Wednesday, December 31, 2008

frost bitten...

I had a dentist appointment this morning.  As I was leaving the house to drive to my appt, I noticed how gorgeous the trees and bushes were - though the foilage is long gone, each and every branch was covered with the most beautiful white coating - the fog had just lifted and left it's evidence everywhere - gorgeous frost covered everything.  I was disappointed to be in a hurry, because I just wanted to slow down and look at the beauty that was everywhere.  I was at the dentist office for over an hour - I don't think I mentioned that I broke one of my crowns last week, did I?  Anyway, when I left, I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted by the same frost covered trees on my drive home.

I hurried in and grabbed my boots, gloves, and camera, because I wanted to capture this:


and this:


and this:


Even the icicles were covered with frost!

Meagan was outside sledding on the hill in our front yard (thanks to the TONS of snow and Brad's mad snow-blowing skills...the kids just have to open the front door to go sledding), so I took a couple of quick pictures of her too - my little snow angel. :o)


I came inside to warm up (read THAW) and about ten minutes later I looked out the window to discover all the trees brown again - their white coats were gone. 

As I say good-bye to 2008 and look forward to 2009, I hope I will remember to slow down and enjoy the little things that are going on all around me.  All too often, I'm in too big of a rush, there's too much going on, and I'm just too busy - which means I'm missing all of the beauty and amazing little everyday gifts that are all around me.  I know that not all of these events or gifts are as forgiving as Mother Nature's gift from today - they won't always be waiting for me when I walk back here's to slowing down, taking my time, and remembering to enjoy the little things and making the most of the brand new year! :o)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a few more holiday things...

This year, we were visited by the Christmas Fairy. It was like the 12-Days-of-Christmas...delivered by a very sneaky fairy. She brought us lots and lots of treats...and never did tell us who she was...but she made the days leading up to Christmas fun and exciting for all of us -- thank you, Christmas Fairy! :o)


Our family decided to make treats this year to deliver to our neighbors and friends (and family). I wanted to do something out of the when I saw these on TV (either on Good Things Utah or Studio 5), I knew I wanted to make them.


Finding the fortune cookies wasn't as easy as I thought it would be...but one Saturday afternoon, the stars aligned and I was granted my wish, lol. Brad and I went shopping and out to lunch...lunch just happened to be Chinese in Park City. When the waiter brought us our fortune cookies, I noticed they weren't wrapped individually (like our local Chinese place), so I told Brad (mostly jokingly) that we should ask them if they'd sell us some. Well, when he was paying, he asked...and they sold us a whole box! I couldn't wait to come home and start creating our little gifts.


We dipped and rolled hundreds of fortune cookies...then we bagged them up...and put them in the cutest little "take-out" style boxes (by American Crafts), tied them with curly ribbon and added our little card.


I thought they turned out cute...and I was excited to deliver something a little different this year.


By the way...we still have hundreds of (un-dipped) fortune cookies in our if you want some, come on over! :o)

christmas afternoon...

This is the first year since Brad and I have been married that we didn't have our big family get-together on Christmas morning.  Since Rustin and Karli have moved out of town and my sister's in-laws were getting together in the morning this year, we decided to forego the traditional Christmas morning breakfast and gift-opening party and have lunch together instead.

I have to say...I'm a fan of the afternoon get-together.  It was nice to be able to lounge around at home and not have to hurry out the door.  The kids were able to play with their toys, I was able to shower and get dressed without being rushed...and Brad was able to go out and shovel the snow.  Seriously.  Tons of snow.  We definitely had the white Christmas I'd been hoping for...and then some!

It was a gorgeous day - big white fluff everywhere.  Unfortunately, that meant that Dad had to be out on the snowplow on Christmas day...keeping the roads safe!  We waited for him to get home and we ate a delicious lunch (thanks, Mom), and opened all of our gifts.  Once again, we were all spoiled by Mom and Dad...and each other.  It's so fun to watch everyone open up surprise after surprise...especially when you're the giver. fun!


[I got a little point and shoot camera to keep in my purse...these pictures were taken with that camera.  I don't love them.  I'm hoping there's just a learning curve with the p&s's, because I don't want to always take my big camera everywhere with me.  Maybe it's the camera.  Maybe it's me.  The jury's still out.]

We came back home after Dad went back to work.  We played lots of wii (and had the sore arms the next day to prove it), ate lots of turkey, picked up lots of little k'nex pieces, ate fudge, played Clue, and shoveled snow.  It was a fabulous afternoon and evening - spent together as a family...just the way Christmas should be.

christmas morning in photos...


Josh had to write a last-minute letter to Santa this year...after his DS broke a week before Christmas, he decided he'd rather have a new DS than the other items he'd already asked for.  Good thing we sent the letter via Reindeer Express...Santa received the letter and was able to come through for Josh.122508_collage_meagan

Meagan only asked for one thing from Santa this orange i-pod.  Does she look happy or what?


Seth asked for the Diego Animal Rescue Railway.  Unfortunately, Santa's workshop didn't make enough for Christmas and he ran out before he received Seth's letter.  He did, however, bring Diego's Animal Rescue Center...and Seth was pleased.  In fact, he said it was "just what I wanted!!"


Zach asked Santa for a race track...and was excited to find not one, but TWO racetracks waiting for him on Christmas morning!

Santa also brought Mom and Dad some gifts...namely a WII and some fun accessories. 

Everyone also received lots of other fun gifts - snow clothes, regular clothes, books, toys, and lots of candy.  Yes, we were all spoiled...but we were very good this year, so what else would you expect???

christmas morning recap in 30 seconds ...

christmas eve 2008...

This year Brad had to work on Christmas it was pretty much "business as usual" around our house...except for the excited giggles of anticipation that sometimes escaped unexpectedly from the kids (okay, and maybe me too).  Actually, I knew there was still a lot of holiday prep to be done - so I settled in for a day of cleaning and cooking (after our sweet home teacher showed up and surprised us with a turkey for our Christmas Eve dinner)!

Brad was surprised when he came home in the evening to the smell of roasting turkey, along with all the good stuff - stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and rolls.  (Much different than the frozen pizza he was likely expecting!)  The kids could barely wait to eat dinner and get ready for bed.  Unfortunately for them, I didn't let them get ready for bed at 6:00 was just way too early.

Meagan did her own shopping this year (thanks to Grandma for taking her out for a day of shopping and fun in November).  I honestly believe she was more excited about giving the gifts she had purchased for everyone than about the gifts she would be receiving.  It has been a very sweet experience to watch her for the last month or so - to see her light up when she talked about the gifts she had purchased and see her excitement and anticipation about how the recipient of her gifts might react when they unwrapped the present.  She didn't want to wait for Christmas she let everyone open their gifts from her right after dinner.  She had put much time and consideration into buying the perfect gift for each and every family was amazing to watch her face as each gift was opened up - the perfect way to begin the celebrating for me...

After Meagan's gifts were opened and dinner was cleaned up, we let the kids open a gift from us.


I think they were excited to start ripping off the paper...even though they've all resigned themselves to the fact that all they get on Christmas Eve is a pair of Christmas PJ's.  (and they wouldn't hold still for 2 seconds for a photo together...not before OR after opening their PJ's...)122408_evepjsafter3 122408_evepjsafter4

They were silly and giddy and oh so cute...

122408_pjs_meagan 122408_pjs_josh 122408_pjs_seth 122408_pjs_zach

The night before Christmas Eve, the kids helped me make a batch of Rocky Road fudge (something we have to make EVERY mom's recipe...and it just isn't Christmas without it).  They decided to leave a plate of fudge and milk for Santa this year, rather than the traditional cookies and milk - I bet Santa appreciated something a little different...after all, he'd probably already eaten thousands of cookies before he made it to our house.


Seth made reindeer food in preschool last week, 122408_reindeer_food1

he let everyone help him sprinkle it outside our front door


...(and since they were already ready for bed and didn't have shoes on, they didn't throw it very far out, so we'll be tracking in oatmeal and glitter for months)


{love these little elves who actually picked out their OWN Christmas jammies because they were with me when I went shopping for them...I was so happy they chose these cute stripey ones from Gap Kids...very similar to Zach's pj's from last year - so fun and bright and happy!}

They also remembered the egg nog we made last year on Christmas Eve and requested it again as a bed-time treat.  (Off course, I don't actually put eggs in's just milk, vanilla, and sugar...yummy).


It took a while for everyone to settle down and go to sleep.  Josh had a hard time staying away from the computer.  He was tracking Santa on Norad and felt he needed to check in on Santa every 2 or 3 minutes.  (Meagan told me later that Josh checked in and saw Santa in Cedar City...and the next time he checked, he'd completely skipped over Heber and gone further north.  He was a little bit worried at that point - hmmm...maybe Mom was right...if I'm awake, Santa won't come.  And he fell asleep shortly after that.) 

Lucky for us, Santa must have made a u-turn and returned to our home after everyone was soundly sleeping.  I always leave my camera sitting out so Santa can take a picture after he's dropped off our gifts - he always obliges me...such a considerate and kind guy, that Santa.  Here's this year's photo by Santa:


...and all was calm and peaceful...for a few more hours anyway...

the other bags..., I'm not talking about the bags under my eyes this morning.  Although, I have to say they were earned...I stayed up until 4:00 this morning trying to be creative.  Have you ever tried to be creative when you just weren't feeling creative?  Yeah, not so easy.  But deadlines are looming, so I tried to force myself.  I did get two layouts done.  Two measly layouts in about 9 hours - I came into my office to start working right after dinner.  Hopefully today will be more creatively productive.  Brad is home for the day...I have to take Meagan to piano lessons, but other than that, I have the entire day to work.  My list of projects is super long, so I'm hoping to knock out a lot of it today - wish me luck!!

And just because I want to share some proof that once, not too long ago, I actually did feel are the other two bags I worked on for daily window.

A diaper bag made with this bag:

 diaper_bag2  diaper_bag_insert1

And a purse, which worked perfectly for a "church bag" on Sunday, with this bag:

purse1 purse_insert1

Now if I could just find that groove again...

Monday, December 29, 2008

more december daily photos...

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I didn't realize the brushes I purchased for this project only go up to December now i'm trying to decide if I want to end my album there, or just do the last week without the overlay...

daily window...


Okay, I know...I need to do a Christmas post...and I will...but I wanted to share this little project I worked on last week before Christmas.  I was contacted by Daily Window and asked to embellish a few of their bags.  I thought the product was fun and unique, so I agreed.  What I didn't know was how great the quality of the bags would be - seriously, these things are sturdy - and the inside of every one is lime who could resist?!?  I actually created three bags, but I'll just share one of them today.


I thought it would be fun to embellish this bag with some holiday stuff I had out (I started working on my journal for my december daily photos so I pulled out everything I had - lots of old Christmas stuff that I loved) - I love love love these older MME products, so I decided to use the cute poem that fit perfectly in the pocket.  I added a bit of ribbon, and of course a little jingle bell (because I believe)...and ta da - the perfect little holiday bag to carry around little Christmas activity books for the kids -or my holiday planner...or those cards that needed to be written and know, all things holiday!  christmas_bag

Now that Christmas is over, I think I'll take out the insert and add something "winterish" like snowflakes or something...and use it to hold things like blank thank you cards, note cards, a planner, my little scriptures, and other things that will be nice to have on-hand when I have a few minutes of down time, or waiting time, or whatever. 

There are lots of other fun ideas on the daily window blog - check them out! :o) 

Monday, December 22, 2008

holiday intentions...

Over the weekend, we accomplished lots of holiday-related items.  Shopping, baking, list-making - lots and lots of it - and I made a nice list of things I was going to get done today while the kids were home from school (first day of Christmas Vacation!!)...

Well, Mother Nature had different plans for me.  We've received over a foot of snow (so's still snowing), and I haven't left the comfort of my warm and cozy home...not even to take the kiddos to their check-up at the dentist (yes, they were terribly sad about that...).

One of the items on my list of holiday intentions for today was to mail out our Christmas cards.  I know - I'm already running behind...and now they're going to REALLY be late, and even that knowledge wasn't enough to get me to brave the snow and yucky roads.  They'll have to be mailed tomorrow.  So I thought I'd go ahead and share our little card here - a sneak-peek of what may be coming to your mailbox (late), and happy holiday wishes to everyone who sees it!

2008 card

I do have some more holiday related things to share here on my blog, but they'll likely be late as well...


ETA: I've had a few questions about my card...and I apologize for not adding this information when I shared the card...but here it is now...

I am not very handy with all things digital, but I created my card in PhotoShop using some fabulous freebies I've been collecting:

The digital patterned papers are from Brittney who designs at

and the sweet tree template is from DigiChick (I think I found it last year, but I'm not sure).

I found the BEST blog for sharing freebie digital kits and elements...if you're interested, please check out the Ikea Goddess blog where she lists great digi freebies almost daily!

I probably can't help with any technical questions, as I just "wing it" when I'm working in PhotoShop...but those are the products I used. :o)

december daily photos...

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