Sunday, December 11, 2016

It's time to start DECKIN' THE HALLS!

Cambria Christmas Market 

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I come by it honestly, because my mom is practically an elf. A human, raised by elves. ;)

We kicked off the holiday season by heading to the Cambria Christmas Market. I haven't heard so much as a whisper about this, and I have to say, it is SUCH A SHAME I have gone this many years of my life missing out on this amazing holiday display! 

The lights, the decorations, and the Santa who was so cute and jolly I could have sworn he was the real deal! This stuff is right up my ally! 

It was in the high 50's so we were able to bust out our "cold weather" clothes, and I was finally able to wear the beautiful fur hat Cameron brought me (OK, he didn't know it was going to be for me, but for his wife...) from Russia. Penny's outfit was a cheetah print fuzzy onesie (hand-me-down from cousin Sadie!) and was charmin the pants off of all of the old people. (we went mid-week, so it was mostly couples and old people, but it wasn't crowded so that was awesome). Cameron is sporting his awesome hat from his brother, Ausin's trip to the Netherlands, and Nathan just looks plain amazing in his beanie. Win all around for the Jensen family. 

We were so glad that my mom could come enjoy the festiveness with us!

Penny met Santa! And no tears were shed! Nathan wasn't interested in sitting on Santa's lap, so Cameron hopped in the picture with them. Penny was her normal friendly self and just looked around at all of the lights, and tried to grab Santa's beard.


Funny Nathan story:
So there were two old men playing Christmas sons on their trumpets so we stopped to listen. Two ladies (I am guessing they were the men's wives) and one other couple were listening so we were a small intimate group. When we sat down the ladies ogled the kids, of course. About 3 minutes into the music Nathan stands up, turns towards the audience (he was in the front row with my mom) and goes, "I'm done," and starts walking away. Everyone started cracking up, thank goodness. I think the wives of the musicians thought it was the funniest. Oh, Nathan.

Penny was an absolute champ...didn't whine or cry one bit even though it was past her bedtime, and Nathan loved running around looking at all of the lights. I love this season and I love my little munchkins that make everything so much more magical.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Turkey Day 2016


Thanksgiving this year was quiet. I'm not used to such a small group, but even still we had a really nice year. The older I get, (and, lets be honest, the more kids I have) the more I appreciate NOT having to travel on the holidays. With next year being up-in-the-air location-wise we aren't sure if we will be living in California during the holidays in 2017, so I am eating up being with my parents and having family close around me. And NOT traveling! Woop woop! 

Thanksgiving this year started out with a great workout with my dad and my sister, Tara. 

When Tara came home right before Halloween she was telling me that she needed something to motivate her to get back on the losing weight wagon and suggested we do a weight-loss challenge for the month of November. Halloween-Thanksgiving. Whoever loses the most weight wins a cardigan. (in Tara's words: the most WHITE GIRL prize ever, but whatev) Well, anyone who knows the 2016 version of Tara you know that she is super fit and (in my opinion) doesn't need to lose weight. MY theory is that she could see that my 5 month post-partum mom-bod was on a ever accelerating downward spiral...I think she wanted to motivate ME, and that's totally OK. We invited our friend, Hillary to do it with us. It was a long month. I would text the girls regularly whining about not being able to eat Nathan's extra mac and cheese or about being hungry...poor things. I wasn't the most willing participant, but I was totally dedicated. Just a pill about it. And in the end it was all worth it, b because when we all weighed in on Thanksgiving morning,

I WON!  

I lost 6 lbs. And that might not seem like a lot for a month, but I was pleased. I have to be patient with myself because while I am nursing I find it hard to lose weight (not true for most).

We had a great workout and my dad enjoyed calling me Jillian (Michaels) the whole time. I'm not THAT mean. Well, at least I say my pushy comments quietly instead of yelling at him. ;)

 Tara was the only one of my siblings to come into town for Thanksgiving, but, like always, we were thoroughly entertained by ourselves.

"I have all the company I need, RIGHT HERE." (Grinch)

Nathan wanted in on the Camsuzou sister's photo...

Classic girl cousins picture-
I love these cousins of mine!

I love my little family <3

We used to do gingerbread houses every year after Thanksgiving, but last year Tara suggested we do Christmas wreaths and I think it is a marvelous tradition. Look at Tara's cute Mickey mouse wreath!

The day after Thanksgiving we watched the Gilmore Girls revival! OH. MY. GOSH. The girls in my family, my Aunt Lynn, and her girls have all watched every episode of Gilmore Girls, and it was SO MUCH FUN to watch it together.

I WOULD write somewhat of a review, but that would be enough for a blog post of its own.

We also enjoyed a lovely walk on the Bob Jones Trail with the Griffith side of the family! Always so much fun when we are together! I just love my family!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Halloween Town 2016

October 2016

From the time I can remember I have always been so excited to have children at Halloween. I have looked forward to dressing my cutie little kiddos in homemade costumes, and, admittedly, I always looked forward to dressing in family-style costumes, cause I love to dress up too! So far in my married life we have been cowboy and Indian (first year Cameron and I were married), then, we skipped a year, because I was hugely pregnant at Halloween and wasn't about to try and come up with costumes because I wasn't into it and Cameron could not have cared less), Surfer, Lifeguard, and Shark (Nathan's first Halloween where he was the cutest little shark ever), Despicable Me characters, and this year....wait for're going to be shocked. Was Disney Halloween. 

More about that later...

Last year at Halloween I was just getting out of my first trimester with Penny, and I was still super sick and very tired. So I fully enjoyed this year, trying to make up for last year ;) 

I love Fall...but who doesn't?

First up was the River K Pumpkin Patch in Paso. We went on a Monday night for FHE, and had a blast watching Nathan run around yelling:
-"it's a PIRATE!" (everything with a skull is a pirate-"yo ho pirate li duh me!)
-"it cawey!" (scary) 
-"look at the pumpman's! I love it! It's my favorite!"

With kids this age, who can really take a perfect picture? Plus, I have this really sexy baby carrier that wasn't supposed to be in the picture, but, it's realistic, and that's OK. 

In the "haunted house"


All of the pictures of me lately are selfies with Penny in the carrier. Can I get an amen from all the mama's out there?

BTW, if you're a mom reading this and are contemplating buying the Ergo 360 and think it costs too much, BUY IT. 100% worth the money.

Grandad, me, and Penny Girl
Nathan was in heaven getting to ride around in the cart with the pumpkins. Do you even see that Pinterest-worthy pumpkin my mom found? It is just gorgeous.

When I finally finished our costumes a day or two before our church Halloween party I just HAD to get these costumes on the kids and try them out:

If you don't melt because of the absolute cuteness of these two as Mickey and Minnie, I do not believe you have a soul.

Next Halloween festivity was a local favorite: Avila Valley Barn!

Nathan always loves feeding the goats-

Where this kid got his absolute adoration for animals, I will never know. Cameron's not a "pet hater" like I am, but he's not obsessed with animals. Nathan LOVES animals. I am pretty much guaranteed to have several arguments with this kid in the future about owning animals. AANNNDD I might, just MIGHT be persuaded to have some sort of animal if it can live outside. But I draw a serious, thick, black, impermeable line at any type of reptile. NOT going to happen.

A picture of mommy and Penny waiting for Cameron and Nathan to get out of the corn maze. I was literally having a panic attack thinking about going in that corn maze (maaaaaajor claustrophobia-and it's getting worse and worse as I get older). Good thing Nathan has Cameron, cause there's no way I would have ever gone with him. (see: tarp on TOP of the skinny-aisled corn maze. Dark, no escape. Kill me now.)

Then we took the cutest picture ever taken...

Honey sticks!
We took a hay ride-

Pumpkin painting/carving!

This year I saw this picture:

I asked Cameron to go to the store to get glow-in-the-dark paint, but all he could find at Wal-Mart was the classic one color paint that turns the greenish glow-in-the-dark color. So next year I want to try this again and get the right kind of paint.

We had somewhat of a Pinterest-fail, but he still had fun, so it's good.

Somehow Nathan isn't a weirdo-perfectionist like his mom.


Nathan is obsessed with the Disney Jr. show, "PJ Masks"

So, for Cameron and my pumpkins we decided to do Gecko and Catboy, and my mom joined in the fun and carved Owlette so we had a full set!

I also made some absolutely phenomenal (if I do say so myself, and I do) sugar cookies. The recipe I used was so yummy and SO easy, so if you're looking for a good sugar cookie and icing recipe for the holidays, let me know. I ate WAY too many cookies, and DEMANDED my mom or Cameron bring them to work so that I didn't eat any more. Well, guess what was still sitting on the counter in the morning!? THE COOKIES! I put 2 small ones in a bag for Nathan and threw the rest away. What a waste! But I literally DID NOT have the self control to not eat them. So they HAD to be covered with garbage to be safe from me. #thatsembarrassingtoadmit

Nathan was mostly interested in the sprinkles. That's my type of guy.

Ward Harvest Fest:

Here we are in our glory:

Nathan: Mickey
Cameron: Goofy (thanks to the Richards for letting us borrow your Goofy hat!)
Me: Pluto (shout out to my brother who painted that cute hat for me! Cost me about 10 bucks for the hat and supplies verses the 40 bucks I could find Pluto hats on for online!)
Penny: Minnie

Playing the games!

Nathan was so so cute in his costume. I was loving watching him walk around with his little black nose and yellow shoes. I loved our costumes, but poor Nathan was a little jealous of all of the boys in ninja, super-hero, and Star Wars characters. He kept running up to other boys in "cooler" costumes saying, "Im a ninja!" or "I'm Catboy!" or, "It's a bad guy?" When he saw a boy dressed up like Captain America with a shield I thought he was going to just die of jealousy. He kept talking about Captain America and how he "needs a shiiiieeelld!!!" So, I think that this is the last year mommy is going to get to pick the theme. Well, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

The Saturday before Halloween we went to Pismo for their Pumpkin's on the Pier put on by the city of Pismo, but all of the volunteers are members of the church.

It was INSANELY busy. They had little carnival games set up for the kids to do, but there were SUPER long lines at all of the activities. Tara, who was visiting, was like, "I'm not going to stand in a line that long when there's no ride at the end." I agreed. Nathan did a few of the activities, did the bounce house obstacle course a few times, walked with Cameron and Penny in the costume parade, and we left.

On the way out we did some trick-or-treating to some of the businesses who were giving out candy.

On Halloween we went downtown Paso to do some trick or treating with Nathan.

He treats her like she's a brother-who is her own age....this girl is going to be TOUGH. She's going to have to be.

I was so proud of Nathan when the only thing he asked to eat out of his candy bag was the Cutie (orange).

Nathan didn't end up getting a ton of candy (yay) because there were a few dance groups performing by the park, and all Nathan wanted to do was watch the dancers! We kept asking him if he wanted to leave and go trick-or-treat and he kept saying, "no!" My arts-loving boy.

SO into the dances