Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our California Christmas

This year was our first Christmas in California. The weather was cooler than last December, but not uncomfortably cold. We used our cozy gas fireplace a lot. (And we are still paying for it! oops! We had a HUGE gas bill in January!)  

First Christmas Eve at our church's candlelight service. I wasn't sure how the kids would do being in the service with us the whole time. Anna Kate didn't make it the whole time, but Emily and Caleb did pretty well. 

I could not get a photo of all the children or the whole family on Christmas Eve. Anna Kate was NOT feeling it. I'll just have to be thankful for these blurry iPhone photos of Em and C. 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

We had a simple day at home with food, presents, and lots of play with new toys. We wore PJs most of the day. It was relaxing and wonderful.

I love this photo of the kids even though AK's hair is crazy! Wish I would have taken a moment to fix it, but this is how they looked first thing in the morning on Christmas day. 

Not too many pics of Jeremy and me as we were still looking pretty rough! ha!
Guess where Emily is pointing? Someone we love lives there.

Heart Melting! They are usually eager to give baby sister kisses. 

I made a cranberry breakfast casserole, a traditional egg/sausage/grits casserole, fresh fruit and cinnamon rolls. I love Christmas morning breakfast. To enjoy good food, coffee, and presents without being in a rush is one of the best gifts. 

These were in the kids' stockings from Santa. They were a big hit. Caleb said he was "Mr. Potatohead."

Sunday sweetness. I believe this was the first Sunday in January. I
Christmas night at the Wards home.
Happy New Year little ladies

Jeremy took off two weeks at Christmas. I have gotten very spoiled to him having so much time off around the holidays. It is such a blessing. Most of his colleagues take off a lot of time at the end of the year. Many people are transplants like us and need to travel to see family or they take vacations. So, even if he went into the office, it's kind of a ghost town. He worked a little on side projects. Mostly, he was just with us. We tried to make the time off for Emily fun. We took her ice skating. I took all the kids to a jumpy house place one day. We enjoyed dinners with friends, a zoo trip, and festive outings to see Christmas lights. Thankful for another year to have and hold this beautiful family of mine.
A zoo trip with the Frasers during Christmas break

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Birthday Hike

Happy Birthday to ME! One good thing about my December 23rd birthday is that most of the time, family can be off that day to celebrate with me! Emily and Jeremy were both off from school and work. It had been way too long since we had seen or done anything new in our area, so when it was my turn to pick what I wanted to do, I chose to spend some time in the Presidio. I searched for an urban hike for us to do that the kids could handle without us needing to use the carrier for Caleb. See the link below for the hike we chose.

A nice lady took a photo of the whole family. AK's Christmas hat stands out a little too much! haha!

One excited little adventurer!

Andy Goldsworthy's Tree Line

Hiking from Lovers Lane area over to Inspiration Point

Caleb needed Dad's shoulders for a few minutes. 

We were rewarded with a lovely view! 

Emily brought along her toy camera. It really does take photos. She snapped photos capturing the hike along the way. Hmmm, wonder who she's doing that? This photo makes me laugh because our expressions are similar. (Deleting old photos to make room for Caleb's new ones.)

And Here's a few photos I took on my iPhone of our day.

Love him!

Birthday selfie. AK with the photo bomb

My mini me 

It's always nice when your hike is close enough to stop by the Golden Gate Bride afterwards. We had some Christmas business at the Warming Hut where I bought Jeremy a framed Muir Woods poster by Michael Schwab.
And this is 38.

There are dozens of these beautiful old homes in the Presidio. They were developed for officers in the military and their families. Talk about a sweet assignment! Located in the beautiful Presidio and close to the Bay/Pacific and Golden Gate Bridge. Where can you sign up for this?

Right here:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cozy Holidays

I found it both amusing and annoying that this year despite many times all three children were dressed up in their nice Christmas clothes, we could never get a photo of all of them together and happy. (Much less one of the whole family!) We would never have time for photos while getting ready to leave to go anywhere. By the time we returned, one or more of them would be tired, unhappy, and uncooperative. I may have managed to get a shot or two on my iPhone, but nothing good with Jeremy's camera. I'll include a few examples below:

Example 1: Sunday morning after church. Kids were dressed cute. Hey, let's get a photo by the tree! Not happening. We finally just decided to do a "crazy" shot because if Caleb was going to pout, we all might as well do that, too. 
Example 2: I include this because Emily's posture and expression are absolutely HILARIOUS! This was a classic mistake of waiting too late in the evening to take a photo. Anna Kate was tired and ready for bed. I bought coordinating Disney PJs and mouse ears for them for our Disney trip, but we didn't have a chance to photograph the kids wearing them.
Example 3: I think by this time we had bribed Caleb with a treat. Two of the three look pretty cute. Anna, still a hot mess. I even gave her a sucker thinking it might help. (I never do this.Truly desperate move here.) She would not sit down or let Emily hold her and she sure didn't like us leaving her "stranded" on the hearth! lol.

Sweet matching sisters Thanksgiving weekend after church.
This turned out cute because Caleb wasn't in it. lol!

Best I ever got of them all in their Disney Jammies. This was Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy's parade. (You can still see Caleb trying to watch the parade out of the corner of his eye!)

One night the kids were particularly restless and bored so I decided to pop some popcorn and let Emily string together a garland. I thought if she really enjoyed it, I might have her make enough garland for their little "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. She did enjoy it and it entertained her for about an hour. Jeremy took the opportunity to make several photos of the kids. I like these because they were just doing their thing. Unposed. Just natural and in their cozy everyday clothes.

Such concentration!

Caleb was all like, "Thanks for the popcorn. Don't mind if I do." 

AK has to take a peek to see what's in that big red bowl?