Sunday, December 14, 2014

Happy December

It's my favorite time of the year! 
We are well into December and the Holiday fun has begun. 
Our Christmas Cards are on their way to our friend's and family's homes, 
the Advent calendar is up and the kids are reading off each days fun activity, and 
Tiki the elf has made an appearance once again! 
{our advent countdown}
Tiki has been at it again, popping up everywhere in the house. 
Some days he even makes quite a mess. 
{Tiki apparently likes to play Fruit Ninja when we are asleep!} 
The Christmas decorations are all up and we have been enjoying the 
Christmas light glow at night.  We have old and new decorations. 
We added a few new ornaments this year to our tree, my favorite being this little 
camper which is a reminder of our "Home away from Home".
 This tree is new too! 
This is a replica of my Grandma Aggie's Christmas tree that she always had lit up on her
stereo cabinet, we all got one last year and what a great reminder of her it is!  
The making of Christmas gifts are well under way. 
Gigi's new skill of knitting, has her making wonderfully warm gifts for everyone on her list. 
I've got quite the pile of unfinished Christmas gifts that I've been working on too, it's a good thing 
that I have 11 more days left. 
December also means giving to others who are less fortunate. 
One of my favorite things to do with the kids is pick out gifts for toys for tots and 
our Angel Tree recipients.  
Taking the kids to the store and telling them to get gifts for other children who might not have 
any toys or aren't as lucky as they are creates some absolutely wonderful conversations about 
giving and how it is so important to help others.  

When asked during an interview what is the one trait from your parents that you would like to 
pass onto your children?  My answer without hesitation was the love of giving to others. 
My parents couldn't have been more generous in their giving and I only hope that 
I am as good of example to my kids that my parents were to Nate and I.
 My son's favorite thing about the holidays is the dressing up.  
Yes, you read that son. 
He couldn't wait to get his suit out this week for the school's Christmas program. 
The kids looked so amazing all dressed up in their Christmas outfits on Friday. 
I did learn that I need to do a little shopping before Christmas for dress shoes that fit, longer dress shirt, and 
a pair of tights with no holes.  

But the important thing is from these pictures you can't see any of those things.  
Just the smile on their faces! 
I hope you are enjoying the Holidays as much as we are. 
Happy December! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Briggs {7 months}

Can anything be cuter than this?
 Look at those cheeks! 
And those baby blue eyes! 
While we were home for Thanksgiving, I took some shots of this growing baby boy. 
His baby pics can be found here and here

I was with Baby Briggs and his parents on Wednesday night of Thanksgiving, and 
the boy is one of the most layed back children I've ever met.  He just 
hung out with all of us adults and absorbed all the craziness that was going on.  
I hope they have lots of babies!  heehee

I feel honored every time they ask me to take pictures of their family because I am 
in no way a professional.  I make amateur mistakes and take photos just for fun, but 
when you look this cute it is hard to take a bad picture.  ;-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

May your days be merry

If I am ever in a bad mood, I only have to look at pictures of my nephews to 
get a smile.  These three handsome boys are adorable.  
A sneak peak into their family session.

{these boys and their daddy}
 {Santa, we've been really good this year}

These boys did so much better separately than trying to sit together and smile. 
Group photos of the three of them are always a little touch and go,but when I put them on their 
bed and told them to jump and play they did awesome. 
See -- pictures don't always have to be torture.  :-)
I think mommy and daddy are happy!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's a Wonderful Life

So yesterday was my son's birthday.
He turned 9.  I am in denial, because every time I look at him I see this boy... 
my three year old, full of energy, happiest laugh ever boy.
But my mommy vision makes me blind to how much he has grown up. 
That smile hasn't changed though! 
 Since we have three birthdays in the family between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the holidays 
seem to be extra chaotic.  Bubba thinks his birthday is the BEST because St. Nick arrives with presents
in the morning and he opens birthday gifts in the afternoon.  
Pretty special. 
When I asked Bubba what he wanted to do for his birthday his response was "play Xbox all day."
Oh how this made me cringe.  I even apologized to the boy's mothers who came over for the sleepover 
that their child may be playing a lot of video games. 
I did have to add my touches though, a basketball court on the floor and a chalkboard scoreboard.
My boy is not a cake lover.  I can't tell you how many birthday parties where he has declined cake.  
I learned early on that getting him a cake is not a treat for him. 
We've done ice cream, cookie cakes, and even sugar cookies.
This year I had my friend make basketball cookies and check out these Air Jordans.  
Coolest cookies ever!  
Bubba played his last basketball game for the month yesterday and birthday boy had a great game.  
 I whipped my phone out of my pocket really quick to snap this photo of his breakaway layup.  
And yes he made the shot. 

Birthday boy is sleeping now catching up on not much sleep last night.  
As I look at him all cuddled with the puppy on the couch I still see a little boy and can't believe he is 9. 
Bubba's birthday also means that my birthday is next, a harsh reality that mommy is getting older too. 
All in all, It's a Wonderful Life! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

2 Digit Birthday

She's 10 today. 
I cannot believe it.  
This little girl has matured into a beautiful young lady before my very eyes.  
She is sweet and loving. 
She is full of smiles or full of frowns... there is no in between. 
The smile is infectious though. 
She is a innocent girl who had to grow up really fast to take care of her brothers and sisters. 
Her protection over them is fierce.  
It took a long time for her to accept me as her mom. 
We both had to learn how to be mom and daughter. 
It was a tough road, but when the words "mommy" came out of her little mouth it was 
not taken lightly.  I cried tears of joy. 
You are my Miss Independent, my "I can do it myself" child, but you can count on your mommy 
always having your back and being there if you ever need me. 
  Sometimes I may scold you, some days I may get mad.  
But no matter how I may act, I will NEVER stop loving you. 
You are my princess.
 Happy 10th Birthday Rosie Posie!! 
I love you to the moon and back. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Let's Go Glamping

Last weekend we celebrated Rosie's birthday with her friends.  
This party was thrown together in 4 days because bad mommy, me, didn't look 
at the calender and see we had no free weekend nights for a while.  
Our daily calender is not for the faint of heart.  
A free night with no place to be is something to be celebrated.
Our girl wanted a camping party. 
I was happy to oblige.  I love party planning. 
With little time and wanting to keep this low budget we pulled our tent out, some 
christmas lights, and a few glitter stars turning our living room into a camping dream.
 I found another use for my gigantic chalk board.
I seriously love this thing.
We also put up a "No Boys Allowed" sign.  
 We hung the stars from the ceiling fan and waited for her friends to come. 
Oh the excitement. 
The squealing could be heard blocks away when the girls walked in the door.
 The night was filled with games, crafts, and eating. 
Instead of a cake, Rosie wanted smores.  
They ended up making smores over sterno flame in the kitchen. 
(supervised of course!)
There were a lot of burnt marshmallows because no one had the patience to 
carefully cook their smore correctly, but they were shoved in their mouths with joy anyways. 
To the end the night, they watched the best camping movie ever... Parent Trap. 
There were lots of naps the next day. 
But one little almost ten year old was full of smiles. 
Friends, sugar, and laughter will do that. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ode to my Childhood Home

It has been an emotional month for me. 
My mother sold the house I grew up in and started the process of moving into town.
I couldn't be happier for her and am in love with her new home.  The laundry room, the sun room, and the cool light fixtures are all things I would design for my dream home.
But leaving a place you've known as "home" your entire life isn't easy. 
My husband reminds me that it is just a house though.  It isn't my mom, it isn't the memories, 
we are only leaving behind the physical address.  
In fact most of the "stuff" in the house is moving with her. 
Don't know where it is all going to go, but it is packed up.
A home isn't a single address on a map, it is wherever the people you love are.
So this post is my "Ode to My Childhood Home".
The memories, the laughter, the family gatherings, and the love we had in that home for over 40 years.  
 The kitchen, always the most used room in a home, holds many memories of holiday meals and home cooked meals. 
So many birthdays were celebrated there, so many candles blown out.  

The house has changed looks over the years.  
The plaid wallpaper has been replaced, the orange/brown carpeting has been updated, the main bath no longer has a pea green bathtub, and even the Christmas tree has gotten a face lift. 
The family has really grown in this house too! 
12 grandkids who have loved going to Grandma's house.
  I have to be honest though, some of the hard part of leaving the house, is dad's presence there.
I walk in the front door and picture my dad sitting in the mauve chair in the living room reading a newspaper.
I see dad tinkering around with another project at his workbench in the garage.
I walk into my parent's bathroom and see my dad at the sink shaving.
Keeping this residence doesn't make these memories anymore real.
I will always be able to hear his laugh and picture his smile, no matter
whether my mom lives in this house or not.

So Sunday I said good-bye to the house, not the memories. 
The memories I hold onto and start making new memories at 
my mom's new house.