December 14, 2011

Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas!! If you're here because you got a Christmas card with our blog address on it, WELCOME!! If you're here because you're trying to see if I updated yet, well I'm working on it. Because it takes forever to upload pictures UPDATE-IN FACT IT ISN'T LETTING ME UPLOAD PICTURES AT ALL!! I WILL TRY TO ADD SOME LATERI decided to write a Christmas letter now about our year and then go back and update as I can.

The Dorns in 2011
This year we have done lots of fun and exciting things! We are blessed to be healthy and happy.

In January, we started off the year in AZ still visiting our families. Steven blessed Quintin and we were surrounded by friends and family.

Then, we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary!!

We came back to North Dakota and we both got back to the grind...Steve went to his last Spring semester and Chelsea back to her LAST semester ever.

In February, we had a family Valentine's date. We got all dressed up and went to a concert at the school. It would have been great but Quintin likes to sing to music. So we spent the night taking turns bouncing the baby in the hall. Afterwards we went to Denny's and enjoyed dessert together. I'm the luckiest lady ever to have TWO valentine's dates!!

In March, I submitted my final work and case study analysis to complete my Master's degree. The ceremony isn't until April 2012 so stay tuned for the real celebration update.

After, we went on a spring break trip with our dear friends, the Eagars. We headed to Minneapolis for a few days and based our trip around restaurants featured on Diners, Dine-Ins, and Dives. It was an awesome trip full of the mall of America, the zoo, Mill City Museum, and LOTS of good food,

Shortly after we got back, me & Quintin made a surprise trip to Arizona. We stayed in Arizona for a few days and then flew to Idaho with my parents. We visited Talia and her fiance Brad, were there when she went through the temple, and attended her bridal shower. After Idaho, we drove down to visit my grandparents (Q's great-grandparents) in Utah. I also got to see some good friends from college and my BEST FRIEND for the first time since she has been home from her mission!! Lastly, we stopped in Provo to see my baby nephew/Quintin's only cousin (only a few weeks old). Finally we ended up in Las Vegas were we flew back to ND to a very lonely Steven (We were gone 10 days!)

In April, we flew back to Arizona for my sister's wedding. She was a beautiful bride her husband, Brad, is a great guy! We're so happy we got to be a part of her big day.

After a week in AZ for her wedding, we came back and celebrated Quintin's first Easter. We didn't fill his eggs because he didn't know the difference and he just liked the bright plastic of the eggs.

In May we stayed close to home (finally!) and celebrated Mother's day. Being a mom is my greatest blessing. I love having TWO boys to celebrate with :)

In June, we celebrated Father's day with Steven and then Quintin and I took off to Arizona again. Airfare is inexpensive to AZ in the summer and grandparents love to see Quintin. We stayed in AZ for almost 2 weeks. Towards the end, we were able to have Steven come to AZ too!! He stayed for 4th of July weekend and then the three of us flew home together. We spent the whole time surrounded by the people we love most, our families!! It was a long but wonderful trip and I'm glad Steve got to come for a few days too!

In July we spent time together going on picnics, playing on swings and celebrating our birthdays! At the end of the month, my mom, dad, and two brothers came to visit us for a whole week. We had a laid back trip but it was so much fun! The boys went fishing, the girls went shopping, and everyone but Steven made a trip up to Canada. Quintin loved the attention and I loved having an extra four pairs of hands around to help!

We took a three day break after they left and then Steven's mom, dad, and brother came to visit us for a week!! We stayed in Grand Forks for a few days until Steven finished up his summer semester flying. Then we drove down to Minneapolis. We went to several museums, the zoo, a REALLY fun amusement park, and thoroughly enjoyed our vacation time together. We also ate at some more Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives restaurants and they were all pretty awesome!!

After the Dorns left, we got Steven started again in Fall semester. Well this ended up being a whirlwind because we found out Steven was going to graduate in December instead of May if he would take 21 credits. Eager to be done with school, he signed up for those 21 credits and he IS graduating in December (keep reading!)
After the start of the semester, Quintin and I went back to Arizona for my other sister's wedding. It was great to spend time with family. And my mom and I plan and decorate an AWESOME wedding reception (if I do say so myself!) I am also blessed to have great inlaws that are willing to help with anything (even taking Quintin out of the wedding ceremony into the hall when he started screaming so I could watch my baby sister get hitched).

After the wedding trip, we came back and things settled down for the rest of the month. We attended the world's largest french fry feed here in Grand Forks. And we also took Q to his first parade (which he LOVED).

In October, we started off by celebrating Quintin's first birthday a little early. Can you believe it? We sure can't!! He is such a big boy now and I can hardly believe he's been with us for so long already!! Time flies when your baby is growing up! We had an UNO-themed birthday party. We had many great friends come to the shin-dig and we skyped with the grandparents to open presents.

Next, we went to a pumpkin patch that is just outside of town. There weren't many pumpkins but there were lots of things to do and it was a really fun family day.

On Quintin's actual birthday, Q was sick :( BUT after getting the ok from his doctor to have him out and about, we had many fun things planned. We pounded on the windows to get the birds to fly away (Q loves to scare the birds). Then when Steven got home, the fun really started. We rode the quarter carousel at the mall, shared a cupcake, went to Burger King, got a crown and played on the playground with dad, opened lots of presents, and ate more cake. It was a fun day and Quintin was spoiled rotten.

Shortly after Q's birthday we moved! So if you send us a Christmas card, make sure you updated our address. As Steven is graduating we had to move off campus by the end of the year. We already moved in January one time here and vowed to never do ti again. So we moved in October. We moved 1.1 mile away from our old apartment. But our new apartment is bigger, still close to the school, across the street from a park, and it has carpet!!

After moving, we dressed Quintin up as the tin man from the wizard of Oz for our church's trunk-or-treat (I was Dorothy and Steven was at work). Once he figured out he was getting candy he was all for participating. We didn't take him out to go trick-or-treating because we didn't need all the candy and he wasn't quite walking yet.

In November, we hosted Thanksgiving and cooked the turkey for the first time ever. I don't know if we'll ever do it again, but it was a learning experience! We are lucky to have friends here to spend time with when our family is so far away.

In December, things have been very busy. Quintin has officially started walking and he goes almost everywhere on two feet!

We celebrated Christmas Adam with our little family of three last night (because Adam came before Eve). Christmas is WAY more fun when you have a little one to spoil; who knew?! Quintin loved ripping open the presents and we couldn't take the toys out of their packaging fast enough. But you should have seen the disappointed look when he opened the present with socks and shoes in it. I could almost hear him thinking, "Really mom? After all these cool toys? Why did you even bother wrapping these up...just stick them in my drawer and call it good"

We are busy cleaning and getting projects finished so we can head home for Christmas. Our parents will be here tomorrow. Steven graduates on Friday (he's doing his last test as we speak). We are starting a new chapter in our life together. We'll keep you updated for where we go next.

If I picked 4 words to sum up the life of the Dorn family in 2011 they would be:


We hope you all have a great and wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love! Please know that we are thinking of you! I'm so grateful for the holiday season that reminds us of the important things in life: the Gospel, family, friends, health, spending time together, etc.

We are blessed to call you our friends. Thank you for being apart of our lives! Stay tuned for more updates (and updating more in depth about our year).

Merry Christmas!

Chelsea, Steven, & Quintin

December 9, 2011

The Keller Wedding Week-Part 4

Swinging time!

We have a little swing set behind our apartment buildings and it's a good thing because baby Q LOVES to swing!! April 5th I bundled him up to have his first swing ride and he's been hooked ever since. He loves to swing even if it's a little cold. And I like the break to get outside even if we don't have the car to go somewhere.


Quintin has lots of little friends here. He is learning to share (or at least watches the other kids take his stuff). He is pretty good as long as momma is close by!

October 21, 2011

The Keller Wedding-Part 3

And finally, the thing I had waited for all week!! Steven came :)

Ok ok just kidding. He did show up but not without some set backs. The Friday morning before the wedding, I woke up to a text from Steven that said "you're not gonna believe this. It's snowing" WTF? April 15th and it's snowing? Well needless to say, I wasn't missing the weather. As soon as I got it, I called him. Before even saying hello I said "GET OUT. Get out of there right now and come to me in the sunshine" I expected it to be a joke. Well the next thing he said was "Don't freak out. But I'm in a ditch" Of course I immediately started crying. A ditch? where? what happened? are you ok? you're going to freeze to death! You'll miss the wedding!! And so on and so forth. But he promised to keep me updated and was hoping he would still make his flight. I rushed out to my mother in law and was freaking out. Luckily she is a mom and knew I just needed to be held. I figured that if anyone in the world loves Steven as much as me, it would be her. We worried together. Brad and his 2 groomsmen had stayed at my inlaws house. They knew something was wrong, but not what was happening. Crying females always make boys uncomfortable. But, Brad got the general idea and asked if he could help with the baby. He fed Q breakfast and I stayed up to date with Steve about where he was. Eventually a highway patrolman (who is in our ward) showed up. Steven talked to him, calmed down, and they called a tow truck. While Steve was talking to Greg (the cop), Greg received 2 other radio calls for the same type of accident. That should tell you something about the weather and road conditions. Greg left to take care of the others and Steve waited for the Jeep to get towed. $100 and a whole lot of praying later, the Jeep was back on the road with no apparent damage (Steve was just stuck in slush and mud too far to get out on his own) and on the road to Fargo trying to make his flight. Luckily he did. Holy cow. What an experience I never want to repeat. Knowing my husband is supposed to be on his way to me and instead he's in a freak blizzard in a ditch. Count your many blessings.

He showed up later that afternoon and it was over 90 degrees when he got to AZ. How weird. It was hard to believe it was snowing in GF and so warm where we were! He showed up as we were decorating the church. We finished decorating, and went to set up for the luncheon at the other building with Steven's parents. In case you didn't know, I have the world's greatest in-laws. HONESTLY would your in laws go straight from work to the church to help deal with all the lights and the ceiling AND then help set up the other building for the luncheon AND then take you out to dinner? Mine inlaws are awesome.

Quintin loves attention and he did not lack for any with so many cute bridesmaids and aunts and uncles and grandparents around.

The Keller Wedding Week-Part 2

We took a day off from wedding festivities and then had the Bachelorette party. Now planning a bachelorette party for a bunch of girls who don't drink, dirty dance, or party could seem like a challenge. Are you dieing to know what we did?

Ok I'll tell you. I rented a hotel room and we had a little staycation. We went swimming, played some get to know you games (for her high school friends and her college buddies), did facials, did pedicures, ate a lot of food (which was hand delivered by the groom himself). And of course there was ice cream. I didn't stay the night so I could be home with the baby. I'm told that they went swimming again and watched a movie. The next morning, they ate breakfast and I checked us out of the room.

For each of the bridesmaids, I created a little gift bag of sorts. Inside was a pair of pajama pants, a matching headband, a shirt that said bridesmaid, their favorite treats, and some other little knick knacks. They had wondered why I kept asking for measurements and sizes. It was a fun night and I'm glad we got to capture the bride away from the groom one last time :)

PS Quintin stayed with grandma and grandpa and got spoiled out of his mind!

October 19, 2011

Dear Quintin, Happy Birthday!

Dear sweet baby Quintin,
I can hardly believe it's been an entire year since I held you in my arms for the first time. I looked at you and understood "love at first sight". You were perfect. Every little detail was perfect--little finger nails and ear lobes! I was exhausted, it took a lot of work to get you into this world. But all I could do was stare at you and silently pray to Heavenly Father thanking Him for such a wonderful blessing.
And now you are one year old. Some things have changed and others haven't! Now you are still perfect in every little detail. Even with that little scrape on the back of your arm, your tooth that is only half through the gums, and that horrible line in your hair from when I messed up cutting it last week. I look at you and see perfect.
Something that is changed is you can move!! Holy cow. Was I unprepared for a mover or what?! You've kindly shown me how un baby-proofed our house was over and over again. I feel like just yesterday I was snuggling you and doing my homework. I could leave you on the couch or the bed and you would stay right where you were!! Then slowly you started rolling, then rolling over and over, then scooting backwards, then army crawling, then crawling, then pulling up, then walking along furniture, and now so close to walking!
I am sad you've been sick the past few days but I'm not sad about all the extra snuggling we've had together. I think that's something not everyone can understand, not even daddy. I don't get tired of having you around, snuggled up in my arms. Sure you drive me crazy and we get tired of being cooped up at home. But then you give me one of your little smiles and everything is good again. No one else understands how I can be so fascinated by watching your little fingers pick up food and put in your mouth for hours on end. No one can understand the joy it brings to see you clap or shake your bum when music comes on. And NO ONE understands just how great it feels to hear you say ‘momma’ (Even if you do usually say daddy 1000 times to every 1 mommy).
So, here we are a year later. 100s of diapers, smiles, cries, late night feedings, messes, laughing fits later. And all I can think is how much I’ve learned and how much I love you. I thought I would be a pro at the mom thing. How hard could it be right? Oh how wrong I was!! Luckily, you are a good baby with a patient disposition. We’ve made it through a year of learning together. Thanks for letting me learn and thanks for teaching me so much this year.
I never thought I could love anything or anyone as much as I love you now. But then again one year ago, when you and I met for the first time, I never thought I could love you more than that minute. I am looking forward to an eternity of fun with you. I know soon enough it will not be cool to give kisses to your mom. And mom will not be nearly as funny as you think she is now. So in those more difficult times, I will have this sweet, perfect year to remember. Remember getting slobbery little kisses at just the right moment. Remember the look of surprise on your face when I cheered after you took your first steps. Remember the smiles, the tears, the giggles.
Thanks for choosing me to be your mom. Thanks for coming to our family. I knew we were missing something and that something was you! Quintin, you are my biggest blessing. I love you now and forever! Happy Birthday little man!
<3 Mommy