Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Five {blissful} Years

Jake and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary earlier this month.  And I must say, I couldn't have picked a better man for me!

Look how young Jake looks!  I don't look that much younger, do I?  I think I kind of look the same, but maybe I'm in denial.  The big 3-0 is coming up {don't worry, I still have over a year to get there, but it is slowly creeping up on me}.

Last year we went on a cruise for our anniversary. 

This year?  We went to dinner and a movie!  It was great to get away, just the two of us, even if it was for just a few hours.  The more kids we have, the harder it is to go on dates.  Even with my parents next door.  So we try to take advantage whenever we can, which isn't often enough!  Plus, we saw a great movie - The Blind Side.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

I did make sure we got a couple of pics taken of us.  We don't get that many taken of just the two of us.  I'm usually the one behind the camera.

And one of the whole family!

DISCLAIMER:  All of the pics in this post were scanned so they aren't the best quality.  I did try to fix them a little with Photoshop, but I'm still learning my way around Photoshop.

Happy anniversary, Jake!  These past five years truly have been {blissful}.  I love you and am so glad you are the one beside me!  I can't wait for the next 5, 25 and 50 years!  Heck, I'll even take eternity :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Spirit of {Christ}mas

Every year during the holidays, I try to focus on the Savior.  But with the business and hustle and bustle that comes with this time of year, more often than not I'm not very successful at really focusing on Christ.  Which is silly, really.  Isn't that what this season is all about?  After all, it's called CHRISTmas.  It is a time to celebrate the birth of the Savior. 

We get distracted by the gifts we want to give people, decorating our homes, getting a million things done in a few short weeks.  But what about really focusing on Christ?

This year, my goal was to make this a Christ-centered holiday season.  And I wanted to teach Emmy about Christ's birth.  So, I tried to get my shopping done early.  Emmy helped me set up our Nativity so that I could explain it to her.  I bought a children's book that helped Emmy to understand the birth of Jesus and who Mary and Joseph were.  We went to Temple Square to see the lights and the big Nativity they had set up, and Emmy got to see the temple {which, by the way, she has been informing us that she wants to get married there :) }. 

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I was really able to feel the spirit of Christ this year.  And it feels good.  My life seems to run more smoothly, I seem to be happier, I feel like I'm a better mom and I think my marriage is better when I'm really focused on Christ.  It makes me want to be a better person, to make the right choices and decisions for me and my family.  Decisions that will bring the spirit into our home and will help us to draw closer to Christ.

"As we contemplate how we are going to spend our money to buy gifts this holiday season, let us plan also for how we will spend our time in order to help bring the true spirit of Christmas into the lives of others."  -- President Thomas S. Monson

The holiday season isn't over yet.  We still have time to serve others, to feel the magical spirit of the season and to remember Christ.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

P.S.  We didn't mail these out this year, just printed some out to give to grandparents and great-grandparents, so don't feel bad that you didn't get one :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Our lovely tree :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gingerbread House!

I decided to start a new tradition this year.  Making gingerbread houses!  And not the store-bought kind.  I mean totally from scratch!  So I got my mom's gingerbread house recipe and went to work.  It was way easier than I thought it would be!  And making the gingerbread made it a lot more festive and fun.  Thanks to my friend, Jessica, for inviting us over to decorate them!  If she wouldn't have invited us, I may never have started this tradition.

I didn't take any pics of us decorating the gingerbread house, but I got an adorable pic of Emmy showing off her masterpiece!  Ok, so I decorated most of it, but Emmy did help put a bunch of the candy on.  Until next year when we get to do this again!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Singing {and more singing}

I've had the opportunity to do a lot of singing this holiday season.  It's always such a great way for me to really get into the holiday spirit.

My sister and I were asked to be the entertainment at the opening ceremony of the American Children's Christmas Festival in Cedar City the day after Thanksgiving.  It was held outside and it was freezing!  But it was a lot of fun.

They wanted us to sing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" while Santa came in the firetruck, but we thought it would be a lot cuter if Emmy and my niece, Ella, sang it instead.  Emmy has to sing that song every night before bed at least twice, so she already knew it.  They did such a great job!  They weren't scared of the crowd and Emmy ended up grabbing the microphone out of my hand so she could hold it herself.

I love singing with my sister.  Our voices have similar tones so they blend really well together.  Plus, she's one of my favorite people in the world, so it's always a good time singing with her!

My beautiful sister!

My sister and I also sing at the Dicken's Festival every year in St. George.  I love singing there.  It's so festive and fun!  If you haven't been, you should definitely go next year if you're in the area.

Dylan, my 9-year-old nephew, took this pic.  Great job, Dyls!

I was also asked to sing at my ward's Relief Society Christmas dinner.  I asked my friend, Jessica to sing with me.  We sang "Silent Night," one of my favorite Christmas songs.  Thanks, Jess!

I also sang last night at the Christmas Recital for my voice students.  All of my students did such a good job!  Some of them haven't been taking voice lessons very long, and they got up there and performed with no fear!

It's such a great time of year to be able to share my talent, a talent God has given me, and to be able to sing about the Savior.  It has helped me to really focus on what is important this holiday season.  It's fun to give and receive gifts, but remembering the Savior is what Christmas time is all about.  More of that to come . . .

P.S.  Did you notice that it's "snowing" on my blog?  You can make yours snow, too.  Just go HERE.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving {Part II}

Lucky us!  We got to celebrate Thanksgiving twice this year!  It's the best when we get to celebrate with each of our families.

My booty isn't loving it, though.  I'm sure it's making my running harder than it should be (did I mention I will be running in a 5K next month?  I'll tell you about it later).

Unfortunately I didn't get very many pics on Thanksgiving day.  So I'm going to blog about two things in this post.

The first will be about us {cutting down our Christmas tree}.  It was so much fun.  It was a tradition that we would cut down our tree growing up, and I'm all about traditions.  I thought it would be a fun one to keep going with my own family.  Plus, the tags only cost $10 - way cheaper than going to a tree lot and buying a tree.  Plus, when you cut your own, you get the whole experience.  I love it!

So, the day before Thanksgiving, we went up Cedar Mountain and cut a tree!  My parents came, too, because they wanted a freshly cut tree of their own.  So my strong, manly husband lent us his muscles and cut down the trees.  Emmy loved stomping around in the snow and helping us pick out a tree.

Here are some pics:

Kate and I.  She had a lot of fun all bundled up w/ mom.

My man after cutting the first tree - what a babe!

Emmy with Narvin, a family friend.  He was visiting my parents and came with us.  I used to babysit his kids when I was in middle school.  He visits every few months and Emmy loves him.

This cool little cocoon-thing was hanging in between some trees

So we got our tree home, rearranged our furniture and started decorating for Christmas!  I love this time of year.  I love getting out my Christmas decorations.  I love listening to Christmas music.  I love eating yummy treats all month long.  It's the best!

So, on to {Thanksgiving}.  My sister came up with her family and we all went over to my brother-in-law's sister's house (got that?).  My sister's husband's sister, Diana, lives in town, too, so instead of eating two huge meals on Thanksgiving, they invited us over to his sister's house to eat with them.  The food was delicious and the company was great.

Here are the only pics I got on Thanksgiving Day:

Emmy riding the little 4-wheeler

Ella riding Emmy's bike

The two girls riding around together.  And . . .

My mom with her delicious pumpkin pie!  She makes the best pies.

Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings, too!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kate {5 Months}

Kate turned {5 months old} last week!

Here are some new things she's doing:

Eating solid foods.  I gave her rice cereal for the first time last week (see pics below!).  I knew she was ready to start eating solids because every time I ate something while I was holding her, she would lean forward with her mouth wide open.  I can tell she wants to get it right into her mouth.  It is so hilarious when she does it!  I was trying to hold off as long as I could because of Emmy's allergies (I don't want Kate to have food allergies, too, if I can help it).  But I decided it was time.  And she loved it!  She started smiling when I gave her her first bite. 

-  She is loving her hands.  She loves mashing them together, shoving them in her mouth, grabbing anything and everything she can reach.

-  She loves to stick out her tongue.  It is so funny!  She mostly does it when she's happy and smiling.  It's really cute.  I need to get a pic of it.

-  She still loves to be held all the time.  Like I've said before, it's hard getting anything done, but I can't complain too much.  She's so soft and squishy, it's nice to squeeze and love her!

-  She's starting to babble a lot.  She's been saying "Maaaa" and "Baaaa," things like that.  It's fun to hear her make all of her noises.

-  She's also started screaming.  She just does it when she's talking and babbling but it's really random and funny.

She isn't rolling over yet (maybe she would be if she'd let me put her down more often (: ) or sitting up yet, but she's getting close to both! 

And I'm pretty sure her first tooth is just about to come in.  She's been waking up a lot the past couple of nights and her gums feel a little swollen.  No fevers or runny noses, though.  I won't be surprised if a little tooth peeks out sometime in the next week or so.

Here are the first solid foods pics:


Kate has her Deer in the Headlights look and Emmy looks a little mischievous . . .