Wednesday, January 02, 2013

December 2012 Recap - WARNING - Lots of Pictures!

After completely neglecting my blog in 2012, I've decided to give it another try in 2013.  So...before I move on, I thought I would just recap December in pictures, because I feel the need to tie up loose ends before starting up again.

Are you ready???
December started with me finishing up a few holiday bazaars (with long time friend Kandi),
then getting our Christmas tree.  We found Loch Lolly Farms last year, and love it!  They have a pretty pond with a nice covered place to have hot chocolate/coffee and feed the ducks (you can see it in the background of the picture below).
They even have Santa on the weekends!!
 Here is Alex decorating the tree.  We have SO many ornaments, and the kids thought we should put them all on....I had to explain that we would need 3 more trees to use all the ornaments.  Later in the month the tree fell over, not sure if it was ornament overload or just our old tree stand.  Next year - new tree stand!!
 Next, our annual Christmas get together with Rourke's side of the family.  Here's his uncle Bill and cousin Alison, who got back the gag gift she brought.  Cheese balls that have been passed around for a few years. :)  We all had a fun time seeing them all!
 Then we had a little holiday party at our friends' The Atigedewes.  Becky outdid herself with appetizers and food galore!  The kids (not pictured) had hours of fun playing, and playing, and playing.
 The next day Yaya came to take the kids shopping for their Christmas outfits.  Alex got really into it and picked out skinny jeans and a red tie.  Funny.  I met up with them at Five Guys for lunch.  yum!
 Ella tagged the house.........cute, but not really. ;)
 Testing the settings on my new camera!  Still figuring it all out.
 I attended my first ever cookie exchange!  It was a great time  - complete with games and good company.  I made  the "Barefoot Contessa's" Pecan Bars.  Mine are in the boxes at the bottom of the picture.
 Ella was invited to a "Winter Wonderland" themed birthday party that started at Pump it Up, and ended at the birthday girl's house with a delish taco dinner, cake and snow-themed games. 
 Love this advent calendar from Yaya.  Each of the kids got one.  They are all different and all beautiful!  I think they are from Germany.  We hope to receive them next year. ;)  (hint, hint).
 Ella had a bell-making craft with parents at her preschool before winter break.  Lots of glitter was involved.  I felt like I should stay and vacuum!

 On 12/22 we went to my sister Kathy's for our annual family Christmas party with my entire family.  We have a fun gift exchange and always great food and holiday spirit.  Ella & Malia are wearing their Christmas outfits from Yaya, but you can't really see Malia's.

 This year it was on my birthday, so I had some nice birthday surprises too.
 Kids opening their little gifts.
 Love this picture of their tree.  I was (still) playing around with settings on my new camera.  This is using the "sparkle" feature.  I'm loving the Olympus camera!
 The next day, 12/23 we had our Christmas with Yaya.  Here she is reading the kids a Christmas story before she left.  Sweet.
 Christmas Eve....cookies for Santa by the tree.  Alex & Ella left notes too.
 Christmas morning.....Happy faces!  Christmas Joy!
 A semi-creepy life size doll for Ella!
 Nintendo 3DS for the big kids......this was all we saw for a couple of days.  Can you say peaceful & no fighting?  Best money ever spent.  ha ha!
 Christmas Day...Alex with his new skinny jeans & Christmas tie.
 My Mom & Sister.
 December 30th, we tried to get to Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo, but the lines from the freeway to the exit we so long, we kept on driving.  Instead we ended up at the Riverplace Marina in Downtown Portland.  We saw some boats that were still decorated with lights as we walked along the river.  It was so freezing cold, so we stopped for hot chocolate at the Little River Cafe.
 New Year's Eve........I took the kids to Zoo Lights, because it was the last night they were on.  Bonus for us....FREE ZOO TRAIN RIDES!  It was still super cold, so more hot chocolate was needed. So beautiful to see in person!   We spent the rest of the night at home, warming up and watching New Year's celebrations on tv.  Malia was the only one that made it to Midnight.  I couldn't believe it!
2012 was a rough year - but with a lot of good mixed in too!
Looking forward to starting fresh.
Wishing you all the best in 2013.  May all of your dreams & resolutions come true! 
My top 2 resolutions are to be more organized and take better care of ME!!


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