Things I Loved This Holiday Season

January 1st, 2015 in About Me

Things I loved this holiday season, and that I didn’t love. This holiday season was a bit lonely, stressful, and we fought as a family during a couple of our favorite annual outings. And then we had a lot of great times.

Our ward puts on the most beautiful, organized, beautifully thought out parties. This one was a “Back to Bethlehem Night” that we were so excited to go to. We dressed the part, brought the food we were assigned, and it was gorgeous inside. Everyone but Abby was so awful that night that I ended up just giving up and leaving in a huff. And crying about it because goodness gracious, I JUST WANTED TO BE THERE! My life is great, there are a lot of happy smiles. But I don’t think it does anyone a favor to sugarcoat everything. People need to hear the stories behind a cute picture on social media. So we can all laugh or cry or sigh or be sad for each other or be happy for each other together. I don’t want to raise my girls to think they need to put on a facade of perfectness, they can be real. Real is better anyhow. So this night was a flop, poor Abby could have stayed the whole time and really enjoyed herself.

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Now the Alpine Nativity was a success! We arrived at such the perfect time we did not wait in a line, and did not get stuck in traffic, and were not walking around in a huge crowd. It wasn’t freezing either! Which made me not feel bad for this little family this year:

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This below is the night my family all bawled as loud as I’ve ever heard us cry all the way home after leaving early. The Lower Lights concert is what Tyler and I look forward to the most every year. We love their music and when we showed up there were tons of special guests. People I probably should know and be able to name, and then also Neon Trees & The Fictionist. We had a babysitter who canceled, but we decided we wanted to brave bringing Reagan. If she was awful one of us could listen from the hallway which is not the end of the world. She was the best one. Tyler has a video on his phone of her jamming with her whole heart. I mean the girl was dancing, and singing, and I’ve never seen her move like that. She kept head bopping me so much that my earring ripped out and was bleeding. Its still a bit swollen. But I was willing to bear that, IT WAS WORTH THE CONCERT. Shae was awful, I mean awful. Abby was on one, see her face in the background and then her thumbs down photo bomb? She was so mad she wasn’t sitting next to me. Goodness, goodness. Cameron was great but had to pee in the middle of everything. Then fighting between the girls started, sobbing from one girl, Shae screaming, Reagan kicking someone in front of us. Even though it was a family concert everyone around us wanted to kill us. Which I get with screaming or kicking seats. But even if the kids would breathe, or clap too enthusiastically, we had some grown up grumps around us. So Tyler and I left, we lost it in the parking lot, both of us were in tears. And then on the way home I just bawled and bawled like I never have. So the girls bawled and bawled because they have never heard me cry like that. And I was thinking in my head, “I HAVE REALLY DONE AN AWFUL JOB AS A MOTHER!!” Ok it was an awful night, and we were pretty disappointed.

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The next night we were crazy parents and decided to brave something again right after the Lower lights Concert disaster. Reagan was screaming all the way down, and Tyler started giving himself a weird pep talk while looking like he wanted to drive in oncoming traffic. So I secretly have him doing this recorded on my phone, it is hilarious. We arrived and since everyone was stressed from the 30 minutes of non stop screaming, everyone was grumpy. So I had a SO HELP ME, GET IT TOGETHER SO YOUR DAD STAYS WITH US talk. Just kidding, I didn’t say that dad part. But they got it together, we chased Reagan all around temple square, and had a grand time.

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Our family did a lot of baking, because all our girls really love to cook. Shae is very very into it, I’ll have to save that cute story for our Christmas day post. Reagan likes to get super close to the mixer, and I like to make a snowstorm on her face. Tyler and I have emotionally eaten our way through our first year of owning a kennel, so we enjoyed the holiday baking too. No one is sad when they are baking, I mean, how could you be?

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The girls had 4 holiday performances with their dance teams. I beamed, teared up, and love attending all their performances without any of the younger ones. They also had little “in class” Christmas performances. It is the only time during the year you can sit in their classes. Abby has no video of her dances, but pictures. Cameron has only video, so don’t think I forgot about her completely. Shae has both, because come on, its her first year of dance, and SHE IS BEYOND ADORABLE. If the grandmas want to watch their in class dance performances and their fancy dance team performances, they are all on my VIMEO account here. (Along with their end of year theatre performance, where Cameron does a performance as me belting out moulin rouge. Because in case you were wondering, I for real run around my house dancing and belting out songs. I really do.) Oh and their piano recital, that one too. Which for only being in piano for 2 months before the recital, they are kind of wizards. See here.


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Oh you guys, the Nutcracker was my favorite outing we did this year. Why haven’t I been going to these Ballet West performances for years? Cameron and Abby’s mouths were wide open watching the dancers’ moves. We brought along Grandma, and left the younger ones behind. But I really can’t wait to take all four of them, it was beyond beautiful. I really think it was one of the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve ever seen. Ballet West at Capital Theatre you all, go go.

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My parents had the girls over for a craft & cooking making day. My girls have so much fun with my parents. And I lie on the couch a lot. And then my mom wonders if I’m pregnant. Which I’m not, or never will be. I’m just tired and look there are other adults to entertain them!

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There were a lot of last minute things we did because I did not have a well planned out holiday season. Normally I’m the lady who plans everything months and months out. I tell you the amount of work I do for our business, how it is grown the past year, is unbelievable. I would like to be fired or let go, so far it has not happened. Something about hiring more help, giving people raises, and more expenses above me. The nerve ๐Ÿ˜‰ So Santa was a very very last minute trip but a great one. City Creek in the winter time is another beautiful place to go. I took the girls to lunch at their favorite spot, Blue Lemon. Reagan would not look or sit on Santa’s lap. Which I was ok with, she sat on Abby’s lap for the picture, and sat cuddled into my chest right after. Look how adorable Shae is, oh man that girl, is my angel. She saves me.

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Also, can I get a round of applause for the weather this year? It stayed warm until the day of Christmas. The snow fell, everything iced over, it hurts to go outside. But before Christmas, it was so comfortable to drive and walk around in.

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The tree of life in Draper is pretty. I mean, maybe bring a sled to do some sledding there and go out to eat. I don’t know if I’d drive more than 15 minutes to see it on it’s own. But Shae, this is the thing we went and did that she was beyond excited about. So I am glad we did it just for her reaction to it.


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We had a easy company party, took everyone to the Pie.

I have such a fun time picking out the girls’ dresses for Christmas and Easter. Can I admit to something? I already have Abby’s Christmas outfit for 2015 and half of their Easter dresses for 2015. I have a problem. I bought Abby’s dress just because of the back and worked everyone else’s dresses around hers. I also bought the same dress for Cameron off Zara two years in a row.

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We survived the holiday season with a lot of fun and also a lot of tears. We survived, had a lot of fun too. The girls would love to wish you a happy holiday season too:

See? They didn’t run away from me yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ Poor girls, it has been a stressful year!

4 Responses to “Things I Loved This Holiday Season”

  • Kristina P.
    January 2nd, 2015 at 2:04 am

    You are such a great mom. Seriously, I don’t know how you have the energy for it! Adam and I have become the lame hermits who just go to buffets and come home. No lights, plays, or anything. You are making wonderful memories for your family.

  • sarah
    January 2nd, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Ahhh lol a real wonderful mom!!!

    Tonight Matthew screamed all the way to dinner made me think of here is a little piece of Vanessas life

  • Emily
    January 3rd, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I love you so much. And you are raising some amazing girls. Can I say I cracked up when I saw the photo of Tyler with the rolling pin and earbuds? Hello, your kids are RIGHT THERE. Let’s get together again soon, shall we? LIKE SOON.

  • Betsy
    January 4th, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Yes, someday (if not already) you will be so glad you wrote that post in all its honesty. I think all your girls are so beautiful and have such personality, but I think your little Shae is absolutely adorable. I’ve never met her, but I love to see pictures of her. It can be a rough spot in a family–number three with older sisters! Have a happy new year.