Friday, December 11, 2015

The Nutcracker Tradition Continues...

Since I moved back to Texas from college in Utah, my mom, sister Natalie, and I have gone to the Houston Ballets Nutcracker performance. When Ella was 3.5 she came with us for the first time and then last year Channing started to join us at the same age. It has been a tradition that my girls have really looked forward to. This year Channing's preschool class was going on a fieldtrip downtown to see it, and we were lucky enough to get enough tickets to make it a family trip in one! We attended a student performance, where all the audience was students, but they had the actual professional dancers performing. We had amazing box seats and the tickets were much much cheaper. It was wonderful!
Channing's class has 6 cute girls in it. She loves Miss Lindsay and going to school with these girls.
Me and the girls!
The three adorable Houston Girl cousins.
It was windy, but a nice warm winter day.
 My sister Natalie and sister in law Chira
That gingerbread house would take an amazingly large oven to make!
Here we all are. Such a fun girl outing. Afterward we went to the Hard Rock Cafe across the street and had lunch. It was a great day.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Baton Rouge Beach Marathon Weekend!

Several months ago my sister in law Daphne told me that she had some co-workers running in the Baton Rouge beach half marathon and that she was thinking of training and running. We have both had a rough year with injuries, so we trained to see how our bodies would hold up and then a month before registered to run. I have to say, I really was hoping I could do it. After having to miss the Woodlands half marathon in February after having injured my hamstring, I desperately needed the mental and physical comeback. I have always loved running and for 20 years have never been really injured, so the hamstring injury has really been weighing on me. Physically it has been brutal to go from the fastest training I have done in years to not being able to walk or run down the end of my street. I had to take it literally a quarter of a mile at a time. It was so frustrating. Mentally it has even been worse. Running has always been my outlet and been something I needed for myself to feel at peace. I really had to try and re-find myself during the 9-10 month recovery. I tore my hamstring on February 20th, and on December 5th I finally made a leap toward a comeback.
My family joined me on the 4 hour drive to Louisiana and we stayed with my sister in law Daphne who was kind enough to let us all take over her apartment. Friday we played at a beach volleyball pit that Cavin was in love with, and we picked up our race packets and watched a family movie. I was pretty nervous the morning of the race that my leg wouldn't be strong enough to finish. It was pretty cold, but it ended up being a great run. It was beautiful scenery and it was great to have Daphne by my side! My leg was sore, but I definitely felt fine. We finished and I am so glad to have that race behind me!
Here we are finishing together!
We did it! The injuries didn't take us down!
I was glad to have my family there supporting me and cheering me on!
Beach selfie!
It really was so pretty running around the water and LSU campus. So many beautiful old trees!
This cutie was happy to be outside!
After the race we went to have gumbo at her co-workers house and then headed to the Baton Rouge Zoo. It was perfect weather outside. What made it even better is we practically had the whole place to ourselves!
Family picture by the otters!
I love how everything was so exciting to Deacon!
The zoo lights were turning on as we were leaving!
Ella sure loves her Aunt Daphne.
After the zoo we had a yummy meal at Mooyahs burgers.
Daphne read the kids a great Christmas book before bed!
On Sunday we went to Daphne church which happens to be the same parking lot as the Baton Rouge temple.
Ragnar and his little sis!
 Daphne with her nieces and nephews who adore her!
I am glad we have each other forever! It was a great weekend!

Thanksgiving Break!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this year. Ragnar's parents flew in from Germany to come and spend the holiday with us. 
Here is their cute plane selfie on their way to Texas!
They got to walk the kids to school which my kids love!
We played the Legos they bought the kids and that took a good portion of the day!
Channing loves putting puzzles together.
Oma was helping Deacon make baskets. He loves to play basketball!
On Tuesday we got a chance to go to the Houston Temple. My parents were kind enough to watch the kids as we went.
Ragnar and his mother.
 Ragnar and his cute parents
We got to go to a Houston Rockets Game on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and had a great time in the suites, even though the Rockets didn't play well.
Our handsome boys!
Rockets Selfie!
Thanksgiving day came and although I was so nervous about cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner, it turned out well and we had a great day!
 Ragnar was helping with the turkey! Thank goodness!
 Making some yummy potatoes!
Hellmut was ready to eat!
 The middle kids table ;)
And of course we had a wii dancing party. Daphne is here after all!
That evening Ursula wanted to see what all the Black Friday hype in America was all about, so Daphne and I went out to two stores to show her what it was all about! I think she enjoyed herself!
Friday we got to have lots of help putting up Christmas decorations!
Ragnar got the tree up and Daphne and I decorated!
 Here it is in all it's 12ft glory! I love it!
They wanted to add some lights this was the arrangement the kids wanted.
Ursula also helped the kids make these ribbon place mats. They had a great time learning!
Their grandparents took them to the park and they had a blast!
The kids are lucky to have such fun grandparents!
On Saturday night we went to dinner and then to see The Phantom of the Opera. It was wonderful!
Such a fun night!
Deacon loved Hellmut and it was so cute to watch them together. Hellmut would say "guten tag" and Deacon would always walk up to him and shake his hand! We are so glad they came and we miss them so much already!