The first weekend in December, we went to see a Live Nativity at the University Place in Orem. Roxy loved seeing all of the animals! They had tiny pigmy goats, sheep, a donkey, and even a camel! The stable scene with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus and the wisemen were cute and they served yummy free hot cider there. It was a wonderful way to start off our Christmas season!
We also participated in the Light the World initiative that the Church put out this year. The message encouraged everyone--of any faith or background--to honor Jesus Christ's birth by following His life, teachings and example. The idea was that by doing so, we could all make the world a brighter place!
The church presented an advent calendar that had each day focused on a specific teaching of Christ and listed different ideas on how we too can be like Him and apply it to our own lives. They also provided a short video for each day as well. So every day leading up to Christmas, I had us open a small envelope that contained the Light the World challenge for that day along with a scripture telling part of the story of Jesus' birth. As we read these every morning, we pondered what we could do to that day to follow His example. Some were as simple as a prayer for someone specific or donating clothes to those in need.
|I wanted to really make it about baby Jesus for her. She loved reading stories about Him and seeing "baby Jesus" in different nativities.|
I really loved this daily reminder to be more Christlike. It was such a great way to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. It's just a mindset I always want to have and this was a special way to end the year and begin a new one refreshed with the hope to keep Christ in our lives daily.
We were also able to participate in a 12 Days of Christmas Charity Drive with our neighborhood. This was really neat too; basically for the first 12 days in December, we put a different item in a box for a charity. Our neighborhood decided on two different charities this year, one for the Road Home (homeless shelter) and another for the Cancer Institute. This was another wonderful way to start the season of giving. It truly helped us prepare for that Christmas spirit as well.
Roxy and I also went to our annual Candy Day with all the women on my dad's side of the family. Thanks Aunt Dee for taking pictures (I'm the worst!), but it was so much fun and this year my Gram even got to come! Roxy also loved playing with the kids, Uncle Kyle and Papa too!
|Turned out so pretty! We do a good job. When I say "we" I mean my aunties and cousins. I mostly helped eat and take some home :P|
|Such a fun group! Love all these people so much!|
|She found a ginormous teddy bear in Aimee's room while she was playing upstairs with the kids. Made her life complete!|
While my grandparents were visiting that same weekend, they got to swing by and see Roxy one day too. It's always such a treat!
|She loves her Papa and Gram!|
For family home evening one night we went to see Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point. It was so beautiful and we were quite impressed! Roxy loved seeing all the lights and REAL reindeer. And we especially loved the Light of the World garden that showed different scenes of Christ's life from the New Testament using sculptures surrounded by hundreds of glowing lanterns and peaceful music.
|All bundled up ready to see the lights!|
We've had a few big storms this year so Roxy's been able to experience some playtime in the snow. She likes to look at it and walk around in it... but pretty much hates being in it or touching it. Anyway, makes for some fun pictures!
|All fun and games until it gets real!|
We weren't going to do the Santa thing this year, but after looking at her picture from last year we just had to keep up the tradition! --Even though she may not remember it and she's still likely to cry at this age. So I looked around a little last minute and found a Santa at a nearby library to take her to. I wasn't sure how great it was going to be since it was free, but he was the sweetest Santa ever (+ a real beard!) and I was impressed at how well she responded to him. She was a little nervous while we were in line so I just kept telling her, "that's Santa and he is very nice. And look! He has candy canes!" She watched carefully as the other kids got on his lap. When it came our turn she sat right on him and only had a little quiver lip at the end. She wouldn't smile or say anything, but I'm so glad we got a picture!
Even though we didn't get to spend Christmas day in our own home this year, I loved getting it festive for the holidays! I was able to snap a few pictures of Roxy in her Christmas dress by our tree before we left.
|When I told her to stand by the tree and smile this is what she gave. She flopped on the floor and ripped out her bow shortly after. Oh how I love this girl!|
We also decided to do a little Christmas at home and exchanged gifts with just the three of us. It was so fun to watch Roxy's little face light up as she ripped open the presents. Even though she is still pretty little to understand all that is going on, Christmas with her is so magical and we feel so blessed!
|In awe of her new balance bike!|
|Checking out her new book with Daddy.|
|Trying on Daddy's new hat!|
A few days before Christmas we made the journey to our hometown of Ramah, New Mexico. We love that we are both from this little town full of memories and any chance we get to see both of our families.
On Christmas Eve, we visited Cameron's parents and watched Small One (a family tradition) and then later watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas with my parents (not a tradition, but still a good one!). We were the only ones out of the Cam's siblings that were there this year, but my little sister Shelbi and her fiance Josh were there.
Since Christmas was on a Sunday this year, the morning was pretty rushed trying to do Christmas presents before leaving for church. But we were able to open some with my family before and others with Cam's family after. And as always, meals were split so we had Christmas lunch with his family and Christmas dinner with mine. Needless to say we were stuffed and it all made for a very busy day!
|Checking out gifts, getting hair ready for church, Christopher and his new bow tie and suspenders!|
|Bottom left: in the freezing icy wind--did I mention we had a white Christmas in Ramah?? Bottom middle: watching small one with Papa.|
|Getting ready for church with Mommy and cheesin' it!|
|Top: Kissing her new baby doll Nana got her. Nana GG made the sweet little clothes for the doll! Bottom: trying out her new four wheeler with baby Christopher and playing with Bubbles (Shelbi's pup).|
Cameron was able to get some time off between Christmas and New Years, so we got to enjoy the last days of his break in Ramah too. We spent that time visiting with Brittany and her boys (they drove out after Christmas!), riding horses, eating yummy food, celebrating my mom's birthday, and doing lots of relaxing. It's been a great break and I just love that Roxy's been able to spend time with her cousins!
|Roxy and Han. Those two just adore each other. I love how well they play together!|
At the end of the week, we had a quick diaper shower for baby girl on the way at my Mom's house. It was great visiting with a few ladies from town and of course indulging on my mom's delicious Filipino food (that I'm constantly craving)! It was so sweet of my Mom and Lisa to plan it for us!
|Roxy and Mommy with her FOUR grandmothers--Lola, Nana, Gram & GG. She is so lucky!|
|Celebrating baby girl #2 with family and friends.|
Sadly, because of weather, we had to rush back to Utah right after the shower. It's great to be back home, but sad to leave everyone. But I'm always so grateful for any amount of time we get to spend with family and friends. We truly are blessed! We are excited for new adventures ahead and hope you all have a wonderful, happy new year!
Love, the Romines