Friday, December 30, 2011

Caught red handed.

Or chocolate faced as it may be.


"What? What chocolate?"


"I have no idea what you're talking about."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

From Us to You.


Wishing you the merriest of holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011


The lead up and anticipation of this most-special-of-all-holidays has been wonderful this year. Parties, gathering, more parties, more gatherings, annual gift exchanges, traditions continued...all the things that make this holiday so very dear to my heart.

fam dinner dec

Christmas program

Peps xmas


Girls weekend 1

Girls weekend 2



But the anticipation is over. The Christmas celebration has officially begun.


Merry Merry everything.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I am a believer.
I've always been a believer.
One of those who believed in Santa way past the time when most kids had figured out it was really just mom and dad.

I distinctly remember a time in the 3rd grade when my best friend insisted that she knew it was her parents because she had found the packaging to the Barbie doll house that Santa brought her in, of all places, her basement.
I of course had a logical explanation to that:

well, Santa just didn't have time to set it up, and left everything in the packaging for her parents to help set up (I realized he had a LOT of houses to get to!) Simple as that.
I eventually did grow up, and through reading a very special book...accepted the fact that Santa had many helpers...aka parents.
Knowing that the wonder, the excitement, the awe and the belief are all coming for Charlotte brings me such happiness.

I will do whatever it takes to keep her belief in him alive as long as possible. year we might just take a baby step and work on liking him.


The red cup.

For Christmas we got Charlotte's teachers each a Starbucks gift card and wrapped them in the iconic red cup. Who doesn't love a little warm treat? IMG_2061

Only problem was we didn't have something convenient to carry them in.

No worries, problem solved!


A little dig through the recycle bin can solve that.

Just stick them in the leftover six pack of beer case.

Handy, green and now representing all of our favorite vices.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Notice anything different?


It's me.
Minus my appendix.

Yep...certainly not on my list of holiday plans, but after a night of horrible stomach pains, I went in to the doctor on Wednesday to learn that I would in fact be heading into surgery that afternoon. Bye bye appendix.
The one up side to spending the night at Swedish hospital?


Another chance at their chocolate milkshakes! Yes please!

I'm taking this time to rest up, watch some Hallmark holiday movies on the iPad in bed and address our Christmas cards...I suppose there could have been worse times to get my appendix out!
Thank you to everyone for your sweet thoughts, calls and texts. And especially thank you to my girl Michelle for coming to hang with Charlotte while I was still in surgery, to Paul for hanging with her this afternoon when I really needed a nap...and to my wonderful husband for taking such good care of me and loving me so perfectly.
I love you.


Monday, December 12, 2011

My itsy bitsy baby.

Is not so itsy bitsy.
She had her first Christmas program tonight. A Christmas concert! My girl! I actually got a little choked up as we pulled into the school parking lot.

With Martina McBride singing "Oh Holy Night" on the radio, the trees for sale in the parking lot lit by the big old school holiday lights, and the parking lot packed with parents coming to see their kiddos perform...I was momentarily overwhelmed.

How lucky I am that I get to be a mama...and go to such darling events as these.

Untitled from Courtney Juhl on Vimeo.

My love of all things Christmas just went to a whole new level.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The tradition continues.

Bake Off 2011.
I made my come-back appearance after a few years off (the weekend falls the same weekend as "The Messiah" concert that I used to perform in)...and I'm so glad I returned.

Guidelines for the weekend:
Remain in Christmas pj's all weekend. Only exceptions are for swimsuits for the hot tub.

Bake off 5

Make and consume many different Christmas treats.

Bake off 2

Go on a walk to try and walk off a few bites of said treats.


Work on Christmas crafts, while Christmas music and Christmas movies play continually in the background.

Bake off 3

Dream up our "Million Dollar Idea"


Play games, continue to eat some more, drink some more...

Bake off 1

And laugh non-stop all weekend with girlfriends.

Bake Off 4

Bake Off, you make this Christmas loving girl so very happy.

Any my girls? You are the best.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Somebody is a big fan of books in this house.


Happy girl

This is our typical morning routine...very first thing when I come in to get her in the morning, she reaches and asks for a book- usually this one, "There Were Ten in the Bed" (she's quite particular about her first book of the day)...and then we can proceed with with the wet diaper.


Reading with daddy...



Reading with friends...


happy girl 2

Last year we bought her one of those recordable books for "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and had different family members each read a page. Without fail, every time we get to Rick/Poppie's page, she squeals with delight at his animated voice. We can't wait to show him how happy she gets!

Now if we could just get her to stop eating all the books at school. Hmmmmm....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's heeeeeeere......

And Christmas.


I've been waiting all year for you sweet season.
And I'm bringing my A Game this year. Just you wait...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The long weekend.

Thanksgiving break.
While it isn't like the old days from college (or like my mom the teacher) where we get an entire week off, we did have four days.
Four days of food and family.
Our tummies and hearts were full.




We did however throw a flu bug into the mix. It's a good thing Miss Charlotte is loved so much, or her aunties and uncles might have been less willing to hang out with us.

Right about here is where I think she passed it to Auntie Courty...


And here to Uncle Hans...


And not one to leave out the parents, we each had a day of it as well.


Diaper on head=Uncle Paul's latest favorite trick to play with Charlotte.

Thankfully there were lots of hands around to play when I was feeling under the weather. And thankfully we were cozied up at the island with our "Family Divided" to watch the Apple Cup (3/4 Cougs, 1/4 Huskys).


Complete with a betting game-board. Even Charlotte bought in for a few squares.


And with the close of Thanksgiving, we open the door to the most-wonderful-time-of the-year. Oh happy day!! Keeping with tradition, we went back to our favorite little tree farm in Redmond and found our tree. Cute, and little, and darling...we knew it was ours.



I had a little helper this year with the decorating.


Helper may be a loose term here...but having her explore and excite in all things Christmas that I pulled from the boxes made my heart skip a beat.


This is going to be so very much fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

--Melody Beattie


Happy Thanksgiving friends. My heart is full.

Monday, November 21, 2011


The last few weeks/month there has been a lot of this...


And this...


And more of this...


The meltdowns have started.
With a vengeance.
And let me tell you, they can come out of no where. And most often only with us. School tells us she is "the happiest baby they've ever had"and she was great with Grammie.
I tell myself it's because she's most comfortable with us and we are her safety blanket where she can be herself.
But it's tough.
Nick and I plopped onto the couch the other night after Charlotte went to bed and we got the house back in order and agreed together that those infant days were most definitely the easiest of days.

Lack of sleep?
Sure. But some days I feel like I'd take that over the mood swings that are currently occuring in our house.

Who knows what it is...possibly the razor sharp molars that are still trying to poke through. Or maybe just getting back into routine after having us gone for 6 days. A stage perhaps? The terrible two's starting early? Or mostly due to the fact she can't communicate everything she wants quite yet, although she most certainly knows what it is.

Whatever it is, I've decided parenthood is no walk in the park.

But last weekend?

My happy, sweet girl seems to have returned to me. We had a weekend of family time, with no real plans to speak of...and it was wonderful.


We explored...made messes...


weekend 2

and we relaxed...


Oh, and we dressed like twins for church, ha!


And when the meltdowns came, they were short lived.

Challenges are good for us. It helps us appreciate even more those days that are easy and everything just flows. I'll take those challenging days because it means I am her mama. And she is my world. Even when she's a monster.