Monday, January 10, 2011

2010; A Year In Review

Wow, what a great year 2010 was for us! It was fun, busy and went by much too quickly! Here's a little review of the year from our perspective...

Well, we started out the new year in Cali! Our Oregon Ducks had made it to the Rose Bowl and we decided to follow. We roadtripped with my mother-in-law, and stayed with my brother and his girlfriend. We did end up losing, but what an experience! Definitely something I would do again! And, of course it meant ringing in the new year with John and Lindsey, which was pretty darn cool!

We also started the new year with a new little walker. Miss Avalee had mastered being mobile right around her first birthday. By the beginning of the year, she was onto running; running after her brother, away from her brother, with her brother...well, you get the idea. Haha!

We gave Z the get a 'big boy' bedroom he had needed for so long.

We went to the zoo! It as Avalee's first zoo trip and she had SO much fun!

We welcomed a new family member! After waiting all evening, and into the wee morning hours, we were happy to get the news that our nephew Donovan had arrived!

We celebrated Easter, first by going to an Easter egg hunt at the park with my mom's group a few days before. Then, on Easter, had everyone over for brunch and some more egg hunting (and of course, lots of Easter basket goodies!).

We made our first coast trip of the year, and lucked out with gorgeous weather and clear blue skies! We also used it as an opportunity to have an impromptu photo shoot of the kids and came away with some amazing shots.

We made our way to the Woodburn tulip Festival...our first trip out there! The weather was beautiful, the flowers were beautiful and the kids loved it all!

We went to the spring scrimmage game for the (University of Oregon) Ducks.
Z was putting on quite the show for everyone around us by cheering very loudly. Haha! It was a great day and a nice preview of the season to come!

We started the kids in swim lessons at the Y. Z had taken lessons before, but it had been almost a year. So, we were all surprised when he 'graduated' up to the next class level mid-lessons! This was Avalee's first time, and she got to be with Daddy in the parent/tot classes. Not to be outdone by her big brother, she immediately proved herself to be an amazing little swimmer! She took right to the water and even loved going under, right from the start! Of course, having Daddy all to herself was a big bonus for her too. :o)

We celebrated Mother's Day by going on a picnic to Silver Creek Falls.

We started our backyard renovation project. We have a big slope in our backyard, that serves no purpose. We decided to cut it back, so Colin rented a backhoe and excavated the slope about ¾ back. We spent much of the Summer months digging and dumping dirt, pulling out blackberry bushes, and designing our dream yard. It's still a work-in-progress, so stay-tuned for more updates this year!

We went to Wildlife safari! It was the kids' first time and they LOVED it!

We celebrated Father's Day at home with my parents, a big pot of chili and the Wii! It was the perfect day for Colin!

We went strawberry picking! It has been an annual tradition to do this, since Z was a baby (I used to pick when I was a kid too) and again, this year we had a toddler to keep up with. Although, Miss A seemed quite content to just plant herself in front of some nice ripe strawberries and munch away. And, for the first year, Z got his own bowl to pick in. We ended up going home with three large bowls, which I used to make my very first (freezer) jam! I made strawberry and strawberry/banana and we've still got several jars in the freezer! Of course, we also made smoothies, strawberry shortcake, and froze some for later.

We (Z, Colin and I) saw Toy Story 3 at the movie theater. We had free tickets (thanks to my savvy couponing!) so were able to splurge for the 3D version. We all had SO much fun!

Colin and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary (fifteen years together!)!

We celebrated Independence Day at our place. We had my parents and Colin's mom over; enjoyed some delicious strawberry shortcake and watched the fireworks from our driveway.

We had our annual family reunion, and Avalee got to hit her first pinata (a tradition at our reunions)! She and Zavion also had tons of fun running around, playing with all their cousins.

We took a trip to the Tillamook Cheese factory and enjoyed seeing cheese being made...and of course, the best ice cream ever!

We introduced Avalee to the splash pad at our neighborhood park. Of course, she loved it and we made many more return trips!

We took another trip to the zoo, this time with Colin's dad and got to see the dinosaur exhibit, which Zavion LOOOVED!

We bought a new car! Well, new to us, anyway. ;o) Since having two kids, we decided we really needed some more space and settled on the GMC Yukon. After taking it for a test drive, we instantly fell in love (the V8...the Bose speakers...and all that space!) and got it just in time to go camping two days later!

We went on our annual family camping trip!

We picked blueberries. Avalee was actually sleeping in the car when got to the blueberry patch, but woke up soon after we started picking. I think she must have known she was missing out on an opportunity to pick with us. Of course, all of her berries went in her tummy! I was able to make lots of yummy muffins, pancakes and of course we had blueberries to snack on for weeks after.

We went peach picking, which was another first for the Avalee. She could barely believe that you could just pick fruit off of a tree and eat it! And, of course, as was her style, she did some sampling!

We got a surprise visit from my brother, John and his girlfriend, Lindsey (yes, he likes surprise visits. Remember this?)! They flew up from CA for a few days, and hung out, got re-acquainted with the kids, and made us (Colin and I) stay up way after our bedtime (playing Mario Kart and having some drinks)! Haha! The best part was that they stayed with us, which the kids especially loved! They got Uncle and Aunt Lindsey's attention all day, and we had some grownups to talk to. ;o)

We made our annual trek to the Oregon State Fair; not once, not twice but three times! Despite my insistence that we only go one time this year, John and Lindsey wanted to go once while they were here, so we joined them. And, we went another day to see the dinosaur exhibit and finally our main ride day. Whew! It was lots of fun (and, ohh how I missed those curly fries!) but I wasn't too sad to see it pack up for another year.

Football season started! As you may remember, we are HUGE Oregon Ducks fans (hubby graduated from UO in 2002) and have season tickets for the games. It really is one of my favorite things about Fall, and makes me not so sad to see Summer fade away. This year started off with a bang; a 72-0 win against New Mexico! And, each game thereafter was another fact the season ended 11-0, in other words, undefeated! And, as we had done In previous years, we took the kids with us to a game. Just like last year, it rained the whole time and despite the fact that we were all soaked, the kids wanted to stay until the game was over so they could go play on Autzen field afterward. It was a spectacular season ending in a dream-come-true trip to the BCS Championship bowl in AZ. Yay...go DUCKS!

We went to Disneyland and celebrated Zavion's 5th birthday!!

We went to the Pumpkin patch and got, what I believe were the last two remaining pumpkins there (definitely the latest we've gone picking pumpkins)!

We celebrated Zavion's birthday again, this time at home with family and friend, including a few monsters.

We dressed up the kids and took them trick-or-treating for a fun Halloween!

We celebrated Thanksgiving at home, with our family, and lots of food!

We picked out another perfect Christmas tree (then went home to watch our Ducks stomp the rival OSU Beavers!)!

I hosted a rock-n-roll baby shower for my bff, Liz!

We celebrated Avalee's 2nd birthday with a fun mermaid party!

We took another trip on the Polar Express! The kids absolutely loved it, and Avalee really got the chance to enjoy it more this year!

We got another family visit; this time from my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew. We were SO excited to meet Donovan for the very first time, and of course to visit with Ceara and Grant again (we hadn't seen Grant for a few years and Ceara in almost two years!). While they were here, we took a trip to Portland to ride the OHSU tram and another zoo visit (three in one year...that must be a record!) to see the Zoo Lights. We also got some prime visiting time in and the kids got some playtime in with their cousin. It was wonderful!

We celebrated Christmas! We had our little family celebration (just the four of us) in the early morning, then my parents came over to exchange gifts. After a family breakfast, we made our way to my mother-in-laws to celebrate with everyone there. It was a perfect Christmas!

And, of course, in between were lots of parties, playdates, sunny (and not-so-sunny) days at the park, fun craft days, homemade cookies, driveway chalk creations, bike rides, trips to the pool, and lots more!
2010 was an amazing year for all of us, and was, among other things, a celebration of fun, friends, family and lots of love!

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