Well, I'm sure most of you have seen our family pictures already but i've decided to post them here as well. You also probably recognized my new header as some of those pictures. My friend Rachel took the photos for us and made the header for me. I think she did an amazing job. Her blog address is on my list on the side there under Rae DeVault, if you're interested. Now I didn't put all of our family pictures on here because it would take a while but I did get them on facebook and anyone is more than welcome to go see all of them. So here's just a few of my favorites besides the ones that are posted already on my blog. Enjoy!
I included an embarrassing kissing photo for all of you.
shhhhh! Don't tell Rick.
This one is my favorite! Close up you can see every single eyelash.
Our Christmas was wonderful. We enjoyed our traditional clam chowder on Christmas Eve, which I was actually able to enjoy this year. The last time we had Christmas with my family I was pregnant with Lizzie and I was throwing up all Christmas Eve. But this year the clam chowder was excellent. We also have a tradition where we all eat pudding and whoever finds the nut in their pudding gets a treat. And then the tradition we've done more recently is the Christmas pickle ornament.
Elizabeth was so excited for Christmas, although I think she really just enjoyed hiding in the pile of presents under the Christmas Tree. She loved helping Grandma and Grandpa and Ducky (my oldest brother) out in the kitchen. She mixed up the pudding with Grandma and helped Ducky pickle the peppers for the most amazing shrimp egg rolls the next morning.
Come Christmas Day, Elizabeth didn't want to open her presents at all. She was much more interested in what everyone else was getting from beneath the concealed shiny wrapping paper. She was going around admiring, shouting, smiling, and clapping in excitement for the toys her cousins were all enjoying. It was really pretty sweet. Thanks to her aunt Jaynes, Lizzie finally sat down for a second just long enough to open her presents. Elizabeth is one of a kind and I just can't love her enough.
Here's Elizabeth wearing her new PJ's for Christmas day and here she is wearing her new Nike outfit she got from Grandma Liz. She looks so cute in it- I love it!
We had so much fun this Christmas and finished off the day playing games with my family.
I just want everyone to know how grateful I am to all my family. I love you all so much and I feel so blessed to have the love and support from all of you. Me and my family have been so blessed this year and I know a big part of that is because of all of you. Thank you.
P.S. Here is Rick, very excited about finally being able to do a puzzle. Elizabeth decided to rip up the instructions to "Catch Phrase". Rick had been wanting to do a puzzle all day but we couldn't find one and well...he got one.
Well we set off on yet another trip to Salt Lake City. I just can't get enough time with the family. I love them too much to leave their lives undisturbed.
We had so much fun. The road trip to and from was nice and planting my feet on the ground or up on a couch was even nicer. Our first night there was the oh-so-fun Darley Christmas party. This was my first time attending and I've been married to Rick going on five years. So it was about time we made it happen. Of course I had to be updated on everyone because I'm a little out of the loop, but Rick did well to fill me in, even though, I fear it will need to be repeated again and again. I loved watching Lizzie, Miley, Isaac, and Ava interact (or not) with all the cousins running around.
The kids played "Duck, Duck, Goose!" and drew pictures while being blind folded. Miley did especially good at drawing stars and flowers.
Isaac patiently waited in line for his turn to draw and I'm sure was wondering to himself, "why is Aunt Shay taking pictures of me?"
It's because I love you Isaac!
Elizabeth had her fun coloring with her new made friends.
And Ava stayed close to mom or dad and curiously watched everyone.
Look, I got her to smile for me a little bit.
I love my sweet Ava!
I ate some simply amazing Sloppy Joe's and filled up the rest of the way on yummy chocolate caramel cake, chocolate peanut butter m&m cookies, mint patties and I won't go on because I'm starting to feel really guilty that I ate all that food. But my very most favorite treat was the time I got to spend with my family.
On Monday night I went up to my parents house in Diamond Valley and the twenty minute trip up there was enough to make me nervous. It was pouring rain so hard, it was all I could see. I hit a big puddle and hydroplaned, but that turned out to be the least of my worries. After hanging out for a couple of hours at my parents place, I decided to go home, but knew it wouldn't be easy. I had a deep down gut feeling that something may just go wrong. But I needed to get home.
My dad offered to follow me out to the entrance of Diamond Valley. I crept through Diamond Valley and made my way onto the highway but didn't speed up. Diamond Valley had a couple inches of snow at the least and it was about the same a few miles down the road. My dad decided to follow me further down the highway and boy was I glad he did. Just as I was coming around the volcano and heading down that steep hill, I hit a patch of ice and I started spinning. Now, my dad has done a very good job of teaching me how to drive in bad conditions but I did exactly the opposite of what I had been taught at that very moment. My first instinct was to push on the brake. But thankfully the words of my father popped into my head and reminded me to tap on the brakes, TAP on them! So I did and after spinning a few times, my car came to a stop facing sideways in the middle of both lanes of traffic.
I was so grateful there wasn't a single car coming by as I spun out of control all over the road. I was even more grateful for the guardian angel that was reminding me to tap on the brakes instead. And then I was oh so grateful for my present guardian angel, my dad, who was watching just behind me the whole time. Just knowing he was there calmed me and a feeling of peace was definitely present. I have to admit the second he left my side I broke out in tears, because I realized just how good it felt to have my dad following me and I felt extremely blessed that me and Lizzie were kept safe. I know God sends angels to watch over us and I know I was being watched over that night. Thank you dad.
We went up North for Thanksgiving this year. The Thanksgiving Dinner was amazing, especially the gravy. I think I may have gained 5 lbs :)
This was just the dessert table! We made the apple pie that say's "Just For Grandpa", just for Grandpa Jade.
Here's the guys playing some Wii Golf.
And here's the girls enjoying each others blogs and all of Jasmin's fun England pictures. Grandma Darley spent Thanksgiving with us this year and it was so much fun to see her again. I swear she doesn't get older, just more beautiful.
We also got to hang out with Brittany's boyfriend and his sister for a bit. They all rocked out to Guitar Hero, including Lizzie.
Elizabeth had loads of fun with her cousins. I think we have quite the band here.
Elizabeth had a little more fun nude rather than clothed. She was our little escapee during the diaper changing and she just couldn't stay away from the piano or the kittens. In fact, she couldn't stay away from the kittens or the interesting sand box they all played in. She was caught taste-testing the Kitty Litter and then later that night she found the Lysol cleaner under the kitchen sink. Anyone who hasn't experienced something similar to this is probably thinking I'm a terrible mother for not watching her closer but anyone who has experienced something like this may understand MY sweet Lizzie a little better. Needless to say, It gave all of us quite the scare. Luckily, it only took Elizabeth one drink of the Lysol to realize she didn't like it. And thanks to the sweet lady from poison control and the amazing power of the Preisthood, I knew everything would be okay. And it was after a little bit of time and some vomiting. But by the next morning, Lizzie was definitely back to her usual self if not better. I think the Lysol gave her some super power strength to out smart us parents one last time before our stay had ended.
We found our super Lizzie flooding the bathroom upstairs. Seriously!
She sure had fun doing it though.
P.S. I forgot to tell whoever had the purple tooth brush in the bathroom, Lizzie chewed on that one a little longer than the rest. Sorry!
This is Cohlee, Elizabeth's friend. They are only a day apart from each other. I babysit from time to time and I took some pictures last time I was watching the kids. Cohlee is such a sweet heart. I just love her. She and Lizzie have so much fun together, although as of lately, Lizzie can't stand it when I show Cohlee more attention. But thats something she'll have to get over eventually.
This will be Camilynnes first sunday in the MTC today. I've been thinking about her a lot lately. You wouldn't think that one person in the family being gone would make such a big difference, but it does. I miss her already. She entered the MTC this last wednesday, November 18th. For those of you who don't know, Cami is going to Argentina on a mission.
We have three birthdays in November in my family. My mom's birthday is on the 8th and ducky's (my oldest brother) is on the 9th and Tyson (my other brother) is on the 19th. We usually end up having some kind of combined b-day party but this year, Ducky is up north, going to school. We actually did end up doing some kind of combined party for ducky and tyson at cami's farewell which was this last Sunday. But the only birthday party I got pictures from was my mom's. Sorry, Ducky and Ty!
Unfortunately, my mom was still feeling sick from having the flu the day before, but it was still a fun get together and for being sick, she still looks beautiful. I think she's the only person I know who can make a robe look that wonderful and cozy.
I have the most handsome Dad
The rest of us are having a lot more fun than is protrayed here. I promise!