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Category Archives: London

Bringing in the New Year, Picnic Style!

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New Years Day brought us beautiful weather. Phoenix was hit with our “winter” early this year, and it seems as though we’ve been hovering in the 50s/60s for quite awhile. Desert folk don’t do very well for very long at temperatures that low, so when the 80 degree day popped up in our forecast, we took full advantage! We picked up pizza, packed up drinks and a blanket, and headed to the park to enjoy the warm evening. It was such a gorgeous evening, and I didn’t have to do dishes!

Great fun was had by all, but we are ready for cooler weather for just a bit! We only get to wear our sweaters and coats for such a short period of time, so we like to get as much use out of them as we can. We’d like to take the kids up north for a snow day, so hopefully winter will find us again soon!

Christmas 2011

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Our children are 5.5, almost 3, and 16 months. While Brooklyn wasn’t super into it just yet, this was the first year that both Jackson and London were simply thrilled with everything the season is about! It was so much fun to countdown the “days until Jesus’ birthday”
with such gusto every morning. Jackson would change the days of our advent tree religiously and with the zeal of a child who has finally figured out that there is a day in the year where presents, food, family, and joy are
present in everything.
The festivities began for us the Friday before Christmas. Nana and Jerry came to our house for supper, and with them brought a huge box of gifts for the children. To say it was awesome would be an understatement; the gifts were fabulous and absolutely perfect for them! Jackson got a human anatomy set which he has named “Gray” after Gray’s Anatomy, London got a princess dress up box full of outfits and treasures, and Brooklyn got an elephant ball popper and musical instruments. The kids had a blast, and we all loved watching them enjoy everything so much!

On Christmas Eve, we headed to my parents house south of Tucson. We spent the day there with lots of my family, including my brother Bill and his wife Chasity. Bill had been deployed overseas and just came home a little before Thanksgiving, so it was good to see him! We had a traditional Swedish dinner, opened (more) gifts, and headed home.

Christmas morning!!!!! The kids were on cloud 9. Jackson, of course, woke up before the girls did. I anticipated this and had purchased new iPad games for him to play while he waited for his sisters to wake up. Once London woke up, they did stockings while I prepared our breakfast of pancakes and bacon (yum!). Brooklyn woke up and joined us for breakfast, and then to the tree we went!!! The children were just beside themselves with excitement, and we were blessed to be able to give them gifts that we knew they wanted. London got a singing Rapunzel doll and a doctor’s kit, which she has yet to put down. It is so fun to be able to do such wonderful things for them!
Greg and Jackson ended up with some sort of flu virus, so that put a bit of a damper on the day. 😦 Poor guys!
So, on to next year! Jackson started the countdown the day after Christmas! 🙂 We hope you enjoyed the holiday season with your family! Praise be to God for giving us cause to celebrate!

Family Pictures 2011

Greg and I have been married for 6 years. In that time, we’ve welcomed 3 children. Things moved very fast for us in those first few years; several job changes, two college degrees for Greg, buying a house, the babies…it’s a lot to shove in such a short amount of time. What we’ve never shoved in is family pictures.

Now, I love photography. I love how photos forever capture the moments your mind doesn’t have room to keep.  What I don’t like is how much it costs. So, I’ve been putting off professional pictures for years (and by professional, I mean a REAL photographer, not JCPenneys or the like) knowing that we would just be adding more kids. Looking back, I really should have done it. I should have done it every single year, because they bring me such joy to look at. I will forever have these moments frozen in time, with Brooklyn’s shining blue eyes and dimples hiding in her fluffy cheeks, London’s wide eyes and wild hair, and Jackson’s absolute rebellion in smiling for the camera. When I look at them, I’ll remember how sweet they all were, and maybe 15 years from now I’ll be able to recall the sweet smell of Brooklyn’s hair and the sword fights between Greg and Jackson. I’ll hear London’s fairy voice chiming in my ear…the sweet sounds of memories.

Worth every penny, don’t you think?

Disneyland Vacation

London loved Pluto!

In October, we took our much anticipated trip to Disneyland!!! This was our second time going with the children; London was 11 months old and Jackson was almost 4 the last time we went. Brooklyn actually stayed at home with Grandma; I’ve taken a baby who wasn’t walking to Disneyland before, and let me tell you, it isn’t fun for them or you. I knew she’d just sit in the car for a day, sit in the stroller for 2 days, and then sit in the car for another day. No. Thank. You. We will go again in a few years and she’ll come then; but she had a blast getting some one on one time with BOTH of her grandmothers while we were away.

I think her vacation was much more relaxing than ours.

Our awesome suite!


Bedtime stories!


We went back and forth over where to stay. While I really like the idea of staying on location in one of the Disney hotels, I simply could NOT wrap my brain around paying $3000 just for our hotel rooms. Could. Not. Do. It. When we travel and vacation, I like to do it comfortably, which means we get two rooms. We don’t share a family bed and pretend like that gets you well rested children. Plus, we took a nanny, which means we needed more room.

A nanny, you say? Yep. Note above where I mention the word “comfortable”. We wanted to be able to go back into the park at night and do adult rides, plus we wanted someone to stay with London while we took Jackson on some of the rides she was too small for,  so we packed up our beloved babysitter Taylor who agreed to come with us.
(Taylor and her sister Peyton are the BEST babysitters in the history of babysitters. But, I digress..)
Anyway, we ended up getting a 2 bedroom suite at the Howard Johnson Anaheim. Now, they aren’t paying me to say this, but this is the BEST hotel to stay in. It is right across the street from the main gates (about an 8 minute walk from your room) which gives you the convenience on being close without the price tag. Our suite had a kitchen, a living room, two balconies, two full bathrooms, and a separate bedroom with two queen beds. It also had a water park for the kids! We stayed there for 3 nights and paid $700. That left a lot more moo-la for churros!!! (For those of you who’ve had Disney churros, you KNOW what I’m talking about!)

If the normal suites aren’t up your alley, you can stay in their kid suites, which we will do next time since we won’t take a nanny. It is a suite with one room having bunk beds and a twin and full bathroom, and a second room with a king bed. Those suites go fast and need to be booked at least six months out, and most likely that is what we will do next time.

Isn’t she a DARLING princess?! She was so much fun to take! She hopped and skipped and twirled and danced at every oppurtunity…until she got sick.
Disney vacationers worst nightmare, right? Sure enough, at about 1 pm, she decided that a 102 fever was just what Mickey ordered. The staff at Disney is fantastic, though, and when we took her to the first aid station they cared for “the little princess” and gave her motrin with orders to go home and nap. Taylor was a gift from God at this point because she was able to stay with London while we took Jackson back to the park. Don’t worry, by the next morning she was just fine and ready to experience the magic once again!

Buzz Lightyear!


The Wishing Well

The Carousel

In front of the castle

 Two days was just enough for the pipsqueaks (and us). Lessons we learned from this trip:
1. Do not go in October. The Halloween stuff is ridiculous. Plus, on Fridays they close the park at 7. So, now we know not to go in October OR December. Check.
2. Always, always, always, bring Motrin for the kids. And Advil for you.
3. The Bengal BBQ outside the jungle cruise is fantastic.
4. Making reservations through Disney Dining ahead of time is the best idea ever.
5. Howard Anaheim=awesome.
6. Never plan your trip to fall on a Saturday. Like, ever.

We had a great time and can’t wait to go back!