December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

We started the season out right with a Christmas party for my very part-time job at Smiles for New Mexico Kids Pediatric Dentistry. My brother, Jacob was there as well as my sister, Jennefer and her husband Jim (who happens to manage/co-own the company). So, the Jewkes were definitely representing. After the main festivities, the guys played some Rockband. I'm just going to go ahead and let you know that Christian killed it. I'm always telling him he could moonlight as a lounge singer. See for yourself:

On Christmas Eve, we lazed around all day. Then, I bucked the trend by making Cafe Rio pork salad and burritos. After dinner, we read in Luke 2, sang some Christmas songs, then had a little "talent show" with Oliver. We had a singing portion, a dance portion, and then a do-your-own-thing portion. That was a hoot and maybe even a tradition in the making...

During our lazy Christmas Eve, I put Amelia's socks on her ears and Oliver kept calling her a cow. I guess there's some likeness. :)
That night, after the kids went to bed, Christian put this train set together for Oliver while we watched It's a Wonderful Life, which I'd never seen. Can you believe that? Such a cute flick.

Oliver came out of his room on Christmas morning, totally oblivious to it being Christmas or that there were toys and gifts waiting for him. He could have cared less...until we uncovered the train set. It took him a second to grasp that it was really his, but then he literally played with it for 4 hours straight.

Amelia, unlike Oliver, dove right in to her presents.

Grandma Bell gave Amelia this doll and she hasn't had it out of her sight or grasp since this morning. She's absolutely mesmerized by it.

JoLynn, Christian's Mom, painted this picture for all the kids. It's of the house they grew up in. Isn't is amazing?

Ok, I know this isn't the prettiest picture, but this was our breakfast. It was a sort of crumb cake. P.S.- it's supposed to be a Christmas tree.

This was our first Christmas with just our little family and we really missed being with everyone, but it was also really nice just to be able to go on our own schedule, relax, and enjoy the festivities at home. It's been a great day. We're headed to Georgia tomorrow to be with the Jewkes for a week. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!!

December 20, 2009

Christmas Pictures

We finally gave in to peer pressure and decided to get family pictures. You might even get a Christmas card from us this year! Although we've saved our family picture for the actual card, you can enjoy this little sampling!

Can you tell that Christian and I were REALLY cheesed out by the engagement picture pose?

December 17, 2009

Birthday and the River of Lights

It was my birthday on Tuesday and since no one is going to give me a shout-out, I guess I'll just do it myself. Just kidding. Birthdays are actually becoming a little less exciting as I get older (Surprise, surprise!). I'm 28. There, I said it. Now you don't have to go call the census bureau. Anyway, it was actually a really great birthday. Let me tell you why. First of all, our friends, the Alders and Fears, had us to dinner on Sunday. They made the best homemade pizza I've ever had (soon to be featured on Peachtree Cooking). And, as if that wasn't enough, they bought the yummiest cheesecake ever from Whole Foods that cost more than your Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses. I have such sweet friends here and I'm so grateful to them for making me feel so special on my birthday.
Then, on my actual birthday... Oh, you thought I was done? No, no, no. I kind of ruined the annual Chick-fil-A breakfast in bed this year by getting up and going on a run before the crack of dawn, but, hey, I knew I had to create some kind of calorie deficit for the certain junk-food consumption that was going to be going on that day, right? Anyway, so after I got home, Christian hurried off to Chick-fil-A and got just what I ordered (which has only taken him almost 5 years to perfect). Then, Christian let me take the afternoon "off" (a.k.a.: no kids) and buzz around town (a.k.a.: grocery shopping). When I returned home, he had set up a cute little scavenger hunt for me to find my gift. It was really sweet and so memorable. I think I might make this an annual thing for myself too. :) Is that okay, hon? That night, my brother, Jacob came and babysat for us while we went to dinner at the famous El Pinto (great setting and ambiance, not that great of food) and finished the day off with a movie, The Blind Side (which we loooooved). What a great day! I really couldn't have asked for anything more. Now, on to more exciting things...

We were feeling antsy a couple Monday night's ago, so we hit up the mall for some FHE action. Of course, we can't go to the mall nowadays without letting Oliver ride the carousel.

Amelia and I just waited patiently for Daddy and Oliver on the carousel.

Then, last weekend, we went to the River of Lights with the Reidheads. It was really, really well done and neat. A definite must for families in Albuquerque this time of year.

It was really cold that night, but Amelia wouldn't have known. It was probably in the high 80's under all that padding.

Just a very small sampling. It was awesome.

Again, Oliver and little Berlynn couldn't be separated. They are just such sweet companions.

December 6, 2009

Thanksgiving in Utah

We had plans to stay here in Albuquerque for Thanksgiving this year, but at the last minute, decided to make the 20-hour round trip drive to Utah to spend the weekend with the Bells. We celebrated with the extended family at a local church building and it was so much fun. The Bells are such a warm, welcoming bunch, not to mention REALLY good cooks- everything was to die for and I've still been dreaming about a few dishes... The whole weekend was really relaxing and nice and included dinner at Red Iguana, bonfire hot dogs and s'mores, BYU vs. Utah football, Belle's birthday party, lots and lots of shmoozing, and of course, some shopping. I also went down to Provo to spend part of a day with my sisters, Julie and Jennefer.

Christian's Mom, JoLynn, had these three little monkeys "help" her make muffins.

JoLynn took Oliver on her walks every day. He loves his Grandma Bell.

Amelia having some bonding time with her cousin, Molly.

Belle celebrated her 2nd Birthday- she's such a cutie!

Here are almost all the cousins decorating cookies at Belle's bash.

December 1, 2009


You think these guys are awesome???...

Well, ya ain't seen nothing yet. You've got to check out Christian and his 2 brothers' new blog at

November 18, 2009

Tubbas x 2

My little Tubbas (Amelia) is 8 months old. I can't believe how big she is! She is such a sweet, little angel baby. She is just soooo lovable and irresistibly squeezable. See for yourself:

And, in case you were wondering if these two were really siblings, here's your proof:

Oliver, 8 months old

November 5, 2009

Bell Boo 2009

We had such a fun-filled Halloween this year. We celebrated on Friday night at our ward trunk-or-treat. Last year, we were one of the only couples to NOT dress up. This year, we decided to go all out and again, we were in the minority which always makes for an awkward evening. You let us know if you think we pulled it off...

Is it just me or was everyone and their daughter, aunt, grandma, niece, cousin, and sister a ladybug this year?

I know it's not terribly obvious here, so I'll just tell you- we were an 80's couple. Christian could also pass for Joe Dirt. You decide...

On Saturday night, we went trick-or-treating with the Reidheads. They had an aspiring chef make us dinner at their house afterwards and let's just say I've been dreaming about that meal ever since. Best spaghetti I've ever had. Probably one of the best dinners I've ever had.

And here's the duo again from the fair, doubling up in the stroller. Yes, she's also a ladybug.

A little clip of "Thomas the Train" collecting loot for his Mommy and Daddy...:)

November 1, 2009

Dinosaur Train

Have you ever been throwing a kid in the air, or playing a game, or singing a song with them and they ask over and over to do it again? If they like whatever you are doing, it's always you who imposes the end on the event, not them.

Anyway, the other night, Oliver and I were singing part of the song to Oliver's favorite show, Dinosaur train, and he kept wanting to do it again. So I started wondering how many times he would want to do this, assuming I complied for as long at it took. And when he was over it, I wondered exactly what that would look like. Like ancient sailors imagining the end of the flat earth, I had never seen the end of a toddler's capacity for an activity he is loving, and I was really curious what that end would look like. Would he go until he fell asleep, would he say he didn't want to do that anymore, or would he just throw up or implode at some point? So I settled in the for long haul, and only started singing the song again when he asked me to. Next time you wonder how many times your short associate will repeat the fun activity if it's left to him, the answer is...


And the conclusion was as anti-climactic as most things in life. After 61, he just looked at me for a few seconds, and instead of asking to do it again, he asked for a "treat of a pumpkin" (those little pumpkin shaped candies his grandma sent him).


What are your favorite games to play with your young kids (Oliver is 3)?



October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween from our house to yours

If you watch 30 Rock (which I sincerely hope you do), you'll get this. If you don't, repent, then watch this:

Now, enjoy this little piece of work:

October 29, 2009

I'm dreaming of a white...Halloween???

This is real time, Albuquerque,...New...Mexico...on Oct.29th, 2009. If this is any indication of the winter ahead, I'm going to go in to hibernation.

October 28, 2009

Halloween Cookies

In an effort to be more"cutesy" and "crafty," I took Oliver to the grocery store to pick out some Halloween cookies to decorate for Family Home Evening on Monday night.

Oh, alright, we were already at the store, I saw some cookies and asked Oliver if he wanted to decorate them for Halloween. At least the frosting is homemade!

Anyway, so that's what we did. Oliver has more artistic talent than his Momma. (No surprise there, though, as I'm not hard to one-up in this particular category.)

It's Monday, so naturally, I'm not wearing make-up. Excuse this fact and pay attention to the expertly decorated sugar cookies.

The thing is, they looked a WHOLE lot better than they tasted. Note to self: Smith's sugar cookies are not worth the plastic container they come in.

October 24, 2009

Remember Sears and Roebuck?

Do you recall ever having heard tales from your parents and/or grandparents of the Sears and Roebuck catalog coming out at Christmas time and them devouring every page, making wish lists, refining those lists, etc., etc.? Well, let me tell you, we've had our very own modern-day Sears and Roebuck experience the past couple days in the form of a Toys R Us catalog. This guy cannot get enough of all the cars, trucks, and trains devilishly calling to him from this calculating toy conglomerate's pages. He has spent hours perusing the toy-filled pages and occasionally will lift his head to ask, "Momma, Daddy, can you pull this movie/car/truck/train for me out of the magzazine (magazine)?"

Can't you just picture that face on the "Let's raise money for orphanages in Africa" commercials?

October 19, 2009

Marathon: Check

I did it. Do I want to do it again? Ask me in a few days. I didn't set any records, didn't meet my goal time, but, hey, I crossed the finish line at the end of 26.2 miles. Christian was so sweet to meet me at the halfway point with much needed nourishment and encouragement. I bonked at mile 18 (meaning, in essence, that each of my legs felt like they weighed half a ton) and added about 2 minutes to each mile after that. Christian also had the forethought to bring his long board with him so he could wheel me around after the race (like I said, my legs felt like they were made of lead). Mistake at the St. George Marathon: eating too much. Mistake at the Duke City Marathon: eating too little (bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, half a banana, and one Quaker granola bar along the course just doesn't cut it, hence, the bonking). But, at the end of the day, I finished the entire Duke City Marathon.

At mile 26

Proof:) (That's me in the white tank-top.)

My fan club

October 14, 2009

Fair to the Fiesta

About 3 weeks ago, we went here:

with our friends, Rachel and Rett. They have season tickets to the rodeo at the fair. Let me tell you, nothing beats a RODEO at a STATE FAIR. Three words: belts, buckles, and Wranglers. Somehow these "underground cowboys" become really "cool" for this two-week event in NM and they strut their stuff like they're not afraid to wear it all year long. Anyway, I love rodeos, always have, maybe it's in my blood since my Mom just so happened to be a barrel-racing rodeo queen in her younger years.

This twitterpated duo likes to ride double, whether or not the stroller calls for it. Oliver and Berlynn at the fair.

Next, we went here:

which is one of our favorite events here in Albuquerque. People come from all over the world for this one-week fiesta and it's the largest of its kind. Usually, we go see the mass ascensions (when all the balloons lift in to the air at once), but this year we opted for the special shapes glowdeo and were we ever glad we did. It was awesome.

On the bus on the way to the Balloon Fiesta Park. Oliver hasn't stopped talking about this bus since that night. I mean, look at his face- could he be any more excited???

Overlooking all the special shapes balloons as we drove in to the park.

The announcer would count down and on "1" all the balloonists would light 'em up. It was REALLY cool.

Oliver obviously didn't think it was as cool as we did- he was so scared when the balloons all lit up.

But Amelia loved every second of it.:)

This was Oliver's favorite balloon- the Wells Fargo horse carriage, even though he was convinced it was Thomas the Train.

Oliver loves to line all his cars up in this fashion in different places around the house. In case you're not sure, yes, he's still WAY in to cars.

Playing with Amelia before bed time. She always gets so giggly before night-nights. Check out that tummy love.