Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls, Homemade fudge and Cake Balls

Baking during the holidays, has always been a favorite tradition of mine.

Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls came from one of my mom's good friends.
She started this tradition maybe ten or so years ago?
She'd come over to our house every year w/this delicious treat and I looked forward to it every year.
One year she didn't stop by and I was quite disappointed, but she taught a class at her house instead. I was so excited!
I now, make it every year, and deliver it to a few close friends myself.
I love carrying on this tradition, and I get better & better at making it every year.
It's quite the art and takes talent to make it look like an actual tree.
I'm still working on the visual part ;)

This year, I decided to try something new.
I've never made homemade fudge syrup, so I was really excited!
I know, sounds nerdy right?!!
It ended up turning out delicious and was very easy to make! 
I'll definitely be making more, for Jake and I to have on our ice cream at home :) 

Cake balls has been in our family for a few years now, and they are so much fun!
There are so many different combinations you can use. The possibilities are endless!

From the time I could remember, my family always made treats & delivered them to the neighborhood kids.
Yes, we were that family.
We would all get in our Christmas pajamas, pile in the car, and fight over who would get out at what house, to deliver the goodies.
My mom was always very good at making treats for all our school teachers, friends, and close families at church.
I loved it and look forward to doing this w/my own kids.
Jake is learning how to bake as well, and it's really exciting to get so festive during this time of year. 

May your home smell delicious as well!

Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 3-4 trees

3 pkg. or 3 TBSP yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
3 cups milk
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 TBSP salt
3 eggs, beaten
10-12+ cups flour

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
nuts and or raisins if desired

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk or orange juice for an orange glaze 
(omit vanilla if using an orange glaze)
*If you leave the vanilla in with the orange, it gives it a yummy orange vanilla flavor and tastes really good FYI

1 jar Maraschino cherries to decorate tree

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and let stand. Heat milk, sugar, butter and salt in microwave until butter melts. Do not boil over stove. Cool until lukewarm. (I usually add the eggs to help cool it off.) Once it is cool enough, add 4 cups of flour and the yeast. Gradually add 6 more cups of flour. Knead (or mix in bread mixer) for at least 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed, leaving the dough just slightly sticky. Let the dough double in size (about 2-3 hours). 

Divide into 3-4 balls. Roll each ball into a large circle. Spread butter over the dough. Mix sugars and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the butter. Add nuts and or raisins if desired. Shape into a Christmas tree. Let it rise for about 20-30 minutes. 

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the glaze, mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Add canned milk (or orange juice, depending on what flavor you wanted) until is is the desired consistency. Using a spoon, spread the glaze over the tree while it is still warm. Add Maraschino cherry halves to decorate. ENJOY! 

Roll dough into a large circle, about 14" wide.

Fold one side over.

Fold the other side over. Pinch the middle together. 

Cut 1" strips, leaving the middle uncut. 

Roll the bottom into a large trunk.
First, roll one side to the middle, then wrap the other side around it.
Twist the branches.

This is what it'll look like when it first comes out of the oven:

And this is what it looks like w/the glaze and cherries:

Homemade Fudge
Makes 2 small jars

2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chocolate. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the chocolate pieces are completely melted.

Reduce heat and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and add in butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate. Continue stirring until smooth. Allow the sauce to cool before serving.

To store, cool sauce completely and chill in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. ENJOY!

Cake Balls
Makes about 50-100 bite size balls, depending on size

You will need:
One box of cake mix (any flavor), cookie sheets, wax paper, plenty of refrigerator space, and one can of frosting of choice.

The cake box flavor doesn't necessarily need to be the same as the frosting flavor.

For example, I used a strawberry cake box mix, and cream cheese frosting.

First step:
Make the cake. That simple. Follow the directions on the back of the cake mix.

Let cake cool for about 2-3 hours.

Break the cake into pieces and put into a large bowl. (This is where things get messy.) 

Add the can of frosting and mix well. You can add the whole frosting container, or use 3/4 of the frosting. If you do use the whole frosting container, you will have very moist cake balls FYI

Once the frosting is mixed in the crumbled cake, you will then roll into balls. 

Refrigerate until cool (about 30-60 minutes).

Use dipping chocolate for outside hard shell. The cake balls are delicious w/o the outside hard shell, but add just that much more flavor if you do decide to use it, which I do recommend ;) 


This is the dipping chocolate I chose to use.
I also used chocolate w/another cake mix.
Both are delicious and great to work with. 
All you do is put some wafers in a bowl, in a microwave & put on defrost for 30-60 seconds. Easy.

This cookie sheet had about 35 cake balls on them and I had three cookie sheets (small, medium and large).
This batch made close to 100 cake balls.

Below is the strawberry cake ball w/vanilla frosting on the outside.
I used cream cheese frosting on the inside w/the cake mix. 

I got a little crazy and added some Christmas sprinkles

They looked so cute bagged in a clear bag with a silver twisty tie.
(The gift bag has the homemade fudge {recipe above} inside. We gifted those to our bosses w/the cake balls)


Preggo Eggo Update- Week 24… or 26 :)

How many weeks?: Well, we had what was supposed to be our 24 week appointment this last Tuesday (12/17), but my doctor told me I was closer to 26 weeks, than 24, so at this point I'm 26 weeks and 6 days. We're just gonna skip over to 26 weeks now :)
Size of Baby: A head of lettuce, 13-15 inches, 1.5-2 pounds.
Maternity Clothes?: Still mainly wearing boots, leggings, and sweaters. I don't have maternity pajamas, so I mainly wear Jake's pajama bottoms, since they're bigger & looser on my hips. 
Energy Levels: I go through spurts. Right now (at this exact moment),I feel pretty great. I'm drinking lots of water, and have my feet elevated to reduce swollen ankles. 
Exercise Habits: None, other than walking around at the office. 
Sleeping?I'm sleeping about 2-3 hours at a time, throughout the night, so not that much sleep goin on here. Jake and I recently ordered a pregnancy body pillow, and that helps align my hips & back, so it relieves pressure/pain on my lower back/sciatic nerve. Other than that, I still get up to use the restroom and stretch/walk around, throughout the night.  
Worst Moment in the past 2 weeks: Pinched sciatic nerve.
Best Moment in the past 2 weeksFinding out I'm measuring almost a two full weeks ahead! This baby girl is long, so I'll take whatever I can to speed up this process. 
Miss anything?: Eating cake batter. I know that may sound silly, but I've done a lot of baking lately (for the holidays) and there's nothing better than raw cake better. Mmmmm
Movement: All the time. Thumper is a very active baby & lives up to her name more & more every day. I love love love feeling her movements, but often wonder what she's doing in there. She must have a big to-do list. The other day (when Jake and I were driving home from our doctor's appointment), I told Jake the best way to describe what I was feeling at that time, was that it felt like she was playing the piano right where my pelvic bone is, and  then thrown in some side kicks every once in awhile. I always see her on my right side, so it's like she was laying on her side, playing the piano, thumping around down low (as always). 
Morning Sickness?: No siree. I'm not so sensitive to any foods at all, really, other than really. 
Food Cravings: Protein. I'm constantly craving meat. A hamburger always sounds good, or steak and potatoes. I'm always down for a delicious dessert too. Cookies are a must in our house!
Food Aversions: I try to avoid greasy foods, if possible. They cause really bad heart burn, which lead to acid reflux. 
Showing yet?: Duh. I started showing between 10-12 weeks, and have only been showing more & more every day. Thumper wanted her presence to be known at a very early stage, and boy has she done just that! I swear, people think I'm due like yesterday. Here's how an awkward conversation went (recently) while at work: 

Lady in the hallway: "When's that baby comin out?" 
Me: "Probably not until the end of March slash early April." 
Lady in the hallway: "Oh." 

I think she thought I was a lot further along than I really was. If she only knew my thumper was in the 87th percentile from her abdomen down. She has some long 'ol legs. 
Stretch Marks?: Just a few. They don't seem to be increasing/getting darker, which is good. I use Tia & Tamera's "Stretchy" cream right after every shower. It smells delicious and does wonders! It's a great moisturizer too, which is especially nice during these dry winters we have up here. The marks that I do have, appeared right at about 15 weeks when Thumper got significantly bigger, and I could feel her flutters/kicks. They seem darker after a shower, but they fade throughout the day. 
Gender: She's still a she.
Labor signs: This last week my stomach got really tight & uncomfortable. I was telling Jake it was like this weird pressure  & tightness that I'd never experienced before. Now that I'm actually sitting here and thinking about it, it might've been Braxton Hicks. 
Moods: I'd say I'm doing pretty good! Maybe it's the holidays?
Not Looking Forward to: My glucose test. The nurse gave me the drink to take home (from our appointment the other day), so I have the pure joy of looking at it every time I open our fridge. I've had most friends tell me it's not that bad, and I've had other people tell me it's the worst thing I'll ever encounter. Great.
Looking Forward To: Getting the results of the glucose test over with and done! That appointment isn't until January 13th though, so it's still a few weeks away, and then (as my doctor reminded me) my appointments will get down to every three weeks, rather than four. Yikaroo. 

I'm six months pregnant and still wearing my wedding ring!
I'm so thankful my hands are not swelling, so I can still wear this beaut.
Photo taken on my iPhone

For some reason, I feel like I look a lot smaller here

Photo taken on my iPhone

And then the picture is taken from a different angle and it's like wow! Bam!

Photo taken on my iPhone

And we're back to not lookin so much like a huge whale again
This is my favorite maternity sweater BTW

Photo taken on my iPhone

And this is how Thumper and I sleep at night.
This pregnancy pillow helps so much w/my lower back. 

Photo taken on my iPhone

Photo taken on my iPhone

Preggo Eggo Update- Week 20

How many weeks?: 20 weeks and 2 days today. 
Size of Baby: A banana (6.5 inches).  
Maternity Clothes?: I can wear some of my pre-maternity shirts, and they fit comfortably, but I'm afraid they'll be permanently stretched out afterwards hahaha Oops? Needless to say, I don't wear pre-maternity shirts too often for that reason. I stick to stretchy and flow-y. 
Energy Levels: I always thought I'd be feeling worse than I am, for being 20 weeks into my pregnancy, but I'm feeling pretty good.  I kinda started getting tired again this week. Tired as in first trimester sleep coma tired. Uh oh. 
Exercise Habits: Seriously? It's way too cold now. I know I know- Excuses excuses. 
Sleeping?I've given up on that dream. I still wake up 2-3 times a night, and use the restroom. I usually have tingly arms/legs too. I'm normally a side sleeper, but I think now that I'm pregnant, I toss & turn in my sleep (now) more than ever, and I catch myself waking up in the middle of the night ON MY BACK! (gasp). Queue the tingly arms/legs. Between all that, the Tums, and random urges to drink H20 like it's going out of style.... I do not feel rested at all when I wake up. I figure hey- It's just prepping me for parenthood right? I hear babies are on a rough sleep schedule (wink wink). 
Worst Moment in the past 2 weeks: This might sound really bad, but I was really bummed when we had our last appointment two weeks ago. I thought it would be our anatomy ultrasound, so I was pretty bummed to only hear the heartbeat. Like I said- that might sound really bad, but I was bummed to only hear her heartbeat and not see her little face on the screen. 
Best Moment in the past 2 weeks Having Jake feel the baby kick (last Wednesday), and me feeling the baby kick on my hand, other than internally. It's times like this that I always always want to be pregnant. I love it and will miss it when she's not inside swimmin around anymore. 
Miss anything?: Sleep and comfort. Oh the good 'ol days. 
Movement: Oh yeah. I feel her fluttering and kicking around most, when I either lay down flat on my back, or on my side. Other people can feel it too. 
Morning Sickness?: No, I'm just super food sensitive and have to eat every so often. Certain foods still bother me too. That's just all part of the package though, right? (wink wink)
Food Cravings: Everything. Either she's going through a huge growth spirt right now, or I am hahaha Seriously guys. It's bad. 
Food Aversions: Spices and anything spicy. Can't do it= heartburn. 
Showing yet?: I actually had someone ask me the other day, if I was expecting. Like- really? I had to go stand in the mirror and question myself if my bump was questionable. It's definitely not. 
Gender: I'm pretty sure she's still a girl. Guess we'll find out soon at our 20 week anatomy ultrasound (wink wink). 
Labor signs: None, thankfully.
Moods: Oh yeah hi. Bring on the sensitivity this week. Shshsh don't tell Jake I admit that. 
Not Looking Forward to: Child birth. I think about it more and more every day and I fear it. Like the black plague. 
Looking Forward To: Seeing our little babe on the big screen AKA the ultrasound. Oh- And the progress we're making w/our house. Am I allowed to say that? Does my excitement just have to be strictly about my pregnancy?


These are a few of my favorite things

Just thought I'd post a few of my favorite ornaments from our Christmas tree

We got this ornament on our honeymoon to the bahamas. It has real sand on it. 

Jake and I made our ornaments our first Christmas together. I will never get rid of these.

My mom sent us the most beautiful ornament from Things Remembered, for our first Christmas.

My aunt made & had this ordered then sent to us, for our first Christmas

These next few ornaments have pictures in them. 
This photo was one of our engagement photos, and the date we got engaged. 

We both just really liked this picture of us together

And this is a picture of the day we spent all day together on our favorite date (at the Tulip Festival) and then ring shopping. 

This was the first Christmas craft I ever made for me and Jake, when we first got married.
I'll keep this forever too. 
Every year I've been making a new craft. This was my craft for last year (2012)
It's a Noel sign, inspired by Pottery Barn. 
The Pottery Barn one, is made out of real medal, and over $100
This one, is made out of wood from Hobby Lobby, and paint that looks like stained medal.
I think total it cost me a little under $10 :)

Here's the one from Pottery Barn

This was also a craft from last year (2012).
I took my mom's old tin cans she gave me, and gave them a twist.
Now I'll really want to keep these forever.

Photo taken on my iPhone

Here's where the inspiration came from. Pinterest.

Photo taken on my iPhone

I love crafting & baking naturally, but during the holidays, it's almost a rule (in my family) that you spruce it up a bit.
I love the hustle and bustle during the holidays, and I love making a new craft for our family every year.
It's fun to build and add things to our home, bit by bit.
This year, I think I'll make a tree skirt. We need one. Bad.
I don't like buying home decor. I like making it. It's just not the same store bought.
I don't have as much energy this year (being six months pregnant), but I'm still bakin' away!


Homemade Apple Pie & Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Recipes

Homemade Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 375*
Makes 8 servings 


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Cooking spray


8 sliced apples
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/1 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter

To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1/4 cup flour and ice water, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Combine 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl; Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add slurry; mix with a fork until flour mixture is moist. Gently press two-thirds of dough into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap (or pie stencil); Cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Press remaining dough into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll dough into a 9-inch circle. Freeze both portions of dough 10 minutes. Working with larger portion of dough, remove 1 sheet of plastic wrap; fit dough into a 9-inch plate coated with cooking spray. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap from remaining dough. Cut dough into 6 (1 1/2 inch) strips. Gently remove dough strips from bottom sheet of plastic wrap; arrange in a lattice design over apple mixture. Seal dough strips to edge of crust. Place pie on a baking sheet covered with foil. Sprinkle lattice with 1 tbsp sugar.

Bake at 375* for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.
Cool on a wire wrack. ENJOY!

Here is my before picture:

Photo taken on my iPhone

And my after picture:

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Preheat oven to 350*

Cookie dough:

3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1.   Cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin purée (canned)
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla


1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Dash of allspice

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together to blend.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars on medium until well combined. Next, still on medium speed, beat in the pumpkin. Then, add the egg and vanilla. Lastly, add in the dry ingredients. Beat until combined, cover and refrigerate until firm.
In a small bowl mix together spices for the coating.
Scoop dough into 2 inch balls and drop into the spice coating. 
Roll in spices until well covered and place 2 inches apart on a parchment covered cookie sheet. 
Flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. 
Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. ENJOY!

Photo taken on my iPhone


Give Thanks

This year was slightly different for us for the Thanksgiving holiday.
We originally planned on flying to Los Angeles and being w/my family.
We bought our plane tickets over a month ago and I was just thrilled to be in CA
We were in Idaho last Thanksgiving w/Jake's family, so this year would be my family.
We're on the every other holiday, every other year plan.

Plans changed when I got sick w/the flu last week.

I haven't had the flu in years. Years guys.
Leave it to the one year I'm pregnant. Geez.
The flu is bad enough right? It's even more fun when you're 20+ weeks pregnant.
Baby girl sucked the life out of me! Literally.
I threw up everything I had and more.

I know, I know. Not quite the details you wanted to hear, I'm sorry.

But it happened and it was real. Real ugly.

I went to work Monday morning (the Mon. before turkey day) and felt pretty bad then.
I knew it was coming, but was in denial. 

Tuesday morning I woke up and knew I couldn't get out of bed. I sent Jake to work alone.
I called Jake about 11am and asked him to come bring me chicken noodle soup. 
I couldn't imagine eating it, but thought I'd try. 
And I did, but that's as far as I got.
I told him maybe I'd feel better if I just ya know- threw up.
So I went in the bathroom and tried. And succeeded! Except it was just acid.
I hadn't eaten anything sine the day prior and I preferred to keep it that way.
Nah. Jake had other plans in store for me. I was gonna eat that soup if it was the last thing I did.
So I tried to eat one noodle. Just one. Nope.

Every 20 minutes I was in the bathroom giving up my left lung and more. 
I (eventually) asked Jake to just call my doctor & see what he recommends.
They told me to just try to keep down fluids (water and gatorade).
Jake told them I wasn't even doing that though. Seriously, it was bad.
First trimester flash back say what?!?!
They told me to go to the ER and get an IV if I was still throwing up that much, come Wednesday morning.
I begged Jake to just take me to the ER at that very second though.
He knew it'd be a 24 hour flu bug though, and wanted it to just pass.

And so it did.
I went more than an hour w/o throwing up and decided to try to eat my soup.
Thank goodness my plan worked this time. I ate soup slowly but surely.
I drank as much water as I could and kept down my gatorade. Oh thank you!

Photo taken on my iPhone

The next day was still pretty rough, trying to get my energy back.
My throat was real sore from ya know- throwing up so much the day before.
I stayed in bed and rested all day, and of course drank water.

Side note:
My mom's side of the family always (and I repeat always) does matching pajamas every year for Thanksgiving.
I don't think there's ever been a year we haven't done it.
We always find cute matching jammies before turkey day, and we bring them to my aunt's house, where we celebrate Thanksgiving.
It's something just the girls do; although the boys have done it before as well.
Anyway, I was kinda bummed I wasn't going to be in CA doing matching jammies w/my family this year, so I had Jake do it w/me.
And by it, I mean get matching jammies w/me.
Off to Old Navy we went!
I saw the jammies my family was getting, but I wanted Jake and I to match on our own.
We picked out Jake's pajamas first 'cuz we knew that'd be the hardest.
His had skulls w/Santa hats on them. The skulls reminded me of Disney's Pirates so I asked him to get those hahaha
Then we went over to the women's section to pick out a top and a bottom for me.
I had to make sure everything was extra big, for my extra big tummy.
Here are our matching blue Christmas jammies! 
My bottoms had blue snowflakes and my thermal was blue and white polka dots.

This was our first Thanksgiving together (2011)

Thanksgiving 2012 with Jake's side of the family in Idaho

Thursday morning was Thanksgiving and every pregnant lady's dream. 
Not mine.
My stomach shrunk and I felt so tired. I had hardly any energy but I ate. A little.
I woke up and cut up breakfast danishes, then watched the Macy*s day parade.
We spent our meal w/my sisters and immediately headed over to Target to get in line w/all the other Black Friday shoppers.
Except it was more like Black Thursday (or White Thursday as everyone's calling it these days).
Target was selling a 50 in TV for $228 and I thought heck if we're staying in freezing cold Utah, might as well make it fun!
So, we got in line w/all the other crazies and crazies they were.
We had a pretty interesting group in front of us and a rather annoying lady behind us, so we were highly entertained.
I camped out in my chair for three hours, while Jake kept questioning why we were doing this.
We were both so cold and I had to use the facilities but didn't want to drive all the way home to do so.
We saw a friend of ours in line. She got there about 30 or so minutes before us.
I went over and talked to her for a bit and passed some time. 

A little while later, the Target store manager came out and said they only had 40 TVs and would be handing out tickets for them at 7pm.
The doors would be opening at 8 and we knew all hell would break loose then.
We started counting how many people were in front of us and there were about 75-80 people, so our odds were not very good, for getting a TV.
I asked our friends if they would get us a ticket, if the time came and we needed them to.
Thank goodness for them. They barely made the cut off!

Photo taken on my iPhone

All because of them, we have a glorious 50 inch TV in our living room and our nice 32 inch in our bedroom.
Never in my life did I think I'd be that girl obsessed w/electronics, but it happened. 

Photo taken on my iPhone

Photo taken on my iPhone

The day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) Jake and I just stayed in and chilled.
I felt great knowing our Black Friday shopping was over with and done, in just four hours!
We didn't have to go anywhere on Friday and we avoided all crowds. Jake was happy!
He hates them big crowds. Not his style at all.

So we baked and enjoyed a delicious home-made pumpkin roll. Delicious it was.

And of course a home-made apple pie as well. This recipe was not easy as pie.
It was, but it wasn't. It was hard getting the crust just right.

We enjoyed a glorious six days off work. That's right folks. Count 'em. Six.
It was hard going back to work this week, but my energy was no where to be found. I needed them six dias.

Here are just a few things I'm thankful for. And more.
I'm thankful for our life. Our freedom to have chosen to be on this Earth.
I'm thankful for my dear, sweet, funny, and adorable husband who I appreciate more & more every day.
I'm thankful for our jobs and for the health benefits they provide.
I'm thankful for ensuring insurances that give us a back up back up.
I'm thankful for our warm, reliable roof over our heads.
I'm thankful for our nice, clean, updated apartment. We really have it easy over here.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to buy our first home and enjoy the journey!
I'm thankful for this beautiful baby girl floatin around inside me.
I'm thankful for the gift of life.
I'm thankful for my wonderful doctor and the reassurance he provides w/his staff.
I'm thankful for technology and for keeping in touch w/friends and family near & far.
I'm thankful for clean slates. 
I'm thankful for my family and for the love and support they show us daily.
I'm thankful for our continuous friendships Jake and I share w/those of you who are reading.
I'm thankful for babies and the smiles they give me. Seriously guys. I melt. I love your kids!
I'm thankful for modern medicine and those who have perfected it.
Last, but surely not least, I am thankful for my knowledge I have  in the gospel of Jesus Christ. My testimony in prayer has grown more than ever. 

Happy holidays to you and yours! I have so much to be thankful for.