Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Morning

The first Christmas present was seeing Anna sitting out by the stockings. Santa dropped her off with the presents. This was our favorite gift of all.
 We started the morning by opening up our stocking. Everything was really chill which was great with the two littles around. We took things at their pace and stopped and enjoyed some of the gifts before moving on.

We took a break in the gift getting and ate some eggs and cinnamon rolls. After breakfast and stockings, Belén was worn out so we put her down for a nap. Darin was sick (boo!) and everyone else was exhausted from picking up Anna from the Dulles airport at 1 a.m., except for Shae of course. He watched Frosty while we all rested a bit.

Before everyone fell asleep, Shae saw this present from my parents sitting out with the presents. It took him a couple rounds through the house before he noticed it and started dunking.
We all took a turn...

After we put the gifts in piles, Shae went around and woke everyone up...
...and took his final drinks of water before diving in to the gifts.

Belén opened her first Christmas present ever, from her Great-Grandma Nancy, a Winnie the Pooh talking stuffed animal.

Shae had so many gifts, we all ended up helping him in the end because he just wanted to sit down and play with the ones that he had already opened.
Santa brought the kids the doctor kit that Shae had asked for. He played with it for the rest of the day, Belén sucked on it.

Belén got so excited about this sock monkey from her cousin Rylan. We are trying to make it her attachment item so we've started putting it in bed with her when she sleeps. We'll see if it sticks. 
I got a couple new scarves, some sewing tools, camera tools, sweater, leggings, candles, and a camp chair.

Darin got quite a few new clothing items, a grilling set, a Shell Silverstene book, and some winter stuff.

Everyone else got lots of fun presents as well.

...and then it was done. 

The rest of the day we played, slept some more, ate yummy deli sandwiches and snack food (and pumpkin dump cake, of course). It was a really great morning. I'm so glad that most of my family was able to be together. It's felt like so long since we've been together for a holiday since Anna has been gone the past two Christmases. Darin was pretty sick which wasn't very fun for him, or us, but we still tried our best to enjoy the day despite the illness. The kids had a blast. There is nothing like seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Parties

The first two weeks of December we participated in a couple different Christmas parties. We had our branch party first. The nursery put on a little nativity which was amazing. Complete with nose picking and crying. Shae was asked to be one of the Wise Men. I couldn't get him to wear anything but the crown, but at least he did that much.

The Clawsons moved to Ithaca at the same time as us and are also doing a PhD so will be here for a long time just like us, yay! I've been wanting to get a picture of the kids so that I have one from the start of our time together (our kids are the same age). 

Not the best pic of the babies, but it works for now. They look like they could be twins. They have the exact same coloring, it's pretty impressive.

Getting ready to go on stage.
Shae had a moment when the bow fell off his present to Jesus.
He quickly forgot as soon as everyone started clapping. All the kids stopped what they were doing and looked up with smiles on their faces when we all started clapping. It was so cute.
Shae gave us a nice big bow and was just so happy up there.

I am on the activities committee in our branch and helped plan our RS Christmas Party. We had it at our branch president's house which was SO nice so that I didn't have to worry about decorations. It was an Ugly Christmas Sweater/White Elephant Exchange party. The food was great. The company was even better. It was the perfect way to end our first semester of Grad School and send everyone off for a nice long 6 week break.

Picture credit goes to our awesome RS president Eliza Cook, you can see more on our RS Blog if you're in to that kind of a thing.

Our last party was right before we all took off for the holidays. It was with our good friends the Halls. They had a few people over for Christmas treats. We tried Baklava for the first time (they both served their missions in Greece) and the Cooks brought Glog which we warmed up and enjoyed. It was SO good. We will definitely be going to Wegmans to get more of this wonderful Sweedish delight (you may have heard it mentioned in Frozen). 

Grandpa Lundquist Glogg - Ready to Drink, 26.4 oz.

So good.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Traditions

I always have such high hopes of watching all the Christmas movies in the world during the month of December, then Christmas comes and I realize I haven't actually watched any, or maybe like, one. So this year we started a pizza/Christmas movie tradition in order to ensure that we watch at least one Christmas movie a week. Each Friday in December we prepared a little pizza picnic in our living room and enjoyed a movie together.

The first Friday we watched The Grinch and had Hawaiian Pizza. Shae was a bit confused when I told him to do the peace sign for the picture.

We also watched Horton Hears a Who since it was on the DVD...super weird...

The second Friday we watched Polar Express with pepporoni and sauteed red pepper/onions pizza.

Shae did better with the peace sign this time around. 

Excuse my cut up fingers from the peppers. (Our knives are sharp). He LOVED The Polar Express. He sat with his pizza in his hand with his eyes glued to the TV for more than half the show before we forced him to put some of the pizza in his mouth. It was great.

The third Friday we were in Williamsburg with friends. We ate pizza, but didn't watch a movie (we had already watched A Charlie Brown Christmas that week so it was okay :). Then this week, Christmas was on Friday, so no pizza and no movie. We did just watch Arthur Christmas today, which was AWESOME. Super fun and clever and great. Watch it if you can. So in the end we only actually did our "tradition" the first two weeks, but it was okay since we were doing other fun famly things the other two Fridays.

We decorated cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Mom made a star tree.

Shae's creation. That he immediately ate after finishing it.

While down in Williamsburg this past week, we made sure to stop at Yankee Candle to see Santa since I didn't get a picture of Belén with the big guy previously.

"I want a doctor kit and presents please."

December was just SO fun this year with Shae's excitement radiating throughout our little apartment. We kept things pretty simple in the "tradition" department, but it was really fun to start some and I can't wait to continue them and add more next year.