Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas this year, was just as exciting as it ever was as a child. It's a different excitement, but excitement, nonetheless. Christmas with kids--especially a three year old--is so fun, magical, and memorable.

It was our first Christmas to stay put, and it was SO enjoyable! We absolutely love traveling home for the holidays, and spending it with our loved ones, but having a Christmas with just our little family was a new, fun experience. There's something different about being in your own home, and having the kids run down to their tree Christmas morning.

We continued some traditions that I brought into our family from my family growing up. Starting with Chinese food for Christmas Eve dinner {at a fabulous Chinese buffet}. Then on Christmas morning, we had Eggs Benedict, my absolute favorite, followed by a huge Christmas dinner with just the four of us. My first (yes, first!) turkey was a complete success {thanks, Mom, for the tips}. We kind of went all out with a table full of food, and it was just the four of us!

Some Christmas Memories from 2010:
*Stone got to bed a bit late Christmas Eve. I finally said, "we better get to bed! We don't want Santa to skip our house and give your presents to another a little boy!" :::mean, I know, I know::: He quickly ran up to his bed, and not even 5 minutes later, he came out crying, saying, "oooooh nooooo!! I think Santa skipped us!!" Cliff then pulled up Norad (the Santa tracker) to show Stone that he was still on course to our home.

*We thought we could "play" Santa and make some noises to get Stone excited for the night after he was in bed. Cliff made some noise in the chimney, and I rang what I thought sounded like bells (but it was a long lost rattle that I had just found of Emerson's). I went in to Stone soon after and said, "Did you hear that?? Was that Santa??" He responded, "Ummm, that was not Santa. That was you shaking Emmy's toy." Oh crap. I didn't even fight him on it, afraid of spoiling it, so I said, "Oh yeah, not that, that was me. Did you hear the chimney?" And he said, "He's not here yet. That was not him." This kid is too smart.

*Stone's big Christmas present was a remote control helicopter. He plays with it ALL THE TIME. We end up crashing it quite a bit, which makes me so happy that I bought a $3 replacement/protection plan. He was playing with it the day after Christmas when I was picking up some things. I thought he was in his own little world playing away. I grabbed the box to the helicopter, and said to Cliff, "I guess we should keep this in case we need to replace it with the plan." Stone quickly said, "but Mom, Santa gave it to me. We can't do that." YIKES! If we're not careful, we will have a 4 year old not believing in Santa next year. I'm glad we had these few experiences this year to prepare us for next year when he's even smarter.

*Emerson got a doll, and clapped for joy. She was beyond thrilled to carry her doll around everywhere. We have video, and will put some clips together for the blog to show her excitement. Though she thoroughly enjoyed the morning, she's still about the wrapping paper and bows. For the last month or two, she's been clapping, waving, and saying Mama and Dadda appropriately. I can't believe she turns one in a month!

*I had to run to Hobby Lobby a few days before Christmas, and Stone said, "Mommy. Hobby Lobby....well....well, Hobby Lobby....it's kind of....well.....{trying to think of a word that he won't get in trouble for, but can't think of anything else} STUPID." I said to Stone, "That's not a nice word. Why do you say that??" He replied, "Well, it's a good store for you. It's not a good store for me. Hobby Lobby....doesn't work out for me." Haha!

You may recall the outtakes (really, they were just candids I snapped while Stone and Emerson were getting situated on Santa's lap) with Santa. I finallyfound the actual picture we paid for...

I'm guilty of not taking many pictures Christmas morning! But here are a few that show their excitement for the big day....

This whole month, we were full of thanks, joy, and love. I'm grateful for our Savior, and glad that we celebrate his birth every year. I'm so glad that Stone was able to understand the importance and significance of the holiday. We hope everyone had just as wonderful of a Christmas as we did.

Now on to a new year, new goals, and new habits.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A little Stone fix.

One thing is for sure. Stone will keep us laughing our entire lives, I'm sure of it. I'm loving the Christmas season with him. Each Monday, we hold Family Home Evening, where we sing a song, say a prayer, and have some sort of lesson and/or activity. This whole month, we've been going over and over the story of Baby Jesus, and he has it down.

Oh, and are you really surprised that he has no clothes on? He managed to at least walk around in a sweatshirt, but only because it looks like The Human Torch from Fantastic Four.

First up, what gifts did Baby Jesus receive?

Next up, Stone singing "I am a Child of God"


Lastly, his own little medley of "I am a Child of God" and "Teach me to Walk in the Light." He had the 2 songs confused. Make sure to watch at :07 seconds, when he says he needs to start over. Hilarious kid!

Some things he has said lately:

Me: Stone, you really need to eat your dinner.
Stone: Oh yeah, tough guy? You wanna be a tough guy?

-----

Stone: Oh mom. That doesn't make sense.

----

Stone: I'm a lawyer. {wanting to follow in his Daddy's footsteps}

----

Yesterday and today I have felt pretty awful. Cliff took care of the kids last night, and was giving Emerson a bottle. I heard Stone say, "Ewwww, Daddy. Emerson's bottle is ICKY."

Cliff: "Did you taste it?? It's for babies!"

Stone: "Yes, it is SO icky."

hahaha. So I asked him about it today, and asked what it tasted like. He said, "bad oranges."

Not sure what that means!!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Outtakes

I love the Christmas season. I love how magical it is with kids. I love that Mr. Elf is keeping Stone in his place (we bought an elf, and place it in different places around the house--he's Santa's eye at the Jessup home, and reports back to Mr. Clause on how Stone is behaving. It's working great. Thanks, Mom, for the idea!).


I love that Stone kind of gets what Christmas is really about, and knows that Jesus' parents are Mary and Joseph. At first he thought we were celebrating Santa's birthday, but now he gets it.

What is there not to like about this season? I love everything about it!

I can't find the actual picture I paid for (I'll post it as soon as I find it), but here are some of the outtakes I managed to snap when my kids went to see Mr. Clause, himself.

The other day, we were pulling up to TJMaxx (Oh, how I love TJ), when Stone remembered that he had seen Batman underwear there a few days previous when we made a quick stop by the store. He said, "Ohh, mama, are we here to get my Batman undies??" We've been telling him for a few weeks now not to ask for things when we're out and about, because Santa needs to have things to bring him. SO, I said, "oh no, but you can ask Santa for some!!" Stone's response?...

"Ooooh no, no, no, no, Mommy. I'm not asking him for undies! I'm asking him for a remote control helicopter and a new movie about Toy Story. No undies."

HA! He'll be surprised when he actually finds them in his stocking. :)

---

As far as Emerson Rose, she is TOTALLY walking. Remember when I posted the video of her walking just a week ago? Well, my babe-a-loo hardly crawls anymore. She's all about walking. She's a pro now. Here's a quick video for our journaling sake, and well, because she's too dang cute:



I hope everything is feeling the Christmas spirit. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

GIVEAWAY!

I'm giving away a Photography Session! Check out my photo blog for details!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving in El Paso

For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to jump in our car and cross the state of Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday. Heading to El Paso for the holiday was GREAT. Driving across the 2nd largest state in America...less than great. We drove from one of the most eastern cities in Texas to THE most western city. The kids actually did awesome, but the road kept going and going and going. But as we pulled into the city limits and saw the lightscape of the sister cities (Juarez/El Paso), it was all worth it.

Both families (mine and Cliff's) gathered at my in-laws to celebrate the day. Our families are great friends and have lived near each other and gone to church together for years and years. So, it's always a blast to mesh the two, and saves us from eating multiple T-day dinners. It's always a party at the Jessups! Jordan, Rachel, and Gavin also came in for the holiday, so a fun time was had. We missed Tanner and Charee's family, as well as Deborah and Cecilio's. Stone was devastated when he realized his El Paso partner-in-crime, Danny, would be away.

Dinner was AMAZING, and as usual, there was just too much to choose from.

We also spent some time with our Bracken cousins, and the boys LOVED playing in the leaves. I love fall in Texas. Love, love, love it.


A trip to El Paso would not be complete without a stop to Chicos.

My chicka at Chicos with Marcy:

FOUR GENERATIONS:

Can you tell we're related?!

My grandma has relocated to El Paso, and as always, we love seeing her. We went shopping the day after Thanksgiving, and she had me LAUGHING.
During the break, I had a few photo shoots, one being my beee-utiful pregnant sister (in law). My dad had some hook ups to the golf course, and we hopped on 3 golf carts, and headed out to take pictures. Below is the famous weapon that Stone used to run over Emerson and me. We were all standing around, when Stone snuck back onto the golf cart, turned it on, and started driving the dang the thing. Cliff chased him and grabbed him out, while my Dad turned it off. He ran over us, and apparently I let out a scream, but all was well. Luckily Emerson was fine, and all I had to show for the accident was a sore knee later that day. This kid can operate machinery, let me tell ya. He knew exactly how to handle the thing. Had he not run us over, I'm not sure how we would have stopped him.
While we were out there taking Rachel's pictures, we managed to get a few family ones, as well. Thank you, Jordan, for snapping these.






We LOVE going home to El Paso, we LOVE the Mexican food, and we LOVE our families. We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Emerson is Walking!

I took a break from Christmas decorating to capture this cute little thing walking. She started walking about a month ago, but maxed out at 4 steps. After our Thanksgiving trip to El Paso, she suddenly decided to walk everywhere, rather than crawl. She'll now stand up wherever she is and walk. She even gets through the little obstacle known as Stone, as he runs in front of her. Walking baby+Christmas tree=no good.



Up next: Our Thanksgiving Trip

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cliff is legit, and I have resigned!

A week ago, Cliff took the oath and officially became an attorney, and I experienced my first true work-free day! Needless to say, it was a GREAT day.

The Friday before Thanksgiving was my last day at The Summit Group. I had been working there for 4+ years. I started working there just after I graduated from BYU. Just around my 1 year anniversary with the company, Cliff graduated from BYU, and I had Stone. We were off to Lubbock, Texas, for Cliff to begin law school. My boss called me in and offered me the chance to work from home. It started off as a 6 month trial to see if we could make it work from home, and we quickly realized it was awesome on both sides. ...for me, and for them. It turned out the be one of the greatest blessings through law school. It enabled me to put Cliff through law school, and to remain a full-time stay-at-home mommy. I got to put my degree to practice all Mad Men style (actually, it's nothing like Mad Men). Cliff is now done with school, and lately, it had become QUITE THE CHALLENGE to be a full-time mommy while juggling what had become a crazy work load. So now, I get to give my kids my undivided attention. It was a little bittersweet, but more so sa-weet! I'm really feeling how wonderful it is today. Last week was vacation, so this week I will really begin to feel my freedom. Today FEELS GOOD!

Up next...our Thanksgiving trip!

Below: My handsome attorney.


Below: Jose (Cliff's boss), the judge, and Cliff


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Music to my Ears

I love everything about this girl. Recently, we've learned how sensitive she is, and how shy she can be! She's so stinkin' adorable. But here, you get a taste of her wonderful laugh. I'm so glad she's mine!!



PS: I think my favorite part is at :15 seconds when she makes a poker face for a mili-second, just before loosing it to laughter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Attorney at Law

Meet my husband, a new Texas attorney. HOOOORAY!


Remember when I said, "He did it. We did it. We're Done." ? Well, we weren't quite done. He had to take this massive thing called THE BAR. 3 day test, not to mention one of the harder bar exams in the country. I knew he'd pass, but you can't help but feel a little anxious and nervous as you wait 3 months for the results. Plus, we moved across the state of Texas for a job, so our fingers were crossed, prayers were said, and we heard last week. HE DID IT. WE DID IT. WE'RE DONE.

Congrats, babe! I Love you, and I'm proud of you! You rock my world!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

"To Infinity and Be-zizzal*!"

*AKA: "Beyond"


When we first introduced Toy Story to Stone a while back, he would run around pretending to be Buzz Lightyear, saying, "To infinity, and be-zizzal!" He quickly learned it was actually, "beyond". I find myself slower to correct his cute mis-pronunciations these days, I guess thinking that it will slow down time just a bit, and let him be my little {baby} boy. For instance....this weekend, he said, "Trickler Treat!" Next year he will know exactly how it's pronounced, so after a few corrections this weekend, we decided to let it be. :)

Sooo....we were the Toy Story gang, and although Bo Peep is no longer part of the cast, we brought her back. Getting Halloween costumes ready each year turns out to be a little {a lot}stressful, but it's all worth it in the end. It's important to Stone. Remember how he was Green Lantern for his birthday? Well, on Cliff's birthday a few days ago, he said, "oh, but Mommy!!! What's daddy gonna be for his birthday?!" So, we all dressed up again this year (last year, due to some traveling, we skipped the family theme)...

Introducing: Bo Peep, Her Little Sheep, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody.

First up, family picture. Stone was a little grumpy in this picture, but it was the only family one we got...

Stone loves Toy Story. He was THRILLED when we surprised him with his wings Thursday night. I had them hidden, but after seeing Toy Story 3 for the second time with some friends at the dollar theater Thursday night, we thought it'd be the perfect time to pull them out.
And here's my little sheep. Poor girl screamed her heart out the first time I pulled this costume over her head. Good thing we had a dress rehearsal with costumes Friday afternoon when we visited Cliff at his office. I was able to stretch it out a bit when we got home to avoid her feeling like she was going through birth all over again...
Doesn't she make the cutest dang sheep you have ever seen? We sure think so!
The best part of this quick candid below is his shoes are on backwards.

Halloween is always a fun holiday! Everything is so much better with kids. We had a blast again this year with the costumes. We went to a church party last night, and went around a little bit tonight. I wonder how long Stone will be Buzz. He barely put his Superman cape to a temporary rest just before he turned into Green Lantern for his birthday.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy 28th, Babe!

I can't believe this was the TENTH year for me to celebrate October 27. Granted, Cliff was away for 2 of them (on his mission for our church). But TEN birthdys to celebrate together?! Wowzas!

I really wanted to get a birthday portrait of Cliff, but by the time we got outside, our sunlight was pretty much gone. I'm kind of OCD when it comes to birthday portraits for my family. I like them ON THE BIRTHDAY. I guess we will have to do his portrait a day late, though.

I did, however, take the picture below. Can you believe Stone has clothes on?! Well, it's one of Cliff's suit coats, and underneath, he is shirtless.

I love my husband so much. He is funny, smart, talented, an awesome husband, and an amazing father. I'm glad we got to celebrate him yesterday. HE'S THE BEST!

oh, and as a side note, see how Emerson is tugging his ear? That's her thing with her Daddy. She never does it to me, but she always tugs/massages Cliff's ear when he is holding her. CUTE, huh?!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

9 Months?!

Miss Emerson Rose is 9 months old today! You know what that means! A little photo shoot, complete with a ruffly, lacy romper (yes, oh yes!). And the heels have made their third appearance on this blog. She {okay, I} can't get enough of those.


Has she really been outside the womb as long as she was inside?! This nine months has gone by MUCH faster!

I'm in love with my black and white edits from this shoot, so you get to see both.


And I love her little tongue. I need to pull out some baby pics of me and my tongue. My Grandpa Bracken used to call me "Tongue" when I was a baby because I always had it out. ...just like this:






And these last two are just to show how cute she is standing up!!


Isn't she too little for this? She is on the verge of walking. She takes about 4 steps, then looses balance.

This girl's first tooth finally broke through! About a month ago, she stopped sleeping through the night. Not my favorite thing. My mom thought it might be from teething, but this girl was showing no signs of teething, except for waking up during the night. She has been completely and totally happy. Not even a fussy moment. The first night after it had completely broke through, she slept through the night again, and has been ever since.

Cliff says she's way better than a cute puppy. HAHA, and what he means by that....is that she gets SO excited when someone walks in the room. She smiles, giggles, and bounces up and down. Getting her from her crib is the best. We loooove her and we adore her.