Snow Play

Finally the snow came to Denver. We have been waiting and waiting and it decided to come when we were all sick. But it is rare that we get a snowy morning when Jared is home from work or church. So we bundled up and filled our pockets with tissues ready to shovel and walk down the street for a little bit of sledding. Elise & I went down the hill once, got tired, and hurried back into the warm house to make hot chocolate for the boys.

Grey has been talking about making snow angels for most of the year and finally got his chance.

He pulled out his "G-sized" shovel and helped daddy clear the snow.

We bundled up Elise in Grey's old snowsuit. I couldn't get over the cuteness. She looked like a big, red marshmallow.

And of course I had to look back for the picture of Grey wearing it exactly three years ago when he was a few months younger than Elise. Wow they grow up quickly!

The dogs get in on the fun too!

Then it was off to the sledding hill. Jared took Grey down the first few times until he wanted to do it all by himself. He was very proud! Especially considering we have been trying to take him for three winters and he was always nervous and/or crying the whole time.

A Restart?

And I must begin with, "Good Riddance 2010!" What a sucky year. It has been an extremely tough year emotionally, spiritually and especially physically. Sometimes in life I have to push the "restart" button and look forward to better things to come. 2010 definitely needs a restart button. I WILL make 2011 a better year--as long as I don't have depression, mono, the first trimester of pregnancy or the sudden loss of a family member. It has been really hard to be a functioning mother, wife and friend. And I'm not off to a good start with the whole family sick. But that will go away soon, right?

So with hope for 2011, I look forward to:

Lots of quality time with Jared, Greyden & Elise

More date nights with Jared (any babysitters out there???)

More in-depth scripture study and time for meditation and personal prayer

Continued exercise 4-5 days a week--although it doesn't look like I'll keep my 16% body fat with this rapidly expanding waistline of mine. The body fat goal will be back again for 2012. :)

Getting caught up on my digi-scrapping and printing it all

Trying new recipes often

Getting farther in my family history and doing the temple work

Expanding my knowledge--sewing, cooking, pottery, piano, dance, fitness (now to narrow it down...)

Reorganizing the basement storage room (not looking forward to this one--although I got a good start on it this week)

Lastly, growing this currently-lime-sized baby throughout the year--hopefully healthy and strong!

Tonight we were going bundle up to watch the fireworks downtown, then hurry home to warm up and toast in a new year with some sparkling apple cider and fancy glasses. Instead we will be rubbing vicks vaporub on our chests, snuggling up in bed, turning on our humidifiers and going to sleep early!

Bring on the new year!


A very Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! This is by far my favorite time of year--special family time and a time dedicated to Christ's birth and His incredible gift to us.

This post is going to be long.... but hang on until the end. I promise you won't be disappointed!

In following tradition, we spent Christmas Eve with Jared's family.

The kids participated in the annual Nativity with Grey as a shepherd and a wiseman. He loved it this year and was actually quiet for the first time. It turned out beautifully. Takes me back to my childhood acting out the nativity with my cousins. I was always an angel with Mindy and Jess!

After the nativity, a surprise visitor made a special stop on his way to deliver gifts. Grey was really excited this year... Elise-not so much. She is terrified of Santa, but not enough to refuse a gift or candy canes.

Aunt Pam picked out adorable, matching PJs for some of the cousins. Absolutely impossible to get everyone looking after filling them up with gifts and candy. They are cute anyways...

It was a wonderful evening and I am so blessed with such great family.

Christmas morning was perfect! I love my Jared-time without interruptions. It is the best gift ever to spend time together. And we are so glad the kids are young enough to sleep in a little. We didn't get out of bed until after 7 AND after the kids snuggled us first. Then we put the cinnamon rolls in the oven to bake while opening our presents. I am so spoiled with a thoughtful, generous husband and kids that adore their gifts.

Stockings are my favorite part--as you can tell I couldn't fit most things inside.

Grey was most excited about his new bike and magnetic blocks.

Elise loves her new kitchen and the mini baby she found in her stocking. She is holding onto it right now as she sleeps.

After our lazy family morning we were so happy to have my family over for even more yummy food and presents. My brother and his girlfriend Emily came over with my mom and step-dad. I don't think we have ever stayed at our house on Christmas Day and it was really, really nice. The kids stayed in their PJs ALL DAY LONG and then went right back to bed in them. hehehe...

Bryan & Emily

Dave with his Home Depot stocking

My mom opening gifts with Elise

The attempted family picture

After everything, our greatest gift is this growing belly of mine. Come July 2011, Jared & I will bring a third baby into the family. Yes we might just be crazy! Merry Christmas to you!!!

***These videos really are for family because they are really bad and definitely boring if you don't care to watch kids and dogs do typical cute kid and dog things***



Since coming back from our trip we have been trying to squeeze in every Christmas tradition and festivity possible. One night we decorated a gingerbread train--one of my favorite traditions. I love to eat all the candy while I am decorating. Grey enjoyed that part as well!

Grey was very particular about what he wanted on the train.
It was mostly his design.

And the little monkey eating yams and lots of candy

The finished masterpiece



Last Stop: Cozumel, Mexico

I'm feeling sad and missing my family already looking at these last pictures. I was so sad to say goodbye to my family--especially knowing my sister and her hubby would be moving away with two real jobs to Oregon forever. Okay maybe not quite forever--but a long time. I loved waking up and knocking on everybody's door, going to work out with my mom & sister, having almost every meal with the entire family together, eating soft-serve ice cream cones one after another with Bryan. The list goes on and on.... Although we did miss Jason and hope his new job will let him come on the next one!

Anyways, Cozumel was another one of my favorites. Gorgeous beaches and it is MEXICO! I can't believe I didn't get a picture of our topless, red jeep we rented. It was so perfect for cruising the island. Here I am with the kiddos in the back. I put Heather up front with Jared so I could buckle the kids in with me.

We drove to the opposite side of the island to the "unspoiled beaches." They were unreal. We spent a few hours at this one that had rocks building almost a little cove for swimming. It was perfect for the kids.

Heather & Grey getting ready to swim

After that beach, we hopped back in the jeep--and let Grey drive a bit. Yeah we are terrible parents like that. I did it through the desert in Egypt growing up and it was awesome. We went to eat some Mexican food at another beach and then hung out there until it was time to head back.

It was really hard to get back on that boat knowing we were heading back to cold New Orleans then back to real life. But another gorgeous sunset helped a little bit.

Roatan, Honduras

Oh my. This is my favorite place ever! So if I disappear, you know I have packed a suitcase full of bikinis and books and bought a one way ticket here. It is a stunning island.

We knew this would be one of the better days, so we hurried up, ate breakfast, got in our swimsuits and walked out to find this along with pouring rain:

Killing time taking pictures--Bryan, Heather & I

Apparently this ship was wrecked against the coast during a hurricane about 30 years ago. Makes for a pretty picture though!

Luckily it blew right over so we could enjoy a beautiful day swimming in the aqua water and digging our toes into the sand. But first, playing with the toys at the bar:

And moving onto the beach... Look at that water!

Our ship

I took a picture of the beach from a narrow pier we walked out on

The incredible sunset as we pulled away from Roatan. A sad place to leave....