Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve 2015 and Goals for 2016

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Happy New Years Eve! I hope everyone has a safe and fun NYE. We are laying low this year and just going to my sisters house so the kids can play. 2015 was a great year. We welcomed a new niece (here) I made my first trip to the Grand Canyon (here), baby Aspen turned 1 (here), and Justin and I celebrated our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary with a trip to Portland, OR (here) among many other fun things throughout the year. I didn't have any serious written in stone goals for 2015 but one thing I did want to get done and finally accomplished was getting confirmed in the Catholic Church (here). It was something I had wanted to do for a couple years and was finally able to make happen thanks to the support of my husband while I took the classes. I also breastfed Aspen until she was 13 months old which was another huge accomplishment for me. Whether or not you agree with New Years resolutions, I think it is great to set goals for yourself and it works for me. For health and fitness I have a couple of goals. I would like to get back into logging my food and start tracking my macros to be better about my nutrition. I have been consistent with my activity so I am not worried about that but I am excited to see where this could take me. I am also signed up to run my first full marathon on February 14th and am currently in the middle of training. Running a marathon in itself is a big deal (to me) so if I do nothing else in 2016, if I complete that I will still be a badass. In my personal/professional goals I would like to continue to read more and watch less TV (but lets be honest I am not super committed to that one. I would also like to pursue a professional designation. I did certified in Grant Management in 2014 but didn't add anything in 2015 so I would at least like to get started on that in 2016. I am interested in becoming a Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Government Auditing Professional, and a Certified Fraud Examiner so we will see! For my family/relationship goals, I always want to strive to do better at communicating with my husband. We are not horrible, but we could be better. I would also like to read more with my girls. While I was nursing Aspen I got in the habit of having Justin do all of the reading and I really need to put my phone down more and read more with them.

We have some exciting things planned for 2016 but the biggest is probably our family reunion with my mom's side of the family in July. I will also be turning the big 3-0 at that time so I really have to nail down what I want to do for that. I keep going back and forth between some sort of hiking trip and some sort of beer/wine trip, haha! And of course, I can't forget to include that we are expecting another baby niece this spring!

Happy New Years from The Larkins!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Aspen's Surgery Update

So since Aspen was about 7 month old she has basically been on and off antibiotics for ear infections. It seriously felt like she constantly had one and most of the time the antibiotics did not clear it up. She has always been a good baby and been a good eater and sleeper so we honestly don't even know how many more she had that we didn't know about it. We of course tried not to compare her to Everly at the same age, but it was obvious that she was much quieter than her sister and even her younger cousin and it was likely because everything she was hearing was muffled and she was often in discomfort. At her 15 month checkup she had yet another ear infection so we finally got a referral to an ear nose and throat specialist. They determined that she did qualify for tubes in both ears and they would call us to schedule the surgery. After not getting a call for two weeks I finally called them and got her in for surgery. We had to be at the surgery center yesterday morning at 6 AM. Aspen was in a good mood despite the fact that we couldn't give her anything to eat or drink. She was being silly and cute and then when it was time to take her back, Justin went and I stayed with Everly in the lobby. Justin said it was not fun and I am not surprised because the last few appointments where they had to look in Aspen's ear's were not fun. She pretty much hates anyone in scrubs now. The whole procedure only took a few minutes and when the doctor came out to tell us it was done he said her ears were really pussy and infected. So gross and sad but I am glad she will finally have relief. I went back to get her and she was doing her super worked up scream/cry. I got her dressed and we ended up getting back home before 8 AM. Aspen at breakfast and Justin ended up going to work since we got done so fast. We are still putting ear drops in to clean out the excess drainage but she is doing fine. She was back at day care today and I called and they said she was fine. Hopefully we start to notice her talking more and more but honestly I am mostly just excited to not be constantly at the pediatricians office and constantly giving her antibiotics. Thanks to everyone who checked in on Aspen yesterday. We appreciate it! 
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in her comfy sweats pre-surgery

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not happy to be there
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reunited with her papa
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snacking on a cinnamon roll at the mall just hours after surgery.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

We had a great Christmas holiday! It started off with mass on Christmas Eve. Everly was pretty excited to see baby Jesus in the nativity scene at church. It can be a little hectic getting everyone to such a busy mass but we survived. Little Cam slept through the entire mass. I held Aspen for 90% of the mass and miss Mae was good despite probably being a bit tired. My sister packed little coloring packs for Ev and Ted so they were happily entertained. After mass we went back to my sister's for our traditional appetizers and presents from cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents. My mom got the kids their own lounge chairs with their names embroidered and those were a big hit but my sister and brother in-law got the kids power wheels and that stole the show. The boys got a jeep to share and my girls got a kia soul. It's pretty adorable and Everly is now pretty good at driving it. We headed home Thursday night and put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Friday morning we opened presents from Santa at home. The girls were pretty happy with their presents. Justin got me some new running gear and some skincare items from Sephora so I was pretty happy, too! After presents we headed over to Justin's sister for breakfast. Everly brought her car over to take rides with our niece's son and Aspen finally warmed up to riding as well. Our breakfast burritos were super yummy. The girls napped at home before we headed back to my sister's for Christmas dinner. We always have a honeybaked ham and I cleared my plate. We played with presents and even got in a game of "Heads Up" with the adults. The girls won! The girls were both pretty tired by the end of the night and Aspen even fell asleep on Justin which she never does. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

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baby Jesus!
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<3
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Grandma with her babies and so many stockings!
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spoiled!
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the aftermath and loading up the truck!
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the stockings at home waiting for Santa
 
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cookies and carrots
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Christmas morning
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opening presents
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our present from Everly and my new cleanser/lotion.
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this breakfast !!!
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getting the hang of it!
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Christmas dinner and a tired little squishy!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve!

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas! I am working for a few hours today and them scrambling after work to pick up pies and get Everly's hair cut. This morning when I woke her up and told her it was Christmas Eve she was most excited about the fact that its haircut day! Girl has no idea what is in store for her tonight. She is also really obsessed with baby Jesus so she is excited to see him in his manger at the church nativity scene. Wait till she hears all of the Christmas music, too! Aspen is basically along for the food. She is nursing another ear infection but we got her scheduled for surgery next Tuesday so we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel (and by tunnel I mean pediatrician's office because we basically live there). Hopefully she is not in too much discomfort until then and is able to enjoy the holidays. Can't wait to spend time with family and spoil the girls. For your viewing pleasure, here are some hilarious Christmas videos with the babies faces cropped then you can make with some of those fun apps out there now!

This one is "The Aspen Show" with Everly's favorite Christmas song "Feliz Navidad."


 
This next one is Mae's breakout performance featuring her cousins as backups. That Mae is cray!
 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Weekend in Review

We had a busy and productive weekend. It started early Saturday morning (shocker) with a long run for marathon training. This was my longest and farthest run yet, 14 miles. Thankfully I have an awesome training partner, otherwise I just don't know how I would continue to get up to do this! Saturday afternoon we celebrated my nephew Teddy's birthday at the train park. We love the train park and it was a beautiful winter day. Lots of people came out despite his birthday being so close to Christmas and we had lots of fun. Saturday night we went to my sister's for pizza after church and the kids made little gingerbread houses. In reality, the adults made gingerbread houses, because, let's be honest. Sunday morning we got up early and went to the Zoo. We got there for the early hour for members and it was awesome. We got to see the some really cool stuff before anyone was there including the new tiger exhibit. My sisters met us there and the kids had fun. After we got home we did some cleaning and gift wrapping before I met my sister for hot yoga. She needs to de stress and I thought it would be good for my muscles during marathon training so I am glad she agreed to go for a couple weeks with me. We had a nice Sunday night dinner that ended with a Cardinals win, so Justin was happy! Can't wait for Christmas!

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We had a beautiful sunrise and even saw lots of little headlamps from the hikers on Camelback Mountain.
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First piƱata for us!
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not feeling well but sooooo cute!
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Here is a quick little video from our zoo morning and more pictures below:

 
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Leave it to me to be early to the zoo but late for EVERYTHING else. Also, these girls love each other!
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early sunrise with the giraffes!
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Finally getting to see the new tiger exhibit!
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silly Everly
 
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two monkeys: baby Jiwa who is 3 days older than Aspen and Uncle Tony stealing Santa's presents.
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The zoo added gators recently and also reopened the elephant viewing area.
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two crazies and one tired/sick baby
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tractor rides
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auntie love
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presents wrapped that I can't wait for the girls to open in 3 more days!

Illumination AZ

Monday night we went to Illumination AZ  up off of the 17 and Jomax. It is the first year for this event so it was new to us. We went after ...