Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Day 2012

The popular ballad, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" rang true this year!
We spent our first Christmas morning in our own home this year.
In previous years we alternated spending them at our parent's, but now that Ethan is old enough to make memories, we thought it was the right year to make a switch.

Our tradition (in the making) started like this:
Ethan ran and jumped into our bed (this is nothing new)
We got up, walked downstairs together and made hot chocolate
Then we sang "Happy Birthday Jesus"and then took turns opening gifts.
Taking turns was a bit of a challenge for Ethan... but once he started opening some, he did just fine playing while he waited.
The only thing I forgot to do was make cupcakes for Jesus' birthday! Oh well... next year!

Bowling Set from Auntie Christina and Uncle Marc
Crocodile Dentist... makes him jump every time!
 Stalking time!
 My special surprise!
I've had my eye on these since we lived in Boston! :)
Finally some cookware I can use on the stove AND in the oven...

And, I broke them in by making our Christmas Breakfast with them...
 Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner were poorly documented, sorry!
(like I said, thanks to my boutique... I'm distracted easily these days...)
If we didn't have Christmas morning at home, I probably would have forgot to document that too!

Here are a few snap shots of Christmas Dinner at the Young's!

12.12.12 Wedding in Maui

Smack dab in the middle of Advent, we escaped dreary Northern California and retreated to Maui.

My cousin Nick was getting married!
So, well, of course we had to go!... and also, Ethan was the ring bearer.
The happy couple officially married on Wednesday, 12.12.12 then had a traditional ceremony and reception that Saturday the 15th.

We left on Wednesday and until Saturday... we found ways to keep ourselves busy...

Beach Play

(This blog post will be less text and more pics... it's getting late I guess!)

Pool Time
Condo Fun

 "Wake up, Gomma!"
Dinner in Lahaina
 Kimos by night
 Kimos by day (all for the Hula pie!)
Strolling the streets of Lahaina
Alas... the Wedding!
Just beautiful!!! (and windy)

 Beautiful Bride
 Happy Couple
 Luau and Fire Dancers
Dance, Dance Dance!

Packing up and headed out!

As we're packing up, Ethan discovered "Baby Jesus' manger" and proceeded to sing "Away in a manger no cwib for a bed..."

Advent Season 2012 Kick-off

Advent Season 2012

We started off the season on a mission to find the perfect Holiday Christmas Tree :)
If you read about our last Christmas, you'd know that we purchased a fake tree.
It shines bright and proud (pre-lit!) in our front room.
And really, it's beautiful. 
Perfect actually.

Because I'm team authentic, we also got a real tree... yes, I realize we had 2 trees this year. I still don't see the problem ;)

Anyway, we were on a hunt with my parents for the perfect tree for each house.
A true fantasy come true for me because Ethan is now at the perfect age to start appreciating experiences like this. The only problem? 
It poured!
It poured so hard it was miserable. 
Needless to say, my fantasy was rained out. And our tree hunt was postponed.

Fortunately Sweetie Pies in Placerville was still open and we still had a yummy lunch and delicious cookies.

Cute cookie monster

And... rainy days make for the best snuggles!

We did have a re-do the next weekend.
This time with Grandma and Grandpa Young.

It started with a running meet and greet (the only way Ethan does it with his G'mas & G'pas) and continued onto In & Out... I was diggin' the burger wrappers...

Then we were off to the Tree Farm!

Fantasy come true!
The pictures of Ethan running... that's what I was dreaming about :)
Joyfully running while on a mission....

And we found it!
Well actually, Dad found it...

We watched as the "cutter boy" sawed it down for us (great service!) and we yelled "Timber!"
Then E was off running again... after our tree :)
Mission complete.

We got a free train ride with the purchase of our tree :)
Santa drove the train...
Back home, we put up the tree!
Dad and Mark cut it down to size, strung up the lights, then Mom and I decorated it.

Ethan and Dad had a good time with their "halos"(plastic that holds the ornaments).
Ethan walked around saying, "Do not be afraid!"

The Christmas tree in the front of the house (artificial tree) is our nicely coordinated "designer" tree.
No fancy designer put it together, just Mark and me, but it coordinates nicely with the room...
This (real) tree is our casual, fun, and personalized tree.
Personalized because it holds the ornaments that Mark and I have given to each other each Christmas that we've been married. 

So... up until this Christmas, we had 14 ornaments (7 each) for 7 Christmases married...

Last year I gave Mark the 3 Keys of Christmas for his ornament (3 in 1)
Each key has a meaning and it goes a little something like this, hit it!:

The first  is the Shepherd's Key. It is to be hung on a low branch because Christ was born among the lowly - born beside the shepherds and the sheep.
The second is the Magi's Key.  It is to be hung on a branch near the top of the tree - near the star, because the Magi followed the star to find the Light.
The third is the Christ Key.  It is to be hung on a branch in the center of the tree - because Christ hung in the center - between you and me.  And that is the key to Christmas.

Ethan got to help Daddy with the placement of the keys after he read each meaning.
This is absolutely what I had in mind when I got Mark the keys.
You see, each year we choose an ornament to give to each other that symbolizes something... 
so it has to be thoughtful.
The symbolism behind this ornament is that Mark is actively leading his family as the spiritual head of our house. 

And now for some random pictures during advent season...

Hello Halo!

Out like a light in his Christmas best :)

All tuckered out after making this video with some other cuties for Lakeside's Christmas Service.

Snuggles with Daddy... and the big bear.

Making Christmas Cookies with Mommy

Reading about the Christmas Story with Daddy before bedtime

And a few video snippets :)

Giving Thanks 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Unfortunately, thanks to Young Love Boutique, my photography has taken a back seat.
I keep forgetting to bring my camera to holiday parties so some iphone pictures will have to do!

We spent Thanksgiving Day with my family in Stockton.

The table decorations were all from my parent's yard!

We arrived early and left early (around 9:30pm) this year because I was on a mission.
A Black Friday mission.

Never before have I attempted to brave the crowd, but knowing that we could be getting a baby through foster care at... anytime!... and knowing that I only have boy clothes... AND knowing we won't be having a baby shower... I was all over the baby girl clothes sales!

Because really, who wants to pay full price?
I got some monsterous deals and saved more (sometimes 3x more) than what I spent.

However, this will not be happening again next year!

What will we do if we don't get a girl?
Return it (these stores are good for returns at anytime with receipts) or baby shower it.
And if you do get this as a shower gift... you're welcome. These outfits were too cute for me to pass up!

On Saturday, we had dinner with Mark's side of the family.
Here are some cute pics of the day
(I remembered my camera!)

Our newest niece, Trinity!

Cousin Spa Time!

Tackle Uncle Scotty!

And Auntie Jennifer!

She has an axe!

Uncle Scotty and Sister Sandwich

Auntie Jennifer Sandwich

Love their Grandma and Grandpa