Thank You (yes, you!)

Do you ever find yourself realizing how boring and normal your life is? How our lives are just a general basic routine for the most part. And man, wouldn't it be great to have something exciting happen?! Let me tell you- No... no, it wouldn't. Because "something exciting" is usually not of the good variety. It is usually a trial or tragedy that just plain sucks to have going on and you long for the days of  the not-so-boring-now-that-you-think-of-it life you had before. I think the next time I find myself feeling ungrateful, I'll be sure to send us on a little adventure to sate the need for excitement because we have some of the non-good excitement happening around here and I'll take the no-drama life just about now.
Almost two months ago (election night, to be exact...), Brad unfortunately lost his job. I don't believe the internet is a place to divulge much more than that (though if you are curious, I will give more details... just not for the public eye), but I will say it was a toooooootal blindside. And just in time for the holidays, too. We immediately took action to make sure our family is taken care of, but our lives are definitely changed. Though Brad hasn't had as many call backs for positions as we'd like (ugh, holidays), we have had other blessings that has made this hard time not seem all that hard. And I wanted to take this time to say THANK YOU to all of you wonderful people (even if you don't read this). 
THANK YOU to my parents, for making sure our kids had a Christmas. And for offering help immediately, even though all I needed was to cry to my mom and dad.
THANK YOU to my in-laws, who give without asking and love our family.
THANK YOU to siblings, who prayed for us, checked in on us and supported us. We appreciate it more than you know. 
THANK YOU to someone close for your gift. I hope you know who you are. Because it touched my heart and helped us so much.
THANK YOU to a certain family, who came by one night with a gift for us. A gift with the best coupons ever- tickets to go see Rogue One since we didn't know if we could spare the money just yet, babysitting/kids night, and an at home pizza and movie night complete with coupons and extra cash. My nerd heart just burst with your generosity and this act of kindness will stay with my family and I forever.
THANK YOU to another friend, who took me to go see Fantastic Beasts. Not a great time for a nerd to not have income! It was the best and YOU are the best. 
THANK YOU to all our friends, who have listened to us vent or just been there to help distract us. You have lifted and encouraged us and helped us not feel so alone.
THANK YOU to those who reached out when I cryptically asked for prayers on Facebook and Instagram. Being the curious person I am, it kind of went against my grain to not just lay it all out and not have secrecy. But it didn't feel appropriate at the time and I thank those that personally made sure all was well.
THANK YOU to those who offered thoughts and prayers without knowing what was going on. I have felt every single one. I have, I really have. You have made our lives so much lighter and brighter.
So just THANK YOU to all of you in our lives. You've made this much easier to bear.
We are hopeful something will happen sooner than later. We are hoping to stay where we are, but understand we need to do what is best for our family. And if that means a move, well then... I will sadly but with hope go where Heavenly Father wants us to go. I gotta say, this has been a completely humbling experience. It has brought us closer together and increased our dependence on Heavenly Father and our Savior. I'd call that a win... it will be in the end, I know. Every trial can be made a blessing. Things will work out... pretty sure that is our mantra at the moment. It's crazy to not have a solid grasp on our future, but this really is for the best and I am excited to see where it all leads. 


Dance A Jig

We introduced the boys to Riverdance over the weekend and it is a hit. After we were finished watching a few videos, the boys busted out their Celtic moves and started dancing all over. It was hilariously cute. So tonight, for part of our Family Night, we had them perform again to catch it on video. Though, unfortunately, Gavin was unable to participate due to nerves. He was nervous he wouldn't know what to do (without trying first) and therefore had a bit of a breakdown. James and Jack on the other hand went for it and it was awesome. 

James has now decided he wants to be a dancer when he grows up for his job. The boys were disappointed while watching that they couldn't do what the dancers were doing and we had to explain to them that those people had to practice dancing all day to be able to be on that stage and perform, and that it was their job to do that. So dancing is in our future? We'll see how long that lasts...

And here are some awesome stills of Jack-Jack dancing. Pure joy on his face, I tell you. Now I know what to do at night when I need their energy gone!


A Visit With the Dentist

I wouldn't normally post something so mundane as going to the dentist. But it actually was a pretty good experience and my kids were rock stars. Plus, they're stinkin' adorable.
 Gavin trying to watch Jack's movie choice. It was hilarious watching him trying to get a good angle
All three of them have "perfect" teeth and no cavities! Woot! Gavin technically has the most perfect teeth, which is actually a problem. His baby teeth are so perfect now that when his adult teeth come in (which are about double the size), his mouth will be crowded. I'll be scheduling an appointment with the orthodontist soon because apparently he can get a retainer to start spacing his baby teeth so it isn't as bad when the adult teeth come in. How cool is that?! Like, I am amazed at what they can do with teeth! He'll still need braces down the road, but this will help it not be for as long. Having personally (and gratefully) been down the braces road myself, that is definitely a good thing. 
On a different note, apparently one of James's molars hasn't popped up all the way. Straaaange... so the dentist said they'll be watching it for the next year or two and if it doesn't fully emerge, we'll have to talk to an oral surgeon about it. Let's hope it doesn't come down to that... eesh. I also asked about his baby teeth. James lost his two front bottom teeth in July and October (i think...) and nothing since. Not even a little wiggle from any of the others. Apparently that's super normal, especially for boys. Bring on the waiting game!  


More Family Photos

The first Saturday of our Christmas break, we were able to have our second photo session. Wahoo! I loved our first session... but I might love this one more. I'll try to limit my favorites, but there are lots...
Ummm... someone needs to tell my boys to stop growing up and being so handsome. Pronto
 The Mr and Mrs ♥
I absolutely ADORE this photo
Gavinator loves having his picture taken
This. Is. James. Personality captured perfectly right here
I am excited to get these pictures up in our home, where we can see them all the time. It is a special thing when photos truly capture your family and I think these did just that :)


A New Year

New Year's Eve was lots of fun here. We had the missionaries serving in our ward over for dinner. We love having them over. After they left, we busted out a few games. We played Guess Who till we literally couldn't anymore. Then The Game of Life-Pirates. The boys really enjoyed this game (though some tears were definitely shed when things didn't work out the way they wanted). While we were playing, I remembered I had gotten some NYE items from Hobby Lobby. Horn blowers and confetti poppers. The horn blowers were a huge hit... almost too much :) We ended up designating the kitchen/toy area as the room to use those in. Our poor Sirius didn't care for them too much. Once Pirates Life was finally over, we headed out into the COLD night and popped our poppers. Wahoo! Then off to bed for our boys while we obligingly stayed awake to ring in the new year officially.
New Year's Day we headed out to the snow! Brad found a place where they have a designated sledding hill. Such a blast! Though... we didn't have any snow pants and after an hour and a half, the boys were feeeeeling the cold. Brrr! We quickly changed them in the back of our car and headed home. We grabbed some Hawaiian food on the way home since it was getting late. Yum! We all love our Hawaiian food! It was a great and fun way to spend our last vacation day with Brad. The boys had Monday off, but Brad would be heading back to work. We absolutely loved having Brad home with  us for so long.
Oh Jamers. He was in adventure heaven, traipsing through the snow and 'discovering' different parts of the area
Hanging with my Jack, who was content to go down once and then play in the snow. He did end up going again at the end and even went by himself twice 
 Gavin took to sledding and couldn't get enough. I think the other two will be more apt to go down more once I get some snow clothes :)
 Family snow picture. Such a beautiful day
 A goal for the year- start taking pictures manually on our Nikon. I made Brad stop the car so I could jump out of the car to take these. Though beautiful, could have been so much better if I knew how to change settings. 
2015 was a great year for us. Hard, and a little odd, but great all the same. I don't know why, but I feel wonderful things are in store for us in 2016. I look forward to seeing how the year pans out and to see us all grow. Gavin wants to start learning piano and playing soccer. James is off and on about piano and really wants to play baseball again. Jack will be starting preschool in the fall and is starting to really grow into being a big kid. I've been trying to find balance in life and hope to get closer to being better at that this year. Happy New Year! 2016, I am excited to see what you bring us!