{christmas traditions}

One of my most favorite things about this time of year is {traditions}! I love the traditions we had growing up and now the ones Josh and I have started together. I can't wait for the ones to come as our little family has expanded to 3 {okay, sorry Finley girl, family of 4}! For the past couple of years, Josh and I {mostly Josh} cook a really big dinner on Christmas Eve Eve, then load up to go look at Christmas lights {of course listening to our favorite Christmas tunes}. This year, Finley girl will have to share the back seat with her little sister, Ella! When we get home, it's time for bed so Santa can make his special trip to our home a night early. We wake up super early the next morning {coffee in hand} and open presents. We then cook a big breakfast {still trying to come up with our signature Christmas morning dish} and lounge around the house until its time to pack up and visit family! Next year will be even more fun as Ella will begin understanding Christmas a little more!
Growing up, some of my favorite traditions were baking a birthday cake for Jesus every Christmas Eve night. The next morning, we would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before we opened any presents. I can't wait to do that with Ella! Another favorite is the York signature Christmas morning breakfast...Cherry Brunch Ring {I'll share the recipe one of these days}! I also love getting dressed up and going to church on Christmas Eve night ~ then heading to IHOP and Walgreens afterwards...haha! Let me explain....back in the day, the good 'ole days, nothing used to be open past 6pm on that night, except for Walgreens and IHOP! SOOOO....that's how that tradition began! :) But oh how fun the memories!
Christmas 2009
Christmas 2010
Christmas 2011 to come....
May your days be merry and bright as we enter this wonderful time of year!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

{happy 3 months}

Dear Ella,
Happy 3 moths, baby girl! There is not a day that goes by that I don't just stare into your beautiful blue eyes and thank our LORD for you! You're the best gift your daddy and I could have ever imagined. Your smile {still} melts my heart...in fact, it brings tears to my eyes. You have grown so much this month! Our favorites are the way you move your little mouth to try and talk to us, your very animated facial expressions, your cooes, and your smile (did I already mention that?)! You started sleeping in your own room 2 weeks ago (11 weeks old) and are starting to adjust! You slept 6.5 hours last night...we're praying this will stick! We're so excited to celebrate your very first Christmas is just 4 days! What an extra special year it is for you dad and I! Santa has already dropped your gifts off...he made a special trip just for you so we could take them to your Mimi and Papa's on Saturday. I pray this next month is just as good (or better) than the past month has been! There are no words to describe the love we have for you....well, all I can say is we love you to the moon and back! xoxo
Love, Mommy

{christmas card photo shoot}

Thanks to Mimi, we were able to take some quick pictures to get our Christmas cards made for this year! I debated on even making them since we had just mailed out Ella's birth announcements, but...I couldn't not do them for Ella's first Christmas!!! I think they turned out pretty cute! We tried and tried to capture Ella's big smile, but she was just too tired (mommy woke her up from a nap)! Here are a few of them...hope you enjoy!

{it's the most wonderful time of the year}

It's finally here! Christmas is right around the corner! I love all the sights, smells, food, decorations, Christmas music and performances, the hustle and bustle, and time with family and friends! We have lots of "firsts" this Christmas, but the most exciting of them all is of course it's Ella's very first Christmas! Let the picture taking begin (oh wait, I think that began a looong time ago)! :) My shopping has been a little different this year with a 2 month old. I'm learning how to do this "shopping online" thing...and I have to say, I'm loving it! How could you not love having to wait in long lines and spending an hour looking for a parking spot! Amoung the craziness the holidays sometimes bring, I've been reminded once again what this season is truly about while reading "The Purpose of Christmas" by Rick Warren. A must read during this special time of the year....it's short yet beautifully written. May we all be reminded...now, lets celebrate the season!

Our new Christmas tree (our old one flew out of the back of Josh's truck while moving)!! So, if you happened to be on 59 during late June, you might have seen it! HA!
It was so much fun getting to add Ella's stocking this year!

Decked out in her Santa shirt and red tutu!
Thank you Pinterest for the cute idea!