Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

for FHE this week, we talked about ending one year and starting a new one. i printed out this cute worksheet from 30 handmade days and asked jack all the questions -- it was so cute to hear his answers and i can't wait to do it again in future years so we can compare. hopefully he can continue to share with emery for many years to come. ;)

i've been feeling all nostalgic all day, thinking about everything that happened this year. i can't believe everything we packed into the past 12 months -- best of all, hudson joining our family! -- but it's so fun to look back. here's my annual blog review (pretty sparse when it comes to blog posts...ha); and in case you're interested, here's a look back at all my previous recaps going back the past five years: 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

  • baby hudson was born! we've had kind of a crazy time adjusting to being a family of four, but he's the cutest. from his first smile to his first bath to his blessing to learning to sit up, crawl, eat food and giggle at jack -- i've loved watching him grow
  • jack had the biggest year EVER. got a big boy bed, got potty trained, became a big brother, started preschool
  • i quit freelancing to be a full-time mama (and i only miss working a tiny bit ;)
  • b traveled a ton for work (all around the country + overseas x2) and launched the new xbox one
  • ...AND he got to take a full month-long paternity leave! we had visitors, took a family vacation to the oregon coast, saw paul mccartnery in concert
  • we took an awesome babymoon to hawaii 
  • we spent thanksgiving in utah and did christmas on our own here in seattle
and that's a wrap! can't wait to see what 2014 has in store. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

hudson at six months

this month, hudson hit his half birthday! it's true what they say -- time flies so much faster with the second kid. i feel like i was still pregnant with him last week. ;) here's a little look at how he's grown each month -- i always wanted to do a comparison like this with jack, but we didn't own a nice camera until he was too old. ha. (please note jack's arm holding him onto the chair...hudson is a wiggler, that's for sure.)

huddy is pretty much the cutest. he's always been a mellow baby, up until the past couple of weeks -- i'm going to blame it on teething, because i can see his little bottom teeth trying to pop through and he's been uncharacteristically super-grumpy -- so i'll forgive him for that. he's totally social and loves to be around people; if we leave him alone in a room for a second he'll immediately start squawking until we return. i'm rewarded with a giant gummy smile and a "haaaah!" any time he sees me. he definitely makes you feel appreciated.

he's accomplished all sorts of milestones over the past month. he's mastered baby food and inhales at least three ounces of cereal, fruit or veggies at every meal, but he doesn't have a pincer grasp yet so he can't feed himself puffs or anything. (mum mums, on the other hand, buy me at least 5 minutes of complete silence at a time. amazing!) he's getting pretty good at sitting up so we let him ride in the shopping cart like a big boy. he's finalllllllly sleeping better at night (i had to make him cry it out a couple nights to overcome the horrid up-every-three-hours habit he'd developed) and takes two solid naps a day. and most exciting of all, he's army crawling! this kid is everywhere -- he's happiest when i let him just cruise around the play room, chewing on scoping out everything in sight.

he is endlessly delighted by jack and giggles at everything he does. christmas wasn't a big deal to him but he loved chewing on the wrapping paper. and he's got the funniest little nose squint thing going on when he's mad about something (or when he's impatiently waiting for food) and it cracks me up. 

i'm happy to report i'm finally starting to feel like i can handle the two-kid situation...better, at least. :) it's been a bit of a learning curve for me to accept my time & energy limitations since i've got two demanding little people with me at all times, but it's a good kind of life change. hudson is adorable and exhausting all at the same time. we love this kiddo! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

christmas 2013

guess i better get caught up here before the year is over! christmas last week marked the FIRST time in seven years of marriage that we didn't travel to see family for a holiday -- every year before, we alternated between my family and b's family for thanksgiving and christmas, but this year we decided we were ready to try it on our own. we spent christmas day just the four of us, here in seattle, enjoying a low-key holiday and creating our own traditions. it felt a tiny bit lonely at times, but we skyped with all of our family and had a nie quiet day at home.

leading up to christmas, we had so much fun getting into the holiday spirit. seattle has some really cool activities in december and we took advantage of as many as we could -- from our stake's live nativity to the annual argosy boat parade (we sat on our favorite lake washington beach and watched the decorated boats float by with choirs on board to sing carols). we even woke up to snow one day!

we had one tragedy in december -- our camera's SD card self-destructed on christmas day, deleting all our pictures of christmas eve, christmas morning and jack's adorable preschool christmas program. we were heartbroken. i'm going to try to get some video & additional pictures from the other preschool parents for your viewing pleasure (seriously, no one should have to go through life without watching jack act like a melting snowman...no one! ;) but until then, just enjoy this gem. 

finally it was christmas eve! my family always went to the movies on christmas eve growing up, but i didn't feel like attempting that with hudson (b and i brought him along to a preview screening of saving mr. banks a few weeks ago and i spent 3/4 of the movie rocking him in the back, no way will i be doing that again soon) so we just put him down for a nap and watched rudolph the red nosed reindeer and ate popcorn with jack. we got fancy fast food for dinner, watched the nativity video and put cookies out for santa before tucking the kiddos in bed and getting to work. it is so fun to play santa when your kids are old enough to know what's going on! i also made hudson a stocking and barely got it done in time. 

christmas morning came and we got off to a slow start since the boys slept in. jack even requested a bowl of cereal before he checked if santa came! crazy. we were so spoiled by all of our family across the country and had such fun surprises under our tree. santa brought jack his first bike (a lightning mcqueen bike, natch) and a mr. potato head, so he was pretty pumped. hudson got a push toy and a sweatshirt...it's a tough life when your life is full of your older brother's hand-me-downs. ;) 

we stayed in our sweats, played with toys, talked to family and watched christmas shows. i made a tasty christmas dinner -- ham, twice baked potatoes, rolls, and my great-grandma's famous cinnamon applesauce, yum! -- and we went to bed. merry christmas to all and to all a good night! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

thanksgiving in utah

last week we went to utah for thanksgiving! we hadn't been back to the beehive state in a whole year and wanted to introduce hudson to the fam (not to mention gorge ourselves on all the delicious utah eats) so we thought turkey day was as good a time as any.

i had to fly solo with the boys to utah because b flew straight from florida, where he'd been for a work event. jack and huddy did great on the flight, though we almost missed boarding the plane...i need to work on giving myself more time to get through security. ;) we stayed with my in-laws and jack was in HEAVEN the whole time with so much attention from grandma & grandpa.

tuesday, we met up with my sister at the new city creek mall in downtown. i loved it! such a cool spot right across from the temple. we had brunch at blue lemon and then took a few pictures (for our christmas card, so i kept most of them off the blog ;).

jack thought the indoor creek was amazing and ran all over the place (^). and, this pic below cracks me up. such an accurate statement of where me & b are at in life. :) 

after photos, we said goodbye to rachie and headed across the street. jack totally recognizes the salt lake temple as the place mommy & daddy got married, so we were excited to take him there. it was a beautiful day and they were setting up all the christmas lights so it was really fun to walk around the grounds. 

we went into the visitors center to see the christus statue and jack was SO cute. as soon as we walked up the ramp, he started whispering and told us it was a reverent place. we sat on the chairs in front of the statue for a while, and he asked a few questions about heaven and jesus and heavenly father. then he walked up to the statue and asked me if i would take a picture of him. so cute to see how spiritually in tune little kids can be. 

wednesday i practically had the day off from being a mom -- i got my hair done and then b & i went to see catching fire, all while my in-laws watched the kids. it was AMAZING. so nice to get a little break!!

thursday was thanksgiving and we tried something new this year -- we went to a restaurant (the little america). it was nice to get to relax a little bit instead of slaving away in the kitchen -- not that i ever slave away because no one ever lets me contribute to the meal, but you know. i'm sure someone would be slaving away. ;) unfortunately...jack was acting weird before we left, and spent the whole meal laying down with his head in my lap saying his stomach hurt. as we were paying the bill, he totally barfed. luckily i had brought a barf bag just in case and managed to keep most of it contained, but it was still GROSS. my first barf experience as a mom and i survived! it was totally humiliating and disgusting and i couldn't wait to get out of there. 

he only got sick once, luckily, and we just went home and watched football and had pie with the rest of the fam. what a memorable day. 

on friday, i did a little black friday shopping and we went down to orem to run some errands in our old hood and eat at cafe rio, then we flew home on saturday. so long utah, thanks for a great visit! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

aunt rachie

my sister came to visit the last week of october and it was SO fun to have her here. (my brother had also come to visit for a few days in september on his way home from his summer job in alaska -- we have been so spoiled to see so much family lately!) she came a few days before halloween so she was here for all the festivities (and to coach me through making hudson's costume, ha).

b left on november 1 for a business trip over the weekend so it was PERFECT timing for a girls' weekend. we played in seattle, went shopping, went to snoqualmie falls, watched chick flicks and played with the boys. it was so fun and i totally miss her already.

Friday, November 8, 2013

halloween 2013

fall is amazing in washington. i absolutely love watching the leaves change color and getting into the harvest spirit. fall in so cal, for me growing up, involved more of our everyday sunny weather and picking out a pumpkin from the grocery store or a corner lot that popped up for one month each year with hay bales scattered around to give it an "autumn" feel. definitely nothing as authentic as this.

we've made it a family tradition every year we've lived in washington to go to jubilee farm to pick out our pumpkins, and we were all looking forward to doing it again this year. especially now that jack sort of gets the whole holiday thing. ;) we rode the hay wagon out to the patch, got our pumpkins, rinsed them off at the farm and watched the festivities. on the way home, b took us all to get hot chocolate and then we watched football all afternoon. it was the perfect fall day.

huddy was a total champ and didn't make a peep, just hung out in his baby bjorn and licked his sweatshirt the whole time. haha. 

pumpkin CARVING, on the other hand, was not so much of a win. jack was grossed out by the pumpkin guts and preferred to watch b carve instead. i put this collage on instagram and it still cracks me up every time i see it. haha. 

jack declared months ago that he wanted to be a pirate for halloween, which was fine by me since that's what he was last year and i already had the costume. ;) i wanted hudson to be a little parrot to go along with captain jack, so i whipped up his semi-homemade costume the day of our first party with a bunch of felt and a red onesie.

by the time the actual halloween rolled around, we were exhausted. there are so many holiday activities once you have kids! there was a ward party the night before halloween, a preschool party the morning of, trick-or-treating at microsoft and then the ACTUAL trick-or-treating that night after dinner.

the preschool party:

this one cracks me up. argh!:

visiting dad at work (please note the giant xbox one countdown in the back -- that launch has consumed b's every waking hour for MONTHS now):

i made a cute little halloween dinner (thanks pinterest!) and while we were eating, jack announced he was done being a pirate and wanted to be a dinosaur instead. so, we pulled the dinosaur cape out of our dress-up box and he was a dinosaur for the last round of trick-or-treating. gotta roll with the punches when you have a three-year-old.

we live on a somewhat isolated cul-de-sac with very few kids, so we knocked on the doors of about four nearby houses and then went home. i think it was the perfect speed for jack since he was tuckered out by that time anyway. then we put the boys to bed, ate some of jack's hard-earned candy and watched hocus pocus. ;) such a fun halloween!