Sunday, January 3, 2016


Ah December.  What fun we had & what memories we made.  I am so grateful for the season of Advent & the challenge to be intentional & present in the moments.  I'm so thankful that we were able to enjoy both the preparations, the festivities, and the time with those we love.  I didn't fight anxiety this Christmas, and I let go of somethings that would have made us & me too busy.  We tried to choose the right investments of our time & money, and we blessed each other in the spontaneous.  Thank you Lord for December & for this lovely Christmas.

    Our sweet family of 5, soon to be 6!  We hadn't had any pictures taken of us since just after Calvin turned one year old while we were at my brother-in-law's wedding!  We decided that even though we'd be taking some new pictures of us all, hopefully, after our sweet 4th son is born, that it was worth while to add some more pictures before he joins us.  I highly recommend Joleen Haase Photography!

Our sweet little town always has a celebration before they turn on all the city's Christmas lights, and this year we watched with friends & hot chocolate.

I have had the fun of being the room mom for Hayden's VPK class, which meant I was able to put together their Christmas gifts!!  It was such a fun treat, and it was a lot of fun to surprise them with some fun things for the Christmas season.  We love y'all Mrs. Pate & Ms. Smith!!

I have read the same Advent devotional for the third season (Ann Voskamp's), and each year I look forward to it.  I did not even try to read daily this time, but rather soaked in as many days as I could in just a few sittings over the weeks.  I love the reminders of what we are waiting for, what is coming, and what is yet to come!

One new thing we decided to do this year with our boys was to ride the Orange Blossom Christmas Train just south of Ocala.  It was an old beautiful old wooden car steam powered train with a lovely little train station.  The cast of the train was just great - the hot chocolate & cookies were just right - meeting Santa was too much fun & he brought gifts for the boys.  We ate pizza at a great little spot around the corner & overall were so pleased with our time&money spent.  The boys LOVED it & I hope we are able to go again in the future!

Three little matching boys with their bells & Christmas ducks. :-)

We don't put up a real tree because of the fire safety hazard, but this year I decided we should begin having a real wreath every year.  It is the best of both worlds- the lovely smell, not too many pine needles, and the boys get to run through the forest of Christmas trees on the lot!

One of our family traditions is to go see Santa in matching Christmas plaid shirts & choose an ornament for the tree.  These boys are just too much fun & their daddy's family tradition of ornaments every year is living on!

Me&baby boy at 32 weeks!  I loved my new Stitch Fix sweater & my first ever red pedicure treat to myself!  The boys really loved my red toes too, haha!

My sweet friend Hannah made home made ginger bread & invited us to come make houses!  All we had to bring was candy!  What a delicious & fun treat.  The boys had so much fun at Zara's house that they didn't decorate as much as I thought.... but we enjoyed snacking on these houses for sure afterwards!

My buddy singing in the back seat with his Christmas lights necklace & his Rudolph figures after shopping with momma.  He's such a happy little fella- I am so thankful for his sweet disposition.

We made a new candy this year, kind of like rice crispy treats but with corn flakes so they looked like holly.  The boys added berries & had a blast doing it!  Their other favorite is adding at the sprinkles to the sugar cookies!

My lovely girlfriends who are also expecting babies in early 2016!  Our nursery will be full soon!

Daddy had to be on call, so we tagged along one weekend up to St. Simon's Island to play after an ER check.  I had no idea they had such a gorgeous playground & tree picnic area next to the water.  We have found a special spot for sure.

Hayden's VPK Christmas program was something I had looked forward to for weeks!!  After James' last year, I knew the sweetness that was coming & I couldn't wait.  He had been singing the songs for a few weeks & he did awesome the day of the show!  My little Haydie angel.  I love you so!

 He may have been a little nervous, but he have me a big smile after he was all done!

 School let out & the boys were so excited to head down to the Proses for the first of our family celebrations!!  We had to wait on just one last package of gifts to be delivered, and lucky for us it took until just before Santa came riding around the neighborhood with the fire trucks!! The boys were so excited, and the lights & sirens made it quite the festive parade.

 For the first time in two years we were ale to be together with Matt's cousins for Christmas!  We were excited to see how much their children had grown, and we had to take a new group picture!  These little ones are a blessing to our family.

At Mimi&Grandpa's house we started Christmas a little early so we could celebrate with Uncle John & Aunt Kelsey.  We had such a lovely time together- all the little Prose boys.  We were able to exchange gifts & have a lovely Christmas meal together.  We even gave away the magic of Christmas as part of the gifts this year!! ;-)

Our 'Christmas Eve' decorating with frosting & candy!

'Christmas morning' with fun pjs & pancakes & the beauty of the tree.

The fun of exchanging gifts.  The boys were so excited they could hardly stand it!!

 The rest of the extended family came over to see John&Kelsey so we had to take another picture of all the little ones.  It is amazing to see them all standing next to one another- I love seeing how tall they all are!!

Aunt Natassja captured this one of me&Calvin.  My sweet boy actually had pneumonia this year while we were away from home.  We made a late night ER visit to make sure he was ok, and thankfully it was only a 'walking pneumonia' on one side.  What a little trooper!

Aunt Natassja & Aunt Kelsey had the same idea and gave everybody selfie sticks for Christmas gifts- so we had to practice our group selfie skills!

First family selfie!

We headed home to celebrate Christmas after Matt finished work for the week.  We had a night of going to see Christmas lights, and we attended Christmas Eve service.  We were so excited that Mimi&Grandpa were able to come up late on Christmas Eve and spend the night!  The boys had such fun having them with us for Christmas day, and so did Matt&I.  It was a lovely day together!

We had some special gifts this year including a box of Ohio State shirts for the boys from my Aunt Cindy & Uncle Robbie!!  What a fun surprise!  The boys loved them.  One of the most special things about kindergarten & preschool was that all the boys made us special gifts at school & brought them home!!  We had a few true surprises on Christmas morning, and James' made me tear up with his own hand writing & his precious hand print snowman that he drew faces on himself.  I absolutely love it.

 The beauty & the chaos.  I love it.

My favorite spontaneous purchase this year was the Star Wars stormtrooper masks and nerf guns.  I totally forgot to wash the boys matching Christmas PJs, but luckily we had some hand me downs from Grammy&Papa that very nearly matched & made for this sweet picture.  James looks so tall to me in this picture- I just love it.  A true picture of our Christmas morning.

Our family Selfie!  I need more practice. haha!

A practice shot that turned into a fun shot of my 34 week belly on Christmas day & our Christmas art made by the boys & our meal remnants.  

Thanks for coming up Mimi&Grandpa!!

Another special gift this year was coffee mugs that the boys painted!!  I just love mine.  They painted one for each of their grandparents & for Matt&I.  Mine ended up being special because of Calvin's hand print.  All the cups were finished, but this one had one little space left.  My friend Jennelle suggested putting Calvin's hand on to finish the cup- such a great idea!  I just love it.  I'm so happy to use it- it's my new favorite.

After our celebrations at home, we headed up to Atlanta to be with the Austins.  My sister Christina was able to make it back east for the holidays & my brother's family lives in Atlanta as well.  So this year was the first of many Atlanta Christmas celebrations I'm sure!  As much as we are all spread out & see each other for just short visits, it was a sweet chance to be together.  We seem to have found a way to enjoy each other although we are all so different now, and I am so glad.

The first order of business, 'Christmas morning'!  We started off our visit with a big Greek dinner, but didn't have enough time to fit in presents that evening.  So the next morning we dove in!  I just love this picture of Calvin in his new astronaut costume from Grammy&Papa, our childhood stockings hanging on the mantle, and my mom's face is just the best.

Grammy&Papa treated us to some fun outings in ATL while we were in town.  First we tried out Legoland Discovery!  James was by far the most excited, and we enjoyed a fun time together (despite the fact that they ran out of lunch!)  Everybody was a trooper despite being tired&hungry by the end.

Hayden's favorite thing was building his own race car!

 Our second adventure was to the Georgia Aquarium!  It was really an awesome spot, and it was just as crowded as we probably should have anticipated. ha!  The best part were the whale sharks in their large tank that swim over you as you walk through a tunnel.  It was truly amazing!  They also have beluga whales, which are beautiful to watch.  We will be back... on a slower day, haha!

Group selfie!

 We had a great time at Grammy&Papa's house.  Thanks for everything!

2015 ended with our drive home on New Years' Eve & a win in the semi-final game for my Clemson Tigers who are heading to the National Championship!!  I cannot wait to see them win.  Here's hoping!  These pictures were the 'best nine' from my insta account.  It was such fun to relive some of these moments, and I cannot wait to print out the blog book for the year to reminisce.

Thank you Lord for a truly lovely year for our little family.  We learned we would be adding one more little boy to our family & started beginning of a long stretch of elementary school years.  Thank you for the growth of our family in big ways and in small.  Thank you for your gifts of health to us, as we have watched & prayed for those in our family who have struggled and fought illness.  Thank you for seeing them all through the sicknesses in various forms.  Thank you for your generosity to us & your provision.  You have given more than we anticipated or imagined, and we are grateful Lord.  Thank you for drawing us closer to you, and thank you for knitting us close together as a family.  Please continue to give us wisdom Lord in raising our family & teach us to be more like you.  I cherish the gifts of my husband & children- help me not to take them for granted.  Thank you Lord, for all your gifts.

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