Starting off February

We are buried in snow right now, but the past two weeks have been insanely gorgeous with 60 degree days. It has been a wonderful break from winter to be able to spend some time outside.

Our February has started with a bang as always. I used to think life would slow down, then I realized I am managing four lives in addition to my own and that it will be crazy for quite some time. I better learn how to manage it better!

Elise did a little camp with the dancers at the high school here with some girls in our ward. She loved it more than anything! I was really impressed with how well she did in the performance during the basketball game as well. She kept right up and went full force.

Elise & I had a little date at the Denver Center of Performing Arts to see Cinderella. I love this play! I was in this play when I was in the 6th grade so it was really fun to hear all the songs again.

We celebrated my step-dad's 59th birthday. He is such an amazing man. So lucky to have him a part of my life and a wonderful grandpa to my kiddos.

Cole has been holding hands with this little friend at church. Here he is caught in the act during singing time. It is the cutest thing ever. He asks about her all of the time!
We finally got my mom's piano over to our house and Grey & Elise are taking lessons. I have been playing a bit again and loving it. It is so soothing to play. I wish I were better at it--but someday it will be my turn to take lessons again.
Vanessa ended up with some virus that caused major breathing trouble. She has been doing breathing treatments (which she hates) for five days now. She isn't sick anymore--just still gunky in her lungs. Poor baby.

I started teaching yoga at a residential studio. I am hoping to get back into teaching other classes as well but can't seem to find anything for the right place and times. Teaching is the best way to get in shape and I love it!
Lastly, we had Pam & Jason's kids sleep over and we hardly saw the kids. They love being together. And apparently they are heavy sleepers. Poor Addie.


Portlandia + Lincoln City

Cole & Vanessa got to go on their first airplane rides to go see my sister and her two kiddos in Portland. My mom is the best mom ever and of course came. I am a wussy and was so grateful for her help on the plane and everywhere else pretty much. I wish I could get out to see Heather more often. I love visiting Portland and every time I have gone, we have lucked out with amazing weather and headed for the coast. I apologize in advance for the picture overload, but the Oregon coast is one of the most breathtaking places. Plus I like pictures.

Cole waiting for Grandma at the airport so we can get on the airplane.

These babies were the cutest together.
 Vanessa was a little aggressive with Ryan.

We had enough time in Portland on both ends to go to Cartlandia for food that I dream about at night. There is an amazing cart with a buffalo chicken wrap, another one with El Salvadorian pupusas and of course Voodoo Doughnuts.
 We rented a house right on the beach for three nights. If I weren't missing Jared and my other kids, I would have never come home. This was the view from our house. Vanessa likes it too.
Cole & Allie were in heaven chasing waves, digging in the sand and being super naughty together. We weren't there five minutes before they had colored all over the back of a door, stuck stickers all over the chairs and walls and put cheerios inside the sheets in my bed. Good thing they are cute because they were naughty.
 This is pure joy. I love it. Minus the crying Vanessa.

Low tide and beautiful sunshine
 Best grandma ever. She took these two on lots of walks.
 The last full day we were on the coast, my cousin Jess came out. I loved seeing her and her adorable three kids. I can't believe we forgot to get a picture of us but we kind of got some of the kids. They were too busy having fun.
 Snuggling up with Vanessa
 Heather snuggling Ryan. Those babies were cozy.

 There were a few difficult moments. Like wearing a baby on the front  pack and having to carry a sandy, wet toddler back.
 We wore those kids out.
 The last evening, we left the babies back with my mom and took the toddlers out for a walk to get some energy out. We felt so free without the front packs that we walked too far and it was pitch dark on our way back. Things look very different at night. Luckily we found it quickly. It was a beautiful walk at dusk with all the lights coming on.

  The last morning was a little drizzly but still incredible. My mom and sister took over so I could go on a run. I could not dream of better scenery for a workout. I was sore in places on my calves and ankles that got a whole different kind of workout with that sand. I loved it.
 Cole was fantastic on the plane because my mom bought us all tv. Can't wait to go back again...

And Jared took fantastic care of the older two while we were away. I feel pretty lucky that he is so supportive of me doing things like this and helping out so much with the kids. Now I need to come up with a way to take just Jared to the coast and leave the littles at home...


Mountain Getaway

Since we missed our entire mountain getaway over Christmas break, we went up for the long weekend in January. It was only three days, but it was plenty of time and just enough fresh mountain air to feel replenished again.
 I was not on this walk on the iced over lake or I would have been freaking out!


Paint Night

We got Joanne a gift for a paint night out with us for her birthday. I always love to give gifts that we can enjoy together. :) I am lucky to be in a family that I love to hang out with.
I think they all turned out pretty great!



Thanks to Aunt P & Uncle Joey we got to take the kids to Build-a-Bear. They each got to splurge and got bears that suit their personalities perfectly.
Elise: Sparkly purple rabbit in an Elsa dress
Cole: Spiderman bear with a light-up light saber
Grey: Bear in the full Broncos getup


Merry Christmas!

We made it! This was the best Christmas I think we have ever had. We didn't leave our house for the first time ever. My mom & stepdad came over late morning to hang out and open presents. Then my brother came that evening for dinner then he & I stayed up way too late playing our old school Nintendo.

This little family is my world. Some days that feels so overwhelming as they rely on just me for everything. But most of the time it fills my entire soul with joy. Look at them!

 I have never had a baby enjoy Christmas as much as Vanessa did this year. She loved opening the presents and scooting around looking for more. She was such a doll.
 Elise & Uncle Bryan selfies

I say that this was the best Christmas, but Jared came down with a nasty influenza flu that evening and slowly gave it to the rest of us. So we were all down and out for the rest of the break when we were supposed to be in the mountains relaxing and skiing. I haven't been that sick in a long time. It was the full on aches, fever and chills for days and days on end. We rang in the New Year fast asleep with a humidifier going and meds on the nightstand. But it came with lots of snuggles.