Sunday, January 20, 2013

Christmas Eve 2012

This year we were lucky enough to spend Christmas Eve with our great friends, the Booths. We both have 2 girls and all the girls are very close in age. Needless to say, all the little kiddos were excited to be spending the evening together.

Tiffany Booth hosted the dinner at her house and she did an incredible job decorating and setting the mood for a fun filled Christmas.

Our responsibilities were really small, but they included bringing the Christmas Turkey. Kevin and I have only ever made our turkey Kalua pig style before, but we thought we would try something new and try brining the turkey instead. Long story short, it was the best idea we EVER had! The turkey only took an hour and a half to cook and it was the tastiest, moistest turkey I've ever had. Thank you Alton Brown!

The girls were pretty anxious to start eating... and that meant they were making really weird faces when the camera came out! Oh well, they're still cuties in my book :)

After a few last minute preparations, we sat down and had a fantastic dinner together! When dinner was over, the girls went downstairs to play with their Christmas stockings that Tiffany made them while the adults played a few games in the kitchen.

Once games were finished we gathered in the living room to open presents and sing Christmas songs. The booths got all of us special snuggle blankets! The girls blankets even had their favorite princesses and their names embroidered on them! We gave lots of thank you hugs after the presents were opened, sang some more songs, and then headed home to prepare for Christmas day!

We had a great and memorable time with the Booths and thanks again go out to their family for helping us have such a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Getting Ready for Christmas!

This year we had TONS of fun getting ready for Christmas! Unfortunately, I had decided to try and "live in the moment" instead of thinking "blog" during every event, so... I didn't get very many pictures of Christmas at all! In fact, most of the pictures I have came off of other people's phones or Facebook pages! But that's OK, we really did enjoy every moment and I will do my best to tell you about it, even without a ton of pictures :)

The girls loved helping Kevin set up our tiny tree in the living room. It was just the right size for them to reach every part. Later in the month, my sister Becca dropped off another tree that she wasn't using anymore, so we set it up in the playroom for the girls. All the ornaments (that came with the tree) were plastic so we let the girls help again, but this time with a boost from dad!

The girls were good sports and let me tie them up with Christmas lights for our Christmas card picture. Brooklyn thought the whole ordeal was pretty awesome, but Lily was actually afraid that I might have cracked and that I possibly meant to keep her tied up for life :) Luckily, Brooklyn was able to convince her to play along!

Because we had lights from tying the girls up, we actually got to put lights on the outside of our house for the first time since we got married! It was nothing amazing, but still, it was pretty fun to be one of the festive houses on the street. We even had some fun with our scrap wood, an old ladder, mason jars, and some Popsicle sticks and made some little decorations to go next to our front porch!

I finally picked the picture I liked most of the girls and designed a Christmas card to send out. Then I spent 3 days at Costco trying to get them to print them right and eventually ended up sending the file to my sister and having her do it for me! (Thanks Becca!)

Me and the girls spent TONS of time making presents for our family and friends. Brooklyn and Lily mostly helped design wrapping paper while I sewed, nailed, painted, and crocheted as much as I could. I am sad that I didn't really take any pictures of the things I made, but my sister did post a picture of both her girls on Facebook wearing the chef hats I made them, and I was able to take a picture of the ladder I made for my nephew's pirate inspired bedroom!

Aaaaannnd... I just had to add this picture because I took it toward the end of the photo shoot and I think both girls were totally over being tied up. Their faces make me laugh every time I see it.

Oh yeah! And amidst all the preparation, Kevin and I bought two RATS and dropped them off at our friends house to be babysat while we waited for Christmas day! They were good sports and even gave the rats a home in their baby crib while they await the arrival of their first baby :) Hahaha, but don't worry, the rats never actually touched anything in the crib!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fun BEFORE Christmas!

December was a fun and crazy month for us! There were many parties to attend, crafts to complete, and people to see... and every second of the chaos was AWESOME! Here is a little of what we did before Christmas arrived:

Kevin started off the month by biking 30 miles to my sister's house! He arrived just as my brother-in-law Taber finished his long run and, lo and behold, they were wearing matching shirts! How random! After tossing the kids around a bit and eating a wonderful breakfast, Kevin turned around and biked 30 miles back home to play with his own kids and eat 2nd breakfast!

A few days later, my sister Becca called us and asked if she could "borrow" Brooklyn over night! We thought she seemed pretty trustworthy so we agreed to the arrangement and sent Brooklyn off with pj's in hand. According to Becca, Brooklyn and her cousins played relentlessly for 2 days, only stopping to sleep and eat!

My friend Jacquie Korella threw a "My favorite things" party at her house on December 7th. Every one brought a gift that represented one of their favorite things and then we exchanged them white elephant style (after stuffing our faces will all our favorite foods!) It was a blast catching up with everyone and getting to know them a little better and Jacquie did an amazing job hosting us!

The next morning we found out that our friend Annalisa, who moved to Kalamazoo last year, had come for a surprise visit... and since her birthday was coming up, we took her out to breakfast at The Bongo Room! The food and company was FANTASTIC and we had a lot of good laughs (and cupcakes) before heading back home and saying goodbye to Annalisa!

Some time during all the partying, Kevin decided to be SUPER responsible and make 72 hour kits for our family. He made a pack for himself, and one for me, and then an extra one to go in the car! I'm so lucky to have such a smart and well prepared husband! :)

On December 23rd, we were lucky enough to have a pre-Christmas eve dinner with our good friends, the Cotton's. Unfortunately, we were so excited to see them that we forgot to bring a camera. We snapped this picture of Brooklyn earlier that day, so it will have to do :) Anyway, we enjoyed an incredible dinner with them, some great conversations, and a fun little gift exchange! When the night was over, we left feeling so lucky to know the Cotton's, as well as all the other wonderful people in Chicago that we are blessed to call friends!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wrapping up November

November was a very fun and relaxing month despite all the sickness that ensued, and it gave us a lot of good memories. One of my favorites was when we decided to prep the yard for winter. It was an unusually warm November so we had a blast outside all day long while we raked leaves, picked weeds, and stored furniture. And when all the work was done... we played!

Thanksgiving 2012

For Thanksgiving this year we have NO PICTURES! The reason for our lack of photography is because we spent Thanksgiving with fevers and vomit instead of Turkey and Pie! We were supposed to spend the holiday with my sister Becca and her family who recently moved to Chicagoland, but when Lily's fever was carrying on at 104 degrees for the 5th day, we called and cancelled in hopes of sparing the Rigg family our germs.

Thanksgiving day came and Kevin and I attempted a poor man's turkey trot in the morning. We wrapped the girls up tight in their stroller (hoping the cold air might bring down Lily's fever) and started to run. I made it about 2 miles before an injured hip had me hobbling home, but Kevin got his wiggles out by running the stroller up and down giant hills as fast as he could to make the girls giggle! We also tried to celebrate somewhat by making chicken rolls and gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans. The girls, who were both still sick, managed to push their food around their plate a bit before heading off to bed, but Kevin and I enjoyed the grub :)

A few days later the fevers subsided so we packed up our bags and headed to Geneva to hang our with the Riggs! We played and played, shopped till we dropped, and ate pounds and pounds of delicious food! It was so much fun to spend the holiday with family! Its been a really long time since we could do that :)