Thursday, December 26, 2013

A First for our Family

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning as a family...just the four of us. I was worried that it wouldn't feel like Christmas without being with my parents, or without being with Tyler's family. I thought it would feel like just another day. I was so wrong!

Christmas Eve started with going out for Chinese food. Then, once back home, we each opened our Christmas Eve gifts - PJs, Christmas books and the DVD of The Polar Express. Holland had fun finding places for each of our Christmas stockings to be laid out and then we slipped the kids in their new PJs. Holland was loving that they were matching. We read the new Christmas stories and said our family prayers, then after putting Tagg to bed for the night, Tyler and I snuggled up with Holland in the family room and watched her new favorite movie (she's been watching it on YouTube for weeks!) - 'Polo Espress.' To say that she loves it is a serious understatement. And not just the movie, the book and the soundtrack as well. She's got all three memorized! Listening to her sing the songs is beyond adorable.

Oops! Open your eyes, Tagg.

Before going to bed, Tyler and I filled the stockings and laid out the gifts. It was at that moment that I got really excited at the thought of how fun Christmas morning was going to be.

Morning came. Tagg woke up early. Holland slept in.

We brought the stockings to the kitchen table and let the kids pull things out of them while they ate their breakfast. Tagg was, understandably, pretty oblivious as to what was going on. However, he did smile now and then as he pulled out a new toy from the stocking. Pretty sure he was most excited about the banana slices on his highchair tray that he was shoveling into his mouth.

Holland's favorite stocking item - the finger lights! I had to search a few dollar stores in SLC to find them. Maggie had received them at our Eppley Family Christmas Party a few days earlier and had let Holland play with them. It was a little difficult to get Holland to give them back to Maggie that night. So, ya, she loved that she got her own Christmas morning!

Once breakfast was over we went into the living room we had the kids go into the living room. Tyler tried to point out to Holland that she had more gifts laying on the couch. Holland was so unsure about it all that she literally started running in circles. Hysterical! I think she was so overcome with the fact that there were more gifts she just really didn't know how to contain herself.

Needless to say, our first little Christmas as a family was pure perfection!

Photo by Holland

Holland loving Tagg's gift from Grandma Maggie
 We then headed to my parents house for the rest of the day. I was so excited to give my parents their Christmas gift. I had a small snapshot of their wedding picture edited, enlarged and framed. I thought their would be tears, but their weren't. Dang. But they loved it - tears or not. ha!

After giving my parents their gift, we got to open gifts from them. I was blown away by the thoughtfulness, time and love that went into the gifts. My mom had made fleece blankets for each of the grand-kids and had pieced together, then had professionally finished, the most gorgeous quilts ever for each couple! On top of that, my dad made copies for each of us of his grandparents' life history. I'm still amazed, and I'm sure I will be forever, at the tenderness that accompanies hand-made gifts.

I felt like we then ate all day long! We had brunch, then Skyped with Missionary Geoffrey Eppley, then ate some lunch...and then there were treats, and more treats...and ya, I might have gained 5 lbs. yesterday. Totally worth it!

For sure, a Christmas to remember!

Oh...and Holland LOVED playing in the snow, wearing her new snow pants and coat, with Grandpa for probably and hour, if not more. She loves her Grandpa. Thanks Dad!

Side note, and no picture (darn it!): Tagg broke out in a rash that ended up being Rosiola. No wonder he had a low fever the past couple of days and wasn't sleeping all that well. Good times! We made a stop for Benedryl on the way home. He slept like a champ...and so did I. A Christmas miracle!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ugly Christmas Sweater

For our Eppley Family Christmas Party we had dinner, games and....and an Ugly Sweater Contest. It was seriously so much fun! I tried finding sweaters at DI. No luck. I happened to find two sweaters of Tyler's that went out of style years ago - for real. I think he said he had them in high school. They are both size large. What the heck? No way would he have fit these when he weighed like 120 lbs. I'm going to have to search his old pictures to see if there is proof that he wore these.

Tyler won the category of  "Ugliest". He was a good sport to wear the design I came up with - Christmas Dog pooping down the front of him. Yep, I'm just that creative.


The Hostesses with the Mostest
"Best Sport" award should really go to my dad because I know that this was totally and completely out of his element. Or, maybe the award should be titled "Best Husband Award" for going along with my mom's idea when I'm sure he really didn't want to. I love that my mom mixed up our family party to add this fun activity - LOVE HER!

Lisa, Todd, Nathan, and Christopher
Christopher's little gingerbread man was actually a dancing Christmas decoration. It was so funny! Wish I would have gotten video of it.

And now, for a category that wasn't an actual category at the party, but is totally a category in real life. The winners of the CUTEST KIDS EVER AWARD:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holland Bliss - 2 1/2 years photoshoot

This picture. I can't stop laughing!

Taggart Craig - One Year Photoshoot

Trying NERDS for the first time...anything to help him to smile!
All photos captured by the amazing Kathryn Turley with Sunlight Photography. I'm so blessed to call her my friend! And, I'm forever grateful that she has frozen in time some of the most adorable moments in my children's lives.