James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A bit of December...

Look at me! 
Nearly all caught up!

I'm so close I can hardly stand it...

So here we go again.

December was busy.
And fun.
And coooold.

We kicked off the month of cheer with gingerbread houses at the Maudsleys, followed by a surprisingly warm jaunt around Temple Square too oooohhh and ahhhh over the lights.

 We've officially reached the stage where our stroller is nothing more than a glorified junk bin with wheels -- our kids refuse to sit in it so our coats, bags, food, drinks etc. fill the seats in their stead.
So glad we're getting our money's worth.

It was a lovely night.
I'd forgotten how much I love Temple Square during the holidays -- it seems we avoided it like the plague at least three of the four years we lived just blocks away.
Too many people, too cold.
So it was fun to go again with fresh eyes and warm(ish) temperatures.
My babies loved it, though James's main objective was to jump into the reflecting pool.

My dad set up the old Christmas train from my childhood for the first time in years, and James quickly became enamored, if not completely obsessed.

 One morning as we were walking home from preschool, Lola got out her fake cell phone, held it up to her ear and said, "Oh hey dad. Yeah, mom showered today."
So glad my family is so concerned with my personal hygiene (or apparent lack thereof).

 We made and decorated sugar cookies with the kids.
I'm not certain why I carry on this tradition for every holiday, because it's So. Much. Work. and my kids are bored after decorating one cookie.
So what am I supposed to do with the 320 gazillion trees and stars and candy canes that remain?
Oh yeah, I eat them.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Sugar cookies are my kryptonite.
That's why my muffin top is all that.

Pink the Elf made his grand return, leaving the kids a little surprise in their magic red box each day.
Pink is largely responsible for Lola's stellar behavior throughout the month of December.
One threat of a phone call to Pink, and her tantrum turned to a smooch, followed by her signature, "I'm such a nice girl mama. See?"

 For our December date, Di and I sprung for pedicures, Christmas shopping, dinner at Trio and "Silver Linings Playbook" -- though the highlight was probably the hour we spent in the 7-Eleven parking lot on 4th South in Salt Lake City, laughing over who knows what.

Glad to be able to date my sister-in-law on a regular basis.
It would not be out of line to say that I date her more than I date my husband.


 My parents suggested we take advantage of free Frontrunner day, so we bundled up on what was one of the coldest afternoons in recent memory and hopped on the (rather smelly) SLC-bound Polar Express.
My kids were in heaven, especially since they got to spend the entire day with their grandparents.

Who knew Utah had a rather efficient public transportation system?
Not this lady.

 We spent an evening at Nana and PopPop Ivins's house to celebrate Redd's birthday and decorate the grandbabies' tree.
The highlight for James was most definitely taking his cousin Eva for a walk.

The theme of this month was definitely the plague.
We spent soooo many days cooped up inside, thanks to colds, stomach flu and general exhaustion.
Though the sick part was no bueno, it was kind of nice to sit around reading, watching Christmas movies and eating junk.
After about five days of quarantine, Lola and I got brave and ventured out to Costco to split a piece of pizza.
Nothing in my life has ever been as exhilarating...

 We met up with the Wildings at the Riverwoods for dinner, games and a ride on the carousel.
Reece is a big fan of creating opportunity for our daughter, so he had her stand on the skeeball ramp to score more points.
Some may call in cheating, I call it confidence boosting.
Watching Lola and Cohen on the bench was like watching the most awkwardly adorable first date ever.
Someday, I suppose.

 James continued his nudist streak (hehehe).
Can't change a diaper without this kid escaping, wild and free.
Here he is, echoing David's famous pose.
I'm obsessed with that bum.

 My lovely and insanely talented friend and coworker Nkoyo sings with to MoTab, and kindly gave Reece and I tickets to the coveted Christmas concert featuring one of my biggest news crushes, Tom Brokaw.
My saintly mother watched our babies so we could escape for a rare date night.
I bargained with Reece: dinner at Crown Burger for an hour at Anthropologie.

It was lovely to walk around with my love, and the concert itself had the both of us in tears.
Aside from the phenomenal music -- Alfie Boe and the choir blew us away -- seeing one of my professional heroes in person was definitely a life highlight.

But the most amazing part of the evening came with the story of the "candy bomber," Gail Halvorsen.
Brokaw told the tale of the man who dropped gum, treats and candy bars to hungry children in Berlin after the war.
And then, Gail Halvorsen himself stepped onto the stage as little parachutes began to fall from the ceiling.
We're talking major ugly crying here.

 Our dear friends, Mel and Jack Peterson, threw a fabulous Christmas party before everyone split for the break.
Such a fun night with our amazing MBA pals.
How are we going to say goodbye to everyone in April?

 Di and I decided to take our first-born babes on a special holiday date.
We started with brunch at Eva downtown -- incredible food.
I'm still dreaming about my spicy potatoes and eggs.

Our city babies ditched their mamas and chased each other along Main Street.
These two KILL me.

 Our final destination was Capitol Theatre for Ballet West's production of The Nutcracker.
Our kids most definitely wanted to kill us after about five minutes of picture taking, but come on, how cute are they in their Christmas best?

 We said goodbye to Easton (ballet's not really his thing... yet) and found our seats.
I love the ballet, and The Nutcracker is one of my favorites, so I couldn't wait to see what Lola thought of the experience.
She was really into the show for the first half, but got a little bored and fidgety during the second.

It should be mentioned that my kid has a whisper that requires earplugs.
That being said, here's a compilation of the gems she shared with the audience:

 "Mom, does this song bug you?"
"This is TERRIBLE."
"Hey, it's the song from Pocoyo!"

I laughed so hard I cried.
I'm not sure we'll be allowed at the ballet for a few years, but overall we had a wonderful time.

I volunteered to help with Lola's Polar Express preschool party.
It's a daily battle to get my daughter out of her pajamas and into acceptable clothing for school (thus the tank tops, skirts and princess dresses in the middle of the frigid winter), so she was thrilled to learn she could wear her Christmas pjs to the bash.

Sometimes I can't believe she's so old.

 We met up with the Maudsley girls at Fashion Place to pay our annual visit to Santa. 
The past few years have been terrifying for Lo, but apparently there is strength (and bravery) in numbers.
A victory!
Cindy and I got a bit nostalgic thinking about how much these little ladies have grown since their first Santa visit together three years ago.

 One of my favorite things about the holidays is the chance I get to see old college friends.
James and I met up with Catherine, Henry, Candace and Emery for an afternoon of catch up.
Love my Italy ladies (and their adorable babies).
Has it really been seven years since our European adventure?

 Ro Ro came into town and blessed us with a visit.
Thank goodness we had Brigham's Brew to consecrate the reunion.
Love this cheeker.

 The Ivins annual Christmas party was a hit.
Reece proudly showed off his homemade light-up sweater (ugliest thing you'll ever see).
We walked away with the coveted Leg Lamp nightlight... something that will no doubt become a family heirloom.

 It took straight jackets, shameless bribery and multiple tears to get a family photo on Christmas Sunday.
I love this crazy little family of mine to pieces.

Alysha and Jason's visit, Christmas Eve, Christmas and beyond... coming soon.
Happy December!