Sunday, December 29, 2013

The One With The Holidays...

Now that the kiddos are over a year old, I've gotten out of the habit of blogging my monthly updates. Honestly, we don't have enough excitement in our life for me to have stuff to write about each month, but since it's been awhile here's what we've been up to :)

The kids are now 15 months old and had their well visit at the doctor a few weeks ago and are growing perfectly. Both are 50% in weight and 75% in height.

Much like since the day they were born, they have two extremely different personalities. 

Cole is pretty easy going and is perfectly content playing by himself for the most part. He loves any car/truck and throwing balls. He got a t-ball set for Christmas and Matt has already started teaching him how to hit the ball :) He played close attention to details and loves trying to figure new things out. It takes hime awhile to warm up to new people and places. He has to take in all in for a bit while he sits with one of us and then he's ready to check everything out. He can have quite the temper though when things don't go his way. We just started learning what time-out means :) Fun fun!

Faith loves to be the center of attention. She is very outgoing and loves to run around where ever we go. Definitely miss independent already. Her favorite toy is our iPad which she is rarely aloud to have but always manages to find. She also loves looking at herself in pictures. She never sits too long to play with any particular toy but always manages to want what Cole has and doesn't hesitate to rip it out of his hands. Lucky for her, Cole doesn't seem to mind but this is a habit we are learning to break with time-outs as well :) 

Now for what we've been up to.

We went to visit santa at Crystal Court and this is how it went...

Faith was as happy as could be right after once she had her first taste of a candy cane.

They were both fascinated by watching the train go through the tree all the open space to run.

We ended the day going on their first carousel ride.
Faith loved it.
Cole wasn't too sure.
I am thoroughly enjoying getting to do all these firsts with them!

Matt's parents got us Knott's passes for Christmas. The kids' first ride was on the Calico Mine and they did great! Their eyes were wide open the whole time, taking it all in. There weren't a ton of rides for them to ride in Camp Snoopy yet, but we did take them on the bus and I don't they were too sure of it. But no tears! 

We all rode the train through Camp Snoopy which they loved.

And another carousel ride. Cole is slowly warming up to the idea :)

Now onto Christmas!

Last year they were only a few months old on Christmas so it was a whole new experience have two little toddlers running around trying to get their hands on every present in sight. They loved it all...the paper, the boxes, and the toys. We had a week full of celebrating. Sunday we go together with the Rollema side and went to my aunt's in Corona. It was so much fun having (almost) everyone together and a bunch of kids running around. 

Opening Christmas presents for the first time.

The whole group, minus a few cousins.

We celebrated with Matt's family Monday night and on Christmas Eve. We had two nights of stuffing our faces with delicious food and were spoiled with gifts. 

Grandpa had matching jammies too :)

 Both kids checking out some their cute shoes from Grandma. She sure knows how to shop ;)

Christmas day we went to my mom's side, but unfortunately I didn't take any pictures :( Fail. But we had a great time eating more yummy food, playing a gift card exchange game, and watching a movie. We ended the day at my parents where my dad made his infamous breakfast for dinner (everyones favorite tradition) and opened more gifts. 

Their own phone and car keys.

They loved their piano from Uncle Tyler. 

We ended the week walking around Naples to look at Christmas lights

enjoying their favorite breakfast, pancakes and fruit

 and spending lots of time playing outside.

The love their playhouse/slide from Grandma & Grandpa Anema

And they can't get enough of their work bench from Grandma & Grandpa Rollema. 

2013 has been an amazing year, full of many milestones and unforgettable memories as a family of four. I am so excited to see what the year 2014 brings with these two.
Happy New Year!! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The One with the Party...

Now that it's been well over a month since they turned 1, I figured I should write about Cole & Faith's First Birthday party. I already posted some pictures on Facebook, but I thought it would be nice to have it documented on here too. 

Rachel, from Sisterlee Photography, took their 1 year pictures a few days before their birthday and I love how they turned out! 

The party theme was "Milk & Cookies". I figured it was pretty gender neutral and who doesn't love milk and cookies?! 
 Everything I made was mostly made from a few yards of duck cloth, muslin, and burlap that I bought from Hobby Lobby. I either cut up to  make garland or sewed it to make banners. A huge thank you to my mother-in-law who let me borrow a lot of items she has collected over the years. She let me borrow some canisters, lots of platters for the food, table cloth, paper lanterns, and we wouldn't of survived the heat without her umbrellas. Both of Matt's grandmas are great bakers and made all the yummy cookies. We had Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, M&M's, Peanut Butter Kisses, along with my favorite, almond tarts, and chocolate-peanut butter balls.

The backdrop was the most time consuming part of all the decorations. I bought a cheap, king size sheet from Walmart, cut it in half and sewed the ends together to make it even longer. Then I took muslin and sewed ruffles every few feet. For the banner, I cut pennants out of muslin and used my Silhouette to make stencils so I could paint "Happy Birthday" in the font I wanted.

I had fun with my new Silhouette machine by cutting chalkboard contact paper I found for super cheap and made labels for the cookie jars and the kids' milk bottles. 

We saved Starbucks frapaccino bottles all summer long and used them for the milk glasses. My mom so graciously spent her night tying bakers twine around each one and attached little "1" tags that I cut out & stamped.

Matt's mom was also a huge help by making most of the food. Her pulled pork and pasta salad are my all time favorite.

 I loved the individual fruit cups my mom made. Something I've always wanted to do is a chalkboard runner. I got lucky and found chalkboard fabric that worked perfectly!

 The milk station included regular and chocolate milk, along with straws that changed the flavor of the milk.

I had so much fun making their 1 year boards. I still can't bring myself to throw them away.

They hung in the gazebo on either side of their monthly pictures...
I'm so glad I did this every month, but I am equally glad that they are over. It was so much work!

The gazebo also housed sugar cookie decorating and play-doh for the kids.

 Sweet & Saucy made their adorable smash cakes and I made the "one" toppers using some leftover muslin and paper straws.

Both grandparents out did them selves in the gift department. Besides tons of super cute clothes, Grandpa & Grandma Anema got them a custom wagon that even has a canopy, cup holders and an ice chest. (I don't know who was more excited, Matt or the kids ;)

And Grandpa & Grandma Rollema got them the cutest Tee-Pee! The love playing peek-a-boo in it :)


They were also spoiled by everyone else with many cute clothes and toys that have continued to keep them occupied daily. Thank you everyone!

We ended the festivities by enjoy awesome cookie ice cream sandwiches that Mindy Hibma made for me(which I was looking forward to most:) 

And the kids had fun finding the right string to pull to release all the goodies out of the cookies & milk pinata :)

I can't begin to describe the joy that these two have brought me this past year. There is nothing more that I'd rather be than their mommy and I thank God every day for that gift. Sometime I sit back and can't believe they are mine. That I get to spend every day taking care of them. I want time to freeze and speed up all at the same time because I love the age they are now, but I can't wait for all the fun we get to experience with them as they continue to grow up. 
Not all of their birthday parties will be like this, but this could be the only first birthday I ever throw and I enjoyed every single minute of planning it, decorating for it, and celebrating it :) 

I can't end their 12 month post without their LAST monthly picture :)