Thursday, January 5, 2012

A blog post wherein I kick myself for not taking any pictures of my parents on Christmas. What's wrong with me?

It's been far too long. I apologize. And I hate playing catch up. Especially after holidays. Oh well.

We had a fabulous Christmas. This is the first time we've been home for Christmas. The first year we were married we flew to Charlotte to have Christmas with my family. Every year after that we've been with Zach's family. This year my parents came out here to spend Christmas with us. It was great to be with them and great to be here. Since we've never really been here on Christmas, I've never taken the time to REALLY decorate. In fact, we had never even had a Christmas tree before. But I knew I couldn't get away with that this year with my dad coming. He would have a Christmas tree year round if he could get away with it. So in preparation to them coming, we did our best to deck the halls.

Our nativity, plus my favorite garland that we found in the basement when we moved in (there were all kinds of fantastic decorations down there). I have a goal to make a nativity this year that I like to look at and that is not breakable. ;)

Our Christmas card display. Zach was a little skeptical when I dragged that branch in from the back yard and asked him to hang it from the ceiling, but I think he came around once it all came together. I loved hanging up the cards as they arrived. And making glittery stars and shapes to hang from it as well. I even let the boys help. With glitter! Can you believe it? Mom of the year.

Our mantle. I love how it came together. My friend Launa has beautiful handwriting so I asked her to make this board for me. It's actually just the back of a white board that I painted white and she used a big sharpie for the words. Didn't she do a great job? I love it. Every time I nursed Oliver I would sit on the couch so I could take it all in. And I loved that the night my parents got here my dad made sure to light all the candles on the mantle. I knew he would appreciate the candles.

Here's the tree on Christmas Eve right before we went to bed. It's a little wonky (especially with that topper - Another find from the basement), but not bad for $3 at a yard sale. And there's nothing better than getting all the presents all wrapped up and pretty under the tree and imagining how excited the kids will be in the morning. Christmas with kids gets better every year.

Ollie being cute in his Christmas union suit. I know, you suddenly have the urge to kiss/squeeze/bite those cheeks. Welcome to my world.

On Christmas Eve, Zach was a saint to loaded all of us up and took us in to town for some last minute shopping. On Christmas Eve! At Wal-Mart! Who does that?? But we couldn't have my parents here and NOT shop on Christmas Eve. In my family, we LOVE the last minute shopping. Crowds. Christmas music playing in the stores. I know, we're sick. And then, for the cherry on top, we ate at a Chinese Buffet for our Christmas Eve feast!! Fa ra ra ra ra.... It was great.

What wasn't so great was Zach waking up the next morning throwing up... Yep. Food poisoning on Christmas. And did I tell you we were blessing Oliver in church that morning? Poor Zach (fortunately for the rest of us, Zach was the only one who ate the crab. That won't happen again). But he managed to pull himself together, get through the blessing and the rest of Sacrament meeting, and then even sit on the couch and smile while the boys opened presents. His parents came up for the blessing, so we were lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents with us while we finished off the presents. It was wonderful to visit with everyone and watch the boys go nuts over Christmas morning.

This is the only picture I took of Oliver on his blessing day. Snoozing away, tucked behind the tree to not be disturbed by the boys excitement of opening presents.

I didn't take many pictures because I've been trying to be more in the moments and less behind the camera, so this is the best one I got all morning. I was fiddling around with my different camera settings, and then just gave up. But this moment is pretty perfect. Quinn was dying laughing over Santa putting an orange in his stocking. I don't know why he thought that was so funny. I'm sure he'll get used to finding oranges in his stockings in a few years. Doesn't everyone get an orange in their stocking? Anyways, they were ecstatic. It was hilarious. About once an hour, all day long, you'd hear Quinn yell out, "I'm so happy to have all these new toys!!!" And I still hear it about once a day. Mission accomplished.

Here's the one family shot that we took on Christmas Eve. I find it pretty hilarious/typical.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Oh, and if you didn't get a card from us, sorry. And here it is:



jen said...

your house looked so lovely decorated for christmas! and i like the branch idea. i might have to steal that for next year. i've seen some branches spray painted with metallic paint and then hung. looks awesome.
so glad you had a nice visit with your parents (minus the food poisoning). here's a tip - don't eat crab in a landlocked state. it just can't possibly be that fresh! ha ha.

OUR HOUSE said...

Wow, did Quinn have a major growth spurt recently? He looks so big!:) P.S. You are an artistic genius.

Hailey @ Me and My Boys said...

I agree, Quinn looks really tall all of a sudden!
Love the decorations, especially the mantle. Very very pretty. Glad you had a great time!

Jenheartfamily said...

Hi Katie,
Your home, your decorations and your gorgeous family all looked so beautiful, I cried!
I am Christmas-aholic (just ask Char) and I love making decorations, so I will add you to my list and make a little something to add to your stash.Christmas Down-Under just in the heat of summer just doesn't have the same warm cosy feeling, but we love it all the same. I have just mailed a cute Santa to C&G, so perhaps I will make one for you guys next.
I have just returned home to Tasmania after 3 weeks with Andrea and her family north of Newcastle, so it was a hot and happy time for us all,but missed my American family.Plans are brewing for a Christmas in the US for all of us, in 2013!
All the best for a wonderful 2012 for Team Cowan. xox

Jael said...

I just pinned that picture of your mantle. I love your stockings. I love that board. And that just happens to be my all time favorite Christmas song/hymn ever. Loved it. Your kids are adorable. The end.

Emma said...

Love the decor- looked/looks so cozy and warm :). Your boys are so cute! And I don't believe your parents were there...where is the proof in pics???!!! jk.

robin said...

i LOVE last minute christmas shopping, too! people think i'm insane.

and that poster above the mantel with the amazing handwriting is beautiful. i want one.