Wednesday, July 9, 2014

just call me AUNT Kristi

If you read my blog last summer, you remember when I announced that my brother, DJ, and his wife, Liz, were expecting a baby AND my sister, Kelsie, and her boyfriend, Josh, were expecting a baby....and only a month apart!

Well Spencer and Holden were born earlier this year, and they have brought so much joy to our family.  I'm going to try to sum up the past 4 1/2 months in pictures since they both were born.

February 19 we welcomed Miss Spencer McKenzie!
It was a long afternoon/night before she decided she was ready to make her debut, but when she was ready, boy was she ready!  Her mommy did so great!  Liz was so sweet to offer to let me be in the room when Spencer was born, but her doctor limited the people to DJ and our moms.  As soon as we were given the green light after she was born, we couldn't get down the hall fast enough to meet her.  It was such a sweet moment seeing her for the first time.  I was in love immediately.
 DJ gave Spencer her first bath.  I love this picture of him cuddling her as he brushed her hair for the first time.  So stinkin sweet.  I love watching him be a daddy.
 And this picture brings me to tears every time.  It's just the combination of Liz crying tears of joy as she stared at Spencer and DJ's hand moving in to comfort his wife who just became a mother before his very eyes.  Oh, and be sure to note the momma sized bow on top of Spencer's hat.  It's safe to say she's been in bows ever since!
 Precious baby girl.
 Check out Kelsie.  She would end up having her baby less than 3 weeks later!
 Here are some recent pictures of this doll baby...!  Check out that baby fat on her legs.  So so cute!!!
 It's our very own Snow White!

2 weeks and 3 days later...
March 8 we welcomed Mister Holden Finley!
Holden's mommy was in this hospital bed for a very long time before he arrived into our world.  Kelsie basically had to evict him from Hotel Mommy.  I was so so honored to be in the room when Holden was born, and I saw firsthand Kelsie go from my pregnant sister to super woman.  Seeing birth from this point of view was like nothing else in the entire world.  It was, hands down, one of most favorite experiences in my life.
 This is their first family photo.  How priceless is this picture?!  You were a rock star, Rose!
 He looked just like his mommy when he was born.
And here's Holden these days, in all of his nearly 20 pounds of glory!
 What a sweet, sweet boy!
 Rolls for days!
 Hey there, handsome!
 How stinkin' cute is he?!  I mean, really.

After writing this post all I want to do is go see both of my babies right now!  I miss them and need to kiss on their squishy faces pronto.  I know what I'm doing very very soon.  :)  I'm so excited to see what their futures hold, and I'm so grateful that I get to be a part of their lives.  Thank you D&L for Spencer and K&J for Holden.  The joy they've brought to our family and my heart can not be measured.  I love them to the moon and back.

Vegas trip

In December (remember, I'm backtracking a bit since I'm way behind on blogging and I want to document some things), after we were settled back into our U.S. home from Korea, I was dying for a little alone time with my hubby, away from home.  It had been a long time (years, people!) since we had gone on a trip together.  Sure, we could've just sent C & P to my mom's for a couple days and locked ourselves in our house.  But where's the fun in that?  I dropped hints about going to Vegas, or really anywhere besides home for that matter, for a few weeks before T told me to book it.  I kid you not--the hotel and airfare was booked within an hour of him saying okay to the trip.  Woo hoo!

This trip marked our third trip to Vegas together.  We saved up our money and went when we were 21.  We stayed at the MGM Grand on the first visit.  We weren't, and still aren't, big gamblers, but we did manage to come home with quite a bit of money won on the slot machines.  That, along with some amazing shows, made our Vegas trip so fun.

Then we went when I was pregnant with P 9 years later.  That time we stayed in a really awesome room at the Bellagio.  It was fun to get away for a couple days (it was the first time we had taken some time away from C who was 1 year old at that point), but it wasn't the same going to Vegas pregnant, for the obvious reasons.  I fell asleep in  I literally fell asleep on the front row of a risque show with not much else than feathers covering up the performers about 10 feet in front of me on the stage.  Hopefully they noticed I was 7 months pregnant (=exhausted 24/7) and not bored.

So we stayed at the New York New York on this third trip to Sin City.  The first morning we slept in until like 11:00.  I couldn't believe what time it was when we woke up, and I'm even more surprised that my body allowed me to sleep in that late!  Those hotel black-out curtains really did their job.  Not being big gamblers and having seen several shows on our previous visits, we knew we wanted to do something new.  We quickly decided that we could easily rent a car and drive to the Grand Canyon.  I mean, when it's just adults traveling, things are so much faster and easier!

Road trippin' with my man...
We decided to head to the west rim of the Grand Canyon, because (1) it was the quickest drive (albeit it still took most of the day but it was the fastest round trip) and (2) we wanted to see the Skywalk.

The roads that led us to the west rim were sometimes only two lane back roads.  We had to stop for cattle crossing the road and even had to slow way down when we got caught in the dust kicked up by the car in front of us when we were on an unpaved road.

One word: Breathtaking.

You aren't allowed to take cameras out on the Skywalk, and they only allow so many people out there at a time.  The floor is made out of glass, so you can see straight through it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Craziness.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about taking my first step on the glass, even though I knew it would hold everyone.  And T didn't help when he thought it would be funny to bounce.  Not funny, babe.  Not funny at all.  I am so glad we did this, though, because it was a really neat experience!

This rock formation is called the "sleeping dog".  Do you see it on top?

And here we have "Eagle Rock".  Pretty cool, right?!

We devoured some delicious food in Vegas!  One of my favorites this round of Vegas was the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3 (in front of Caesars Palace).  OMG!  So ridiculously yummy!

We saw two shows while we were there.  One was "KA" by Cirque du Soleil at the MGM Grand, and grand it was!  We've seen two Cirque shows in the past in Vegas, "Mystere" and "O", and we both agree that "KA" was the best of the three.  It was really awesome!

The second show we caught was Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up routine in Caesars Palace.  What a treat that was to see him in person!

After a couple days and nights away from our babies, we were refreshed and couldn't wait to get our hands on C & P again.  We missed those boys terribly, but I'm so happy that we got away for just a couple days.  It was so nice to spend time with my hubby in Kristi mode and not Mommy mode.  We are so thankful we have my mom to watch over our babies, and we are even more thankful that our babies love going to their GrammE's house.

Trips as a family are priceless and full of amazing memories, but there's something to be said for taking couple vacations where we get to focus on each other and recharge...and sleep in, of course.  :)