Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

First Egg

Our chickens laid their first egg today!

Not sure who laid it yet but a great Christmas present nonetheless!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa {2013}

Every year we visit Santa on the Sunday before Christmas. Seeing Santa - on a weekend - in Seattle is no easy task. It involves A LOT of line waiting! Line waiting that rivals Disneyland ride waits! But it is our tradition and seeing the girls with Santa is totally worth it!

Santa day usually begins early. Court heads to Starbucks for a cup of joe and the NY Times at about 6 am. He hops in the line that is already forming for Santa - who opens at 9 am! 
I wake, feed and dress the girls. Then we hustle down to meet him just as Santa's shop is opening.
This year we were about 4th in line so we were in and out in less than a half hour!

We've had the same Santa since 2009 and he is REALLY great! He spends so much time talking with the children. It was funny to hear Grace and Charlotte's responses and requests. 

Charlotte requested a tree house for Christmas (hadn't heard that one before!) and a monster doll. Grace's list included a Barbie Dream House (which Santa had known about), a wedding doll and a monster doll. The last two items had been fairly new additions but Santa kept hoping that Grace would forget about them. Now only three days out from Christmas, Grace was pretty locked on and we all know that Santa doesn't disappoint. Especially when you've been good AND made a personal request while sitting on his lap.
 Santa was going to have to act fast and hope that Amazon would be able to timely supply a Christmas miracle!

After our visit with Santa, since everyone is already dressed up, our tradition is to have brunch at the Georgian room. As our visit with St. Nick went much quicker than expected (thanks to Court securing a spot in the front of the line) we decided to take the girls up in the Seattle ferris wheel before brunch.

We hadn't done it before and while it probably wasn't the best weather day...

the girls had a blast!

After brunch, we packed up and headed home. I was sweating bullets because I figured it was going to be blizzarding in the mountains. Luckily, it was just a bit of rain so I didn't need to panic. I thoroughly hate driving in the snow!

A fantastic weekend in Seattle! Every minute filled with family, friends, fun and of course, last minute shopping! While I always enjoy my time in the big city, it is always great to come home!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What the The Season is About

While several doctor appointments (not fun) and our niece's third birthday (fun) brought us to Seattle for a few days, we TRULY squeezed in as much fun into our time in Seattle. We managed to get together with our dear friends, Joe and Aimee, and their children for some cookie-decorating, pizza -eating, holiday fun!

We hadn't decorated cookies yet this season and it was soooo nice of Aimee to set up cookie decorating stations for each of the kids. They were all SO focused! I'm definitely going to have to ensure we have time each holiday season for cooking making! It was soo much fun!

It was nice to spend an evening with friends. Catching up and planning for more fun in the future.
After all, that is what the holidays are really about right?
Connecting and appreciating our friends and family!

Unfortunately, we had to call the evening a bit on the early side. We had a date with Santa in the morning!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grace's 5th Snow Princess Winter Wonderland Birthday Party

With the crazy Christmas season finally behind us, I thought I'd pull together the pictures from Grace's 5th birthday party. There aren't many so here we go!

Grace chose a snow princess theme for her birthday party when we came across a winter princess doll in a toy store earlier this year. (I'm not gonna lie - I planted this idea as it was a theme that I felt I could pull off in crazy December!)

All fall, I'd been collecting princess-y, snowflake-y decor and it finally all came together to make a magical, winter wonderland!

Grace standing in front of the dessert table in her princess gown holding her new blue bunny…just what she wanted…from Grandma and Grandpa.

Her princess dress was made by me complete with a cape!

Here you can see a bit how the dress bustles! I used this pattern and I totally recommend buying it and making it. Had there been more time, I would have made one for Charlotte…but, as always, time was not on my side. 

The invitation…

encouraged that guests wear royal attired. I had a princess dress all lined up for Charlotte but she had other ideas. 

She was very strong willed about her attire for this party and this what she chose!

Next up - the decor!
I think I'll let the pictures do the talking!

The dessert table.

The cake….fit for a snow princess!

I hung snowflakes everywhere! It was a winter wonderland after all!

As we have had a very dry winter so far, we had to improvise on the snow outside.

Homemade crowns for each of royal guest.

Grace's year in pictures hung from a garland over the crowns. 

Just as the finishing touches were put on the decorations, guests started to arrive.
As I said earlier, I encouraged guests to wear princess attire and I figured the kids would jump at the chance to dressup. Much to my amazement, NOT ONE CHILD wore dress up clothes. I was amazed. While no kids showed up in ball gowns, one set of grandparents did!

Not was I was expecting, but Grace LOVED it!

All the kids were able to choose from a plethora of accessories to accent their non-existent princess outfits. Once they were decked out, there was just one thing missing. Shoes!!

I told the kids to look under the table but they couldn't find anything. (Tiny technical difficulty - Court had put the shoes I planted under each guest's seat away! I hadn't told him the plan! Oops!) After the shoes were re-planted, the kids realized that there was one shoe waiting for each royal guest under their chair. The missing "slipper" was hiding somewhere upstairs in the playroom! So off they went running to find their missing slippers!

Unfortunately, that concludes my photos from the party! 
My camera man, Uncle Johnny-roo, suffered a flat tire twenty minutes from my house.

Regardless, after a long, stressful tire changing evening, he managed to arrive in time for cake!

Speaking of cake, we did capture Grace blowing out her candles on video!

We were all pooped after the party!

 A big shout out to my sister, Molly, who once again saved the day in the food and organizational department and to Court, who just magically knew to do all the little things that I always forget!

It was a really fun birthday party! Unfortunately, it might be the last for awhile! We might take a birthday break for Grace next December. I absolutely love creating and making these parties for my girls and our extended family so never say never. December just isn't getting less busy/complicated as time goes on. We'll just have to see what happens!

If it was the last "big" birthday bash for a while, it was a good one to end on. Thank you to all our family who came from near and far or who was with in spirit.

Happy birthday Miss Grace!
Still can't believe you are five but so proud of you.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Killing Precious Time

The power company decided to do some maintenance on the power lines around our house thereby shutting down or power ALL DAY! We couldn't be at home because there would be no heat or light so we visited Santa's reindeer...

the girls got haircuts and then went to see the movie Frozen!
We saw the 3D version and saved $2 by ordering popcorn bigger than Charlotte.

The girls LOVED the movie!
I think Disney will be heavily influencing Grace's birthday and Christmas wish lists!

Not the day I wanted. With Grace's birthday party this weekend, I wanted to be at home cleaning and prepping but this was a great day…even if brought about by inconvenient circumstances!