Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

We have had a great Christmas break.  A few days before Christmas we decided to make roll-out sugar cookies. My mom has the best recipe but I haven't made them in forever since they are a little messy and time consuming. But seriously the best sugar cookies with homemade frosting ever! So with Matthew available, this was the perfect time. Austin loved helping and really got the hang of it! I think this should be a new Christmas tradition.

Not that any of our frosted cookies look fabulous, but I wanted to show how Austin loved to put his "done" cookies on the wax paper too. Can you tell which ones are his?

On Christmas Eve evening, we had dinner and then went to the park. It was like 67 degrees outside and felt wonderful. Austin loved being outside and kicking the soccer ball around with Daddy.  Then we went home, got in pajamas and watch one of the classic Christmas movies, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  Austin loved it so much we have actually watched it a couple of times since.  Then we put him to bed and got Christmas things all ready. It was so fun!

Christmas morning we didn't get a lot of pictures but we did get a lot of video of Austin coming into the room and finding his stocking and his new wooden train set all set up.  He was so excited and immediately starting playing trains.  I think he would have been content all day with just that.  Matthew and I looked at our stockings, said Merry Christmas and then had to get ready for 9am church!  But when we got home we changed back into pajamas to finish our Christmas morning.

  I show this picture only because it is the only one showing some of the train track in the background that was set up for Austin.  I guess it also shows my prego tummy at 35 weeks. 

 Christmas morning picture

 This is Austin helping Matthew set up the table and chair set he got from his grandparents.

Later on Christmas day we went to Matthew's cousin's house for dinner. Their kids all still call Austin "Baby Austin!" It's pretty cute.  We enjoyed a fabulous dinner and fabulous company for the evening.  Overall, we had a fantastic AZ Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Matthew's Birthday

Yesterday my husband turned 29!  It's tough enough having a birthday so close to Christmas but on top of that he has had a final exam on his birthday every year for the past 6 or 7 years.  This year was no different. So after his 7am test we celebrated with a pancake breakfast with candles, singing Happy Birthday, and opening gifts.

During the day we were able to go on an afternoon date to see a movie. We love dates and it was really nice to just get away together for the afternoon. When we got home we had birthday cake.  Matthew isn't really a cake fan so I got him an ice-cream cake which was so yummy!

Later that evening we went to the Scottsdale Train Park. We had some friends invite us and it was such a fun family event. We rode the train and it had tons of different Christmas light scenes during the ride and Austin just loved it.  What could be better for a toddler than Christmas lights and a train ride at the same time?  He was just giggling the whole time. Then we went on the carousel, got hot chocolate and walked around some of the train sights.  I feel bad that I didn't really get any pictures of Matthew during the day on his birthday, but that is kind of how he would rather keep it. But we did get some at the train park!

This is us waiting in line to get on the train.

 We are all aboard waiting to take off.  

 Going through the tunnel of lights.  Doesn't look like Austin is enjoying himself but trust me there were giggles. They just happen to all disappear when the camera comes out. 

And the carousel ride

But back to Matthew's birthday, he really is so wonderful.  He has stuck through these long weeks of med school and can now enjoy a break for the holidays. Austin and I love having him around!

Friday, December 09, 2011


Since we are staying here this year for Christmas we might as well be festive.  We decorated the tree and this was a new thing for Austin. Last year we didn't even bother since he was at the age where he would have pulled everything off anyway and we were going out of town too.  But this year we involved Austin in the decorating and he loved holding and looking at the ornaments and then helping put them on the tree.  He has also been really good at leaving it alone and loves when we turn the lights on.   I have also been doing a advent calendar with him and he looks forward to moving the little snowflake everyday.  It's so cute to see him get excited about Christmas this year!

We also made a trip to see Santa. We walked over to a nearby shopping center and met some friends there to take pictures with Santa, get some free samples and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate.  It was a fun little outing except for the part of actually sitting with Santa and getting his picture taken.  I knew exactly how he was going to react but I wanted a picture anyway!  Austin was so upset he even distracted Santa from looking at me during the picture.

It doesn't quite feel like Christmas outside yet but it has gotten quite chilly a couple of days.  Now when we go on walks we have to bundle up a little.  Austin loves that he and Daddy have matching hats.

This is such a fun and busy time of year!  

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

Whoa! Long post full of pictures.

We are back into the swing of school but we did have a fabulous break.  At Midwestern the quarter ends in the middle of November so we get two weeks off for Thanksgiving.  To celebrate the end of classes a few of us got together for a pot luck dinner the last day of finals.  Here are a bunch of the wives so happy to have our husbands back for a couple of weeks!

Then we headed off to Utah to be with family for the rest of the break.  We drove and stayed in St. George the first day.  It was the perfect amount of driving for my pregnant self and a little toddler who doesn't enjoy car rides.  We were able to hang out with my good friend Emily who lives there.  She was so nice to make dinner for us and to let us hang out for a while.   Austin loved playing with her little girls! We were able to catch up and bring back memories of our BYU days.

Then we made it to Orem and stayed with my grandparents for a night while we hung out in Provo for a day. First we were able to make it to a cousins party!  Ever since I was a freshman at BYU my grandparents have had a monthly cousins party for all the cousins either living in the area or attending college in the area.  They are so fun and we happen to be in town to make it this month!
While in Provo we were also able to see our good friends Steve and Andelyn. We had babies around the same time so it was so cute to watch them play together now that they are a little older.
We also made time to go up to campus! I love walking around BYU campus. It brings back so many good memories and it's where Matthew and I met!  We first went to breakfast with my sisters who are currently students there.  Ciera is a senior and Kayla is a freshman. We went to Kayla's dorm room and then to the bookstore.
This is Kayla and Austin walking to the dorms. 

Funny picture!  In the dorm hallway Austin saw this sign and said, "A tent, a tent!" and had to go inside.  Haha! Cute boy.

Then we drove out to Salt Lake for the rest of the break to stay with Matthew's parents.  As always, Austin takes some time to warm up to family that he hasn't seen in a while.  However, he loved all the new toys available. He spent countless hours playing with the cars and trucks available.  This is what he looked like for the majority of the time there:

We taught Austin about snow while we were there and he was fascinated with it.  He loves seeing it on the tops of the mountains and especially when it did actually snow one night. He stood there by the door telling Aubrey and Nonna all about it.

Austin also loved playing with his cousin Aaron.  They are about 10 months apart. We took them to open gym one day where they got to play on all the gymnastics equipment. Mostly they both loved playing cars and trains together. It was so cute to hear them laughing together.  We took them to build-a-bear at the Gateway Mall one night to get an accessory for the puppy dogs that Nonna gave them.  Both boys I think were more into the strollers there than anything! Then we stopped by the huge Christmas tree to take a picture. 

Spending time with Nonna and Pa.

One night we got a baby sitter and all the adults went to down town Salt Lake for a nice dinner and walk around Temple Square.  That is actually the first time I have ever left Austin with a teenage babysitter! I usually just baby swap with someone, but everything went great and it was so nice to have a group date night.

Here I am about 30 weeks along and Aubrey is 18 weeks.

We met up with my sisters one afternoon for lunch at my favorite soup and salad place, Zupas.  I just had to make sure we made a stop there!  And I found out they are building one here in AZ, woohoo!  Lunch was fantastic and I loved being able to spend time with my sisters.

On Thanksgiving day we were able to spend time with both of our families. Around noon, we went to my Grandma Black's house and had a fabulous dinner with my sisters and the aunts, uncles and cousins on my dad's side. Austin  kind of freaked out when we walked into a house full of people he doesn't really know but Grandma came to the rescue in bringing out toy trucks and blocks.  We tried to get a family pictures but Austin didn't really cooperate.  Grandma Black put on a wonderful dinner and I was able to catch up with a lot of family that I haven't seen in a while. 

Sisters at Thanksgiving

Next, we stopped by the Mt. Timp temple just for a few minutes since it is near my Grandma's house.  Austin is really into temples right now and loves to see temple pictures and sing the temple song. The AZ temple is a little far away so I wanted him to be able to see and walk around a real temple. 

Then we drove down to Provo for Matthew's family's Thanksgiving in the evening.  It was the perfect way to end our Thanksgiving. Everything was set up so nicely and there were a lot of people we hadn't seen for a while.  There were actually so many people we didn't even get a chance to talk to everyone! Again, Austin didn't like the crowd but he warmed up a little, especially when Dallin pulled up Elmo on his phone. We didn't get a group shot of everyone but we loved spending time with family.  My sisters even stopped by at the end to say hi and that sure did change the evening...

...Ciera and Kayla were planning on spending the night at Ciera's apartment since all of their roommates were out of town for Thanksgiving so they asked me if I wanted to have a slumber party with them.  At first I said no since I needed to get back to my in-laws house to put Austin to bed and to pack up all our stuff for our drive home the next day.  But Matthew reminded me that he did have a boys night earlier in the week (consisting of him and his brothers playing video games all hours of the night with pizza, soda, candy, etc) so he encouraged me to have a girls night and that he would get everything packed up and come pick me up on our way out of town.  So I totally went on a whim and had so much fun!

We went to a late night movie at the Provo dollar theater and stayed up late at night talking. I slept on Ciera's roommate's bed and Kayla brought in the couch cushions and crashed on the floor.  I think this was the first time ever that I have been able to wake up without having Austin there.  I even slept until 8:00am.  I'm not sure the last time that happened!  I made french toast for them in the morning and we decided to hit the mall!  None of us have ever done the shopping thing on black Friday but the Black Sisters cannot seem to get together without having shopping involved!  We all got an amazing deal on matching jeans at the Gap.  Not that I can wear mine currently but that's ok. Then we met up with Matthew and Austin for lunch on BYU campus (Thank you Kayla for your dining plus card!) and I was welcomed to a fully packed car and two cute boys who missed me! 

It was a fabulous trip crammed full of good times and now we are back and starting another tough quarter of classes.  This will probably be our hardest round of classes yet so... let's have a baby during this quarter! Yeah, not sure what we were thinking.  But we have lots of support around us and we are getting so close (8 weeks!) to met this little girl.