Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

Christmas 2016 was certainly merry. We did all our usual traditions and were spoiled rotten with some amazing gifts.

Caleb got his first--and main gift from us--on Christmas Eve.  We had to wake him up so he could open his ticket to the Seahawks game later that day.

Jon and Caleb rode the train into Seattle to add their voices to the rest of the 12s.

The final score of Cardinals 34-Seahawks 31was a definite disappointment, but Caleb assured me that he still enjoyed being able to be there.

That evening we did all the regular things; opened Christmas pajamas, ate our usual foods, did our nativity program and watched The Little Drummer Boy.

Santa got all the stockings stuffed.

Since Christmas was on a Sunday, we went to a beautiful, music-filled, tri-ward sacrament meeting and then came home for Christmas brunch and presents!

Caleb got the complete set of Psych.  Since he can identify any episode from all 8 seasons and quote lines from every episode as well, I think it's safe to say he's a fan. Here he is showing is best Shawn Spencer impression:

He also opened a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce that had instructions to go pick up a full rack of ribs that his former YM president had been smoking for him all day. A perfect gift for this carnivore.

I did a 12 Days of Christmas set of gifts for my parents. Each bag had gifts coordinating with that number.

So many presents!

Alyssa was thrilled with her new Kate Spade purse:

Natalie loved her unicorn onesie...

...but her new hoverboard was perhaps the Christmas present of her dreams. Jon went to great lengths to fool her into believing it wasn't going to happen.  The surprise was spectacular.

Jon got me a new Apple watch that I couldn't have imagined loving as much as I do.

So many fun gifts, so many fun memories.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Younger Girlfriend Christmas Party

When your girls grow up hearing about and witnessing from afar their moms' Christmas party tradition, it makes them want to host a party, too. Linsey and Alyssa hosted a smaller, rather calm party at the McInellys while Natalie and Emma planned for friends at my house.  The whole hours-long celebration was fun for them, but wasn't the greatest time for me. It was a really rambunctious group that had me following them from room to room all night, cleaning up their messes while looking at my watch and wondering how much time was left.

In the end, though, I was glad to see Natalie have a good time.

Maddy, Skyy, Zoe, Ava, Natalie and Sydney

Sophie, Emma, Camryn, Erin, Brooke and Maddie

The photo booth challenge game was done yet again:

The girls played a variety of other games and had a gift exchange. They didn't follow the usual three-steals rule, though.  They ended up just trading gifts back and forth all night long.

I'm not totally sure that I can get behind the idea of making this a yearly tradition for the girls, but hopefully they made some fun memories and learned a bit about what goes into hosting a party.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Girlfriend Christmas Party

It's the party we look forward to all year long! Holly and Jen even risked their lives to drive through a snow storm to be with us. Tradition says we wear our pajamas, eat lots of food, laugh and talk until the wee hours of the morning and play whatever silly game we've come up with. (This year was particularly silly.)

Some might hope that these pictures never get published, but they are memories that are way too good to go undocumented and besides, I feel quite safe that very few eyes will see them here anyway, so here goes.

We always have Christmas so-good cookies and a variety of holiday M&Ms. Our impressive spread of savory food covered the kitchen table, but I didn't get a picture of it.

Camille made this adorable "Santa Baby" banner.  Guessing which friend matched with which picture proved quite difficult!

That's me, number 9:

We used these mini stockings for another game:

But the craziness really happened when we played the photo booth challenge.  This game was so fun at Alyssa's birthday party, we decided to do the same idea for this gathering.  We divided in two teams and then had to the create poses on the posted list. Alyssa and Linsey served as our photographers and judges.

Here are some of my favorite photos:

Christmas family photo

Away in a Manger

Up on the Housetop


Dancers dancing

Up on the Housetop

Partridge in a Pear Tree (Kathi's hand placement looks questionable, but she insists was NOT touching Sali-Kai.)

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Santa and his elves



It was great fun looking at all the pictures.  My team won, of course, though some might question the judging, since both of the judges' mothers were on that team.

Also among the craziness, was Sali-Kai's demonstration of her impressive cheese cutting skills.

And then she did a dramatic reading:

Oh boy I love these friends of mine.  So much fun!!

Jen, Katy, Tara, Kathi, Holly, Sali-Kai
Michaelynn, Camille, Nannette, Melissa and Jackie

Until next year, girls!