Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Review.

2017... what a year. I am ready to say goodbye that's for sure. I know life is full of ups and downs, but this year has been especially hard with what we've been going through with Landon.

But do you know what? As Landon and I have talked about this past year and our top memories, we've realized that there really have been some AMAZING times. So even when life has you down and you feel so utterly hopeless, you have to take a minute to recognize the good times... because they are definitely sprinkled throughout the darkness.

I love going through the year and picking out my top memories for each month. It's crazy to me that this time last year Charlie was still a BABY and not even crawling yet. He has changed and grown SO much and we just can't get enough of him. It really has been a beautiful year because of my beautiful family :)

We had a "stay-cation" paid by my job (BambooHR). We stayed a night at The Little America, went to the aquarium, went skiing and got stuck on the ski lift for TWO hours, went to the ice castles, and ate out A LOT.

I quit my job and started being a full-time mama. Landon and I went on an Eastern Caribbean cruise and left Charlie for 8 days. It was hard being away, but we had so much fun together. I had my first open water scuba dive and threw up all over the boat... gross!

We celebrated Landon's birthday and Charlie was sooo sweet blowing out the candles. That night he took his first steps!

Charlie turned ONE. It was soooo much fun celebrating him! Also, the way he ate his smash cake was seriously the funniest moment of my LIFE.

We went camping with my parents in Sand Hollow and Charlie learned about the moon, an obsession that continues to this day. I also met Aleena, who became an instant best friend, which is convenient because her son Finn is Charlie's best friend :)

We celebrated my Dad's 70th with a huge surprise party and my sister Emma got married to the love of her life! Seriously such a happy day.

Daren, Liliana, Dawsen, and MJ came from Texas for the 4th of July and we had so much fun with them!

We went to Denver to get Landon fitted for a contact (that unfortunately worked but was too painful to wear) and took Charlie to Lagoon.

Landon got his paramotor which has lifted his spirits (and my spirits!) so much. I love watching him fly, and so does Charlie :)

We had a full month of Halloween activities and Charlie was seriously in heaven with all the pumpkins and saying "boo!" at all the scary things. He loved trick-or-treating!

We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Landon went to Norway to get his surgery.

We took Charlie to Disneyland for his first time and had so much fun celebrating the Christmas season with our family.

I feel like JUMPING into 2018... I'm so ready for a fresh start and a better year! I have a good feeling about it. :)

P.S. It was REALLY hard only having 3 pictures for each month, but I'm proud of myself for not putting 100+ pictures in this post. Ha!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas 2017.

This year has been rough, and for some reason it hit me really hard on Christmas. Probably because you go into that day with such high expectations of magic and perfection. And really, it was a special day. But in the back of my mind was the lingering anxiety/sadness with everything that has been going on with Landon for the past 8 months (sorry for the vagueness, I'm happy to talk about it privately). His surgery hasn't had the outcome we expected, and although he does have some more healing to do, we are just so worried. This blog is my journal, and I like to keep it real. It isn't fun talking about "hard" things or presenting a less than perfect image to the world, but honestly this was my first Christmas that I have cried. Like in the middle of opening presents, sobbing my eyes out (and scaring poor Charlie!)

What a fun way to start a Christmas post right? Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff. :)

All month long Charlie loved finding his elf every morning. He would get the biggest smile on his face and then bring his elf to me to show me he found it.

The weekend before Christmas we went down to the Riverwoods in Provo to see Santa. I was hoping Charlie would like him, because he loved Mickey Mouse... but he was pretty scared. They had a strict rule of "no crying babies on Santa's lap" which is a shame because I would've been totally fine sticking my crying baby on his lap. Ha! After Santa, we ate at Rodizio Grill and Charlie looooved the grilled pineapple. Unfortunately, Landon ate way too much and literally almost threw up. So he had to sit down for awhile while Charlie and I rode the Christmas train and looked at the lights. It was a fun night :)

Riding the train. He said "choo choo" pretty much the rest of the night.

We had a very busy Christmas weekend. It started off with lights at Temple Square (along with the rest of Utah). Charlie LOVED it and kept saying "wow! wow!" He especially loved it when we let him out of his stroller and run around. He just thinks he's a big boy.

On Saturday, we did the Richins tradition for Christmas Eve Eve, which consists of seeing a late night movie (Coco) and then going to IHOP.  Charlie was good for about 45 minutes and then he was done sitting. So I ran around with him outside and then brought him back into the theater and let him run up and down the stairs at the front (so we wouldn't disturb other people). Needless to say, I was exhausted by the time the movie was over. But from the parts that I did get to see, it seemed like a really cute movie.

On Sunday we drove around to look at the lights and had pizza for dinner. It was so magical because it started SNOWING which meant we got a white Christmas. YAY! When we got home I wanted to take a picture of Charlie next to Santa's cookie and milk, and the next thing I know Charlie was chowing down on the cookies. It was so cute!

Christmas morning was so fun with Charlie. When he came down the stairs he went right for the presents that Santa brought for me and Landon, instead of his presents. Funny boy! Once he figured out that he had some new toys, he was pretty excited. He loved his presents from Santa (a car track, a farm, blocks, a mini BeatBo, puppets, Mickey slippers, finger paints, a kazoo, a few new cars, and M&M's)

Santa came!

After opening his stocking, we had a big breakfast with french toast, hash browns, and bacon. I loved having some time just the three of us on Christmas.

At this point in the morning, Charlie was already acting exhausted/overwhelmed/ready for bed... and we should've just put him down for a nap then and there. But, we didn't... so he was a little grumpy opening presents. He loved getting a new toy, but was not interested at ALL in opening a new present. So it was really hard to keep it moving. While ripping open the presents he would say "puuuuuullllll" like it was really hard to get the wrapping paper off. It was super cute!

His favorite presents were by far his tent from Grandpa and Grandma and his Strider bike from Gigi (Landon's Grandma). He loooooves riding his little bike around the house. It is the cutest thing. He is a very loved little boy!

He ended up going down for a nap at noon (he fell RIGHT asleep) leaving two unopened Christmas presents under the tree. 

After his nap, we went to the Miller Christmas party at Tim and Angie's house. They went all out and we had so much fun! Charlie got a cute outfit from Nana and Pops along with some candy (that I may or may not have eaten most of...) Tim and Ang had fun games for the kids and organized a white elephant gift exchange. I won a super awesome fanny pack.

Right after that we went to Landon's mom's house for Christmas dinner and watched a Christmas movie. Charlie got the cutest puppy beanbag from Nini and Papa and some other toys including another Christmas winner--a Nemo and Dory fork and knife. He also got a harmonica from Uncle Tanner, which he looooved dancing to while I played it. He is going to be so happy when he learns how to do it!

He looooved Egg Nog. (Gross!)
The next day was actually much better and Charlie finished opening up his last two presents. I definitely learned a very valuable lesson.. if your toddler is throwing a fit during Christmas put him down for a nap and just do Christmas the next day :)

Of course this year has been hard, but we do have so much to be thankful for. We have SO much love and family and that's what matters most!

P.S. Here are a few more videos of Charlie playing with some of his toys after Christmas...

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