31 December 2010

Happy New Year 2011!

Wishing you all the best in the New Year. May you complete your resolutions, be happy & prosperous, and overcome all your obstacles in the next year.

Much love from us: Doug, Marin, Bryson & Sariah

2010 Year in Review

2010 has been a whirlwind of activity for us, we jam packed it full of goodness, I'm almost sad to see it go. Here's a recap of our year:

January: We started the year off right with the birth of our second born, Bryson. We were thankful to have Doug's mom stay with us, followed by Marin's mom. Sariah was excited to have the extra attention of Grandmas. Marin was thankful that her doctor induced her a week early. We're all thankful to have Bryson in our lives!

February: Sariah started swim lessons and dance classes again. Its something that she does all year round and loves it. I love the creativity that dance brings her and the exercise she gets from both.

March: Doug's parents visited again for Bryson's blessing. We're thankful to have to priesthood in our lives.

April: We celebrated Easter, and enjoyed the coming of Spring. Marin finally got the hang (almost) of having 2 kids and sleeping more as Bryson started sleeping better.

May: May marks the 4 year anniversary of us moving to our current location.

June: Doug took a week and a half or so off and we took a family vacation to Utah. Bryson and Sariah did great during the flights and we loved seeing family & friends. Highlights included seeing all 9 temples between Logan & Provo, the Children's Museum, Hogle Zoo, and many, many more. Sariah was sad to see it end and begs constantly to go back.

July: Bryson turned half a year old! We spent our Summer enjoying outdoor fun at parks and splash parks and other activities. In July, we decided to try and sell our house, so we started getting ready for that.

August: Our house went on the market. We celebrated Doug's 28th birthday in Chicago. (Although if you ask him, he still thinks he's 26...) Doug was on a business trip the day before, so we drove down and met him at a hotel near the Chicago temple. We spent lots of fun swimming in the hotel pool and Doug enjoyed a birthday session at the temple.

September: Sariah started preschool! We joined a mother's co-op where the moms take turns teaching the kids. She's learning with a fun bunch of kids, and Marin enjoys teaching when her time comes around. Marin also auditioned and was invited to join the Wisconsin Chamber Choir and started practices. Bryson started swim lessons this month as well. It was a busy month!

October: Marin turned 31! Doug and her celebrated by going to see Wicked. The show was awesome! We had a fabulous time. Halloween was celebrated as well. Sariah was the cutest astronaut, Bryson a crazy alien and Doug & Marin went as members of Stargate SG-1. We had a nice time at various parties but didn't trick-or-treat since it fell on a Sunday. Next year, look out! Sariah's very excited.

November: This month was jam packed with goodness. Marin led our ward primary program as the primary music leader and Sariah got to participate. Everyone did a great job singing and Sariah loved saying her part "Obey my parents!" This was followed by our little girl turning 4 and celebrating with her very first "friends party." The theme was Space Princesses & Knights, and Marin somehow managed to pull it off. Two days later Marin had her first concert with the Wisconsin Chamber Choir, which everyone told her sounded great. (Since, she's listened to the recording and modestly aside, thinks its amazing.) The next week was Thanksgiving and true to form, somebody threw up Thanksgiving week. This year's unlucky contestant was Sariah. Poor girl. She felt better by Thanksgiving, but outside of making real mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, our feast was nothing special. We enjoyed it, though.

December: After re-assessing the market, we decided not to sell our house at this time. Interest rates are rising, so we worked to lock in a rate and refinance instead. We're disappointed not to be moving closer to our friends and getting a new home, but we hope to someday, and for now we still enjoy our house. Sariah calls it the Yellow Castle. We had a wonderful Christmas! Its been a great holiday. Doug was able to take the last two weeks of the year off. Its been nice to have both of us to watch the kids and just relax as a family. Santa was good to us this year. Plus Bryson has loved his first Christmas, and we were able to return most of the kids toys back to the house from storage, so there's lots to play with now. Our finale to the year was buying a new 2011 Kia Sedona minivan to replace our 2 door Chevy Cavalier that Marin had before we got married. Its a great addition to our family.

We feel so blessed and hope that everyone has a wonderful new year and many to come! There's so much we're excited for in 2011!!

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from us to you! We're celebrating the holiday by spending time as a family. Sariah drew these "cards" for Santa to thank him for coming tonight. I thought I'd share...

The first one says "Sariah" on top and "Santa along the side. She's pretty good with her letter if she has someone helping her spell. This first picture is a self portrait.

The next says "Thanks" on top. This picture is Santa. I think that scribbling is his beard.
And now our holiday gift to you. Here's a video of us making our family Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Feel free to write it down and use it. Or just enjoy watching us make them. :)

Once again, wishing you a very Merry Christmas from us! Hope your Christmas eve is a time of family, love & happiness! We'll be enjoying our traditional "breakfast for dinner" and singing songs and reading stories together while we watch santa on NORAD so the kids can make sure they're asleep before he gets here!

21 December 2010

Happy Anniversary!

(This picture does not do Doug justice. First of all, it was super early Sunday morning because we had 8am choir before church and he was tired and a little sick, but he's still super handsome!)Five Years...

Five Years of love, of kisses & hugs.

Five Years of caring and trust and growth.

Five Years of kids and laughter and fun.

Five years down, forever to go!

Love you Doug!

13 December 2010

11 Pictures of an 11 Month Old

Its hard work being 11 months...
Your mother puts you in silly hats...

But its lots of fun, too!
(Mommy calls this my "John Watson" outfit. If you've seen the new Sherlock, you might know why.)

I'm always on the move!

I love to babble. Esp. Da da da, but sometimes a ma...

I'm very curious about everything, more so if mommy or sister has it...

But I love my mommy!

My favorite game is peek-a-boo!

The library is fun, and I love story time.

I'm a very handsome guy!

But its a lot of work being 11 months old.

p.s. Bonus Picture! Mommy trimmed my hair for the first time today, doesn't it look nice? I sat in the sink, while mommy cut and sister stood on the toilet held a baggie for my hair and made sure I didn't turn on hot burning water. Pretty nice, right?

01 December 2010

The End?

Yes, I know, I missed the last day of November. All those blog posts done and I missed the last day. It was partly because yesterday was super busy (preschool, story times, and choir on Tuesday) and partly because I wanted to post something that wasn't "okay I did it! the end..." or totally random or whatever.

Here' what I did learn from this month. Blogging is hard work. It takes time and thought process. In fact right now I'm trying to type this while we listen to the Tangled soundtrack and Sariah is telling me about how she misses the fireworks and how they miss her, too. I have a hard time concentrating on reading or writing when I listen to music with words, then to have Sariah talking over that... well that's kind of what its been like while I've been blogging this month.

I also learned that I like writing when I have the brain power to do so. This month I've been writing for me, and while comments are fun to get, they are not necessary. I've realized that with my short stories, too. Which is fine, because in the end it is my satisfaction with what I've written that is important.

I also like writing about my kids, because they do or say the greatest things. Its fun to watch them grow, but it is hard to record all the little things they do or say in a day or a week or a month. I wish more of our family was close so they could also witness how great my kids are, because I'm not good about recording it.

So the challenge was to see if I could do this, and I did. Would I do it again? I don't know, ask me in a year...