Sunday, December 29, 2013

my weekend in photos.

we're spending our weekend in indiana with my family, and having a great time. it's a perfect way to wrap up our christmas celebrations, and 2013. i plan to post separately about both our christmas and our trip to indiana.

this little lucy is still one of my favorite little humans in this world.

grandpa is enjoying his baby brooks being here. (so long as he doesn't cry or poop..)

 a rare delicacy it is to spend time with these ladies, buh oh do i enjoy them. we snuck in a girls-only coffee date prior to the chaos that is a 2 year old birthday party.

and ladies night numero dos enjoyed with some of my high school girlfriends. between the 5 of us, there are 9 babies, with one more due to arrive in a few months! 

chocolate cupcakes! yum.

the birthday girl is TWO!

 the bow tie. the hands. the footsies. i die.

these boys rock my world. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

christmas traditions: ornaments.. of a different kind.

first of all, merry christmas. i'll post more about our family's christmas another day, but wanted to share one more christmas tradition.

this one came to be a few years back. it can be filed under the new category, as it is new to me, and new to colby's family as well. i think it is somehow tied to my previously blogged ornament tradition that took a sour turn once the kids were grown. they picked hideous ornaments, and then someone picked this one.

 and somewhere along the way, it found a mate.

and i can't really be sure of their origins because it's a subject that we don't speak of much while "in-season."

so the tradition is this: in a very secretive way, it finds its way from house to house amongst my in-laws. you can find the "sugar plum" pair hanging from a tree in your front yard, from the framing of your new home under construction, in the trunk of your car, or wherever one can place it without being noticed before they slip out of sight. it then stays with whomever's possession it is in on christmas day until next holiday season.

(yep, there's snow on the ground, and that's my child outdoors without a shirt. and actually, without pants too..)

some traditions can be nostalgic and meaningful. others.. you lean into, and embrace the wacky family you married into. ;-) here's to not being responsible for storing them for the next 11 months. merry christmas!

merry christmas to you.

merry christmas to you.
from us.

Monday, December 23, 2013

christmas traditions: the plaza lights

one of my favorite christmas traditions is going to the plaza during the holidays. this is a tradition new to both of us - possibly one of the reasons i like it most. the plaza was one of the areas that won my heart during my kc visits while colby and i were dating - and spending new years together during college usually meant we'd make a trip to the still-lit plaza.

we've only made it for the actual lighting ceremony once or twice - pre-children - but we've always gone up for dinner and/or shopping while it's in all of its lighted glory.

there's something so nostalgic about being there during the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and sneaking indoors for dinner. christmastime is still so magical to me, and i wish this same enthusiasm upon my boys. i love this part of my kansas city christmases.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

my weekend in photos.

can't believe we're in the final days leading to christmas. we're in the spirit, that's for sure. this christmas is bound to be the best yet for owen - we're really excited to experience that with him.

baby, it's cold outside.

he's been working hard on this sitting business. but then he looks up. or smiles. and topples on over. 

 i gladly welcomed (ya hear that? gladly.) our first snowfall to the metro area. just in time for christmas!

so, we stuck close to home and made chocolate chip waffles.

and in no time at all, colby and owen were out in it.

 our wee little family went out for dinner at the plaza this evening - quite the perfect end to my evening.

 also, we made christmas cookies. the "snowflakes" give our hoosier cookies a festive spin, no?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

christmas traditions: baking christmas cookies

a tradition from my own family, much like that of most families during the holiday season: baking christmas cookies.

i loved baking cookies with my mom. snicker doodles, sugar cookies, chocolate chip, mexican wedding cake cookies, peanut butter candy cookies, and so on. my mom baked by the dozens, and i loved being a part of it - whether rolling balls of dough in a cinnamon and sugar mixture, measuring out ingredients, or icing and decorating the cookies, i loved it all. every surface in our kitchen would be covered in newspaper, soon to be covered in various types of cooling cookies.

i remember one year that my brother and i were up in the evening making cookies with my mom. someone was tired and acting fussy, so my mom decided it was time to send us both to bed. devastated, i obeyed, but it was not much longer after lights went out that my bedroom door cracked open: it was my mom inviting me back downstairs to finish, while my grouchy brother was left to sleep. it was such a special treat in my little mind, and a memory i carry with me to this day.

sugar cookies, though not my favorite, are a staple at christmas - especially with little helpers around. this year we used a recipe found on pinterest - both for the cookies and icing. the gel-like icing is unlike what we used growing up, but it does dry nicely which is helpful for little fingers.

below are some of our masterpieces from this year. not much traditional took place. one day, i'll invest in some christmas-themed cookies cutters. until then, i'm just going to embrace my not-so-traditional christmas cookies (and the memory of creating them together) made my my family.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

owen's christmas program.

it's a certainty that i was more excited than owen for his christmas program this year. it was his first, and my favorite christmas program to date.

i came equipped with my iphone only so picture quality is lacking (to say the least), but i'm sharing anyhow. and cooperation in posing for pictures isn't his strong suit. ;-)

while waiting for the show to get started, and all the children were finding their places, it took owen no time at all to spot us in the (surprisingly large) crowd. he waved several times. 

we expected him to stand up there like a deer in headlights, relatively inanimate. this kid is full of personality, but new situations or large crowds can sometimes leave him intimidated and quiet. this wasn't one of those times. 

he did awesome. a tad on the silly side, but mostly well-behaved. (with a moment of distraction by the cool 5 year old boys behind him.) he sang, and even sang so loudly in one of the songs (go tell it on the mountain) that we all very clearly heard his voice. he did the motions, and thoroughly enjoyed doing them. he was the only child up there who bowed at the end of a song when he heard an applause. i just grinned from ear to ear the entire time watching him. 

he was so comfortable up there. without me. my baby is growing so quickly.

here's his away in a manger performance. ;-)

Monday, December 16, 2013

my weekend in photos.

i do love city lights during the holiday season.

 we had my holiday work party over the weekend. a good time to get our selfie on. framer!

a late night and some homemade stoli dolis at our holiday party sure hurt the next morning, but at least my alarm clock was cute!

 i need to work on taking pictures of something besides my bald baby, but oh he's just so scrumptious. 

and happy.

 i feel so blessed to work with some ladies who have become some of my closest friends.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

my weekend in photos.

we had an unusually cold, and unusually social weekend here in kc. on friday night we went out for a good friend's 30th birthday. because we're now in the stage of life. (what?)

a napping babe, a husband at a swim meet, and my oldest at a gingerbread house-making party with his cousins at nana and papa's = a wrapping party for me! i officially have every gift in my possession wrapped and either under the tree or in hiding. and all of that accounts for about 90% of my christmas shopping, which i'm pretty proud of. 

we had dinner with the newest kc hoosiers on saturday eve, church and costco on sunday morning & an afternoon and evening spent at home as a family. 

taking a break from mopping the floors to scold macy.

 we had our first "snow," though it was only a dusting. love this time of year being in our warm and cozy home with our lit christmas tree, our FOUR stockings hung over our fireplace, sipping on hot cocoa with my boys. (well, brooks had milk.)

delicious footsie!

and thumb, which we find in his mouth all the time now. not so much a thumb sucker, per se.. just enjoys gumming it. :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

christmas traditions: ornaments

i'm going to spend the month of december sharing a few of our family's holiday traditions.

the first i'll be sharing is on ornaments. as children, my husband and his siblings each picked out an ornament for their christmas tree. colby and i decided to continue this in our family once we were married. we each picked out an ornament for our tree, then also got a family ornament.

unfortunately a few unnoticed ornaments from years past have fallen victim to tree heaven when we have taken our trees to be recycled after christmas. we decided to adjust this tradition a bit this christmas, now having two children - each of the boys will get an ornament, then we'll have one family ornament - usually a photo ornament from our family christmas card.

below are this year's choices - a good representation of each of our boys this year.

one of my favorite ornaments to date is our first "family" ornament from colby and i's first christmas together. bowling shoes - which represent the way we met - at IU's campus bowling alley my freshman year in college. <3 comment-3--="" nbsp="">

looking forward to continuing traditions, adapting traditions, and beginning new ones with my sweet little family over the years. merry december to you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

owen's daily thankful, age 3.

last year, as a spin off from facebook's daily thankful posts, i decided to ask 2-year-old owen each night to name something he was thankful for.

this year was different and fun as he had a better grasp of what this thankful business was all about. most nights, he'd look around his room for something to say. he rarely named a repeat from another night. (this differed from last year in that he would list a person nearly every night, and most nights he'd begin with a list of people he had already named until he'd finally come to someone new.) this year involved a better mix of people and things. most nights i'd ask him to tell me why he was thankful for the person/thing he had named, too, which took some guidance in the beginning, but let to some very sweet responses.

there was one morning i said to him, "oh, owen! i'm so sorry, i forgot to ask you last night to name something or someone you are thankful for." he responded, "ummm.. i don't know what i'm thankful for, but thanks for asking." what?!

1. That I can write my name, Owen. (and boy, can he. and does he. on piece of paper he can get his hands on.)
2. Soccer ball.
3. Thanksgiving. (even though we talk about being thankful, we really hadn't talked about thanksgiving  up until this point. clearly, it's a subject being covered in school.)
4. My new car. (also known as my new car, but i can share.)
5. My new room. (see? still new. forever new.)
6. My new school and my new baby. ("new" just sticks around for awhile. this school is new from the school he attended last year, and the new baby he speaks of is his brother.)
7. All the pictures on my wall and the stars and the banners. (in his new room, duh.)
8. Daddy's new shoes. (we aren't sure about this one.. he hasn't gotten any new shoes.)
9. Books.
10. Ella.
11 my car. (this time, a toy car. actually an old remote controlled car from colby's childhood.)
12 all the superheroes. (all of 'em.)
13 Julian. (this is owen's "best friend" at school. he's 5, and is really cool. he can hang upside down on the monkey bars and he owns a transformer. baller status.)
14 Linley. (another friend from school, who he was happy to report was at school and NOT in heaven after a previous conversation we had about his cousins' dog lily passing away and going to heaven. the similarity in names was very confusing.)
15 water in my cup.
16 little Mickey. (he's still around.)
17 Grandma.
18 Captain America. (he got his own personal shoutout.)
19 Mommy. (swoon.)
20 Macy.
21 my superman poster. (obviously, looking around his room is a source for being thankful each night.)
22 Mommys boots (which i was still wearing.)
23. christmas lights. 
24. Aunt Em.
25. rice crispy treats, my piggy bank, and mommy's hair. (me: "my hair? why are you thankful for my hair?" owen: "because you're beautiful and i love you." ok, then.)
26. Daddy.
27. stickers.
28. all the people in the world. (an extra grateful heart for thanksgiving day. must have been before thanksgiving dinner was served.)
29. [Grandma], Grandpa, Uncle Derek, & Bella.
30. Bo. (Ella & Ivy's new puppy that stayed with us over Thanksgiving break.)

after we said prayers last night (dec 1), owen exclaimed, "oh! mommy! you forgot to ask me what i'm thankful for. what are you thankful for today?" what a good reminder from my little guy that thankfulness should not end just because the month of november does.

i told him i was thankful for OWEN. :)

my thanksgiving weekend in photos.

we kicked off our thanksgiving weekend with the arrival of two hairy visitors - jefferson and bo (ella & ivy's new puppy). crazy town = puppy + 3 other dogs + baby + toddler. but we loved it. :)

at 9 or so weeks old, bo stole the show this weekend in all of his puppy cuteness.

i also tried to get some wrapping and crafting done over the weekend with the help of my dear owen, who joined in, and made a masterpiece for our bedroom wall. 

and THIS. it's on our living room wall. it has some sentimental value to my dear husband, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if it could retire to a keepsake bin. or the trash? ;-)

nana reading to owen.

some thanksgiving snuggles with the puppies. (bo hiding under colby's arm)

owen wanted to be responsible for the puppy on our drive home. new pals.

we had some unseasonably warm weather this weekend and got to spend some time outside wearing out a couple (or four) dogs.

 and i surprised myself by whipping up an assortment of pies - homemade pie crusts and all - with a toddler, a baby, and 4 dogs under my roof.