Christmas Memories 2015

12.30.2015
I hope Christmas morning will never ever stop being so magical and fun.  I hardly slept Christmas Eve, I was so excited.  Finally, at 7:15AM I was wide awake and wondering where in the world Jed and Levi were!  Yes, I woke them up.  :)  And then the Christmas celebrations officially began just as the sun began to glow in the East.

Santa had a really hard time not over-doing it this year.  The boys are at such fun ages.  It's too bad they'll never be 5 and 3 years old ever again.  Jed asked for fireman Legos and Levi asked for, "all the Paw Patrols".  I'm pretty sure Santa came through with flying colors!  Santa also spoiled the boys with Jedi light sabers, hats and mittens, socks, candy (a whole box of Sour Patch Kids just especially for Levi!), and all kinds of art supplies.  Oh yeah, Santa was generous to us parents too.  We must've been awesome this year.  ;)

There is nothing in the world quite like Christmas morning.  The feeling of anticipation and excitement.  The look on a loved one's face as he opens his presents.  How the living room explodes in paper and boxes and nobody cares a bit.  Snitches of chocolate candy before breakfast.  Happily lounging in pajamas for hours.  The kids playing contentedly (after Dad works for a couple of hours assembling their new toys, of course).  Watching new movies, relaxing cuddled up on the couch, and just enjoying one another.  That's what Christmas is all about around here.  It's hard not to feel a little disappointed that it's all over!  But that's why we visited family, opened more presents, ate more yummy food, played games, and postponed cleaning up and putting away the aftermath for a few days.  It's sincerely been a really good and blessed Christmas.

And now, an overload of pictures from Christmas morning!   

^^The haul Santa left for Levi.  Look!^^
^^Bron got a new mountain biking video called UnReal.  Sweet cinematography.^^
^^Santa even remembered Tyke!  He left a bone in the stocking Jed made for the dog.^^
^^Posing with their new light sabers!^^
^^Christmas morning breakfast on my new white dishes: cinnamon rolls, sausage, cutie oranges, and juice.^^
^^Bron sat on the floor with Jed for hours helping him put together his two new Lego firetrucks.  Those vehicles are intricate!^^
^^Sorry for the overload of pictures.  I just can't decide which I like best!  So you get them all.^^
^^The special ornament Jed made for me at Kindergarten.^^
^^Time to open gifts from under the tree!^^
^^More Paw Patrol.  Levi was hoping beyond hope that Jed got him this toy for Christmas.  Needless to say, Levi was overjoyed.  So cute!^^
^^Backpacks with water bladders just the right size for two miniature hikers this summer.^^
^^Dress up costumes I scored a couple of days after Halloween!^^
^^This is Bron's face when his suspicions were confirmed that I had indeed bought him a bike trainer.  Now he can "ride" his bike in the house!^^
^^The sweet Christmas aftermath.  Confession: yesterday didn't look much different.  I kinda like it that way.^^
^^The mess.  Buried among the paper is my new super cute coat, new climbing harness, and bluetooth wireless speaker!^^
^^Testing out the new watercolor paints Santa brought.  Levi's face as he concentrated kills me!  Haha.^^
^^Me with my whole life wrapped in my arms.  I was there too!^^

We headed to Ririe late in the afternoon to celebrate Christmas all over again with the Nelson family on Saturday.  It was the fun kind of chaos chuck full of love, conversation, pie, and late night games.  (I'm already dying to play another round of Zurts!)  Levi begged Grandpa for a couple of tractor rides and couldn't be turned down.  Haha.  And Momma Nelson even sacrificed her sanity temporarily by volunteering to take on 14 little grandkids so us adults could go on a giant group date rock climbing at the gym--all six Nelson brothers and their wives.  Wow.  It was so much fun!

There's something extra special about the Nelson family and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.  There's a comradery and closeness there that I can't quite explain.  Bron's brothers are competitive with each other, but there is no way they'd ever let anyone or anything compete between them.  At least I hope so!  And Momma Nelson?  Well, she's at the center of it all whether she realizes it or not--the hub of the family wheel.  Priceless memories were made over the weekend, for sure. 

Monday, despite being drugged up on NyQuil from the night before because I couldn't breathe (Ugh!), the little boys and I drove over to Boise to visit my mom and family where we were once again spoiled rotten.  We opened more presents and did nothing but relax and talk and eat and play games.  Ryan introduced his brand new Xbox to Jed and Levi.  I couldn't believe how fast the boys caught on!  They were hooked and it was hilarious.  It was just the day away I needed.

Can I repeat myself?  It's sincerely been a magical and blessed Christmas.  A heaping 'thank you' to family, my one and only husband, but especially my Savior Jesus Christ, who made it so.  

Our Seven Foot Snowman and Other Fun Snow Things

12.23.2015
^^May I introduce our 7 (maybe closer to 8) foot snowman with teeny T-Rex arms.  A family work of art!  We couldn't have done it without Bron home.^^
^^Putting on the carrot nose.  Classic.^^
^^The backyard winter wonderland!^^
^^Bron helped the boys make a snow fort out of the old play-set that blew over in the wind earlier this winter.  It was hit!^^
^^Defending the fort from Mom and Dad with snowballs!^^
^^Jed was out to get me with that snowball!  I love that mischievous little face.^^
^^Incoming snowball!  Haha.^^
^^Big fat snowflakes and a tiny sledding hill in the neighbor's yard.  A winter moment to remember!^^

On Monday night we went to bed listening to the wind howl and on Tuesday morning we awoke to a winter wonderland!  It was a beautiful surprise.  And an exciting way to kick off Christmas break.  We were all geared up and ready to take on the new snow soon after breakfast.  Even Bron took a breather from his computer work to come play.  We spent approximately two hours in the backyard delighting in the magical white stuff--which just happened to be the best packing snow I've probably ever seen!  Thus, our giant 7 foot snowman with teeny T-Rex arms was born.  Haha.  He was awesome, though he unfortunately keeled over and died very young.  We also built a "snow fort" and had a snowball fight before sledding down the neighbor's toddler-sized hill.  The snow continued to fall all morning in big fat flakes.  It was pretty dreamy.  I admit, just the thought of it all puts a smile on my face.  What happened Tuesday morning is the best part of winter: unexpected magic and fun.  I hope we get to do it again.

Greeting Santa at Brunch and a Birthday Shout Out

12.21.2015

We're eagerly counting down the days til Christmas!!!  On Saturday I took Jed and Levi to the Blue Lakes Country Club Christmas Brunch.  There was coloring and sugar cookie decorating and delicious food.  But the best part by far was the reaction my boys had when Santa walked in the room.  It was priceless!  I am still laughing about it.  Jed was excitedly awe-struck and Levi, well, he was so thrilled he hugged the man's leg!  Classic.  These two boys are believers and it is so much fun.  Christmas (and life in general) is all centered around them, but it is more than worth it.  That delicate innocence is something I am really cherishing right now.  I wish I could freeze time!

Also not to be overlooked, is Bron's 32nd birthday that occurred yesterday.  We celebrated our handsome red-bearded father and husband all weekend long.  He went skiing and out on a fancy date (with me!) and was spoiled with a peanut butter mousse pie.  He deserves it.  I honestly don't know what I'd do without that hardworking, patient, selfless, adventure-seeking man in my life.  Happy Birthday, Bron!  I love you.