Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve

We started out our Christmas eve celebration with a short representation of the Nativity. My niece and nephew, Aryn and Braden, were Mary and Joseph, Jackson was a shepherd and Kate was an angel. (Sydney wasn't feeling well)

Then our family exchanges family presents. The first present Kate opened was this cute apron from her cousin, Jessica. It's so perfect and adorable...she loved it!
Jackson and Braden each got a Nerf sword. They loved them and Jackson will has his but it might not last the month...he likes to attack his sisters.
Evidence that Sydney was cheating...she's opening this present clearly marked To: Kate. Now, I know she can't read, but she knows an 'S' from a 'K.'
Jake relaxing after the craziness...getting ready for Santa's visit.

My birthday cake




This cake really deserved its own post. Jake got the recipe off the cover of Bon Apetit magazine and it turned out perfectly. It's a dark chocolate, peppermint meringue cake. It was so yummy and isn't it beautiful?!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Jen!

Happy Birthday Jen!

Today is Jen's 29th birthday, for the fifth time. It started exactly as she and I had planned: with lots of sleep. And she needs it. Our kids keep her very busy. With any luck, today will also be the day we learn whether she and kids can destroy their own house, not Grandma & Grandpa's house (in other words, we should be finalizing a home loan sometime today).

I often tell Jen how amazing she is. But on her birthday, I want to announce it for all to hear. She is infinitely patient with me and the kids. We've been living in stressful circumstances for over a year and she is still all smiles and positive about the future. Just when I think her brain is getting mushy from dealing with kids all day, she snaps into a conversation about accounting and inventory with her dad, and I'm left in the dust, covertly thumbing my finance dictionary to figure out what she was talking about. At night, as soon as the baby monitor crackles with any sort of whimpering, she rockets from deep sleep to instant, attentive mother. She may even bed down for the rest of the night in the kids room to comfort them; either that, or I snore more than I thought. Though I freely admit my bias, I really think she has some of the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen.
She is getting more and more beautiful with age. When a hair cut is upcoming, she asks what she should do next. My reference point is always her eyes. What can we do that will frame her beautiful eyes?

She's been dreaming of pursuing graphic design lately. And she'd be good at it too. I think we're within mere months of beginning that new adventure. It's her natural designer's eye that also makes a wonderful home. She recently made some blankets that are cute (and I say that, hoping my manhood is intact). The kids are well dressed and happy. They love her. And though they run to me when I get home from work, they want her when they are hurt or sad. She is everything to her kids, even when Grandma & Grandpa Jorgensen are so close.

My ramblings are random because Jen is an overwhelming influence on me and everything I do. It's hard to separate her influence from everything else because she is so influential. And I love it that way. Perhaps that's what I do know very clearly: I love her. And I love all that she has done to my world (including ironing my shirt and pants - thanks - today's choice was nice). So, here's to Jen's latest successful year, another batch of priceless memories, and - most importantly - an eternity to come with the woman I love! (And married, because: Mom, I love you, but we're not married; and, Sydney, I know I say we can get married, but you have to grow up and find your own husband. Until then, I'll be your boyfriend.)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

advent

I know you were wondering what we finally did with all our 8 lbs. of leftover Halloween candy. Honestly, it sat in a Ziploc bag on top of the china cabinet for a month or so. But a week ago I realized I hadn't yet made the elaborate advent calendar I've been planning since last year after seeing this on my friend's blog. So I set out looking for some fun, simple homemade ideas. Not finding what I was looking for, I headed to the dollar store for inspiration. I came home with curly ribbon. Not helpful. Then I found some cellophane bags in the closet that I had big plans for (that never happened) and low and behold, there were 25 bags. So I decided to put some candy in each bag, one to be opened every day. Here's what I came up with...and yes, all the candy is recycled from Halloween. :)

Most of the bags contain 3 of the same candy but a few are assorted. Notice, I did use the curling ribbon

Each bag had a large number inside and were hung randomly on the garland.

Jackson loved helping me hang the bags on the garland

Final product, though I'm contemplating a couple red bows or something. You get the idea though.

Though not nearly as cute or heirloom-y as Brooke's, it's still a lot of fun and very cheap! I'm sure the kids will love it and we'll do it again...maybe even after I do the other one :)