Monday, January 24, 2011

Top 20 Reasons This Birthday was Probably the BEST One Ever!!!!

Good morning, everyone! This is how I look first thing in the morning! With my breakfast in bed, cute girlie and wonderful birthday book!

20. Pre-birthday dinner at the local Chinese Buffet. I. Love. Honey Crystal Chicken and Salt & Pepper Pork!

19. I turned 33 on January 22 in the year 2011.

18. Snuggling in bed with Caroline, looking at my birthday present - new book, "Women of the Old Testament"

17. Breakfast in bed consisting of a Blueberry cereal bar, served by my 3-year old Clayton.

16. An AMAZING back massage by my hubby...

15. ...followed by an AMAZING uninterrupted 2 hour nap.

14. Baking chocolate cupcakes with Caroline

13. Birthday texts and calls.

12. Voicemail from my Dad including him singing the birthday song to me and wishing me a great day!

11. Cute birthday cards from my sister, sister-in-law and good friend!

10. Block Calendar that I coveted so much at my other sister-in-law's house that she found another one for me and sent it! Thanks Christina!

9. Darling wall hanging from Sarah that says "Mothers of little boys work from son up to son down." (story of my life.)

8. List from my sister Marilyn of things she remembers most about me. Serious tear-jerker. One of the best gifts anyone has ever given me!

7. Filet Mignon, bacon potatoes and salad cooked by my fabulous hubby.

6. Post-birthday dinner consisting of blueberry pancakes, amazing eggs and bacon cooked by my sweet sis-in-law Sarah.

5. Eating Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake (Yum! Thanks Sarah!)

4. Eating Chocolate Cupcakes (Yum! Thanks Caroline!)

3. Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies (Yum! Thanks Clayton & Jake!)

2. Little helpers "helping" me blow out my candles.

1. Snuggling with Jake on the couch watching our babies play contentedly with each other.

Christmas 2010

We spent the holidays in Utah with family. Christmas was in Monticello. Christmas Eve was full of last minute preparation, including dipping various salty and sweet goodies in Chocolate (we love our adopted Aunt Christen!!!) We went to the annual Live Nativity - a tradition in Monticello that brings the community together in the true spirit of Christmas. We loved catching up with old friends.

After celebrating Christmas morning with presents and a very moving gift from Caroline to her Daddy (she's in the process of memorizing "The Living Christ" and recited the first paragraph to him), we spent the day in Dry Valley - the location of our family's cattle ranch. We hiked on the rocks, had a close call with a rattler (seriously, in DECEMBER!)
Our first stop was "Jail Rock". Caroline had no desire to climb up with everyone else because of her fear of heights. So we walked along the base of the rock until we were stopped short by the buzzing sound this guy made. Suddenly, Caroline's fear of venemous reptiles trumped fear of heights and we made it up to the top with everyone else in record time
While the rest of the family rapelled, the kids and I were lowered into one of the holes-in-the-rock and enjoyed playing and running around down there (Connor was at home with Mona. I put him down for a nap and he slept for the entire 4 hours we were gone - didn't wake up until after we had arrived home!)

Jake's shadow taking pictures of us in the hole.
We made s'mores in "the cave" and had our own fireworks display that consisted of lighting tiny pieces of rocket fuel that my dad found years ago when a jet crashed in the Canyonlands area. That night, we made delicious Pot Stickers with Aunt Nanny's friend Andrew.
Catherine and Lucinda on the pot sticker assembly line.
It was such a fun day!

All she wanted was a pillow pet. She LOVES it has has named "her" "Rainbow Sparkle". Sorry about the sideways picture. My computer is dying a slow and painful death. I'm trying to learn my way around Jake's laptop and don't have the same photo editing program here.

He kept telling us he wanted a "Batwing" for Christmas. We couldn't tell if he really liked it (insert extreme sarcasm while reading the previous sentence.) He only took it EVERYWHERE with him for the first week he had it and plays with it all day now that we're home.

It seems our parental instincts were right on when we told Santa to bring our musical/rhythmic kid a drum full of little percussive musical instruments. We are treated to frequent jam sessions. It is so awesome to see his little body rock out to music of his own making!

Most of the rest of our visit consisted of laying around the house and taking sick kids to the hospital. It was great.
No trip to Monticello with the family is complete without an impromptu after-church family photo shoot!
My poor super-sickies. Daddy stayed home with them so Caroline and I could attend church with the rest of the family.

We did have one day where Caroline and I (the least sick of the bunch) went on an afternoon drive down to Canyonlands and the Falls with the other girls. It was so relaxing and fun!

We then took our germs to Jake's brother's house (who said he didn't care that we were sick) and spent an awesome 4 days hanging out with them! It was so fun to see the cousins play. And miraculously, nobody ended up sick. Christina and I did some shopping and had a fun girls day out with Caroline and Abbie.
Yummy treats the girls picked out on our Mommy/Daughter date!

The boys took in a movie and Jake and I celebrated our 8th anniversary while Jared and Christina watched our kiddos so we could eat at Famous Dave's and see "True Grit". Loved it! We even got to spend an afternoon with Jake's other brother, Jim and his fantastic family, eating fresh cookies, visiting to our hearts content, watching the original "True Grit" and playing legos. Such good times!
Mostly, it was just fun to be with the ones we love and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.