Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5 Years...

On January 27th, Nathan and I celebrated 5 years of a very happy marriage together!  I still remember everything about that special day.  It was so perfect.  And I am still so grateful to have found Nathan and so grateful that we were able to be sealed together forever.  I'm so glad that he always loves me, even when I wear the same sweat pants five days of the week and constantly nag him to pick up his stuff!  Life gets busy and stressful at times, but the good times always outweigh everything else and we have truly been blessed.  And one thing is for sure--life is never dull with Nate!  He is such a great husband and father and I couldn't imagine my life with anyone else!   Happy Anniversary, sweetheart!  I love you!

So this is always a busy time of year for me.  I've got both mom's birthdays in January...then our Anniversary...then Nate's Birthday a couple weeks later...then Valentine's day a week after that.  I always feel so overwhelmed with trying to come up with ideas to make each event special!!  This year we'd all been sick leading up to our anniversary and Nathan's been super busy studying for his boards (which he is going to take on feb 6th & 7th).  So the night before our Anniversary we both realized we hadn't planned a darn thing.  Last minute I was able to pull something together (with a little help from Pinterest!).  I brought 5 balloons (one for each year) to his work.  Each balloon had a wedding picture that coordinated with a little note saying something I loved about him.  His friend helped me disperse them throughout his clinic and then brought him a card (I used our 'thank you' note from our wedding). He then followed the balloons outside to the front where me and the kids were waiting for him with a caramel apple (that's what we had as our wedding favors!).  So I may have embarrassed him a little but I'm pretty sure he loved it :).  Besides, my husband is not one to get easily embarrassed.  We got to spend 15 minutes chatting which was really nice, actually :).  When he got home from work he brought me flowers and a card and then we went on a little date to the temple.  It turned out to be a great day!  

(p.s. I didn't get a chance to blog about that beautiful black suburban behind Nate, yet!  It's our new family car :).  Nathan's sister, Ashley, gave us an amazing deal on it and we are so super excited to have so much room now!  We all love it...I think Sawyer may refer to it as our 'new car' forever.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

9 months

My little Violet hit her 9 month mark on Jan 11th.  Of course, with that, came a little photo session and a visit to Dr. Isac (we get to go see our good friend Isac Simpson now as our kids' doctor!  he's working at Phoenix Baptist Family Medicine and he is so awesome! plus our kids really love him)  Violet is such a ray of sunshine in this family.  We all just love her like crazy.  She is always quick to laugh or smile, and she is a pretty good little snuggler too :).  She can't decide whether her dad or her big brother win the prize for funniest man alive.  But she's definitely decided that her mommy is her 'rescuer'...and, as a result, she has become quite the little Momma's girl.  Violet will frequently be seen crawling as fast as she can away from her brother and towards her mom, all while loudly exclaiming "momma, momma!".  She's learning pretty quickly to 'cry wolf' even the second that Sawyer comes near her.  And once those tears start to come...they flow fast!  And they are huge crocodile tears that just sit on her cheeks until wiped away.  But she is starting to learn how to hold her own a bit.  We keep telling Sawyer that, one day, Violet will be big enough to play more with him.  He just wishes she would be able to 'wrestle back'.  So do we.  Poor girl is gonna be one tough cookie by the time he's through with her!  Or possibly one paranoid little girl.  We're hoping for the former.  ;)  But honestly it's the moments when those two just sit and laugh at each other that make everything worth it.  I do believe they'll be good friends one day.  Sawyer just loves her a little too aggressively right now and Violet just needs to fight back!

Developmentally Violet is just about keeping pace with what Sawyer was doing at her age.  She's standing on her own now and occasionally looks like she wants to take a step...but doesn't care enough yet.  I'm glad.  Sawyer took a step at 9 1/2 months and I think she'll wait a little longer, thank goodness.  But that certainly doesn't slow her down much.  She still manages to follow her 'open bathroom door radar' as fast as can be and before I know it, the entire toilet paper roll is undone.  And the girl is pretty fearless.  If she sees something she wants...she lunges for it.  Even if it means diving off the couch or the bed or into the bathtub.  No inhibitions.  Her nicknames continue to evolve.  What used to be Vat...then Vat Vat...is now Vilerie, Vilouie, Vilouette, and most frequently, Viley.  (And of course, Booogey, to her father).  And some of you may remember me mentioning in the past that she was our little wart hog--always stuffy and snorty sounding!  Well that is getting a little bit better...but not much.  If she has even the slightest cold you will hear her breathing from across the room.  And she does this awesome little growl (especially when she wakes up in the morning)...you would swear that Chewbacca was in her bed!  We also believe that she has inherited the 'Larson Rasp' (check with Andrea & Erin Larson if you want to know what this sounds like)...her voice is always raspy and low!  It's pretty stinkin' cute, actually.  And that cute mouth of hers now has 4 1/2 little teeth in it!  (the top middle two are about to come through) As far as hair goes, she's got more than Sawyer ever did, that's for sure!  I'm so excited that it's growing I can hardly stand it!  She's still not the greatest sleeper in the world...but she's definitely not the worst either.  She always goes to bed without a problem...but still struggles throughout the night a bit.  It's getting better, however, and we're hoping to have her out of the pack n play in our closet soon and into a real crib in Sawyer's room!  Wish us luck :).

We feel so blessed to have Violet in our lives.  I'm so sad she's slowly leaving the 'baby phase'...but it is so fun to see her cute little personality starting to emerge! Here are the stats from 6 months (I missed posting these) and 9 months:

                                                    6 months:                                  9 months:
Height--                                       25.25 inches (22%)                  26.75 in (17%)
Weight--                                      16 lbs 8 oz (58%)                     18 lbs 1 oz (30%)
Head Circumference--                 43.5 cm (71%)                         45.5 cm (84%)

I had a fun little photo session with the kids one morning.  I'm still trying to learn how to use our camera.  Made a few mistakes with these but overall I'm getting better!  And practice makes perfect, right?  Besides  ,practicing is so much fun with these cuties!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


One of my family's favorite places out east is Colonial Williamsburg.  But in the 14 years that my parents have lived in Virginia I had never actually been there when they visited!  This time we finally made it happen.  The week after Christmas we packed up and spent the day walking around, enjoying the cute little colonial houses and beautiful Christmas decor.  It was a super chilly day but we all had a great time.

We borrowed a double stroller from someone in the ward and the kids were happy to be snuggled up next to each other...for about 5 minutes :)
Nate had the great idea of going back to the car to grab Sawyer's new balance bike (which he totally brought on purpose cause I think he was just as, if not more, excited about the new bike as Sawyer).  Sawyer was SO happy to ride that thing around ALL day at Williamsburg.  It was the perfect place to get in some good practice because there were no cars driving around...pedestrians only...and Sawyer, that is.  He got a lot of attention that day from passers-by.  Everyone was very impressed by his balance bike skills.

Little Violet was so cold...but she did great snuggled up to me all day.  I appreciated the extra warmth just as much :)

Had a nice little retreat from the cold inside the Seasons Restaurant.  We had the whole room to ourselves!  It was so nice and relaxing...

This picture just cracks me up.  Syd jokes that Violet was crying because of her super bad hair regrowth.  So Sydney added some arrows for emphasis.  I love it.  
Once again Sydney did a great job of capturing the beauty that was all around us (pictures were taken from her blog, again...thanks Syd!)

Home Sweet Home

There is just nothing like my parent's house for Christmas.  My mom always does such an amazing job with everything.  And Syd did some nice work capturing it all.  So I made a little stop at Syd's blog, copied her pictures...and here they are!  Thanks for the help, Syd :). Enjoy...

 We usually try to do at least one 'German breakfast/brunch' whenever we visit.  My favorite...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas in Virginia

One of the perks of Nathan still being in school is that he still gets quite a bit of time off for holidays and such.  We were lucky enough to be able to fly out all together on December 16th and stay through the 31st!  That's 2 full weeks!  It was wonderful.  We were so bummed that Kristie and her family as well as Mitch weren't able to come, but we enjoyed the time we had with my parents, David, and Sydney.  It was a very relaxing trip and we all felt that it came to an end way too soon.  

The day we flew to VA Nate came down with a stomach bug.  Poor guy was just miserable all day at school, then came home and had to help me rush the family out the door, to the airport and on a 6 pm flight with 2 little kids.  He lost his dinner on the flight (the dinner that he had forced himself to choke down before we left hoping it would help). Big thanks to the flight attendant for providing him with a 'real' bag (aka much larger than the ones in your seat pocket)!  And I'm sorry to say that my frustration about having to be the only functioning adult on the trip led me to be slightly less than compassionate ;) .  On the bright side both of our kids did remarkably well and we made it through the 4 hour flight.  And no one else got sick (for the next week, anyways!).  

The next two weeks were full of all kinds of holiday festivities, an adequate amount of relaxation, and a little bit of barfing (tmi?).  Unfortunately Nate's suspected food poisoning made a reappearance a week later when Sawyer woke up on Christmas Eve and threw up all over the basement.  He was totally fine the next morning (thank goodness!).  I felt nauseous all Christmas Day morning and by the afternoon I was laying lifeless in my bed.  Tangent--I even had a super scary moment that night with what we (thanks to Nathan and our doctor friend, Isac) diagnosed as hypokalemia (low potassium).  My hands and arms totally cramped up and I was tingling all the way up to my face.  I literally could not move my hands or lift up my arms.  I was mentally prepared to go to the ER that point.  But Nathan gave me a banana, my mom had some potassium supplements, and with some other advice from Dr. Isac I was on the mend within about 30 minutes.  It wasn't the first time I'd had the stomach flu but it was the first time I'd had it while breastfeeding so my guess is that's what put me over the edge that time.  My electrolytes were majorly suffering.  Scary stuff.  Anyways, David had it at the same time as me and my poor dad got it next.  Somehow my mom dodged it until a week later after we were gone.  And Syd had already had it (she suspects) in Utah a few weeks before.  Not fun.  So that was our little 'upset' for the holidays.  But when I think about those 2 weeks, our bout with the flu seems like such a small part in comparison to all the fun we had and all the great memories we made!  I'll have to let the pictures tell the rest of the story. And there are PLENTY of them :)
Our first night there my dad's company had their annual Christmas party up in DC.  It was so much fun helping my mom get ready for it this year!  I brought out the dress that I wore to Andrea's wedding and she totally fit in it! (go mom!)  I even helped her curl her hair.  All I can say is...bow chicka wow wow. 
Sawyer helping my mom with some yardwork.
Our first lazy Sunday afternoon.  Sawyer loved snuggling up to Opi (and his IPAD :))  In fact, one of the last presents we opened up from my parents was our very own IPAD2!!!  We couldn't even believe it.  Totally unexpected and totally awesome!  We are so grateful for that gift.  It has been so nice to have!
We went to the mall for a little last minute Christmas shopping.  Omi spoiled Sawyer with a ride on the choo choo train.  He, of course, loved every minute.

Me and my mommy!  ...And this was the only one of these 2 where Violet didn't look like she was being tortured

Love getting kisses from my little man!

My Opi made this pyramid for my mom and it's been in our family forever.  Sawyer loved it and would constantly move all the figurines around.  I was so happy that he could experience a little bit of my Opi!

In keeping with tradition, we made a trip to Eileen's Bakery one day.  Love that place. (ps Nate has food in his mouth...and I think on his mouth)



         Traditional German Christmas Eve Dinner (brats, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes...mmmmm...)

 Look at that tree!  Picture perfect...  And these presents wrapped by Syd?!?  Are you kidding me?!!!  Just beautiful.
Headed to church on Christmas Sunday (still holding it together before the miserable flu took control!)

My parents and Nate & I got Sawyer a balance bike this year.  We had heard a lot of great things about them and decided that it was the way to go.  He absolutely LOVES this thing.  He is still just as excited about it today as he was Christmas morning! And after just a short time he was picking up his feet and balancing like a pro!  I will try and post some videos in a later post.  But Sawyer did really well with Christmas this year.  He was super grateful for everything and so excited about each thing!  The bike was the only gift we got to in the few hours before heading to church.  He literally took all day to open his gifts cause he spent so much time with each one along the way!  
Thanks to my parents our kids were sufficiently spoiled :) (and so were we!).  Violet was pretty happy about her cute little gifts.  

Ok I know it's blurry but I couldn't not put up this picture of my dad modeling Sawyer's monster blanket!

Probably his other favorite (next to the bike)...a remote control monster truck!  Nice job, Omi!

Sawyer also got a little McDonald's cash register from my parents.  He loved playing 'restaurant' with it.  Even Vi came to eat!
Just chillin with Daddy :)...love this shot.  And Violet was pretty fond of the elmo airplane that lives at my parent's house.  She did well sitting up on that thing.

My mom took Sawyer to Funland one morning.  He loved it and still talks about the 'scary fast roller coaster ' there, haha.
My mom made a 'nature tree' with Sawyer for the birdies.  He would often look out the window watching to see if the birdies were coming to his tree.
Gotta love it
Omi was so good about taking Sawyer out to do fun things.  
Pure joy!

I honestly thought I was gonna break that thing!
On our last night together we went to the outdoor mall and watched the Christmas lights show.  It was really cool and Sawyer loved dancing to the music!

About to head out to he airport.  We all had such a great time...it was hard to leave.
And to wrap it up a very blurry shot of our family on the plane.  The flight back was SO much better.  No one was sick and the kids were so good again!  We were blessed :)

A few days before we went home we made a trip down to colonial Williamsburg.  I'm gonna save those pictures for another post!  Stay tuned :)