Saturday, December 31, 2016

DAY 1750... 2016

2016 wasn't my best year.
But it definitely wasn't my worst either.
In fact,
I accomplished more than I ever thought I could in 2016.
So instead of dwelling on all of the bad and horrible things that I failed miserably at in 2016,
I am going to choose to focus on the things that I accomplished in 2016.
The things I deserve to be proud of.

Many of you will remember that Spencer lived in Las Vegas for 15 weeks this year,
while the children and I remained in Rexburg.
It was not the best way to start the year.
I was scared and I was miserable.
Single-parenting is not always enjoyable.
But I set a goal that I would attend church every single Sunday with the kids while Spencer was gone.
I thought it was impossible.
I was outnumbered by children,
and I didn't always love going to church.
But I made it through those 15 weeks,
and then I surprised myself by challenging myself to go an entire year without missing a Sunday.
And last Sunday,
Christmas Day,
I did it!
I attended my church services every single Sunday in 2016.
That is something that hasn't happened in YEARS!
But I can tell you that I have seen so many blessings from my church attendance.
It was definitely really hard some Sunday's,
like really hard and awful,
but it was so worth it.

The end of 2016 also marks 2 years without soda for me.
the lover of Baja Blast and rootbeer.
But it isn't even hard anymore,
and I know that my body thanks me.
That sounded incredibly nerdy and lame.
I do smell Spencer's soda every now and then,
but it has been a really good thing for me.

The end of 2016 also marks and entire year without fast food for me.
I wanted to really challenge myself,
and since I was hitting up Taco Bell every day pretty much last December,
I wanted to push myself and see if I could actually do it.
No Taco Bell for an entire year was so hard for me!
So hard!
And you can bet that at midnight,
the second it turns 2017 I will have Taco Bell in my mouth!!!
I really miss Taco Bell!

Another impossible that I accomplished in 2016,
was running a 5K in under 30 minutes.
I am so not a runner.
My body was not built to be a runner.
I am too top heavy,
let's be honest.
But I pushed myself and trained for several months,
and then I did it!
It was amazing!
Totally unexpected,
and Spencer said I looked a little crazy at the finish line,
but I did it and it happened and it was AWESOME!
Maybe the best thing about this,
was that Aniston was inspired to run 2 races this summer too.
It was the BEST!

There were some amazing moments in 2016 for our family.
So I thought that I would share some of my favorite moments of 2016 through pictures!
In no particular order because it's early and I don't have the energy to rearrange them....

Halloween gets better every year with these cute kids!
Coordinating costumes for life!

Aniston was heavily obsessed with Darth Vader for a good part of the year...

Dinosaur park in Ogden, UT.

Summertime with my family!

Benson turned 2!

Star Valley, WY temple open house.

We celebrated our 5 year anniversary.

Family trip to Yellowstone.

Family trip to Jackson Hole.

Spencer signed with Big D Construction for a post graduation job.
Only 14 weeks until we're there!!!!!

Aniston became a Sunbeam in primary at church!

She also had the cutest Valentine's Day outfit for her school party!

Aniston had her first dance performances and blew this Mom away with her skills.

During my single parenting phase Benson got a crazy rash where we learned that he is allergic to Cephalosporins.
Mainly I post this picture because I am so proud that I made it through some super tough parenting moments all by myself.
I really learned how strong I really am and can be during this time.

Princess day at school.

I went back to school!!!
Almost done with me MTE training.

Aniston found an interest in learning about Christ.

Moments with this sweet boy!

Aniston played soccer!

Aniston also graduated from Preschool!

Aniston turned 4!!!

My good luck charms.

 2016 was a good year for my little family.
I mean,
 any time when you survive another year all in one piece is a good one right?
We definitely had a lot of ups and downs,
but to say that I am excited for 2017 is definitely an understatement.
I know that 2017 will probably be our best year yet as a family!
At least that's my hope and my dream going into it.

PEACE OUT 2016!!!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

DAY 1744... Christmas Time

Oh Christmas...

It's a little bit exhausting right?
It's fun and special,
especially with kids,
but setting up the tree,
taking down the tree,
finding matching pajamas for the entire family,
why is this so hard and expensive,
being snowed in...
I sound like a HUGE scrooge,
but I think next year I would really like to simplify Christmas.

We spent Dec. 21st-23rd down in Utah,
looking at houses (SO EXCITED),

visiting Spencer's future work,
(has anyone been inside this building before? It is GORGEOUS!)

handing out Christmas treats,
and by treats I mean fruit,

and spending time with family and friends.
I always forget to take pictures of our friends and family...

We were able to spend time with Spencer's good friend Shellie from his mission who the kids and I had never met.

And she gifted us with the cutest MSU gear!

How sassy and cute it this girl?

We were able to take the kids to Temple Square for their very first time!
They were really excited for the first couple of minutes,
then the cold and crowds set in...

We also ate some AMAZING food!

Can I tell you that I dream about The Philadelphian at least once a week?
It is my favorite and it never disappoints.
It's in Sandy.
Go there!!!!

We also did a little shopping,
of course,
but Aniston was over that incredibly fast!

Our favorite part of our Utah visit might have been taking Aniston ice skating for the first time ever!
She did so AWESOME!

We loved that our cousins came too!
Aniston is so excited to move to Utah to be closer to them.
She talks about it daily!

On Christmas Eve we had our traditional Graham cracker house building at my parents house.
This year's theme was Scotland in honor of Jake of course.

I chose the National Monument at Edinburgh.
I rocked it.

Aniston basically just dumped candy on her plate.
But it was a great effort on her part!

When we came home,
the Christmas Eve Elf had visited...

Aniston told us her version of the Christmas Story.
Favorite thing ever!

Afterwards she got the cookies and carrot ready for Santa and Rudolph,
and we also threw down some reindeer dust.

Christmas morning was really good.
The kids got pretty nervous when checking to see if Santa come though...
They really kind of hate that guy.

We learned that Benson is the slowest unwrapper ever...

The kids were so happy with their gifts!
I always get them too much.
simplify is my goal for next year!
Anyone with tips please send them my way!

But when it came down to it,
Benson just really wanted to eat Santa's leftover cookies.

Soon after presents,
we headed over to my parents house to talk to Jake.
But the amount of snow we received made it a very slow driving process.
So Aniston kept us entertained with her songs.

This was our last Skype call with our missionary!!!
It seriously seems like he just left yesterday!
He announced his official release date while we were talking to him!!!!

We are so excited to have him home so soon!

What I absolutely loved about Christmas this year,
was that it took place on a Sunday.
We got to go to church and really focus on Christ on Christmas and I LOVE that!

Benson had just woke up and was not happy about that.

Christmas isn't horrible,
and participating in the #LightTheWorld challenge really helped our family to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
But like I said before,
next year I would really like to simplify Christmas and keep it very Christ centered and more about family as opposed to things.
We have enough stuff.

I hope your Christmas was amazing and magical!