31 December 2014

New Year's Eve 2014

We had no expectations (or desires) that the girls would stay up until midnight to ring in the new year. Even I wasn't planning on staying up.
Despite this, we still wanted to do something fun that the girls would enjoy and would give us a chance to talk about how fun the year was. 
So we spent the morning cleaning the flat so that we could party in the evening in a nice clean space. We put the Christmas decorations away and did the dishes and rearranged the playroom/ guest room. 

Then for dinner we ordered in fish & chips. The right way. The British way. With gravy on the fish and salt and vinegar on the chips. I don't know if I'll ever be able to eat fish & chips another way again. 
Then we decorated chocolate cupcakes, and made noisemakers and princess crowns. We talked about all of the things we did last year and what our favorite parts were. Then we talked about what we want to do next year and where we want to go. (The twins want to learn how to juggle and they want to go to Paris.)

Then we had a dance party to some of our favorite songs from 2014- All About the Bass, Rude, and Shake it Off. It was dorky and full or terrible dancing but lots of fun and giggles too. 

We counted down to the new year at 8:15 and then the girls went to bed. And then we took a selfie, watched some Brooklyn 99 (Seriously one of the funniest shows I've seen!) and then we went to bed. Dallin happened to be awake til midnight and heard the fireworks, but I was fast asleep. Snore.

Hey, the title didn't say "The most exciting New Year's Eve ever" did it? 

30 December 2014

Arthur's Seat

One of the things we wanted to do before the end of the year was to hike to Arthur's seat with the girls. If not to the top, at least as far as we could reasonably get with three girls in tow.
So on December 29th, we set out mid-morning with Deaun in the pack on Dallin's back. 

The morning was gorgeous and not too cold, but once we made it to Holyrood Park, the ground was quite frosty and slippery. We only made it about 2/3 of the way up before we decided to head back.

That was mostly because I was uncomfortable going farther with the ground so slick and  the girls needing hands to hold, I was worried about the girls slipping and falling in the mud. Don't worry, they didn't. Although I did twice while trying to prevent them from falling. Haha. Dallin told me my second fall was the most awkward, slow fall he had ever seen! And he's right. It felt awkward. Haha. 

But we had a good time and the views were amazing, so we can't wait to try it again once it warms up a bit. 

29 December 2014

Deaun at 18 months

Oh man, Deaun. I don't even know where to start with this squishy little munchkin! 18 months old is a fun time!!

Words she says:
Nona (Fiona)
Nona (Sabrina)
Ho ho ho (Santa)
Bampa (Grandpa)
Daw daw (dog)
Yiss (Yes)
Peez (please)
Baba (bottle- which also translates to "I'm tired, give me my bottle."
Dack-eh (jacket- which also translates to "Let's go outside."
Here go (Here you go)
Wah wah (Water or drink)
Baby (her baby doll)
Deezuh (Jesus)

She growls when she doesn't like something or you take something from her or you won't let her do something. Loud, mad, angry, hilarious growls. 

We finally tossed her bottles about a week ago and forced her to start taking a sippy cup at night and she hates it. But she drinks from a cup at meals, and she holds it herself and everything. 

She thinks she is as big and old and smart as the twins. When we started the twins in preschool in November, she was very disappointed that she didn't get to go with them. (Translation: She screamed and growled and clawed to show her disappointment.)

Deaun climbs on everything: tables, chairs, desks, couches, bookshelves and she hardly ever holds still. She is always running or climbing or throwing things. 

The only times she does hold still are when she is sleeping or reading books. And boy does this girl love to read! We aren't talking about baby board books, this girl likes long books. Books that the girls like to read. Surprise. 

Anyway, Deaun is just a bundle of cuteness and energy and mischief and we love her SO SO much. She is so very loved by all of us and is always making us laugh with her antics. We love having her in the family.

27 December 2014

Christmas 2014

The Christmas Season:
While I was worried about being away from family during the season, it ended up being okay. We played with friends, participated in church activities and Dal and I even got TWO dates in the books. We visited the Christmas Markets in the city center and started some fun new traditions.

Fiona as a wise man, and Sabrina as Mary in their Nursery School Nativity. They did a great job and sang all their songs very well. Let me just say that I loved that the Nativity is allowed in schools in Scotland. There isn't a separation of church and state here like there is in the US, and I for one, found it refreshing. It was sweet to listen to some cute Christmas songs that we hadn't heard before. Totally darling.

At the ward Christmas party.

The Sunday before Christmas, the girls wore their Christmas dresses from Grandma Truck (Dianne) and Auntie Sarah and participated in the Church nativity where Fiona and Sabrina were both shepherds.

Christmas Eve:
On Christmas Eve, Dal and I spent most of the day in the kitchen prepping dinner for that night. Without family to visit like usual we decided to just be together. We had Swedish meatballs, which I loved so much I think I might make it a new Christmas Eve tradition, read stories together, watched some Christmas movies and read our traditional Christmas Eve stories (Luke 2 and The Happy Prince). It was quiet and peaceful and very sweet.

Google Hangout with the Robison's on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve jammies:

Christmas Day:
On Christmas Day, we opened presents and had one of Dallin's school friends over for breakfast. We had red velvet crepes and they were delicious. Then we went to the church for a Christmas dinner with friends from the ward. We had people from the United States, England, Scotland, the Phillipines, and South Africa. It was so fun!

Christmas morning:

A trip to Disneyland!

All in all, we had a really wonderful Christmas season. Different from any other, but very special, and one that will hold a place in my heart for always.

20 December 2014

Christmas in Edinburgh

Like a lot of cities in Europe, Edinburgh seems to go all out for Christmas. They set up Christmas markets in the city center and they have rides, games, booths, and food galore. It's quite amazing and very fun to visit. We made a couple of trips to see it over the month before Christmas.

Along George Street, there are a bunch of these fake trees with generators that all look amazing.

This is St. Andrew's Square. The ride on the left is a slide called the Helter Skelter and the ice rink below is shaped like a donut.

A view of Edinburgh Castle through the lit up trees along Princes Street. 

The Christmas tree and Fiona in Old College.

The Big Wheel at the main Christmas Market in the Princes Street Gardens.

The Big Wheel above and Santa's village for the kids below. They had a Christmas tree maze, reindeer rides, big slides, roller coasters, etc. and we had a lot of fun exploring it all!

And then of course, Edinburgh gave us several sunrises like this over the course of the month. Just absolutely gorgeous!

08 November 2014

Falkirk, Stirling, and Queensferry

We have our first visitors here in Scotland! My mom and sister, Sarah, are visitng for a few weeks (squeeee!) and we've had a lot of fun revisiting some favorite spots and of course visiting lots of new places as well. 

Today, we had a grand adventure! We rented a car and drove in the left side of the road for the first time. Well, Dallin drove (and did beautifully) and I navigated (somewhat poorly).

First we drove out to Falkirk, Scotland to see the famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) Kelpies. 

The Falkirk Kelpies were designed by Andy Scott and stand 30 meters (98.5 feet) high. They were breathtaking. 

I mean, seriously. Are you even kidding me with the sun just shining off of them and that blue sky?!

And then Deaun killed it in the cuteness department. 

The Kelpies are one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I was seriously just blown away with them. I would move to Falkirk for the sole reason of seeing them every day. Amazing. They were just amazing. 

Okay. Enough with the Kelpies. I'll stop. Even though I could go on.

After Falkirk, we continued west to Stirling, Scotland. Home of Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument. 

Stirling Castle is set up on top of this huge hill, and from it, you can see for miles and miles and miles (strategic, eh?) and the views and beautiful. 

We went on a guided tour, and although I didn't hear much, what with chasing three girls around, I think I remember hearing that because of its location and how strategically it was placed (see, I told you) it changed hands 8 times between the Scots and the English. There was so much of the castle compound that we didn't get to see on this visit, but we will for sure be visiting again. 


Stirling Castle also has this incredibly creepy collection of wooden carvings. They were commissioned by King James V because was pretty obsessed with making sure that everyone knew he was the rightful king. 

You're welcome for that. 

After we ate lunch, we also decided to drive over to see the Wallace Monument since we were so close. 

We only saw it from a distance, but it was pretty cool looking. It's set on the top of a hill, so you can see it from miles away. You can climb up to the top of the monument as well, and I'm sure the views from there are stunning. 

Then pretty much everyone fell asleep as we drove back towards home. 

Finally, we drove to Queensferry to see the Forth Bridge, which crosses over the Firth of Forth. It spans 8,297 feet (1.57 miles) and has the second-longest cantilever bridge span in the world! 

You can see the Forth Road Bridge on the left (which we drove over) and the Forth Bridge (only rail travel) on the right in this picture. There is a third bridge currently under construction to the left of the Forth Road Bridge, which will be the Queensferry Crossing when it is completed in 2016. 

Also, I might have fallen in love with Queensferry and if my plans to move to Falkirk fall through, then I'll move here instead. It was the quintessential seaside Scottish town. Tiny streets, B&B's, fish'n'chip shops, coloured houses. It had it all. Just beautiful. 

And then we drove home and got stuck in Edinburgh traffic in the rain and everyone was tired of being in the car so we made BLT's for dinner and vegged for the rest of the night. It was wonderful. Totally wonderful. 

So come visit already! If this extremely long blog post that no one reads doesn't convince you then I don't know what will!

*Visited November 8, 2014