January 22nd, 2011

California bear

My January

I'm just going to talk a little bit about what I've been doing in January.

First of all, I made some new years resolutions. I made only three of them, but they are broad and then underneath each of them I have written steps on how I can accomplish them. They are: be humble, be industrious, and be healthy.

Secondly, I wanted to talk about my newest little niece Willow Evalyn. She was born on January 2, and she is beautiful. Here is a picture of me and her on the day she was born.

I love her tremendously, and I can't wait to see how her personality develops as she learns and grows!

As you know, I have three other nieces and a nephew, all of whom I had a chance to hang out with this past month.

Preston, my only nephew, is three years old. He loves Star Wars, so you know we get along famously. We went to Disneyland, and he got to participate in the Jedi Training Academy, although he nearly chickened out, saying, "I am going to wait until I am older to fight Darth Vader and Darth Maul." I sort of made my sister make him go down and participate, which he was still kind of scared to do, but he did great. It was adorable seeing him working the light saber and fighting Darth Vader. We watched a bunch of Star Wars while he was here, and also a lot of Spiderman, Batman and Superman. (Sidebar: I watched Batman (1966) movie with him, and it was an absolute gem. If you haven't seen it, rectify that immediately! It is available to watch on Netflix instantly.)

Eva, Preston's younger sister, is two years old. She loves pink and princesses, and while we were at Disneyland, we got to go to the princess fantasy faire and meet Belle, Princess Tiana, and Ariel. She was kind of scared of the first two princesses, but finally warmed up to Ariel, even giving her a hug and a kiss. It was adorable! River, Ellie and Willow were also there. River really liked Ariel as well. (I felt kind of bad for Princess Tiana, because it didn't seem like the girls in the line really liked going up to her that much.) Anyhow, it was cool to hang out with her at Disneyland, and in general. She does this really cute thing where you ask her who she is. We asked her, "Are you Preston?" And she says no, then we asked if she is someone else and someone else and she keeps saying no. Then we asked, "who are you?" And she says, "me!" Very very cute.

River, Kellie's oldest, is a year old, and we got to hang out with her a little more than usual, too. She had fun playing with her cousins, and she absolutely loves babies. It is so cute that it melts my heart. She loved playing with baby Ellie, and she loves her new baby sister Willow. When she kisses babies (which she does a lot), she makes the "mmmm" sound, and it's ridiculously cute. She is incredibly good-natured and fun-loving. When we went through the small world ride, she was double fist pumping the entire time. She loved the ride and all of the things to look at. I actually loved the ride, too, because it was still the holiday ride, so it had Christmas songs interspersed with the small world song, which definitely made it more bearable, and I liked the Christmas decorations, too. I thought they were really pretty, and so did River. Ellie loved the ride, too.

Ellie, Kristine's youngest, is almost 5 months old now, but she was closer to four months old while she was visiting us. She is a great baby. She is quiet, and likes to play by herself, and you almost don't even know that a baby is there, because she is that easy-going. Of course, she's incredibly cute, with her brown baby hair and beautiful blue eyes. It's a good thing she is so good, because Preston and Eva can be quite a handful sometimes. (There are actually pretty good when they are not playing together, but get them together and, kaboom! It's crazy.)

Below you can see a picture of all five of them:

In addition to the children that we got to hang out with, it was also great seeing my siblings that I usually don't have a chance to hang out with. I really like all of my siblings, and it was fun having them around. I took Kurtis out to sushi one day, and it was excellent spending a little one-on-one time with him, and learning more about what he does for his job in the Air Force. I got to hang out with Kristine (and her beautiful friend Brittany) at sushi one day, and then I wanted to take her and her husband out to Manhattan Deli & Bakery, but we ended up taking Preston and Eva with us, too. It was a great time, and the food was SO good. Afterwards, we went to See's Candy where Preston and Eva got free chocolate suckers (totally messy) and I purchased two boxes of awesome chocolate after sampling a delectable truffle of some sort. I got to hang out for a little bit with Kellie and Steven, but it could have been more fun. I didn't get a chance to hang out with KeriAnn one-on-one, but I hope she comes back soon so I can take her to Disneyland.

We celebrated Christmas on January 14, and it was truly spectacular. I liked being able to have Christmas not on Christmas Day, because we really didn't have very many presents (I don't think we had any, actually) from Santa, who is my main problem when it comes to Christmas. As much fun as having Santa around has been in the past, I just don't like him! I like receiving presents, instead, from my parents, where I can be grateful for the thought and effort that went into selecting and wrapping my present to them, and not some fictitious fat man who didn't do anything. One of my favorite gifts this year was a seven pack of harmonicas and a harmonica neck holder. I really have enjoyed learning on the harmonica, and I have taught myself how to play many songs including: the theme from Free Willy, Happy Birthday, the Star-Spangled Banner, Taps, Whenever I Hear the Song of a Bird, and several church songs. I also went a little crazy when it came to buying gifts for my nephew and nieces, especially. It's hard to restrain yourself, sometimes.

We also had family pictures on January 14 taken by the wonderfully talented Kristin Fuller. She does amazing work, and I can't wait to see the pictures!

On January 13, we went to Disneyland (me, my parents, the Hunters and the Moncriefs). The other siblings don't really care about Disneyland all that much. We had a great time while we were there. The first thing we did was the Buzz Lightyear ride, which was enjoyed by everyone except for Eva, who thought it was terrifying. After that, we went to Jedi Training Academy, and we were very happy that Preston was selected to train. Then, we did the submarine ride. There is a Marine outpost place, where people like me can go and watch a video of what the submarine ride looks like, so Dad, Kellie, Willow and I did that, and I fell asleep, the same as Dad. We would have hung out there a little longer, but a couple of cast members came in, expecting us not to be there, and then sort of let us leave. After that, we split into two groups, and the boys went and did Autopia while the girls did Princess Fantasy Faire. We met at Small World afterwards, and rode that ride. After that, the Moncrief family went home, but everyone else stayed in Fantasyland where we did the Dumbo ride and Teacups. After Disneyland, we stopped off at Carl's Junior before heading home.

As you can see, my January has been very fun filled and busy, but great. It hasn't been the best for my resolutions, but I am working on them now, so that's good.