Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peace OUT 2013!

It's New Year's Eve!!  Happy New Years to you and yours. 
Let's ring in 2014 RIGHT!  

Don't hold your breath for my New Years resolutions.  Sorry to disappoint but I have a strong dislike for this annual tradition.   To me, if it takes the year changing to set a goal, then more than likely it's gonna take the year changing AGAIN to actually achieve it.  I can't recall a single New Years resolution that I have actually achieved so this post will NOT be about resolutions.  Goals will come later.

I would, however, like to give a little virtual shout out to 2013.  Let just admit it...2013 was CUH-RAA-ZEEEE..and after the holidays,  I am exhausted.  Regardless, I have so much to be grateful for.
Let us reflect.

January 2013
~Braiden and I ran our first half marathon together at Disneyland (his 1st, my 8th)!  I am so proud of that kid.  I hope I can talk him into another race with me someday but it might cost me.

February 2013
~February had one major highlight that comes to mind...her name starts with D and ends with Y.  My life became complete  and my family changed forever when I finally got to meet this girl. In fact, much of 2013 has to do with her so he name may pop up once or twice. 

March 2013
~Eric's and my 10-year anniversary...celebrated with a family trip to Kanab so the kids could meet Delaney.  Super romantic, I know. We will have to make it up to ourselves on the 11th anniversary.
~Easter was in late March in 2013.  I just love this picture of the kids from Easter Sunday.

April 2013
~My brother Paul left for his mission to the West Indies. 

~Delaney turned 18 on April 11th and I got to spend a great weekend with them to celebrate!

~We announced our plans to move to St George. We actually moved out of our rental house and in with family in preparation for the move. (did I mention that I hate moving?)

MAY 2013
~My high school, college, lifelong friend Tamara came to visit me.  One of the perks of working for an airline!
~Mothers Day was especially great this year thanks to 5 particular people.
~Braiden turned 14 on May 20th and got to go to his first DANCE! (gasp)
~Delaney graduated from high school.  The BEST part was that I got to be there. The next best part was that I got to sit with her parents and WATCH her graduate (I know those two things are kind of one in the same but...humor me, would ya?).

June 2013 (Ready?)
~Braiden attended his first Pioneer Trek...successfully.
~Paige TURNED 8 and we had the COOLEST 8 year old cheerleader party EVER!!
~Max turned 2 at Disneyland!!  
~Eric left his job at Extra Space in preparation for the move.
~Delaney joined us on the best trip to California EVER.  She met my dad and went to Disneyland with the best Disney freaks that exist (that's us).
~Braiden attended SUU football camp.
~Paige got baptized!  Such a perfect day. 

 July 2013
~WE MOVED to St George officially.
~I started a new position at work that I love (things falling into place).
~Cam lost 2 teeth...tooth fairy going broke.
~We began our swimming obsession for the Summer. Thanks goodness Grandma has a pool.

August 2013
~Baby Quincee born August 6th!
~Braiden starts 9th grade, Paige starts 3rd grade, Cam starts Kindergarten in their new schools!
~I turned 36 on August 24th!  Surprise Celine Dion concert in Vegas!
~Lagoon trip with good friends!

September 2013
~Cam turns 5!
~Baby West joins our family on September 16th!

October 2013
~Hiking Snow Canyon with the Sandgrens.
~Paint-Balling for the first time.
~Braidens Freshman football team goes undefeated for 2013!

~Witches Night Out!

November 2013
~Amy and Alicia come to St George to see me!
~Snow Canyon Half Marathon-  PERSONAL BEST TIME!
~Quick trip with Whitney to California!  Dads house and Disneyland!
~Two Thanksgivings.

December 2013
~Braiden biffs the "Baby Care" assignment in a bad way.  Better luck next time baby "Shorty".
~It snowed...and snowed big time in St George. Snowed in, church cancelled...wha?
~Best Verisk company Christmas party yet (La Caille).  Amy was my date.
~Verisk Outstanding Contribution Employee Recognition Award!! 
~Christmas Craziness!! 

So here we are (About 15 minutes from 2014)...we made some big leaps in 2013.  We are still kind of trying to figure out exactly how and where we may land.  But we know that we are blessed and no matter what, we carry on and find happiness in these four faces (and Delaney).  They made 2013 the best year yet...and I expect it will just keep getting better.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

November 2013

So here I am, all ready to start writing about our adventures in 2014 so far and I just realized that I skipped November and December 2013!!  Maybe I would rather forget??  Freudian slip?  Nah. Those were great months!  There were a TON of pictures from November.  It was a busy month.

The first weekend of November, Alicia came down to do the Snow Canyon Half Marathon with me and Amy happened to be coming through THE SAME WEEKEND!!  WOOT WOOT!!  It made for a fun weekend, indeed!
He took all our 10 animals to the Pirate Island Pizza place.  We sat, they ran amok and nearly got us kicked out.  Ha!  Oh well.

That same night Braiden and his Freshman football team were recognized at the Varsity game for having an undefeated season!
Max particularly loves football games...as you can see.  He does everything possible to NOT actually stay in the seat with us or watch the game.  If he wasn't so darn cute....

Saturday November 2, 2013.  
Snow Canyon Half Marathon 
AND my personal BEST TIME EVER!  Ran with Alicia and Kobe!  (Well, I ran a bit behind them)
Before the race.  I particularly love these races because they DON'T start at the crack of dawn.  8am is a great time to start a race and SNOW CANYON IS GORGEOUS!!  

This is what happens when you hand you camera to a 14 year old and ask them to take ONE picture...this isn't even half of them.  Sheesh. Good thing there is no film to be wasted.

I should mention that this race was almost completely DOWN HILL!  Good for time, bad for the quads.  Wow.  I couldn't walk the next day.

Speaking of the next day, We were watching my nieces so we had a large crew with us.  Nevertheless, we decided to take them ALL to breakfast at the Bear Paw Cafe.  YUUUUUUMMMMEEEEEE!

Did I mention that the Bear Paw Cafe has the MOST amazing pancakes, french toast, omelets, etc.  The pancakes are the size of a dinner plate...or my head.

The next weekend, I was able to go on a quick trip to California with Whitney and of course, we cant go to California without visiting Disneyland. YES, I went without my kids.  I have done it and I will yet do it many times in the future, I am sure. 
We visited with my dad, Norma and the boys a bit.  It was a really fun visit.

Triplets??  HA!

The obligatory scenery picture.  It was November, my favorite time of year to go.  Love, Love, Love the holiday celebration.

Me and Whitney, Me and Whitney, OH and another one of me and Whitney. After all, it was just ME and WHITNEY that day!!  That was a way fun day.  Beautiful weather, not too crowded.

AND...my BFF from my junior high years, Sherry, met us there and hung out with us for a while.   People used to think we were sisters.  Loved seeing her!

Eric turned 41 this year!  We continued our annual tradition of making a cake and decorating it for him.  The kids are getting better and better at this but one of these years, I expect they will ask if they can just go buy one for him.  Braiden is not interested anymore so its totally Paige and Cams thing.   

These were my many attempts to get the kids to wish Eric Happy Birthday on Facebook.  Can you tell that Braiden was thrilled?  Max would not hold still.  It was quite comical. I love these silly kids.

Thanksgiving this year was at my moms house. Ray, her new beau, fried a turkey for his first time for us.  It was DELICIOUS...and quite entertaining to watch.  

I never thought fired turkey would be so yummy.  It was perfect.  Also it was a beautiful day in St George.

Grandma decided to have a little pie with her whipped cream. 

November's favorite RANDOMS and SELFIES!

Friday, December 13, 2013

And finally...Halloween 2013!

Halloween was quite different this year for us...the number one difference?  It was like 70 degrees here in sunny St. George!  Next time I will remember that Max does NOT require a warm costume.  It reminded me of my Halloweens when I was growing up in California.  Always warm.  This year was also the first that Max was interested in costumes and trick-or-treating which made it quite fun.

Annual pumpkin gutting...ick!  This is Eric's duty. I don't touch raw pumpkin.  It literally makes my stomach turn.  I think its the smell. They turned out quite cute.

With the warm weather, its a tradition here for the kids Halloween parades to take place outside on the play ground.
My office-mates had our own little Halloween party, Super Hero style.  There happened to be 4 Bat Girls.  Great minds think alike (or shop at the same store). Ha!  These ladies know how to party.
Festivities started with a trip to a local car dealership to do a little trunk-or-treat. 

Max and I walked Grandmas somewhat desolate neighborhood and found about 10 houses with people home.  By the 3rd house or so, Max was completely into this knock-on-strangers-doors-and-get-free-candy thing. People were quite generous.

More of October's Randoms...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WNO...you know what that means.


The witches don their pointed hats, 
The witches croak and croon, 
The witches ride their broomsticks, 
Away beyond the moon. 
The witches don their flowing cloaks, 
The witches stir their brew. 
The witches chant their magic spells, 
All the dark hours through. 
The witches stroke their big black cats, 
They comb their locks of gray, 
Yet when the first faint daylight comes. 
The witches hide away.

Witches Night Out always deserves its own post.  For the last 4 years, we have planned and plotted this much anticipated evening at Gardner Village where the witches come out to play.  I think my kids might actually think I am a witch.  This year, I switched up my costume a little bit and added a screaming skull to my hat, wore much more comfortable shoes and and managed to NOT fall on my face even once...so it was a successful evening.

Witches eat sushi?  Why, yes, they do!

The Witches Night Out dance party is so fun...ok so the music is a little lame...but we girls manage to make it a good time no matter what. 

Love these ladies.  Who else can I count on to be completely immature when I need it most?

Alicia likes to sleep standing up.  Haha!!

Those would be Marge Simpson eyes...duh.
Yup, thats my eye.

So a few things I am reminded EVERY YEAR of at Witches Night Out:
1. I am not too old to dress up for Halloween.
2. I hate fake eye lashes and curling irons.
3. Its friggin cold by late October in Salt Lake.
4. People will always bring their kids to inappropriate events, especially in Utah.
5. I am super-talented at taking pictures of people and making it look like we are at the best party on earth...even if it could use some help.  HAHA!
7. Its impossible to find purple lipstick the week before Halloween.
...and last but not least...
8. I DO NOT KNOW THE THRILLER DANCE...even though when the music plays, everyone thinks they do. 

Oh, yeah, and I should really never let Amy have my phone unattended.  She has a selfy addiction.  (Love that girl.)

Till next year, my WITCHES!!