Merry Christmas 2015

As the kids rode their bikes and I walked behind them with Mac, I couldn’t help but feel the warmth of the season. The sun was setting in the most beautiful way, there was a chill in the air and the sounds of kids laughing as they rode. It has been one of the best Christmas seasons yet!

Here’s what we’ve been up to….

We talked to Santa during Dad’s Pancake Breakfast after mass (it was a promotion Sunday so B had to wear her uniform). He might have been the sweetest Santa ever! Auggie snuggled into his lap and told him all about the things he wants – like a fire truck that he can ride on and squirts real water (“Santa” had his work cut out on that one….).


Our annual tradition of Zoo Lights (or YOU Yights as Auggie would say) lives on. Auggs was so unbelievably excited this year! It was the best. Don’t let that face fool you – he was mid sentence about how awesome the trees were and he couldn’t stop talking to take a picture.



For what we think is the fourth year in a row, Stephanie D, myself and our friend, Susan, braved the cold and crowds to go to the train park lights.

Look how little they were!

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And so big now


We had Christmas programs and Advent concerts. Both of them sang their faces off.


We hosted Peter’s client party for 55 people (I think I’m still recovering) and attended a record number of parties – we’re very popular apparently.

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And cookies. Holy moly the cookies. We went to a cookie decorating party, a gingerbread house decorating party and then because that wasn’t enough, we made cookies for Santa with friends.


There is a big difference in how boys and girls decorate cookies. B spent 45 minutes decorating 6 cookies very intricately. Auggie opened his sprinkles, dumped them on the cookie and shoved it in his mouth. Game over.


The kids had never done gingerbread houses before. They loved creating a little world out of candy. They also ate a ton of it, hence the faces.


Santa is going to be one happy camper this year.

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I hope your season has been just as fun. Merry Christmas!!

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More Christmas

I want more Christmas. I want more nights snuggled on the couch, watching holiday movies. More cinnamon candles. More holiday parties. More Christmas cards. More excuses to make and eat a lot of sugar cookies. I’m not ready for it to be over!

And here’s why…we had a great Christmas season:

We visited Santa’s workshop

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Rode the camels at Zoo LightsIMG_2701 Someone insisted on going by herselfIMG_2699Braved the lines at the Train Park with our friends, the D family, for the 4th (we think…) year in a row!

(I swear those kids were happier than they look in the picture…apparently waiting for an hour to ride the train took it’s toll…)



Made some super awesome cookies for Santa. Note the difference in Baylor and Auggie’s decorating technique.




And celebrated with the whole family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!


FullSizeRenderI know by the end of the week I’ll be ready to pack it all up and be ready to be done. But for now, I’m soaking up every last minute.

Oh How They Grow

We got the best surprise at Auggie’s school Christmas program last week – he sang! My money was on him crying his eyes out the entire time. But instead, he quietly sang along to 1 Little 2 Little 3 Little Reindeer and was particularly enthusiasic about the HEY! arm swing and all.

Sadly, his perfectly matched and pressed pants did not make it to the show. Sigh. Oh well. At least he was wearing pants, even if they were his back ups.

Please forgive my pictures – I was A. hiding from him and B. not using a flash so I didn’t distract them!

IMG_8035 IMG_8037 IMG_8038At this point my mom leaned over and said “Goodness they are tiny! I can’t believe B was this small at her first show!”. I dug around and sure enough, they were that small. It’s so cute to see all her buddies in these pictures were singing with her this year too.

IMG_3603 IMG_3607 This kid has never been shy a day in her life!IMG_3613

 I’m trying not to get emotional thinking about this being her last preschool Christmas program…



Singing her face off…


Stretching Christmas

I need more Christmas. Christmas time, really. I need more festive parties, quiet nights watching movies, cinnamon candles, cookies, good excuses to leave work early, letting the kids eat too many Hershey Kisses, more of all of it! I’m not ready to say goodbye yet. I need to be eased out of Christmas. I mean, we start sneaking Christmas into our lives in late October, why does it just have to go – bam- done-! I need some time to say goodbye. I’ve still got cookie dough in my fridge for Pete’s sake. Therefore I am protesting. Christmas does not end in our house until New Year’s Day. And really, that’s only because the tree will be like really dead.

Family pics!



Lovely cousin Madi


All the cousin’s except Ms.Z – sad. And if we could figure out how to make Mason sit still…I’ve got like 6 pictures where all I can see is his posterior…Thank you Mason.


Those curls


Checking out Noni’s Nativity scene


Christmas Eve ended with an all out cousin wrestling match



 Christmas morning brought presents from home, Aunt Nancy’s and Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Santa broke his back getting all the goodies to some very happy kiddos.

“I got my wish!! I got my wish!!”



The new tool table was a hit with everyone!


Mackie loves Christmas too


 “Auggie, that’s not your gift. Auggie!! That’s not yours!!”

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Auggie crawled away with his truck for some alone time…


Presents were followed by my mom’s world famous brunch. She makes enough food to feed an army and we all attempt to eat like an army. The day wound down with a warm fire (backdoor open of course because otherwise it was too hot), Christmas tree lights, stretchy pants and playing with all the new goodies! Which is exactly why I need at least one more week.

Surprise Santa

Last night we were invited to our friend and neighbor’s home for a little surprise party. The special guest? Santa!

Their family has been inviting Santa to their home right before Christmas since they were kids – in fact it’s the same Santa. The looks on the kiddo’s faces when they heard the sleigh bells was priceless. We are incredibly blessed to have such fun neighbors who included us in their party!

“Do you guys hear something?!?”



It’s so strange. We’re really not sure where she gets her chattiness from….Santa was impressed / a little overwhelmed by her detailed wish list.


Auggie was a little unsure.


Warming up with high fives

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Hands down my favorite picture of the night. I love how B is holding Auggie.


My little shutterbug. I’ll finally have someone who wants to geek out over lenses with me.



Come On Ring Those Bells

This past Friday we saved almost an entire pew in the chapel of Baylor’s preschool for family and friends so that we could all witness the adorableness that is the preschool Christmas program. Three songs and a group sing along have never been cuter.

The beautiful stained glass window in the chapel

IMG_5857I’m the mom with the super zoom lens…everyone makes fun until the pictures come out

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This is the picture from the program two years ago. Eeek she’s getting big!


The Elf Diaries

Sort of by accident, the life of our Elf on the Shelf, M&M, has gotten way more exciting. One night after moving M&M for the night, Baylor got up (big shock) and spotted her. So after we were sure she was really asleep, Peter set up M&M in front of the last of our Sprinkles Cupcakes. For added measure, he took a bite…

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The look of shock and complete delight on Baylor’s face was priceless. I realized we’ve entered the phase where she 100% gets Christmas and everything is real and amazing. It was so fun to see her so excited!

Which means we had to keep it rolling…so last night M&M got into the Advent House and raided it for Hershey Kisses. B was equally shocked, but not nearly as delighted. These are HER Hershey Kisses and sharing them is not high on her list. After explaining that we had plenty to go around, she got a little more excited.

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Googleing “Funny Elf on the Shelf ideas” brings up some hilarious and hilariously inappropriate ideas. Check out these on Pinterest.

Christmas Rerun

Everyone was in the mood to have their picture taken (well the little girls were for awhile…) on Christmas Eve so we got some great family shots that were so festive. Although it was yet another reminder that I need to use my gift certificate and learn to use my camera in low light…

Don’t laugh – but when I saw this picture I said to Peter “We have TWO kids! We are a family of FOUR!”. I don’t know why but seeing all of us in a picture made it seem more real than 3am feedings. Did I mention I don’t sleep?IMG_4655

Cousin Zoe, Titi and Uncle Mike

The BIG cousins (this is the point where the little girls and babies were not having it)


PW pointed out that each cousin tortures the next oldest – can you tell who precedes Baylor? Thankfully Quincy doesn’t seem to mind.


It’s too bad we don’t look anything alike…


Three generations. Again, too bad they don’t look alike.


Auntie Ali, Uncle Gary and Mason

After the Christmas Eve festivities, it was time to put out Santa’s snacks – reindeer food on the lawn and carrots on the plate, homemade cookies with milk and a carrot “squeezer” for Mrs. Clause.


Christmas morning came early – even for the kid who gets to nap at will and was the reason no one else slept…cousin Blaise was so awesome with Auggie – and it showed since Auggie was so happy to sit with him. No seriously, that’s a yawn.


I love these:

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Noni and the man.


Waiting for everyone to arrive to open presents got a little long…which apparently in three year old world means you convince your cousin to let you ride him like a horse. Also? Those are only about half the presents #firstworldproblems.


Mason was ready to get his rip and tear on.


Isn’t this cute? Nancy puts all their Christmas cards on the cabinets – adorable!


Dear Santa

Baylor’s list this year includes a baby Bjorn for her doll Shirley and a real camera.  Grandma’s got the Bjorn and we got her a really cool, kid’s digital camera – in pink of course. The thing that bums me out is that Santa is going to get the credit for the amazing present idea!

She’s also so much smarter than me – I started to write out an envelope and she informed me that she’s going to hand deliver it to Santa at the mall this weekend. I’d like to think I just don’t get enough sleep and not that the 3 year old is brighter than I am…