Monday, December 31, 2012


Lots to celebrate upon our arrival in Kansas for Christmas...

~A successful (and very last minute) 23 hour drive after a cancelled flight.  We received notification around 9:30am, made a snap decision to rent a car, and were on the road shortly after noon.  Lily was a trooper - she played lots of games, watched a few movies on my phone and was all around a very good girl.  William was happy as long as one of us sat next to him holding his hand.  We have nicknamed him 'high maintenance'.  :)

~An entire week to spend with family and friends.  Ryan hadn't been home in a year and was extra excited!

~Lots of family and friends meeting William for the first time.  We were thrilled to show off our newest addition.

~Spending one evening with just my siblings and parents - I can't tell you the last time that happened!  It's been years since our immediately family was all together without an extra crowd.

we missed our Auntie M and were so happy to see her!
knock off "Stetson salad" from Cowboy Ciao...amazing...thanks Nanny!
can you tell how exhausted Ryan is after being awake for 48 hours?
meeting Uncle Matt and Aunt Kristin for the first time!
lots of fun with Papa Kurt
it's been years since the three of us hung out without a huge crowd
thankful for such a fun evening!
(ignore my no-makeup, bags under my eyes after being awake for two days straight)
A fun night to kick off a very Merry Christmas week in Kansas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Four months

December 10, 2012
Weight - 14 lb, 14 oz. 49 percentile
Length - 26 1/4 inches. 90 percentile
Head - 41 3/4 cm, 37 percentile

 A few thoughts
~You have mastered rolling from back to tummy.  The moment we lay you down, you flip over.  Last week, I came home from exercising early one morning to find Daddy in your room.  I asked if you had just woken up but Daddy replied sheepishly that actually HE woke YOU up - he noticed on the video monitor that you were sleeping on your tummy and panicked.  Guess he doesn't know the rule of never waking a sleeping baby.  :)
~Speaking of sleeping, I hope I can safely say you are sleeping through the night.  After a week of reverting back to 2am, you have consistently been sleeping until 6am or later (Daddy woke you up at 6:45am).  With the exception of a few nights when your arms was stuck in the crib...a bumper is on your Christmas list!
~You took your first car trip up North and were an awesome traveler.  You even slept decently in a play-n-pack while your sister stayed up late watching Disney Jr!
~Your laugh is just fantastic and makes any rough day so much better.  Of course you giggle the most for your big sister and she continues to love entertaining you.
~You LOVE to 'stand' and have spent a little time in the exersaucer.  This month, you have discovered your feet and are constantly taking off your socks.  Time for some shoes to keep those toes warm!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last bit of vacation pics

This trip up north was both a vacation for our family plus our kids big Christmas present.
So we packed in as many fun activities as possible!

Lily's favorite might have been the indoor swimming pool.
Ryan said it was freezing so kept encouraging a dip in the hot tub.
Lily was thrilled either way...she thinks Daddy is so much fun!

Our last major stopped was to Bearizona, a drive-through wildlife park featuring buffalo, wolves, goats, sheep, and black bears!  
It was amazing how close you were to the animals.  William enjoyed the front seat views.

After the drive through portion, you can explore a more traditional 'zoo'. 

Lily leads the way once again

practicing driving Santa's sleigh.
She thinks she should in charge of this as well.
We had such a fun weekend with our little family.
Excited for many more vacations exploring Arizona in the future!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The big ditch

We headed out for another adventure on a beautiful cool, crisp morning.
At around 32 degrees, we Phoenicians were loving the wintery start to our day.
Lily couldn't figure out what was all over my we had to explain frost to our AZ gal.

Thanks to our Finnish friends Lily & Mimi, who lent us winter attire!

After we warmed up the car and drove an hour north, we reached our destination...the Grand Canyon.
It was spectacular of course and even Lily was impressed!

whoaa Daddy, what's through the trees?!
speachless...which for our girl is saying a lot

William slept...guess he thought it was a bit boring
Lily insisted on leading us around the entire day.
I seem to remember doing the same thing on family vacations growing up.

I could barely watch Ryan and Lily on the ledge.
Between my fear of heights and a crazy three year old, I was close to losing it!
Pictures don't do the Grand Canyon justice.  We feel so lucky to be just hours away from such an amazing natural wonder.  We can't wait to visit again...but this mama might have to wait until the kiddos are a bit older and not so 'adventurous'!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Polar Express

This weekend, we went on a very special the North Pole!
In Williams, AZ the Grand Canyon Railway has a seasonal Polar Express train.
If you aren't familiar with the story, the Polar Express takes children on a journey to the North Pole, and one special boy receives the first gift of Christmas...a bell from Santa's sleigh.
Only true believers can hear the beautiful sound of the ringing bell.

It is a sweet story, made even more special as my Uncle Tom used to read it to me as a child.
(Lily's copy of the book is a hand-me-down, complete with an inscription from Tom circa 1989!)

The train ride reenacts the book complete with chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa.
We enjoyed listening to the story while watching Christmas lights outside our windows.
We then arrived at the North Pole, admired all the Christmas lights and waved to Santa.
On the ride back to the station, we were singing carols when suddenly the big guy himself arrived and presented each child with their very own bell!
Needless to say, it was a special night for our little family.

thanks Grandma for the Christmas jammies!

snuggles at dinner before the train ride
waiting for the train
all aboard
first experience with hot cocoa.  It was a hit!
William missed out on all the fun this year
following along in her own Polar Express book
the big moment with the Big Guy himself!
so excited for her Christmas bell
We stayed in Williams for two nights, so look out for more adventures to come!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tis the season

A few holiday happenings...

Mema sent an advent calendar and Lily was so excited!
She loves moving the number and then opening her corresponding Christmas book before bed.

"helping" with the Christmas decorations...
...then deciding she was tired and wanting to act like a baby

Daddy and Papa Kurt's contribution to the Christmas decor

showing off her favorite ornament...a plain silver ball

We've kicked off the Christmas season and have many fun activities in the upcoming weeks!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Many thanks!

We had much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
for these two spending Thanksgiving with us
for this sweet new addition to our family
for Nanny who always has room on her lap
for a great husband and Daddy
for the best big sister

for celebrating this guy's 60th birthday
for a fun date without the kids