Saturday, January 13, 2018

Goodbye Elder Taylor Brand!

On Tuesday our cute little Petey left for a two-year church mission to Santiago, Chile! He was to report to the Chile MTC, so we planned a big family breakfast before dropping him off at the airport. 

We had our traditional crepe breakfast with everyone who could make it and gabbed until it was time to leave.


I love this one of Taylor and Jane looking at each other. πŸ’—


We sure love Uncle Tay Tay!
Just before we left, my dad gave Taylor a blessing and we all went around the circle and said why we thought he would be a great missionary. Norah said she thought he would be a great missionary because he is sweet. 😭 And then Lucy said she thinks he will because he wants to go on a mission. 


The girls and I said goodbye to him at the house (with everyone watching me while I held back tears😒😭) while everyone else drove to the airport with him. 
Taylor has always been so sweet and sensitive and we will sure miss him while he is gone!

He's going to be a great missionary and I can't wait to hear about all his experiences! <3



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Zoo Lights!

For Christmas, Ryan's brother and his family gave us tickets to see the lights at Hogle Zoo! We layered on the warm clothes, and carpooled up with Brooklyn and Matt! 



We saw the carousel going and the girls asked if they could ride it. Ryan and I initially said "no" because it cost extra (though it wasn't that much and I don't know why we even said no haha) and then Ryan ran to the bathroom for a minute. While he was in the bathroom, all three girls started sobbing at the thought of not being able to ride the carousel. Like complete meltdown. It seemed like Lucy and Jane were mostly just copy catting Norah, but either way, they weren't letting us leave without a ride. haha 


So we bought tickets and they were immediately happy again. 




Lucy waved to Brooklyn and Matt every time we passed them.



The lights were pretty, but it was a lot darker than I thought it would be. 






Jane loved walking around, but attempted to run off on her own more than once. It started getting really cold, so we called it a night and headed home for bed!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2017

Christmas this year was so good! For Christmas Eve we went to my parents' church and then headed home for naps all around, then met up again at my parents' house for a Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange between all my siblings. 

We thought about doing crepes for dinner, but I said we should make pizzas because it would be easier....? I don't know why I thought that because I was seriously in the kitchen almost the entire night making dough and putting toppings on. haha It was yummy though and fun to be together. 

Missing Katelyn and her family, Aubrey, and Brittney's kids!


We went home to put the girls down and left some cookies and carrots on the counter for Santa and his reindeer. Then Ryan and I watched all The Office Christmas episodes while we wrapped presents. 

The next morning we all snuggled in our bed for a minute and then headed out to open presents! The girls loved their stockings from Santa, especially the new underwear haha!


Santa also brought some bounce balls for each of the girls. Norah has really been the only one to love it, but hopefully Lucy and Jane will grow into them and they will all hop around together.



Ryan and I were in charge of each other's stockings and the only requirement was to have an ornament in there. I kind of failed at the ornament part and just got him an ugly dog to go along with his shih tzu ornament my mom gave him a couple years ago. 


He, however, found me the best ornament ever! I forgot to grab a picture of it myself, but here is one I found online of the same ornament. Hahaha! He accidentally ordered two, so Brooklyn got the extra one. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 
Image result for whats opera doc ornament



The girls were really excited about this gift from Grandma Jeanne and Papa, but I missed their initial reaction.


Ryan and I promised each other that we wouldn't do gifts besides our stockings...so I thought I would be sneaky sneak and get him a frame with pictures of the girls because he had mentioned before that he would like some of them. But I failed because Ryan also had the idea of breaking that promise, and he went way overboard and got me a bunch of new things including a new backpack to carry all my camera gear! 



We kept the gifts pretty minimal, but the girls still ended up opening quite a few things with Ryan's family sending things for them. It ended up being a good amount and not too overwhelming like last year. 


We got a family game, but when I ordered this, I didn't realize it was only a one player game. I have seen other people post pictures or videos of their families playing the two person game so I didn't know this was what would be coming in the mail. oops. It ended up not working very well and the whip cream barely even got the end of their noses, so we had to take it back. :(


Norah was really apprehensive about testing it out, but the cream didn't even end up getting her at all. Lucy and Jane didn't want anything to do with it. haha


We had lunch and then settled down for a long Christmas slumber. I love this picture of Jane shoving in the watermelon. πŸ˜‹


We met up with my family at a Chinese restaurant, where Taylor has worked for the last couple of years, and ordered a bunch of food. The girls were loving it and shoveled it down, hardly breathing between bites. I normally don't care for Chinese food, but it tasted good, so I was also going at it. Then that evening, we ate leftover gingerbread candy and went to see a movie with popcorn and chocolate. So you better believe my tummy was hurting. I wanted so badly to throw up, but it wasn't happening. I decided right then and there that I would 1. Never have Chinese food again and 2. Slow down on my sugar intake!
The following morning was spent helping Norah as she threw up any leftover Chinese food sitting in her stomach. Once she felt better, we headed back over to my parents' house to bum around with Brooklyn while she was still visiting. We were in the middle of chatting with my dad about finances when Lucy sat up on the counter top and threw up ALL over. πŸ€¦‍♀️
But she immediately felt better and my resolution to never have Chinese food was only reinforced. haha

It was a fun, memorable holiday and I'm so glad we spent it together as a family!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

🎢If You Just Believe🎢

When my mom taught preschool, she always did a little Polar Express activity every year with the students. Since she retired from teaching last year, I decided to continue the tradition ourselves and just do it with the girls. 

I made them some little nightgowns and forced them to wear them even after Norah complained about them looking ugly. πŸ˜’πŸ™„ haha I wasn't about to let all that sewing go to waste. So on Christmas Eve, we heated up some hot chocolate, topped it with whipped cream and let them go to town.


I initially was going to let them drink their hot cocoa while I read the book, but it was a little too distracting and there were spills all over the place. 


Jane spilled all down the front of her nightgown and pretty soon Norah and Lucy followed because they kept trying to lick off all the whipped cream.





Jane's little pigtails were completely killing me and Ryan. It was the first time I've ever done pig tails in her hair and she looked so old! 


Haha Norah's mustache! πŸ˜‚


Ryan was right there to wipe up any spills.



Once they finally finished their hot cocoa, we began reading together. Jane lost interest pretty quickly and just starting running around the chairs, trying to annoy Lucy and get her to run around too.



Norah was really into the book though. She kept making the funniest faces.




I love how Norah was so absorbed in the book, it made it more fun! Lucy was pretty good and probably would have listened the whole time if Jane hadn't been poking her and running around. I'm sure next year Jane will like it more!



As I got toward the end of the book, I realized that I forgot to get little bells for each of them haha, but luckily I spotted a bell hanging on the Christmas tree and just had Ryan shake it so they could hear it ring. 


These three girlies are so fun to have around during the holidays!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

First Annual Candlelit Christmas Feast

Last December was a really hard month for me for a lot of reasons, and so this year I really wanted to make better memories and start new traditions with the girls. I decided that I wanted to do a fancy dinner one evening and all sit down together.


We normally eat on old plastic halloween plates or something similar haha, so I decided to get a few fancy things and make it really elegant! I pulled out some crystal glasses my mom gave us that we've never used and found a few festive things at target, and voila! I wanted to get a shot of the whole table from above, but my lens wasn't quite wide enough. I kept thinking how perfect it would all look if I just had some greenery and kept debating if I should find a pine tree to snip off a few branches (ha!), but decided against it. Then Ryan walked in with a big surprise bouquet of flowers and what do you know, there were two big pretty branches I could use. Perfect! πŸ’‍♀️


The girls loved that we all had our own personalized stocking. I meant to put some treats in the stockings, but completely forgot. oops! 


I spent a good portion of the day on Saturday making food, but I actually enjoyed it and it all turned out so yummy!


The turkey was really yummy, but next time I am going to try and brine it beforehand. I've only ever cooked a turkey by myself once before, and it was four years ago, so I made it up as I went haha. 


We turned out all the lights and Ryan lit the candles. 




We clinked our glasses and the girls slurped down their hot cocoa and sparkling cider as fast as they could.


We went around and each took a turn saying some of our favorite things that happened during the year and what goals we have for next year. 


Jane kept trying to blow out the candles from where she was sitting. haha




I loved spending such a special moment with just my little family and now I want to do something similar for Easter too! It's been a wonderful year and we are excited for the changes and memories that will be coming to our family soon!