January 11, 2016

Christmas Time in 2015

Our stuff is finally unpacked into our new home, now we can mess it up to our hearts content which is just what the kids and I excel at.  Brent is doing his fair share of messing it up too because he's installing a dishwasher in the kitchen and tearing out the walls of the bathroom. These are exciting changes to the house but it sure is going to be a bit of a mess for a week or two. 
So backtrack a bit, I should probably explain why we moved and all the huge changes that have been going on this last month!

Okay so back in the summer when we were visiting Utah is really when it all started.  I saw my kids playing in the yard and saw how much they loved it and remembered how much I loved it and how much we miss having a yard.  That's when the seed was planted.  As the year progressed I began to enjoy living in an apartment less and less.  Our neighbors below us complained quite a lot about how loud we were.  Brent's solution: "Well we could cut off their legs, but I'm not sure that would be a good idea".  Yeah, the neighbors loved it when he said that.... not.  
We also had issues with other neighbors, I won't go into all of that in a public blog but lets just say that it was pushing me to my limit and I was about ready to crack.  I needed for us to be on our own.
There just wasn't much space to run and play unless we went all the way out to the playground, which we had to cross the parking lot to get to.  It wasn't the worst situation by any means though so after toying with the idea of moving we decided to stay. We liked the pool, the apartment itself was really nice and we really didn't have the money to go spend on a house paying MORE for rent.  We finally decided we wouldn't move UNLESS we found a place we liked better for LESS than what we were paying at our apartment.  
One of Brent's PA classmates was moving somewhere else for her clinical rotations so her house was coming available and the rent was $15 less than our apartment. We decided to go and look at it even though it seemed too small.  Looks were deceiving, it had more space than our apartment and I just fell in love with the yard in the back. The problem though was... no dishwasher. That was kind of a big deal to us.  I'm NOT the best at keeping up with cleaning. I need a dishwasher.  So Brent negotiated with the Landlord. Brent wrote up a bid of what it would cost to put one in. After a couple weeks of not knowing if it would work out or not (which was pure torture for me!) the Landlord and Brent came to an agreement in our favor! Dishwasher was approved!  Our lease at our apartment was up on the 31st so we decided to just enjoy Christmas and then start packing up and moving out on the 29th.  
Of course Brent somehow threw out his back a few days before we were to move.  Luckily we got a couple dollies lent to us by a church member. We took load after load back and forth with our van.  Holy cow, that was a lot harder than I thought! Our friends from church let us borrow their truck while they were in CA so we were able to move the piano and washing machine/dryer with those and some other friends from church came and helped lift the piano and couches into the new house.  
There are a few things about the house we don't like but holy cow it's so nice to have a bit more space and a yard and not to have anyone below us and it's also nice to have our car right outside our door instead of down a flight of steep stairs (those always made me so nervous with the kids).  We're also able to spread out in the kitchen a bit more, OH and the girl that moved out sold us her table and chairs for a price we could afford! The table and chairs work so much better for our family!
So anyway, things are looking up! We're in a place of our own, Brent's didactic year is OVER, and I'm going to Physical therapy to help my shoulders so I can start exercising again, and we actually even have TIME to exercise now!!!

Right before Christmas we wrote out a Christmas card, for those of you who didn't receive it via mail here it is:

Dear Family & Friends,
Hello from Paris, TN! This has been a memorable year. Hopefully a lot of those memories will fade
with time. If you would like to appreciate the details of this year’s experiences, insert your finger
into the corner of your eye; hook your finger around the back of your eye and then pull. Brent made
it through his first year of PA school which has been just about as enjoyable as getting his Wingtip
shoes shoved down his throat.
Yes, it was a hard year for us but we still have so much to be grateful for. We’re all still alive. We
have plenty of extra pounds of fat storage in our bodies so we won’t starve too fast if there was a
disaster. And best of all we have hope, hope that next year will be better than this year!
We’ve actually gotten to do a few fun things this year during semester breaks. In April we went backpacking in Mid-Eastern Tennessee. Our friend Taran stayed with us in June. In July the kids and Sarah got to visit Utah and spent 2 weeks with family. In August we went camping at the beach
in Florida. In October we had a visit from Sarah’s parents and camped in the beautiful Smokey Mountains!
Update on the kiddos:
• Chico... He is quite good at math and likes to wake up bright and early to practice math
facts. He can already do multiplication! He is quite an amazing lego builder. We are
constantly amazed by the creations he comes up with, often they are space ships or robots.
He still draws occasionally and we are amazed at how well he can replicate drawings he
finds online. He’s got a gift!
• Griz... started Pre-K this year. He is now sounding out words and frequently pointing
out letters and numbers he sees in random places. He is so eager to learn! He is also such
a great friend, he is constantly making new friends at school and at the park. His smile and
humor are very important to our family. He’s still a cute and cuddly boy but he also likes to
fight and wrestle and you have to watch out because he is pretty good at landing a blow! He
loves to play with toys and use his imagination. We love hearing he and Chico come up
with imaginary scenarios involving “Pumpkin”.
• Bubba or Sanna is now 2 years old and speaking quite a bit. She has the cutest, funniest voice. She likes to repeat us a lot. When she repeats us it sounds like someone has just recorded your voice and then distorted it with a computer. She’s getting into princess stuff but she still likes super heroes with the boys. She’s a momma’s girl and wants to go everywhere Sarah does, especially Walmart! She still likes to climb and get messy and tries her hardest to keep up with the boys! She has also very recently really started liking to build, mostly with duplos but she can also do the little legos a bit too.
Update on us:
• Brent finished the didactic year of PA school and received his “white coat” and will begin
clinical rotations. Each rotation lasts 5 weeks and each will involve a different medical field.
These rotations will last until he graduates in May 2017.
• Sarah spends a lot of time in our new mini van driving children and neighbors here and
there. She hasn’t done as much photography and art this year with life being so crazy.
We hope you all are doing well. For those of you we don’t get to see as often, we miss you and wish
we could have been with you this Holiday Season.
The Hatch Family

So anyway, it's been a while since I posted and let me tell you, we barely made it through November due to stress. We hobbled our way through the first couple weeks of December and on December 18th we took a huge sigh of relief that the misery called the didactic year of PA school was over and Christmas break was starting! To celebrate, we went to a matinee of Star Wars!!! Talk about awesome movie.  Even Sanna was interested in it.  I want to go see it again. Best Star Wars movie yet.
The next day I photographed a wedding. I haven't had much time to do many photo shoots during the year so it was fun to do that again.  Brent helped me with the wedding and then went to an Elder's Quorum activity where they raced pinewood derby cars... the twist... no rules! Brent used CO2 cartridges and his nail gun to give them a boost.  So funny. He really enjoyed carving the car with his dremel.  When he has more time on his hands he said he'd like to carve me a nativity. :)

I'm sitting here trying to think what else should be addressed in this time period and I just remembered, THANKSGIVING and Day After! That was definitely the highlight of the month.  I made our own Thanksgiving dinner. Brent took the kids to a turkey bowl that morning (Griz stayed with me though) and I cooked all morning. We invited a couple guys from church, good thing too, I made a LOT of it!!!   I made a turkey with bacon covering the whole outside of it.  I also made mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, homemade rolls, gravy, green beans, and stuffing.  It all tasted SO good.
The day after Thanksgiving we got to go on our First Date Anniversary. Since we couldn't go to Temple Square we made do with a different tradition. Luckily I was able to do a photography trade and we had our friends tending the kids in Jackson so we were able to go to Memphis.  First we went to Olive Garden (with a gift card, nice!) and then to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. It was a good substitute for Temple Square. Yeah it didn't have lights like temple square (I've yet to see a place quite like Temple Square) but it was gorgeous gardens and the gallery itself was quite good (sorry to say, better than the church's art museum).  So anyway, then we went to a place similar to Cold Stone (Maggie Moos). It was a nice long date and we NEEDED it.  The Thanksgiving break really rejuvenated us and gave us the little boost we needed to make it the rest of the way through the semester.

So enough of my blabbing on. Here is the real reason y'all want to visit my blog:
mid November-December

Sanna got a hold of my eyeliner, sweet girl, you're beautiful without makeup, don't change a thing! ;)

We had a really fun Branch Christmas party. My friends planned the majority of it and they did a great job.  I made the painting of the little fire in the background but that's about all I did to help really.

The Primary put on the nativity for the party. Chico got to be Joseph and Griz was a wiseman. They were all so cute and they sang Joy to the World so well.  That, my friends, is the entire Primary from our Branch which by the way covers 5 counties.  A whole lot different than our wards back in Utah that covered 5 blocks!

As always we enjoyed getting out the Christmas decorations and Brent enjoyed photographing us doing it...

This is the last year we're using an artificial tree...

I love this goofy pic of Griz. He put on the Harry Potter glasses and sat back to read a Christmas book.  Ha ha. He's always making us laugh.

We were given some pre-made Gingerbread houses that we got to decorate. They were pretty fun to decorate! I really like this kind of stuff and luckily they still wanted/needed my help! 

I enjoyed helping with the icicles.

Please don't accuse me of being a bad parent, yes I know her scarf is made of bubble wrap.

The next day we did sugar cookies (gingerbread cookies as far as they know, shhh, don't tell!)

I walked in the other room and caught Griz sneaking some playing/eating time with the houses. That was his face getting caught.

That's one way to eat the cookie...

Griz likes to put his head (and feet) in the folds of the pillows. So cute.

Chico doesn't fall asleep quite as fast as Griz still.

Something I didn't really post about but should have made a big deal about was....
Brent's White Coat Ceremony!
We didn't take our own camera to the ceremony because we figured we'd be having a hard enough time battling our own kids... and that was actually the case. Brent's classmate had a camera though and took some...

This pic is what life is more like usually:

And this is a couple of the many attempts at a nice picture:

I'm so proud of Brent for making it through this year and receiving his White Coat. He worked SOOOOO hard. The sacrifice he made for our family this year was huge and I am so grateful to him for doing it. Now he gets to do clinical rotations for the next year (plus a few months) and I know he will just do so great.

We don't get beautiful sunsets very often but here is one that was quite beautiful!

Christmas morning came and Santa delivered big time!
Here is Chico doing a dance of joy for receiving Sports Stacking Cups!
 This is Griz's reaction not to his present, but to Chico's present!
 He was thrilled about his presents too though.

Sanna looked quite beautiful in her new Sofia Dress.

and thrilled about her very own lego set!!!

Griz really liked his (and Sanna's presents)

 Accessorizing with ALL her new gifts all at once.

Santa also included with the stacking cups the mat and timer AND mini stacking cups. Sanna enjoyed trying those out and she looked so adorable tippy-toeing up to the table to do it.

We spent the majority of the day parked in front of the computer FaceTiming/Skyping with family.  Brent had thrown out his back so that was another reason we didn't go do much.  Plus it was fun to feel part of the family from far away.
Sure am missing my family, especially my new niece and nephew. Cute babies! Fun family! Miss you all!

A few days after Christmas we drove out to Nashville to see the lights in the Gardens of the Opryland Hotel.  It was really neat! We didn't take our camera. Maybe next year y'all. :)  Then we walked over to the mall and let the boys use their Christmas money from Grandma Wong to buy a lego set from the Lego Store.  They love that set so much! Maybe I should just let them choose their own from now on!  We got to eat some Greek food and a yummy Philly cheesesteak sandwich from the food court. It was a lot of fun!
Well that pretty much covers the rest of December! We were cleaning/packing/moving the rest of the time. We finished getting completely moved out and cleaned out the apartment by about 6:30 on New Years Eve night so we got some Papa Johns to celebrate and went home, ate it with some treats and crashed on the couch with a movie.  We all fell asleep.  Chico even crashed in bed at 11:40. I woke back up in time to ring in the new year all by myself, as I put everyone in their beds. :)

1 comment:

Heidi Kirschbaum said...

So awesome that Brent got his white coat! He's been working so hard. And I can't get over how cute Sanna is. Have you ever seen a pic of Amy Tueller's little girl? They look a lot alike.