December 31, 2014

Christmas in Sammamish - Cabin Snow Days

No trip to Washington would be complete without some time at the cabin. This Christmas we were able to spend four nights up in the mountains. Unfortunately there wasn't enough snow yet for skiing, but it was plenty for playing. I forgot to bring Sophie's snow boots so our trips out never lasted very long, but she always had fun. Snow is quickly becoming one of her favorite things!

Exploring with Paco

All tuckered out

Going for a sled ride with daddy and Jobe

My snowy owl

Eating some fresh snow - she really loved this!

Dave made Sophie a little snowman after sledding. We put in a carrot nose and quickly discovered that Jobe likes carrots (who knew??). He is normally a very obedient dog, but couldn't help himself and stole 5 carrot noses. Sophie was pretty traumatized by the whole thing. 

Going fast on the sled with mamma. Don't judge her face in this picture - she actually loved it. 

I also took a few pictures to showcase a jacket my sister designed for her pattern shop. The pattern isn't available yet, but should be released soon!

December 29, 2014

Christmas in Sammamish: Christmas Day

Christmas was a wonderful day! Sophie doesn't fully "get it" yet, but she does know Santa, and "ho ho ho", and loves opening presents. Having her around makes Christmas 100 times better.

With her stocking and gifts from Santa - she was in love with her new Barbie

Gathered around the tree to begin opening family presents

Opening a dress-up Minnie Mouse set. She opened all her presents herself, and most of ours as well.

In love with Christmas

One of her favorite presents was a set of Disney princesses from Grandmari. She knows them all by name, but for some reason does not like Tiana (notice her on the counter while the others are invited to breakfast). 

December 26, 2014

Christmas in Sammamish: Pre-Christmas Festivities

We alternate family visits for Christmas, and this year was the Lambert family in Sammamish. We left on a Friday afternoon with my brother right after my school got out and drove to my sister's house in Idaho. We spent the night with her family and then continued on the next day for Washington. Our weather was much wetter/snowier than expected, but Sophie did much better than expected so it was an even trade. She was awake for 13 of the 14 driving hours, but never cried once! I hope things go as well on the way back home.

We arrived in time to see my home ward's live nativity put on by the youth. This was it's 19th year and it was amazing how little has changed since I was last in it 11 years ago. Sophie loved it and sat quietly on Aunt Nat's lap through the whole thing.

Two days before Christmas we went down to Seattle. It was raining so we decided it would be best to leave the kids at home with my mom. We went to see the gingerbread display at the Sheraton hotel. They were amazing, as always, and my two favorites were "Mele Kalikimaka" and "Christmas in the Northwest".

After the gingerbread houses and a yummy pizza dinner, we went to the 5th Avenue Theatre to see "A Christmas Story: The Musical". I love this movie and know all the lines by heart and the play did not disappoint. 

Dave as "The Pink Nightmare" and me as "I Can't Put My Arms Down"

A beautiful northwest sunset

Sophie also had lots of cousin time. She developed a love/hate relationship with Will. Sometimes they played well together, and other times she would call him "baby" and run away. 

On the other hand, she always loved Anne. She even let Anne feed her some ham, a food she hasn't voluntarily eaten since Easter. 

Making cookies for Santa

Attempt at a Christmas Eve jammies picture

December 24, 2014

Family Picture 2014

As painful as family pictures can be, I'm glad we made the effort because Sophie was just a little baby in our last picture and kids change and grow so fast at this age! We did a mini photo session with my dad when my parents came to visit over Thanksgiving. It literally took 10 minutes and I was so happy with the "good" one that we got. Credit for Sophie's cute smile goes to tickles from daddy and my mom making a little barbie dance on my dad's head - whatever works!

Howe Family 2014

This Christmas was spent with my family in Washington. Everyone came to visit so we also took the opportunity to get an updated family photo. This is the first picture with everyone, since the last one was before my brother left for his mission and when Anne was the only grandchild. Amy's camera, a tripod, and a few photoshop tweaks resulted in a great photo!

Lambert Family 2014

The grandkids - Anne (4), Will (2), Sophie (1), and Levi (9 mos)

December 14, 2014

The Tree of Life

I had seen several articles about a large willow tree that was decorated with 1,000 strands of light that was being called "The Tree of Life." It looked amazing, and then when I realized it was in Draper just minutes from our house, I thought it would be fun to make a quick trip to see it. Tonight we drove up with my brother Derek, who came for dinner, to admire the display.

The tree was beautiful and very bright. Sophie said "lights, lights!" about 50 times while we were there. 

December 11, 2014

BYU Basketball Game and Temple Square

My uncle Alan offered us his family's tickets to the BYU basketball last Saturday. BYU was playing Hawaii in Salt Lake where the Jazz normally play, and it was an afternoon game - perfect!! This was Sophie's first basketball game and she was mesmerized by the giant tv. She also loved the clapping and would join in whenever BYU scored, which was a lot - go cougars!

Failed attempt at a family picture - silly girl!

After the game we walked over to Temple Square to see the lights and the nativity sets. It was such a nice evening (54 degrees!), which was like heaven to me. My memories of Temple Square at Christmas normally involve boots, hats, gloves, scarves, 3 coats, and a longing for hot chocolate. This year we all had our jackets unzipped and then got ice cream afterwards. 

Sophie was able to find the baby Jesus in every nativity. She also liked looking for the "daddy and mama" - Joseph and Mary. 

The temple makes me so happy! I'm so glad we were able to go walk around and enjoy it at this beautiful time of year!

December 4, 2014

Santa 2014

Sophie loves Santa. She loves books with Santa, Santa decorations, youtube videos of Santa and the real thing!

Her first Santa this year was a warm-up run at the mall and she did really well. She sat on his lap and told him she wanted a "moose." I am not sure if she meant something else, or if she even knows what a moose is, but I hope she is not disappointed when Santa does not bring her one for Christmas. The mall people took a really cute photo, but I didn't want to pay $25 for it.

Her second Santa was at Riverwoods. This is the same Santa we saw last year and he is a little strange, but also free! I brought my camera for a picture and she seemed a little hesitant at first, but then gave us a good smile before we left. This time she just asked for "toys."

We have also met Santa at our ward party and at Walmart. Each time she has gone right up to him, which makes part of me proud, and part of nervous! No stranger danger with this child.

Ho-ho-ho, Merry Christmas!

I also put up a few decorations at home for Christmas and she has done surprisingly well. Our tree is small and nothing is out of her reach, but she has not tried to take any ornaments off. She calls the tree "mismas" (Christmas) and she likes the lights to be turned on as soon as we come down in the morning for breakfast. Her favorite ornaments are the Santas (of course), the snowmen, and the nutcrackers. 

December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This year for Thanksgiving we stayed in Utah and my parents came down from Seattle to visit for the week. My aunt was out of town, so we were able to stay at her house in Provo. My brother came to stay with us as well and it was nice to all be together. Sophie especially loved the extra attention!

On Wednesday we were able to go skiing at Brighton with my dad and brother. The resort had just barely enough snow so limited runs were open, but we still had a good time. The snow they did have was fresh and it was a clear sunny day - my kind of skiing!

On Thursday we joined my grandma, and aunt & uncle at the Country Club in Salt Lake for dinner. We did this two years ago and enjoyed coming back for a second time. The food was good and it's so, so nice to not have to cook or clean anything. Thanks for a great feast grandma!

Sophie's favorite part of dinner was dessert (of course)

Left to right: Derek, Dave, Sophie, Me, Grandma Mimi, and my mom. Not pictured are my dad, my Uncle David, and my Aunt Cynthia

On Friday my parents babysat so we could go see the new Hunger Games movie. It was good, and it was nice to go out on a date. That evening we went to dinner at Cafe Rio (always a favorite!) and then to Riverwoods to see the lights and meet Santa (post on that later). 

Thanks for coming to visit Grandmari & Paco!

Video: playing one of her favorite games with Paco