January 8, 2019

Christmas in Arizona

We were in Arizona for so long it seemed like it deserved it's own post instead of just a casual mention in the monthly GBOMB (unfortunately I didn't take very many quality pictures during our relaxing break). One night, we went to Illumination, Symphony of Light (which is a mile-long drive-thru light display) that the kids thought was amazing. Another day, we met up with my Hanley side of the family to eat breakfast in Tucson in celebration of my dad's birthday. Later, we made gingerbread houses at my mom's house where Olive had the time of her life eating way too much candy.

Sunday we had an hour church program and the cousins went in matching outfits. We enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve dinner along with the annual Snow Christmas Eve program. We got to experience some more cute matching cousin in their Christmas jammies. Christmas morning started at 8:30 and was actually pretty relaxed. The kids took their time going through their stockings and then we slowly opened presents and played with toys. It's so much fun watching kids open presents. After presents, Kevin made us pannekoeken for breakfast (which is a Dutch version of crepes). We went to my mom's for Christmas dinner and hot chocolate and to exchange more gifts (much to the children's delight).

The next day the Steed cousins temporarily left us so they could visit family in California. It was good timing for them to leave because the next day Taylor came down with a stomach bug. He recovered by Saturday so we spent a morning at the Phoenix Zoo and then Olive and I hung out with my mom that evening. Then it was my turn for a feverish 24 hours. I came out of my feverish state by New Year's Eve and we had a "party" for the kids. This party consisted of Chinese food, watching some YouTube clips of the kids choosing, and then tricking them into thinking they made it to New Years by putting on a 3 minute countdown off of Netflix at 7:30 pm. The next day we went by my Aunt Emily's house so Taylor and Olive could see her "farm" which currently consists of 4 dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon, and a plethora of chickens, quails, and tortoises. They always have fun at Auntie Em's. We made it home just in time to see our Steed cousins return from CA before it was bedtime. Our next two days weren't spent doing anything in particular besides letting the kids cause chaos together. We left the evening of the third to make it back for a doctor's appointment I had the next day. I then proceeded to totally forget about the said doctor's appointment so we pretty much decided to head home on the 3rd for no reason when we could have stayed a few more days.

Other notable events were Andrew and I going to the Alamo Drafthouse after the kids were in bed to watch Mary Poppins Returns and attempting to watch all of the extended versions of Lord of the Rings with Stephanie and Kevin (we did not quite accomplish this - next year it will happen). Besides forgetting my doctor's appointment, we had a great Christmas break full of memories and fun. Only 351 days until next Christmas. 😉

January 2, 2019

2018 GBOMB

2018 was a big year for our family so it wouldn't feel right moving into 2019 without reviewing the past year. 2018 was the first year I started writing GBOMB posts and it has been a great way to document the big and important events of each month. So I decided why not recap 2018 with a GBOMB post of its own.

+Andrew graduated with his MBA. Two years of school was tough, and I still don't know who was more relieved between Andrew and I when school ended.
+Andrew's MBA resulted in a great job opportunity that moved us out to California. Moving out-of-state was sad for us, but we were so fortunate to be able to find employment immediately out of school and being able to find a buyer for our house 12 hours after listing it.
+The most exciting thing of the year was finding out I was pregnant with baby #3. We are thrilled for another baby girl to join the family and I'm guessing she will be our biggest highlight of 2019.
+We got annual passes for Disneyland. It's been an extremely wise investment living only 20 minutes from Disneyland. We've definitely gotten our money's worth with how many times we've gone this year.
+My Etsy store had it's most successful year yet. I don't make a huge amount of money from it, but it's enough to make me feel accomplished in how much its grown the past few years.

+Quite a few weeks were spent with unrelenting pregnancy nausea. That was hands down the worst part of 2018.
+We had to learn to be away from all of our family. We've been pretty lucky to have both sides of our family near us throughout our marriage and the births of Taylor and Olive. Having that change was not our favorite thing. Luckily Arizona is close enough that we can visit fairly regularly while also receiving a fair share of visitors to our house in California (being near Disneyland and the beach seem to entice people to visit).

O N  M Y  B R A I N
+Obviously the new baby. I'm 36 weeks today which means this baby could come anytime in the next five weeks. Time to install that carseat and unpack all the baby clothes to be washed. Still waiting for that nesting to kick in...
+I've been contemplating New Year's Resolutions. Last year I skipped resolutions completely, but this time around I'm considering picking a word of the year. Maybe something about being "content" or "secure" in my current circumstances. I know with a new baby arriving soon, there will be lots of sitting around and being unproductive. Sometimes that's okay and I need to learn to be satisfied with only accomplishing the task of keeping three kids alive while my house is in shambles and we order take-out for dinner. It will be a phase of life for a while and I should be content with the good that is being accomplished. We also have a lot of uncertainty coming up in our future where learning to be "content" would be a good idea. We'll be moving in the nearish future. When and to where will be up in the air for a while (we have a rough idea on a date and place, but that isn't set in stone).Being happy and living in the current situation without worrying too much about the future will only be beneficial for the whole family.

I'm sure there are some other events I missed, but that's the gist of the previous year. 2019 is going to be coming in hot with the arrival of baby #3. We are so ready for the adventures that 2019 will bring.
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