Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Dinner

For the third year in a row, we've smoked turkeys and hosted a huge family gathering on Christmas Day. It is stressful to host a big family party when it looked like a bomb went off in our living room, but it is quite nice to not have to travel and let everyone come to us.

We try for open house style, where people can come and go as they wish, but apparently we host a great party, because nearly everyone was there for the entire thing.
This kid's forced smile is my fave. It's so... ummm? It's just so him!
I have a few tricks to almost always get a real smile from her. She always smiles when telling me about certain things. ;)

This was only about half the party!
Love this one of James and Nana.
Lots of blurry happiness.
E's brother and his wife, my brother and his girl friend.
SUCH a fun party.
And as always, E's smoked turkey stole the show. It was AMAZING!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve was windy and dark, with the promise of lots of snow to come!

We arrived at my mom's house late in the day and started opening presents. My mom does all her Christmas presents the day before, to try to help ease some of the Christmas madness. It's brilliant actually, and so fun to space out the opening madness.
My mom doesn't pull any punches and found this incredible wooden dollhouse at a second hand store, along with all the furniture and accessories! James, Juliet and Auntie Melissa spent over twenty minutes setting it all up.
So many things to set up. And can I just say how much I LOVE this doll house? It's solid wood and gender neutral. No pink at all!
Soon we trickled into the back room to start opening more presents! Everyone was there, all four siblings, their significant others, grandparents, and my kids.
 Lots and lots to open!

 James ALWAYS needs to be sitting next to Jess (my brother's girl friend). They adore each other.

This adorable bunny was on her best behavior the entire night. She did not want to leave and even ate some dinner! Woot!
James wore the same outfit as last year for Christmas Eve, and Juliet wore a vintage dress I purchased on Instagram.

Last year, just for the fun of it!

Christmas morning

Christmas morning came quickly, as it always does, fresh snow blanketed the neighborhood and the living room was still cloaked in darkness. The kids were SO EXCITED to get out there, so I hustled out first, turned on the tree, the fire and the Christmas music. The family followed promptly behind.

Santa surprised us all with a Cozy Coupe (Grandpa Craig found it near the garbage a week ago and knew Juliet would LOVE it!) and LOVE she does. She's even eaten all her meals in it for almost a week.
The big present to each kiddo this year was magna-tiles, which we already have, but growing your collection is the best and both kids were quite excited.
E got a new rc plane radio that he was quite excited about. He surprised me with quite a few things too, some Sherlock earrings, a book, Sherlock tea and new slippers. All fantastic.
Soon we bundled everyone up headed up to E's family's house. The snow was beautiful and didn't stop all day.
Three cousins in a row!
This little love is such a darling thing. She thinks her cousins are better than the presents. It's adorable.
Kid table!
We opened stockings and sat down to brunch. What a lovely way to spend the morning.
Lots of blurry happy pictures.
Joe's hilarious shirt was a present from his daughter Emilia. It was rainbow with a cat wearing sunglasses. High style.
E was quite thrilled with this!
Emilia and family gave James a wrecking ball set. Both kids spent a long time analyzing the box.
Blurry happiness!
These two kept hugging and being adorable.
After the presents were opened and everyone began to relax these girls played "rocket ship" on the chair.
James got light up legos and he and E spent some time building. It was fairly impressive.
Happy Merry Christmas! Christmas evening coming up next!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Snow hike with the kids

The last day before E's winter holiday started I decided to take the kids on a little solo hike in the snow. These two adore the snow so much, that I knew if it didn't get too deep we'd be fine. Little did I know how deep it actually was!

Back at home we had had a huge storm earlier in the week but warm weather melted most off of our lawn. But Temple Quarry Trail still lay thick with beautiful white untouched powder. And the kids were in heaven. Stomping through the deepest of it, hurling snowballs at my head and laughing with glee whenever they hit their target.

An amazingly fun time was had by all.

Such deep powder! Snowshoes may be in order next Christmas.

So many photos of him chasing me with a snowball!
Winter wonderland to the extreme.

Monday, December 21, 2015

More Christmas Fun!

There are SO MANY things to do before Christmas, sometimes you just have to lump them all into one big friendly pile, right? One afternoon we went to Trolly Square to visit our favorite Santa. He's FREE which makes it the best Santa of the bunch.

Both kids were terrified. James a bit less so than Juliet. Juliet wouldn't even look at him. The photo above? She only looked at the camera because she had the promise of a candy cane after.

Another night we made it down to Temple Square to see the lights. Oh they are more beautiful every year.

And one Saturday we went over to my mom's for her annual cookie day. Look at my little elves!
Her kitchen has the most beautiful natural light, I'm always so tempted to just curl up in there and never leave.
 Us! Together! First photo in, maybe a year?
There were lots of cookies baked, but the highlight of the afternoon was seeing these two play with their aunts and uncles. They are both crazy about "Uncle Underwear."
These two mostly wanted to color with markers than help with any baking. They did, however, sample all the cookie dough. 
Cookie making group. All my siblings in one room at a time! It's a Christmas miracle. And the topics of discussion are so dirty and hilarious I can not post here. This is a family blog. But we were all dying. 
 Lots and lots of cookies. This is only a select few.

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