Shopping for the tree

There is a Christmas Tree farm just a few miles away from our house. So last year we checked it out for the first time and we didn’t hesitate to go back again this year.  Their trees are beautiful and they LAST.  We almost felt bad getting rid of our tree last year since it was still healthy and alive after the first of the year instead of dying and littering our house with pine needles.

When we got there the boys had a great time running up and down the rows of trees.

It became a race

it didn’t take long for the boys to figure out how to ditch us by running in-between the trees.

You can’t really pick a bad tree there so it didn’t take us long to find our tree. After we paid for it and loaded it up, the boys were still having so much fun playing, so we stuck around for a bit.

Maybe someday I’ll get a picture with them where they are both looking at the camera.

Our house is decorated, Red the Elf has arrived and we now have our tree.  All the Christmas fun has started.  I’ll be back with lots more to share soon.

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Pumpkins and Superheros

Halloween is such a fun holiday with the boys, I love that they get excited about dressing up in costumes, asking every day if it is time to go trick or treating and looking for decorations on houses when we drive around town.  But I personally love Halloween because it is the kickoff to the holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas to follow.  So when we started seeing pumpkins at every store and pumpkin patches we went to, Jake wanted to get one.  We ended up with a small collection of a few pumpkins of various sizes that we used for decorations around the house.  Then he kept talking about carving the pumpkins and we told him we had to wait until it was closer to Halloween.  Finally, a few days before Halloween, we went to get some good sized pumpkins for carving.  On Saturday morning that was our first order of business, a pumpkin carving party.

It seems I can never get the boys to smile at the same time for a picture…

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img_7756edThe boys have a variety of costumes that they love to play with and Jake decided that he would be Spiderman for our pumpkin carving party, while Dylan was sporting a Superman shirt.

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And Grandma was in town so she got to join in on the fun!

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Neither one of the boys were too thrilled about the slimy insides (we will see how long that lasts)…so daddy and grandma did most of the hard work with cleaning them out, while they stuck with their spoons as “scoopers”.

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And I guess the key to getting this guy to smile AND look at the camera at the same time is carving pumpkins as Spiderman…

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Then mom joined in to get her hands dirty for a bit. And apparently the boys were really confused to see daddy behind the camera?

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Then these two goofballs started their silly antics…

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When it came time to carve them, we got one of the Halloween books that we had been reading with the boys that has various types of Jack O Lantern carvings so they could choose which ones they wanted.

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Supervising daddy’s work.

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My blue eyed boy!

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We ended up with silly, sleepy and surprised.  I call that a success!!

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And we noticed that we carved 3 pumpkins this year, and Jake is 3 years old.  Last year we carved 2 pumpkins, when he was 2 years old and the year before that it was 1 pumpkin when he was 1 year old.  Total coincidence, not intentional at all.  And I don’t think next year we will have 4, but with two boys, who knows…

With the pumpkins carved, costumes ready, we were officially ready for our Superhero Halloween! Batman and Robin to the rescue!

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We started off the night at a neighbors house for a pre-party before hitting the streets to trick or treat.

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BOO!

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Bates Nut Farm

A few years ago when Jacob was a baby, I went with some girlfriends and their littles to Bates Nut Farm.  In the fall they turn their farm into a pumpkin patch with pony rides, a petting zoo, tractor hay rides, a corn maze and other fun activities.  At the time Jacob was a little too young to really “enjoy” it all and every year I kept saying I wanted to go back.  This year I finally made it.  Our schedule is busy as usual, and there is only one day during the week that we don’t have any kind of scheduled thing like school, swim lessons, etc…So that day usually is filled with a playdate or doctor’s appointments, or errands that need to be taken care of.  About a month ago on that day, we had nothing planned.  And it wasn’t until about 8:00 that morning when I was trying to figure out how we were going to spend the day that I decided we were going to go to Bates Nut Farm.  I got the boys dressed, packed up some food, loaded up the car and grabbed my camera.  It is about a 30 minute drive into the mountains from our house which made for a nice leisurely drive to drink my coffee while singing along with the with kids music playing in the car.  I like to get to these places right when they open to avoid the crowds and the afternoon heat.  And this day was perfect!

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After saying HI to the farmers unloading all the pumpkins, they started searching for the perfect one.

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Dylan thought they needed some re-arranging and started moving them from one side to the other

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Then Jacob wanted to feed the goats, so all 3 of us each got a cup full of food and went to the petting zoo. Both boys loved it and laughed when the goats ate out of their hands.

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Then the lady working there offered to take our picture, and we still had food on us.  So the goats kept trying to climb into my lap along with Dylan to eat it up!

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Then we hopped on the tractor hayride for a spin around the farm.

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And Jacob talked during the entire ride, commenting on everything he saw

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And Dylan thought it was pretty fun

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Then we walked around the stores and bought a few treats.  We went over to where all the animals were and looked at chickens, pigs, llamas, turkeys and more goats before heading home for lunch.  I love those spontaneous adventures with my boys!

Springtime

It is amazing how fast the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years!  Some days drag on forever, but time in general is just speeding by. Here we are enjoying another beautiful San Diego Springtime! With St. Patrick’s Day and Easter just a couple weeks apart, March was a fun filled month.

I love how Jacob really learns about all the different holidays not just with what we do at home but at school.  They have so many fun activities, themed lunch parties, and all the holiday crafts.  After his St. Patrick’s Day party at school, I tried to get a picture of both boys.  Neither one would sit still, so I gave them some of the shamrocks that Jacob made at school and asked Jacob to tell Dylan about them. That lasted for about 5 seconds, when I was able to snap this picture.

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Then Jacob took off and I was left with this handsome dude.

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He was eyeing the artwork and trying to figure out what to do with it.

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After looking at it and waving it around, he decided to rip it to shreds and see how it tasted

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It must not have been very tasty, because then he took off after Jacob.

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After St Patrick’s Day came Easter. Our original plans for Easter weekend were pretty relaxed.  Jacob and I had a birthday party to go to on Saturday, then we were going to church on Sunday.  However, thanks to March Madness, a group of us had an impromptu get together on Saturday evening to watch the game, which also turned into an Easter egg hunt for the kids, and a fun evening with friends. Here they are lined up waiting for the GO! to start the hunt.

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And I will admit…I didn’t do the whole Easter basket thing this year. And since this was a last minute thing, we didn’t have a basket for Jacob to use for the hunt.  So Justin ran out to the car and grabbed a wine carrier bag for him to use.  Parents of the year, I know…

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To make things fun for the dads we also hid cans of Coors Light for them to find.  Somehow it turned into the dads giving the kids a dollar for every can they found and brought to them.

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Sunday morning we celebrated the real reason for Easter at church.  After the service we did another Easter egg hunt.  Instead of quickly gathering as many eggs as he could, Jacob would pick one up, and crack it open to see what was inside before putting it in his bag. He is very selective…

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And then he and Dylan got into a groove where Dylan would pick up an egg and Jacob would take it and put it in his bag.

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After the service we went to our friends house with a group of our church family and spent the rest of the day there.

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We feel so blessed to have all these wonderful friends who are like family to get together and do life with.

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’  – Luke 24:6-7

Frisco Thanksgiving

Yes, I know it is the end of March…As I’ve said before I am trying to go back and blog the pictures I never posted.  So in the current sunny springtime, let’s go back to chilly November and revisit Thanksgiving!

This year, Justin’s cousin Lisa and her family hosted Thanksgiving. We had a few minutes before we needed to leave and since I am always behind the camera, and have very few pictures of me with the boys, I asked Justin to take a picture of us. It is NOT easy getting them both to look at the camera and smile, I think he did a pretty good job!

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Lisa’s parents were in town from Kentucky and none of them had met Dylan yet, so it was a fun day of them meeting the littlest Frisco boy.

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I love this one 🙂

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We had so much amazing food and enjoyed time catching up with family.

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The best part for me was the built in babysitters!  Lisa and her husband have 6 kids who love playing with babies/younger kids.  I feel like I hardly saw Jacob the entire day.  He was busy playing all their musical instruments

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They took him outside with them to play football

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And Dylan took a nice long nap when it came time to eat, so I actually got to enjoy a warm Thanksgiving dinner!

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We are so thankful for the blessing of family and love spending time with them!

THREE

The first week of January, after we got the house cleaned up from Christmas, we got out the birthday decorations to celebrate Jacob’s 3rd birthday!

Jacob was born on a rainy day, so it was appropriate that the week of his birthday we had a pretty wild storm come through town.  Over a span of 5 days we had rain, flash floods, thunder/lightning, a tornado warning, a power outage and an earthquake! For people who are spoiled with San Diego’s perfect 70 degrees and sunny weather, it made for an exciting week! Jacob was so happy to use his new umbrella and rain boots

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and I felt like I was glued to the window for days watching it all unfold!  This crazy birthday week weather also confirmed my suspicion that this is going to be a wild year navigating life with a “threenager”.

On his birthday we had a trip planned to go visit the local fire department since every time we drive by he looks to see if the garage door is open. If it is not, he says “it’s closed, that means there’s not an emergency and the fire trucks are sleeping.”  If it is open, he is thrilled to see the trucks and yells “They’re awake! They’re awake!” However, due to the flash floods and thunder and lightning I decided it would be best to stay home rather than driving through the mess, and they were busy enough during the storm.  That night after  daddy got home from work we had a giant cupcake to celebrate his birthday and he sang along with us when we sang Happy Birthday to him.

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I’m THREE!

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The next day at school, he had cookies with his class to celebrate his birthday again.  And that weekend we had a Thomas the Train themed party with some of Jacob’s friends!  When looking online for a bakery, I discovered the bakery that did our wedding cake has their main location nearby.  So that was an easy choice for his cake.  I’m not really big on birthday cake, but this one was GOOD!

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Not all the kids made it into this picture, but I love seeing these kiddos together and it will be fun to look back on these pictures when they are older.

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He also had his three year check up with our pediatrician.  We addressed the peanut allergy again and his blood test results came back a 2 on a scale of 0-6.  It is a low number, but there is an allergy there, so we have an appointment to visit my old office do do some more testing.  Otherwise, he is a very healthy boy who now weighs 30.9 lbs and is 37.5 inches (a little over 3 feet) tall.

It was a fun week celebrating our cute, rambunctious, stubborn, frustrating, smart and sweet 3 year old!  To close this post, here is Jacob’s 3 year old picture with the giraffe and elephant.

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Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, Jacob was up before the sun as usual.  And he was excited to see that Santa had come!

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First order of business was playing with the train…I love this new tradition! Every year we plan to add to the train, track and even start building a village around it.  I have a feeling it will be a favorite among both our boys for many, many years.  Thanks Papa J for getting us started!

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Then he tested out his new tricycle…

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Then the party got rockin’ when Tante Heidi, Uncle Andy and Cousin Matt showed up with Oma and a drum set!

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Jacob was so excited!  He helped Matt unpack the box and anxiously waited (while counting off with the drumsticks) while Matt put the drums together.

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Thanks Matt!!

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Then we had brunch and just visited for a while.

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Then we opened presents, Jacob liked playing Santa as I told him who to give the presents to. No one took any pictures while we were opening presents, but Papa J and Nonnie got a selfie stick, so that called for a (blurry) group photo!

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And there was one last present for Jacob and Dylan.  Although Dylan is a bit too young to ride it, Jacob hopped right on and started riding in circles around the house.  This is seriously the best gift for a toddler, we love it and I wish I had the adult sized one for myself!

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I have this great picture of Jacob with his two great grandmothers at Christmas last year and was hoping to recreate the picture with both boys this year.  However Jacob is not all that cooperative when taking a picture these days, so we got one with Dylan.

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That afternoon we took a nice walk to the resort down the street from our house to look at the decorations and warmed up with a cup of coffee before heading home to make dinner.  This was such a fun Christmas since Jacob really got into it this year and understood what was going on.  I know the next couple of years will be even better with Dylan getting older.  It all happened so fast and we did so much, but truly loved having everyone over to celebrate the season!

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I leave my decorations up until after New Years, so the boys had a few more days to play with the train before putting it away.

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And to wrap up all the Christmas stuff, here is our silly family photo. I love this for a couple of reasons, I got Jacob involved and had him help me set up the camera on the tripod and talked to him about what we were going to do so he was excited (and cooperative) to look at the pictures on the camera after we took them, so he actually stayed still and smiled!  Secondly, I love how Dylan is looking at Jacob, he truly is Dylan’s favorite person, I hope that feeling lasts forever!

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Merry Christmas!

The Season

We are still alive (barely) over here.  I am slowly but surely trying to get a little more caught up on the blog, so lets go back in time and rediscover Christmastime 🙂

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  Yes, it gets crazy and chaotic, but it is a good kind of crazy.  It’s not only the actual day of Christmas that I love, it is the entire season.  We did all kinds of fun things to celebrate the season and to prepare for Christmas at our house.  I wish I could say that I had my camera out at the ready and was taking all these wonderful photos to document the season…however, with two small children, time is not my friend.  And the time and effort that goes into taking those beautiful, creative photos with the perfect lighting and setting just didn’t happen for me this year.  But it doesn’t mean I didn’t whip out my iPhone to snap away, so I do have pictures to share.

First off, baking!  For as long as I can remember, my grandma has always made an old family recipe for pecan sweet rolls that we would have on Christmas morning.  When my grandparents moved out of their house into their retirement community, they didn’t have the kitchen capacity to make them any more and it really was too much work for her to do at that point anyway.  That first Christmas after they moved, it dawned on me that she wouldn’t be making the sweet rolls and I couldn’t let that tradition stop!  So I called her and told her to email me the recipe and I went to Costco to buy a mixer with a dough hook and ever since then I’ve been making the rolls for our Christmas morning.  The past few years, my mom has come to help (especially once the kids started showing up!)  It is an all day process and they are so worth the work.  This year my grandma (Oma) came over to visit with us while we made the rolls.   It was a bit of a chaotic day juggling, making the rolls, taking care of the kids and Oma and making lunch, keeping the kids entertained, etc… but we got it done and Oma really enjoyed the day with us and it made for some fun memories!

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A few days later, the boys helped me make cookies.  I love how Dylan is just plain happy to be a part of anything we are doing, especially if his favorite person (Jake) is involved.  Jake is really good at using the cookie cutters, and he is even better at eating the cookie dough!

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This year we experienced another parenting “first” when watching Jacob in his preschool Christmas Program.  His class is the youngest, so they were only onstage for about 7 minutes and they sang “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, then they came back onstage for the grand finale.  Even though Jacob knows the words to the songs he pretty much just waved his star around and searched the audience for us.  I could tell when he found Grandma since his face lit up and he started waving back to her.

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It was pretty cute, he had a lot of fun and we are proud of him for going up on the stage in front of all those people!

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We had my family Christmas party at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Jacob loved playing with the new trains he got.

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And Dylan was a real life doll for his girl cousins.  They were completely enamored with him and he loved the attention!

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That night we drove to my parents cabin with plans of staying a few nights and going to Wildlights at the Living Desert in Palm Desert like we did the year before.  However, we all got sick…miserably sick.  So we took it easy for a day before heading home.  It was too cold and windy to work outside with a cold, so Jake and grandpa watched the National Finals Rodeo on TV

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and we gave Dylan a warm bath, hoping it would help with his congestion.  Even when he’s sick, he’s my smiley happy boy!

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We were all so congested and plugged up, we could not hear anything.  The pressure from driving over the mountain really bothered the boys and they cried the entire way home.  It was a long drive.  And the cold lasted a long time, but we finally got better. And we kept celebrating the season…

Growing up my mom sang in the choir and they would always sing at the community Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, or Christmas programs or some other kind of Christmas event.  I remember going to many of those events with my dad to watch my mom.  There was something magical about the music, lights, hot chocolate and bundling up on a cold night.  Now we are still enjoying these community events, but with the added bonus of seeing it all through our kids eyes.  The first one we went to was at the Bernardo Winery.  They had a great train village set up and Jacob could have spent the entire night there!  Every time we would go do something else, he kept saying he wanted to go back to the trains, so we made several trips there.  We had some amazing food from the food trucks they had, but the wait was ridiculous, thankfully we had the train village to entertain Jake while we waited for the food!  This year Jacob really started understanding the concept of Santa Claus. So while we were waiting in line to see Santa (he hadn’t arrived yet), we were talking to Jacob about Santa being on his way and how we were going to sit on his lap and tell him what we wanted for Christmas, etc… Jacob was excited!  He kept watching the sky and waiting to see Santa in his sleigh with his reindeer.

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And when Santa did arrive Jacob was starstruck to see him in real life!  While we got closer and closer in line, he watched all the other kids sit on his lap and take their picture with Santa, however, when it came his turn…he wanted nothing to do with it! But Dylan didn’t mind at all.

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So then we thought if we did the family photo, Jake would be more comfortable, but he wouldn’t leave his daddy’s arms.

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A few nights later we got together with some of our neighbors and went to the Christmas festivities at the Rancho Bernardo Inn.  They had carolers that Jacob loved listening to, they had a giant gingerbread house, beautiful decorations, a fun lighting show/display complete with fake snow and again Santa Claus.  This time we were able to convince Jacob to at least stand by Santa, I told him that Dylan needed him to hold his hand.

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Poor Dylan has these crazy cowlicks at the front of his hairline, no matter what I do, it won’t go one way or the other and it’s going to be a battle for him the rest of his life. But with the twinkle in his blue eyes and that big smile I still think he is pretty darn cute regardless of what his hair does 🙂

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On Christmas Eve we had family and friends over for a German food feast!  And we went to the Christmas Eve service at our church.  It was a special service singing Christmas songs, watching the adorable kids program and hearing the heartwarming message, which is always a nice reminder of what Christmas is truly about.  Celebrating the birth of our savior is the reason for the season!  And even though I didn’t get photos I wanted to with my camera, we were sick most of the time and Jacob didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, it really doesn’t matter, we still had an amazing time with family and friends and created memories to last a lifetime.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:11