Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

It's December 27th, I've put my kids in front of a movie  - like a Good Mom - and stepped over the piles of puzzles and blocks to sit down with a cup of coffee and write about our Holiday.
This season I kept trying to recall last Christmas, and I really struggled. I was so grateful I had this blog to go back and look at. It really has helped me capture some sweet memories with my family. So in an effort to catch up, I now begin the Longest Post Ever...
We took good advantage of our Zoo membership and headed out one late afternoon to see the animals and all the lights!

The kids were mesmerized, and so was I!

Abbey and Luke were especially thrilled to see this Gingerbread House at the Zoo! We've had our Christmas books out all month and their favorite by far is GingerBread Baby. They love, love, love it and we've read it eleventy billion times in the last 27 days. 

(Aunt Carol, you gave us this book at my baby shower! We've loved reading it so much!)

This month we had one-on-one dates with the kids. It was my turn to go with Luke, so we went to the local aquarium together =)

And look who we ran into!!

We then went out for ice cream and then stopped at the store to pick out Abbey's Christmas gift...

The twins had their first ever preschool program this month, and as hard as I tried, my camera was not able to properly capture the adorableness that occurred.
I mean, really, how cute are these two and when did they get so big?!

The 3's class got together with the Pre-K kids and they all sang a few songs for us. It was so cute!

We were so lucky to have Auntie Natalie come watch us sing!
And Grammie and BopBop came as well!
We didn't do nearly as much Christmas baking as I'd hoped, but we did manage to make these which were so easy and a great kid-friendly baking project!

And we did make, bake, and decorate sugar cookies as well...

Which, shockingly, if you make sugar cookies before bed, and let the kids sample them, you will have some crazy wild kids at bedtime...

Before we knew it, it was Christmas morning! We set the owl for a little before 8am, which gave us time to wake up a bit and have some coffee before the Twinadoes touched down...

Luke was thrilled to open his new tool set, complete with his very own tool belt!

(He looks SO grown up to me in that picture)

Just as we did last year, we took the kids separately to buy presents for each other. They did SO GOOD keeping the secrets from each other! Dave and I were impressed.
This is Lucas opening the Spiderman with web thing Sister got for him...

And Abigail opening the Horse her Brother picked out for her...

David and I agreed our favorite part of the whole morning was seeing how grateful the kids were. They each kept taking turns stopping everything to come over and say Thank You to us, it was beyond precious...

This picture cracks me up, as it captures pretty well our Christmas morning... Daddy opening/putting together some toy, Abbey and Luke opening new presents excitedly, half in their new jammies they just opened - but still half in their original jammies as they were too excited to complete the task of fully changing...=)

We were lucky enough to get to spend Christmas morning with Auntie Natalie! She was so sweet to let both kids assist her in opening her gifts...=)

Once each of us had opened our gifts, Daddy directed the twins to the coat closet...where a 21" Spiderman and 2foot tall stuffed elephant were waiting!!

Abbey and Luke were THRILLED!
We had been at Costco a few weeks ago and they both fell in LOVE with these items. They asked to buy them that day, and I off-handily said "not today, but maybe for Christmas..." and they then proceeded to talk non-stop about the "BIG Spiderman!" and "HUGE cuddly elephant" at Costco. So, I went back sans kids two days later and picked them up =). It was nearly impossible to hide such large toys for nearly a month in a 900 sq ft house with no garage or basement and only 5 closets. But for $14.99 (the giant elephant) and $22.99 (the gargantuan Spiderman) I had a feeling they'd sell out fast so I wanted to snatch them up!

They each also got these little remote control cars that they have had tons of fun driving around the house...

We were having so much fun playing with all our new stuff, we nearly forgot about Stocking Stuffers...

Dave and I had some happy, happy kiddos on our hands!

Luke, using his new hammer as a drumstick whilst Spiderman observes...

The major bonus of the morning was getting to Skype with Auntie Mem!!

I was so, so happy to get to hear her sweet voice, but it also made me miss her all the more. So proud of her though, and I know she is right where she is supposed to be.
I think the twins' favorite gift would have to be the fridge marble maze thing Auntie Natalie got us...

Daddy, Abbey, and Luke all spent A LOT of time Christmas Day configuring new ways for the marbles to get from the top to the bottom =).
We also got a new floor puzzle!

For Christmas I got Dave (and me) tickets to see a Trailblazers game. I haven't been to one since Nov of 2009  and Dave hadn't in over a year. We had SO MUCH FUN...

....admittedly, part of that fun was the last minute 3pointer we sunk that tied the game and sent us into overtime...(which we WON)...

...but a big part of the fun was being out, just the two of us =). We used to go to these games all the time when we first moved here in 2007, but since the twins have come our budget and time are spent much differently. And while neither of us would have it any other way, it's nice to reconnect with who we used to be, pre-kids, and remember those days together as well.
Final Score: 116 to 112 in Overtime!!

So, there you have it. Christmas, 2013 on the record books.
It was far from Pintrest-worthy.
Our house was a mess most of December. We have loved ones who are deeply hurting. Our schedules were crazy most the month. I only crossed off about 60% of my December To-Do list. I never sent our Christmas cards. Dave's cousin passed away unexpectedly. Luke attempted to move a lit candle on our birthday cake for Jesus and burnt his finger. Chaos got the best of us, and Dave and I lashed out at each other spoke less-than-kind words once or twice. I forgot I'd stored a plastic serving tray in the oven temporally (a hazard from lack of counter space) and pre-heated the oven, causing us to throw out the super-cool serving tray AND sit in a house with all the windows open to air out all the fumes.
I told you, far from Pintrest.
But. We also laughed, a lot. We drove around and looked at Christmas lights, twice. We enjoyed receiving Christmas cards. We made Monkey Bread. We were purposeful about teaching our children it's better to give than to receive. We watched Christmas movies and ate popcorn. We took naps - ALL of us! We wrapped presents. We made Christmas crafts. We listened to Christmas music and sang Christmas songs. We praised God for the Gift of His Son. We curled up together and read Christmas books. We were together, our little family, happy and healthy...and for that, I give my utmost thanks.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


When you go a month without blogging, you feel an inclination to "catch up" on all that has gone on.
I'm gonna ignore that feeling.
The short answer? We've just been busy.
Someday I may get around to posting about our Thanksgiving and November in general, for memory keeping purposes, but not today.
I just had a tender moment with my daughter, and it's put me in a thoughtful place.
I want to remember the sweet rewards of saying Sure, Why Not?
I almost always go in and check on my babies before I go to sleep myself each night.
Sometimes, one -or both- of them will stir a bit and awaken.
Tonight Abigail awoke and said "oh hi Momma, will you lay with me a bit?"
I started to say "Not tonight Baby..." when I realized I didn't really have to turn her down.
Yes, she is a 3 and a half year old in a tiny toddler bed, and there is really no more room for a grown woman in there...and yes, I am aware that when I get up to leave after our cuddle, there is the risk of a full-blown-middle-of-the-night-tired kind of tantrum...and yes, there is a good chance if I give in to this request tonight, she will ask every night from now on.
 If you give a mouse a cookie, right?
But I'd worked a very long day today, and snuggling with my baby girl sounded Heavenly.
So I crawled into that tiny bed and burrowed in with my baby.
I felt her warm, sweet breath on my face as she reached her tiny hand up and cupped it around my neck. I rested my hand on her chest and gave Thanks that her heart was beating
After a few minutes - just as I was settling into the idea that I'd stay there all night, even if it meant my jacked-up back would be in pain tomorrow, when she whispered "ok Momma, you can go back to your bed now. I love you."
I'm so glad I put aside the thoughts of possible consequences or my exhaustion, and just said Yes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Halloween 2013

I wanted to document the twins' 4th Halloween, even if it's mid-November before I do so =)

The weekend prior, we went down to Dave's parents for the day for a pumpkin carving party...


And the four of us came home with these beauties...

(Luke's, mine, Dave's and Abbey's)

One evening the week of Halloween, Dave's work had a pumpkin carving party for the international students. I brought the twins out to run a muck...
Love this boy.

Luke and Abbey were both a little scared of this dude at first, but once he showed them how they could punch him and his body would just bounce right back, they were instant friends =)

Ab's had declined the opportunity to wear her Izzy costume out to the party, stating simply "I just want to be Abbey tonight", but she did have fun playing with some of the dress up accessories they had there...

One of Dave's students was so sweet to spar with Luke =)

What can I say??? The ladies love him...

Daddy accessorized a bit as well...

I got to volunteer in the kids' preschool room for the Halloween party. I wish I could put into words how much joy this brought me. I was so excited to get to observe Abbey and Luke in their school environment. This was the first time ever that I was visiting their turf, and even though I come in to their classroom when I drop them off and pick them up, it's totally different to get to watch them interact with their peers and teachers, and go about their little school routine. I had a blast.

Dave pointed out when he saw this picture that Luke is sitting directly on top of the letter "L" on the rug. No coincidence, I assure you.

We also had our first ever "real" trick or treating!!! We went and visited our sweet family friends, the Todd's, like we do every year. 

Then we went and knocked on a few doors in their neighborhood. Luke and Abbey were in awe of the whole experience!! They couldn't believe all they had to do was knock on doors, say 'trick or treat', and people gave them candy! =). I believe this will be the last year we can get away with only going to a small handful of houses.

It's times like these that make it hard for me to be sad that my babies are growing up, because I'm having so much fun watching them become such cool little people.