Friday, March 14, 2014

How we spent our Christmas vacation: AZ trip 2013

This year for Christmas all the Riggs were gathering in Arizona. At first we didn't plan on going because A) I was huge and pregnant and B) plane tickets for a family of 5 are expensive! But Taber's parents generously offered to buy our tickets so I decided I could suck it up and travel huge and pregnant. The traveling part was brutal, (Being pregnant and dealing with Cam on a plane for 3+ hours is a scary thing…) and a memory I'd prefer to forget, but being with family was priceless and so worth everything it took to get there. 

We arrived on Christmas eve day and went straight to Uncle Brett's office to check out the law firm he started a few years ago.

It was pretty legit. We're all very proud of uncle Bretty boy.

Then we went to Brett and CJ's house and jumped right into some Gingerbread man making.

It was so great to see our kids with their cousins. Smiles all around!

That night we did the traditional Christmas eve nativity reenactment. Teya got to be Mary this year. 

The nativity is always entertaining with these goofs!

Brinley reprised her role as the angel and was adorable as usual.

After the Nativity, Grandma Karen read the Polar Express to the grandkids, a tradition carried on from when Taber was a kid. 

The kids loved listening to Grammie.

Then we let the kids open 1 gift.

The girls opened the "Yearbooks" I made them with all their pictures from the year of 2013. I make the blog into books too but we take so many pictures that don't make it onto the blog and I wanted the girls to have all of their pictures. They LOVED the books.

They sat and looked through each page and made anyone who would listen look at the books too. 

Then it was off to bed to wait for Santa
Santa came, and with 17 people to bring presents for, the gift toll was impressive. 

The first present that anyone opened was a very special surprise. Teya had asked Santa for the Kanani American girl doll since it was retired in 2011 and mommy and daddy couldn't buy it for her. We didn't know if Santa would be able to get it either, but he miraculously pulled it off resulting in a squealing ecstatic little girl!

More presents were opened and everyone was happy.

This is one of my favorite pics of the day, two brothers with baby girls on the way! So cute!

All the noise and chaos of present opening was a little too much stimulation for this guy to handle. He sequestered himself in the kitchen with his trains and the iPad and passed on present opening. (Took him a few days but he finally did open his presents and was very happy ;)

Once the excitement died down he came out of his corner to check things out. 

He even played with his cousins. It was a great Christmas day!

After presents we packed up all our suitcases and headed over to the condos that Mom and Dad Rigg rented for everyone to stay at for a few days.  It was awesome having everyone in one place. (while still enjoying the privacy of our own rooms) Very cool idea!

The kids were dying to go swimming and of course, Kanani had to come too. Teya was so cute getting her all dressed up in her swim suit. She didn't want to spend a second away from her special doll.

The pool was awesome and a great way to get energy out!

Cam loved getting thrown in the air by Daddy. He kept saying, "Again!" which meant Taber got a pretty good arm workout in.

They also had racquetball courts, which was like heaven for Cam.

And ping pong and pool. It was an awesome place to spend relaxing with family.

After a few days at the condos we packed our bags back up again and went back to Brett and CJs house.

Love my beautiful Rigg sisters!

 It was so great hanging out with my Rigg family and especially seeing the kids have so much fun with their cousins. 
On one of the days the big boys decided to go off roading in Brett's Jeep. They took in some gorgeous views. 

It was all fun and great until…

They got stuck. 
It took them 4 hours to dig their way out of this mess. 
We were pretty worried about them being out there in the cold and tried to find someone to come dig them out but they managed on their own and came back to us in one piece. 

The girls on the other hand enjoyed a relaxing day getting our feet massaged and our nails painted. 

Hanging at Brett and CJs was awesome. Regan and Corwin were there too and it was so fun watching them play with the kids. 

They totally won "favorite aunt and uncle" status. 

On one of the last nights Grandma and Grandpa were brave enough to watch all the kids so we could go on a double date to dinner with Brett and CJ. The food was amazing and it was so nice to have a conversation without a million interruptions from the kids, (bless their little hearts.) definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. 

Another highlight was seeing Brinley bond with her little 3 year old cousin Rocky. These two were inseparable the whole trip and it was so stinking cute to see them together. Every time we asked Rocky who his favorite cousin was he would say, without hesitation, "BRINLEY!" 

The lowlight of the trip was when this sweet little guy started spiking some scary high fevers. We battled to control them with Tylenol, Motrin, cool baths, and around the clock temp checking and medicating. He had some rough moments where we thought he was going to have a seizure because his whole body was trembling, but thankfully he stayed conscious and never had a full blown seizure. It was rough though and for awhile there we thought we might have to pay some big bucks to change our flight home because we didn't think he would be able to handle the plane ride in the state he was in. Luckily we visited an urgent care, got him on some antibiotics, and by the time we were supposed to leave he was doing much better. 

I'm sure it helped that goofy uncle Brett kept him laughing with his funny uncle theatrics. 

Who wouldn't smile with an uncle like that?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Christmas part 1: Santa comes early to the Rigg house

Since we would be spending Christmas in Arizona with Taber's family this year, we sent a note to Santa and he kindly agreed to come to our house a few days early to drop off some of the gifts he wouldn't be able to bring to Arizona. 

So on December 23rd, the day before Christmas Eve, we woke up to presents under our tree!

The girls both asked Santa to bring them a bell from his sleigh and he delivered!! They were thrilled!

Cam got a new dinosaur towel

And a new Thomas the train set!

And the girls opened their gifts from Mom and Dad. 

I made Taber a blog book for the last half of 2011, which means now I just need to do 2012 and 2013 and then I'll be all caught up! (someday…)

Taber and the kids love the blog books though, so that's my main motivation to keep blogging. 

The big surprise was an indoor trampoline that Santa had set up in our basement!

With polar vortexes coming through Chicago, this gift has kept us sane while we're cooped up inside.

Brinley also asked Santa for an elf costume. She looked so adorable in it!

After opening presents this little elf helped me make cinnamon rolls.

They were yummy to our tummies!

Daddy got Cam's trains all set up and the two of them had some good father/son train table time.

Then it was time to pack up and head to the airport! Monty wanted to stow away in our suitcases, but sadly we had to leave him behind. 

The airport was busy with holiday travelers, but these 3 were all smiles and good attitudes.

The TSA guys let us cut to the front of the line, probably because we had one of Santa's elves with us ;)

The pilots also let the girls come check out the cock pit. "We've never had an elf in our cock pit!" they said. There are definite perks to traveling with an elf! :) The girls did great on the flight, Cam…well that's another story that I'd rather forget. Either way, we made it safely to Arizona and had an awesome Christmas vacation! (AZ blog posts to follow soon…)