I want to start this post by saying what a magical Christmas this year was, having an eight-year-old and an almost six-year-old made the magic just splendid. We did so many fun things before the holiday that we were primed and pumped to celebrate.
Juliet got an American Girl doll that looks just like her and promptly named her "Julie" (even though the note on her arm said her name was Clara). James got Lego, lego, lego and laser tag guns.
My mom hosted the kids for an entire day on December 23rd so E and I could ski with my Dad. What made the day so special was that they both picked out surprise presents for us. They were more excited to give these gifts than open their own. E got framed artwork.
And I got a heart pillow.
The plasma orb was a huge hit as well!
After opening presents at our house we head over to E's parents to open more gifts, see family and each brunch. Look at this cute crew.
And, as in years past, we hosted an epic Christmas dinner with smoked turkey, scalloped potatoes and the most glorious homemade bread. Because hosting is so fun and so exhasting I snapped a single photo. WHAT? FAIL. Juliet showing my cousin Taylor her brand new camera!
It was a wonderful day and a merry Christmas was had by everyone!
The month leading up to Christmas might be the best time of year because: family activities, sugar, not sick of winter yet, sugar, skiing, some more fun activities and more sugar.
I've been horribly neglectful of this beautiful blog (ha!) because we always do so much in December, posting about it felt SUPER overwhelming. So reading about it might feel the same. This is a huge photo dump mostly just to remember what a fun time we have in December. I'll do another smaller Christmas day post and then let's hope I can get back onto the blogging wagon.
Started off the month with Krindlemart. It was insanely busy, mild weather, and something that I would have enjoyed had it been 1/100th of the number of people. But the kids LOVED the petting zoo so I suppose I can call it a win?
Krampus is the guy that visits the bad kids in Germany? James is totally putting on a brave face here, he was nervous!
She dressed herself and wore the hat all day and pretty much killed me with how adorable she is. Having a daughter was and is everything I thought it would be.
Juliet has been really into matching her dolls this month and suddenly has taken an interest in American Girl dolls (yay!). This was before E's family annual St. Nicholas tea.
Did I mention there was some sugar consumed?
These cousins are SO LUCKY to have a Damma that works at a doll store. Honestly, it is so fun to go visit her.
Baby cousin William isn't much of a baby anymore.
Squad goals. Emilia (middle) is cracking me up so much!
My grandma has aged so much since her stroke eight years ago. It's hard to see her this way, it's hard to visit and it's almost impossible for her to leave the facility. But we love her.
The only thing better than a gingerbread house is a pre-assembled gingerbread house. Costco for life.
Temple Square at Christmas time is a freezing cold must.
The kids found Hannuka magical this year and couldn't wait to light the candles each night.
Another fancy vintage dress to go meet Santa.
Per regular Juliet wouldn't even look, talk to or sit with Santa. James said he wants Lego and books.
Luckily I got this adorable photo of them even if Juliet wouldn't see Santa.
Later that night we had a special dinner in the living room. Cheese and crackers, sausage and dip, olives and mini quiches. Everyone loved it.
One day we heard that the real Mrs. Claus was at the doll shop where Damma worked. The kids were thrilled to find out it was ACTUALLY Damma. Now we joke that they shouldn't tell their friends, because we don't want everyone knowing the kids have such easy access to the big man himself. ;)
Grand America windows are another December must.
Anual ski day for my dad's birthday. For the first time ever E joined us and kept up with our crazy crew surprisingly well!
All dressed up for Christmas Eve! Look how big my kids are getting.
My sister hosted and everyone was thrilled because we were able to play with her new puppy Koa!
New pjs for Christmas. Santa is coming! Goodnight kiddos!
This year we celebrated Thanksgiving at Chelsea's house. Thanksgiving happened to land on her birthday, yet she still wanted to host! Amazing. The kids are at such a fun age. Emilia and Juliet have really hit it off in the last six months, so much so that James oftentimes feels left out. William will be big enough to play in no time.
Four cousins, growing up side by side.
Juliet's AMAZING dress is vintage (purchased by Connie!) and James' sweater is H&M
James, you are eight! How did Baby November turn from a baby, to a toddler to a little kid to a big kid so incredibly fast? I don't know. I really don't.
At eight you are incredible. Funny and smart and sweet and kinda a pain in the butt sometimes, but that's okay because we love you dearly.
At eight you are doing the following:
Love your teachers and tell them often. Write notes to your teachers to tell them how much you appreciate them.
Love your best friends Owen and Peter. If we don't have plans with O&P and you had your heart set on seeing them, you cry and complain and pretty much dislike all activities that don't include your besties.
Excellent at reading and math, fabulous at school work.
Eats hot lunch from the cafeteria every day.
Fast runner, amazing hiker, strong swimmer, zero interest in team sports.
Favorite things to do are play with Legos, Nintendo, iPad and outside with friends.
Least favorite thing to do is when Mommy "forces" him to the park without friends his age
Adores Juliet but knows how to push her buttons so amazingly well.
Great artist and loves drawing control panels, guns, and Nexo Knights (Lego brand).
Had a co-birthday party with his best friend Owen and loved every minute of it.
Collects "gun sticks" wherever we go and loves weapons.
Still requests a kiss on the lips and a hug after the school bell rings (never change kiddo! I love this too).
Is a total goof ball.
James, I love you so very very much. I miss your babyhood so much but I have also loved seeing you grow and change.
I was amazed I was able to get a natural smile for the photo above. It took a lot of false starts and goofy photos before I finally got one!