January 10, 2014

Holiday Catch-Up

Ollie & I made our way to Arizona to start off our Thanksgiving vacation a week before Jordan would be joining us. That day, Ollie and I had all our bags packed and while we killed a little time waiting for Jordan to come pick us up to take us to the airport we went out to the backyard. I followed Ollie around making sure he didn't step in any doggy landmines. Ollie was picking things up from the ground and throwing them in Cadbury's direction. After he did this several times it finally clicked that he was throwing pecans at Cadbury. Real pecans. We have a 60+ year old pecan tree smack dab in the middle of our backyard, so this shouldn't be a shock to me, but it was. Last year, we didn't see a single pecan. I figured the squirrels took them all, or there weren't that many to begin with so this year I didn't even look for them. After seeing Ollie throw a few, I realized they were ALL over the yard. Tons of them. I went inside, got a bowl, and Ollie and I picked up everything we could. I knew my parents would love the surprise of fresh pecans and everyone would love eating them on Thanksgiving in a pecan pie. We arrived later that night and my dad broke out his old handmade nutcracker...
and went to work. They were beautiful golden colored pecans and they tasted better than any store bought pecan that I had ever had. It was a fun surprise. Thanks, Ollie, for opening my eyes. 
Ollie and I both were immediately spoiled rotten upon our arrival. While Tulsa experienced it's first BIG snowstorm, we were enjoying the sunshine and weather in the 70's! 


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Ollie was even able to walk around the house wearing just a onesie...something that NEVER happens.
{And, of course, a shoe on his hand.}
We had a delicious feast on Thanksgiving. Ollie was an angel and slept through the feast {meaning I got a hot meal}, but woke up in time to still play with cousins.
Thanksgiving 2013
I had not intended to stay in Arizona through Christmas, but that's what ended up happening. Ollie and I kept busy with lots and lots of Christmas projects. We were elves in Santa's Workshop...literally. We helped my parents make 2 sets of Charlie Brown's Christmas...
We made 6 of these darling quilted Christmas tree card holders...
We made 8 wooden, hand-carved picture frames. We wrapped presents. We made goodies. You get the idea. 
BUT!!!...
I LOVED every minute of it {maybe not the minutes past midnight}. I LOVED spending time with my family and being useful and needed. I LOVED being busy. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it.
So, Jordan, THANK YOU, for letting me stay. 
Ollie, as I said before, was spoiled rotten. Him & Grandpa were the best of buddies.
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Practically every day my dad would go out in the backyard and clean up dog poop so Ollie could explore the outdoors freely.
One day, I was in the kitchen while Ollie explored the backyard. I looked out the window to find Ollie taking a rest up on the bench and just watching the world go by...
{I love the Cheerio's frown...do you see it.}
Playing outside comes with a price...
Bricks aren't a good toy Oliver!
My Mom babysat for me one night and captured this picture after telling Ollie, "Shh, don't tell your mother." 
I guess she thought I would care he was being bathed in the kitchen sink. It didn't bother me mom and I don't think it bothered Ollie.
I captured this pic another night...
Grandma {Dressed as Mrs. Clause for the program} took Ollie to meet Santa at the church Christmas party.
He was less than impressed...
Ollie has lightning fast legs, everyone loves watching him run around because he does it three times faster than anyone else can. Watch this...
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Uncle Ben liked teaching Ollie new tricks. 
{This pic was taken a couple months ago, but Beth just sent it to me.}
Ollie would follow Ben everywhere and copy everything he would do. They both were pretty entertained.
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Ollie got to spend a lot of time with Jordan's fam as well. He and his cousin Daisy met for the first time!


He especially loved when Aunt Ginny showed him her shoe stash...
to be fair...the first pic I was saying, "Ring, ring." So he was using his hand as a telephone. He loves to throw balls...at people. He copies the scrunched up face you make because you are scared of being knocked in the head and thinks the whole thing is hilarious.

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 For my 28th birthday
Beth babysat while I went to see The Book Thief, which was super good, by the way.
I knew if I dressed Ollie up a tid bit she would take pictures for me...and she did. ;)




Thanks, Betty!
Later, Mom made my favorite German Chocolate Cake!
Look what my Too Generous sister got me for my birthday...
Yay! I love the pictures it takes {since it is my main camera} and Jordan is jealous that I have a cooler phone than him...which has never happened, ever. It was a wonderful day - thanks to all who made it special. 
Jordan arrived the next night and it was so good to see him. Ollie was thrilled. We went to the Mesa Temple to see the Christmas lights.
Of course, all Ollie wanted was to run free and stomp on things.
Christmas Eve was pretty chill {Shill Family Mexican Feast was a few days early this year}. It was actually really nice to just relax all day. Mom & I went visiting in the afternoon.
We had a wonderful Christmas. Ollie loved his new toys


and of course, his new shoes.

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It was a good day.



Jordan got to do what he loves best with the brothers he loves best a few days later.
And the rest of the trip was filled with more eating, shopping, relaxing, and visiting. On New Year's Eve we decided to head out. After a stressful trip through the airport and a pleasant {Woo Woo - Go Ollie!} trip on an airplane, we made it to Tulsa! Finally!
Ollie can't sleep on an airplane, but minutes after being put in his car seat on the drive home, he was out like a light.
I didn't take pictures, but we came home to a house that had been home to Cadbury for a week and a half. He wasn't supposed to be able to get into the entire house, just the kitchen and dining area, garage, and backyard. Our neighbor took care of him, but the ice storm {SOO thankful I missed THAT!} knocked a couple fence posts out between our two yards and at night that Diablo Blanco would come into our house...which wasn't a big deal if he hadn't knocked down the gate that separates the kitchen/dining room from the rest of the house. So he being muddy from the storms, slept on our beds and ate the garbage and what not. Welcome Home! I think it goes without saying what we did on NeYear's Day.
These two were happy to be reunited.
That pretty much sums up the Holidays of 2013!
P.S. This is pretty much how I felt throughout the Holidays...
{It says 'The Nutjob' - - my sis-in-law cut off the N...which was kind of an important part of the picture. I love her anyway.}

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