A few Saturdays ago (seriously how did the month already fly by?!) we had a full day of Christmas fun. We attended the Christmas Creche exhibit in Palo Alto with our good friends the Toolsons, in the afternoon and our church Christmas party in the evening. 

The Creche exhibit was a.m.a.z.i.n.g! I didn't have any expectations going in and was blown away. There were hundreds upon hundreds of different nativity scenes from all around the world. Each room had a different theme and honored different parts of the globe. It was so interesting to see how each culture created jesus to look like themselves. They also had a kids room, puppet show and crafts which Brooklyn loved. I would highly recommend this for anyone who lives in the area! 

The church Christmas party was a blast too. I use to think life would be so lame once I was a parent but its so fun and exciting in a totally different way. Seeing Brooklyn's little personality develop is one of the most rewarding things in my life. Watching her sit and laugh at that small table with the other toddlers was cute beyond words. Things ended up taking an ugly turn during dinner when she was bored and we left before the music program or seeing santa. Missing santa was a bummer because this was suppose to be the "santa & me 2013" picture. {Sigh} 


Last year (see here) we started the tradition of going into the Santa Cruz forest and cutting down our very own Christmas tree. We went to Summit Farms again because it was such a good experience last year. I love how this is something we can do every year as a family. The scenery is breathtaking and the beauty helps us remember that Christmas is more than just about getting presents. 

Looking back to our pictures from last year a lot has changed. Now we have a toddler and another baby and a new car and a finally decorated room to put the tree in. Like before, Rob did all most of the heavy lifting but it was a group effort to keep everyone warm and entertained. We had a cold streak come through the area for about two weeks, making it really feel like winter around here. 

^^Of all the places to choose a tree we decided to get one next to this huge dumpster. Brooklyn was pretty happy about it though. 
^^Hanging out waiting for daddy to cut the tree
^^Couldn't ask for a greater guy.. look at that enthusiasm! 

^^See see! I helped lift the tree to the top of the car.
^^Last year she could barely lift her head. This year she sat in the car playing with my iPhone. 

^^New year, new car. The tree made it home successfully! 
^^We are completely blocking the tree but at least you can see the completed living room. Sadly I never took a picture of the tree and when we came home from Boston it was all but dead :/


Christmas card 2013

I think as people get older they become less thrifty, not me. I still have the mind set of a poor college student and I am going to hold on to that as long as I can. I love saving money and especially getting a good deal on things. However, sometimes you get what you pay for. Like my Christmas cards this year. I went double frugal by purchasing not one but two groupons to make this card happen. The picture was a $15 groupon to JCP, the place where the trouble started. We were running late (as usual) and I was panicking. I called the place several times but no one answered. I realized why once we got there: they were running behind too. By an hour and a half! Imagine the outcome of two infants who had not eaten dinner getting a picture taken 20 minutes after bedtime. Not good. Our photographer was beyond horrible. She captured all these odd angles before quickly rushing us out. Great. On to the second groupon disaster; my photo card deal. I checked out the website and saw tons of cute designs I wanted. 60 cards for $15, score! Little did I know the groupon restricted the template options to about, nothing. Being stubborn and maybe a little cheap (OK, a lot cheap) I forged forward with my original idea and the result .........

Lucky  I have two gorgeous littles. Guess the result could have been a lot worse. Next year we are going to use a legit professional for the photos and a non groupon for the cards. Whoo hoo for 2014 cards! And, Merry Christmas! 



Rob and I hosted the funnest ugly sweater/white elephant exchange Christmas party this year. When I mentioned the idea of the party, he quickly added that we needed to have a white elephant. Rob usually has no opinion, so him giving some input is a pretty big deal. And pretty cute if you ask me! 
I really love throwing parties, always have since I was young. It's kind of a tradition in my house. My brothers just told me they hosted the coolest Christmas party in the 5th grade. 
It made me proud. 
On a different thought I am getting use to this staying at home {with a nanny} thing. I dedicated all day Friday to preparing for the party. I with Nora's help prepared tons of different things to eat, made cute coupons for voting, prepared gifts for the ugly sweater winners and made cute take home favors. 
I attempted to set up a photo booth which didn't really turn out great. Its the thought that counts tho, right?
The white elephant was hilarious. Surprisingly, I am pretty sure some people actually did get what they wanted. Rob stole signed baseball cards from our friend as a little boy and I ended up with a Moses action figurine. These will be placed in a box and re-gifted at our next white elephant for sure. 
It was such a fun night. I am so thankful for all the great friends we have made here in San Jose! 

^^The food display. Notice Brookyn's cute art work on the refrigerator? Love my little artist. 

^^How cute are these ugly sweater voting cards?
^^Correcting my attempt for the photo space
^^My cute friend Amber. Looking pretty good with that background

^^some of my favorite girls: Adria, Sadey, Lydia<3 and Katie! 
^^white elephant gifts!
^^The ugly sweater winners! Clearly super excited about their winnings! 

^^Love my husband. Love his sweater. Pictures don't do it justice-- there were flashing lights on those bells!
^^Half of the girls. The back row was attempting reindeer hoofs. Guess the front row didn't get the memo. 

^^Andrew looking super manly and Carrie accentuating the pregnant belly. Not ugly sweater winners. 

^^Thanks for coming hot chocolate gift for two! I even made the hot chocolate.  I actually haven't heard from anyone about the taste of it (which usually isn't a good thing) haha. Again, the thought was there. 



When I was a little girl I had a 4 foot tall Barbie doll house that was the envy of the neighborhood. I was kind of obsessed with that house and dressing up my Barbie dolls. Like, even until seventh grade, obsessed. 
Little did I know at the time one day I would have my own, real life doll. My little "dolly" Brooklyn is the best to dress up! We had such a fun fashion show putting on all her Christmas outfits. I had to bribe her with a mini marshmallow after each shot to stand still. I love how well she can follow directions now (and how much she loves her candy!) 
I can't wait to see her pose for pictures in the coming years. 



We blessed Lydia on Sunday!
There was a lot of speculation to see which name {Lydia or Sydney} Rob would call her. Side note: I we have been seriously talking about changing her name to Sydney. That is for another post though.
Lydia looked extra beautiful in her fancy dress.
This was the same one Brooklyn wore at her baby blessing, just last year. Brooklyn looks a little biger because she was almost five months old. People typically bless their babies when they are only a few weeks old however we waited until around Christmas for both girls so my in-laws could come when they were back in CA.
I think I say this in every posts; days like today are always so happy but a little sad too that my family is so, so far. I feel extra lucky to have Rob's family so close now.   
I was also a little sad we didn't get a picture with Lydia and mom and dad. We planned to and then she had a blow out all over her dress and tights. We may have to retire this blessing dress after this year. 
It was a great day of blessings, family and food. Lydia, we are so thankful you came into this world. 
We love you!
^^My little doll. She is my baby twin

^^(Not suppose to take pictures in church but I did).. Moments before she was blessed.

^^My super crafty mother-in-law made these for the big day. Lydia Taylor Williams!

^^The girls with the grandparents <3

^^Some of our family gathered to celebrate Lydia.--- on a self timer--- don't mind the hallway



Thanksgiving 2013 was our first combined family holiday and boy was it a good one! I have been begging my family to come out west for any holiday. Being the oldest of five everytime we are all togeter it feels like a party. Since we are doing Christmas in Boston, we wanted to do Thanksgiving with my in-laws in Arizona. Going down there is a blast because its always much hotter than California and we get to see my sister in-law Emily and her two cute kids Lucy and Quinn. Rob, myself and our five kids stayed with my in-laws while my parents and the kids stayed in a hotel close by. We did a lot of swimming in the pool, day trips to Sedona and The Grand Canyon, Thanksgiving dinner at a beautiful resort and some serious black Friday shopping. The week was such a blast and seemed to fly by. I loved having both sides of my family under one roof and being able to celebrate with all my favorite people.

^^Some grammy time before church

^^First of a million pool pictures because thats really where we spent the whole week.

^^Grampy and Papa with the littles! 

^^Cutest two girls on the road to Sedona 

^^Sedona pottery 

^^The whole group at the red rocks


^^Thats one pretty happy Sawyer. Maybe some vortex action happening here..

^^Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona 

^^My family! Outside the Chapel of the Holy Cross 

^^Pictures can't do the Grand Canyon justice. I almost couldn't process the beauty and depth. It was unlike anything I have ever seen!

^^After driving four hours we sorely underestimated the weather. By about, um 35 degrees. It was 80 in Scottsdale and 45 at the Grand Canyon. Oh, elevation. Luckily it was sunny and we had a bunch of extra jackets. 

^^My best friend right there. Celebrating life! 

^^Because my mom is the best she carried Lyd around the entire day

^^There is one person who does not belong.. 

^^Lydia's first time in a swimsuit! 

^^Our attempt to get a family shot before Easter dinner {sigh}

^^Petitto girls! 

^^My handsome man