Sunday, December 26, 2010


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


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

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.