Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

This year I enjoyed baking some Christmas goodies. I made some of the traditional ones like Lemon Bars and then added something new that was easy and sounded good like brownies with peppermint frosting and candy cane bits on top.
On Friday, Dec. 23rd we headed down to my sister Jessica's house to celebrate Christmas "Adam" for the third year in a row. Basically we have our traditional Reynolds' family Christmas Eve dinner of clam chowder/ vegetable chowder, bread bowls, salmon log, etc. It is our way of carrying on the Reynolds traditions that we don't get to carry on with our in-laws. We spent the night there too so that we could have more time to visit. We had a lot of yummy food and visiting.

Ren and Thomas holding hands

Daphne and Thomas

Thomas and Ren playing together in Bumbos

We headed back home on Christmas Eve to celebrate with our little family on our own for the first time.

We made sugar cookies to leave out for Santa.

After baths and decorating the cookies we read the Christmas story from the bible. Maybrie got really into it and loved moving the nativity pieces as we re-told the story.

Maybrie loved it so much we actually had to re-tell it 3 times.

Maybrie gathered all of the characters around in a circle to make sure they could see baby Jesus. I was amazed that with all of the Santa stuff on Christmas Eve, Maybrie's favorite part was the nativity story. Leave it to a child to help us remember the true reason for celebrating Christmas. What a sweetheart!

We opened one present each... pajamas, read The Night Before Christmas, and tucked the kids into bed.

Here is a little glimpse of our Christmas decorations. We didn't have much, but it was enough and brought the Christmas spirit into our home.

Stockings hung

Cookies set out for Santa

Brian and I had so much fun playing Santa this year. We watched Sound of Music on TV while we got everything set up. We had so much fun. I was so excited I couldn't fall asleep until 1am!

Stockings filled

Presents set out... Santa brought Maybrie a shopping cart that she has been filling and pushing all over the house, and Thomas got a Little People Christmas train and Elmo.

Brian set up his train he had as a kid and Maybrie has gotten a kick out of it all week.

Thomas was the first one up at 7am. He really enjoyed his first stocking stuffer- keys. It was a long hour for me waiting for Maybrie and Brian to wake!

Maybrie opening her stocking

I made Maybrie some play makeup by filling old compacts with nail polish. It was sitting out with her stocking. She was so funny and had to open them all up, line them up, and put each one on before she would open anything else! Best free gift EVER!

After breakfast and getting ready we headed down to Grandview for church and Christmas dinner.

The cutest Santa EVER!

Festive Turkey dinner

We had a lovely Christmas and especially enjoyed starting some of our own traditions with our little family. We hope all of you had a Christmas as merry as ours!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas 2011
Quick recap of the year:
  • Brian got a job as the assistant plant manager/account manager at RE Powell, a fuel/ lubricant distributor
  • We moved from Brian's parents house in Grandview to a duplex in Yakima in May to be close to Brian's work
  • We welcomed Thomas to our family on June 16th
  • Brian, unfortunately, did not get accepted to dental school this year. However, we are very grateful he has a good job that offers a stable alternative career path
  • We moved into a house in September, which we are renting while the owner's try to sell it
  • I am serving as the youth Sunday school teacher and Brian is the executive secretary in our ward
  • Brian and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary
It has been another eventful year for our family with many changes. We feel very blessed to have the gospel and so many wonderful friends and family in our lives. We hope that this holiday season is full of peace and joy for you and your families.

Our scanner isn't working so I had to take pictures of the pictures of the kids. Not very clear, but you can still see how cute they are!
Maybrie 2, Thomas 6 months

This holiday season Maybrie is really excited and totally catching onto the idea of Santa Clause and the Nativity story. October and November were hard months for me as I dealt with severe postpartum depression. I simply wasn't myself and was basically in survival mode, only accomplishing the bare minimum. As a result, Maybrie didn't get the attention I would typically like to give her. She spent a lot of time at different friend's houses because I was so sick. The week of Thanksgiving I finally came out of my depression and have been taking advantage of the fact that I feel like myself again. I think I went a little overboard trying to make up for lost time with my kids and tried to make lots of special holiday memories with Maybrie. I took her to lots of free events and tried to do fun, inexpensive projects with her at home. As I look at all we have done, I realize how much fun we have had and am truly grateful for this holiday season and the joy it has brought to me and my little family. Here are a couple of the things we did this past week:

We had a couple friends over to make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. Maybrie was more interested in eating the candy than decorating, so I did a lot of it. :)

Avery, Maybrie, and Sadie

Within a half hour of our friends leaving I found Maybrie already attacking the house and eating the candy off of it. So I snapped a picture real quick before it was gone!

On Saturday, Dec. 17th we went to the Bavarian village of Leavenworth with Jessica and Justin and their kids. In hindsight, it probably wasn't worth the drive and the lighting ceremony wasn't really worth facing the crowd to see. It is probably better to visit without kids. They simply don't understand window shopping, and we spent a lot of our time making sure they didn't touch everything in the shops! We made the best of it though and still had fun being together.

Naomi, Daphne and Maybrie with the Nutcracker outside the clock shop

Brian with Thomas in the pack

Maybrie all bundled up enjoying a sample of fudge

We saw a pretty well done 20 minute live nativity presentation

Maybrie and Ren being cute at dinner

Ho HO Ho!
Merry Christmas from our jolly little Santa Thomas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

6 Months Old

Our little man is already half a year old... 6 months! I can't believe it. He is such a kissable chub and has the sweetest smile that shoots straight to the heart. He is cooing, laughing, grabbing, and is just showing his personality more and more all the time. He even shocked us two weeks ago with his first tooth- bottom L front (Maybrie didn't get one till she was 11 months). He is close to sitting up on his own, but doesn't seem too interested in rolling much yet... maybe it is just too much work with all those cute rolls he packs around! :) He currently weighs 20 lbs 12 oz. I get my daily strength training by packing him around!

Our little Tommy Lee

He LOVES his exersaucer, as do I because it keeps him entertained and allows me to get things done!

CUTEST picture EVER! Cracks me up!

Thomas tried rice cereal and so far he seems to like it. He really wants to grab the spoon and shove his hands in with each bite too... so we'll see how messy a eater he is!

Here is a little video I caught of Maybrie making him laugh. He can really get going sometimes, and this doesn't catch his awesome belly laugh very well... but he is still pretty darn cute in this! Enjoy!
Happy 6 months Thomas! We love you!
video

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmastime is here!

Last Saturday we had a chance to hit two fun free holiday events in Sunnyside on our way to and from stopping in at Brian's parents house in Grandview. The first was decorating Christmas cookies with Mrs. Claus and Santa at the Darigold Factory. It was packed and we forgot to bring in our camera, so here is Maybrie enjoying her cookies and milk when we reached grandma's house!
She liked her gummy bears... she actually dumped a few extra into her box! But the gumdrops got chewed and spit out... too spicy!

I, of course, got to decorate and enjoy Thomas's cookies for him!

That night we headed to the Lighted Farmers Implement Parade.
We missed it last year, my first year living in the Yakima Valley, because of our ward Christmas party, and I have been anxious to see what all the fuss is about! Now I know what everyone is oohing and aahing over! Great Grandma and Grandpa Noble, Marcia, Elizabeth, and Thomas stayed in the warm car while Brian and I braved the freezing cold with Maybrie. It was well-worth it!
Mommy & Maybrie

I love seeing this huge farming equipment plastered in lights! I would say it is a small town's version of Disney's Electrical Parade!

Maybrie & Daddy

We saw MANY Santa's, which Maybrie was thrilled to point out each one!

Peanuts

Once Maybrie saw another kids on up on their dad's shoulders... it was all over for Brian! Though she did help keep his ears warm for him!

This Coca-Cola truck was our favorite! Lots of the trucks had music playing too, and it is just hard to capture the moving lights and everything with still pictures, but you can get the idea!

Sheer joy! Maybrie was in heaven. The first 15 minutes or so it was hilarious to watch her bob in and out of the legs of adults to get a better look at what was coming next. She talked about the lights all week! It was a great weekend for piling on the cheer!

Though we have put up our Christmas decorations at home, they are a little sparse. I was frustrated that our pathetic front door won't close with a wreath door hanger on it, so I decided I could come up with something lightweight to hold up with a small nail. This is what I came up with... It took entirely too long, pulling me away from household duties and other projects that really do need doing... but I had fun- something I like to call personal craft creative therapy! (Funny thing is after all that work it is TOO flimsy to stay on the front door. The cold will curl it right up! But I did get a dollar store find for the door, so my annoying itch of the week has been scratched! :) Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Utah Trip

This year we were able to go down to Utah and spend Thanksgiving with my family. Everyone but my brother Chris, in California, and my brother Spencer, who is on his mission in Mexico, were there. Several of my siblings hadn't had a chance to meet Thomas yet either, so it was fun to see everyone. My parents house was FULL for Thanksgiving dinner... 42 people!

Daddy and a tired Maybrie... she didn't nap much during the trip!

Jessica and Grandpa Jack

Tim and Jalene

My mom and Aunt Cami


Helen and Grace

Dad

Eliza and Rachel

Jane, Tim, Penelope

Chad

Saturday, the 26th was Brian's 26th birthday! While attending BYU he worked on a major landscaping project, which was completed after he left. It made his day to go down and see the finished project... a 1/2 mile pathway along a waterway with several water features. The water was off for the winter, but it was still amazing to see. And of course no trip down to our Alma Mater would be complete without a stop at the BYU Bookstore and lunch at our favorite Burgers Supreme! We have so many fond memories of our time at BYU.

Me and Maybrie

Me and Brian

That night we had pizza and birthday cake over at my sister Hillary's house.

Jalene, Justin, Jessica, Jane

Penelope, Tim, Brian, Garrek, Helen, Eliza

Happy Birthday Brian and Helen (her birthday was on Thanksgiving day)!

Garrek and Thomas

Ashley and Afton

Can you stand this face?! Oh, I love you Thomas!

Heather and Grace

Anna, Tim, Jane

Mom and Dad

After the party we went down to the Shops at the Riverwoods to ride the carousel at Provo Beach Resort, visit Santa, and see the Gingerbread house display and lights. We even packed Hot Chocolate to enjoy! It was a great way to welcome the Christmas season!

Justin, Ren, Naomi


Maybrie was so excited to ride a "horsey" until we got on and she freaked out and chose to sit on the bench with mommy. I couldn't believe it! Oh, well. She still had fun.

Thomas was so smiley all bundled up in his stroller. I think he loved all of the attention he got from the family!

Santa's house


Everyone waiting in line to meet Santa


Maybrie and daddy

Ashley and Eliza

Cesar, Noelle, Howiw

Anna and Tim

The twins


Maybrie was excited about Santa the whole time, but of course, like a typical two-year-old, chickened out when she got right up to him! So no picture of Maybrie sitting on Santa's lap this year!


Thomas

Garrek

Howie

Me and Brian


We had a lovely holiday! I was especially grateful this year because the last couple months I have struggled through post-partum depression, and finally started feeling like myself again just before the trip. My appetite returned just in time for the Thanksgiving feast, which I enjoyed thoroughly! This Thanksgiving I really had a chance to reflect on my many blessings, which seem abundant to me right now after feeling like I was living under a cloud for a little while. I am so grateful for modern medicine and a good doctor. I am grateful for kind ward members who helped me when I needed it most, and for the good friends that have been made as a result. I am truly grateful for a loving and supportive family and the chance to be around those who understand me best. Mostly I am grateful for my Savior and the comforter, without which I could not endure any trial, no matter the size. I love the holidays and the opportunity they bring to reflect on what truly matters most.