Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Day 2011

Soon Christmas morning came and there was definitely MAGIC in the air!!!

Brooklyn and Lily woke up first and we had to try very hard to contain them in our bedroom until everyone else was awake. Luckily that didn't take too long!

Teya and Brinley weren't far behind and after some hugs and a story book, Taber and Becca got up too and we all headed toward the Christmas tree and stockings!

Taber and Kevin got me and Becca matching robes to wear while opening presents, so we quickly put them on and then got ready for the explosion of excitement that was to come.

And then it EXPLODED! All Brooklyn asked Santa for this year was a pet fish and a candy cane. As soon as she saw them, she was bouncing off the walls in delight!

Here she is making fish kisses to Mr. Starlight

Lily didn't ask for anything, but Santa guessed that she might like this little hammer and peg set, and he was right! We couldn't get her to open anything else after she found it by her stocking.

Once we were done seeing what Santa brought, we got to open our gifts to each other. It was so fun seeing every one's reactions to their gifts and I'm pretty sure they were all thrilled with what they got :)

Even Cam was overjoyed with the huge amount of paper to crawl through and all the noise making toys that were strewn about the room!

After all the present unwrapping was through and we'd all eaten a sugar filled breakfast, we got dressed and headed to church. The girls looked super cute in their new dresses from Auntie Becca... especially lugging around the little doggies that I crocheted them :)

Anyway, it was a perfect Christmas filled with family and fun. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Eve

On the morning of Christmas Eve, Kevin, Becca and Taber went out for a 13.1 (or more) mile run on the Applefest Half Marathon course. They all wore Santa hats to get in the spirit of things and received many friendly honks and waves in return. And while they were out... I held down the fort until reinforcements could arrive :)

Once everyone was back from running, fed, and showered, we started going on shopping splits for last minute gifts and to prepare for the Rigg's Christmas Eve party!

Then right before the party started, Taber took the girls to drop off some "12 days of Christmas" gifts. They were very stealthy and well prepared for the drop as you can tell by the map Taber is planning out for everyone :)

Unfortunately, Brinley started barfing her guts out just minutes before the guests arrived. But no worries! Becca kept her game face on, got things cleaned up, quarantined Brinley upstairs with a puke pail and some movies, and then got the party started!

She and her friends had thought of everything! Chicken nuggets and smiley fries for the kid plates,  gingerbread men for the children to decorate and Christmas cartoons to keep them entertained...

And lots of yummy Cafe Rio style food for the adults to munch on whilst engaging in conversation uninterrupted by little people!

When dinner was done, we had a great Christmas program, complete with music and a very cute (and CRAZY) Nativity... and then we sent everyone home to their beds so Santa could come and pay us all a visit!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Getting our Christmas Prep ON!

On the 22nd and 23rd of December, we started to pound out the rest of our Christmas preparations. Basically that meant me and Becca went shopping, Taber and Kevin watched the kids... Kevin and Taber went shopping, Becca and I watched the kids... Me and Kevin went shopping, Becca and Taber watched the kids... you get the gist of it. A lot revolves around your children when your house contains an almost-1-year-old, almost-2-year-old, 3 year old, almost-4-year-old, and 5 year old!!!

But don't worry! The kiddos had limitless fun whilst the adults were getting things under wraps! They had a blast playing on the trampoline, in the playroom, and in the craft room too.

And we managed to get them out to the park between shopping trips as well! And BOY were they excited about that!

It was pretty funny watching Becca and Taber gush all over Camden at the park. He is the cutest little boy on the planet so you can't really blame them :)

Meanwhile,  Brooklyn kept us pretty busy spotting her while she practiced climbing like her Daddy.

Teya was at school when we were at the park, and although she was missed, Brooklyn and Brinley played GREAT together!

We all had a blast enjoying the unusually warm winter weather, but soon it was time for Lily and Cam to go down for naps. So Becca and I headed for home with the babies while Taber and Kevin stayed a little longer so the girls could play...

Ummm...errr.. or so they could play!

During our shopping days we also managed to go out and see the movie "Arthur Christmas" and to have some pretty groovy dance parties complements of Auntie Becca... See for yourself! Stay tuned for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day adventures!

To be continued...

Settling In...

When we woke up the day after our arrival, Taber had to go to work (poor guy) while Kevin, Becca and I held down the fort. We mostly just relaxed and played with the kids until Taber got home.

The girls did TONS of art projects, including some gingerbread houses, and pretty much kept themselves entertained the whole day!

Although, I did take the opportunity to spin the girls in the office chair for awhile... and then watch them try to run away :) Hehehe!

When Taber came home be was surprised by a new blog book from Becca. He, in turn, surprised her with some beautiful roses. (It was their 10th anniversary.)

Then Kevin and I volunteered to babysit so they could go on an anniversary date. It was sooo much fun hanging out with our nieces and nephew. This trip was our first time meeting Cam so we were just eating it up!

And I think Becca and Taber had a pretty good day as well :) Happy Anniversary guys. Glad you made it another AWESOME year!

New Hampshire or Bust!

On December 20th, the girls and I cleaned up the house, packed our bags, picked Kevin up from work, hopped in a taxi to the airport, and then began our evening flight to New Hampshire to spend Christmas with my sister Becca and her incredible family!

It took a little tag teaming to keep the girls entertained and quiet, but things actually went pretty smoothly. At the airport, Kevin took turns watching the girls and feeding them food from McDonald's whilst I took one girl at a time and ran them up and down the halls to wear them out for the flight.

On the plane we were well equipped with stuffed animals, coloring supplies, and Dora the Explorer! The girls did great, which meant mom and dad were still sane when we arrived in NH at midnight.

And lucky for us, we were greeted with an enthusiastic Becca who set the tone for the rest of our fun-filled vacation!

When we got to the house we were met with wet kisses supplied by Monty-the ever-licking-dog and lots of hugs from Taber... and eventually Teya, Brinley and Cam! Yes, we woke up the whole house, stayed up till 2 in the morning, and then hunkered down to await our early morning wake up call from all the excited little kiddos and 7 days of partying Rigg style!

To be continued...

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Christmas Break Tradition?

Perhaps! Personally, I LOVED the beard, but I don't know if Kevin can handle the irritation again. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Preparations

The Christmas season keeps everyone busy! Here is a little of what we did to get ready for the holidays:

We went through all of our clothes and toys and took the things we didn't use any more to donation boxes around town so other little kids could enjoy them...

Brooklyn worked hard designing our Christmas card so I could send it out...

Then I spent a lot of time making presents for everyone on the Christmas list. I didn't manage to get pictures of everything, but this is the gist of it...

As Christmas got closer, we decorated our house from top to bottom...

And then we packed our bags and flew out to New Hampshire to spend Christmas with my sister Becca and her family! More to come on that later.

Scary Moments in Motherhood...

A couple weeks ago my entire family got Croup. For the most part it was just an annoyance, but after a little while Lily started to get a little worse off then the rest of us. Then, a couple days into it, I went to get her up from her nap and was handed a major surprise.

She was really emotional so I put her on the couch and went to turn some Dora on to help her feel better. As I was switching on the TV I heard her coughing again and quickly glanced back to see if she was okay. What I saw was my little girl COVERED in blood! It scared the hooby jooby out of me and I immediately ran to pick her up, stuck her in the sink, and called my mom in a panic. The blood was coming from her nose, out her mouth when she coughed, and in bouts of vomit. It totally freaked me out!

Turns out, she had such a bad bloody nose, it was leaking into her stomach and causing her to cough and vomit blood. It took about 15 minutes to get the bleeding to stop and then another 15 minutes to scrub all the blood off of her. Here is a picture I took of her after about 5 minutes of scrubbing. Saddest most horrible thing in the world!

Moral of the story? 

1. Motherhood can be REALLY scary!
2. Anyone who can call their mom for help at the drop of a hat is a LUCKY and BLESSED individual.
3. If your kids get Croup, use a humidifier so they don't get dry throats and sinuses that can lead to terrifying bloody noses!

Thanksgiving in Detroit

For Thanksgiving this year, Kevin, Jennie and I, packed up the girls and headed to Detroit to spend time with Andrew, Sharon, and Eve.

Early Thanksgiving morning, Kevin and Andrew left to participate in the ward Turkey Bowl. They don't remember if they won or lost, or even who's team they were on, but they had a ton of fun and got REALLY muddy!

When they got back from their game, Kevin and I packed up the stroller and headed out for our annual Turkey Trot. We didn't have enough money to register for a real one this year, so we had our own "Poor Man's Turkey Trot" on the streets of Detroit and on a nearby track :)

After we conquered our 4 mile run, we showered and began preparations for our amazing Thanksgiving feast, complete with Kalua Turkey, homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, jello salad, and pie... LOTS of PIE!

Then it was time to veg out! Lily took her usual place on Jennies lap where they watched Dora the Explorer via the iPod, read scriptures, and snacked on leftovers.

Brooklyn also managed to lay claim on someone... her Uncle Andrew. Unfortunately for him, she is a little less peaceful than Lily which resulted in Andrew getting poked, prodded, and pounced on for hours on end!

And dear old Kevin vegged out Nintendo style (with a little company from Andrew.)

The next day we headed over to the Henry Ford Museum (compliments of my sister Erin).

We saw LOTS of planes, trains, and automobiles.

And some weird statues as well! (3 out of the 5 people in this picture are fake.)

And then we let all the kids play to their hearts content... adult kids included.

But of course, Brooklyn's favorite thing at the museum was not inside, but outside... and not technically part of the museum either :)

That night we enjoyed a fondue party and a Stargate marathon before heading to bed to rest for our long drive home in the morning.

We had so much fun with the Smith's and are so grateful for their friendship and hospitality. The food was great, the activities were great, and the company was fantastic!

A Surprise Visit

Right after my birthday, I got a surprise visit from my BFF/Cousin Jennie! And by surprise, I mean Kevin had just come back from a business trip and told me he left a bag at the airport and we needed to go get it. When we pulled up at the curb I looked out the window and saw this girl standing there and thought to myself... "Wow, that girl looks a TON like Jennie... wait a minute, that IS Jennie! What are the odds that she would be at the airport at the same time we are picking up Kevin's bag? We should offer her a ride. I wonder where she's going? I hope its to see me..." Then I saw Kevin returning to the car WITHOUT a bag and it dawned on me (yes, it took that long) She IS coming to see me and its a SURPRISE!!!

Anyway, we were lucky enough to get her for 2 whole weeks, with some side trips thrown in for good measure. One was to DC where Jennie had a job interview that she nailed (and later accepted) and the other was out to Detroit where we had Thanksgiving with our other cousins, Andrew and Sharon (more to come on that later.)

We didn't do anything too crazy or adventurous while Jennie was visiting. We (and by "we" I mean "I") mostly just enjoyed taking care of the girls and attending to the regular needs of a household as a tag team instead of an individual. The girls loved having the extra body around though. I think Lily enjoyed it so much that she decided Jennie could be her special mom and I could be Brooklyn's. She became very possessive over Jennie and VERY attached.

They played tons of games together, read books, and played hide and seek in boxes...

And pretty much ANY time Jennie was sitting down, Lily was in her lap :)

But don't worry. We didn't spend the whole trip being mommies and maids. We got to eat out a few times, have some girl time, and we even went Geocaching together.

It took us a while since we were lugging little girls around on our shoulders, but we eventually found not just one...

But TWO geocaches before heading to Red Robin for a delightful dinner!


Oh! And I mustn't forget, Brooklyn found this fuzzy caterpillar while we were out (and begged if we could keep it as a pet)...

And Kevin got to show off like the crazy man that he is :) Fun times! 

Then on the 28th, after we got back from Detroit, we got to celebrate Jennie's 29th birthday! Yay for birthdays! Kevin made an amazing Texas sheet cake with Symphony bar topping for us all to eat, we sang, opened presents, ate pizza, and just enjoyed each other's company.

We felt so blessed to spend some more time with Jennie and can't wait till we get to hang out with her again. Thanks for the visit Jen. We love you!