Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year

I can't believe it is 2013 already. It's strange to think that Auzre will soon be one. It's also strange to imagine life before she was part of our family. I can't believe how big Cormac is getting. He's growing and changing so much.

2013 is going to bring some exciting things to the Dahl family. Azure is turing one. Maybe she'll learn to walk and get some teeth this year too. Who knows.

Cormac is starting preschool and speech tomorrow. I'm both excited and not about that. I think he will love it and it will be good. But is it really possible that my little one is already in preschool. How did that happen? He'll be in class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 to 12. Crazy. I'm going to miss him.

This year will bring some fun trips for us as well. Sometime this spring we are going to Nauvoo to visit Ammon's parents. We will be making another trip up to my parent's at some point. And we are now tossing around the idea of making it to Disney Land.

For me, 2013 is the year I'm focusing on my health. I've gone vegan and am no longer eating sugar and avoiding white flour and rice. It's hard. It really is. But I truly feel better when I eat this way. So for the entire year it is my goal to be a sugar-free vegan (did I just invent a new "thing?"). And I'm planning to do more yoga teaching and things of that nature as well.

As for Ammon, I'm not really sure. He's not much into resolutions. But he is excelling at his job and will continue to do that forever I'm sure. He is also still hard at work as the elders quorum president in our ward. Ammon is so very good. We are really lucky to have him.

It promises to be an exciting year. It's always an adventure with this crazy bunch. One of my favorite things is seeing my kids starting to play together. And I'm so looking forward to seeing them grow closer this year.

Cormac does smile. Just not for the camera. I think these two are starting to look more alike too. What do you think?

And then we bowled

The day after Christmas we went bowling. It was Cormac's first time. He really liked it. My favorite was watching him with his face in the air blower.

The power with which this woman rolls the ball down the lane is staggering. Or something like that.

Cormac got to roll the ball and he had bumpers. I think he actually beat me. I guess I needed bumpers too.

And it's Dad's turn.

Go Ammon.

Bowling shoes on toddlers might be the cutest thing ever.

This is not nearly as cute, sorry.

What a wonderful time. I may be rotten at bowling, but it is a lot of fun with my family around. We had a good time.

Christmas Day

I hope you'll bear with me as I share more pictures. You have to remember that some of our family (like important Grandparents who are serving a mission) don't get to see these kids often. So I like to show them off. Well, I sort of like to show them off either way.

Christmas morning in new pajamas. Santa had left a whole lot of presents under our tree. I'm glad he found these kids way up in North Idaho. I guess they were pretty good this year.

Let the present opening begin. Cormac was in on a lot of the gift opening. Even if they weren't for him. He's pretty good at breaking into presents.

 Ammon and I are fans of the Awkward Family Photos blog. A few years ago we got my dad their book because it's funny.  Well this year they gifted us an awkward gift right back. So we posed accordingly. Perhaps more awkward than our faces is the fact that our shirts match.

Uncle Nick gave Azure a bear that is about 3 times her size. It's really huge.

Azure with her new dolls. The one in her hand was from Grandma Jaynes and the one sitting next to her was from Grammie. She's not too sure about them. She really loves her balls that she got though.

And Santa really came through for Cormac. He got tons and tons of trains and tracks. He even got a train table. That one didn't make it up to Idaho, but was here when we got back.

Later that day we went out to my grandparent's winter sanctuary. So much snow! Everyone got bundled up, and we broke out the snowmobiles and sleds. Then we got serious and brought out the canoe. My grandparents have the most enormous orange canoe. They've had it forever. What we have discovered is that it is truly awesome in the snow. You can get a whole lot of people in there and it really moves in the snow. The best part is that the snow mobile then pulls it and everyone else back up the hill. I didn't get any pictures of us in the snow. I was too busy playing. It was a really wonderful day: presents, snow, games, food, and family. Yes, a truly wonderful day, despite Nick's best efforts to freeze my face off by taking me around on his snowmobile. I think we caught a bit of air at one point. It was actually a lot of fun, even if my face was frozen.

Christmas Eve (and way too many pictures)

This year for Christmas Eve we made the trek up to my parents house. We arrived right before a massive storm. It was a beautiful white Christmas.

I got to relive my childhood Christmases. We would always draw names earlier in the year. Then on Christmas Eve we would have steak, french fries, and frappe. Then we would read the Christmas story from the scriptures. After the story we would exchange gifts and then open Christmas pajamas.

This year we were able to celebrate with my Grandparents and some guests from Panama that they had over, Elsy and Ivy.

Azure and Uncle Nick are good buds. He lets her play with his hat and pull on his beard. She loves it. I don't know what he gets out of it, but he's a good sport.

Cormac did his best to ensure that Great Grandpa would get a good night's sleep.

Then the present opening began. Azure got to go first. Cormac pretty much opened everyone's gifts for them. Then he would let them see the gift afterwards.

Azure got a fun turtle to bounce on from Grammie Christie.

Uncle Nick scored big by getting Cormac a new train.

Ivy got a headband, earrings, and a couple necklaces from me.

I honestly can't remember what Uncle Nick got, but I think my dad had his name.

Azure charmed everyone. She's such a fun, sweet little thing.

Elsy had Ammon's name. She went through a lot of heartache to get this tie made for him. It's a really neat tie.

Grandma Garrison had my name. She gave me a cow ornament. Once upon a time I was very into cows. My nick name was Melanee Moo growing up after all. I have a pretty good collection of cow ornaments. She also gave me a notebook made entirely from cow poop. Yes, you read that right. We have now established that Grandma gives the crappiest gifts.

Cormac had Elsy's name. She got a watch, bracelet, earrings, and a necklace.

Azure had Grammie's name. There was a request for new hot pads. My dad complained that she had been using the same jack-o-lantern hot pads forever. So he was celebrating as she pulled these out. There was a ceremony later to discard the old hot pads. Mom also got bath salts and bubble bath.

Ammon had Grandma. Grandma loves drinking out of these mason jars with handles. She was running low on them, so we found some new ones for her.

Ivy gave Grandpa a tie also.

Dad got an awesome shirt from Grandpa.

 We also have a random tradition of giving my grandma the ugliest ornaments we can find. I'm not sure how it started, but she has an entire tree devoted to these ugly things. This was my parents offering this year. Oddly enough, my Aunt Sheila ended up giving her the same one.
Grandma also got a new ugly ornament.
 By this point in the night Azure was feeling really exhausted.

Last thing we did was open pajamas.

It was a very wonderful Christmas Eve. Took me back to my childhood.

Meeting Santa

There is a family in our neighborhood that has a train track that runs all over the block. They have these small trains that you can ride on. Each Halloween they put up a haunted train ride. We've gone twice and really enjoyed it. They also do a Christmas ride, but that one isn't open to the public, it's by invitation only. This year we were privileged to get a ride on the polar express.

Here we are getting ready to go. Poor Ammon and his long legs don't really fit all that well on the train.

The first half of the train ride takes you up to the North Pole where you get to meet Santa. It was both kids first experience meeting him. I wasn't sure how either would do. Well, Cormac actually met Santa when he was one. He wasn't too happy about the experience. But that was two year ago.

Azure was just curious. She was the first one of our kids to sit on Santa's lap.

Cormac needed a little bribe. Once he saw the candy cane though he decided to go a little closer.

When Santa asked what Cormac wanted for Christmas he said he wanted a train. My boy is rather fond of trains.

The last half of the train ride takes you through pictures and scenes from the Savior's life. It was a really special experience. We are so thankful to the good people who put on the train ride. We really enjoyed the experience.