Our Wonderful 2012

Wow did 2012 fly by!  I would dare say it went by even faster than 2011.  This year was full of surprises, new experiences, fun, love, and lots of blessings. 

We spent the first day of the year as a family since Tony had the day off.  We bundled up and walked to a park we had recently found in our neighborhood.  Audrey played on the swings for the first time and we had a blast just being together.

Audrey also tasted her first "burrito" in January of last year, and almost ate the entire thing!  She's always been a good eater from the beginning.

She also started a workout routine to help her shed some baby chub ;)

In February my parents met us in Southern Utah and we had a Vegas family vacation!  It was Audrey's first time on vacation and she loved all of the extra attention from her grandparents.

February was also a time for sharing and caring. :)

In March Audrey learned the importance of reading

And we had our very own at-home photo shoot

Audrey had her first Easter this April,

...and learned to crawl the day after!

May was full of farmyard fun,

date nights at the frozen yogurt shop,

and the beginning to a summer of family hikes.

In June our little Otter Pop turned ONE and we had a bright and sunny birthday party for friends and family.

We got some amazing family portraits done for Audrey's 1-year mark,

Audrey started singing songs, and hasn't stopped since!

July was a really great month for us.  Fireworks, summer BBQs, and....Audrey learned to walk!

In August we celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary and I got brave enough to leave Audrey overnight.  She did really well and Tony and I got to have a really great night eating at a fancy restaurant and staying in an old-timey hotel.

September was packed with summer fun - Tony's birthday and our first family trip to Lagoon!

In October we got to celebrate Halloween and Audrey loved every second of it!

November was a month full of family, love, and being together.  My sister got married, and we got to go on a family reunion cruise with Tony's family!

Christmas this year was wonderful!  My family was able to come for a visit and we had a great time.  Audrey loved it and especially loved all of her new gifts.

I'm a bit sad that another year has come and gone, but also excited about what 2013 has in store.  It's wonderful and hard to see Audrey grow so fast, and the difference in the pictures from this time last year and now is just incredible.  I miss my chubby little baby but I LOVE my rambunctious, talkative toddler.

Happy New Year! :)


Having a Wonderful Christmastime

While I know this isn't technically Audrey's first Christmas, it really feels like it is.  Last year she was just a little 6 month old who had barely learned to sit up on her own.  She was thrilled to see any light turn on, let alone a Christmas tree lit up.  Wrapping paper was fun for her, but she really didn't care much about what was underneath the pretty paper.  She liked the bows and let us stick them on top of her head.  I wouldn't say she didn't like Christmas but she just didn't care either way.  She was just too little to.

This year, Christmas ROCKS!  Audrey is so into it.  She definitely gets her "holiday spirit" from my mom.  She loves any and all holidays and all of the wonderful things that come with them.  Christmas is no exception.  It took her a while to get over the fact that she couldn't go see pumpkins in the store, but once she saw snowmen and Christmas trees she was set.  If she sees any semblance of Christmas she lets out loud squeals of delight. She loves seeing pictures of Santa and even says his name.  She'll give you a jolly, "ho ho ho!" if you ask her what Santa likes to say.

When we put our tree up and decorated it, Audrey fell immediately in love.  She sat by the tree for the longest time just staring at it.  She loves the lights and especially loves the "balls."  She'll always tell you the rules about those -- "no touch! only eyes!" -- but has a hard time practicing what she preaches.  The bottom third of our tree is pretty bare after a few weeks of having it up.  I have found ornaments in the strangest places.  The strangest of all probably being the toilet.

We haven't had tons of snow, but lots more than last year when we barely had any the whole winter.  The first day it really snowed Audrey was very curious about it all.  Luckily her snow pants from last year fit, so we could go outside and explore the fun white stuff in our yard.  She loved touching, eating, and rolling in the snow.  She and I were playing close to when the sun went down so we got to see our neighbors' lights on.  Audrey loved all of their displays.  We've been too crazy busy to put lights on our house this year, so Audrey will have to settle for the lit garland around our door.  Sorry, babe, maybe next year!  We'll take her to see Thanksgiving Point's light display and the lights at Temple Square.  I think she'll survive. :)

This Saturday we woke up to another winter wonderland scene outside our window.  There was snow on the ground and big, white, fluffy flakes were falling from the sky.  Audrey was begging to go out so we all ate breakfast, bundled up, and made our way out into the snow.  When just Audrey and I played in the snow it was too soft and dry to make a snowman, but this time it was perfect snowman snow.  Audrey was so intrigued with rolling big balls of snow all around our yard.  She thought it was pretty fun.  We used fruit snacks for his eyes, a carrot for his nose, and Tony added the mulch eyebrows for a nice finishing touch.

Audrey assumed that I brought the carrots and fruit snacks out for a wintery picnic, I guess!

Our snowman has survived and still stands in our yard today!  Every time we go outside she'll say, "I love snowman!" and run up and give him a hug.  Hopefully she's not too upset when he melts away!

Since we used up all of the snow in our front yard to make Gunther the snowman, we made our way to the backyard and had some more fun.  Tony showed Audrey how to make a snow angel, but she just liked scooting around on her belly and rolling down the hill.

Every holiday that passes this year I feel like I say the same thing -- kids make holidays infinitely better.  Everything is truly magical to them.  All of the things I may find annoying or bothersome about winter Audrey finds joy in.  She's really a great reminder that I need to appreciate everything about every day and not take a single thing for granted.  I'm so excited for the next couple weeks to show her our family traditions, to go to holiday parties with friends and loved ones, decorating cookies for Santa, going to see light displays, and singing songs.  I can't wait until Christmas day when she opens presents and we hear her excited squeals when she sees Minnie Mouse and her other fun toys.  Having Audrey makes me excited for all of the years to come and all of the holidays we'll get to spend together.

If I don't blog before then, everyone have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a wonderful New Year!  We love you all!

And here's another picture, just for fun :)


My Daughter Max

Before our trip Audrey and I purchased a few new books to take with us.  I thought having new books would be exciting and therefore keep her entertained a little longer than our usual books.  I didn't actually read the books before buying them and Audrey actually picked them out based on what she liked on the cover.

One of the books she picked was called Max and Ruby's Snowy Day.

It looked cute enough.  Two little bunnies playing in the snow.  A nice book to read for the winter season.  Out of the three books we bought this one was Audrey's favorite.  It is so boring.  She wants us to read it to her again and again, and of course we oblige.  Because (I think) we've read this book to Audrey so much, she's started a new strange behavior.

In the book Ruby, Max's older sister, says things like, "here you go, Max" and "okay, Max, I'll get our snowsuits."  Max's name is mentioned quite a bit in this book.  The other day I was handing Audrey a snack and I said, "here you go, babe."  She quickly corrected me, "here you go, MAX."  I laughed, thinking she was simply quoting the book.  She's continued this for a couple weeks now.  Any time we say her name, she corrects us by saying Max.  If we don't say anything at all she'll say, "here you go, Max" when getting something she wants.  It's so weird, but so hilarious.  She even makes her Lovey Bunny call her Max when they are playing together.

I still call her Audrey, and sometimes she's okay with it.  I just don't think she looks like a Max, is all.