Dec 15, 2017


(^^ what's this!!!!????? a group picture!!!?)

We went up to Dana Point Harbor last night to meet up with cousins and see the lights they have this year. We thought about going to the Newport Boat show but then realized we are a total circus when we are together (with 8 kids 6 and under) and we should probably just keep it simple especially since my sister and I were without our husbands. 

When we got in the car that night, Carter buckled his seatbelt and said, "I wish we could stay there forever with them." It's not easy for us all to meet up (thank you California traffic) and sometimes it feels pointless because conversation is interrupted every other minute with a fall, a spilled drink, sibling bickering, "Mom I don't want my hat," and "Mom no I actually do want my hat" haha you get the picture but I left last night feeling like all the chaos is worth it. 

Shiloh also turned 11 months old yesterday... which meant I spent much of the day grieving that she will turn ONE soon. Her perfectly squishy-self makes me so happy and although I know what I have to look forward to with her as she becomes a toddler, she has brought me an indescribable amount of joy as a baby. I love her kissing, clapping, cuddly, squishiness so much. She's a little bundle of joy and I kind of want her body to stay rollie pollie like forever. (I know I've said squishy twice but she is just soooooo that - squishy!! And you don't quite understand until you hold her for yourself, haha!)

These next few photos sums these two right up...

I'll never forget Carter spotting the mistletoe. He started squealing and said, "Mom! There's mistletoe! You have to kiss me!" hahaha We've talked about what mistletoe is before but I had no idea he knew what it looked like. 

I scooped him up and he gave me a million little kisses. And it made me feel so special.

The kids danced forever to a guy playing music. Naomi was in heaven. And Shiloh entertained everyone around with her waves and clapping and smiles. My kids stayed another half hour after their cousins left to keep dancing and singing and I managed to get us back to the car without tears!!! A night for the books!

Dec 11, 2017


My favorite moment from the weekend...

While I cleaned up lunch and put Christmas cards together, Daron took the kids swimming on Saturday afternoon. They hadn't been in so long! I forgot what it was like to hear splashing and endless giggles from the backyard. That was such a familiar sound over the summer.

Shiloh cracked us all up munching on goggles while she floated around in her infant life jacket. 

Crazy Carter swam in the "cold pool."

And Miss Naomi was her 2-year-old self bossing everyone around and pushing Carter in when she got the chance... little stinker.

And last but not least, smooshy face Shiloh. 

(A different moment that rivaled for first place... Sunday night's pre-bedtime dog pile!)

*If you're wondering - those are frozen blueberries smeared all over Carter and Naomi's faces, haha!

Dec 8, 2017


Daron sent me a picture early this morning just after he had left for work... a blurry selfie pic of our first time in new york together... along with the words "3 years ago today." 

It brought back all the feelings. He has a convention there every year in December. We wanted to make it a tradition for me to tag along with him each year. Sadly, we only got to go two years in a row when our tradition was interrupted with baby Shiloh. Her due date was a month out from the convention and as much as part of me wanted to make it happen, we were pretty uneasy with the thought of something unexpectedly going wrong while in New York. 

I took a long shot and tried to convince Daron to let me and alllllll the kids tag along. He didn't go for it, hahaha. BUT he promised to consider letting us all tag along NEXT year. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Of course, he tempered my tail wagging but I felt like Lloyd Christmas on Dumb and Dumber saying, "So you're saying there's a chance!" 

The first year we went, I was about 5 months pregnant with Naomi. The trip was a whirlwind and I ended up never posting it here. I figure I should finally post the pictures since I'm reminiscing.

Oh, also the most thrilling part was that it was Daron's first time!!! I was shocked when he told me he had never been before. Technically, it wasn't my first time but it may as well have been because 3 words: self-absorbed teenager... so so sad. 

The trip started off with a bang when we checked out the 9/11 memorial. I'll never forget the moment I saw this place for the first time - it took my breath away.

Christmas markets!!!! I forgot how dreary and wet and freezing it was that first year!! It rained non-stop. I'm shivering looking at these pictures! Funny thing I think I hardly noticed while we were there!

Seeing Daron take in Time Square for the first time. That was a good moment. He was blown away! And that doesn't happen very often...

Walking the High Line... we froze during this part but something great happened... my Alaskan-born husband showed me for the first time the proper way to tie a scarf. You know, so it actually keeps you warm! It was genius, ha!

Oh, Levain... no caption does you justice... I'll just say - you live up to your name.

And the Rockefeller Center and Christmas Tree... this place blew me away. I had butterflies every time I saw the Rockefeller Tree. It never got old.

Then I made us ice skate because I had been dreaming about the moment for so long. But ice skating proved to be hard for me while pregnant, haha. 

I attempted to do tricks...

And they ended up like this...
^^(A little confused why I thought ice cream was a good idea???)

And the New York temple! Amazing!

 Final highlights included Christmas trees around every corner, the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City, Magnolia Bakery, Central Park, Max Brenner, all the food, this cool book store I can't remember the name of and New York just being New York.