Merry Holidays 2013


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.


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.


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!


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!


Easter 2013

It was a very cold and dreary Easter Sunday here this year.  Considering how beautiful it was on Saturday…


…it’s kind of a shame we didn’t get a repeat on Sunday.

We opened Easter baskets and presents Sunday morning.


Easter is turning into a mini-Christmas…which is fine by me…I would rather give a toy than excessive amounts of candy.


It’s always fun to give the kids new things to play with too to change things up a bit. It also gives the grandparents an excuse to spoil their grand-kids.


There rest of our morning was pretty uneventful. I sewed while Royce spent some time with Sydney. After Ingrid woke up from her morning nap we took pictures of the girls in their new dresses. They sure would have been soooo much cuter if we didn’t have to put tights and long-sleeved shirts on underneath. Alas it was only 40 degree’s out…grumble grumble where is SPRING???


Then like we have in years past, my friend Ashley invited us over for Easter lunch.  Although this year instead of two tired pregnant woman we had 3 new babes to celebrate with!  All those children brought the chaos level up a notch, and I think both of us are looking forward to years when the kids are older and we can send them outside (if it’s warm) while the adults actually get to enjoy eating Easter lunch for once.


After lunch, we had waited long enough for the rain to subside and we had a very wet Easter Egg hunt for Stella Jane and Syd.


Next year those girls will have to duke it out for eggs once Peter, Elliot and Ingrid are more mobile.  For more of our Easter Day fun see the photos on Flickr.

Christmas 2011

We had a very cozy Christmas here at home among ourselves.   Syd had a pretty good concept of Santa and the gifts I think.  She had fun before Christmas day looking at the presents under the tree and passing them to the people they belonged to.  On Christmas Eve we read our 3 bedtime books by the light of Christmas tree, one of which was “Twas The Night Before Christmas”.  She was pretty apprehensive on Christmas morning but got into the swing of things rather quickly once presents started opening.  For more photos of the day click on Syd below!


Happy Holidays!

Our holiday cards this year were a labor of self-love from the photographs to the design. Our photographer moved to CA and there was no one inspiring enough for me to pay to take our pictures so I just did them ourselves. Our tripod and delayed camera remote worked out great!  Hopefully no one can tell they are self-portraits.

Front copy

We are gearing up for the holidays here.  It’s just the three of us again. The only visitor we will have is our friends dog Weezie.  She is an easy house guest so we will take her!  Royce works as usual but thankfully has Christmas day off.  We have a very Jewish dinner planned for Christmas evening — don’t ask — it started with a brisket, and sort of snowballed from there.  The rest of the time it will be just me and Syd since Royce is working mostly evenings and day-care is closed til Tuesday.  After hearing some travel horror stories from friends going to visit family I’m starting to think these stay at home no-travel holidays we have are kinda nice!   I wish more of our friends stayed in town so we had someone to play with…

Back copy

I hope you and your family have a restful holiday wherever you go (or stay)!

Syd, meet Santa


Our neighborhood does some really fun stuff around the holidays. The first of which is they decorate a huge pine tree in the center of the ‘hood and have a ‘tree lighting’ ceremony at the begining of December.  It’s so fun to drive around the circle at night and see it all lit up!  The next cool thing is Santa visits!!  This is the first year we were able to participate and it was really fun watching all the kids meet Santa.   My friend Ashley hosted Santa and many of Syds friends came too.  I’m so grateful Santa can take time out of his busy pre-Christmas schedule to stop over Woodmoor to meet the children and ask what they want for Christmas.


Syd was cautiously curious; she had no interest in sitting on his lap, or getting to close to him, but she nearly stared a hole in his head.  Since I don’t find torturing my child for photo opportunities enjoyable — I didn’t press the issue of getting her to sit on his lap.  She did approach him towards the end to get a little trinket and talked about him for the remainder of the night.  Before we left the house to go see Santa I asked her what she wanted from him and she confidently said ‘Hot Dogs’.  So maybe if she is a good girl this year Santa will bring her some!


Belated Holiday Post


2011 Turkey Photo

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and weekend here at the home.  Unlike last year where I made my first full turkey, this year had nothing new really added to it other than two new guests.   The 14-lb turkey was less daunting this year and trussing it was easier since I have the computer in the kitchen now to stop/pause/play Alton Brown’s awesome turkey trussing video.  I made the standard fare, and didn’t even bother to try any new recipes.


Future turkey helper?

Royce and I had fun reminiscing over past Thanksgivings.  We started our tradition of celebrating by ourselves in 2002 when I was a fellow and I didn’t have resources or time (among other things not appropriate for blogging about) for both Thanksgiving and Christmas so Royce came to visit me in Buffalo.  We ran a turkey trot and made our own feast.  It was cozy and it has been ever since.  I was so proud of that first feast that Royce snapped a picture and with that a tradition was started.

Turkey 2002

My first turkey

We either lost or missed taking a picture one year (2003 in Baltimore) and were in Paris for one year too (2004) but all the others have been documented!  Next year will be our first Thanksgiving as a family of 4!  Wow!  Thanksgiving will always be one of my favorite holidays but it is sometimes bittersweet because it is when the “are you going anywhere for the Holidays?” or “is anyone visiting for the Holidays?” questions start to come on a frequent basis and I never enjoy answering them.

Once the holiday is here and I have a table of merry misfit friends, I forget about all of that though and am Thankful our holiday is cozy, stress-free, and calm!

Holiday Photos

I uploaded our Christmas photos this evening! It’s best if you go to the 13-18 month set and click-through the progression.  When I upload things from Photoshop it always sends them backwards so my ‘photostream’ never shows the best logical viewing order.  I can flip the order within a set though.

We had a fun quiet day.  We opened presents in the morning, went for a walk to a friend’s house in the mid-day and had my friend Kim over for Christmas dinner.  It was a cozy day.  I didn’t miss the hub-bub of traveling especially given the weather that stranded so many out east this year.

Anyways enjoy! I had fun fiddling with my new camera lens.  Mama wants a new camera to make my new lens even more powerful.  Maybe sometime soon I’ll treat myself.


Syd's Rockin' Moose


Merry Christmas!

I’m about as far away from the holiday spirit as one could get. I blame it on this past month which has exhausted both me and Royce.  I had to keep telling myself that today was Christmas Eve; and I needed to finish wrapping presents and make a pecan pie.

2010 Christmas Card

Usually I love Christmas; and it’s strange but the last two years I’ve found myself to be too busy to be bothered with it.  I barely have the time to shop for myself much less be inspired to shop for anyone else.   It doesn’t help that Royce always works this holiday and half the time we spend it alone.  This is one of those ‘alone’ years.  Bah Humbug.  I get so jealous of those with big families that make a huge deal out of the holidays.  I yearn to be a part of that, yet I know that will never be the case.  Royce is a doctor and will always work and our family lives far away and doesn’t feel like traveling anymore than we do during this time of year.

I do know that Sydney, because of Daddy’s schedule, will get to spend almost all her Christmases at home, unlike I me as a child…and that is really important to me.  I hope as she gets older we can create our own memories here with whomever decides to join us.

2010 Christmas card


Thanksgiving, what a difference a year makes!

Me and My Turkey 2010

Last Thanksgiving Sydney was 5 days old, our friends made and delivered us the standard thanksgiving dinner sides, and I warmed up a pre-stuffed turkey breast from Trader Joes in the oven.  Last year Sydney slept on the table:

Don't eat the baby!

This year she sat at the table and sorta ate some of our spread:

Thankful for friends

What a difference a year makes!  I can say with confidence that this year was way more enjoyable.  Just looking at last years Turkey Photo makes me sleepy.

We had an enjoyable day spent with friends and food.  As in past years I rarely stray from the standard thanksgiving fare.  I find it too stressful to coordinate a bunch of new dishes on such a big day.  I do try to make one new recipe a year to mix things up and this year it was a Butternut Squash and Apple Cider Bisque.  It was fantastic, even Syd ate it!  I can’t say the same for the stuffing, or green-bean casserole…or even sadly the turkey.  She wasn’t into much.  I’ll blame her sickness which in addition to making her birthday miserable also killed her appetite.  She did take a liking to my pumpkin pie though.  Can you blame her?


I'm going to eat all your pie Mama!

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for this year but most of all it’s this wee bundle of joy.

I obviously don’t have the time to cook my traditional thanksgiving feast and have my photo op with my turkey like in past years, but thanks to two extremely generous friends we will still be having a Thanksgiving feast!  Andrea and Jed hadn’t even cooked thanksgiving for themselves before, however today they delivered all the traditional Thanksgiving sides.  As soon as our Trader Joes pre-dressed turkey brest is done we will be having our own thankful feast.

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