Too much candy, but tons of fun! We had a ward Trunk-or-Treat the weekend before Halloween and then did Halloween night with some friends. We also had to take a trip to Nick's Garden Center and enjoy some of their fall festivities. Good times had by all!
We had another great 4th of July in Gunnison and Crested Butte. Last year was our first time in this part of the state and we had to return. Some of Ryan's family was there and we also had some friends camping by us. We enjoyed perfect weather, beautiful wild flowers, majestic mountains, a 1/3 marathon (Ryan), a parade, fireworks, local libraries (we love visiting other towns/cities libraries) and some yummy food.
Hot air balloons in the morning by our camp ground
Crested Butte Parade
Gothic to Crested Butte 1/3 Marathon-post race
Great firework show- Gunnison, CO
beautiful flowers-taken by Carly
Public Library in Crested Butte, CO. Of the two small floors, one was completely dedicated to children. We had a hard time leaving all the great books, magazines, puzzles and toys.
We stopped in Fairplay on our way home and couldn't resist checking out this library. It kind of looks like a cartoon behind us. It was built as the city building in the late 1800's and was used as their courthouse until the 1980's. It is now the public library. It was pretty tiny inside, but every wall and shelf was filled with books.
We finished off our trip with some ice cream in Fairplay.
Now that the school year is nearly over, I guess I should post the girls' pictures from back when school started. They don't get much cuter than this!
Carly biffed it coming home from school two days before photos. Apparently, she landed right on her face. She didn't scratch anything except her upper lip. I don't know how that happened. Her glasses weren't even broken or scraped!
I can't believe it's 2013! The years come and go so fast these days. It has been a nice few weeks after the holidays. Getting back on a schedule is a great feeling after much fun and craziness with lots of visitors and holiday happenings.
We had a pretty awesome Thanksgiving and month of December. We started off the holiday season with a trip to North Carolina to spend time with some of Ryan's family and visit, for the first time since he moved away, the place where he spent most of his growing up, Charlotte.
I loved North Carolina! We were there a week and got to see a lot of beautiful country. The people were so friendly and I really hope to go back.
We stayed in Pinehurst for most of the time and enjoyed the beautiful, quaint town and lovely hotel in the center. If we golfed, we would have been in heaven, but we still had a lot of fun with the other festivities going on. The Thankgiving dinner that we had was amazing and it was so nice being with family.
The girls had a lot of fun with aunt Jill.
Here was our whole group for dinner.
We spent a whole day in Charlotte. It was a lot of fun! We started out by attending the ward that Ryan grew up in. There were a few families still there from years back and it was fun for him to visit and catch up. We also went by the two homes that he grew up in and explored the woods behind one of the houses that he and his brothers spent most of their childhood playing in.
Ryan attended a Montessori school for a few years and we stopped by to see how much it had changed. One of his teachers happened to be there (on a Sunday) and let us in for a chat. She still remembered him and this will be her last year teaching there.
We drove by his Jr. High and High School and then spent some time driving around downtown. It is a beautiful city and it was so fun to walk down memory lane with Ryan.
We spent some time in Fayetteville as well. Ryan's brother and wife just moved there and it was great seeing their new home and watching fireworks and the town Christmas tree lighting...which we just kind of happened upon.
We capped off our NC trip with a day in Raleigh. They have some awesome free museums downtown and we had some fun there with the kids.
We were also able to see some of our good friends from years ago. They were here with us in Colorado for a few years and then moved away. It was a great reunion!
We somehow ended the trip with getting Carly and Mya's ears pierced. They were so excited and nervous!
Just a couple of weeks after we got home from our Thanksgiving trip, we headed up to the mountains to the YMCA. They do some "family weekends" throughout the year and we have enjoyed the holiday one for a few years in a row. We are kind of making it a tradition. The girls (and us) love it and we all have a lot of fun. Plus, I don't have to cook and clean up for five meals and that makes me pretty happy.
When we got home from the mountains Uncle Jeff was already at our house waiting to hang out with us for a week. We had a great time with him and he was such an awesome help during that crazy week before Christmas. (Sorry Jeff, I guess we didn't take any pictures.) We were especially glad he was here to help us do our Twelve Days of Christmas/Secret Santa drop-off each night...it always gives me major anxiety :)
Two days after Jeff left, Erick and Sam arrived. We were so happy to have them with us for Christmas. They were only here for a few days but we were glad to take what we could get.
We had a wonderful Christmas. Christmas with children is magical and exciting. They are so much fun!
The day Erick and Sam left, Ryan's mom, Kent and Jill came into town for a few days. We had just seen them at Thanksgiving, but it was wonderful to have them here in Colorado. (Although I didn't take one picture.)
I am grateful for this time of year when we celebrate being thankful and focus on our Savior. With all of the fun and excitement that went on around us, I forgot, at times, why we really celebrate Christmas.
I love this quote from our prophet, Thomas S. Monson:
“Let [Christmas] be a time that lights the eyes of children and puts laughter on their lips. Let it be a time for lifting the lives of those who live in loneliness. Let it be a time for calling our families together, for feeling a closeness to those who are near to us and a closeness also to those who are absent.
“Let it be a time of prayers for peace, for the preservation of free principles, and for the protection of those who are far from us. Let it be a time of forgetting self and finding time for others. Let it be a time for discarding the meaningless and for stressing the true values. Let it be a time of peace because we have found peace in His teachings.
“Most of all, let it be a time to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the Wise Men.”
The girls were so excited for Halloween. We had a few opportunities to dress up before the big night, but I did all I could to try and avoid candy until Halloween evening. We succeeded, mostly. Here they are ready to go out the door. We had a vampire, witch (two years in a row), strawberry (two years in a row as well) and Cinderella. Hayden was a Leopard earlier in the week, but I didn't dress her up since she was just hanging out in the stroller. (I should probably get a picture of her before I put the costume away for good.)
Plus, one photo from the day before with some of our good friends. The weather has been amazing this week...perfect for the girls' Fall Break!
Now that school is in full swing and we sort of have the craziness pattern down, I am finally taking time to get the pictures off of my camera.
We have had a great past few weeks. The first day of school, first day of preschool, first day of gymnastics, first time camping at an amazing place (which we will definitely return), Hayden's first birthday, first day of ballet and Ashley and Logan's first time in our new house...phew! We've been having some good times.
The girls have loved school. We have a 4th grader, 2nd grader and Kindergartener. I am doing a preschool co-op for Leah one day a week and it's going great so far!
This cute girl started Kindergarten a few days after the older girls. She was so excited!
Here is our preschooler. She keeps us on our toes!
We went camping over Labor Day with some friends who are new to Colorado. We had a lot of fun and really enjoyed where we went. We tried out Grand Lake. It was gorgeous! The pine beetle has affected a lot of the trees there (as well as many other areas), but it was still beautiful.
The nights were pretty cold...which left me way too tired, but we will be back. Our friends left after two night but we decided to stay all three nights. We were able to attend a branch on Sunday that was about 30 minutes away, so that made for a nice Sabbath.
We went on a nice little hike to Adam's Falls.
We enjoyed some time at the actual lake in town.
We pretended to be cowboys.
Early morning hot cocoa and proof that I was there.
Hayden's birthday was on Sunday while we were camping. We decided to celebrate it after we got home. She is the sweetest little thing and we love her to death. Ashley and her little boy came to visit for a week the day after Labor Day and were there to celebrate with us. I didn't get very many pictures while they were here. But, we had so much fun. It was so nice to have Ashley here. She was such a big help! Plus, it is just nice to be with your sister and have lots of time to talk and talk and talk :)
(Not the greatest group shot, but there you have it!)
We are excited for Fall. The cooler weather and more moisture, hopefully, will be a nice change from this HOT summer. Although, I don't think the heat slowed us down too much.
The evenings are cooling off more and more and the days are slowly getting shorter...which makes me kind of sad. We have had some nice nights outside with the girls before bed time. I love them all so much!
Jeff came to visit for a few days last week. We had a lot of fun with him and hated to see him go at the end. We kept him busy though: Broncos training practice, swimming pool, the park, Elitch Gardens, library, Olympics watching, enjoying Downtown Denver, hiking and beautiful views, good food and lots of love from some sweet little girls.
We were glad he could have a little bit of a break from the Vegas heat.
I just wish I took more pictures.
Hayden had a new trick for us at the park when Jeff was here. She kept doing this over and over. I think she thought she was so funny...and she was!
We sure miss Jeff and can't wait to see him again. It's not always fun being far away from family, but the reunions are always so great!
We had an awesome 4th this year! It was spent camping and enjoying the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. I hadn't been before and Ryan had only spent a very small amount of time in Pitkin, just outside Gunnison. Some of Ryan's family were there so we had lots of fun with them. The weather was perfect and it was nice to escape the heat of Denver...it's been way too hot this summer!
Here we are just after setting up camp. Ryan wanted to make sure the girls knew the rules. I thought they listened pretty well :)
We camped at a KOA campground (in Gunnison, CO) for the first time ever. It was great! The kids had a blast and I loved having the grass, clean bathrooms and even showers. There was a playground and a pond and some very friendly neighbors...you're pretty packed in there. It was nice to camp next to some family. It didn't make the sites seem as small.
We spent one afternoon in Pitkin. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have some property there and have built an amazing little cabin. The girls had tons of fun with their cousin.
Hayden kind of liked Bruno. Ryan's sister's dog.
Enjoying some ice cream at the Pitkin general store and trying to stay dry.
Back at the campground.
Every morning we would see these hot air balloons. They went straight over the campground!
Driving to Crested Butte for the 4th of July festivities...there's the Butte. It really was amazing.
Ryan, Kristian and Jocelyn all did a 1/3 marathon that morning from Gothic to Crested Butte. Ryan did great, although the extra high altitude made it a bit rough. Probably a lot tougher for Kristian and Jocelyn though. They came from sea level.
There's Ryan crossing the finish line in the red and gray shirt. Downtown Crested Butte. We fell in the love with the town. It was "tastefully rustic", as Ryan put it. We will be back for sure!
Waiting for the parade to start after the race.
This is a few miles above Crested Butte in Gothic where the race started. It was breathtakingly gorgeous!
A few of the views along the race course of Crested Butte mountain.
After Crested Butte, we headed back to Gunnison for the fireworks. Gunnison was one of the only places in the state that didn't cancel their fireworks show this year. It was the perfect small-town show and we had fun hanging out with family.
On our way home we took a detour and spent a little time in Twin Lakes, CO. We have been wanting to go there for years. It did not dissappoint. I grew up going to Twin Lakes, CA with my family so it was fun to visit our own Twin Lakes close to home here.
Aspen is over those mountains behind Ryan. I still haven't been to Aspen. It's on my list.
This is looking the other way...although we didn't get a picture with both lakes in it.
Overall, we had a wonderful trip. We saw parts of our state that we hadn't seen before and had a lot of fun spending time outdoors with our kids and extended family. We really can't wait to do it again!
The baseboards in our front room are up and painted. They look awesome! Now we just need to add a little color and put some things on the wall. We also finally had someone paint our doors. They have been stacked in the garage since before we moved in and it's nice to have that done.
We have been crazy busy the past few months. Our house closed on Leap Day and we worked on it nearly every day for about a month before we moved in. We packed, cleaned and moved out of our rental at the end of March and moved into our lovely new home that partially resembles a contruction zone. But, we really love it and are slowly putting it together and doing what we can to make it ours. I don't have as many before pictures as I would like...things just were so crazy that pictures didn't seem to be a priority. But, now I wish we had taken more. There is still a lot to do but we are proud of ourselves and the many friends and family members that have helped us thus far. We are especially grateful for Ryan's dad. He has been over hear pretty much full-time. He truly deserves the gold star! We couldn't do this without him.
Three days after we moved in, we had our first guests. My brother and his family had been planning to visit us for a few months. It just so happened to fall right when we moved. I was really worried how it was going to work out, but it was perfect! We were unpacked enough and all the kids did great stepping over nails and not tripping on uneven stairs and carpet ends. We had a lot of fun and did some great things...even though the weather didn't want to cooperate for a few days.
Ripping up the wood floor.
Wet bar almost gone...hallelujah!
Our lovely new Acacia floor. We are really happy with how it is turning out.
Hayden loves the new carpet. It's so soft and clean...especially compared to what was in there. Yuck!
New light fixture and a little look at the paint color. We painted the entire house the same color (beige/tan), with the beams on the main levels accented a bit darker. We also painted all the cielings white. Painting took a LOT longer than we expected. We still have some touch-up, trim and doors to do...not too excited about that. But, it will be nice to put up some doors and base boards sometime in the next few weeks, hopefully.
A look out our kitchen window.
A look out our front door. The kids play in the cul-de-sac all day. It's the most wonderful thing!
Mya had a birthday two weeks ago. She was talking about it for a month. I can't believe she is 7. We love her so much!
Fun with our cousins!
Freezing at Red Rocks.
Casa Bonita-Come to Denver and you can experience it, too!
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Our friends had a family 5K this past weekend. The weather was beautiful and we had a lot of fun. (Ryan and I both pushed strollers for a little extra work out :) Carly and Ryan ran the whole way. I went with Mya and she did great, too. She ran about 1 mile and walked about 2. I'm glad she did. I don't know if I could have run the whole thing right now. I'm still trying to figure out a good workout schedule with the baby....ughhh.
I have so many pictures, but this will have to do for now. The school year will be over before we know it. I am excited for summer. Even though a lot of our time and money is being put into the house right now, we have a lot of fun things to look forward to when school is out.