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.
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.
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.
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.
anyway, after that, we headed off to grammy's to open MORE GIFTS.
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.