Monday, December 23, 2013

Bonus Almost Christmas Insta! #51

Of course, Sunday we showed off our Holiday duds. 

Saturday I relaxed with some cocoa and watched the best SNL ever.
Jimmy and Justin. Yum.

Kept up with fun traditions. 

"Shane did you move the elf?"
"Ya, I made him a Mayan god in Collin's room."

Finally finished sending Christmas cards. 
This version was for my Pendleton Family.

(I literally had 30 seconds to snap a photo before they were all crying from being too cold.)

We've been enjoying the glorious snow.
Shane said it was just too depressing watching the kids sled down the two foot hill in the yard. 
He went out to save the day. 

Two more days to go!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Insta-Friday #50

One year ago this week we received the most incredible early Christmas gift. We found out I was pregnant. We sat near our tree and said "this time next year, we'll be spending the holidays with a new baby. And here she is, more wonderful than we could have dreamed. Happy 4 months old baby Ellie.

A bunch of my church friends got the same great news at about the same time. :) 
A bunch of us. Elise has so many friends!

Spent one evening stringing fresh cranberries and watching "The Holiday". 
And no one bothered me. Like at all.

Got a REAL date night!!!! 

And an actual girls night! 
 I almost feel like a normal human being. 

Babies drive us a little bit crazy don't they. 

What I really want for Christmas, besides peace on earth, good will towards men and a white Christmas, is for my baby to sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time for naps. I swear if she would sleep for two hours straight during the day. I could rule the world. Or at least take a shower, brush my teeth and clean the kitchen up.

A snowy day calls for sleeping in a bit, taking a late day to second grade and getting some scones and peppermint hot cocoa. 

Got to Lydia's school Christmas concert an hour early to get a seat and there were already about 30 people there! Still got a great seat though. A lot of people didn't even make it into the auditorium doors. Lydia had kept it a surprise that she was playing an instrument. She did great. 
Not sure how socks became part of her outfit.

Elise's first Christmas ornament arrived. The year is stamped on the back of the holly. Love it. 

Countdown to Santa! I'm SOOOOO excited!!!!

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life rearranged

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Whew! It's Christmastime alright. (insta-saturday #49)

This time of the year is so amazing. Today we woke up to a glorious snow. Getting children ready for snow time is incredibly labor intensive, especially with a whining baby. But that seems to be the theme of my life right now. Everything is just a little bit harder than it used to be. But I've never had a tiny baby at Christmas time. It's pretty wonderful.

Still, I have to be realistic. I'm trying to do everything I usually do, but with a baby in one arm and crippling exhaustion. It just isn't going to happen. I'm trying to focus on the things I really want out of the year and discarding the rest. Lucky for me, I foresaw this happening and I got my house decorated and gifts bought and wrapped super early this year.

So it's Saturday night and I have a huge list of things I've got to do. I have a cake to make for our Christmas Relief Society lesson tomorrow, I have to finish the gifts for the women at church and finish planning what I'm going to teach.

I guess it seems appropriate that I'm teaching about focusing on the important things of Christmas, and not to get to bogged down by trying to make things perfect.

I just wanted to share a lovely quote from the President of my church, President Monson. (Full talk here)

It is easy to get caught up in the pressure of the season and perhaps lose the very spirit in our lives that we’re trying to gain. Overdoing it is especially common this time of the year for many of us. The causes for this might include too many Christmas activities to attend, too much to eat, too much money spent, too many expectations, and too much tension. Often our efforts at Christmastime result in our feeling stressed out, wrung out, and worn out during a time we should feel the simple joys of commemorating the birth of our Savior.
Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season. We can keep Him in our thoughts and in our lives as we go about the work He would have us perform here on earth. At this time, particularly, let us follow His example as we love and serve our fellowman.

I love that. If you're looking for more wonderful thoughts about Christmas, make sure to watch the LDS Christmas Devotional tomorrow (Sunday).

Even with it being harder, I couldn't love this season more. Some of our Holiday adventures so far....Thanksgiving in Spokane with my parents and sister Abby and family.

Shane made this lovely log centerpiece for our thanksgiving table. And my sister Abby made the boat place cards. 

But, before our guests arrived, my niece set the table on fire. We had to douse the burning tablecloth with water. And then our guest showed up early.

No one was hurt, and it will make for a great story.

And luckily, the food table remained unscathed. My mom makes a mean Thanksgiving spread.
My cornbread stuffing and cranberry conserve turned out great.

Grumpy Elise. Mommy and Daddy ignoring her to deal with food and arsonist nieces. 
But at least they all match. And why that's important? It's not. Needless stresses. 
It's a hard thing to get rid of. 

Elise perked up the next day when it could be all about her day, and she saw her first snow.

And she could get back to her exclusionary rights to Daddy's attention.

It's already been a wonderful season and it's just started!

(Did I mention that Shane packed the SUV full of luggage, gifts and food and drove the seven hours to Spokane. And I took Elise on a 45 flight there. I'm the smartest person I know.)

It's Christmastime!!!!!!

images via instagram @natssentiments

Oops! I forgot to announce the winner of the How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare book.
It's Leslie Ruth! Congrats :) Email me and I will get you your prize. 

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