Tuesday, December 15, 2015

First Week of December

I have been really excited about December this year.  I feel like I am a little bit more on top of my game than in the past, and I had most of my presents done by the beginning of December.  There are of course a lot of last minute things, but it was nice to enjoy the season for at least a week.

For my Immunodeficiency and chronic fatigue I take about 30 supplements every night and I have been forcing myself to get 8 hours of sleep every night. I have also been taking it easy on the exercising, either walking, or very light exercise, and all of those things have seemed to help me feel a little bit more energetic and healthy.

I just really have wanted to be able to spend time in December enjoying being with my girls, doing fun Christmas stuff.

I love our playdates with Cate because Wembley is distracted.  Wembley has been pretty whiney, always wanting me all of the time, and it gets old.  But when Cate is around, she wants Cate.  A break for mom.  Hallelujah!  Wembley also doesn't seem to have the personal space issues with Cate.  I took them to the mall to walk around one morning and they were so cute holding hands everywhere.

It doesn't get much cuter than this.

Later in the week, I took the girls to see Blitzen, the reindeer.  Wembley was obsessed.  I could hardly pry her away from the cage.  Getting her to turn around for this picture was a feat.  We waited in line to pet the baby reindeer but right when we got to the front, they told us the reindeer was spent.  

We had a stake live nativity.  It is really well done and such a cool experience.  Briz and I sang in a choir for a little bit, and then we went to see the live nativity.  

It was such a great reminder of what December is all about.  I tend to get caught up in a lot of the excitement, which isn't a bad thing, but it can be a distraction.

On Saturday, we cleaned our ward building.  And this is how Nick kept Dubs occupied.  

We also pulled out the Elf on the Shelf.  We are LAME when it comes to Elf on the Shelf.  Mostly cause when Nick bought it last year without my permission I was irritated.  I don't need another thing to keep track of in December!  Hence, the lameness of our elf.  Most of the time she forgets to move, and I usually use that as an opportunity to try to motivate Briz to do her chores. "Oh hmmm Snowflake didn't move last night?  Well did you clean your room? No?  Oh well there you go . . . "  It really is cause I passed out at 10 p.m. reading my book and forgot about it.  

My girls are so excited about this month and I love it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I am the worst.  Again.  I didn't take any pictures over Thanksgiving.  It was a fun few days with all of the Cottles coming into town.  I had 13 people at my house.  It was a new experience but we all survived it and no one got sick!

That week I took work off which was SO nice.  I felt like I had so much time.  I spent it prepping for Thanksgiving.  Braving the grocery stores, shopping, cleaning, etc.

The day before Thanksgiving and the day of I spent cooking and baking.  It was actually really enjoyable because my kids weren't bugging me.  I love cooking by myself!  It was my first time making homemade rolls and homemade cinnamon rolls.  I was pretty proud of myself.  I also did an 8 layer rainbow jello salad.  Thankfully I didn't have to do the turkey.  Turkeys scare me (in more ways than one) and it was nice to not have to worry about that.

I was sad I didn't take a picture of the food cause it was pretty.   We had a kids table where they got to color (and didn't eat much). 

After Thanksgiving, we spent some time playing outside at Nike and then went swimming at the Nike pool.

We went bowling and played arcade games where Pops won 25,000 tickets!!!!  They bought pom poms that shed over my house for 4 days.  

The big girls went to see The Good Dinosaur.  We visited Santa, ate at the local burger place, the Giant.  We played games with family, watched MockingJay and then went on a date with adults to see the last Mockingjay movie (dont remember the name).

Pops also helped the girls make fun of Nick with their fake mustaches.

I was tired, but I was particularly grateful for family this year that made the long trek out to Oregon to see us and spend time with us.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week of Yard Work

November has flown by!  Not sure where the month went.

The week before Thanksgiving was a work week.  I had a lot of work, Nick started his new job at Nike, and we worked a ton in the yard since we had a few days of no rain.

That also means lots of frozen food for dinner.  I also needed to clear up refrigerator and freezer space for Thanksgiving.  So no cooking for me.  Wembley continues to be a disaster at every meal.  She hates sitting still, so sitting still at meals is a battle.  She whines and complains and wants to eat on the run.  It helps when Brizzy is home, because they entertain each other.  But usually Wembley tries to spread food all over Brizzy or poke her with her fork and Briz gets annoyed.

Mmm, peach juice shampoo.  Dubs is turning into such a little clown.

I started working in the yard on Friday.  I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and an immunodeficiency recently.  It's a weird thing because mostly I just feel wimpy, and I try to will myself to have more energy.  Sometimes I think I can handle than I actually can.  I started to rake leaves this day, but I felt like I was going to topple over after a little while.  I was still able to get about half of the front yard done, so I was proud of myself.

This is what the other side of the yard still looked like.

Briz has been learning a lot about the moon and stars recently and she loves it. Every few days she has to go outside and try to find the moon.  One day after school she sat in the backyard and just stared into the sky for about 30 minutes.  So sweet.  

Having Nicks help on Saturday was so nice!  And Briz thought it was fun to help for about 10 minutes.  

We had tumbling competitions into the leaves.  

And Briz and Wembley smashed leaves down into the garbage.  Nick is also sporting his Movember mustache.  Yes, just a mustache.  It was creepy.  And his mom kept making fun of him.

Wembley loves being outside, but it was pretty cold this day.  Her cheeks got all chapped and were red for a couple days.  We aren't used to this whole sunny cold thing!

This is what it looked like after we were done.

And oh yeah, 4 more bags on the side of the house.  We didn't even try to do the backyard.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hello November

This week we have officially entered into dreary Oregon weather.  It's cloudy, rainy, and cold. It kind of came out of nowhere, but it definitely feels like winter.  On top of that, our furnace wasn't working.  It was kind of nice having our wood burning stove going, but it was COLD in our house.  

Briz only had two days of school last week.  My friend Ashley sent me a picture of her son and Brizzy eating lunch together.  Briz loves Chase, and loves it when her friends moms come and eat lunch with them.  

I have the most thoughtful, best friends in the world.  Carly sent me this print on the anniversary of Holland's death.  I was really busy with the Holly Hoop and taking care of my health so I didn't really get a chance to look at it.  But this last week, I found a frame and after I framed it I just sat and cried.  I was crying for a few reasons.  One because very rarely do I sit and think about all three of my girls being together, but this just captured it.  And I felt so grateful for such amazing friends.  I don't deserve such kindness, but I'm grateful for it.

With our day off, we went over to the Childrens Museum.  Us and about 1/3 of Portland were there.  It was nuts.  And Wembley was getting her molars so she was a stinker. It was a little hard because Briz and Wembley wanted to do different things.  Brizzy was a good sport to follow Wembley around though.  She was just excited to go do something fun with us.

Wembley wanted to stay at this light thing forever!  

They always have new exhibits, and they just stared the Blue Man Group one.  It was pretty fun.  Again, Wembley found her favorite thing and wanted to do it over and over again.

Thursday, we had playdates with Cate and Blair.  It was fun having four little girls around.  It involved a lot of mom and daughter pretend as well as some dance parties/singing.

Thursday night I had baby shower at my house for my Kristi.  It was small, but it was really fun and I'm so excited for her to have her baby boy. 

Friday morning we drove up to Seattle to stay with Bri and Ronell.  We went and picked the kids up from their school and surprised them since they didn't know we were coming.  Briz got to spend some time in Portia's 3rd grade classroom and she thought that was pretty cool.

Friday night we went back to the school for a fundraiser where Portia was singing in her school choir.

And Saturday they had basketball games.  Palmer and Portia had games at the same time, so Briz went to Portias and I went to Palmers.  I LOVE this kid.  He is the sweetest, most innocent, smart little boy.  

That night we went to Cafe Rio.

And the next day they had their primary program at church.

Wembley loved getting all of the attention, although didn't appreciate being held or picked up.  Briz was in heaven playing with her cousins.  It made me excited for the Holidays.

Wembley kept saying. "Thatchew."  She loved him, and they gave some sweet kisses to each other.

I love that we get to do these quick visits every so often.  Brizzy cried when we left of course, as she usually does.  She loves her cousins and misses them.  But we'll see them soon enough!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Post Halloween

The next week was a little rough recovering from Daylight Savings and Halloween, but the girls did better than I expected.  I think the fact that I wasn't sick, and we weren't doing Holly Hoop stuff made it seem not too stressful.

On Tuesday, I cut my hair and colored it.  I hate taking selfies but I knew if I didn't I wouldn't capture the haircut.  I'm really happy with it.  I originally thought I would want to go lighter, but I like the darker.  Although I don't like spending the money, its kind of fun having creative possibilities with my hair.  

I have tried to take Wembley to story time every other week.  It hasn't gone so well.  I normally only stay for about 20 minutes tops because she can't handle it.  But this week, we lasted about 45 minutes.  The last few minutes however, she couldn't handle it.  I feel like I am sweating trying to chase her around and get her to behave/sit still a little bit.  I want to take her cause I think its good for her to see other little toddlers sitting still and listening to stories, but not sure how consistent we will keep going.  

They always do cute little dances and songs and she loves that part of it.  Here, she had her egg shakers in hand, and thought she was pretty cool.

She does love books, she just has a really short attention span with them.  

And the best part is the bubbles. 

On Wednesday, I took Briz to get her hair cut.  I used to cut it myself, but I just think it would be too hard with Wembley being the mischievous kid she is.  Briz has been waiting to get her hair cut.  I was hoping she would forget because I have liked her longer hair.  But there are always tears with combing, so I gave in.  After I cut my hair she told me she wanted her hair just like me :)  I had them cut it a bit shorter.  And I forgot to get an after picture.

On Thursday, we enjoyed the beautiful fall weather by spending a lot of time outside.  Normally, when I'm outside its cause I'm working while the girls are playing.  But I was too tired to work, so I just walked around and explored with Wembley.

We have leaves everywhere!  But the trees are beautiful right now.  I love the NW in the fall.

We ventured out in the afternoon to get Briz from the bus.  I love this cute little coat we inherited.

And this is the face she makes when she is excited about something.

On Saturday, the crappy weather came back.  But we needed to do yard work, so we got the girls bundled up and then continued to stay out in the rain.  Nick did some finishing up on projects in the backyard and I mowed/raked leaves for about 3 hours.  Literally two hours after I raked 4 bags worth of leaves, our lawn was covered in leaves.  Ah!  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Halloween Week

I decided I am going to copy my friend Meredith in how she does her blog.  I have been getting behind, and I think doing it weekly will help me remember to get it done every week.  I have found that as I am taking pictures that I tend to take a lot of pictures of specific events but not a lot of our every day lives.  So I am going to try to be more on top of our every day stuff.

On Sunday, we finished putting away stuff from the Holly Hoop and got our baskets and gifts together to take over to Holly Bruno and the Bruno family.  We had bought stuff for Holly on the 22nd.  I forgot to take a picture of the stuff we got, but it was a lot more than usual because Nike donated a bunch of stuff for us to take along with us.  My favorite moment of bringing it over to them was seeing Holly's face light up at the presents.

I've been having to work in the early morning a little bit more than normal, so Nick will usually get the girls ready once a week.  Nick loves doing the girls hair in weird hairstyles, and this morning he decided to do two antenae pigtails on Dubs.

Monday night, Nick got tickets from Nike to go Frozen on Ice.  It was so fun to see how much the girls loved it.  I knew Bri would, but wasn't sure about how Dubs would be.  She loved it.  She didn't sit still much, mostly just dancing around and eating popcorn.  It was a really fun night.

And of course Briz had to wear her princess dress.

One of the highlights from this week: more mail for Tonya Harding.  This one was about a business venture, wanting her to invest.

Wednesday night we carved pumpkins.  It included a lot of crying and whining from Dubs.  Nothing unusual these days.

Nick gets serious about his Holiday crafts.  He pulled out the drill and was highly focused on his pumpkins.  He also had a Green Bay Packers pumpkin this year.

The stairs were as always a source of drama on Wednesday and most of the week.  I had her going down on her stomach for a while, but she got sick of that real fast.  Now she takes forever as she sits down and stands up to get down each step.  But it beats her standing at the top of the stairs and whining.  Such a stubborn little girl.

Briz was so excited to carve pumpkins only to be really let down by how gross the guts were.  She wasn't excited about that part at all.

Tuesday night, she lost her tooth while her babysitter was over.  She wrote a very specific note to the toothfairy making sure she could keep her tooth so she could show mom and dad, grandparents, and friends at school.

Thursday afternoon Brizzy's music class had an "informance," where we got to come and watch her in her environment.  I love going to her school to see Briz in action.  I also love being there with other parents.  It's so reassuring to know how many great parents that are out there and part of our school.

Thursday afternoon I drove carpool for dance class.  It wasn't raining, so Dubs and I spent the hour at the park.  She loves slides and swings.  That's where she wants to spend all of her time.


She gets really excited when she hears airplanes.  She signs it over and says it over and over again.

Thursday night, we met friends at the high school for trick or treating.  The classes were decorated.

Dubs' favorite one was hands down the Lego themed room.  She got to eat a cookie.  Case closed.

Brizzy and Blair came straight from dance class, so for this night they dressed up as ballerinas.

Friday night we had our Ward Trunk or Treat.  There was a big turnout which means chaos, but the girls had a blast.  It was pouring down rain so we did the trunk or treat inside.  More chaos.

Briz then had her last soccer game on Saturday.  It was her first year playing with all girls.  And they were a fun group of girls.  Briz improved significantly from the beginning and that was fun to see.

On her very last game it was pouring rain.  The field had a huge mud puddle in it.  Towards the end of the game, Briz did a full on wipe out face first in the mud puddle.  I sort of froze, not knowing what she would do, but she got up, all the girls stopped not sure what to do, but she just kicked the ball in for her second goal.  It was for sure a proud parent moment.  She walked right off and cried.  She was done after that.  She was still upset when the game ended, but I think after getting a lot of praise from the parents she recovered.  

Briz is a good little soccer player.  Her hardest thing is sometimes she gets scared of other players, particularly if they are big girls, and then she sort of hesitates.  Once she can get over that, she does really well.  She particularly loves showing off some fancy moves :)

These pictures are back from picture day.  I am cheap and didn't order soccer pictures, so I took these instead.  

Love this awkward 1st grade pose.

After her soccer game, we went straight to the church, and actually broke into the bathrooms so Briz could shower and get all of the mud off of her.  Will Papworth and Landon Bullock had their baptisms.  Briz is very interested in baptism and asks consistently how long until she gets baptized.  She has a countdown going.

That night we got dressed for trick or treating.  It again was pouring rain, but we decided to brave it anyways.  We met the Papworths during the trick or treating and we picked up a few neighborhood kids, so we had a big group.  Wembley LOVED trick or treating.  This was her third go round so she had it down.  She loved picking out the candy herself, and said thank you every time she got a piece of candy.  So cute.  She didn't care that it was pouring rain, she could have gone for hours.

Briz was done however pretty early on.  She was cold and wet.  But she recovered quickly and was pretty excited about her candy stash.


I have convinced Briz for the last 6 months to grow out her hair only so she could be Elsa.  It was worth the fancy braid with sparkles I think.