Monday, December 30, 2013

better late than never!

Christmas was a whirlwind in the best way possible.
I feel like the excitement builds, and builds, and builds and's over in an instant.
We had three family Christmas parties, three white elephant gift exchanges, two secret Santa gift exchanges, multiple trips to the store for gift shopping, a bajillion cards to be addressed and mailed, and I wrapped more gifts than I'd like to remember. I'm exhausted. But it was one of the best Christmases ever, and I'm honestly sad it's already over.

We didn't end up taking the boys to BassPro again, but thankfully they got to see Santa on Christmas Eve at the D'Amico family Christmas party. It went exceedingly better than previous years...

Jeff and I spent a good chunk of that night putting together the finishing touches for Christmas morning. I actually fell asleep during the process and woke up around 3am to finish! The boys surprised us by not waking up until 8am! Woohoo!

And if you want to spend 11 minutes watching us opening our Christmas stockings, you're in luck!

Being an adult at Christmas is much more fun when you have your own kids to surprise. Wyatt and Logan were elated when they could finally tear into all their gifts (which had been waiting for them under the tree for weeks!)

Buzz Lightyear was the biggest hit (as well as their IKEA kitchen...)

We went to my parent's for the remainder of the day, to open gifts and eat LOTS of food...
...the boys got spoiled again and again.
Our Christmas was amazing, and we hope yours was too.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


This year, since we're spending Christmas day with my family, the Downses celebrated together by taking a trip up to the Rim to play in the snow. We weren't sure if there would even be any snow, but we took a chance and we came up lucky. We were hit with rain for most of the trip up, and then right outside Payson the rain turned into snow! The rest of the way up we traveled slow since it was snowing harder towards the top, and we almost made it to the top without any accidents...
(And don't worry, no one and nothing was injured--my snow-driving knowledge is next to nothing, and I broke "hard," instead of tapping my brakes to stop, which resulted in our car almost skidding into the suburban. Thankfully the traffic was minimal and I was able to swerve out and around them, but it was definitely a close call. And while I was freaking out on the inside, Jeff was going crazy in my ear, haha! Oops!)

As soon as we got out the boys were IN HEAVEN! Wyatt was asking about the snow the whole ride up ("Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Is that snow??" repeated a thousand times.) Logan, who wouldn't remember his last experience with snow, was fascinated.

There were only a few inches, but it was more than enough to have a good time.

Sledding was the highlight of the trip...

...but it only lasted for a half an hour before Wyatt and Logan became too cold...
...and decided they hated the snow.

Grandma had come prepared with hot chocolate and hand warmers, and as soon as we'd stripped the boys down, out of their wet clothes, and tucked them in...
...Logan was OUT.

Wyatt...not so much.

And then, after we'd made it back home safe and sound, we prepared our homemade ravioli dinner, and opened our presents in the meantime.

As Jeff had said on our way home, NOW it feels like Christmas is coming.
Only 3 more days!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

BassPro madness.

I'd heard earlier in the month that BassPro had a free Santa, with a whole lot of other kid-friendly activities and I really wanted to take the boys. I've never taken my kids to see Santa, nor do I have any memories of sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what I wanted for Christmas. (This isn't completely accurate, since Jeff's dad dresses up as Santa during family Christmas parties, and I remember a Santa or two during my ward Christmas parties growing up. I'm just referring to the mall-type of Santa experience.) We got there after dinner, and it was chaos. I mean, completely packed. The line was super long, and the passes they were handing out for later times were all gone. My dad happened to find a pass for 8:30pm, but even then, it would have been a 2+ hour wait. We tried to keep the kids entertained with other things (and let's be honest, I could spend forever in that store, trying to look at everything) but the kids were getting cranky, and fast. The chances of having happy children to sit on Santa's lap were narrowing as each minute went by, and we ended up leaving after an hour. We still had a pretty fun time though, and rode the merry-go-round a couple of times, rode up and down the elevator, checked out all the animals and fish, and let the boys play for a bit. But then we went home. Without seeing Santa. I haven't decided if I want to go back during the day, but if we don't, I know we'll see Santa soon anyway :)

boys in a tub.

We watched Eli a few nights ago and the boys had so much fun entertaining their littlest cousin.
I thought it would be especially fun to throw them all in the bath together since everyone enjoys bath time. It was very reminiscent of memories and pictures from older times :)

Also, take note that I was not able to find a picture with all boys looking AND smiling, though they were doing plenty of both. This was the best one of all three that I could come up with.
Mom problems, psh.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Family Pictures 2013

As I have previously mentioned, family picture-taking is not a family favorite over here. This year was a little better for me, stress-wise, but we still were only able to get a few with all of us smiling and looking. Thankfully, those few turned out really well. Here are just a few...

Thanks again Noelle for taking our pictures, and for Auntie Grace who coaxed out those few smiles from my boys :)