Thursday, December 18, 2014

Disneyland- December 2014


Oh how we love Disneyland! What a magical little trip for our family! We had SO.MUCH.FUN!! Disneyland is so magical and that much more magical with kids. I remember taking Kate when she was just over a year…it was magical then but this time around it was EVEN better. This was Kate's second trip and Millie's FIRST time!

Like I mentioned earlier we met Tim in Anaheim after his Irvine interview and got to spend 2 days at Disneyland/California Adventure! It was so fun to see the place decorated for Christmas! And the best part was because it was early enough in December before all the holiday visitors arrive it wasn't that busy. Wait times were short! It was awesome. It did rain crazy hard our second day in the morning but that didn't keep us away and by noon it cleared up and the parks were even less busy! Awesome again!

Kate mostly wanted to see characters and princesses so that's what we did especially the first day! We were able to meet Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Mickey and Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale, AND Elsa and Anna (which is a big deal…Tim had to go there first thing when the park opened and wait for an hour to get a pass that would give us an assigned time to come back and meet them…our time wasn't until 5:45 that evening)! It was cute to watch how excited Kate got. She'd act kind of shy when we first saw each princess but then would quickly warm up and go back to her chatty self.
Kate didn't love going on rides that went inside. She preferred rides that were out in the open. Her favorite was definitely the Teacups which we rode 3 times in a row and a few other times the first day. Good thing too because they were closed the second day because of the rain and never reopened. Kate also loved Autopia "the bumpy ride" as Kate likes to say. Millie loved it all but especially loved It's A Small World and Dumbo!

It was a total hit trip! One we will forever remember...









After our two days at Disney…and hitting it hard we were exhausted (the girls were on Iowa time so we were up at 4:30am each morning ready to go) and were excited to slow down a little bit. On Saturday we headed up to Redondo Beach to visit some of our closest friends from our time in Denver. It was so fun to see the Willis family! They were awesome hosts. We got to stroll along the pier, visit a tiny aquarium, play in the sand, check out the waves, eat delicious shrimp tacos, and enjoy some awesome company. Oh and we ended our Cali trip with a visit to a Sokol family favorite, El Cholo!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas in Iowa- 2014


We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Christmas in Iowa! I love this time of year and love celebrating with my girls! It is so magical!

As you know Tim has been busy traveling all over for residency interviews. When Tim got offered an interview at UC-Irvine we decided since tim would already be in SoCal why not join him and enjoy a little family trip to Disneyland! The timing worked out just perfectly between some other interviews and heading to Utah for Christmas so we jumped at the chance. Kate can't stop talking about which princesses she is going to see and I can't wait to see Disneyland decorated for Christmas! We are actually headed out this week and can't wait to be together in California!

So with our Disneyland trip and then heading to Utah for Christmas, Santa was kind enough to came to our house almost 3 weeks early. He's awesome like that! Out of the 10 days we will have been home in Iowa… Tim was actually only here for 2 of them so we had a very small window of time to celebrate.

Friday night the girls and I went to our ward's Christmas party while Tim was making his way back from Arizona. Kate was asked to be an angel in the nativity and she was so excited. She loved her costume and practiced and had her line "Glory to God! Glory to God" down. But when it came down to actually saying it she "wasn't so sure" (she even said that into the microphone..silly girl). But she did sing and looked darling! It was very sweet!

Then Saturday morning we enjoyed opening gifts, eating Christmas morning casserole, and spending the entire day together! Kate was thrilled with the Magic Clip princesses and Elsa dress that she received and had asked for. And Millie loves the awesome balls and dolly that Santa brought her.

Here are a a few pictures from our morning-







Making a snowflake ornament at the library



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Amelia- 14 months


Oh my how this little one is changing! Millie has become quite the climber! She is into everything and moves so fast! 

  • This girl can climb! Like the other day when we were over at a friends house when Kate runs to me and says, "Mom…look…Millie." Millie had climbed up onto their piano bench, gotten on the keys, and was on the level where the music sits about ready to get on the very top. Crazy girl! Millie loves climbing onto Kate's little toddler bed and is always so proud of herself. 
  • Millie loves to wave! And loves to say "hi." Her eyes light up and it is about my most favorite thing!
  • Took her first steps on November 29, 2014. She been kind of hurling herself towards us and kind  of stepping for a few weeks but is now actually taking controlled steps.
  • Is getting good at standing on her own. She still usually doesn't trust herself but just this Saturday (12/6/14) stood by herself for 1 minute!
  • Loves putting things in the trash…and taking them out. I find little treasures (toy cars, balls, any toy really) in our kitchen trash can daily. I have gotten really good at checking it to make sure we don't lose any of our beloved toys. 
  • Loves the bathroom. She loves to flush the toilet and loves playing with the roll of toilet paper! Oh my she can make a mess. 
  • Made her first "more" sign. Millie has been using her own version of more by using her fingers to palm in the "come here" motion for months and is also really good and just pointing and going "ahh." "All done" also seems to be coming along. It's pretty cute too how Kate has really gotten into trying to help Millie use her signs. 
  • Loves to "play" the kazoo.
  • Loves being tickled and loves to tackle me and laughs hysterically.
  • Loves playing with her big sister! And wants to be involved, play and do whatever Kate is doing.
  • Still an amazing eater. Out eats Kate most meals.
  • Still struggling with naps especially her morning one. Although I do not think she is old enough to go to one nap I have tried going without but especially with her early wake up time she cannot make it in the car for more than 2 minutes without falling asleep and definitely still needs a morning nap…even if it is only 45 minutes. 
  • She is doing a bit better and sleeping till 6am now.  Goes to bed just before 7pm. 




Standing all on her own…and so proud! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bring on the Season


Tim had a little break in interviews so we had him around all week (at least in town). The Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed downtown to start the Christmas season with a bang. Kate was super excited to see Santa but when it came to sitting on his lap she wasn't so sure about it. And neither was Millie! But Kate did tell him what she and Millie wanted so it was a success. We also got to ride on a horse-drawn trolley car around town. It was so fun and Kate loved it! Oh and did I mention the sun was shining and it was like 60 degrees :) We loved just being outside and Kate was in heaven playing on the playground. A great family outing for the books!

On the trolly




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014


Oh how I love Thanksgiving! I'm still getting used to not being with my mom in the kitchen but I'll admit I have some pretty cute helpers with me here! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of great food, good friends, and lots of family time! We love having Thanksgiving in our little home and have oh so much to be grateful for! 



Our cute Oreo turkeys

Our Thankful Tree...we looked forward to each day putting up a new leaf
Makes me so happy that she loves watching the Macy's Parade


And a cute baby picture just because...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

O Christmas Tree


Decorating the tree this year was especially magical! Kate adores our little tree. I got the tree up during her nap...you should have seen her eyes and mouth when she walked out and saw it! It was priceless. She could hardly wait to decorate it. Kate has an amazing helper and her her enthusiasm every time I unwrapped a new ornament was so fun.  She was very careful and very focused on getting each ornament in the right place! Millie also loves the tree...she loves pulling off the ornaments we put on the bottom just for her and shaking the bells!





Obsessed with the Nutcrackers

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Family Pictures- Fall 2014


Here's a little preview of our Fall family pictures! Since this could be our last fall in Iowa I knew  I wanted them taken in the corn fields! I am sure thankful for my sweet little family and will forever be thankful for our time in Iowa! Iowa will forever hold a very special place in our hearts! It is here where our family really grew!