Friday, December 30, 2011

christmas card pics

We had a wonderful trip to Arkansas this past week and I can't wait to blog all the photos I took. But since I'm still shaking from all the sugar I've consumed, I'll have to detox a bit before I can get those photos organized. In the meantime here are the pictures from our photo shoot in Central Park a few weeks ago for our Christmas card photos. (Most of these photos were taken by my talented brother Caleb!)

Audrie striking a pose...
I love this next photo of Annie on the carousel (she has finally decided she is not scared of the carousel- yay!).
I really wanted Caleb to capture a photo with people blurred in the background (left the shutter open longer while Jamie and I stood very still). We had to shoot it a few times to get it right.
Which is why Jamie is looking so over it in this next photo.... ha!
Jason and Sam's brother-in-law, Josh, took a few photos for us, too. (We had our own little paparazzi going on!)

I took this last photo (and I have to say it's my favorite). Such sweet girls! As much as they drive me crazy sometimes, I do love them with every ounce of my heart!!
And they both love each other very much. It's been so fun the past few months to watch them really start to show affection to each other!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

we cheated

A few weeks ago when Jamie and I sat down to figure out how all our Christmas plans were going to work out (take presents to Arkansas, wait and open gifts when we get back, etc). And how we would explain how Santa brought gifts to two places...? We decided that we were going to celebrate Christmas a week early in our house. 

So last Friday night we declared it Christmas Eve and I went into the kitchen with the girls to bake cookies for Santa!
 Both the girls heaped on the sprinkles.
 Until Annie realized it was easier just to eat the sprinkles straight from the jar.
 Audrie wrote a letter to Santa. (She told me this says "Dear Santa, I'm on the nice list.")
 After the girls went to bed, Jamie and I piled up the presents under the tree.
 My brother Caleb is still staying with us and I didn't have a stocking for him, so I had to make do...
 The next morning the girls woke up all excited that it was "Christmas"! (C'mon this is the only age that we could convince them it was Christmas Day, right?) They didn't know the difference and tore into their stockings.
 Jamie must have been on the nice list, too, because he got a few things in his stocking.
Annie and Caleb discussed their strategy for which presents to open first.
 The girls helped me sort through all my treats, too.
Then finally we let them open their gifts!
 Audrie is at such a perfect age where she LOVES every single gift and is equally excited about each one.  Annie really got into it all, too. It was fun watching them both squeal with excitement.

 Audrie was more than thrilled that Santa brought her the Barbie doll she asked for!
 Jamie, being the amazing dad he is, pretended to be thrilled about Barbie, too. :)
 We had to take a pause in the present opening to play with the new doll.
 I got Audrie a little pink acoustic guitar. (Hoping we can get her on a street corner singing for cash soon.)
We got Annie a sturdy toy shopping cart to tote all her loot around, but then realized later that she looks kind of like the homeless pushing her shopping cart down the sidewalk. Oh well, she loves it!
 Audrie bought and wrapped some presents for everyone. The best part is how she 'labeled' who the gift was for... she drew a picture on the wrapping of whose gift it was...!
 Audrie wanted to carry all her presents around. (Could we get her any MORE pink??)
Caleb serenaded us with a little caroling.
 It was a fun "Christmas" morning! I baked Paula Dean's french toast casserole and we had a yummy breakfast after opening presents.
 Both the girls played with their presents all morning while Jamie and I lounged around like lazy bums. Perfect!
 Then Annie modeled her new house slippers...
It really was a great time. Even though I'm sure we broke some parenting laws by having a fake Christmas Day..! So, um, Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

weekend with the campbells

 Brandon and Erin came to visit last weekend and we were SOOO excited to have them here!
 The first night we all went downtown to see THE Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
 It was a beautiful night out! When we arrived at 5th Avenue there was an awesome light show playing on the side of the building.

 Then we turned the corner and there was the tree! Audrie LOVED it!
 We stood and watched the ice skaters for awhile and just took all the sights in.

 I have been looking forward to spending our first Christmas in this city and going down to see this tree with the girls was just as magical as I hoped.
(photo credit- Brandon)
Brandon and Erin have been to NYC several times, but not during the holidays so it was fun for them, too.

Audrie and I on the subway home. (photo credit- Erin)
The next day Audrie and I went with Brandon and Erin to Lincoln Center to see the New York Ballet performance of The Nutcracker! Audrie was super excited! (So was I!)
 Had to stop for a hotdog on the street before we went in. (Audrie has become a huge fan of the hot dog stands that are everywhere!)
 I have walked by Lincoln Center but have never been in or stopped to really look at the area. It's very cool!
 Once we got in the theater I wasn't able to get pictures because of the rules. But the theater was stunning!
 Audrie had been talking about this for weeks and was just so thrilled to finally be there. I was a little nervous about her sitting through a two and a half hour ballet, but oh my goodness she sat there perfectly still with a huge smile on her face the entire time! Pure bliss.
 The performance was just amazing. My face hurt from smiling, too. (Mostly from watching Audrie's face as every new scene unfolded.)

 The next night, Jamie and I went with Brandon and Erin to see the musical "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" featuring Daniel Radcliffe. I honestly wasn't sure how much I would love this show because I didn't know anything about the music or story (or how well Harry Potter could sing). But it was AWESOME. We laughed through so much of it. I wasn't expecting it to be such a comedy. It was great!
After the show we went to our favorite spot for cheesecake, Juniors. We also ordered a plate of onion rings and hot chocolate (random!) but so tasty. 
 Their last day here we kept it low key and did some shopping in our neighborhood.
Jamie and I felt so refreshed from having family with us for a few days. It was a much needed recharging. They are two of THE most kind, loving, supportive, and real people.

I told Jamie it was like in the show Survivor when the contestants get a phone call from home it gets them all refocused and pumped up in the game... that's how I felt after having Brandon and Erin here! (Although I'm sure they were completely exhausted from spending four days with the dynamic duo-Audrie and Annie!)

Thank you, Brandon and Erin, for coming to visit and boosting our spirits! We love you guys.