December 25, 2018 | After a morning with our own family, it was time to prep for the mass-chaos of Dave’s family! Grandma arrived first, and E couldn’t wait to show her the ornament maker we bought. It spins a blank sphere and you hold a marker to it…which is actually really fun/relaxing! People started trickling-in with all kinds of food, and then I let them all know about the BOOTH…which was a major hit. A group this size (and personality) means a ton of great images! <full disclosure, I’m editing/posting this in 8/2019>. Great food, followed by Grandma giving the littles their stockings, and ending with the annual White Elephant exchange. It’s always hilarious, but D & I took turns taking care of M (missing some of the festivities). There are people in every possible space in the house, and of course the basement was an extreme kid-zone! When the event was over, I think we were a new-level of tired. A baby who doesn’t like to sleep, hosting two family Christmases in a row, and having our OWN holiday celebration…phew! But how amazing was the season spending it with those we love. Cheesy I know, but true 🙂
December 25, 2018 | My favorite day of the year — Christmas! M’s first, and one brought to us by the PAW PATROL. E’s big toy-wish was the lookout tower, and her face when she opened that bag was pure joy! M didn’t really know what was going on, but she was happy to look at all of the colorful surroundings! Then we were off to church, after a phone-app-Canon-selfie of the family on the couch again. I think I accidentally started a tradition with that! 🙂
December 24, 2018 | When it was determined that we would be hosting Dave’s side for Christmas, I immediately thought it would make sense to host MY family as well. Especially since I had the idea to setup a photo-booth for both gatherings! So I set it up, tested in on E, and we were ready to go. First E was able to help make the time-honored lasagna in my Grandma’s dish (+ others). It was so sweet seeing her participate in the steps, and she is in the phase of loving to HELP! M woke from her nap and managed to stick her hand in the dish too… 🙂 We enjoyed an amazing dinner, snapped a ton of photos (the focus failed on me for a chunk), and then opened gifts in the living room. The kids were so darn excited, and M was happy to munch on wrapping paper! Christmas is the best!
December 11, 2018 | It’s a family tradition to head East to see lots of Christmas lights, and this year we invited my parents! We have plenty of room in the car, and it’s more hands to help keep a baby awake past her bedtime… 🙂 I was driving so there are hardly any photos of the Lake portion, but M loved being out of the car seat. Blinking lights are her JAM (like her momma), and E remembered it from last year. A quick diaper change and we were off to the Magic Tree, where I could get out and shoot some photos. It’s a super challenging scenario, and I always feel like I’m walking the balance of enjoying the moment vs. capturing it. But I’ve always adored the images that result! It was freezing outside, but M did so well for all of it. I already cannot wait to do it again next year!
November 24, 2018 | After my family holiday, we make our way to the lake for a giant celebration of kids/food/beer/guns/4-wheelers/drones/trucks/ridiculousness…ha! And I try to get a family photo at this holiday each year as well, with whoever is at the lake. It may not always be everyone, but it’s a LOT! My drone suddenly crashed on this trip, which kinda freaked me out…and E (+ her cousin S) discovered a love of metal detecting for rusty-nails. Parents of the year over here!
November 23, 2018 | The first sister-photo-shoot that really didn’t go well. I took a couple hundred images of them together but it just wasn’t meant to be…haha! I had M in this adorable “pilgrim” outfit from Amazon, that just slayed me. After photos we went to my parents’ home per usual on Friday for lots of food and crazy-kids. Turkey-day 1, complete!
And some cell-photos too…
November 2, 2018 | After ordering super cheap jammies/trapper hats from overseas, it was finally time to take these photos! I had the spot all picked-out, and between three adults and four kiddos (myself, Abbey, and her MIL) we corralled them all into a few combinations WITH SMILES. I seriously don’t believe I will be able to get a better cousin-image…ever. How totally adorable are these little ones?!