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Blog, christmas, Family, holidays

Annual Christmas Cookies

Hey there! Merry belated Christmas! Is that even a thing? It should be because life has been a bit too crazy to pop in and update here. But I have a couple of Christmas related posts to share before everyone moves on and starts thinking about Valentine’s Day (I’m looking at you, Target!) Who really wants to move on with winter anyway? Let’s just savor some of these happy Christmas moments a little longer!

Every year we make Christmas cookies together and it has become one of my favorite traditions (but tons of work!) My favorite thing is just watching the joy it brings to the kids. Sometimes I just think about how amazing it is that we are in charge of creating magical Christmas memories that will be with the kids forever. So yeah, it’s definitely worth all the extra work and mess because they’ll hopefully always remember how much fun it was.

This gorgeous blue eyed girl is displaying what makes Christmas cookies possible in this stage of life–store bought cookie dough! I am a big believer in “homemade is always better” but to be honest, I don’t care for sugar cookies anyway and the kids will devour anything that has sugar in it–so the easy route it is!

Look at my husband, rockin’ those elf jammies! He’s more of a trooper than I am. There’s no way I’m going to be photographed and videoed in those while I’m still dealing with all the leftover baby weight (minus our Christmas photo!)

Another secret to our success was getting most everything done during Desmond and Clementine’s naps. Their naps have been syncing up lately and it’s pretty much the best thing ever! Even so, it took 4 hours (!!) so eventually they did wake up and join us.

I tried to go with a simple icing without egg whites or meringue powder and ended up with mediocre, too-thick icing. If anyone has a great icing recipe, I’m all ears. This stuff tastes disgusting. But like I said, my kids will eat anything with sugar. It was hard for them to squeeze so they didn’t last as long with decorating as the usually do. So we need to improve by next year!

Also, I’ve seen people use condiment dispensers for the icing but I never can find them at our Dollar Tree. If you find them somewhere, direct me to them! Ziplock bags may be easier to clean up but they are not worth the resulting bag explosions.

I love this face. It pretty much sums up Kai. So full of energy and always trying to make people laugh.

Des may have been too young to help decorate, but he was old enough to taste test!

It’s so fun to look back at our cookie decorating from years past. Here is last year’s, and 2014 (with their little baby faces! and 2013 when we used to decorate with all of our friends, before everyone started having too many babies to fit in the house (and back when my blog was mostly iphone photos!)

I hope you all had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year!! I’ll hopefully be back to share the rest of our Christmas photos tomorrow!

Blog, christmas, Family, holidays, Videos, Vlog

Decking the Halls

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is when we decorate for Christmas in our matching Christmas jammies! Okay, so the tradition only started last year. But it’s something that we all were looking forward to as November came to a close. The best part is that all the pajamas I bought for the kids last year still fit them this year! I couldn’t find another set for Clementine so she gets to play the part of the cutest little Santa baby.

We don’t have a set day to set up our tree, but this year we decided to do it on the Monday before Thanksgiving. We set up our Pandora station and made sure the best Christmas album of all time (Hanson: Snowed In) was on it and then I pretty much let Don and the kids do all the work. I had plans to make another Christmas video like last year but I had a baby to snuggle. Don did make a vlog though! So I’m attaching it at the end of this post because I love it! I hope you watch it because Don works really hard and does such a great job with these videos.

These $3 bottle brush trees from Target!! Love them! I want to fill my house with bottle brush trees. I also love that darling baby!


I’m not always the best at remembering to take pictures of the little details. But I love this tip toe picture–because one day soon, they won’t need to stand on window sills on their tippy toes to try to put ornaments on the tree.


Kingston and Evangeline worked faithfully on the same little portion of the tree for the entire time.





Surprisingly, our trouble making 1 year old has been leaving the tree alone for the most part! Not sure how we managed that.



Notice all those ornaments where Kingston and Evangeline had been working. I’m claiming an artistic eye for both of them.




This face melts me. She smiles a lot for us but when the camera comes out, she gives this look. It totally cracks me up.


And this is pretty much how the tree looked by the time they were done. The chaos of the ornaments was totally stressing me out. So the next day I took down all the ornaments, (except a few gold ones) and decided that’s how we were keeping the tree until we could buy new ornaments. We had this same set since we first got married and I was ready for a change.


BUT!! Then I saw a rainbow tree on instagram and decided to pull our ornaments back out to try my own version. I fell in love! It makes me so happy to see all the colors. I do think it needs more/different ornaments but this will definitely keep me smiling until we can purchase discounted ornaments after Christmas is over! Now I’m torn if I should go with my sophisticated and pretty color scheme (think golds, blush, white, mint, red) or if I should stick with this fun color scheme. Thoughts??


And just for fun–our little real life Elf on the Shelf. #haterswillsayitsphotoshop

This is what happens to your elf on the shelf when you aren't watching Magic is real. #haterswillsayitsphotoshop #WHPmagic #darlingclementine

But for real, don’t go calling CPS. She was completely safe.


And here is the video for your viewing pleasure..Enjoy!

Fall, Family, photoshoot

Fall Family Photos

Last weekend we attempted to take a few family photos now that we have an adorable new addition to our family. Not wanting to bother our photographer friends, we decided to use the good ol’ self timer method. Surprisingly, it is much easier to get the kids to smile for the self timed camera than for anyone taking photos for us (even though I prefer the end results from an actual photographer.) But running back and forth for the shot is not easy so we only took a few. This was the first one we took and it just so happened to be my favorite.


Desmond has decided that he hates to sit/stand still for any picture he’s supposed to be in. But as soon as I try to set up to take a picture of Clementine, can you guess who I have to repeatedly remove from the picture? (after I get a few with him in it, of course.) So these pictures were super exciting to try to take. What you don’t see is Don placing him back in the picture about 10 different times before I finally decided these were good enough.




I’m laughing just thinking of them looking back at this picture in about 10-15 years.


I was really smart and forgot to trim Evangeline’s bangs until the day AFTER we took these. So the poor thing could barely see around the hair hanging in her eyes.


Probably my favorite picture from the bunch–the joy on her face.




We chose this specific location for 2 reasons. 1) Because we went to a popular park on a nice Sunday night and it was filled with people taking family photos. So this was really the only available spot. 2) This gorgeous tree. The funny thing is that it didn’t even make it into our pictures. So I had to include the 2 that showed it off.

That double chin and those chubby cheeks make her look bigger than she really is in real life. I think each person who sees her in real life after only seeing her in photos is surprised by how tiny and dainty she is.

And this is the reality of our photoshoot with a one year old.

Don’t let imperfections stop you from capturing pictures and sharing. We may never have a picture perfect family but that will never stop me from taking a billion pictures.

The good news is that if the weather cooperates, we may get to do some legit family photos with Rachel for my birthday on Tuesday!

Enjoy your weekend!