Wednesday, December 17, 2014

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

During my sophomore year of college, my roommates decided that they wanted to buy a live Christmas tree.  I was poor as dirt and didn't want to spend any unnecessary money, so the entire idea stressed me out.  Call me Grinch or call me Scrooge, but I just couldn't make myself be excited about this dang tree.

I felt like Scrooge right up until the moment they brought the tree home and decorated it.  The smell, the lights, the purple ornaments that I wouldn't have chosen but totally loved...I had Grinched myself right into loving this tree.  Every night, I studied by the glow of that tree, and every night, I realized that I spent far more time in front of that tree than any of my roommates.  And truth be told, it was probably because I needed the Christmas spirit the most that year.

I haven't made that mistake since.

And since we're talking about the Christmas spirit, let me just say that decorating a tree with my child is one of the most magical things I've experienced.

Does she pull all the ornaments off within arm's reach?  Yep.

Has she almost pulled the entire tree over in her attempts to take off a few stubborn ornaments?  Every day.

Do we love every second of it?  Most definitely.

And here's the final product:

Christmas spirit?  Check.

And here's the stocking hanger that my lovely visiting teachers from church helped me to make:

Let's also talk for a minute about Ellie's love/hate relationship with Santa for a minute.  Ever seen A Christmas Story?  Remember that kid that can't wait to see Santa Claus, right up until the minute that it's his turn to sit in Santa's lap?  THAT WAS MY CHILD.  At our ward Christmas party.  I have videos.

But first, a momentary pause to admire how cute Ellie looks in this outfit:

Ok, sorry.  Back to Santa.  She was ecstatic to meet him.  She kept saying that she wanted to give him hugs and sit on his lap, but it went downhill fast when it was actually her turn.

We obviously didn't make her sit on his lap once she decided that it wasn't actually what she wanted, but the result still totally makes me laugh.  [Too stinkin' bad that these videos don't show up in my printed blog books.  I need Harry Potter up in here!]

Last week, we also drove through the lights they had set up at Willard Bay.  Ellie was totally in love, and if we're being totally honest, so were Tim and I.  But we had the exact same experience with meeting Santa.  She was over-the-moon excited...

Right up until it was her turn to sit in his lap.  Oh, how we love that girl.

Unfortunately it has also been a time for sickness in this household.  Right before Thanksgiving, we all got a very mild version of the stomach flu.  

Then Ellie got a cold.  

[But isn't she the cutest little sick person you've ever seen?] 

[She was getting stir crazy one night, and Tim was out of town, so I took her out to eat.  She was so happy to get out of the house!  I just tried to avoid any other children.]

Then Tim got tonsillitis.  

Then Ellie got Hand, Foot, and Mouth. 

And today, we learned that the antibiotics Tim was originally given didn't get rid of his infection, so now he's on some stronger antibiotics now.  The doctor said his white blood cell count is as high as someone with appendicitis, so as you can imagine, he feels super awesome right now.  Come on, antibiotics!

But even with all the craziness, we are loving the Christmas spirit!

Monday, December 15, 2014

a very Devey thanksgiving

Thanksgiving with the Deveys is always fun.  Any gathering with the Deveys is always fun.  It's loud, chaotic, crazy fun.  Only half of the ten kids could make it to St George this year, but since all of those kids have kids (and some of those kids have kids) you can imagine...there were a lot of people running around.

I am fairly certain that Ellie loved every second of it.  She loved getting all of that attention and stealing all the toys and convincing people to giving her chips 24 hours a day.  Seriously, I've never seen her eat that much of anything.  Ever.  Combined.

 Ellie with her cousin, Burton, and Grandma Devey

The weather was so perfect on Thanksgiving Day that we all went outside while dinner was cooking.

 Love all of these lovely ladies!

 And my cute family.

The (gargantuan amount of) food was all amazing, and we loved spending all of that time together.  And there may have been a Dr. Pepper run to Maverick that evening.  (I don't wanna talk about it.)

On Friday, Brigette's family drove in and all the girls made a craft...

While the boys got everything ready for the boat races...

Which Ellie loved for all of two seconds.

That attention span, I tell ya.

Then we made everyone get together for some family pictures...

 Here are the four Devey cousins born in 2013 (with their parents) (who are siblings) (but you'd probably already figured that out) (kthxbye)

And here are just a few of the Devey grandchildren.  (Seriously, just a few.)  At first I couldn't figure out why Seth and Heather were in this picture (since they're the same age as I am), but then it dawned on me.  Yep, they're grandchildren, too.  And their kids are great-grandchildren.  And Tim technically just shouldn't be in this picture. 

I love them.

 My sister-in-law, Ali, with two cute cousins

At the end of the night, Melissa and her husband Sam, Seth and his wife Heather, and Tim and I all went out for ice cream - without kids!  It was so fun.  And Ellie got to hang out with Grandma, so I bet you can guess just how much she missed us.  The only damper on the whole evening was when Brigette's family had to leave!

On Saturday, Tim and I got to go for a nice, long walk, followed by some Christmas shopping and eating at Jimmy John's, and finally a trip to Brigham Young's winter home.  I'd been there once as a teenager, but this trip was like going there for the first time.  My memory is terrible, so it was exciting all over again!  I love being in historic places.  Ellie, however, was not as thrilled and just wanted to go take all the ornaments off the dang "Kissmas Chee" (Christmas Tree).

That night, we all went to see the Christmas lights at the St George temple.

Unexpectedly, it turned out to be a very touching experience for me.  I carried Ellie over to the large Nativity scene and pointed out baby Jesus, thinking that would be the extent of her interest.  But as the lights came on and the music started and the narrator started talking, she sat motionless in my arms.  She was totally mesmerized the entire time.  Every few minutes, she would point and quietly whisper, "Beeby Jeesus," as if somehow she sensed just how important that little baby was.  Tears came to my eyes.  It was a quiet reminder that my sad heart desperately needed that day.

She spent the rest of the evening asking over and over to go see "Beeby Jeesus" again.

It was a great weekend and I can't wait to see everyone again!