"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Some of the best parts of the year, right here!

Holiday bake-a-thon with my sister and my mom over the weekend.  My bigs were finishing up the last of the Christmas programs, and Rowen graced us with his presence now and then when he wasn't tearing up the house with his cousins. 

I love that my kids will look back on these memories and associate them with Christmas.  "Remember when your dad made us dinner and we ate it on top of a Rubbermaid tote because the entire kitchen table was full of cookies?"  :) :) :)

On the way to Walmart last night (because I hate myself, that's why we went to Walmart two weeks before Christmas!) the girls said this was their favorite part of Christmas.  Shopping?  Yes!!  Shopping with just girls with our own money.  I can't WAIT for Maeson to see what I picked him...  Rowen is going to LOVE his movie...  This is where I die of happiness just a tiny bit. 

Bigs doing afternoon school while Rowen and I dip stuff.  The best.

Spending our evenings filling totes full of goodies for the cabin.  Then putting the totes in the garage so we don't eat them all before we leave for the cabin.  Then, sneaking into the garage so many times over the course of six days that we have nothing left to take to the cabin... 

I finally got smart and taped the red sprinkle container lid to about 20%.  Still, those babies are loaded.

I love the paper (disposable) Nativity, because we can make a new scene every year.  I got this year's set here.  (Thanks, Jenn!)

Christmas lights with kids in jammies, driving around eating popcorn balls.  I know we did this as a family when I was little.  We could have done it every single year or maybe we only did it once, I honestly can't remember.  Aren't memories weird?  I'm sure my kids will not remember things the way I think/hope they will ;)  My version: "Remember when we would drive around for hours listening to Christmas music, eating our popcorn balls, and everyone was so sweet and snugly in their pajamas?"  Their version: "Remember the year Rugger sat in the back seat and wouldn't stop making farting noises until mom threatened to make dad pull the van over so she could crawl back and beat him?"

We find ourselves saying allllll the time these days, "it keeps getting easier!"  "It" meaning life, I guess.  The kids are getting more and more independent and needing less and less manual labor by us to stay alive.  It's noticeable at times like this when we actually sit back and realize no one spilled their drink, no one fell asleep with popcorn ball stuck to their face/hair/seatbelt, we only had to stop for one restroom emergency... :)

It's bittersweet, for sure.

We're hoping to make this a new tradition; hanging out with Lao and Pao for lunch and then doing a few chores.  It is so kind of them to let us "help" them out :) 

To everyone on my grandparents' mailing list: No, Marylyn hasn't lost all fine motor control.  The little kids handled the return address labels and stamps this year, so if they look completely cockeyed, blame the preschooler! :)

Love how Reise is just lounging on the exercise ball while Ryleigh toils away vacuuming the steps :)

Tomorrow starts the "Twelve Days of Christmas" tradition we've done for several years now.  We have about a dozen countdowns going right now, and it's getting hard to keep track.  Ryleigh made a chart to keep us all straight (because of course she did!). 1 day until the Twelve Days, 3 days until Santa comes to our house (early!), 4 days until the cabin, 10 days until Rugger's birthday, 13 days until Jesus's birthday...um, pardon me...26 days until MY birthday :) OK so my birthday isn't on the list. 

So much to love this time of year (happy birthday, Jesus!)...so thankful for my fun family to share it all with!