Christmas Eve

Though my house still seems trapped in Christmas chaos (literally), I realize we are quickly leaving Christmas behind us and I need to write down all that happened before I never get around to it or forget. So here you have it, our Christmas Eve.

We "started" off having lunch with Ian's family. I say "started" because Ian actually worked half a day. But, we had a 1pm lunch with Ian's family, then opened presents. That order would have actually happened if there weren't unwrapped legos sitting out with Connor's stocking. As soon as he saw those, he checked out of the whole lunch thing.

 ^^ This kid scored big time in the lego department this year. And, of course, he wanted every single new set built RIGHT AWAY!

^^ The kid couldn't even look away from his legos for a picture with his mom.

After gifts, Ian's mom had stuff set up for the kids to decorate cookies...or really just to get the kids all hopped up on sugar just before taking them to church!

After this, we all headed to church for the Christmas Eve service. This has always been my favorite service. This year Connor went and sat on the stage when the pastor read a Christmas book. He was very well behaved, but that was because he had one of his new legos with him and was playing with it ;) At one point, he even held it in the air. But he was calm and quiet and that is about all this mama can ask for. Isla lasted for about half the service, then I sat in the lobby with her and watched the rest on one of the tv screens.

After church, the four of us headed home. I made chicken noodle soup in the crockpot and it was sitting at home waiting to warm our bellies. It was nice to head home so early on Christmas Eve. It gave us a chance to bathe the kids, then read them the real Christmas story and a fun one about santa as well. As a bonus, we were able to tuck them into bed on time so they got plenty of rest for the long day ahead of them on Christmas.

^^ I know her eyes are closed, but I love that big smile! 

For those of you that wondered about the chaos that goes into getting a picture of two little people together, here you go...

There are actually more pictures of this too. They ended up wrestling, so neither was looking at the camera. Oh the memories being made!

Next up, Christmas...but at this point, that will have to wait until next year. I hope you all have a safe and fun time ringing in 2014. Happy New Year!


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I'm glad I did this challenge, as it forced me to remember to get in some pictures with my kids. However, it also taught me a lot too. Things like I don't like not having control of the camera. Pictures just never seem to turn out the way I envision when I am not holding the camera. And, yep, I learned I am pretty dang anal about some things! Getting pictures in focus seems to not be easy with the three of us in the picture. And, well, getting a picture of the three of us smiling all at the same time is just impossible. 

I really enjoyed that I added in "this week" to the weekly posts. It allowed me to put random things that were happening with the kids on here. And since this here blog really is my diary of sorts (and the kids baby books...until I finally make them) I like having an easy way to track what has been going on. 

I'm toying with the idea of doing another weekly photo for 2014, but this time without me in it. Possibly a weekly photo of each kid with a short description of what is going on with each of them that week. Or maybe a monthly photo of them at the same spot throughout the year. You know, to watch them (and the seasons) change. Of course, unless that spot is my front yard, I can only imagine trying to get to the same place once a month! Doesn't sound hard in theory, but putting it into practice is a whole other story. 

I love these kiddos of mine so much. They literally are my world (After all, I do take care of them 24/7). And I am glad to have some pictures to prove to them someday that I really was young once and they can laugh at what a dork I was...or something like that. 

Here's a look back at some of my favorite pictures from the year:

And I can't forget...this week:

  • Isla pulled out her little potty, asked for her diaper to be taken off, and actually peed on the potty!!! Of course, she hasn't done it since
  • Ever since Christmas, Connor seems to keep expecting more presents. 
  • I spent about three hours building legos to surprise Connor with. 
  • Connor got a lego boat for Christmas that really floats. He spent his entire bath just staring at it floating in the water with him. It was pretty dang cute. 
  • I stayed up past 1am two nights in a row. I felt like such a party animal!!! If only I could have slept in the next day until noon, like I did in my early 20's. 

Well 2013, you have been a good year. You have surprised me in ways I didn't expect and have seen our family grow up a little each day. It's been a good one. 

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The {Christmas} Dress Isla Wore

On Christmas day, I dressed Isla in a dress that I wore as a toddler. My mom literally kept every single dress I had as a baby and toddler. And what amazes me is the condition of these dresses. They all are in pristine condition. My kids can ruin clothes in one go! Either I wasn't as messy, or my mom is way better at scrubbing out stains than I am! I digress. 

I was actually nervous about mixing old and new styles together, but it totally ended up working. It is funny to me how much shorter dresses were "back in the day" than they are now. But, it just allows Isla to show off her adorable stripped tights all that much more! 

As for the bracelets, Isla styled those all on her own. As soon as she saw them in her stocking she put them on. Girl loves her some jewelry. 

The dress is actually long sleeved, but Isla kept pushing up the sleeves and since there is elastic at the wrist, the sleeves would stay up when she pushed them up. After pulling them down a couple times, I just decided to go with it. 

^^ Someone didn't want his picture taken

I wish I could find a picture of me in this dress. It just seems so cool that both Isla and I wore the same dress...and I totally love how she looked in it. It is making me think that I need to go back through the other dresses that my mom kept of mine and put Isla in more of them.  

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A 26 Month Comparison

That's 2 years, 2 months for those that don't want to do the math.

Believe it or not, most of the comparisons I do of the kids doing (or in this case, reading) the same things generally are not staged. They just happen. And I happen to go through old pictures so often, that I catch it when they did the same thing at the same age.

These pictures were taken within 4 days of each other age wise. And when I was taking the picture of Isla reading this book (which she reads pretty much every day), I was smiling thinking how excited they would be to be getting their very own John Deere for Christmas.

^^ I am so glad that couch now has a cover on it! It was given to us by an old neighbor and is the most comfortable couch ever, but really isn't a looker. 

As for Isla reading on the kitchen floor, that's how we roll. Just be happy it looked clean that day!

Given the abuse that books get around our house and given that this is one of the more popular books, I am surprised that mostly all the flaps have survived. We have had some books that every single flip was ripped off.

And just in case you want to take a walk down memory lane, here are the comparisons from when they were 22 months19 months, 16 months, 8 months, 5 months and wee little babes

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Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! The last 36 hours has been filled with much joy, cheer, squeals, food, family, meltdowns and enough pictures to fill this blog all year long. Don't worry, I won't do that to you, but I am sure I will stretch it out over a couple posts. 

^^ Twas the night before Christmas...and the kids were up to their normal antics! 

And a sneak peak of what the kids got from us on Christmas morning. After initial joy, there was some fighting over who got to be in the drivers seat. Notice who won. Once it was outside, Connor took over with the driving. In fact, Isla seemed to not enjoy the driving and was content being a passenger. I think it moves a little fast for her, though I am sure she will get over that quickly. 

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. After all the festivities, I am ready to lay on the couch with a glass of wine. 

Making Casual a Little More Dressy

I am a casual dresser through and through. I find it hard (and confusing) to dress outside my comfort zone. And that comfort zone in the winter includes flannel shirts and jeans. Just speaking the truth. But sometimes things happen. Things like no clean clothes or the need for a dressier casual and I have to put some thought into my outfits.

Not going to lie, I was out of clean flannel shirts, so had to try a little harder. But I'm glad I did because it was our Christmas special at church and everyone seemed dressier than usual.

All of this is stuff I have had for a while. The blazer is from my paid working days. Even though I got rid of my "work" clothes a couple years ago, I did keep a couple suits around just in case. So far, that just in case has not been needed. And that shirt has been around so long (and is so stretchy) that I actually wore it when I was PAST my due date with Connor.

^^ The photographic evidence

Isn't it impressive that the shirt lasted through pregnancy and still works?! I think so. Anyway, I have rambled on long enough. Now for the full look.

Jacket: Banana Republic
Shirt: Express
Jeans: Madewell
Boots: Camper

I have a friend that has worn blazers casually for years and I never felt like I could pull it off. It is only recently that I have tried it out and liked it. And even more out of my comfort zone, I even tried being cool by rolling up the sleeves a little. I'm just so proud of myself for rocking something other than flannel. 

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What good is a Christmas tree if we can't use it to play around with?! This photo idea was brought to you by Connor. I got the idea because he was so into looking at himself in the ornaments. So there you have it! And maybe if I had nice balls (hehe, I said balls!) instead of cheap plastic Ikea ones, the picture would have been more clear. But, plastic ones are good for the kids to play with!

This week:

  • While watching a nativity play with Connor, he kept asking "Where's the king that wants to kill baby Jesus?". I now know his favorite part of the story. Of course, he probably imagines ninjas protecting Jesus! 
  • Isla has a new obsession with putting socks and shoes on her hands. Yeah, I don't know either!?
  • If you ask Isla where her tail is, she points to just above her bum. It caught me off guard when she did it the other day and totally made me laugh. You know I now have that on video. 

I wish you all a calm couple days leading up to Christmas. For most, it always seems the most chaotic. Thankfully ours shouldn't be too bad (aka: no last minute trips to the mall!).

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The Yearly Santa Photo

I took the kids for their picture with Santa today. I know those mall santa photos are oh so cheesy and ridiculously priced, but there is just something I love about them. Plus, it is one of the only times during the year I actually step foot in the mall (I'm not a big fan of the mall).

As you can see, Connor was ok with the whole experience. Isla, not so much. Girl was trying to grasp on to me when I was setting her down. After the picture was taken, I strapped her in her stroller and she was giving santa the stink eye the whole time. It was actually kind of funny. Connor has never cried with santa, but has never been super friendly with him either. Tears and all, I like the picture.

You can check out the santa photo from last year here and from 2011 here.

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Christmas Cookies

With Christmas being a week away, I have kind of hit crunch time for fitting in all the Christmas related activities I want to do with the kids. With Isla napping (sorry girl, you always seem to miss out), Connor and I hit the kitchen and made some cookies.

I made the actual cookies, then let Connor help me cut them out and he was fully able to control the never would have guessed by looking at the cookies, I know!

Though it's hard to tell, Connor actually took his cookie decorating pretty serious. After dumping a jar of sprinkles on each cookie, he would use his little finger to try to spread out the mess he made. And him pushing the red hots pretty much all the way through the cookie was pretty much adorable. Of course, many "normal" things he does I find irresistible. I am his mother, after all!

^^ Just when I went to take a picture of Connor and (some of) his cookies, he totally started eating the red hots off the cookies! Talk about being caught red handed!

Since we really don't need any more sweets laying around the house, I decided to bag up the cookies to give to our neighbors as gifts...after the kids each got a cookie.

And, well, I now think I need to make another batch of cookies and let Isla in on the fun. Plus, it means more love for the's always a good thing to be on your neighbors good side!

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