November/December 2011 Update

In an effort to catch up on blogging, let's begin where we left off, shall we? :) November and December highlights included a visit from my sister, Jodi, who had not yet met the kiddos and Makenna's first birthday! But first, a picture from Halloween that I should've included in our last post! :) Luke was Buzz Lightyear and Makenna was a cute little ladybug. We had so much fun trick or treating! Anyhoo :) Jodi is getting married in October and Luke, Makenna and myself are all part of the wedding. I haven't been back to NY since 2007 so I'm so excited to visit with family, see my childhood friends and meet all of their kids. A lot has changed in 5 years! So Jodi came for a visit and I had pre-warned her that most of our activities will surround the little ones.. she was a good sport! And it was great to spend some time with her!
We celebrated Makenna's 1st birthday a little earlier since Gigi and Don were able to be in town early December. We kept it simple and casual with immediate family and our dear friends, the Bacchus'.
Makenna started walking a few days after her birthday too! Life's been at a faster pace since then. :) Makenna is feisty but very sweet. She is more easy going than Luke was at this age but is definitely not the "mellow" 2nd born most had told me about. She is very active... climbing on everything, getting into everything. She is our little cuddler though and like her big brother, loves her "soother" (pacifier) and her blankie. For her birthday, she received a little play kitchen and dollhouse both of which she finds pieces to chew on for now... not really into pretend play yet. :)
December 25, 2011 was the first Christmas we've had on our own with our little family. It was Vancouver's turn to celebrate with Jeff's parents so they were not in AZ. And Jeff's sister and her family headed to NYC for the holidays so we were on our own! We were blessed to enjoy the company of our sweet friends, the Flies family, on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, we opened our gifts and headed to the park for some great fresh air and play time for the kids. That evening, we loaded up the car and drove to see some beautiful Christmas lights. It was a semi-quiet day of reflecting on and celebrating our dear Savior's birth. So sweet to share the meaning of Christmas to our precious little people!
Until next time. xoxo


October 2011 update - Luke turns 3!

It has been no secret that our little guy has a bit of an obsession when it comes to garbage trucks. He LOVES them, we have four of them in our home and they never get old! He keeps asking for an orange one but we haven't found one that is reasonably priced. The only one I have found is $60! Ummm... not happening. But I keep looking.

We decided to hold his birthday party at the park near our house which was perfect. It was a beautiful day and it was so nice not to have to plan activities for the kids. They just had a blast on the playground and playing in the sand! We're so grateful for our sweet family & friends who were able to celebrate with us.

The invitation:

Made with love by mommy (candle placed with love by sweet little Nora):

Dear friends make it more special:

Alyse & Luke enjoying some cake together:

Can't forget the little lady:

Luke & daddy:

Luke's cutie pie little friend, Jack:

On his actual birthday, we enjoyed an evening of jumping on trampolines and in bounce houses at a fun place called AZ Airtime. Luke loves it here!

Keeping with our theme of garbage trucks, we were completely surprised to find out that they make "house calls"! I called the City of Phoenix to find out if they had anything I could buy for the birthday party and they offered to have a truck pay Luke a visit! I couldn't believe it and knew it would probably be the best day of his life. And that it was! It was AWESOME! Luke's friend, Jack, was able to share in this very special excitement!

We were outside as soon as we heard them turn down our street!

"Driving" the truck:

Jack and Luke:

Bye bye truck:

Another big milestone for us this month was beginning preschool. We had a bit of a rough start thanks to the ever lingering separation anxiety issues we've had but after about two (very long) weeks, Luke settled in very well and looks forward to his school days now. I absolutely love what he is learning there, from shapes and letters to manners to Bible songs and so on. It's super sweet and so much fun to hear about his day.

On our way to school:

And the little lady:

I believe that about sums up our October! Stay tuned for November. :)



And the next 3 months after that ...

Oh where to begin! How have I let 8 months go by without a peep?! My first excuse was that I was a tired mama of two who just did not want to be on the computer after a long day of .. well... everything that comes along with having an infant and a toddler. We finally "sleep trained" Makenna and I felt like a whole new person, ready to conquer the world.. and this blog. But then we moved. And then there were birthdays and out of town visitors and Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc. I'm justified, right? :) Well, Makenna is almost 14 months old now and Luke will be 3 1/2 soon! I'm hoping to make this more of a priority as there's really no better way to journal about our goings on. And there's a lot of that with two little ones always on the move!

I certainly will not be attempting an 8 month update in this post but I will try to do some highlighting. Shortly following my last post, my mom and Don had come for a visit to meet Makenna for the first time. It was, of course, very welcomed help! Luke enjoyed the extra attention and I enjoyed the extra help around the house!

In July, we headed to Vancouver for our annual summer vacation. A little more low key this year having a 7 month old in tow. Lucky for us, there was construction in Jeff's parent's neighborhood so we spend a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time watching the bobcats (especially) and various machines doing their thing. We did get to enjoy downtown Vancouver, sans kiddos, celebrating Jen's 40th birthday. I think that might've been the highlight for us!

Jeff started a new job with Wells Fargo in August which changed his commute from 15 minutes to over an hour one way! Boooooo for long commutes.. especially with two little ones at home! Ugh... the thought of him being gone for an hour and a half longer a day was just saddening, but what do you do? We were thankful for the opportunity (his contract was ending at American Express) and you have to do what you have to do. After about a month, we decided to consider moving back to our "old" house, which had a tenant, which meant asking the tenant to leave (luckily he was month to month), which meant we would have to rent our house first, if we could. We prayed about it. We put it on the market and from then on, it was almost seamless. Too seamless. I couldn't believe how all the little details came together.

Soooo... in September, we moved. Jeff's commute is now less than 30 minutes each way. We live across the street from an awesome park. We're closer to the zoo, the greenbelt, shopping, great restaurants... I've really enjoyed being back in Scottsdale. Unfortunately, we've downsized to about half of what we had gotten used to but we've been taking advantage of our time back in the house. I'm surprised at how much we've accomplished around here: removing the popcorn ceilings & replacing carpet (done prior to move in), painting the interior & exterior, replacing all of the windows, replacing the french doors with a sliding glass door, and I'm sure I"m forgetting something... We would still like to replace a door that is in the guest bathroom with a window, paint/stain our cabinets, replace all of the hardware, and perhaps the kitchen/bathroom sinks and faucets. And the big project will be the master bathroom... we're still talking about that one. Jeff's contract with Wells Fargo is for 18 months so we'll be here for at least that long.

I will leave you with a few photos just for fun and update again soon with some birthday party details and photos!


Father's Day 2011

With Don & Gigi

During our Vancouver trip - riding a little train at a local nursery

Luke and Joshy pretending to sleep .. they were too cute!

Katie LOVED holding Makenna!

Luke and Grandpa

Makenna with Grandma and Grandpa at the park

Our night on the town

Jeff and his sissy

This kid cracks me up!