December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014

Just like that, another year is on its way out. December was a very busy month. I'm not sure why, but all the activity and to-dos caught me by surprise. We didn't do all the activities that we always do, but we had lots of fun together. The older girls and I saw a short Nutcracker performance and then came home and watched the entire thing on TV. They are now begging to take ballet classes again. Our whole family went to Zoolights where the highlight for the girls was seeing the tiger out at dusk when we walked in, not the actual lights or train we waited in line for. Go figure. Some other highlights were having friends over for a holiday party at our house, building gingerbread houses, baking cookies for the neighbors, watching the girls sing at their preschool holiday party and visiting Santa.

We are back from our road trip around Washington State for Christmas. We spent 3 days in Bellingham with my family and then another 3 days in Yakima with the Shirzads. It was a great time with our families that we don't see enough of. We missed being at our own house a little bit, but it was more important to be with our parents, siblings and cousins. Lexi and Zara were a little worried that Santa wouldn't know where they were, but we assured them that he would find them at Aunt Lydia's house. And he did. As a matter of fact, we still have some unopened presents. The kids were just spoiled rotten so we have a few presents that didn't make the trip that will be saved for future opening. The big hits for Lexi and Zara were stuffed animals from Santa, markers and coloring books, several different horse toys and Magnatiles.

In Bellingham we had a fun fancy dinner out for my birthday with all the adults in my family plus Sara and Eddie too. We went to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at Lydia's church. Zara was sitting on Lydia's lap and Lydia dropped her candle after it somersaulted in the air, almost catching Zara's hair and the church on fire. Christmas Day was a big holiday dinner with lots and lots of family and fun.

We headed to Yakima the next day for another dinner and more presents. The weather was clear and cold, but no snow. Lexi and Zara are asking every day when we will have snow. Logically since it is now winter, they expect snow. We had a fun trip to the "duck park" and watched ducks and geese slipping and sliding across the half-frozen pond to snatch up the bread we brought them.

Ariana enjoyed the wrapping paper more than the actual gift inside the box this year for her first Christmas. She was full of smiles for all of her relatives who were excited to hold and play with her. I am constantly reminded how lucky we are to have this sweet baby girl. My three girls are the best presents ever!

As we wrap up another year, I am trying to focus even more on living in the moment and putting effort into relationships. More dates and quality time with my husband, one on one time with my girls that are growing up fast (kindergarten in the fall!) and some fun family vacations. This time of year a lot of people are organizing, cleaning and purging, but since I am a little obsessed and do that all the time, I'm going to spend the long weekend working on Ariana's baby book instead! She is almost eight months and I finally ordered the dang book last month. Now it is sitting empty on my dresser so I'm going to have some fun with that. First takeout and champagne for the grownups tonight to ring in the new year. We definitely know how to party. Happy New Year friends!

December 9, 2014

Fall Favorites

Life as a family of five is as busy as ever and this blog has taken a backseat. Here is a little bit of what we have been up to lately.
Making applesauce

Making Mantu with Bebejan in Yakima

Zara and Ari

Shirzad girls on Thanksgiving


7 Months

It's been a month since my last post and Ariana is another month older. She is now sitting like a pro and rolling all over the place, even swaddled in her crib. Ariana is bright-eyed, observant and full of smiles. She lights up when her big sisters talk to her and babbles right back.

Solid foods are a big hit since we started offering them to her at six months. So far she hasn't refused anything. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas, pear sauce, rice cereal and applesauce are in the regular rotation along with crusty baguette and mum mum crackers. She also insists on tastes of whatever I'm eating so she has enjoyed everything from pumpkin pie to lentil soup.