Sunday, December 30, 2012

Polar Express

James got to watch Polar Express this year (a bit intense for his age, but he loves trains & it encouraged his with Santa).  It was the cutest thing for him to see the boy whisper his wish to santa & ring the special sleigh bell.  He was immediately asking to go see Santa himself, and we took a bell off our Christmas tree for him to carry in his pocket-  He was so excited!

 We saw Santa coming through the line & he was trying to get his bell out as fast as he could!

We didn't get a picture of the boys smiling, but at least they were pretty happy to sit together on Santa's lap.  Love their expressions!  precious.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas crafting

I almost didn't even recognize myself after seeing all the crafting & baking being done in my house...  I'm sure my family didn't recognize me either! haha

These are my boys' thumb prints that I turned into reindeer.  I made the mistake of buying glass ornaments and actually broke one by pushing down too hard!  oops.  But, the remaining ones turned out great - were easy to wipe clean for do-overs - and I just loved them.  Gifts for special people in the boys' lives!  and had to keep one for myself too.

So grateful for my new address stamp now that we have a permanent address to use.  Best Christmas cards yet.  Awesome house warming gift from Natassja&Mike.

Hayden wanting to push the buttons on the sewing machine.  Maybe my little helper one day?  Don't worry, unplugged & in the off position.

My trial & errors on making felt ornaments for gifts to our family.  I wanted to make family monograms & start a tradition (hopefully) of making ornaments for Christmas every year.  I definitely had lots of attempts for finalizing my choice of technique and pattern.  I actually kept one of my 'tester' pieces as our family ornament for this year.  Below, the white P on chevron.  Not a total bust, but learned a lot from creating it!

My own finished product hung on our tree.

The finished gifts for my family!  I think they were very well received.  It was fun to make something special & hopefully they know how loved they are.

 Who can do all this crafting without the proper hot chocolate & Christmas cookie?

I saw another idea for using paper snowflakes as part of your wrapping decoration.  I loved the idea & had to try it out on just a few little gifts for Matt's extended family gift exchange (which was a total of 4).  Made it fun to wrap & cut out the snowflakes.  I hadn't done them in years!

I also tried a new sugar cookie recipe this year with a butter cream icing.  Christmas cookie #2 was a big success vs. #1.  The boys got to help roll out the dough and make a tester batch, which we iced and decorated together.  They had such a good time but the dough took some a serious beating!  haha, between the two of them it was quite the effort to keep on track...

We ended up making just a few and enjoying them that evening.  Only baked about 60 cookies that day...  ! haha.  The majority went to our Bible study Christmas party for the kids to decorate, so it was time well spent.

But seriously, I had so much fun.  Crafting is beginning to win me over.  All in moderation...

oh and a homemade apple pie for Christmas dinner.  yuuumm!

1st haircut!

My little man is growing up fast these past few weeks.  Hayden had his 1st hair cut & looks so grown up now!  I had to change him up to the next size in clothes & shoes (at least it was Christmas, good timing!).  Sad to see the little curls cut, but so proud of my handsome boy sans baby mullet! 

Proud of you little fella.  Can't help but just love you.  How do you do it?  ;-)

baby boy #3

This pregnancy has been going well - despite being sick, tired, achy, & growing fast - I am enjoying this time with my 3rd son, who will hopefully have a name here sometime soon that I can put down in stone.

18 weeks - full belly.  Hot chocolate & love.  ;-)

20 weeks - stepping on the scale and seeing those numbers start to rise...

22 weeks - Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Had to buy these sweet little guys for my new guy.  precious elephant lovies that I am pretty excited to monogram once we decide... thinking of you my sweet boy this Christmas.

Oh little town of Bethlehem...

This year we got to come to all the Christmas events that we had been missing these past years up in NC.  We got to go visit & see the 12 ft tree at Mimi & Grandpa's house before heading down to their church for a Christmas musical.  The boys made it about half way, which was just shy of getting to see their grandparents as the narrators for the 2nd half of the show.  bummer, but we were still able to enjoy being a part for act 1!

We stayed over & got a chance just to play.  This picture made me laugh how red even Hayden's hair looks next to his bro & Mimi.  I still don't know what color his hair will be.  It sort of seems to be a strawberry-brunette with some blond highlights.  ;-)

Another tradition we'd been missing was the Walk through Bethlehem in Keystone Heights at First Baptist Church.  Matt&I have been volunteering for this even since we were dating.  He's played Joseph half a dozen times because he was good at handling the stubborn donkey.  I played the angel, Mary, a guide through the city several times, a craft helper, sang carols in the sanctuary, and I'm not even sure what else.  The city has been upgraded since we had seen it last, and it was so much fun to take our boys to see the city & the live musical of Jesus' life.  Loved being a part of this again.

One more favorite from Keystone Heights is Johnny's BBQ.  There isn't anything quite like their curly fries&homemade ranch.  oh man, this preggo mommy didn't even know that I was craving those, but now I am.  Glad we got to go see Bethlehem with you Mimi!

Lovin' our neighborhood.

Holidays sometimes seem to be so full of special activities that the normalcy of play time at the park is lost.  I was so glad to have the time for the boys to play together & get some fresh air in the nice weather.  December in FL - beautiful.

Tire swing with 3 boys.

Even more fun is having dinner together.  haha

I'm glad my boys are pretty good buddies to each other and play everyday so nicely together.  Still lots of crying & hitting & not-sharing & too-rough-tackling.  But glad they enjoy each other so.

We have the best neighbors.  So glad that we can have impromptu play dates with our neighbors down the street.  Love catching all 4 of them in the same frame.

and what a surprise - our next door neighbors rang the doorbell & showed up with a hand made rocking elephant!  An amazing, beautiful gift.

December to remember

We were so excited to see my sis-in-law to celebrate her big 30th birthday & have some much over due play time.  With our move this past summer, we have missed out on seeing our sweet nieces/cousins.  The little girls&boys had so much fun playing together.  It was so fun to see!  Ages: 6, 4, 2, & 1.

Playing big bad wolf (played by Roosevelt Prose).  The 4 pigs house was sturdy enough to withstand! haha

Madeline reading to James all tucked in - all 4 in the theater watching Monster's Inc.  Love Madeline's face. ;-)

Good bye hugs.  Sweet girls.

We stayed around at Grammy & Papa's for the weekend.  Hayden adopted Curious George as his favorite - he showed his affection by walk/running around the house carrying his by the ear.

End of the loop was a crash landing on Grammy's lap.  She didn't mind a bit.

Little James who refused to nap had to play trains while resting his head on the floor.  haha, silly guy.
not tired at all.

Papa's church had Christmas carols in the city 'circle' that we stayed for.  It was so sweet to start the Christmas season off with some hymns & carols - lights - and family.

Little James played just a bit too hard & ended up making his first ER appearance.  Fell, bumped his head and then got sick = needed a Dr check-up.  mild concussion but was such a champ.  Tough night for James but may have been tougher for his poor Daddy&Mommy.

Still grateful for a very smooth recovery for James & the mild nature of the injury.  Grace grace.

kick-off to Christmas

doing a Christmas-in-review this year is a bit daunting but such a precious reminder of all that has been celebrated & decorated & created & enjoyed.  Our boys had such a big time celebrating Christmas this year that I would love to cement all the little details down in time as they are so easily forgotten in the river of days.

Our little guys excited to see the tree all set up (mind you it took several days for Matt&I to get the time/energy to actually get out the ornaments, haha).  They celebrated by sitting next to the tree in their little chairs & reading some books. ;-)

Christmas is exciting!! or maybe just jumpin' on the chair...


This face. priceless.

Naked little guys reading Toy Story from the library.

James singing - Daddy conducting - Hayden covering his ears = dinner time.  love.

Christmas cookie attempt #1 - meltaways & cream cheese icing.  not my favorite.  Thank goodness for the peppermint sprinkles for some flavor, haha.

more reading & snuggles with Daddy.  Why still naked??  It seems I never know what causes these incidents.  Maybe a cookie snack gone terribly wrong. haha

Finally got out the ornaments & only broke half a dozen while the boys helped decorate the tree.  James hung them all at the bottom of the tree in a row & Hayden just thought they were a bunch of toys and broke a few with a bit too much enthusiasm.  

Little decorator & little wrecking crew - my favorite the Little People Nativity! - the bottom of our tree. haha

 Loved my view from my couch that evening.  5 stockings were hung by the chimney with care. ;-)

Thursday, December 13, 2012


In this busy season of holidays&family&friends so many things can make our lives feel busy or stressful or frustrating or stressful.  Feelings of wanting to do more or have more or give more can ache & leave the spirit tired and empty.

So GRATEFUL to have this little kick in the pants during some quiet time at my house = nap time = re-coup time for momma.  Giving thanks to the Lord for what I have & what I have to give makes it enough.  Being ungrateful or unsatisfied or only seeing what isn't will leave me empty.  Saying thank you and meaning it fills the my heart & leaves me to quietly push past feelings of inadequacy.  Just for what I have.  and it is enough.

Thanks Ann.  ;-)  expert from: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  check her out...

Monday, December 10, 2012


Thanksgiving this year was celebrated by us at our home.  No traveling - no 8 hr car rides - sleeping in our own bed, at least for Thursday.  We were able to host our parents for the big meal & spend a few days doing our prep.  We had the motivation to get our last few projects finished up around the house.  NO MORE BOXES & even parking in our own garage.  We have pictures on the walls. ((deep sigh))  The settling IN.has.begun.

Loved being able to bake in my Westie apron b-day gift-to-myself & have my little helpers decorate some pumpkin cheesecake muffins for our big meal.  I managed to wrestle a couple of pumpkin pies into submission as well... baking can be such a challenge but I think I'm improving!

I love catching my guys hanging out together.  I laugh at my little naked man who has become a bit messy at breakfast & ends up naked for a few minutes now and then.

And I thought he was still learning to get down on his belly... he proved me wrong.  2 seconds flat.

I am remiss for not taking very many photos during some family events&gatherings.  I am mostly too consumed with everything going on to snap the pictures that I can in our normal days.  Most people take MORE pictures during holidays, me = less.  Thankfully, my Dad likes to take pictures & he shares!  (more to come...)

My only image of my Thanksgiving table.  My little fella & our new buffet.  Many things to be thankful for.

Glad to get a pictures of Grammy & Papa snuggling&reading with my little guys.  So often the action shots are quick to escape - but gladly I caught up with this one.

Again, my only shots of Thanksgiving dinner at the Proses new house the following weekend - our post-dinner walk&ride with my little scooter.  I was glad to be able to celebrate the new house & be together!

Nana & Hayden cruisin' the neighborhood.

Happy Thanks-Giving.  Giving Thanks for the small moments & grateful for our family.