Saturday, December 28, 2013

merry super late christmas!

 photo IMG_8050copy_zps00ff723d.jpg
we've been in arizona this whole time and maxson has kept us busy the whole time.
boy that kid is on the move.
family is fun to be around.
it's also fun to outside sans boots, coats, and winter items.

someday (soon) hopefully i'll blog of our recent lives.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

on the go

i've been MIA all week because guess what i started working on before the year ended?
our 2013 photo album!
so proud of myself. i'm through half the year already.
casey has been drowning in studying and finals and FINALLY survived his last one of like 14 this morning!
we did a happy dance when he walked in the door.
now we're frantically packing up to get ready for our christmas vacation!

casey and i read the sweetest article tonight by Elder Holland back in 1977 called "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store."
I highly recommend reading it, such a great piece.

and if you have time to spare this month here's a list of a bunch of other christmas talks given at BYU.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

a carousel and snow

to round up maxson's birthday week we headed to the carousel to give him a spin.
it was worth every 200 pennies and more.
firstly he stared at it in awe from the outside for the multiple spins it took before we got on it.
once it was his turn i could tell he was just overwhelmed with joy.
he held on tight, stared at the lights, made his happy grunts, and enjoyed the ride.
every parent needs to experience the joy in taking their little on a carousel, seriously peoples.
 photo IMG_7609_zps5e298a30.jpg
 photo IMG_7623_zps9ceb6235.jpg
 photo IMG_7631_zpsa4508387.jpg

and on sunday it finally SNOWED!
it's about time that stuff turned up, it's been bitterly freezing.
we bundled maxson up to the brim to introduce him to that white happiness!
yet again, he had a fun 3 minutes in the snow patting it with his gloves, looking around, so curious at what this new stuff was.
then his glove fell off and he continued to touch the snow after about 15 seconds he tried shaking his hand to get the snow off/make it not cold.
that's when his face turned to us with big tears and confusion.
we went inside not long after, but it was still fun showing it to him!
 photo IMG_7602_zpsa3abb811.jpg
 photo IMG_7652_zps7ca7148b.jpg
 photo IMG_7655copy_zps2bb4e60d.jpg
the next day we played in the snow again (for less than 5 minutes) until his face hit the snow and he got cold.
so once inside i brought him in a plate of snow to play with in the kitchen, he loved that the most i think

and you can see our humble-top-half-decorated tree above.
those presents only stayed there for this picture and then i was wise enough to put them where maxson couldn't ravage them, because he would in a heart beat, ha.
his new favorite thing is to grab onto a branch and shake the whole tree to see all the ornaments shake too, that silly baby.

Monday, December 9, 2013

cake for one

 photo IMG_7444copy_zps951e0de4.jpg
we were so lucky to have casey's family in town for maxson's birthday over thanksgiving! since everyone had to leave on sunday to get back, we celebrated his birthday with family on saturday. i wish we could celebrate all birthdays with family around because it's so darn fun. they made it really special for us and showed maxson some extra special love on his birthday party day. plus family members are great helpers when it comes to getting the place decorated and taking pictures so i get to be in some!
 photo IMG_7446_zpse841fed9.jpg
 photo IMG_7451_zps09a6a8f6.jpg
 photo IMG_7456copy_zps0910776b.jpg
 photo IMG_7464copy_zps0e904f20.jpg
 photo IMG_7461copy_zpsa31c20b2.jpg
i made a tiny oreo cake for max, which he devoured.
not so much, he just picked pieces off to eat and they went straight in his mouth.
after he ate his little cake he ate a sweet potato, peas, and meat.
he just kept eating and eating and eating.
(yes we fed him cake first because my awesome cousin, clara, said the best "cake smashes" came when given cake before dinner because then they're super interested in it. sure enough he dug straight in;)

for his actual birthday we served him the rest of the cake for all 3 meals.
 i kid i kid.
i did however put a cake on the meals i served him (breakfast and dinner).
by dinner time he was being super brave and trying to touch the flame, ha
we gave him pudding for his dinner dessert and he was THRILLED.
that one was messy.
but so adorably worth it, the whole time he was making nom nom nom sounds
we also remembered to do a birthday spanking train sans spanking.
maxson went through our legs on his new little car and loved it
 photo IMG_7493_zpsf51099db.jpg
to end the night we let him hold our phones most the night as a birthday present and i'm pretty sure that was his favorite thing of all weekend, even more than the food.
he just walked from one end of the house to the other with the phone in his hand, smiling, head bobbing, running to grin at us. he was so happy
and then he began putting the phone in his mouth and we took it away and it was tears until bedtime.

i'll be the first to admit that i'm not great at party details.
i kept it simple and very random, ha.
we put up streamers all around the house like we always do for birthdays.
i also saw a special at walgreens that week for 50 free prints and thus printed out 50 photos of maxson's face (just four different shots) i cut out that silhouette and put them all over the house so we had little maxson's face staring at us happily from all sides.
it was really funny.
i made a little fringe garland out of tablecloth, threw that on the wall along with some balloons, and spray painted a dollar store happy birthday sign black and called it good!
festive it was.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

12 months of maxson

my how my boy has grown!
 photo Max1year1little_zps31797506.jpg
word to the wise future parents: it's healthy for children to have special "loveies" like stuffed animals and blankets for many different reasons, i encourage you to pick it for them from the very beginning before they even think about picking their own.
i'm proud to say our brainwashing worked maxson loves his (BYU) monkey so very much!

wish i had done better on the raindrop series.
the months i missed we were either out of town of we did his monthly photos outside where the weather was crazy nice and i didn't feel like cleaning off his dresser.
OR it's because those months i knew he would NOT stay on the table and just fall right off in a heartbeat.
you win some, you lose some, i do like how this series starts when he's a newborn!
 photo Max1year_zps89d58858.jpg

love looking through all these photos.

in 12 months time he has
gained 15 #s 8 oz,
grown 9 3/4 in,
learned to crawl, walk and talk in his own special way :)

see each of his monthly blog posts here

Saturday, December 7, 2013

heh heh

 photo IMG_7376_zps0aac8d42.jpg
my favorite picture

i hope you're all laughing hysterically as you look at this picture

we told jaden his job was to make sure the maxson and brielle stayed right by him.

Friday, December 6, 2013

my 1 year old baby boy

12 month stats:
31" (89%ile)
23 # 14 oz (85%ile)
18 1/2 in head (75%)
quite the proportioned (big) little boy
 photo IMG_7505copy_zps381b5d8e.jpg
at 1 years old what is this child doing?
 photo IMG_7534copy_zps9f5df266.jpg
well definitely his personality is shining through.
he is a really relaxed, easy going, chill boy.
we got dang lucky with this one.

his jabbering is constant.
if you catch him at the right time he spits out garbled nonsense continually with his tongue in full action just staring at you as he garbles on.
we have the best conversations.

constantly helping me with everything.
seriously, whatever i'm doing, maxson wants to be right there along side watching me do it or helping me do it.
recently i've been pulling a chair into the kitchen to let him watch my activities in there.
sometimes this works but often times it just makes the situation worse since he wants to pick everything up (knives, bowls full of ingredients, etc)
 photo IMG_7510copy_zps2eb68d70.jpg
he's into EVERYTHING.
this is the real baby proofing stage.
because he's so tall i can't just put things on the table to get them out of the way,
there has to be a 5 inch radius from the edge if i don't want it ending up on the floor.
even beyond that he still figures out ways to get stuff off counters, i'm amazed.

his phone radar is at an all time high.
i swear it's the first thing he finds after naps, mealtimes, new places, new people.
if you have a phone on you he will find it!
 photo IMG_7567_zps3a4cd115.jpg
he loves strangers, he really does.
no matter where we are, if there's a stranger that starts paying attention to him, he walks straight up to them and lifts his arms up to them to be picked up.
people love it.
and i'm glad he can bring a little joy to others.
he's never gone through the stranger danger phase.

he's super into cars and balls.
so totally boy all around.
 photo IMG_7562copy_zps560e24e0.jpg
a favorite game of his is fetch to throw an item across the room so he can bring it back to you.
we do this multiple times a day and he thinks it's the best.

gets books out, opens them to look at pictures, sits still while i read for awhile,
it's a fun new stage
 photo IMG_7560_zps585d3534.jpg
very much into climbing on top of things.
he can't get up too much yet but if there's a box at his level you can bet he wants to sit on it.
same with the activity table.

speaking of boxes and activity tables, he's really strong,
if those things are in his way to something he wants to reach (i.e.- christmas trees, dishwashers, mom, toys stuck in corner, etc) he will full on pick it up from the bottom and roll/push it over to get it out of his way.
i once put a laundry basket full of heavy clothes and lotions in front of a door that doesn't close so he couldn't get out and he pushed the whole things out of his way with his body weight.

he's finally learned to go down the stairs!!!!!!
hallelujah my worried mother heart of getting hurt falling down the stairs has been lifted.
go maximus!
 photo IMG_7522_zps82c40fd5.jpg
he loves riding his different cars around the house while making motor boat noises.
and his vacuum too (a birthday present from grammy and grandpa cutler).
he is obsessed with those 2 items.

i'm pretty sure he says the word go.
he gets super excited when i start putting his coat on asking him if he wants to go somewhere and continually shouts "guh guh guh!"

sleeps 10-12 hours straight through at night with 1-2 long naps during the day.
i can't complain.
 photo IMG_7566copy_zps39b1691f.jpg
he loves food.
any food.
all food.
he would probably eat all day long if i let him.
the only thing he doesn't like is scrambled eggs, which i should probably introduce to him again.

as tradition continues, we are enamored by this little one.
we've had the most wonderful year with him in our lives.
these days we just watch him toddle around playing while he jabbers on and we giggle at his adorable cuteness.
 photo IMG_7555copy_zps26e8d7ab.jpg
he came into our lives at the most perfect time.
we love this little boy with all our heart.

happy 1 year on earth maxson,
we're so very grateful that Heavenly Father sent you to us!
thank you for being the most wonderful little boy to have in our home!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


thanksgiving was wonderful.
we had the fullest house i think our house can handle.
and actually our house didn't handle it, my saintly neighbor let us use her house while they were gone and it was the saving grace of our thanksgiving weekend.
2 bathrooms, 2 fridges, 2 ovens, 4 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, 2 sets of baking dishes, 2 bread machines, and all the suitcase mess next door where we weren't all gathering constantly.

now onto thanksgiving!

pre-thanksgiving morning, i made pancake batter and tayli cooked all the pancakes
 photo IMG_6540_zps30c65b6a.jpg
a. grandpa rocked it all weekend by entertaining the little ones while we cooked.
b. our thanksgiving outline/shopping list. they were gone for almost 2 hours shopping for food and other little things. i got to stay home while maxson slept. funny miscommunication: i wrote down 15 bananas on the shopping list, 2 people picked up bananas, so we had thirty bananas, crazy thing, we ate them all!
 photo IMG_6733copy_zpsf73a23b5.jpg
thanksgiving eve we made 3 homemade pizzas, and they were TASTY!
by far the best one was the chicken caesar salad pizza, it's like a copycat of one i've had in arizona at sauce and it was MARVELOUS. most definitely everyones favorite.
we also made the cheesiest of pepperoni pizza and, not surprisingly, a hawaiian one.
 photo IMG_6696_zpsa8166773.jpg
a. maxson and jaden had matching pj's!
b. karlee was a doll and did tons of dishes thanksgiving morning while lots of cooking and dirty dish making was going on.
 photo IMG_6704copy_zps3f63ef55.jpg
grandpa entertaining those wee ones. we all love him
 photo IMG_6700_zpsa15add57.jpg
kimber, tayli, camille
 photo IMG_6709_zps7a7f73ce.jpg
a. casey cut his first turkey! (with the expert father overseeing) man those electric knives are bomb.
b. so many gloriously yummy side dishes. (best part of hosting thanksgiving, i get the left overs!!!!)
 photo IMG_6718copy_zps9bf76b6e.jpg
derek, cody, camille, brielle, tayli, maxson, karlee
 photo IMG_6716_zps242601f6.jpg
i convinced tayli to sport my red lipstick all weekend.
sure looked good on her!
 photo IMG_6710_zpsc1bb80c6.jpg
pumpkin pie making
 photo IMG_6703_zpsb312d326.jpg
our thanksgiving dinner in our tiniest of little places.
the memory of being squished in our home for thanksgiving will forever live.
(ps- how do people do real plates for thanksgiving? uh, paper all the way over here folks)
i should probably invest in some nice table cloths...
 photo IMG_6725_zps908a02e5.jpg
our first family of 3 thanksgiving. maxson downed all the food, he's like an endless eating tank.
 photo IMG_6726_zps1bd15abc.jpg
more beautiful people at our thanksgiving table
 photo IMG_6727_zpsdce7189d.jpg
the cody cutler family
 photo IMG_6728_zps2c71db6e.jpg
post thanksgiving: everyone deciding they should be in the kitchen at once for various reasons.
even the 3 children are in this room i believe.
you could pretty much only move inches!
ha, what a joke, and cody is trying to open the fridge on top of it all, good luck with that.
 photo IMG_6731_zpscd518dbf.jpg
exceptional car driving skills by the youngins
 photo IMG_6734_zpsc25006c5.jpg
maxson took a nap on brad the dad aka grandpa, it was so sweet.
soon after this picture brad fell asleep himself and it was just tender.
 photo IMG_6694_zps5c74f39f.jpg
we were lucky enough to get some warm days while everyone was here and played outside a few times.
these kiddos love to swing and slide!
 photo IMG_6750_zps77e88cef.jpg
mr. jaden and mr. maximus
 photo IMG_6756copy_zps0604854a.jpg
gearing up for family pictures (for another post)
 photo IMG_7036_zpsfdb3c112.jpg
a. all weekend maxson would walk up to people in the kitchen, raise his arms up at them asking them to pick him up, so cute.
he just wanted to be involved and see what was going on and i loved watching him fearlessly love these new people.
maxson had just woken up from a nap and although he was groggy, made the choice to be happy since he could watch/help grandpa wash dishes.
isn't his bed-head hair stellar?
b. getting some christmas lights out brought sheer amusement to maxson.
 photo IMG_7034copy_zps165eaf07.jpg
post thanksgiving evening pie hangover
 photo IMG_6738_zps1749e815.jpg
thanksgiving night we played a myriad of fun silly games.
the animal sound game (everyone was laughing so hard during this game)
can you pass the roll spoon game
and actual spoons.
i've decided i was meant to marry into the cutler family for they are the prefect group to satisfy my desires for constant family game playing.
 photo IMG_6742_zpsee479cb4.jpg

other events not pictured: the boys played basketball at the church for 2 hours thanksgiving morning and another 2 hours of football after that, they were sore to say the least.

it really was a most splendid weekend.
everyone helped out so much with cooking, cleaning, and baby caring.
we love out cutler family!!!!!!

a teaspoon of mommy happiness

before i begin the plethora of thanksgiving photos, family photos, and 1 year photos (my baby is one?????)
i want to share a few favorite small moments from the end of november.

maximus is just a doll.
can a boy be a doll?
well to me, he is, he's just the cutest boy doll there is.
these new stacking skills make me so proud.
after a toy rotation he just suddenly did it and i thought "what, when did you just suddenly know how to do this?"
his commitment to accomplishing tasks amazes me, he tries and tries and tries again without frustration.
i as a parent see him fail after 2-3 times and think "oh let me help you and show you how to do it" but if  i let him continue he'll keep doing it until he figures it out correctly.
ah, i love child enlightenment.
 photo IMG_6505_zpse8d0ba78.jpg
 photo IMG_6497copy_zpsdec05743.jpg
more often than not he pushes his little toesies against the tray while eating and i think it's just precious.
 photo IMG_6515_zps1fefd040.jpg
he's now gotten to a playing stage where he'll lay on the ground and play with toys or objects.
in this picture he had a little car pushing it against the vent over and over and over.
 photo IMG_6522_zps5e5f7ad9.jpg
a. sometimes he'll be at the window at the perfect moment to see casey getting home from school and it makes his whole day, so cute to see their interaction.
b. last month he also picked up on the shoulder shrug "what?" movement.
he does it just about every time something disappears, someone goes away, we stop face timing, music turns off, there's a loud noise, etc.
pretty much anything he can't explain,
favorite thing.
and he always has something in his mouth hanging in there like a dog.
still cuteness.
 photo IMG_6517copy_zps90204a86.jpg

so many more pretty pictures to come.
i reward myself with personal blog/photo editing time each night after i accomplish editing a photo session, yay!
follow my photography page on Facebook to see updates on recent sessions!

ps- finally updated a new post on my mom's balloon blog, she rocks.