Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Eve

Every Christmas we go over to my Grandpa and Grandma Guest's house (right next door to my parents). We have a Christmas program, eat and exchange gifts with extended family members.I Like Punch.

This is all of us, my brother, my two sisters and their husbands, Torry and me. It's been fun having us all together.

Arriving in Montana

Elaina immediately warmed up to her cousin Haley. They are only 13 days apart and it's like having twins around. They took turns riding up front as my dad pushed them around.
Decorating sugar cookies. Elaina had fun putting the sprinkles on.

My brand new neice! She is only 2 weeks old and so, so cute! I feel bad for my sister - she is nursing all the time.

Christmas Day with the Johnson Family

We pretended that the 21st of December was Christmas with the Johnson side, because we were leaving the next day for Montana. We went to Osaka for lunch (our favorite Japanese restaurant in Provo). Elaina got the coolest kid's meal in a boat.
Elaina kept crawling under the rug in the living room - she seemed to think that it made a good blanket.
We cooked Christmas dinner - complete with ham, cheesy potatoes and homemade rolls. We sang Christmas songs, read the Christmas story and opened presents from Torry's parents.
Elaina got a cool new tent, that she loved. As soon as it was set up, she had everyone get inside with her.

A visit with Grandma Powell

We always enjoy our visits with Grandma Powell. We had a wonderful lunch and Elaina had fun playing with grandmas wicker rocking horse.

Stuffed Animals for abused Children

Every year Torry's dad's bank does a stuffed animal drive for abused children. As part of their therapy they get to pick out a stuffed animal. Elaina loved looking at all the stuffed animals. She especially liked the stuffed Whinnie the Pooh.

Grandma Payne

We got to visit with Grandma Payne this Christmas. She lives in Salt Lake in a care home. We don't get to see her very often and she was really happy to see Elaina.

Utah Guest Family Christmas Party

We had another Christmas party with my side of the family in Utah. We have a lot of fun together.
We did another white elephant game, but we always try to bring gifts that we think everyone will like. We have a lot of fun fighting over the presents.

Johnson Family Christmas Party

Elaina is in love with her cousin Brock. As soon as she saw him, she had him by the finger and having him follow her around. He loves her too - he says he wants a little sister just like her.
Our family played the white elephant game - I ended up with a cork screw opener. Yeh! Just what I needed.
Elaina got lucky (I think our aunt planted the gift just for her and made sure she opened it) She is ready for St. Patricks Day!

Christmas at Temple Square

I didn't get a lot of great pictures, but we had a wonderful time looking at the lights. Normally it is too crowded to enjoy, but we went on a Thursday night during the MTB choir Christmas concert and the place was practically deserted. Elaina loved looking at the Christis and we ended going up there twice during our visit. She is so cute!

Sledding with Grandma

Elaina's favorite snack

Elaina loves popcorn and hot chocolate - probably because her mommy loves it too and that is what I feed her when we come in from the cold. She loves watching the popcorn pop and she will sit with me until all of it is gone.
Hot Chocolate thru a straw anyone?

Fun at the Johnson house

Elaina loved dancing with Grandma, and Grandma loved dancing with Elaina. Dancing mostly consisted of going around in circles.

The night we arrived in Salt Lake there was a snow storm. Torry was a sweetie a shoveled the drive.

Yum! Snow!

I'll be home for Christmas

As many of you know, going home for Christmas isn't optional for our family. I look forward to this time with my family and letting Elaina get reacquainted with her Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Elaina was so excited to ride an airplane. She was so good through the whole experience. I usually get uncomfortable looks from fellow passangers as we board the plane and then end up receiving complements at the end of the flight for how good our child is. I think I lucked out with Elaina. I hope our little boy will be equally as good.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My girls like to party all the time (posted by Torry)

So I spent some time last week doing my other job (full time student is job #1, but assistant to the POLO co-chair is job #2) all for what turned out to be a pretty cool party. As Heather predicted, the graham cracker gingerbread houses turned out to be a big hit, and not just because of the vast amounts of candy at that table that were easily in the reach of even the smallest kids. Elaina ate about half the M&Ms in the bucket (the little baby blue thing there) and crashed hard from a dizzying sugar high (a low-altitude orbit sugar high) in the car on the way home. However, that crash resulted from the 5 minutes that I watched her like a hawk and kept her away from chocolate. 5 minutes later, she was back on another sugar high (from the chocolate she ate after I got tired of following her) and we struggled to get her down for a nap.

She had a lot of fun decorating this house, and it turned out pretty cool, but she really just wanted to eat the candy rather than build the house. Unsurprisingly, she also can't figure out why we have this candy-covered house on our table and we just want to look at it, not eat it. Let's just say there are some gumdrop fences on the property that are in need of mending.

My Awesome Friends

First of all, thanks to Anita and Breanne for throwing me a beautiful baby shower! The food was delicious and everyone had a great time. Thanks also to everyone who came and helped us celebrate - it wouldn't have been the same without any one of you. I am truly blessed to have such great friends here in Chicago.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So get yourself a can of Pork Soda!

Ever wondered what the famous Jones Soda holiday flavors actually taste like? So have I, yet I'm way too cheap to spend money on something like that. So instead I found this amusing review of this year's Christmas flavors. You still won't know what they taste like, but it is an entertaining read:

"Imagine a Christmas ham, sealed in plastic and defrosting in the fridge. Imagine the cloudy ham water that leaks out of it and sits in the bottom of the plastic when you unwrap the ham. Imagine it carbonated and sweetened. Imagine putting it into your mouth and manfully fighting the automatic gag reflex. Imagine belching it and tasting it again for the next half-hour."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Decorating for Christmas

I kind of wondered if it would be worth the hassle of getting all our Christmas decorations out this year since we will be leaving the second weekend in December, but it was! Elaina loved unwrapping all the ornaments and nativity characters. She likes holding the Baby Jesus like a real baby, patting it's back and everything - even though it is only 2 inches long. Tonight in her prayers she said she was thankful for Christmas - along with dancing and her potty chair (which she never actually goes in). She also said she was thankful for turkey the other night, after enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers.

This last week we went downtown on Black Friday. After browsing $5,500 stuffed animals at Macy's and having a classy lunch at McDonalds we went to see "Enchanted". It was the first movie Elaina was really into. She sat between us, enjoying her popcorn and laughing in all the right places. The movie was really cute! Afterward, we walked up and down the Magnificent Mile and got hot chocolate and cider from Starbucks. Elaina is a huge fan and gulped down the last half of both Torry and my drinks. We got a lot of strange looks from people because our toddler was eager guzzling from a nearly-upside-down coffee cup. "Don't worry, it's only a half shot espresso."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving musings

Here are some things I'm thankful for:

  • One of us is still under 30, and it's the one I'd prefer
  • Cream cheese, because it's delicious and played a key role in two awesome dishes today
  • Crockpots
  • Football, Frisbees and food
  • Avocados - they don't really taste like anything, but they make things taste better (much like the mysterious German food ingredient known only as "gewuerz")
  • Sleeping to a normal hour on black Friday
  • Playing good songs on fake guitars
  • And especially all of the non food-related things in my life (kid(s), family, BYU football, Jazz basketball, the other important stuff)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Torry!

I'm married to an old guy now! Torry has officially left his twenties and entered his thirties. Having a kid; no sweat. Having another one on the way; no big deal. Turning thirty - ahhh! We are turning into our parents - they we in their thirties most of the time I was living at home. I am so thankful to have Torry as my husband. I couldn't imagine going through life without him. You couldn't find a more kind, thoughtful, helpful, interesting and funny person if you tried. He makes this life completely worth living. I love him so much. I guess if we have to get old, I want to do it with him.

Elaina and I were feeling a little stir-crazy one cold day, so we decided that regardless of the weather, we were going to go out and blow some bubbles. I'm glad we did! The pictures of Elaina turned out so cute! She is getting so big. In the background of the first picture you can see our apartment building.