Christmas Eve at the Zoo

My family had plans for Christmas Eve so we decided to have our own fun. We made our annual pilgrimage to Hogle Zoo to see the animals that brave the cold, snow and the abundance of Christmas lights.
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We visited Santa and made sure our wish list included a member of the family a healthy, happy 2013, lots of Lego’s, Thomas and good fortune for our loved ones.ChristmasEve2012-1377 (Small)

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The Bengal Tiger was out and about, and very close to his observers. He was pacing the fence, you could hear him chuffing and, what we think, was purring. SOO Cool!

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To say it was snowing… yeah. UNDERSTATEMENT! But the crowds were down, the animals were having way too much fun in the snow and so were we! Anders laughed through the snow, his black coat was white by the end of the trek despite several attempts to dust him off and keep him dry.


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We had dinner at a restaurant and then headed home to read our favorite Christmas stories, ending with our favorite one of all, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The boys sat intently listening to their dad, immersed in the beautiful story of life, love and the greatest gift of all.

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Off to bed in matching jammies, excited for what the morning had to bring!












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Christmas Decor 2012

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We got a real tree this year. It did my heart good to have this little piece of Charlie Brown Christmas in my home, birds nest and all. The gaps and imperfections in the tree were the perfect places for all my favorite pieces. I even made an awesome glitter roofed house to put in the big gap in the tree. I loved wrapping up all the special things we picked out for people in the berry crates I received in a blog giveaway, SERIOUSLY great idea for those odd shaped items that you don’t have boxes for, wrap it in a little twine and voila! Just a little bit of Christmas magic in our home.




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A little Idaho!


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On our drive home from Idaho after my sister’s graduation, we drove though some uncharted (by us) territory.. I had fun!

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My baby sister has a degree!!

And I don’t!!! Gotta love it! She’s the first one of us kids to graduate and we couldn’t be more proud!!!

She graduated with a BS in Health Sciences…

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Trachelle and her BFF Jessica. These two were like sister’s all 4 years. Can you tell they may have spent too much time together?

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With her mama, her best friend.





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With the little men!

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With the whole family, including Oma!

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Way to go Lady C! We love you so much and are so proud of you!

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Christmas Jammies 2012

More fun “studio” type pictures of the boys.

This year’s Christmas jammies were found around Halloween and then embellished in late November. I love love love the jammies by Chasing Fireflies, but I didn’t have it in me to do their entire names out of hand cut/ hand stitched felt. Who can argue with monograms!!?

It also took everything I had to wait as long as I did to let them wear them. But my friend, Viv, had a great idea. Her kids get a couple different pairs of Christmas pj’s every year by default, from different sources. So the one’s she buys for them tend to get worn earlier in the month, so she gives them to the kids on the first of December. That way her kids are wearing Christmas jammies all throughout the season, at the end of every family party or when they go see Christmas lights… you get the picture.

It just made sense to me to give the boys pj’s to them early.. Well the elf brought them to the boys early. And obviously, that event called for more pictures!!!  While the boys bathed, I set up my lights (Thankfully the bathroom is within eye/ear shot) in my bedroom and then got the grubby monsters suitable for pictures.  They thought pictures in my bedroom was probably the coolest thing ever! WebChristmasPJs2012-0078 WebChristmasPJs2012-0105 WebChristmasPJs2012-0086 WebChristmasPJs2012-0092 WebChristmasPJs2012-0091I love these little goobers!!!

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Christmas Card Pics 2012

We had an awesome plan to take family pictures in the snow complete with a cute little Christmas tree on Chris’ dad’s old wood sled….

It never snowed… Like really, no snow??? Seriously?? It was only November 20th but I was getting a little desperate.

So I pulled out the “studio” stuff, dug my Christmas decor and tried with all my might to get the boys to cooperate with me to get just a few pictures to make some semblance of a Christmas card.


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Minus G refusing to look at me, I think they turned out pretty good! With the studio lights on them, the boys’ winter wonderland planned outfits made them a little hot. If I remember correctly, Gav’s words were “My bum is getting all sweaty, Mom. Can I take off all this stuff now??”  Anders head was so sweaty when I pulled off that fur hat, that I had to grab a towel to dry him off. Poor kids! The things we do for pictures!!


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The Lighting of Riverwoods


If our early Christmas celebrations weren’t enough, the next night we headed out to Riverwoods to watch the lighting of the Christmas lights… oh and to see one of my favorite bands: Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band!



First, we stopped in for our complimentary cookie and to see the gingerbread houses each of the stores created.



Next, the boys had their faces painted, and while we waited in line, the lights came on! It was soo magical!



We met up with Chris, got rained on, saw the Waffle Love truck, got rained on some more and then….DSC_1243We saw these guys!!! Gav sang along to the song Dream Big, which plays on their bedtime playlist every night.

It was such a good night, and a fun weekend to kick off the Christmas season!

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Welcoming Santa at City Creek

With Christmas fast approaching (it was only the middle of November!) We met up with Viv and her kids for something we had heard about that at the new City Creek Center mall that we were SOOO excited about! They were going to welcome Santa with a big celebration. Complete with light wands, blue haired madrigals and magical illusions we welcomed Santa! It was so neat, and the boys had a blast, especially when Viv’s adorable sister showed up and Gav got his flirt on!


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Four little boys with light wands that even had a strobe option??? Total blast!


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Santa showed up in a burst of light and flew from building to building!




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The elves told an….interesting… story of Christmas.. I think… hehe It was interesting. Then we all sang a song for Santa, waved our wands and POOF!

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Santa arrived!!!

Thanks Viv and her munchkins to another awesome outing!!



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Halloween 2012

Gav was so excited to wear his costume to school that he woke up VERY early. I mean too early… good grief you would have thought it was Christmas! He also made me look up pictures of Peter Pan so he could stand like the character.


We were also able to go to our favorite treat and party spot again this year. I swear, if they ever stop inviting us, I might cry! It’s the only time I see this family every year and it’s such a safe spot to take kids. Plus… they give out GREAT candy!

While waiting for  Chris to arrive and the party to start, we played at the park that the neighborhood surrounds. This thing is HUGE, I’ve heard that during the summer neighborhood party, they put a zipline across it, and it had a great little playground that the boys were almost reluctant to leave.

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I think he got the stance, what do you think?

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Shanny (Pot bellied Pig) and Danny (Master Chief from Halo… he made that!!!) Shannon is my friend from high school, we share a birthday, and Danny is her hubby.



And my wonderful hubby, Chris…. This is as about Dressed up as he gets.

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Trick or Treat Street 2012

The Olympic Oval had a great little Halloween event called Trick or Treat Street halfway through October that I finished our costumes just in time for.

I didn’t take many pictures because of how crazy busy it was and Chris couldn’t meet us until close to the end so I was chasing a 2 year old the whole time. But the kids had a blast, I think they even did the rounds twice and we got to hang out with our rink friends.

Gav as Peter Pan, Anders as Tootles, and Me as Wendy from the Disney version of Peter Pan.

All costumes were made or bought in a thrifty way! Gav’s and my costumes were made from sheets and fabric found at the thrift store, Anders costume was found on our local Facebook yard sale page for $5. All costumes came to under $15 after I bought some supplies to put details on G’s and my costumes.



Oh and notice Anders shiner?? He had a rough week including a fat lip due to a fall at the park on a picnic table, then we took a visit to Scheels and he took another spill and got a black eye, all the while the cold we thought he had turned into a sinus infection and the excessive wiping we did of his nose caused a rash on his face… poor kid had a ROUGH week!

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