Monday, December 22, 2008

Family Christmas Photo

The first year Brandon and I were married we took a picture in front of our Christmas tree. Each year since then we've made it a tradition to take a picture in front of the Christmas tree. It's so fun to display the photos each Christmas and see how our family has grown. Here is this year's photo!

My Rock Star Husband!

Brandon's band played last weekend for a company Christmas party and they were awesome! They've been playing together for about a year now and have gotten quite good (I'm not biased or anything). They play mostly cover songs and a few originals (written by Brandon). Isn't my husband hot???
Brenna and Ethan like watching daddy play his guitar. They danced and played the entire night. I was cracking up when Brenna grabbed Ethan and started slow dancing with him and Brenna was in heaven playing the drums!

There's Snow Place Like Home!

Thursday we woke up to find a beautiful white blanket of snow covering our lawn. It was so beautiful! It's the most snow we've ever gotten here (since we've lived here). Everything seemed so clean and serene covered in snow!

We had so much fun playing in the snow--we had a snowball fight and made snow angels and a snowman. The best part about it is that it melted away after a few days. Now that's my kind of snow!

It's Snowing!

Wednesday night it snowed here! It doesn't usually snow here (maybe one or two days a year) but Brenna was so excited that she just had to go outside to eat some snow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I took Brenna to the ballet on Monday night to see "The Nutcracker". We went with our awesome neighbor, Torrey, and her daughter, Makenna, who is a few months younger and takes ballet class with Brenna. Brenna was mesmerized with the dancers and story during the first half. After intermission it went, how do you say....down-hill. We had front-row seats (which was great) and the girls wanted to go up to the edge of the stage to see the dancers up-close and personal (what do you expect from a 2 1/2 year-old?). I had to wrestle Brenna away from the stage a few times but, in the end, it was a fun night and an amazing performance. Thanks, Torrey, for getting the tickets for us---it was so much fun! After the show we took pictures with a girl in our ward, who danced in the Nutcracker (and was amazing), and bought a Nutcracker doll to remember the event. Brenna and Makenna decided to show off their dance moves by doing somersaults in the lobby (after everyone was gone). Silly girls!

Our Little Ballerina!

Brenna performed in a dance recital this past weekend and she was the prettiest ballerina ever! We were so proud of her! She was so cute on the stage and she danced her little heart out, a big improvement from last year's recital when she cried and ran off. She got a little nervous as she watched the dances before hers but I reassured her that it would only be dark for a minute and then she'd see mommy and daddy. The first thing she said when she came off stage was, "I want to do that again!" She was adorable! (Mommy is so proud--can't you tell?)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Introducing...the newest member of our family!

We made an addition to our family and it's not what you think. I'll just set the record straight that I am NOT pregnant! We felt that our family needed a pet....and since Brenna is obsessed with dogs (she loves her grandparents only a little bit more than their dogs--not exactly but she LOVES their dogs) we went out on a limb and bought a dog. I know what you're all thinking (as if I have readers of my blog) and, yes, we ARE crazy!!! Actually, we are loving our new puppy. Introducing (drum roll please)-----BELLE!!! She is a ShihTzu and she is absolutely adorable! She is the sweetest thing ever! She is an early Christmas present. I was a little nervous (okay, I'll admit I was very nervous) about getting a dog but she is the cutest little puppy---we couldn't help falling in love with her. Brenna is in doggy heaven! She carries her around and hugs and plays with her all day. We're still in the potty-training stage but it's actually not that bad having a dog. ShihTzus are very mellow and good with kids. She hardly barks at all! Anyways, we got her a week ago but it feels like we've had her longer. We let Brenna choose her name and she wanted Belle (as in "Beauty and the Beast"). Now, I've always made fun of avid dog-lovers (the kind that bathe with their dog or push them in a stroller) so please don't let me go down that road. I do have to admit it is fun having a dog and seeing the look on Brenna's face when we picked up Belle was priceless!

Oh, and Ethan's first word? You guessed it......"dog"!

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

Let me just say that I LOVE CHRISMAS!!! It's definitely my favorite holiday. I love the feeling in the air, the lights, decorations, food, and even the hustle and bustle (but not too much hustle). It's such a magical time of year! I never thought I could love Christmas more than when I was a kid but I can honestly say that there is nothing better than watching your child enjoy Christmas--the excitement, the anticipation, the joy. This Christmas will be so special! We decided this year that we would venture out into the mountains and chop down our own Christmas tree. I've always wanted to do that! It was so much fun (and we only paid $10 for our gorgeous tree)! I just love the smell of pine! We couldn't wait to get home and start decorating (it always gets me in the mood---for Christmas, that is. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter)!

Fun in California!

While in California, we tried to squeeze in as many activities as possible. It was so fun to have extra time to visit with family. Brandon's parents were so gracious to let my family climb at their indoor rock climbing gym, ThreshHold. Everyone had a blast climbing and playing!

We also went to the Creche Festival and to look at Christmas lights in Rancho Cucamonga. Brenna loved looking at all the lights with her cousins and seeing the Grinch!

Thanksgiving 2008

We had a great Thanksgiving this year and we attribute it to the fact that we were surrounded by family.
Family + good food = bliss!
I have so much to be thankful for. I wouldn't be the person I am if it weren't for wonderful parents who taught me the gospel. I am truly grateful for the privilege of being a wife and mother and I feel so blessed to have the most amazing husband and beautiful children. Above all, I am grateful for my Savior who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Beauty and the Beast

Brenna is in love with the movie "Beauty and the Beast" and so we decided to take her to the stage production (done by a local high school). Ethan stayed home with a babysitter and Brenna went on a "date" with mommy and daddy. We weren't sure if she'd be able to sit through the entire show but she LOVED it--she didn't take her eyes off the stage! It was an amazing production--we were so impressed with the sets and costumes. They even had a pit orchestra! The highlight of the night was taking a picture with Belle afterwards. Brenna was in heaven!

Ethan's 1st Birthday

We had so much fun celebrating Ethan's birthday! I made him a froggy cake on his birthday but he was sick with a fever (we later learned he had roseola) and so he mostly played with it. He still had fun, though.

This is how Ethan spent the rest of his birthday (with a fever)! :(

The next week we went to California for Thanksgiving and celebrated Ethan's birthday with family. We had a double birthday party for Ethan and Hailey (Ethan's cousin who is 6 days younger). We held it at the park and the kids had a blast riding their bikes and scooters. We ate lunch and cake. It was my dad's birthday also (I won't reveal his age, though) and they each had their own mini cake. Ethan was feeling bold and felt it was his duty to "taste-test" each cake....thus the three colors of frosting on his face. Everyone was laughing as he dug into each cake like it was nobody's business! What a hoot!

Mmmmm this blue cake is so good!

Hey, let's try the green one!

The pink one looks yummy too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Baby Turns One!

It seems impossible to me but....Ethan turned one year old on November 17th. Even though this past year has gone by too quickly, I have enjoyed every moment! Ethan is such a sweet boy. Our family wouldn't be the same without him. He is our mellow fellow! He has been the easiest baby--so content and chill. I just love him! I still remember the day (a year ago) that he entered our lives. He was due the week of Thanksgiving and we were afraid that our doctor would be out of town and unable to deliver him. Our doctor suggested an induction and I shouted "YES!!!" before he finished his sentence. I was still 10 days away from my due date but more than ready and eager to deliver. So early Saturday morning we drove to the hospital to have our baby boy. The nerves set in as I remembered that I was induced with Brenna and I knew what lay ahead (hours of intense labor on pitocin). Well, at least it would be over soon (hopefully) and I could hold my baby boy. After five hours of labor (with no epidural), our little Ethan entered this world and Brandon was at my side through it all (the best coach in the world, I might add). There are no words to describe the feelings that overcame me as the doctor placed Ethan on my chest. I've never felt closer to my Heavenly Father than when I looked into my babies' eyes for the first time. I feel so honored to be entrusted with these beautiful spirits.

Here are some fun pictures showing how Ethan has grown this year. He is such a daddy's boy! He loves tools, gadgets, and cars and he is the king of sound effects! He is already practicing his machine gun/motorcycle/race car sounds. We love our Ethan!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Halloween was a blast this year! Brenna was so excited to go trick-or-treating and she still, a week later, knocks on peoples' doors and says "trick-or-treat"! She had a huge smile on her face as she'd run from door to door! Ethan, happy to be doing whatever big sister was doing, loved carrying his candy bucket! Brenna is in love with Little Mermaid so that is what she wanted to be (Ethan didn't have a choice). I made her costume and it turned out so cute (if I do say so myself). Everyone at the ward trunk-or-treat was laughing hysterically as she'd hold her shells and "adjust" herself. Ethan was the cutest pirate that ever walked the earth!!! We thought it was hilarious that he didn't once touch his eye patch or try to take it off. He left it on for hours! All in all it was a great Halloween!

Fall fun!

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