Thursday, January 12, 2017

December 2016

December was a great month!  We planned activities to keep us busy.  Also...we knew we would have to try to create our own Christmas magic since the weather definitely wouldn't be assisting...

One night we went to Hollywood Studios with the Barwicks and enjoyed the new Christmas light show that replaced the amazing Osbourne Family Light show.  
This new one was good, but not as good as the old one.

Then we went to Chik-Fil-A and had a great time talking over shakes.  
^^This one was sooo good!

We enjoyed participating in the Light the World initiative.  I really enjoyed these thoughts from one of my favorite bloggers, Shawni at

I bought myself an early Christmas present...a Kitchenaid Mixer!!!!

This was delicious.

Our ward Christmas party was so fun.  
We have some creative geniuses in our ward.  
The theme was "Wise Men Still Seek Him."

Love this ^^

We had a great time attending the Ice show at the Gaylord Palms.  All of this is ice!!

Jared attempting to go down the ice slide:


We finally got to feel cold!!!

Then we walked a few floors up and watched an incredible Cirque du Soleil acrobat show, preceded by a really pretty light show.

There were some other fun winter activities to participate in, like sledding!

Love all the lights on the resort

Took Ollie to meet Santa :)

Then...Jared went to Vegas for a few days for a business trip.  

He ate some amazing food...
Here's a burger from Gordon Ramsey's restaurant...


Deep dish pizza...

Went to a buffet...

The Venetian Resort

He was there advertising the Florida rodeo, while at the National Finals Rodeo, and they were able to attend it one night.

Their booth:

He also checked a bucket list item off and visited the actual Pawn Stars store!
We used to watch that show back in our newlywed when we had free cable...

My friend gave me a gift card and I used it to purchase this beauty...

...A cake stand that can turn into a punch bowl!
(Two items that have been on my "to buy" list.)

Mornings with my sweet boy

We had a fun mutual activity making these cute jars to deliver while caroling the next week.

I love him :)

Cookie decorating with friends

Got to celebrate with these cute young women.
They completed two challenges:  A 28-day journal challenge and an indexing challenge.
Proud of them!
We celebrated by going out to eat at Cheddar's and going on the Orlando Eye.

Lani, Julissa, Sophia, Din-nae

The recipe on the back of these blessed mint chocolate chips that my friend Emma clued me in on...
is amazing.

Love these cuties back home and the Christmas spirit there

We brought our own snowman to Florida

A few hours before this party we found out were were expecting baby #2 :)

Hosted a ward council Christmas party.
Love these people!!
They are such great examples to us.

That toffee in the bottom right corner looking so innocent...
is deadly delicious.  

Cute Christmas party at my Grandma's place :)

These crazy kids embarked on a three week adventure to South America!
They were able to visit Mikele's mission in Chile and also some awesome sites like Machu Picchu.

Walks with my boy


Fun Christmas caroling mutual

Loved seeing these reunion pics of Lauren coming home from BYU-Hawaii for Christmas break. ❤️

Even Momma missed Lauren's sass

Bella had missed her too.

This was an incredible night..
Chris & Mariel went through the temple for their endowments.

Love him!

I hosted my very first piano recital.
I am so proud of my students students!!
Back in April none of them could play a lick of piano...
And this night they played beautiful Christmas pieces like it was easy peasy.
My heart grew and grew the whole night.

Brooke, Leah, Caden


I had the sweetest helpers as we made lots of loaves of the best apple bread/cake ever!!

Loved this post by Ashley

We had a super fun YW Christmas party!

I brought this and it is addicting!

Our tree, purchased in 2009...began to gave up the ghost this year.

One of Jared's co-workers (who is British) gave Ollie the cutest little jacket.

For Jared's company holiday party we had such a great time stuffing ourselves at Texas de Brazil and then Wild Florida rented out a movie theater room for us to watch the new Star Wars movie.
Jared was really proud of me because I stayed awake for at least the first hour...
(...then took a 20 minute nap or so)
...and then was awake for the last hour. :)
In my defense, that was a long movie!
It was really fun night.

i had a really fun get together with two of my best friends, Lindsey & Emma.  We did a "my favorite things" gift exchange where we each brought two of our favorite things to exchange with the other girls.  I loved these two gifts from them.  I love these girls so much!  I brought Winter Candy Apple hand soap from Bath & Body Works.

On Christmas Eve we walked a few streets over to see some beautiful Christmas lights.

I love these boys was Christmas morning!!

Had a wonderful time at church.  I loved that Christmas fell on a Sunday this year.

We missed our families this year.  We were really grateful to be able to FaceTime them and talk with all of them.
I loved this gift from my parents.  This was a book we used to read at Christmas time when I was young.

Our Christmas present to our parents.....
So much love here!!

Ollie is just so darn cute these days.  His personality just continues to envelop and he is learning so many words and just surprises us each day with something new.
This particular day he wanted to show me how his dinosaur sleeps.

Always climbing

Loving the basketball hoop from Great Grandma JoAnn

And the train track from Gpa Gardner & Gma Ruth

And the fish set from Papa & Yaya

I loved watching this BYU Women's Conference talk.

I took advantage of some post-Christmas sales and got two of these gorgeous wreaths to 
put on our garage lights.  

This was a Christmas card from Jared's aunt and I looked at it daily to pretend I was enjoying the snow and not sweating. :)

Shopping for a new Christmas tree

Love this

We rang in the new year (well, until 8:30 pm 😂) with the Benches & Barwicks.
As always, we enjoyed delicious food (Emma's amazing monkey bread!) and played some fun Minute to Win It games.

Welcome, 2017!!