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).
Chelsea, Steven, & Quintin