Merry Christmas

For those of you I don't have address' for... here is what we're sending out this year:

and the letter that will accompany it:

The past couple of years our annual family letter has been dwindling... and this will probably be the last. Don’t worry, you’ll still get a card, but it has become increasingly difficult to condense our year into one simple letter. I’m sure you will all miss Chris’ thoughtful letters, I know I will. But, we are grateful for new technology that allows us to keep in touch with our friends and family all year long. If you haven’t already, come find us on facebook, follow our family blog (www.thehigbees.blogspot.com -and please let us know if you have one), Chris is even on twitter, and there is always good old email (cohigbee@gmail.com, kthigbee@yahoo.com) or even snail mail! We hope to hear from ALL of you!!

So, for the final edition of our annual epistle here is what’s going on in a nutshell:

Chris started a new job with HireVue as the VP of Marketing in March and is lucky to be able to work from home. He continues to love all things outdoors, going to sporting events, movie nights and performing when he can (he just produced and performed in an awesome Christmas Concert for a corporate event). He was an awesome Cub Master for the past couple years and just recently started working with the 16-18 year old Young Men in our church.

I am busy with your basic mom stuff... lots of housework and driving... it seems to never end. But I also find great joy serving on our city’s civic events committee, serving as our church music chairman, and was recently asked to be a cultural arts specialist for our area. I am most excited about turning my passion for photography into a business and really hope to spend more time on that this coming year. I really love being with my kids and having the opportunity to enjoy them as they grow.

Cassidy is back in school at UVU and just had a very successful semester. She has developed a love of Interior Design and thinks that might be the major for her. She is still working at DownEast and just got a new (to her) VW Beetle... so cute! She also nannies quite a bit for families in our neighborhood. She is a VERY busy girl. Cass continues to be the life of the party and is so fun to have in our home.

Max turned 12 this year and is in Jr High! He is doing great and enjoying all the things that come with it (cell phone, a little more freedom, pimples and squeaky voice). You wouldn’t believe how much he has grown!! We can hardly keep him in shoes and pants that fit and hope his growing doesn’t blow our budget for the coming year. He also plays the piano, cello and guitar and participates in Boy Scouts. He started club soccer this year with his Dad as the coach. It was quite challenging, but he really grew a lot and we are now looking forward to the spring season.

Abby is in the 3rd grade accelerated learning class at school and loving(?) the challenge. She really loves taekwondo and is doing quite well. She also takes dance and performed in 2 recitals... she even did a tap solo! She loves to sing and always has something coming out of her mouth... lucky for us she is actually quite good. She also loves poetry and art and earned an honorable mention in the reflections contest at
school. She is becoming quite a lady and trying really hard to be responsible. She was also baptized this year and we are so proud of her decision.

Afton is still a light in our home (despite the picture... it was very cold). She is always happy and cheerful and loves everyone wholeheartedly. She started preschool in the fall and LOVES it. She is learning so much, I am continually amazed at what she can spell and the concepts she comes home with. She has a very detailed imagination and is a joy to play with. She loves her little brother and is a great helper with him. She is also the child that always offers to help me fold laundry, clean toilets, do dishes, make dinner, you name it (I am really hoping this quality sticks around). I can’t believe how quickly she is growing!

Cole is truly our little monkey. He climbs everything can get out of anything and never stops. Ever. It is quite exhausting to be his mother, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Someone has to be with him constantly! But, he is so fun to be around and keeps us laughing... we’re convinced he will be the “class clown.” In spite of the challenges of his busy-ness, he is a very consistent little guy as far as naps and bedtime goes, which is awesome! He adores his older siblings and wants to do whatever they do. He also has quite the vocabulary and even signs a little. I am so excited to watch him grow this next year.

We have had a lot of great adventures as a family this year... Las Vegas for Spring Break, a beach house in Ventura in August, a couple family weddings, new schools, new jobs, and holidays spent with loved ones. We are grateful for family and friends like you who enrich our lives. We feel very blessed. We hope this finds you all healthy and happy and loving the life you are living.

Much Love,
The Higbee Family
Chris, Katie, Cassidy, Max, Abby, Afton, and Cole

Happy Holidays!!
We wish you all the very best!


Happy Thanksgiving

Wow. I am so behind on this blog... it is overwhelming. I have been so busy it's crazy. But, I didn't want to let this wonderful day pass without expressing my gratitude so here I am. I won't bore you all with a list... just know that I feel so blessed... words can not express how thankful I am for my life, where I am in this journey and the people who are on it with me.

I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. this video. Random people on the streets of New York City. Brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I hope it helps you remember the little things that make your life wonderful! (blogger chops off the right side... you can still see it pretty well, or you can double click on it to see it on Youtube.)

So, what are YOU thankful for?


Flashback Friday- Things I found on Chris' Computer

Every once in a awhile, when we don't have the camera handy, we'll take pictures with Chris' iphone. Of course I forget that they are there and never go back to see them. While looking at some other pictures on Chris' computer I came across these fun memories and thought I would share them for this weeks flashback. Hope you enjoy.

Afton's first haircut
We all know about Afton's hair issues... I've blogged about them quite a bit. She just can;t seem to grow it and we were thrilled when she finally started to get a little more length. However, it was growing in pretty unevenly so we were debating getting it trimmed... a thought I just couldn't get my head around. One day, way back in December, Chris was getting his hair cut and we were in the area so we stopped by to say hi. Imagine my shock when Chris asked the barber to cut Afton's hair and tossed her in the chair. I baremy had time to protest and just kept saying "I can;t believe you're doing this". Well, she loved it, she was so cute the whole time, and she looked adorable when all was said and done. We've had it cut a few times since... just to even it out. It's still growing so slow and so thin, but it's getting there.

Christmas Devotional
Just because there are so few pictures of me on this blog. Chris snapped this at a family get together to watch the Christmas Devotional last December. Yeah me!

'LaReve' in Las Vegas
Remember this? When we got to Afton's show I realized that my camera didn't have the memory card in it (Max had taken it to use on his Nintendo dsi... the little stinker), so we got this not so great shot with the iphone. Afton's show was the main reason we went to Vegas and it was awesome. SHE was amazing!! Totally worth the trip.

'Keane' in Concert
Chris LOVES 'Keane'. Lucky for him they came to Salt Lake in June and I took him for Father's Day. I must admit that I was not a fan... I just went because he wanted to. That definitely changed at the concert. It was THE BEST concert ever! Seriously amazing and the main singer is a great performer. I was in awe the entire time and may have even developed a little crush on him. I am most certainly a fan now and can't wait until they come back to town. You can bet we will be there!!

Just because...
... he is so cute! I found this on Chris' phone and it brought a smile to my face. I'm not sure when it was taken or why, probably one of the kids playing with the iphone, but I love it. Look at those eyes! They melt my heart every day.


Happiest Birthday Girl There Ever Was

You'll remember that I mentioned in a previous post that Afton has really been looking forward to her birthday... a lot! We have had a lot of family birthdays lately and it killed her every time it wasn't hers... AGAIN. Well, once a month we get together with Chris' side of the family and celebrate all the birthdays for the month. On this particular night Afton's was included, but there were also about 8 others. You never would have guessed though. She took command of that party and made it her own. When the song was sung she want right to the front of the room and beamed like she's never beamed before. Chris and I were laughing so hard. I had to share some of her joy with all my friends on the blog!!
I'll bet any of you ten bucks you have a big grin on your face right now!

Boy Scout Court of Honor

Max has loved the last year in Boy Scouts. They held a Court of Honor just before he turned 12 and he earned his Tenderfoot, 2nd class and a few merit badges. He has now moved from the 11 year old Scout group and in with the big kids and is loving it. He is working hard on his 1st class and getting ready for his first winter campout... BRRR! Sounds miserable to me!


Flashback Friday- Cutest Baby EVER!!

(in my very biased opinion)
WARNING... total photo overload ahead.

Last June I was waiting for a client who was running pretty late so I decided to grab a few shots of Cole. I literally ripped his clothes off and threw him up there, which is why he has slight cheeto coloring around his mouth, lots of teething drool, and on obviously wet diaper. I was alone so I didn't have anyone to help with a reflector or keeping him in place so getting him to smile and not lunge at me in between shots was quite exhausting. The results, however, are some of my favorite pictures ever!! These are straight out of the camera... I can't wait to photoshop them a little bit!
This one is blurry, but I love his face!
Is that not the sweetest face ever?
If you weren't already baby hungry... I bet you are now!!
I'm not gonna lie... It kinda makes me want another one!


Birthday Pictures

I wanted to take some cute pictures of Cole with
the left over balloons from his birthday party.
He was so cute and happy to go along...
...and then he was done.


Max is officially 12!! He had his birthday last Friday. I can't believe it. I especially can't believe that on his next birthday he will be a teenager! Crazy how quickly time flies. I still remember so clearly the day he came into our lives. He is our firstborn and his arrival was probably the most life changing of all of our children. He made me a mom. He has had to endure all of my learning moments. I am grateful to him for his patience and helping me learn to be a good mom. I remember back when it was just him... no other kids around. He and I had some really good times. He was totally my little buddy. I remember telling Chris how much I enjoyed spending time with Max and just having conversations with him... even when he was just 2. He was always so curious and interested in he world around him that even a trip to the grocery store could be an adventure. He has been a joy and I love the young man is becoming. Over that past few months we have noticed huge changes in Max, both physical and otherwise. He is definitely taller, he's shaving, we all know how proud he is of his armpit hair, and he grows out of clothes and shoes faster than I can replace them... which is great for his younger cousins! But it's the other differences that mean the most to me. He is mellowing out, he's great with his younger siblings, he tries to be helpful at home, he is quick to apologize, he is loving school and scouts, he practices his instruments without being asked... he really is becoming a man. We love this kid so much and are so proud of who is and who he is trying to become.

Happy, Happy Birthday Max!!
(Sorry this is 4 days late)


Afton pretty much lives in dress-ups... but on this day her outfit wasn't her traditional get-up so I had to snap a pic. Such a pretty little peasant girl.



Today this beautiful, sweet, joyful little girl turned three years old. Words can not begin to express my feelings for little Afton. She is a light in our home and such a blessing in our lives. I can remember the day she was born so well. We thought we were done having kids, but after a five year wait she finally joined our family. It is the only time I remember crying at the birth of one of our children. I can definitely see the hand of God in how things happened because the timing couldn't have been more perfect and we were so ready for her when she arrived. To say we were happy would be an understatement.
Afton could not wait for her birthday. She has been talking about it for months and planning. It has been very challenging for her to watch so many others celebrate and she kept asking us when it was her birthday. We celebrated last Sunday with all the Higbee's and you've never seen a little girl so thrilled to have people singing 'Happy Birthday' to HER! She celebrated again at preschool yesterday and picked special cupcakes to share with her class. She enjoyed all the phone calls and birthday wishes today as we went about our normal routine. We will round out 'birthday week' with a celebration Sunday evening for my side of the family.
How to describe Afton... she is definitely all girl. She loves to dress up and pretend she's a princess (with Cole or Dad as her prince) and she lives for her ballet class. She loves to play pretend and assigns everyone their roles. She speaks well beyond her years and comes up with the funniest stuff. We are always laughing when she is around. She sings all the time and loves to call us Chris and Katie. She started pre-school this fall and couldn't be happier. We are just sure she is the smartest one in her class. She is still teeny-tiny and only wears a 2t, but eats very well and will eat almost anything. She loves everyone with all of her being and isn't afraid to let it show. She is a total cuddler and very physically affectionate. And, just so you won't think she is absolutely perfect: her new favorite words are 'idiot' and 'stupid' and she has recently started hitting Cole thinking that if she says sorry it makes it all okay.
I can't even describe how much we love this little girl. She is my almost constant companion, my little sidekick. What a sweetheart. 

Happy Birthday, sweet Afton. 
Hope this next year is just as great as the last three.
(photos from our beach vacation last August)


Flashback Friday- Who IS this kid?!?

Back in June I was getting ready for a photo shoot and asked Max to pose quickly so I could test the light. I didn't think much about it until I pulled the pictures up on my computer and was shocked at how old he looks. It's crazy to me how fast he is growing up. He's gotten taller, his interests are changing and he's even taken to proudly showing us his armpit hair (gross... I know, but it's endearing how excited he is). I decided to pull up a pictures from exactly 1 year ago to see how much he's changed.Shocking, isn't it. My baby boy is in Jr. High now, turns 12 next Friday and is turning into a man before my eyes. Some days I love it, other days I want my sweet little baby back. He was such a sweet baby. At church recently a 14 year old young man gave a talk. I sat there listening thinking that he is only 2 years older than Max, but he was tall, had a deep voice and looked more like a man than a kid. Max still looks like a kid, and it hit me how much he is going to change in the next 2 years. I know Max is ready, but I don't know if I am. I guess I better get used to the idea because it's going to happen wether I like it or not. 


Cole's new favorite thing to do (when he isn't climbing on the piano... and yes, I do mean ON) is definitely peek-a-boo. He'll play it anytime, anywhere with anyone. Next time you see him try it out. It's funny, even though every baby in the history of forever has played this game... it never seems to lose it's novelty or cuteness factor when your baby learns it. We do it over and over and over and we are all laughing along with him. Ah, the simple joys of life with a baby!


Cole's 1st Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA!!

Well... it was actually just a little Sunday evening get together with family for cake and ice cream to wish Cole a happy first birthday... but it was still fun! We started out playing "How well do you know Coleman". It was packed with pretty tricky questions about Cole's life so far and I think people had to pretty much guess on most of them.
Granny was the champion and answered the most questions correctly, 2nd place was a team effort by cousins Cole's cousins Taylor and Ben and 3rd place want to another cousin, Christopher. They all got a bag of my very favorite sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting from Smart Cookie... for being so smart!
Time for cake! Cole was fascinated by the flame and kept trying to grab it.
He was a little tentative at first but once he got going there was no stopping him!

Once he was bored with the cake he had fun playing peek-a-boo with the balloons.
After a quick bath in the sink it was time to open presents.
We are so grateful to all our family who came to celebrate Cole's first birthday with us. It means the world to us to have you all in our lives and we appreciated the effort you all made to come.
4 generations: Cole, me, my dad and step-mom, and my grandparent's (my dad's mom and dad) and 3 generations: Cole, his dad, and his grandparents.
With his Uncle Luke, Uncle Peter, Aunt Aubrey, Granny and Grandpa RJ
With Great Grandpa and Grandma Farnsworth
With Grandma and Grandpa Higbee
With his Great Uncle Joel and cousins Dallas and Katlin
Uncle Marvin
Kisses from cousin Alyssa and Aunt Jolie
Cousin Matthew, Aunt Leisa and Cousin Chris
Uncle Sam and Aunt Saundra and cousins Lizzie, Taylor, Ben and Sarah
Aunt Karen and Cousin Alec
Us! Max, Chris, Cole, Afton, me, Abby, Cassidy and Roxy.

Coleman sure does have a lot of people who love him.
What a lucky little boy!