December 31, 2011

The Month in Review

Now onto January and the New Year....

December 30, 2011

2011 Christmas Cards

This year, we sent out my favorite Christmas cards yet.  I thought I would share the process of how the Christmas cards came about.  I really wanted to incorporate a baby envelope into the card, so that was kind of the inspiration.  (Since I don't have a baby human).  Then, I drew out what I wanted on a piece of paper. (Don't laugh.)
No, those are not my children, but I wish they were.  Those are pictures cut out from a World Vision catalog, just to give me an idea of what a picture looked like on the card (as if the card was going to look anything close to what I drew).

Rather than try to do this complicated design myself on the computer (because that would have been impossible, considering that I have absolutely no graphic design knoweldge), I decided to give the job to my sister, Kristina.  Because, obviously, she has a bit of graphic design know how.  She was able to take my idea and run with it.  And, it was so much better than what I imagined in my head!
This is the digital version she sent me, using last year's Christmas picture, just to give me an idea of what it would look like.  Then she printed them out and mailed them off to me to assemble.
But, I was still without a Christmas card picture.  So, I whipped up a little Merry Christmas sign (so so easy to make), and we headed out with the dogs to our favorite picture spot to take the picture, with our fabulous photographer, Amy Swenson.  Here are a few of the pictures that we did not use.  I thought we would have some funny outtakes with the dogs, but, surprisingly, they were very well behaved and cooperative.
We ended up choosing this one:
But, I wasn't thrilled with what Belle looked like.  She looks a little sad and pathetic.  Thankfully, Amy is not only a fabulous photographer, but she is also a fabulous photo editor.  So, Belle was given a little head swap from one of the other photos and a few other fun tricks were done to the picture,  and we ended up with this for our card:
Then, the assembly of the cards began.
I planned on using baker's twine all along and kept intending to order some, but that never actually happened.  So instead, I found a tutorial online and made my own.
Here's the final product:
And then, I entrused Nick with one job...JUST ONE JOB.  The buying of stamps and mailing of cards.  This is the picture he sent me and the text message conversation that happened that day:
Actually, I should say...Nick did have more than one job.  He wrote our whole Christmas letter.  And IT WAS GOOD!

December 29, 2011

Christmas at Grandma's House

The Carmack family (my mom's side of the family) had our traditional Christmas day at Grandma's house.  Lots of hoopla surrounded this Christmas, since my cousin Jake lacerated his spleen while dirt biking 2 days before.  Way to go, dude.  He was in the hospital until 4:00 Christmas day, but he got out and made it in time for the grand gift exchange.  While we waited for him, we engaged in a little ladderball.  But first, we had to call AAA to open my car because I locked my keys in the trunk along with ladderball.  Way to go, me. But, then they couldn't get the trunk open and left without helping us. But then, a Christmas miracle ensued.  After many failed attempts to open the trunk in any and every way, it magically popped open the first time my dad tried it.  Way to go, Dad (or Santa...or Jesus... or whoever was responsible for that little miracle!  I like to think it was was his birthday afterall),

And so, there was ladderball....
And then there was the gift exchange.
Grandma gifted all of her daughters and daughters-in-law with beautiful new quilts....jealous.
Pictures in front of the tree of the many families within the Carmack family is a yearly tradition.
 Grandma and her daughters...
 Grandma and her daughters supposedly trying to be Swenson girls...
I don't know what makes them think we like to take pictures like that.
But, I think they need a little practice.

I love Christmas at Grandma's!  Favorite day of the year!

December 28, 2011

Swenson Family Christmas

We celebrated Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve.  The day was of course filled with last minute shopping, wrapping, a bit of fighting, and a lot of laughing.  There were also A LOT of presents.
I LOVE my family!
Next up...Carmack Family Christmas...