Sunday, February 07, 2016

Meg and Matt Visit!

Have I mentioned how much fun we had over the holidays? To top it all off, Meg and Matt came to visit us just after New Years! Matt had some school business to attend to, but we got to take advantage of having Meg around for an entire week!!! We kicked off our time together by visiting one of our favorite local vineyards, Martin Ranch. Not only did we enjoy a picnic and good wine, but we worked on our rock-skipping skills.

Ross was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas most of the time they were here, so Meg and I got to have some good, girl time when the kids were asleep or away. When they weren't, Meg was amazing with the kids. She read and played with them while I fixed their dinners. She helped them get ready for school in the mornings and helped tuck them in at night. They got lots of attention and love! Matt joined us toward the end of the week, and they decided he was hilarious. They simply adore them both!

We hope to see them again soon!!!

Christmas & New Years with Pop

It's Super Bowl Sunday, and I'm home sick while the rest of the family is having fun at our friends' house. I decided to make the most of the down time and finally finish my Christmas blogging!

My dad, also known as Pop around here, arrived the day before the Rodriguez/Taylor family went home. After they left, we exchanged gifts. There were lots of smiles and laughter as we enjoyed spoiling each other a little. Audrey LOVES stuffed animals, so you can see how excited she was to get this penguin Beenie Boo. I love how sweetly she was sharing it with Jackson too.

We spent the a lot of our time together just hanging out, playing games, and doing a little hiking nearby. It rained almost everyday over the break, so we were grateful to spend a little time outside!

On one of the rainy days we made our way into San Francisco to visit the Exploratorium. Everyone had fun playing and learning. I didn't get a picture of it, but one of the favorites was an exhibit that showed you what you would look like if you had a perfectly symmetrical face by flipping an image of half your face. Some people didn't look much different at all, and others looked really funny! We also made tornados, learned about engines, danced to some cool colored videos, and so much more.

For New Year's Eve, I threw together a last minute party for the kids. We hung balloons displaying the hourly countdown. We sped up the count down by starting at 6 PM and celebrating every half hour. At each "hour" the kids would pop a balloon and open a bag of clues, which eventually led to surprises and games. It was a fun way to pass the time, have some good conversations about everyone's values and perspectives on life, and to laugh and play the night away! We were disappointed to learn we couldn't watch the ball drop at midnight Eastern time, so we found an online countdown and put the kids to bed. The adults played more games and did a traditional cheers at midnight.

My dad also spent some time sketching with the kids while he was here, giving them tips, and inspiring them to try new things. After he left, I asked Jackson what his New Year's resolutions/goals might be for the year. He said he wanted to exercise more, practice being a good doctor, and become a good sketcher. I think Pop left an impression!

There are a few more pictures in the album.