Christmas Day 2015

Samantha and Amelia had a late night Christmas Eve helping make cookies for Santa and tracking where in the world Santa was on the NORAD website, so we all had a pleasant morning sleeping in on Christmas Day. We each opened some new pajamas on Christmas Eve and the girls loved the ones Jake picked out. Have they even seen Frozen? No. Are they obsessed with it? Yes!

Samantha coming down the stairs:


The first thing the girls asked was if Santa had eaten their cookies. Indeed he had– and one for Rudolph too.


We also saw some reindeer tracks out in the back– and some of the reindeer had even eaten some of our mint from our garden!

After the girls broke world records gobbling down my Christmas hash brown casserole so that they could open presents, we began with stockings.


Cupcake bandaids!





I think Santa may have dropped off a few things at the wrong house because there were several treats in the



Bandit was easy to please with his stocking stuffers.



Since the grandparents were flying in later that day, we decided to wait on most of the presents and have the girls open just a few from us and Santa. It worked out well doing two shifts of presents because it wasn’t so overwhelming for the girls and gave them some time to play with the presents they had already opened.

Amelia was hilarious opening presents– she had such a determined look on her face and was all down to business, barely stopping to examine presents after the wrapping came off.



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At the beginning of December when they first met Santa at South Coast Plaza, the girls originally asked for pie and cookies. Eventually, they figured out Santa could also bring them toys, so they changed their plan mid-month to asking for a football and a soccer ball. Good thing Santa is so flexible.


Amelia was totally happy to take on anyone else’s presents as well.


Samantha wasn’t as in to present opening as Amelia, but when she did, she did it with gusto and flair!


Samantha wanted to play immediately with her presents, whereas Amelia just wanted to keep opening.



Daddy had one of the best gifts of the morning. We’ve been trying to find some cute Bible story books for the girls but haven’t had any luck– all of them were way too complicated, from the 80s, and gave us headaches with all the ugly illustrations. So, Jake made his own very simple, clean storybook for Noah’s Ark as a present for the girls. He wrote the text and commissioned his mom to paint some adorable watercolor pictures for each page. It was a surprise for me and I didn’t even realize they had made and illustrated the book themselves until I saw the dedication at the end. It’s my new favorite!



Haha– loved that there was only one unicorn that made it on Noah’s Ark. Explains a lot! It’s witty and fun to read (great job, babe!) and thank you, Celeste, for the adorable illustrations! Love!


The girls also got Daddy a personalized book of their own favorite characters– themselves with Daddy.


After a few presents, we took a break and went outside to play. The girls chose one treat from their stockings to have– their Olaf snowman nose lollipops.


After naps, Great Papa arrived, along with Grammy and Grandpa who had braved the plane delays due to crazy snowfall in Utah and made it here. Thanks to Grammy who wasted no time preparing Christmas dinner once she arrived. I didn’t think I’d feel up to making a Christmas feast this year and didn’t want anyone else to have to cook, so we catered a prime rib and some sides from the English restaurant, Five Crowns, in Corona Del Mar and made a few sides ourselves. I definitely felt super lazy not only catering the main dishes of our meal, but having Grammy put together the rest of the sides I had planned while I sat! What a nice Christmas present!


Except for the Yorkshire Pudding, which was sadly a fail due to me making the fatal mistake of opening the oven to check on it and it completely deflating, everything was delicious. We inhaled the prime rib, creamed spinach, creamed corn (both not side dishes I would normally do, but that were unexpectedly perfect), rolls, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, and candied pecan butternut squash. Polly’s apple pie for dessert and my own cookie truffles capped off our Christmas feast, which the girls were done with in about five minutes due to excitement over more presents!

Present opening round two.

untitled-0669Aunt Sarah gave the girls some awesome sticker books filled with stickers of their favorite people– pictures of themselves and family and friends! Samantha didn’t waste any time decorating herself with pictures of herself (and Amelia– they are not great at differentiating who is who in pictures yet!) Aunt Sarah also gave the girls some cute personalized name books (again– one of their favorite things is their own names!) and a funny going to bed book for Mommy.



The girls are still loving their present from Aunt Sarah from last year– their homemade initial bead necklaces.


The girls received tons of books and art supplies from Grammy, which they wanted to use immediately.


We are in love with the adorable Periodic Table of the Elements blocks from Grammy and Grandpa, as well as the hilarious Quantum Physics for Babies and Goodnight Ipad books!


Storytime just got a lot more interesting for us!

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S and A also gave out their gifts to Great Papa, Grammy and Grandpa– pictures/books of pictures of themselves, of course.


Samantha and Amelia were wondering why they were receiving so many items for baby dolls– they unwrapped a crib, mobile, diaper bags, blankets and baby carriers before opening their big Santa present– their American Girl Bitty Baby Dolls.


Samantha is now an expert baby wearer and was so great taking care of baby with all the essentials in her diaper bag.


Like Samantha, Amelia decided to name her doll, “Baby.” Considering these dolls are identical twins, this may be a bit confusing.


I may or may not have been just as excited as the girls to open these.



Amelia is the cutest little mommy and will be such a caring big sister!


We didn’t see the girls for the rest of the evening– they were completely absorbed with all things baby doll from that point forward.


The girls love tucking their babies in the cradle and turning on the musical mobile for them.


Preparing for the real deal pretty soon!


Way to go, Santa! The girls didn’t let their dolls out of their sight the rest of the night and went to sleep holding them. It’s so cute hearing them make up little stories and talk to their babies– what great future big sisters!

Even though we were disappointed to miss the white Christmas in Utah this year, it was relaxing staying at home and not traveling, plus we had the added bonus of Grammy and Grandpa coming to us.

Some past Christmas memories:

Christmas 2013: We’ve come a long way since the days of eating wrapping paper!



Christmas 2014: Amelia was quite the little present un-wrapper last year year, too.


Samantha, 2014:


A few presents from 2014:



We were so grateful for all the fun gifts from family and friends and are so happy Grammy and Grandpa could fly out to be with us this week. Samantha and Amelia definitely soaked up all the attention on their last Christmas having just one sister to steal their toys. Merry Christmas 2015!


Lots of love,