Monday, December 28, 2009

Aaron's Birthday

Aaron turned the big 3-0 this month. Wow. I remember being 16 and thinking 30-year-olds were old fogies. Thirty is not old at all! Still, it's a pretty big milestone so I wanted to do something really special for Aaron this year.

His birthday was on a Saturday, so I decided to surprise him a day early with an overnight date. My brother Tom works with Aaron so I had Tom send an email to Aaron's boss, asking if it would be okay to whisk him away early on Friday. I showed up at Aaron's desk mid-afternoon and he was totally surprised. When I told him I was there to take him away, he was a little confused and said, "uh, I can't leave yet." He was totally surprised when I told him I already cleared it with his boss. My sister Megan was so great and took our kids for the night (hooray for a bottle baby!) and my sister-in-law Lesli watched Kate for a while as well.

We had fun playing on these huge checker boards in the lobby of our hotel. I found out that I still suck at checkers.

I had already dropped off the kids and packed a bag for us so we drove straight to Salt Lake. We stayed at the Sheraton which has just been remodeled and was totally nice! It has a very modern feel to it and all the rooms have big flat-screen tvs. We checked in and Aaron had time to freshen up before we went to our dinner reservation at Tucanos. (One of Aaron's favorites.)

The two of us at Tucanos after a tasty meal. We shared some really yummy papaya icecream for dessert -- the perfect thing after a heavy meal -- delish!

After dinner we walked around the shops for a while. It was so fun to be downtown during Christmas time. The next day we went out for breakfast before heading home.

That night I made Aaron a chocolate cake and we had a few friends over before heading off to my sister's Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.
We had such a great time the whole weekend. I am so glad that I got to surprise Aaron with something really fun for his 30th birthday. I am so blessed to have a caring husband that loves me and our children so much...and cooks too! Happy birthday hot stuff...seeing you in that ugly sweater vest only made me love you more.

Goodbye 243rd Ward

We always knew that Aaron would only serve in the singles ward for one year...and since he was called last November that meant our time was up. We knew it was coming, but we weren't quite ready for it. That year flew by so fast! During that time we learned a lot about ourselves, made some great friends and drew closer to the Lord. I watched Aaron mature spiritually as he strived to meet the needs of those he served. I was able to connect with many members of the ward by serving on the activities committee.
Our family is moving on! Church will be A LOT quieter without us around I'm sure :)

To say it was easy would be...mmmm...totally wrong. Having a 14-26 month old boy with me for all three hours of church meant that I often got little out of the meetings. And then when Kate was added to the mix it became pretty chaotic. Picture me pushing a double stroller up campus hill in heels. Luckily I had the help of the 1st counsillor's wife who Finn LOVED and several kids in the ward helped out when they could as well. Plus, Aaron could come to Relief Society with me so I was really only on my own for Sacrament Meeting...which was last...during Finn's nap time...oy.

Rich, Aaron and Finn. Rich was the clerk(?) in the ward and Aaron got to know him really well. "As I type this Finn is going "Wich! Wich! Daddy! Finn!" He really connected to some of these guys.

I was excited to go to a family ward with a nursery but it was still hard to leave the people we have grown close to over the past year. We got to say goodbye at the ward Christmas party which was really special. That's where we took these pictures.

Eric (Elder's Quorum President), Aaron and Brother Christmas (1st Councillor...and yes, the best last name ever)

We will miss all the kids (yes, they are kids to me :) and are thankful for the ones that still drop by to visit us from time to time. We have been going to the family ward the last few weeks and LOVE it. It is full of such great people! We are excited to start this new chapter in our lives and actually interact with members of the church that are not 18-30!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holy Videos Batman!

Here are a bunch of videos I have been meaning to post for a while.

Finn bonding with Kate while decorating the tree:

Finn hanging an ornament:

Jingle Bells Serenade:

The next video was taken about a month ago. Kate makes so many happy noises all day long, and loves to make spitting sounds...which should be gross but is actually really really cute.

This next one was taken a couple months ago. Since Finn is all about the alphabet, Aaron got him some sight-word flash cards and he LOVES them. It's a special bonding thing between him and Aaron...Finn loves to "Do Words" with Daddy while I make dinner. During this video Finn is using his silly robot voice so you can't really understand him. I'll try to get a better video of this sometime soon. His vocabulary has really exploded lately and we are so impressed with all the things he is learning and saying.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Decorating the Tree

Finn sang the chorus of "Jingle Bells" at the top of his lungs the entire time we decorated the tree this year. It is so fun that he is old enough to really get into the holiday.
We made the mistake of telling Finn is was time to decorate the tree BEFORE Aaron put the lights on...those 10 minutes were the longest of his life I think. But don't worry, "Jingle Bells" kept him company until it was time to put on the first ornament.

Kate hung out on the floor the whole time and watched the action. Now she likes to lay close to the tree and look at it and the other Christmas lights in our house.

Putting the star on top is Finn's favorite part...thanks to my stellar photography skills Aaron is cut out of this shot...but he was looking just about as happy as Finn.
After the tree was done we made hot chocolate and watched Mickey's Christmas Carol and Pluto's Christmas Tree...favorites of mine as a kid. There's something about starting traditions with my kids that just makes my heart explode with happiness. I love it!

Thanksgiving AKA Relax'n'Binge Fest 2009

For anyone who reads this: sorry for being lame-o and not posting anything forever...but as we all know the holidays get ca-razy!
Thanksgiving this year was so much fun! Aaron's brother Matt and his family came up for the whole week and we had a great time together with them and all of Aaron's other fam that live near. Are you ready for this? Aaron and his brothers do ALL THE COOKING on Thanksgiving! His mom definitely did her part and we all pitched in a little, but the girls were not in charge AT ALL. That is the way we have done it for the past few years and I have to say, I think it's pretty fantastic.
"Band Hero" for the Wii was a definite highlite of the weekend. It has a couple Taylor Swift songs that the younger girls were ALL A-BOUT. Kinz is singing here, with Ben on drums and Aaron and Matt on guitar.

Finn LOVED "playing" guitar along with everyone else. He seriously sat here with this guitar for at least an hour!

We got to celebrate Makinzie and Taylor's birthdays while they were here. Here is Finn post birthday cupcake, mid ice cream., pretty happy with himself.

Kate has seriously turned into the easiest baby. At about 4 months old she started sleeping through the night all by herself, she is happy just to hang out most of the day and she is rarely grumpy. She chilled in this swing for a good portion of the weekend, happy as can be.
I am so thankful for my fun little family, and all our extended family that make the holidays so great. We really are so blessed.