The Alston's holidays have been full of festivities!
First - no, your postman did not lose the mail this year... we did not send out Christmas cards. We always have tried to at least do a few in the past, but this year it was just not happening. At least you can all keep up with us online!
The most recent and exciting change was my hair makeover. Our good friend, Jared, really did a big change and I love it!
Jon and I had the most fun taking these before and after shots :) haha! I tried to look as terrible as possible in the first one, so I didn't even brush my hair, but it was so hard to keep a straight face! Really though, my hair was in need of a lot of help. I had major split ends and was so tired of the same old style. I'm actually very proud of myself for letting it grow as long as it did. I usually like to change my hair pretty often.
The best part about this cut is that it is PURPLE and choppy short underneath, which makes for fun styling options:
We've been able to see a lot of friends this holiday season too.
We made gingerbread houses with the fantastic Goffensons:
Tim and Ali's house was named the Bluth home, for obvious reasons...
The house that Jon and I decorated was over the top (of course)
Banana chip shingles adorned the roof with pretzel rod borders and candy cane porch rails
A cheerio and M&M path lined the way to the door over the lake while coconut snowflakes covered the green icing trees and chocolate drizzled popcorn plastered the walls.
looked like Hansel and Gretel's dream home to me!
That night we had Pizza with the Joyners to say goodbye to their grandmother who was heading back to Mexico before Christmas. She loooves baby Kate and I was excited to take this picture of Grandma Aby with Kate talking and laughing at her before she went home.
This is our little family on Christmas Sunday. It turns out we didn't get a lot of pictures on Christmas, but I did get plenty pictures of Katherine :) haha true parent...
Christmas Eve, Kate wore her gingerbread dress made by my coworker Lyn.
Here she is sitting still so that you can see her dress better
That night after work we had our annual MexItalian feast with the Joyner's. So delish! I love raviolis with refried beans, ceasar salad, tamales and spanish rice with garlic bread :)
Christmas morning we had breakfast, opened stockings and exchanged presents with Jon's family.
Kate got this awesome dog/teething toy from her cousin, AnnMarie! There is a big dog with texture toys attached and a smaller dog that sits in a front belly pouch (apparently this dog thinks it's a kangaroo) so we lovingly named it Doppleganger.
Christmas afternoon we exchanged presents with my family and had dinner and pie :)
Kate got this awesome mini teddy bear in her stocking which we christened "honey boo boo". She would not stop holding it!
Grandpa and Kate had some super fun playtime
and then fell asleep on the couch together after dinner.
Jon and I were very blessed this year with our families. It is so nice to be able to see them both on Christmas! The best gift I received on Christmas day this year was from Jon. He made me a hardcover wedding album! I'm always saying how I'd love to have one since we are always making them for the weddings we photograph and when I opened it up I knew IMMEDIATELY what it was and started crying. This was such a thoughtful gift, and it was a total surprise. I had no idea he had been working on this and I know how much time goes into it! I was absolutely thrilled :)
Christmas also brought a lot of crafting for us.
I worked on making us matching stockings now that we have Katherine. Hers was the only one that I 100% finished, but luckily Jon and I still have our stockings from childhood.
Jon helped me pick out the fabric. 2 stockings will have this red heel, toe and top band, while the other 2 will have the same fabric print, but in green as the accent.
The inside of the stockings are lined with holly berry fabric:
I was really excited to see how it looked hanging up by the fireplace! Once they are all done I will add our initials. I just haven't decided quite how yet.
We also designed these for my niece and nephew who homeschool. They are wooden pencil holders for their work desks. We were able to get the unfinished wood pencil holders from Bev's and then woodburned their first initial into it. To say that they LOVE Harry Potter is an understatement, so Garrett's pencil holder has a snitch burned in next to his G and Gretta's has a pygmy puff burned in next to her G. Jon stained and sealed them. I was so excited to see how they turned out!
My favorite thing that Jon handmade this year was this 12x12 photo album for our friends Tim and Ali. They went to Ireland last year and had yet to print out any of their pictures. As a little incentive, Jon handbound a photo album, which turned out awesome! I love watching him design and put together these books and making them so personal. He even made his own book cloth using supplies from Bev's. The Éire on the front was painted in gold leaf over the green cloth. The binding was done with wood doweling and hemp. It really was a work of art!
We really did have a Merry Christmas and I'm so grateful for all the blessings that have come our way this year.
We wish you all a Happy New Year 2013 and will be sharing our new theme for the year on January 1st :) See you then!
Love, The Alston Family
Jon, Steph, Katherine & Margo