Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Festivities - Students in Spokane Style

Winter is upon us. The pond is frozen, but the geese and ducks remain. Thankfully, there has been hardly any snow thus far, so maybe I will enjoy the snow all the way through January this year. One can hope, since it often lasts, on and off, through at least April.

We brought back presents from Thanksgiving with the family and Ezra loves playing with them. He shakes them, hides them, and tries to convince me and Joe to open them so he can enjoy the riches inside. It is so fun to see his excitement for all things Christmas. One year can make such a difference.

Well, we did end up giving in and opening the presents early. How can you say no to that face? Plus, we are travelling so we would have to anyway, right? Ezra loves all his gifts. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Sears! I think his top three from the Sears side would have to be his new singing police car, Go, Dog. Go!, and his animal magnets. He is one lucky boy.

Joe and I decided to get him one big gift that combined as a birthday and Christmas gift. He loves it and likes to stick his magnets in the holes so they fall inside. At least three times a day I have to move his Zany Zoo so he can start all over again.

Amid finals, we were also able to sneak in a trip to Trader Joe's for some Candy Cane Joe Joe's (Trader Joe's to Joe is the equivalent of a toy store to a child). We enjoyed said joe joe's while looking at Christmas lights and taking in an unusual light show down the street from us. I never knew so many barnyard Christmas songs existed. Strange.

We also enjoyed a Journey to the North Pole Cruise in Coeur d'Alene. There were over 1.5 million lights and the experience is rated in the top ten for light shows in America. The lights were gorgeous, but the fireworks at the "North Pole" did frighten Ezra. However, he enjoyed seeing The Grinch, elves, and Santa Clause, who read off Ezra's name on the nice list.

Well, we are enjoying Marco's homemade cider recipe up here in the frigid north, but we can't wait to go see family and be done with finals. But not even finals can dampen our Christmas spirit, especially when we see the joy it brings our little boy. Christmas always brings so much magic and happiness. It is truly the best time of the year. I am so thankful for Christ, the true gift of Christmas, and hope we can all keep His Spirit and mission in our hearts this holiday season. Below is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs. Now, it reminds me a lot of Ezra and the sparkle I see in his eyes.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Sears Thanksgiving

We had such a great Thanksgiving down in Texas. I hadn't been home for Thanksgiving since my senior year of high school, and we hadn't gotten these three together since this picture was taken over the summer.

One of the first things we did was go tour Dad's new office. I am telling you, the Exxon Campus is impressive. It is huge, very open feeling, and has its own building for exercise, a giant food court, stores for shopping, bakeries, a mini grocery store, a barber, and so much more. You could live there easily, well... as long as you like zero privacy with lots of big open glass windows. No privacy, but certainly a lot of nice natural light!

We also set up the Christmas decorations early since the whole family was down, and Ezra loved these reindeer and Mrs. Clause. Plus, Lincoln taught him how to climb the stairs. It soon became a favorite pastime to race up the stairs smiling naughtily and belly laughing while I chased after him. As of yet, he still doesn't quite know how to come back down.

And of course, in typical Sears fashion, we ate and ate and ate and ate. Mmmm...
Custard in under 45 degree weather.

We celebrated mom and dad's anniversary and Joe's arrival at Gringo's. How I missed Texmex.

"WHAT? That's my ice cream!"

And we had an early celebration for Lauren's birthday at Texas Roadhouse.

When Thanksgiving Day arrived we had prepped early and had a pretty relaxing day. As is Sears tradition, we watched the Macy's parade while cooking and then hunkered down on Mom and Dad's bed to watch the Dog Show. I just love that dog show; it is, hands-down, my favorite Thanksgiving tradition. I haven't watched it since last time I was home for Thanksgiving, and I missed it so.

A little pre-dinner snack.

I think Ezra's favorite part of the trip was feeding the dogs. Tally was really bothered by Ezra, but he loved her. And she certainly didn't object to all the food he gave her. He was all grins and giggles whenever he could pelt the dogs with food. Even when Tally would growl at him, he thought it was hilarious.

Jameson and Emma gave Ezra his very first haircut. We gave him a lollipop to distract him, but it didn't work as well as we hoped, so we let him watch a little bit of Robin Hood and a little bit of Pocahontas. This scene was his favorite.

Thanks guys! It turned out so great!

And of course, there's this gem.

Had to get in some snuggle time before Auntie Lauren left

A lot of time was spent playing with magnets. Ezra would take them down, and Lincoln would put them back up. They make a good team. And countless hours were spent working on John's giant 6,000 piece puzzle.

After he got over his initial jealousy, Ezra loved hanging with Phoenix and showing him some of his favorite things, like books and screaming.

Flying in an airplane by yourself with a 14 month-old is basically a nightmare. However, I was blessed because I was upgraded to first class. This meant more space and free food. The extra space was heavenly, but having Ezra angrily throw food and utensils around was awful. Plus, for some reason I feel even worse having him cry in first class than in coach (although I feel pretty bad either way) because the people in first paid more to have a more relaxing and comfortable flight. 

I was pretty frazzled, but we were blessed to sit next to an angel. This nice woman had recently returned from serving in the armed forces in the middle east. She entertained Ezra and was super patient with all of his outbursts. When we got to Denver for our layover, she even went out of her way to get me and Ezra into United's Club West so we could decompress for a bit before our next flight. She was a saint, and we are so grateful to her.

Ezra exploring Club West. I would have been overjoyed with simply having a comfortable, clean bathroom, but they also had free snacks, fancy Ghirardelli hot chocolate, egg nog, and a nice clean space for Ezra to stretch out in during our layover. Ezra particularly enjoyed the free Tillamook cheese. Some people certainly know how to travel.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Honey Bee


I wish I could always remember the ins and outs of your personality as you are right now. Right now, you are 14-1/2 months old. You have long skinny legs and a firm Buddha belly. I love to tickle you, kiss you, and hear you jabber all day long. I hope you know I will always love you.

I love that you are quick to smile and laugh, especially when tickled.

I love that you like to cuddle and come give me lots of kisses throughout the day. You especially get kissy whenever you see Dad and I kiss, or one of your picture books has the mamma kissing the baby. I love that.

I love that you growl and cuddle with your stuffed animals.

I love you even when you dive head first out of both your car seat and the car door, like you did today at the library. Your sweet laughter and trust in me to catch you tells me that you love me too. But man, does it freak me out.

I love your zest for music and that you dance even when none is playing.

I love your appetite for books. You even like to see all the words in the big kid books that I read.

I love that you love animals and dinosaurs.

You love sticking all your finger foods into the spoonful of purees I am offering you. Honey, goldfish really do taste better when they aren't stuck in pureed vegetables.

You love peanut butter on anything. Lately, it is the only way I can get you to eat your carrots.

You think plugging my nose is the most hilarious thing to ever happen.

You think throwing everything in the bathtub will somehow convince me to let you take another bath and play in the water. Or perhaps, you just like the loud bang my nail polish bottles make when they hit the acrylic.

It is impossible for me to tell you all the funny things you do now that I adore. But, know I love you, Honey Bee. Don't grow up too fast.


P.S. I love that you say, "Mmmmm" when you eat your food. It always reminds me of Bill Murray in What About Bob, but in a good way.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Some Recent Pics from my Camera Roll

This is his model pose. He's going to be a STAR.

 Gorgeous Spokane outings.

 Shenanigans... and the one time Ezra decided to start Brothers Karamazov. He's an ambitious whippersnapper.

He loves all things bathtub. He's constantly throwing everything he can get his hands on inside. Hopefully he won't figure out how to climb in anytime soon.

 Helping(ish). Train them while their young.

 The best time to escape clothes and diapers and frolic around naked in the bear cave is all the time! He is such a boy.

Ezra's favorite friend. :)

A birthday treat for one of our Sunbeams.

It's beginning to look a lot like... Thanksgiving... everywhere you go.

Ezra's favorite bedtime cuddle buddies and his favorite way to lounge around the house.

We always know when this sweet boy is getting ready for a nap because he starts to cuddle with his favorite bear.