Unicorns and Rainbows - Hallie's First Birthday

Um, so my newborn just had her first birthday.


Has it really been one whole year since I first locked eyes with this incredible little human?  People have warned me that this time of life is gonna go fast, but I wasn't prepared for the fact that the more kids you have the faster it goes!  While I love watching her grow and progress, sometimes I feel a slight panic about the speed of time.  Am I soaking up these fleeting moments with her?  Am I recognizing that "the good old days" are right now?  I don't want to miss a second of this sweet baby.



Every month this year we took a picture of Hallie on her pink rug.  Somehow I've misplaced some of the pictures, but I was able to substitute other pictures from those timeframes.  So, it's not as streamlined as I wanted it to be, but watching her grow is what's important, right?

And my, how she's grown.  Just look at this tiny bean!

















Since we don't live around family anymore I wasn't sure how big of a deal to make Hallie's birthday.   If it were left up to Roy we would have just sang happy birthday, searched the back of the freezer for some ice cream, and called it a day.  Which would have been fine... but that's just not in my blood.

I did concede, however, that it needed to on a much lower key than Camden's first birthday.  Throwing something like that without my mom and aunts would have been impossible.  But we have so much fun putting parties together, I was sad we didn't have them around.

Then my sister-in-law gave me a pep talk, and before you know it I had some of my family convinced to make a trip out just for Hallie!  My parents, siblings and their spouses {and Baby Jaxon!} all showed up, armed with sparkles and sprinkles.





{Zoomed into those cupcakes for you, because those toppers just about killed me.}


It was just my family, which made for a laid-back and stress-free little party.  Hallie loved the hot dogs.  She also loved this stuffed unicorn from Grammy and kept giving it "snuggles."  Every day since, she has been giving all stuffed animals within reach these snuggles where she rubs the side of her face on them.




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There was no hesitation.  She dove right into that cake, and was eating up the attention as well.  Roy kept asking her to show us where her ears were, so she'd rub the cake into her hair.




Cousin bath time to get squeaky clean!


And then we opened gifts, lots of which had come in the mail from more family.  Thank you, guys!  It's fun to have some pink toys in the house, now.  Butterflies, unicorns, flowers, princesses--we're loving this!  Hallie enjoyed opening the gifts to see what was inside, as well as trying to shove them back into the bags.




We wish all of our family could have been there.  Why is Oregon so far away?  We still got to talk to Grandma and Grandpa and kind of pretend they were with us in person.  We are very excited to spend time with them this summer.


But it was fun to see that Jaxon and Hallie are getting old enough to start interacting with each other.  Granted, it's mostly staring at each other and "borrowing" toys from each other, but they get along surprisingly well.  And, of course, Camden is just like a sweet Papa to those babies.




Fun weekend with these people.  We are happy to be living in a home where we can cram everyone in alright.





Happy Birthday, Hallie.  You're a bright light in our world, and I'm not sure how we ever made it without you.  I love your stink bug crawl with your bum in the air, I love that the little playhouse in the backyard is your happy place, and I love your uncontrollable laughter when we play chase.  You're a perfect balance of sweet reliance and independence, but you are giving me a real run for my money with your abundance of sass.  What a rockstar.  We love you!


Easter Weekend on Ice

My parents took my brother and I to Disney on Ice when we were small.  I don't remember it, but Dad told me it was the most painful experience of his life.  If you know my dad and you know me, you know this translates to, "It's probably something Elliot would love."  So I got tickets for Camden and I to go see it with our friends.  It wasn't until a few weeks later that I realized our show was happening over Easter weekend.

We had planned to go to Tucson to visit my grandparents and see my family for Easter weekend.  Last year we'd just stayed home and celebrated with friends, and that was what Camden had his heart set on.  So a few days before we had an Easter egg hunt with friends in our backyard.  The kids loved it.



So we prepped ourselves for the busiest Easter weekend in Buckmaster history.  Roy loaded up the car and we headed down to Tucson to stay with my grandparents for a couple days.  My mom came down from Utah, too!  Camden loved decorating eggs with her.




We got to spend one morning with a ward I grew up in at their Easter party.  Every year I swear we go to like 4-5 egg hunts and he never gets tired of it.  Such a great tradition for these little kiddos.


GG humored Camden by playing endless games of Candyland with him, and Great Grandpa won Hallie over in record time.  We also built a zoo where it was more important to house the cars than the animals, and we went to "Rambo's house" several times to see my parent's old dog and play in the treehouse.  It's always fun to stay with GG and Great Grandpa.


Roy and Hallie stayed for Saturday's Easter festivities and GG's birthday party with a bunch of cousins, aunts, and uncles.  {PS, are these two of the prettiest ladies you've ever seen, or what?}


So excited to watch these girls become friends as they grow.  My cousins all have the cutest, sweetest kids!





Grandpa {now Great Grandpa} continues his money egg tradition for the next generation.  Usually plastic eggs are filled with change or maybe a dollar bill.  When we were growing up there was always an egg with a 20 dollar bill in it, and we would go crazy looking for that one.  I remember my older cousins scaling the rooftop and the tallest trees looking for it.


Camden would have loved it, he's just starting to grasp the money concept a little better.  But we will have to plan for next year.  Because while everyone was gorging on ham and those potatoes and singing happy birthday and hunting eggs...


Camden and I drove all the way back up to Phoenix to see Disney on Ice.  {I'm dying over Camden's Donald Trump hair in this ^^ picture!}

Our cute friends Lindsey and Lainey met us there.  It was so fun to have a princess enthusiast with us.  Camden's favorite part was Prince Phillip battling the fire-breathing dragon.  He also got really excited and waved every time the narrators {Mickey and Minnie} skated onto the ice.  Meanwhile, I was sitting there wondering how these talented ice skaters got here.  Is this what happens to the people who don't make it to the olympics?  They end up in a Tinker Bell costume?  Or is this something ice skaters dream of doing?  Either way, it looked like they were having fun.


And so were we.  The bubbles falling everywhere for the Little Mermaid was fun, and there were some cool acrobatic tricks.  Camden kept talking about how strong the princes were when they skated around holding the princesses over their heads.  But what I loved most was when he said, "How did Mickey get here from Disneyland, Mom?"

Stuff like this is pure magic for him, as it was for all the kids there.  When Frozen came on and every child in the whole place was singing along, I admit I got emotional.  Well done, Disney.




We brought Uncle Mason down from Phoenix with us and went to bed late.  In the morning the Easter baskets were filled and the eggs were hidden.




I'm convinced my grandparents live in the most beautiful part of the Sonoran desert.  That Easter morning was a perfect day; hummingbirds flying around the flowers, blue skies overhead-- it couldn't have been more gorgeous.  Camden had six adults to help him find eggs but that last one gave us a scare.  For a while I thought GG would just have to discover it later when her whole backyard smelled rotten.  Luckily we found it at the last minute.




At 11 months old, Hallie had never been the cuddly type.  Too busy.  But then over the weekend she grew very attached to her Uncle Mason and every time he picked her up all she wanted to do was snuggle!  I couldn't believe it!  I was so jealous, but so in love with them together.

Miraculously she has been so cuddly with Roy and I ever since.  It's the best.


Baby girl was interested in the eggs, but mostly in a will-these-fit-in-my-mouth kind of way.  Next year I'm sure she'll be hunting a little bit.  Mostly she was enjoying all the nice, soft grass to crawl around on and the walls and rocks to pull herself up on.



After all the eggs were found and the chocolate was eaten, we went to my family's old ward for church that morning before heading home.  I forgot Camden's dress shoes at home, but I still thought he looked quite dapper.





This year I decided that Easter is my second favorite holiday.  Obviously nothing can beat Christmas, but Easter comes astonishingly close.  I love the surge of hope and love we feel in our lives as we talk about our Savior and all He has done for us, and what that means for us as children of God.  I'm so grateful to Jesus Christ and feel beyond blessed that we can be a forever family.  'Cuz I sure do love this family of mine.