Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Christmas

Our Christmas was wonderful. I am still in denial that the season is on it's way out. My parents left on Monday night and I cried like a toddler.
I am consoling myself by eating everything in sight
spending the evening going through the photos I took this week. All 500 of them. Not kidding. I (finally) got a new camera and I am a bit trigger happy. Most of the shots were of the tree while I experimented with light (I have a lot to learn), but I did catch some nice images of our celebration. I had so many photos, I put most of them over on my family blog, so if you want to see some more of our festivities, check them out over there. Keep scrolling down, there are 9 posts in all. I told you. Trigger happy.

Shane did a beautiful job on our house this year. It was magical.

Man, I love this camera.

All the kids went in to buy my Dad 5 pounds of Pine Nuts. That's a lot of Pine Nuts. The smell of roasting pine nuts was absolutely intoxicating and the most Christmasy smell imaginable. (Screw Chestnuts. These are way better.) We ate all 5 pounds in less than a week.

It would seem that, quite by accident, we have started collecting Christmas snow globes.

Lydia really is growing up. Most of the candy actually ended up on the gingerbread house instead of in her mouth.

Sugar cookies, fudge and mace bundt cake. I probably gained 5 pounds this week. Who am I kidding. I definitely gained 5 pounds this week.

At least I was able to squeeze into my dressy pants for a night out with the girls.



We loved having you spend Christmas with us.

Counting down to next year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The After Christmas High

The days after Christmas have always been a bit of a downer for me. I think it is that way for most people. This year I am trying especially hard to focus on the wonderful traditions and memories made and let the Christmas high linger a bit longer. If you are looking for the same, might I suggest spending an hour today listening to a Christmas Devotional? The Mormon Tabernacle choir sings the most sublime Christmas carols and the message is Christ centered and appropriate for any Christian denomination. Surround yourself with your family and be reminded of why this time of year really is so special. It is a lovely way to end the season.

I also found some lovely Christmas thoughts here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Christmas Gift To You. (P.S. It isn't a spelling error.)

Last year for Christmas I posted my very favorite Christmas dessert, Mace Bundt Cake. This year I am giving you three more of my favorite holiday treats. But first I have to admit something.....I have a secret blog.....

Ok, it isn't really that exciting. I have a personal recipe blog, Recipe Dutchess. Someday I want to publish my own family cookbook in Blurb and I thought that making a simple recipe blog would make it an easier task. I have never shared it with anyone, but I figure that if it is open to the public, I might spend more time on it.

Some of the recipes are mine, some are others (I give them credit.) It is just a place for me to record recipes I have tested and enjoyed. I know that dutchess is actually spelled duchess, but it is an inside joke. Basically, a Dutchess is someone totally addicted to chocolate. (Dutch chocolate + royalty = Dutchess.) I am definitely a Dutchess.

Feel free to look around. I don't have it set up for comments, but you can email me if you have any questions about the food. So without further ado, my yummy recipes for the season:

The BEST sugar cookie recipe ever. They stay soft and taste divine. My friend Todd is literally obsessed with them. The key ingredient is the Cream of Tarter and you have to take them out of the oven before they start to brown.

My great grandmother's recipe. What is Christmas without fudge?!

This soup is so incredibly decadent, it is a great Christmas eve dish. It is one of my families' favorite "impress the company" meals.

Enjoy!....Is tomorrow really Christmas Eve?~Squeal with Delight~

Monday, December 21, 2009

Our Christmas Family Newsletter


2009 has been a busy one for our family. It seems like 2010 is going to be much the same. Shane's work schedule is monstrous, but it is a treat whenever we get to see him. He works very hard to support our little family and is a wonderful father and husband. Together, we are working on a exciting new project for next year. When we get closer to having it completed, I will let you know what it is. No, it is not another baby. :)

Lydia is in pre-school and loving it. She is a phenomenal drama queen and is often "in character" and wanting others to play along. She loves her baby brother and is very sweet with him. I am really loving the 3 1/2 year age difference. I had no idea what a help Lydia would be.

Collin is the most adorable creature imaginable and his happy spirit is a tremendous blessing in our home. We call him Chub-o most of the time. He is such a chuck. I love it! I could kiss those cheeks all day long. He is sleeping a little better lately, and I have high hopes that he will be sleeping through the night in the next month or so.

As for me, I am busy with this incredible calling of motherhood. It isn't the most glamorous of professions, but it is the most rewarding. Some days I'm not sure I am going to be able to hold it all together, but I pray to remember the precious gift it is to have a family and it gets me through.

We are so grateful to our friends and family at this time of year. Even if I haven't met you, your comments make me feel like we are friends. I am especially grateful during this loveliest of seasons for my Savior, Jesus Christ and the countless blessings He has alloted me.

Love to you all, and wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

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Want to see even more of our year? Click here to see our 2009 at a glance.

Friday, December 18, 2009


One week until Christmas! So much to do, to wrap, to clean....but all I want to do is listen to Christmas music and BAKE! Can someone come watch my baby so Lydia and I can get our bake on?

These last are mine! (I'm not a cookie decorator, as if that isn't obvious.) Click here to see our little cookie day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Having the best night ever!

So it's midnight, and I totally should be asleep, but I am too much in the groove of wrapping gifts to stop now. I had such a great night tonight. As soon as I got Collin to sleep, I headed out - leaving Shane to get Lydia to bed.

I ran errands for hours and I got EVERYTHING done. ALL my Christmas shopping is now finished. Oh...just a few hours out alone is such bliss. To treat myself, I picked up some yummy late night snacks at the gourmet grocery store that just opened up.

So here I am, midnight, watching "The Holiday", eating clementines, a baguette and the goat cheese I fell in love with on my last trip to NYC. (That post about NYC pretty much sums up why these nights to myself are so very necessary.)

Since I'm up anyway, I might as well upload some photos of our Christmas decor. ***Another possible explanation as to why I am in such a great mood.....I bought myself a rather spiffy Christmas gift today. Let's just say that after this Christmas, I will no longer be taking photos with my crappy point and shoot camera. WOO WHO!!!!***

That above photo is "the hall" tree. I made the orange ornaments by cooking orange slices overnight at 150 degrees. They will last for years. The berry garland is made from dried cranberries. String them fresh, and let them dry in a cool place.

This is my little photo tree. Every year since Shane and I got married, I have framed a photo of our Christmas together. When I get enough, I am going to turn them into a garland to drape across the mantle.

My office tree. Yes. I officially have my own office now. I am very excited. To celebrate, I really wanted to do a tree decorated in my favorite color, but go figure, yellow Christmas ornaments are hard to come by.
Our bedroom tree looks like this. Shane is in there sleeping, so I can't get a photo.

Some of my favorite ornaments this year.

And the main tree. So many memories hung on the branches. I love love love Christmas time.

Now....back to the goat cheese.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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