I just love pictures, they seem to capture so many memories and say so much more then words ever could! We won this photo session from a little contest on Facebook. A friend of mine, told me about a photographer in our area that was having a photo contest. She called it a "cheeser" contest! Honestly, I have a lot of great cheeser photos on my camera but I wasn't able to access the photos during the time I needed to submit a photo. I picked the best one I could from my phone:
I even coaxed her to take this picture by saying "cheese." So, it really turned out great. I had a ton of help from family, sharing the picture and encouraging people to vote by liking the picture. We were edged out of first place by only a handful of likes. Both pictures had almost 400 likes! Whoa. It was a battle to the bitter end. It was so close and we had so many likes, we didn't win the grand prize of a full session but a mini session. Which, was exactly what I wanted anyway! We got 20 edited photos and a free photo release to all of the pictures. I was really happy with the way they turned out and we have ordered some prints. I feel like such a grown up, we now have official prints on the alls from the photos and Christmas cards that we will be sending out with this letter:
Merry Christmas to all of you from the Sloats!
Greg received his first promotion within State Farm at the end of February. The position is located in Las Vegas, NV. We moved here the middle of April and purchased our first home! He enjoys working one on one with agents and using his teaching skills every day. Since living here Greg has been closer to climbing, plays tennis frequently with friends, runs with Tess, and stays busy as an elder’s quorum president. He has proven to be not only the bread winner, but for the first several months of my pregnancy cooked, cleaned, and spent extra time helping out with Tess so I could get extra rest and be more comfortable.
We have really enjoyed some family visits along with some traveling of our own since we have moved here. Tess and I were travel buddies to Wisconsin to visit Trevor, Colorado to attend the Bluemel reunion, and Greg joined us for two Salt Lake Valley trips. We even got away one Saturday to hike some areas in Zion’s National Park, such a beautiful park!
Due to our relocation to Las Vegas, I had to make some decisions about my enrollment in nursing school. I finished up second semester, with a great deal of help from family (thank you Angie Hanson!) watching Tess when I was in class and in a clinical setting. I decided to finish my second semester because it would qualify me to sit for the practical nursing boards. I passed the national boards in August and am a licensed practical nurse. The job opportunities are more limited for LPNs compared to registered nurses, but with the license it will enable me to finish my nursing degree in the future without starting completely over. Right now I am adjusting to the life of a stay at home mom. I am so happy I can stay home with Tess, although it hasn’t been as easy as I thought. I have realized I was a much more perfect mother before I had children! Reality has taught me that sometimes my best isn’t as perfect as I pictured. I stay really busy with learning photography through an online class, working on small blanket projects, scouts, being sick while pregnant, cooking/baking experiments, and most of the time just playing with Tess.
Tess is the center of our world and we really enjoy watching her grow and develop. She is a very spunky little girl who likes to be the center of attention, as evidenced by her repeated attempts to make us laugh and clap for her. She loves to say, "hi" and always takes people by surprise when she offers her cute, smiley, greeting. Tess started walking a couple weeks after she turned one and is now on the run constantly. She loves books, tennis rackets and balls, sing-alongs, being outside, water, playing with other kids, talking on the phone, shadowing mom, and anything with sugar!
We are thrilled to be expecting baby #2 in March. A positive test in early July confirmed the good news. We found out in October, baby #2 is a BOY! Everything is going as expected and proceeding normally, we are always praying he will continue to grow normally and have a safe birth into this world. We already adore him, talk about him, and are greatly anticipating meeting him!
We hope this Christmas card finds all of you enjoying a joy filled holiday season. We think of all of you often and are so thankful for the ways you have helped to shape, influence, and strengthen us in our lives. We are especially grateful for the Savior and love this time of year when we celebrate His birth. We proclaim with Isaiah, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given… and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” We are forever grateful for His birth, which lead the way to His life and Great Sacrifice for all of us. We hope, above all, that we can all come closer to Him this next year.
Greg, Chelsea, Tess, and Baby Bean Sloat
We also had this beautiful photo taken when we were in Colorado for Paige's farewell weekend. The colors are beautiful and I loved the color scheme my mom and Molly picked out. Unfortunately, the photographer charges an arm and a leg to get the photos digitally or to order prints from her. We had a few photos of us three and of Tess that we would've liked to get but her prices were just laughable. I felt terrible for my mom who I think would've liked to get more prints of the session. I don't believe the photographer was plain about the way her business worked and it was surprising to not have access to the photos like my mom was hoping. I do love this photo though!
Note: In the family pictures taken in Colorado with everybody, I was 20 weeks pregnant. In the family pictures of just the three of us, I am 22 weeks pregnant. I have been really bad about taking belly pictures, which is sad because it is fun to see the progression and would have been fun to compare pregnancies. But, truthfully, once I am ready Tess has me on the go! I haven't had a chance to think about it. Bummer!