2016 Christmas Card & Visit with Santa + Happy New Year!

We took down all of our Christmas decorations today. This was the first time the girls' desire to help was genuinely helpful as opposed to just elongating the process. ;) They worked together to get all of the ornaments off of the tree & put back into boxes, and they also helped Derek take down the outdoor lights & the garland on our staircase--they really impressed us!! Putting up Christmas decorations is always so fun & exciting, but I usually dread putting it all away b/c the excitement is gone & it's such a job...but we actually had a lot of fun doing it all together today!

Taking ornaments off the tree
Putting ornaments back in their boxes
Showing off her work :)

As we were taking down our card tree today, I realized I never shared our Christmas card or Santa picture on the blog! So without further ado, here is our 2016 Christmas card & annual Santa pic!

{front of our card}
FYI--I snapped pictures of our card hanging on our card tree, which is why there's a hole at the top of the card ;)
{back of our card}

I can't believe we begin a new year tomorrow! 2016 was a big year for our little family--Derek's fellowship graduation and promotion to Major, a cross-country move (at 38.5 weeks pregnant!), a new job for Derek, a new baby (!!!), Shelby started Kindergarten, and Hadley started preschool. Sooooo many changes in a very short period of time (everything I just listed happened within 3 months over the summer). 2016 was a doozy--we all had a lot of adjusting to do. Here's to hoping for a great new year, but with a little less excitement. ;) 

Happy New Year, everyone!!


The Adventure Begins!

I have about a zillion pictures from Christmas and my parents' visit to sift through and share with you on the blog, but I'm way too tired for that tonight...plus, Brady has some new tricks he'd like to share with the world!!!

Brady has suddenly started army crawling in the past couple of days. I think he might have actually started sooner, but since we don't have any carpet downstairs in our house he can't get much traction. But today we were upstairs in Shelby's room, and all of a sudden I hear Shelby saying: "Mommy, he's getting my book!" After moving Brady, I hear Hadley saying: "Now he's getting my shirt!!!" Then later, I plopped Brady down in front of the floor length mirror in my room while I went to brush my teeth. He's always content to lay there and check himself out in the mirror if I need a few minutes to do something. But not anymore apparently--in the two minutes I took to brush my teeth, he'd gotten into our closet and was trying to chew on our hamper. ;)  And so the adventure begins!!!

Here's a video we took yesterday:

And here's another video of Big Sister Shelby figuring out the army crawl at 10.5 months old. Not sure what to make of the fact that Brady is doing this a full FIVE MONTHS before Shelby did?!?!

And as if that wasn't enough for one week, we also started baby-led weaning with Brady!

How is it possible that we have three kids at the breakfast table now?!

Isn't he just the absolute cutest?!?!

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some Christmas recaps! Hope you had a fabulous Christmas & that you enjoy your New Year's weekend!! Until next time, friends!


The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

The past two years, a small group of people went caroling around our neighborhood in San Antonio. The girls loved this & kept talking about doing it again this year. Despite the fact that we barely know anyone here yet and we have a new baby and it was cold & rainy here the night we scheduled it (it NEVER rains here, but it literally rained the ENTIRE day we planned our caroling)....we did it! And I'm so glad we did--the girls had so, so much fun! The first house we stopped to carol at was our neighbors across the street. They are an older retired couple, and even if we had just gone to that one house it would have all been worth it! They smiled from ear to ear throughout the kids' performance and afterwards they kept telling us how they'd lived here in Summerlin for the past 20 years and never had a single caroler and what a joy it was to hear the kids sing. It was such a fun night!!

The Caroling Crew!

In action!

After we were done for the night, I raced home ahead of the girls per their request so they could ring our doorbell & carol to me :)

Last night we attended an early Christmas Eve service at our church & snapped a few pictures beforehand.

Had to include this one, too....real life with Hadley!

And a few other random pics from the rest of our week!

Love this one :)

And today is CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!! The girls woke up to the biggest surprise ever--Grammy & Grampy were there to greet them this morning! Now the real fun begins!!!!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!


Life Lately

When I was uploading pictures for my last blog post, I found several photos on my phone that hadn't made it to the blog yet...so here you go!

Shelby had a random day last week with no school. Strangely enough, Las Vegas area schools have their Parent/Teacher Conferences scheduled the week before Christmas break. Who does that?! So, so weird! But we enjoyed having a break from our normal routine! I had to make a trip to the post office with all three crazies in tow that day, and I promised the girls a trip to the park afterwards as their reward! They were thrilled we found a park with fall leaves galore!

Last weekend we made our first trip to the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory here in Las Vegas! Since our family is nothing short of chocolate connoisseurs, this was a must-do activity for us! Plus, the grounds were all decked out for Christmas, so it was even more fun!

Posing in front of the giant chocolate wall!

Thrilled to be eating their Ethel M. chocolate bars!

Christmas lights at Ethel M. Chocolates

I dropped the ball and never did a post on our first ever gardening attempt! This was more of a trial run since we didn't get our garden going until September, but now we {kind of} know what works and what doesn't and we'll be ready when spring rolls around! Here are Derek & Shelby pulling up our carrots this past weekend to see how they did!

Shelby has always been an avid reader, but lately she's been getting more & more into chapter books. She always cracks us up b/c she'll be running around playing with Hadley, and then two seconds later she'll plop herself down on the couch to read. She craves down-time to herself to just sit quietly with a book. She's always had the tendency to get lost in books. If we try to talk to her while a book is in her hands, she literally cannot hear us. She reminds us of Belle in Beauty & the Beast!

Shelby is an early riser, so this is how we find her every single morning while she waits for the rest of the house to wake up.

One morning this past week, Shelby & I were awake before everyone else in the house...so we curled up on the sofa with our books to read side by side. It wasn't long before the rest of the house was stirring, but I so enjoyed this precious time with my big girl while it lasted!

We had a laid-back weekend, and now we're gearing up for a fun-filled week leading up to Christmas! Derek only has two days of work & then he'll be home with us starting on Wednesday for a whole week! Then he'll get off a little more time around New Year's...we're so pumped & super thankful for all the Daddy time we'll get over the holidays!


Winter Break is Here!

Yesterday was Hadley's last day of preschool & today was Shelby's last day, so we are now officially on Winter Break! Woohoo!!! Both girls had PJ Days at their schools to celebrate the last day.

Pajama Day in Preschool!

Hadley & Machaon waiting to pick up their big sister & big brother :)

Pajama Day in Kindergarten!

Hadley's preschool also put on a cute little holiday concert on their last day. They did three songs to celebrate different holidays--Jingle Bells, Dreidel, and Habari Gani. I think Habari Gani was my personal favorite, but Hadley was the most animated during the dreidel performance...so I'll share a video of that one! It was such a such a treat to get to see Hadley in her element with her preschool friends!

Now we're ready to kick off our Winter Break!!


Five Months!

Brady turned five months old last week!! Couldn't you just eat him up?! He is the sweetest!

And just for comparison's sake, here are the girls at 5 months old:



Brady continues to be the most content, easy-going baby! Eleven hour days at Disney Land, being toted around for Kindergarten & preschool drop-offs, tagging along with Mommy to volunteer in Shelby's class....no problem! This little buddy just takes it all in stride. We're so thankful for his sweet demeanor! He still doesn't like his carseat much at all, but he's getting a little better at tolerating it with each passing month. Brady still loves when I wear him in the carrier, but he sleeps on me MUCH less than he used to...so bittersweet! The most notable difference between Brady & his sisters at this age is his mobility! Brady is rolling back to front & front to back now, and he isn't quite crawling or even army crawling...but he's figured out how to shimmy himself ever so slowly across the floor when he's in the mood to move. So we officially have a mobile baby!
Here's a couple videos of Brady at five months old. The Gallimores passed this jumperoo on to us, and Brady absolutely LOVES it!! We had a different style jumperoo for the girls where their feet rested on a little platform thingy if you will as opposed to the floor. Both of the girls liked it okay, but NOTHING like how Brady enjoys this!

It's hard to believe he'll be a HALF YEAR OLD in less than a month! Crazy! We plan to start baby-led weaning with Brady when he hits the six month mark just as we did with Hadley. How is he almost old enough to be sitting in a high chair with food?! These past five months have FLOWN by! We love you, Brady boy!!


Visit from Grandma & Granddad

We were so fortunate to have another round of visitors here in Las Vegas to see us & meet our sweet Brady-boy! Derek's dad and stop-mom were with us this past weekend, and we had so much fun! They even surprised the girls with a little early Christmas celebration! And aside from seeing the joy on the girls' faces as they played with their grandparents, the best part of the weekend was discovering that Derek's dad was referred to as "Bucky" by his siblings when they were growing up!! Derek randomly started referring to Brady as "Bucky" shortly after he was born, and the nickname just stuck. How crazy that that is what Brady's grandfather was referred to as a little boy, too!

Bucky Junior & Senior ;)

Making cookies with Grandma :)

The aftermath ;)

Opening presents with an almost five month old :)

Caught red handed!!

The girls sporting their gifts from Grandma!

And Brady sporting his :)

Granddad reading to Brady

This is how we found Hadley about five minutes after Grandma & Granddad left ;)  Passed out on the couch with glow sticks in hand...tell-tale signs of a good weekend, ha! Hadley still hasn't fully recovered from her sickness/utter exhaustion from our last round of visitors & Disneyland....this poor girl is WORN OUT!

Thanks for coming to see us, Grandma & Granddad!