Friday, December 30, 2011

Back to My Roots

Many years ago, so long in fact I can't remember when I started, I became a blonde. I've gone from short to long and back again but have stayed on the blonde side for a while.

A few of the before photos...

Until just before Christmas...

 Lookin' good...I was so nervous but Lindsey had come with me and helped me to be brave and go back to my roots!

The after pictures  (Sorry, it's a little blurry)

Oh yeah- lovin' the new do! I think I'm going stick to my roots for a while.

Family Christmas Fantasia

It was my family's year to be together for Christmas.  It was a week of craziness and love and so much fun!

Lindsey and I were on food shopping duty.

 On the phone with Mom/Dad getting the last few additions to the list.

 Seriously?! We were a site to see in Walmart. ha!

Since all the girls were home, we went dress shopping with Lindsey.

 Reise liked all the sparkles!

 The dress shopping crew (minus myself and Linds)-

Christmas Eve- we had a fun field evening with loads of food, presents and laughs!

 Merry Christmas babe!

One side of the over-filled food table...

And the other side...

We L.o.V.e.D. all the niece and nephew time we got all week.

 Tanner the always smiley baby!

 Mom, Reise, Lori & Dad

Santa even came to visit and everyone got the chance to sit on his lap.

 Santa was a funny man with Jarad

 And was pretty nice to me too.

The kids were so surprised to see Santa and loved talking to him and going through their stockings.

Then Santa had to be on his way...

 He's got some serious moves that Santa!

Parents are hard to buy for so this year I was crafty for the Moms.

 Thanks to Pinterest for the idea and my Mom-in-law for the vinyl (little did she know I was making her one too) and my bro for cutting the wood.

The one for Jarad's mom.
 Christmas morning just before church~ it was really neat to have Christmas be on a Sunday and it really helped to remember the real reason for the season.

 Jarad getting some uncle time with Reise

Lindsey's fiance came to meet the family for the first time- and he fit right in!

Mom let us do a little Elf on the Shelf magic for the little ones- this was one of my favorites.

Could they be any cuter?!

As usual, we had girl's craft time. This year we decided to make quiet books- which was a way larger undertaking than we had planned.

 Melanie was the super sew-er!

 Me & baby Reise- all smiles.

We also usually do some sort of service project when we get together. Everyone chipped in different items and we put together some hygiene kits for a local women's shelter.

 The kids loved helping stuff the bags. Jordan and Mel workin' hard.

 Audrey and David hard at work.

Sadly, the week ended all too soon and the California-fam had to leave. :(

 Us saying goodbye to the little ones.

 Jarad getting some Tanner time- he loved being upside down.

We also had to take Lindsey & Dan back to the airport.

We had a fantastic week full of family fun! And can't for May to come so we can all be together again for the wedding.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Party & Snow

Jarad's work had a fancy, holiday party so we decided to get dressed up and have a night out. 

 Isn't he so handsome?! We ate good food, listened to a boring CEO speech but had a good time.

And we got to come home to this shaggy bear...

We love our Sadie girl!

The snow has been limited this winter- which I am more than okay with! But just before Christmas we had a decent snow.

Uncovering my car was a feat!

We'll have to see how much snow the rest of the winter holds.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What's Up Doc?!

My mom is real SMART. She is also an inspiration- at the age of...well, I won't say, but after raising four kids, my mom went back to school and graduated with her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership.  She worked full-time while going to school and of course, got outstanding grades and passed her boards with distinction.

We all were able to be there to celebrate and congratulate her on her big day.

Putting on her special robes...

Lindsey came back from school for the holidays and just in time for Mom's big day.  She and I...waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Grandma also came down for the weekend...and thanks to her we got to sit in the VIP section.

It's hard to see, but here is Mom getting "robed" with her fancy Ph.D. hood.

She was one of only 4 people to receive their Ph.D's that day.

Grandma and Mom- SO PROUD!

It was a wonderful day! David had also flown in for the weekend so Mom could have all of her kids there.  Congratulations Mom!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Everyone who knows me, knows that Christmas is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE holiday! I love decorating and getting everything looking and feeling festive for the season.
Our tradition is to get a real tree (Noble Fir to be exact).

 To enhance the ambiance of getting a tree, it was chilly and lightly snowing when we headed out.

We've picked the perfect tree and are ready to head home. Looks good to me!

 Jarad did a fantastic job stringing the lights then we decorated it together.  It took us a couple of evenings to get it done with our busy schedules but I think it turned out superb!

See for yourself...

 I love Christmas decorating so much, I even volunteered to decorate a table for our ward Christmas party.

I did the center-piece and with the help of a friend had enough chargers to go with my fancy, paper plates and plastic ware.

As the Christmas cards started to roll in (which I secretly love!), I was inspired by Pinterest (greatest website ever!) to take this beauty I found at Hobby Lobby...

 with a few extra supplies...

 And make this new, festive card holder.
By the time we were putting decor away after Christmas, it was so FULL, I thought it might break, but it held strong.