Christmas 2018

Luke’s first Christmas season was a success!  It was so fun to celebrate with him this year.  We really worked hard at keeping Christ at the center of our season this year, and I think we did a pretty good job.   Every year, we have dinner at the Little America Coffee Shop with my family and see the lights at the Grand America.  I always love that night…the rolls at the Little America are to die for.  Oh yeah, and the Christmas decor isn’t half bad either.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetIMG_1688

This year, I helped coordinate my work’s Angel Tree.  It was such a humbling experience for me.  Colton and I decided that we wanted to help out and ended up collecting the names and needs of a local family to shop for for the holidays.  Both of our families also contributed.  We filled our car full of presents for this family of 12…Luke barely fit!  Since I work for the city, we were able to deliver our gifts directly to the family and meet them.   It was an incredible experience, and made me feel so much closer to the Savior this year.  Colton and I are not rich by any means, but we did what we were able to, and we were grateful that all of our family contributed as well.


We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family.  Luke LOVED opening presents.  He really got the hang of it after a while.  He was really spoiled between Santa, us, and both sets of grandparents!  I mean…how could you not spoil such an adorable kid?

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetIMG_1867

On Christmas morning, after opening gifts, we took our new hiking backpack out for a spin around Huntsville.  Luke loved it, and we really enjoyed the views!  Seriously…HOW CUTE IS HE IN THESE PICTURES?

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

We went back a few days later for New Years Eve and snowshoed across Pineview.  Since the water level was so low before winter, it was totally safe.  In all of my years living in Huntsville, we had never gone all the way across the lake!  It was really fun, and the views were incredible!


5 Generations

Luke was able to meet his Great, Great Grandmother Anne during the holidays.  I have always adored my Grandma Anne.  I believe that she just turned 96 years old this year.  She is so vibrant and animated!  She always has been.  Unfortunately, she can’t see very well these days, but she was dying to see and hold Luke.  I’m so glad, because we got these amazing pictures for Luke to see when he gets a little bit older.  I feel lucky to be able to have a five generation photo!


Luke’s First Thanksgiving

Every year for the last few Thanksgivings, I have done a half marathon.  It’s a good way for me to feel active, get my steps in, and not feel so bloated after a huge meal.  This year, I didn’t train for the half marathon.  I still haven’t been able to get myself over the mental-hump to train.  But, I did sign up to do the local 5K, and my mom decided to join me.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

It was a very cold day, but I was grateful for the chance to get out and move before dinner!  My dad watched Luke (Colton always plays football with his brother on Thanksgiving morning) for me, and he was excited to see us after the race.  Hard to believe that last year, I did this race almost 20 weeks pregnant with him!  I cried almost the entire way…haha.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

At Thanksgiving dinner this year, Luke tried turkey for the first time, and LOVED it.  I wasn’t surprised in the slightest.  He’s the son of two Paleo-diet following carnivores.  He’s also loved solid foods since we introduced him around 4 months old.


The holidays are better together!  It’s been so fun to introduce Luke to all of our existing traditions, and to make our own together.

Luke’s First Halloween

I’ve never really been into Halloween.  I hate scary things…movies, houses, costumes, etc.  I stopped Trick or Treating early into my teenage years.  Maybe 12? 13? Never had the desire after that.  But, every year, I feel pressure to get a cute family costume together, even though we never go anywhere and it usually ends up being a normal day at work/school.

This year was no different!  In fact, I felt even more pressure to get a cute family costume together with such a cute little one in our midst.


So, after many weeks of agonizing over what cute little plush outfit I should spent $30 dollars on for him to wear once, we settled on the last Jack-Jack costume from the extremely picked over Target Halloween aisle.  I liked it because it was $15 instead of $30 (he still only wore it once…ugh), and we could get some cheap t-shirts from Amazon to match.


He was really, really cute.  We sat in our house and passed out candy in our costumes and watched Hocus Pocus.  A Halloween well spent.


Maybe Halloween will be a little more exciting for us with more kids…and the excuse to go Trick or Treating without it being weird.  At least there’s always pumpkin carving, which really brings out our personalities.  Guess who’s is who’s?


Kauai 2018

Maybe a year or so ago, I found some cheap tickets to Hawaii on Google Flights.  We literally took an online quiz called “Which Hawaiian Island Would Be Best For You To Visit?”  That lead us to Kauai.  We trusted the quiz, and I’m SO glad we did.

In October, we flew with 6 month old Luke to Kauai.  Colton woke up the day of the flight with a nasty cold.  It was actually his birthday the day before we left as well.  We always go somewhere during Fall and Spring Break.  Unfortunately, that means planning far in advance, and we weren’t about to cancel after having a baby and a cold at the same time.  I was determined…and really, really excited.  Neither of us had ever been to Hawaii, and we had always talked about going together.  When we found out that it would be affordable for us to go, we hopped on the opportunity.

Luke was amazing on the flight.  Colton felt awful, but Luke cooperated and slept most of the way.  Nursing during take off and touch down really works wonders for the little’s ears.  We landed in Kauai late.  I love landing in a new area at night because waking up and seeing the views the next morning is incredible.


We were staying on the North Shore (in Princeville).  I would stay there again in a heartbeat.  It was much quieter than the east, close to the Napali, and much more lush and green.  We were about a mile away from the Queen’s Bath hike, which we ended up doing three times during our stay.  We are pretty experienced hikers, but hiking in these conditions was much different.  I LOVED IT.  Give me alllll the Hawaiian mud on my feet. It’s like a free spa treatment.


Colton and I gifted ourselves a day on the Napali Coast.  We rode on a raft (similar to the ones used by Navy Seals) for 5 hours along the coast, swam in the clearest water I’ve ever seen, and snorkeled.  The pictures don’t do it justice.  The water was clear and turquoise blue.  The mountains were incredibly majestic, tall, and bright green.  The conditions were harsh, but the ride was so therapeutic to me.  I felt so much gratitude.  I felt so small, but so grateful for this beautiful world God has given us to live in.  I have climbed to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, staring down 1,500 feet into red rocks and rivers.  I have stood at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula in Gijon, Spain, looking out into the ocean and green rolling hills.  I have hiked through El Yunque National Rainforest in Puerto Rico and marveled at the wildlife and luscious greenery around me.  I’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of beautiful things, but I have never been to a place more beautiful than the Napali Coast.


It was the perfect day.  I love Colton because he’s always willing to adventure with me.  He and I connect the same way: experiences.  Being able to travel and experience the world together is the best gift I could ever receive.


Waimea Canyon…like the Grand Canyon of Hawaii.  Such an amazing view!  I wish that I understood the geology of this scene more than I do now.


Our last day in Kauai, we spent our time relaxing and snorkeling at Poipu Beach.  Colton and I swam with a sea turtle.  A real, live, wild sea turtle.  It was incredible.  I get chills just thinking about it.  It was the perfect way to end our trip.  Luke ended up loving the water and sand.  We all loved the calming sounds of the ocean that we never get to experience living in Utah.


Yeah, we are going back as soon as we can.