Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Elise turns THREE!!

I really can't believe that our little girl is 3!  We thought we'd start the day out right with some streamers and balloons for her to wake up to.
She thought it was a pretty awesome surprised and had fun playing with the balloons for days!
Since her birthday fell on a Sunday we let her open one present before church. 
It was a beautiful, sparkly "layna" dress!  She has been asking for a sparkly dress for weeks now and was excited to have one!  Also in the present was a pin to wear on her dress that said "Birthday Girl" and it was fun to have everyone at church say happy birthday to her!
The day was pretty low key and normal until dinner time.  I made what I think is one of her favorites for dinner- Italian crock pot chicken.  It is a meal she always eats a lot of so I figured it has to be a favorite.  She even got to use the You Are Special plate and thought that was pretty cool!
After dinner she got to open presents!  Here she is opening the game Uno Moo.  We are hoping to get her into more games this year since she is bigger.  She also got Candyland for Christmas. Both still seemed little advanced for her, but we'll keep working
I should also mention that Elise did get dressed that day, but she is OBSESSED with this little star nightgown she opened Christmas Eve.  Unless we are leaving the house, she can usually be found wearing this. I'm picking my battles. And who I am to argue someone who wants to wear pajamas all day!
Reading the new books that Grandma Marie sent to her- with princess crown, of course!
Giving her new Cinderella doll a hug!
Here she is showing off her new butterfly wings and matching tu-tu!
Grandma also sent 4 little farm puzzles knowing how much Elise loves farms!
And speaking of...she got more farm animals!
And to finish the night off- a princess kit!  It came with a skirt, high heels, earrings, a wand (that she calls a "spell") a purse and a crown!  How very fitting for this little princess of ours!
When it was time for candles Elise wanted more. She remember that Daddy had lots of candles on his cake and wondered why hers didn't.  I explained that each year she'll get more and more candles the bigger she gets. She still wanted more but settled for the 3 :)
Happy birthday our sweet Elise!  We love you so very much and had a great time celebrating you all day long! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had a wonderful Christmas this year! It was our first Christmas that we didn't travel back to Utah to spend with our extended family.  We were sad to not see all of our loved ones but we had a really fun time waking up in our house Christmas morning and just enjoying it together.
On Christmas Eve we got together with 3 other families and had a fun dinner.  The kids played together and watched a little bit of Elf too.  After that we all went home and talked about the true meaning of Christmas. It's a little tricky of a concept for our almost three year old to grasp so we talked about Santa coming too.  She was so excited!  She went to sleep very well since she knew that she had to sleep for Santa to come. 

Here is what our Christmas tree looked like on Christmas Eve!
Here are the gifts that Santa left! He brought a ballapalooza for both kids.  They love it!  We have dance parties to it every night, it is so much fun.
Santa brought James: a gumball machine, race car, tiger and lots of books!
Santa brought Elise: a princess castle, safari animals and some yummy candy!
Here is a picture of the "after math" of Christmas morning.  We spent a long time opening presents and playing with all our new toys.  We were all very spoiled!
Zack and I were good kids this year too so Santa didn't forget us!  Zack got lots of great new clothes, cologne, Cranium and his big gift is Skydiving!  He will use it sometimes this summer when it isn't -14 outside! I was very lucky and got lots of fun little things!  I got a scarf, new boots, a Mindy Gledhill CD, a rice cook and a laminator too!  I've had so much fun trying out all of my new things!
I walked by Elise's room later that day and "caught" her playing with her castle.  I love to listen to her play when she doesn't know I'm watching.  It's my favorite!
Here is another favorite photo from the day!  Zack reading Elise some of the books Grandma sent to her.
We feel very blessed for all the many things we received.  We missed our families so much but felt lucky to spend the day playing together as our own little family.  I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas as well!

Monday, December 2, 2013


This was a fun Thanksgiving because I was the host!  That is a first for me :)  We had it in our house and had two other families over to join us! 
I was pretty worried about making the turkey.  I know it really isn't that hard but you just hear all the bad stories about it and I didn't want that to be me! I just used an oven bag to cook it and rubbed it in butter and added some veggies to the bag and it turned out beautiful and delicious!  I was proud of myself!
In addition to the turkey I also made a drink, gravy and sweet potato casserole.  We had a delicious spread thanks to Janey and Cassi who also helped with the cooking!
Of course, by the time everyone arrived I forgot about taking people of any people.  Just the food.  But that is what Thanksgiving is about, right? 
I was able to use my fall table runner and a little thankful tree I mad as the centerpiece. Our living room barely was big enough for the table, but it worked out! 
We had a great time eating, visiting and laughing with the Ratto's and Burdges.  We truly have so so much to be thankful for and are incredibly blessed!