Monday, December 8, 2014

{Tis the Season}

I broke the cardinal rule this year and decorated for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving...

I  just couldn't help myself!
The girls and I spent the day shopping for brand new decorations for the tree, 
and it just put us in the spirit.

Our bird tree turned out pretty dang beautiful though!  It's the tree I've wanted for years.
I feel spoiled.
Of course, two strands of lights don't work.....
And I refuse to take them off and start over, so I'm hoping our lovely birds
take the attention away from the unlit sections!
I was pretty exhausted after lugging the boxes all over the house,
and carrying the trees and putting everything together.
I sat down that night and turned the lights off and let the tree glow and felt extremely proud
of how independent I've become.
I'm getting really good at doing the 'man stuff'.
If only that didn't include killing spiders!

Getting Christmas out means that the Elf book came out also.
I caught these two in an awfully sweet moment.
I love being their mom!
We've been spending a lot of time doing projects after school...
I swear, they have a big one due every single week.
I complain a little and then realize how blessed I am that they need my help still,
and that they enjoy spending a few hours together every day still...
so daily I tell myself to embrace the chaos and enjoy it!

We've spent our Saturdays lazing around in hoodies and hats and Christmas shopping
and lunching together. 
Is there a better way to spend a weekend?
No! There isn't!
My girlfriends made a trek to the taco wagon in Richmond for my friend Briann's birthday lunch.
It was FREEZING-and we just had to laugh at ourselves.
Only our friends find us in situations like this...often.
I love my crazy friends.
They are such great people!
Court and I felt like little Babushkas.
I spent the day before Thanksgiving baking a LOAD of pies and made Rolls Thanksgiving morning.
I reflected over the past year pretty much the entire day.
It has been full of so many emotions-I mean, EVERY emotion in the book.
But when I look back I am full of hope.
The girls and I have been able to smile, and to heal.
So at the end of the day-I'm grateful for spirits that can recover and survive tough times,
and find joy in all circumstances.
These girls are my everything, and I am looking forward to a year full of JOY and great memories,
and I pray daily that I can teach them to look forward with a happy and hopeful  heart.

The best part of Thanksgiving is the pie!
And those cold Diet Coke's....
I was pretty proud of my domestic abilities this year!
My Dad's Birthday was the day after Thanksgiving.
He spent his morning letting the kids put together his Christmas Village, 
while I ran errands alone.
(Yes, basically babysitting! By choice!)
That is because he is the best father.  I am so grateful for him.
He is always willing to step up and help, and usually does it without being asked.
He's pretty amazing.
Heather and Jody were on there way home from Salt Lake to Boise so we met them in Brigham for dinner.  My dad was in heaven...and even more so when they decided they were to tired to make the long drive home and stayed the night at my parents.
The kids were the happiest by far.
These cousins adore each other.
(Don't mind Cody looking like a fool in the background).
My darling friend Katie heard that Adyson was feeling a little overwhelmed with a few projects 
(a play, a part in the school program and 3 songs to sing), 
so she brought them some silly string and we had a war in the back yard.
They laughed their guts out.
It was a blast!
We've been doing our Christmas Advent,
and I'm finally getting caught up....

Here we are at dinner by the fire.
I could just smooch them all day long.
Adyson was the snowflake in her school play.
She is really growing up,
and I kinda hate it.  I wish she could stay little forever!
She's been taking voice lessons this year,
and on Saturday she sang 3 solo's at the Mall.
I was so incredibly proud of her.
She's worked so hard to memorize her music,
and to practice-practice-practice,
and it showed!
She sounded beautiful and had the whole family in tears.
It's so nice to see the girls flourish...
it helps me feel like I'm not completely failing them!
Saturday, after Adyson sang, 
we had our annual Johnson family party.
I love this party, and love the Johnson clan.
It's so great to see everyone, 
especially Grandpa and Johanna.
This year Grandpa was in the mood to tell us his stories, 
and we soaked them all in!

He has lived a remarkable life and I am so grateful that we have been able to be a part of it.
I am almost 100% ready for Christmas (only 3 more people to buy for!)
and everything is wrapped.
I think this calls for a lot of hot cocoa (If we could get some snow!),
skiing, cheesy Christmas movies and lots of snuggling by the fire.

Bring it on!

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