Saturday, February 5, 2011

december 2010 (the first half, anyway).

Let's go back at the beginning of December of 2010.
During this month of life Tillie was a little older than 2.5 and Calvin was 11 months old.
Enough chit chat.  Let's get going.

::: We found out that our friend was returning home early from Iraq to surprise his family.  You better bet that we wanted to be a part of the fun.  One of my favorite friends, Patrice, hosted a little gingerbread decorating extravaganza as a "front" for the big reveal.  It was great fun.  And, the last time I decorated a gingerbread house was in 6th grade, so this was especially exciting for me.  But it was really great to be there when our friend made his surprise visit!
not quite camera ready...
okay, now I'm posing---but unfortunately, the eyes were closed.  oh well.  this is why we don't see many photographs of melissa on this blog.
 On to the main event!
This is him hugging his family.  Just walked in and totally caught Erinn (his wife) by surprise.

pretty great.  what a great reunion for them! 
::: The night after our Gingerbread festivity, we decided to get in the Christmas spirit and make ourselves some hot chocolate.  Living in South Texas, there aren't very many real reasons to break out the warm drinks---so this was a new experience for Miss Tillie.  (Cal was asleep at this point, but I'm sure he would have liked us putting the hot chocolate in his sippy cup)  :) 

I think Tillie is really happy.

the mug looks as big as her head. I assure you, it wasn't.

"Are we having fun?" her response, "Yes, we're having good old fashioned fun!"  At least that is what I imagined she said, by the looks of the picture.  I love it.  Oh, and here's a great shot of the delightful gingerbread house.  We (I mean "I") did a really good job.
Realizing they were twinners...
Mom wanted to get in the action.  They were (obviously) having TOO much fun.  And, I love that Tillie looks like she has a straw mustache.  She's so indie like that.
Tillie's fake cheese for the camera. 
the homeless woman we picked up by the side of the road---who's favorite accessory happens to be a floral bobby pin.  Perfect.

::: Hanging out on a December day.  These next pictures aren't that great, but on this particular evening, Tillie and Cal were having a lot of fun with each other (rather than their parallel playing).  Tillie kept laughing every time Calvin would try to put on her headband, "No, Bubba!  That's MY headband!  You're crazy!" is what she'd say.  Calvin's face in these ones are CLASSIC.

::: Because I'm trying to be more domestic in my life, I decided to try a Pumpkin Choc. Chip Bread recipe that claimed it was AS delicious as Great Harvest's version. It was pretty good.  So, b/c this was such a monumental day for me (contrary to popular belief, I don't cook/bake very often), I had to record the event.

Here are the children ready to partake of the deliciousness.  Tillie's lips are so funny to me in this first one.  And, Cal was in a daze.  These were taken about 5 minutes after their afternoon naps.  Funny.

that's a good one.
::: Wrapping neighbor gifts.  I did my old standby---purchase El Grande Huge size of Hershey's Symphony bar, wrap with wrapping paper, and slap on a tag.  Here's the poem we put on this year's tag (sometimes I think I'm really clever):
And here is the digital version of the sticker we put on there (it matched our Christmas cards we sent out).  Oh, and the brown border wasn't THAT wide on the finished version.  It was trimmed down when I used my circle punch, in case you're MAD that it's a little wonky.
ANYWAY, sometimes I do these big projects and get antsy if the kids are in my grill.  So, I decided to have Tillie help me.  She was my official TAPE HOLDER.  This was a great job for her.  I thought she looked pretty cute, so I took a few photos.  Sue me.

::: While we're on the topic of cute kids, let's not forget this little boy.  Poor baby was sick for the bulk of this month.  New teeth + "common" cold makes for a raw nose.  He was pretty miserable, but darling, nonetheless.
yes, he is chewing on the head of a wooden camel.  My sister Becca brought it back for Tillie from Jerusalem last year.  I think it's made out of Olive wood.  Let's hope that there are no diseases or bad germs therein.
He likes it, even if it is groddy.
and, uh... where's Matilda?  oh, there she is.
::: Every year, we drive the 45 minutes to San Marcos where they have a RIDICULOUS amount of outlet stores.  I mean RIDICULOUS.  So, it's the perfect ONE-STOP-SHOP for our family's Christmas presents.  It gets trickier when you add more kids to the mix---especially ones that like to RUN throughout the store.  But, luckily, Aaron and I can tag-team.  And, when I say TAG-TEAM, I mean, he watches the kids while I do the shopping.  Makes for a good time.  Here Tillie is with some static hair.  We all thought it was pretty entertaining.

The highlight of this shopping trip was the DISNEY STORE outlet.  Oh my.  This was Tillie's dream come true.  All the Disney princesses in ONE place?  And, the gang from Toy Story, Cars, Nemo, and Mickey too?  She was on Disney overload and we ended up staying in the store for over 45 minutes.  It was THAT magical for them.  Tillie was in awe over all the singing princesses (little did she know that Grandma and Grandpa got her one of them).  All in all, it was really fun.

I could see why people like to spoil their kids.  I mean, we wanted to buy her SO many toys there.  Luckily, I was the voice of reason and we ended up keeping our purchases to around $10.  Not too bad.

Oh, and Calvin LOVES stuffed animals.  He loves them much more than Tillie ever did.  This is what he does when he sees one.  It's pretty sweet.

::: Next up, some Sunday photos of the kids.  On Sundays they seem to look their best (I wonder why? I think it's the only day I make sure Cal is wearing pants and Tillie has to have her hair done).  Here is Tillie in her Christmas dress from last year.  In hindsight, it was probably too short for her this year, but oh, well.  Unfortunately, I don't have ANY pictures with her in it from last year (I blame it on my "at the time" pregnant brain).  Anyway, I love this dress so much.  I hope I have another girl one day to put it in.  It's one of my most favorites.  And, I love that I found it at a second hand store for a few bucks.  Sweeeet!
Oh, and of course, photo-shoot overload (as always).

oh, man. i love this where he's laughing so hard he throws his head back!

the staging lady... what a weirdo.
and one last one to end us off.  nice, Tillie.  And, poor Cal with his watery eyes and runny nose.  The things these kids do for their crazy mother.
::: Because Aaron wakes up so early, Tillie and I typically wake up as he's leaving to work.  This particular morning I opened up the blinds and saw this out of our front window.  It was so pretty, so I grabbed a blanket and Tillie and I sat on the front porch watching the kids get on the school bus.  It was sweet at first, then it just got really cold.  :)  So much for my romantic and lovely ideas.

Sweet girl with the creepy mom.  I'M WATCHING YOU.  BEWARE!!
::: We got to go to a really fun White Elephant Party with a few of our Texas friends.  It was a fun night without the kiddos.  After talking to Tillie, I think she had as much fun as we did with the babysitter---or maybe more fun.  She keeps talking about how she wants Aaron and I to go on another date and to leave her and Cal at home and have Abby, Allie and Kaylee come too.  Pretty funny.
Here Aaron is playing the Movie Charade game (a crowd favorite).

I added this one, b/c I am ALWAYS lightning fast.  Look at the way my hair is flying.  That's WAY fast.
little known fact about Laurel.  She used to live in Highland and was DOLLY in HELLO DOLLY.  My brother was Barnaby with his best friend, Jeff in that very same production.  Is it a small world or what?!  When I saw her at church the first Sunday after they moved here, I told Aaron, "Oh my word! That's HELLO DOLLY!"  Yes.  It's a small world, after all.
good times.  good times.

Aaron ended up with a toilet seat riser from the White Elephant exchange.  It was huge and hilarious.  More on that in a moment...

::: Another December Sunday shot.  We were going to be late, so we made this one snappy.

::: Aaron had another White Elephant party at work.  Unfortunately, our idea of White Elephant gifts were NOT the same as his co-workers.  Since he had won that toilet riser seat a few days earlier, we thought that was a perfect gift to take to the work party.  Oops.  Too bad Aaron ended up with awesome movie passes, good candy, and a nice basket.  Sad for whoever got his TOILET seat riser! hAA!!

ANYWAY, Aaron is not a fan of the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie---which is TRAGIC for his wife.  The only cookie he really LOVES is this one.  He'd been begging me to make it for years, and I kept saying, "Find me the recipe and I'll give it a try."  Well, little did he realize that his parents found it on the Reeses Peanut Butter chip bag.  So, we bought the pb chips and I made those for him to take to his work party. You should give them a try.  They are really really good.  OH, and the trick is to take them out while they're still soft.  They stay delicious and moist for the next few days if you get it right.

Someone else enjoyed these too...

There you have it.  The first half of December.  Christmas in Utah is up next!


Rebecca Snyder said...

Wow that last blog post took up the whole length of your site. Blogging is so much better than scrapbooking. I love Tillie's Christmas dress. And there are certainly no diseases in my olive wood camel, but thanks for the cyber shout out.

Rebecca Snyder said...

OH and I love love the new blog header. So clever with the cereal box. Because we all know how much you love cereal.

emily snyder said...

amen to becca's thoughts . . . and i love the quickie photo shoot. i love tillie's outfit!!

and i couldn't stop laughing to myself (imagine me in my little room at 10:35pm just laughing. weird.) after reading your caption with you and the hot chocolate. still laughing in fact. love that you are a -flower-clip-bag-lady!!

remember how one day i am going to live in brookline, ma?? please don't be a bag-lady when you come visit and help me decorate.

Tim and Melissa said...

Wow, what a post! Good job! I loved all the pictures, but my favorite is of the homeless lady with the flower clip in her hair. Haha! I love that you shared it!

Tyler and Erin said...

What cute sunday pics of the kids. I love how well you document everything. You always have me laughing. And so funny thing... Chloe LOVES LOVE stuffed animals. Peyton didn't take notice to them too much but Chloe is just like Cal. So cute. Oh and thanks for sending me the info on the cards. I may be getting some down the road but I'll e-mail you to get the correct prices as I'm certain they are going to go up because they are so flippin' cute!!! I should give you my real e-mail too. Sorry I didn't think of that when I asked you to send the info. it is Thanks again! You are the best and most creativist! (I think that should be a real word)

Kali said...

The new blog header is so cute and I love how personalized it is! and the pictures of that family being reunited almost got me crying.

emily snyder said...

ps i LOVE that short-sleeved sweater you are wearing while you are doing gestures in lightning fashion!

erin said...

Your kiddos are too cute Melissa!!
All of your pictures are so fun. Loved this post!

Jill said...

I love these blog posts, Melissa! And the new blog header looks great. Your kids are adorable!

alpineavery said...

Okay, so I know I tell you this every time I comment, but I LOVE that you do this and appreciate seeing your family!!! Love the new header too!!!HAPPY BIRTHDAY AARON!!!

Jordan and Jandee said...

love the new header and all the pictures!


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