Christmas Love

 Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Eve in Pictures
This movie keeps getting better and better. It's a Wonderful Life.
Christmas Morning
The easiest, yummiest mini cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
Opened our stockings to one another.
Went to go see Disney's Frozen at 10:30am. Best decision ever! There were only a few families in the theater and it wasn't busy at all! The movie was so cute! Loved it.
We made our Christmas meal. Cranberry marinated pork chops and steak, dutchess mashed potatoes with gravy, and roasted parmesan green beans.
You can find the recipes for the mashed potatoes and green beans here and here.
We proceeded to open gifts! We managed to make our gift opening last until 7 at night. It was wonderful. Here is a gift I made for James. It's our compromise for now since he would one day like real taxidermy displayed in our home...I'm not too keen on the idea so this will do for now:
James surprised me with these amazing lamps for our home. Our home is so much brighter and beautiful when they are lit! 
We each had wonderful gifts we gave one another. Some of my other favorites from James included gorgeous sparkly earrings and this cute library tote bag with my favorite novel on the front! Such nice surprises!
James also loved his new soccer shoes!
It was a marvelous Christmas! So thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ, for His birth, for His life, and for the spirit of Christmas being in our home this year.
We LOVED going to the temple a couple days after Christmas with our best friends Than & Ixchel. We were able to do my family names initiatories and endowments. Than isn't in the pictures but he was there!
Oh and afterward we had lunch at an authentic Mexican restaurant. Ixchel had to order our food for us in Spanish. I had my first fish taco and it was delicious. It was so good to go to the temple together and to catch up with our awesome friends.
Now off to Texas to ring in the New Year with my family!


Christmasy Nights

 Sunday, December 22, 2013

We've had so much fun getting into the Christmas spirit this year! We started 1 day early by heading to see the Mesa Temple Lights with some of our friends. We also went to Cafe Rio with Ryan & Kelsey before seeing the lights!
November 30
Jessica & Bobby, Kelsey & Ryan, Chelsea & James, JOEY!, Cim & Kent & Anderson
We started watching our favorite Christmas classics:
Brings back so many childhood memories. Oh and the magic of Santa is alive again even though we don't have kids yet. 
We had a Christmas photoshoot (that we took ourselves) for our Christmas cards. I will be posting the Christmas card on Facebook sometime next week but one of these pictures is featured on it!
December 8
I helped throw a baby shower at work for my cute coworker Sue. She was completely surprised! I made these vanilla snowflake cupcakes from scratch. Everyone loved them! It's hard to see but the frosting was light pink with sugar crystals on top. She loved the gifts from everyone and got emotional because she doesn't have family in Arizona to celebrate with her. So happy for her having her first baby in February!
December 11
 The cupcake toppers: pink baby birds, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and 'let it snow'.
 Tons of yummy food, mainly Mexican food which is funny because we didn't plan that.
 Jodi, Leonor, Sue
 Jodi is the assistant branch manager and has been a great support to Sue (teller) during her pregnancy.
 Jean (branch manager), Carol (banker), Mary (teller), Leonor (financial advisor)
 Love this woman.
Justin (banker) was the only male in the branch at the time haha.
That same night we had our work Christmas party at Firebirds. I had the filet mignon. YUM!
Needless to say, we had SO much food that day and it was the best work day I've ever had. I love my work family.
We went to our besties' Christmas party where we enjoyed a hot cocoa bar! It was wonderful to see Ixchel & Than & Rex. We miss them so much!
December 13 
I had the opportunity to sing in the performance of The Messiah this year. I have always loved this musical score by George Frideric Handel. I grew up with the music and my mom and I sang in a performance of The Messiah with the McKinney stake. This year was very special because the Glendale North Stake combined choirs with the St. Thomas More Catholic Church choir. The performance was held in the beautiful, massive Catholic chapel. I invited my coworkers, and my dear friend/coworker Mary came with her neighbor and absolutely loved it! (Mary is featured in the picture at Sue's baby shower above). She and James sat together close to the front and I was singing in the very front row. The Spirit was very strong as we sang the beautiful music about our Savior Jesus Christ.
December 14
We hung out with some friends (Sam & Emma and Nathan & Janessa) and sipped hot chocolate one Sunday night. 
December 15
Also loved watching Mr. Krueger's Christmas with Jimmy Stewart and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in it. Can't wait for Christmas Eve when we watch It's A Wonderful Life.
I absolutely LOVED getting together with all my girls (minus Hailee) at Kelsey's Christmas Bash she threw for us. It was so fun catching up with everyone and eating soups and salads. We had a fun gift exchange as well and I came home with crazy bright colored socks (love!) and bath & body works shower gel from Kate! It was perfect because our hubbies were all studying for their end of rotation shelf exam that was the next day. James just completed his first family medicine rotation in Scottsdale and after Christmas he will have another family medicine rotation in Peoria (thank goodness we have at least one rotation close to home). It was also at this party that I conveniently handed out our Christmas goodies (chocolate chip cookies and brownies) we baked with love along with our Christmas card. It was SO much easier to drive around to only 3 houses instead of 10+ houses.
December 19
Kate, Janessa, Me, Emma, Jessica, Carly, Cim, and Ixchel. Hailee was out of town and Kelsey was taking the picture. 
We went to Glendale Glitters! Every year the city of Glendale decorates historic downtown Glendale in 1.5 million Christmas lights and they have food trucks, entertainment from local dance troupes, and other fun activities. We loved watching the dance performances, looking at the lights and browsing the cute shops. Then we drove around our own neighborhood looking at some pretty Christmas lights!
We watched Elf with lots of laughs.
Christmas Sunday at church is always wonderful.
Google+ automatically made our Christmas tree lights twinkle when I uploaded this photo! Amazing! 
Tonight we are making fudge and watching Miracle on 34th Street!
I encourage everyone to visit this link to watch the amazing life-like Bible videos featuring the Savior's ministry upon the earth. We've been watching one every night as part of the 25 Days of Christ we added to our advent calendar. It has made me think of Jesus Christ more this Christmas season. Have a wonderful Merry Christmas and I will post again after Christmas!
P.S. This video will put you in the Christmas mood for sure! It's O Come, Emmanuel featuring The Piano Guys and snippets of the LDS Bible video of The Nativity. Enjoy!


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