Christmas 2011

I know it's late, but I wanted to post about Finn's first Christmas! We didn't take a lot of pictures which I am so bummed about. But oh well.

To start off, this was Chase's beard right before we went up to Idaho. Fantastic, right?

This year (err, last year I guess) we went to Idaho for Christmas. It was so fun and we had a great time - we didn't want to leave! Finn was a little bit sick while we were there so he was kind of a grump most of the time, but that didn't stop his Grandma Child (who was also sick, poor mama) and his aunts from cuddling him right up. :)

Most of the trip was spent relaxing (and recuperating) but it was perfect. On Christmas eve we went to Chase's Uncle Rob and Aunt Steph's for dinner. We had fun with the family, reading the story of Christ's birth and opening presents from Uncle Rob and Aunt Steph (Finn LOVES his pillow pet! Thank you!)

Christmas morning we went to church and then came home to open up presents, but by then Finn was so very, very ready for a nap. So while he slept we opened gifts and ate breakfast. By the time he got up the living room was full of wrapping paper and boxes and when we tried to show him his gifts he hardly cared. But he was a happy boy anyway.

Chase and I each gave the other a few nice gifts and one homemade gift. Chase made the most amazing perfect awesome wall clock!! It is seriously so cool. It isn't finished because he wants me to design the faces (there are two, one is the hours and minutes, the smaller one is just seconds), but I'm so in love with it already! He is such a talented guy and he spent hours in the garage making it. Ahh, I have the best hubs. :)

For him, I made a website for his music and recording information. Check it out and listen to his lovely songs on the "Music" page: http://www.whatlightmusic.com annnd since I kind of ran out of time, but mostly because I wanted Chase to write the content, it's not quite finished. But all his songs are up and I was able to have a bunch of people listen and comment on them so he could read nice things on Christmas morning.

Eating Grandma's hair... and Grandma's tissue paper.

He loved playing in the snow, but he loved his Grandma Child even more. :)

Anyway, it was a great trip and it just reminded me of how much I love my in-laws. They are such amazing, loving, selfless and FUN people. I adore them! It's no wonder that Chase turned out they way he did. 

And just because I don't want to forget it, my favorite memory of the whole trip was the first morning there, Chase went to go work with his dad on a plumbing job and Finn woke up when he left so I brought him into the bed with me and he fell back asleep. I tried so hard to move softly and reposition myself (he was hogging the bed!) but out of no where he sat right up on his bum, eyes half closed, looked around at me and gave me the biggest, cheesiest grin (exactly like the photo below) and then flopped face down on the bed, fast asleep. Without a doubt the cutest thing I have ever seen.

So surprisingly the plane ride home was fantastic! Finn was super happy the whole entire flight (even though he'd been sick and grumpy the whole trip) and near the end he started to get really sleepy so he wrapped his arms around my neck and smiled and babbled to me for 20 minutes until he dozed off. We're talking about the boy who is notorious for NOT cuddling or hugging. It was by far the best Christmas gift I could ever ask for. I love my sweet boy!

Just one more thing. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that He loved His enemies when no one else would. I'm grateful He embraced the sinners when others would stone them. I'm grateful He willingly gave His life when no one else would or could. I know He is the Son of God and that because of Him, I have the privilege to live on this earth and learn the difference between right and wrong - because of his example. I have the opportunity to have a family who I can be with forever. I have the blessing of going through trials that make me stronger and teach me about the power of prayer and faith and the healing that takes place when I put my trust in Him. I know that life is a gift, an opportunity to become more like Christ and I know that because of his atoning sacrifice, I can live with Him, with God, and with my family again after this life. This is the true meaning of Christmas - to celebrate the birth of the Son of God whose perfect example and loving sacrifice I so often take for granted. 


Mustaches on strings are the finest of things.

My dapper little man is turning one on Wednesday so we just had his birthday party this weekend. He told me he really wanted a mustache party, so that's what we did! Okay, he doesn't talk yet. But I could just tell he wanted one.

I had so much fun throwing this party! I saw a lot of ideas online that gave me a pretty specific plan in my head of what I wanted, and it actually turned out almost how I imagined. First I designed, printed, and cut out his invitations. Then I sewed each one with my sewing machine to create the "strings". That was a pain, but I like how they turned out.

I love this sweet little boy! We drew his mustache on with eyeliner. And the little bow tie he's wearing is just a felt one I saw on Pinterest that took about 5 minutes to make.

I was bummed that is was so super sunny on the day we had it, so the pictures are kind of lousy. The backdrop is just striped wrapping paper. All the platters were old rusty copper ones I found at the thrift store and painted white. The cupcake stand is just 3 old plates and 2 wine glasses turned upside down. It was so fun to transform them, especially since I usually really fail at spray painting things.

The menu/labels:
Cheesy Bow Ties - "The perfect side for a cheesy mustache"
Buffalo Chicken Dip - "Finner Finner Chicken Dinner" (our *long* nickname for Finn)
Fruit Kabobs - "They'll put hair on your lip"
Chocolate Top Hats - "Banana & Oreo delicacies"
Chocolate Cupcakes with Lindt truffles inside and cream cheese frosting.
A mustache smash cake
Chocolate Mustache Pops, or Flavor Savers - "Please take one if you really (picture of mustache)"

I loved making his cake! I found the idea just googling one day, but you just take a 2-layer 9-inch cake and cut an "S" shape in it. Then flip one of the halves over to make a mustache.

The labels have stripes on them, but it's hard to see in the sun. These top hats were so tasty and easy to make! I'd seen people do them with marshmallows, but I thought frozen bananas would be way yummier! I just sliced bananas, stuck them on Oreo halves with a little chocolate, then drizzled chocolate over each one and put them in the freezer. 

This dip was so delicious! Everyone kept asking for the recipe, which you can find here. Really easy to make.

Of course I did the chocolate mustaches on sticks that everyone does. 

We played Pin the Mustache on the Fox! I just painted this fox on some brown paper my mom had and taped it to a piece of wood. The kids had a ton of fun with this!

When guests arrived they took these mustache necklaces that I made using Shrinky Dink sheets. I had never seen these before but apparently everyone and their mom played with them when they were kids. Clearly I missed out. But I made up for it by making 30 of these mustaches! I don't care how old you are, watching plastic stuff shrink in the oven is always fun.

It's hard to see in this photo (I'm kind of bummed I didn't take more/better photos before everyone came, but I ran out of time and didn't even put up half of the mustaches I had planned on) but there are three strings hanging from a nail on our house and branching out to the walls, each with a dozen mustaches hanging from them. My awesome sister-in-law cut them out for me with her Silhouette machine. I really want one now, it is so cool!

Finn liked his cake after his initial "Why the heck is this stuff sticking to my hands!?" reaction.

One thing that worked out really great was to have a place for all the kids to play in the yard. We set up a couple of Ikea circus tents and tunnels, a slide, and some balls. That way the parents could eat and the little ones still had fun too!

I think it's safe to say that the little man had a good time too.

And here are our some of our friends and family modeling their lovely mustaches!

I love my sweet little family! :)

Chase shaved his beard into this nasty/awesome thing.

It just doesn't get any better than this little boy. He makes my life so beautiful in every way.

Anyway, the party turned out just fine and I think everyone had a blast! I felt like it was a bit of blur, but I did learn that if I ever do this again, I need to give myself twice as much time to set up! But I enjoyed making all the decorations and food so much. Thank you to my amazing mom and friends Lauren and Aubrey who helped so much with everything! Couldn't have done it without you.