Monday, January 10, 2011

Ten Years and Counting...

Dan and I celebrated our ten year anniversary on January 3rd of this year. I can't believe I am that old, or that we have been married that long. It has gone by so fast and we have so many great memories that we have created so far. When Dan and I got married we were both in school finishing our degrees. I had a year and a half left and Dan had two years left. Needless to say we were poor married students. Our first place was a duplex right by the Arizona Temple. We did the lawns there, moving, edging, and irrigation in exchange for our rent. It was a great, especially while we were both in school. After one year we decided it was time to move and we found a great place right by the Mesa Country Club. They were cute two bedroom duplexes hidden right before the entrance of the country club. The best part about it was all of the fun people that lived there. After living there for two years we decided to buy a house, we were expecting our first and Dan was working at Deloitte and Touche and I was teaching sixth grade at Zaharis Elementary. We bought a cute little three bedroom house in Higley Groves. It was the perfect started house in a great neighborhood. We had Hollyn shortly after we moved in and lived there for two and a half years. Dan was accepted into the law school at the University of Nebraska, so we sold our house and moved to Nebraska for three years. Nebraska was a fantastic place to live for school and we made some really great friends. Dan graduated this last May, we moved back to Arizona and then took and past the Bar in July. Which brings us to the present; Dan is working for a firm in Mesa, Hollyn is in Kindergarten, Paige is in preschool one day a week, and I am working on closing the short sale we are buying. It has been ten hard working years, full lots of laughter, a few tears, and more importantly a ton of love.
To celebrate Dan surprised me and took me to the same restaurant where he purposed, Vincent's. It is the most amazing French food I have ever tasted. After dinner we went to a movie, and then rang in the new year with our fabulous friends the Larsen's who where watching our kids. On our actual anniversary, Dan took the day off and we went to lunch, shopped for furniture for the new house, and just spent the day together. Now for the corny part, you may want to close your eyes, I am so grateful for Dan and for all he has done for our family. He is one of the most hard working guys I know, and he puts 100% into everything he does. Dan is my best friend and from the moment I met him I know that there was something special about this guy. He is the only one who can make me so mad and then make me laugh at the same time. Dan is an amazing dad, husband, friend, and provider. I love you Dan!!
Oh, and the biggest news, WE ARE GOING TO ITALY!!! We decided not to take a big trip while we were buying our house, so Dan promised that in the spring of 2012 we would be going to Italy. Dan's brother Josh and his wife were just stationed in Naples, so we even have a place to stay and people to visit.
Sorry for the dorky pose, but it's the same one we did for our engagement picture. Just picture two people who look similar just ten years younger, and no braces.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where's Baby Jesus?

A few Sundays before Christmas we went to the Visitor's Center to see the Nativities and walk around the temple grounds. As we were walking around we were looking at the large nativity scene outside when Hollyn asked me, "where's baby Jesus." He was not in the manger where he should have been, so I asked one of the nice older missionaries where baby Jesus was. He told me that they only put him out at night because he has been stolen so many times. What, who steals baby Jesus? I mean really does that even make sense to anyone else? As a family our goal this Christmas was to try and center it more around Christ and Christlike things. We still have much to work on, but one thing that really helped Hollyn learn about giving was we had her choose a name off of the giving tree at school. Then we got to go shopping for this little girl and Hollyn got to pick out all of the presents she thought she would like. This is something we will do every year, because it really brought the Christmas spirit into our home.
Christmas Eve we had the annual nativity scene with all of Dan's family. The best part is that the kids act it out and each year it get better and better, especially since the numbers get bigger each year. After that we met my family at the Temple for Christmas lights.

Could my nephew Theo be any cuter?
Christmas morning is always my favorite time of year, seeing the excitement on the kids faces as they see what Santa brought them. This year Santa brought them a Barbie Dream House, and the looks on their faces where worth the hours it took me, I mean Santa to put it together.
The kids so good together for hours before the cousins came over. They loved every minute of the Barbie house.
Dan's siblings all cam over at lunch time. The kids where so excited to see what Santa brought them at Nonny's house. Santa always goes all out. Then it was time to do the cousin exchange, which is a fun way for the kids to give presents to each other. The rest of the day was full of the cousins off playing and the adults talking or napping. That night we went over to my parents house for a delicious dinner and more presents. I don't know why Dan and I even bother getting the kids anything, because both of our parents spoil them rotten. They always make Christmas special for the grandkids.

McCormick Train Park and Tree Decorating Sumo Wrestlers

We decided we needed to make some new traditions for our family, since many had to do with Nebraska. One that we discovered this year is the McCormick Train Park. It was so much fun. They had many old trains there to look at, a little train you could ride on, a carousel, and some great parks. We will definitely be doing this again next year.

Nonny, Dan's mom, has the kids decorate her Christmas tree every year. This is our first year being here to participate. The kids had a great time decorating Nonny's tree and then eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate. Then afterwards the real fun began when they had sumo wrestling time. This is a first for the Broadbent family and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. The kids loved bumping into each other and surprisingly there weren't many tears. It was quite entertaining for the adults to watch.

It's my birthday and I'll be sick if I want to!

Since Hollyn's birthday is on December 29th it's hard to know when to celebrate her birthday, especially since this year she wanted to invite kids from school. We decided to do it the last day of school since it was a half day. Unfortunately Hollyn came home sick two days before school got out for Christmas Break and we had to cancel the party and reschedule it for the following Monday. I was sure that she would be healthy in time. She was sick for five days straight with a high fever and aches. Thankfully she finally got over whatever she had the day before her party. When I talked to Hollyn's teacher she said that eight kids went home sick they day she went home. Whatever it was it spread through the whole class, one of the disadvantages of school. Hollyn wanted a Lego Party this year. She thinks of great birthday ideas. Last years movie theater party as my favorite. For the Lego party we brought Nonny's huge bins of Legos and let the kids build when they first got there. The boys and girls alike loved building with the Legos and where so excited to share what they had built with all the other kids. After they shared their creation they picked a prize. After that is was brownies, ice cream and then presents. It was so low key and the kids had a blast. I wish I would have taken more pictures. Hollyn has great friends and has met so many great girls this year in her class. There are seven of them that play so well together and every day they come to school they run to each other and stand in the back of the line together. I need to get a picture of it one of these days.

Family Pictures

My good friend Andrea, who is a fabulous photographer, took our family pictures again this year, but don't ask me for her number because she only does it for a hobby. Crazy I know, she is so great at capturing our family and especially my girls. Here are a few of my favorites.