Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Final Day of 2014!!!

The door on 2014 is almost closed.  The Christmas decorations have been put away, the leftovers have been consumed, and the children are asking what the next holiday is.  I love New Years Eve as it is a time to look back on the past year.  To relive the happy moments and thank our lucky stars to have survived those that were less-happy.
Our last photo of 2013
2014 was a fantastic year for our little family of 4.  We traveled, we spent time with family, we learned and loved.  The hard part was saying good-bye to one of my favorite people...my grandmother Florence Elizabeth.  Without further delay...here is recap of our 2014!!

January - We started off the year spending much of our time indoors, away from the frigid January air!  Our 5 month old got her first taste of something besides breast milk.  She wasn't crazy about it, but that changed quickly.  Paisley was still figuring out if he liked the new inhabitant of our home.  I enjoyed spending my days on the floor playing with our babies and attempting to catch up on sleep when they napped!    

February - Off to Colorado for our annual ski trip.  It was Lila's first flight and Paisley's 3rd.  They did good and it helped to have Nana along.  Lila celebrated her first Valentine's Day and I was happy to spend the day with my loves.  

March - A low key month full of making green water (Paisley thought that was pretty cool), Kindermusik classes and swim lessons (for Paisley), and waiting for the cold weather to get lost!  

April - Trips to the zoo, picnics in the park, and returning to story time at the library meant the warm weather was slowly making an appearance and we were venturing out of the house.  Easter was a great time as Paisley finally understood what an Easter egg hunt was!  He also got his first "real" haircut.  

May- A big month for my sister as we all flew to NYC for her wedding!  Paisley and Lila loved riding in taxis and the bright lights of Timesquare.  Scott and I left the big city with a greater appreciation of the square footage of our home and the relatively calm drivers in our state.  It was also time to fill up the kids splash pool!  

June - Scott and I got a much appreciated date night to Brew at the Zoo.  Not that I needed a reminder, but spending a couple hours with him without the kids let me focus on the man I married and I was reminded all over again that I married the person created for me. We spent his birthday riding golf carts in New Harmony and enjoying family time.  We also left the kids overnight so we could go to a Nascar race in KY.  

July - With the warm days of summer upon us we spent a lot of time in the pool, eating out of our garden, and getting together with family and friends.  Scott and I celebrated our 4th anniversary at the Forecastle music festival in Louisville.   Both kids enjoyed the fireworks as we celebrated Independence Day.         

August - The birth month of our babies = party time!  The kids had a "Trucks & Tutus" themed party in the park with family and friends.  Scott and I also spent time with friends at the annual SWIRCA beer & wine event.  Lila got to experience Holiday World for the first time and after 7 hours at the amusement park, both kids were exhausted.  Scott and I participated in our first kick-ball benefit tournament.  My kicker isn't what it used to be!  

September - My birth month I got exactly what I wanted...time with my family.  Paisley started pre-school which he warmed up to quicker then I expected.  We camped at a nearby park and bid farewell to the long nights of summer.  

October - A visit to the fall festival, our second annual bonfire and hayride, trick-or-treating at Grandma Florence's nursing home, a Halloween party at the library, and trick-or-treating with friends provided us with plenty of candy for the next year!  We squeezed in one final family hike through the fall leaves before the cold weather settled in for good! Paisley had his first school party that I got to attend.   

November - An early snowfall brought on the holidays quicker than normal!  We celebrated Thanksgiving Eve by having a family sleep-over at Rhea's and we got a jump on Christmas with a trip to see the lights at the Galt House in Louisville.  We cut down our tree and most gifts were purchased by the end of the month!  We were ready for Christmas!  We said farewell to the kids great-grandma and were happy she was reunited with their great grandfather.  

December - The stockings were hung, Christmas parties were attended, we caught a parade and among the hustle and bustle we remembered the reason for the season.  I did manage to hang on to a cold almost the entire month and ended the final day of the year with a diagnosis of pink eye.    Sending out 2014 with good memories and cheer and looking forward to everything 2015 throws our way!  Fingers crossed it doesn't throw anymore pink eye at us.....

Happy New Year!!!!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Making Merry


In my 30+ yrs in this life, I have never submerged myself quite into Christmas as I have this year.  Our Christmas fir has been filling the house with its sweet scent since the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Christmas cards were addressed and sent by December 3rd.  We've taken the kids to 3 different Christmas events and I'm sure (with 12 days until Christmas) we'll do at least one more.  Our collection of children's Christmas books are stationed in the living room ready to be looked at and read each and every day.  I have submerged myself into a sea of Christmas and I've taken my family with me.

Our first visit with Santa is what we'll call the trial run.  There was no way the kids were sitting on Santa's lap without Scott and I.  So we all piled in the big guys chair and had a family picture taken.


A few weeks later when we ran into him on the streets of New Harmony, the kids were much more comfortable sitting on his lap.  Paisley even told him what he wanted for Christmas....an umbrella.  


Having a real Christmas tree is a tradition that Scott and I started in 2007, our first Christmas together.  Now that we have 2 very active children, having a real tree (or any tree) is an experience in itself.  They are both so fascinated with watching me water the tree every day.  I'm sure the wet spots i've found on the carpet throughout the season was water meant for the tree to drink, not for the kids to play in.  

The pine needles that have fallen off the tree have become a sort of prize for both children.  Paisley likes loading up the needles in his dump trucks and hauling them about the house.  This is how the pine needles have navigated into every room in the house, not just the room the tree is located in.  Lila has discovered she likes the taste of pine needles.  More times then I can count I have fished the needles out of her mouth when I notice her chewing.  Note to parents, pine needles pass through the intestines of a 1yr old just fine.  
Last year I learned that breakable ornaments go at the top of the tree and the ones that can withstand the manhandling go lower.  This was a smart move as Lila can often be found carrying an ornament in each hand.  Paisley has learned that the hooks can "hurt Lila," so he takes them from her like a good big brother.  Then, like any young boy that has seen his dad stick a toothpick in his mouth after every meal....Paisley uses the ornament hook like a toothpick, despite me telling him numerous times not to put hooks in his mouth.
The presents have been wrapped and are quietly nestled below the tree.  The kids don't realize the prizes they contain because they have (surprisingly) completely ignored them.  Our elf on the shelf (Peppermint Stick) has moved in for the month, but I'm not at all crafty with him as he has sat in the same place since the beginning of December.  

Scott and I agree the weeks leading up to Christmas are nothing short of magic.  The anticipation of Christmas Day, the spirit that moves into your heart this time of year, the twinkling lights and frost covered ground in the early morning.  Sure our kids spilled the egg nog and a patch of lights on the tree don't work, but this really is the most wonderful time of year.  Now if only the play kitchen hiding in our basement would assemble itself.....




Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thankful

Starting new traditions or just straying from the old is part of becoming a parent and having kids.  Thanksgiving Eve we packed up our car with the kids and food and headed to my sisters house.   We had soup and appetizers and drank coffee and wine.  We watched the kids dance and play and put them to bed later then normal.  

With the children fast asleep, the adults played a game and laughed until the coffee had long worn off and eyelids were heavy.  We all stayed the night with my sister which gave us more time to celebrate the holiday and give thanks with those we are most thankful for.   


The next morning we nibbled on coffee cake and fruit salad while the main dishes cooked until lunchtime.  The kids were very helpful in the kitchen and loved spending the morning with family! 


Holidays have always been important to me and I have always enjoyed the various celebrations and family gatherings.  Since having kids, they are even more important to me and I love sharing the holidays with those we love and that love our children.  Seeing the kids smile as they cuddle with their grandparents and aunt and uncle is better then any feast or gift I could receive on a holiday.  


I made sure to get a few snuggles myself from the littles.


Lunchtime was upon us and we gathered around the dining room table.  Our meal was blessed and soon our bellies were full.  I know our kids didn't grasp why we were celebrating or that today was really any different then any other day that we see family and share a meal.  However, I know that my children felt love not only from their parents, but from my parents and sister, they were fed until their bellies wouldn't accept another morsel.  They laughed and loved and didn't have a care in the world.  


We have plenty of food and a warm place to live.  We have our health.  We have each other to love.    I have two babies that I get to grow and mold into fun loving, kind and considerate individuals.  I have 2 parents that have taught me to be the loving mother/wife/spouse that I am.  I have a sister that I share a history with and a bond only known to sisters.  I have a husband that loves me even when I haven't had a cup of coffee and my hair looks like an upside down Chiristmas fir.  And I have Paisley and Lila that call me "Mommy."   For these things I am so very thankful.


Thank you for following my little family through our adventure called life.  I hope you find your cup overflowing this Christmas season.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Behind the Lens 2014

A few of my favorite images I captured in 2014!...

























Looking forward to seeing what 2015 captures!!