Christmas 2013

Why hellooooo there! Happy New Year! Can I still say that on January 16th? I didn’t mean to take such a long break from blogging, but it was a much needed one. I worked hard in December and was a bit burnt out…the post-holiday migraine told me so. :)

We had a wonderful Christmas and I hope that you did too! Here’s a recap.

We went to see Santa in SLO and Ada was so cute with him. He asked what she wanted and she said, “A pink scooter!” He said, “And what else?” She answered, “That’s all!”

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Lola was absolutely terrified of Santa. I was the heartless mother who wanted to get a picture of her screaming and send it into Ellen but my mom couldn’t bear seeing Lola in such distress! It was pretty sad. So I have a picture of sweet Nonnie rescuing Lola from the grips of creepy Santa.

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We enjoyed Christmas magic…Ada was having trouble falling asleep one night so I said she could come lay on the couch by me. I left all the twinkle lights on and I said, “It’s so magical with just the Christmas tree lights on.” and she said, “Yeah, it’s like Disneyland.” Then immediately fell asleep.

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I love these ornaments that the girls made at church! These will have a permanent spot on my tree forever.

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We had family time with Uncle Sean and Auntie Becca in town!

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Excited little girls going to bed on Christmas Eve!

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The tree before Santa and his elves went to bed! :)

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And my phone died after I took this picture. It was kind of a good thing because then I was focused on the girls during Christmas morning and not on taking pictures and videos. I put Matt in charge of that and he made this beautiful video. It’s titled the way Lola says Christmas :)

As I was excitedly wrapping all of the gifts that I’d bought and made for my family, I kept having this thought and shared it on Facebook: You know the excitement you feel as you watch someone open a gift that you’ve been waiting for them to open? The perfect gift that you know they’ll love and have been wanting? It’s the best! I keep thinking that this is how our Heavenly Father must feel as we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and allow his Atonement, the greatest gift of all, to wash us clean and make us whole. I hope you all had a wonderful time with your loved ones…Merry Christmas! :)

Creamy Christmas Fudge

Merry Christmas!! I tried to make a fudge recipe that claimed in the title to be “no fail” – and it turned into a big ugly brick of chalky mess. Boo :(

The next day, I pulled out a recipe I’ve had forever. It turned out to be a total winner! Smooth, creamy, and totally addicting. I need to give more away before I eat it all!

Hope you enjoy it!

My husband, mom, brother, sister, and her boyfriend all give their stamps of approval!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Christmas Fudge
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 15
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Line a 9x9 inch pan with foil, letting the foil hang over the edges, and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Once the mixture starts to boil, continue stirring for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add marshmallow creme and chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.
  6. Add vanilla and stir.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and let cool to room temperature.
  8. Score fudge into 1-inch squares, then place in refrigerator until firm, 1-2 hours.
  9. Remove fudge from pan by lifting sides of foil and cut through the scored lines.


Early December Happenings

Lola just being cute after church in a sweater dress.

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When Matt pulled down my mom’s Christmas decorations, he found my old Emerald Elegance Barbie from 1995! I still had it in the box because I heard as a kid that they’d be worth something later on. On eBay they were only going for $30 so I let my excited daughter play with it instead :)

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Ada helped me decorate the tree and I haven’t moved a single ornament. It’s just too cute how they’re all clustered together!

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Most days, Lola wakes up from her nap happy. Some days she just needs extra snuggles & “touch cheek” time.

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Matt put lights on our house! The first time ever!! So exciting, I love having them on every night. He looks like a raccoon with his eyes glowing in this pic.

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On Ada’s birthday, I made crêpes for breakfast and put sprinkles in them. She was on cloud 9 and Lola insisted it was her birthday too :)

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Lola + Nutella crêpe = monster!

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That night I made our advent calendar activity to go out to frozen yogurt as a family since it was Ada’s 4th birthday!

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Ada wrote her first letter to Santa! Well, started to. She started to cry when her R didn’t turn out right. Then got really upset when the letter T went into the letter N. I kept telling her that her letters were beautiful and for a barely 4-year-old, she was doing a fabulous job! She insisted that I write the rest of the letter for her. After that, she wrote on the envelope and wrote POLE all by herself (with us spelling it aloud)!

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I just love all of our cards coming in the mail! Makes me so happy to watch the holder fill up and hear about all of your families!

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In love with our mantel, fireplace, and stockings. Merry & bright!

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Ada got a birthday treat from Bishop on Sunday and he gave Lola one too :) Cuties in their Sunday best!

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Lola while watching the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. She said, “Cozy.” Wasn’t Elder Nelson’s talk awesome?! I was in tears with the children singing.

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Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season!

Christmas Tree

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went up to Nipomo to pick out our tree! We’ve come to Holloway’s ever since I can remember. Their Monterey Pines are my favorite kind of Christmas Tree. They smell heavenly and are the prettiest trees in my humble opinion :) Even when we lived in Santa Cruz, we bought a tree here and then drove 3 hours with it strapped to the top of our car! It was totally worth it.

Holloway's Christmas Trees

You will find trees in every shape and size at this tree farm. As we were looking at a larger tree, Lola said, “My tree!” And ran over to this little Charlie Brown tree.


We went to pick out our tree on a beautiful California blue-sky day. I regretted my sweater and boots after a while, it got hot out there. We’d talked about getting hot chocolate after, but those plans quickly changed when the weather did. I’m not complaining, this is why I live where I do.

Standing by the winning tree, Ada wished that 5 or 6 trees before this were our tree. Every one that looked good to us she’d say, “Yeah, I like this one. Let’s buy this one!”


I love bringing my little family to the place where I grew up picking out my tree and carrying on the Christmas tradition.

While Matt and I were dating, he came with my family to pick out that year’s tree and everyone was amazed by his energy! We played hide and seek in the trees. Now we carry babies and give piggy back rides instead.


Everyone at Holloway’s is so friendly. The ladies at the front desk gave Lola a candy cane and she was a happy camper!



Once you find your tree, you cut it down yourself or wait for one of the guys with the tractor to come around and do it for you. My studly husband will have nobody else cut his tree down, of course! Then you load up your tree and ride along with it to the front.


Tying down my mom’s tree.


I am so grateful to have such a fun tradition to carry on with my children. There is nothing like watching the magic in their eyes as you cut down your very own tree and set it up in your home! I love the thrill of the hunt and bringing home the perfect tree. Thank you for giving us this, Holloway’s…we will be buying your trees for years to come!

Helping Papa water our tree :)

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This post was originally published on Mom it Forward on 12/9/13.

Christmas Advent Activities

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My mom gave me the advent calendar that I used growing up & I love it! Edited to add: it’s from Germany! :)

Instead of putting candy in the pockets, I decided to write up some activities for each day and put them in.

Here is my list:


I looked at my calendar and included things that we were already doing to avoid burnout :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season with your families!!