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31 December 2013

2013 in the Books

As I've mentioned before, my one goal in 2013 was to post at least one picture of my girls a day on Instagram. Well, 365 days and 742 pictures later, that goal is done! Woo hoo. Love these girls to pieces. 

Family Pictures

My sweet sister-in-law, Marissa, took some pictures of us over Thanksgiving and I couldn't love them any more than I do!  We had planned these pictures for weeks and I stressed about our outfits for just as long.  I had hoped the session would be as easy and painless as possible and that we wouldn't be stressed out getting ready for them.  Of course, we are Michelsons through and through, so naturally we were scrambling to get everyone ready in time, but the session itself was effortless.  Marissa is a natural behind the lens and even though Sydney was making her work for a smile, she got some great shots of the girls and our family.

My apologies for picture overload, but I'm sure you are used to that around here.  ;)

➹ Pouty face.  She did not want to smile at all! ➹

➹ And all this one wanted to do was strike different poses! Ha. ➹

➹ Instructions definitely not included! ➹

We are so lucky {and grateful} to have such a talented photographer in our family.  
All photos courtesy of

30 December 2013

Our Girls in Their Element

Opening gifts and singing!!  Ha.  It was definitely not the same as having Grandma and Poppa here for Christmas, but they sure did enjoy the gifts they sent them.  {You may want to turn your volume down because Olivia is about to sing at the top of her lungs!}

Opening Gifts from Amanda Michelson on Vimeo.

More Gifts from Amanda Michelson on Vimeo.

29 December 2013

We Had a Holly Jolly Christmas!

I saw something posted on Facebook or Instagram that basically said that they thought Christmas was the best thing as a kid...until they had kids and got to see Christmas through their eyes.  And, it is so true.  I love being able to do Christmas with our girls and even though every year we say we are scaling back {and in my mind I think we have}, I just get so excited about thinking of how much fun they will have with their new things.

I feel so lucky that we are able to do a big Christmas in our house...where the girls are able to go to sleep in their own beds and wake up to see that Santa was here while they slept peacefully.  This year, like the last two years, Mom, Dad, and Ryan came over with breakfast goodies so we could open up stockings and gifts with full bellies.

➹ The one thing on Olivia's wish list was a unicorn Pillow Pet Dream Light.  Her face when she saw it was priceless! ➹

➹ Lots of Frozen gifts this Christmas! ➹

➹ Smarties! ➹

➹ My dad got these for the girls.  A lion and... ➹

➹ ... a monkey.  And... ➹

➹ CLARK!! ➹

➹ True story:  We Santa got Sydney this little Sofia the First toy camera and she smiles better for it than she does my phone or real camera.  So, when I want her to smile for my camera, I pull it out and pretend I'm taking a picture of her with it next to my camera. ➹

➹ The girls got each other Frozen dolls for Christmas. ➹

➹ It's safe to say they like them. ➹

 ➹ Group hug! ➹

➹ David clearly loved his National Geographic magazine! ➹

➹ The girls got Twirly Girl skirts for Christmas and Olivia immediately took off the Christmas one she had one to put this Minnie Mouse one on.  And then did the same thing once the Wonder Woman one got opened! ➹

➹ I surprised David with tickets to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me when they come here in February!  It was a hard secret to keep, but it was so worth it.  Look at that face! ➹

➹ Who says girls can't have sporty toys?! ➹

➹ Sk8r Boy! ➹

➹ Sweet girl wanted to join the fun outside.  Love this girl. ➹

➹ And, biggest surprise of Christmas brother got the girls a motorized VW Beetle.  They love it and have ridden in it every single day! ➹

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you many blessings in the New Year!

A Merry Christmas Eve to All

We had all of our shopping done and almost all of the wrapping finished by the 23rd and I really just wanted to relax on Christmas Eve.  The only real thing I had to do was make my MIL's amazing bolognese sauce for dinner that night.  {It is takes about 4 hours of cooking time and at least an hour of prep time.}  Well, I threw a few more things into that day, and well, let's just say Christmas Eve was anything but relaxing!  But, still, a fun day.

We made salt dough ornaments the night before, so we spent Christmas Eve morning making a mess painting them.  Once we got that cleaned up, the girls helped me make Oreo cake pops.  And then once that was cleaned up, David and I went to work on the bolognese sauce.  I was a nervous wreck trying to make sure that we did everything just right.  And, I have to admit, our attention to detail paid off because come evening time, the sauce was perfect!

I, of course, got zero pictures of any of that mess making, but I did get a few of the most important parts -- the opening of the first few gifts and what the stockings looked like once the kids were all tucked up in their beds.

 ➹ Our first year to do Christmas Crackers and they were a hit! ➹

➹ This is the smile I get 99% of the time my camera comes out. ➹

 ➹ Sleeping bags from Nana and Poppy! ➹

 ➹ My mom thought it was a come that a little girl wouldn't get a doll on Christmas, so she got Sydney this one that sings Ring Around the Rosie.  She loves it! ➹

David and I spent an hour or so stuffing everyone's stockings {Mom had already stuffed theirs, but we had extras to add} and then crawled into bed around 11.  Still waiting on that day to relax....

I'd say we were all on the Nice list this year!