December 30, 2015


It's amazing how much life can drastically change in a year.

Last Christmas I was pregnant with my miracle baby.

Though there was still uncertainty, I was mostly past the anxiety and fear. I was so excited to meet my baby girl and even preparing for her with a baby shower.

Fast forward a couple of months and I finally got to hold my precious little one and experience love beyond anything I've imagined.

This past year, I've been able to learn so many amazing things as a new mother. I got to watch my husband grow as a father. And see my little girl change in so many ways. She has blessed our lives tremendously. She is the cutest little talker and the smartest little teacher.

Needless to say it's been an incredible whirlwind of a year.

And I'm just so humbled and thankful we got to experience it all with her.

Especially this Christmas season.

For Roxy's first December, we enjoyed lots of different traditions. Old and new.

We looked at lights at Thanksgiving Point.

I loved that they had a nativity scene at the end <3

Made Christmas treats with the Johnston girls and Marli's family.

Yes we planned it the same day as the Las Vegas Bowl. They still love each other!

And delivering those Christmas treats warmed our hearts too!

Played in snow from the first big winter storm.

She was very intrigued by it until she realized it was cold!

Listened to Christmas hymns.

Experience her first Christmas Sunday.
Her Christmas Sunday dress. Oh how I love her!

Read stories of the first Christmas in Bethlehem. One of my favorite moments this year was watching Roxy's eyes light up as she pointed at pictures of Jesus. It was so sweet to watch her as I showed her our little figurine of baby Jesus from our nativity. I held her close as I told her about Him, that we come here to know Him. Though something tells me she already does.

Pick out and wrap gifts for loved ones near and far.

And traveled to New Mexico the first time in a whole year!

For a little while though, we worried we wouldn't make it home for Christmas...

Yeah... things got a bit sketchy on our journey to New Mexico...

Because of a 19 vehicle accident just south of Dove Creek, we were stuck at a gas station for four hours. Luckily a 2 hour detour allowed us to make it to a hotel to Cortez that night.

When we made it to the hotel that night, I was SO thankful. Yes, we weren't making it home that night but my little family was SAFE. Prayers were answered. And the timing of everything makes me feel like we were definitely protected and watched over:

Making the detour so we could get to Cortez and stay in a hotel.

Missing the huge accident that closed the road. I remember feeling stressed that morning because I was hoping to be on the road sooner. But had we left any earlier, we could have been the ones in that accident.

Maintaining control on those scary, icy roads! Really, though. There was one moment where we were moving like snails and simply the wind made us slide!

And our baby. Oh my goodness was she an angel through it all. I told Cam over and over that it would've been totally fine if it was just us. We could deal with spending the night in our cars or some random high school. But I felt so bad she had to spend all that time in her carseat and unable to play or move around at the gas station. And I was worried for her if we didn't make it to a hotel.

But she did so amazing. She always surprises me with how level headed she is and how well she deals with change.

The next day was clear the rest of the way home.

Anyway, I could go on and on about all the good things about our drive, but I'm just so happy we made it home safe and I'm feeling really blessed.

On Christmas Eve we were able to celebrate some of Cameron's family's traditions. Reading the Christmas story from the scriptures (but this year we did it in jeopardy form, really fun and quite challenging).

Finding the nut in the pudding. For this one, everyone gets a cup of pudding at random, but only one has a hidden nut in it. Whoever gets the nut wins a prize. This year, Cameron got it! He's only been waiting 28 years. He was pretty excited.

We also watched "Small One" which is a tale of a special little donkey that plays a big role in the first Christmas.

Christmas morning started with a delicious breakfast of homemade crepes at my parents house with my sister and her boyfriend Josh. I had a blast learning how to make crepes with my dad. He had lots of helpful tips for me and I'm excited to try them out on my own.

We emptied our stockings and Lola passed out gifts. It was so fun to watch Roxy open hers! She was so adorable. My cousin Pinky gave her a huge pink elephant. Her reaction was the cutest!
My absolute favorite picture of this trip. Totally candid too! 
She was so excited!

I think she was more interested in my mom's tags than the gifts inside. She was so distracted by the sparkles!

After presents we cleaned up and got ready to help with Christmas dinner.

I wish I had gotten a better picture of the table all set up, but my mom decorated it beautifully.

We enjoyed seafood, mashed cauliflower (that tasted just like mashed potatoes), regular mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roast beef, soup, salad, pecan pie, and tons of other goodies!

We visited, talked, and played with the baby. It was great because we had Cameron's parents and my grandparents there too. It was a wonderful Christmas dinner.

Then we went back into town for the Christmas dance. One of our favorite traditions. And Roxy's first! She was pretty cute with her serious little face the whole time. She danced with us. With Papa and Nana. And sat on Gram's lap kicking to the beat (wish I had gotten a pic of that! I'm the worst).
Baby girl's first dance. 
Dancing with Nana and Papa. 

We loved seeing old friends and listening to Diamond Back it was so fun.

On Sunday we were able to enjoy beautiful music at church and Christmas dinner with Cameron's family. Roxy had never met her great grandparents, Nana Billi and Papa Dean, before this trip, so it was so special getting pictures of them and her.
Roxy with Nana GG and Papa Dean

Four generations.

And since we were able to stay a bit longer this year, we were also able to celebrate my mom's birthday, visit Cameron's sister Brittany (in Albuquerque), throw my best friend a baby shower, and we will hopefully be visiting my grandparents this week!
Roxy and her cousin Han with Nana. 
Hanging with Aunt Brittany.

At Ciara's birthday shower. So excited for her sweet little boy coming in February!

Yeah, days are pretty packed when we go home (especially since we are both from the same little town with a million people to visit), but it truly is the best seeing our family and close friends again.

We love Christmas. We love the joy it brings. We love to experience the magic and traditions that excite us and bring us together. We love the reminders of service and gratitude that inspire us to improve and become better as a new year begins. But most of all, we love our Savior. It is His perfect example that my imperfect heart desires to be. It is because of Him that we can find peace and happiness that reach far beyond this life. Because of Him, we can live.

We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and wishing you a wonderful new year.
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