31 December 2010

2010 In Review

As a mother with young children, I often have the feeling that "I didn't get anything done today." However, when I looked back through our happenings in 2010, it helped me realize that we have actually done a lot this year! I have already posted about all of these events, but for my own record of this eventful year, I enjoyed putting the memories together in one place.

At 9 months pregnant, I began my yoga teaching journey. We spent one last getaway as a family of three with our friends from college. We prepared for our second baby, barely finishing the preparations before his arrival.

Our sweet Nash Ryan arrived three weeks early. We made a lot of adjustments. The entire month became a blur.

We blessed Nash and started to get into more of a routine. Blake begged for m&m's.

We spent Easter in Arizona and stayed a few extra weeks while Troy spent his first 2 weeks out of 10 in total working in New York.

I reflected on motherhood on Mother's Day. I got back into crafting when the boys' naps started overlapping. Nash and I both lost a lot of hair.

Troy spent 5 more weeks working in New York. We talked to him on Skype. Nash and I joined him for a week and loved exploring the big city. I painted the Laundry Room.

We went to a Tanner family reunion with 150+ people. We celebrated the 4th of July with the Stadium of Fire and saw fireworks. We went boating. I hosted three bridal showers.

Troy spent 2 more weeks in New York. We went to the splash park and enjoyed other summer activities. We celebrated the mission homecoming of Troy's brother and the wedding of Troy's sister.

We road tripped to California for a wedding reception. Blake started mackin' on the ladies. Nash had his first surgery and Blake managed a head injury a few days later. I hosted another shower.

We spent a week at Disneyland with our best friends from Michigan. We trick-or-treated three times. Nash tried to eat the pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.

We began the task of potty training Blake. We made a slew of rolls for Thanksgiving at our house. Blake started attending a co-op preschool.

We could barely keep up with all of the holiday mayhem. We attended plays and parties and concerts. The boys met Santa. We celebrated Blake's third birthday with a balloon party.

2010 has been wonderful, challenging, and eventful. Most of all, it has been a blessing.

29 December 2010

Christmas Morning Take Two

We started off the actual Christmas morning with matching pajamas as is our tradition.

We all paraded down the stairs singing Jingle Bells and someone was pretty excited to see what Santa brought.

Santa didn't disappoint. Blake's favorite part about Santa coming to the cabin was that he ate the cookies and the carrot we set out. Blake squealed with excitement to find the evidence that Santa was here. And he didn't mind finishing off Santa's crumbs for breakfast either.

There were a lot of fun toys involved.

And a few mix-ups. Todd received this present from "Grandma and Grandpa." Oops, wrong tag.

Todd showered everyone with Jamaican souvenirs that exceeded the weight requirements for his baggage on the flight home from his mission. He left all of his clothes behind in order to bring us these treasures.

Nash woke up from his morning nap towards the end of the unwrapping to enjoy his first Christmas!

Not that he understood what was going on, but he enjoyed getting into the new toys and little tiny shreds of wrapping paper and ribbon. 

I have fished many small things out of our little puppy's mouth since the Christmas extravaganza. One day, he shoved 7 or 8 minuscule sparkly silver balls in his mouth. That was a fun one to tackle.

There's nothing better than enjoying the excited expressions together on Christmas morning (and I like how Nash crawled on top of the present to get a better view).

The best gift of all is the love these two have for each other. I am so lucky to spend Christmas day and every day with our darling boys.

27 December 2010

The Nativity

I love how each of our extended families have different Christmas Eve traditions. My favorite tradition with Troy's family is acting out the Nativity with characters and costumes. I'll admit that while we always have good intentions for the play to be reverent and thought provoking, it usually ends up becoming quite humorous.

For example, how could we not be amused by our humongous and very wiggly baby Jesus? 

He was still sweet, of course, but he was not a fan of being "wrapped in swaddling clothes." The poor boy just wanted mobility and freedom! It wasn't quite the same experience having an almost one year old play the part of baby Jesus as our Nativity three years ago where Blake was only two weeks old.

Now that Blake is big, he got to play the part of a sheep.

And Grandma was the (female) shepherd.

The sheep adored that gigantic baby Jesus.

We cast the newest member of our family and the rookie to this tradition as Joseph (adorned with a towel, scarf, and monkey?).

We came up with glamorous costumes for the Wise Men.

There may have been some rambunctious renditions of Christmas carols and we are far from taking our act to the stage, but our production is a tradition I look forward to when we spend Christmas with the Tanners.

23 December 2010

Christmas Morning Take One

We celebrated Christmas a week early with my family while they were in town for a brief few days. After opening another round of gifts shortly after Blake's birthday, I can't believe that we are going to do this all over again in a few days! I hope the magic of the actual Christmas isn't lessened from all of our recent present-opening extravaganzas. It's too bad that we can't spread out the indulgence a little bit throughout the year. I think that Blake is still excited about the "Santa" aspect of Christmas though (and we're working on the excitement for the "Nativity" aspect). And what child would complain about additional presents? 

The boxes and gifts took over the living room; looks like a typical Christmas morning.

22 December 2010

St. Nick

I think we'll call our first-ever visit to the jolly old man a success.

20 December 2010

David 'do Times Two

When I found out that David Archuleta was going to be the guest artist for this year's Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert, I could barely see straight because I was so excited. 

I HAD to get tickets.

The problem was that even though the tickets were complimentary, you had to be selected from a random lottery in order to obtain them. And only one registration was allowed per family.

So, I sent out an obnoxious email (in huge fonts and bold colors) to all of my friends and family asking them to register for tickets in the lottery. We found out later that over 1.5 million people registered in the random ticket lottery, and the Conference Center could only accommodate 84,000 people in the four performances they held. Do the math. The odds were certainly stacked against us for getting into the concert.

Therefore, I wasn't that surprised when after weeks of agony, I found out that I wasn't selected for tickets. My parents weren't selected. My friends weren't selected. But alas, I received a phone call from my brother-in-law saying that he was selected! And then the very next day, I heard the wonderful news that my brother was selected as well!

Being the wonderful sister that I am, I thoroughly expected both my brother and brother-in-law to take me to the concert as their dates instead of other prospects. They obliged, and I got to see David LIVE two nights in a row!

This was my third time hearing David live and his mature rich tone did not disappoint. As per usual, I wore my David 'do for the occasion. The 'do consists of a side ponytail with a huge flower (mimicking a 14-year-old teeny bopper) that started way back here, and continued here. I couldn't even think about breaking the David 'do tradition this time around.

The Conference Center was filled to capacity, and since they were overbooked, hundreds of ticket holders were turned away once the seats were full. We battled the traffic, full parking lots, and in the end a parking ticket (still worth it) to arrive early enough to claim our seats.

My date.

Troy had no interest in attending with his wife and her starstruck ears (he was working till midnight anyway, it was quarterly roll time again), so we easily filled the four tickets each night with other family members. In fact, since tickets to this show were such a hot commodity (being scalped for mucho dinero), my parents hopped in the car and drove up again so they could enjoy it as well. They had to pick up my brother anyway for Christmas break, but the David concert was a huge incentive for their quick 3 day trip.

Concert night #2 also started out with a David 'do. The excitement the second night didn't die down one bit for me.

We only had four tickets and therefore had to be selective on who could attend amongst the Tanner family. I felt a little bad for taking someone else's place, but not that bad. We took the train downtown this time to avoid the traffic and parking situation, which was an adventure in itself.

After the concert, we saw the lights on Temple Square and kept bumping into friends and extended family who were also lucky ticket holders. We saw the line that wound around the block outside the bookstore to get David's signature. At least I didn't go that far.

16 December 2010

The Letter C

I finally got my act together a few months ago and started a preschool co-op with some other moms. We rotate whose home we go to and who teaches within our group. I am so grateful for our junior preschool because I have been wanting to incorporate more structured learning activities with Blake for a long time, but he isn't quite old enough for regular preschool yet (and I'm not ready for that day).

It's so nice to have a weekly preschool date on the calendar in advance because my pre-mom aspirations of creating daily lesson plans hasn't really panned out the way I thought it would. I was a little naive in thinking that I'd have all this time to prepare "weekly themes," but then we threw another child in the mix and my plans went out the window.

Not that I don't plan some daily activities besides free play, but if I have a spare hour, you better believe that I fill it with something that fills me and not with curriculum planning. It's harder than I thought it would be to squeeze in learning activities for my children when no one is standing over my shoulder giving me a pass or fail grade. But that doesn't mean that I don't crave a little more planned-in-advance structure.

So, I was really happy to start a preschool where I couldn't make excuses for my lack of preparation. Blake has really benefited from more social interaction, and I love to see the ideas that the other teachers (moms) come up with. We keep the activities simple for these little 3 and 4 year olds, but I come away each week feeling so satisfied that I am doing something to stimulate Blake's development.

It was my turn to teach and host this week. I have to admit that I got a little giddy when I pulled out my dusty college textbooks and old lesson plans to compile the curriculum. We danced, balanced beanbags, acted out a story, and solved "letter C" riddles.

We crafted a snowman with Circles by placing Cotton balls on Contact Paper.

Their favorite part, inevitably, was the snack. Reindeer (Comet if you will) PB&J's; it doesn't get much better than that!