WE'RE ONE!!!! Phew!

We made it!

What a crazy couple of days it has been. And we are just beginning. The next few years (and for eternity!) are only going to be worse---but they will be even more fun, too!

The girls first Christmas was a success! They really enjoyed their gifts...er...actually the tissue paper, but that was expected. They didn't quite understand the "rip the paper to get the present" part. :) I'm sure they thought they'd get in trouble because I take away their books or magazines when they tear the pages. They are so smart! Tony's parents came over and we had dinner and opened presents. The girls had a great day. Happy First Christmas girls!

The next day my mom and oldest sister, Shaunie, flew into town. They had an interesting trip, to say the least. Their (20 minute delayed) flight left a snowy Idaho around 1:30PM, arrived with 10 minutes to spare before their already boarding connector in Utah. But when they got to the gate (5 minutes early) the flight attendant at the gate couldn't find a way to call the pilot to let them know to hold the plane and not take the walk-way thingy off...this took 10 minutes and she STILL couldn't figure it out! So they, and 7 other people from the previous flight, stood their helplessly while they watched their plane pull out and take off without them! So, they had to be put on standby for the next flight 2 hours later. When they complained about the dense F.A., their boss just defended her and said 'sorry'. That's all! Can you believe it? Well, the bad snow warning had gone into effect and all of the flights were delayed. They didn't get on the next flight but they got on the nearly 2 hour delayed plane that left at 10:50PM! What a horribly long and boring day in the airport. So they ended up getting here 9 hours later than schedueld. Unfortunately, they girlies decided they wanted give them a warm welcome...until 4AM....we were all a little tired the next day, as you can imagine. :S

So the next day was their first birthday! And I had so much left to do. However, we all woke up at 11AM--- so we got a really late start. Avery didn't wake up until 1PM. I still had to go to the store for dinner and cake ingredients, make them, clean the house, get the girls bathed and dressed and all by 6:30! Luckily Tony's mom went to the store for me (twice) and my mom and sister watched the girls and got them ready. Plus they helped me bake the cakes and Tony made dinner while we decorated them. Of course I had to do something elaborate...granted in the world of cakes it is very simple. And, yes, they could have just split one cake, but I wanted them to have their own, especially for their first one. I decided a vegan cake and frosting would be best since they technically won't be a year old until February. So I needed all of these specialty ingredients, which of course the store didn't have one of the things I needed, so I had to change my plans at the last second. I truly tried for weeks to get all the stuff and planned to have the cakes made the night before, but with all that was going on, I just didn't get to it. So, I ended up making them each a mini vegan cake with a round bottom layer frosted in a lilac color and the top layer was a smaller heart shape that was frosted pink. I made some white sugar paste and wrapped the cakes up like a gift with a bow and candle on top. It was different than what I had in mind, but turned out pretty cute. They each took about two or three tiny bites and were done. So they will be eating a tiny bit of cake every night for weeks! :) Or until it dries out, which they may already be. The got lots of fun gifts from everyone! It was a fun day and I can't believe it's all over! You just blink and times passes.

Thanks too all who thought of us on Christmas and their birthday! We love you G&G Schow, N&P LaPlaca, Reinhold Clan, Romero Posse, Aunt Shaunie, The Schow Duo, Gram and Gramps Great, Grammy V, Auntie Ti-Ti, Extended LaPlaca and Locatelli Fams and everyone else! We've had such a fabulous year. I can't wait for the next one! :)

Here are some pics:

Christmas card!!

The Cakes!

Ashleigh's first taste!

Avery is lovin it! (but she eats everything!)

Jordyn cautiously partaking...

All three looking to the eldest for the OK:

More fun...

My poor attempt at using up the leftover frosting on a cake for the adults. :(


Merry Almost to ALL!

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Life has been crazy...as usual. That, and I didn't know what to post. :S

I swear I was gone just about every night for the past two weeks with church meetings, events, planning for the events, Christmas parties...etc. etc. But now we have a *slight* breather until Christmas---then it's the girls' first birthday! ('slight' meaning I am only busy half the week---on top of cleaning and decorating the house.) :)

I said I wasn't going to do a tree for our home this year after spending hundreds of hours on the Festival tree (which by the way went for approx. $450 to a local music big whig), but I couldn't NOT have a tree for the girls' first Christmas. SO---with our tight funds I bought a 4.5 ft. silver tinsel tree for around $20. I already had a bunch of decorations, so I didn't have to spend any extra money to decorate it, luckily! I finished that up today. I put it on the dining room table and wrapped the big tree skirt I already had around it. Our living room is fenced (for obvious reasons) so I didn't need to put the tree up high, but I did anyway to make the tiny tree seem taller than it actually is. :) I have to say---It turned out absolutely gorgeous! It looks like it's just dripping with diamonds and sparkle. I LOVE IT! It's a new tradition in our family. I hope it will be with us long after the girls are grown!

Speaking of new traditions, we have something special under our tree this year. I made it at a church enrichment night (activity just for women). It's a glass block with lights inside and a ribbon tied around it to look like a gift. It will always be under the tree in the center because it represents Jesus and the gift He was to us and that He is the 'Reason for the Season'. (I stole that idea from my friend Katy--I just fell in love with it!) It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the "extra-curriculars" this time of year and forget why we celebrate in the first place. So, now, everytime we look at the special glass present, we will be reminded of our Savior who was born, lived and died for us. Fabulous, right? :)

I hope everyone has an awesome Christmas! We have gotten to know so many friends, both old and new, and we have had such a great year. I can't wait for everyone to get to know the girls better after RSV season is over. I hate that we have to keep them sequestered for so long, even though I know it is for their own good. The next time people see them they will be so big. Most people haven't even seen them walk yet. But they are so cute and big and I just love every minute (ok, NEARLY every minute) I have with them. :)

Here are the pics of the tree and The Gift underneath.

Do you have any cool traditions? PLEASE tell me! I love to hear what other people do to celebrate. Maybe I'll steal one or two of them, if you let me :D