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?!?”

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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.

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Auggie was a little unsure.

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Warming up with high fives

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

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

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The Happiest of Hours

We live in a one of those weird neighborhoods where we know (and like) almost everyone on our street. Not only that, but there are a ton of kids and they have a blast playing together. Another benefit is when you get a text from a neighbor at 8am that says “Does 345 work for wine/bikes?”. The answer is yes. Yes it does.

And this is what 4 moms and 9 kids having happy hour looks like:

Riding down the street

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Controlled chaos

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Bay giving J a ride

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The girls and the babies

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Happy mommas

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Berkley keeping watch

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Auggie and H baby wrestling

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We stayed out until Peter pulled up – it was like your mom calling you home for dinner since he arrived with Julio G’s Mexican food!

Creative Weeding

We live on a great street. We have lots of neighbors with kids and we are friends with a good 80% of our street. Like sit on the patio and have a cocktail, come by for dinner, can you watch my kids for an hour, here’s my spare key kind of friends. It’s awesome.

Friday night, Melissa came by with several bottles of wine (if she ever leaves the wine business, there will be tears). We cracked a bottle and sat on the patio while dinner cooked. I told her about our neighbor to the West kids “borrowing”  neighbor to the East’s scooter. In their defense, the scooter was in the front yard. Now, we’re talking all kids involved are 3 years old and younger. Nothing malicious, but there was confusion about where it had gone and why there was a new toy in the garage.

I joked to Melissa that she was safe since she wouldn’t have any toys in her front yard. She thoughtfully sipped her wine before responding: “Do you think if I tied Smarties to the weeds in my grass, they would steal those?”.

I’m pretty sure we woke up the sticky fingered toddlers laughing.

Will You Be My Neighbor

Saturday night we hosted a neighborhood party. We decorated our front patio with the straw bales from Trunk or Treat (which were actually quite handy), iced down the drinks and set out snacks and set out to chat with our neighbors for a longer stretch of time than it takes to walk by their homes with Bear.

I was a little nervous about it because we know and like a good 70% of our neighbors, but we’ve never had a social setting where we were all together. I was worried people wouldn’t get along or wouldn’t talk – and I was totally wrong. Everyone had a ball and stayed until the wee hours of the night (thank you MH for the delicious wine, however my head did not thank you on Sunday am). The kids ran around like banchies and there wasn’t one fight or tear. They were all having a fantastic time playing tea party, pushing baby strollers and dressing up in capes.

As usual, I got great before pictures, but I was having such a good time, I didn’t get any during the party! But here’s our lovely patio:

{I love the lime green and the orange together}

{Straw seating – we also used it to corral the kids and keep the Bear from running away}

{Our newest Halloween decoration – Baylor shouts “BOO!” at him at least once a day}

{I couldn’t get over how beautiful the Yellow Bells were against the blue sky}

{Looking down the street for her buddy, Britain}

{I always complain that I’m never in any pictures because I’m always taking them – but my little lady was not in the mood to cooperate (I’m literally hanging on to her). Oh well!}

Best. Neighbor. Ever.

The first time I met Melissa, she came by on a sunny afternoon. As I answered the door, Baylor and her cousin Zoe were having a hair pulling / screaming match in the background. The pretty lady at the door said “Hi. I’m Melissa. We met a few weeks ago – but I was wondering, do you drink wine?”. My sister-in-law and I burst out laughing. My response? “Do you hear this shenanigans? Of COURSE we drink wine!!”.

Flash forward a few months and PW and I have become friends with Melissa. We’ve gotten to know her and it’s been a blast!

The other night, I realized while making dinner for friends (who were due in less than an hour) that I was totally out of balsamic vinegar. Despite my obsessive list making, the vital ingredient in my balsamic reduction for the caprese salad was no where to be found. Thankfully, in addition to working for a wine supplier, Melissa is a trained chef so there’s a good chance she will have whatever item I’ve forgotten at the grocery store.

Sadly, she too was out of vinegar. I hung up the phone and began dialing PW to ask him to stop on the way home when my phone rang:

“I felt bad that I didn’t have any vinegar so I’m running to the store. See you in a few minutes!”

And not 10 minutes later, there was smiling Melissa with a full bottle of vinegar. She explained she didn’t want me waiting too long to make the reduction as it leaves the house smelling quite pungent and she didn’t want our guests to arrive and immediately fall over from the smell.

seriously, who does that?! Best. Neighbor. EVER!!