Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We did our Christmas cards through Shutterfly, once again. We were lucky enough to get some time before the Thanksgiving festivities to have a few family photos taken by my brother, Daniel, since we didn't have time to have any professional family photos done this year.

My favorite part of the card is the back, though - last year I had the idea (after we already had Christmas cards in hand) to include a recap of our year via our tweets on Twitter. I used the website All My Tweets, copied my favorites into a word document in order to begin to sort through them, then picked the best ones to make into a Christmas "letter." The 5x7 stationary cards on Shutterfly have an option to do a 5x6 photo on the back of the card, so I worked with that space to make the letter (truth be told, I started off with a 5x7 size, then realized I had to cut it down to 5x6...grr). Since I'm a researcher, I am lucky enough to have both Adobe Illustrator, where I did my original work, and Photoshop, where I converted the file to a jpeg for uploading to Shutterfly. All in all, we've had good feedback about the "year in review," and I think we'll make it a priority to do one each year!

Mia and I spent most of last week home together as she didn't have daycare. Here are just a few shots of what we did to keep ourselves occupied:

 We made cinnamon ornaments!
 This is Mia saying, "It's an X!"
 She really wanted to find a small Santa hat for Piglet, so we made sure to grab one at Target (one for a cat!).
I got an ipad for Christmas from the hubby, so here she is hijacking it - she is already in love with all of the great Disney Junior apps I installed on it!

Finally, here's a quick video of her pretending to take a bath - it was part of a new game that we got her for Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

More Christmas Fun

This past weekend we maximized the amount of holiday activities we could do because it was David's only weekend off in December, besides the weekend before Christmas. My brother, Dan, and Kendra came up for a couple of days, and we took miss Mia to her first Disney on Ice. She loved it! Of course, she would have been happy seeing just Mickey and Minnie and the crew for the entire show, but she did recognize quite a few other characters (Toy Story, Nemo, most of the princesses). We also dropped $22 on one of the fancy light toys, only to find people outside the Xcel Center selling cheapy options for $5 (where were they on the way in??). Oh well, we had to splurge a little as it was her first show!  Here are a few shots from the show (David had the camera and was keeping himself entertained by taking lot of photos!).

The next night we met up with both of my brothers and their significant others for the Holidazzle parade downtown, followed by supper at Pizza Luce, which has pretty much become a tradition for us (starting quite a few years ago when both of them were dating other girls). We didn't get many pictures because it was so cold out (and snowing) and Mia was a handful to keep in place. She was very excited to see Santa at the end of the parade!

Saturday morning was spent with the girls - Kendra, Mia, my mom, and I all went flower girl dress shopping for Mia for Dan and Kendra's upcoming wedding. She was excited to try on the dresses, but quickly became more interested in 1) running around the Wedding Shoppe in just her pull-ups and 2) jumping off of the step as we were trying to get pictures of her in the dresses! No shots of the final decision (we have them, but I'm not sharing), but here's a cute one of her mid-jump in another one!

We were lucky enough to spend the rest of the day with my cousins Missy and Niko, who were in town. Sunday was spent doing some Christmas baking, making a pot of beer and beef stew, laying on the couch to catch up on rest, and watching it SNOW (we got 13-14" over 24 hours!).

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

It's beginning to look like Christmas...

Amongst the various friends in town this weekend, we actually managed to get the house decorated and the tree purchased and decorated! As usual, we walked the half block down to a tree lot, picked out a tree (all the while chasing Mia around the lot to make sure she didn't get hit by a car), and David carried it home.

Mia was REALLY excited to decorate the tree this year. Luckily, she and I had plans to meet up with some of my girlfriends for a day of Christmas shopping so that we could let the tree warm up, drop branches, and take up some water before we started the decorating process. By the time we got home that afternoon, it was all ready to go. She promptly started opening the ornaments boxes and putting ornaments on the tree, which we had to then delay in order to put the lights on the tree! Nonetheless, it was a fun night of decorating. So far, she's been pretty good about leaving it alone, which is also nice.
  Excited about the star!

On Sunday, we spent part of the afternoon at the Como Park Conservatory with my old college roomy, Katie, and her friend Jaime. The sunken garden is full of poinsettias - it was beautiful. We couldn't resist grabbing a few quick shots (Mia was only so cooperative..)
Smiling for Katie to take a photo...
Smiling for me (She's saying arrh!)

We also gave her The Elf on the Shelf book (and elf, which she named Ellie) this year so that we could start the tradition of Ellie the Elf 'watching' her during the day, flying back to Santa to report whether she's naughty or nice, then coming back before Mia wakes up and usually getting herself into some sort of mischief. Here's where Ellie ended up the first night:

We have LOTS of ideas from Pinterest - most of which are way more work than is necessary at this stage.  Mia just likes finding her in the mornings, so she doesn't even really care what the elf has supposedly been up to (ie last night she got into the wrapping paper and wrapped herself up like a mummy). It's been fun so far and it's been a nice reminder for Mia to "be nice," which she is constantly telling David and I to do (usually when we're scolding her about something...evidently she and the rest of the girls at daycare hear this frequently...).

She is also excited to have her Fisher Price nativity set up to play with - here's a video of her playing with it last night...

This weekend we have family in town and are trying to fit in all of our holiday fun as it's the only weekend David has off the entire month besides Christmas! We're taking Mia to Disney on Ice and the Holidazzle parade, doing some flower girl dress shopping, and I'm hoping to do plenty of baking and addressing Christmas cards! Hope you're enjoying your holiday season!