S: The Mott Family - 2011
BC: live well, laugh often, love much | 2011
FC: Us Four Motts 2011 | 2011
2: Daddy's Little Girl
3: Melanie and Mark attended a Girl Scout sponsored Daddy & Daughter dance in January. Mel got a new dress and a pretty red rose corsage. They had a great time and looked adorable together!
4: John and his toys and new adventures!
5: John is going on 2 1/2 and starting to be very hands on and curious about everything around him. He LOVES, LOVES trucks and cars and planes, etc. He brings them everywhere, it is too cute! He also likes to build huge mountains of blocks, paint and color and is even starting to go on play dates! | January and February
6: February 24th
7: Early 2011 was filled with lots of cold weather and several days of flurries. The kids anxiously awaited an actual snow day though & on the 24th, they got their wish!
8: Baby Girl Peyton's Oregon Shower | March 19th, 2011
9: We were so excited that Brooke was able to come home to celebrate with us before Baby Peyton was born. It was nice to see her in all her pregnant belly splendor! We had a small shower at Linda's and mom and I each did our part in making the day special. We had cupcakes and yummy food and of course games! We can't wait for Baby P's arrival!
11: Waiting for Spring About this time every year we get a bit anxious to get back outdoors - we are an outdoor kind of family! In the meantime, we are filling our time with movie nights, and family outings, new adventures and just being plain goofy! | March
14: Melanie being Melanie - Loves to be silly and have fun! | APRIL
15: We decided to take John to the zoo for the afternoon. He LOVED the train and seemed to be in awe of everything. He just couldn't understand why he couldn't swim in all the animals' pools!
16: Your smile brightens my day | Melanie, my mom and I spent Mother's Day together at the spa! It's great that Melanie is now old enough to go and we can all be pampered together!
17: In June I went to Illinois to visit my sister and two-week old niece. It was so special getting to spend that time together.
19: FAMILY TIME In May we decided we needed a good 'ol Mott Family night with a fire and smores. The sun was shining when we started, but by the time we were wrapping up, it started sprinkling. That was fine with us though. We had a great time! Swinging and playing and making sticky smores. It was a great family evening all together without a care in the world - ran or shine!
20: Happy 8th Birthday Melanie! We celebrated at Rood Bridge Park again this year. It has become one of Melanie's favorites. The day started off a bit chilly, but turned out beautiful. We were able to have our water and park games, along with jewelry making and lots of treats. We had lots of friends and family attend and tons of fun. Another successful party for the books!
22: In June we took John and Melanie to see Thomas the Train in Hood River - John's current favorite! It was a hot and sunny day, but John loved it. On the way home we stopped at Mutlnomah Falls to cool down with a little break in the creek, some pictures by the falls and some ice cream - of course!
24: B e a c h | T i m e
25: JUNE - 2011 | In June we rented a little cottage in Gearhart. It was adorable! It was a rainy and gray two days at the Coast, but we made the most of it. We spent time at Seaside shopping and playing at the arcade and eating - of course! We even found a playground! We fell in love with Sunset Beach and went there a couple of times as well. It's SO much easier with two kids to be able to drive directly onto the beach! Regardless, for the Oregon Coast, we did manage to see some sun and we just had a great time overall - and in the end, that's all that matters.
27: We celebrated the 4th of July a bit differently this year. At the last minute we decided to go to the Hillsboro Parade. We had never taken the kids to a parade before, but after scoring (and paying for) a place to sit, we had an awesome time. The seats and weather were perfect and the kids had fun hollering for candy. We will be going next year for sure. We spent the rest of the day at home playing in the water and sun and that evening headed over to our friends in Vancouver. We had a low key dinner and let off a few fireworks there. We usually stay home and celebrate with our neighbors and friends, so it was a change, but we still had a great time!
29: In May I lost my job and we decided it would be best to try and stay home with the kids as long as we were able. Our life had become overly stressful and chaotic and we were longing for a slower pace and the opportunity to enjoy life a bit more. Although it was stressful losing a job I had had for over six years and I had worked so hard to get it; the timing just seemed right to jump on this opportunity. With John being two and just starting a hard phase of separation anxiety and Melanie about to begin Summer Vacation, it couldn't have been a better time to just jump feet first into this whole Stay at Home Mom thing. I've had my moments, but I couldn't be happier now. It's been a blast of a summer. The kids have had their mom at home ALL summer and we just tried to make the most of it. We had friends hang out & sleep overs. We had play dates at the park, pool, river and museums. Mark had two weeks of vacation and we filled every minute that we could with family time. In June, we went to the coast for two nights and of course it was also Mel's 8th birthday, which we celebrated at the park. In August, we went to The Enchanted Forest and Great Wolf Lodge. In between, we fit in trips to Chuck E. Cheese, Out of This World Pizza, John's Pizza, the zoo, To see Thomas the Train and Multnomah Falls. Melanie had awesome fun at summer camps for the first time and John and I discovered the ducks and library, which became our special time together. I can't forget all the fun we had just around the house too. Having squirt gun and water balloon fights. And inviting the neighborhood kids over to play in the yard and on the Slip & Slide. Family Time, that's what life is all about.!
32: What a summer. I don't think we have ever fit more in a three month period, but boy - did we have fun
33: June & July
34: Camp Tillicum
35: In August, Mel went to a week long summer day camp in Newberg with a friend. It ended up being an experience of a lifetime. Later in the week the rest of us got to come along for Family Night. The drive was worth it. It was beautiful there. There was a lake for canoeing and swimming, farm animals, The Big Swing, water slides and nature all around.. Melanie seemed to have the best time there that week and our visit made me want to be a kid again too! This will definitely be a camp that our kids will be returning to.
36: GREAT WOLF LODGE In August we went for a night to GWL. We enjoyed ourselves after last year's visit, so we decided to go again! John did much better in the sleeping department and Mel braved ALL the slides. It was a quick, but great trip. A family favorite for sure.
38: ENCHANTED FOREST AUGUST - 2011
39: For my 34th Birthday I decided I wanted to just spend time with my family and do something new. I hadn't been to EF since I was a kid and I was excited to take my family. It was a beautiful, perfect day and we had so much fun. . .I just wish I would have captured a photo with ME in it!
40: SEPTEMBER - Seaside
41: Before school started we wanted to get to the beach one more time. I think it happened to be the hottest day of the year and it was beautiful at the coast. We just went for the day and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect time.
42: True Love | September
44: John's Third Birthday at Chuck E. Cheese
45: It's Party Time! | We had a huge turn out for John's Third Birthday. It took a bit for John to warm up though, CEC is pretty overwhelming for a 3 year old. But, we had a great time. I think John was most excited about his Thomas cake and gum ball machine and not much else! Oh well, he had a great time and loved opening his presents...after a nap of course!
46: In October we spent two nights at the Oregon Coast . We stayed at a hotel in Seaside and we also spent a day at Cannon Beach. The weather was beyond BEAUTIFUL! Perfect Fall days - sunny and crisp! We spent lots of time at the beach, in the hotel pool and just exploring the coast. The kids were great and we had such a wonderful time. The coast was all but deserted, so we pretty much had the run of the place. Going to the coast in October will have to become a family tradition for sure. I think it was our more memorable beach trip of the year!
50: We joined Mel's GS Troop for picking pumpkins this year & tried a new pumpkin patch. It was great fun. We got to go on a hay ride, down a slide and go pumpkin bowling. It was a perfect afternoon for picking pumpkins!
53: We put on a Halloween party at our house in early October for the first time. We had several kids come and join in the fun. We had cupcakes, crafts and a movie. It was a great time and a huge sucess1
58: Every year we go as a family and drive to cut down a fresh tree. This year was no different. We have been going to the same tree farm for three years now and it's run by an old gentleman with a small farm. It's perfect for us. He sells his trees cheap and there is plenty to choose from. We also don't have to traverse far from our car and it's remote enough that it is easy to get there, get our tree and go home. I think we have always gone when the weather was clear. We lucked out again this year. A bit chilly, but the sun was shining and we got a beautiful tree. We got it home and this year everyone was able to join in in the decorating. A wonderful tradition I look forward to every year. | Our Tree
60: Over the years we have created many holiday traditions with our kids. The holidays are a special time and I want our kids to always remember them fondly. We start our season by getting our tree, seeing Santa and decorating gingerbread houses. We count down to Christmas starting on Dec, 1st and each season try and do something special all together as a family. It's a hectic time of year and I just hope to make the most of it.
62: I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas | A Christmas To Remember
63: Dear Santa, I Was Very, Very Good
66: 2011 | A Season of Love and Laughter
69: "The more you laugh the longer you live" | On New Years Eve we headed to Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge for some sleding. After a long drive we finally made it. The trip was worth it! It was beautiful and snowy and we had a great first family trip to the mountain. We will definitely be going again and was a great way to end the year.