Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Holidays get better and better with kids! It's so much fun to be able to start traditions with your own family and see the smiles on your child's face with all the exciting festivities. Plus, it's always nice that most holidays include candy that you can smuggle from your child. That's my guilty confession. Easter for us lasted almost an entire week starting with packages from grandparents all the way to spending an awesome Easter weekend getaway at a friend's cabin.

Braelyn was excited about all the loot that Grandma Kaye sent. She especially liked the chocolate Peeps. You can tell how much she liked them by the chocolate ring around her mouth! I'm usually a stickler for no sweets before meals, but that rule goes out the window with holidays. How could I resist this little face asking for "bite bite!" and "more more!" even if it was before dinner?!

We wanted to invite Jana up for Easter but then we got an invite to go to a friend's cabin. So, we had Easter early with Jana and invited her up for dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Plus we wanted Braelyn to practice hunting eggs before we went up to the cabin so she could scout out all the good candy for mommy and daddy. She got the concept of finding the eggs, but then she got a little distracted with eating the candy inside. By the way, Starburst jelly beans are soooooo yummy!

And then the festivities really began when we headed up to the cabin. Easter morning was a blast watching Braelyn and her little friend Drew ooh and ahh over all the candy and toys in their baskets. I think Drew really fancied the bright pink Easter hat that Braelyn got.

The boys, I mean men, all went shooting with their coveted guns while the women chatted. Uh, yeah right! I got in there and shot too, I just don't have a picture to prove it!

We had another Easter egg hunt where Braelyn got even more candy to add to her loot.

The boys also had a hard boiled egg eating contest to see who could chew and swallow an egg the fastest. Ben lost! The second it started, he laughed chunks of egg came flying out of his mouth.

It was so nice to just hang out in the great outdoors. Braelyn especially loved going for rides in this wagon. She couldn't get enough of it.

We were really good, and even went to church Sunday morning. Pat on the back for us. Braelyn had the cutest Easter dress that my mom bought for her and the most adorable green shoes that I found for free at a garage sale!

Braelyn has been the best little travel bug lately. She just chills in her car seat and eats her snacks.

And of course, when we got home we had yet another package waiting from Grandma Kaye with more presents. Kaye makes the most beautiful jewelry, which I am so lucky to receive! This jewelry was actually my "early birthday" gift but Braelyn seemed to think they were hers. She put them on herself. Smart little girly girl!

So needless to say, we had a wonderful Easter week. We couldn't have asked for a better vacation. I am so happy to be a parent to be able to teach Braelyn the importance of holidays like this. Besides all the fun and games, Ben and I know that Jesus is the Christ and our Redeemer. He lives and loves us. We are responsible as mother and father to teach this to our children and I know that Braelyn feels the love that Jesus and her Heavenly Father have for her. Her little spirit is closer than you think to the Savior. It's so cute and we never taught her this, but every night when it is time to go to bed she points up to the picture of Jesus on our wall and says, "bye Zeezus" then waves and blows a kiss. She is such a sweet little spirit and I hope that she keeps this innocent testimony forever.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T . . . an amazing discovery!

Well, after 7 1/2 years of being married, Ben and I have finally buckled down and purchased the Internet for our own personal use. What?! Can you believe that?! Yep, we were living in a cave isolated from the whole world until Saturday morning when the Cox angels came and wired our home. Hence, the lack of blogging for the past four months. I always used my work laptop to update photos but since being laid off, I haven't had the same luxury.

Oh, so I guess that should be catch up post #1. Big news! I'm an official stay at home mom and I'm loving every minute of it. I didn't realize just how ghetto fabulous our school was until I no longer have to go there everyday. I love my own little bubble! The lay off truly was a blessing in disguise and I cherish being able to be closer to Braelyn and teach her about the world around her.

She is so smart! That little jabber mouth is talking up a storm and is so aware of her surroundings. Not to mention, she is a social butterfly! She says "hi" to total strangers wherever we go. Someday we'll have a long hard talk about stranger danger. Well, without further ado, here are pics from the past four months including Christmas, Braelyn's first birthday (woot woot!), trip to San Diego, trip to Las Vegas, and visiting our parents in Utah. Enjoy!

We went to As You Wish to paint a piggy bank for Braelyn's first birthday before we headed off to Utah for the holidays. We met up with Jana and had a blast. I'm not too sure if Braelyn enjoyed it. In fact, she screamed when we attempted to get her hand print on the pig. Needless to say, the hand print looks more like a blob.

Once we got to Utah, we made a special trip to see Santa Claus. Well obviously she hated him. And yes, I realize that "hate" is a strong word.

She also hated being in the snow or simply being in snow clothes for that matter. It didn't matter whether she was sledding with Grandma Goggins or with daddy, she wanted nothing to do with it.

But as long as she wasn't forced to play in the snow, she loved it! Especially when the snowflakes fell on her cute little tongue.

Great Grandpa Dale and Braelyn enjoyed cruising around the mall side by side doing a little Christmas shopping. Those two kept holding hands as we pushed them through the stores.

Braelyn was spoiled with all kinds of presents from both sets of grandparents! Mommy and daddy planned accordingly and all we bought her was a $5 pair of pink slippers from Walmart. Way to go! 

Then came two days worth of birthday celebrations after which I think she was tapped out! How many birthday cupcakes can one little one year old eat?!

Shortly after returning to the warmth of Phoenix, Grandma and Grandpa Goggins came to visit for the weekend. We couldn't help but go to the park and ride on the train!

After the grandparents left, Braelyn had her first encounter at the zoo. Hmmm, she was intrigued by the goats until one decided to plop right down next to her. We had a little freak out session after that. All was good again once we found the play area with her cute buddy Josiah.

Our next adventure was the Phoenix Children's Museum. Her favorite attractions were the flying scarfs that shot out of little tubes, the noodle forest that was made up of noodle floaties, playing in the big flower pot with her friend Niyah, and most of all SHOPPING! Let me just say that I never showed her what to do with the shopping carts. The next thing I know, she has gone over and grabbed a shopping cart and is cruising down the aisles filling it with food. Once it was full she would grab another cart and start all over. It was hilarious!

Next up was San Diego where we met my brother Taylor and his wife Diane along with my aunt and uncle Cameron and Courtney. We had a blast going to the aircraft carrier, playing along the pier, and exploring the tide pools. Braelyn LOVED the sea lions, especially because they barked like dogs.

The weekend after San Diego we drove out to Vegas for a short vacation with Ben's parents and sister. Grandma Kaye, Braelyn, and Ben all got their game on and Braelyn wanted to be a human ski ball.

After Vegas Braelyn and I caught a shuttle to St. George and rode the rest of the way to Salt Lake with my grandparents and the party continued. We went to the aquarium with Grandma Kaye, at dinner with Great Grandpa Dale at his rest home, cruised around in Grandma Goggins' totally cool Power Wheels, and played with Grandma Kaye's never ending bag of instruments.

And now we're back in Phoenix enjoying day to day life that consists of being obsessed with ducks (whether in the tub or at the park), getting ready for Easter, and taste testing mommy's delicious homemade cupcakes! Life couldn't be better.