It's that time...

>> Thursday, December 31, 2009



I'm sitting here on New Year's Eve thinking about resolutions. Being a type "A" personality I really enjoy setting goals. I know most people think that's a bit nuts..but what can I say?? It's in my DNA! :P

2009 was pretty good to me. I have a great husband who loves me and our children immensely. We received fantastic news this year that Jared's MRI scans show that his MS lesions are healing!! I have beautiful home, 3 healthy happy children, a very busy calling at church, and enough work to make ends meet financially. So, I feel extremely grateful that I have been so blessed. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement or ways to stretch those particular blessings I've been given.

For example, last year I set out to become debt free and to lose the "stress" weight I put on after Jared's MS diagnosis. Both of which I'm thrilled to report I've accomplished!! :) However, I feel this year I want to take those goals a step further. Now that we are debt free we need to save. I feel I dropped the ball on this this year. We were able to pay off our debts in February and instead of living providently we went on vacations. I'm not sure if it's because I just turned 33 this month and I'm realizing time is flying by but I'm feeling a big push to take steps to prepare for mine and my family's future.

I'm not sure about you and your family, but we pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. We have almost nothing in savings and that can be pretty scary, especially since Jared's hours were cut in half at his Wednesday client. So my 1st goal for 2010 is to save as much as possible! And sadly...that means NO Disneyland for the year to come. I may be calling one of you in the middle of the night crying and having night sweats from withdrawls..LOL...I hope you don't mind 3am phone calls! :P

My 2nd goal is one I make every year, and I'm sure a lot of you do too. To lose weight. I've struggled with my weight all my life. I'm a "stress" eater and my life is pretty crazy..therefore, I'll always battle it. I started teaching an exercise class 1-3 times a week, depending on the week, since July and that helped me reach my goal that I set for myself for 2009...but I still have a bit more to go. 2010 I'm going to try to lose the rest of it! :)

My 3rd goal is to make more time for photography and cakes. I love to do them both. It gives me a creative outlet that I crave during my hectic life. I'm hoping to be able to put myself out there more and share the gifts Heavenly Father has given to me. My hope is that I will be able to turn one of these (or possibly both) into a legitimate way to help out my family financially, thus bringing me back full circle to my 1st goal for the New Year. :)

Honestly I could go on, and on with this list of resolutions. There are so many things I can work on, become better at, and strive for. To list them all would be overwhelming to me and boring to you I'm sure. So I won't. LOL!! :P

Slow and steady wins the race! I'm looking forward to the New Year and I'm excited to see where it takes me.

I wish all of you the best of luck on your New Year's Resolutions!

Happy New Year!!!!

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'Tis the Season...

>> Tuesday, December 29, 2009

'Tis the season for fun, food, and family!

This was our 3rd day of Christmas celebrations with our families. Jared's side of the family had some members that had to work on Christmas Day so we had our gathering the day after at our house. :)


The kids are breaking in the new (and unfinished) swing set!

Ms. Natalie is beautiful!

So much foooood! :P


I know you are wondering what is happening here...:P Everyone is gathered around the computer (which is hard to see here) so that we could talk to Jared's Mom and Step-Dad in Texas, over the web cam! :D


A great time was had by all...the kids never seem to lose steam!

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Christmas Joy!

>> Monday, December 28, 2009

I love seeing the joy on my children's faces as they anxiously open gifts from Santa! We had a very simple Christmas this year. And yet, I feel this was the BEST one we've ever had! :)










Merry Christmas to You and Yours!!

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Tradition..

Since I was a little girl we use to go to my Grandma's house on Christmas Eve and open gifts and spend time with our family. Since her passing several years ago, my Mom has taken over that role and now my children come to Grandma's house for Christmas Eve. :)




The unwrapping has begun!!!!



The Grandchildren are all a twitter!



Grandma enjoying her family!


Boog playing "Santa".



Grandpa doting on his granddaughter. :)




Christmas Smoocheroo! :P



Robin and her kiddos!


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Here Comes Santa Claus!

I had promised Alayna that for her birthday she could see Santa. So on Christmas Eve morning we loaded up and headed to the mall to see the big guy! Little did we know it would be a 2.5 hr. wait!!! :P


We're so excited! :)



The kids are hanging on Santa's every word... :P

Everyone smile pretty!!




Alayna you have been a very good girl!!! Give Santa a high 5! :D



The Jolly 'Ol Guy is a great listener!



Ho,Ho,Ho,Ho!!!


Eli, you are such a funny dude!!! :D

I'm not sure if we will get to see Santa every year but he was really patient and gave each one of the kids one on one attention. We all came away feeling like it was worth every minute we had to wait to see him!!! :D



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R.S. Christmas Dinner

As a part of my new calling as Relief Society 2nd Counselor, I'm over the Home Family and Personal Enrichment Committee (recently changed to Relief Society Meeting).

We decided to have a program that focused on bringing Christ back into Christmas. We had one of the women read from the Bible the story of Jesus' birth. As she read each part, she added a piece to the nativity scene. There were musical numbers that intertwined through out the narration and the Spirit was so strong.

We also had the High Priests serve the women dinner. Several of the Committee members set a table with their own dishes, stemware, and silverware..the tables were gorgeous!

The night was a great success and I felt so proud to be able to be apart of it! Here are a few images from that night...


Nativity



These plaques were given to each of the women as a gift.


A lot of thought and care went into each table that was set.


My table. :)


It was so generous of the women to volunteer their best tableware for the evening.


Their generosity was amazing, and only added to the atmosphere that evening! :)

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Happy 3rd Birthday Alayna!

>> Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Time goes by so fast! Our baby girl had her 3rd birthday party on Saturday. How did the past 3 years go by so quickly??

This is how I remember her..so tiny, beautiful and precious. :)




I guess they can't stay that way forever..sigh...

I am not too sad though..I am looking forward to the future. She is becoming her own person and is certainly FULL of opinions, ideas, and giggles! It's wonderful watching her discover new things. The the world around her has so much to offer her. Having a girl has been a big change and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to raise her and enjoy the frilly things in life. :D

She is very creative and we continually find her "creativity" around the house. She's painted the dog pink, the bathroom cabinets with toothpaste, she's painted herself blue, and so many other art pieces I can't list them all. To help channel all of this energy we signed her up for a Mom and Tot Preschool class through the City...that has been a huge help! :)

So on to the party...Every year I make a cake for each of the kids that represents a hobby, passion, or something they like. This past year was the year of the "dress". Alayna would wear a dress every single day if she had her way. She loves to twirl around like the Princesses on the movies and dance with her Prince (Usually Daddy). So it was only fitting that I make her a Dress Cake for her birthday! :)


Front of the dress


Back of the dress


We invited our family and friends to celebrate Alayna's big day. This was the 1st year for her where she understood what it meant to have a party. She was extremely excited to have everyone come and dote on her.

Cousin Natalie


Charlie is her BFF from church..Sammy didn't want to be left out either. :)


A year ago I got this cool candle from one of our friends but never used it. I thought we could use it for Alayna's bday this year. However, I had no idea that it was an "extreme" candle...LOL!!

Once it was lit it played "Happy Birthday to You" and nearly burned off my eyebrows! Alayna was pretty scared by the blow torch blasting from her cake....LOL!!

I guess I thought it was pretty funny...I'm cracking up pretty hard!



It really was cool. Once the torch died down a bit it opened up and had a candle on each pedal of the flower and rotated around. It was the highlight of the party!!! LOL!


Everyone sung "Happy Birthday".....



And by then Alayna's fears subsided and blew out all those candles like a champ! :)


Make a wish!

Daddy was having a blast helping her open her gifts! I think he enjoyed it more than she did! :P


This monkey card was a hit. She thought they were pretty cute! :D


It was a great party and she was so thrilled her family and friends were there just for her!!!

Happy Birthday baby girl! :)

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

>> Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's that time of year when we get all gussied up and take our family Christmas pictures! :) I hope you enjoy!

Merry Christmas!


Three Musketeers


My little man


The Gang


Trying to herd Alayna :P


I got you!



Kisses!



They do love each other! :)


Cuties!


Eli


Walker


Alayna


Giggles

I love those crazy people!! :D

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