Our town gets so grey in the winter. We get lots of fog, but even worse than the fog is just the cloudy weather all the time. The central valley of California would be a perfect place for vampires to spend the winter. Maybe old, snowbird vampires? Usually I don't mind if it's overcast, but lately, (I think mostly because of my pregnancy) it's really been getting to me. I look out the windows in the morning and if it's cloudy, I don't want to do much all day. But if the sun does come out, I've been trying to make a point of getting outside and enjoying it. The boys ride their bike and scooter down the street to the park and I get some exercise walking. I even pulled my pant legs up and exposed my shiny white legs at the park last week in an effort to get some Vitamin D to boost my mood!
Today was a holiday (Martin Luther King Day) and Tim had the day off. I'd heard that this weekend was also a free entry weekend for the national parks, so we decided to head up to Sequoia National Park for some light hiking. The morning was so dreary and grey, and I thought we'd freeze and be miserable. We live only 30 miles from the entrance to the park, but in that 30 miles the weather completely changed. Before we even got to the park entrance, the clouds lifted and we had warm, sunny, perfect weather. It was 51 degrees and so nice! We spent a few hours hiking around Hospital Rock and climbing on all the big boulders around the river that goes through the area. It was such a beautiful day.
After leaving the park, we descended back into our dreadfully grey valley and no one wanted to go home! I'm going to have to remember this every year for MLK day. Every year it's always cold and grey and I never want to go anywhere, but the mountains are the perfect place to go and get some sun.
The boys were all about the binoculars today.
We saw this tree that was covered in thousands of ladybugs. Cool and freaky.
2010 was a pretty wild year for the Kofords. It started out in January with an email from a lender with whom we'd worked (unsuccessfully) in the past. He lit a fire under Emily that this year was the year to become homeowners, and we needed to act fast if we wanted a piece of Obama money (first-time home buyer credit). By the end of the month, we'd found a decent agent as well as the (starter) home of our dreams and were on our way to escrow.
February took Tim to Salt Lake City for a few days to complete training on a therapy program for addiction. Emily held her breath for what seemed like 28 days straight, waiting to see if everything worked out for the house and losing sleep over all that she planned on doing to it. In March we got the keys to our house and immediately commenced renovations with the help of Emily's parents. In between painting and replacing flooring in the entire house, we celebrated Henry's 2nd birthday and were moved in by the end of the month.
In April we unpacked and settled into our new home. Emily spent a day with her best friends and kids at Disneyland. In May we celebrated our tenth anniversary with a trip to San Francisco. We saw Wicked on Broadway, shopped in Union Square, and held hands the whole time. In June we celebrated Owen's graduation from preschool and Susanna and her kids came out for a visit.
Over the summer we took a trip to Utah for a big McEvers family reunion and had a really fun time. We ran a 5k on Independence Day with Susanna. Later that month Mindy's family came for a visit. We also hosted Tim's mother and his nephew, Lucas, and went to the Island Waterpark in Fresno for the first time. We went camping in Sequoia National Park. At the end of July we found out that Emily was expecting and were soooo excited.
August brought with it morning sickness. Emily really doesn't remember much about this month except that Owen started kindergarten. Tim says we went to Morro Bay to the beach, but Emily doesn't really remember it.
In the Fall, when Emily was feeling somewhat better, we went to visit Amber and went to Disneyland. Owen started football and was on the Broncos tiny tots team. Emily got to take five days away from the family to go to Ohio with her mom and sisters to visit Merilee. It was the best girls trip ever. Owen and Henry dressed up as Mario and Luigi for Halloween and Emily won first prize for best chili at the ward Halloween party.
In November we found out our baby is going to be a little girl. Owen had a lego party for his fifth birthday and Tim's parents came to celebrate. We spent Thanksgiving in Hesperia with a fantastic dinner at Chad and Sharli's house and Emily and her mom sewed Christmas pajamas for the family.
This last month we decorated our house for Christmas for the first time, went to several Christmas parties, Tim dressed up as Santa, and Emily baked until she could bake no more. We watched the spirit of Christmas in our boys' eyes as they bought gifts for each other and opened packages of their own. We rang in the new year (a few hours early) with our family with a surprise cake filled with candy and root beer floats at home.
Happy New Year, friends. 2011 promises a new addition to our family, more home decoration as we prepare the most amazing girly nursery ever, and who knows what other surprises? We hope 2011 is our best year yet.
We had a very nice Christmas last week at home. Owen and Henry got to meet with Santa two times before Christmas, so he was pretty clear about what they wanted. Owen asked for three Bakugan balls and Henry asked for a candy cane in his stocking. The second time they met Santa, it was it was at Tim's work with Tim, where every year he volunteers to dress up as Santa for the kids who receive services. They are glad their dad is willing to help out when Santa is too busy to be everywhere.
This is Tim as Santa--and he's actually wearing the same beard as the Santa in the previous photo! (don't look too close at me and my freaky eyes in that picture)
Owen took part in his school's kindergarten Christmas program. He sang and danced and the whole time kept winking at us. It was very cute and totally funny.
We didn't have any house guests this year until after Christmas, so we spent our Christmas Eve frosting sugar cookies and delivering goodies to some close friends. After that we had a little Koford fiesta with Tamales, Taquitos, Christmas cheese dip, lots and lots of guacamole, and all the goodies I'd been making for the past two weeks. Christmas morning was a celebration when the boys woke me up at about 6:30 and Tim jumped out of bed like he was a kid on Christmas morning, just waiting for someone to make the first move. Santa brought Owen and Henry Star Wars guns that shoot nerf bullets, hot wheels racing sets, Bakugan balls (for Owen) and a Thomas train (for Henry). We had homemade orange rolls for breakfast and a traditional ham dinner that night. We spent most of the day in pajamas and played with all of the new toys we'd received. Then the day after Christmas Tim's parents and sister Amber came for a visit filled with even more toys. We played games and had a good time together eating lots of yummy treats.
Henry got a little doctor kit and LOVED it. He kept chasing people around with the toy shot, saying "Don't cry! Don't cry!"
The giant pillow pet (from Grandma & Grandpa Koford) and the giant fun roller (from Grandma & Grandpa Packard) were both huge hits! Owen and Henry were delighted.
We missed our extended family so much, but we tried to look on the bright side and appreciate how nice it was to have Christmas in our own home with no pressure to clean beforehand or entertain people! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!