Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Las Vegas Christmas Festivites

2011              2012

It has been fun to celebrate Christmas here in Vegas because there are SO many places to go that go all out in decorating. It's been fun with Easton being a little older this year as well and he actually pays attention to the things we go see.
We had a yummy dinner with our friends the Stanger's and Westwood's one night, and afterward we headed to The Bellagio to see the Christmas display in their gardens, and also watch the fountain show. It was beautiful! Easton did not like the big fountains shooting off, he would get a really worried look on his face when it would shoot off.
We also had a yummy pizza dinner with our friends The Cowdin's, The Gatewood's, and The Harris', afterwards we all went to the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory to see the Christmas lights in their big cactus garden out front...you couldn't even tell it was cacti at night! Of course Haley and I had to get some yummy treats, we were at a chocolate factory!!!
Lastly, we had our ward party, and it was of course a great party, with great food, tons of people, and just a fun time. Towards the end of the party, the primary kids sang a couple Christmas songs, and I was so proud of my little CTR 4 class, they are so sweet, and I get teary every time I think about not being their teacher next year. After they sang, we had a special visitor...Santa!!! All the kids lined up in the hall and waiting to go on the stage to see Santa. Easton and I were one of the last ones to head up, and he was the ONLY one who screamed, and he SCREAMED! It was hilarious, everyone was laughing and thought it was so funny, except Santa, I think he felt bad for the poor kid!
We are looking forward to Ryan's finals being over, and heading up to Utah at the end of the week to celebrate the holiday and my birthday with our family and friends!

the beautiful Bellagio Christmas Tree

the boys (missing baby Henry): Easton, Stetson, Boston, and Ezra

my boys enjoying the fountains

our families

Easton was entranced.

Ethel M. Chocolate Factory Cactus Garden

Kruz, Kru, and Easton

Avy (in her carseat!) Kruz, Autumn, Bindi, Easton, and Kru. Goodness we have cute kids! 

The girls, Bindi and Autumn
Didn't like Santa...

....even when Santa is so nice.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

Hope you all are have a great holiday season surrounded by friends, family, and those that you love! 
Also praying that everyone will remember the true reason that we celebrate Christmas, and give thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father for all the things we are so blessed to have.
Wishing all a Merry Christmas from Las Vegas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Easton....the toddling toddler of toddleland.

I have a kid, not a baby.

I can't believe how fast he has gotten to this point. Honestly! Everyone told me how fast he would grow out of his baby stage quickly, but you really don't even realize how true it is until you notice yourself chasing after a 'mini-me'... Wiping a snotty nose, trying to do their hair by corralling them into a corner, attempting to change a dirty diaper without them wriggling away and getting everything poopy, hearing yourself make an airplane noise to get them to "please please please EAT YOUR FOOD!" All of these things are so much fun, but they also really make me want to go back in time and enjoy the ease of the bottle phase, and the falling asleep on your shoulder stage, just a little more!

Easton is SUCH an active kid! He is very strong for his age, and pretty smart, and he knows how to push your buttons, and he's got the most killer pouty face when he gets in trouble....hard to resist, but someone's gotta do it!
I haven't updated on him lately  and I thought I would write down a few of the things I've been keeping track of about our crazy lovey boy:

September 2012, 14 months

  • Waves 'HI' and 'BYE'
  • Shakes head for 'no' (doesn't know how to use it to communicate though)
  • Points and says 'ISS' for 'this', meaning that what he is pointing to is what he wants.
  • Knows where his hair is.
  • When you ask him if he is "all done?" he will grab his chest/belly to agree.
  • Gives high fives
  • plays basketball left-handed
  • puts things into buckets or baskets
  • Know that 'juice' and 'milk' means his sippy cup
  • If you ask, "Where is Toby?" he will go find him
  • Gives kisses...open mouthed!
  • Has 8 teeth (top and bottom center 4)
October 2012, 15 months
  • Knows "sit down" or "sit on your bum"
  • Loves to feed animals, the ducks and Tillis the dog.
  • Sometimes will cover his mouth to cough.
  • Getting 4 more teeth (a gap away from the previous set)
  • Knows where his ears are.
  • "tss" means Toss.
  • Nods head for 'yes' (doesn't know how to use it to communicate yet)
  • "quick feet Easton, quick feet quick feet quick feet!" He will stomp really fast in place with a huge smile!
  • Walks down the stairs while holding a hand or the wall/railing. One foot at a time.
  • Claps (finally!)
  • Loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. 
November 2012, 16 months
  • Switched to one nap a day, around 12-1 ish, whenever he is done with lunch.
  • No more bottles at night. Drinks a sippy cup of milk while he plays after dinner.
  • Throws the basketball into his hoop instead of just placing on the edge to push in.
  • Wears a size 7 shoe!
  • Finally will eat chicken nuggets. This is the only meat he will eat.
December 2012, 17 months
  • Eats with a fork, passes it between his left and right hand.
  • He is pretty good with his 'shape sorter' toy and can figure out where all the shapes fit.
  • Loves to read! His favorite book is a 12x12 book called 100 first words. It has a bunch of pictures and what they are on each page. He knows where the ball, duck, juice, and banana are...still working on the other 96 words!
  • I took Easton the the library for Todder Time for the first time last week. He was glued to my lap and kept putting my hand down when I tried to do the hand actions, like "do. not. participate." I took his again the next day...complete opposite, he was crawling over everything, wouldn't stay put, screaming, throwing tantrums...needless to say, we left early.
  • Pretty sure he is teething, AGAIN! 
  • Still sleeps 12 hours at night 8 p.m.-8 a.m., and one 4-hour nap in the afternoons.
  • Refuses to try any meats besides chicken nuggets still. 

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    Ellen 12 Days of Giveaways

    Can't believe I actually got to go back to the Ellen Show for her 12 Days of Giveaways. Back in May, when we went (remember that?) Ellen was SO nice, and invited us back at the end of taping, and our whole audience went WILD! This time, was no different. We agreed that was even funner this time since we knew what to expect once we got there.
    Haley and I drove to Burbank on Wednesday afternoon. We were going to pick up Sheena from the Burbank airport since she was flying in from Utah. During our drive, my brake light came on the dashboard, but nothing felt different while driving. I called Ryan about it, and we decided to just keep driving and see how it felt once we got into California. As soon as we got into town, and we were driving to the airport and using the brakes, we realized they had really gone bad and they were grinding horribly! After we picked up Sheena, we headed to the hotel to check in, then Wendy's for dinner. I called to get an appointment for the brakes the next morning with Midas. 
    Back at the hotel, we chatted and laughed all night, it was so much fun to have a girls night and laugh and laugh! We didn't sleep very well since our hotel was right by the freeway, but I don't think any of us cared since we were too excited about the next day! 
    Thursday morning, we got up and got ready (TOO ready for a brake shop!) We headed out to get the brakes fixed, Midas didn't end up taking us, even though we'd had an appointment, so we ended up at Discount Tire, and they did a fabulous job! So after a couple hours of NO fun in a car shop, we FINALLY headed to Studio City! I dropped the girls off at Chipotle to pick up lunch, (no parking in Burbank. Gag.) We ate in the car, and finally made it to the parking lot and check in area! YAY!
    We got all checked in, got our ticket numbers, and arm stamps, and then sat down to wait to go across the street into the studio. While we were waiting, taking pictures, and being overly giddy, a couple Ellen employees came over and chatted with us, then said "ok, well when we ask for the 'focus groups' in a couple minutes, that means you guys since we've talked with you." WHAT? We were so excited and didn't even know why! A little while later, they called for the focus groups, and we went outside, they had us line up, and then came and talked to each group, and picked one person out from each group. They picked Sheena from us, and she got to go with the cute employees! She said that pretty much it meant she was a potential contestant for any audience participation Ellen might need. And they'd asked her questions like, "where are you from? are you married? do you have kids? what's your favorite part of the Ellen show?" She. Was. Dying.
    Since Haley and I were with Sheena, we got the VIP treatment too kinda. They took all of us who were with the other group of people, and had us seated first sporadically throughout the seats. We got THE best seats again, right across the aisle from our May seats, on the dancing row! I got to sit on the end this time (so look for me in the red pants!) 
    After everyone is seated, it still takes about 30-40 minutes until the show actually starts, so they show you what they do when they want you to cheer, go over what will happen, what you can and can't do (shout, stomp, phones, etc.) then they play music and it's a giant dance party....this is when they record the 'dancer of the day' that she sometimes shows on the way to commercial break (the audience members dancing alone on the stage.) SIDENOTE: I kid you not: not even an hour earlier I told Haley and Sheena "There is no way I'm going down on the stage to dance if they ask me to!" Low and behold, they came up to me, and said, "Do you want to go down and dance?" and without even thinking I said "YEAH!!!!!" and ran down to the stage! AHH! I honestly do NOT know what came over me, and I can only pray that it isn't aired on TV! There were 4 GIANT cameras in my face, and I attempted to recreate the 'Gangham Style' gallop, and I even the the bend over booty slap....oh my. As soon as that happened, it's like something clicked in my brain and I realized what I was doing, and WHERE I was doing it, and I ran back up to my seat. I honestly to thing minute, do. not. know. what. came. over. me. It was an out of body experience! Haha! ....But at least I got a free tee-shirt for it!
    Once the show started, we were exhausted from dancing so much, but somehow got a second wind, and cheered even louder and harder than we did in May. The show was great, Ellen was so nice, her guests were Jessica Biel (even more gorgeous and teeny in real life!) and Damon Wayans Jr. They were both so fun, and were promoting their shows, "Playing for Keeps" and "Happy Endings". Then of course the 12 Days of Giveaways! Oh my heck. I literally cried as she was unvieling them. Not because I wanted the items soooo bad, but because I couldn't believe she was really just giving them to us. It was so surreal! The gifts she gave us were:
    • $300 Mastercard gift card
    • Netflix 2-year streaming membership ($200)
    • Black Playstation Vita 3G with wifi system ($299)
    • Executive Beats by Dre Headphones ($299)
    • Nike White Ice Fuelband ($150)
    • $100 Nike gift card
    • Gemesis Canary Diamond Necklace ($1500)
    We were SO spoiled! I still can't believe it's real, and I still can't believe that after the show, as we walked out of the studio, we held open our bags, walked down a hallway towards the exit, and had the bag filled with all of these things. It was crazy. and so much fun. I feel SO lucky that I was able to not only go back for a second show, and second chance just to see Ellen, but that it was also her 12 Days of Giveaways show. 
    We headed home right after the show, stopped for a yummy dinner at Chick-Fil-A. And then played with our new stuff and chatted the whole way home. It was a great girls trip, and I feel so lucky that I was able to go with Haley and Sheena. I'm lucky that I've found such close friends in a short time since we moved to Las Vegas. Love love love them!
    The show airs on Monday December 3 2012 and is the first of her 12 Days shows. 

    Got this in the mail at the end of October....such a great piece of mail!

    Got my ticket!

    My gorgeous friends
    In our seats waiting for the show to start!

    Canary Diamond Pendant. So SO sparkly!


    While we were up in Utah for the month of October, we brought our cupboard doors and drawer faces with us to refinish. Ryan's fabulous sister, Kristin has started a business called Navy Bean Lane, (check it out, it's amazing!) and she refinished furniture, cupboards, redecorates, crafts, and is just one of those people that you ask yourself, "How does she do it all flawlessly?" Answer: I still don't know. She is very very talented, that's all I know! Anyway, she helped me, by pretty much doing the whole project for me. Her hubby Kasey was awesome too and spent a lot of time working on them as well.
    It was a big decision for Ryan and I to decide which color to paint the kitchen cabinets. We wanted them to go with the 'warm and homey style' but also tie in something fresh. Also, another dilemma was the black appliances. We didn't want them to blend into the cupboards, but Ryan didn't want to do cream....big decisions here people!
    We finally decided on a charcoal grey, with a deep chocolate brown glaze to tie in the 'homey warm tones' that the rest of the kitchen has.

    (This was the day we got home from Utah after a month of being gone.
    Yuck. not what I like to come home to!)



    We are so happy with how it turned out. The new hardware looks great. The rug gone looks a lot cleaner. And everything looks like it matches now (appliances, counters, clock was painted, decor...etc.)
    What do you think?

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012


    This year for Thanksgiving we stayed home in Las Vegas again, we had hoped we would have been able to head to Utah and be with family, but it didn't work out this year. Luckily, our friends, The Halls, who are living in St. George, weren't heading up to Cache Valley either, so they were able to come here for the long weekend and spend a lot of fun time with us. We had such a blast with them, ate way too much, and played games which made us laugh til we cried. It was a very successful weekend! We are so happy we had friends here with us this year to celebrate!

    Thanksgiving Eve

    Our Holiday Dinner!

    our centerpiece.

    My favorite part...my banana cream pie. mmm so yummy!
    Easton decided to join in the festivities after a 4 1/2 hour nap. 
    This is how Ryan shuffles....He's turning 10 next year!

    playing one of our favorite board games, "Likewise"

    Topped the night off by watching "Despicable Me"

    Family Photos 2012

    We had our family photos taken at the end of September, and I am SO happy with how they turned out. My friend who've I've met in our ward, Tosha, and her husband Tyler, are photographers (TnT Stanger Photography), and they are SO talented. They make their job look easy, and can get a whole shoot done flawlessly in less than an hour. They made us look so amazing condinsidering... Easton hadn't napped all day, and there were jeeps and trucks out behind us going through all the swamps and puddles, but you'd never know it from how well they turned out. They are exactly what I had in mind, Thanks SO much Tosh!