Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas this year was a lot of fun having a little one! So, sure, he doesn't understand quite yet what it means to get presents, or open presents, or who/what Santa is... but he still enjoyed all of the gifts he got. This kid loves new toys! :)

A disclaimer for this post - I neglected to take any pictures with my "real" camera... so you'll have to see Christmas through the eyes of my iPhone and Instagram photos. Shame on me. But I was having too much fun to take time for other photos! :)

For Christmas Eve, we went to Trev's parents' house in Elk Ridge as we traditionally do. It had snowed a ton that day and we were nervous about making it up the hill, but my CR-V did great since the roads had been plowed. Well, it did great, that is, until we reached the neighborhood road that Trev's parents ' house is on. No one had plowed that street yet and we didn't quite make it without having to be pushed up the hill. It's moments like that when we wish we would have purchased a car with 4 wheel drive!

Anyway, we did make it, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner of lasagna and then got to spend time talking and opening gifts!
Charlie received some fun things like a hand-knitted Santa hat made by his Grandma, a sock monkey jack-in-the-box, flashlight, hoodie, and a book about numbers! He also had a blast playing with his older cousins!
That night Charlie was so ready to go to bed, and after he was asleep Santa stopped by our little apartment and left some goodies! Sweater, PJs, socks, corn popper, etc! The next morning, Charlie was SO excited to see all his new presents. He opened up a box from my Nana with an awesome guitar that makes sounds and flashes! He loves turning the volume knob up and down! He opened other gifts which included new church shoes and jeans, a fun plush elephant backpack, and magnet letters for the fridge!
Sweetest boy turning that volume knob on the guitar. Jammin' boy!
Later on Christmas day, we went over to the Sonnenberg's home where Charlie got to take a nap, I got to help put together Legos, and then we all got to play and eat and talk. It was relaxing and wonderful! Charlie had so much fun that he fell asleep within minutes of getting in the car to go home that night! He definitely played hard!

I love my family so much and thanks for a great Christmas holiday! <3

Life As My Phone Sees It - December

Seems like I got a bit behind on posting in December, but what better time to get caught up than New Year's Eve!? :) This post will include all my Instagram photos from December except for the Christmas photos. I'll save those for my Christmas post! :)

12/3/12 - Love my boy in his little hoodie shirt! Little boys wearing big kid clothes makes me melt every time.
12/3/12 and 12/4/12 - Finally got my Christmas tree put up! It only took three days to get it done. ;) And the second picture is Charlie discovering the magic of the Christmas tree. He still gets excited EVERY time he sees it, mostly to try to pull off the ornaments, his favorite being a little red jingle bell.
12/8/12 - Uncle Mike came to visit us this weekend before he traveled to NC for Christmas. Charlie was fully enthralled by his new playing and reading buddy! Uncle Mike is the most fun uncle of all time!
12/11/12 and 12/12/12 - Charlie was my little drummer boy, banging on the big box that arrived! And the second post was a "What I'm Doing Right Now" post. We were watching Jeopardy together... one of our favorite activities, as you know. :)
12/12/12 - Haha! Gotta love the mustache pacifier! Although Charlie's not too keen on it since it's shaped differently than his normal pacis. This awesomeness was a birthday/Christmas gift from Uncle Mike. We never could get Charlie to keep it in while Mike was in town... but we kept trying for days after he left to try to get a photo. Finally, this night, Charlie was too tired to notice he had a different paci in his mouth for about a minute, and it gave us enough time to capture this mustache gem:
12/14/12 - Charlie's first piece of crayon artwork! I was the proudest mom ever when I hung this on my fridge! <3
12/14/12 and 12/17/12 - We made tin foil dinners in our oven (since it was too cold and rainy to actually do the bonfire we had hoped for). They turned out delicious!! Ground beef, carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, and seasonings (like Spike)! Baked for 1 hour in a 375 degree oven. Easy, delicious, and basically no clean up! What more could you ask for!?!? The second photo was when I broke one of our Fiestaware plates on the tile floor while unloading the dishwasher. I was pretty sad, but fortunately Macy's had the same color and it was replaced the same day! Since then, Charlie has pulled my navy blue Fiestaware cup off the table and broke it on the tile. Sigh. Guess that's another item I need to go get replaced. Oh well... casualties are bound to happen with ceramic dishware and a tile floor!
12/18/12 - Charlie and I went on an excursion with our neighbor friends Tara and Gibson to the Instacare so two-year-old Gibson could get the stitches taken out of his chin. The boys got to play with the fun waiting room toys! :)
12/22/12 - Just had to mention again how much I LOVE this smiley boy! <3 <3 <3
12/29/12 - My boys cuddling on the sofa while Charlie was working on waking up from his nap. Wow, I am one lucky, blessed lady!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Finally Getting into the Christmas Spirit!

I'm a firm believer that holidays are what you make of them. If you don't make an effort to make Christmas special, it won't be. And, honestly, it does require effort, planning, and then (most importantly) happy execution of those plans! :) This Christmas is Charlie's second one. He probably still won't remember any of it, but I really wanted to start forming family traditions.

On Wednesday we took Charlie to meet Santa Claus at Provo Towne Center mall. We went about 3:30 in the afternoon and it was GREAT! Not one person was in line (Santa's elves were looking pretty bored) and they were great to let me take my own pictures.

Daddy went with Charlie to meet Santa for the first time while I stood to the side to take pictures. Here they are getting acquainted:
Charlie did a pretty good job at first. He still wasn't too sure, but the moment he decided he wanted to wiggle and Santa held him down he started to get MAD! It's no wonder kids cry on Santa's lap! Strange man, funny outfit, beard, and they aren't allowed to wiggle! :P But I think by the end of it, Charlie decided that they could be friends and told Santa he wanted some fun toys for Christmas.
In addition to Charlie meeting Santa, I've been doing just a little bit of decorating to help us all feel the spirit of Christmas. Pictured below is my amazing ceramic nativity scene. There's a lot of family history behind this nativity. My grandmother (my mom's mom) used to love to paint ceramics and had painted figurines just like these for her own nativity. Then, my mom and her sisters began to collect the pieces. So, when I got married, my mom went on a hunt to see if she could find the molds for the same nativity so I could have one as well. She and her sisters and friends hunted for awhile until they found a place in South Carolina who made the pieces. My mom traveled to pick up the pieces and then, with a lot of love and patience, she and some of our friends and family members painted the ceramics so they would look identical to the ones that my mom and grandmother had. Such a special gift, and these pieces (Mary, Joseph, cow, donkey, baby Jesus, and the manger) are only the beginning. There are shepherds and sheep and wise men and camels I will slowly acquire over the years. I'm so grateful to be able to display this gorgeous work of art in my home!
And then, of course, our Christmas tree and stockings (Charlie's isn't pictured). I finally gave in and purchased a tree topper this year and I really like it! I am also enjoying having my tree on the end table in the corner so Charlie can't get to the ornaments. Pure genius, I tell you :D
And here's my sad attempt at Christmas tree bokeh. :)

Another tradition I'll be doing is getting Charlie an ornament every year. For his first Christmas he was gifted a "Baby's First Christmas" red gift ornament with a picture frame (you can kind of see it in the right picture below on the left part of the tree above the angel). This year, I wasn't sure what to get him. I searched for a while until I found this adorable little Corn Popper ornament from Hallmark. Did I mention it actually works and the tiny beads pop around when you roll it? I knew I had to have it! And then my parents decided, if I was going to get the ornament, Charlie needed to get an actual Corn Popper toy for Christmas, so they bought him one! Christmas with a little one is SO MUCH FUN!
Finally, to help us really start feeling the Christmas spirit, we went out looking at Christmas lights tonight. We rode around the foothills of Provo (some really nice houses!), listened to peaceful and joyous Christmas music, sipped hot chocolate, and looked at all the fun and beautiful decorations. Charlie was quickly asleep in the back seat, but it was really nice for Trev and me to just talk and enjoy this time of year. It's moments like these that I will always treasure.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reminiscing & Resolving...

Sometimes I just can't believe things. Like when I realize I'm 25 years old. That means that 10 years ago I was 15, and I remember when I was 15 thinking I was all grown up and ruler of the world. My how things have changed. The more I've learned about life, the more insignificant I've felt. I'm just grateful to know that the most important thing I can accomplish in my life is to positively affect those I know in my small sphere of influence. For me, these are people in my family, my friends, and my close neighbors. It all starts there: A smile one day, a hug the next, words of love and encouragement. I have to give thanks to my wonderful brother for helping me realize what I want my next life goal to be: I want to say "I like you" more often to people who I enjoy being around. Sounds easy, right? Well, much easier said than done. But really, I'm going to do it. More hugs. More laughter. More friends! And who doesn't want more friends? :)

Anyway, I just got to thinking tonight about what I've accomplished in the last 10 years, about those things in my life which have changed. It's been eventful to say the least: I graduated high school, went to college, got married, graduated from college, had 5 or so jobs, certified to be a yoga instructor, and had a baby! It seems like there won't be as many large life events in the next 10 years, so it gets me thinking about what I'm going to choose to do with my time? House buying will happen. More babies, probably, too. But what else? I'm just not sure what my niche is outside of motherhood at the moment. I'm such a dabbler in everything, plus I find I'm a terrible goal-maker and a much worse goal-achiever. This combination could result in a lot of wasted time and energy. So perhaps this coming year, 2013, I'll actually attempt to make some New Years' resolutions. In the past I've been wont to just never even try, because I knew I'd never accomplish my resolutions for longer than a day or two. It was almost laughable thinking about myself attempting to stick with something like that. But I'm feeling different tonight. Hopefully this desire to change and improve sticks around for a little while! Wish me luck.

Future goals? Go to bed earlier. Wake up earlier. Exercise much, much more. Read my scriptures more consistently. Keep my house clean. Oh.... and say "I Like You" on a much more frequent basis! :)

Good night!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving & Trev's Birthday

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday last week! The truth is, though, that I was a TOTAL slacker on taking pictures. So you'll get a couple random ones taken with my iPhone. Sorry! But, more importantly, I just wanted to write about what we did so I can remember (blog = journal ... remember?). And since most of the photos are Instagram photos anyway, I'm just going to include all of the ones I've taken recently up until today! :)

Saturday 11/17/12... another one of Charlie's new favorite activities. He loves to open up the cabinet door to the lazy susan where we keep all our food. So far, he hasn't been bad about pulling things out (except the one time he found the mini marshmallows and started eating them!) so I let him sit there and just turn it around and around.
Sunday 11/18/12 - Also a habit of Charlie's... he LOVES to pull his feet up on top of his high chair. Usually he can only get one up, but this day his Daddy put the tray on a looser setting so he was able to get both feet up there! Crazy kid!
Happy Thanksgiving from two members of the crazy Shipp clan! :) I took this first one on Thanksgiving morning after Charlie had just woken up:
And this second one was taken at the church in Heber City where we had Thanksgiving this year! Let it be known that I took this picture as a complete joke. No really. It's a joke, I promise! :P I was talking with my sisters-in-law about how so many teenage and tweenage girls litter Facebook and Instagram with self-photos  sporting peace signs, kissy lips, wide mouths, etc... (you know what I'm talking about!!) and I took this one so I could tap into my inner 12-year-old self!
Thanksgiving Day was exactly as it should have been: Relaxing and full of family, great food, and fun conversation! Although doing it at the church means we missed comfy sofas and sports on TV (for the guys!) ... but it was still fun and Trev got to enjoy his sofa and TV once we got home later that afternoon!

I'm always so excited for Black Friday the next day, not so much because there are deals on things (definitely a perk!), but more-so because I get to go shopping with my sisters and then meet up with all the ladies for lunch at the Pizza Factory afterwards! Aren't we so cute? From L to R: Me, Grandma Deanna, Mical, Jill, and Meghan! Always a great time!
Well this year on Black Friday I lucked out and Trevor let me continue to go shopping AFTER lunch!! He was glad to watch Charlie and so I continued to have a great day! I found out that new Outlets opened at the point of the mountain and I was SO excited to go to J.Crew! Finding a parking space at this place was literally impossible. It probably took me 15 minutes. And then the LINES! These were definitely the longest lines I had to wait in all day. (The University Mall that morning wasn't bad at all since it had opened at midnight on Thanksgiving and I think that's when everyone went! I was happy because I still got great deals and no lines!... until J.Crew at the Outlets haha!) Regardless, everything in J.Crew was 50% off and so it was worth the 25 minute wait in line!
After the outlets, I joined Meghan and Mical at Ikea (no purchases for me there... yet!) and on the way home around 4:30pm there was the most awesome sunset!! LOVE those November sunsets!
The next morning we took our family pictures for the Christmas card! (Can't post those until cards are sent! I can't wait to show them off!) By this point, our whole family was feeling the effects of the cold/flu that Charlie picked up somewhere. Charlie's worst day was Thanksgiving day - his skin was dry, eyes were red, and his nose and eyes were oozing green stuff. It didn't look great, but he really didn't whine much and seemed to be pretty happy, which was great! But yeah, by Saturday morning Trevor knew that he was getting sick (cough, achy, stuffy/runny nose... the works) and I felt a little under the weather but just barely. So, we were all troopers to go get these photos taken! :)

That night was our traditional see-the-lights-on-Temple-Square night! However, we were short in numbers this year since Mical had to go back to Vegas early, Russ was out of town so Jill (and therefore Trent) didn't come, Troy ususally does something else, and Trevor was feeling really sick! So, that left just me and Charlie and the whole Sonnenberg clan!

But it was still a blast! We ate amazing mac 'n' cheese at Noodles 'n Company in SLC. Dining with 5 kids was an adventure! This photo, I think, pretty much sums it up. Meghan was trying to get a pic of Steve with the 4 kids. Kelan was moving around, Kanyon and Scarlett were making silly faces, Cohen is being sweet (and active!) and Steve's trying to keep it all wrangled in. And then there's Charlie at the bottom, who's looking at me like "Mom, are these crazies really my cousins?!!?" :P
After dinner we drove over to Temple Square! It was cold, for sure, but at least this time the cold was manageable. My toes didn't get cold and I didn't have to wear gloves (good thing because I didn't bring them!). I think Charlie really enjoyed looking around at the lights and trying to touch them whenever we got close enough!
Halfway through we always love stopping to get hot chocolate to warm up from the inside out! Once it cooled off enough, Charlie loved it too! Here he is all bundled up looking SO SO adorable:
The whole weekend was really so much fun, minus the sickness that was floating around our little family. I always look forward to Thanksgiving festivities all year!

Now onto Trev's 28th Birthday! I have no pictures of the birthday boy. He was sick. He went to work for only a couple hours in the afternoon. He could barely talk, so those couple hours were torture! The one blessing from that, though, is that we actually got to see him on his birthday since Mondays are usually very long days at work! That morning (the 26th) I went to the grocery store and thought the produce looked really pretty so I took this photo:
I bought salmon and yams, and since Trevor was home that night, I ended up cooking a nice meal for him for his birthday. It was the best salmon filet I've ever cooked, or close to it! As requested, I also took his ties in to be dry cleaned (that's what he wanted for his birthday... so practical, this man I married!). But I also wrapped up an awesome black pull-over and a new pair of socks from Banana Republic that I picked up shopping on Black Friday and let him unwrap that. No parties, no cakes, no hoopla. And that's just the way he likes it. Just a nice dinner, a little gift or two, and a back rub before bed. I think, despite feeling under the weather, he had a good day :)

Okay, just finishing up the rest of the Instagram photos! The next day, Tuesday 11/27/12, Charlie and I really needed to get out of our sick house and went on a walk to the park for some fresh air. He finally got brave enough to crawl through the tunnel. Once he did it, he just went back and forth a lot until he discovered something more dangerous to do. ;)
And lastly, here's one from today 11/30/12. Charlie's current angelic state:
Gotta love nap time! Now that we're all finally feeling better, here's hoping that the coming Christmas holidays will be full of cheer and less full of the flu ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Life As My Phone Sees It 10/23/12 - 11/14/12

Here's one last big post of pictures... some of it will be a bit of a repeat of the things we've been doing, but I just love my Instagram photos! :)

10/25 - Happy 1st Birthday to my Charlie!! For his birthday, God sent a small flurry of snow!
10/26 - This awesome, personalized little chair from Pottery Barn Kids was Charlie's birthday gift from my parents! LOVE it!
10/27 - Charlie's birthday party festivities! He partied hard with Curious George! And here are the cupcakes I made!
10/28 - Charlie discovered his new friend - Mr. Ghost. He was totally fascinated by its changing color glow!
10/30 - We voted early! Go Mitt Romney! Too bad he lost to Obama the next week :(
10/31 - Happy Halloween! Yummy candy!
11/1 - Charlie's 1 year appointment at the doctor. Looking like such a big boy sitting in the chair. This was before the mean nurse gave him 5 shots! :O
11/2 - One of Charlie's new favorite activities: Opening up all the drawers and pulling out what's inside. THIS is what he found that day.... ugh!!
11/4 - Sweet boy fell asleep in my arms. Daylight savings changes are rough on little ones!
11/6 - (Election Day) - While waiting for the presidential news later that day, we took a family outing to Cherry Hill park! It was a BEAUTIFUL fall day!!
11/9 - Second snowstorm of the year, and this was a BIG one! It snowed all day long that Friday and it still hasn't all melted yet! We got maybe 6-7 inches! And here's Charlie looking out the window thinking, "Holy Cow... That's a LOT of snow!":
11/9 - Despite the snowy weather, Trevor and I made a point to go on our date that night to the temple. Afterward we went to Five Star BBQ for some delicious eats! Mmmm!
11/14 - Good morning! I love that I get to wake up to this sweet boy every day! :)
Can't wait for thanksgiving festivities! :) Enjoying the cooler weather and listening to Christmas music today! Already!?! Well, okay! ;)