Beebs' Birthday Getaway | 2016 Edition

Aug 25, 2016

Last year, Beebs decided to forego a birthday party for a weekend getaway to visit my parents in Utah. The trip had some struggles, but we ended up having a great time (once we got there!) and Beebs decided she wanted this to be her birthday tradition. Throughout the year she did waver a bit, sometimes wondering if maybe she wanted a big party with friends instead, but as the time drew nearer, she decided that she really did want another trip to Nana & Papa's to celebrate turning 6. And this time, Shark Bait came along.

I got Shark Bait a new mode of transportation for the trip. Typically I use an Ergo carrier for him, but Ergos are such a pain to take on and off multiple times as is necessary when traveling. He seemed to really like his new ride and I'm kicking myself for not having gotten a ring sling 4 children ago.

After last year's debacle, Allegiant wised up and changed their flight times from Mesa to Provo, allowing the fog to clear before trying to send their planes to land in Utah. This meant that Beebs was able to attend most of her day of school before we left. I picked her up a little bit before the end of her school day and we made the drive across town. We grabbed something to eat at the airport while we waited, with Beebs decked out in pretty much head to toe jaguar print. It's her signature look. 

The plane ride was uneventful, THANK GOODNESS, and both Beebs and Shark Bait did great. I love that I have such great little travelers. I don't love that Beebs does "duck face" in pictures... I did not teach her that!

Once our plane landed, we hurried to my parents house where we changed into church clothes then headed to the Provo City Center Temple open house. It worked out perfectly that the open house started the weekend we were in Utah, and we were able to get tickets for the first day. I love any chance to take my children to see the outside of a temple... it is so so wonderful when I can take them to tour the inside! It is a beautiful temple and I am so grateful that we were able to tour (and touch!) it. 

Saturday we drove up to Salt Lake to spend the day at the zoo and eat at Red Iguana. It was cold, but so much fun. Beebs wore two coats... one the right way, and one the wrong way, with her new jaguar backpack in between the layers. She managed to stay warm enough and had so much fun visiting all her favourite Hogle Zoo animals. 

After visiting Uncle Matt-Stache at his work, Aunt T took us to visit her library. She introduced Beebs to all of her coworkers and then taught Beebs how to work Hans Gruber, the huge book sorting machine. Beebs thought that was the best thing ever. It ended up being a highlight of the trip for her. She also loved seeing the Star Wars and Mr. Potato Head displays in the childrens department. Aunt T and Uncle Matt-Stache have some of the coolest jobs around. 

We ended Saturday with a trip to the cupcake store, relaxing at my parents house and playing in the snow. 

Sunday was for church, lounging, cards and playing with Uncle Cooper's snake.

Monday it was time to fly home. Beebs was worn out from celebrating all weekend long. She slept in nice and late while Shark Bait and I attempted to pack all our stuff into a bag that would fit under the seat. That didn't work out so well, so we ended up borrowing a duffle bag from my mum and checking a bag to bring home all our Utah goodies. We said goodbye to the mountains, then to my family and with that, we were headed back to Arizona. After a stop at Ikea to buy new dining room chairs, we made the drive home, back to Bruce, Sunshine and Man Cub who were excited to see us. 

When Beebs Turned Six

Aug 23, 2016

As always, our New Year started off with a bang as we celebrated the birthday of one very special little girl. Just like last year, Beebs asked if she could forego a birthday party and instead celebrate with a weekend in Utah, visiting my parents. So that was the big part of her birthday celebration, and we kept things simple on her actual birthday.

This year, Beebs' birthday fell on a Sunday. And a day that Bruce worked. I still did my best to make it special. We woke up super early thanks to our new schedule of 8am church in order to open presents and have breakfast together. We kept it easy- frozen waffles, but topped them with whipped cream and candles for the birthday girl. Then Beebs got all decked out in her beautiful birthday dress from our friend Amanda. She looked like a little fairy princess in it!

After church, we had Bruce's family over for dinner. Beebs had requested salmon with blueberry sauce for dinner and I was happy to fulfill her wish. The only problem- I've never used a grill before. Bruce taught me how to turn it on and gave me instructions for how to grill the salmon. I thought it had gone well until we cut into the thickest part of the salmon to find that it hadn't cooked all the way through. My father in law got the grill going again and made sure it was good and cooked. So the meal was a little bit of a disaster but Beebs didn't seem to care. She loved having everyone over and she especially enjoyed her traditional Nothing Bundt birthday cake.

A Christmas break birthday meant that Beebs celebrated with her classmates once school was back in session. She wanted mini cupcakes and juice boxes and the boys and I got to go to class to celebrate with her. It happened to be a special day at school when they got to wear any blue clothes instead of uniforms which Beebs thought was great. She wore a blue party dress and her teacher gave her a fun crown to colour and all her friends did a special birthday cheer for her. She didn't mind the attention at all!

Family Pictures 2015

For our 2015 Christmas card photos, we drove to a nearby lake hoping to catch some magical sunset lighting off the water. Unfortunately, we were running a little short on time and we weren't able to get as close to the water as I had hoped. But the lighting was magical and we managed to get a few good shots. 

December in Three Parts | Part Three

And now, the grand finale of December, and the year 2015!

Our Christmas morning was wonderful! I think I even managed to sleep in. Or at least that's the story I'm telling! Bruce says he thinks I woke everyone up around 6. In his exact words "I don't feel like it was so early that I wanted to hit you." The girls were really excited to give us the gifts they had made, complete with adorable wrapping. Man Cub hadn't been able to wait... he gave us his gifts the day he made them in preschool. I love that our kiddos are always more excited about the gifts they are giving than those they receive. I hope that never changes!

After our present opening, there were lots of toys to be played with. Man Cub's favourite was his Radiator Springs car table from Grandpa. To be completely honest, that was my favourite too! And it wasn't even mine. I am a huge Cars fan and the Radiator Springs car table is seriously like walking into Cars Land in California Adventure. It makes me happy every time I see him or Shark Bait playing with it.

Anytime Beebs was asked what she wanted for Christmas, her answer was "puzzles". And that's what she got! Lots and lots of puzzles. Some simpler ones that she can do on her own, but several of the puzzles she received are large puzzles with small pieces. We do those ones as a family. Beebs is pretty incredible when it comes to putting together the large puzzles. We all pitch in and help, but she really is very skilled at them. She takes after her dad in that way. 

Shark Bait couldn't really pin point a favourite gift... he seemed to really like snuggling up for a nap in his new blanket. And his nautical themed teething toys were a hit too. He got new clothes for Sunshine and a police rocker from Bruce's brother and sister in law. (First Christmas for Shark Bait means lots and lots of pictures of him Ü)

Sunshine's favourite gift was her American Girl store gift card. Both she and Beebs received one from my father in law and they had a blast shopping and picking out new American Girl treasures. We stupidly, yet wisely, went to the store just a few days after Christmas. It was packed, but they happened to have a lot of items marked down 50% as part of their post-holiday clearance. Sunshine was in the market for a new doll (one with short hair that wouldn't get matted and destroyed easily) so she didn't really shop the sales, but Beebs made out like a bandit. She got clothes for her, clothes for her doll, accessories and an AG dog for herself, and one for Sunshine. Such a sweet girl! She insisted on spending part of her gift card on a dog for Sunshine so both of their dolls would have pets. 

My favourite gift to give was for Bruce's grandma. I took a photo of her great grandchildren from our part of the family and turned it into a peg frame. It came out beautifully. Probably my most favourite peg project to date. The photo is from an evening of swimming at her pool. Since Shark Bait was too small to swim, I also included a photo of him and Gigi together, then painted a peg to resemble each of the kiddos. Gigi has it hanging on the wall in her kitchen area and I love seeing it there any time we go over. 

Christmas dinner was our traditional roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, with trifle for dessert. We broke open Christmas Crackers and Shark Bait participated in the meal by wearing his crown and grinning at us all as we ate. He's in for a real treat this year, when he too can eat all the delicious Christmas dinner foods. 

Our final days of 2015 were spent lounging around the house, enjoying all our new toys and trinkets and spending time with my brother, T, who came down to visit for the week between Christmas and New Years. He and I watched a lot of iZombie. He built and played Legos with Man Cub and taught the girls how to build elaborate marble tracks with the Hape Marble Run he bought them for Christmas. We went to Culvers for hamburgers and ice cream and to watch MSU play Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Had MSU won, they would've come here for the National Championship game and I so would've made Bruce buy me tickets. Lucky for our bank account, they didn't win. But it was fun to get decked out in our green and white and watch them play. Bruce worked New Year's Eve, so I spent my evening with T and his pup, Horatio. We rang in 2016 together and just like that, I'm officially blogging in the current year... and still 8 months behind! 

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