Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lucky '13

It's no secret that our lives are well documented over here...maybe over documented would be a better description? Last week I took on the daunting task of going through a years worth of pictures for our end of the year slideshow. Every year I feel an immediate pang of surprise when I go back to last January and see what my kids looked like 12 months ago - so much younger with their pudgier faces and pigtail-less hair. And then I wish I could go do it all again. Every year we seem to be busier and time goes faster. It is so easy to get lost in the chaos of each day and it isn't until I go back and actually look at our year that I realize how much we did, how much we grew, and really how fun it was.Through the ups and downs of motherhood I am eternally grateful that I get to spend each moment with my kids - hearing their laughter, watching their faces as they learn new things, and giving their little bodies too many hugs and kisses while they'll still let me. And, of course, taking too many photos of all of this. As I go through our pictures I am also overwhelmed with how much the friends and family in our lives contribute to our happiness and shape the experiences that make us who we are. 
 2013 was good to us. One of our better years in my opinion. It started with us moving into this house (which we love) and ended with some exciting news I can't wait to share soon. Looking back at 2013 makes me look forward to 2014 and all the surprises, up an downs, and laughter it will bring. 

Peace out 2013.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas at the beach

Our final Christmas celebrations were this weekend with Grandpa (with the fireworks as the kids call him), DeeDee, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Emily. It was a perfect, relaxing weekend - helped along with some absolutely glorious weather that gave us a great beach day. 
Present opening happened immediately - because well, we were on a present roll!
Grandma Char left some cute Christmas toys for the kids to play with that they played with all weekend.
Lexi with her snowman
 And Dec hugging his Christmas mouse
 Declan was pleasantly surprsied with a talking Dusty toy and a new hangar to keep all of his airplanes in
 Lexi opened a Minnie Mouse helmet to go with her...
 new pink tricycle - complete with a bell and basket!
 We headed outside to give it a whirl
 She was pedaling by herself in no time!
 Declan couldn't resist a ride too!
 We couldn't resist getting our feet wet - pajama clad and all ;)
 Grandpa and Declan did a lot of wrestling over the weekend!

 Lexi looking at the sweet little snow-globe DeeDee gave the kiddos
We squeezed in some park time

 And then spent the better part of Sunday at the beach!

 Someone was a little tuckered out from all that sun! Luckily Uncle Jeff's lap was a nice place to snooze.
 Sunday evening Carie's sister Jenny and her crew came over for dinner. Jack, who is in 8th grade and received a cool video camera for Christmas spent the evening making airplane videos with Declan. As you can see, we all enjoyed watching them!
Thank you sor spoiling us with such a wonderful Christmas and relaxing weekend DeeDee and Grandpa! We love you!

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas

6 am wake up call! We thought the kids would sleep in because our days leading up to Christmas were so busy and Lexi had missed a couple of naps. No luck. 6 am and dark outside and they were raring to go. Well that's what it is all about! So Adam and I rallied. We did make the kids wait for a few minutes upstiars while we brushed our teeth, turned on the Christmas lights and music, and kind of collected ourselves. During this time I caught on tape Dec and Lexi discussing the kiss mark on their cheeks from Santa Claus and also what was waiting for them downstairs:

And then walking down the stairs - the big moment!

I wanted to paint a table for Lexi the way I painted Declan a table a couple of years ago. I was so excited to do it - until I started the project - which took me a lot longer this time. Trying to find the time to paint this without the kids around was a bit tricky, as was making Declan's Lego table. Both were definitely worth it in the end. In fact the kids ate dinner at their respective (painted) tables, getting up to cheers one another occasionally and discussing what was painted on each of the tables. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but my camera wasn't nearby at the time. It was so adorable. Declan hasn't really played with his Lego table yet, but I know it will get used. Stacie gave me the idea. It was simple (and inexpensive) enough to make and has a storage drawer attached underneath to keep all the tiny pieces in one place.

Onto more videos! The stocking discoveries!

Christmas day was just perfect! Fun, relaxing, full of good food and great company! Dare I admit that I actually stayed in my pjs until 1:00? And Lexi never got out of hers! We started with tearing into the presents of course!
On a mission!
 Getting a kick out of a shark ball popper he found in his stocking
 Checking the seat placement on his big wheel!
 Lexi had been waiting for her pink scooter for months! She finally got it! We celebrated by bringing Declan's inside and letting them ride together around the downstairs circle.

 Alternating opening and playing with the toys! So much to do on Christmas morning!
 We paused for some family pics - not bad for using the timer!
 Reindeer ears!
 Time to unwrap some more!

 And take our traditional monkey bread break! One of the tastiest parts of Christmas if you ask me!

We did make a really stupid mistake on Christmas. Up until this point Declan was never into the unwrapping part. He was more into the playing. We always had to coax him to continue unwrapping. After 4 1/2 years, he finally made the switch. And we weren't prepared. I knew Lexi had more presents than Declan. There were a lot of girly things lacking from our toy chest and it was high time for her to have something besides trains and planes to play with! But I didn't think it would really matter. Because we had bought him a Lego electric train. Once he opened that, everything else would be forgotten. So I didn't put much effort into the smaller, filler gifts. Well, all of a sudden Lexi had 5 more gifts to open and Declan had one - a good one. But still, only one.  Awkward. Being that Lexi still wasn't into the quantity of the gifts and was kind of over opening at this point, we threw some of hers in the closet (which we gave to her later) while they weren't looking to avoid some hurt feelings. With that, we handed off the final gifts. Here he is, opening his train.
Christmas joy at its best.

 The remainder of the morning was spent playing and enjoying. It was wonderful.
 Getting a kick out of the remote control car we got Declan.

 She got her Hello Kitty Airplane!
 Aunt Laura and Uncle Scott sent these great bouncy balls from Colorado!

Playing with her remote control My Little Pony car.
 Daddy diligently put together the engine for Declan to play with. The gift far exceeded our expectations. So glad we sprang for it. It was kind of a last minute decision.
 Christmas love.
 And Christmas kisses.
Around 11am our Christmas crew arrived and it was time for more present opening!

 Mimi and Pops got the kiddos bean bag chairs for a little reading corner I want to set up for them. They love their new chairs!

 Love birds
 Enjoying some train time with Pops
 This picture pretty much sums up our Christmas!
 We enjoyed the 75 degree weather and spent a lot of the afternoon at the park. It was fun because our neighbors were out too, so the kids had little play mates.
 Rocking her new scooter!
 Declan loves his new big wheel!

The remote control car
 Uncle Jeff

Back inside for a dress change and conductor attire ;)
And finally, a group pic to end our day!
 It truly was a perfect Christmas. I am so thankful for all of the people in this picture that made our day so special!
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