wednesday letter: i cry the day i take the tree down

five bonus points to anyone who understands the reference i made in today’s post title. 

THIS WEEK WAS SO GOOD. i cried a lot of very happy tears & i just feel so incredibly blessed to have the very best people in my life. 

something about christmas that i never truly appreciated as a kid is seeing those you don’t see very often. we were able to go to a little christmas get together/party (it’s always a party when the whole gang gets together) with parker’s friends. we played a lot of fun games & had wallaby’s (we lovvvvve wallaby’s. they catered our wedding luncheon. yum. super yum.) it was so fun to see everyone & to catch up from the last time we were all together. since then we’ve added two of the cutest babies (and CHUNKIEST!!!!) to the group, there have been a few friends who have graduated college + got real adult jobs, some went to medical school, a few have changed jobs. it’s really just an exciting time for everyone & we feel so lucky to have such great friends. seeing them was a real highlight of christmas. 

we also were able to go see the greatest showman on earth with two of parker’s friends just before christmas. I AM OBSESSED WITH THAT MOVIE. when i first saw it, i wasn’t too sure about it— it wasn’t anything like i expected it to be. but after listening to the CD on repeat & seeing it a second time, i am completely obsessed. plus i cried like 12 times the first time i saw it. & then cried the second time. so you know it’s gotta be good. 

christmas eve was so magical. we spent christmas eve + christmas day with the banks side. we went to church with parker’s whole family & that was just so neat. and umm. can we talk about the northridge 3rd ward choir?! absolutely incredible. (i’m kind of snobby when it comes to choirs because i was forced to go to collegiate choir concerts for five years & have heard some pretty amazing choirs... so i feel like my opinion is very justified. 😂😂) but seriously. their ward choir was incredible. i’ve never heard a ward choir sing the way they did. and the songs they chose were just beautiful. 

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we exchanged gifts after christmas eve dinner (dinner at my in-law’s house is always incredible & christmas eve dinner was no different. parker’s momma is an AMAZING cook) for some reason, i was VERY excited to do our family gift exchange & i was not disappointed. i loved seeing all of the thoughtful family gifts that were given. (i’m way stoked to go to visit my family this week & be able to do that all over again!)

parker, mack & i stayed at parker’s parents’s  house on christmas eve. on christmas morning, we went upstairs & opened our gifts to one another. mack did SO GOOD. he loved unwrapping his presents & then loved playing with them even more. he sure is a spoiled pup, but we love him. parker & i picked out our own gifts this year (we had good intentions at the beginning of the season, buuuuut i can’t keep a secret...) i got a lot of long sleeve shirts (which i am VERY excited about!!! i’ll write more about that later) & a watch. parker got a fitbit & a raiders hoodie. our christmas was simple, but just right for us. 

we had the traditional banks christmas morning cinnamon rolls (i am a HUGE fan of this tradition), took the traditional stair picture & then opened presents together. we visited both sets of grandparents & just hung out. it was a perfectly chill christmas. after we got home, we visited with my grandma at the end of the day. it was such a wonderful day. 

on tuesday, i had a short work day so while waiting for parker to be done at work, i went for round two of the greatest showman. I LOVE THAT MOVIE. it is just so, so good. 

this morning, i had my last wedding of 2017. it was at the salt lake temple & eldredge manor in bountiful. it was the perfect finish to a great year of photography. (i shared some of my favorite shots from 2017 in this blog post, if you wanna check it out) you can also see lindsay + brad's bridals on my blog here

there is just something so magical about this time of year. i am so grateful that we take a month out of the year to really focus on the Savior + being with our loved ones. i think the grinch was right-- maybe christmas doesn't come from a store. maybe, christmas is a little bit more.