holiday break

happy new year!

i really should have some super great post about my new year’s resolutions… but i don’t.

we just got home late tonight after 12 days away at my parents’ house in bass lake.

it was wonderful!  my favorite thing about being at my parents’ house is that there isn’t a ton to do, so you are basically forced to relax.

i hardly worked at all, and it was wonderful!

a great thing about my business is that it slows down right when i want it to and i was able to take a little time off.  i unintentionally took more time off from blogging than i expected, but i’m ok with that.  i had grand visions of blogging everyday and scheduling posts for next week, but no.

our first night away from home my sister in law and brother took our kids for us and we had a nice, long, FREE date night!

then we spent the next few days lounging around the house with my family, doing puzzles and the kids playing with their cousins.

the morning routine – kids wake up and veg in front of the tv, and i sleep in – yay vacation!!!!

the kids love sliding down the stairs in their sleeping bags.

christmas morning rush – we make the kids wait and wait and wait before they get to run downstairs to see what their santa gift is.

barrel of monkeys for my monkey

my oldest brother and grandma

my sister-in-law and great gram

 my pretty mom

the skirt i made lu for christmas

si’s very own skate board

gracie had been begging me for a vintage horse locket necklace from one of my stitch market vendors (saylor rose), and i kept discouraging her.  little did she know that i had already bought it for her!

when gram is around, we do puzzles.   actually, even if she’s not around we do puzzles!  this was our 2nd puzzle of 4  1000 piece puzzles.

we also play a lot of games, especially speed scrabble


the tuesday after christmas, my family left and sean’s family arrived – we maxed the house out at 24 people!

the kids were stoked to have a second christmas!  silas scored on legos this year – i think 4 sets!



the aftermath

silas and tanner bonding over legos

the worse puzzle ever.  it took us 5 very long days to complete.

for the siblings and spouses, we had a gift card swap.  we taped the cards to the window and had a shoot out with nerf guns to see who got which cards.

it was a lot harder than we thought it would be!

but sean and i scored with an anthro gift card and a starbucks card!

some of us adults left the kids at home and had a night on the town.  the very small town.  as in we were the only people at the bowling alley.  on a friday night.  it was so much fun – oldies music, dance competition between bowls, and some awesome skills made for a very fun night!

new years even was super fun, too!

courtney made us all adorable hats to ring in the new year!


the puzzle is finally complete!

the last 3 days were spent on all these tiny black pieces, each one looking exactly like the next.  it stunk.  worst. puzzle. ever.

giant sequoias at the mariposa grove


silas and his cousin isaiah

giant tree roots

one of the 3 days i actually got dressed.  only because we were going out in public, if you can call a forest public?


he said “mom – take my picture.  do i look like a minja?”  yes, silas.  just like a “minja”.

grandma and grandpa




we also went to yosemite valley.  did i mention there was no snow?  at all?  unfortunately, we didn’t realize this until we got to my parnets’ house and started unloading our snowboards and all of our snow gear.  stink.  i was really thinking this would be my year to snowboard again – i haven’t since before i became a mom!

my kids were totally unimpressed that i had climbed half dome before.  i guess when they see a tiny rock way off in the distance it doesn’t seem all that impressive!

the boys with cousin andrew

skating in the valley.  the boy took to the ice so naturally – he only used the cone for a bit then was off on his own.  he fell so much but got right back up – he’d get so mad at me if i tried to help him up – it was all on his own that day.

just watching gracie hurt my ankles, but she was awesome again this year!

lily was so brave and did awesome, too.  it was so much fun for sean and i to be able to skate together and have the kids be confident and happy to skate on their own.  i am loving their ages they are at right now.




seanie and brother-in-law david prepping for their speed skating race around the people-filled rink – yikes!

yosemite falls, trickling.  we were here last spring and it was roaring!  water was over almost all of those huge boulders at the bottom of the picture!

so there’s my vacation in pictures!

i am so happy to be home, but really not looking forward to unpacking all the suitcases tomorrow morning!


  1. 1

    Glad you had such a wonderful trip!! I used to love to slide down the stairs in sleeping bags when I was little!!

  2. 2

    So you didn’t like the Mona Lisa puzzle then?!

    It looks like a wonderful holiday, sometimes relaxing and not blogging is the best thing so that you can come back and wow us with your holiday memories.

    Happy New Year!


  3. 3
    Ashley Werner says:

    Looks like you guys had a great time, so much fun! You were so close to me, i live in Fresno, about 45 minutes from Bass Lake! And now this coming weekend i will be in your neck of the woods! I figure after 5 years of marriage, a now two year old and NEVER ever going out of town it was over due and San Luis is so pretty! I can’t wait!

    So glad you and your family had a truly great Christmas and New Years! And that you got a well deserved break!

  4. 4

    What a gorgeous family! Barrel of monkeys is THE best! Although Star Wars Lego is really cool, too. Hours of fun.

  5. 5

    What great memories! and the gift card shoot out.. what a great idea!

  6. 6

    Love all the family photo’s! Looks like you guys had a great time :) I saw an HGTV show right before Christmas that had a family who took pictures of their kids every Christmas morning coming down the stairs to see if Santa arrived. They framed it each year and their tradition had apparently been passed down from year to year (for 3 generations) . Your picture of the kids coming down the stairs reminded me of that :)

  7. 7

    this looks wonderful! what a fun-loving family!
    and i’m loving their critter hats – where do you find them??

  8. 8

    Happy New Year! And I must say the Nerf Dart Game with Gift Cards is hilarious. Must copy that idea! Love it!

  9. 9

    Happy New Year! What a great Holiday post.

  10. 10
    Nadir@StitchSense says:

    Oh my goodness, what a jam packed vacation! Looks like you had a blast though. Its so nice to unwind & take time off with family :-)

  11. 11

    Can you please do a tutorial on how to make those adorable skirts? Pretty please?!?! :)
    They are too cute!

  12. 12
    Lisa Phillips says:

    WOW! What a great holiday!! I LOVE the gift card shoot out idea!! Your family is amazing, how blessed you are!!!

    Random side note… I don’t know if you can see my posts, even though I ‘like’ your page? BUT… I am going to set up a blog for a Beth Moore study if your interested. I tried starting a girls group last year but it was so hard to find days that everyone could meet so i thought this was better and can include anyone anywhere! Have you done or heard anything aboiut ‘So Long Insecurity’? Its on sale right now at message me if your interested and I will give you the link when its set up :)

  13. 13

    That was fun! In all of the years I have gone to Bass Lake, I have never gone in the winter. I so want to!!! Those trees are so impressive indeed! You look like your pretty Mama!! I flipped on the telly the other morning, and I love the watch House Hunters, and lo and behold, there was your sister and her family on their hunt for a home in Australia!
    Hugs, and Happy New Year.

  14. 14

    Oh my I am SOOOOOOOOO glad that you found Color Issue and commented b/c I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of your adorable booth so that I could link the photos to your work! Now I can follow along your creative and cute blog….what a fun site you have. And you are just so very talented!

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment on m blog…I always love that and appreciate it!


  15. 15

    Your holiday looks like so much fun and great memories for your families! I’m pinning your dart gun game for next year!

  16. 16

    That skirt is SO stinkin’ cute! Happy 2012 to you!

  17. 17

    We had sooo much fun – thank you for having our whole crazy clan up!! Such special memories :) Love you.

    p.s. – what is the deal with the distorted dart picture?? Andrew and I both look like we weigh 400 pounds! haha

  18. 18

    It looks like you guys had such a nice time :)

  19. 19

    what a fabulous vacation/family/Christmas/NewYears!!! LOVE the photos!

    on a side note, my dad loves LOVES puzzles so every year for his birthday I try to find the worst puzzle I can just to torture him. One year it was “Hay in a Needle Stack”, another it was the puzzle where ALL the pieces were cut the exact same shape, another an all white puzzle, and one of his favourites was an apartment building (again with all exact cut pieces) and clues on how to put it together (the blue window is above a cat but beside a pipe…). We even found a mystery puzzle that when put together was a crime scene with information and clues. Solve the mystery and win $10, 000. He solve the mystery, but not until four or five other folks had. : (

  20. 20

    What fun! Happy New year!

  21. 21

    that looks so fun! thanks for sharing. :)

  22. 22

    Looks like there was a lot of love to go around at your house this season – glad you soaked it all up! Thanks for sharing your holiday with all of us!

  23. 23

    LOVE your relaxing holiday! glad you got some time off and time away with your peeps. :)

  24. 24

    I keep hoping we will just get the rain and snow later this year. If not we sure are going to have a drought soon!

  25. 25

    totally pinned the gift card shoot out.
    how fun!
    your children are gorgeous!

  26. 26

    Gosh, thanks for sharing all the pics. Happy New Year!

  27. 27

    Looks like a perfect Christmas vacation with family. I too spent many hours in my pjs.

  28. 28

    Precious pictures!! And your daughters look SO much like you!! Glad you have a fun, relaxing vacation.

  29. 29

    Such cute photos! Gracie has such vivid blue eyes!

  30. 30

    Love the pictures. If your family like Scrabble you should try Bananagrams. You can get it at Target. It’s speed Scrabble and you play at the same time as everyone else. We recently saw a larger version at Barnes and Noble for up to 16 people to play.

  31. 31

    looks like you had an amazing holiday…your family is adorable. great grandma is so stylish! =) love her pinky ring. my grandfather passed away in september and my grandma is in the final stages of alzheimers disease. this was our first year that the whole family didn’t get together…it has been a tough few months and my grandparents held the family together. they took me to yosemite when i was little and this just reminded me of my childhood so thank you for sharing.

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

  32. 32

    what an amazing holiday getaway!!
    if its any consolation, we usually have a foot of snow by now and i could seriously plant flowers in my wet lawn. i think seattle relocated to the upper midwest.

  33. 33

    Great pics! Holy Moly, you’ve climbed Half Dome?!? I did not know that. I’m impressed, even if the kids aren’t. :)

  34. 34

    Your children are darling! I am a grandma to 7 myself, so I know cute ones when I see them!

  35. 35


    steps are so much fun for sliding.

    i love the gift card exchange with the nerd guns… genius.

    the big entertainment center is gone from the living room at bass lake. it looks do different with the white dresser and tv on it. i like it!

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