Sunday, December 28, 2014

end of 2014, the novel...

I am way behind on blogging but I wanted to catch up so this will officially be the longest post I have ever written...  I got way behind because we had a lot of stuff going on.  Stuff with the house, with health, and Aaron started a new job.  Besides all that we had a lot of fun with the holidays and on vacation.  First of all we did our fun campout in the beginning of September.  The kids totally love camping and loved being pulled around in their handcart.  As for me, it is so relaxing to just be away from everything and just focusing on the basics and being so close to nature.  We sleep in canvas tents and just laying their with the breeze blowing the tent gently is the most relaxing sensation in the world.  We also had a lot of fun with all of our family that we go camping with.  We came back grateful for our modern home and rested!
 

After our campout we started to prepare for Halloween which may be the biggest holiday around and finished up garden stuff. We also played in the leaves and enjoyed an extremely warm fall. Yay! Which meant  a lot of playing outside. 

 We had so much decorating and making crafts for Halloween and canning yummy stuff.  We carved our pumpkins from Julian's pumpkin patch for Halloween and had a lot of fun going to Halloween parties and trick or treating around the neighborhood.   
We did free and easy costumes for Halloween, Julian was Jack Skellington (we made his mask out of paper mache and put him in his dress clothes and Gretchen was Dumbo (thanks Sara!)



After Halloween we worked like crazy people to get our house ready for an appraisal and then we prepared for Julian's birthday.  Julian wanted a Lego party because he is obsessed with Legos.  I tried to make him a Lego cake but it was a disaster, although very tasty, so we did the backup cake mix cake with a handmade picture of Emit on the top and then made it sort of look like a Lego by covering some marshmallows with frosting and sticking them on top.  Besides the cake it was a really fun party and Julian loved being there with his friends and family playing games and having fun!
 
After Julian's birthday party we started getting ready for our trip and Aaron started his new job! The next weekend we were off to New Jersey to stay with my brother for Thanksgiving and to enjoy the surrounding sights.  We seriously had so much fun and miss our family already! Gretchen will often call for Uncle Erik and her little cousin Nadia, who she calls Nada.  It is amazing how important these family connections are to these little people. We are started out the week with a trip to New York City and got up super early to drive into town with my brother.  Holy cow just driving into the city can be pretty exciting because traffic is CRAZY! After we checked out his work we wandered around the city with our little kids.  We went to the Grand Central Station, walked all over central park, went to the Natural History museum, and walked around Times Square.  It was so nice and warm and we had fun with the kids running around central park and then running through the museum.  I swear the people of New York never cease to amaze.  They are always so helpful! And nobody is ever rude even though we were walking through so many tight places with our double stroller.
 
Aaron thought that this was the funniest thing ever...

The next night my brothers, Aaron, and I went to a sweet theater to see the Hunger Games movie.  The deal is that you have your own spacious lazyboy thing that reclines into a bed basically and then you get to order your food and drinks from your seat.  It was pretty amazing!


After that we celebrated Thanksgiving.  Then the kids played in the snow.  It was so fun.  Aaron rolled  the snow right up into a ball and they all made a postcard looking snowman. 




That weekend we went to Philadelphia to check out Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  It was really special to be there and we loved seeing the birthplace of our country, and also Rocky:)






The next week we went into New York again with my mom and brother Tony.

Here's Gretchy in front of the Empire state building:

 We walked around loving all the festive decorations and the energy of the city.  I love New York!






Rockafeller Square,
and the Subway. Julian kept singing follow the prophet to all the patrons...
Here is Julian in the forest (my brothers backyard)
Other than that we had so much hanging out with family and playing with cousins!

After we got back from our trip Julian and Gretch met Santa at our ward Christmas party.  Julian really enjoyed it more than Gretch,

Then we got our Christmas tree and had made gingerbread houses.  After that we sent Aaron off to Florida for a week.  He worked really hard while we prepared for Christmas...


 

Then we celebrated Christmas.  We had so much fun spending time with family and getting ready for Santa.  We made cookies, treats, and put out carrots for the reindeer.

We had a special dinner Christmas eve with our little family and my mom and then everyone over for Christmas Day fun and dinner.












Everyone facetiming with my brothers.


Christmas Day dinner,













After Christmas we celebrated Gretchen's birthday with the traditional treasure hunt.  She found her treasure and some birthday presents. Then we went to the mall to return some presents and the kids played on the rides and at the play place.






We finished up with some birthday frozen yogurt.



Here are a couple more random pics.  Gretch loves to read to herself.  And the kids playing...