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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6

(Art by Liz Lemon Swindle)

We are so grateful for the birth of Jesus Christ and for our testimonies of Him as our Savior and Redeemer. At a time when so much hardship abounds in the world, our appreciation for His Atonement and our membership in His church increases daily. The gospel brings so much peace and joy to our lives, and we hope you can find that same happiness through Him today and throughout the new year.

We love all of you and wish you a very Merry Christmas!

*I figured a little re-post was in order from last year :-) Merry Christmas, again!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's the only place to be.

The other day, we had Pandora on as we were making lunch and I started singing along to the Christmas music:
"Well they say in LA, it's a warm holiday, it's the only place to be..."
Matt looked at me quizzically and asked how on earth I knew that song. I asked him how on earth he didn't know Tennessee Christmas! Obviously a classic; obviously makes everyone want to move to Tennessee at least once or twice in their lifetimes. Anyway, that's not really the point of this post.

The truth is, it is a warm holiday here in Southern California. We endured the monsoon over the past few days and with the snap of a finger, the rain is all gone. It's warm and sunny again, without a cloud in the sky (well, as long as you don't count the smoketails from all the jets flying overhead). But the only place to be? Why, that's home with our family for the holidays. Therefore, Matt and I are on our way to Utah right now for what we hope will be a white Christmas.
That's not to say LA doesn't have its charm this time of year. We've enjoyed seeing all the lights on the palm trees and getting into the holiday spirit in a whole new way. (Lets be honest, we've loved not freezing our tail ends off throughout the entire month, too. Looking at these pictures of me being perfectly content in short sleeves in December makes me really worried for the cold temperatures ahead of us!) One of our favorite stops was the Los Angeles Temple on Santa Monica Boulevard. The temple grounds are beautiful, and we loved taking the extra time to enjoy the lights and think about the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas party

Remember my friend Kaley, the incredible party hostess? She and her husband Duane were at it again this month with a lovely fun little adult-only Christmas dinner. True to form, they went all out and had beautiful invitations, place settings, menus and decorations--not to mention delicious food! I totally neglected to take pictures of the table and dinner but if you imagine Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma getting together for a dinner party, you'll be pretty darn close. I did, however, take a few pictures of her beautifully decorated home.
After dinner, Kaley brought out her grandmother's gorgeous bone china to use for our dessert-y ebelskivers, which were accented by yummy spiced cider.
We all sat around and talked for awhile before switching to game mode with Pictionary Man, which is a fun combination of Pictionary and Charades. It was hilarious, and a few moments still make me laugh every time I think about them (the all-blue man, Jen?). The girls were fantastic at this game, as seen below when they correctly guessed my "Moses." See the tablets in his hands and the beard?
The boys were really cute to watch. They had to try a little harder than the girls :-)
In the end, we let them catch up a bit but still nearly doubled their score...
... and we found this utter domination hilarious.
But seriously, good times were had by all!
And if a lovely evening full of fun friends and yummy food wasn't enough, Kaley and Duane handed us these beautifully-wrapped presents on our way out the door. They're too sweet. We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brand new baby

Just two months ago, I took a few (dozen) pictures of one of my best friends, Carolyn, and her cute little baby belly.
Then four days ago, Matt and I drove eight hours round-trip in one day so we could spend eight hours here:
With this beautiful little girl, who was only hours old:
Carolyn and I had hoped for months that I'd be able to make it for the birth, but little Emery came exactly on her due date (can you believe it?) and therefore just a few hours before I could make it there due to my work schedule. Perhaps it's better that I don't know exactly what I'm in for someday? I'm not so sure on that one, but what I do know is that Emery is the sweetest little baby and we love her to pieces!
Of course, we're not the only ones that do :-) Talon and Carolyn are enthralled with their little one and it's the sweetest thing watching them interact with Emery. I couldn't help but take a few (dozen) pictures, and I couldn't bear to limit this post to any less than those below. Emery is just too cute! I apologize for the long post, but I hope you enjoy! That said, I give you fair warning that viewing this post could result in a severe case of baby fever.
Last but not least, the first picture of the five of us:
(Okay, more like the third since some of us have blinking problems... but you get the idea!)
Ah, it was a wonderful day. We're so happy for you, T&C!
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