Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Trip to the Temple & Some Belly Pics

The Bishop of our ward has been giving us monthly challenges this year.  For the month of April the challenge was to attend the temple with our families, whether it be to go in and do temple work or just walk around the grounds.  We couldn't remember the last time we had taken our kids with us to temple grounds, so we were grateful for the challenge!  On Friday we picked Nathan up from work and headed over.  It was really nice just to be there and enjoy the beauty and the spirit that can be felt there. We also took some time to talk to our kids (mostly Sawyer, we couldn't even get Violet to stay in one place for more than 3 seconds!) about the Temple.  Sawyer loved it.  I also took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the kids as well as some maternity pictures.  It was such a nice evening.  The temple is a special and sacred place that I am so grateful to have in my life.  I feel so blessed to have a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to know that my beautiful family can be together forever!  I hope my kids will grow to love the temple as much as Nathan and I do.  For those reading this who are not of our faith and are interested in learning more about The Church of Jesus Christ and our Temples, you can visit  

 This little girl was out of control!  She never stopped running!!!  She was seriously loving the grass, the nice weather, and the freedom!  

We didn't bring a tripod but we tried setting up a timer with our camera on a rock and this is what we got!  Not too shabby ;)...I love my crazy family!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

She's Two!

I can't believe my little girl is 2!  (Isn't that how I usually start these posts?!)  Well it's true...I can't.  I think it's been harder for me to see her get older because she's the baby.  But soon we will have another baby around here and she will be the big sister.  And I guess when I am completely honest with myself, she deserves that title too :).  She is very nurturing and loving and I'm sure she will love this baby just as much as she loves all of her stuffed animals!  I also have to laugh when I think about Violet's personality over the past 2 years.  I am a firm believer, now that I've had two kids, that they truly do come with their own unique personalities.  She is the same person as the day she was born, in a way.  Violet was always the snuggler, the mamas girl, the drama queen, the 'scowler', miss independent, and a girly girl. The difference between when she was born and now?--she can now very effectively communicate these qualities with an extensive vocabulary, along with actions.  

She is still a snuggler.  I can count on my baby girl to wake up and let me hold her for an extended period of time (at least until she starts asking for a chocolate sandwich, which she does every morning, and sometimes in the middle of the night!---just like mama, always hungry!).  Now you will often hear her walk up to you with a blanket and ask to snuggle.  I love it every time and I'll be sad if it ever ends!

She is still a Mama's Girl.  There was a time when she wouldn't really go to anyone else.  That's gotten better.  And she even lets Daddy tuck her in at night some times ;).  But I'm her #1, and I hope that never ends either, hehe!!  (I have to admit, though, that she idolizes her daddy.  He makes her laugh all the time, she runs for joy when he gets home, and she goes to him when mommy says no!)

She is still a drama queen.  As a baby she always had a very loud cry (not to mention a raspy voice which is still around today).  Often I felt like she was over-exaggerating things just because.  Now I know that was the case.  When this girl throws a tantrum, she really gets the job done! She will literally lay on her tummy and sob into the carpet for 20 minutes straight until I finally go pick her up.  And it's super easy to offend this chick!  You better be careful how you talk to her or even look at her sometimes!  She will not hesitate to give you the stink eye and break into tears...which brings me to the next topic.

She is still our little 'Scowler'.  From day one she has had this look down.  We have discovered over time that she gets it from mom.  I have dozens of baby pictures making the exact same face.  It happens for a variety of reasons...being shy, being offended, sun in the eyes, etc.  Whatever it is, it's hilarious, and once you get to know her it's very endearing, haha :).  We love it and wouldn't have her any other way!

She is still Miss Independent.  She's always wanted to do things her own way.  She was a stubborn sleeper (finally got better after the first year).  She can now be frequently heard saying "I do it myself".  We have had more than our fair share of spilled cups and cereal bowls because the two of us are playing tug of war.  Buckling in the car seat is always a battle.  The good thing?  Distraction works--usually :).  

Finally, our little Violet is still a girly girl.  And now she shows that trait by toting dolls around, wearing all of mommy's necklaces, bracelets, and shoes, and asking to paint her pretty nails daily.  But to give her some credit, she has surprised us a bit with her athletic-ness.  She's actually loves soccer balls, baseballs, whatever you give her.  And she throws/catches/kicks better than Sawyer ever did at her age.  So maybe there's some tomboy in there as well.  A pretty well-rounded little girl when it comes down to it.  

Ok so I guess not everything about her was predictable.  She has truly been blossoming this past year and surprising us with new talents and qualities all the time.  She is definitely the artist in the family.  I don't think we had a single crayon marking on the wall with Sawyer, and now I can't find a wall in my house without one!  (HAVE to hide the markers!!!!)  The girl LOVES to color!  Loves it.  Asks to do it all the time.  And will patiently lie down with a coloring book and crayons for quite some time.  She also seems to have a greater attention span when it comes to playing with blocks and toys.  Singing---another thing she loves!  She has been able to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I am a Child of God since she was about 21 months old.  And her vocabulary is pretty advanced as well.  She is a chatter box.  (Although her nursery teacher says she barely utters a word in there...which is another quality of hers...she can be very shy)  And she's been able to count to 10 on her own for a good 4 months already.

As far as siblings go, there are no better friends than Violet & her big brother, Sawyer.  When he is at preschool, she asks constantly where he is.  When he gets back, she squeals with delight, and they run and embrace each other.  Seriously.  She follows him around and copies what he does.  And he helps me look out for her.  I cannot imagine my life without the two of them.  They complete one another.  And I'm excited to see what the next little one adds to the dynamic!  

Here are a couple pictures we took a few days after her birthday.  We were actually trying to take some passport pictures (a whole other story!).  Not a great smile out of her that day, but some cute faces nonetheless!  We love you Violet (Viley, Boogie)!  You have truly added more joy to our lives the past 2 years than we could have ever asked for!  

The famous choke-hold.  Never fails.  She deals with her fair share of rough-housing, but he deals with his fair share of 'wolf-crying' and whining...I'd say they are on pretty equal playing grounds


Every year the California Dental Association holds a convention right across the street from Disneyland.  Usually the Dental Residents at Nellis will be sent to a Convention somewhere to give a presentation.  This year, with the national budget cuts, all military spending for travel of this sort was suspended.  Nathan, however, convinced his commander that the residents were all willing to travel and stay at their own expense if they could attend the CDA's convention in Anaheim.  Frankly the worst part of this residency is that they do not let us use any leave.  So any chance at some time off is awesome.  We wanted so badly to go to Disneyland one more time before we move overseas but just couldn't make it work without a few days off.  So thanks to Nate's petitioning, they let the residents go to the convention for a couple days, and thus our Disneyland opportunity was born. :)  We took off on Wednesday afternoon and then spent the next 3 days at the parks.  Nate had to attend the convention for a few hours here and there, but because it was so close to the park he really didn't miss too much.  And last minute we decided to invite Grandma and Grandpa to come along!  We knew how much Grandma was dying to go and we thought it would be nice to have a little vacation with them before we leave.  It was also super nice to have some extra hands...especially during those times that Nate had to go work!  We are glad they decided to come along and we definitely made some great memories while we were there.  How can you not?!  Its the happiest place on earth!

Violet is, of course, not showing much excitement here...funny girl
This was actually taken at the end of 3rd day there...we were all a little tired (and cold!)

Thursday (our first day at the parks) was also Violet's 2nd birthday!  The week before Sawyer and I kept telling her that we would be going to Disneyland on her birthday.  She was so cute and talked about it for days straight, constantly saying "Disneywand fo my burfday".  So Thursday morning she woke up to a little party in our hotel room!  I could have just blown up some balloons and the girl would have been satisfied.  That's the first thing she went for.  But she did enjoy her other gifts as well.

Sawyer was such a sweet brother that morning.  He helped Violet with all of her presents and was excited for her.  We got him a 'Cars' shirt to unwrap so that he would have some fun too.

Daddy and Sawyer unwrapping her Tangled doll for her.  She was pretty excited about that gift.
I'm kinda mad at myself for not taking a better picture of this.  I think we got a video though.  Embassy Suites had an awesome 'made to order' breakfast every morning.  She picked out a sprinkle donut and we stuck a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday...she loved it!
Showing off her 'Happy Birthday' button that we got at City Hall...everyone that worked there would tell her Happy Birthday when they saw it.  So fun.  I was also very proud of myself for finding that Birthday Girl shirt at the Children's Place.  Saved me some time making one, which was my original plan

This girl constantly has a finger in her nose these days.  I'm gonna blame it on allergies ;)

Both kids actually did really well at the park.  They stuck around for the most part (was worried about chasing Violet everywhere).  They just had fun climbing on walls and hanging out in the stroller between rides.  I was surprised at how much easier everything was than I thought it would be. (Also we were able to get a 'stroller pass' because I was 34 wks pregnant...basically a guest assistance or handicap pass.  It allowed us to either take our stroller through the lines or in many cases, enter the ride through the exit and bypass the line.  Pretty awesome.  Definitely made a difference for all of us!)

Tarzan's Treehouse.  The kids love that movie so this was fun for them.

The kids LOVE the train.  So funny because it's not super exciting.  But I enjoyed sitting down and relaxing anytime I could!

We rode Dumbo together.  Love my little Birthday girl!
She wasn't a fan of wearing her Minnie ears.  Basically left them on long enough for a picture :)
My cute boy is looking so old lately!  He's never been a huge 'hat wearer' but he pretty much kept this one on the entire three days!  I guess he appreciated the shade it provided.  
One of my favorite pictures from the trip!
The Birthday Girl did manage to konk out for a nap every day in her stroller.  I just love when they get worn out from having so much fun!
I was worried about my body handling walking around for 3 days, being 34 wks preggo.  But it was actually not as bad as I anticipated.  I had a lot of help from my inlaws.  Ned pretty much pushed the stroller the entire time, and the stroller pass made a huge difference too!  I was definitely tired at the end of each day but I think everyone was!

Nate and I got to ride Grizzly River Run with Sawyer.  He LOVED it and was so cute the whole time. It was such a fun experience that I will never forget.  We got some great camera footage of it too with Nathan's new GoPro.  Sawyer then went back and rode it with Grandma and Grandpa afterwards.  Apparently he narrated the entire ride for the other people on the raft, since he'd 'done it before', haha.  Poor Violet wanted to ride so bad.  I guess we'll have to go back sometime!
These two are pretty good at entertaining each other (and teasing each other...but ya win some ya lose some, i guess).

Watching the Pixar Parade

CAR's LAND!!!!  Such an awesome place and JUST like the movie.  I even rode Radiator Springs Racers with my pregnant belly.  I didn't want to miss out on that one!  And I had heard it was a really smooth ride, which it was.  Glad I did it!  Sawyer overcame his fear of fast rides this year and pretty much went on everything we took him on.  Splash Mountain, Grizzly River Run, and Radiator Springs Racers seemed to make the favorites list.

Grandma LOVED taking Sawyer on rides as much as possible!!
Sawyer stood near this jet thingy for 5 minutes waiting for it to 'blow'.  He was so excited when it finally went off!

Eating at Flo's Diner in Car's Land

It was a super fun trip.  3 days is definitely a lot of theme parking, though!  We were all pretty pooped and sleep deprived when it was over.  But it was worth it for sure.  I'm glad we did it.  Now we are looking forward to taking our kids to Europa Park!  Germany here we come!