Holdie Lu is Two!!!

Our precious little boy turned TWO yesterday! Can you believe it? I sure can’t! It was a pretty low-key celebration this year (so far). I’m thinking we’re going to have a birthday bash for all the boys in May, but haven’t planned that far ahead yet. We settled for dinner at Addie’s favorite pizza place where there are a handful of video games and claw machines. Addie and Coen spent at least $7 each. Coen was obsessed with a giant lizard building smasher game and Addie wanted to play the candy claw over and over. Holden watched my phone at the booth with Beckett and Gram! Then cake and presents with Gram and Gramps and to bed to rest up for a busy birthday-day. I snapped the last picture of a one-year-old, then woke up to a room full of balloons for a big two-year-old! Holden was pretty cranky most of the day (I think he has a slight cold). We went to horse lessons for the older two, then took Addie to a friend’s birthday party. Holden took two naps before we headed to dinner with our church group. Holden loved practicing jumping in the trampoline with the big kids, then blew out his candle before refusing cake. Sometimes I don’t understand how this child is mine! We went home an tore into the rest of the presents then stayed up way too late playing with our new loot. We rounded out the birthday weekend today by heading to the park after church to finally enjoy some springtime weather! Though rather uneventful, turning two was a success. Happy birthday, baby boy!



Longest. Title. Ever. for the longest post ever. Are you ready?

Reno decided to skip winter this year, but just when we’re ready for spring, bring on the snow. We spent some fun weekends throwing snow balls, building snowmen, and backyard sledding. I tell you, little ones all bundled up are the cutest! And, side note, those blue snow pants Holden is wearing were Addie’s when she was 18 months old! You totally get your money’s worth when 4 kids can wear something!


The kids’ schools had Dr. Seuss day. Addie was Daisy Head Maizie. Beckett was The Lorax. And, since Coen’s “dress like your favorite character” day was the week after Addie and Beckett’s, The Lorax made a second appearance! Mom win, if I ever saw one 🙂 Coen also had crazy sock day. He picked dinosaur leg warmers. His fashion sense is amazing!


Next up, Mother Son night at Coen’s school. They rented out the Discovery Museum for the evening and the kids could just run free like crazy people for two straight hours. Coen loved the clouds, went fishing, built marble runs, raced cars, slid down the tree slide, basically bounced from room to room like a pinball the whole time. We had to take pizza and cookies to go because he wouldn’t slow down for two seconds to eat dinner. He was a sweaty little mess when we left but so very happy!


When we switched insurance providers at the beginning of this year, we had to find a new dentist. I was very bummed as our prior dentist was incredible, but they referred us to an equally awesome place with even better prizes and video games in the lobby. All kids did awesome, even Holden. Addie still has two cavities to fill, but otherwise, looking good! Yay!


St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday this year (with a snow day on Friday) so the kids missed out on green fun. Although the naughty little leprechaun made a huge mess at Coen’s school and the teachers waited for the kids to see it Monday before cleaning it all up. We did our best to celebrate but really, beyond wearing our silly hats, it was pretty much a bust.IMG_3568

We spent the last couple weeks of March gearing up for a fun Easter. We filled more than 2000 eggs with our church group for the most awesome color run meets egg hunt. Addie loved getting cover with color powder. Holden wanted nothing to do with it. Coen gave it a small try but wasn’t really into it. He spent most of the time in my office with Beckett watching the iPad. Regardless, it was a fun day and the kids came home with Halloween amounts of candy. We quickly died eggs at home the day before Easter. Holden really liked it this year. We spent Easter tearing through baskets, then attending a lovely church service, then one of our favorite traditions, brunch at the Donahoes with some of our amazing friends. The Easter bunny brought the kids the cutest, most ridiculous Easter outfits this year, which made me happy 🙂 We finished the day with dinner with Gram and Gramps.


Addie and Beckett have been doing great things at their school. Each month, their classes have a STEAM project. Addie always does Beckett’s because well, she rocks! One month, he had to build a house or shelter using anything in your home; Addie had to build a model of something we might see in the future. Her city scape had buildings with a pool on top and a giant slide to get to the ground. People get around using hang gliders. The greatest one was a team project in Addie’s class. They had to come up with a recommendation that they want to see incorporated into their new school building next year and present to the board of directors at their school. Addie and her group decided their new school needs to have elevators so children in wheel chairs and moms with strollers can access the second floor. They pulled Beckett out of class to help present their idea. How thoughtful are these little ones? I cried! Are you surprised?  AHi6yuSDT0CtA+hkJGIZGwRNJRSPuRTOykNh6SNKZohgpIJODfk0RDmi7jyhvIAZFg

They also had a school play where the kindergartners through second grade came together to present Hansel and Gretel Eat Right. Addie was selected to play Gretel. Because there were so many kids, she shared the role, but she had a lots of lines throughout and did amazing! Beckett was a part of the compost pile. They were all so cute!


Soon after, Addie lost her very wiggly front tooth. I was glad it held on until after the play, but now, we’re full steam ahead into the awkward phase. The second top tooth is loose, but probably has a few more weeks to go. She looks like a jack-o-lantern already!


Next on our list, meeting our beautiful new cousin Emily in California. She’s such a precious little bug, but man, am I glad to not do the infant phase even again. They’re a lot of work! Sweet and snuggly, but so much work. But, don’t get me wrong, I’ll gladly snuggle on anyone’s baby any day.

The cousins had a blast meeting sweet baby E, playing with Haylee, going to the zoo, making chalk people at Nana and Poppy’s, and exploring the creek. We took a quick trip to the park where Holden discovered a new-found love of slides before heading back to Reno.


The next weekend, Addie performed in another play, this time for her dance academy. She played an A-list party pal and a member of the green team in Pinkalicious. It was such a cute show! If you want to watch it, here’s the link.


Yesterday, Addie and Beckett started horse lessons again. The other brothers and I tried to entertain ourselves while they practiced. Coen slayed bad guys with rhythmic gymnastic wants. Holden had way too much fun with a pop up toy then stuck foam letters to his face. Good times!





Before you think our year has just been pet death, I thought I should catch up on posting some of the fun we’ve been having, too! First, birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays. Way back around New Years, I took Addie and Coen to Addie’s friend Guiliana’s party at the roller rink. Wow, what an experience! Addie started with the walker (roller??) and by the end, was free skating on her own. Coen, on the other hand, was clutching his walker for dear life but loved being pushed around and around and around the rink. He much preferred the video games, though, so we spent the last hour or so playing. By far, pinball was his favorite!


Next came Jimmy’s birthday. Which, once again, he spent in Las Vegas for work. He came home and we had take out of some sort, probably Super Burrito, then ding dongs. Target doesn’t have a bakery and with two boys in tow, that was my only stop of the day 🙂 Next year, we’ll actually do something special. After all, it will be the big 4-0!


The next weekend, Jimmy took the too crazies to another party, this time at a rock climbing gym. I didn’t have high hopes for this one, but both had a great time and actually climbed! I guess Coen had a freak out moment and someone had to climb up and retrieve him from pretty high up on the wall. I think coming down and trusting that someone isn’t going to drop me would make me nervous, too!


We had two birthdays the next weekend, one just for Addie for a friend from school at an arcade. It was so fun! Addie loved the air hockey table and this virtual reality shaky thing. I’m shocked no one lost their cupcakes! The next party was for our buddy, Caleb. He had a train-themed party at this house, but on the way there, Coen spiked a fever and felt pretty miserable. This was the start to weeks of sickies in our house. All but Addie, for some strange reason. Holden had an ear infection and we were sure Beckett had the flu, but surprisingly, he tested negative. Just overall miserable for a few weeks, but we survived!


Jimmy had a trade show at the Peppermill where this arcade is. Jimmy and Coen had a hair cut before the trade show, so Coen got to tag along with him, and as a treat, Jimmy took Coen to this same arcade (as if collecting all the swag at the trade show wasn’t fun enough for a 3-year-old). Coen thought it was the best place on earth, too, so I imagine we’ll be spending some time at the arcade again very soon!


At the last minute, we decided to go to a super bowl party at one of Addie’s friends’ house. We experienced some pre-teen girl drama leaving Addie in tears. Totally minor, the older girls were being mean to Addie’s friend, but her feelings were hurt, none the less. Coen fell in love with the play structure and discovered a nerf shooter. Holden climbed up and slid backwards down a toddler slide over and over again, then ran around playing ball with the big boys. Both ended up getting trampled and crying before it was time to go. Regardless, it was a fun half of football!


Holden had his first unofficial swim session. Usually, swim nights are a trade-off and he doesn’t get to attend. I pick the kids up from school, drop Addie off for dance, take Coen to swim where Jimmy meets us, then I head home with the other two boys and when Jimmy and Coen get home, I pick Addie up from dance. This prevents me from having to bring all 3 boys into swim lessons. This week, however, Jimmy got called in to help move a ton of office furniture at church, so Beckett hung out in my office while Jimmy moved, leaving me to take Coen and Holden to swim. I brought his suit, just in case he wanted to play on the step. He was surprisingly good. Just sat on the edge with his feet in splashing and playing with Maya and Coen. At the very end, Miss Susan took him into the pool with Kaiden. He was pretty OK. Not sure I’m ready to sign him up for lessons yet. I’m using Kaiden as a guide since they’re close to the same age. Once Kaiden starts enjoying it and actually learning something, we’ll put Holden in!


On to Valentine’s Day! I was never a huge Valentine fan, kind of indifferent to the whole holiday. But oddly, with kids, I think it’s awesome! The loot these three littles came home with, I swear, rivals Halloween! Plus, pinterest makes it way too easy to make cute Valentines for all their friends! I somehow managed to send Coen and Beckett off without snapping their pics, but here are two of my Valentine cuties. Jimmy was in Vegas again 😦


OK, all caught up to last weekend! Addie has been asking for months now about ear piercing. We told her we’d take her when she was ready. She kept asking if it would hurt and I could tell she was too nervous to want to do it. A couple weeks ago, she seemed committed to the idea. After dance rehearsal last weekend, I picked her up without any brothers, and decided we’d stop by Claire’s in the mall and check it out. I wasn’t convinced she’d actually go through with it, but we’d see what happened when we got there. She was determined. We picked out birth stone earrings. She was practically jumping up and down with excitement. There were a couple people before her. I thought she’d be super nervous, but nope, just pure excitement! Finally, her turn. She hopped up in the chair, clutching their stuffed bear and beaming! The girl called a second person over to do both at once. Right as they were lining the “guns” up, her faced turned to fear, but no tears. She was so brave! And once it was done, so excited to show them off to everyone. Such a big moment for this little girl! They had a buy three get one free sale, so she stocked up on new earrings to wear once she can take these out (the girl says three weeks, but I told Addie 2 months). She picked ice cream cones, cupcakes, narwhals, butterflies, roses, and crosses. I so appreciate her girly-ness in this house full of boys!


Finally, I’ll leave you with just some sillies, which is pretty much our every day around here. Holden is finding his words and starting to get such funny personality. Never a dull moment in the Gibson house!IMG_3307IMG_3305IMG_3254


Is it possible for a pet to die from a broken heart? I think it just happened in our house. Our poor Cooper, the last of the original Gibson foursome, has gone on to play in the great beyond with the rest of his crew.


Aside from having a little trouble jumping up on the bed, which has been happening for a long while, Cooper seemed perfectly healthy. After Jett left us, he started acting super depressed. He’d spend a little time out and about with the kids, but mostly, just slept in a hidden-away corner. He seemed to be eating and drinking normally, but in the last week, he just laid lifeless under a table or in the corner. The light from his eyes was gone. He just gave up.

Tuesday, as I was loading the kids into the car, he was laying in front of the coat closet. He wouldn’t move when I tried to open it, so I just scooted him a little to the side. He didn’t even get up. I knew he was on his way. When we got home from school, I went inside first to make sure the kids weren’t going to walk in on a cat carcass. He was no where to be found. We all made it inside and once I started calling for him, he started crying. Addie found him under the piano bench. I picked him up and put him on a blanket on the rug, and he was just too weak to even stand.

Jimmy, as has become his duty when it comes to the pets, took him to the emergency vet where they determined he had kidney failure. The vet said he probably could have lived another year or so before we started to see signs but after losing Jett, Cooper probably just gave up.

So, now, for the first time in over 15 years, we have no furry friends in our house. It’s very weird. Something definitely feels like it’s missing. Addie had a rough time with this one, just in the day he passed. Coen gets sad about once a day and says he misses Cooper. Ugh. The heartbreak of pets.


So long, our handsome, feisty love. We miss you already!

Farewell, Jett


Tonight is a strange night in our house. Though we had four children huddled in the living room playing, somehow it felt empty. This afternoon, we said goodbye to our sweet Jett. In his 14 years, he brought us so much joy. He was playful, fiercely loyal (to Jimmy!), and such a good snuggler. For the past month or two, his hips have been slowly giving out, until recently he could barely find the strength to stand. It was time. We planned for the vet come to our house. The kids had a chance to say goodbye. It was quick and peaceful. And still, so very sad. I know he’s pain-free and I’m sure Marlie was waiting for him when he crossed that rainbow bridge. You’ll forever be in our hearts, until we meet again.


Addie’s Big December

Somehow, we managed to way over-schedule Addie this fall. Back in August, our church started rehearsing for the children’s Christmas play. Practice was once a week, one hour, easy-peasy. At the last minute, someone didn’t end up participating, which left Addie with a pretty big speaking part. She was an over-dramatic news reported, with HUGE hair! It was awesome!

At the same time, I decided to sign Addie up for piano lessons with a brilliantly talented friend of ours. Again, just once a week for less than an hour. Plus, she loved violin at school last year, and with the change of schools, she wasn’t getting that musical exposure, so it just made sense.

About a month later, her school sends out an email that they’ve been invited to audition for the Peanutcracker, a condensed version of the Nutcracker designed for children in our local community. So, of course, she wanted to audition, and she ended up getting cast as a party girl and a soldier. Wow, we suddenly became very busy!

All of these awesome things culminated in December with performance after performance. December 1 (the best day of the year, as you know!) was her first round of Peanutcracker performances, plus her first ever piano recital that evening. She and I spent the morning in Carson City, then rushed home to gather the boys for her recital that evening, where she played Over the River and Through the Woods. Both experiences were completely amazing!


So, that was the first weekend in December. Weekend #2, church play, 7th birthday, a party, then the last round of Peanutcracker. Friday, the day before her birthday, was holiday free dress day, plus cupcakes for her birthday. We started her actual birthday with a donut in bed, followed by a balloon fight and presents. Then, she had a three hour dress rehearsal for the church play. Followed promptly by one final peanutcracker rehearsal, then our church group, where we had cake, yum! Busy day, to say the least! Sunday morning, she performed twice, then rushed off to her party, and more cake. She wanted to have this big, elaborate, crafting party at our house. I did not want to clean (or prep for crafting), plus, our clubhouse was booked, so plan B, she wanted to go to this pottery place and paint. Perfect! Except, I kind of planned it at the same time as this huge budget meeting at church, which I didn’t realize until the week before the party. Oh well, my parents helped get things started and Addie had a great time! I’d say turning 7 was a success!


And, while we’re talking about this awesome girl, right after all this December fun, she decided she wanted to donate her long, beautiful curls to make wigs for children, so off we went to our amazing hair stylist for family haircuts (the boys were all pretty shaggy!). So, 8 inches later and she’s practically a whole new child!


Christmas 2017

And finally, my favorite part of the entire year. Christmas day! We opened presents, ate yummy breakfast, relaxed, cooked, ate more, then fell fast asleep with full bellies and grateful hearts. Amazing.


We wrapped up the year with a brilliant friends brunch followed by a trip to EDH to spend time with more family! Cheers to 2018!