Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Comes to a Close...

It's hard to believe another year has gone by...but we're excited to see what is in store for our family in 2011.

2010 brought some great ski trips to Lake Tahoe, a fun trip to Monterey and Carmel, several trips to Little Rock and Texas, and some great family memories. 2010 also brought more time apart for our family than any year before as Jason deployed twice and of course the loss of our sweet Cactus. Good times and hard times...that is life...God is good in the good times and the hard times and we are so blessed.

Riley and I celebrated New Year's Eve at the Kunkel's house in Alameda! They throw a wild party, but Ashley, Jennie, and I headed up early with our kiddos and had a mellow yet awesome time with Carrie and Mike before the real party peeps showed up to ring in the New Year!

Riley had fun playing with Jeff and Blake!

The mamas...Carrie, me, Jennie, and Ashley!

Us with all the kids!
It was such a fun night! We were back home by 9:30 and I can't even remember if I stayed up to ring in the New Year..haha!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Time...

Christmas was different this was our first year to not be together as a family. It was not the same without Jason home and it wasn't the same without all of our families being together, but we were so glad the my parents came out to celebrate with me and Riley!

We picked them up at the airport and headed into San Francisco to check out all the Christmas decor and it was awesome!

Check out all those wreaths...not to mention the 5 story Macy's!
They had a big beautiful tree in Union Square and an ice skating rink!
Riley was ecstatic to have Grammie and JoePa in town!

The girls!
After walking around we found a great restaurant and had a fabulous dinner!

Christmas Eve we had a relaxing morning and went on a long walk with the doggies and that afternoon we headed to church to celebrate the REAL reason for the season!

After church we went to have dinner with a large group of friends...celebrating Christmas and our friend Mike's was a lot of fun and Riley was the only kid but had a blast entertaining everyone!

When we got home she got to open a special present from JoePa...some beautiful earrings from James Avery! When she's not so fearful about changing out her earrings we'll put them in!
She also had to write Santa a letter...
and put some cookies and milk out for Santa!

After she was soundly sleeping Santa came and put her special presents out! Back in October we were strolling through the BX and made the mistake of walking by the toy section...there was a FurReal pet dog on an end cap and Riley literally had a full blown temper tantrum because we wouldn't buy it for her right then...I told her she had a birthday and Christmas coming up and maybe she could ask for one. EVER since that day the only thing she has asked for is "a doggie and a leash" guess what Santa brought her?
We had the best present ever being that Jason was able to video chat most of Christmas morning and he woke me up before Riley even did! He got to watch her awe and wonder as she strolled into the living room to find her presents and then he got to watch for the next hour or so as she opened her was GREAT!

She loved her doggie and a leash and named her Macy!

There were lots of presents to be opened and fun goodies in her stocking as well!
A whole box of dress up clothes and wigs provided us all with lots of entertainment!
After all the present opening we dove into the Pioneer Woman Cinnamon rolls...they were delish!

For Christmas Dinner we headed to the Havird's house and feasted with great Air Force family friends!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Candy Cane Lane

A few nights before Christmas Patti and I took Riley and Braden to see Christmas was such a magical night and totally got me in the Christmas mood!!!

It was chilly outside and we started out with fun drinks at Starbucks...Riley and Braden had the store's attention as they walked up to get their drinks!

Braden got a soy steamer and Riley got some apple cider...of course Patti and I got fully leaded drinks and we bundled up in the car and headed to Candy Cane to see the lights!
There are two streets in Vacaville that go all out with Christmas lights and we walked up and down admiring all the great decorations!
Riley and Braden loved seeing all the different animals and nativity scenes!
Me and the kiddos!
Patti and the kiddos!
It was such a fun night...'tis the Season!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Our Bible Study, a.k.a. the Bible Babes, decided to have a Bunco Christmas party and it was so much fun!

We had it at my house, did a baked potato bar, and played bunco all night!

Here's all of us girls!
Getting excited for bunco!
Fun Fun Fun!
The winner...Heather...who aimed to lose all of her games and ended up getting the most buncos!
It was such a fun night full of good food, lots of laughs, and great friends!

Madison came over to watch the kiddos and they had their own little party in the playroom complete with movies, toys, and play dough!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Birthday Time...3 Years Old!

December 17, 2011...Riley turned 3 years old!

I can't believe she is already three, but what a fun time we have had getting to know this sweet girl over the last three years!

I wanted to make her day as special as can be...things didn't quite go as I planned...but I think she still had a great birthday!

The night before her big day I let her open one present...

A tinkerbell doll!!!
Immediately she ran to put on her Tinkerbell costume...just to match her doll! I then got the pleasure of watching her and her Tinkerbell doll fly all over the fun!
The morning of her birthday Jason was able to video chat with her and watch her open another present. This present was a special outfit to wear on her birthday...a birthday girl shirt and some skinny jeans! To my surprise we watched her open up the present and then heard her say "it's not a toy" in utter panic...oh my! I tried to tell her that her mama got her some skinny jeans and that was most definitely something to get excited about...and she did!

Here's me and the birthday girl!
Before she went to school we went to get donuts as a special treat...I think she liked them!
Life is good!
The plan was for her and her friends to make cupcakes at school and eat them to celebrate Riley's birthday...she had picked out pink strawberry cupcakes! We took everything to school and they forgot that it was sugar cookie decorating day...which meant the kitchen was not available to make Riley's cupcakes! She was slightly upset about it at first but once they told her they had special sugar cookies for her birthday she was on board...and they ended up baking and eating her cupcakes a few days later!

I wanted to take her to a fun place for dinner where I knew they would make a big deal out of her birthday...we all know this girl loves to have an audience! My original plan was for us to eat at Texas Roadhouse...we have one right by our house and we have always had a hard time getting in there to eat because it's ALWAYS crazy! We had some special friends joining us for dinner so I tried to do call ahead...Texas Roadhouse screwed up and our plans fell through so we moved the part to Outback at the last minute!

Riley had fun showing Braden some of her gifts...especially her new princess beauty set...Braden is a good sport and let her apply lipstick on him!
She also got to show off the super special Hello Kitty watch her Daddy sent's so stinkin' cute!

Braden and Riley had fun holding hands!
The Bickley family joined us!
The Hollender's
Dinner plans came to a halt when sweet Braden got ahold of Riley's milk...he's VERY allergic. It was very scary and they had to rush to the ER but he ended up being just fine and we are so thankful.

We sang for Riley, she blew out her candle, and we all dug in to her birthday dessert!
The next day Braden came over and he and Riley gave each other their birthday gifts since they have birthdays close together...he was back to his sweet self the next day and they had lots of fun playing at our house!

She had a great day and she is looking forward to her big birthday party or "party day" as she calls it when her Daddy gets home!

A few days after her dinner we went over to the Welch's for dinner and they had special cupcakes for dessert to celebrate Riley's was so sweet and she loved it!

Easton, Riley, and Ellie

Who knows if Facebook will still be around when Riley is older and looks back on her younger birthdays but I want her to know just how much she is loved and all the special people she has in her life at such a young's all the sweet birthday wishes she got on my facebook page!

We love you so much are one super special little girl with such a big heart and a ginormous personality that brings us joy day in and day out. You are a thrill to be around and you make our lives complete.

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Fun

Riley and I got to do lots of fun things to celebrate Christmas!!!

The first weekend after we got home my friend Hannah had an open house at her new Interior Design studio in Benicia...a bay town just about a half hour from our house. All of us girls wanted to support her in her new venture and check out her studio so we headed up early with the kids and went to a Holiday Parade in downtown.

Riley and Braden were so cute standing on the sides just waiting to see what was coming up next!
Benicia was such a cute downtown and the parade was were some beautiful dogs!

I wouldn't exactly call this beautiful but it was part of the parade nonetheless!
Me and Riley
The best part of all...getting to say hi to Santa!
After the parade we headed to Hannah's studio and then to a cute little cafe downtown for lunch...quite a fun day!

The following day we went with Patti and Braden to Six Flags to check out all that they had to do at Holiday in the Park!

It was beautiful with all the lights and the huge tree!

We have yet to watch a show at Six Flags because we're always having too much fun riding the rides but this time we went to see the Sea Lions Christmas show and Riley absolutely loved it!
Of course we still rode some's our helicopter pilot!
The highlight of the night...the snow mountain they had!

There was an area where the kids could play in the snow and then they had built up a "mini" mountain and we got to sled was lots of fun!
Riley loves the snow and she's already talking about skiing this year...we can't wait to get up to Tahoe and see how she does since this will be her first year to try and get on a pair of skis!
Some pics in front of the huge Christmas tree!

This age has been great during Christmas as Riley gets excited. We have talked a lot about the true meaning of Christmas and it's been awesome to hear her talk about Jesus' birthday, how the shepherds were afraid of the angel, and how Mary and Joseph had a baby. She knows about Santa too and has been asking for one specific thing..."a doggy and a leash"

What a fun Christmas this will be!