Merry Christmas 2012

Holy smokes was that fun!!! I’m still coming down from the head spin that was the past few days, but this Christmas will go down as one of the best. We ate and laughed and hugged and played and spent time with so many people that we love. 

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After lunch with Brent’s family on Christmas eve, we came home and settled in for the evening. We decided after dinner to go see the Living Nativity that a local church was hosting. We bathed the kids and put them in their Christmas jammies, then bundled them up and made our way down the street.

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We have spent many nights this Christmas season reading about the birth of Jesus. We’ve put our nativity scene together and talked about Mary and Joseph, the three kings, angels and shepherds. But it was so special to be able to retell the story in a setting where they could see the manger and the watch the sheep and count the angels. I got a little teary eyed as they played O Holy Night and my little ones stood holding the rope fence, mesmerized. Everly kept waving and saying “HI ANGELS! HI BABY JESUS! WHY THEY NOT TALKING TO ME MAMA?” which had everyone around us giggling. 

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Everly was so excited about Santa before bed. We checked NORAD to track his flight path, watched her special video from the North Pole one last time and we decided that since Sparkles the Elf was headed back for another year, we could taker her down and give her some good hugs. For the first time in a month, there were no toddler antics to prolong bedtime. They went down fast and easy and shortly after, Santa made a stop at our house.

Everly has been unwavering in her request for a pink bicycle this year. Santa also brought her some books, play foods, and dress up clothes. A last minute addition - a purple doll which the elves had to scramble to procure after she started amending her pink bicycle request by adding “and a purple baby!” last week.

Arlo got a tee tiny drum set. Which, if we are being honest here, was mainly fueled by Brent’s lifelong dream to own drums since he was a little boy. Arlo loves banging on our neighbor’s set and is constantly pounding on one of the individual drums we have in our playroom, so we knew they would be a hit. Santa also brought him lots of musical instruments, dinosaurs, a balance bike and a truck thrown in for good measure.

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Christmas morning. This is a peak parenting moment. Pure joy. Elation. High pitch squeals  of delight. There is nothing sweeter than watching as they try to reason how their living room has seemingly turned into a wonderland of all their favorite things overnight. 

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Brent’s grandmother, Dot Dot, spent the night with us Christmas eve and was there to watch the children open their gifts from Santa. All four of the local grandparents were also waiting on our doorstep at 7:30am Christmas morning, coffee in hand, to watch their grandbabies open their gifts. So much family love!

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Road warriors! We threw on some clothes and took the new wheels out for a test drive around the neighborhood loop.  Everly’s tricycle is so legit. It may be pink, but she looks like she’s ready to head off to meet up with her biker buddies at any moment. And Arlo is crazy about the Bunzi balance bike. I knew he’d love it!  

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A Christmas day tradition: Brunch at the Gainers house. It’s always a random assortment of friends who stayed in town for the holidays. Everyone brings a dish and Scott and Natasha cook up a huge tray of chicken and waffles. Everly and Mylah love sharing what santa brought them and playing and this year, sweet baby Benji and Arlo spent a ton of time together playing in their new space ship.

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The ho ho hostess. (So cheesy, but man do I love this girl!)

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Our little ones running around the front yard working off some of that Christmas sugar buzz! We left out mid afternoon when a nap was in order.

The rest of Christmas day involved eating lots of leftovers, spending time with Brent’s dad & a visit with neighbors. Laid back and low key - just the way we like it!

We’ve enjoyed such a special few days. Hope your holidays have been just as merry and bright!

Love,

M

Christmas Love.

We were full throttle on the holiday cheer this weekend with lots of fun family activities. Friday night was our annual Polar Express night to commemorate the anniversary of the first date Brent ever took me on.

Everly was really interested in the North Pole scenes in the movie and was enthralled when Santa made his entrance. In years past, our visits with Santa didn’t go so well, (see exhibit A & exhibit B) but this year, she’s been really interested in reading books about him and asking questions like “Is Santa nice? Does Santa have grandkids?”

She was really excited to go see him this year and tell him what she was hoping he would bring her on Christmas morning: ” A pink bicycle!” she has said adamantly for over a month now. I learned that one of my favorite local garden centers was hosting a night with Santa. Instead of fighting the crowds at the mall, we made our way to Logan’s to take in their beautifully decorated trees and pick out a big, red poinsettia for our front porch.

Before we left, Everly got in some practice hugs on our neighbor’s inflatable Santa

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The wait to meet Santa at Logan’s was only about 5 minutes long but when Everly spotted him sitting ahead of us she was so excited.

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She climbed up on his lap and became very shy. He asked her lots of questions and she told him that she was hoping for a pink bicycle with a baby carrier so she could ride with her dolls. I could tell she was still a little unsure of him, but they talked for several minutes and she asked him about Rudolph. It was so sweet to watch.

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Arlo had just gotten up from a nap and he was being really clingy, but I decided to try and take one quick picture of both of them with Santa. He was not pleased with this idea and so I snapped a quick, sad photo of the both of them and scooped him back up again. Poor buddy! Maybe next year…

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Later, I asked Everly what she and Santa talked about. She said “He told me he liked milk and tookies and chicken.”  Ha! I learned something new about the big guy this year… we’ll have to keep that in mind when we put out a plate of goodies on Christmas eve.

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On Sunday afternoon, we invited the Gainers over for a little gingerbread house building. I saw these kits at Trader Joes the other week and thought it would make a fun activity for our families.  We recently moved Everly to a different preschool program and now that she and Mylah are not seeing each other during the week, they are pretty adamant with Natasha and me about making sure they get to see each other on the weekends. We get our families together often, but we all can get busy with life, so it’s kind of nice to have these two teeny girls reminding us of how important it is to make face time with our dearest friends a priority.

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Almost three year olds have very little self control when they are faced with a muffin tin full of sweets and while we tried to get them focused on putting the candy on their houses, they were way more interested in trying to cram it in their mouths.

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Our finished house (on the right) is currently living on a high shelf in the living room, out of reach of sugar hungry toddlers and boston terriers. (One year, our dog Bailey got on our dining table and ate a hole through the roof of our gingerbread house! Those tiny little doggy teeth marks down the roof line were hysterical)  Everly keeps calling it our “ginger ale house”.

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I love watching these two together. They each are growing into such fun, beautiful, loving little girls. I marvel at how distinct and different their personalities are, and yet how happy they are when they are together. They argue and love and laugh just like sisters.  This Christmas feels particularly exciting because our girls are at an age where they are old enough to take part in and understand the wonder of the season.

"Christmas is sights, especially the sights of Christmas reflected in the eyes of a child." — William Saroyan

Love,

M

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