Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Traditions

I read someone else post about the traditions they practice with their children each year.  I didn't think we really had any, but as I thought more, I realized we actually have a lot of them!  Here are all of our traditions:

  • Decorating the house
We had this village growing up.  My dad kept it and loved it so we decided to put it out for him.  I love it too :)  I also put all of his Christmas dishes on display in our china cabinet (behind the village).
  • Getting a HUGE real tree
  • Decorating said HUGE tree while listening to Christmas music and drinking hot coco
  • Our elves come visit- Olivia's is named Sparkle.  This year Sparkle's little brother appeared for Henry.  His name is Buddy.
  • The kids get an ornament and a Christmas book each year
  • Christmas jammies.  This year Sparkle and Buddy brought Olivia and Henry matching jammies and I got them some other Christmas jammies.

  • Decorating a gingerbread house
  • Making treats for the neighbors and delivering them
  • Michael races every December- this year I couldn't go, but my uncle and cousin went, which was so fun!
  • Family Christmas card

This is the one we used on our card.

Henry trying to kiss me (insert heart eyes)

Olivia trying to walk away cause she was tired of taking pictures....God help me with our pre-teen!!

  • We escort Santa around town in a police car

  • Michael and I go to see Nutcracker- last year we didn't because Henry was too new, but we are going to try to keep at it!
  • Christmas Eve with Michael's family at his parent's house
  • Church as a family on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

This all makes for a very busy, but very memorable Christmas season.  I hope our kids remember all of these special traditions and keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


As I've mentioned here before, Michael drag races for fun.  He races a few times a year and we go and watch him.  It is a family affair.  Henry has been a few times before, but he was so young, he wasn't really afraid of anything.  Now that he is older he definitely is.  These races are LOUD....and I mean REALLY LOUD.  Henry is afraid of the vacuum so I thought for sure he would not like them.  Boy was I wrong.  Little man, laughed and clapped and smiled.  He even napped during some of the loudest races.  I guess daddy got his racer boy afterall :/

Henry and his favorite person....Papa!

Daddy racing

Seriously? I'm dying of the cuteness.

Watching other people race.

Henry has to get down there and work on the car with Dada.  It is insanely cute.

Henry's Godfather is also a drag racer.

Daddy even made me get in and try everything on.  So scary! I did not like being all strapped in!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


This time of year we all try to be more thankful for the blessings in our life.  My husband and I have tried to teach our children the importance of giving to others, particularly being neighborly.  I baked pumpkin snickerdoodles for 10 of our neighbors and the 4 of us went door-to-door delivering them in the evening.  Olivia could not understand at first why we were doing this, but I think by the end she knew.  I was surprised by how many of them invited us in to chat and hang out (most of them!).  It ended up being really fun and a good way to get to know our neighbors more.

This evening I was thinking about all of the work I have this week, how I am going to manage that with the kids and Michael working and then how/when I am going to plan and cook Thanksgiving dinner for our whole family.  I immediately thought "I cannot wait for Thanksgiving to be over."  And then I realized that I was so busy and busy trying to teach my kids to be grateful that I missed the lesson myself.  God calls us to be thankful in all circumstances...even busy and stressful ones and I WAY too often forget this.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:18 

I have wonderful neighbors, a wonderful family, a wonderful job and more blessings than I could ever write out on this blog.  The things that cause me the most stress (my children, our house, and my job) are actually HUGE blessings and my favorite things.  I am going to try to embrace my crazy busy life over the next two weeks, take things one at a time and be THANKFUL for all that God has given me in all circumstances.

He was a car mechanic for Halloween.

Typical getting into mischief, but those chubby legs just kill me!

He is a climber for sure!

Our kids have the best grandparents.  We are all so lucky.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Before I had Henry I took a lot of vacations. Everything from long trips to Peru and Hawaii to weekend trips to Sonoma, Joshua Tree or New York. Since Henry came into my life it has been so much harder for me to relax. The complete truth is that adjusting to motherhood has been much harder than I ever anticipated. Everyone always told me I would be a good mom. I loved children and I wanted them badly. When I had Henry I learned that the reality is that I'd lived my life very selfishly (not in a bad way but I was just always only responsible for myself and doing what I wanted). I also learned that I have zero patience. I've really struggled with anxiety, with getting frazzled when he won't stop crying or won't sleep. Much of that has been the hormones and the stress from my dad being so sick but it was also just areas where I needed (and still need to) grow. I've been very lucky having a patient husband.

Because of how stressful motherhood was to me, anytime our routine was broken up, I'd get upset and anxious. I could not handle any glitch in our system. That meant that trips and traveling were more stressful than not. We have been camping several times and we also went to Newport, but none of those were relaxing for me. I only felt refreshed if we left the kids behind. That creates a whole slue of other issues with leaving your baby, finding people to watch them, etc. 

Recently we went camping and for the first time, it was actually relaxing.  I was pretty easy going about getting ready and packing up.  Even though we had some stressful moments, on the whole, the trip was really relaxing.

It feels so nice to be at a point where I can relax with my kids least for now!!

Henry's first bike ride! He loved it and kept using sign language to say "more."

Henry's first boat ride.

After we went camping at the lake we went to Michael's drag races.  I thought Henry might not like the loud cars, but he was totally unphased and had a great time.

After the races, we spent one last day at the lake before we headed home.  It was so nice there, it was really hard to leave.

His belly kills me.  I guess it is time to get a new swim shirt!

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