Monday, December 26, 2011

Point Defiance

On the Monday after Christmas, we went to the Point Defiance park in Tacoma to enjoy the beauties of nature.  The park has great views of the Puget Sound, a old-growth forest, and a nice road through it all making it very accessible (we drove).  Someday we're going to get a "family" car so that I don't have to sit in the back seat on Jeff's lap while he's wedged between two car seats....someday.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Christmas day was a big success.  We had so much fun together and it was really special that my Mom and Dad could be there with us.  We decided to have a smaller budget this year because we're planning on going to DisneyWorld in late January (our kids don't know yet).  They still ended up with way more toys than I planned on.  Oh well!

Here's Claire dressed up as Rapunzel with her matching doll...that's probably the last time Rapunzel's hair looked good.  Now I know why they named the movie Tangled.

Later in the day, Claire changed to the Aurora costume and matching doll and then fell asleep on the family room floor.  Our little Sleeping Beauty.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cookies for Santa

On Christmas Eve, the girls and I decorated sugar cookies for Santa.

I have not found the perfect sugar cookie fact the sugar cookie is my baking nemesis.  They either are tough, or too cakey, or the dough is so soft it just coats everything it touches.  So this year, I bought a mix thinking that would be better.  Nope!  We skipped the cookie cutters and just had round, drop-style sugar cookies instead.  I wasn't going to fight with the dough...Santa would know and then I wouldn't get any presents.

We did have fun decorating though.  Lily's first move was to dump about half a bottle of yellow sprinkles on one cookie...then we had to re-use those sprinkles and we ended up with more yellow and italian-flag (red, green, and yellow) cookies than I would've liked.  Oh well.  Santa didn't mind.

Here's the finished product.

Here's Claire after sampling the cookies.  Yes, that is frosting up her nose.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in Seattle

My parents came to visit for Christmas and we planned some fun things to do together as a family.  Some of our plans had to be tweaked because Jeff ended up needing to work a couple of the days he'd planned to take off.  However, our trip downtown could not have been done without him so we waited until Friday to see the sites of the city.

We took the commuter train into downtown.  That's how Jeff gets to work every day, but the girls and I had never ridden it.  It was really smooth and quiet and NICE!  Lily and Claire were confused that they didn't have to be buckled in so they found handles to hold onto.

Here's my parents.
And here's me!  I got a new shorter haircut that is much easier to take care of.

Our first stop was to get our name on the waiting list to see Santa and Nordstrom's.  We heard that Santa was the real one so it was worth the 3 hour wait.  Fortunately, they call you when its time to come wait in the 30 minute line inside so you can keep doing your site-seeing.

Next we went to see the gingerbread village display inside of the Sheraton Hotel.  It was awesome!  I think my brother, Skye (who is a baker), would have freaked out.  There were a bunch more, but these 2 were my favorites.

Then we went to Pike Place Market - a must do if you ever visit Seattle. (hint, hint, Haley!)

On the way back from the market we stopped at a popcorn shop and my dad got us all some caramel corn.  It was the best I've ever had!  They had so many different flavors so I asked Jeff to take a picture of them in case I want to replicate the shop in my own home.  I don't know why I want to make a million kinds of popcorn, but this place as so inspirational to me that I kinda do. If you click on the pictures, you'll probably be able to read some of the labels.

Then we got the call that it was time to go meet Santa!  We walked back to Nordstroms and Santa's elf told us that the wait upstairs was much less and equally impressive.  Hooray!  We only had to wait like 5 min up there and they gave us free cookies and cider.  Santa was great and knew the girls names and made sure they'd been extra good this year.

After that, we went to eat lunch, visited Jeff's office for some sweet city views, and went to Lake Union.  We enjoyed seeing the wooden boats and the sunshine.  The girls played tag in the park with Daddy.

Then it was time to head back to the King Street Station to catch the train home.  The station is in the international district so we stopped to buy some pastries at a Chinese bakery before we got on the train and enjoyed eating them on the way home.  My coconut sweet bun was really good.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

As Claire transitions to fewer naps, sometimes she crashes in a random spot and I find her later.  Well I'd been reading to Lily and I hadn't heard from Claire in a while so I went to find her.  I found her sleeping on the stairs.  It was so funny I had to take a couple of pictures before I moved her to safety.

She's even wearing the Sleeping Beauty dress up dress!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making Gingerbread Houses and the Santa Parade

I wanted to make Gingerbread houses with the girls this year, but I didn't want to buy a million bags of candy that I don't even like to eat.  I saw that they had a craft at the library to make them, but by the time I got around to signing up they were already full.  However I noticed during my 6am run to the local grocery store (I really needed more corn starch for Joy School that morning) that they were also going to have a free time to come and make gingerbread houses.  Hooray!

Jeff helped Claire and I helped Lily.  It was really fun to see how different our houses looked even though we used the same materials.  The girls had a lot of fun.  I even managed to get the gingerbread houses home safely and displayed them throughout the holiday season.

After we made gingerbread houses we went to downtown Sumner for the Santa Parade.  It was fun to experience the parade in the historic downtown area.  It was actually pretty crowded!  It was also very enjoyable because it was sunny (sometimes rare during a Seattle area winter).