Saturday, January 30, 2016

Off to a good start

I have to admit, I was really sad to see 2015 come to an end. It has been a year filled with so many incredible memories and one I don't think we could ever top. I have a feeling this may go down in the Young family history as one of our best years yet. But as one chapter closes, another begins and I am excited about what lies ahead. We are feeling settled, happy and optimistic and that's a good place to be. I'm not really one who is religious about New Year's resolutions, but I love the chance to reflect. Each year as I finish compiling our family photo book I love looking back and reliving the moments from the past year and it always gets me excited to think of what will fill the pages of our new book. If this New Years is any indication of what the rest of the year will be like, I think we will be just fine.  It was nothing like last year where we rung in the new year at our picturesque beach house on the very tip of New Zealand, but it was it's own kind of memorable. Jason and Kylie drove 7 hrs round trip to look at a boat (as a side note, Jason googled "conversation starters for teenagers" before they left, and that just makes me fall in love with him all over again), then we ate pizza around the dining room table (reserved only for special occasions) where we took an official family vote on which boat we should get (as another side note, they both fell through and we're back to square one). We played some board games, then the boys watched football while we cranked spotify and Kylie recorded me dropping it low in slow motion. If you ever want to be completely humiliated, just watch yourself dance in slow motion. We interrupted their football game with some booty shakes and I tried teaching Kylie all of my winning dance moves. Now she thinks I'm even less cool than she did before, but it was worth it just to laugh that hard. We lasted until midnight when we lit sparklers, toasted our sparkling cider and watched the neighbors light off their illegal fireworks. 

The next day the kids were thrilled (insert sarcasm) to go hiking. The thing is, they always complain but they always have fun. When will they ever learn to just skip the complaining and go straight to the fun. The weather was spot on. It's been colder these last few weeks, like 50's so don't feel too bad for us, but if we have to endure the brutal summers here I at least want 70's the rest of the year. But today was just perfect and we showed up, along with the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, to hike the San Tan mountains. The hike seemed so much longer the last time we did it, but of course I had a baby strapped to my back and Jason had a toddler on his shoulders. It's definitely not as picturesque as the hikes we've done the last two years, but the desert has a unique beauty all of her own. I'm learning to appreciate that.

Jayden sat up their whittling the perfect hiking stick. It was cute.

Of course these boys had to join him. They look up to Jayden so much and think he's pretty much the coolest kid ever.

On our way home we spotted some hot air balloons getting ready to lift off. The kids were fascinated to see how they work. See, I knew they would have loved the New Mexico hot air balloon festival (winky face). A beautiful day, a beautiful start to a new year!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Christmas 2015

Another wonderful Christmas come and gone. We started the Christmas Eve festivities with our Ihop breakfast tradition that was put on hold for the last 2 years. After such luck at Culvers, I had high expectations. We left swearing off this tradition for another 2 years. You win some, you lose some. Later that afternoon Jason took the kids to the church to play basketball and ride their plasma cars around the gym. I stayed home, cranked the Christmas music and started cooking Christmas Eve dinner. It was sort of fabulous. We had Tyson and Dawn's family over for dinner and the festivities.

Acting out the nativity, always a little irreverent but always memorable.

The traditional open first pajamas didn't go over so well. I thought it would be cute to get Maddox and Ryder matching pajamas. Maddox was highly offended that I would buy him "baby pajamas", and then they were so tight he couldn't even bend over. We tried to stifle our laughs. He completely fell apart and was finally comforted with the promise of a new pair of pajamas when the stores reopend. And a chance to open another present A watch. And all was good in the world again.

We wrapped the night up with The Polar Express, Nordic Santa Tracker, spying for Rudolph's nose, setting out cookies for Santa and a sleepover complete with hearing reindeer hooves on the roof. And visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. Until one by one they all came out asking to sleep in their own rooms where it was more comfortable. I love the excitement of Christmas eve.

We had a theme going on this year called, "replace everything we got rid of before we moved". I have been so excited to finally get to go on our Sunday family bike rides again. And Jason wasn't too excited about having to move a trampoline every time he mows the lawn, but everyone else was so excited to finally have one again. And this is what the rest of our Christmas looked like...

The look on Ryder's face cracks me up, he is pretty ticked that Kylie rode his flik without asking.

If only every day were Christmas...I feel like that until the day after Christmas when I can't wait to pack up all the decorations. I hope I never see anything glitter again and I cringe just walking by the Christmas clearance bins.  What is it about that? Maybe it's because it's depressing that it's over and I don't want the reminder, or maybe it's because Christmas was just so good that I don't want to taint the wonderful memories. Or maybe it's a little of both.