Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008!

There is one day every year where I know exactly what will happen every second of the day! It is the one day a year that my dad takes it slow, but my brother can't sit still! It is the one day a year where wearing new pajamas is the latest fashion and mom doesn't complain that you haven't gotten dressed even though it is 5 in the afternoon. It is the one day a year when ripped wrapping paper and a sea of bows strewn across the house is a beautiful sight and far from what would normally be considered a gigantic mess. That one day a year is Christmas! Quite possibly my favorite day of the year!

Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and to honor the Savior, whose life and death mean so much to us. Allow me a moment to highlight some family Christmas day traditions.

Growing up we stuck to a very strict routine, one that we still adhere to. Christmas Eve we get into our new pajamas and all the siblings head to the basement to watch a Christmas movie, where we all fall asleep together. Sometime around midnight my father rings some bells and yells "ho, ho, ho!" outside the downstairs window. You can imagine as little children how exciting that must have been, but now when he does it we just roll over and go back to bed. We always complain the next morning about how we are too old and dad plays the "I don't know what you are talking about" card. We all roll our eyes but secretly love it.

When we wake up Christmas morning it is because my brother, Jeff, has been jumping on us for several minutes. Jeff has already been through his stocking and counted the presents to make sure that we all got the same amount and tried to guess what is inside each one prior to the jumping. We all take our time getting up just because we know that it drives Jeff crazy. When we finally head upstairs, we each take our turn going through our stockings. My dad, who has one of those ginormous stockings that 12 baby Kates could fit in, with room to spare, takes his time. Of course my mom makes sure that his stocking is completely full to the brim and usually overflowing with things like giant 2lb beef sticks and the mandatory pistachios. But even though his stocking is generally the same, with minor variations every year, he still takes his time because he gets the biggest kick out of watching Jeff squirm with anticipation for the day to start. After the stockings we each open just one present. We take turns opening our presents while everyone else watches. That is key, if everyone is not watching then we wait until they are.

After that we take a break to have breakfast, which usually includes cinnamon rolls and always includes chocolate milk! When we finally head back to opening the rest of our "Santa" presents, taking turns one at a time, we make sure to save the biggest and best presents for last. My dad again always taking the longest to open and then admire his presents! He loves to make Christmas last as long as possible and it usually does. We generally start at 8 and don't end until noon. And that is just the morning. After a few hours napping, playing with our morning "Santa" presents, nibbling on cocktail weenies and coconut shrimp, we all reconvene around the tree about 6 p.m. to finish off the day with sibling and other family gifts!

I love Christmas, but most of all I love spending Christmas with my family! Now that Aaron and I are married I am sure things will change a little but I am still grateful for a dad that made Christmas such a wonderful and memorable time for our family and for a wonderful mom who lets my dad have it his way just one day a year!

Another successful Christmas has come and gone! Check out Christmas morning with my family.

The Before

The After

Baby Kate had a blast on her first Christmas! She even enjoyed opening her first present, with Grandpa's help. Although, I am pretty sure she enjoyed eating the shiny ribbon more than opening presents. I adore this child!

Here we are enjoying a few of our gifts! Whitney's husband, Phil, got her the Disney Princess Easy Bake Oven... I was so jealous!!! We will never be too old to enjoy this!

Here is Aaron enjoying the new laptop that he got me!

And yes my husband bought me the Grey's Anatomy DVDs, seasons 1-3. Wow he really must love me, or was he trying to make up for last year when he got me a bib?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It finally feels like Christmas around the house! We got our very first Christmas tree!

It is a candy tree!

My favorite ornaments are the cupcakes!

Thanks to Ryan and Honey for the tree! Thanks to my mom for all of the ornaments! Someday we will get our own... but for now we are just grateful to have a little Christmas spirit around the house!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Warren Miller!

Winter has officially arrived here in Denver and although the snow makes for a tough commute to work I can handle it knowing what wonderful things await me in the mountains! Last Saturday was our first ski day up in the mountains and it was wonderful, but I will blog about that later!

Every year, to get pumped up for the ski season, Aaron likes to catch the new Warren Miller film. I enjoy the movies and have happened to go to quite a few of the films over the years but Aaron loves to go every year!

Now before I continue with the rest of the story, I have to make a confession, I lied in the last post. The night we went to Coldplay, we weren't just going to have our regular Friday night, we were supposed to go see this year's Warren Miller film. It was our only free night to go see the movie while it was in town, but because my husband is so sweet he sacrificed to make me happy instead. (Not that he was at all opposed to going to the concert... I think he may even have wanted to go more than me.)

Well I had to make it up to him and I had an idea! Last week I had a day off of work. This gave me time to work out a surprise. The first part of my plan was to transform our house into a winter wonderland. I put snowflakes everywhere! Snowflakes covered the windows, the floors, and the tables. I even hung snowflakes from the ceiling. My next step was to hang up signs giving him a few hints to what would await him in our living room. I hung a sign on the back door saying "Are you ready?" He then would open the back door into our kitchen to find another sign saying, "Get Excited!"... followed by another sign saying,"For Ski Season 2009!!"

This was all leading him to our living room where I set up our own Warren Miller movie night, complete with sponsors, Ski magazines, and even free ski coupons! I also threw in a few treats for us to watch the movie with. It was almost like the real thing (minus the other 300 people watching the movie with us.)

Let the ski season begin!