This year was no exception to being the most magical time of the year. Above is Lydia at her pre-school party going over her list with Santa. She changed her mind two days before Christmas and decided to ask Santa for My Little Ponies. Good thing Santa has elves that have nothing better to do than to grant a last minute Christmas wish.
Below are a few of the deer who took refuge in our yard frequently during the winter.
My dad took Sara and I on our annual Daddy/Daughter date but this year he invited the kids as well. We went to see Juanito Bandito, I don't think I've ever seen Emma laugh so hard in her life, I almost thought she was faking, but nope, it was genuine. She's blessed with her dad's sense of humor and being quick to laugh, something I have always envied in my husband. I'm glad Emma has that trait.
For our Skeen Christmas party we headed to Jackson Hole for a night. We've never had a Christmas party quite as charming as this one.
We saw plenty of animals, including these mountain goats right off the side of the road.
We had pool parties, ate out, had a scavenger hunt, cookie decorating, and even had a family wedding. It was a very fun filled weekend for the Skeens.
We went to the Square at night and let Emma and Jaken get pretend married while Sara and Mike got for real live married.
Wait, is this a post card you ask? Nope. I actually took this photo with my smart phone...then edited it in photoshop. Yep. Beautiful backdrop for a wedding don't ya think?
My neighbor gifts....ya know....the ones I swore I wasn't going to do anymore, the whole simplify business. It's hard to stick to when you really like your neighbors and local friends.
Our Christmas card photo this year, front and back. I thought I would do something a little out of the box. It was fun, for one year.
This is Jolly, he's new to our family. Boy does he like to cause some mischief. The girls LOVE him.
Brace yourself. I think this may be my favorite photo I have ever taken of Ryan and Lydia. Look at their faces. I about cried watching them dance. Lydia is even wearing my shoes. This was just after church one afternoon where she begged Ryan to dance with her and this is the result. All I can think of is the song "I loved her first." Ryan is going to sob his eyes out when these girls grow up and get married, he'll need smelling salts.
Christmas Sunday with the girls. I don't know where Ryan went, but I never captured a family photo.
Another photo that will become a classic.
The girls in their Christmas dresses, one photo I posed them, one they got to pose themselves, can you tell which is which?
A few of my decorations this year.
The girl's Christmas tree
The family Christmas tree. A special thanks to my mom for encouraging and enabling me to update my tree.
Christmas Eve....literally my most favorite day of the year. We went to the Jump Zone with the Jensens, and this is the only photo I have, lame. Kylee told me she was pregnant while we were here and I'm pretty sure I actually shed tears, which is a really big deal for me.
My parents had a beautiful Christmas Eve program and my mom went all out on the Christmas Eve dinner and ambiance.
Above are the kids in 2010 (3 years old and 6 for Caleb, and also 2011 4 & 7years old) Below the kids are 7 years and 10 for Caleb.
Annual cousins photo....Lydia finally made the photo this year.
We had a great program and a fantastic auction game where we made out like bandits with our prizes.
After my parents house we headed back to our house for the Jensens to join us for more games.
The girls are over the moon for any chance to play the thimble game.
The elf knocked just before 10 and the girls ran to bed as fast as they could so that Santa could come and not skip our house. The elves kept an eye on the girls to make sure they didn't get out of bed.
Once the girls were in bed everyone humored me for some serious rounds of minute to win it.
At 11:30 the group headed out and Ryan and I got to wrapping. Except, actually, I tried to take a nap. You see, I had literally been running on 3 hours of sleep for the last three nights, so I was exhausted to say the least. I thought it might be a good idea to have TWO, not one, but TWO 5 hour energy drinks AND a red bull. Nope. It was actually a terrible idea and I had a caffeine hang over. I was miserable, MISERABLE. I had my puke bowl next to me as I wrapped gifts and some how I made it through the night. How I managed to make this chandelier happen while Emma slept and I was neeedi9ng medical attention, well it must've been a Christmas miracle.
Thank goodness Santa does most of the work or I might have had a really rough night. I am also thankful that Santa knows what to do with my camera when I leave it out for him. Look at that. Looks like he came to our house at 3:00 a.m. Maybe next year we can catch him.
The girls were angels to sleep until 8:00 a.m. My dad yelled "Good g'all he's been here!!!" That's their cue to come screaming and running into the family room. This was their reaction to what they saw. Sometimes having girls who play to the arts of drama can really work in your favor.
I LOVE, LOVE having two little girls who are best friends. Watching these girls play together and share the happiest moments of their childhood together, THAT was my favorite Christmas gift.
Mine and Lydia's traditional Christmas morning photo. She is still as little today as she ever was.
Emma's favorite gift of the season, Dancing Flame Barbie. Only the best mom in the World could make this happen for her.
Lydia's favorite gift, her pink leather jacket.
Between the home made chandelier and the home made vanity, this was a Pinterest Christmas, and it charmed the girls with delight.
Our life may not be as traditional as others, but it's every bit as blessed with happiness and joy.