After a few minutes of having started our gingerbread house we had to say out loud, "Ok, this is supposed to be fun. Let's not get frustrated." And for the most part, we did pretty good. Taryn was so excited to start our house and help (and eat) with the decorations.
We couldn't get the walls to stay up. Our frosting bag exploded. Those dumb candies would not stick. I had to feed Hadleigh after we had pushed back making the house for far too long so I couldn't help Tyson with a majority of the construction. By the end we had a hot chocolate mug holding up the roof til' it dried, Tys, Taryn & I were covered in frosting and our sliding roof was getting out of control. We discovered we are not gingerbread house building people :)
This is my "It's been crazy!" smile (and hair!). But we had a happy toddler :)
The finished product.
It smells delicious and if it wasn't as hard as a rock, I would have eaten it all already
Waiting in the rain for Santa to arrive on his Fire truck
Taryn goes crazy every time she sees Santa! This has been a fun year! She is always a little too shy to talk with him when she's on his lap but hey- no tears! That's a big win!! I think her favorite part is getting the candy cane after visiting with him.
A little Cowboy Christmas
poor Hadleigh's beard is a little too big and Taryn was smiling in all the other shots but this one
We headed to the National Zoo Christmas Zoolights this past weekend with our friends. We weren't planning on doing zoolights again but it was all Taryn could talk about. So we quickly added it to our list of Christmas To-Do. It was cold and by the time we took this picture we were heading back up hill to the entrance and Taryn said she was getting tired. Running around while its literally freezing outside can do that to you. It looks like she's saying, "Fine....I'll take ONE picture and then I'm going home..." but she was really loving the lights and being with her friend Logan.
She is becoming so brave! While Taryn walked up with Tyson I kept thinking how there was no way she would go down once she saw what it looked like from above. She didn't hesitate once and wanted to go again after coming down.
After eating our packed dinners inside this warm cafeteria, these two ran around and really warmed themselves up for round two of outside Christmas light gazing.
Before heading home we grabbed some hot chocolate and I had one of the most embarrassing nursing experiences ever. I'm just grateful for an awesome husband who makes it easy to tag team, good friends who are there to help, and children who always keep me on my toes.
I'm not sure what it is about staying inside on a rainy or snowy day that makes me want to make cookies but that's exactly what we did earlier this week. I was sad that our cookie cutters are packed away but I made do with a knife as a carved out various shapes that Taryn requested from the dough.
She really loves sprinkles. Really really loves them. She might even prefer eating them straight out of the container like above.
On Sunday morning it started to snow while we were at church. The first snow fall of the winter fell so beautifully. It was like a perfect moment in time. I instantly felt like I was 6 years old and all I could think about was getting outside with Taryn. Even though it was freezing cold, I let her play for a few extra minutes out on the open grass before getting in the car to head home. The rest of the day was spent looking out the windows and watching the ground turn white.
Tuesday it snowed again and most everyone had a snow day. Tyson worked from home while Taryn and I made batches of cookies and listened to lots of Christmas music. Taryn and I headed out to "catch the snow in our hands" per Taryn's request. She formed some snow balls and threw them into the little garden. Then she ate a lot of snow. At first I thought it was so cute and it reminded me of when I was little during family winter ski trips. When I would get thirsty while we were out skiing, I would purposefully fall down or stop so I could scoop snow and eat it on the runs. I now know how gross that was and now we have to watch Taryn ever so carefully and remind her not to eat the snow.
I really loved this little snow we received! I can handle it in small amounts like this. It's just so beautiful.
Taryn is in the funny face picture taking phase..Silly girl!
Last week we enjoyed the beautiful Christmas lights at the D.C. temple. We chose to attend when one of the bell choirs were performing for Taryn. She lights up when she hears the Jingle Bells song and is in love with the bell ornaments that adorn our tree. She sat in her chair and pretending to play along with her own imaginary handbells during the performance. Taryn also sang along with all the Christmas songs she knows. I'm constantly amazed at how much her little mind can remember! She did get off her chair at the end of each song and ask Tyson, "Is it all done?" I think she was too excited to see all the lights outside :) We were so glad that is was only 50 degrees the night we went which seems so warm compared to the 20-30 degree weather we have had and will continue to have for awhile.
"Singing for all the world to hear"
On the way home Taryn asked for ice cream which she's never done before (seriously.) It caught both Tyson and I by surprise so we caved :) It was already past her bedtime anyways....haha!
We sang Christmas songs all the way home while Taryn used her ice cream as a microphone. She really knows how to sing those holiday tunes!
A few weeks ago I went to the free clothing exchange (same one I went to last year) and found a cute plastic cup and saucer. My friend brought us an extra one she got just a few days later (Thanks Lynne!) Taryn has loved having tea parties with her stuffed animals and enjoys it even more when she gets to have a "special treat" like Lucky Charms cereal during her tea party.
I pour a little bit of water in a big cup for her and she pours the water into her cups and gently sips. She uses the doll blanket I made as a girl for a table cloth or picnic blanket and gathers her special friends around. She always asks me to "talk for her"- or speak for her stuffed friends. Once while we were having a tea party during lunch, I pulled out my fake British accent and called everything we ate, "crumpets."
I still have the image of Taryn's precious smile and cute little laugh as we played together.
Our good friends, the Boushleys, came in town over Thanksgiving. We're so glad that Aaron's sister lives close to us so we get to see them more!
Just like us, the Boushleys have moved every year they have been married. Lucky for us, two of those moves involved us getting to know them better when we lived in Arizona. While I was working nights, Tyson would play with the Boushleys because they lived just a few doors down. We've loved keeping up with their adventures and we're happy that their current adventure (a Master's for Elena!) led them to New York- so much closer to us than Seattle, Washington.
We met up with Elena and Aaron on Saturday and visited the Air & SpaceMuseum and the Botanic Garden's Holiday Exhibit. Taryn still LOVES the trains, the water, and all the plants at the Botanic Gardens.
Elena, the Bear of moss, and our TarBear
Taryn loves her clothes to have pockets in them. She sticks her hands into her jean pockets, skirt pockets, and if she's lucky, dress pockets. Just today she looked down at her shirt and said, "Mama, where are my holes?!" She was deeply concerned that her shirt was missing pockets and wanted me to go get them- haha!
Hadleigh was there too, just sleeping in her stroller.
This picture cracks me up every time.
Her face is so serious...and her hand pose...such a funny girl
We had a fantasic day with great friends and can't wait for our turn to visit them!!