Time flies.  I'm always saying that, and you're always reading it here.  2015 is no exception.  It flew by, and Max and Emma have grown so much this year.  So many emotions were felt this year.  One thing for sure is that I'm so grateful for my family and friends.

Some highlights from our year:

Max played t-ball for the first time, and it was the cutest thing ever. 

We went to the Tulip Festival for the first and only time.  The traffic was horrendous, but the tulips were so pretty. 

We went to NM for my brother's graduation.  This kid makes me so proud. 

I'm lucky to be their big sister.

Max graduated from pre-k and my heart nearly exploded. 

Emma seemed to go from 1 to 13 in a matter of months. 

Really though she turned TWO!

Max went to Sounders Camp, and loved every second of it! 

My family came to visit

Ian and I celebrated 7 years of marriage
My cousin Janee came to visit, but we ended up spending most of our time in the hospital with this brave boy. 

Max turned FIVE!

I went back to teaching

I saw T Swift in concert, and it was the #bestconcertever.

Max started Kindergarten!

Emma started daycare, and I cried. 

I did my first wine and paint night with Lindsay, and channeled my inner Bob Ross. 

We went to a few Sounders games to cheer on our boys!

The holidays came and we had so much fun!

We took Elsa and a creepy skeleton  out Trick-or-Treating. 

Thanksgiving was eventful with Pap-pap and Mum-mum coming to visit and other family coming in for the Steelers game. 

Then my favorite month of the year happened.  December!

Here we are on the last day of 2015.  I hope you had a great 2015.  If you had a hard year, I'm so sorry.  I hope 2016 is kind to you.  Here is to a new year full of happiness, health, love and peace!! Happy New Years friends!! 


Our Christmas

This Christmas was a good one.  Christmas Eve Santa drops off jammies for the kiddos on his way around the world to deliver presents.  Emma got Elsa and Anna jammies, which she jumped up and down about with excitement.  Max got two pair of footed jammies, which he's been wanting and was so excited to put on and be cozy. Around 8 we jump in the car and go look at Christmas lights.  A favorite we saw was a house with Star Wars decorations in the front yard.  We had to drive by twice! When we got home the kiddos left sugar cookies for Santa, a carrot cut into 8 pieces for each of the reindeer, milk and a Thank You note to Santa for the new jammies.  I also made overnight cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.  They were pretty easy to make, and I think this will be a new Christmas tradition that will continue in the coming years.

Christmas Day I lacked in the picture taking department.  We were having so much fun in the moment, my phone wasn't in my hands.  I did snap a couple of pictures though.  Santa brought Max and Emma bean bag chairs, which they love.  It's so cute to look over at them and they are snuggled into their chair reading or playing their new tablets from Grandmom and Grandpa.

Max already uses his as his gamer chair.  Ian got him his very own PS4 remote, so he's one happy camper.

Santa also gave Max a selfie stick in his stocking.  When Max had his fundraiser at school, a selfie stick was a prize and Max really wanted it.  So funny.  My sister in law got me a selfie stick with props for you selfies.  We went from a family of zero selfie sticks to having two! I don't know if we'll ever use them in public, but they make for some fun at home!

Santa brought Emma her very first Cabbage Patch doll.  I can remember playing with my own Cabbage Patch dolls when I was little, so this moment was so special.  Emma saw her and yells, "My baby! Oh my baby!"  Her doll, named Quinn, but Emma likes to call her Baby or Baby Jesus, came with a stroller, bed and carrier.  She sings to her, kisses her, and is just so beyond adorable with her baby.

This is our first Christmas without family, and though it was sad (I really miss my family), it was nice spending it just us.  We had a good day and a yummy dinner.  Ian and I ended up watching Making a Murderer on Netflix late last night.  It's so good and so addictive.  We were still watching it at 4:30 in the morning, which sounded good at 4:30.  Not at 8 when the kiddos woke up.  Thank goodness they didn't mind snuggling and watching cartoons on my phone so I could get a little more sleep.  

I see a nap in my future! 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.  I thought today was Monday, but was happy to realize it's only Saturday! 


Sugar Sugar

Christmas time means sugar cookie baking.  My Mom makes them every year, and they are so good.  So. Good.  One of the first Christmas that I brought Ian home, my Mom had made some and Ian loved them.  Sugar cookies are Ian's fave, and so sugar cookie baking has to take place in our household during the holiday season. I ask my Mom for the recipe every year.   I don't know why I don't write it down.  It's more fun asking my Mom every year.

They come out like little pillows of yummy goodness.  Even if you put them in the fridge after you decorate them with frosting, they stay soft.  Soft cookies>hard cookies.  I gave Max and Emma a small piece of dough that they could roll out and play with.  Max formed his into a cookie and proclaimed it to be the "world's famous cookie" and once you tried it, he would becoming the world's famous cookie maker.  It was really cute.

The set up so Max and Emma could decorate some cookies.

I had NSYNC's Christmas cd, because that is the best cd ever.  Max doesn't appreciate my love for NSYNC.  He told me to change it, and if I didn't he would. So rude.  He also said, "I don't like these songs for grownups."   I thought he was going to say old people, so grownups wasn't bad.

I had told them they could pick one cookie each that they decorated to eat.

My cookie monsters.

I tried to be all cutesy.  Ian's cookie with an I was turned sideways and he asked why I put an H.  He's full of jokes.

Max took his time and wanted to decorate the cookie perfectly.  Emma's technique was putting blobs of different colors and calling it good.  They each decorated maybe 4 each, and were done.  I was left to decorate on my own, and I left some without frosting.  I think sugar cookies without frosting are just as good.

In case you want to drop everything and make some sugar cookies today, here you go!

Soft Sugar Cookies
4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 container (8 oz) sour cream

In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.In large mixing bowl combine sugar and butter. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Add in flour mixture alternately with sour cream and scrape bowl often until well mixed. Divide dough into 3 equal portions and wrap in plastic food wrap. (the dough is going to be super sticky.) Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours) or freeze if desired. Heat oven to 400 degrees. On floured surface roll out dough one portion at a time. Keep remaining dough in refrigerator until needed.  You might need extra flour when rolling because it will be sticky. Place on cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake cookies 6-9 minutes depending on your oven.    
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
(I didn't read the ingredients correctly and put 2 sticks of butter.  Pioneer Woman would be so proud. It still tasted good!)



Ian and I had talked about taking a day trip to Leavenworth, and I was super excited about for our adventure.  I had seen some pictures from Instagram, and it looked so pretty and festive.  So we started off our day trip.

Before we got to Stevens Pass it started to snow.  It was so beautiful.  I posted a video on Instagram of Max's reaction.  It was priceless.  He had been asleep, and when he woke up he saw that it was snowing.  Then it really started to come down.  So much so that we decided we better stay in Leavenworth overnight.  We were so not prepared for an overnight stay, but we made the best of it.

The center of town was decorated beautifully, and the snow added to the experience.  Emma had seen snow when she was a baby, but she had never walked or played in snow.  She was really hesitant.  She held onto my hand for dear life, and if I walked too fast for her, she would scream.

Snowball fight!  Emma did have gloves that she refused to wear.  Her little hands would touch the snow then she would cry, "My hands cold!"  The tears.  Oh the tears.

Max had a blur of fun.  He was all over the place.  He did numerous snow angels, fell in drifts of snow, and happily threw snowballs at us.

I couldn't get enough of the scenery.  So. Beautiful.

Today we started off our day sledding down a hill across from our hotel.  Max went down the hill a handful of times.  Emma went down one time and one time only.  I would have her walk towards me and she would walk so slowly and carefully to me.  She liked the snow, but definitely did not love it.

This picture makes me lol so hard.  He loved sledding like no other, but apparently coming down the hill was a little scary.

Max told Ian not to give him an extra push down the hill.

After sledding we went on a sleigh ride.  My most favorite part of our trip.  It was a magical winter wonderland.  There was a part of the ride where we went under snow covered tress and snow fell on top of us.

Our day trip may not have been what we expected, but it was so worth it.  All the snow.  All the laughs.  All the memories made.  #bestnondaytripever