Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 aka The Roller Coaster.

Who knew after I wrote my year end review for 2011 we would have the biggest shock eva. A baby, we were having a baby this year. Oh, 2012 you had us on the biggest roller coaster all year, and we can only hope 2013 is something more along the lines of the lazy river instead of a roller coaster.
We didn't go on any big vacations, unless you count multiple trips to Twin Falls, Idaho something to brag about. Oh, and that quick trip to Rexberg to see Bear World.
I can honestly say the Summer of 2012 will go down in the books for one of the most memorable for me. I have never played so hard with my kids, and that felt good.
Savannah {age 8} - Savannah decided to be baptized a member of the LDS church, and now is really good at pointing out when her parents are being sinners. She has advanced to a high blue belt in Tae Kwon Do, and hated most of the journey getting there. She is excellent at making Devin mad, and blaming him for everything...I guess what an oldest sibling is good for. :)
Savannah wants a singing career, a dancing career, and could spend hours doing both. She joined Girl Scouts this year, and it took her a few meetings before she realized they didn't just sell cookies.
Devin {age almost 3} - Well, Devi's biggest moment was potty training, I definitely was more excited for this event than he was, I am sure. We started this year wondering when he would ever really learn to talk, and we finished it wishing he would give us a moment of silence every once in awhile. He definitely perfected the art of pitching the biggest tantrums, and we are hoping those are going to start getting far and few between.
Devin is the child that is proud when he eats a booger, likes being the center of attention, and jumping from high places. If you wonder if there is ever a dull moment in our house, I will tell you, there is not.
Sabrina {age 6 months} - Of course it was a pretty big year for our baby, how do you top being born!? She showed us how strong she was by enduring, and then even decided being in utero wasn't so bad...and showed up a week after her due date.
Sabrina has learned to hold her head up, roll over, eat, smile, put up with her siblings, did I mention eat already? She has delicious thighs, gorgeous eyes, and is really good at getting what she wants.
Paul {age 34} - I think this year was probably in the top 5 most stressful years for Paul. He was working 7 days a week for most of my pregnancy, had a wife that had to quit working to keep a baby from coming early, bought a car, had lots of business opportunities, made a new friend {hi, Steve!}, been in 4 car accidents, and somehow managed to come out of 2012 okay.
He still is a movie junkie, bakery addict, and lover of sports. The San Fransisco Giants pulled out another World Series win, and he is still ridin' high from it. We are still holding out hope that the San Fransisco Niners decide to win the Super Bowl, because wouldn't that be amazing?!
Evonne {age 31} - Hey, I grew a baby this year. I didn't start exercising like I hoped, maybe 2013 will be the year...or not...making no promises. In those first few weeks of having 3 kids, I wondered if I would make it. Guess who made it? This girl did.
After 15 years of working, I finally got my wish of being a stay at home Mommy granted. Boy has it been a change for me. Everyday is a new adventure, a different challenge, and sometimes I wonder if I am going insane. I tried to be Wonder Woman, and when I fell short...I settled on just being me. It has worked out much better.
{Don't you love Devin's face, he clearly didn't get a good nap this day!}
It is amazing that a year can hold so many miracles and happiness for us, and yet be one of the hardest that we have lived through. With all the stress, it really has only made us a stronger family unit...and for that I can say I am thankful.
We came into 2012 a family of 4, wondering if everything was really going to work out...and we came out a family of 5. This year wasn't perfect, but we somehow managed to work out all the kinks.

I love a new year, like I love Mondays. A fresh start, a clean slate. We have plans for this new year, I am sure some will work out and some won't.

Thanks for being around these parts for another year. We love the support and friendships that we have.

Happy 2013!!

Year end review 2011.
Year end review 2010.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Polar Express

So, here in Utah they have a train that puts on the Polar Express. It honestly has never been something I have wanted to make a tradition...although it is all the rage. Maybe in a few years when my babies are older, it will be more enticing. Who knows.

My friend Amy posted about doing the Polar Express in your own car, and I decided we could most definitely give this a whirl this year. She had so many cute ideas, but the truth is if I make it too complicated...I won't end up doing it.

Tickets to get on the Polar Express, pj's, hot cocoa, treats, a bell for each child, the sound could really be creative.

I told the kids we were going on the Polar Express, I thought of printing tickets...and then never got the time to do it.
{poor Bina being manhandled by Devin.}

I told the kids to put on cute pj's. Savannah came back in some mismatched ensemble, Devin came back wearing fleece pants and a polo shirt, and Sabrina looked ready for bed. :)
{and when I rescued her, Devin was sad and wouldn't play along with the picture taking.}

I had the route we were going to take all mapped out with the perfect lights on it. Probably the only thing I actually got right.

When we loaded in to the Polar Express, our train was out of gas. We stopped, and I decided to buy treats at the gas station instead of planning ahead with hot cocoa and some homemade goodness. 

I played conductor well, and would randomly turn off the music to tell the kids {in my best conductor voice} where the train was stopping next. They found this the most entertaining. 
Our music was some random Whitney Houston CD that I found in the basement, I thought about getting the Polar Express soundtrack...well, I only had 37 cents on my iTunes account. So, I went with what we had.
We oooh'ed and aaaah'ed at all the pretty lights, and talked about how we might just have to pay someone to hang lights at our house one year. We sang loudly, and Savannah recited some of her Christmas poems she has learned at school.
We came home, and I honestly had the best feeling inside. I realize our Polar Express experience wasn't anything like it was suppose to be, but it was still fun. My kids loved it, and maybe every year I can add a little something to the experience...starting with remembering to fill the tank up with gas.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Apparently today is a big day, because it is 12/12/12.

I am half tempted to have an impromptu 12 party, because the next time we have a triple date like this will be 2101.

I decided to take pictures of the kids at 12:12 PM. I was wishing I had Savannah home to play along with us.
What my babies were doing at 12:12 PM...Bina was fast asleep, and Devin was fighting sleep. I am sure Savannah was playing on the monkey bars, taking a test, or fighting with one of the girls at school. :)
I obviously was taking pictures of them at 12:12 PM, and as soon as Devin saw the camera come out he quickly rolled over to pretend to sleep.
What were you doing? Something more fun than trying to get babies to sleep?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

the one thing I really love.

We have discussed it here on the blog before that I was raised with lots of traditions, but for whatever reason I don't do very many in my own family. So, I decided that my tradition was going to be doing different stuff every year.

Except, I did find something that I hope never goes away...

Last year my Sista and I decided to do the 12 days of Christmas for our kids. After we had so much fun with it, we decided to have a repeat of it this year. And a tradition was born, I can't believe I have actually done something 2 years in a row.

It is by far my favorite, and my kids adore it. I will admit my Sista is much better at finding awesome deals, and saving it through out the whole year. I am more on the find it the week before I am suppose to send it out type.
{getting my package ready to send to our Alice in Wonderland}

The kids were excited when they opened a gigantic box full of wrapped presents, and we quickly put them under the tree. What I didn't take into consideration is that my 2 year old would unwrap every single present with his name on it before December even started. Oh well, he is enjoying his new truck, shirt, Pez dispenser, etc. I will remember this for next year when Sabrina will be at that mischievous stage. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

i'm surviving potty training.

Last week in the middle of the flu, I got this wild hair to potty train Devin. I clearly wasn't in my right mind, but hey...
I started off at Winco in the bulk food section. I spent $10 on all the candy that boy could ever ask for. To say he loves gumballs would be an that was the biggest bag of candy we got. Devin also picked gummy worms, gummy bears, sour worms, gummy butterflies, Christmas wreaths, and on and on and on. He was so proud of his loot, and was busting at the seams to go home and get his potty on. 

He quickly caught the hang of it, and was going every 5 minutes for more gum. Smart kid.

After his first big accident which ended in throwing underwear away, I got a little discouraged...but he didn't. 

I was soon at WalMart buying more underwear, pull ups, more diapers, and hoping this was going to be my last big purchase for him in the diaper isle.

I decided to back off for a day or two, he was still randomly trying though.

All the sudden something clicked.

I was sitting in the nursery rocking Bean to sleep, and I hear him go in the bathroom. Normally I would be worried, because he likes to get in trouble in the bathroom...but I listened, and waited.  I hear the door close, the fan comes on, and then I hear the wipe container open. Mmm, I instantly get up to check on him expecting to find something disastrous. All I found was Devin just doing his business on his own.
I promised him a new Spiderman bike if he would just potty train already, but what I should have promised was Buzz Light Year undies and a star balloon...because that is what did the trick.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Zupas Night Out.

We were invited to attend a party to celebrate Zupas opening up in Sandy, Utah. It was lovely to actually get to take my family with me, and let them experience a little bit of the fun. :)

We are Zupas regulars, but it took us awhile to get to this point. We had a few trips that we didn't know what to order, and ended up being disappointed.  But, but, but...we finally found things that we love.
Paul always orders the Turkey Cranberry sandwich {which I like to call Thanksgiving in a sandwich}, with a bowl of Chicken Enchilada Chili. I am a fan of the chocolate dipped strawberries with a side of chocolate fondue. Bwahaha. Okay, I am only slightly kidding. I order the Chicken Chop Salad, with extra dressing...because I am healthy like that. I like the Turkey Cranberry sandwich too, and mix things up occasionally with a bowl of Wisconsin Cauliflower soup. If I could eat their bread with every meal, I would...we have been known to fight over Devin's piece if he doesn't eat it.
What is your favorite menu item? Please tell me you have tried the chocolate fondue, because it is our favorite dessert to splurge on.  Oh, and how did I forget to mention the italian sodas??  This really is the only place that I don't get a Coke, Berry Spritzer is my fav.
Disclosure: Zupas gave us free food, and a night out as a family. All opinions are mine.

Monday, December 3, 2012

go ahead and like it.

I usually sit down on Sunday nights and write and schedule all my posts. The only one I got to last Sunday was the one I posted Friday. I wasn't in a good mood, and this past week I took a break...and it was probably good for more than just my sanity.

I did want to mention that I started a Sell, Party of 5 Facebook page again. We have already started making plans for play dates again. We are doing the zoo lights with kids this month, and we tried to round up some ladies for the movies this past Saturday.

Go head on over there and follow along to get all the info as it happens...much easier to make plans on Facebook, IMO.

I promise to try not to bug you. ;-) 

Jerilee and I at that silly vampire movie Saturday night. There was one time we may have totally started laughing uncontrollably. I was baby free for the longest amount of time in 5 months...totally weird, and totally what I needed. Thank you Paul for holdin' down the fort.

Friday, November 30, 2012

being the best.

I think women in general are always our own worst critic. I think I have gotten a lot harder on myself since staying home. On those especially hard days, I tend to look at other woman who appear to do it all...and then I sink lower in to sadness.
{these two sleeping together, that bum makes me smile.}

I try to do it all, but for some reason or other...I come up a little short. When I go to bed at night my mind always thinks I should just stay up a little longer to clean, but sleep always wins. Everything miraculously is always there when I wake up.
{ picnics as a family with gas station food. :) }

Paul reminds me the kids are happy, he is happy, and that I need to just get over these high expectations I have set. I feel like I am being judged if things aren't perfect, because helllo Evonne what have you done all day long.

Lately I have thought a lot about the memories I am making for my kids. Will the kids remember that our house was never perfect, will they care? Will my kids remember when I have meltdowns about how messy their rooms are? Will my kids remember that instead of playing with them I was always watching from the kitchen as I cleaned?
{teaching my kids to roll down a hill}

My days are quickly passing, and I want to change. I want the best me to be remembered, and I want to make the best memories for my kids. We recently had a lesson in church about a talk that was given by President Uchtdorf in this past October conference called Of Regrets and Resolutions. This lesson came on a Sunday after I had an especially dark couple of days. If you have a spare moment, I think it is pretty awesome. My favorite little part was "leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart, and a determination to do better and especially to become better."
{our juicy baby, getting so big...and so fast!}

I can't change my past, but I can and will change the future.

No regrets.

Monday, November 26, 2012

the good, the bad, the ugly.

We have spent weeks with the sickies bouncing from one kid to the next. When I think we are in the clear, Devin randomly wakes up with a stye.
{this is the stye on the mend.}

One night was particularly rough with Sabrina...I literally didn't sleep all night. I think the last time I pulled an all-nighter I was in High school. It wasn't near as fun as I remember it being.

I jokingly put a status update on my Facebook about needing chocolate and Coke stat, and you would never believe what happened...
{I have gotten really good at rocking two babies!}

I heard a knock on my door not much later and my neighbor {and friend} brought over chocolate milk and donuts for my entire family. A Coke and candy bar for good measure too. Even though I was joking, I was thankful...and you better believe we ate it all.
{sick buddies}

Another friend that day drove from American Fork {also read A REALLY LONG DRIVE} to bring me doTERRA oils to help heal my kids. I have never been a believer, but I have been changed. I think their diffuser is heaven sent. Savannah usually takes a good month to get over a cough, and it is horrible at night...that diffuser helps soooo much. If you have never tried doTERRA, give it a whirl. So many of my friends have different oils they use for headaches, coughs, etc. I am excited to get on this bandwagon.
I do not love having sick babies, but I learned so much this time around. I have good people in my life. I need to be more thoughtful. doTERRA rocks my world, and totally works. AND no matter how bad it is, we always survive. :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

thanksgiving 2012

I love a holiday that I put no expectations on.

Thanksgiving 2012 was that for me.

I told Paul the night before that I wasn't getting ready, I was going be taking naps, I was going to do lots of sitting around, and eating. I accomplished all of it, and although I was a little was a total success. I get tend to get grumpy when I don't get fresh air on my face. I should have planned a walk or something, but by the time the grumpiness had sunk was too late.

I spent the morning in the kitchen cooking, and snacking. My biggest helper in the kitchen is always Devin. He loves cooking, or maybe all the eating. Either way, I love it.

The kids played, and didn't get ready either. They made messes, and I didn't get all bent out of shape about them cleaning the toys up right away.
By the time the meal was even done, everyone was ready for a nap. At about Noon, I woke up Savannah and Paul woke up Devin to eat. Only one of them was happy to eat, and it wasn't Devin. So 2 minutes of whining we sent him back to bed, and we didn't see him for another two hours. He definitely got the memo that Thanksgiving is for naps.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving this year, besides the obvious pumpkin pie...was Paul's prayer before we ate. He said something he was thankful for about each of us, I couldn't help but get a little choked up when he said what he was thankful for about Sabrina. He said he was thankful she tried so hard to stay in Mommy's stomach so that she could be a part of our family. Gosh, she is such a little miracle. What a whirlwind of a year we have had.
Savannah complained of a stomach ache a couple of times, but honestly I didn't put much thought in to it...she tends to be a little dramatic. {Don't tell her I said that.} She had taken a couple of baths, and was still a little off. After the babies were asleep, I heard Paul in the bathroom with her...she had finally thrown up.

Awesome ending to Thanksgiving eh? Although all the turkey must of helped Sabrina sleep, because she slept for a good 6 hours straight...which has never happened.
Paul also decided he was going to a late movie, and hit up some Black Friday sales after. Black Friday was way too chaotic for him, and we decided it wasn't worth the discount...we will be paying full price when the lines aren't ridiculous!

Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with pumpkin pie, and awesome! Oh, and I may have gotten in the Christmas spirit and put my Christmas tree last night too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

update on the fall bucket list.

I think this will be the first time I will be this successful in a bucket list. We only have 2 things left to do...turkey apples and pumpkin patch {that one clearly isn't going to happen, I can't say I didn't try though!}. The bucket list was simple enough to not stress me out, and fun enough the kids wanted to keep checking things off.

I was worried about completing the play in a leaf pile, because we don't have many. One day when Savannah was at school I made a pathetic little pile for Devin, and he loved it. Total success.
I definitely had to up my game to make Savannah have fun. I raked our neighbors entire leaf stash into our yard for her. Phew, it took some work....even the LDS missionaries stopped to ask if they could help me. :) After all the transferring of leaves from yard to yard, the pile was still pathetic. I told Savannah that was as good as it was gonna be, and she was a happy little camper.
I surprised the kids one day with a tea party to cross another one of the things off {hot cocoa on a chilly night}. We even had little cookies, Savannah pulled out the fun hats, and those two played nicely for a good 30 minutes.
I hope that Rachel makes a few more of these simple bucket lists, because it added something fun to our Fall season. {hint, hint Rachel}.

Just in case you missed some of our other things we did on the bucket list...

Make a thankful tree.
Go on a nature walk.
Carve pumpkins.
Trick or treat.
Witches at Gardner Village.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kim Orlandini Photography

I think most of our Thanksgiving cards have made it through snail mail, and it is safe that I won't be spoiling anything by sharing some of our family pictures that our friend Kim Orlandini Photography took. :)

What I love most is that they aren't just pictures for me, they have a story behind each one of them. That makes them all the more special. 

First off, we started the shoot with Bina having a large accident!! The sequence of pictures makes me laugh.
Devin was a little shy. If he looked at the camera, he wouldn't smile. When all of us weren't looking {and trying} to make him smile, Devin decided to perform. Of course.
It has been a long time since Paul and I had pictures, just the two of us. Is it bad say that I love these more than any of the other pictures? Paul is serious, and I am not. So, I'll admit it was a little hard for me to take this picture...but it is my favorite.
But then we have the next picture that is so me, I am positive something inappropriate was said. :)
Ever since Paul and I were dating we have had this unique way of holding hands. I don't know how it started, but it is the only way we hold hands 14 years later. I love that Kim got this on film.
Of course my kids are all adorable, and I can see their different personalities in the pictures. The oldest loving to pose, the middle putting on the charm until he knows it safe to be crazy, and the baby being content in Mommy's arms.
I can't wait until the next time we have family pictures done, even if Paul only says once a year. :)
Thank you Kim...I love every single one!