Sunday, October 27, 2013

and so life turns to christmas...

post thanksgiving, EVERYTHING turns to christmas. the parties start, the decorations go up, the wallets empty. we enjoyed every minute of it!

first, this year we decided it was high time the taylors followed the examples of yore to cut down our own tree. cade managed to procure some sort of permit for us and we set out in a LONG car ride to the woods past eureka. we didn't know where that was either,  but we soldiered on.  once we got to the section of mountain where we were supposed to find a tree, we searched thoroughly. it was actually pretty hard to find a tree that would fit in your house but at the same time, wasn't a charlie brown spring tree. in the end, we decided on a nice, modest tree (which turned out to be the type of tree we didn't have a permit for....) and cade got to work cutting it down. it was quite the task, so we stopped to munch on our packed lunch...

and ivy found a spot to chill.

finally, we had it loose and tied to the top of the car. we were ready to roll!

this experience was a lot of fun- so much so that we look forward to doing it again. we loved our little tree.

and then the parties started! first, we always have the woolf family party right after thanksgiving. it was sad to not have granny there to chat with, but we all remembered her as we sat together that night. she left a fabulous family behind who think of her often.

 then it was off to the christmas train where we stopped in at the north pole for a visit to santa.
ivy wasn't a fan of santa this year... so... get used to this face
violet, on the other hand, was MORE than happy to tell santa all about the squinkies she wanted for christmas. he was patient to listen... 

then there was the taylor/sullivan.zollinger party where the kids run wild while we all catch up. it is fabulous.

next was our ward party. i was on the committee this year so i was able to help plan and decorate with some friends from the ward. we had a great time- but it was time consuming! we ended up making a wood box for each table with a snow globe, live pine, and a butt load of christmas trees for further decor. it was a haul! but- the place was glowing and things turned out awesome.
 since i was chorister, i was able to lead the kids through the songs we had been practicing. truly, i learned to LOVE this calling. i hated it at first so much but i learned that the more you throw yourself into a calling and love what you do, the better it is for everyone. not long after christmas, i was called into the young women's presidency so this really was a little finale for me that i loved.

then we had cade's work party where we worked it out on the dance floor.

then the bullough family christmas party came. santa was there again- but he got the stiff arm from ivy.
 violet, again, was happy to tell him all her wishes and desires: squinkies, squinkies, squinkies.
 our next party was the bullough immediate family party... christmas really is awesome. so many parties! here, vi and ivy were spoiled rotten.

this is how i will always remember christmas at my parents' house. all of us crowded  around, presents everywhere, wrapping paper all over the place. who knew it would be our last christmas in this house!? we would have never guessed. it does make looking back at these pictures even more enjoyable. 

after the kids opened their gifts, my mom unveiled her awesome christmas game where the adults compete for gifts. coming from a very competitive family, this fits perfectly. my favorite part of the night is when heather's challenge involved eating fermented soy beans in order to move on. woof. overall, a GREAT party and it had us all set for christmas to finally come!
 christmas eve was here! we headed out to see the lights with the geertsens and then headed back to their house for some good eats and a nativity with the cousins.
 oooo, i just LOVE all these kids!

 and finally.... christmas morning. we took video of our morning and i don't think we have a single photo of the girls reveling in their spoils from santa! WHAT!? but, never fear... santa delivered the much anticipated squinkies and all was well in the world. they also got a princess castle, dress ups, and books. cade got me a rice cooker and a new pan set.... and a gold band! i have been wanting a bandto wear in addition to my ring or on its own. i love it. cade got clothes, a trip to wendover with his buddies, and some bike gear. all of this... no photos. we have video of that morning... so i guess we didn't TOTALLY drop the ball. oh, and i did manage to find a photo of the squinkies after violet had set them all out.

anyway, after that, we headed off to grammy's to open MORE GIFTS.
 violet got more squinkies, if you can believe it. my grandpa was teasing her as she excitedly opened her gift and squealed in delight. he teased, "i bet you don't even like squinkies." violet turned to him shocked and yelled, "no! I dooooo!!!" we all got a good laugh- and violet was in heaven.

all of these gifts led to violet playing happily in her room for hours after this. if this photo doesn't scream a merry christmas, i don't know what will.


here is our thanksgiving turkey this year. we added to it here and there during november to remind us to really be glad for the things we have.
worth documenting.... moving on.... 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

giving thanks

thanksgiving was spent at grammy's house this year. i look forward to that stuffing for MONTHS. i really do love the thanksgiving holiday: i am not expected to buy a ton of crap we don't need, you get TWO days off from work, the whole holiday is based on a family meal and you are NEVER judged when you go back for thirds. this is truly a great holiday.

oh- and one more reason i love thanksgiving? i love black friday!(especially with these ladies. we are die hards!)

gemma is here!

the day before thanksgiving, an event we had been waiting for a long time to occur finally happened: gemma norton was born! we weren't able to rush to the hospital on day one but we took advantage of the holiday and visited gemma on the morning of thanksgiving. i am glad we didn't wait a second longer- she is beautiful. 

violet especially has been waiting for gemma for a long time. so tender to see how little kids know how to treat newborns. 
ivy wasn't quite as interested- she just wanted more eddie time. now she is in full-blown "baby crazy" stage where she is obsessed with babies. had this all happened a few months later, gemma would be flinching still with ivy around.
congrats nortons! 

a sad start to november

november started out on a not-so-high. sam's dad, doug, passed away quite suddenly and it really was a difficult time for the boyles. we admire their strength as they dealt with such a blow.

it was, however, wonderful to reflect on the type of man doug was. the tributes at his funeral showed me how sam has become such a great man- he had such a fabulous father. i was touched by the words said about him and i truly left the funeral wanting to be a better person. 

our heart goes out to you, boyle family. we love you. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

october roundup

here are some other october happenings:

we played a lot of cornhole this month! the weather just kept us all outside and the neighborhood started to really get into it.

don't worry, cade and i were sure to win. HA!

addy and macy were able to stay with us for a few days while jeff and heather went out of town. vi was in heaven. it was really fun to have all the cousins together- and it was great to get a glimpse into what having four kids would be like. not too bad!

this is how we found addy and vi sleeping. too sweet!

it was our month to watch kids on date night for our neighborhood babysitting coop. we are in an exchange group where we use popsicle sticks as currency to pay for time needed to have a sitter. our date night raked in tons of sticks! plus- the kids all had a blast.

cade rides a bunch of motorcycles. i can't tell you how many photos like this i was sent as cade dreamed of buying a new motorcycle. it will be a dream come true one day!

family photos

in october, we finally got around to getting some family photos done. despite ivy's unwillingness to smile the ENTIRE time, we liked how they turned out! why is it that the child that always smiles will frown when we really need her? mystery...  anyway, enjoy!