Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Traditions

One thing I always looked forward to when thinking about having my own little family were the traditions we would begin.  I have so many fond memories of traditions that my parents did with my brothers and I that I knew I wanted to make sure to instill traditions into our family also.  Some traditions are ones I grew up with and some are ones Andrew and I are creating with our boys.

Here are some of my favorite holiday traditions:

1. Elf Breakfast
This is one of our first traditions during the holiday season.  The weekend after Thanksgiving, our  boys wake up to our elf's, Jack's, arrival with a special breakfast.  Jack is always center focus on our table and he has brought the boys a little something.

This year I purchased chair backs from Pottery Barn to house the gifts from Jack.  He brought our boys Christmas pjs and a new holiday movie.

2. Christmas Lights
Every year we like to load up and go look at lights.  There are so many neighborhoods that decorate beautifully.  Andrew and I used to be the only ones that would swing through Starbucks and get a hot beverage but this year I *think* we are bumping up the big two to get their own special drinks as we drive around and look.  

3. Christmas Eve Gift
Our boys get to open one present from under our tree on Christmas Eve.  And that gift is new Christmas pajamas to wear as they wait for Santa.  My parents had this tradition when we were younger.  It was something I made Andrew participate in when we got married and we continue it on with our boys!

Is there anything sweeter?

Hudson's pjs via

4. Baking Day
The year I was pregnant with Hudson, my mom, sister-in-law and I began baking Christmas goodies together.  We would spend the day making some of our favorites and then divide up the batches between our families.  It has always been so much fun.  Sometimes we can't all get together with our schedules but on the years it works it is always fun.  And now, I have helpers all my own that are more than happy to mix and taste-test with me in the kitchen!





5. Happy Birthday, Jesus
On Christmas Eve, after celebrating with Andrew's side, that evening we read the Christmas story and celebrate Jesus' birthday.  Before Hudson was born, my mom and I found this wonderful pop-up book that told the story of Jesus' birth in a kid-friendly manner.  After we read the story, we sing happy birthday to Jesus and the boys blow out a candle on a birthday cake we had made. Of all the traditions, I think this one is the most important.  I love the lights and Santa and all the fun, but I want our boys to understand that Jesus is the reason for the season.  That we celebrate his birth all year long because without his birth, we would be without a Savior.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Beau Turns Two!

After moving and my trip to Dallas, I returned with lots of painting to do, a mid-week birthday and a weekend party! Just thinking about November makes me tired!

My original plan was to have Beau's party outdoors during the late afternoon/evening time.  I was going to have chili and a weenie roast, s'mores; just good food for a fire pit kind of night but for a birthday.  I was going to have a bounce house for simple entertainment.  It was going to be fabulous.

Then Andrew kept talking about how early it get's dark and do we really want lots of littles jumping in a bounce house in the dark. And do we want a bunch of littles around fire.  Touche, dear husband.  So I moved the party to mid-afternoon and decided on snack food. (Thankfully this was before I had sent out the invites).

The next game changer was the bounce house rental.  They said they wouldn't rent the bounce house for an outdoor space that late in the year--too cold.  I couldn't wrap my mind around that because Beau's party date last year was beautiful. Sunny, warm. But, you'll have that. So I planned for some games.

Are you still with me? Afternoon party, outside, pumpkin/fall themed games.  Totally fine. Not panicking about just moving because the party was going to be outside.

Until it wasn't.  Because the week of Beau's party fall abruptly left and winter decided to check in.  It was COLD. I'm talking see your breath- is it going to snow- put on your long underwear- C-O-L-D!!

And that is how I had a party inside my half painted house just two weeks after moving in!

In all seriousness though, the party was great! Beau loved all the games. Our friends and family were there and just the fact that after the party we didn't  have to drive two  hours to get home was a blessing.

All the food was in our kitchen. I kept it super simple since the party was at 2 and it wasn't a meal time. I had flavored popcorn from our local popcorn shop, made a fall trail mix, and had pumpkin dip with apples and vanilla wafers.

The past few years I have made the boys' cakes.  This year I delegated that task out and am so glad I did!! Lady Pine Cupcakes did them and they were amazing! She had so many flavors but I kept with our fall theme and we had pumpkin pie, caramel apple and s'more.  They were all soooo good! {Yes- I had tastes of each! Don't judge!}

We did pumpkin bowling..don't worry..Andrew cut off the stem before we started. And how cute are those burlap covers?!

The birthday boy setting up his "pins"

 Hudson trying it out

We also did a "pumpkin toss" 
I wrapped toilet paper rolls in orange fabric and tied them with twine.  
{Please excuse the fact that our paint hadn't been trimmed out.  My type A personality was seriously tested} 

We did a balloon race.  The balloons were orange--get it--like a pumpkin! ;)

All this fun was absolutely exhausting!

Happy birthday again to our blonde, blue-eyed boy! Xoxo

Monday, December 1, 2014

Taking it back to Halloween

So you see--this thing called moving happened the very same weekend that Halloween happened. And then a whole lot of life happened.  What didn't happen? This blog! #bloggerfail

But it's ok.  We are just going to have a little throwback for awhile as I catch up everyone (hi, mom) who reads this.  Because no one likes missing pieces of a story, mmmk?

On Halloween, the boys woke up to a fun little breakfast, their Halloween bags holding a few treats and a house pretty completely packed up.  Writing about it now I feel like it was years ago that this happened.  I can't believe we moved away only a short month ago.

Anyway, back to Halloween..

Do you see that it is still dark out? My kids have  been waking up early ever since! 

The plan was for us to take the boys to our new (well, new again) town so they could trick or treat there that night.  I knew trying to keep them occupied in a house all packed up was not going to be much fun.  Andrew and I decided since he was coming back late that night to pack up the moving vans that I didn't really need to stick around.  Around nine that morning, I packed all three boys up and headed home.  

I can't tell you how surreal that drive was. I crossed the river out of Pike County and I couldn't even believe it.  In a year so much had changed in our lives.  Andrew and I became a stronger couple; we welcomed a new baby; made new friends; and found a peace in who God was calling us to be.  I never expected to be heading home permanently so soon.  My heart was so full.  It was as if the boys could feel my peace too.  Shortly into our drive, all three fell asleep.  It was the most peaceful two hour car ride. 

We made a stop at Andrew's parents when we got to town for a potty break and to unload.  Then we headed to meet my mom and brother's family for lunch.  Lunch with five boys, three and under, is never boring!

After late naps, the boys woke up to their other cousins (Andrew's brother's family) arriving for pizza and to trick or treat.  Hudson and Lila were really excited.  It was like they really understood how  much candy they were about to get!

My superheroes 

All month, all week even, the weather had been beautiful.  Halloween night was COLD! Like 30* cold! We layered our boys underneath their costumes and left Gabe with the grandparents so we could brave a few houses.  We stuck to Andrew's parents street and that was enough for our crew!

Before heading out

Striking a pose

It was such a fun night! I wish my kids could stay these ages forever.  Everything is so magical and special to them. 

Our boys were pretty wiped and fell asleep pretty quickly after settling down and getting into jammies.  Andrew's night was just beginning. 

But that is another story! ;)