November Adventures

The fall months always keep us busy! There is always a lot going on with birthdays, holidays and fall activities. Here were the highlights of our month:

Trip to Florida

Ryan is in the midst of residency interview season, so he is raveling around the country interviewing for different Emergency Medicine residency programs. When he got an interview with the University of Florida program in Gainesville, I volunteered to go with him without hesitation! At first we were planning on bringing the kids, but we decided to leave them with our parents and take a trip just the two of us. We hadn’t done this since our Honeymoon, so it was much needed! Since we were going to be in Florida for a few days, we also took the opportunity to visit a place that was on our Bucket List…Harry Potter World in Universal Studios. Ryan and I are both Harry Potter nerds and we have been dying to visit there. It was AMAZING. We spent 2 days there and loved every minute of it. We walked through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, ate at the Three Broomsticks and the Leaky Cauldron, bought the Elder Wand, rode the Hogwarts Express, drank butterbeer and much more Harry Potter fun! Our other favorite area of Universal Studios was Jurassic Park. We spent a lot of time in the gift shop buying dinosaur souvenirs for the kids! After two days in Orlando, we drove to Gainesville for the interview. We walked the campus, and hiked through some of the local parks. At a park called La Chua Trail, we saw at least 50 alligators! One of them was blocking the trail so we couldn’t go any further. We loved exploring the beautiful town of Gainesville and we had an amazing trip!

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Jurassic Quest

A month or so ago, Ryan’s cousin saw an ad for a show that was coming to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in November, called Jurassic Quest. She told us we should take Kinsie. We looked into it and decided to buy tickets. It was an awesome experience! We were in a huge warehouse and there were tons of life-size animatronic dinosaurs that moved and roared. Kinsie got to ride on a moving dinosaur, and then Brax joined her on a smaller non-moving dinosaur. There were also bounce houses, crafts, face-painting (which we didn’t do because there was a 2 hour wait!), and arcade games. Kinsie was in heaven! She told us that she never wanted to leave. Of course we eventually did, but both the kids got to bring home a stuffed dinosaur souvenir. They loved it!

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Thanksgiving

This year, my school system changed our calendar, and we had one week off for Fall Break in October, and the whole week of Thanksgiving off. I didn’t like it at first since I only had one week off after the first quarter of school, but I actually loved having Thanksgiving week off. Ryan had the week off too, so we were able to spend a lot of great family time together. Earlier in the week, we got to go to Kinsie’s preschool’s Thanksgiving feast. She made placemats for us in class that included what she was thankful for. It was a lot of fun! Thanksgiving Day itself is always a highlight of our fall because we get to spend the day with both of our families. During the day, we went to Ryan’s sister Megan’s house for Thanksgiving lunch. We got to spend a few hours there with Ryan’s family, and Kinsie always loves going there to run around with their dog, Ali. Later, we went to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. The kids had a blast with their cousins and we had some great family time! Later that evening, Kinsie was having a slumber party with her cousins at my parents house, and my poor sweet girl got sick and we had to come and get her. We spent the next few days snuggling at home watching movies and she was feeling better within a few days. Our family tends to have bad luck with holidays…one of us is always sick on either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Fingers crossed that we all stay healthy this Christmas!

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Thanksgiving feast at Kinsie’s preschool

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Thanksgiving lunch at Megan and Tim’s

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All the cousins gathered around the cousin table for Thanksgiving dinner

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Polar Express

This year, we thought that the kids would really enjoy doing the Polar Express train ride. Ryan’s cousin’s kids are about Kinsie’s age and they love hanging out together, so we decided to get tickets for the same train as them. This was such an awesome experience! We all wore Christmas pajamas, rode on the train, drank hot cocoa, and ate cookies. We rode to the “North Pole” and picked up Santa Claus, who rode on the train ride back to the train station and visited with each kid. Kinsie had been talking about Santa SO much and couldn’t wait to see him, then once she did, she was so overwhelmed! She tried to hide behind me but I wouldn’t let her because I knew she wanted to see him. When he sat in the seat with us, she was super shy. (this was exactly how she was at Disney World last year when meeting the characters!) She told Santa what she wanted for Christmas, but very quietly! Of course afterwards, she couldn’t stop talking about how she met Santa! It was a lot of fun and a very neat experience.

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As you can see, it was a great month! Like most parents, we love nothing more than to see our kids happy, so we take them to dinosaur shows and wear ridiculous Rudolph pajamas. Since Ryan is traveling so much, we really do our best to savor our time together as a family and go out and do fun things. We have a lot planned for the month of December as well with a trip to Florida (this time with the kids), and lots of Christmas fun!

For a Special Two Year Old…

Today is my nephew Briggs’ second birthday. Words cannot explain how much joy this little boy has brought into my life. Since the day we found out about him, (which happened to be the day Ryan and I got engaged…talk about an unforgettable day!) he has been a part of my heart. He is such a smart, talkative, lovable and crazy kid who never fails to put a smile on my face. I have been able to witness every major milestone in his life so far and have loved every second of it. I can’t wait to continue watching him, along with his sister and his cousin, grow up together.

I am so grateful for the special relationship we have with this boy. When he first started talking, he couldn’t say his K sounds very well, so he ended up calling me “Gaga.” He also obviously couldn’t say his R sounds yet, so he calls Ryan “Bub,” which is what Ryan’s brother Nate has always called him. And of course, he LOVES his “Baby Kinsie!” He will dance around her, sing songs to her, and tell her that he loves her. Nothing makes my heart melt more!

Even though Ryan and I don’t know where life will take us once he is finished with med school, I hope that Kinsie can grow up with her cousins nearby. It is obvious that they already love each other so much. Briggs is such a special boy and I thank God every day for placing him in our lives!

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We love you to the moon and back, our sweet Briggs!

Love… Bub, Gaga, and Baby Kinsie

I have a NIECE!

My sister and I are three years apart, but we have always been close since the day I was born. The first time she met me, she was with our cousin, who claimed that I looked like Rudolph since my nose was red from just being born. Krista immediately came to my defense by saying, “She not Wuldolph, YOU Wudolph!” She has been my best friend and my #1 supporter from day one. My sister and I have experienced so much together…including our pregnancies! We had the wonderful opportunity of being pregnant at the same time, me just 2 months ahead of Krista. Pregnancy is such a special experience in and of itself, but sharing it with your sister makes it that much better!

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As I mentioned in my previous post, all I really wanted for my birthday was a new niece or nephew. My sister was due on November 19 and my birthday was November 16, so it was very possible for that to happen. However, my birthday came and went, and no baby. I felt so bad for my sister because I know the feeling of anxiety waiting for labor to strike at any moment. Each night we went to bed hopeful that we’d get a call in the middle of the night, and finally, at 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, November 17, my mom called. I was already awake because Kinsie was getting hungry. While we waited to hear if Krista really was in labor, I fed Kinsie and got us ready to go to the hospital, then I woke up Ryan and said “It’s time!” He was sleepy, but excited. My mom called again saying this was the real thing, but we can wait and sleep a little longer while Krista progressed. However, Krista asked me to take pictures of her labor and birth, and our family tends to go through labor pretty quickly, so we went ahead to the hospital around 5 a.m. When we got there, Ryan took a nap because he needed to study, and I hung out in the room and took pictures while Krista labored. It was unbelievable how quickly it all happened, and thank goodness because she went natural this time around. I couldn’t believe how well she handled herself during contractions, especially now that I know that kind of pain. It was very difficult watching my sister in so much pain during the delivery, but I knew that it would soon be worth it. At 9:05 a.m., the baby was born…a beautiful baby GIRL! I was overwhelmed with joy at that moment. My sister has a daughter. Our daughters would be cousins. And they would only be 2 months apart. What an amazing blessing! It was amazing to think that the whole time Krista was pregnant, she was pregnant with a girl. We both were. I can’t wait to see these two girls grow up together to be best friends. And we can’t forget about Briggy too!

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Kerigan Kay Robinson

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Briggs and his sister

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Kinsie and Kerigan love each other already!

Halloween Happenings

I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween. I believe it is a fun holiday for kids, but other than that, I think it is taken a bit out of hand. I haven’t dressed up or gone to a Halloween party since high school. Call me a Halloween “Scrooge,” but it’s just not my thing. However, that has never stopped me from enjoying the beautiful season of fall. Every year, my sister and I like to have what we call a “Fall Foliage Festival” where we all carve pumpkins, eat pumpkin seeds and caramel apples, drink apple cider, and watch Hocus Pocus. To be honest, it is one of my favorite traditions that we do all year. We would always carve quite extravagant patterns and display them at our parents house on Halloween night.

Here are some pictures from previous years…

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This year was a little different for us. With Ryan and I having a newborn and him living in Muncie, and with Krista being 9 months pregnant and moving into a new house, it was a little difficult to find the time to have our annual Fall Foliage Festival. We never even got the chance to go to the pumpkin patch! Obviously our family had a lot going on this year, but they were all good things, so I didn’t let myself get too sad about missing our tradition! I felt bad not having anything on my parents porch for the trick-or-treaters, so the night before Halloween, my mom and I bought a pumpkin. While I watched the baby, she emptied it out and got all of the seeds for my dad to bake, then she watched the baby while I carved the pumpkin. I wanted to do something simple that wouldn’t take me hours like it has in the past, so I chose to make Briggs happy and carve a Mickey Mouse face (yes, this is my idea of “simple!”) I was pretty happy with it considering what little time and energy I have these days!

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Now that I have a child, I feel like I get to enjoy what Halloween is really about again. Even though Kinsie is only a month old, it was so much fun dressing her up and hanging out with her cousin, Briggs (who was a lion). Kinsie was in somewhat of a grumpy mood on the night of trick-or-treating, and all she wanted to do was sleep, but we still had a fun night at her Grandma and Grandpa Vargas’s house watching Hocus Pocus and eating candy! It is crazy to think that next year, Kinsie will be a year old and her, Briggs, and her new cousin will be running around trick-or-treating together. Our family is growing every year and every day I thank the Lord for these amazing blessings!

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Our little ladybug

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Briggs the Lion

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