Monday, December 31, 2012

These Two (some favorites from 2012)

6.4.12 Porch sittin'
7.30.12 Pool side
8.5.12 Stake Conference
8.31.12 Bubba's BBQ date night
9.16.12 Sundee School
10.5.12 Taco night
10.26.12 Ruth's Diner
11.3.12 Cousin KJ's football game
12.2.12 Busted not napping

Bee's Blueprint: 7 Months

All of a sudden Bee is on the move and just this week has starting crawling. Apparently, she is taking this "promotion" to big sister seriously. She has a surprisingly strong little body and we love to watch her stretch and work and learn to use it. This crawling thing is definitely a game changer and mom and dad are busy baby-proofing the house and waiting to see just what she'll be interested in exploring next. Bee started eating solid foods this month including oatmeal, carrots, squash, spinach, avocado and pears. We think it's hilarious to watch her try new foods and immediately spit them out. Usually the next day she is opening up like a little eager birdie. Sometimes she is stubborn and will only open her mouth if she is holding the spoon herself. Sigh. We've got a very independent little soul in our midst. But that is just what we love the most about her. Bee giggles when daddy throws her up in the air and loves to be tickled and play hiding games. She is having her first love-affair with a Soothe and Glow Seahorse given to her by our neighbor Uncle Richard, and she gets all weak in the knees when she sees it. Too cute. But then again, we think everything she does is cute! We are in constant awe of how much she is absorbing and learning everyday. What a joy!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

More Christmasing

A special dinner in Bethlehem which looked a lot like the Johnson's living room floor; new tradition we hope!
This year Grandma Richman's elf found a home on our new wreath under the mistletoe ;). My cousin in Maryland sent me pictures of their elves from Grandma hiding around their house. It made me so happy!
Lucky me! BD surprised me with The 12 Days of Christmas. I loved being spoiled with something small and fun each day.
Lisa hosted another beautiful (after) Christmas Brunch for us ladies. Liz was here from Vegas. So fun! Move back!
And AJ and Bee were finally able to meet Glenn! These little ladies were born all within a few months of one another. YUM.

Turns out, Christmas is even better with a little one

Just two years ago Brad and I spent a hot sunny Christmas Day by the pool in Brazil. It was an amazing-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I wouldn't trade for anything. But, even in the warm sun of the tropics we knew that deep within our hearts we would rather be back in cold snowy Utah playing Santa Claus for our imaginary family to be. This year it would seem all our dreams are coming true. Our little miracle baby is finally here, babbling and singing and scooting around the Christmas Tree mesmerized by the twinkling lights. Not to mention our other little miracle on the way. Life is full of surprises. If I had a crystal ball that day on the beach two years ago, I would never have seen this coming. But I'm so happy that this is our life today. Throw some tinsel on me, I'm a Christmas Miracle!

Christmas Eve

This was the first year that my mom and Ed combined families and traditions on Christmas Eve. The partying kicked off early in the evening with Chinese take-out and an elaborate game of bingo. When we arrived there were oh, about 4,000 people crammed into the kitchen, living and dining rooms with someone calling the bingo numbers over a microphone. It was quite a sight! After the unwrapping of presents from mom and Ed we started our traditional Christmas Eve fondue and families started heading out one by one. Eventually it was whittled down to just my family (the diehards!) and we attempted to finish off the night with our favorite family traditions.

Brook read from Luke 2, under the glowing light of Ed's lovely leg lamp, and after 3 attempts we finally had our peaceful "Silent Night" moment by the Christmas tree lights. Although at one point I think I yelled "be quiet and think about Jesus!" That's usually my mom's job, but she was breaking another rule by talking on the phone and receiving her Christmas wish from the favorite child (Tom, obviously). We always tease my mom about her traditions, but when they were threatened to not happen, we all threw a big Christmas tizzy fit until they did :). Thanks mom, for always making Christmas special.
Dancing with Daddy
Christmas Eve diehards, plus KJ looking mighty dapper in that pose
Just like when we were kids, BD and I had a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve, knowing that tomorrow would be Bee's first Christmas. Phoebe of course was oblivious to Santa Claus and the holiday in general but absolutely delighted in the Christmas Morning Wrapping! Paper! Extravaganza! and the fact that daddy was around for an extra long weekend.
Bee's First Christmas; a few things we already had, a few things from grandma, and a few things mom couldn't live without.

Christmas Day

At Grandpa Lee's house we opened more Santa presents with cousins Ellie and Cody and had a big yummy Christmas brunch. Grandpa Lee always spoils us and the kids and it's so fun to watch their eyes pop out of their heads. A big highlight for Ellie was a musical ballerina doll, while Cody was content playing with last years Mr. Potato Head. Phoebe scored a doll and bouncer play gym that she loves! Lee surprised his kids with some beautiful pictures of their mom that they had never before seen. It was so sweet and tender (more on that later).

After attempting naps, calling Grandma, and Skyping with Jana and Russ it was eventually time to head over to Marci's house to finish off our Christmas Day festivities. I remember there were cheesy potatoes that rocked my world. I try to stay away from such temptations, but apparently not on Christmas. We exchanged gifts between my siblings and mom. We made some funny videos. Mom did her old cheer-leading dance moves. It was too fun! Bee was so exhausted by the end of the night she finally gave up on us during the always long drawn-out goodbye syndrome we all suffer from.
A happy, successful, Christmasy Christmas indeed! Lots of hectic back and forth between our two families, but it's always worth it in the end. I love having our families close enough to spend holidays with. My heart always aches for those who spend the Holidays alone, whether by choice or not, because I think no one should be alone on Christmas. Someday I hope my home is always open to anyone who wants to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. And have some fondue, too. xoxo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Phoebe at Christmas 2012

She is the magic of Christmas this year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Very Merry Christmas Card

This was our first Christmas card as a family of 3! I really love it. When we received a big snow storm in November I jumped at the chance to get a "wintry wonderland" photo and asked Todd if he would snap a few shots of us. We all jumped in the car one afternoon off to find our snowy background rushing to beat the setting sun. On our drive up the canyon Bee was really really suspicious of having uncle Tom in the back seat with us. She kept a super tight grip on his finger and stared him down intently the entire way, hardly even blinking. I'll never forget it! The memory still makes me chuckle. We ended up at Aspen Grove and snapped a few shots before we felt we had at least one good picture to work with. It was so cold we didn't even take off our coats! Thank you Tom and Todd for helping us capture our little family this year.
Some out takes:

We've been teary and sad this weekend praying for the families in Connecticut who are suffering from such a tragic loss. This morning, looking at these two rosy faces of my loves has me choked up thinking that anyone could ever take them from me in such a senseless way. There just really are no words. This father's statement about his beautiful daughter Emilie has literally shaken me to my core. As my feelings fluctuate between anger and devastating sadness, his words focus on absolutely what's most important and bring a small sense of peace. more:
Poor kid...this happens, like, all the time.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Phoebe meets Old Saint Nick

Well that went about 100% better than we ever expected! Bee thought Santa was super cool and snuggled right up on his lap and would have been happy to stay a while. She was really really tempted to yank his (real) beard, but showed great restraint and only patted it and smiled. Old Saint Nick didn't even have to ask, he could tell that she had been a good girl this year. Oh that Santa, he's the real deal!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Phoebe's First Thanksgiving Surprise!

We had so much fun sharing this little video with our families over Thanksgiving. My side of the family was a bit scattered this year, so BD threw together this video announcing Phoebe's BIG Promotion the day we left for Arizona so everyone could find out the same day, same way. The video, starring none other than Ms. Bee, is darling, but I wish I had a video of everyone's reaction as they watched!! Because it would be priceless.

So there you have it! By some miraculous twisty twist of fate I am expecting again! I'm 12 weeks pregnant, due the middle of June, which puts these two turkeys of mine just 12.5 months apart (Gasp!). Trust me.


Can not.




Sunday, December 02, 2012

Thanksgiving in Sunny Arizona

This year BD's family caravanned to Arizona to celebrate Thanksgiving with Grandma Nona. We took our chances and decided to drive straight through the night with fingers crossed that Bee would sleep the whole way and we wouldn't have to stop for nursing or otherwise. You guys. Arizona is far. Not exactly as far as say, Guatemala, but still it's far. Bee did surprisingly well on the drive down, considering she was strapped in a 5 point harness for 10 hours straight and couldn't roll over. I would be confused and a little ticked too.

We crashed the first day at Uncle Scott and Aunt Patty's in Gilbert and were able to catch up with some friends. On Thanksgiving morning we drove over the river and through the woods, or in our case up the mountain and through the Tonto National Forest, to Grandma's house in Globe to join the rest of BD's family. It's always fun being at Grandma's house which made the drive more than worth it, and honestly, there has never been a more loving and kind grandma in all the world. Grandma's house is full of one-of-a-kind treasures like her collection of garden gnomes and curio cabinets with cowboy bobble heads and the like. Grandma is 82 now, but never seems to age or slow down. We heard stories about family with names like Ditter and Duke and how she shewed a black snake out of her house with nothing but a broom. She taught us the game "Hand and Foot," which she plays with her sisters, and I'll never forget her walking around the table checking our card hands to help us make the right moves. I miss her already!
Jana: Do you guys ever play Ninja? R&M: UM YEAH, we do!
The Duncan gang with Grandma Nona, minus Amy
3 great-grandkids!
We stayed the night in Globe so we could spend more time with Grandma and Amy the next day. We attempted some family pictures in the backyard, which is always hilarious with the two little toddlers and a self timer. I'm excited for Bee to have a little cousin to play with soon! Watching Ellie and Cody together is an absolute riot. Watching Michelle and Ryan bribe Ellie with jelly beans is even better. Cutest parents in the world. We said our goodbyes to Grandma but not before stealing away with some of her beautiful crocheted doilies, fruitcake, and a little treasure just for Phoebe.
The hand holding was most certainly held together with bribes of jelly beans!
Snuggling Gwampa Lee
We eventually made it back to Uncle Scott's house and spent time visiting cousins and Uncle Dan and eating eating eating! We are so thankful that Scott and Patty open their home so generously to us, even sharing their wild Oregon blueberries in yummy pancakes. We are quite the brute squad nowadays and I'm sure little Pandy was happy to get back to life as an only pet in a quiet house. It's definitely tricky traveling with a little one. I spent most of the time worrying about when and how and where I could feed and sleep Phoebe. But in the end it was a wonderful trip and worth all the exhaustion! We have so much to be thankful for indeed, family always being at the tippy top of our list.

And that's a wrap! Whew!