Monday, November 5, 2012


Remember, Remember the 5th of November... Gunpowder, treason, and plot!

We really got in the mood for Guy Fawkes Day with our family mustache photo shoot! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Guy Fawkes Day, or Bonfire Night, you can catch all the lovely details by watching V for Vendetta. I learned about this holiday during my study abroad in London.

{Avery, totally rocking the stache look}

Basically, Guy Fawkes was arrested on Nov. 5th in 1605 for being part of the Gunpowder Plot. The goal was to blow up the British Parliament, but it was stopped. Everyone in Great Britain lit bonfires to celebrate and now they light the BIGGEST bonfires I have ever seen. Like, save-your-old-furniture, have-to-stand-50-yards-away, HUGE bonfires. They usually have a Guy Fawkes at the top of the burning mountain in celebration. Here is a picture of Guy Fawkes from the movie, V for Vendetta:

 {A little creepy, but now you get the mustaches!}

{We got a little crazy, but we had a great time!
And hey, isn't this better than burning things? 
Maybe not, but it definitely makes for cuter pictures!}

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two Going on Thirteen

I can't believe this girl is already TWO!!! It's amazing how time flies and how fast she has grown. Tonight as Brian and I were putting her to bed we told her about the day she was born. We talked about the cold weather and the time we spent cuddling and holding her. We told her about taking her home and snuggling and singing to her. What I didn't tell her is how much that day changed my life. Forever. I am so grateful to have spent the last two years learning to be her mom. I love the lessons I learn from her and the ones I learn from seeing things through her eyes. I am so lucky to have such a sweet little girl to teach me the patience I need as a mother.

I distinctly remember the first moment I saw her. It was the only time I really cried during the delivery process. The spirit that filled the room and the immediate and complete love that filled my heart were astounding. I will forever mark that as one of the most profound experiences of my life.

Today I feel so lucky to have this little sweetie in my life. Brian and I both marvel at all the things she learns and knows. She is such a smarty pants and has started into the 2-year-old phase of life. I am looking forward to seeing her with her little brother and becoming the wonderful big sister that I know she will be.

I love you Avery Mae!

This morning while we were eating pancake breakfast, Brian asked Avery how old she was. We worked a lot with her yesterday to start saying two instead of one and we wanted to see if she had caught on. Well, when Brian asked her this morning how old she was she yelled "THIRTEEN!" in quite the little demanding voice. Oh well, two-going-on-thirteen... what more could a mother ask for?

Last night we celebrated Avery's birthday with a house full of family members and way too many presents. Avery insisted on having Princess Belle on her cake, so I went to work on it during naptime. 

{Here is the first layer and some of the face done.}

{The finished product after freezing and peeling it off the wax paper. 
It held up for the most part, but I definitely learned a few tricks for the next one!}

As previously mentioned, Avery was spoiled with way too many gifts and loved opening all of them. Thank you to everyone who came to share her birthday with her- it was fun to have a full house!

By the end of the night Avery figured out how to open the taped boxes. She watched mommy do one and became an instant pro. I discovered her with the keys and a new box going at the tape. Surprisingly, she managed to cut through most of the tape on the sides and even got the key in the right spot. She is definitely too smart for her (or my) own good!

{Avery was definitely excited to find that Belle had made it onto her 
pink cake and LOVED having everyone sing Happy Birthday to her 
(something we have repeated many times since)!}

{Blowing out her candles}

Happy Birthday sweet girl! I love you to the moon and back!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day of Chicken

***Warning, lots of pictures, and not the super-cute-Avery pictures I usually post!***

I think today was one of the longest days of my life! I am getting to that point in my pregnancy where everything hurts, at least when I spend the whole day on my feet in the kitchen! And today was a day exactly like that. I got up 'early' (7am) and got Avery up so we could head to the Miracle Bowl in Orem. Last month I heard about an awesome deal to get 40 lbs of chicken for $1.69 per pound through Zaycon Foods. I jumped on the deal and today was the pickup day!

 I loaded Avery in the car with some hot warm cocoa and we were off!

I was not expecting the pickup to be so easy, but it was seriously a drive through. 
I was there for maybe three minutes tops and we were hitting the road again!

They loaded it in the back of my car and put a great little tarp down underneath.
The inside bag is sealed, but I was grateful they still put this down

 After our pickup, Avery and I headed straight to the grocery store.
I have been gathering some freezer meal recipes to make for after the baby arrives
and with all this fresh chicken, I knew I had to get on it today!

 I got home and cleared off all my counters,

 and set up my assembly line.

 I cut into my bag to find 4 bags of approx 10 lbs of chicken each.
This made it easier to work with, and again, I was surprised at how convenient they made this!

I started trimming the fat and even had a bowl for the smaller pieces to
keep from wasting my precious chicken!

 I cut some into chicken tenders, some into chunks, and left some as chicken breasts.

BIG THANK YOU to my mom for letting me borrow her FoodSaver!
It took some time, but this little tool will help keep our meat for longer.

 Bags and bags... and bags!

The one thing I was NOT prepared for is how long this would take.
Avery soon left the movie I had put on to find out what mom was doing.
As it turns out, she gets really frustrated when I try to lock her out of any given area.
This is as far as she could get under the gate and then would get her head stuck...

Hold on sweetie, just let me get a picture and then I'll get you out!

Here is 30 lbs of the chicken, trimmed, cut, bagged, and in the freezer.

Now Avery got to come help in the kitchen with all that yucky raw chicken cleaned up!

So, as if I wasn't already exhausted at this point... I started on the freezer meals!

 The remaining 10 lbs of chicken got split up into different freezer meals. 
These are the scraps that got cut and ended up in a yummy casserole.

Grocery line up

 Instead of the FoodSaver bags, our freezer meals went into Freezer Ziplocks.

And I got 4 freezer meals completed and just have three more to put together tomorrow!
We tried one of the freezer meals tonight (I doubled the batch) and we LOVED it, 
Avery included. At least I know we'll have one good meal after the baby comes.

I definitely feel like I had a successful day, but now I'm ready to sleep for the last 
2 months of my pregnancy. Who knew an ENTIRE day on your feet in the kitchen would
end up making your back hurt, your feet swell, and your sciatic nerve act up?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Snow Day

Avery and I slept in late this morning (9am) and woke up to a surprising snow! We didn't get very much, but we bundled up and went outside for the heaviest part. It was so fun to see the look on her face when she saw the snow falling for the first time! I caught it on the iPad, but not on my camera, so you don't get to see it. Anyway, here are a few shots of her experiencing snow.

 Bundled up so warm in her fun new winter coat! She was thrilled to finally have a reason to wear it!

 She wasn't sure about the snow sticking to her boots, but she stomped around and played just the same. Also, I am sort of into the black and white photos of her right now, so please excuse the lack of color!

 A big CHEESE for the camera (and some color)!

I'm glad we made the most of the snowy morning with some play and pictures. 
After the photos we headed inside to enjoy some hot cocoa and to watch the snow fall.
 Hope your morning was as fun as ours!

   Today we are also missing Daddy. He left early this morning to San Francisco with the guys 
in my family. They went on a quick trip to see a World Series game and then he'll be 
home tomorrow. I'm a little jealous, but I'm so glad he gets to take a break from school 
and spend some fun time with the guys! Love you babe!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gingerbread House

We have been busily working on our bucket list and one of the items is to build a haunted gingerbread house. When we were dating 4 years ago, we built a haunted gingerbread house and decided we wanted to make it a tradition. Well, apparently we struggle a little to keep this one going because this is the first time we've gotten around to doing another.

Our 2008 gingerbread house- wow, do we have mad skills or what?

Me gluing our 2008 house together. 
I had to post this picture because I miss that waistline too much! Darn pregnancy!

Brian making the plans for this year's gingerbread house!

Brian making the dough.

It got really bubbly when he added the baking soda at the end. :) 
At this point I was very happy to be behind the camera!

Cutting out the shapes in our dough before baking.
This was a new technique this year and I think it's a keeper!

 We were lucky enough to commandeer my parents kitchen to get our dough made and baked. Our kitchen wouldn't have handled such a project! Avery loved the play space and we read lots of books.

Daddy ready a bedtime book to Avery.

We spent a night building the house and starting on the decor.
I seemed to forget how big of a project this is!

Tonight we pulled it out again and worked more on the decor.
Brian has done most of the work on this and it's been so fun to spend 
some of our weekend nights working on it!

We also tend to leave quite the mess....

 The current state of our house! It's hiding on the washer from the little helping 
hands that would love to destroy play with it!