Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 11:18 PM | No comments

Saying goodbye to 2013

Years ago, I used to send out annual Christmas letters. I was so good about getting it done every year. I even had friends mention that they started their annual letters because of my letters. Now I am just one of many people who can't seem to find the time to put a letter together. I am sad about it. I do hope one day to do an annual letter once again. Until then, I will do my best to keep up the blog. So, for now, here are the photos of the Wiens family during the end of 2013.

Christmas Eve was a wonderfully busy day. We did a gingerbread train kit, a little bit of cleaning for Christmas Day dinner and, of course, our other traditions: donning our new pajamas (which I did sew again this year), reading the last of our 24 holiday books, and watching a new Christmas cartoon.

Logan opened up one gift on Christmas Eve. It was a huge collection of cars from Aunt Leah and cousin Calder. Talk about a happy little boy.

Grandma made yummy enchiladas for dinner.

Grandpa tried to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas", but Logan wouldn't let him.

Grandpa did, however, read it to my niece Dagny and nephew Calder over the phone. Eventually I read it to Logan before bed in his room. It was the same copy that Keith read to me every year. I'm glad I was able to read it to Logan.

We watched "Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas" for our new holiday cartoon of the year. He did seem to like it, but the shows he really loved this year were Disney's "Prep and Landing" and "Prep and Landing: Naughty vs Nice". In fact, we have been watching them throughout January. He can't seem to get enough of them. A close second has to go to "Frosty the Snowman".

Finally we finished our advent tree, hung up our last ornament, and hung the lights. 

Next up for the night were a few family photos.
Logan's pants from his 1st and 2nd Christmases. Boy, has he grown!

The last thing we did before heading to bed was to put the toys that we were giving to Santa in our special Santa sack. Logan and I selected about 10 of Logan's old toys for Santa to take and give to other boys and girls. 

Christmas morning brought wonderful gifts from family, friends and of course Santa. Logan came jumping with excitement into his play room where Santa had left a train table! While I got the coffee and breakfast going, everyone discovered the joy of trains.

We finally made it down into the living room, and the first thing Logan found was his new art desk that Aunt Jenny gave to him. He loved it and had to try it out immediately.

Just a special moment with Grandpa Neel.

With every toy that Logan unwrapped, he had to play with it before he could move on to the next toy. It was great to see. He really treasured every present and didn't expect more. It did, however, extend gift-opening from 7:30am to 12:30pm. That meant that we were not ready for our dinner company in time. Oh well. Such is life with a toddler.

I'll show pictures in the next blog, but here is my mom opening her homemade gift of the year. It was a lip balm carrier made with fabric printed with pictures of Logan.

The boys came back in from testing out the new soccer ball. Next up, the stocking.

Logan made it through the orange monster and discovered the chocolate snowman. Let's just say that may have been his favorite thing for the next hour or so.

As always, Logan and Daddy gave me the sweetest gifts: Photography classes and a new chair for my sewing desk, which I still need to pick out.

While I thought Logan would absolutely love the train table that Santa gave him, I think his favorite gifts have been the puzzles. Definitely my son. I love puzzles!

He also received a set of musical instruments, including little drums. Here he is singing to us. I'm sure he was singing "Frosty the Snowman".

Every year we do a homemade gift exchange with family from Seattle. My sister-in-law, Jennifer, knits amazing things. Here is Logan in his new hat, and Kyle is showing off last year's hat. Kyle's hat design comes from Jayne, a character from a favorite show of ours, Firefly. I was wearing my awesome arm warmers that I absolutely love. Kyle got a great lamp that my step-brother Brian made. It's so awesome that I have yet to decide if Kyle can take it to work. We love this homemade exchange.

Another special gift came from Aunt Jenny. She gave me cookie cutters and her cookie recipe that she used every year with her son, Scott. I can't wait to try them out next year with Logan.

It was a wonderful Christmas.  We received so many wonderful gifts and great memories. It ended sharing a delicious meal with my mom, Keith, Aunt Doreen, Uncle Ralph, Aunt Sally and our dear friend Nathaniel.

On the 26th we took a walk (and a little bit of running) in our wonderful arroyo. It really is so convenient to have this right next to our house.

Checking out our shadows.

To end the year we had to take a quick trip to Phoenix. My dad had unexpected heart surgery so we popped in the car and off we went at the last minute. It was Logan's longest car ride. All I can say is that "Curious George" saved the day. Logan refused to nap, but he was content as long as George was on.

The great news is that my dad's surgery went well and he was home by the 31st. We had to leave the next day, but we were able to share some special moments with my dad and Aunt Karen before we left. Aunt Karen was so sweet to put us up at her lovely home for our short stay.

And with that we say goodbye to 2013. I'll leave you with Logan tidbits from December:

12/2 - I was gone for a little over an hour, and when I came back I asked Logan if he was ready for a nap and he said "No, but I missed you."

12/2 - Logan had his first candy cane. Probably the moment after he said he missed me.

12/14 - He said "Let's read this one instead of that one."

12/1- After a round of what I am sure was a Christmas song he said "We are singing together!"

- He started saying "There's a proper way to..." Quoting Bill, one of the characters from Curious George, who always uses that phrase.

- He figured out his sit-n-spin

- By far Logan's favorite books are books of songs. We read those over and over again. The library is full of wonderful song books and I'll post pictures of the ones we read over the holidays in my next post.

One final bit of fun. Here is a video of Logan sharing the holiday spirit with his version of "Frosty the Snowman".



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