Mother-Daughter Christmas Fun


Jason’s been traveling a lot in December (but is now home through Christmas. Yay!) So Ali and I have been enjoying lots of holiday festivities together. On Saturday we went to Cheekwood Art and Botanical Gardens to see reindeer and check out the craft activities. We spent a long time making a Christmas tree our of sticks, pipe cleaners, paper, glue and beads. The cookie decorating was quite delicious!

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On Sunday our church had their big Christmas program, which means special music, candlelight service, and lots of kids dressed up in adorable outfits gorging themselves on cookies and candy canes. Alianna was quite proud of her freshly painted nails.



That evening Ali and I went to our next door neighbor Elizabeth’s house for a Latke Fest. I’m pretty sure that was the first Hanukkah party either of us had been invited to and it was great! Lots of tasty treats and nice people. I brought Elizabeth a dozen eggs to thank her for informing us and helping to wrangle our chickens when they escape our yard.



Easter Sunday 2013




We started off our Easter Sunday early since Jason was playing in the band at church.

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We enjoyed hearing the choir warm up.


Ali got the whole nursery to herself for a while. She loves the slide, of course.



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Later, my parents and in-laws came over for Easter dinner. Grandpa let Ali decorate his face with stickers. What a good sport!


Oh, these two melt me!

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Hey look, a good family photo! Thanks for taking this Mom! And thanks for putting shoes on, Jason!


And one outtake: Uh oh…someone has learned how to cheese for the camera.


Thanksgiving 2012


I had a really nice Thanksgiving, partly because my sister and her family visited for 3 days and partly because I was forced to take a 4-day break from work during a busy deadline period because I had no place or time to work. And of course, also because of all the time with family, friends and delicious food!

It was a beautiful sunny, warm day so we took a walk down to our new house to show my sister’s family. Ali and her cousin Iris rode in the red wagon.

Jason and his brother Daniel finally had an opportunity to deep fry a turkey this year. They used a Cajun Butter injection. Oh my goodness…it was so good!

Both of Ali’s girl cousins were there for Thanksgiving. That’s Eliza on the left and her mom Aunt Ginger (Daniel’s wife) and Iris on the right. Iris and Eliza look like they could be cousins too, but they’re not related.

My mom also roasted a turkey in the oven with stuffing. My dad and sister Jessica carved it.

Clearly Jason was very excited about how the fried turkey turned out.

Papa (Jason’s dad) and Ali were intrigued by the turkey, too.

I didn’t take any pictures of everyone at the table this year. Boo. We had a diverse group of my family, Jason’s family and some friends … 18 people I think. After dinner, Ali and Eliza took a bath in the living room. (Not really.)

Self-portrait mode on the iPhone = a good trick to get a low quality picture of a toddler looking at the camera…

…and maybe even smiling at her cute self! Hi Eliza

Jason’s mom/Nana/Grandma K made Iris an owlie hat just like Ali’s but with shut eyes. So cute!

Piddling around behind a record store on Black Friday.

We tried a new hairstyle for Ali: pigtails! She looks so different!

Her hair looked absolutely hilarious when we took the piggies out.

After dinner my early Christmas present from Jason arrived in the mail. A NEW CAMERA!!! I’m so excited to start getting better quality pictures. I have a lot of learning to do but the good news is that I’ll be practicing a lot which means lots of pictures to share with you here.

My very first picture of the most easy going subject. A little dark but I was quite impressed that it could capture her tongue mid lip-lick without a flash in low light.

Cousins in matching PJs horsing around on the couch also made willing subjects. (Testing out the external flash on these ones.)

Ali giving Iris a big smacker kiss.

It was a wonderful, fun weekend! I’m already looking forward to Christmas break now, which will be spent at our new house. Yay!

Christmas 2011


It was by far the best Christmas ever, thanks to a sweet little someone. Precious was equally interested in the gift wrappings and the goodies inside. (My kind of girl!) She curiously watched as we opened presents and even helped a little. My family has a tradition of having homemade Swedish meatballs for dinner on Christmas eve. The were delicious, as always. After that, we decided to just go for it and open all the presents from and for my parents, and from my siblings. My parents have a tradition of giving us an ornament every year. This year Precious got a customized baby’s first Christmas ornament.

We all got adequately spoiled. Jason and I are particularly enjoying our new Keurig. (This one, if you’re in the market for one.)

Precious got a bunch of new clothes—much needed since she’s quickly growing out of 6 month size already—and some new toys and books. She got this pretty shirt from Uncle Aaron and Aunt Laura.

And this really cool crinkly, textured book from Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jess and cousin Iris.

Christmas morning at our house was very laid back. I was the first one awake at 9:30. Even Lucy slept in! I tried to wake Precious first, without success, then Jason who told me to go back to sleep—it wasn’t time yet. At 10:00 Precious started stirring so I got her up and dressed and together we woke Daddy. She waited patiently by the tree while we got the Keurig fired up with some fresh coffee.

In her stocking, Precious had a new headband and three pairs of socks.

I decided to adopt a tradition from Design Mom to just give our kids three gifts for Christmas: something to wear, something to read and something to play with. This year for Precious that meant leg warmers, a book with textures and a crinkle-rattle-mirror-teether toy. She’s been enjoying all three.

Jason and I kept it simple for each other too, with a budget of $35 for each other. (Not including stocking stuffers.) I took some pictures but decided not to post the sleepy-eyed, pre-shower Christmas morning pics. I gave Jason a pair of hand weights and a new shirt. He gave me a new hat, a strawberry corer and  a Joie Piggy Wiggy bacon tray. I’m pretty ecstatic about the bacon cooker, which was on my wish list. I like to make bacon for breakfast on occasion and I hate the greasy mess it makes. This thing is amazing! The grease drips and splatters off the bacon is is contained inside the Piggy Wiggy, where it can be drained. I highly recommend this thing if you ever cook bacon. Moving on…

We went over to my parents for lunch where we were joined by Jason’s parents, my bro- and sis-in-law Dan and Ginger, my niece Eliza, Ginger’s dad Jim and our friend Jeremy. It was a nice group. We ate a TON of wonderful foods, did a silly white elephant gift exchange for the adults, real gift exchange for the kids and relaxed the rest of the day. Jason’s parents also had a boat load of gifts for Precious including new books and toys. I’m really glad we started the tradition of just 3 gifts for our kids because the grandparents and aunts and uncles are all very generous too!

Precious with cousin Eliza

Dad and Jason (sporting his new shirt from me)


And finally, one last snap of the pretty Shiny Brite ornaments before they get packed away…