Christmas traditions

  • Temple lights were replaced with Zoo lights this year.
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I thought BYU and the U had an intense rivalry until I met Alabama and Auburn fans...
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  • On Christmas Eve Eve, we had a "choice" dinner with the Carlsons. Hunter's family tradition is that every family member gets to choose whatever meal they want for Christmas Eve. There are 8 kids in his family, so his mom made ten different meals on Christmas Eve!!! What a saint. Luckily, Jack and Spencer chose the same easy thing (Pizza Hut pizza) and I chose my favorite fatty appetizers and Christmas dessert (jalapeno artichoke dip, chipped beef french bread dip, and peppermint ice cream with oreo crust). Kana and Hunter made ribs, pizza bites, fruit, and marinated cheese. It was quite the feast! 
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  • Christmas Eve day was spent at the movies watching Frozen. We loved it! Last month of pregnancy = chubby Asian face. 
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  • Every Christmas Eve, we get new Christmas jammies, a new ornament, and a new Christmas book. One of my favorite Christmas gifts I received the first year I was married was the collection of all of my ornaments I had received throughout the years. This year my mom gave us an ornament of our new temple come May - the Nauvoo Temple! I gave Jack and Spencer Alabama football ornaments.  
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This year, we gave Jack his third Christmas book and my mom sent me my first one to keep from my Grandma and Papa back in 1989. (It says in the note that I was perfect and I think they still think I am perfect because I am still the only grandchild that has attended Utah State University)
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  • We started a new tradition this year - each year, we are each going to paint a Christmas scene and eventually compile them into a book that will be worth millions one day. No need to compliment us, we know we are amazingly talented. 
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  • Christmas Jammie Dance Party! It was very short lived this year due to my extreme pregnant body, due to Spencer only dancing because I force him to, and due to the fact that last year's dance party was pretty impossible to beat. Our dance party was so awesome last year that James' investigators in Mexico found it on youtube. James even warned us in an email about Christmas dancing this year: "Love you all so much but don´t let the Christmas Eve dancing get too wild or my converts are going to think my family is nuts. Or at least don't put it on YouTube. haha."
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  • Nativity reading/watching.
  • We listened to a voice recording of my Great Grandpa Smith telling the story about when he was a little boy and got a pony for Christmas. I have never met my Great Grandpa Smith but I know his voice pretty well now because I have listened to it every Christmas Eve of my life. 
  • Christmas morning we had Spencer's family's tradition of breakfast casserole, orange rolls, and fruit for breakfast. I know, I am such a good photographer and should become a foodie blogger. 
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Jack was still too young to really understand that Santa was coming, but I think he has a sixth sense about holidays because he woke up at 3:45 am Christmas morning and wouldn't go back to bed! The last time he did this was on his birthday. 
Christmas morning:

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For the past three years, I have made it VERY CLEAR that the first gift I want once Spencer has a salary is a Garmin 10 GPS running watch. He somehow justified getting me one now and I'm glad he did because I'm SO excited to go running with it... in about 11 weeks!
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We had a happy Christmas day relaxing, napping, Skyping family, and talking to James in Mexico. This was the first year we stayed home for Christmas and we were a little worried that it wasn't going to feel like Christmas because we were so far away from family. We kept old traditions alive and started some new ones and I am happy to report that we had a wonderful Christmas in Alabama! 
Christmas outtake:


Things I'm loving

  • Santa, free carousel, and shooting at Bass Pro Shop
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  • Live nativity at Briarwood Presbyterian Church
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Sadly, I think Jack liked the petting zoo afterwards the best.
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  • Jack's new desire to "nuggis" (snuggle) all the time and Spencer trying to fit into Jack's bed - I have my own Buddy the elf.
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  • Popcorn and pina colada! We had this every Sunday growing up when I was really little and we decided to bring it back. Pina colada compliments popcorn way better than soda does. Try it.
  • The Roger Day Christmas concert at the library. Jack is one of Santa's groupies. 
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Santa round 3... Is that too excessive??? Jack is obsessed with Santa. Doesn't his face make it obvious?
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Unless you want to see endless pictures of my child with Santa with the same straight face and pictures of him doing other Christmas activities, I suggest you stop reading my blog until 2014. I am one of those bloggers.


Basically the only three things I have been doing this week since it's too cold to go to the zoo everyday

1. Reading Elizabeth Smart's new book while Jack plays cars in his windowsill.
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2. Going to every free Christmas event in Birmingham.
That means I've library hopped to 4 story times in 5 days! (That has got to be some sort of a record that I probably shouldn't be proud of.) I must say, Birmingham has some pretty cool story times though... songs, rudolf noses, parachutes, snowman art projects, beanbag chairs, oh, and stories.
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We also went to the art museum to see Santa and get free McDonald's for breakfast. Jack excitedly talked and talked about Santa while we were in line, but then got super lame for the picture.
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3. Working... I still teach swimming lessons in December while 8 months pregnant. I feel a little ridiculous. Sadly, I had to miss the best Christmas parade in Birmingham because I had to work. Spencer and Jack went with friends and came back with more candy than we got from Halloween.

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We have been....

Making forts
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Playing with friends
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Continuing birthday celebrations
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Going to Christmas parades
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Starting our Christmas traditions (we have a sleepover by the Christmas tree the first night we put it up)
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