Thursday, December 29, 2016


It has been a busy couple of weeks at our house, and things are about to get busier with the baby coming soon! Steve graduated with his doctorate on the 17th, and we celebrated Christmas with both sides of our family a few days ago. It has been a wonderful December, and I can't believe that it's already time to start packing all of the decorations away and preparing for a brand new year.

This has been my favorite view every morning. Our big blue spruce is still alive and beautiful, so it won't be going anywhere soon :)

We hosted a little fika coffeetime and playdate a couple of weeks ago. I made this candy cane coffeecake with cherry cream cheese filling. It was delicious!

On graduation day, Steve had to be on campus at 8:30 am. We live about an hour away, and the weather was calling for a "wintry mix" of ice and snow and sleet all night. Steve and I made the last-minute decision to leave the night before and avoid the bad weather. We booked a hotel and got everything quickly packed into the car. The drive was perfect, and the four of us went out for pizza when we got there. It was a good thing we went early! When we woke up at the hotel, the town was covered in a thin layer of ice, and the winding roads would have been treacherous. Above is the view from our room - the building in the background is the hospital that Nolan was born, which he thought was pretty cool :)

My mom and Don also made the last-minute decision to drive down and stay at the hotel. Ephraim was happy to see them :)

Waiting for graduation to start. I love Ephraim's expression here :)

Getting hooded!

Officially Dr. Steve!

The boys were so proud of Daddy!

 Steve started his PhD program two weeks before Nolan was born, and he finished a little over five years later, two weeks before baby #3 was due!

After the graduation, we went out for a nice dinner with my mom and Don. Then we met up with my friend Briana and her kids, and we visited Santa at the town library. Nolan was a little starstruck! Later, he told me that he didn't think this particular Santa was the right one. I didn't think he looked very authentic either. Oh well!

Give me all the Cadbury Christmas candy!

The boys and I made our first gingerbread house. It turned out pretty cute! I had to put it up high to keep little hands from trying to eat the candy off of it ;)

We also made our annual Christmas mice with Hershey kisses and chocolate-covered maraschino cherries.  Mmm!

Sweet and simple Christmas mantel.

On Christmas Eve, we went to MorMor and Papa Don's house. Nolan received his first set of Legos, and he and Daddy immediately went to work building it.

The completed plane! The next day, he received the same Lego set from Grandma Z. Great minds think alike!

Ephraim intently coloring in his new Paw Patrol coloring book.

Our Christmas photo from this year :)

We finished our Christmas baking on Christmas Eve - a peppermint mocha bundt cake, toffee, and fudge! #chocolaholic

The boys spent Friday night through Monday night nearly inseparable from their girl cousins from Indiana. We all had the best time! Among the six kids, there were tons of new toys to open and play with!

Ephraim doing aerobics with K. He followed her every command!

Pool sharks :)

More Lego-building. One of the girls got a 700 piece set that took up many hours of their time and concentration.

 The six kids after church on Christmas Day. We miss the girls already!

Hope that your Christmas was magical and full of family time. May we continue to focus on our Messiah and all that He has done for us as we move into 2017 :)


  1. God Jul! Your photos are gorgeous and everything looks so festive. Congrats on the doctorate!

  2. Looks like you all had a wonderful holiday together! And Congrats to Steve! Can't wait to see you welcome your little one :) Happy New Year!


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