Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was pretty chill, which I loved. We woke up and had a little breakfast together, I got my workout in, then we headed to my in-laws for lunch and to open up the cousin presents. The kids were all so cute opening up their gifts, and couldn’t wait to play with everything. We played games and just relaxed that afternoon and then headed over to a Mexican Restaurant with some of TJ’s extended family for dinner. Finn was really tired for not getting a good nap in that day, so he was kind of a pain at dinnertime, but we still really enjoyed having a Mexican Christmas! Afterwards, we finished off the night decorating sugar cookies, singing carols, acting out the Nativity, and having a Christmas PJ fashion show over at TJ’s uncle’s house. It was quite the group and a lot of fun.

When we were back home late that night, we watched the classic It’s a Wonderful Life while TJ worked the night away on a drawing he was making for his parents. There’s something so magical about getting the stockings and presents all ready on Christmas Eve, along with leaving the cookies and reindeer food out for Santa. It’s definitely one of the best parts about being a parent!

He Was Here

 

Merry Christmas! We didn’t send out many Christmas cards this year because we tried to scale back and simplify a bit, so I wanted to let you all know here how much we love and appreciate you. I also want to express my gratitude for our Savior, who humbly came into this world as a baby in a stable. This season, that simple truth made an impact on me.

Why would a God from Heaven
Come to the world this way?
Why in a lowly stable
Would the Messiah lay?
I shook my head and asked them
To tell the story one more time

Yes I did believe them
Though I’d not seen a thing
I did not go to Bethlehem
Or hear the angels sing
But there was something magic
In the air
That made me feel as if
I had been there

Do you think you’ll join us
Though you’ve not seen a thing?
You were not there in Bethlehem
To hear the angels sing
But if you feel the spirit
In the air
Then just like me you’d know

That He was here
He was here

It’s easy to doubt in our world. It’s easy to not believe. But this story of our Savior, I know it is true. I feel it in my heart. I feel it when my daughter recites her small version of the nativity with me. It is simple but it is oh so true. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas season and a great 2017!

,

Santa Flashback

Two flashback posts in one day? #sorrynotsorry

2016

Santa at church (Finn is 1 and Eva is 5)

2015

Santa at church with two kids (Finn is a newborn and Eva’s 4)

2014

Santa at the Plaza Hotel (Eva’s 3)

2013

Santa at Macy’s Santaland in NYC (Eva’s 2)

2012

Santa in Cincinnati with cousins (Eva’s 1)

,

Christmas Flashback

You know how I love a good flashback post! Here are videos and photos from Christmas past!

2015

Living in Lehi. Christmas in Utah. Eva’s 4 and Finn is a newborn.

 

2014

Living in Jersey. Christmas in Kentucky. Eva’s 3.

 

2013

Living in Jersey. Christmas in Utah. Eva’s 2.

2012

Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. Eva’s 1.

2011

Living in Provo. Christmas in Utah. Eva’s a newborn.

2010

Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. First married Christmas.

2009

Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. Almost engaged to TJ (he came out to KY for Christmas then proposed in Jan).

2008

Living in Provo. Christmas in Kentucky. About to meet TJ in January.

It’s so fun to see how it’s all changed. Bittersweet.

Candy Cane Hunt

Draper held a Candy Cane Hunt (like an Easter Egg Hunt) last week and it was actually a pretty nice December day, so we and some friends checked it out! Turns out, although it’s a cute idea and the kids just liked being outside, candy canes are not suited for a hunt because if someone steps on them, they break. And if there’s one thing kids don’t like, it’s a broken candy cane. But like I said, the kids still liked it! Then they got to roast marshmallows and see Santa, so not a bad day!

Forgotten Carols

 

We went to the Forgotten Carols with TJ’s family last weekend for the second time in a row, and it was great as usual. If you haven’t heard the music or seen the show, you should watch the old YouTube videos here. It’s better in person when you know the story behind it (and the show has been updated quite a bit since these videos). But basically this man shares these forgotten carols with his nurse, and through the process her heart is softened. It’s really quite tender and has a great message!

 

 

,

Christmas Cookies

Last Tuesday, we baked and baked and baked. I think it turned out to be about 75 cookies. A batch of gingerbread cookies (my first time making) and two batches of sugar. Eva loved helping me, although it would drive me crazy because she wouldn’t conserve the space of the rolled out dough and just put down the cookie cutters wherever haha! We divided them all up and brought them to neighbors and friends. This was by far Eva’s favorite part, and she was so sad when it was over! Quite a fun day.

Here’s the soft and chewy gingerbread recipe I used. I loved them, but next time will cut the ginger in half.

Here’s my favorite sugar cookie recipe.


In the evening, Eva and I went over to our neighbor’s house to build gingerbread houses. We had our fill of sweets that day for sure.

,

Christmas with Vocal Point

I just love this season so much and am grateful for the Spirit it brings into our home. We have watched a bunch of Christmas movies already and also several Christmas specials. My favorite special so far was Vocal Point’s. You can watch the whole thing here. It’s such a great show!

A Christmas Miracle

I posted this on Facebook already, so sorry if it’s a duplicate post for you. Just have to document it on the blog!

One month ago I saw that Jim Gaffigan, one of my favorite comedians, was coming to the Vivint Arena. I told TJ to email his HR person to see if he could get cheap or free tickets (he works for Vivint and occasionally gets free tickets to the arena for Jazz games and such). Well, he didn’t hear back. We made other plans, a friend offered us tickets this week but we already had stuff going on and couldn’t spend too much on tickets anyway. I was pretty disappointed it didn’t work out BUT THEN TJ found out the afternoon of the show that they had two extra tickets to the Vivint Suite, and they were ours if we wanted them for free! Uh, yes! We canceled our previous plans, found a babysitter, and got to spend the evening laughing the night away and being spoiled in the suite with dinner and dessert! Great night! Thank you, TJ, for working hard so we can play hard (and enjoy all the perks of your job)!

Christmas Traditions

I told you all earlier, I pull out our tree pretty much as early as possible. I listen to Christmas music right after Halloween. I plan out about fifty activities in my calendar for the season. So, when my kids were sick for a solid week, I was kind of devastated. We missed the Alpine Live Nativity, which I had gotten tickets for as soon as they went on sale and was heartbroken we didn’t get to do that. We missed the Nativity, which was a new tradition we started with my friend and her daughter. We also missed this other sing-in thing while they were sick. So needless to say, last week I decided we needed to STEP UP OUR GAME to get caught up!

We celebrated St. Nick, where St. Nick comes in the night to put chocolate in your shoes if you’ve been good!

We drove around the neighborhood one night with Christmas music on and looked at all the lights. This is always a favorite activity of mine since the kids are nice and warm, and it’s free! We will probably go out and do this again another night.

We started our #12outfits of Christmas with Danica!

For every one good picture, there are about thirty awful/hilarious ones.

We decorated Gingerbread houses (and then ate it as soon as we finished).