Sunday, May 29, 2016

end of December Utah trip

Once upon a time we headed down to Utah a couple days after Christmas to meet up with Chuck's family and it was all worth it just to get this picture of Terri and Dave with their 12 grandkids (one more coming later this year! Not from us!):
Mallory: "Are we sure this is a great idea?"  
Courtney: "Yeah, I'm not positive we thought this through all the way." 
 George: "Just keep smiling. I ain't gonna be the one to ruin the shot."  
Eli: "I really want to snuggle with Grandma, but man that baby on her lap is loud..." 
Carma: "I don't like coldness, I see my mom but I'm not touching her, I just spent five hours in a car, what the H is going on here??"  
James: "I'm okay with being outside because I'm rugged, but Carma brings up a good point about being able to see my mom but not touch her..." 
Clyde: "But seriously, we're going through with this? Maybe it's all looking good from a distance but from my vantage point things are pretty rough." 
Anna: "Will someone make that girl BE QUIET? I only have the two eardrums, you know. Where's my agent??" 
Jack: "I could do this all day. I've conditioned myself not to show emotion. Am I freezing? Yes. Are there two kids screaming bloody murder behind me? Yes. Will I deviate from this well-rehearsed smile? Not a chance." 
Lily: "I'm trying so hard to be good and smile so nicely but I am legitimately worried about frostbite inside my cute shoes." 
Will: "This is the funniest thing ever! There's not a chance this picture will turn out and it's not even my doing! My hands are nicely folded! My eyes are open AND I'm looking at the camera! I'm smiling (okay, laughing)! I'm the MVP of this circus!" 
Bri: "I mean, my dimple and I could be out here looking darling all day, but it kinda seems like maybe we should wrap this up..."

In Carma's defense, we had just driven for like five hours, gotten out of the van long enough to get our navy blue/grey/purple/turquoise/denim ensembles on, and then hiked down a snowy hill for pictures haha. But the drive itself was pretty fun:
Oh yeah, minus the part where I had to climb into the very back (I'm sure it was highly attractive, you're welcome to fellow travelers along I-84) to run interference between Clyde ("No crossing this line! Mom, he's close to the line! Mom, he's looking at the line!") and Will (maniacal laughter), GRRRR.

Of course the '08 bunch was thrilled to be reunited and even more thrilled to bust out their 'silly faces':
 Some behind the scenes shots. Nickie was a doll and ice skated down the hill to be the actual photographer (Aunt Sue wisely stayed up in her car. We were all jealous.)

I don't have the official, high quality shots or the big group picture, but here are each of the four Izatt siblings with their families:
 Super cute, eh? 

Then it was time to thaw out back at Amanda's with delicious dinner and more extended family and a fun trivia game night, ending with a family gift exchange.
Obviously a pretty good amount of selfies were taken. The middle shot was to commemorate our D.I. run - to the good D.I., aka Centerville. And it delivered - I found like six books and Steve found an awesome picture for their living room and we ran into cousin Mike from dinner the night before so that was fun!

That afternoon we split up a bit; Courtney and Carma and I headed to Cafe Rio to meet Courtney for lunch and most e'erybody else went to the movies!
   They saw Minions and apparently giggled through the entire thing :).

At that point Lee and Aleesha and their kiddos headed home and the rest of us headed out to do some sledding. These are the people that enjoyed the outing:
 and these are the people that did not ;). Clyde and Will did have a blast, even with Will bonking his face on his first run, whoops! Thanks to Aunt Amanda for taking care of him and amping him up to go again :). Poor Carma had fallen asleep on the drive and wasn't thrilled to be woken up, and Jack in general isn't into snow and I just had a bad attitude in general haha. Jack and I made one run down which sufficed and then we headed back to the car and possible warmth.

Oh, Carma had also suffered a slight eye injury earlier in the day, whoops! The exact sequence of events is fuzzy but it involved a helpful older brother, stairs, tripping, and honestly we're not sure what actually made contact with her eye. But it honestly healed much more quickly than I expected, so that was happy. Also happy: spending time with cousins!!
These guys were so cute writing names on the etch-a-sketch. Love them! 

It's always a sign of a good visit when everyone crashes within minutes of leaving haha:
Thanks for hosting us, Amanda and Steve! We loved spending time with everyone.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Christmas 2015

Someday my children will sleep in on Christmas. And it will be wonderful. Until then, we'll keep sticking Grandma Pam in their room to entertain them between 4 and 530 when we finally give in and get up haha. Thanks for taking one for the team, Mama!
The boys came out in a cute little train and lasted about four seconds until one child made a less-than-grateful comment about which water bottle Santa brought them and I schlepped them back to their room so quickly their heads might have spun hahahaha. One pep talk about being GRATEFUL NOT GREEDY later, they were released back into the living room again. I don't joke around about that, yo.

Because seriously, there was soooo much to be grateful for! Here's the close-up of Clyde's (left) and Will's (right) stockings/gifts from Santa. Clyde got a basketball to go with the basketball hoop he received as an early gift a couple weeks prior (if I blogged chronologically, y'all'd know that...). Will's B-I-G gift was a microscope. He randomly announced that he really. really. wanted one sometime around December like 5th and then Santa was randomly talking with... another Santa? I guess?... and hit upon a pretty mutually beneficial trade idea. It's cool, that's a thing.

And here are Jack's (left) and Carma's (right) hauls as well.

Jack once again receives the award for cutest gift recipient. Santa killed it by fulfilling pretty much all of Jack's random 'wishes' - including 'blinds for the van so the sun doesn't get me', aka those window shades that Jackers is holding in the middle picture. Jack also got a Star Wars water bottle, soft blanket, underwear, and other random assorted goods.
Carma slept in a teensy bit longer than the boys and was somewhat unsure of life in general when she came out to the living room. Luckily a cinnamon roll and pretending her new tights were a phone helped warm her up!

The microscope got plugged in prettttty quick so that our little scientist could begin examining various samples: blood, human kidney, etc, etc. (I promise the other Santa had a legit reason for having this stuff on hand haha...) Turns out Pops had a microscope as a kid as well, so he and Will had a great time checking this one out together.
Clyde got a million legos and promptly put together a million battle scenarios.

Some random shots... Jack (and Will) also got legos, Will got a stethoscope which everyone passed around and looked adorable using, Carma was just darling in general...
Chuck and I opened our gifts, aka socks for me and a wallet for Chuck because apparently none of those things should have holes and ours did haha.

We place a great deal of importance on food on Christmas day... mostly food that is easy and delicious and takes little to no work. So breakfast is cereal (sugary!!) from Santa, brunch is cinnamon rolls (and Star Wars pancakes this year since Grandma was here!) and dinner was Papa Murphy's pizza aka my favorite that is a splurge and wonderful and was also eaten on the living room floor since the kitchen table had def been taken over by legos at that point ;).
Oh man, Carma got a stroller and baby doll from Grandma Pam and it was the cutest thing to watch her open it and sign baby and then push the stroller around and around and around and she only tried to sit in it once :).

The boys all opened their gifts from my mama before she headed home (something about having woken up really early? who knows ;) ). Will got a gecko watch aka a very real desire of his heart and Clyde got the new Rick Riordan book aka the only real desire of his heart and Jack got Star Wars books and Star Wars legos alllll for hiiiiim that he doesn't have shaaaare with brothers aka a very real desire of his heart. (spoiler alert: they're all mixed in together now anyways hahaha).
At some point the kiddos did their little sibling gift exchange which was darling. I'm a dreadful person and don't remember who... had... whom? but Clyde got markers, Will got a BB-8 hat, Jackers got animals/shapes for the bathtub, and Carma got a little Sofia the First doll. I loved how excited they were to watch each other open their gifts. So cute.

Grandma and Pops gave Carma a cute baby doll and it was so funny to watch Carma sidle up to Pops to have him free the doll from her plastic/cardboard bindings. And then Carma promptly got a clean diaper and insisted Grandma put it on the doll ha!
 Uncle Sam sent the boys some Nerf guns and Grandma and Pops gave each of us one (including me and Chuck and Carma!) so basically the Izatts are armed and ready for anything!

This was the first year we've had Chuck's parents in our home for Christmas day (we usually celebrate with them before or after) and it made the day extra special.  
Randomly Carma wanted her coat and boots on... and then found her favorite bear (from Christmas last year)... and was just as cute as can be. We're all kind of obsessed with this girl.

Of course, Chuck and I are also pretty enamored with her three older brothers too. I love Christmas and I love my family and I love Jesus so obviously it was a great day ;).

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Alllll of November

This is not a drill - we're doing all of November in one post. My Courtney-imposed deadline is quickly approaching (if I catch up through December by the end of May, she is going to mail me mint brownies. I can taste them already...) so let's do this thing:

I'm not going to lie, our Thanksgiving tree was less than impressive this year. Let's say we were going for quality, really thought out gratitude instead of quantity. To make up for it, this post will run through a variety of would-be leaves...
We are very grateful for cute little siblings at church! Carma and Jack were killing me... and Chuck... this day - these pictures are definitely a collaboration from both of our phones.

I am trying to remind myself to be grateful for Carma's artistic streak, even when it manifests itself on the computer desk and chair (IN SILVER SHARPIE) and on her very person in pen.
We were very excited to host three weary travelers for a night and they expressed their gratitude profusely :). Will and Nate and a buddy were Seattle-bound for a University of Utah game and we were so excited to see two of our favorite Smiths, all the while hoping their dreams would be heartily crushed when the Utes lost... alas, I think they ended up winning haha.

As always, we're grateful for awesome Cub Scout leaders. Clyde loves Brother Cook :). Here Clyde is at November's pack meeting earning a belt loop for... jokes? laughter? The Roaring Laughter Bear Elective Adventure Belt Loop? (I may have googled it ;) ).
Oh, my Willy Boy! I'm so grateful for the time I get to spend at the school helping in classrooms. This particular day I was pulling kids out to time for fluency and it was fun to be with Will. And slightly hilarious to see how far down the paper he got, crazy kid!!!

Okay, going clockwise starting top left: one Sunday evening I found myself watching football... while Chuck was down at the church... so I sent him a picture so he could see what he had turned me into haha.... please admire this cute picture of Carma at the piano with all of my pictures hung up! Thanks honey.... random selfie of me and Will... okay Chuck took this picture to tease me about how I watch movies; I don't even remember what we were watching but this is legit how I watch mushy kissing scenes AND scary parts. And my favorite thing is that Clyde does it too hahahaha.... okay so that next picture is definitely a doctor's office mirror shot. I was there for my annual and I'd just gone to the temple so I was dressed up and I had a nostalgic moment of taking pictures at every prenatal appt haha. 
As always it was wonderful to see Dr. Klomp, who actually just retired from the obstetrics aspect of his practice so I'm so glad I got all my babies in before he did - that was legitimately one of my worries in life!... speaking of babies, we got a new niece in November, yayyy!....random picture of me and Jack at church that I found on my phone. I love Jackers.... and finally, ward temple night at the beginning of November with my most favoritest person ever, Chuck. I went in to the temple wondering about something and came out with a clear answer and resolve and the reminder that Heavenly Father is aware of me individually and will aid me when I need Him. #winning

We got snow! A light dusting at least ;). Clyde and Will and Carma were grateful for the adventure and Jack and I were grateful to stay inside!

Ohhh Carma! Chuck sent me that picture of her curls one day after a bath, sooo cute! Chuck also sent me the picture of her pouting in the bath after he told her no more splashing water across the room. Most hilarious picture ever - I'm hoping we can still resist that pout as she gets older haha.
We are SO grateful for our local public library and all of the amazing programs it has! Once a month Zamzows does an animal presentation; this time Chuck and Will attended and learned about box turtles. Also one day Will got M&Ms at school and had to come home and graph the colors before he would eat them hahahaha. And one day I made him let me take a picture before he went into school because he's just SO cute with that little beanie.

Here are some Jack pictures! Ever since he got tubes put in, he's been very sensitive to sound (imagine that, right? Now that he can hear...) so he folds his ears together a lot and also he found Chuck's earphones one day in the truck and happily wore them around as we ran errands. I'm so thankful for Jackers and his funny little personality.
Ah yes, a million more Carma pictures!

I always tease Clyde for skimming through his favorite well-worn books to re-read only the battle scenes but then one day I pulled out my well-worn Anne of Green Gables books to re-read all the Anne and Gilbert scenes hahahaha. I'm grateful for have Clyde as my little mini-me ;).
I love reading the sentences my kids come up with for their spelling words - this one was Will's (scribbling courtesy of Carma). I appreciated the honestly of number 9: 'My family wants a darker carpet so it's harder to see stains' #truth #someday

Chuck had a birthday, shout hooray! And he was off work for it yay! And he spent the day putting up Christmas lights for me! #winning 
Clyde loved helping... for a while... and then took a bike riding break while Chuck went back at it, and handled church phone calls at the same time. Oprah calls it multi-taskin'.
Once the lights were all done, we headed over to the bowling alley for a double date where we all took turns getting the high score, first me with 112, then Chuck with a personal record of 150, then Shelly with 124. I feel like Dan would have come in strong if we'd stuck around for a fourth game ;).

More cute pictures! Carma and Jack reading, the kids at my mom's house with darling second cousins Kara and Rachel, Jack and Carma sharing the ipad, movie dinner, and the sweetest Carma and Clyde hug. All three boys are so incredibly sweet with her.
We were grateful to have Thanksgiving with yummy food and good company, including Quinn and Eden and Isaac and Leila and Grandma Pam! Please admire that plate - that was the leftovers Chuck warmed up for me the next day. Now I'm hungry.

You know, just another round of pictures with Carma and Jack...
OH MAN. So the City of Nampa tree lighting was at the end of November and it sounded like something that good parents take their kids to so we ventured out AND IT WAS SO DANGED COLD. Seriously, it was awful, and we were all wearing like six layers! Once we had all scalded our mouths with some piping hot chocolate and established that they were definitely running a half hour behind schedule, we hit the pavement back to the van - pausing down the street to look back at the finally-lit tree haha. Yay for family memories! We would never hack it in Alaska!

That Sunday in class Raquel taught me how to use the panorama option haha...
And then we took a couple group shots because why not?? ;)

Jack and I got some duplo time in and I figured that the end of November was close enough for me to debut some of my Christmas designs, aka a star, a tree, and Santa Claus:
Okay, we did it! Those mint brownies are as good as mine! Once I bust through like twelve December posts!