Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Yes...it's my favorite time of the year! I tried so hard this year to wait until after Thanksgiving to start on Christmas preparations. But I didn't quite make it. The day before Thanksgiving we went Christmas tree shopping and got our first real tree. It was a momentous occasion. We waited until after Thanksgiving to put on the ornaments as least to do it with Leila. So fun to start traditions with our sweet baby!
Unwrapping ornaments...and of course I'm in my Christmas jammies! 
Leila hanging her first ornament. 
 
The Tree
Leila approves
The Gingerbread House
I'm so glad that I got to be a part of this tradition this year. The fanciest gingerbread house I ever made. Thanks to Pargie for teaching me the ropes!
It's wintertime and we are pulling out all the cute winter clothes. Only she could pull of this ladybug beanie!
My favorite part about wintertime? Staying inside in my jammies, snuggling, and drinking hot coca. Now I have someone to do it with when Jeremy is gone! (Except for the hot cocoa of course!)
A few of Jeremy's DPT friends wanted to make gingerbread houses to start off the season. We hosted and had a blast! For never having done it before they really kicked our butts! 
I couldn't be more excited for Christmas!

Thanksgiving 2013

When it comes to holidays I am especially grateful to be near family. Nothing makes me happier than to have family together during the holidays. This Thanksgiving we spent the day with the Calhouns and then headed over to the other Calhouns for dinner. Honestly is was just a day full of gratitude and good food. Casual, comfortable, and such a perfect day.
Adley teaching Leila how to roll the ball.  
Leila LOVES her cousins!
I couldn't resist getting a picture of these two. I took this right after Liza asked Jeremy if he could be her uncle too. Love this girl and the whole Calhoun Family!
You know you're an adult when you bring a homemade pie to Thanksgiving. I didn't get a picture of the whole pie but I made my mom's chocolate pie with Aunt Nancy's pie crust recipe that I grew up on. Pretty impressed for my first time!
I am so thankful for my family and for the joy they bring to my life. Couldn't be more grateful for all that the Lord has blessed me with!

California November 2013

This month Leila and I had the opportunity to take a last minute trip to California. My dear friend Vicki passed away this month and thanks to my parents Leila and I were able to come home for her funeral. I couldn't be more grateful to be able to be home during this time.  
This was Leila's first time on an airplane and it couldn't have gone better. She was so well behaved and since she's not super mobile right now she was content to just hang out and she even slept some. After all my worrying I was so relieved.
Gram and Papa picked us up at the airport and we were both pretty wiped after a long day and with the time change. But Leila was so excited for all the new things going on she didn't even notice. Of course Mom had to get Leila in the sink for a bath and she loved it!
We kept our visit a secret from Gram Rox (thankfully it was a short time so we didn't have to keep it long) so that we could give her a good surprise. We definitely nailed it since she was so surprised she didn't even recognize us. Once she heard my voice though she was pleasantly surprised!

After a good nights sleep, the next day we headed to Antioch to surprise Grandma and Grandpa Evans. They had no idea that we were even in the same time zone! I had set up a Skype date with them so that I could assure that they would be home. I was running late due to traffic and I was worried that the cover would be blown. I had Jeremy call and secretively convince them to stay home. Thankfully it worked and Leila and I caught them just in time for a perfect surprise!
I put Leila on the porch and hid behind a pillar. I don't think Grandpa recognized Leila at first. The reaction was priceless.
We spent the rest of the day at their house playing and enjoying some quality Evans time.
Leila loved Pete
and Grandpa!

 Our next surprise was to Grandma Passey. Grandma Evans went to the door and asked her to come out to the car so she could show her something. There we were as she rounded the corner. Another surprise success!
Grandpa wasn't home so we decided to go to him for one more surprise. He was helping some friends move so we just pulled up and jumped out of the car. Can't beat the joy on grandparents' faces when they see their posterity!
Leila was pretty happy too!
Leila loves all her grandparents. But capturing moments like these are rare. Seriously melt my heart!
This was taken at a lunch we had at the Passey's home with the Evans and Aunt Linda. We were so sad that Aunt Janet couldn't make it but so happy to have gotten some time with Aunt Linda!

In general it was so nice to be back home in California. There is just something about being in the place where you grew up!
Leila really missed Kody and just couldn't get enough of him!
But we missed Daddy too and wish that he could have come along. I was laughing so hard one day when I looked over at Leila and somehow she had turned her "Mommy loves me" bib around to her back like a cape. I'm pretty sure she just wanted to show off the onesie underneath instead..."Daddy's little tweetie". :)
Leila was really feeling like a big girl in Gram and Papa's big kid chair. She started eating a lot more solids while we were on this trip. I'm really happy of course but sad that she is growing up so fast. She has started weening herself already and even though I knew it was coming it's a lot more emotional than I realized it would be.
On a happier note, part of growing up is making friends. Leila and Molly were friends in the womb. It was love at first sight when they finally actually met. Leila might have been pulling Molly's headband out the whole time but Molly was good with it. I think this is the beginning of a forever friendship.
Plus a little three generation picture with my two favorite girls!
After a great week at home being with family, the weekend came and time to celebrate Vicki's life. We had decided to do a few different activities with friends to take advantage of this time together celebrating a woman we all hold dear to our hearts and who knew how to live life and party! We did a brunch, dinner and a movie (Catching Fire at the Delta), and a huge party with generations of women that have been influenced by Vicki. I was so glad to have my friends and family around during this time. Jill's testimony at Vicki's funeral of the legacy that her mother has left behind was exactly what I needed to hear. Vicki has always been a person that I could go to to confide in, to count on for a good laugh, to receive advice from, to cry with, and to be myself with. She loves me for me and always supported me. Well, unless I was doing something stupid and then she would tell me to straighten up! She is one of the best examples of a wife and mother to me and I am thankful that my daughter was able to meet a woman who has taught me so much in my life.
Leila was so happy to see Aunt Michelle again. They were just taking care of some business together.
Catching Fire with these ladies. Love them!
(And Papa in charge of babysitting.)
I was especially happy to be with my mama during this week. Sometimes living across the country is just too far!
Leila had some late nights to party with the girls and or course her favorite, Kody. That made up for not getting to go to the party at Vicki's with all the other girls (including Molly). I was glad to have a night with some of my favorite women remembering all the happy times with Vicki and even recreating some of them. (Pounding ice cream, dancing, TPing, late night taco run, and some others. ;))

Aunt Michelle slept over after the party and Leila was pleasantly surprised in the morning.
Even though it is only November my sweet Daddy surprised me with an amazing birthday gift. He took me to get a new phone! So grateful and so happy! I've joined the world of technology! Finally! 
My first pictures on the new phone....of course of my baby girl!
The day of the funeral and the Sunday after. Yes Leila is wearing the same dress. She got it new just for the funeral (from Gram and Papa and Gram Rox) and when Kelli saw her she told me she got the same dress for Molly! So of course we planned for them to match the next day. :) 
Great-grandma and Great-grandpa with Leila. The Evans got a jump on the Christmas tree this year. Perfect background! :)
Leila helping Grandpa make cookies. If only she could eat one!
Driving home from the funeral...
and she's out just minutes later. :)
It was so fun that the Westovers were in town this weekend and we saw them at Stake Conference. Leila finally got to meet Ellie and she loved her right away. Another friend forever! 

Kelli and I took pictures of our matching babies and I remembered this picture that we took just before I was about to pop! Can't believe how fast time goes!
May 2013
November 2013
Papa Tom with his twin babies!
What a whirlwind of a trip. We were so busy the whole time and so full of a million emotions. I couldn't be more grateful to have been able to have Leila with me through it all and to be with family and friends. So thankful for such a great trip. Nothing says a successful trip like a sleeping baby...completely worn out after all the fun!