December Days

It’s been a very action packed and beautiful December full of family fun and lots of memories made. We started out by going to Knotts Berry Farm with our family on the first weekend. We loved watching the kids do the rides and they were even brave enough to do some on their own! Everly had a blast with her cousin Brian, especially on the mini train ride. We visited Santa together, took some pictures, and ate cookies and candy canes. We ended the night on a real train ride with the whole family, watched the Christmas tree light up and the snow fall while we ate candy. It was the perfect way to kick off our Christmas season. The day after we traveled back home, we went out and picked out our tree together. It was so special realizing that it was our first year picking out our tree together as a complete family! We loved watching the kids have fun decorating, enjoying the lights, music, and all the magical moments we shared together. They’re at such a fun age! On the 8th, Everly turned 2 and a half! These are the days of princess dress wearing, singing and dancing to Frozen “Let it Go” on repeat daily, Blippi watching, and adventure loving. She is spunky, full of life, and is 100% a daddy’s girl. She’s brilliant and beautiful and I’m so in love with our special girl. Daniel had a photoshoot at a senior care residence the next day and we took the kids with us. They hosted a Christmas dinner and had their Christmas tree lighting. The whole property was covered in a beautiful Christmas light display and we loved that the kids got to experience it. On the second weekend, Daniel and I took a road trip out to watch our niece Kaylyn perform in her very first Nutracker performance. She was one of the angels and we loved getting to see her sweet face. She was so proud and we were so glad we got to be there for her. The next day, Daniel and I photographed our last wedding of the year in Solvang. The kids got to have some quality time with their Nana and Papa while we were away. The following day we visited Santa together at a local park. We got some adorable pictures of little Oliver on his lap. They had a cute little station set up where kids could write a letter to Santa and put it in a mail box. And they also provided food and drinks for everyone. It was a fun afternoon! On the 18th, Ollie turned 7 months old. He’s still the happiest baby ever and blowing our minds with how fast he’s learning and growing. He’s still crawling everywhere, pulling himself to stand up all the time, and charming us with his dimples. On the following day, Daniel led worship for our candlelight service at church, and then later that day we hosted a holiday Rollerskating party for our Rollerskating club, Coast Skate Club. Everly got to pull out her roller skates again and her Daddy pulled out his rollerblades. I loved watching her skate around with her Nana and Dada with the biggest grin on her face. More fun continued, and my dad took our Holiday family portraits the next day. There was a break in all the rainy weather and we were able to go out and get our first family photos as a whole family. My dad captured some really great treasures that we get to keep forever. Thank you Michael Kinney Photography! A couple days later we hosted a December Birthday and Christmas celebration at our house with my whole family. My grandpa, mom, dad, and sisters, along with their families all came over. We started out with making gingerbread houses together. I loved seeing Everly have so much fun with all her cousins. She has such a special relationship with each one of them. After the kids finished making their houses, we sang to my dad and sister, and they opened up some gifts. Then all the kids opened up their Christmas gifts to each other, and from their Nana and Papa. It was such a joy to watch. Daniel made our homemade spaghetti for everyone while we played “A Muppets Christmas Carol” movie. Then we all got cozy in our pj’s, my grandpa said a Christmas prayer for everyone, and my dad read “The Night Before Christmas,” with everyone piled up on the couch. We closed out the night with a gift exchange for the adults while the kids had a little dance party in the other room. So many fun memories made! On Christmas Eve, it was raining again so we stayed cozy inside and made sugar cookies together. I loved getting to make them and decorate them with Everly. We used my grandmas “Aunt E Sugar Cookie” recipe. She loved it and definitely ate her fair share of frosting and M&M’s during the process. On Christmas morning, we took our time and watched Everly and Oliver open their gifts from us. Everly got her Elsa castle from Santa, along with many other fun and exciting gifts. Oliver loved watching his sister, opened up his gifts, and was very content with the teethers he opened first. I just loved the sight of them sitting in front of the Christmas tree. I dreamed of having a family for so long and to finally experience all these amazing memories make my heart so full of gratitude. In the afternoon, we met up with my extended family, and in the evening, after the kids went to sleep, Daniel and I exchanged gifts to each other. We’ve been enjoying these last few days of the year inside while it’s been stormy outside. Our tree is still up and we’re still surrounded by the Christmas mess and I love it. I’m excited for this New Year and can’t wait to see what it holds. Being a mom of 2 now has had its challenges at times, but overall I’m so happy with all the memories we’ve shared together and know that I am living in my best days. Thank you Jesus for this year! Nothing is more precious than family.

Family Fun

We’ve had a lot of fun this month but it sure did fly by. Everly is growing up so beautifully. I still can’t believe she’s 2! She’s so much fun and she’s so smart. We’ve been having a lot of fun spelling words this last month. She knows how to spell her name, mama, dada, nana, and papa, to name a few. I love the look on her face after she spells out something and I praise her for it. She gets this proud but shy little smile and it’s just the cutest. I painted her toe nails and fingernails for the first time a few days ago. She requested one of each color on her toes and made sure to tell me exactly where to put each of the colors. Throughout the rest of the day I would catch her occasionally stopping in her tracks while playing and looking down at her toe nails. She still loves playing with her makeup set I got her awhile back too. I’m looking forward to much more of these fun girly things with her as she gets older. Brother Bear is 5 months old! He’s already loving to be in a standing position, just like his sister at this age. He loves getting on all fours and likes rocking back and forth now and I have a feeling he’ll be crawling very soon! He loves laughing and smiling at his big sister. My favorite thing lately is watching them in the car together. Everly is in a forward facing car seat and his is rear facing so they’re in perfect line of sight of each other. Everly loves looking over and making facial expressions or sounds that make him giggle. Ollie loves scooting himself around the house in the Joovy walker. He gets to where he wants to go and when he sees or hears something happening around the house he’ll walk himself right over to check it out. We tried solid food with him a few times this month and he seemed to like it and get the hang of it. The last time I fed him solid food he leaned into the spoon to take a bite. It’s going to be fun to start introducing it more to him in the next couple weeks. Ollie loves books and gets really excited when we hand him one. He’s so observant and will stare at each page and pat his hand over the things that catch his eye. He loves his tummy time but doesn’t stay there for long. He’s still rolling over everywhere and his little happy squeaks and squeals make us smile. Every time we make eye contact with him he smiles. He’s just the happiest and sweetest boy. We had our first beach visit with him this month and he loved it! He dipped his hands right in the sand and had a taste of it, since everything lately he can get his hands on goes in his mouth. It was such a beautiful family day! If I were able to teleport to a special moment in time to re-live over years from now, that day would be it. It was one of those days that totally caught me off guard. I had a moment holding Oliver, watching Dan and Everly climb the dunes, when a overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me and it moved me to tears. There’s no better feeling than the joy I felt in that moment. We visited the pumpkin patch today with my mom, dad, and grandpa. It was Ollie’s first time at Avila Valley Barn! We had fun feeding animals, watching Everly ride a pony, run through a hay maze, and pick wild flowers. Another special day full of memories made. Thank you Jesus for this beautiful life!