Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas has become my favorite holiday since we’ve had kiddos.

It just seems so much more magical and joyous seeing Christmas through their eyes.

I also have loved creating traditions as a new and growing family and even carrying on traditions from our own upbringings.

This December I decided to lay aside a few traditions and we did the traditions that felt effortless and fun, but not an ounce overwhelming. In years past, I found myself to caught up and overwhelmed by too many activities. My deciding factor was the moment I found myself upset, even annoyed, with my kids because of an activity advent calendar we set up that wasn’t going as “planned”. And if we didn’t do one days’ activity, I felt like I was failing.

It was ridiculous. I may pick it back up as they grow older, or maybe not.

More than anything, I want the holidays to be filled with joyous memories, not memories of momma flippin’ out (I already do enough of that :))

One of those we did keep this year was our Christmas Eve tradition of new jammies, a new book and a new game. We get dressed, drive around to see christmas lights, and then come back home for our new story, game and hot cocoa! Here are photos from that evening:

Christmas2014Collage_2 What made this Christmas especially exciting was the pink jammy’d girly pictured. Ever’s first Christmas!
Christmas2014Collage_Christmas2014Collage_3Reality struck as quickly as the camera clicks. :) christmasjammiescollage

Looking back over the years… I am in awe of Chase’s lankiness now and how quickly Shailo’s baby-boy look turned big-boy.

And my oh my, please note how {adored} Ev is by her brothers!

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Christmas 2013

This Christmas seemed especially fun, though nothing like I had imagined. If you know me, you know that I love Christmas traditions and decorating and celebrating with our kiddos in fun ways. This year was a bit of an exception, which was actually really good for me. I let go of the things I normally “couldn’t” live without doing around Christmastime and took hold of the moments we did have, the fun activities we did do and enjoyed them to the fullest.

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Each year we open a new pair of Jammies on Christmas Eve. Silly, sick yet sweet boys in their Superhero Jammies!

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I adore this photo (above)christmasJammies_collage2013(Christmas Jammies the past 3 years … how time flies!)1497596_10151887598741989_361823123_n Christmas Eve we did do one of our family traditions: Christmas lights!

It was pretty hilarious. A must share moment. Family traditions: you picture such lovely, smiling and giggling kiddos, under-the-misteltoe momma and daddy, perfection, really… this can happen. However, this wasn’t the case for us Christmas Eve. We left for our annual Christmastime tradition (we’re such heathens, Christmas lights over Christmas Eve candlelight services ;)) …

Stopped and put our a new Starbucks gift card to use, kid’s hot cocoas and Carmel Brûlée Latte’s (us) are a must for the tradition to be complete.

By the time we hit our first house, Chase (who was coughing the entire time) was suddenly quiet and sound asleep. We knew it was “bad” when we realized he hadn’t even taken a sip of his cocoa!

Shailo, on the other hand, had CHUGGED his cocoa a block in. Minutes later the sugar high starts (hot cocoa is a special treat, because my kid’s are CRAZY when they have sugar!) We visited an entire street that’s popular in Fort Collins and took Shai out of his carseat as we slowly drove along.

Putting Shailo back into his carseat was an adventure :) We decided to still try and drive around to see lights, as one child slept soundly and the other was screaming his little head off.

Ted and I just had to laugh. We then remembered the 2nd year we did this as a family and how we wanted to sing Christmas’y songs and our 2-year-old Chaseyboy would bellow out “WONDER PETS, WONDER PETS… WE’RE ON OUR WAY. TO HELP A FRIEND AND SAVE THE DAY….”

THESE are the moments I cherish. Even when they aren’t filled with what we’d pictured in our heads.

 

1528578_10151888590371989_2042083537_nChristmas morning the kiddos woke bright and early. 4 am to be exact and it wasn’t because of Santa, but because of stinkin’ ole jet lag. :) It was really fun though, Ted and the kids and I enjoyed our own little family gift exchange and time.

 

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I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year too!

bits & pieces: holiday

I have random photos from our Holiday and decided to do a bits + pieces post to share some of them. Just a tad late. Enjoy.

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A little Christmas’y cheer in the boys’ room.

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We braved the cold weather and traveled downtown Denver to explore with our family and my in-laws. It was SO cold but we had a fun, memorable time. Shailo made us laugh when we rode up and down an elevator… he would get this look of shock and then smile really big like pictured above :) We also took the boys on their first bus ride! Chase LOVED it! Brings it up every once and while, even still. B O Y.untitled (3 of 3)-3

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Ted’s mom and sister came in from Alaska and we took Auntie Nikki to visit the aquarium for the first time. untitled (6 of 20)We drove a TON over the holiday – with relatives visiting from Alaska where they live in igloos and there isn’t much ;) I kid, of course. but seriously, they don’t have many of the places we do, so we ventured out and explored :) I got my very OWN camera lens to go with my very own camera (I already owned the camera- a hand-me-down from Ted)! woot! I no longer need to borrow Ted’s or be without when he is gone and using his cameras and lenses. this photo as well as the next few below, are taken with my 50mm.untitled (7 of 20) untitled (8 of 20) untitled (9 of 20) Chase got a ipad-like thing called a Nabi (pictured above) for Christmas from his Grandma Anisa. He took it with on one of our long days out and it read books to him. SO cool!
untitled (13 of 20) A trip to the aquarium.untitled (1 of 20) Peek-a-boo and “honk honk” untitled (2 of 20) untitled (3 of 20) untitled (4 of 20) untitled (5 of 20) Chase learned to really roll his eyes over the holiday. I am probably the worst mom ever for thinking this is kinda cute – because as of right now does it and says, “I’m just joking, mom!” bits+pieces_christmas5Left: Chase requested we all wear our snow boots out. We did even though people probably thought we were crazy. The snow is the one behind the times, not us ;) Right: my boys and Addi Christmas craftin’ with our friends, Anthem and Seth.bits+pieces_christmas4Above: photos of our trip to Pearl St. in Boulder, Colorado. We just HAD to give Ted’s mom and sister the experience of BOULDER. haha …I personally love it and the boys enjoyed seeing the different street performers.
bits+pieces_christmas3 A trip to IKEA but of course ;) Left: Chase shocking me by saying, “I… K… E… A… IKEA!” Right: An AWESOME display in IKEA that I’d love to copycat someday!bits+pieces_christmas2 Just bits + pieces of our christmas. paradeoflights2
Parade of Lights, downtown Denver. Above taken with my iphone.ParadeofLightsCollageMore Parade of Lights. Taken by Ted with his Canon.

Well, that’s about it for late holiday posts ;)

As you may have noticed, I am redesigning my blog. Still a work in progress, but I’d love to hear your thoughts! what do ya think?

Christmas.

The perks of being married to a photographer and having a love for photography myself: we documents pretty much everything. But on mornings like Christmas morning where I prefer not to be behind a camera, Ted LOVES it, so that is the bonus of a photographer hubby :)

Here is a snitbit of our Christmas eve and morning with the boys. This year was especially fun for a few reasons: 1. Ted’s mom and sister spent Christmas with us for the first time ever. And, 2. Chase was way more involved this year than ever before. Everything Christmas’y he loved. And then there was Shailo who only wants to follow directly in “bru-ber’s” footsteps and also made this year a blast!521786_10151207487226989_575463337_nChristmas eve tradition: open our stockings, change into our newly opened jammies and drive around to see Christmas lights in the city. This year I had desired to make matching flannel jammies for the boys and totally didn’t end up with enough time. I crammed way too much into December, unfortunately. (I have some MAJOR resolutions this year regarding the busyness of life) I was {thrilled} to stumble upon these matching (yes, I’m a sucker for the matchy-matchy) Jake and the Neverland Pirates jammies for the boys! Anything pirates is Chaseyboy’s current obsession which I love, especially because it’s not CARS. ;) And it’s SUPER cute to have my little ones running around saying, “Har har” and (Chase) saying “Hoist the sails, Matey.” Bahaha, sure love these boys.

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Christmas eve it snowed! We actually had a White Christmas!

Chase and Shailo, like most little kiddos, LOVED Christmas lights. Chase wants to sing “Jingle Bells” and “Away in the Manger” when he sees lights because we started that last year. So he associates Christmas lights with singing, so cute! Shailo was crackin’ us up this year with his little “WOW!” until our driving around lulled him to sleep.

Christmas mornin’ …ChristmasDay12 (1 of 10)Ted woke us ALL up early, early. He was as excited for Christmas morning as Chaseyboy was. Hehe. We began our Christmas morning with a tradition and that is reading the story of Jesus’ birth, from my personal favourite: Song of the Stars. It is such a beautiful book with stunning illustrations. Makes me tear up every time. (Definitely recommend!) ChristmasDay12 (1 of 3)What a fun year! I loved watching their reactions. Best. ever. (I am kind of “that” momma whose kiddos will either grow up thrifty too, or want everything BRAND NEW haha, I thrifted this little doctors set. And also, wooden blocks for Shai)

Shailo even opened a few family members’ gifts before we knew it! Hehe :)ChristmasDay12 (2 of 3)ChristmasDay12 (3 of 3)Fun morning and then. Ted surprised me with a date out annnnnd to see…. 407773_10151208349481989_1029556456_nLes Mis (which I love, the old and new)!! AMAZING, btw.

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Wow. TOO FAST!

Hope you had a wonderful Holiday!

zoo lights.

This year we bundled up and took a trip to our local zoo at night to see the their zoo lights! I totally recommend saving up money or setting some aside just for this trip each winter. It’s a m a z i n g. And from what I’ve heard, most zoos participate in it!
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Chase was “so essited!”  The chocolate around his mouth was from hot cocoa we had beforehand. Hehe.Family (5 of 28)-2

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He doesn’t look thrilled but he really loved this!
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Chase and his friend Anthem checking out a decorated rhino.Family (24 of 28)-2

This was my personal fave of the night. These lanterns remind me of Thailand. S t u n n i n g.Family (20 of 28)-2

Family (25 of 28)-2What a fun, memorable night!

And I’m thinking, a new tradition for our family.

Definitely recommend zoo lights!

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party ’12

12DaysofCreating (3 of 3)I’ve always wanted to throw a hot cocoa/christmas’y treats and ugly sweater party, so this year I combined the two and invited a small group of mutual friends. It was a blast!uglysweatersparty (3 of 5)Wouldn’t be a Davis’ party without a photoshoot ;) I had planned on the photo booth banner reading “merry & bright” but my hubby put it up before I could tell him. I kind of loved it, hehe.
12DaysofCreating (2 of 3)uglysweatersparty (4 of 5)The boys… How. stinkin’.cute!
12DaysofCreating (8 of 15)uglysweatersparty (5 of 5)Just way too much fun and a whole lot of goofy.uglysweatersparty (2 of 5)

I couldn’t stop laughing (during the photoshoot too hehe) when Ted showed me the photos of the night. HILARIOUS.

I kind of want to do a silly, lighthearted party like this one, every year! What sort of Christmas parties do you enjoy? Any fun ideas or games to share?

12 Days of Creating: Simple Holiday Tree Decor

Day 10 is a super simple way to add some Holiday cheer to a mantle :) You may remember a Paper Tree DIY from a few years ago (shown below)… Well, we’re adding a few simple steps to create a new look.
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First, follow the steps from this previous post I wrote DIY paper trees – to make the base. (Excuse the quality of all of the below photos – taken with my phone like most of my DIYs of late!)DIYHolidayTrees-1Once you’ve made your paper trees, grab a hot glue gun and begin winding your material around them. I would start from the tippy top. For material – I used leftover beads, gaudy silver garland ($1 Target section) and lace I had.
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534079_10151166887361989_954852192_nMy cute little helper!DIYHolidayTrees-3

9658_10151166888256989_1399975745_nTa-da! You’re done :) Chaseyboy even helped a little!DIYHolidayTrees-4Super simple, and they add a fun, festive touch :)
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Our “mantle” until we have a real one someday.

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<3, Jami

12 Days of Creating: Christmas’y Beverage Gift

Day 9 is a gift idea for your hot-beverage-lovin’-friend or family member :)
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I made a few with hot cocoa and this particular one with cappuccino mix shown below.12DaysofCreating (2 of 15)

Supplies used:

Paint and paint brush

Glass bottle

Cocoa powder or other mix

Hot glue gun

Two different pieces of fabric (scraps, you don’t need much!)
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Step 1: Peel of sticker and scrub sparkly clean 12DaysofCreating (11 of 15) Step 2: While glass is drying, paint the lid. (I painted two coats total)12DaysofCreating (12 of 15) Step 3: (Make sure bottle markings like this expiration date are hidden towards the back) Glue fabric piece onto bottle.12DaysofCreating (13 of 15)

Step 4: Make a pretty bow (more steps here if needed)
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Add powder mix and marshmallows and you’re finished!

Hope this helps for those who (like me) are cramming to get gifts bought/made … finished!

x, Jami

12 Days of Creating: Christmas Party or Holiday Decor

Are you having a Christmas party anytime soon? Or maybe just looking to decorate your home for the holidays? Day 8 (a day late) is just for you :) Easy, cheap Christmas Party or Holiday decor.

Supplies used:

Cardboard box

Frame (I think it’s safe to say that most have frames lying around, unused!… or maybe that’s just frameaholics like me? hehe)

Rotary cutter (could use scissors instead)

Napkin (could use scrapbook paper or even fabric) – I just used on napkin from the pile I had for our party! (In case you are wondering, napkins are from Target!)

Modge podge

Stickers

12DaysofCreating (6 of 15)Step 1: Measure and cut cardboard to fit tightly into frame.12DaysofCreating (7 of 15)

Step 2: Lay napkin (or paper/fabric) down to see where you’d want to position it.

Step 3: Modge Podge little bits at a time and smooth as you go.12DaysofCreating (1 of 15)Step 4: Ready your stickers… for me this happened while nursing. Haha! That little chubby thing beside my arm is indeed Shai’s leg… no worries ;)

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Step 5: Place stickers on board and you’re done!12DaysofCreating (3 of 3)

As you can see, this particular one was made for a Ugly Sweater Party we had here!12DaysofCreating (1 of 3)

Another one, a funny one I made for our party  – the “ugly” for our sweaters but of course ;)

This also takes no time at all, which is perfect for party planning!

Hope you’re inspired!

12 Days of Creating: Simple Mason Jar Decor

Hello friends! Welcome to day 2 of 12 Days of Creating! Today is SUPER simple but cute. Let’s spice up some jars to look holiday ready! Don’t worry about ruining your beloved mason jars because this DIY is 100% removable. So with a new season, you can easily slip off the holiday pretties we’re about to add!
diyjarsCollage4Supplies used shown above. The twine/string was from the $1 section at Target. Also helpful to put cute but super active baby in jumperoo and visit HGTV.COM and watch Design star while you create… Oh wait, that’s what I sometimes do! :)

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Step 1: Measure your fabric

Step 2: Carefully glue the fabric pieces together without a) burning your finger and b) getting it on the jar. Use paper/cardboard if you need to.

Step 3: Tie a pretty bow and if you want, dab a small piece of glue behind to straighten the bow.

For the second jar look, follow the steps below:

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Create a cute bow!embroideryhoopDIY-1-4

Simply follow above steps as you glue the fabric carefully on so not to glue on the jar. Hope you are inspired! These particular jars were decorated for a Ugly Sweater Christmas Party we just had this afternoon. I will post pics of that soon! Stay tuned this week and next for more DIYs and even a few gift ideas!

xx, Jami