Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Eve

 We have loved this Christmas Season.  The first of the month wasn't so festive, but we've really made up for lost time.  It has been such a blessing to spend the season with my parents and all of my mom's efforts to make the Christmas Season special.  I ADORE this photo of Emma and my dad.  She and my dad have such a special little bond and I know I will treasure this photo forever.

 We had a great party with our family that lives in Logan.  It included a great marriage trivia, yummy food, and some games in the gym.  Also at this party was an ugly lamp contest.  Mine and Bundy's was decorated with ugly pictures of our family, we won :)

Emma continues to be the sweetest, polite, and obedient girl there ever was. This was her gift to us this year and it just warms my heart every time I look at it.

I was all prepared for Christmas by the 23rd.  Everything bought, wrapped, and placed under the tree.  What a wonderful feeling.  We were able to have a night out and meet up with our dear friends Jed and Carrie to celebrate Carrie's birthday. We had a great time actually enjoying a conversation without interruptions from kids.

Christmas Eve is my most favorite Holiday of the whole year.  We had a quiet evening at home with just our girls and my parents, it was a refreshing change. Watching the girls play so well and be such darling sisters the whole night was the best gift I could have.

My mom and I made home made rolls in the morning and did a pop in visit to my Aunt Carol.  Then we had our big turkey dinner, a spiritual program, and the girls sang a great duet.

A family tradition is that we play the thimble game while waiting for the elf to knock.  I loved that Bundy finally saw the beauty in the thimble game, and it's watching the faces of your little girls as they throw water on someone or have water thrown on them, classic.

The elf knocked to let us know Santa was on his way and the girls better be asleep.  They DASHED into bed and slept together for the first time.  They were both asleep (faking it) before we could even close the door.  Another highlight of my Christmas.

We ended the night with matching pajamas for my mom and I.  Then a few rounds of rook and some delicious pie.  I LOVED setting out their gifts to look just right for when the girls came down in the morning.  This Christmas Eve was everything I hoped it would be.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dress Up Queen

 I have LOVED volunteering in Emma's class on most Tuesdays.  It's so fun to see her amongst peers.  I have become really fond of some of the boys and will miss watching them show favor to Emma. 

A special thanks to Pinterest for giving us this snowman idea.  We made these treats for Emma to hand out to her classmates on her last day at Bates Elementary.

This quality is shameful, but it's all I have.  Here we are signing the papers and closing on our house.  We took the last load to the storage unit that night and then went out to Zuppas with the Litchfields and promised that we won't let an hour distance keep us from being neighbors.

Emma's last day of school.  We brought her teacher her favorite drink and Emma had fun giving treats and hugs to all of her friends.  I am so proud of her for how easy she has made this transition in her life.  It's not easy saying good-bye or being new, especially for a 5 year old.  However, I can't think of another child who is so well adjusted and can handle all this change in stride.

We had our Skeen family Christmas party down town Salt Lake this year.  My parents got us hotel rooms at the Temple Square Marriott and took us out to Olive Garden.  We had a photo scavenger hunt at Temple Square (hence the random photos) and then all the cousins went swimming while we added up the game points and collected our prizes.  A very fun night with the family.

Sunday the girls were thrilled to open up their sister angels that Paul and DeNae sent for them.  I just love my aunt and uncle and am so thankful that they have such a warm place in the hearts of my husband and children as well.

 Lydia is a dress up QUEEN!!!  She is changing her clothes all the live long day!  It's exhausting, it truly is.  However, look at that face.  Isn't this what childhood is about?

Monday, December 12, 2011


While we were in Oregon we sold our house.  Not officially, but we have a firm offer on it and will be closing the 15th of December!!!  This has been the home of so many happy memories and I think this will be the all time favorite chapter in my far at least :)  Thanks to facebook I have had a chance to get to know the new buyers and I am just tickled about the darling little family that this home will go to.

Ryan and I started a carb free diet.  I know right?  It's pretty intense, but it's the only way we can lose weight.  So we're sticking with it until the 15th  when we close on our house, then we'll go out for sushi afterwards to celebrate.

My mom came and took Lydia to have a sleep over.  All three of us were so excited.  I just adore Lydia, but I love having alone time with Emma.

  Being on this carb free diet really makes you get creative with what you eat.  Our latest favorite is "popcorn cauliflower."  It's rather delicious and taste a lot like tater tots.

Saturday I took the girls to a "cookies and milk" party at the tree house museum.  Ummmmmm, kind of crazy, I wouldn't recommend.  Unless you love your kids and want to give them a great childhood, then yes, definitely go.

Sunday was our last day at church.  The girls wore their Christmas dresses and climbed all over the Litchfields.  I will terribly miss having a family who is so into our kids and welcomes their business and antics during sacrament. 

St. Nicholas Eve the elf left the girls their presents inside their shoes.  It's a huge European tradition, and it was always one of my favorites as a kid.  I just love starting traditions for my own offspring. 

My mom came and stayed with us so we could have a date night.  We hit up T-Roadhouse and did some Christmas shopping.  Fun little night out.

Wednesday my mom and I had a whole day to ourselves.  I had looked forward to it ALL week long.  We went to lunch at Zuppas and then had a long list of stores to go to.  I love having my mom to myself and being able to help her out with projects and things she needs to accomplish.  We crossed off many names on her shopping list and got a few darling Christmas decorations too.

We had a great family fun night with one of our besties, the Malmbergs.  We bundled up and headed to Ogden Cities Christmas village which is rather impressive.  The kids loved seeing Santa and all the little decorative houses along the way.

In the midst of all this moving, our kids haven't had much Christmas ambiance in their lives.  So we put on Charlie Brown to help them bring in the Christmas Spirit while we busied ourselves stripping our house down to bare walls.

The girls think this whole moving business is a blast!  I on the other hand am rather bored of it.

This is my all time favorite photo.  To go along with it is the ultimate inspiring video of Christ and his purpose here.  We've probably seen this 100 times in the last year, no exaggeration.  It still gives me goose bumps every time I watch it. Click here if you want to view it for yourself.

Monday we were thankful for the friends who came out to help us move.  We want to give a special thanks to Cody, Jed, Matt and our neighbor Mike for helping Ryan move on such a cold night. I also want to thank my parents, Carrie, Holly, and the Litchfields for taking my girls so we can get things done.  Ryan and I really struggle to ever ask for help from others, but when we do we are always over come with gratitude.  It's so great to have an opportunity to find out who your friends are and we are so thankful for the friends and family in our life who have always been there for us. We've also had a lot of friends offer to help, and although it hasn't always worked out, we still appreciate the gesture.  We just feel so blessed to have the love that we do in our lives.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A very Bundy Thanksgiving

Our first night in Oregon was spent partying with the whole fam.   16 of us went out to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner and then another group of  7 joined us back at the house for a great game night of signs and the name game.  Very fun way to start our visit and we really appreciate everyone's efforts in coming out to see us.

Saturday Emma and I went to see the Bundy girls have a dance performance.  I was so happy to have the chance since we miss all of their recitals and competitions.  Later that afternoon Ryan, Julie and I enjoyed Sushi and then more games with the family that night.

We were sooooo lucky to have such a beautiful day at the beach.  The weather was perfect, for the Oregon Coast anyways.  We had no wind and blue skies, nothing could be better.

We had lunch at Pizza A' Fetta and then enjoyed the tide pools at Haystack, feeding the birds, and hot chocolate at bella espresso.  A PERFECT day in my book. The girls collected sand dollars and I let them each buy a sea shell and a post card.  Julie and her boyfriend Scott joined us in the adventure and it was great to have them to ourselves.

Greg and Becky invited the whole famdamily to their house to watch "the civil war" game of Ducks vs. Beavers.  We had yummy food and I made the first of many batches to come of Christmas Wreaths.

Lydia is SUCH a little DIVA!  It's borderline cute, but also a little exhausting.  Playing at the Bundy girl's house is her dream haven for dress up and all things girly.

It's been so fun watching Emma have some girl cousins to play with.  They love teaching her dances and she is just a sponge soaking up all their awesomeness.

I was very thankful I had a chance to go spend the night at my sister Stacey's house.  Emma had a blast running around with the Lake cousins who she hasn't seen in a long time.  Stacey and I ran errands and had a great time chatting, as always.

 We went out to Greg and Becky's and they took us out for pizza and then we came back and I did all the little girl's hair.  We waited until midnight for Kiersten's song to be played on the radio for the first time.  How IN-CRED-IBLE to be 13 years old and have your song played for all to hear!  It was really fun to be apart of that memory and celebration with them.

 We had Thanksgiving at the church around the corner.  It was soooo fun to be together all day long and have such YUMMY, YUMMY food.  I didn't do too well with taking photos of each table, but I tried my best.  There was 30 of us all together and we were missing 3 family members.  It's so fun to be part of such a large family.

 We played the word game, dodge ball, wall ball, and four square. 

I didn't see Lydia or Emma the entire day, it was lovely.  The cousins take such great care of my girls and it totally shows on Lydia's face how much she loves them.  Notice the black and white photo.....ummmm, Emma looks more like her Bundy cousins than me and my own sisters look alike!

My birthday was actually pretty great this year.  Greg and Becky kept our girls so we could go to Thai food with Margo, Clay and Julie.  It was delicious and I loved the company.  Then later that night Margo and Julie watched our girls so Ryan and I could have a reminiscent date back where it all started for us.  A fantastic night.

I do have to give a special mention about this little niece of mine here.  Kiersten and I share the same birthday.  Back when I turned 17 Ryan brought me a dozen red roses, took me to Olive Garden, and gave me a nice piece of jewelery.  Then on our way home we stopped by the hospital to see his new niece.  The whole family was there and I just remember thinking to myself that I wanted to be apart of this family.  Then that night was the first time we both said I love you.  Sappy little story, but Kiersten just holds the sweetest memory of how my marriage truly began.

So in celebration of  our birthdays, just K and I went to the Washington Square mall at midnight.  I was SHOCKED to see how crowded it was.  It truly was INSANE!!  People were buying pizza and Panda Express at 2 a.m.  We did buy ourselves a fresh, hot cinnabon and devoured it. We were there until 3:30 a.m. and I scored a trunk full of deals for Christmas morning.  Then we went back to K's house and I slept on her trundle bed.  I was so tickled to spend the first part of my 31st birthday having a slumber party.

Another highlight of our trip was going to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree.  This is the ultimate NW Christmas tradition.  These trees were anywhere form $20-$40!!  The tree lots in Utah are a JOKE!

Emma was delighted with the whole concept, and Lydia was just plum tuckered out.

Sunday I took photos of these two little nieces.  It was pouring rain (what's new) but we still made an adventure out of it.  These girls can't take a bad photo, so they made my job totally easy.
At night Margo made Ryan's favorite meal.  We ended the night with more Christmas wreaths and a few rounds of games.

We really were SOOOOOO SAD to have to come home.  This is my most favorite trip we've had since Emma has been born.  The support and love from the family just meant so much to us.  Margo and Clay are such loving parents and they really filled our cup so we can face what lies ahead.  How THANKFUL I am to have such a loving family!