Every year I try to get everything done early in hopes of a relaxing Christmas season. I always get things done in November, but am still scrambling around the whole month of December. Someday I will figure out how not to do that. Even amidst all the hustle and bustle, it is my favorite time of year. I love every single thing about it! This is perfection to me: a cold, snowy evening with a crackling fire, listening to Christmas music surrounded by my family. We only had a couple of cold, snowy evenings, but we took full advantage.

We got a family picture with Santa at a cookie exchange with our friends

We had an early "Christmas" with Grandma Laura and Grandpa Dave

Christmas Eve was at Grandma Jo's & Grandpa Dean's complete with the traditional Nativity reenactment. Grandpa is the donkey, Brooklynn is Mary and apparently Elise wanted to be Baby Jesus. As soon as they read about baby Jesus, Cole jumped in and said, "I am the baby" which caused them to argue back and forth as to who the baby Jesus was. It was pretty tough to keep a straight face. Grey was the wise man and did very well with his part.

Grey & Elise with Brooklynn

The kiddos in their new PJ's at Grandma's house

I look forward to our Hickory Farms box of goodies every year from my grandparents. This year it didn't show up until LATE Christmas Eve and I thought it wasn't coming. I was pretty excited to see it on my doorstep. It is the little things in life...

Christmas Morning is the best! There is nothing I love more than to see smiles on my children's faces. We had a relaxing morning and stayed in our PJ's all day.

Cole passed out upstairs right around naptime--guess it was too much excitement.

We finished the evening off with a delicious turkey feast and driving around to look at lights. I adore my family and am thankful for these wonderful times to get us through the tougher days. :) 

I feel unbelievably blessed and grateful to my Savior who gave us the ultimate gift.

Merry Christmas!


Daddy Ski Day

Grey is lucky to be the oldest. He gets sleepovers and ski days in the mountains by himself with Jared. They go up the day before and watch movies, play chess and relax then ski the next day. They went for the first time of the season. And their tradition includes french fries in the lodge.
One of these days I will ski again... But in the meantime, I get to bring Elise to snuggle in my bed.
Cole isn't quite ready for the sleepover but he sure looks cute and innocent when he is sleeping.


6 months +

With the craziness of the holidays, I totally missed my 6 month picture. I had to go back and count the weeks--it is different this time around for sure. Hard to keep up with how fast the time is going. So a little late, but I am definitely looking very pregnant.

This pregnancy is flying by unbelievably fast. Our sweet little girl will be here before we even know it. Oh yes, I forgot to mention we found out last month we are having another girl. Elise is thrilled to be having a baby sister. I thought it might be a girl, but Jared's family doesn't make sisters--and barely makes girls. So I figured due to odds it was going to be a boy. She is going to be so spoiled by her three older siblings. They are so excited to meet her. Elise snuggles up to me with her hand on my belly waiting for little thumps. Let's hope they still like her as much once she is here and screaming in the night.

When I actually have time to think about a new baby coming, I am THRILLED but so nervous. Will I still be able to give my other THREE kids the amount of attention I want to and that they deserve? Will I be able to handle not sleeping at nights and then functioning all day without breaks? Will Jared & I fight more (like we do when we are both sleep deprived)? Will our baby girl be a good sleeper? Really all I can think about is sleep. :) Cole didn't sleep through the night for almost a year and a half and screamed A LOT and it was one of the most difficult/long-lasting things I have struggled with. I went into a strange depression just trying to function and going through the motions of life without feeling anything.  I think I became numb to everything around me. I feel like I am just becoming a person again and hope that I don't check out that long again for the sake of my other kids.   I just hope I can still be a good mother and be and do everything I want to do for my family. But then I look at my three precious children and I am filled with an indescribable joy that makes absolutely ANYTHING worth it to have their sweet little spirits in my home. I can't wait to add another one to our home and family.


Christmas Ballerina

Elise has been the only one in her ballet class so her teacher had her do the dance for Cole & I during class before the break. I love that girl.


Santa Visits

Elise & Cole go to the cutest preschool. The last week of school, they went singing at a senior assisted living home and then Santa came to visit and brought them a little gift. I was surprised to see Cole on his lap because he is kind  of terrified of Santa.

Elise & her class

Cole & his class



This is my favorite day of the holiday season by far and possibly my favorite day of the year. I have been going for years with the girls in Jared's family and it is so much fun! But is extra special now being able to bring my sweet Elise. This is the second year with her and such a fun tradition together. We like to start out with lunch at The Cheesecake Factory

Then its off to The Nutcracker! Elise loved going with her favorite cousin Addie this year.



I absolutely love snow! There was no school delay but we made sure to get up and play in the snow beforehand. Cole even loved it which none of my kids did at his age. They built a pretty funny looking snowman but I forgot to get a picture.


A Ghost

I took the two younger kids to the aquarium to get away from the holiday craziness. Cole has a thing for bears, ghosts, wolves and all things that scare him a little bit. This is a terrible picture, but as soon as Cole saw it he started running to it and screaming, "GHOST, GHOST!" I could not stop laughing. That boy is hilarious.
Oh and this is how Cole smiles now... And he loves wearing his beanie.


Starting the Christmas Season

Christmas is my favorite season and always goes way too quickly. This year we tried out the celebrations in our new neighborhood. They do a parade about five minutes from our house and it was really cute. They had marching bands, firetrucks and all of that good stuff. Then Santa came in on a sleigh pulled by clydesdale horses. They had real reindeer--I honestly didn't know reindeer really  existed. Yeah, I know.
Then my sister and cute niece came to town and we made my mom's special caramel popcorn then sugar cookies with the kids. Food always makes the holidays even better!


Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was spent at my dad's house this year. It was so great to have Heather and Allie in town!
Two preggers sisters--again. :)
Grey particularly loved Isabella's pink hummer and Cole liked being the passenger.
We ate A LOT which of course only means it is a true Thanksgiving.