Well, it's about time I got this up. I have these pictures uploaded for a while, but I've been wanting to add more. My computer seems to not want me to put up certain pictures so I'll keep trying with some others. These are from over the Christmas holiday. This trip was awesome.
We left a week or so before Christmas and decided to do the whole drive all night thing. We thought that would be best with two kids. It actually wasn't too bad. It was hard for me to stay awake, but luckily Tad drove most of the time. The next day we got there about 9/9:30 and we ate breakfast and went straight to bed. Darcy and her two boys were there so we got to spend some good time with them before the others showed up. Russell showed up next, then Neil and Brooke family, then Troy and Cassy family and Amy and the boys showed up after Christmas. It was so much fun to spend so much time with everyone. I felt like I was able to get to know Tad's family a bit more. He has such a good family and they are all very good people; we are lucky to be blessed with such good families.
We were able to go to the beach a few times which was amazing coming from the freezing cold. We saw starfish, crabs, and lots of crazy things. Afton was able to actually have people to play with around her age. It was fun to watch her interact (or I should say lack of interaction) with the others. She's just a little too independent, I think. She doesn't really care if there are others around or not, as long as she can play with what she wants. Makes me wonder what she's like in nursery. Reesa was great as well, although she was growing into her waking hours. She would stay awake and cry every once and a while but for the most part she was just chill. We loved every minute with Tad. The girls and I hadn't had much time with him before the break, because it was pretty hectic at work. It was great to see him with his family and truly enjoy just hanging out. He was so helpful with diapers and holding the girls that I almost wish he didn't work at all. New Year's was probably not as exciting as yours because it was just our little family and Tad's parents. It was actually great for us to just be able to spend time with his parents. Also, Afton wasn't screaming "Mine!" every two seconds. We played games, ate great dinners, took walks and enjoyed the southern California beauty.
As far as gifts go, I got a sweet new pink camera from Tad. I've been wanting a new camera for a while, and I didn't even tell Tad that's what I wanted. He's so inspired! Afton got a baby doll that you can feed and it cries (which is just what we need around here!), a few new books, and a Color-Me-Song toy. That one we are still trying to get her to figure out, but she loved every minute of Christmas morning. Reesa was very low maintenance this year so she got a little hanging toy for her carseat and a new dress. Last, but not least Tad got a new tv. I had found a great deal on a Vizio 32" 1080i, but I didn't want to actually buy it before Tad could look at it, so I set the money aside. Well, we looked around and decided to check out our Walmart. We went and Tad was resigned that Vizio would be pretty good, but we'd just go ahead and do the 720p. Well, last weekend we headed over there and lucky for him they were out of Vizio's. We had done some research on the other brands as well, so we were prepared. We ended up getting the Sony Bravia 32". He came straight home and set it up as fast as possible. He loves it and I was very satisfied with our first tv purchase as a family. It's actually good because it gives me a few more gift ideas for the next few birthday/holidays. All these new tv's always can use accessories.
Now that we are back into the swing of things, I can look back on our past year. Man what a year. Tad graduated, officially, got a new job with the same company he had been working for as a Research and Development lead. Our cuzzie's, Joe and Leah had to leave us, so we made adjustments to not playing Nerts/Pounce every other night. Tad had dreams of being a roller skater with long hair and love handles. (If you don't know that story, you'll have to ask for details.) We found out baby number two was on it's way. Afton had birthday number one with lots of family and friends surrounding her. A few months later she started nursery, which she loved. She didn't look back once. We moved to another apartment complex and switched wards. We became better friends with our other cuzzie's Katie and Dallin, who had a cute little boy. Shortly after their little Garrison was born, Reesa Merrilee graced up with her presence. She was my little chunky baby weighing in at 8lbs 1 oz and 20.5". My family made it up here for the baby and for Thanksgiving. We all loved it even though it was shorter than we were hoping. Afton loved having so much attention and gave Grampy his new official name from our family as Poppy. So cute. Afton's vocabulary is sprouting at a crazy speed. She tells me that she loves me, asks me "what's dis?" all the time, can actually tell me if she wants something, although now she'll just walk up and open the fridge herself. She sings songs and loves watching "Mickey Smouse."
As for me, I've been on the up and up. It's been busy trying to keep a small apartment clean, as well as myself, and keep Afton playing instead of watching Playhouse Disney all day. Two babies definitely has been an adjustment and I've learned that no matter what I do, I need to make sure I am keeping up with my spiritual goals and standards. If I don't, my girls don't see that and as Elder Bednar explained in his past Conference talk, it's consistency that matters. If mom doesn't stay consistent, it's that much easier for the family to fall behind. Tad and I have set a goal to go to the temple at least once a month all year. That means for this first couple months while baby Reesa is still pretty young we will be going separately. It's not the same going without your spouse, but it is something I'd rather do, than eliminate because we can't go together. This past year Tad and I have worked hard to keep our marriage strong and I feel we have been very successful. I have been taught to so my affection and appreciation for all he does, which has opened my eyes to things that I didn't notice or appreciate before. I have been so blessed with two beautiful girls that are so fun to be around and a gentle, loving husband who shows me he loves me every day. What more can I ask for?
For now that's the update, although I am constantly taking pictures and of course can hopefully upload more. Thanks for keeping up with us this past year. I want to bear my testimony so that if you know me, there won't be any question of where I stand or what my family is working for. I know that this gospel is true. I have not always known this but I am so grateful for trying experiences that have pushed me to define myself and where I stand. These trials are not just to see what you can stand, but they are sent to us by a loving Father in Heaven. I know that He is in the details of our lives. He knows what we need. He loves me, He loves you. I know this because not only have I felt it from the Spirit, but because He sent His beloved Son to this earth so that we can all return to Him again. Our Brother, Jesus Christ died for each of us, because He loves us that much as well. But that is also a testament of how much love we need to have in our hearts for our Father in Heaven and for our other brothers and sisters. I have a testimony of forever families. I have never felt the kind of joy I feel with family in any other aspect of this life. Would it not make sense for us to be together forever, even after death? I know there is a plan for me and for everyone here.
I will post again soon!