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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

Phew.  I made it.  Posting Christmas pictures on the last day of January.
We had a hum-dinger of a holiday.  We covered the entire bottom half of the state of Arizona.  It was wonderful and crazy and we topped it all off with a brother in each family tying the knot.  There was definitely a lack of photos taken around Christmas time (or rather a lack of good, nice-looking photos...snapshots were about all I had energy for given the upcoming weddings I was facing.)
I took the kids and met my parents in Phoenix for a little musical - something about a tap-dancing alligator.  It was fun and the Tempe Center for the Arts is a beautiful location...and my children love posing for pictures.

How is it that they can behave when they know the picture will be out of focus??




The Christmas Eve festivities are usually centered around a bonfire.  In fact when we pulled in our driveway later that night we passed no less than 7 other bonfires in neighbors driveways (yeah you don't even have to go to a large clearing)...see what all you cold-weather people are missing??
I still can't get over Ashlee having a kid...weird.


Topped the evening off with a little clay-mation Drummer Boy - a family favorite.


And now on to my favorite part of our entire vacation.  Dance Central.  This has to be my favorite photo ever.  Look at the intensity in Court's fingers and Sheri's eyes...killer!
Slightly out-of-focus but you'll notice that Sheri has changed her pants so that she can better perform...This was the final dance off of the evening and she ultimately dethroned me on "The Humpty Dance". 
Totally exhausted.

What would Christmas be without my little green wreaths?


And let's not forget Gma Kathy trying to bring order to chaos in our Nativity.
Indy gave up on playing Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer and busted out Axel F....hilarious.

This is exactly how my mom will forever be captured in my mind.


What? You think she was too chicken to try it??

Seriously...does it get any better than this? Oh wait it does!! I have video...





I'm going to end on this note...good thing we had some light reading for the huge car trips ahead...

New Years Confession.

Some may look at January 31st as the "light at the end of their tunnel".  A tunnel filled with 31 days of getting back into the swing of things after being run-over by the craziness of the holidays.  I started the month of with a great, happy attitude but have found myself slowly being sucked into the hum-drum of January.  All month long I've known that I needed to write my thoughts down for the new year - and all month long I've put it off.  Intentionally.  
I had an epiphany about mid-way through the month.  New Years Resolutions should be dubbed New Years Confessions.  As in, "hey I've really stunk it up in this category (i.e. exercise, eating, reading, mothering, cleaning etc...etc..etc..) and so I'm going to CONFESS and then try to do better - hence New Years Confessionals.  Well here is mine for the year:
REACTING.  
There I've confessed.  In public I do really well on not totally freaking out on my kids (or my spouse) but man get me in my car or my house and I have no filter or pause button and I flip at small and insignificant things (I know I know...medication may help, but I'm trying the New Years Confessional route - less expensive.)  The worse part was when I saw it in my kids freaking out and reacting and I'm telling them to relax - I realized that it stems from me.  "So I say to myself 'remember this...kindness non-reaction begins with me." 
The first step in a confession I believe is "confessing".  So I sat my kids down and confessed.  Then I told them how I was going to try to circumvent situations where I find myself exploding (basically in the morning before school and after dinner before bed...luckily they didn't pick up on the pattern of those times and obvious parties involved.)  I told them they get to be involved in my New Years Confession this year and help me not to see red so often - we'll see how it works (so far I've failed the entire month of January - one month down...eleven more to go phew!)
**Normally I can find a positive way to spin a negative but this one called for hitting it straight on...no sugar coating or making it cute..of course rather than "seeing red", I could've termed it "Trying to see yellow? sunshine?" or "Stop, Drop, and roll - then get up and have a better grip on your emotions?" hmmm..stop the crazy reacting just seems to flow better**

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow Day

Snow came early this winter (last year...one month ago..)
We tried to appreciate it...and look like we like it...or at least "I" tried...Ella and I think it's great as long as there is a warm house that separates us from the cold white stuff...

Oh look at my sweet, peaceful, innocent, love of a last child...
 



Aubree & Adam - Huntington/Newport Beach Wedding Photography

Okay - time to end my aversion to blogging...it happens every January.  Exhausted from photos and editing...the computer is basically avoided at all costs.  I figured the best way to start up the new year on the blog was with a little bit of love, laughter, and sunshine.  BEACH WEDDING PHOTOS...sigh...I love taking pictures of anyone in wedding gear, put them on a beach and I love it even more.






 


 ...to be continued...inland...

Monday, January 9, 2012

David & Cindy - Hitched.

My big brother got hitched this weekend.
This pretty much sums up how excited we are to have Cindy in our family...



Backfire at the Pulpit

Yesterday - Sunday - the Sabbath Day - I stayed home from church.  I know crazy right? Me? Ditch church??
Ella had thrown up from 2-6am Saturday morning.  Then we were at my brothers wedding (photographing and enjoying) until 9pm.  I crawled into bed at midnight back in Prescott, having pulled off a 22 hour day without one breakdown (Matt did inform me that he and my sister thought I was a little "short" with them) so I guess it wasn't "quite" as perfect as I thought but overall it was pretty smooth.  I informed Matt that I was the one who would stay home with Ella while he took the kids to church.  He took this as an opportunity to highlight to my children their mother's lack of commitment to church.  Just as they were rushing out the door...he casually remarked, "kids-next thing you know your mother will have quit the church and taken up drinking..." I tried to catch him before he opened his mouth knowing that what would come out of it wouldn't be good but it was too late...as they loaded in the car...McLaren asked me why I quit church.
As I started picking up the remnants of another weekend away I start to get texts.  The first one said, "Dude - Indy just threw you under the bus from the pulpit....hilarious!".  It was Fast Sunday (the first Sunday of the month is used for congregation members to stand at the pulpit-microphone-and bear/share their testimony and any experiences they've had over the month that may have strengthened their testimony.  My dear spouse in his efforts to highlight AGAIN his wife's inactivity, encouraged his children to bear their testimony - so that he could make her feel guilty about missing church (I figured that one out when I heard what had happened).  Apparently after Indy bore his testimony about the Savior, he ended with, "my dad says my mom has quit the church and going to take up drinking" which caused the congregation to erupt in laughter and drowned out his last remark "but it's not true - she teaches me good stuff".  And he sat down.  So that would be the point where the cell phones get pulled out and the texts (up to 15 or so now) started coming in...
Matt showed up 20 minutes later at home to do damage control.  He tried to comfort his humiliated wife with the fact that nobody could stop laughing for 5 more minutes (all the while he's still laughing...with tears streaming down his face.) Not funny.  Not. One. Bit. Funny.
And poor Indy walked in after church door apologizing so profusely that he had tears...all he could say was "no one heard me say 'it's not true!"...so sad - just trying to defend his defenseless mother...
I learned my lesson.  Never ever ever ditch church.  Ever.