December 2013.

So...December! December was a whirlwind of a month, between the usually holiday stuff, graduation, and packing our apartment. We tried to keep some traditions and make memories anyway!

We went downtown for the First Friday Christmas tree lighting, but it was sooo cold, and Santa was delayed, so we didn't actually see the lighting. Jake did get to see Santa pull up in the fire truck and waddled around in his puffy coat, so that was fun.

After downtown, we headed to our ward's Christmas party, which was fun. I took this picture while we were waiting in line to see Santa, which we again didn't actually get to do because the wait was too long and it was bedtime.

Jake just loves to help with things like cooking and dishes, and I just love it. It can be frustrating to let him help, but it's worth it to see his excitement.

Probably the biggest event of the month was TJ's graduation from NAU! This day was long anticipated and prayed for. School was really hard for TJ, and between that and being a husband and father, it was a difficult balance. I am SO proud of him for pushing through and accomplishing his goal, even when he would rather have given up. We had two kinds of chili, cornbread, and I had my friend Kayla make him a chocolate cake with peanutbutter frosting (amazing).

A few days after graduation was Christmas. We opened our stockings at home, went over to the Ponds' for breakfast and gifts, then headed down the mountain to FaceTime with Sheldon for one last time on his mission.

November 2013.

November is in the thick of football season. TJ was invited to play in a couple of flag games, so one night Jake and I went down to the fields to watch him. Before the game started, this kid was ready to play!

And this is what happened when I had to take him away. We didn't stay for very long because he couldn't stay away from the field, and I didn't want him trampled by the players.

We went to Mesa for Veteran's Day weekend, and part of our stay was spent with our good friends, the Persons. Although Jake and Ryan are about 7 months apart, they are pretty good friends. We loved spending time with them!

Thanksgiving was also spent in Mesa, since it was our turn with my side this year. Jake really liked the mashed potatoes and playing with Grandma's basketball hoop. He also got his second haircut, which he screamed through. Poor Aunt Lawana. Evidently, he also loved the chocolate pie since it's all over his face in these photos.

I did a couple of photoshoots that weekend as well. It was fun to practice more and I loved the "fall" colors in the valley.