Sunday, December 30, 2012


Since we aren't ever at our home for Christmas, this year we really wanted to make our time in Oregon special. The whole month was dedicated to watching Christmas movies, sipping hot cocoa, evergreen candles, going to the mall to see Santa, eating homemade fudge, and constant Christmas music. This time of year is magical.

We also wanted to start some new "Oregon" Christmas traditions. Thanks to google, I found two really neat things that Oregon has to offer--Christmas Ships and Peacock Lane.

We rode the train downtown to check out all the boats decked out for Christmas on the Willamette river. Landon of course loves boats, so this was extra special :) I haven't figured out how to use my camera all the way, so the pictures aren't great, but it was really cute.

you can't tell but this is Santa's sleigh :)
Peacock Lane is this quaint little street where every house puts up lights. None of the houses were out of control or over the top, just classy. Tons of people come to see it every year. We loved it!

we kissed under the mistletoe :)

Then it was off to Utah for a week. Wohoo! I loved every minute getting to see family and friends. Some highlights:

Meeting the puppies. It was love at first sight. They really are the cutest. Henry is the black one--he is Landon's. Oliver is the shaggy one--he is mine.

Oliver aka Ollie. He only weighs 3.3 pounds! So tiny.
Henry and Daddy.
My dad's annual Christmas Eve bell concert. There's just something about listening to the Christmas bells and singing hymns about the birth of the Savoir that warms my heart. It's so easy to forget about the real meaning of Christmas in all the hustle and bustle. Plus, my daddy is a cutie. I love watching him in his element. He's so talented!

Going to see the lights at temple square on Christmas Eve. It was the first time I've seen the lights in the snow. It was absolutely magical. I also got to see my father-in-law Daren who was in town from Texas too. Loved seeing him!

We got a WHITE Christmas! Yay for snow!

Christmas morning breakfast. Every Christmas my mom and dad cook a delicious breakfast, complete with Christmas crackers (I love that my parents are British!) Growing up (and to this day) we always had to have breakfast together as a family before we could open presents. Talk about ANTICIPATION! I secretly loved it, even if it meant opening my presents at noon!

Seeing my whole family--minus four of my siblings and their families :(  It sure is hectic, but I love my family SO much.

I don't even think this is half of my nieces and nephews

love our silly crowns from the crackers. I told Layla she was a princess.

Layla called Jer a princess after she put her crown on him :)

Skyping with my little brother on Christmas! Oh man, I miss that boy. He is serving an LDS mission in Goiania  Brazil for two years. He didn't stop smiling the whole 40 minutes. I've never seen him so happy!

Getting to see Toni and Jenna! I was so happy to see them. It had been over a YEAR. Plus, I got to meet Jenna's cute baby Amelia and I'm in love. She's a doll. These girls have been my best friends since Elementary school and I'm so glad I still have them :)

Seeing Les Mis the day after Christmas. Holy moly. Cried for 2.5 hours straight. It was amazing. The play is my favorite, so I was worried they would completely botch it, but it was fantastic. Ahhh I want to see it again right now.

Eating out at all my favorite Utah places. Cafe Rio, Zupas, Pei Wei, and Tucannos. We ate goooood. Oregon sucks at life when it comes to restaurants.

Getting to see Jen and Dave. The day we drove home we stopped by Ogden and they made us breakfast. Aren't they the cutest? We seriously LOVE them. They are so much fun--we were just laughing the whole time. I can't wait to go on a cruise with them this summer!!!

Hanging out with my big sis Mary. We went to Olive Garden just the two of us. It's our tradition and we used to go every week. I love my sister!!!

Staying at my brother Tim's house. Why oh why did I not get any pictures with Tim and Ang? Sorry guys! We seriously LOVED spending time with them and staying at the "Miller Mansion." They are so cute for letting us stay at their house AND for giving us their puppies!

Saying goodbye was really hard, but hopefully we will be back to Utah SOON! I seriously couldn't even get the words out to say I love you to my parents because I was too sad, but I love you guys! I miss you every day. I got to spend A LOT of one on one time with them too and I was just soaking in every minute. I'm so lucky.

aren't they the cutest?
I was soooo worried about the 12 hour drive with the puppies, but thankfully they did great. They basically slept the whole time. Also, we bought a radar detector so our 12 hour trip was more like 10 hours ;)

passed out on my lap. love them.
When we got home, we unloaded the car and went right to bed. In the morning, we had Christmas! Landon got a welder, a band saw, a pressure washer, some clothes, and his choice of a Star Wars Lego. We go to the lego store every time we're at the mall and he's always loved legos, so he was pretty excited about that present (it was his only surprise...)

our tiny tree next to all the huge presents. Don't worry we just bought a 7.5 ft tree that is 58 inches wide for next year! :)
I got the puppies (best present of my life!), lots of yummy soaps from Bath and Body Works, annnnnd this vacuum I've been eyeing FOREVER to do our hardwood floors! Yay!!!!

We finished the day by going to the mall to pick out Landon's lego and then to Red Lobster. It was so fun for Landon to pick his humongous 3000+ piece lego. There were a few looks of envy and even a "woah, congratulations" from the sales clerk :)

he's way too cute!

I think it's safe to say that Christmas 2012 was our best Christmas yet.

P.S. 1 year ago tomorrow we became home owners! Time flies.

P.P.S. If you read this whole post, you get a gold star.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Life Lately.

Time to play catch up.

Thumbalina the sailboat is SO close to being done!!! Ahhhh! It's really exciting to think that in about a month we will be taking her out for the first time.

installing the dagger board

don't ask me what a dagger board does, but he had to put it through the boat :)
stepping the mast for the first time! 

the mast is SOOO tall.

view from our bedroom on the second floor. 
just practicing :) I think he's cute.

first layer of primer went on tonight! it's so close to being done!

We bought a new toilet. Remember the gross, nasty wooden toilet seats we had? Well those were the LEAST of our problems with our toilets. Gonna spare you the nasty details, but did you know replacing a toilet is the grossest thing ever? Yuck. But, on the plus side it was an amazing feeling to smash our old toilet to smithereens. Great way to let off some steam :)

much better.
I've been getting my craft on and am working on sewing a tree skirt. It took me two hours to pick out the fabric. I'm copying the style of my mother-in-law's tree skirt because it's the cutest.

I hate that "elf on the shelf" has become so popular lately. I blame pinterest.... But the elves have been around for over 24 years at Landon's house so they will continue to stay at our house too. 

Daren and Dawsen (Landon's dad and brother) came to visit over Thanksgiving. I never blogged about it because I'm awful. But it was a BLAST. We went to the beach, to the Tillamook cheese factory, skiing, went into downtown Portland, played Killer Bunnies, and cooked a delicious feast (not pictured, unfortunately I sucked at taking pictures that day).

love that sample line.

when I first met him he was shorter than me :( he's getting too big.
the waves were scary big, even though you can't really tell in this picture.

we walked through this really cool tunnel to check out the other side of the hill. Oregon has the coolest beaches.

if you haven't played Killer Bunnies, you are missing out!

Voodoo doughnuts is very "Portland" and at least Landon is looking at the camera? Oh Landon...
Hannah got run over by a reindeer. Well kinda. It may have just been a deer. On my way to work this morning in the pitch black, a deer decided to run right into my car. I didn't even have time to react before it was happening.... I just saw the deer and a split second later...BAM. Luckily, the deer wasn't in the middle of the road because it could have been A LOT worse. I saw the deer limping off so I'm really hoping she's okay. My mom told me she's probably just bruised :( but she completely knocked off my side mirror. It was a traumatizing experience to say the least.

On Monday we had the little boy I nanny sleep over at our house (the little girl and parents were in NYC.) It was basically like playing house with Landon and I was in heaven. The little boy LOVES Landon and had to do everything he was doing, gave him lots of kisses, and loved playing with him. I love watching Landon with kiddos, it's my absolute favorite. Kids are just drawn to him and he's so cute with them. I can't handle it.

And last but not least, we leave for Utah next week! AHHH! So excited to see my family and friends and pick up my puppies :)

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