Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas






i always think that christmas eve is so surreal. so much anticipation for the big day and then it is finally here. we went to the most amazing church service. they did a "how the grinch stole christmas" performance that was super cool. dahlia and i sat in the front row. after church we went to miles' cousin's house for christmas eve dinner. mason and dahlia were having a blast playing with all the other kids. i am liking this new tradition. it is so fun. miles' mom met us there and then stayed the night with us.

after the kids were all sleeping in bed miles and i got to wrap presents. our alone time was quickly interrupted with dahlia throwing up. yuck. all the kids are sick this year. such a bummer. we still had a fun christmas. she seemed fine in the morning.

we went to my sister christina's new house for christmas day this year. i was really bummed at first to not be hosting. i love celebrating at home but christina really wanted to have christmas at her house and it was actually nice to not have to do all the work. we all met there around noon. after opening the gifts the kids and the guys got to play while the girls chatted and cooked in the kitchen. so fun. she served roast beef and salmon with mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner. very yummy. she also had the cutest red velvet cupcakes for dessert.

i would have loved to stay the night but miles wanted to go home and his mom was staying the night with us so we left around nine. it was pouring rain on our way home. thank goodness miles drove.

thank you christina for hosting such a nice christmas. i plan on staying the night there tonight with the kids so we can have our post christmas sleepover. sister and i can drink wine while watching the o.c.'s chrismukkha episode. it is our own corny christmas tradition.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

chocolate bark



we finished up the holiday candy making for gifts this year. we made four different chocolate barks. a dark chocolate and white chocolate swirl with dried cherries, a traditional peppermint bark, a dark and white chocolate swirl with slivered almonds, and a white chocolate with candied walnuts. they all looked and tasted delicious. we broke them into big chunks and wrapped them individually. the different barks along with homemade caramels were then put into nice paris bistro candy bowls that we found at sur la table. the whole gift got wrapped in red cellophane and it was ready to give. i thought they were very beautiful. lets hope people like them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

cookie card


cover


inside flap


we finally got our christmas cards in the mail. oh my. what is wrong with us? why do we wait for the last possible moment to send out the cards? so so bad. every year i say to miles "let's get these done early this year" and every year we wait for the last moment. so funny. i was looking back and we have sent out our cards on the 22nd for the last three years. oh well. at least they are done. i think they are adorable.

Monday, December 20, 2010

christmas photo shoot





we had our photo shoot for our christmas card saturday morning. by photo shoot i really mean miles with the camera and me art directing and trying to get the kids to be cute. for the last couple of years we decided to take our own christmas photos instead of going to a studio and torturing ourselves. this has worked out really well for us. so saturday morning was the only time we had available to take the christmas card photos.

the theme for this years card is gingerbread cookies. i got the kids these matching gingerbread cookie pajamas and had the idea to shoot them making gingerbread men. of course that meant miles and i were up super late the night before baking cookies for the photos. i knew there was no way we could get them to make the cookies and wait for them to bake without getting bored or filthy. we decided to just let them decorate the cookies instead. i think the photos turned out pretty cute. we had some lighting issues. it was a really dark and rainy day. here are some of the photos we didn't use for the card.

Friday, December 17, 2010

candy making



there are some exciting things happening around here. we are in full christmas mode. we have decided to make homemade candy for gifts this year. our first project was to make some caramel for all my girlfriends at the ladies luncheon i am going to. this sounded easy enough for us.

we started off using a barefoot contessa recipe but it didn't turn out very good. the caramel separated while cooking and even though we were able to save it by adding a little water and reheating it, the flavor was slightly off. it tasted a little bit burnt. we tried again with this recipe. we had a much better result. it is a lighter caramel but super yummy and much easier to make. we decided to make it even better by layering walnuts in the caramel and then drizzling bittersweet chocolate over the top. yum. they are so so good. i think miles and i have eaten ten each.

we made a triple batch and that gave us enough to package twelve gifts for the girls and have half a pan left over for other friends and family. i think they look so beautiful packaged in the little candy box with custom made tags. now that we have finished making caramel it is time for chocolate bark. yum yum. oh the holidays are so delicious.

connor takes a step

video
connor has been taking a few steps here and there. i finally managed to capture one on video. he still is not walking but he can definitely take a few steps without falling. he doesn't seem terribly interested in walking. i think he is happy to get around by crawling. that is just fine with me. it is hard enough to keep up with him crawling. i am sure he will be running around soon enough. the first steps are crazy cute though.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

christmas party



we went to our favorite christmas party last night. my parent's friends throw a very fun party every year and we are lucky enough to be invited. it is a family friendly party so all the kids are welcome. they have it outside at their shop. it is a really cool space that has been fixed up to look like an old town. they have different rooms filled with memorabilia. it reminds me of knotts berry farm's old town. there is an ice cream shop, barber shop, saloon, general store, dentist and post office. we love to walk around and check out all the memorabilia. there are so many details. so cool.

in the main shop area they have all these old cars on display. the one in the photos belongs to my dad. i was so impressed when i saw the car at the party. it is a 1941 graham hollywood. i remember when he bought the frame and started to work on it. it looked just like a piece of junk. it is a hobby of my dad and his friends to restore cars. i think he did an amazing job. the car is beautiful.

we had so much fun and ate lots of yummy food. there was a band and this year it didn't even rain. so fun to kick off the holiday parties with a good one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

picking a tree



we went today and picked out our christmas tree. we let the kids choose it and mason picked the biggest tree he could find (in the 6-7 foot section). no ten foot trees for us thank you very much. it is not perfect but i think it just needs a little love. it is absolutely huge. we couldn't drive though our car port with it strapped to the roof. miles had to drag it up the hill in a wagon. it was so nice out today. usually we wait and get our tree later in the month when it is just freezing cold. i liked getting it early. now we just need to decorate it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

lets be chefes


dahlia helped daddy roll out biscuits for breakfast. she loves to be a chefes. (her word for chef)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

tree lighting


our church had a tree lighting party tonight. it was so cute. they had giant cookies for the kids to decorate and hot chocolate with marshmallows. you can see here that dahlia got the icing all over her face. those cookies were so good.

after lighting up the tree they played the movie how the grinch stole christmas. we didn't stay for the movie. dahlia thought it was too scary. what? dr. seuss too scary for kids! impossible. i was fine with leaving though. we went back to christina's house and watched movies there.

Friday, December 3, 2010

happy again




we renewed our passes to disneyland today. it has been a very long time since we have gone and i just missed it too much. i wanted to see all the christmas decorations. christmas at disneyland is so beautiful. i love all the lights on the castle and how they transform it's a small world. that is our favorite ride. jen and bodhi met us there. we didn't get to stay very long but it is so good to be back. i can't wait to go again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

gingerbread house




jen came over yesterday with bodhi and we made gingerbread houses with the kids. this was a first for us. to make our lives easier i just bought a couple of gingerbread house kits from michaels. of course i debated baking the gingerbread myself but ultimately decided against it. good choice. these kits were so easy and fun. the kids had a blast dripping icing all over the house and then decorating it with candy. of course mason and dahlia thought the best part of making the gingerbread house was eating it. yum.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

thanksgiving with friends


we did something completely different for thanksgiving this year. my whole family went to my friend rebecca's house. she was so sweet and hosted a huge party with almost thirty people. it was very fun. she is really like a sister to me. when we were teenagers she lived at my house for a while and we shared a room. ever since then we have always been close. she is a lot of fun.

it was a bit chaotic at her house with all the people talking and the game on in the background. the only real bummer for me was that her house is not at all baby proofed and so i could not put connor down for one minute. he would crawl right over to a burning candle or glass object. yikes. i did get to pass him on to miles for a little while but it was hard to always entertain him. he is squirmy. he does not like to sit still at all. there was lots of good wine though so there really isn't much to complain about. dinner was delicious and we were very thankful to spend the holiday surrounded by so many loving friends and family. happy thanksgiving to everyone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

dahlia is three


today is dahlia's real birthday. she is three. she is 38.5 inches tall and weighs 30 pounds. she is so tall. i adore her. she is very independent and wants to do everything by herself. completely opposite from mason who would prefer to have me do everything for him. she loves her mommy and goes everywhere with me. i like to have her along most of the time. she is fun to shop with.

she is the easiest of the three kids. i don't know if that is saying much because the other two are a handful. she is super girly and loves to dress up. i think that is her favorite play activity. she has a bag of dress up clothes that she loves to take out and try on. she also loves to play cooking with her new stove.

we didn't do much for her birthday today since her party was yesterday. her granny stayed the night last night so we all hung out together. she opened up all her toys and played. she showed granny all her new fairy dolls and cooking sets. it was a fun relaxing day. happy birthday baby girl. i love you tons.

pixie party





we had dahlia's pixie party this weekend. yay. she loved it. everything was super girly. of course i didn't get any sleep the night before the party. i was baking cupcakes, cleaning, finishing decorations. things were much more organized for this party compared to the others though. in fact, i think this was my favorite party of the three. don't tell the boys. it was a much smaller party so i wasn't stressed with trying to entertain. i could just relax and have fun. plus everything was just so darn cute.

jen was a big help to me again. she made these adorable tissue paper flowers. they are so pretty i want to leave them up all the time. she also helped me make star wand sugar cookies that we used as a centerpiece, and little bird nests out of chocolate and shredded wheat to hold snacks. we filled them with yogurt covered raisins, pretzel sticks, sunflower seeds and banana chips.

we had wings and wands for all the girls and peter pan hats for the boys. everyone loved the wings. even bodhi wore them. mason and some of the older boys were running around avoiding all the "fairy stuff" so i don't think anybody wore the peter pan hats. i could have just skipped those.

for food we had little dinner roll sandwiches and salads. i made tea sandwiches for the kids and cut them out with butterfly and flower cookie cutters. they were filled with cream cheese and cucumber, and strawberry jam. for dessert i made chocolate cupcakes with pink cream cheese frosting that i sprinkled with edible glitter and topped with a paper fairy. i also baked a six inch round white cake with whip cream frosting for dahlia. so cute.

after eating lunch the kids had fun decorating their "fairy houses" with glitter and stickers. some of the boys even joined in for this. that was a fun project. that was the only organized activity i had for the kids. for most of the party we just let them run around and play. dahlia looked so cute dressed up as tinkerbell. tinkerbell is her favorite fairy.

i thought the party was super fun and just adorable. hurray. now i am done with the kid parties. whew. mommy needs sleep.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

painting pixie houses



we have been in full party mode over here. i am going a little crazy with three parties in a row. too many. i am sure people are getting sick of coming over here to party with us. next year i am going to have to do a combo party for the boys and then one for dahlia. i don't think i am going to do this again. whew. too much work.

dahlia has been having lots of fun helping me get stuff ready for her pixie party. yesterday and today we painted fairy houses that the kids will get to decorate with fairy dust (glitter) and stickers. jen and i found the cute little houses at michaels. we originally thought we would have the kids paint them, but i didn't want the kids to ruin their party clothes so i figured glitter would be a better idea.

dahlia is so excited about her party. i can't believe how big she is. she is going to be three. that is just crazy. my little girl. all grown up.

Monday, November 15, 2010

animal party




we took the kids to a friends birthday party this weekend. it was a very fun party held at the brand library. they rented one of the art rooms and had a lady come with lots of reptiles for the kids to look at and touch. that was such a cool idea. most of the kids loved it. mason was a little timid with touching the animals. dahlia was very brave and even touched the snakes. eewww. the lady brought lizards, snakes, turtles, toads, and a tarantula that she put on the kids head. thankfully my kids declined that little trick. yucky.

i think mason had more fun over at the lego build table. after the lady left the kids got to play with legos. they had a table full of legos where the kids could build something and then take it home with them. all the little boys were in heaven. i thought it was a perfect party for a six year old boy. we were so happy to be invited. happy birthday logan!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

party invitaion


miles made this adorable invitation for dahlia's birthday party. the invites were emailed today. it was too late to print them. bring on party number three!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween





we had a busy halloween this year. miles and i were so happy to get to enjoy it with the kids because last year we missed it. we dressed the kids up as characters from peter pan. mason was captain hook, dahlia was tinkerbell, and connor was peter pan.

in the early afternoon we went to my church where they had a huge fair. there were games to play for candy and some carnival rides. we met the rest of my family there. bodhi and zena played games with dahlia while mason took a nap in the stroller. he was being tired and cranky so we let him sleep. the fair was really fun. i wish we would have planned to be there longer. the kids wanted to go on rides but there was not much time before we had to be off to our next destination. we decided to skip the rides and just let them play on the church playground for a bit.

after we finished playing we headed over to our friend kristi's house. she and her husband had a huge crowd over for pizza and salads before going trick-or-treating. i was surprised how many people were there. things were pretty chaotic through dinner and trick-or-treating. i really didn't get any pictures of our day. i was having a really hard time keeping track of everyone. their neighborhood had lots of people trick-or-treating. it was crazy. big crowds at all the houses. the kids loved it. it was a long day and miles and i were so happy to get home and put on a not so scary movie (zombieland) and relax. happy halloween.

peter pan


i sewed connor's halloween costume. of course this was started two days before halloween, and finished on halloween eve. he is going to be peter pan. so cute. mason wanted to be captain hook and dahlia wanted to be tinkerbell so i thought peter pan would be a perfect costume for the trio. i found this cool tutorial on make it and love it. it looked pretty easy so i decided to just make it myself.

all the supplies were bought at joann's for less than $15.00. so good. i did end up buying pants from target though. i didn't think it was worth it to make my own. the top is made from fleece which is the easiest fabric to use ever. it doesn't unravel when you cut it. it also feels like a nice soft blanket so connor will love it. i also sewed a belt, knife, and hat from some felt. i did have a little trouble getting the right size for the hat. the first one i cut was too small. the pattern doesn't give any measurments so you just have to try it and see. the final step was to hot glue in the feather and i was done. so easy. i think the costume is adorable. i can't wait for him to wear it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

connor is one!



no way. no way is my sweet little baby one year old! that is just crazy. i have to admit we did not do much to celebrate his real birthday. we already had the big party for him so today was spent at a friends party and carving jack-o-lanterns for halloween. i don't think he even noticed. i did give him a cupcake and we sang happy birthday before bedtime.

he is getting cuter and cuter every day. he is 19 pounds 8 ounces, and 27.5 inches tall. what a doll. he is not walking yet and will only stand for a couple of seconds before sitting. that is just fine with me. i like him crawling all around. he does do the cruising thing around the kitchen from chair to chair or around the coffee table. my mom and dad got him this cute dinosaur push toy and he loves it. he can hold on and walk all over the living room with it. he just thinks this is hilarious and laughs and laughs. so funny. as far as talking he has said mama and dada, but that is about it. i just adore him. happy birthday baby connor!

bowling




we went to a really fun bowling party for my sister's boyfriend today. there is this tiny bowling alley called montrose bowl that you can rent out for parties. they rented it for two hours. the party did seem a little rushed with only two hours to bowl, eat and have cake but we had so much fun. the bowling alley is very old school and has the full retro vibe with no automated scoring.

it was the first time that the kids ever bowled. they loved it. they put the rails up on a couple of the lanes for the little kids to make it easier. dahlia still had trouble throwing the ball hard enough to make it down the lane but she had a great time trying. mason, zena and bodhi were loving the bowling. they also had a little craft station set up where the kids could color and make little felt bears or beaded bracelets. so cute. i was sad when the party ended. i will have to keep that place in mind for a future party. happy birthday doug!