Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!!

2015 was pretty great. 

we had trips to napa/sonoma, hat island, upstate new york, new york city, san francisco and the lake. 

lincoln turned one, started walking (and then running). 

husband moved back for good and went back to school, and i returned to working full-time.

 there were summer concerts, festivals, football and basketball games. 

husband and i celebrated our third wedding anniversary and little man started school (daycare). 

we had an epic windstorm that took out power through out our city for an entire week and we celebrated holidays with family and friends. 

as we head into the new year, i'm feeling grateful, blessed and excited for a new year. i think 2016 is already shaping up to be as amazing as 2015 if not better. 

have a safe and happy new year. 

see you next year ;0)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Merriest of Christmases

i saw something on the internet the other was a photo and on it said "i used to think being a kid on christmas was the best thing ever, but it turns out having kids on christmas is." this is soooooo true!

last year's christmas with lincoln was amazing, but this year was even better. every single day this month he would wake up and be mesmerized by all the christmas decor, and when he finally got to open presents on christmas eve, he was so excited!

we started christmas eve morning with our "christmas box" which had our matching family jammies, a christmas movie and book, popcorn and hot cocoa. this year the christmas movie was rudolph the red nosed reindeer and it came with some little talking figurines. little man's face when he opened the box was pure joy!

later that day we headed out for christmas eve mass and then back to nana and pop pop's for their annual christmas eve party. after everyone left for the evening we opened presents from one another, and the moment the last present was open, little man curled up into my arms and fell asleep. best. feeling. ever.

we brought him home and husband and i went to work playing santa ;0) lincoln was a very good boy this year and santa brought him an activity table, and a stocking full of goodies. he was so excited to see it christmas morning! after opening presents, we all had breakfast as a family and then hung out in our jammies before heading back over to my parents house for christmas dinner. dinner was delish and we topped it off with this amazing dark chocolate, caramel oreo pie from the blog kevin and amanda. so freaking good.

and that was our very merry christmas. i hope you all had a wonderful christmas as well!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

from our family to yours, wishing you a safe and happy holiday!!
merry christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gingerbread Buildoff

last week i wrote about my favorite holiday traditions. well, i think i hit publish on that little post one week early! this past weekend, my little family headed downtown to the new davenport grand hotel for the annual gingerbread buildoff competition that supports christ kitchen.

you guys, this was the best! the professional built and decorated gingerbread houses were based off of holiday movies and they were off the charts crazy amazing good. (not sure if i have enough adjectives in their to describe them but seriously that good.) we saw frozen, elf, rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, a charlie brown christmas, the grinch, and the nightmare before christmas. all of them were amazing but we voted for rudolph and a charlie brown christmas. those two were by far my favorite.

after admiring and voting for our favorite gingerbread house, we went to purchase a little $7 kit for lincoln to build his very own house. he had so much fun decorating (and eating) the little house and if i could save that thing for ever, i would. (don't worry i know that's gross and we'll be tossing it after the holiday season is over). we also got to sit and have our photo taken with mr. and mrs. gingerbread man and i have to say we did much better with the gingerbread people than we did last week with santa. we'll get to see those photos on wednesday, and i'll update this post with that photo when i get it!

like i mentioned before, the entire event was a fundraiser for christ's clinic/kitchen so you could also purchase a variety of soups, beverages, gift baskets and more items that all benefit christ's clinic/kitchen.

this was such a fun, family friendly event that i know we'll be attending again and again. for those of you who didn't come down, the gingerbread houses will be up at the davenport grand for the next two weeks for viewing and i highly recommend going to check them out.

Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Christmas Tree Elegance and a Visit to the Big Guy

tis' the season! i know i've said it before, and i will probably say it several times more before it's over, but this is my absolute favorite time of the year! as soon as the leaves begin to change in the fall and all the way through the new year, i am 100% in my happy place.

it makes it even more fun, now that we have our little man to share in all the holiday fun. the holidays truly are so much better when there are little kiddos around.

there are so many holiday events that spring up this time of year, and it can be difficult to narrow it down to just a few, but one event we attended last year, that i just loved, was christmas tree elegance at the historic davenport hotel. christmas tree elegance is a fundraiser for the spokane symphony. each year, several christmas trees are decorated and include upwards of $5,000 worth of prizes on each tree. people come to the davenport to view the trees and purchase raffle tickets to try and win one of the amazingly decorated trees.

last year little man and i went with my mom, sister and niece because husband was working in new york. this year he got to come with us. we turned it into a little event, heading downtown to visit santa (little man was not a fan this year), enjoy some hot cocoa and view the trees. we definitely did our part to support the spokane symphony as well by purchasing several raffle tickets. we'll find out on saturday if we were big winners.

more information about christmas tree elegance can be found here. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Traditions

part of what makes this time of year so much fun are all of the holiday traditions that start to form. christmas is king when it comes to traditions in my family, and i thought i'd take some time to share a few of ours (new and old) with you.

christmas cookies. i don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy baking this time of year. christmas cookies are an absolute must. every year, we start baking early (in time for thanksgiving) and make the same traditional (for our family) cookies and treats that last us from thanksgiving through christmas. although more often than not, a second batch of cookies ends up needing to be baked. each year we make my mom's peanut butter balls, frosted sugar cookies and homemade mint truffles. while we usually throw in a few experimental items each year. the above named three are always present.

christmas trees. most people put up christmas trees if you celebrate christmas. one of my favorite parts about the holidays is heading up to greenbluff so we can cut down our christmas tree. husband and i started this tradition before we were even married, but this past year was the best because lincoln could really join in the fun this year. this year we went to hansen's tree farm, which i highly recommend. after cutting down the tree, we get down to business busting out the all of the holiday decorations. we also got little man his very own mini christmas tree for his bedroom that he can re-decorate again and again throughout the season. past trips to cut down our tree our recapped here, and here .

christmas tree elegance and pictures with santa. when i was little, the best part about christmas, was dressing up and heading down to the mall to visit with santa, sit on his lap and have our picture taken. this little tradition got suspended as i got older and "too cool" for santa, but with little man's arrival last year, the tradition was brought back. we also incorporated our santa visit with christmas tree elegance, which i wrote in more detail about here. last year's santa photo can be seen here. 

holiday lights at the gaiser conservatory. we went for the very first time to the gaiser conservatory holiday lights last year and we'll definitely be going again this year. the lights are beautiful and it's a fun way to get in the holiday spirit. you can see more pictures from last year's trip here. 

christmas eve mass, christmas eve party and caroling at the park. for as long as i can remember, we've had a christmas eve party at my parents house. and on the year's we haven't, one of our neighbors usually picks up the slack ;0) in addition to the party, every christmas eve people gather at cannon hill park to sing christmas carols. santa arrives and hands out candy canes to all the little ones, and then we all walk back to my parents house to enjoy appetizers, holiday cocktails and good company. prior to this our family usually dresses up and attends the children's mass in the afternoon on christmas eve.

christmas eve box. this tradition has evolved over the past few years, and i think we've finally perfected it. when i was growing up, my family would open presents from each other on christmas eve and then santa would come in the morning. when husband and i got married, he wanted to save christmas presents for christmas day. i was more than ok with this since we still got to open presents with my family on christmas eve (and we still do) but wanted us to do something fun on christmas eve as well. so, the year we got married, we started "alexander family christmas jammies." husband and i started buying matching christmas pj's for christmas eve. when the little guy arrived last year, i wanted to take it to another level, so i created a "christmas box" that we lay out on christmas eve. after we come home from nana and pop pop's christmas eve party and present opening, we come home to our christmas box. inside the box are matching christmas jammies for the whole family (yes husband and i partake in this too), a christmas movie to watch either that evening or the next day, depending on how late it is, a christmas book to read before bedtime that evening, popcorn and hot cocoa to enjoy while watching the movie. (we also include a little kiddo approved snack so he doesn't choke on the popcorn).

christmas breakfast. i'm still working on this one and it is yet to be perfected. i am determined to perfect copy cat cinnabon cinnamon rolls for christmas morning breakfast, and i have yet to do so. i'm attempting again this year along with a "christmas" fritatta comprised of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella (red, white and green!). i'll post an update once i've got them down. ;0)

christmas day dinner. we have been having the same dinner for christmas day for as long as i can remember. there have been a few times where my mom has deviated from the menu, and needless to say we were in an uproar. every year my mom makes a beautiful prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes and an amazing caesar salad. we all arrive in our sweatpants, because being comfy is key on christmas day, and eat our delicious christmas dinner while enjoying christmas movies in my parents basement. it's amazing and the perfect way to end christmas day.

what are some of your favorite christmas traditions?