, including the tree, on our curb ready for the trash trucks to come by and take it all away! 

I am ready for tomorrow, bring it on! Good-bye Christmas; hello tomorrow!