Thursday, January 23, 2014

Devin and Amie turn 9

I wrote a mushy post in the months leading up to our anniversary, buuuut I don't feel like gushing that on a blog right now. Maybe I'm getting shy. I hope not. Either way, Devin and I have been married for 9 years! It hasn't been an easy 9 years. Well harder than some, easier than some others. It was hard for us.  But when I focus on just he and I? That bond between us?

Easy pie.
I accredit it all to him.
One of the best marriage advices I heard once is that marriage is never 50/50. It usually is 99/1. I can attest that Devin has been that 99% for so long. We finally reached a point where he built me for so long, so many years, I was able to step up and be the 99 when he needed to be the one 1%.  Actually I think I've never done more than 75% but it is a lot more than one percent I use to only be able to give. That's why I call him "my Johnny Lingo." But that's another mushy post for another time.
Just making out, while our kids jump the freezing river. 

Often, it seems on days when one of us feels on top of the world, the other one has the worst day ever. So we feed on the others vision of hope and excitement to pull the other out of it.  Its weird how that happens with us. And yes sometimes we both come together at the end of the day and we've both had a terrible time.
Those are the days we save doughnuts for.
Or a fizzy drink and a funny show wrapped in each others arms in our "bear blanket." The same blanket  Devin use to wrap us both in on cold winter nights in Provo and walk me back to my dorm.
And if our bad days drag on and turn into bad weeks and months... we get out of town ASAP. Anywhere. Find a lake and sit on the edge and throw rocks in it, or find a mountain town and buy a burger. Just anywhere to pull us out of our 'world' we are so wrapped up in.
Anniversary movie and dinner date 2013

We are figuring one another out each and every week that goes by.
We still have a lot of figuring out to do.
I'm so glad.
It gives me a high when a piece of his personality jumps out, that I have never seen before, and maybe he himself has never seen before either.  Or the look in his eye when I can tell I've surprised him and he is seeing a new side to me.  Even the little things like when I brought home a pair of Timberland socks  a few months ago and he admiringly looked at them and said, "Did you know that is my favorite brand?"  No. I didn't!  Ha. I just love things like that.

I get absolutely giddy  imagining the life ahead of us.
The adventures we want to take.
The time we want to spend.
The things we hope to accomplish.
The laughs we will share.
Running in the Oregon rain. April 2013

With Devin there is always plenty of laughter. Even when its inappropriate. ha! Undoubtedly there will be big mistakes, shared heartache and trials too. BUT, I plan for the good and dream of the exciting.
Luau in Papeete 2013

I know we'll hang onto each other when bad times come.
Boise foothills date night 2013

 We are very different, in fact opposite in so many ways, but alike in just a few ways that it works.  I honestly think the differences between us work towards our harmony more than the similarities.
Drinking fizzy drinks infront of the fire in our basement,
 documenting our 31 year old profiles.
Here is to a bright future ahead.
Boat to Moorea 2013
Making memories, forgiving each other daily, being a team and being totally in-love. I guess I ended up writing a mushy post after all. Ah geez, I can't help myself. Oh well. Happy Anniversary to my Devin.
"Our song" of the year:

These guys were playing live in the Hotel Lobby at the Luau in Tahiti! First time we ever heard the song. Had no idea how famous they were! We just loved the song and sang it as we drove around that beautiful island . AAAAH most magic memories of my life! Devin's been singing it ever since. :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Christmas 2013

My parents headed south to Arizona and Devin's parents are on a mission... 
So we were Christmas Orphans this year.  
We still had a sweet little Christmas here. Calm and Cozy. 

Devin's Family always did a take it easy type of Christmas Eve and a big dinner on Christmas day.
My family did the opposite.  So we combined our traditions and took it easy both days. 
 Devin did cook a turkey Christmas Eve and we just formed our meals around that for the next week. It was nice. Devin did spend most of Christmas day making a soup out of the turkey bones.  It was delish! And he was pretty proud of it. :) And according to his studies kept us healthy this season. 

We had Christmas Eve with Dylan and Sara(Devin's bro) and their 3 boys.
It was.. energetic.  I have a video of the Nativity-turned-dance party, but here is the only picture I took.
Naomi being the only girl in the Nativity was Mary and wanted no one else but her Daddy to be Joseph. :) 
Buffet dinner of cheese balls, turkey, egg nog, popcorn and stuff like that.. and we played some fun board games. It was a nice night. We tracked Santa on the Internet, Devin helped Naomi put out her reindeer food she made of oats and sprinkles, then went to bed.
  Santa Came!

 Mrs. Clause convinced Santa to move our tree to the basement in the wee hours of the night.
The usually sharp Mrs. Clause had one too many cookies, and missed that the tree is 10ft  and the basement ceilings are 8ft.. resulting in spilled water and some hedge trimming  at 1:30 am! Good thing Santa is a saint :) haha. 
Funny funny memories. For them I mean.

Cache only asked for an Ipod touch.  He got a go-cart instead. 
Some of his other spoils were: a rainbow loom and Percy Jackson books.

No complaints
This girl got what she wanted. An Elsa doll.
Non intentionally, Gage had a very train-y Christmas. He just loves them!
In case you are wondering about Gage's stocking... I ordered it before he was born. He was our "St. Louis baby" and we thought that's what his name would be. :) We still call him our little Louie at home. So for now we'll keep it.
Santa hit the button right on the nose with this train. Gage was the last one to wake up around 8:30 and he came down, spotted the train, and began yelling "A choo choo train!" Then he got down to business playing with it yelling "CHOOCH!" As it went round and round. He was so intense about his train you couldn't even talk to him or touch him he just was zoomed in on that thing. 
It was pure magic in my book. :)

Then he figured out the train would still run OFF the track. And that made all our lives a little easier since we weren't having to re-track it every 3 seconds.

Just adoring his choo choo.

Daddy gifts. 
OH wait, Santa brought me something too! Surprised me to tears. OH I love it. 
No I'm not trying to show I'm pregnant like all my siblings thought when they saw this picture. I'm just trying to balance on the couch and look good... it's a hard job.
Devin was not forgotten.   The kids got him a Costco Pecan pie! They really picked it out themselves and wrapped it and hid it in the garage. 
He also got some Nike dressier clothes he can wear in the office and to sporting events.
The rest of the day:
I will never forget Naomi zooming off in the go-cart in her little fur coat, Cache's helmet 3 years too big, and her pink gloves.  As we were instructing her on where the gas and break were she just TOOK OFF. And then she just kept going.   I was so scared and surprised I couldn't stop laughing and running, and yelling: "Devin get her! Get her!" Even though neither of us could ever catch her.  Legally she is too young to be driving this thing. It is really fast. And she figured out how to spin cookies and flip herself around and would giggle and giggle. No fear at all. My kids are crazy!  
Nay's first time playing pick up sticks. 
My parents showed up so we could shauffer them to the airport. 
It was fun to have them even if it was for just a tiny bit.
Gage colored himself to sleep.

That's it. Christmas 2013.
 First successful Christmas as Orphans. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Preparing for Christmas

A picture tour of our life the few short weeks leading up to Christmas:
First it snowed. 

The first snow of the season always carries a bit of magic in its flakes. It brings with it some pretty sweet pajama-clad, fire place running, fill your soul type of mornings. You know the kind little girls dream of when they think about being a Mommy some day. :) Those do happen sometimes.

Snow Snacks. 
Mini chairs, licorice and the Christmas devotional on TV.
Bringing Mister Tree home. Every year it feels like the tree is part of our family. 
That's wierd huh? Maybe we need a pet.
More snow snacks. They never quit!
We always make a big deal out of the star.
Scratch that. Cache and I do. Devin obliges.
Ta Da.

Bedtime stories and prayers around the tree.
Christmas shopping dates with this guy, who is too young to spill a secret. 
Probably our last year of that! He also wore that hat 95% of December.
Decorating giant sugar cookies at their big brother's school party. 
The camera died before I got one of Cache! Sorry buddy.
Afternoon quiet time.
Secret Santa who delivered manger pieces and Christmas Stories all month leading up to Christmas day. This right here may have been the funnest part of the whole season! Thank you secret Santas. We love you. It really added a sweetness to this Christmas that we would have missed.
The notorious jingle bell that got stuck on Gage's finger and sent me into the biggest panic I've almost ever had as a parent.  
Our second snow came on Friday night pizza night. So while the boys were outside in the cold,

us gals stayed warm inside making our own snowman.
New fallen snow gave away our secret Santa's foot prints.
So after the babes were sleeping, Devin and I laced up and solved the mystery of the secret Santa. :)
Then Devin made me this. :)
Noah was baptized a few days before Christmas. Sweet boy.  Sweet day.
Now all 3 of "the boys" are official Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.
Don't these 3 cousins look like such grown up, well behaved gentlemen?
Don't worry they are not.
They have grown up a bit though in the past 8 years:
(Christmas 2005)

Christmas Sunday. All our nursery kids dressed in their Christmas best. Oh I loved it.
The boys:

The Girls:

Waiting to see Santa!

Word to the wise: Check to see if it is dog day in Santa's village before you go. We waited in line for 2 hours in the cold while listening to at least 20 barking dogs some dressed like Christmas elves and all the owners high pitched baby voices as they told them how cute they were over and over and over....

Patiently warming her toesies with her hot chocolate while waiting for Santa.
2 of the 5 Carlton boys came to play.  
Cameron sweetly listens to all of Naomi's barbie princess chatter and played house with her. Bryson and Cache are kindred spirits.  They played Monopoly and Chess for 3 hours! Funny boys.

And that's it. We were officially ready for Christmas to happen.
End of Orton family pre-Christmas picture tour.