Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our December so far...

December has been good to us, so far! :) We started a tradition a few years ago and we always go on Thanksgiving weekend to get our Christmas tree. We love picking out our perfect tree. Ben is really in to Christmas, as am I, so we have to get a real tree and it has to be perfect. (For our little house, anyway) :) Our favorite still is going to cut it down ourselves, but we haven't done that for a few years. Anyway, we decorate our house and our tree on December 1st and start the advent calendar. This year we started a new tradition and read the story of the birth of baby Jesus with Tucker after all the decorating was done. The rest of the world (and us) hype up Santa so much, I thought it would be good to start out with the true meaning of Christmas. I also added a new thing to our advent. I have a little house that has doors that open and I usually just put candy in each drawer and call it good. Well, this year I put the candy in, but have included a Christmas time activity for each day, too. Tucker loves it. Some days it's reading a Christmas book, some days it's watching a Christmas movie, or doing a Christmas craft, or baking a Christmas treat. I just kind of randomly chose different activities to do all month long. Tucker and I have been having so much fun doing different things each day!
I love spending time like this with just our little family. And creating holiday memories and traditions with just the three of us.
Decorating the tree...

We ran into a few bumps along our path of decorating our house. Our chair broke and we (meaning, Ben) spent many hours, long after Tucker was in bed trying to fix the thing. This is what it looked like when we went to bed! :)

I made this JOY sign last year and when I went to put it up this year, the J was falling out of the frame. So I just grabbed my hot glue gun, and with only one little stick left quickly fixed it. I didn't realize until I had it on the wall that I 'fixed' it backwards! :) oops! But I had run out of hot glue sticks and so the J had to stay. It has been like that ever since! :)

But by the next day we had a beautifully decorated living room. I love just sitting in the peace and quietness of it at night after Tucker is asleep and it is lit by our Christmas tree lights! There is nothing like a warm and cozy Christmas living room in the winter! :)

In other news....it snowed today!! We've had a few skiffs so far, but this was the first major snowfall. I was in a go get 'em mood this morning (rare these days) and decided I would shovel our driveway. Ben usually takes care of that kind of thing, and being 7 months pregnant, I normally wouldn't have. But I got the bug. And Tucker wanted to play in the snow. So we went out to work! :) Tucker was so determined to help me shovel and after I saw his technique, I had to get a picture of it.
First, he would get the snow into the shovel...

Lift the shovel high above his head....

and dump the snow back on himself.

I don't know if he saw it in a movie or something, but no matter how many times I told him, he just kept on dumping the snow on himself! :) But he was determined to help me and we had a great time shoveling snow together! :)
We did do a pretty good job too, if I do say so myself. When Ben came home tonight he thought that my dad had come over with his snow blower! :) I should charge for these services! :) Granted, I couldn't feel my legs or walk for the rest of the day, but by golly we had a snow-free driveway! :)
I've also done a few photo shoots this month, out in the freezing temperatures. It was so beautiful up at Finch Arboretum last week, I had to snap this. I think it is beautiful up there no matter what season we are in! :)

Well, that is about it so far. We have family coming in all next weekend and the Holiday festivities will really begin!
I love this time of year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanksgiving week continued...

Let me quickly sum up the rest of our Thanksgiving week because I seem to be finding more and more pictures that I had totally forgotten about... :) My mom stayed with us for a few days for Tuckers birthday and I took advantage of having someone in the house to take a snapshot of all three of us. They are very few and far between. :) I take so many cute pictures of other people's families, but don't have any cute one of own! :( Anyway, I thought maybe, just MAYBE I would send out Christmas cards this year, and if I did, I wanted at least one decent picture of the three of us, so we gave it a try.
I have since decided to nix the Christmas card idea, so here it is to you blogosphere, our best family shot from that Sunday. :)

After that I had my mom take a picture of me for my weekly pregnancy photo. And I think Ben was a little jealous, so we had a little photo shoot with him...
(He is really going to love me for posting these.)

America's Next Top Model, I'd say!

He's really natural in front of the camera...

And this is why I married him, right here, folks...

Not really sure what's going on here:

And finally, one REALLY good one!
He is so handsome!!! :)

Yeah, we know we're lucky!!! :)
Later in the week we went to lunch with my parents at PF Changs -a favorite!!!:) It was the day before Tuckers birthday, so he got a special birthday treat!
I don't know if I've mentioned Tuckers obsession with 'Managers'. But he has one. It started a few months ago when him and Ben were at a grocery store and he was being a pill, so Ben told him that he was going to have to talk to the manager if he didn't start acting good. I think it put a little bit of fear in him of managers. A few weeks later we were at lunch and I took him to go to the bathroom and while in the stall he saw the key hole to the toilet paper dispenser and he asked me where the key was. I casually replied, ' oh, I bet the manager has it.' He looked up at me with kind of a scared face and said...'...manager?' Like, please don't tell the manager I asked! :) He mentions managers all the time like they are kind of a scary thing. So anyway, while we were at lunch he asked our waiter if he was the manager and he told him no, he wasn't and I explained that he was the waiter, yada yada yada. The next thing we knew the manager was at our table to talk to Tucker. Our waiter had gone and told her that Tucker was asking about her, so she decided to come out and have a little chat with him. They became buddies, and when she found out it was his birthday the next day, she sent him out a special b-day treat! :)
This boy is fearless when it comes to making friends and people just fall in love with him all the time! Can't say that I blame them! :)

The next Sunday after Thanksgiving was Tyson Orndorff's mission farewell party and I had to post a picture of these four. Bens work buddies. :) I didn't have my camera, so I stole this from someones facebook! :) These three guys see WAY more of my husband than I do and I thought I should post a picture of the four of them! :) They are funny guys, that's for sure!! :)

Ok, now I can offically move on to December, my FAVORITE time of the year! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Best b-day present of all...

But the best thing Tucker got for his birthday (well, a few days after) was a brand new baby cousin, Cassidy Kay! :)

Cassiday Kay Campbell
born on November 28th, 2009
Congrats Allen, Kelli & big brother Keyton!
We are so excited to meet her and snuggle on her.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The little man's birthday...

Well, he's not so little anymore!!! And I can NOT believe that I have a THREE year old!!!
After last years' craziness, we decided to go low key this year! :) My mom came up from Walla Walla, my dad had just gotten home from Alaska, and so we decided to do a little family get together at Chuck-e-Cheese. I was going to invite friends, but Tuckers BFF, Carter was out of town anyway, so it was mainly just family. Carly came for a little while to play at Chuck-e-Cheese but that was about it! And Tucker didn't really even care. He was happy just being there! :)
Ben and I woke him up that morning singing to him and my parents were in the living room waiting with balloons and muffins and doughnuts for him to come out.
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He was so happy when he came around the corner and we were all singing and had little noise makers! :)
(it's not like he likes to be the center of attention or anything!) :)
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He got to blow out THREE candles, open up some cards that had come from him and open up one present. (I think we could have called it a day after that, because he was so happy!) :) But we had already planned the Chuck-e-Cheese part, and so he knew we were going there and we couldn't NOT go there! :)
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Tucker & his G-ma!
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Later that day we went up to my dad's house and Tucker got to hang out with his favorite Uncle Nathan! :)
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And I got to hang out with this little guy! :)
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Tucker told me he wanted a blue cake, so I tried to make the frosting blue, and this is how it turned out! :) I had these grandiose plans for a great cake with a theme, but just ended up using some things I found in our cupboard that we already had. (some Mater & McQueen toppers and some Diego toppers) He loves both of them, so it didn't really matter.
Are you jealous of my baking and decorating skills?! :)
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I love that Tucker gets so excited! As he opened up his presents, his faces were priceless. :) By far the gift of the night was his chick hicks shake-n-go car! He has been on a chick hicks thing lately. Usually its McQueen or Mater, but he likes the green lately! :)
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And he has also been obsessed with Connect 4! Isn't that random?? :) He saw it on a commercial a few months ago and hasn't stopped talking about it since. I thought it was just one of those things that he saw, so he thought he wanted. But really, whenever we would go to target or something, he would go straight to the connect 4 and demand that I get it for him. So when my mom asked what she should get him, I told her that. And even though he doesn't know how to REALLY play, we play connect 4 almost every day! He loves putting the little chips in the slots! Funny, huh! :) And it says, for 7 years and up on the front of the box! :) This boy, I tell ya!
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G&G Pyper sent him up this really cool Imaginext toy that he absolutely loves!
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And another face I absolutely love! :)
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Tucker loves Chuck-E-Cheese...whenever he comes out, he bee-lines it straight for him and just smiles! :)
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It was a great day for Tucker and he seemed to enjoy his third birthday. He loves telling people that he's three now! We are SO SO SO lucky to have him in our family! He is so sweet and loving! He is the best snuggler and has the cutest smile you have ever seen. I'm really hoping that those cheeks NEVER go away!!! He has his moments, but for the most part he is just a good little boy and we couldn't have asked for a better little guy for our family!
We knew it was a good day because by the time we got home from Chuck-e-Cheese, he looked like this...
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In my opinion, that means success! :)
Happy Birthday Tucker, we love you SO much!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things to be Thankful for...

Has it really been two weeks? Sheesh...where does the time go? Well, Thanksgiving was a week ago, and I have been meaning to write this post for about a week and a half now, so here it goes... finally! :) It seems like this has been my life, as of late, always a day late and a dollar short. In reality, I have so so so much to be Thankful for! The week before Thanksgiving, I was thinking about all that I have to be Thankful for, and for some reason, I think because I was in just a funk, it was really hard to for me to actually think of anything. Like I had the basics: a good husband, a great son, our home, faith, knowledge of the Plan of Salvation... you know, the regulars. But for some reason, I just wasn't feeling the emotion of it, it was just yeah....what's the big deal about these things. It was kind of hard for me to really FEEL Thankful for what I have been given. (note: I am 7 1/2 months pregnant, and my emotions are all over the place, that probably had something to do with it)
Anyway...where was I going with this? OH yeah--I have been SO blessed! Since Thanksgiving I have had some great experiences with family and friends that have really touched my (hard) heart and have let me actually FEEL those feelings of gratitude that usually come so naturally, especially at this time of year. I have so much to be grateful for and I'm embarrassed to say that I had absolutely no good reason at all NOT to feel grateful. (I have a feeling that I will be the only one to understand this.) :) Anyway, all is well! I have so much to be Thankful for, and I love this time of year to truly turn my heart to those things that are most important in my life. I'm grateful for a family who loves me and knows when I need a break. I'm grateful for a hard working husband who would do anything for our family and who loves me, because that in and of itself is not an easy task. I'm grateful that he takes care of me and makes me feel beautiful and loved. I'm grateful for friends who know the real me and still like me, even though they know how forgetful and anti-social I am sometimes. I'm grateful that this little hobby of mine, photography, has really taken off. It has been so much more rewarding than I had ever imagined. And I'm grateful that people actually like my photos and want me to take their pictures! :) I'm grateful for a 3 year old little boy who is so smart and funny and loving. He has put up with me over these past few months and still tells me he loves me and snuggles with me whenever I need it. And of course, I am especially grateful for my knowledge that no matter how bad of a mother or wife or sister or daughter I am sometimes, I always have a second chance to better myself. I'm grateful that I know that I can repent of my sins and my shortcomings and try and be better. And I'm grateful for my Savior who made that all possible!
Well... on to the most important part of Thanksgiving: the food! :) Our Thanksgiving this year, was actually very low key. Just Ben, Tucker, my dad and I. But it was perfect! I actually woke up on Thankgiving morning to a big delicious breakfast and my whole family (well, everyone who lives in Spokane) here in our living room. I must have missed the memo that we were doing a Thanksgiving day breakfast. Luckily Ben was on top of it and made us all delicious grits and bacon and eggs. After that Ben and Tucker went to the park to play some football, just the two of them. :) Ben missed out on a Turkey Bowl this year, so he had to make up for it somehow. :) That afternoon we went up to my dad's house for dinner and it was delicious. I was thinking that there would be WAY too much food. Anyone who knows my dad knows that he loves to cook and entertain, and I didn't even think he knew how to cook for anything less than 40 people. But shockingly he didn't go overboard, and everything was perfectly delicious! :) And that was that. It was so great having Ben home for the long weekend. We got a lot of little projects done around our house, watched a lot of football and just hung out.
And since I like to read blog posts that have pictures, here are some photos to tide you over.
Ben and Tucker playing on Thanksgiving day...
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Proof that projects were done. :) One of them was putting new molding in our bedroom. I think it looks great and I think Ben did a fabulous job! :)
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And here's me at 28 weeks:
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The only other thing we did this week was celebrate Tuckers 3rd birthday, but there will be more pictures-with it's very own blog post- to come on that one! Believe you me, it will be a post! :)