Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 Family Christmas Letter with lots of photos

   With the end of the year approaching I have been thinking about the complete lack of year end family letters during our almost 5 years of marriage. So, I decided that I needed to rectify this problem by actually sitting down & writing one this year. As a brief means of catching up, Brian & I have been in Houston, TX for the last three and a half years.  Brian is in his third and last year of Texas Women’s University’s Doctoral program in Physical therapy. I stay home and try to keep up with our rambunctious three year old Cameron & feisty one and a half year old Lilliana.
   This year has been lots of fun. We started off the year by, using our Christmas gift from my dad, and visiting Piney Shores Resorts in Conroe, TX for a mini family vacation. Unfortunately, there were record lows, I think it got down to 15 degrees- which is very cold for here, and the pipes froze. We still managed to have fun swimming, playing miniature golf and board games, going to The Woodland’s Mall play area, the kids also loved playing in the extra large bathtub (I did too, it is not often that I find a bathtub that I fit in). I also celebrated a quarter century of life this month.

   In February Lilliana, at only nine months, started walking. Talk about energetic, this girl does not stop. She was very happy to finally be able to keep up with her big brother. We enjoyed the nice weather by spending lots of time at the various parks close by.      

   March’s big event was Cameron’s third birthday. This year we had a big fireman themed party. I made a couch sized cardboard fire truck- that stayed in the house for a month and a half before we finally laid it to rest in our recycling bin, a 3D fire truck cake & then we ended by visiting a close by fire station.    March is also Rodeo month here in Houston. Cameron LOVES it and is always disappointed when it’s gone.  Brian participated in PT Olympics in San Antonio and we took the opportunity to have another mini vacation so we could go cheer him on. We also went to Lulu’s Cafe and ate the biggest cinnamon roll that I have ever seen- mmm… it was delicious; it took us almost a week to finish.

   April our baby girl turned one. It never ceases to amaze me how fast children grow and in an infant’s case was a difference a year makes.  This year I made Lilliana a birthday dress, it was lots of fun and it turned out mostly how I wanted it. We also enjoyed Easter this year. We dyed eggs for the first time & Lilliana had a lot of fun her first egg hunt. She also had her first taste of candy when she found a chocolate egg and unwrapped it before we noticed.

   In May we celebrated 4 years together. Then at the end of the month we headed out to Utah & were blessed to attend the wedding of my brother Jonathan to his beautiful wife Haruka. Cameron was thrilled to get to play in the snow at Alta ski lodge , where the wedding took place. I was glad to get to spend time in the mountains that I love so much.

   In June, Brian started a two month clinical rotation at a hospital in Ogden. We were blessed to be able to stay with my Brother Dax, his wife Kim & their great kids. They had a great view of Pineview Reservoir from their home and, living in a valley, we were surrounded by majestic mountains. We had fun playing at Ogden’s children’s museum called the Tree House, going to the library, finding fun parks to spend our time & going to my nieces’ t-ball games.

   Being in Utah afforded us the chance to visit a lot of friends and family that we haven’t seen for a long time. In July we went and spent the fourth with Brian’s Brother Brent & his wonderful family. I chopped off 15 inches of hair to donate; Brian did a double take when he first saw me. We were also able to attend two family reunions, the Crane family & the Pinegar Family. We had so much fun. For the Pinegar family reunion we camped & that was a first for our kids. S’mores became a quick favorite of Cameron’s; Lilliana preferred plain uncooked marshmallows. We also did a lot of hiking & playing at the beach by the reservoir. with the kids in July. I sure do miss my mountains.

   Home again in August, it was nice to be back. We spent a lot of time playing in the water to keep cool. The kids loved playing in sprinklers, parks with water features & the beach in Galveston.  Lilliana is like a fish when it comes to water. When we went to the beach she spent most of her time playing in or near the water. Cameron, on the other hand, was much more content playing in the sand & looking for sea shells.

   In September, Brian started his last year of his Physical Therapy program. He had another clinical rotation start. Fair weather meant a lot of time spent outside. A clearance sale purchase of a kiddy pool meant the kids spent almost everyday in swimsuits. I found some really excellent bread recipes and started baking loafs almost every day.

   We spent a lot of time celebrating in October. We went to three or four pumpkin patches, a Fall festival and two different trunk-or-treat activities. October was also our National Night Out event that I planned as part of participating in our neighborhood board. I made Cameron a Dalmatian costume. Lilliana was Dorothy.

   In November Brian submitted his research project that he has been working on since his first year. It was a huge burden off his shoulders to have that done. I started watching some kids from our ward during the week during school hours. Cameron & Lilliana have really enjoyed having friends to play with during the day. We spent Thanksgiving at Brian’s Uncle’s house and had a really good time.

   December is promising to be a festive one.  We have lots of parties to go to and lots of friends and family to visit with. Mostly, I am just grateful for this time to reflect on the life of my beautiful Savior. I am so overwhelmed by his love that I see manifest in our lives everyday. May His light shine bright for all of you the Christmas Season.

   2011 will be an exciting year for us. In May, we will celebrate five wonderful years of marriage together. Brian also graduates in May & will then take his licensure exams in June. This summer a fifth Crane will also be making their way to our family. We feel so blessed by the Lord & we pray His blessings on you too.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Brian, Sophia, Cameron & Lilliana Crane

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Year Already?

I can hardly believe that it has been a year already. I can believe that this little baby girl of mine has gone from

this tiny baby

alert and attentive from the beginning 

so precious

smiley new born; 

to a smiley

noisy, fun loving

one year old baby girl.

Happy Birthday Lilliana! 
We love you and your smiles so much.