Sunday, January 1, 2012

Our Year: 2011

Our year in review!  Plus photos from our family photo shoot we did in October!
{I like the new Facebook timeline layout that makes it possible for me to easily look back at all my posts and status updates by month!}
*My first status update of 2011: "Happy 1/1/11!!! Best moment of my new year's morning so far. . . definitely Brooke smiling at me a ton when I woke up. You just can't get mad at her for keeping you up so much after seeing those smiles. :)"
*Enjoyed our southern California theme park vacation... stayed a couple weeks after New Years and took Kirsten and Natalie to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and two incredible days at Disneyland and California Adventure!  And then Stephen and I got a day at Universal Studios and our own day for Disneyland!  Loved that Southern California City Pass we got!
*Back to Seattle on the 15'th... "One airplane. Three small
children. Way too many bags and carry-ons. Two adults who are wishing we could just fast-forward through the whole airport experience and be home already! Wish us luck!"  All I know is... we did survive!
*Kirsten started her first ever dance class at Dance Elite, half tap and half ballet.  It was completely cute and now we are still all hooked!
*Took the kids sledding at Lake Wenatchee, and here's what happened:
"Today Natalie (21 months old) ran FULL-speed into a freezing cold lake in the mountains!!! Then she tripped and fell face-first into the water! I had to haul her out by the hood of her coat, and the poor girl was drenched and freezing. But she wanted to go back in! CRAZY kid!!! It certainly made our sledding adventure interesting!"
*I joined a brand new mom's group and met some of the greatest friends I've found since moving to Seattle!  I started taking my kids to all kinds of playdates and planning fun activities, and it made the dreary winter days so much brighter!
*Enjoyed our Valentines day!  "Happy Valentine's Day indeed! So far I've made Brookie bites (cookie inside a brownie), a white chocolate popcorn snack, pizza with heart-shaped pepperoni, gumball necklaces, and heart doily crafts with some little kids. Whew!"
*I turned 29!  Had a girl's night out at the dueling piano bar, and a yummy dinner (or two or three), ice cream cake, and love from my little family.  And we got some late winter snow.  :)
*{Chuckling over this one}... "Whoo-hoo! The landscaping guys cleared away the dead, dry Christmas tree that was still sitting behind the house (embarrassingly, yes it was). Nice to see the homeowner's association fee be put to some good use! :)"
*My birthday present arrived... "My Christmas/birthday present is finally here and all set up in our house! The Yamaha Arius YDP-181! I'm SO happy to have a piano in our house at last!!!"
*We moved Brooke into her crib in her own room, and we discovered the joys of having an almost 4 year-old and almost 2-year old sharing a room.  There were many, many nights of noise and tears.  "Red-letter night. . . Kirsten and Natalie will be sharing a room for the first time ever! I finally finished organizing all the toys and the room is ready! How long do you think they'll keep each other awake tonight??? :P"  {Answer: LONG time}.
*St. Patrick's Day passed me right on by... "realized AFTER I got everyone dressed this morning that I didn't put a stitch of green on me or my kids. Oops! Wasn't worth changing all the outfits though, especially since nobody goes to school yet. And we don't have any fun food planned either. I usually do a ton of fun stuff for holidays, but today I'm LAME."
*Stephen turned 31... "Going to start dinner soon. . . Pan-fried chicken, twice-baked potatoes, and homemade rolls! Add a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake and you definitely have a meal for a special occasion!"
*Discovered one of our favorite dinners... "Had the BEST dinner tonight at the Space Needle. Chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and Beecher's Flagship cheese. Delicious!!!"
*I joined the YMCA! I don't really know why, but having three kids totally kicked me into gear. I started going to the gym around three times a week, and the kids got used to the childcare and started to enjoy going.  And discovered my favorite form of exercise ever invented... ZUMBA!  "Went to my first Zumba class ever! And learned that I haven't lost all the moves I learned in my latin dance classes in college. :) Loved the class, and whoever says Zumba isn't a great workout must be in WAY better shape than me!"
*We finally did something that was LONG overdue- got rid of the bedtime binkies for Kirsten and Natalie at the same time.  Completely awful, completely necessary, and took about a week before all the crying stopped.  "Tonight is the long-awaited and much-dreaded night. . . the binky fairy is finally coming to our house. Wish us luck!!!" 
Also related... "Last night Kirsten told me she needed the doctor to fix her binky (since it's "broken" and the end is cut off). When I told her doctors don't fix binkies, she said "Well how about some tape?" Aww, breaks my heart a little bit."

*Kirsten had her first swimming lessons!  And loved them!  But didn't pass the level because she wouldn't put her face in the water.  She took another session later in the year, and still didn't pass.
*Went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival!  It was a muddy, cold, windy day but I got some beautiful pictures of the kids in the daffodils and flowers!

*Natalie turned 2!  And was promptly moved into a toddler bed... "Barely 2 years old, and Natalie is climbing out of her crib. Thank you SO much, Kirsten, for teaching her that trick. Grrrrr. . . ."

*First dentist appointment for the girls... "First dentist appointment was a success! Natalie hated hers, but Kirsten went back with the dentist all by herself and even got xrays done and did great! And yet she cried and wailed like a baby when I took her to the child adventure zone at the gym yesterday and tried to leave. I don't get it!"

*I learned to avoid stores with all 3 kids at all costs... "Want to see a 3-ring circus? Just come along and watch as I take all three kids by myself to Joann's. Holy cow. Won't be doing THAT again anytime soon!"

*Easter!  "Orange roll dough. . . done and rising! Pistachio pudding salad. . . done! Lemon angel pie. . . done! Ooooh I'm excited for Easter dinner tomorrow!"

{Wow.  April was busy.}

*Brooke... six months old and starting on baby food... "Just fed Brooke her first baby food. . . squash! We're now in the most expensive six months, when we'll be buying formula, diapers, AND baby food!"

*Memorable trip to the zoo... "Saw the coolest thing at the Zoo today. . . an orangutang was sitting there with two pieces of colored chalk, one in each hand, and he had a few pieces of paper and he was coloring! He colors better than my kids do too!"

*Kirsten turned 4!  At last!!!  "Kirsten is 4 years old today! Wow, never thought we'd make it out of the 3's alive, but we did. :)"

*Started to enjoy some gorgeous spring weather at the parks!  "I'm constantly amazed by the beauty at all the parks around here! Today we went to Idylwood Beach Park on Lake Sammamish, and it was so gorgeous. I couldn't keep my two little fish out of the water though. Swimsuits next time!"

*Went on a family trip for our anniversary and Memorial day weekend to Portland and the Oregon coast!  "Getting ready to go on our first roadtrip with all three kids for Memorial weekend. I'm a little nervous and hope it all goes well, but also excited to drive someplace new!!!"


*Beginning of summer!  "Mmm, the air outside smells like a thousand BBQ's all happening at once. It finally feels like summer! We spent a gorgeous afternoon at Newcastle Beach Park. Oh wow, where has that park been all my life? Love this day!"

*We went camping at Steamboat Rock State Park with friends!  The kids had so much fun playing in the lake and swimming!

*A few firsts accomplished... My first whitewater rafting trip, and my first Mariner's game!

*Had such a terrific Pony Party for Kirsten and Natalie's combined birthday party.  Adorable ponies dressed up as princesses, llamas, bouncy houses, and firepit included!

*Father's day!  "Father's day dinner was so delicious even I had seconds! Pretzel-crusted chicken with cheddar mustard sauce, and twice-baked potatoes!"

*Kirsten performed in her first ever dance recital, and it was the most adorable thing EVER.   "Headed to Kirsten's dress rehearsal for her very first dance recital! Let the craziness of tons of little girls in fluffy, sparkly costumes and all the stage moms begin! ;)"

*The North Sound Explore and Play group was officially born!  My friend Michaela and I organized the group and a whole LOT of fun playdates and mom's nights out began!  I've had SO much fun planning things for it all year!!!


*We got some perfect weather for 4'th of July!  We took the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and enjoyed a parade, some crepes, and sunshine!  And then had a fun BBQ and fireworks show with friends!  "Natalie LOVED the fireworks tonight! I think she's a whole lot like her mommy... a night owl who doesn't want to miss out on all the fun and excitement!"

*Went to the best concert of the year!  Blew my expectations out of the water!  "I touched two of the Backstreet Boys last night!!! (Insert girly screaming and swooning here) The Backstreet Boys and New Kids On the Block put on a seriously amazing show last night! And Matthew Morrison from Glee opened for them!"

*The end of an era... the last Harry Potter movie.


*Went whale watching and saw killer whales in the wild!  "Saw lots of orcas, some seals, and a bald eagle today! Whale watching through the San Juans was absolutely Gorgeous!!! Again I say, the Seattle area is underrated."

*Kirsten came home from her summer vacay to Grandma's house... "Kirsten is back! I've missed her so much! It's nice to have someone in the house again who will tell me I have beautiful toes... even when I haven't had a pedicure in over a month! ;)"

*Roadtrip to the Olympic Peninsula!  SO much fun!!!  "Headed to the Olympic Peninsula! Highlight of the day should be the Olympic Game Farm, where you drive through and feed the animals who come up to your car. We're also hitting Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent! Should be a fun two days!!!"

*Lazy summer days {haha!}... "My vision of today: Relaxing at the beach and chatting with friends while my girls happily play in the sand and the water after a nice picnic lunch. My actual day: Dealing with whiny, crying girls who all wanted to sit on my lap, hardly ventured out to the water, and dropped all their food in the sand. Followed by a grueling uphill walk back to the car pushing the double stroller. Some ideas just sound better than they actually are."

*{Too good not to mention}... "Our day started out at 6:30 with all the kids crying simultaneously. The cat was and is still sleeping blissfully on my bed. Can I pull a change-up here and switch lives with the cat? Just for one day???"

*Evergreen State Fair!  "Busy, fun, but exhausting day! Spent the morning at Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park and then the afternoon and evening at the Evergreen State Fair. I feel like I might have done almost enough walking around to cancel out all the calorie-laden fair food that I ate."

*Finally figured out how to use Pinterest.  Addiction born!


*Labor day weekend spent in Victoria, on Vancouver Island!  Took the car, the ferry, the kids, and saw the incredible fireworks show at the Butchart Gardens!!!  Loved all of our fun little trips we did last year!  "Whenever I leave the country (yep, I'm in Canada, a whole ferry ride away!) I'm reminded that the USA is the land of free refills and glasses full of ice. It's crazy how NO other country does either of those things!"

*Natalie started her Tiny Two's dance class!  She's so excited and thrilled to be finally getting to dance like Kirsten!

*Kirsten started at the Edmonds Co-Op Preschool!  I help out in the classroom once a week and got my job as the Class Photographer.  :)  It's been such a great class and Kirsten loves her teacher!  "Today's my first work day at the co-op preschool! Kirsten gets to bring something to show and tell that starts with the letter "A". She's totally bringing the furry alpaca that I got in Peru. Bet a kid hasn't brought an alpaca before!"

*FALL is here!  "I can tell it's almost fall because. . .the nights are getting cooler, football season is back, and there's more good new TV shows than my DVR can keep up with! My favorite season! :)"

*Discovered some amazing places for fall family outings!  Spent a Saturday at Remlinger Farms, and took a weekend roadtrip over Deception Pass and exploring Whidbey Island!


*Decorated for Halloween and ordered Halloween costumes!  Kirsten was SO excited about her bumblebee costume... "Ordered Kirsten's Halloween costume! I got such a great deal on it too! I ordered it but it hasn't arrived yet, and she asks me at least 20 times a day if it's here yet and wants to see the picture online. Holidays with kids are so much fun. :)"

*Pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and petting farms galore!  LOVE the Seattle area in October!  Of course it helps when you have some sunshine and take an extra adult with you... "Whoa, talk about a rainy and cold day for Kirsten's preschool pumpkin patch field trip! After lugging the 3 kids all around there, I'm officially exhausted!"

*Danced the night away on my girl's weekend in Vancouver with my friend Char!  We found the best 80's dance club EVER!

*Finally entered the modern age and got a smartphone.  The Samsung Galaxy S2!  And of course don't know how I lived without it now!  ;)

*Baby Brooke turned 1!!!

*Took the kids and friends to the Microsoft Halloween party this year!  "Trick or treating at microsoft today! One year ago I was getting into my costume to head there when I went into labor. Wow, that year flew by!"

*Got a bit Halloween-ed out this year after several Halloween parties, trunk-or-treat, trick-or-treating at Country Village, and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.  Whew!  "I never thought I'd say that I'm ready for halloween to be over, but I kind of am. Four days of it is a LOT!"


*Breaking Dawn!  "Midnight Breaking Dawn tonight! Can't wait!!!!! It'll be me, my mom's group, and all the screaming teenagers!"

*November kind of got away from me... "So where did November go? I'm so behind that I still have my Halloween decorations up! At this point, they'll just stay up until the day after Thanksgiving and then time to haul out the holly!"

*Thanksgiving!  "Making orange rolls and apple pie, watching the parade, and getting ready to share yummy food with good friends! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!"

*And one of my favorite shopping days of the year by far... loved Black Friday and shopped from midnight until 7 am!  "Still shopping! The mall has been great, no long lines! And yes, I am the smart one pushing around a baby-less stroller so I don't have to cart all my stuff around!"

*We got all the Christmas stuff up on Thanksgiving weekend too... "My house is happy! It looks and smells like Christmas! LOVE the scent of the tree combined with my favorite 'Winter' candle!"


*LOVED this month!  Lots of Christmasey adventures...
"Popcorn, sleeping bags, and classic Rudolph by the Christmas tree! It's their new favorite movie!"
"Two things checked off the December to-do list... Pictures with Santa and Snowflake Lane in Bellevue! Done and done in one day!"
"Never thought I would pay $45 for a used toy. Darn you, Pat Pat Rocket! Well I'm glad I at least found it on craigslist and didn't have to pay even MORE plus shipping on ebay!"
"Such a nice, clear December we're having! Makes it easy to go do all the outdoor Christmasy stuff and not get rained on! On the agenda for tonight... driving around the Eastside seeing all kinds of Christmas light displays with the family!"

And then our San Diego adventures...
"Off to the airport to pay $100 for luggage, whoo-hoo! California, here we come!"
"In-N-out for dinner last night... Rubios for lunch today!!!! Ohhhhh I have missed them! Washington needs to get with the program!"
"Now I know I'm really a Seattleite... walking around Magic Mountain where it's sunny and in the high 70s I got way too hot and am now taking a break in the shade with a cold drink. Just call me a wimp!"
"Good times and good food at Old Town Mexican Cafe! I still love this tradition!"
"Enjoying this gorgeous San Diego weather on my dad's boat with the kids!"
"I just danced to Cotton-Eyed Joe for the first time in about 8 years. I completely forgot about it! It's totally exhausting but wow, so much fun!"
"I think Natalie might be starting the terrible 2's a little early. ALL day long she was throwing stuff, climbing stuff, aggravating Kirsten, and laughing at it all like it was the funniest thing in the world. I'm exhausted!"  {That pretty much sums up the year.  Haha!}

"Whoa, Natalie was SO mad at Kirsten's first swimming lesson today. She wanted to go in the water too, and I had no way to make her understand why she couldn't! Holding a screaming toddler in your lap for a half hour is NOT fun. Might have to rethink how we do this swimming lesson thing. On the up side, Kirsten had a ton of fun. :)"

"Natalie has opinions about music now. When we're listening to CD's in the car she'll say "More!" after certain songs but not others. Today her favorite was "We Are Who We Are" by Ke$ha. :P"

*{Wrote this back in June} "Natalie is well on her way to being potty trained much sooner than Kirsten was! Fingers crossed that it keeps going well, because I am about ready to be DONE with two kids in diapers!"  {Haha... well... we're still working on getting the potty training done.  She still goes through lots of Pull-Ups, way too many.  UGH!}

"‎(Taking my moment to complain) Seattle traffic and parking were AWFUL today! And there were a million day camps and school buses all over the Seattle Center. Such a mess! Then, as an added bonus, Natalie smacked the top of my head with her balloon flower the whole drive home. Of course it popped when we were almost home, and then she started sobbing. Just another beautiful day in Seattle. ;)"

"I was rushing around getting breakfast ready this morning and forgot to say a prayer, so Natalie said "Fold arms" and reminded me. I had no idea she would do that!"

"‎2 year-olds are so predictable. The first words out of Natalie's mouth every single morning: "I wan' eat food!" And she says it over and over, like it's breaking news and I don't already know what she wants."


"Ha! Love what Kirsten shouted out the window tonight. . . "Heavenly Father, you need to make it snow!" She's just dying to play in the snow again. She kept talking about how Heavenly Father made the snow melt and he's the only one who can fix it and bring the snow back. :)"
"Me: "Daddy goes to work so he can make money." Kirsten: "I have no money. I need to go to work and make some money." Me: "What would you do with your money?" Kirsten: "Buy all the dragons from the museum." ?????"
"You know those guys who dress up as the Statue of Liberty and stand out on the street advertising for tax places? We drove past some today and Kirsten got so excited and said, "I just saw TWO Santas!" Ummm. . . they show absolutely zero resemblance to Santa so I don't know what the kid is thinking!"
"Still laughing over Kirsten's latest: "Xander kissed me on the cheek and I said 'Yuck!" :P"
"I was just sure I'd never have juice-addicted kids. But I just gave Kirsten some water and she said, "No. . . water makes me sad but juice makes me happy." (Sigh)"
"Here's what I overheard Kirsten saying to Natalie yesterday when they were coming up the stairs: "Let's try to sneak this past Mommy. She doesn't like us to have scissors." Yikes. Thank goodness she hasn't learned the art of subtlety yet!"

"When I asked Kirsten who she wanted to marry when she gets older, she said, "Daddy!" Then when I said I was already married to him, she said, "I can marry Daddy, and you can marry Chance." Not everyone has a kid so willing to pick out a new husband for them! ;)"
"I never thought I'd see the day. . . Kirsten fell asleep on the couch while she was watching her "quiet time" movie. I guess four nights in a row of not falling asleep until 10:30 at night and waking up around 7:30 with NO naps finally caught up to her."

"I can't help but laugh when Kirsten tells me, "I don't like Natalie. . . I love Brooke." That's because Brooke can't steal your toys yet! :P"

"Kirsten is obsessed with dandelions. She loves to blow on them and make wishes. Usually she says something like, "I wish I could eat some cake!" but yesterday was her funniest wish yet. . . "I wish I could get married soon, when I'm bigger." :)"

"Me: "Wow, I have a huge bug bite on my arm!"
Kirsten: "Maybe I bit you when I was a bug."

 "Proof that there IS a bright spot to bathing your kid at 2 am after they threw up everywhere: After I told sick, miserable Kirsten that Brooke is sick too, she said, "Ohhhh, poor baby!" Kirsten is such a sweet girl."

"You KNOW your child is from Seattle when you hear them say this: "I don't like the sun! It's too bright!"

"I'm SO grateful for such a good baby. Right now she's sleeping longer at night (and sometimes for naps) than the two older girls do. . . not bad for a 3 month-old!!!"

{Six months old} "Got soaked to the bone giving Brooke her bath tonight. That baby sure loves to KICK in the water. The entire bathroom floor was covered in water from her little tub! Crazy baby!"

"Brooke celebrated turning 9 months old by learning how to clap! It's SO cute! My other two didn't learn how to do that until quite a bit older."
Love me some TV... {TV throughout the year}:
"Quote of the day: After seeing some of the Biggest Loser weigh-in, Kirsten said, "He needs to put his clothes back on!" :)"
"Ha, I am SO stealing Kevin's new year's resolution from The Office: "To eat more vegetables this year. I haven't done it yet, but it's okay. I've still got time. . . since last year I ate none." Sounds a little too much like me. :P"
"I've been catching up on the Glee episodes from this week. Oh, Warblers. . . I ♥ you! They NEED to put out a whole CD of the Warblers!"  {Which they did do... and I bought... and I love!}
"American Idol tonight. . . WOW! So many talented singers! So far I'm really liking this season." {I totally called it that it would be an all-country finale, and figured Scotty would have to be the winner.  Even though my fave was James!}
"When I shop for clothes by myself, I try to imagine Tim Gunn is with me. Sounds silly, but it works! I can totally hear his voice when I try stuff on saying "That's a lot of look!" or "The fit isn't very flattering."

*I was pretty happy with the Boston Rob win... "Any other Survivor fans happy about last night? SO awesome!"

*BACHELORETTE!  "To all my fellow Bachelorette-watchers. . . who were your early standout favorites from last night? Mine were William, Ben who spoke French, and Ryan who got the first impression rose. I guess I like the smiley, cutie blonde ones. :)"

Whew, what a year!!!


  1. LOVE all these pictures!!!! SO cool to see statuses from your year in review---I'm in love with FB timeline, so cool!!!!!!!!!

  2. Your family pictures look really great! Your outfits go together really well, and the setting is beautiful!

  3. I LOVE your family pictures...your girls are just adorable!


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