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Monday, December 15, 2014

Family Photo Shoot

Our friend Sarah Smylie took some shots of the 5 of us at a local ranch for our holiday card and simply for our viewing pleasure. It was tough to get the three kids together and looking cute, but Sarah got it done! Very happy with how they turned out. Enjoy!

Seasons Greetings!

Sing it with me! It's the Moooossstt Wonderful Timmmmme Of the Year! Each year I can HARDLY WAIT to bust out the Christmas decor, put up the tree and play Christmas music. Around. The. Clock. My excitement is multiplied by each kid I have and each year I get older (3 is my lucky number this year!) I am not good at math but jut take my word for it...I am pretty excited.

We got the tree up and decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving and slowly did the rest of the decor during nap the following week

Leah the Elf on the Shelf is baaacckkk! We love her :)

Grady is super excited about all the cool new stuff to ruin play with 

Handmade stockings for each kid by Nana

Grady checking out the tree

On Saturday Dec 6 we joined some friends on the Santa Train, which is a Coaster ride in which Santa visits all the kids on all the cars. Anna and Elsa from Frozen were also aboard, as well as some festive carolers and Mrs Claus. The kids had a good time!

letter to Santa

Grady wasn't a fan of the big guy this time...mostly he didn't want to sit in one place anymore (it was an hour ride with no getting off)

My playgroup donated enough toys, clothes, shoes and food for TWO local needy families of 6 this year! We wrapped and labeled all the items and I dropped them off at the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau HQ in downtown Carlsbad. Love this rewarding tradition.

It finally got a little chilly! 

Yaya and Papa came over to help the girls make gingerbread houses/cookies

And so did Nana!

This brings us to mid-December! Yet to come is our playgroup holiday party, Disneyland for my niece's 2nd birthday, the NB Boat Parade party, another holiday party at a friends house, and lots of shopping and wrapping of presents!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Ever since I can remember (and a few years before that) I have been eating Thanksgiving dinner at my Oma's house in Carson.  But when you get married, many things have to be compromised and how to spend the holidays and what cherished traditions to share are just a few of them.

First of all, we are so incredibly fortunate to have so much family within driving distance to choose from to spend these special moments with, so there will be no not too much complaining from us! Not having to deal with plane travel during this time of year is great, and packing the kids in the car and driving a few hours is part of the memories I have when I was kid driving to Grandmas house with the car loaded with food and gifts.  Listening to Christmas music, anticipating the gifts spending time with family, and fighting off mild car nausea are all part of my childhood holiday memories!
Anyway, that being said, this year it was the Klingensmiths turn to be tortured with us and our kids graced with our presence up in their family cabin in Lake Arrowhead.

We packed up the car and braced ourselves for the 65 degree weather in the mountains (brrr!) and drove 2.5 hours to spend two nights with 10 other members of the Klingensmiths and my mom.
Dinner was delicious and some of the highlights for me were the brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes with onions and the PIE of course! Grady ate everything, Harper ate almost nothing and Avery ate quite well. All enjoyed the moist turkey so much that we ate it for several days after (ha!)

Aunt Julie gave all the "kids" silly straw glasses! A total hit.

Since the weather was so warm, we took lots of walks down into the village to play at the park and feed the ducks.

And we did an easy hike loop that was beautiful! We collected acorns and pinecones and enjoyed the scenery and fresh air.

The last day it was just our little Fiesta of Five and we had pizza, watched a movie and cleaned up to drive back home.

We had such a great Thanksgiving this year up in Arrowhead! Our kids are so lucky to have places they can visit any time they want. The memories they are creating together with our family are so special! 

And now...time for CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!