Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christmas Day and Beyond

 Let's wrap up 2012, shall we?

As all parents very well know, a holiday is not truly a holiday unless a child is sick. And of course that was our fate. On Christmas Eve, our holiday plans were interrupted as Jude was struggling with his breathing and seemed to be coming down with pink eye. Off to the ER we went, and Jude was diagnosed with croup, received a shot of steroids, and was given eye drops for his pink eye. And if you're curious, the answer is yes, Jude eventually passed his pink eye onto the rest of us.

If you've met Jude, then you'll know that not much keeps the baby man down. Not asthma, croup, or pink eye could damper his excitement on Christmas day. We hosted Christmas dinner at our house, and thanks to a sick toddler, things didn't exactly turn out how I had imagined. Let's just say it was so not as Martha Stewart-y as I had hoped. And even though I had a cute outfit picked out, I somehow ended up in a t-shirt and jeans all day. These things happen when you have a sick little man cub under your roof. But regardless of appearances, we had a very special Christmas day spent with our family.

Setting out snacks for Santa!
Handsome J. Billy
Delaney in her special Christmas dress
This was my present from my talented hubs. He crated a gorgeous bowl for me out of a hunk of wood.
All Delaney wanted for Christmas was a Princess Ariel hair clip and an Ariel dress. Santa delivered on part of the wish--Grammie and Grandpa came through with the dress.
Sick little baby man on his new trike!
Helping to make breakfast on Christmas morning in his new apron!
On a Christmas day cruise on the new scooter. Thankful for sunny CA weather!

A few days after Christmas, my family drove down for a visit. Grammie, Grandpa, and Uncle Jimmy brought an arsenal of presents with them and we got to do Christmas all over again!

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of presents...
So excited about one of his favorite presents--his very own Dirt Devil vacuum! 
Grandpa enjoying the sunny weather with JuJu at the park. 
Delaney spent some time showing Uncle Jimmy how the music chimes work...
One of my presents from my folks was a cake pop kit--a cookbook and all the supplies needed to make the yummy treats. We had fun experimenting with our delicious creations.
We did our best to cheer the Beavers to victory by watching the Alamo Bowl. We got close but not close enough. :( 
The kids spent a lot of time playing with their trains from Gramps and Grams over Christmas break. Jude has officially reached the "obsessed with trains" stage.

Friday, January 11, 2013

December Round Up

Brace yourself, there are a lot of pictures coming your way...

December was a wonderful month. I loved uploading all of these pictures because it reminded me again of all the fun that was had. Since having children, Steve and I have tried to be intentional about our Advent season, making sure to leave room for plenty of family snuggle time. Yes, it was a busy month, but a great month spent celebrating the hope that Jesus's birth has brought to our world.

Tree trimmin' with Daddy. 
Enjoying the Mission Inn lights with our dear friends, Leila and Sadie. And yes, Delaney is wearing kitty ears.
One December afternoon, Delaney and I had a very special date: gingerbread house building at the library. The library is one of our favorite places, and it was so nice having some one-on-one time with my little creative gal.

Hard at work! 
Happy as clams!
She took a bite out of every piece of candy before placing it on her house. Such a candy junkie like her mama!
The finished product! Just as I went to take the photo, it collapsed. Bummer! 
Afterwards, because we didn't have enough sugar running through our veins, we got ourselves some hot cocoa. This kid is a ton of fun to be with. I love my big girl!
During one weekend in December, Sky Country hosted a fun Christmas workshop and book fair. On a whim, we went and got our pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Check out Jude's expression below:
The stuff Christmas memories are made of!
But don't worry! Jude drowned his anxiety and sorrows in a gigantic cup of hot chocolate. 
We also attempted a family photo shot. This picture turned out pretty cute and was what we ended up using for our Christmas card. However, our cards from Costco printed out super dark, so it looks like we were hiding in the shadows. Please remind me next year that Costco pictures always turn out dark! 
And we spent lots of time at Target in December. Popcorn for breakfast! (Not really.)
Steve and I made jam for neighbors and friends. My mom is the jam queen and I had her on speed dial throughout the entire process. Despite a few missteps, it turned out great.
Back to the library for the Teddy Bear Tea! 
Delaney with her friends Abby and Gwyneth.
Lots of baking in December!
Making cookies with Auntie Beans...
and with Nana...
and Uncle Monkey!
We went back to the Mission Inn to have the full Santa experience. It was a memory maker for sure! Jude freaked out (no big surprise there...) and Santa wouldn't let him sit on his lap! So, Steve and I got to join in the picture. And then Santa never even asked Delaney what she wanted for Christmas, so I sort of went back and made Santa ask her. Anyway, it wasn't how I pictured how things would go down, but where's the fun in that?

In line for Santa...of course he's all smiles here!
One big, happy family!
Our small group from church got together for a fun and competitive ugly sweater party. By the end of the evening, my face hurt from laughing so much!
The men!
The women!
This is a very special dress. Delaney is wearing it for her Christmas performance at school, and looked cute as a button. This red dress was originally my mom's dress, and then my dress, and now Delaney's dress. She wore it proudly!
Christmas party at her school! 
And even though it's winter, it's really nice this time of year and the oranges are in season. J. Billy loves citrus, even though it makes him break out in a crazy rash.
So, stay tuned for pictures of our actual Christmas day celebrations...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thanksgiving in Oregon 2012

Preface: I started writing this post over a month ago, I swear! I had issues with Blogger and photo space, and didn't have time to deal with it over the holidays. I'm just trying to clear my name and prove to certain family members that I do intend to continue blogging. Promise.

For the past I-don't-know-how-many years, we've switched off between Thanksgiving or Christmas in Oregon. This is an Oregon Thanksgiving year, and Steve somehow finagled two weeks off of work.  Thus, a road trip was conceived. Road trips are so wonderful in the amount of friends and family that we get to visit, but not so great in the sleep department. And really not so great in the crazy, active toddler department.

We started the day of our trip running the Mission Inn 10k Run. Did you know that I'm training for a half marathon in January? For more info on that, click here.

Anyway, we packed up after our race and headed north to Sonora. Steve's aunt, uncle, and cousins live in that beautiful neck of the woods, and we rarely get to spend time with them. We had a fantastic time playing in the fall leaves and visiting apple farms and hanging out with Aunt Terry and Uncle Tommy. We made the pledge to make the Sonora stop more frequently from here on out.

Before the Mission Inn Run
Delaney, Aunt Terry, and a hungry little goat. 
Aunt Terry, Uncle Tommy, Jude, and Delaney posing in front of the train we rode at the apple farm.
Jude showing off his big muscles.
Playing in the park and enjoying the fall weather!
After Sonora, we loaded back into the car and headed north to Redding. Of course I didn't take pictures of all of our friends and visits, but we had such a wonderful time exploring the Lance's new property and hanging out with friends that seem more like family than anything. Redding will always have a magical element to it as it's where Steve and I met, married, and began our life together.

At the Shasta Dam where Stevie proposed to me 11 years ago. 
Guess what? I'm still crazy about this kid. 
I'm also crazy about this kid. But in a different kind of way.
Our dear friends the Osbornes let us crash their home as they were out of town. Auntie Kobbs came over to play and Delaney had a great time pretending with her in the backyard. I think they were building a campfire. 
And of course we went out for ice cream. I love these girls!
And then our journey continued northward, to Portland. Our super terrific friends, the Rodriguezes, moved back to Oregon this summer, and boy do we miss them. Delaney really misses her buddies Audrey and Maddie.
Jude and his girl Maddie. 
Delaney and Audrey, two peas in a pod.
Mike and Steve, loving each other in their own way. Bummer that I didn't get my picture taken with Holly! 
After leaving the Rodrigos, we journeyed to Gresham to stay with BFF Alison and family in their new-but-old home. Man, I wish I would have taken photos! Their house is absolutely gorgeous, and we're so thrilled for them. Anyway, after Gresham we FINALLY arrived in Jefferson at Grammie and Grandpa's house. They were pretty happy to see us, and vice-a-versa. The kids got busy baking with Grammie and Steve and I basked in the free cable and endless snack goodness that is my parents' house. My mom and dad hosted a Lee family gathering right off the bat, and thankfully I took a few pictures.

"Baking" with Grammie 
Playing "airplane" with Great Aunt Janet
This was the best shot we could get! Great Grandma Lee with a majority of her great-grandkids. L-R: Olivia Vitek, Hadley McManus, Bailey Vitek, Delaney & Jude Dunlap
We weren't content to stay put for long. Thanksgiving day is traditionally spent at my Grandparents' farm in Hood River. And so, our journey continued. We had a really terrific time, and the kids especially loved splashing in the mud puddles. J. Billy was so happy to be set free to roam the fields. He's country at heart.

Look at how deep that puddle is! Uncle Jimmy is so much fun! 
Do you see how happy this boy is? So very happy.
Obviously, our family shot guns together. Grammie got to wrangle an uncertain Jude during the ruckus.  
Cousin Solveig, working it for the camera.
Delaney had so much fun spending time with her almost-Auntie Jessica.
Aunt Francie figured out the trick to keeping the rugrats content!
Back in the car and headed to Cali! Next time we'll be in Oregon it will be for Uncle Jimmy's wedding!