Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas!! (a little late...)

Since I've been married, Christmas time has always been extremely BUSY. 
Let me explain:
Because my parents are the only ones of their families that live here (mom's family is in Utah/Idaho, and dad's family is in the Netherlands), I never really understood the whole family get-together business...and so although I missed seeing all of them during the holidays, I never really had anything to desire since I'd never had it anyway. So in a way, even though I never knew it, my Christmas' were always very low-key and...quiet.

WELL...during the month of December, because most ALL of Jeff's family, on both parent's sides, live here in the Valley, we have LOTS of parties to go to...
...and it was kind of an adjustment at first, to be so busy every weekend with a different family party, but it really is a blessing to have so many loved ones around. Jeff absolutely loves having all his family nearby, and I'm jealous that mine aren't closer. We had so much fun this year, like every year, and you'll have to excuse the fact that I didn't take any pictures. I was way too busy having a good time, you know ;)

So as tradition dictates, we usually have just the immediate Downs family (Mom, Dad, brothers and sister) party sometime mid-December...and we usually go out for a nice dinner and have a gift exchange/Secret Santa...that's what we did the night of the Rockin' R Ranch...

Then...the Sunday before Christmas, the whole Downs' clan (that is, aunts, uncles, cousins, Grandma and Grandpa) get together for dinner, usually at someone's house, and we sing, and tell stories, and spend time getting to know each other better...
This is Grandma and Grandpa Downs with most of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren:

Christmas Eve is always the D'Amico family Christmas party...we eat homemade pizza (courtesy of Jeff's dad), have a gift exchange between the cousins/kids, and a White Elephant exchange between the adults. Santa usually always makes a quick stop to visit all the kids, and drops off a few gifts for everyone...
Grandma and Grandpa D'Amico with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren:
(Proof that I really was there...)

Wyatt wasn't really all that interested to sit on Santa's lap this year...
 ...but at least it was better than last year's attempt!!
As soon as Santa came into the room though, he pointed and said, "Ho, ho ho!!"

I don't have any pictures from Christmas Day, but it was fabulous. We woke up early and read the story of Christ's birth in the bible, and then went downstairs to open presents as a family--we literally only got Wyatt 2 gifts, and it was a good thing too! He was SO spoiled this year and got presents GALORE from both sides! AND, he didn't even really care about what we got him...he still prefers the actual wrapping paper. ANYWAY, after Jeff and I opened our gifts to each other, we had to get ready really quick to make it to church on time with my parents (at 9 o'clock!!). We then headed back to their house to spend the day with my brothers and sisters and their spouses. We exchanged/opened gifts and had lots of fun watching movies and playing Just Dance on the Wii. I love Christmas time so much, and it really bums me out that it goes by so quickly...I feel like Christmas should have it's own season and a last all winter long--a good three months would do it ;) I'm so thankful for my families and the love we all share for each other. I love my friends, my own little family, my Savior, and the blessings we've been given this year...I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and remembered to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior...!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rockin' R Ranch

 Last Saturday the Downs' crew celebrated together for Christmas at the Rockin' R Ranch here in Gilbert. I guess I'd been before when I was really little, but I don't remember a thing...we had lots of fun though, with a HUGE, delicious ranch-themed dinner (baked potato, BBQ chicken and beef, homemade applesauce, dutch-oven biscuits, and baked beans--mmmm!!) and then a show afterwards with the band/cowboys rockin' out to Christmas and western songs. I'd definitely recommend going if you haven't before...

Afterwards we headed back to our house for hot chocolate and the gift exchange...since we only live 5 minutes away...

Merry Christmas everyone!! Only 5 days left!

Monday, December 19, 2011

...a night out... see the Temple lights!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I wake up to the cutest face ever.

"Hi mom."
(...and he really does say "hi" as soon as I walk in to get him...
...followed quickly by "Elmo??")

"Feed me?"
How about them long jonhs?? I LOVE them!

...and the gap is narrowing with only 6 weeks left! At 34 weeks I already feel like I'm my own planet! I can't see how I can get any bigger...but alas, I know it'll happen.

Today was brutal. I woke up late (thank you Wyatt for sleeping in until 9:30!) and after we ate breakfast and I read Wyatt a few stories, I took a blanket and laid on Wyatt's bedroom floor while I tried to sleep. It didn't really work out so well (that floor is HARD), but Wyatt wouldn't let me lie in my bed while he played with his toys--so I had to lie on his floor while he played with his toys. I am past the point of exhaustion, and I just want to sleep normally again. I can't wait...only 6 more weeks and then no more belly... 

...and here's a random picture with my sweetie pie...isn't he a mess?? Gotta love that messy hair and unshaven face! Good thing he's so dang handsome! ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Family Pictures 2011

 It's that time of year again when Christmas cards go out and we take new family pictures...and even though I wasn't feeling the best about sporting a big-ish belly, I thought they turned out pretty dang cute! Wyatt, the stinker he is, decided to be mostly uncooperative. We were, however, able to bribe him with goldfish crackers for a second...and then when that didn't work, we got him to laugh by giving us kisses! So a lot of the pictures don't have us all looking at the camera, but sometimes the candid shots are my most favorite :) Enjoy!

While we were on the tracks we heard a train coming! Wyatt thought it was SO COOL...and I freaked out a little bit. We were so close and it was SO loud!
A big thanks again to my lovely Noelle, who took our pictures again this year! Love you!

I'm surrounded by boys.

I don't know what's more disturbing:

1. ...that Jeff was spraying Wyatt over and over and OVER again with the water bottle--and for no apparent reason, other than his own amusment...


2. ...that Wyatt enjoyed it.

I walked in to find both of them laughing hysterically and the floor (and Wyatt's head) drenched. 
What is it with boys???

Saturday, December 3, 2011

...must be in the water we're drinkin...

All these pictures were taken within the last year...and in every one, someone different is pregnant...

We've got Noelle about to burst in Jan 2011

Rena Jean just showing in May 2011

...and now me...who's next?? Hahaha!

Friday, December 2, 2011

mama needs a timeout.

Alright's one grouchy mama/pregnant lady, ready to vent...

The newborn isn't even here and I'm already dying. This pregnancy seems so much more DIFFICULT!! WHY?!? I can't sleep. I can't breathe. I can't walk properly. I have really bad "round ligament" pain. I can't eat late or I get heartburn. I can't eat a lot or I get heartburn. I hate my stairs. I hate not being able to hold Wyatt (because if I do, I can't breathe or it's really uncomfortable.) I hate these Braxton-Hicks contractions that come more often and stronger than before (I'm getting one right now!). I just want this to be EASY!!!!

I'm done being pregnant! Not that I really want the alternative option either, that is, to HAVE the baby...

...maybe I just need a nap.

On a cuter note, here's an adorable mess with spaghetti all over his face, getting in the shower...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

love him

Being a mom is hard work. I really don't even understand how I get through the day sometimes. And thinking about adding ANOTHER one into the mix almost makes me doubt I going to get more hours in the day to get everything done? NOPE.

That's where I think Dad's come in.

And thankfully Jeff is a FANTASTIC dad. The dad "knack" definitely doesn't happen overnight, but he's become a great help to me, especially with this pregnancy and the lack of energy I've got. He's such a good dad to Wyatt, and the perfect husband to me. He's the ultimate handy-man, he cleans the house, AND he gives me all sorts of rubs--back rubs, foot rubs, all-over-the-place-because-it-all-aches rubs...

He's great.

And sometimes I feel like I don't give him enough credit or love for all that he does. I think a lot of the time I get caught up in how much I do, and focus all my attention on how much responsibility I have, that I forget to be grateful for what he does. I love him a lot, and I'm so thankful to have someone who cares about me as much as he does. Thank you sweetheart.

So anyway, here's his handy-man skills in action:'s the progression of our Christmas present (to each other) being put up:
(We took the top part of the entertainment center off and it's opened up the room so much more! We love it!)

Helping Daddy with something...

And YES!! We got our Christmas tree!! LOVE IT!

...only 26 more days left to Christmas!