Sunday, November 20, 2011

sunday naps

aren't they the best

ivy's blessing

we gave ivy a name and a blessing this month- and we were lucky to have lots of family and friends here to celebrate this event with us. here is how we spent the day...

the meeting was awesome. cade gave ivy a fabulous blessing. he blessed her that she would embrace charity and strive to serve those around her. he blessed her to know that what the Lord thinks about her is the most important thing- and to have confidence in His commandments and in herself. he blessed her with health and strength (which is something that this little one especially has needed thus far in life) and for many other important qualities. i truly am thankful to cade for offering such a beautiful blessing.
afterward, we all headed over to our house for food and chatting. each age group found their niche for socializing. the teens found violet's room:
the adults stayed in the main room:
and you better believe the kids found the man cave:
ivy was just a peach this whole time. she snoozed on and off, sometimes waking up to see who was loving on her.
we are so thankful to our family and friends who came to support us. it was fun catching up with everyone and enjoying time together.

cade and i couldn't be more thrilled to have little ivy here with us.

miss vi is growing up... and fast!

i feel like i haven't updated lately on violet. there are things i want to be sure to get on this blog so i NEVER forget how much i laughed through this stage with vi. really, all day long i just laugh at her (or with her?). anyway, here are a few things that i am loving about this little diva lately.

violet is obsessed with accessories of all sorts. she is always obsessing over at least one accessory and will demand that she wear it at all times. i am trying not to give in to her divaliciousness every time because i fear that she may turn into a kardashian, but i can't help but love watching her accessorize.
one week, she had to have about 40 necklaces draped around her neck at all times. the next week, she literally had a ring on every finger- and she loved to show them off. right now, she is really into boots. i will put her to bed and every morning, she walks out of bed with boots on over her footed jammies. i don't know when she wakes up and puts them on, but it is awesome. she becomes so attached to these accessories that it often ends up a HUGE meltdown when we have to take them off for some reason. she wore her turquoise ring for so long that i couldn't get it off even if i wanted to! it was stuck on! i have considered getting this girl a bedazzler for christmas- but i think i will hold off until she is at least two...

violet is really into dancing lately. the other day, she was following me around the house sulking. i asked all sorts of questions to find out why she was sad. she wasn't hungry, she didn't want to sing, and she wasn't tired.... in the end, she looked up at me and in a sad voice said, "wanna dance."
now THAT is a request i can fill! we turned on some tunes and that little girl danced in my bedroom for the next half an hour (and that is NOT an exaggeration). i kept getting things done around the house, but every time i would check in on her, i found her busting a move.
she doesn't much like to dance to any ol' thing- she prefers a good beat. that way, she can REALLY get into her groove. her favorite song to dance to right now is dev's "bass down low" (the clean version, of course). admittedly, this is not the best song for a little girl to dance to- but she LOVES it! if you start to sing, "i like my beats fast..." she will finish the sentence with "bass down low." i think i need to invest in some kids bop cds or something.
in my defense as a mother, her favorite song to sing is "jesus wants me for a sunbeam." i should throw that out there.

for some reason, vi loves to carry anything that is heavy. sometimes, i will hear her in another room struggling with something only to walk in and find her trying to lift a table or carry a chair that is three times her size. i just think she likes the challenge of it or something. when ivy was on oxygen, violet was always trying to carry around the heavy, portable tanks that we kept. i even thought those were too heavy to just heave around the house- but not vi.
this picture is sooo blurry but i couldn't figure out my camera... nor could i get her to stop walking. but you get the point. i love her grunts as she lifts stuff and her determination to move the heavy things from one room to another. makes me laugh every time.

i really do have a little shadow all day helping me do things. when i am cleaning, violet needs a rag to wipe down her toys. when i am working, violet is at the desk with me coloring. when i am feeding ivy, violet is there cheering ivy on (sometimes, a little too much... but ivy don't mind). when i am getting ready, violet is right there putting on her "makeup" and getting her dolls ready as well.
with two kids, i find that sometimes i need an extra set of hands- and vi is always there to step in and help. one of her favorite ways to help is to find garbage and throw it away. for a while, cade and i were so impressed with her ability to recognize what was garbage and that she knew where to throw it away. a few days later, i went to wash out the tub in our guest bathroom and found where violet's "garbage can" was. i guess she thought the tub was a good a place as any to throw the trash. ever since then, if you part the curtain in the tub, you are sure to find a collection of wrappers, old papers and maybe a diaper or two that violet has decided to throw away.

more and more violet is expressing herself- and it is so fun to be a part of it. she went through a pretty nasty biting stage not too long ago, so we are just glad that she is using her mouth in a much more constructive way. her vocabulary is doubling by the week and it is great to hear her try to put sentences together. now, when we sit down to read her familiar books, she likes to tell me what the story is. i will be honest, sometimes i have NO idea what she is saying but she says it with such enthusiasm that i just go with it. she has the opportunity to play with her neighbor friends quite often and i love to hear them all chatter as they play. again, most of it is long, jibber-filled sentences, but they seem to know what the other is saying.

i think i could go on and on and on about this little girl....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

halloween roundup

this year our halloween consisted of the following:

picking our pumpkins
we ventured out to the local pumpkin patch for some hayrides, animal time and pumpkin picking. violet spent all of her time trying to give all the animals hugs. she managed to wrangle in a few goats- but could never catch the cute, little piglets. she sure does love her animals!
in this picture, violet is "smiling."

carving our pumpkins

violet was a little too young to appreciate this tradition last year, so i was excited to get her into the action this time around. she wasn't really too fond of the pumpkin guts at first. it took some time...but she came around eventually.

ivy was content to get some love from her nana while the carving party raged on.
in the end, we had some great pumpkins!


we had some really fun parties to attend this year as we led up to the big day. the ross family had us over for our annual chili and pumpkin party. violet ran wild with the other little girls while we dined on yummy treats and carved some more.
the neighborhood hosted an awesome trunk or treat. this was vi's first experience trick or treating- and she picked up on it right away. all she needed to do was say, "trick or treat" and "thank you" and she would magically get candy. this. was. heaven. she ran from car to car and timidly asked for her candy. ivy, the fabulous baby that she is, slept through the party all comfy and cozy.
next was the hobbs' party. they had a fabulous spread, a great crowd and some fun prizes.
violet and cade each won "best costume" award for their respective age groups and vi was thrilled to pick her fairy pez prize and candy. admittedly, she is one cute pirate.

facial hair

halloween conveniently fell into cade's shaving schedule as he went from having a full beard and long locks back to his normal self. it really did work out well for his various costumes...

the big day

when halloween finally came, violet was ready! we all got into costume and headed to nana and gramps' house for a fun party.
everyone was in costume- even my dad! that is a rarity, but he didn't want to disappoint the grandkids. if you can't tell from the picture what owen is dressed as, i'll tell you: he is a SHARK VAMPIRE. the kind of shark that "eats blood." he was having a hard time just picking one costume but i think he pulled off the hybrid in the cutest way possible.
before going out for candy, we ate a yummy dinner. violet spent most of her time huddled around the root beer brew. she just kept drinking and drinking and drinking... i thought about stopping this- but it was halloween. you are supposed to get filled up with sugar, right? plus look how cute she is.
i did, however, draw the line when she kept trying to eat the dry ice...
next, we went out to trick or treat. it wasn't as cold as it has been in previous years but i still bundled ivy up before we headed out. her pirate costume wasn't quite warm enough...
but she makes for a pretty cute pumpkin too!

violet was loving life as she literally ran from house to house with her cousins. she was smaller, so she had to run the whole time to keep up- but she didn't seem to mind!
after a while, however, she realized she couldn't keep the pace. she quickly found a solution by holding on to two people and lifting her legs while they carried her. she really needed to conserve that energy. she would lift her legs up until it was time to run to the next porch and then she would hurry and let go and run to the door. quite the system.

ivy, as usual, was perfectly content to watch all the action from the stroller. she didn't make a peep the entire time! love that baby.
after we had gathered as much candy as possible, we headed back so the kids could play and we could all chat together. it really did make for a great halloween.

loving on ivy

finally, i should mention that we sure did spend a lot of our time loving on this baby during halloween. we can't get enough.

Friday, November 11, 2011

polar bear lake

a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to stay in a fabulous cabin in bear lake with all the taylor crew. and when i say "crew," i mean CREW. there are over 40 of us all together and it is rare that we get the chance to get away like this. we are ALL so glad that we did. it was like the movie "dan in real life" only nobody stole anyone else's date and there was no murdering of love. it was soooo fun. here is a rundown of our time spent there:

we all met up at the cabin late on thursday night. we pretty much just had enough time to chat, get in jammies and hit the sack- ready to start the fun early the next morning.

i LOVE going somewhere late at night when you can't see enough of your surroundings to really know where you are. i think it makes for the best surprise in the morning. since we got to the cabin so late the night before, i was thrilled to wake up and find myself here
we could see the entire lake from end to end. with all the fall leaves- it was awesome. after gawking at the sights from our windows, we ate breakfast and gathered outside for a little hike.
some of us were a little surprised to see that we had all dressed in the same color scheme....
apparently we were also surprised to see such a bright sun beating into our eyes.
the hike was fun. violet had a blast with her cousins- who she refers to as "cushions." she and ava were pals all weekend long. sweet ava just took her under her wing!
there was plenty to do and much to find on our hike.

you can always count on vi to haul around the biggest stick she can find...
ivy just enjoyed the view. it will be nice to go on our next hike and not have to lug around a tank like we had to here.
as the hike progressed, the men got into a throwing contest to see who could hit a small, metal flag that was attached to a fire hydrant. as they continually threw and missed the mark, more and more people joined in until....
lindsey t finally hit it!
after hiking back to the cabin, we dined on yummy sandwiches and let the kids run wild. there was a swingset, a sand box, a billion toys and lots of "cushions" to play with. the men retreated to the shed where they powered up the polaris ranger and took it out for a spin. soon, the ranger was dripping with kids who wanted to ride- i think we had that engine running for the rest of the day and the kids took turns going on rides.
most of the time, the polaris rides were great- beautiful scenery, screams of joy and fabulous weather. one ride, however, was not so fabulous...
that mud isn't coming out of ANYTHING.
we had a bunch of activities planned, but we realized that the kids just wanted to play together- and on the polaris... so that afternoon, we all took it easy and enjoyed our time to chat, nap and snack. wouldn't have it any other way.
that night, we dined on yummy taco soup- abby was great to open 25 cans of beans in order to get the dinner going. again, we are a CREW. the food was fab and we all ate until we were stuffed full.
we had decided that we were going to have a skit night followed by an open talent show. we lined all forty-two of us up from youngest to oldest (yes, even the kids and babies) and divided into teams. each team had to reenact the story of goldilocks and the three bears according to the theme they picked out of a hat. my group got ACTION and we were sure to add all sorts of ninjas and explosions to the story. abby, sadie and i even used callie, hartman and violet as machine guns at one point. cade was in the COMEDY group where there were plenty of crotch kicks and jokes. it really was fun to see everyone participate and the kids LOVED the skits. after that, the talent show started and we were entertained with singing, dancing, skits and all sorts of fun. i love watching all the nieces perform- they are so creative and so cute. i especially love that even the teenagers get into stuff like this. there is never a moment where somebody is "too cool" to participate- and it makes for a fun time for everyone.
we all enjoyed a gourmet hot chocolate bar before heading to bed.

as we ate breakfast, it was decided that now was as good a time as any to take a polar bear plunge into the lake. cade had been insisting for a while that this was a must for the trip. the next thing we know, all the vans are loaded and we are heading to the water- ALL of us. for those of you who have been to bear lake, you know that the water is freezing even in the heat of august. october temperatures are frigid. nevertheless, we left the little kiddos on the beach and the rest of us waded into the water and took the plunge. according to cade, you must dunk yourself three times in order to be a true polar bear. so, we all followed. even leslie, cade's mom, dunked under in her nice pants and cute shirt. it was a sight to see us all- unfortunately, we were the only people crazy enough to be there... so nobody saw.
later lindsey g was laughing that all of the older siblings just followed their youngest brother into the icy waters. who would have imagined this happening all those years ago?
that afternoon, the men watched the byu game, the kids ran wild and played and the older nieces gave all the mommas pedicures. it was a relaxing afternoon so i just soaked it all in and enjoyed every second of it. sadie made yummy enchiladas for us all. yes, enchiladas for all 42 of us. as the afternoon went on, we started gearing up for our masquerade ball. everyone made a mask out of a paper plate to wear. abby decorated the place all festive. we were ready to tear it up.
violet's kitty mask didn't fit... so i let her wear mine. i am glad i did because she looked great and you could tell she felt cool with all that wild yarn on her face.
here are granny and grandpa with all the grandkids...
and of course, the taylor fam.
after posing for some pictures, we had quite the dance. we all got into it. there were special dances for the kids, for the dads, for the tweens, for the mommas... and we danced and danced and danced. it was fabulous.

we all sacked out on the floors and couches that night as we fell asleep to movies. the end to a great day.

at some point in the middle of the night, the fire alarm went off in the house. i was right in the middle of a very scary dream- so this was NOT welcomed by me. my heart was racing when i woke up and i was so confused. the alarm shut off and the house was quiet again. cade and i wondered if anyone else heard it or if it was just in our room. since we didn't hear anyone get up, we decided it was a false alarm and we crashed back into bed. not a minute later, we heard pounding on the front door of the cabin (which was right outside our room). at this point, i really was scared. cade and brent went to investigate. when they finally opened the door, ray, cade's dad, was standing out in the cold. he had heard the alarm and went outside but was locked out. this was all so funny at 3 in the morning so we stood together in the hall and giggled for a while before making our way back to bed.

in the morning, it was time to pack up. admittedly, i was worried about the state of the cabin at this point. we had lived in and loved on that cabin all weekend. as we all got to it, however, it cleaned up quite nicely! we were out of there in no time- even though none of us wanted to leave. it had been SUCH a fun weekend and we didn't want it to end.
the only consolation to all of this was driving through the canyon to logan in the daylight so we could see all the beautiful leaves. i was glued to my window with ooos and ahhhs. we had missed most of the other fall colors, so the entire canyon was full of golden yellow leaves. it was gorgeous. a consolation... but i STILL wish i was back in bear lake living it up with the fam.