Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tappana Times: Beginnings of Winter

Brigham's birthday was on Thanksgiving this year. We spent it at my cousin George's house in Bothell.

His wife did such a fantastic job getting everything set up, and it looked beautiful with the triangle napkins and everything.

I made Brigham a special cookie-dough ice cream pie for dessert and it was a hit. Pretty much all of Thanksgiving was a hit.

We also had a snow storm. It'll probably be the only one we get this winter, so the kids spent as much time playing outside as they could stand. I loved the snow! I miss it!!

Ammon stayed out side with his Uncle Ryan for HOURS. We even went through multiple pairs of gloves, switching from wet to dry ones so he could stay out longer. They made a mini-snowman, then destroyed the mini-snowman. And in awesome-uncle fashion, Ryan pulled Ammon around the backyard in a sled.

In other big news: WE HAVE OUR OWN HOUSE!

It's a pretty cute house that we are renting. We live just down the street from my parents and are still in the same ward. Though the move wasn't far, it was still busy and stressful. Especially during the month of December with all the craziness that brings. We also had short notice, and everything progressed so quickly that the move was sudden and rushed.

But we're moved and it's SO nice getting our things out of storage, having our own bed TO SHARE, and not living out of these suitcases anymore.

It was quite hilarious some of the things I unpacked that sat in storage for a year, since I didn't think we would be living with my parents for that long. Ketchup. Flour....etc

It's nice having our own place, but I sometimes miss some of the fun parts of living with my family too. We were quite blessed with everything they did for us this past year, and in helping us move twice. I really have the best family.

Well, that's been us settling in. Soon I'll update with all of Christmas -because that's been a crazy fun, busy time too- and give a tour of our house. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Surprise Birthday Getaway

Brigham recently turned the big 3-0. And his birthday list was pitiful. So I put together what I knew he really wanted, even though he didn't even know he wanted it yet.

And it was great!

I asked Brigham on a date, but really had a fun getaway planned. I even packed Brigham's bags in secret for him so that he had no idea for the first half of the night that we were going away for the weekend.

I took Brigham out to dinner at Shuga Jazz Bistro in Renton. It's a snazzy name for a restaurant that has a bar area where jazz players come and perform live, later in the evenings, while people eat from a menu created by some famous chef who cooks southern cuisine. Although we ate too early for live jazz music, Brigham's salmon was DELICIOUS and my steak was good too. We were satisfied.

After dinner, I told Brigham the surprise part of the date was next. He was utterly confused as I took us to the edge of Lake Washington....until I had him pull the bags from the back of the car. Then he realized what the plan was and said, "This is exactly what I wanted! Just time away with you!" I knew it :)

The Woodmark Hotel is the nicest hotel I have ever stayed at. I tried to take pictures to show what I mean, but they just don't do it justice. Honestly, it's not THAT fancy, but for these two poor people that usually stay at La Quinta, it was just nice. The halls were fancy, the view of Lake Washington from the lobby's huge windows was gorgeous, and the divine rain-head shower in the bathroom -nicer than our own at home - made us feel pampered.

Probably the best part of the hotel was their fun Raid the Pantry feature. Basically from 10 pm-1 am, you get to raid the pantry that is full of snacks, treats, and goodies and you get to eat whatever you want. I had beef stew at 10:30 at night! Brigham scarfed sandwiches, chips, donuts, cookies, cereal....etc. He was like a kid in a candy store. I highly recommend all hotels start offering this feature, because it was awesome.

The middle picture is the view of our hotel from the docks.

We spent the next morning exploring the lake around our hotel. Windy and overcast, it was cool as we walked the trails and docks.  We always seem to take trips during the winter when the weather is cold and wet, so we weren't able to take advantage of the free paddle boats and bicycle rental they do during the summer, but it's something to remember for the future.

We had a great time escaping life for a night. It was the perfect birthday surprise for Brigham, and not only do I love surprises, I love pulling off surprises. Success!

Happy Birthday Brigham! You may be old now, and yes I did include the creepy picture of you at the bottom of this, but I wanted a picture where you can see the both of our faces together. Because that's how it should be, spending a weekend getting older together, for better or worse. And dear, even though you moan about your age, we're still young! I'm looking forward to many more weekends away together in the future. I'm proud of you for getting your new job and all the hard work you've been putting into everything. You're a great priesthood leader, father, husband, and person. Keep up the good work! Love you, happy birthday.

Love, Kari

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tappana Times: Or More Like Lydia and Ammon Times

I've been hard pressed to find the time to post here. I've had plenty to say, but unfortunately I feel like I'm rushing around constantly and barely have a minute to collect myself at the end of the day, let alone keep up with all the posts I have rushing around in my mind. So here goes a flood of pictures of my two littles, keeping up with this last month and soon a blog post with Brigham and I and our activities. Hopefully I'll be able to find more time somewhere soon.

Ammon's getting older, and therefore learning how to get into trouble and draw on furniture. He thought it would be fun to scrub all the colored pencil off this nightstand, but after it took awhile to start coming off - and it's still not completely gone - he was so exhausted he had to lay down to continue scrubbing. I was hoping all the work to clean would teach him a lesson and remove any desire to do such activities in the future, but the next week he did the same thing...except with fingernail polish...so that idea didn't work. (Update: he also did it again TODAY! I just discovered it after writing this. That naughty boy!)

Although they can both be naughty at times, they sure can be sweet. Ammon can't wait for Lydia to get home from school. Usually he comes with me to the bus-stop, but this day he stayed home. As soon as he heard the front door close, I heard the fastest pitter-patter of footsteps, and then "Lyyyyyyyyddddddiiiiiiaaaaaa!!!!". Lydia exclaimed back, "Hey Buddy!" And hug. Luckily, I had my phone ready and you get to join in on the sweetness of the moment. I. love. these. two.

These two have been working hard and Ammon has now mastered both upper and lower case letters, and Lydia got glowing reviews at our first parent-teacher conference. Thus they were both rewarded with a treat at the store. The next step for Ammon is to learn sounds and Lydia will now get to be in reading groups that are actually her level, which is 18....which I don't really know what that means.... But great job to both of them!

Besides working hard in education, they both worked hard to memorize their Primary Program parts and said them beautifully without help. Many people were impressed that Ammon had his memorized. Especially since it was, "Prayer is reverent communication with my Heavenly Father." Who gives a three-year-old the words "reverent communication" together? But he did good. He had been rushing through his part while practicing, and so I was working with him to slow down for the program. When it was actually his turn to say his part it went something like this, "Praaayyyeeerr      is     reveerrrent       coommuuunicaatiioon    with Heavenly Father." Hahaha, it was hilarious.

Lydia was all fabulous in pink, and she was assigned to give a whole talk about feeling peace after forgiving someone. She memorized her talk and looked adorable while she told everyone about forgiving Ammon for knocking down her block tower (she chose that example :)). People said they stole the show. I say of course they did. Hahaha, it's my blog so I can brag about them all I want right? I'm just a proud mom.

Even though we've been spending a lot of time learning and memorizing, Lydia and Ammon still have lots of time to play. And luckily this play-doh entertained them for almost three hours! It was heavenly. If only it weren't such a disaster to clean up, I might pull it out more often.

Ammon was looking pretty scraggily, so he received another of many haircuts. My heart hurt seeing his beautiful blonde hair all over the floor, even though I know it will grow right back. I'm sad every time I cut his hair, and I don't really know why. Seriously, so sad. Like I'm losing my son or something. It's confusing to be a mom sometimes.

And of course, one of the perks of living with my parents is impromptu cuddle time with Grandpa Nils. I love seeing them bond with my dad. I love sharing with my dad what makes up my whole world.