December 30, 2017 |

β€œOnce upon a time a girl named Elena was walking on a path near the woods, when she found a bear. But it was a nice bear, and he was eating honey with his paws. He shared some with me, & I had some (choose if I have plum sauce or peanut butter; ok PB). We made a sandwich together and cut it into 4 squares…I put 2 on my plate and one for you and one for daddy. We kept walking for more adventure, and had a great day! The end”

Christmas Day

December 25, 2017 | Christmas is my favorite — in fact as the day approaches I start to get sad that it’s about to end! This was the most magical Christmas yet for E, and while we got up early to shower/dress for church, she slept until we woke her up, and had to practically hold her back from the living room so I could get into place. I said she could enter, and she RAN right in! Seeing the pink unicorn first, she ran to pick it up and heard a MEOW from one of the wrapped boxes…her face was puzzled/excited (D took video), but we directed her to the stocking. She gets to open the stocking and ONE gift before church, which is so hard on a kid! But the meowing continued so we let her open that one. Bootsie is her big gift this year, and she LOVES that robot cat. After church we returned to the house to open the rest of her gifts, grab a few timer-family-photos, and play before D’s family gathering! Mosby even received a slew of toys…picked by E. πŸ™‚

The big task at this years’ family gathering was a giant family photo — believe it or not, ALL 35 PEOPLE were going to attend…so I took it upon myself to organize a family pic. A FB-event, plus mass-texts ahead of time had people ready to go, and I just had AJ snap it from the deck looking down at the whole crew.Β  The final image only required 6 head-swaps, but it’s so great! E wasn’t really into the LOUD party, and played in the basement by herself. We searched for her Hatchimals for 10 minutes which solidified that those little things are never leaving the house again…!

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2017 | How amazing that we had a WHITE Christmas (Eve, but still)! She’s been wanting to play in the snow all year long, and finally the time came. The only hiccup were the gloves — we need to get her some good ones, because then she’ll stay outside all afternoon! Her dinos were outside with her, she would sled down the driveway (on the new Costco sled), and eventually attempted to throw snow at Dad any time he got close… πŸ™‚Β  Then we had to bake/decorate cookies for Santa, and I really kept it simple this year. Premade/formed dough, and a tub of icing…DONE!

Christmas Eve-Eve

December 23, 2017 | This year the calendar had us celebrating my family’s Christmas on Eve-Eve! Which worked pretty well, as it allowed for the whole day together…and some quick photos of the whole crew (darn ladder couldn’t get all of our feet in the timer-shot)! We made the traditional Italian lasagna, and E couldn’t stop asking about when it was present time…guess we gotta work on that. It was so chaotic passing out presents that I barely took any photos. E got some really great thoughtful gifts and never wanted to leave! But the jammie-photo had to happen at the end, and all of the adults helped to get those kids smilin’. E wouldn’t even set down her new dino!

Longview & the Magic Tree

December 19, 2017 | The journey out to the lake-lights takes a little bit of planning — and asking D to leave work a bit early. He was so excited to bring his new electric car, because waiting in a car-line and driving through a long processional with ZERO emissions is his JAM right now… πŸ™‚ We made it through the lake lights in record time, even arriving just after 5 PM! We drove through McD’s for dinner and then hit the Magic Tree…this year the weather was so much nicer, and I snagged a ton of images. E ran and threw hay at anyone who was near, but it was awesome. It’s the best time of year!

And add in some family-selfies/cell photos

Gingerbread House

December 16, 2017 | This year, I made the mistake of purchasing a pre-made gingerbread house where YOU have to make the icing. Ugh…never again! I think it was more like cement than icing, so thank goodness we had a tub of icing in the cabinet. D and I took turns attempting to use the icing-tube on this house, and simply gave up…ha! E didn’t mind at all, with our attention on the icing she could sneak all the sprinkles in the world. Which is the best part of building, right? πŸ™‚