Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours! We hope you have a wonderful Christmas weekend and enjoy the time you spend with family and friends. We know we will!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Brycen These Days

Brycen has been doing really well with a spoon these days. As you can see from the pictures below, he's still pretty messy with it but he's getting better. He loves eating with his little spoon and fork.

Brycen has really started liking "Curious George" lately. He watched it yesterday morning while I got ready for the day, and he didn't move from where he was sitting. He likes George's voice and laughs when he talks. We've also watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" about four times in the last two days. He loves it and it makes me so happy that he does. "Toy Story 3" is still at the top of his list as well.

Brycen does the fist pound thing now. Uncle Bob taught him how to do that, with Adam starting him off with the "boom" thing (sometimes Brycen says "doom" instead). If you put your fist out he'll be giving you a pound back!

He can eat a large slice of pizza by himself. We'll cut it up in pieces and he'll polish off the entire thing.

Brycen is still really loving to color. He'll drag his large coloring book and pencil box full of crayons to us so we'll color with him. He'll hand us a crayon and watch us color, then he'll take the crayon away and start coloring in the same spot. I'll grab another crayon and start coloring, then he'll do the same thing. Silly boy!

Brycen has this cookie jar that he's really loved playing with. It has shaped holes in the side that you put the cookies through. It also makes sounds as the cookies go in. He'll bring that to us as well to play with him.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Tyson and I were lucky enough to not only attend the First Presidency Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center, but we also got to go to Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Friday night. Tyson's sister, Angie, and her husband, Steve, came with us and we had a fabulous time. Guest vocalist Nathan Gunn performed, and Jane Seymour was the guest narrator. The dancing was awesome and exciting, and the choir along with Nathan Gunn was phenomenal. Jane Seymour did a great job as well. The whole performance was very exciting and held attention. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to go! Thank you, Grandma Hill, for the tickets!! And thank you, Julie, for watching Brycen for us!

Final bow after the performance

Steve, Angie, Tyson and I after the concert

We hope you are all having a great week getting ready for Christmas this weekend!

**FYI - Lately PBS has been showing "Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir" featuring David Archuleta and Michael York. We recorded it on Tuesday night and I've watched it three times. It is so good! If you haven't seen it yet and would like to, there will be four more showings this weekend on PBS: Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon. It is an hour long and so awesome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our Weekend with Amber and Che'

Amber and Che' came and stayed with us from December 8-11. We had so much fun with them! It's so hard being away from family when you're used to seeing them all the time. But we end up appreciating the time spent together even more so it's a pretty decent deal. We had a fun few days with Amber and Che'.

It wouldn't be a Utah weekend with one of my family members without a visit to Bajio! Brycen enjoyed eating his rice and beans all by himself, as you can see. He's doing pretty good with that spoon!

On Saturday we did some Christmas shopping and took Brycen to see Santa. He was really quiet while sitting on his lap but didn't cry at all. He did eventually say "ball" though. We decided to cave and purchase the cheesy mall Santa picture we got. Happy holidays from Brycen!

On Saturday night we went to City Hall in Ogden to walk through Christmas Village. The whole place was decorated with lights, and local businesses decorated miniature houses on the outside and inside. It was so much fun!

Tyson, Brycen & I

Che' & Amber

The houses all looked so good! There was a fun display inside each one.

We all loved the lights. Brycen was especially content and loved it!

These big lights remind me of Grandma Murri. She has always said that one of her favorite things about Christmas time is seeing the shrubs covered in the big lights with snow on top of them. She loves the way the lights shine through the snow. I think of her every time I see big lights like these.

I loved these carolers!

So pretty! I love Christmas light displays.

We couldn't leave without a picture by the toy soldier!

One of the displays

The ice skaters were fun!

And I loved this huge moose!

We had so much fun! If you're in the Ogden area in the next week and a half, stop over to City Hall to walk through Christmas Village!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The First Presidency Christmas Devotional

Tyson and I were able to attend the First Presidency Christmas Devotional with friends Billy and Tonya. We had a great time with them! It was a great evening with a little story to go along with it...

Tyson and I got there at about 5:00 and we had to be in our seats by 5:30. We stood in line to get in and waited for Billy and Tonya. We had their tickets so we couldn't go inside without them. The line was going really fast so we stepped out a few times till they got there. I was amazed at how fast we were able to get in. The four of us got in line, went through security (I got beeped AGAIN. I always get beeped!), then made our way into the conference center. We were in section 6, which is one of the middle sections on the main floor. Exciting! We expected to be in one of the balconies. As we approached, a guest service member told us it was full so she directed us to section 7. We started walking over there when a man in guest services stopped us and asked us how many we had in our group. Tyson told him 4 and the man said, "Follow me. And put your tickets in your pockets." So down the walkway we went. Farther. And farther. And farther, until we got to a red velvet rope at the VERY front of the conference center. The gentlemen then says, "You will be sitting with the general authorities and their families so please respect their privacy." We sat down on the fourth row and excitedly watched as the general authorities (Elder Oaks and others) with their families came and sat all around us. It was so fun! We had better seats for the First Presidency Christmas Devotional than we ever get in sacrament meeting. And we always have a bench in sacrament meeting, if that gives you an idea. It was so wonderful! We had a great time with Billy and Tonya. It was nice to get out and do something with friends!

We had left Brycen with my Uncle Bob and Aunt Penney in Farmington. My grandparents were there visiting as well so it was especially fun for Brycen. That week we had a GIGANTIC wind storm across the Wasatch Front. Ogden winds topped at 93 mph, nowhere close to the over 105 mph winds Centerville and Farmington got. When we drove through Farmington to take Brycen we couldn't believe how many trees and fences were blown apart and all over the place. That Sunday the wards in the area were cancelled after the sacrament was passed so the members could go out and clean up in preparation for another storm that was expected to arrive the night of the concert. A couple of inches of snow was expected along with the winds. By the time we left Bob and Penney's house the winds and snow had begun. Yikes!

Brycen had a blast at Bob and Penney's. Not only did he have them to play with as well as my grandparents, but my cousins Kayleigh and Ashleigh were there too (Ashleigh for just part of the evening). But he loved it! By the time we got there he was in the basement with everybody playing on a banana chair and throwing a ball around. He was giving the ball to my grandma to throw up the stairs and it would come bouncing back down. When someone picked it up and gave it to him he'd give it right back to Grandma to throw it back up the stairs. He ate dinner with them and they watched the broadcast of the devotional together. The power went out for a bit while he was there and he was mad that the Christmas tree went dark. Silly boy. It's so nice having family close to watch him. They loved having him there and he really enjoyed it. Thanks again, Bob, Penney, Grandma, Grandpa, Kayleigh, and Ashleigh!! We really appreciated your help!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Did Anyone Order Me a Plain Cheese?

I don't know about you guys, but this kid is on our priority list every Christmas.

image via

I can speak for many of our family members when I say that Christmas without Kevin McCallister is like Thanksgiving with no pumpkin pie. Lucy without Ethel. Me without diet pepsi and chocolate.

The first two Home Alone movies (don't get me started on the others-what a waste) are a big part of our Christmas celebrating. We love having our list of Christmas movies that we look forward to watching every year. Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Christmas with the Kranks, The Grinch (both versions), A Christmas Story...the list goes on and on! We love it. We could have a movie night every night in December and it would never get old.

There are a handful of movies out there that are full of quotations that when said make me, along with other family members, laugh right out loud. The first two Home Alone movies are two of the best quotable movies I've seen! I love being at family parties and hearing someone randomly say, "I hope you didn't just pack crap, Jeff."

Today we were skimming through the guide on our TV and noticed Home Alone is on Encore today. In High Def. Where's the couch! Where's my diet pepsi! We are so there. We need to find both of the REAL Home Alone movies on blu-ray. That would be perfection.

I hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season and having a blast enjoying all of your fun family traditions with your families. I know we are!

And with that said...

"Guys! I'm eating junk and watching rubbish! You better come out and stop me!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Fourth Annual Christmas Decor Post

I can't believe it's already time for the annual Miller family Christmas decor post! This year looks pretty different than last year's post and those before it. It's hard to look at those past posts and our house. I find myself missing our house and Idaho when I do look at them. I loved how it looked at Christmas time. That's one of the things I miss the most about our house. BUT we are happy to be here in Ogden and setting up Christmas was a breeze this year! I think it took us about 3 hours total to get everything up and the tree decorated. We didn't even use half of our usual decor. It helps to be using the same stuff we used in Idaho. Sounds silly, but it's comforting. I'm grateful our tree made it through the move so we could use it again.

So without further's our apartment all ready for Christmas!

If you were to head over to building B in our apartment complex and look at the north side of the building you would see 6 doors and only one with a wreath on it. Easy way to find which place is ours! I hope you like hiking up to the third floor!

This is our little entry. We didn't hang up our mirror we used to have in the entry way of our house so we put the stockings on hooks behind the front door.

This is a close up of our table. I've never used these "Believe" blocks so it was fun putting up something new. I didn't bother looking at pictures from last year to see where stuff went so we just went with whatever!
(Couldn't leave out the jingle Santa on the closet door!)

This is our tree, glowing and lighting up the room. It makes me happy to see it, I just love our tree. It feels like home.

Brycen loves the tree, too. Probably a little too much sometimes.

I keep the Christmas books under the tree so he likes to sit by the tree and look at them. He especially likes this book called Little Elf.

He also likes to lie down and look up at the tree.

Tyson and I exchanged ornaments before we decorated the tree. We like to stick to something that happened in the year, so I got him a New York City TAXI ornament.

And naturally he got me an Empire State Building ornament. I love it! And I love these two ornaments to remind us of our wonderful trip to the Big Apple in May. Can't wait to go back!

We got Brycen this snowman with the bird on his nose for his ornament. We just thought he was really cute.

We decided to decorate the tree the same way we've done it in past years. Call me old fashioned, but I love the classic Christmas colors on a tree: gold, green, and red. Grandma Murri gave us the gold balls last year and we've loved them!

We also put Tyson's old ornaments he's gotten from his Grandma Clawson every year since he was born. This little sled says "Tyson 1981". It's fun to guess what year each one is from! You can tell which year the ornament styles were popular. I remember having a lot of the same kinds of ornaments on our tree growing up on Michelle St.

I love the pine cone garlands. They add a nice touch.

As I said before, Brycen likes the tree a little too much sometimes. We've had to repair a few ornaments already. Here's an illustration in photos of how it all goes down:

First, there's the general approach to the tree.
(Tyson at this point as I was taking the pictures: "Brycen...")

He knows he's not supposed to touch so he slowly reaches his fingers out to barely touch something on the tree. In this case it was a branch.
("Brycen, no no.")

Then he pulls away and giggles, knowing fully that he's not supposed to touch the tree but it's funny to do it anyway.

Then he throws his arm out and just grabs for whatever he gets his hand on. Then he pulls. If it's a ball he grabs he pulls it right of the tree and throws it on the floor (most of the time he throws it). Or he'll just pull a branch really hard, which is what he did this time.
("Brycen! No no!")
At this point he is physically pulled away from the tree and reprimanded a little more.

Then back his hand goes to the tree. But this time he looks at you with a face that says, "What are you going to do, huh? I know I'm not supposed to do this but I want to see what you'll do."
Tyson then says: "Brycen!!"

And that's a daily occurrence at our house! The little turkey. Our tree doesn't even look the way it did when we first decorated it because so many ornaments and balls have had to be moved to different spots. Silly boy!

We moved the chair to sit right next to the tree, with the table in between the chair and the couch. We put up our picture of us on our honeymoon like we've done the last couple of years. And we really wanted to put out the nativity we have from Tyson's parents that came from Germany but there was NO way we could put it somewhere without it being creamed by Brycen. So we went through our other nativities and chose the nativity Tyson's brother Dustin made us last year for Christmas. We love it and it's the perfect size.

And right behind the table on the wall sits our Santa advent calendar. Today marks the first day that it will be used this year! December 1st. This year has flown!

The ledge in our kitchen is really the only other place that we can put decor. I picked out my Santa train that I got from Thai Pan and love oh so much. I also put up that tall snowman (also from Thai Pan) and our Elf on the Shelf, Charlie, sits next to him.

Amber and Mom got us Charlie as a housewarming gift and we adopted him into our family on November 19th. We love Charlie! He's going to help Brycen be a good boy as much as Brycen will be willing to care. He'll be returning to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to tell Santa how Brycen has been. Hopefully he'll be good all month so Santa will come! :) Normally Charlie would go to a different spot every day, but Brycen loves him too much. We went a whole day with Charlie on the entry table and Brycen left him alone. It was when Charlie sat under the tree with the books and then on the entertainment center that we decided to keep him up high till Christmas Eve when he leaves. Brycen kept trying to play with him, which is a no no because his magic will go away. So he sits up higher and Brycen points him out every morning. We say, "Where's Charlie?" and he'll point to him. It will be a fun tradition for our family that I'm really excited about!

Charlie and the story book came in this nice box. We signed the back of the book and went online to officially adopt our little elf. If you want more info about adopting an elf of your own you can go here to check it out!

Our little trees that once sat on our front step in Idaho are now sitting on our balcony. We love to look for them when we're across the street at the Harrisville Walmart.

And our snowman nightlight has been so fun to have around! Brycen loves it! (And so do I, I must admit!) Those sparkles inside move around. It's a really fun nightlight. (Purchased at Kohl's, PS.)

And that's it! I hope you are all enjoying this holiday season. We love and appreciate all of you!