Christmas 2014

Yes you read that right, I’m just now writing about and getting to photos taken last year at Christmastime.  As in nearly 11 months ago. Glup.

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It was fun to travel back in time though.  Seems like longer than a year looking at the photos. And oh my has Ingrid grown! She looks so teeny in these pictures.

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We had a cozy quiet Christmas in 2014.  For the first time Royce was home on Christmas eve and we joined our friends Andrea and Jed and their families for a traditional Canadian Christmas Eve dinner which was ah-mazing fun and fantastic food.  It helps that Andrea and her family and extended family are just pure joy to be around.

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Christmas morning was spent at home doing what one does when you have young children — opening presents at the wee hours of the morning.

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Crazy to think that Syd got her big girl bike which has already shed the training wheels!  Among dolls and puzzles and a stroller I can safely say that the few things our kids get each year for Christmas are well loved throughout the year!

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It was just the four of us for Christmas supper.

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Royce made his first ever prime rib and we all were in meat-heaven with a side of creamy horseradish.  This for sure will become our Christmas supper tradition!  Since I stupidly deleted my annual Thanksgiving turkey picture we decided to recreate the moment with prime rib for 2014!

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Looking at all these pictures is getting me excited for the 2015 holidays, hopefully it won’t take me a year to blog about them this time!  More pictures are up on Flickr.

Merry Holidays 2013

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2013 was a whirl wind… as years typically go when the kids are so young. It is hard to feel stable when so much changes within 12-months.

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12-months ago Ingrid wasn’t even crawling and now she is running and talking!  12 months ago I was still breast feeding (seriously 6-months ago I was still breastfeeding…seems like it has been years)!  I think the overwhelming chaos of 2013 hit me when I was putting together our Christmas card (I was inspired by and frankly stole the concept from these creative people).  Putting it together was no easy feat, but I’m thankful for social media for reminding me of all we did in 2013…without Facebook I think I would have remembered precisely nothing. From a year where I felt mostly bogged down with work and drowning at home and feeling like in general we didn’t do much, I found by reviewing the year in pictures (and in status updates) we did quite a bit. We slowly grew as a family, we stayed local, we ate, we drank, we celebrated, we took on new opportunities, we took selfish grown-up vacations, and copiously enjoyed the company of friends both local and far-away.

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I’m never one for resolutions for the New Year. If 2014 is anything like 2013 we will have done well. I am looking forward to taking our first family vacation in February (we haven’t taken one just the 4 of us yet!) and maybe we can add some get-a-ways this summer to the NC or local beaches now that Ingrid is older. I hope I can find more time to sew. I would like to make something for myself that I actually like and think is flattering to my body. I need to continue making stuff for the girls too as they love their mom-made clothes. If I can get myself organized I’d also like to try tackling something for Royce…but that may need to wait til 2015!

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I do hope I can stay in fit and in shape in 2014 and maybe find something new to challenge myself physically. I’m also on the look out for new career moves, as 2014 will mark 10 years for me at the agency.

I also plan to be a bit more present here on the blog. Sharing the little things the kids do, updating you with new recipes we may try, and documenting life through words and photos.  Have a Happy 2014!

Christmas 2013

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December is such a busy month.  Between holiday parties, end-of-year work deadlines and the extra stuff that goes along with Christmas (present buying, holiday meal planning) it can make the holiday less merry. We do not travel for Christmas so that is one less thing to stress about thankfully.  It seemed like the Holiday snuck up on us this year since Thanksgiving was so late. I found myself buying presents five days before Christmas Day (thank goodness for free 2-day shipping!).

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I think every year that I’m going to get my shopping done well before the Holiday but it never happens.  I do hope that next year I can be more organized.

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The festivities started early in December with our neighborhood Santa Visit.  I didn’t take Syd last year because she was downright scared of the fat-man in the red suit and I frankly was overcome with exhaustion and didn’t have the energy to take her and Ingrid by myself.  Amazingly this year Sydney was the first kid to approach Santa (he had candy so that helped), but you can see from the head tilt and arm placement that she is very apprehensive of the situation.

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The mama’s were not afraid of Santa though!  We felt like we needed to give the old man some love after all that kid rejection.

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When we returned home that night from the Santa visit, there was a present from Santa on our front porch!  He sent an Elf to keep watch on Sydney and Ingrid.  Sydney named our Elf sparkle.  Sparkle was a fun addition to our holiday. Sydney enjoyed looking for her each morning as each night Sparkle usually flew around the house.  Sparkle is back at the north pole though now…she will return next year.

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Christmas morning was super fun.  The kids dug into the presents immediately and had enjoyed ripping paper and opening boxes.  Syd got an Ariel doll from Santa and Ingrid got a bus.  Both were big hits. From us Ingrid got a music set and Sydney got more ponies. They each also got a book from Santa.

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The rest of our day was lazy hazy time of play and rest.  More pictures of our Holiday are up on Flickr!

Christmas 2012

We had a very fun Christmas here at our home. Royce’s mother and sisters flew in from Iowa and Montana on Christmas eve and spent the holiday with us and the kids.

Now that Sydney is a bit older I’m trying to start some new traditions. One I heard of was giving Christmas PJ’s and either a Christmas book or movie to the kids on Christmas Eve. So before Royce went to work on Christmas Eve we opened up our present.
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And on Christmas morning Sydney was very excited to see if Santa came. She said she heard Santa and he said “ho ho ho”!  Sydney was a very good girl and so Santa brought her exactly what she asked for — a stroller for her baby Stella!

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We played for a while in the morning while Daddy slept before opening up the rest of our presents.

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After breakfast we started opening up all the gifts. Ingrid was pretty good at tearing into hers.

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Sydney is a present opening pro by now.

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I think Ingrid liked her new puppy she got from Sydney. Sydney even helped pick it out!

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And Sydney was super excited for her princess castle that she got from Ingrid.

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It was a very fun morning indeed. I’m looking forward to many many more joyful Christmas here at home with the kids!

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There are a bunch more photos from our Christmas day and the visit with Royce’s family on Flickr.

The Christmas build up…and let down.


Christmas preparations…pies from scratch.

This year marked the first year my family has celebrated the holidays outside of KS and MO for as long as I’ve been on this planet.  I don’t know how I convinced the three of them to come out here but I did and it was fun.  Well the first part wasn’t fun.  They were supposed to arrive Saturday around 4PM but didn’t get here until Monday at 4AM due to weather in KC and a good dollop of bad luck.  We made the most of the time we had together though by spending most of Christmas eve downtown seeing some sites.  

It was the first time I had been able to try out the new camera on DC’s landscape.  I only wish I had gotten my tripod a day early so that my night shots would have been crisper.  I’m sure there will be other chances to snap away.  


View of Lincoln memorial from reflecting pool.


WWII memorial


Washington Monument

There are more photos online…here.

The troops left this morning and now the house is quiet and empty and it’s sort of sad.  I always hate it when visitors go…I have all this space and time to fill and I’m not sure how best to do it.  Charlie misses them too…his petting potential is down to just 4 hands instead of 10.

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