Friday, January 9, 2015

The 12 Instagrams of Christmas

Yikes am I behind on blogging. There just isn't enough time in a day!

Seriously, life with a newborn is chaos. Routine goes out the window, schedules get changed, and even on the days that I think I have nothing really important to get done I still feel buried in chores. Dishes and laundry never end...then there's spending quality time with each child...and being a good wife...and feeding the baby every 3-4 hours or so...and we won't even go into church callings. Chaos.

But I really am not complaining. Just stating the facts of motherhood. And really, it's not so bad anymore. We've kinda found a groove that works for everyone, even though Jonathan and I are still sleep deprived 92% of the time.

So now my goal is to get all caught up on this old like the next three days! Expect lots of long posts.

Let's start with December. I didn't blog a single thing about December because well, we had ourselves a brand new baby to take care of and although we did a TON- I did not feel up to writing about each little excursion (and they WERE little...they have to be when Penelope eats, poops, or cries every hour or sometimes all three of those in an hour...)

But to sum it up:
1. We started our "25 Days of Christ" tradition. I bought the set, we painted the ornaments for FHE, and got a nice white tree to put them on each night in December. Each ornament comes with a scripture, video, and spiritual thought about one aspect of Christ's life. We all loved it!
The "Christ Tree" went in Talmage's room. He thought that was super cool.
We also put some lights in Charlotte's room.
2. This wasn't in Dec. but right after Thanksgiving when J's parents were here. We cut down a tree at this cute tree farm and the kids got to meet Santa (for the first time this year). There were also some neat playground toys. It was the perfect overall experience!

 3. After we got the tree home, we made some pretty great memories around it :)

4. Ward Christmas Party. Our Bishop was Frosty! And the kids sat on Santa's lap for the second time.

5. Ugly Sweater Party with friends. Super fun games and yummy food. I won ugliest sweater! It's hard to tell in the picture but I was covered in jingling bells.

6. Storybook Land in Albany (20 min away). Our first time going and boy was it fun! So much to look at. Lots of lights, homemade displays of Disney and Nursery Rhyme characters, trains, horses, and...yep! Santa again :D

 7. Cookie decorating party with some little friends.
8. Keizer lights! An entire neighborhood all lit up with signs of how to navigate your way through it. Canned food drive at the end and they gave the kiddos candy canes. There were some pretty insanely lit up houses and one with a light show.
9. the Sunday before Christmas- my favorite Sunday of the year!
Oh yeah, and I chopped off all my hair. Three times. I'm picky...

10. I decided two days before Christmas to make nativity costumes. Luckily I had a bunch of extra fabric on hand, so it was actually really easy. I'm so excited to have these every year now! Here are the cute ones- Talmage as Joseph and Charlotte as Mary "great with child"...hehe

 11. "Sing and Bounce" at Super Bounce. A perfect way to get out those pre-Christmas jitters and become completely exhausted so that mom and dad can have a better night's sleep...
12. Ummm what else?!?! CHRISTMAS!

We had ourselves such a lovely little Christmas at home. Our first Christmas ever in our own house without traveling anywhere! My parents and sister Dana came all the way from Louisiana and that was the very best part.

Some of the highlights:

*nail wrap party with mom, sister, and Charlotte.
*neighborhood walk through the woods, llamas & horses, and Trader Joe's.

*Shrimp etoufee. Yum.
*Driving around Salem and giving a tour of sorts to my mom and sister.
*Watching movies with the family like The GrinchHow to Train Your Dragon 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, that's my mom (their Mimi) snuggled on the floor with the kids. :)
*going to Fred Myer's the day before Christmas. Total madness but really fun!
*live nativity on Christmas Eve (in which every person participated!) Talmage chose roles. It was awesome.
I think this is pretty much the funniest thing ever.
*All of Christmas Eve! The kids got jammies, left out munchies for Santa and his reindeer, we filled stockings for everyone, and Jonathan put together a rocking chair for Charlotte.
*Charlotte's reaction to every single Frozen themed present she got, and Talmage's reaction to..well, everything. :)
*Spending all of Christmas day tinkering with toys and relaxing.
The best thing was seeing all of our children form stronger relationships with Mimi, Papa, and auntie Dana. We don't get to see them hardly enough! It's always been hard being so far away from my family, but even harder so when we have kids. I'm so grateful that they chose to spend their Christmas with us this year.
and some more holiday cuteness...

 It was an amazing, crazy, hard, joyful month. I loved having a newborn right before Christmas- it really made the Christmas story seem more tender and close to my heart. Having Penelope join our family was the greatest gift we could ask for!

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