Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

Emme got little Buzz & Woody figurines in her stocking this year. She's been toting them around everywhere with her -- to the bathtub, to the breakfast table, to bed, etc.

Today Buzz & Woody (who she couldn't get to stand up) adored the baby Jesus with the rest of the nativity.

I'm going to be sad to put the nativity away this year! I've had so much fun watching Emme enjoy it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

On Christmas morning we had to wake Emme up to open presents. We would have loved to sleep in, but such is life with early church.

Santa brought Emme a bike! And a pink present and a blue present! (Exactly what she asked Santa for when she sat on his lap both times.)

The next best thing was the candycane inside her stocking. Go figure.

Emme surveyed the carnage while enjoying her candycane. She got a cinderella dress up, a crown, a wand, some DVD's, a quiet book from mom (more on that soon!), stick on earrings, a sword (at her request) and a few other odds and ends.

Baby brother got a shape sorter and some bibs. Mom got a new cell phone (because her speaker broke on the old one), and Chris got a cool Utah yard sign.

Then we had amazing cinnamon rolls & hot breakfast casserole before rushing off to 9am church. (And we were on time!) Emme loves blessing the food these days. It's always her turn.

I have to say, our sacrament meeting was amazing on Christmas. Maybe I'm just pregnant, but I pretty much bawled through the whole thing. A man in our ward told the story of the song O Holy Night and then sang it. It's my favorite Christmas song ever, but it was especially amazing that day. I cried like a baby!

After church we headed to the Spencers for our annual Christmas brunch. We ate and ate and ate some more. It was awesome. Then we opened presents from the Spencers (sorry, I got lazy with my photos). Emme got a kitchen (yay!), Chris got some new church shirts (yay!) and I got an immersion blender (double yay!).

Later that night we had Christmas dinner with my family. Emme got a slide from Grandma & Grandpa Pace, and some lego duplo blocks which were a big hit. Chris and I got a church book and a really neat statue of Joseph Smith.

It was a special, sentimental Christmas day for us this year. I wish Christmas could be on a Sunday every year, because I love it. Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve with my side of the family this year, even though it was technically a Spencer year. There are going to be some changes in my family soon and we knew we wouldn't be able to all be together again for a while, so we celebrated together this year. (More on that later.)

We all wore our Norwegian sweaters & had our traditional Norwegian feast. Then we passed around the rice pudding and sang Christmas carols. Chris ended up with the pudding that had the almond this year so he won the prize! (Which I promptly ate. So sue me, I'm pregnant!)

Then we sang carols around the Christmas tree and waited for Santa to drop of presents for the great grandchildren on the front porch.

{Emme singing with Grandma}

Santa brought Emme a Cinderella barbie with her very own matching horse. He brought Miyo the Snow White version and Nora Jane the Belle version. Very fitting for those three, I thought.

{Emme fraternizing with Keidra's barbie}

We are sad that this Christmas Eve was the last for us for a while, but we've enjoyed the memories over the years and hope to pass on many of the same traditions to our children!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Chris

Chris turned the big three-zero this year. He was not super happy about it AT ALL. In fact, I was convinced he was going to have a midlife crisis and buy a motorcycle or something! Luckily, that did not happen. Here is what did...

We had a birthday celebration with the Paces, complete with cake & ice cream. Chris & Melissa share the same birthday, so we celebrated them together. The day wasn't complete without the two little princesses helping to blow out candles. Does it get any better than life with a toddler? I think not.

On Chris's real birthday, he took the day off to relax and enjoy himself, and then later that night we had a quasi-surprise birthday party with his closest friends. I made Milanesa (an Argentine fried steak recipe that my grandmother brought back with her from Argentina in the 50's) all by myself for the first time and it turned out awesome! Made me feel like a bonafide grown-up for the first time.

We spent the night eating and laughing and eating some more.

Mimi and Cambree were there to hang out with us during the evening. Such cute little munchkins!

We played a trivia game that was all about Chris, potato chips, sandwiches and the number 30. It was quite entertaining.

Then later we had the obligatory birthday cake.

{Jeremy & Kelli & baby girl #2!}

{Jessica & Jaron}

{Sam & Jennifer}

{The birthday boy}

Thank you to all of Chris's friends for being so wonderful & coming to celebrate with us so close to Christmas! With the help of your friendship, we avoided the emotional meltdown I was sure would happen that day. :) You guys are the best!

Happy birthday, Chris! We love you & look forward to oodles more birthdays with you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Santa came to our ward Christmas breakfast last weekend, and it was a huge hit! He had an amazing beard and everything! Emme couldn't wait to sit on his lap. She promptly recited that she wanted "a bike, a pink present and a blue present" for Christmas. Then she planted a big kiss right on his lips! Love that girl.

Despite the look on her face, she was in heaven! We just caught a funny expression. :)

We also got to sit on Santa's lap again this week at Debbie's house. (The daycare Emme used to go to.) It was so nice of her to let us come visit on their special day. We hope to get those pictures up here in a bit, too.

Temple Square

We went down to see the lights at Temple Square with Brent & Melissa and their kids a few weeks ago. We parked at the Gateway and rode trax, which was super exciting for the kids. (And even more exciting when we almost drove away without Brent because their stroller wouldn't fit through the door!)

When we strolled onto the grounds, Emme pointed at the temple and yelled "Beauty and the Beast castle!!" Ha ha! We've got princess movies on the brain I suppose. Time for a family home evening lesson on the temple I guess!

The lights were beautiful and Emme & the kids couldn't get enough of them.

Emme really liked seeing the Jesus statue when we went inside the visitor's center. She wanted to climb up on it to get a better look, but unfortunately we wouldn't let her.

Thanks for going with us, Brent & Melissa! It was a fun way to kick of the holiday season!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DIY Stocking Holders

It's only December 20th and I finally got my stockings hung today! Go, me. In my defense, I did start them in November, I'm just slower than molasses at finishing craft projects. But they turned out pretty cute so I thought I'd share.

When I was decorating for Christmas this year I realized I have a mantel now that the basement is finished (we don't have one upstairs), so I needed some stocking holders . (In the past we've just laid them under the tree because we had no where else to put them!)

I got some inspiration from here and here. Then I went to the craft store and bought some letters to spell the word "Noel," since we've got 4 stockings to hang. Then I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of wood that I had them cut into 8-inch sections for me. I painted the blocks & letters, then sanded the edges and antiqued them with some dark stain. Then I modge podged scrapbook paper onto the blocks, hot glued the letters on, and recruited my hubby to screw on some hooks I found at Target.

I think they turned out pretty cute! All in all I think it cost me around $25 for the whole project, so about $6 per stocking holder. Plus I've got a bunch of wood left from Home Depot to do something else fun with!

Baby Jesus

I posted this on facebook but neglected to get it up on here...

A week or two ago Emme woke up early one morning. I got her out of her crib and set her down, and she took off running out to the family room. When I got out there, she was kneeling down in front of the nativity, looking at Baby Jesus. This is possibly my most favorite picture of her this year. She is such a sweetheart!

Live Nativity

My parents had a live nativity at their house this year. Emme and I hung out at my parents house that day so we could be there for the festivities. They had donkeys, camels, sheep, and all sorts of fun animals. Roman guards rode in on horses in full character, there were tents set up with food & hot chocolate & artisans doing their thing, and it was just really neat. I didn't get a good picture of Emme during it all, but here are a few of the scene.

The actual nativity was a sit-down presentation, and they had two sessions -- one at 5:45 and one at 7:00 PM. It was estimated that about 1200 people came to see it that night. Wowsers! They even left the star up on my parents barn for them to light up until Christmas, so every time we pull in my parents driveway, Emme points to it and yells about "baby Jesus" and his "momma and daddy." It was so fun, we hope they do it again next year!

{one of the artisan tents}

{Joseph and Mary on a donkey, approaching the Inn}

{The angels on the hillside, when they broke out in song. Gave me chills!}

{Mary and Joseph in the stable, below the star}

{The whole scene. Look at all those people!}

34 Week Belly Pic

{Click HERE to see my 34 week pic with Emme}

Pregnancy Statistics
How far along? 34w3d (picture taken at 34w0d)
Gender: Boy
Current Cravings: Juice
Weight gain: +25 lbs (watch this number climb like mad - I always pack it on right at the end)
Best moment this week: Had a preggo massage last week and it was uh-mazing.
Worst moment this week: Trying to cut my toenails.
Belly button in or out: Out
Labor signs: None. I have a feeling he's staying put!
What I miss: Laying on my stomach.
What I'm looking forward to: We're beginning the bedroom/furniture swap to make way for a nursery this week! Super excited about that. It only took us ~35 weeks to get our butts in gear. Prompt == us.

In other news, week 34 is right about when the serious swelling really began for me last time I was pregnant. But to my surprise, my wedding ring still fits fantastically and my cankles don't look all that bad! I am wearing wide shoes, but they still feel roomy to me -- unlike last time when I felt like they were going to bust wide open when I stuffed my foot in. So all in all, I feel like I'm doing much better with swelling this time around. Score one for baby number two!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I've got a few craft projects going simultaneously on our kitchen table right now. (Ack! I always try to do too much in December.) There's a wood dowel on the table set aside for a project that Emme just can't forget about. She knows she's not supposed to touch it but she can't help herself.

The other day I was doing dishes and she was quiet for a while, and then I heard her struggling and calling for "help." I found her high-centered on one of the kitchen chairs, with my wood dowel in her hand!

Caught red-handed, the little stinker!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sharing Buzz & Woody

Emme is slightly obsessed with our nativity this year. We have a Fontanini set, which I love. (It's possibly the second thing I would grab out of the house in case of a fire, with Emme being the first.) The pieces are beautiful but they're essentially plastic and unbreakable, so Emme can play with them to her heart's content.

I've been teaching her this year that we have to be respectful of the nativity pieces. We talk about Mary & Joseph & baby Jesus and the other characters. She still calls Mary & Joseph the "mom and dad," but she's getting the hang of it. She often brings baby Jesus and his manger to the breakfast table with us, and she shares her food with him and feeds him bottles. But she's never allowed to leave any of the pieces on the floor or throw them disrespectfully. We have to treat them nicely.
A few days ago I came into the family room one afternoon to find Emme had turned on Toy Story on the ipad, laid it on the floor and placed all the wise men and shepherds carefully around it so they were all "watching." She looked up at me and proudly exclaimed that she was "sharing Buzz & Woody with the guys." What a sweet heart! She decided to share her most favorite pastime these days (watching Toy Story) with baby Jesus' friends.

It made me chuckle, but what a sweet gesture from the heart of a toddler.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Emme's Gingerbread Tree

Emme got a gingerbread kit for her birthday from Grandma & Grandpa Peacock so we put it together for family night. It took about 30 seconds to stack the whole thing, and then another 5 minutes to put a little candy on each branch of the tree. Emme's attention span is only about 4 minutes long these days, so this project was perfect! I'm glad we didn't attempt an actual gingerbread house. Yikes! Maybe next year. :)

And what happened to all the extra frosting, you might ask?

Dad and Emme are what happened to all the extra frosting! Gotta love 'em.