Camaron graduated!

Camaron graduated! ...two weeks ago. The whole time we've been back in Arizona is already feeling like a blur. Why is time going by so fast?? I am feeling pretty organized and on top of things for only just now getting around to posting about Camaron's graduation, let me tell ya. Come back with me, to two weeks ago, Monday the fifteenth of December. The week before Christmas week. Camaron graduated from Arizona State University. 

What a handsome, hardworking scholar. 

Camaron and I both agree that the best thing about graduating (and I'm sure many others agree), is that when you get home after a long day, you don't have school to worry about anymore! No more late night online tests! No more discussion boards! No more group projects that keep you from coming home until four in the morning (yes, that actually happened). Yippee!!! Fox, Sloane, and I are so looking forward to getting Camaron all to ourselves each day after work now.

Christmas Morning

This year, we had two Christmas mornings. And it was as wonderful as it sounds.

Right now, we are staying at my parent's house as we prepare to move back to DC (no, you didn't miss a blog post about that, I just never wrote one. Maybe someday I will). Ok, we're at my parent's house, so you'd think we would have Christmas morning with them, but it didn't quite work out that way. My mom had to work Christmas morning/day (medical professions don't always get holidays off). So Christmas morning at the house was just our little family's Christmas morning. It was so great that we were able to have that for ourselves, especially while living in someone else's home.

We woke up and wandered to the tree in our Christmas jammies and laughed and opened gifts together. Camaron and I agreed that getting lots of gifts for Sloane and Fox was silly since we would be moving soon ...and the grandparents always take care of those sorts of things anyway. So we just got them a couple of simple things to open that morning. One was a little Spiderman toy that Camaron picked out for Fox. Fox slept with it at naptime and that night (incase you were wondering if he liked it). I got an ornament for each of the kids, since we had done that for Fox the past two Christmases. Sloanes was a little plush elephant, and it was wet all day from her constant gnawing and drooling on it (incase you were wondering if she liked it). I got the power drill I had been pining for (projects, people. Projects!). And Camaron got a drone that takes video and photos (that blurry picture of him is not posed. I caught his actual reaction. And I love it).

The rest of the day was spent playing with out toys, relaxing, then preparing for the big family party we do every year with my mom's side of the family. No pictures of that night, but it was amazingly fun and we had amazingly good food (even if we didn't get to have green bean casserole because I forgot to buy the ingredients and no stores were open on Christmas day when we realized my error, hehe).

Then came our second Christmas morning.

We had Christmas morning with my parents and siblings on the day after Christmas. Opening presents was extra fun this year, because Fox found so much enjoyment in handing out the gifts. He may have loved picking out packages, saying "open it open it!" to its recipient, and then helping them (if wanted) unwrap their presents even more than opening his own presents. Maybe. After revealing secret santas, giving and receiving amazingly perfect handmade and store-bought gifts, and checking out the haul of office supplies we always get in our stockings, we topped off the fun-filled morning with my mom's delicious waffles (made from scratch, of course). 

Then we watched as Tim and Kyle faced off in Uncle Fester's Quest -a NES game Kyle gave Tim as a joke. That game is so bad. After too many rounds of that nonsense, we all headed out back to try out the family game we got this year (we get a new one each year). This year, it was Spikeball -a combination of volleyball and foursquare. It had fun potential  ...but, to sum it up, the phrase "this game is for athletes/athletic people" may have been uttered a few too many times. We were worse at that then at Uncle Fester's Quest.

Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve was spent with Camaron's side of the family. Originally, we were all going to go up north to a cabin to spend Christmas, but not everyone could go, so we decided to have Christmas dinner on this night, along with opening presents. We still did the cabin, but just a little later and without everyone -more on that later. 

So, on Christmas Eve, we loaded up the car and began our journey out of town Casa Grande ha! For real though, it is a trip. Since we had all of the family in one place for the night, I decided to make the evening extra fun by throwing in a variety show for the evening's entertainment. It was totally just a silly idea at first that I thought would make the cabin trip extra fun, but with the change in plans, I really didn't think it would happen. I was sure Camaron and I would be the only ones performing, so imagine my surprise when it turned out that EVERYONE performed! It was so much fun.
The show included magic, musical numbers, cashew-catching, and Camaron and I pretending we knew a lot about hip hop dancing (we just re-enacted this amazing video). Be sure to take note of Camaron's amazing 90s shirt.

The rest of the night included yummy food, the traditional "eating of the pudding to see who has the one with the gummy bear and will get good luck all year long," and secret Santa gift exchange. My secret Santa did me good. 

More Christmas posts and catch-up coming all week! Consider it a belated Christmas gift ha!

Our Last Night in DC

On our last night in DC, before moving back to AZ, we decided to live it up and storm the White House. Well, White House Gifts, that is. It's basically the best souvenir shop in DC because, well, look at the awesome souvenirs we got! Photos are my favorite souvenir. When you spend a certain amount at the shop, you can take photos for free using their awesome backdrops and props (so, I guess it's not really "for free"). 

No matter how hard we try not to be, we are still such tourists. Oh well, it was so much fun.

Santa didn't make anyone cry this year!

Santa: "What would you like for Christmas?"

Fox: "Ummm ...Presents!"

Santa: "Oh, what kinds of presents?"

Fox: "Green!"

Sloane at Five Months

Baby Sloane hit five months the day before Thanksgiving. This chunky little bundle is just growing more and more fun everyday (following in her brother's footsteps). She has mastered rolling and I really don't think we'll be waiting too much longer before she starts crawling. Yay! and Yikes! Sloane is still a fan of making the Chewbacca noise, but she has now added blowing raspberries to her repertoire. She has a definite interest in Fox's toys now -and sometimes he even shares with her (and it's just the best). We're pretty sure she's in some sort of teething stage, because girl's got drool. And screaming. And chewing. She also has huge smiles and laughs, though, so it's not all bad.

At the top of Sloane's list of least favorites would be having to sit still in your lap I'm just a little worried for our flight home next week (next week!). She was so little and new when we got here. I can't believe how much she has changed.

Happy five months, Sloane, Sloaney, Doane, Baby! We sure love you!

First Snow

We had our first snow of the season today!

I saw it coming up on the weather app on my phone and waited all morning until 11am (the predicted time it would start snowing). Sure enough, 11am rolled around and I looked outside one of our tiny basement windows to see fat snowflake clumps falling all over the place outside. Snow! I'm pretty sure the people living upstairs heard me exclaiming my excitement to Fox once I saw the white outside. We quickly threw on some warm(ish) clothing and then ran outside to check it out. It was Sloane's first snow, and I am pretty sure it was Fox's too (I find that hard to believe, but I really can't remember another time he would have experienced snow). Fox decided to share the experience with his tractor.

It was a pretty wet snow fall, so we just walked to the end of our block, caught some flakes on our lashes, jumped in some puddles, and then headed back inside. It's too early for me to get mad at bad winter weather, so right now I'm just going to be excited and happy about it -let's see if I can keep it up for two more weeks (that's when we head back to AZ :)))).

Babysitter weekends are the best weekends.

 We took these fun photos the day before our Gettysburg trip. We spent a fun day seeing the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, taking our friend's senior photos at Rock Creek Park (and making him take a couple of us), and eating a waffle club sandwich. You are probably thinking, "Well, could life get any better?" haha jk. You're probably really thinking, "Did she photoshop those eyelashes? And how old is that manicure?" I did. And two weeks old. What I'm getting at is that it was a really fun, great day. But it did get even better. 

We left the kids with a babysitter that night for the first time since we've been in DC. I had no idea how much I missed dating Camaron until we actually went on one! Sure, we have date nights all of the time, but the kids always tag along, which is still plenty fun. Although, it's pretty hard to focus on your date when you've got a five-month-old who needs you to stand while holding her and a two-year-old who loves pouring out the salt, pepper, cheese, whatever is pourable onto the table. 

And we somehow lucked out and were able to go out, just the two of us, again this weekend! We went to the the new Hunger Games movie. Soooo good, BTW. We honestly couldn't remember what the last movie we saw together was. Had we even been to the movies since Sloane was born? I'm so grateful that we were able to find great people to watch our kids (and that they were able to handle Sloane through her crazy teething stage. We hope it's just teething, anyway). I really hope we don't let so much time pass before going on a one-on-one date again, because I'm a fan.

P.S Any tips on finding babysitters when you're new to the area? We found our first babysitter through, and others we've found through church and work. 

P.P.S. Don't be deceived by the title of this post. Honestly, my most-favorite times have been with our whole family:)

Day trip to Gettysburg

Camaron's mom came to visit over the weekend. While she was here, she stayed one night in Gettysburg, PA (when you're given a free room at a fancy lodge in Gettysburg, you just don't pass that up). We decided to be adventurers and drive up for a day to explore and spend some time with the kids' grandma. We had rented a car, so it was exciting to not be on a bus and to eat road trip snacks. The drive was beautiful -which was extra lucky, because we accidentally took a wrong turn and our 1.5 hour drive accidentally turned into a 3 hour drive. We got to drive through tiny farm towns engulfed in fall foliage, saw where Abe gave the Gettysburg address, and ate at Lincoln's Diner. And that was about it. Our trip was pretty short with our detour getting there and daylight savings making the sunset around 4:30. But even with it being short, it was such a fun little day trip. I would love to be able to go back again someday and spend more time exploring and seeing more of Gettysburg. And we're definitely bringing Fox's pacifier next time, just for the long drive -exceptionally cranky, lack-of-nap ride home.

Good Morning, Baltimore

Over the weekend, we took a little day trip up to Baltimore. We took the bus, the metro, and then a train to get there. And we did it with our double-stroller in tow! Let's just say, we felt incredibly accomplished. And Sloane and Fox were both excellent travelers, as seen below.

While in Baltimore, we visited the Walters Art Museum. It was AMAZING. So many beautiful works of art. I had completely forgotten how much I love looking at major works of art. So many paintings, sculptures, ceramics, weapons, moose heads (ok, there was only one), and so, so much marble.

And the Walters' original collection included the most amazing pieces. I got up close and personal with a Degas, Manet, Monet, Ingres, Delacroix, and many others that brought back all of the best art history memories. Oh my goodness, I can't believe we haven't been to the National Gallery of Art yet. You better believe we'll be making a visit before our stint here ends in December.
Sloane napped off and on throughout the day, but Fox completely missed his nap, which worried us a bit -kid gets cranky. He completely shocked us by holding strong and staying happy and helpful the whole trip! Then, after our long walk back to the train station to begin our trip back home, we looked down to find Fox like this: cute little snooze babe. What a great kid. What a couple of great kids. What a great day. What a cheesy way to end this post. Oh well, today was great and I don't want to forget it.

A Visit From My Parents ...and lots of crying

 Two weekends ago (yes, this post is overdue), we were blessed with a little visit from my parents. It went by way too fast. They arrived Saturday night, then my dad had to leave on Monday for work, and my mom then had to leave on Wednesday. It was a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend; full of great food, shopping, a date night for Camaron and I, and plenty of attention for Fox and Sloane:)

Confession: I had two crying breakdowns during the visit. One was to my mom. I started complaining about the woes and monotony of being a stay at home mom and how it has bummed me out that we had a huge bucket list of things to do while we're living in DC, but our time here is almost spent and we've only been able to do just a few of them because kids are hard blah blah blah... Then, the night before my mom left, I broke down to Camaron about how I was really sad my mom was leaving.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned or alluded to it, but Camaron is just amazing. Right after I told him I was so sad, Camaron called my mom at her hotel. He told her he was calling in sick the next day so he could stay home and her and I could have the morning together before her flight home:) Then, that wonderfully thoughtful woman I get to call "mom" planned out a morning of sightseeing for us. I checked six items off my DC bucket list that morning:)

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