This month has been so fun.  We've been busy with so many activities and our girls are at the perfect age to enjoy the magic of the season.  It's been a whirlwind, I can hardly believe that Christmas is this week.

After four days straight of heavy rain at the beginning of December we finally made it out to choose a Christmas tree.  It was chilly and Mattie had a nasty cough so we made a pretty quick choice, but it's my favorite tree we've ever had.  We decorated our tree the next night and after I explained the concept of spreading ornaments all around the tree Jilly became the self-appointed ornament regulator and did a great job. 

Jilly was an excellent helper getting our Christmas cards stuffed and ready to go.

There is a mall right by our house that does an amazing train display at Christmas.  We've gone a couple times to check it out.

One Saturday night we went down to DC to see the lights at the National Zoo.  It was one of those nights where so many things went wrong- we left a little later than we had intended, traffic was horrible, my phone died, Mattie had to go potty 15 times (or maybe just 2, but it felt like 15), and we were all hungry and the snacks I brought weren't cutting it.  But, the lights were really cool and Mattie fulfilled her wish to see the owl (and a few other animals.)  We finally left to get some dinner and decided to stop by the temple on the way home even though it was super late and the girls were fading.  The lights at the temple were spectacular and we ran into a few friends there.  So the night ended up being a success after all.

It's not December without a few sick days.  Mattie was the sickest of us all, I spent a few hours at Urgent Care one Sunday night getting her an antibiotic for her horrible cough.  But Jilly had a pretty pathetic day also.  Poor girlies. 

I went to Burger King to get crowns for the wise men to wear in our Primary Nativity and this is what they gave me.  Bryan said the wise men should bring gifts of chicken fries to the baby Jesus.  With a little tape and paint Jilly and I turned them into acceptable crowns.

When we painted our chalk wall I had no clue what a fantastic chalk artist Bryan is.

Mattie and I have taken a few shopping trips together while Jilly is at school.  Mattie is a classic terrible two and can be very feisty and loves to pick fights with her sister.  But when I get her one-on-one she is absolutely delightful.

We went to Chick-fil-A's breakfast with Santa.  I'll take any excuse to have chicken mini's for breakfast, and after a lot of convincing the girls were brave enough to chat with Santa (who was definitely not the most impressive Santa I've ever seen.)  For days Jilly had been debating what to tell Santa she wanted for Christmas.  When he asked her I held my breath, having no clue what she was about to say.  She told him she wants a jack-in-the-box, which is totally random, but works for me.  Also at Chick-fil-A the girls got to make little milkshake ornaments which are perfect for our cfa-loving family.  

It's not December without a crazy sewing project.  We made these little totes for all 100 primary kids and 50 teachers.  

One Saturday while Mattie was napping Jilly and I went out to do some shopping.  She's growing up so fast and she talks a mile a minute.  It's nice to have some time with just her to focus on all her stories.  Also, we've had the warmest December.  I was wearing a cardigan this day but I was just too hot and had to take it off.  

Ward Christmas Party.  I always love singing carols, doing crafts, and eating treats with our friends in our ward.  And Mattie's face in this picture just kills me.

After church one Sunday I took Mattie to her room for a nap and came down to find these sleepy heads.

We had friends over to make gingerbread (graham cracker) houses.  It was so fun to fill our table with friends.  Mattie and I were on baby duty most of the time (which we loved!) but we made sure to eat lots of candy with everyone else.

The most festive street in Baltimore is 34th Street, where every single house goes all out with decorations.  We had a great time walking around and enjoying all the lights.

The most exciting event all month- my sister had sweet baby Joseph on the 17th.  I went down to visit them in the hospital and then again a couple days later.  He is so tiny, sweet, and perfect.  My girls are dying to meet their new cousin when they're over their colds and totally germ-free.

Jilly signed a card for her preschool teacher and I loved her mixed up order and cute five-year-old handwriting.

At Jilly's preschool party they did a little play about three Christmas trees.  Jilly got to play the mom and was in heaven playing her dream role.

Last Saturday we were excited for our Cougars' bowl game.  I scrounged up shirts for the girls (Jilly is wearing a 3T!) and they loved cheering for BYU, even though it was the weirdest game ever.

I left to run a quick errand on Saturday (no errands are quick on the Saturday before Christmas) and came home to this painting party.  Bryan was a bit frazzled and told me that painting with Mattie is "stressful."  Ummm, yes. 

And, lastly, Christmas Sunday.  I love these cute little girlies a lot, but add matching church dresses and they're irresistible.  We had a wonderful meeting; our choir is amazing and we did a sweet little nativity with the primary kids.  

Merry Christmas!!  We're excited to celebrate with our Martinez family this week.


Thanks for Thanksgiving

We had Thanksgiving down in Richmond with my family.  On the day before Thanksgiving Bryan had to work most of the day and Jilly had school so we didn't get to leave until 3pm.  When we were finally on the road I sent this picture to my friend Britney and she said "woah, there's a lot of pink in that car."  We wouldn't have it any other way. ;)  We knew traffic on I-95 would be bad, and it was, but we made it in time to meet my family for dollar taco night, a pre-Thanksgiving tradition we started last year and love.

Before going to bed Jilly said she was most excited for the parade in the morning.  She watched nearly the entire thing, then my mom kept us all busy with kid and adult coloring books til dinner time.  We had a delicious Thanksgiving feast then walked around Deep Run Park where Jilly found a stage and put on quite a show.

Friday was the most gorgeous day.  We went out to Carter Mountain in Charlottesville.  It was past peak apple season but we picked a few and made sure to get some delicious apple cider donuts.  

That night we went to see Christmas lights and had a fire and roasted marshmallows.  

On Saturday we went to see The Hunger Games movie while my mom stayed home with the girls (she's the best!)  We did some yard work/played outside then watched the BYU game and drove home.  It was a great weekend with family.


five on friday

ONE | My aunt sent us a suitcase full of hand-me-downs from her girls for Jilly.  It has been so fun to have so many cute new dresses; Jilly is in heaven.  Also, Mattie's necklace broke so Bryan expertly fixed it with a paper clip.  She loves it and wears it all the time, proudly telling everyone that her daddy fixed it.

TWO | Two-year-olds + makeup is pretty much my least favorite combination ever.  Mattie is quick and fierce in her application and almost always looks like she has a black eye (or two.)

THREE | I took Jillian to Target to use a giftcard she was given for her birthday.  We looked at basically everything in the store while Jilly stressed over choosing just one thing.  But then we found this dress and she was immediately sold.  When we got home Jilly let Mattie try the dress on first, which is probably the nicest thing anyone in our family has ever done.  

FOUR | We all sat down to watch Aladdin one night (it was Bryan's favorite growing up and the girls hadn't ever seen it.)  Within the first 20 seconds, this is what Bryan looked like.  We're grateful he works so hard for his girls.

FIVE | I love finding my two Cinderella's dancing at the ball.