White Christmas

I meant to post this a few days ago.

The other morning I woke up & the sky was thick with fog.  I thought, 'This might be the closest we get to a white Christmas this year'.  So I headed outdoors, camera in hand.
More Christmas pictures to come soon...

Wilkins family pictures

This year everyone was home for Christmas.  Probably won't happen again for awhile.  So, we took some family pictures.

I won't lie, it was absolutely crazy & I wonder if I ever should take my family's pictures again. Most turned out like this-
 Everyone was complaining, we had to take them at the worst time of day in a slim piece of shade, there was a screaming baby, a stubborn dog that insisted on being in all our pictures, & coordinating outfits is a hopeless cause.  We literally had ONE picture "turn out" if you can call it that.

For family night yesterday, Chad & I wrote short autobiographies in our journals.  As I reflected on my life thus far I felt like the poor, little olive tree planted in the poorest spot of ground (Jacob 5).  We had some rough times growing up.  We've never had real stability.  There's been lots of moves & drafty houses, financial set backs, car accidents & illness.

But that poor little olive tree had to sink it's roots deep.  Despite it all, we always loved each other, had a lot of fun & my parents always stayed firmly rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As I wrote I felt nothing but pride & gratitude for all the chaos & challenges.  It's shaped me.  And although I admit, there's been times when I've resented all the craziness, I also have to admit that I wouldn't have had things any other way.  I wouldn't want another family.  I love them.
Here's some pictures of the individual families.
The Adams-
The Reisners-
The Cooks-
The Bitters-
The Guerras-


Christmas Tree

I'm on a role with the blogging thing this week!  I'll tell ya, blogging for me is sort of how my dating trends were in a past life- feast or famine!
Well, here's a visual "feast" of pictures that I took this afternoon playing around with different settings on my camera :)  Can you tell what I did?

(hint- 1st pic using a flash, 2nd manual focus (or should i say, unfocus), & 3rd looong shutter speed with a tripod)


Santa Claus

This past week we had a lot of fun as Chad's dad came through town for a few days.  He's moving my mother in law back from Utah to Florida.  As part of the moving process, we received boxes & boxes of Chad's things.  We've managed to go through about four of them so far.  Thirteen more to go.

The process has been bittersweet.  Bitter- I'm not a pack rat in the least bit! And I'm running across all the pictures & letters from all Chad's ex-girlfriends (haha, just kidding- it's actually kinda fun.  Do I have a twisted personality because of that?).

The sweet- I feel like I'm learning more about Chad as we weed through everything his mom kept and I occasionally come across priceless pictures, like the one below of Chad on Santa's lap (wasn't he the cutest little boy?).

Then I got an idea.  I found my youngest picture sitting on Santa's lap (yes, I'm the one sticking out my tongue) & paired it with Liam's most recent Santa picture.

I think Santa now days looks a lot more genuine & friendly.  What do you think?

Christmas traditions

When I think of holiday traditions, one comes to mind.  A tradition that began with my grandma Freestone & continued with my mom.  We always had to drink a large glass of juice before we could go in to see our Christmas presents.

For some reason, the glass of juice seemed insurmountable.  Always a struggle to guzzle down.  One year the juice selection was V8 juice.  That year was especially tough.

Now I have my own little family.  We're deciding which traditions we want to carry on & start.  One we've adopted from Chad's family is the baking & decorating of sugar cookies. My third time with the tradition.   Here's how things looked this year.


November randomness

November randomness...a lame, completely uncreative blog post title.  But really, what sort of cohesive title exists concerning some pictures regarding a naked baby boy & a dessert.  Ya, I couldn't think of one either.

Soooo...onto the pictures.

I'll tell you straight up, Liam takes showers with me.  It started out as a convenient way for me to get a shower when he was younger.  Now he insists.  He LOVES the shower!

And we have our routine.  We shower.  I bundle him up & flip on the disney channel.  He sits all adorable mesmorized by Mickey Mouse or the trains of Chuggington.  I fix my hair & make-up.  I finish.  I chase him, diaper in hand.

I never wanna forget any of it!
On another note, have you heard of pinterest?  You probably have.  Chad and me have taken an interest into baking a new dessert from there together every week.  Below is our favorite dessert we've made to date.  Cheesecake Brownies.  (their brownies turned out a lot more "photogenic").


Thanksgiving 2011

All of my family, with the exception of my sister Kyra who had a working husband, went out of town for Thanksgiving.  It was kind of depressing.  But, we wanted to make the best of it.  I craved watching the Macy's day parade.  Chad craved the food.  We both craved a little vacation.  So...
We had a modest Thanksgiving day feast.  I watched the Macy's day parade as I made the final preparations for lunch/packing.

We ate.

 We cleaned up.

 We left for Branson.

It was nice holiday.  More than anything, I think it was a learning experience.  The things I/we learned-

1.  Pyrex & Corelle do not count as fine china.  (I'd like some pieces of nice serving dishes to make special meals feel more like an event).
2.  Entertaining a toddler in a hotel room is a lot more difficult than at home.
3.  Exciting destinations are more fun than exciting resorts.
4.  Learn the back roads of Branson.
5.  We enjoy baking together (Chad helped with all the pies the night before.  Didn't he do great?).
6.  Take more pictures than just at Bass Pro.
7.  Liam is really obsessed with trains.


We're having a...

well, the picture speaks for itself.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...I don't think this one needs much explanation.

We both broke out laughing when we caught sight of this view.  We knew exactly what that meant.
We're both so excited for Liam to have a little brother & a playmate.

Liam's reaction to the news- completely clueless.


Halloween 2012

We were pirates this year.  Well, I kinda was.  I just sort of scavenged things from around the house for my "costume" (Chad's tuxedo shirt, a few scarfs, flip flops & rolled up pants).  And let me also mention, that I had to go to walmart dressed this way.  The walmart greeter greeted me with, "What are you supposed to be?".

Chad & Liam, on the other hand, were a little more authentic.  I told the greeter that I was a lot more pirate-esque with my husband & son around who actually looked like pirates.  (oh, btw, this below picture is from our ward halloween party.)
Needless to say, we didn't dress up for halloween, just Liam.  (Actually, Chad temporarily dressed up.  He emerged from our room wearing my clothes.  His chest filled out my shirt better than I can.  I looked at him & said, "You better not stretch out my shirt."  He had a giggle in his eyes.  I could tell he thought the pants were mine.  Luckily they weren't (I would've really been mad).  They were just merely a tighter pair of his pants that he'd forgotten about.    I think I rained on his parade when I added, "...and those pants are not mine."  He changed & came back with his wig on.)
This was his first year trick-or-treating.  Does is count if I'm the one that says "trick or treat"?
Liam running away from me with my camera.

Dental Hygeine

It's kinda crazy to see how much Liam does/learns through imitation.  Lately, it has been this.  And let me confess, he's not copying me on this habit.
He may not develop good flossing skills from his mom, but I hope that I can teach him other important things- maybe to love the Lord...a love for the scriptures...prayer...putting down the toilet seat...just to name a few.  :)


A day in the park

Well, actually these are pictures from two separate visits.
As soon as Liam got out of the swing, he bolted for the other kids on the merry-go-round. I let Chad chase him while I continued to take pictures. And then, Chad being a good dad, hitched a ride on the merry-go-round to appease Liam.  I'm sure the kids thought, 'Man, these two are heavy!'
This day Liam & me went on a little walk to the park and remembering how much he loved the merry-go-round, we took a little detour.   At one point a man driving through the park stopped & just watched us for awhile. Feeling a little nervous, I finally acknowledged the onlooker by waving to him at which he replied back, "I'm not sure who's having more fun, you or him." (Both Liam & me were both giggling & exclaiming "WEEEE!").


October 2011 General Conference pictures

Another general conference has come and went.  Every talk was inspiring & wonderful, but like each year there were a specific few that really touched my heart- messages that seemed tailored for me.  My favorite, probably a talk by Carl B. Cook, "It Is Better to Look Up".  (click the title if you want to go read/listen/watch it!).

And, trying to stay true to tradition, we took what I like to refer to as "general conference" pictures.  I feel like every general conference I grow spiritually in some way.  There's always some talk that is exactly what I've been praying for or need to hear.  These pictures are a way to mark my families physical growth...& maybe even put a visual with a period when I/we learned something we needed to learn.

 Sunday we spent the day with family & I got some awesome spaghetti eating pictures.

Let me introduce the king of the pasta.
and the queen (Kyra's little Gracie Sue).
Now, a confession.  We didn't actually take pictures on Saturday or Sunday (when general conference was taking place).  I wasn't feeling good that day...but I wasn't going to give up on the tradition I'm trying to create!  So we just took them a few days later. :)

It wasn't all smooth sailing.  We got a few of these...
...and a few I'll probably print & stick on our wall.
And these- I just love. I snapped them when they thought I was messing with the self timer.  I love my family!