Livvy fell asleep like this one morning right in the middle of our morning hustle to get out to the bus stop.

On the first Friday in December we went to the Towson Tree Lighting.  We weren't sure what to expect but it was very fun- free light sticks for the girls, Frosty, the Grinch, the radio station had a prize wheel and we won two free kids' meals at CFA, and of course the tree lighting.  My sister-in-law Kylie was visiting for the weekend so it was fun to have her with us.

The next day we went down to the National Botanical Garden to see the holiday train exhibit, which was so cool.  While I fed Livvy in the car the rest of them walked over to see the Capitol (it was our first time seeing it not covered in scaffolding since we'd moved out east!)  And then we made a very important stop at Cafe Rio on the way home.  Most of these pictures are ones that Kylie took, that's why they look so good!

Of course we also took Kylie to the Kenilworth Mall to see the holiday train exhibit.

Jillian is the best baby snuggler in the times before and after school.

Two months old!

Jilly had a half day of school so we took a little adventure down to the aquarium to see Rudolph while it was in the 4D theater.  It was the girls' first time seeing any kind of 3D movie so they were pretty startled and confused at times, it was pretty funny.  We had enough time to look at a couple exhibits before I had to feed Livvy then naturally she had a blowout then we finally were ready to go and everyone was starving and we had to run through the cold to get to the car.  I remember feeling like I was kind of a mess but we did it!

Lots of sweet sister moments at home -

Santa at the Ward Christmas party

Bryan calls Olivia "Aunt Jemima" when she wears this hat

Mattie has an Elsa dress that is size 18 months that she wore two Halloweens in a row and now will still squeeze into sometimes.  This day she was also having some trouble with her tights and making me laugh so hard.

We had the Wilsons and the Russells over to make gingerbread (graham cracker) houses.  Right before everyone was set to arrive I noticed that Mattie had pink eye!  So the poor girl was quarantined to her own little table.  She was a great sport about it though.

One Saturday we met Katie, Neal, and Joey at the temple.  We planned to arrive before it got dark so we could see the lights turn on.  It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon, the lights seemed extra amazing this year (and Livvy was there too, just sleeping in the stroller the whole time!)  After the temple we had dinner and a birthday party for Joey, our favorite little one-year-old!

Mattie, Olivia, and I went down to Richmond for my sister Leslie's bridal shower.  It was a quick trip- we left Monday after getting Jilly on the bus and were back by noon on Tuesday so I could go to her holiday party at school.  But it was worth it to attend Leslie's shower, it was one of the most fun I've ever been to!

Jilly and Bryan had school and work until the 23rd of December so we drove down to Richmond that night.  On Christmas Eve we went to see Christmas decorations at the Jefferson Hotel and Short Pump Mall.

That night we acted out the nativity story- Livvy starred as baby Jesus, Mattie was ecstatic to be Mary and Seth, Jenn's boyfriend, was the lucky one chosen to be Joseph.  It was a great performance.  Then we opened up new pajamas and went to bed!  

Christmas day was excellent.  The girls surprisingly didn't wake up any earlier than normal, but they were super excited when they did get up.  We opened stockings and checked out their spoils from Santa then got ready and went to church.  After church we opened more presents then when the kids were in bed (three cheers for 7pm bedtime!) we had fondue- one of my favorite meals of the year!

Traditional stairs picture-

Livvy fit perfectly in the cradle Mattie got for her dolls-

And Jilly got the cutest little guitar.  She was very apprehensive about it at first but by the end of the day thought it was a fun gift and started strumming and singing for us.

Mattie was so fun on Christmas morning, she was so excited about every single gift 

We came home the day after Christmas so Bryan could work for a couple days before going back down for Leslie's wedding and New Year's.  We'd all had bad colds over Christmas but Mattie had a fever for a couple days so I took her to the pediatrician and it turned out both she had Jilly had double ear infections.  On Wednesday the 28th we headed down south for the wedding and I had to take a picture of all the medications we were taking with us.  We were kind of a disaster but so excited for the big celebration!


November, part 2

My roommate Britney was in town for a conference and we were so lucky to have her spend a day with us.  Brit and I went out for crepes then when the place closed we sat out in my minivan talking, haha.  Bryan's mom was still in town so the next day I took Britney and Sherrie to tour the Hampton House.  It's only ten minutes away and such a neat place, I couldn't believe we'd lived here for a full two years before going inside!

On the Saturday after Jilly's birthday we had a party.  I tried to convince her to do a big family activity instead of a party but she had been dreaming of a butterfly party for weeks so we did it and I'm so glad we did.  We had fun searching pinterest and planning together.  She has such a darling group of friends, it was a lot of fun to have them all over.

The day of Jilly's party was Nana's last day here so that night after the party we took her to Kenilworth Mall to see the holiday train exhibit and to have dinner.  We were glad to start our Christmas celebrations with her and so sad to see her go the next morning.

So excited about the little smiles we started to see-

I love this picture- Bryan was totally oblivious to poor Olivia's bow trouble

We had our first Thanksgiving as just our family.  We were excited for a low-key day at home together, but it didn't exactly end up that way.  Our turkey took MUCH  longer than we thought it would and we made the rookie mistake of buying movie tickets for the afternoon.  We finally sat down to eat all the sides (that of course were cold by this point) without the turkey.  I dished up the food and encouraged the girls to start eating then after a few minutes Mattie said, "don't we need to say a prayer?"  Ahhh.  We had forgotten to say a prayer for Thanksgiving dinner!  We took a deep breath, laughed, then said a prayer.  The turkey was finally done just a few minutes before we had to leave so we each ate a few bites before dashing off to see Moana, which was fantastic.  

On the day after Thanksgiving we went to a Christmas tree farm.  It was a relatively warm day and we had a great time searching for the perfect tree.  We also got to see Santa; seeing all three girls on his lap was so fun!  Somehow all our pictures from that day have disappeared except this one, but at least it's a cute one!