Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Continuing the Nichols family holiday season adventures, we headed up to Salt Lake City yesterday for some fun.

First we went to Sugarhouse Park after a quick stop at ShopKo for sleds, handwarmers, and yet another pair of gloves for me which, according to my horrid track record this season, I will likely lose within 48 hours. The ginormous sledding hill at Sugarhouse was packed, as usual, so we drove to the other end of the park and found a nice hill that we had all to ourselves.

Taylor loved sledding (almost as much as I did) and also helped us build a snowman which he then proceeded to try to kick over. We had a couple of snowball fights, ran around, and just had a blast. I really can't remember the last time I had so much fun in the snow.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank our snowman for doubling as a tripod so we could take this family picture:

After a trip to Grandma's house for a nap, we went with my sister and her boyfriend Keelan to see the lights at Temple Square. Downtown was super packed for a concert at the "Meganacle," so we parked up on 4th South and took the Trax train. Taylor LOVED it, of course.

I haven't been to Temple Square at Christmas time for a couple of years and I am always in awe of how amazing that many Christmas lights look at night. Taylor had so much fun and I think he loved seeing the temple just as much as the lights.

I love this girl:

The Nativity scene in the middle of the reflection pond:

Yesterday was honestly one of the best days I've had in a long time. I love having an amazing husband and son to celebrate the Christmas season with. I am so blessed!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009


I love road maps. LOVE them. I found this picture on Land of Nod's website and let out a big sigh thinking about how amazing it would be to decorate the walls in Tay's room with maps:

Some day...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Tis the Season

We here at the Nichols household have been busy enjoying all that the Christmas season has to offer.

The day after Thanksgiving we put up our Christmas tree and decorations and had lots of fun putting up all our ornaments. We took Taylor to Gardner Village and helped him find a new ornament this year at their Christmas shop. We decided when he was born that we'd start the tradition of getting him an ornament every year that expresses his interests or something fun he did that year. This time he chose a John Deere digger, which we thought was quite fitting since he's obsessed with any and all heavy machinery. (Pictures to come soon!)

Last week we went down to Provo for their annual Winterfest. There were cute performances from some local dance companies, some adorable little munchkins singing carols, and the weirdest local band attempting to play Christmas songs. Then Santa came out and after a countdown all the holiday lights were turned on in downtown. It was absolutely FREEZING cold, but we had a lot of fun and Taylor was absolutely amazed at all the pretty lights.

Last Thursday we went to Heber Valley Railroad to ride on the Polar Express. We've never gone before but thought Taylor would have a blast after riding on Thomas for his birthday this year. It was ridiculously cold in Heber, so we were happy to only have to be outside for a short period of time before boarding the train. We also came equipped with blankets to keep warm on the train car.

All in all it was a great experience! They brought everyone cookies and hot cocoa, read the Polar Express book, and we all sang songs and had a fun train ride. Once we reached the "North Pole," Santa boarded the train and spent a small amount of time with each child on the train. He gave each of the kids a sleigh bell and asked them what they wanted for Christmas. Of course Taylor's answer was the same he's been giving us for the past two months: "A big GIANT dinosaur puzzle!" (Luckily I have it on good account that Santa ordered said puzzle a few days ago and it'll arrive in the mail shortly.)

The highlight of the night happened during a stirring rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas." We were given a sign to hold up for the "six geese a laying" part of the song, and the second or third time we held it up and sang the line, Taylor simultaneously lifted up his shirt for all to see and screamed, "BELLY BUTTON!" at the top of his lungs. It was priceless.

We're having a really great Christmas season and I hope that all of you are too! We love you all!

The Lego Dog

A few days ago Taylor and I were playing with his blocks in the living room. I decided I'd show off my mad building skills and make a dog. Well, my dog turned out pretty sad looking and Taylor kept laughing at it and saying, "Mommy, that's not a dog. That's a weird cow or something."


So I told Taylor to try his hand at making a dog, thinking there was no way that a two-year-old could make a better dog than me. I was wrong.

Why is it...

...that I leave Taylor in the living room unattended for just a few minutes while I'm cleaning his room and this happens?

He's like our own cute little natural disaster.

Oh, and don't worry, Mommy cleaned it up:

Comfort Food

This is certainly the season for warm, yummy soups and stews. My very favorite is also the easiest to make: Taco Soup. I'm sure most everyone has some form of this yummy soup as a staple in their dinner recipes, and some are more complicated to make than others. Here is my version of Taco Soup, or as I lovingly refer to it - the "just open cans" soup.

Here are the ingredients:

- 1 can of turkey chili
- 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can of black beans, undrained
- 1 can of corn, undrained
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 package taco seasoning

And here are the directions:
- Empty all the cans and taco soup package into a large pot.
- Simmer until heated through.

Yep, that's it!
We here at the Nichols household also like adding toppings - our favorites are crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

I usually serve this soup with cornbread muffins (made with a Jiffy cornbread mix. Easy!).

What are your favorite winter recipes?