Saturday, December 29, 2012


I was crazy in love with our colors this year. Stella was a rascal as she tends to be at our family shoots, but we still got some great pics.

Thanks again to my friend Krisi for taking these for us.


This Christmas was a quiet one--with Tyler & Courtney in Rome and Ash, Riley, and Ava in Bend it was just us, my parents and Brent's parents. In the end though, it turned out to be one of my favorite Christmases. Stella is at the best age, the magic of Christmas is real and true in her heart, and we were able to have a quiet day where someone else had to cook for me! :)

We got together at my parent's loft with all of the world travelers the week before Chirstmas. It was a really fun evening. I didn't bring my camera, but even if I had, I still couldn't have captured how cute Ava was when she opened gifts. "This can't be!" was my favorite of her expressions as she opened her kid laptop. We sure missed that girl on Christmas. 

My mom and dad slept over Christmas Eve, which might have been Stella's favorite part of the holiday. She talked about it for days before. She was super thrilled to head downstairs and get them up to open presents. (Or more accurately, to watch her open them, since 90% of the gifts were for her.) Stella also was very interested in writing out all of the present tags this year. We went through many a tag with mistakes of running out of room or writing the wrong letters, but I tried to be patient as she practiced since I have like a thousand of those silly stickers, and she did a great job.

Stella got mostly Barbie: Princess & the Popstar stuff along with movies and princess dolls to round out the joy of toys. She has enjoyed her toys nonstop since opening them and has spent hours creating a wonderful world of excitement for her Barbies. I especially loved spotting her Christmas morning watching her Princess & the Popstar movie with her dolls doing the moves in front of the TV. As Ava said once: "Barbie is the best actress."

Last year was such a busy day--I loved how chill it was this year. Stella got to enjoy her new goods, and I got my much loved holiday nap while Daddy and Stella watched Brave in the basement. I did make Brent (with much grumbling) take some pictures of my adorable daughter and I enjoying our white Christmas with our Christmas colored coats. It was the most fun until I knocked Stella down in the snow after going for a hug (hug pictured, fall not pictured) and she walked away in tears (pictured). 

We went over to the Sallays for dinner and to talk to Aunt Kathy (who will be home in two months!) Stella was able to show off her new cowgirl boots that my mom got her for Christmas and that she now has to wear every day. We opened some gifts and ate way too much food! It was a lovely evening, and I realized then, one of the (as Stella put it) BEST CHRISTMASES EVER!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Stella is getting ever so smart at preschool this year. She loves the letter 's' of course and is always pointing it out when we drive around in the car. She loves to write her name and gets frustrated when she sees her name and the 'a' doesn't look like her 'a' at all!


Stella has gotten very particular lately about how she likes her bed before she goes to sleep. She likes to have all of her special characters with her, and often when I go and check on her before I go to bed, she is snuggled with one or more of them. 

Stella's list of must-have night-time needs:
  • cup of fresh water
  • sleeping bag straight and comfy
  • princess pillow
  • princess crown nightlight on 
  • hallway light on
  • mommy upstairs
  • music (currently her new Minnie jewelry box from Aunt Ashley)
  • Ni-Night (the threadbare blanket friend with special sleeping powers)
  • Mickey (a nighttime friend since they met at Disney World in 2011)
  • Minnie (a nighttime friend since they met on a Disney Cruise in 2012)
  • Dream Lite (saw the commercial, had to have it--Aunt Heidi sent it with love)
  • Little Gorilla (from cousin Nellie)
Meet these simple demands and you can have Stella fast asleep in anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.