Christmas Day

Last year our kids woke up six or seven times in the middle of the night to check out the gifts. This year we decided to wrap the hallway entrance so no one could see through until the morning. We then made a deal that they could wake up anytime after six a.m. Any time before that and they would have to come into our room and wait.
 Everyone did a pretty good job of staying in bed and we had a lovely Christmas day.
I tried really hard to go light on Christmas this year. Every year I say I'm going to and then I go crazy. I figured the kids are growing up and if I was going to keep Christmas small, this was the year I needed to start.
 I always fill their stockings with socks, underwear, new toothbrushes and a toy or two.
 Luke got a new bike!

One of the funniest hits of Christmas were these ridiculous footie pjs that Dustin bought for the girls. I guess sometimes it's worth a trip into Justice.

Luke's favorite toy was Zoomer Dino.

Nate's favorite toy was his new iPod (and the Xbox).

Sadie was dying for Ever After High dolls.

And Ellie finally got a phone!

It was a good year for everyone.We played with neighbors, built puzzles, played our new games and just lazed around the house. Then we picked up take out for dinner.
 Dustin and I gifted each other new carpet. It's been 3 months and we've still done absolutely nothing to even start the process. Maybe we can regift it to each other for our anniversary. Merry Christmas!!


Christmas Eve

My girlfriend Meredith took over hosting our annual Christmas Eve. At first I thought I would be really sad about handing over my traditional hostess duties, but honestly. . . it was awesome. I loved getting to be the guest! And Meredith did an amazing job.
Ellie spent the night before (Christmas Adam) at their house preparing while Dustin and I went with the other three kids to another Christmas dinner complete with ham and delicious rolls and potatoes. We counted that as Christmas dinner.

We had our usual menu of soup in bread bowls. Then the kids went off to play until we gathered them all up for the Nativity. This is my absolute favorite part of Christmas Eve.
 As we've added more families and children to our count, we've had to be a little more inventive with costumes, but there's always enough. Even if we throw some monkeys into the mix.

I love my girlfriends and I love spending this holiday with people who feel like family when my own family isn't around.
 I started this tradition with my friend Tasha back when we each only had 2 kids and before she moved to Utah. It's amazing to see what it has grown into. I don't know what I'll ever do if everyone finds something better to do on Christmas Eve.

To end the night we always decorate cookies for Santa. . .

And then doorbell rings and . . . SURPRISE! Pajamas for everyone.
This year I thought it would be so funny to get my entire family matching pjs. I thinking matching is the coolest thing ever.
My girlfriend, Maren, had the same thought.
 And after an obscene about of picture taking, we headed home for a night of anticipation and restless sleep.



December was a blur for me. I wasn't 100% for the month, so there really aren't too many pictures of anything leading up to Christmas. We opted for a slower December than usual and it was actually quite lovely not to have to run around to make it to the ballet or the train park or host this event or the other.

From the few pictures we learn that I met a Sister Wife! A guy at our gym was telling us about how some reality tv lady was coming to his restaurant for a publicity thing. When we found out we were dying to go. We might have been the only people were excited about it, though. I think our friend Molly even mentioned that we were dying to be sister wives. uhhhh. . .

My sister had a BABY!!! She might be the cutest thing ever. Spoiler alert: she's also a lot of work! Between jaundice and RSV that poor baby has been on oxygen most of her life since this picture was taken.

Ward party talent show!! Luke and Sadie were reindeers in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

We matched for Christmas Sunday.

 The kids were in a Nativity at Church.

And we spent lots of time playing board games and watching Christmas movies. 

It was a lovely December.


A Rogers Thanksgiving

We have been lucky enough to spend many Thanksgivings with our friends, the Bryners (who are moving, effectively making the Thanksgiving in this post our last one together). Every once in awhile we luck out with a visit from our families too.
This year, Casey and Sarah came out with Lincoln for a long weekend and we loved every second.

Lincoln is like a mini-celebrity in our house. The kids cannot get enough of their cousins!

Everyone arrived just in time to head over for Thanksgiving dinner. We ate too much, played some football, ate more and then at the last minute the girls all decided to go out Black Friday shopping.
None of us had ever really gone (except for Sarah, she's an expert) but we had the best time and came back with some hilarious stories (like the lady who ran into me and then yelled at me for apparently existing??). We also came home with some sweet deals from Target, which was insanely busy. Everywhere else was kind of a bust.

I don't really remember what else we did and in what order of events, but I know we smothered Lincoln and forced Uncle Casey to read many, many pigeon books.
We also ate out a lot.
And went down to the Mesa Temple Lights. We unexpectedly ran into our college friends, the Stohls, who were down visiting family for the holiday. It was a happy reunion.

Saturday we took all the kids to Freestone park to ride all the kiddie rides.

 I thought maybe since it was almost Decemeber, I could pretend it was winter and dress in some warmer clothes.
I ended up dying of heat. I think it was almost in the 80's that weekend.

Saturday night we met up with Dustin's other brother, Doug and family, at La Grande Orange to make sure Casey and Sarah got some of their favorite english muffins before they headed home.
Dustin's brothers are so much fun to be around and all so incredibly nice. We just love any time we get to spend with them and were sad to see them go. Hopefully we will get to see Casey and Sarah's newest arrival in April!!


Birthday Girl!

I love my birthday. Love love love it.
 This year we started off the celebration by going out to dinner at Beckett's Table. Everything was delicious, and Molly even ate soft cheese and LIKED it (best present ever)!

After dinner we all headed back to play games at our house and all the girls hopped in bed to be funny. Luke came in and thought it was the coolest.thing.ever.

My actual birthday was Sunday and Dustin surprised me by canceling all of his church meetings. It was so fun to have him home. We even got out the Christmas decorations and started putting up the tree -- one of my absolute favorite things to do!

After dinner we headed over to Kristin's for dessert. . . which ended up end up being a surprise dessert party.  My favorite kind. Kristin knows me well.
Everyone brought one of my favorite desserts -- Montana sheet cake, chocolate chip cookies, coconut gooey butter cake. . . I loved it all so much that I ate a serving of everything. I think there were 9 desserts there.

Monday we celebrated at the gym -- which meant I got to wear a weight vest the entire workout. Boo!
Kristin also knows how much I love party hats. I feel badly for subjecting everyone else to them non their birthdays because they are not easy to workout in. Especially since the straps are obviously man-sized.

Luckily I had burned those extra calories so I could eat the cake Susy brought over.
 All weekend long people stopped by with flowers, cards and little gifts. It was perfection. I got to wear my sweet new puffy vest out for birthday lunch with my girlfriends. I had been dying for one forever but I kept saying they were too impractical to justify the expense.
It was such a perfect birthday weekend and I can't thank my friends and family enough. I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many thoughtful and wonderful people. One of the gifts my friends got me said #loved on it and I definitely felt loved that weekend.


November Random-ness

I cannot even remember what happened in between Halloween and Thanksgiving anymore. But according to my phone. . .

We took family pictures! They actually turned out well!!

Young Women in Excellence.

I bought a gingerbread man kit and became a HERO!

I worked out with my favorite work out friend!

And we went out on a date with our other favorite workout friends! Dinner and bowling.
 Pink Ladies vs. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Girls won!

A little sickness sprinkled in the mix. You know you're in trouble when Luke wants to sleep.

Cold early morning soccer and football games. Look at that cranky face!

School projects! In 4th grade the kids do a cereal box report. We all had a good time coming up with ideas for Nate's project on Midnight Magic.
It was a good month.