Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our Saturday Morning

Just a Saturday morning, June reading "The Friend" magazine to Owen. It's gonna be a great day! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Owen at 3 months

Dear Owen, OD, Otis, or Owit,
    My sweet boy you are 3 months old today. Already! How time can feel like its flying by is beyond me! Owen, I love you from the bottom of my heart. I just can't get over how big you are for a 3 month old. I hope this doesn't give you some kind of image complex when you are reading this years from now! I like that your such a big boy! You will be a good big protective brother for June! 
 So here is where you are at for a 3 month old....
You are growing, growing and growing. You have hit a few growth spurts where you are wanting to do nothing but eat or sleep! Which most babies do at 3 months old, but there are days where I feel you are constantly attached to me. You my son, LOVE to be held and always be in someones presence. You don't like to be left alone in a room for too long. A good thing, and well... a little bit of a bad thing. I am starting to get pretty good at emptying the dishwasher one handed while holding you. My arms aren't in much need of a workout either from holding you so often. If you aren't being held you love to be in your bouncer. You hate the swing, so the bouncer or on the floor is where you spend most of your days. You love kicking to the point where your socks will not stay on! I'm trying to give you as much attention as possible, but blame your older sister from always pulling me away from you, or not giving us the one on one time you deserve. I am really trying to soak in the night feeding before you go to bed each night. June is already in bed and its just you and me. I try to not get distracted by my ipad or phone. It's our little bonding time that is so rare these days! 
     You are a great little eater. You are slowly, very slowly, starting to take a bottle if it's your last option, but you do take one! If it's not from the bottle it's obviously from me, and you are eating about every 3 to 4 hours, and at night you go about 5. You have put yourself on a pretty good little schedule and I am so thankful for that. It's made getting back to normal life a lot easier knowing what your needs are! I am sure that routine is about to change, but I am thankful none the less. 
     You are still sleeping in mom and dads room and taking naps in your crib. We are slowly starting to adjust you to your own room, but where you are still getting up more than once a night I prefer to keep you in our room. At least until you are down to just waking up once a night. You wake up about 6am but then go back for another hour, then its officially wake up time! 
     I don't know if we made you this way, but you love music. You very much enjoy having noise around you. I have learned that you are calmed by hushed lullabies and nature sounds. It doesn't bother me any, because I find them soothing too. 
    You are super smiley and have a distinct dimple on your right cheek. You giggle quite a bit now and you are very ticklish under your chin. You smile so big when anyone comes into a room, but mommy and daddy get a smile and giggles when we come get you. It's my favorite right now. 
     June can't get enough of you. She always wants to help you in anyway you can and she is always sad when she sees you cry. She loves to give you kisses on the cheek and head and she is always trying to share her toys with you. I hope you two really do become best friends. Even if its to gang up on me, I totally get it! 

She wanted to help take pictures of you today

Owen, you are just my sweet little Momma's boy. You really do love having me around, and as exhausting as it is sometimes, I think I would be very sad if you preferred to be left alone or wanting to be held by someone else. I hope this closeness stays forever.

I love you my sweet baby boy and I am so grateful that you are in our family. It seems weird to think that you haven't been here all along. You just fit!

Love you my sweets!

         Love, Mom


Friday night is our "popcorn/shows" as June calls it, night!  We watch a fun family movie where June gets to stay up just a little bit past her bed time and watch a movie with mom and dad. I'll be honest, it's becoming my favorite night of the week! June asks us every day if it's Popcorn/shows day and when Friday finally comes she gets very excited! Last week we watched "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". So we thought we would have a special popcorn/shows this Friday and take her to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2"
It's so much fun taking June to the movies and she does really well. She likes to switch seats a lot but if that's the worst she can do then so be it! Can't wait for what movie we watch next!  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Growing up

It really has just been this past month or so that June seems to really be growing into a little girl and more out of the baby/toddler stage. I have been noticing her different mannerisms towards things and  realize that she is making decisions, by thinking about it. By really deciding what SHE wants to make not just impulse moves that she used to do. Choosing lunch each day can become pretty comical. I have now learned to limit her choice making, or else we would be having fruit loops, gold fish and milk for every meal. 

She is becoming so much more creative with playing and not just moving from toy to toy. She will actually sit and play Tea Party with you... like really play, clinking the glasses, pouring the "Hot Chocolate" making sure everyone has cream and sugar and especially who is invited! Yes, the guest list changes on a regular basis. Thankfully Mommy and Daddy and baby "Owet" (She has a hard time pronouncing the letter N, so it comes out Owet) are always invited. 

Tea Party is a regular thing at our house. We invite Nanas and Papas, Reese (My little niece who she really took an interest in at Christmas time) and then some members of the "Fab 5". More on the Fab 5 later. 

She gets how things works, and can now find her own solutions to solving problems. Like Just the other day there was a toy in Owen's crib that she wanted, I sat and watched her as she tried different strategies to get the toy out. She hadn't asked for help yet so I just let her be.  She reached in through the bars with one hand, slid it up, and then with the other hand grabs it. Yes it may have taken her a minute but she is problem solving, and thinking things through!

June is becoming so independent with the care for herself. She knows how to turn on the sink, get soap on her hands and wash and dry them after going potty. She loves putting clips in her hair by herself and is actually pretty good and brushing and flossing her teeth. 

She interacts with her dolls the same way she sees me and daddy interact with Owen. What ever action we do with Owen, one doll needs to be doing the same thing. Its' mostly Sally, buts sometimes she switches it up a bit. If Owen is being fed, so is a baby, anything. Diaper changes, being swaddled, tummy time, if Owen does it, so does a doll. I love it! 

 She is getting brave with exploring and loves especially exploring with daddy. If you can't tell they are both "roaring" Like lions stuck in a cage. I was the zoo keeper and they were roaring at me to let them out of the cage.

She is such a cuddle bug and loves watching movies with me and Dan. She is really good about watching the whole thing and not getting to restless. Especially when your this comfy. Everything is better wrapped up in your daddy's arms. 

She is absolutely aware when someone is not present, and she tells me she misses certain people.  I know she has to mean it because she doesn't say it for everyone. Mostly just a couple of her little friends, her cousin Reese, daddy and Nana and Papa after face time. 

We are slowly but surely losing June's nap time. It's a very sad thing for me, but I can' force her to sleep. If we have a pretty active morning than she usually gets tired enough to lay in her bed for a couple hours, but if that doesn't happen we still have "Quiet Time" where she has to play in her room for a couple hours also. She mostly stays in her bed and plays with her dolls and animals or reads books, but every now and then I check the monitor and she will be coloring or sitting on her reading rug. Hey, whatever it takes to keep her quite and let Owen sleep and Mommy get some things done. 

Her new thing is she comes out from her room, (Her door is the only door knob she can turn to get out with, it's really easy to turn) when she knows she should be sleeping or having quiet time and she goes "tip toe, tip toe, tip toe." Then if you catch her she goes "OH NO!" and runs back into her room. I know it shouldn't be funny but oh man it's my favorite when she does that. Or when she comes out at night and peaks around the corner just to see what we are doing, then goes back to bed without a word said. 

We now leave our door open so she can come into our room if she needs to. Once I shut it and she came that morning and knocked on the door saying "Mommy I'm awake, mommy I'm back, I'm back" I was laughing pretty hard to myself as I couldn't go get her because I was feeding Owen, so she just waited and talked to me through the door. 

She now says complete sentences and I love that she can communicate what she wants. I realized how grateful I am for that since Owen being born and him only having cries to communicate. 

Well I didn't mean for this post to be super long, but I just wanted to make sure and write down all the growing up June is doing and try to write down as much as possible. She really is my sweet little girl with a few sassy moments. I love her more than words can say. I wish I could tell her to stop growing, but then I think of all the awesome things I would already miss seeing if that happened. It's such a bitter sweet thing, but thankfully more sweet than anything! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Laying here today...

Here I am stuck laying next to my sick little toddler, who won't stay asleep unless I'm next to her, and bouncing my little boy with my leg, who needs the constant motion... 
Today is one of those days that my sole focus is on my babies. 
As I am laying here I thought I would quickly make a note of how grateful I am for these days where cuddles from mom are all they want. They just want me near, I'm the only comfort that they want. It makes me feel pretty special. I'm forgetting the fact I have yet to go grocery shopping and probably won't make it today, or dishes from lunch are still in the sink... I'm absolutely loving laying here next to my sleeping babies. 

Life is so incredibly good, even if I'm covered in toddler snot and baby drool. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Owen's Blessing Day

Owen's blessing day was a bit of a struggle, but by the end it was a beautiful blessing from Dan and the day ended up great. Here's our day:

The day finally came for Dan to give Owen a special blessing at Church on Sunday. It is always such a special, spiritual day for the child and for the parents, and it was time for Owens day. We felt a little bad because it really did sneak up on us. We both had other church responsibilities that we had to take care of on Sunday and the blessing sort of got pushed to the back of our minds.... 

The night before I asked Dan if he was ready, and he looked at me with a little bit of surprise and told me he hasn't really thought about it. We both gave each other a pitty look and felt awful that we didn't make more of a big deal out of it. 

We had decided a while ago that we thought it wouldn't be necessary for family to be here. My parents were just here when Owen was born, and then we saw both sets of family during the Holidays. But we really really missed having family there and having the men in the family stand in the circle with Dan. 

I didn't even do a dinner or lunch for after, like we did for June's blessing day. I know thats much more of a thing to do in the North and not really here, but I still felt pretty bad about it. 

The next morning Dan had to be at meetings by 7 and me and the kids needed to be out the door by 8:30 to make it to church at 9. I got up and got myself ready, and then got June ready. I took a couple of pictures of Owen, but I was all alone and the only one there to make a big deal out of it. Oh man I think I am just way to sentimental but it made me feel really sad. 

It then became a rush of a morning trying to get everything together, and plus getting all my primary stuff together... (Maybe should of thought of all this the night before). I was supposed to leave by 8:30 and didn't get out the door until 8:50. I still made it about 5 minutes until church, with the luck of every green light and a little speeding on the free way... I thanked my Heavenly Father a lot once I got into the parking lot. I could finally breath a little bit easier.

We had confirmed many MANY times with our Bishop that we were blessing Owen today, but low and behold we find out that they aren't ready for a blessing with no microphone in sight. Dan would be blessing Owen on the other side of the Chapel, so I started getting teary eyed knowing I probably wouldn't hear the blessing. I felt contention in my heart, and I hated it because this was not how I was supposed to feel on my sons blessing day. 

Then Dan started blessing Owen. My heart became so full, and I could hear perfectly. It was so calming and I felt so loved and so blessed that my husband was up in front of our congregation giving my son a beautiful blessing. I let the tears fall. We have incredible friends who fill the role of our family, being so far away from home. I can't even express the feeling of peace and fulfillment I had at that moment. We have the blessing he gave Owen written down and we will give it to him one day just like we plan to with June. 

His blessing day may have been a bit crazy, but his blessing was nothing but perfect. 

The Lancaster blessing outfit for the boys

My Handsome man. 

We are missing a few of our friends in this picture, but this is what I consider my family. Friends who support us, who wake up early to be at a different church than theirs, friends who are on the brink of having a baby but still come, and friends who have been in our lives for what feels like forever, who we couldn't imagine not having around! I truly love these people. 

Missing two fella's from the circle, but these are the men who stood with Dan during Owen's blessing

In the end Owen's blessing Day was wonderful and I am beyond grateful he is in our lives.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Owen's 2 month update

Weight: 14lb 10oz (90 percentile) 
Height: 25.5 in (Above 100 percentile) 
Head: 40.6 cm round (50 percentile) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Called To Serve

What magnificent people I have in my life to call Mom and Dad. 

My parent's have been called to serve in the Colorado, Denver North Mission For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
They report to the MTC on June 21st 2014 and then will be leaving for Colorado on July 1st for 3 years. 

I really can't say how excited I am for my parents to be leading the Missionaries in Colorado. I am so grateful that they are my parents. It will be very sad and hard to not be able to go home for 3 years to the only place I grew up, but I am very much looking forward to going and visiting them in Colorado. It is a beautiful place. 

My Parents have always been strong and faithful in our Church, and I VERY much look up to them as an example of how I want my life, my family, and my marriage to be. They have taught me everything I know about living in righteousness and learning how to follow the Lord in all my times of need. Those missionaries are beyond lucky to have these two as their leaders and to have their guidance. I am so grateful that they are so willing to serve, to give up a whole lot more than people think to do the Lords work. Much sacrifice, but many more blessings. I am excited to read all about their missionary life, and to send letters and packages to them for the next three years. 

So proud to be President and Sister Mendenhall's Daughter! 
Love you mom and dad!! 

New Year and no Resolutions

It's the 7th. I'm a little late on this post, but I wanted to write down what my plans are for the new year. I'm going to make this post short and simple because there really is no need to go on and on about the year that I have only been in for 7 days. So, for 2014 I have made a decision to set REALISTIC goals for myself instead of CRAZY resolutions. I have made resolutions in the past and fail. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It's an awful feeling and I am tired of putting myself through that. My sister, Michelle, wrote it perfectly on her blog,that she doesn't do New Years resolutions because she feels they set you up for failure, and she hates failure. Like many of us, if not all. I am one of those people, Therefore no specific resolutions.

Here is what I plan to do for 2014: I decided this year I am going to be nicer to myself. I am a pretty hard critic on myself, more than anyone knows, and I feel that's when my anxiety attacks kick in the most. I will try to let the small things go, to turn to the Lord a lot more, and try to breath a little bit easier about life and all it's imperfections, especially including mine.

Our family  does have some goals that we would like to accomplish, but no pressure, and look forward to working on them together.

I very much loved 2013 and all it's goodness that it brought, but it's always a good fresh feeling to be starting over and bettering ourselves just a little bit more.

 So here is to 2014!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Drive. Christmas. Drive. New Years. Drive.

The title of this blog pretty much sums up our Christmas vacation, but I wanted to document what it was like for our holiday travels, Our Christmas, and Our New years. It was anything but short of crazy goodness that I can't believe was accomplished over a two week time span. 

I am warning you now, that this post is long and loaded with Pictures. In fact probably too long to be doing it all in one post, but I have other things to blog about and wanted to get this one done so I can get 2013's blog book printed. So here we go. 

Our Christmas Vacation

2013's Christmas was supposed to be simple. It was the Lancaster year, but we had just seen Dan's family in July and it is super super expensive to fly up to Canada, especially since now we have a two year old we are paying for as well. So we made the decision to just stay home in our little comfort of home, snuggle with our newborn and lay low this year.... I should have known. When have I ever been the type to lay low?!? 

The thought of traveling to our houses for Christmas really crossed our minds the Day after Thanksgiving. We were out shopping and just started talking about Christmas and how much time Dan had off work... We also were really talking about how this is to be my parent's last Christmas for 4 years while they are away serving as mission presidents. (*NOTE: If you know me at all, you know I am a little too sentimental at times... Remember that.) The thought of not seeing my parents house all decorated and the excitement of coming home made me a little home sick. So the thought stuck of maybe going to my house for Christmas. We had done that drive before and knew it wasn't that bad. 

Then came the big Idea of driving up to Canada, then down to Idaho. Dan realized that he had two full weeks off of work and the ideal road trip of being at both families was set into place. 

There was no going back from that day. Our plan was to spend Christmas up with the Lancaster's and then drive down to my house for New years. We mapped our way across the states and up to Canada. 

It would be a 3 day drive, reading in at 28 hours just up to Canada.  Then 12 down to Idaho, another 24 hours back to Texas. We had always thought it would be fun to do a massive road trip like this. Dan and I really do enjoy long road trips, so it wasn't the hours that bothered us, it was the fact that we were driving so long with two very small children.... Well that never has slowed us down before, why should it now.

 Challenge accepted. 

Plans were put into place and we took off on December 19th at 4am. 

OK. It was more like 4:30am by the time we got the kids loaded in the car. 
Our adventure began. 

We had soooo much stuff. I can't believe we fit it all in the car. There wasn't a spare inch for anything else. We laughed because we felt we had packed our entire house with us. Just so. much. stuff. 

The morning was a little rough, with it being so dark, and Dan and I not getting into bed until midnight, but we knew we wanted to get as much road behind us as possible and once the sun came up we felt much better. 

Yes. Range came too. 

We had many, many rest stops. Between a baby needing to be fed every two hours and a little girl needing a potty break, we just made the best of it and used it as an opportunity to get gas and stretch our legs. 

We tried to make our stops short, and then only have a couple long stops. Half hour or longer. We had to change the kids out of pajamas, get lunch and really get settled in to get some good miles behind us. 

We arrived in Denver Colorado 15 hours later... and grateful to get out and be in a hotel for a night. June was able to run around for a bit and get the wiggles out, while Owen stretched out his little body on the bed. We had dinner and played around until it was time to get some sleep. 

The next morning we attempted to be out the door by 8... It was more like 8:30 (Dang that half hour) 

Loading up the car day 2

Day two was a bit more smoother of a drive. We were slowly starting to get the hang of being in the car for countless hours. We seemed to stop a little bit less and keep ourselves a little more entertained. Dan and I listened to Harry Potter on Tape, and lots of different Podcasts from our phones. 

June slept and played with toys and she also played and watched movies on her I-pad. Owen Mostly stared out the window or slept. Both of them did so well through the whole trip. I seriously couldn't believe we didn't have any melt downs or tantrums with getting back in the car. Our biggest fear was on the second day neither of them would want to sit in the car again, but both kids did fantastic! Thank Heavens!! 

From Denver we headed north to Montana. The roads got pretty bad through Wyoming, and we were only going 45 for about an hour and a half and then they seemed to clear up. We saw a lot of cars slide off the road, so we took our time.  Our goal was to make it up to Billings, but once we got to the city, we felt good enough to keep going so we made it to Great Falls, Montana in about 12 hours. 

The third day was going to be a lot shorter since we made it further distance the day before. We knew it was about 6 to 7 hours to Dan's house, so even though it was a shorter distance, we still had a good drive a head of us. 

We drove and drove some more. Stopping about every 2 to 3 hours and switching drivers. We made our final switch right before the boarder. I don't  like being the one driving crossing over to a different Country. I get nervous and I am always so worried about acting suspicious even though we have nothing to hide! Haha. The guards just make me nervous! 

Our stop at the boarder was only 10 minutes! I think that's a record for us! Super fast. We were glad to get through quickly and continue on with our drive. It felt really good to finally hit Canada and realize that we were really close to being at our final destination... Well at least for 5 days anyway. 

WE FINALLY ARRIVED!! We got to Dan's house on the 21st around 6pm! All in all it took us about 38 hours to get up there, with all the stops and lunch/dinner breaks we added a good 10 hours through 3 days onto our trip. It really didn't feel that long. 

Now it was time to really enjoy the holiday season. Dan's Brother Dave and his wife were already at his mom and dads. So it was fun to already have siblings there. 

We just hung out, unloaded the million and one things we brought with us, and stretched our legs. 

June zonked out pretty fast after we got there. She ate a quick dinner, had a calm down bath, and we tucked her in for the night. I don't think she even batted any eye that she wasn't in her own bed. 

I was so excited that we made it up there before Church on Sunday. I love the Christmas program at church! Singing all the Christmas hymns, and hearing about the Saviors birth. Plus it's fun to dress the kids up in Christmas outfits. 

We make really cute children! 

It was a great Sunday. June even went to Nursery and stayed by herself. It took her a while, so Dan stayed in there with her for a bit, but in the end she stayed all by herself. The cute Nursery leaders gave them little books all wrapped up! June loved unwrapping it, but was sad once it was unwrapped.  Dan's other brother Michael, his wife, and two kids came to stay at the house for a few days until they left for Becky's family for Christmas. 

The next day was the fabulous day of my Birthday. My Nephew was born too on the 23rd so we celebrated his one year birthday during the day, and then Dan and I left little June  behind, but brought Owen,  and went out in the city... Dan even manhandled the baby backpack so that I could go clothes shopping. That was all I wanted for my birthday this year was to buy a bunch of new clothes! Pregnancy just makes all your old clothes feel like Bla! And I was tired of feeling Bla! Perfect birthday present! 

Later that night we met up with our friends Adam and Nicole, at the Calgary Tower for dinner. It was great seeing them and celebrating my birthday with friends. Dinner was great, It was a rotating restaurant, so you are able to see the whole city while eating dinner. You couldn't concentrate to hard on the fact that you are moving, or you got a little motion sickness, but it was still a really fun dinner for my birthday! 

We got back that night and mostly just talked and slowly drifted off to sleep

Christmas eve, Owen turned 2 months. Crazy how fast time is going! We all woke up and spent the day just hanging around. We took out the little kids to play in the snow for a while in the back yard. It was fun to watch June play in the snow and really get a feel for the wet stuff. I really miss the snow... Really just for the holidays and playing in it. 

Hanging out with Grandpa in the Snow

We even brought Owen out to enjoy some of the fresh crisp air

We came back inside, hung out and played games then got ready for dinner. 
Crossfield, the town Dan's parents live, has a tradition where Santa comes and visits on Christmas eve. It really is the volunteer fire fighters, but still I think it's a really fun tradition! In fact we have the exact same picture with June, when she pretty darn close to the exact same age. You can see her HERE
 from Christmas 2011.

We had the tradition of opening Pajamas... Well it actually only ended up being our little family who did pajamas, but no matter what we will definitely keep this tradition going! Dan's Dad read from Luke 2, and we watched the Nativity. We never got to actually acting out the Nativity... Not sure what happened since we were planning on it, but with tired kids and wanting to get them to bed, we decided to forgo that part of the night.

June did make reindeer food and we went out and sprinkled out on the back porch, along with leaving Santa a glass of Milk and a plate of cookies. Yes, I am aware that she is two and doesn't quite get it, but someday she will, and I want her to feel as much magic in Christmas as possible, just like I did growing up.

She went to bed and it was time for Santa to come. Us adults stayed up and some of the family played "Settlers" and talked.
Then it was time to really play Santa and get everything set up. Oh man, I thought Christmas as a kid was fun, but it is WAY MORE FUN with Children. I could NOT wait to wake up in the morning to see June's expression in the morning with all her new toys! 

Christmas morning always goes way to fast! But June's face was priceless when she saw what Santa had left her and baby Owen. I think she was more excited that Baby Owen got toys too, than what she got. It was pretty adorable. 

June got a La La loopsy play set, and a bunch of other toys as well. Along with clothes and essentials she needed. Owen got a glow night sea horse that sings, more toys and more clothes. 

Towards the end, June just got up and walked away. She had had enough of unwrapping presents and wanted to play with her toys. We of course went overboard with Christmas like we do every year, but I have told myself that I am done worrying about that and to enjoy and be grateful that we can spoil our children every once in a while. No, I don't think because of a spoiled Christmas they will feel entitled or feel they deserve things. So each year we will probably continue to spoil them, and enjoy those happy faces. 

Dan got two new golf clubs, and I got a new Lulu Lemon Jacket and new kitchen appliances. I decided that this Christmas was my first true adult Christmas. I got a lot of new things for my Kitchen, things that children would find boring, but I was beyond excited to unwrap what now feels like a whole new kitchen and it just kept getting better, but more on that later on in the post... 

We spent the day in our pajamas chomping down on Christmas candy and playing games. Later that day we had  wonderful Christmas dinner and enjoyed the company of family. Totally worth the 38 hour drive.

Sadly that is the end of pictures since my phone was full and I couldn't delete any until I got back in the states with 3G to drop them in dropbox. 

We did the traditional Canada, Boxing Day shopping,  but didn't last to long. It was crazy crowded and having two kids in that crazy crowed of people was enough to drive anyone crazy. Dave and Vanessa headed home that day, and we spent the remainder of the night talking, and packing up, and getting ready to head to Idaho for another 5 days. 

We woke up about 4am and was out the door by 5am. The drive was beautiful! Oh man, Montana is a beautiful place. Who knows maybe someday we will live there. Dan and I used to do that drive all the time when we lived in Rexburg going to College, but I forgot, or took for granted just how beautiful the North really is. It really made me miss it and I think it kind of hit me that it would be ok to live just a little bit closer to family... someday. Not now though... I still would like all my children to be born in Texas! 

It took us about 12 hours to make the drive down to Rexburg. The kids did great and we were surprised that we did the drive so fast. It was fun to pull into the little town of Rexburg with the Christmas lights on the trees and a little bit of snow falling. I love my small little home town. 

Once we got to my parents house, we had dinner, unpacked our million and one things once again and settled in for another 5 days. My sister Michelle and her two girls came down that night too, and my sister Meg and Sammi came down from the Cabin the next day! 

We woke up that morning and instantly got going! We wanted to take all the kids sledding at Smith park where we spent many winter's sledding down that hill that once seemed so large....

 The girls were already to go. Patiently waiting for Papa to fill the sledding tubes and load them in the car.

June LOVED sledding! She went down the hill once with Dan and laughed the whole way. She then wanted to go down by herself. I was a little shocked that she wanted to go by herself but she just kept going and going down the hill. She couldn't get enough. 

Sledding was a lot of fun. I honestly haven't done it in years. We all had fun taking turns going down the hill. 

We came home and got ready for the day. Put some of the kids down for naps and then us girls went out and did our usual little shopping around Rexburg. 

Sage and Owen

After two months, June finally wanted to hold Owen and she pulled through. Usually she gets a little scared of him on her lap, but this time she was fine with it. I love being a mom of two. 
We did a little Christmas celebration with my family! I was super excited because I got some new really nice pots and pans. I desperately needed new ones and it felt good to complete my kitchen with my other appliances. LOVE THEM!

My parent's got June a little tea set since she loves playing "Tea Party" with her la la loopsy's but having real cousins there to play with was even better. The girls had a really fun time pretending and my dear mom got excited too and had a real "Hot Chocolate" party with them. She took the mini tea cups and filled them with hot chocolate and had toast on the plates. It was pretty adorable and the girls loved it!

That night my mom had the little ones help frost my birthday cake to celebrate my birthday the next day! I love angel food cake. In fact its really the only cake I like, so every year, even if its already past my birthday, my mom still makes me a birthday cake. 

A rare thing when June falls asleep in someones arms. Nana just has that special touch

After the kids went down for bed, we all played games and chowed down on more food. At this point I think I gained 10 pounds, but I just couldn't stop shoveling food in my face.

The next day was Sunday. It was fun to go to my homeward and see familiar faces. We used to go to campus with my parents but since they are now home preparing for their mission, we got to go to the homeward. It was great to see friends and familiar faces who I haven't seen in ages! 

Future President Mendenhall just peacefully studying his scriptures before everyone was awake. I was lucky enough to sneak upstairs and take a pic of the calmness. Love my dad and his example! 

All dressed up for church

Oh Grandpa! 

June is growing up so fast and I love how she just goes and plays with her cousins. It's kind of bitter sweet. 

The next couple days before New years we were able to finish up errands around Rexburg, and go visit my Grandma and Grandpa. It's always so nice to go and visit with them. I love having them close. Though with my parents leaving for 3 years I'm not sure when we will be in Rexburg again, so it was definitely good to go see them! 

Had Lunch with my parents and Sister Meg

New Year's eve day we packed up the car and got ready to head out the next day. So we wouldn't have to worry about it after being up so late.

My Dad entertaining OD while we got ready for the night

We got ready to go down to Idaho Falls to my brothers house to bring in the New year. We did fondue and had LOADS OF FOOD! Oh man It was so good and again, no self control and just kept eating. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS! hahaha

June and Trey

My mom with the new little babe's. Owen and his cousin Austin are exactly 2 weeks apart. Austin is older, but Owen is much larger. 

We played games and the wii and celebrated the new year with Sparkling Cider and lots of cheering. It was a really fun night and a great way to spend our last night with Family. 

The next day we woke up, finished loadng up the car and said our goodbyes. I am so glad that I will be able to go home at least one more time before my parents leave on their mission. I am so beyond excited for them, but still its very sad to know I won't be in my home for 3 years. 

And back in the car... 

The plan was to take 3 days to get home, but we were very ambitious and really wanted to make it as far as we could. We made it all the way to Colorado the first night. 
The roads were absolutely horrible, and I have never experienced black ice like that before. We went about 25 for a good two hours and it was exhausting. Owen and June did great so we kept going and made it to our destination for the night. 

We stayed in the exact same hotel and the exact same room that we stayed in coming down. It was funny. 

The next day we loaded up the car and we took a little detour to my parents mission home to see where they would be living for 3 years. We were right down the road from the house, so it was easy to go see and really fun to see where they would be living and where we will get to come visit. A really nice home, so it was fun to go see. 

We became very ambitious and decided to just keep driving until we got home. We knew it would be late but we really wanted to get home and not unload into another hotel room. It was a long drive home. Especially with little June peeing her panties and Owen having a massive blowout, we had stops more often than we would have liked, but we made the best of it, and finally made it home about 12:30am. 

We all slept in until about 10 the next morning. Even June and Owen slept pretty soundly. It was very nice and very much needed. We spent the day cleaning and putting everything away including the Christmas decorations.

So all in all we drove 78 hours, over 4000 miles and were in 8 different states and 1 province. It was a lot of traveling, but we really had a fantastic time and honestly I think we would do it again.

It feels good to have all Christmas put away and to really get ready  for Dan to get back to work and get back to a regular routine. I am really excited for 2014 and all the many things it has to offer!