Thursday, December 31, 2009

A year of books in review

Last year I posted a list of five of my favorite books from the year. This year I thought I would do the same. I read over 90 books this year and I had some really great reads that I recommend to most people I meet (I also had some really awful reads too, pity). Here are a list of my top five, in no particular order.The Luxe series was such a fun read. She finished the series this year and I just thought it was the perfect ending. The story takes place in New York in the late 1800's. It involves scandal, romance and everything in between. I just loved these books and the characters that were so easy to love and hate. My grandma gave me this book to read and I was a little hesitant about it. One day I didn't have anything else to read so I picked it up and never put it down. I cherished my time reading this book. It is such a sweet simple story that left me completely satisfied. The authors' writing was magnificent and I just couldn't get enough. I just loved this read. I started reading the Percy Jackson series early on in the year and I just fell in love. He also finished his series this year and I couldn't have been happier with the last book. The author knew how to the end the series with a bang. The entire book is one big fight and although that sounds like it could drag, it doesn't. I just love Percy Jackson! The much anticipated second book in the Hunger Games series came out this year. I don't think I've been so excited for a book to come out in a very long time until this one. I waited anxiously and loved every minute of this one, although sometimes I had to walk away because it was just too emotional for me at times. Although I will say this wasn't as good as Hunger Games, it came pretty darn close. Expect to see the third book in next years best list. I finally got around to reading this book after it had been on my to read list for years. I mostly started it because I met the author and was so impressed I decided to go for it and I wasn't disappointed. I read so many books that most of the time they all remind me of each other, this one was different. I read it and was refreshed by how different it was from all the other books I had read. I couldn't get enough of his descriptions of the fairies (and the fact that he spelled fairies correctly). I am slowly making my way through this series, especially knowing I will be meeting with the author again in February.
I am always in search of a great book, so if you have any let me know! What did you think of these books?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I am quickly learning how ridiculously difficult it is to get two kids to look at the camera, smile and look cute at the same time. Here are my pathetic attempts. 
Can you tell who was happy to take this picture and who wasn't?  This is seriously the best of the two of them together, pitiful!  Apparently Blake takes better pictures by himself rather than with his sister! And sadly this is the best of Kalli. I just loved her dress this year!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Builders We Are..

This year we decided to start a new tradition of making a gingerbread house together. I don't ever remember making one so this was quite a new experience for me. We had so much fun together sitting around the tree decorating. Our kids didn't really care about decorating but instead concentrated on getting their hands on as much candy as they could. So good times all around. 
Joe took the frosting away from me at the very beginning because my frosting work was not up to his standards. He did a good job I have to admit.  Blake pretending to help but in actuality stealing candy.  Can you tell they were excited. This was the only picture I could get of Kalli looking at the camera because she was so involved in taking the candy off the house, the little stinker! Yea, this is what happens when these two get together.  Our finished product. Joe told me I need to take a picture from afar because it's not so nice looking up close, but I think for first timers it turned out really well. This will be a tradition we will come back to each year, it was so enjoyable! 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One year ago today....

It's hard to believe that a year ago Kalli went into surgery to fix her skull. It actually feels like a lifetime ago. Here are some pictures to show how much we've grown!
Kalli's football head.  Right after surgery. She was so swollen and it was hard to see what she would look like. Poor baby.  This was Kalli a couple days after surgery. When we got her home she was smiley and happy and you would never have known she had had surgery on her skull. What a little trouper!  And Kalli today. You can't even tell that she ever had surgery except for the beautiful shape of her head and her tiny little scar. I only see the scar because I use it as her part for her hair. I find I look at people's head shapes now, after going through all this. Kalli has the most perfect head shape and although it came from surgery, it's still perfect. 
We have found out that her condition is genetic so we're crossing our fingers that our future child(ren) don't have it. She's come so far in a year!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh so thankful...

Ok, so these pictures are out of order. Oh well. Our Thanksgiving was great. It was only the four of us but it was still a lot of fun. Here is what happened:
Kalli is a pig, that's all I can say. I was really grateful for her because I cook for two days and usually Blake sits down for no more than 2 minutes and is done. It seems like a waste, but Kalli sat for half an hour or more just eating and eating and eating. She made me so happy. She started out eating the potatoes and after a while ventured over to the pomegranate salad and would not stop eating it. She had three helpings of that stuff. Joe won't even talk about the after-effects of that diaper, it has scarred him.  Getting ready to eat. Wow, I make a lot of white food, there is like no color on that plate! Trying to patiently wait for the food. They really weren't that patient, I had a lot of whining and crying for the food.  Blake just couldn't wait to get started. He begged for a roll and potatoes for over 15 minutes and then when I gave it to him he ate three bites and was done. Seriously grateful for Kalli.  The food, and it was good! We missed our families but we had so much fun with our own little family. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BYU Broohaha

Last weekend Joe's brother and his wife came into town to see BYU play against UNM. Joe decided that Blake was old enough to go and actually sort of enjoy the football game and so we made it a family outing minus our little girl. Although it was pretty dang cold Blake had a great time. I am not a fan of BYU at all so I didn't cheer for either team, but I still had fun hanging out with my family and Ryan and Kelli. Ryan and Kelli have corrupted Blake's mind by teaching him to chant BYU and he does it all the time now, including during stake conference. We wish Ryan and Kelli could have stayed longer but we had fun while it lasted. We kept their bed up for Blake so he could feel like they were still there. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shoe Addict

This little girl is absolutely obsessed with wearing her shoes. If she doesn't have her shoes on she goes on a quest to find them and brings them to me to put them on. Anytime I have to take them off for naps or diaper changes she freaks out and instantly wants them back on when we're done. Half the time she is wearing her shoes for nap time, weirdo. Joe and I are a little annoyed with all this so we have started hiding her shoes, I know we're mean parents. Even if she already has one pair of shoes she'll bring me her others and wants both on and gets upset when I can't put them both on. I don't know if this is a girl thing or just a weird Kalli thing but it's definitely a quirk of hers. 
*I know she has no shoes on in this picture, but this was taken before her obsession developed. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kalli's amazing pictures

We are so lucky that there are so many talented women in our ward that love photography. I asked one of them if she wouldn't mind taking Kalli's one year pictures and I am so excited by how they turned out. These are just some of what she captured. Unfortunately Kalli was not having her picture taken that day. We had to go out early to get the light just right and it was SO cold and she apparently is not a fan of the cold. She wouldn't smile, walk or do anything but just glare at me for taking her out of her warm bed. I still think they turned out great! Take a look and enjoy her cuteness!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I LOVE this picture. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

The traditional Halloween Post

Lady Bug
The group (minus one)
The trick or treating gang
Ridiculously excited about the loot!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Party for Kalli

Last week we had Kalli's birthday party. It was a pretty small affair. We invited three families over for dinner and fun and all the kids were just running around like crazy. Kalli had such a fun time and it was low stress which made it so great!
Here are the kids getting ready for the party.  Kalli eating her cupcake. I didn't get a picture of it but I made a cupcake bar for everybody, it was a big hit! This is after pizza dinner and her frosting (she didn't eat the cake part, surprise surprise). I just love her face in this. If you also notice, she loves to put all her food in her hair. As much as I love her hair it becomes a pain in the butt when she does this which is an everyday occurrence.  So excited for her toys! This is a good depiction of what happened. Kalli was so uninterested in opening her presents so everybody else just opened them for her. It actually happened so fast I wasn't quite sure what she got and who she got it from. 
Afterwards we did sparklers for the older kids and that was a huge hit. We had so much fun at her party. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

One Year Later...

It's hard to believe that Kalli went from this:
To this:
To this:
In such a short amount of time! 
Kalli turns one today, and like all mothers I wonder where the time has gone. Kalli has certainly turned into my loud, active, trouble maker. But she still stays my snuggle bug through it all. She torments her brother to no end but yet we all love her more than I ever thought possible. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ABQ Ballon Festival

The balloon festival is really big here in Albuquerque. They shut down the schools and streets and it pretty much overtakes the town. The festival lasts for ten days and they do all kinds of competitions and events. We decided to go down one night when they were having their shapes glowdeo and fireworks. They only had the fun shape balloons and then they put on a light show that was fun. The kids had so much fun looking at all the characters. Then they did the fireworks were actually pretty good. Blake is still talking about the balloons and how fun they were. Blake's favorite part sadly was riding a school bus to the balloon park, oh well. 
Blake refused to take a picture with the family. This was our second attempt and we just got what we could.  Notice that Kalli wouldn't look at the camera, she was way too interested in the balloons. She never took her eyes off of them.  This is what we saw when we walked into the balloon park. It was a little overwhelming.  Part of the light show.  This cow was ridiculously huge! We had watched him on the tv for a couple of days but it was even better in person!
Here is a little video of the flicker show. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crazy nine

When Blake was turning a year old I determined that when all my kids turn a year old I would make them a special quilt. This is just an excuse to let me quilt to my heart's desire. This year my friend Linda sent me a great pattern called the crazy nine quilt. I had so much fun picking out the fabric and getting it all together. When I was piecing it together it didn't look good and I was a bit worried. But I forged on and I think it turned out great! It pretty much matches Kalli's personality in that she is crazy and loud just like the quilt. 
I am also planning another one of these for a Christmas surprise and I can't wait to get started on it. You may just be the recipient!