Christmas 2013

Christmas Eve- We spent Christmas Eve at the Erni’s for a candle light dinner, Christmas program, and presents. Lydia and Liam loved acting out the Christmas story. Lydia really got into character as you can tell from her face in the pictures. Baby Jesus was a bit large this year! We had a great time. 
We spent the night at Nana and Papa’s so Santa could come. Both kids were so fun this year. As soon as Liam saw his train set with a “train dat goes by its self” he was done. Lydia had to open most of his other presents for him. He was totally absorbed and didn’t care what else was happening. Lydia didn’t mind. She loved opening presents. She also made us some really yummy stuff in her easy bake oven. On a side note. . . I was super excited that Santa brought her an easy bake oven. I loved mine as a kid. It is a bit different as an adult. Talk about a pain in the butt! And who in the world is this gourmet, $8 a mix, cake supposed to feed? Tinkerbell? Easy bake oven was so much cooler in the 80’s! Lydia still thinks it is the coolest thing ever. So I will swallow my disappointment and pretend that it is. 

We also celebrated Nana’s birthday and Unc’s birthday. And Malmal stopped by for a visit. 

And Jared actually asked for gas-x as a joke but got it anyway. Don’t ask Santa for silly stuff, man! He delivers. 

And December 26 was our little family Christmas. All day at home resting and relaxing and playing with presents. It was awesome and much needed! We are so blessed in so many ways! 


As I was scrolling through Instagram yesterday, I just chuckled to myself at all the gorgeous pictures of my friends’ lives. Children in matching pajamas with their hair pulled back perfectly, elves doing super creative things, cookies that only Martha Stuart should be able to make, Christmas trees, elaborate gingerbread houses, carolers. . .  beautiful, amazing pictures. And friends, this is what I posted. . . 

^^^Not that he is not beautiful and amazing. He is. But really?!?!^^^
I realized that sometimes I may portray our life as too put together too. Okay that is probably not true, but it made me feel better! Sometimes my kids wear matching pajamas. Sometimes my house is lickable clean. Sometimes I make amazing desserts that look like they should be on a magazine cover. Sometimes. 

But, friends, that is not real life. Not 100% of the time.  Sometimes our life is straight up crazy! Take yesterday for instance.

I got up early to run some last minute errands before all of the crazies came out. It is only a few days before Christmas, you know. Lydia woke up before I left and begged to come with me. I obliged. So L and I ran to a few stores and returned home two hours later. At that point Jared needed to run to his office. So I was all “Okay. The kids and I are going to make Christmas cookies!” Can you hear my enthusiasm? I really was excited. Jared left, promising not to be long. I preheated the oven and proceeded to get out the things that we needed. Then something started to smell weird. Apparently one of my little precious children had previously put a plastic toy in the oven. By the time I realized it, the toy was undefinable. I called Jared in a panic. Is the fire alarm going to go off? What do I do? We cannot make cookies now! Will it poison us? Do we need to leave the house? Are the fumes dangerous? I scraped whatever goop remained of the unknown toy and then turned the oven on 600 to hopefully burn the rest. Then it started getting hot in here. I turned on the AC. It is December, y’all.

I needed to make a big pot of homemade mac and cheese for a Christmas party that we were going to that evening. I put on a big pot of water to boil and soon added the noodles. The whole house reeked of plastic, burning, poison. So I opened the back door, the garage door, and the front door putting a baby gate there so that no one could escape, kids or dog. It was about this time that Liam needed to go potty and insisted that I help him. This is when I realized that he was wearing pajama pants with nothing on under them. Thanks, Babe! Liam left the bathroom with nothing on but his T-shirt and sat at the table to eat, butt naked on the chair. I ran upstairs to get him some undies and pants and as I am sifting through the stack of clean clothes two feet high, Lydia screams “MOM!!!! The hot water is spilling everywhere!!!!”  With only a pair of boxer briefs in hand I ran downstairs to calm the boing pot. I removed the lid, stirred it, and proceeded to wrestle the undies on Liam. Then something started to smell weird. Again. The flame was out but the gas was still on. Seriously?!?!?! If we survive this day, I thought to myself, it will be miraculous! I turned the stovetop off and then relit the flame. I ran back upstairs to get Liam some pants and as soon as I walked in the room Lydia screams “MOM!!!! THE WATER IS SPILLING OUT AGAIN!!!” Without anything in hand this time I ran downstairs again. I took the lid off and slung it in the sink. I turned down the flame to low, not caring if or how the noodles turn out at this point. Then I heard the gate jiggle. I went over to the baby gate at the door to the garage in time to see Roxy prance across the street. She had nuzzled the door to the gate open.  I was about to lose my ever loving mind! I took both kids outside, Liam in only a T-shirt and his undies, and grabbed a bag of pretzels on the way out to coax the dumb dog back home with.  Scared that the kids would follow me into the street I made Lydia hold Liam’s hand and both kids had to stand touching my car. Looking like a fool, I followed Roxy, calling her and shaking my bag of pretzels for her, simultaneously yelling at the kids to stay. When Roxy gets out she is a pain in the butt to get back in. She loves to run from us. I finally caught her as she was lifting her leg, like she has a wiener, marking a tree. The kids stayed and no one got run over. This may be the only success of the day! I drug Roxy back home and crated her. I race back outside to find Liam with a hammer chasing Lydia around our yard (and everyone else’s on our street). That, my friends, is when I snapped the picture above. Their conversation was something like this. . .

LG- Liam, stop trying to hit me with that.
LT- I am not going to hit you. I am going to slam you.
LG- MOM!!!!
LT- I am not going to slam you, Goosie.
LG- Stop chasing me!
LT- Cuz I am chasing you with my bammer.

I took the children inside, ready to give up and run away. It still smelled horrible. I finished the mac and cheese and checked on the burning plastic. I went upstairs for the third time to get Liam some pants. I was actually successful this time.

After Jared got home, he inspected the oven and deemed it okay to bake in. The smell was basically gone from the oven. It was only the house that smelled like we were going to die. The children, Jared, and I proceeded to make our Christmas cookies. We were planning on making the cute little reindeer cookies that we made last year-the ones that probably made other instagrammers envious, and some candy cane cookies that Lydia made at school and had been begging to make. This, my friends, was the cherry on top of my giant morning sundae. This is how they turned out. . . 

So for all of you that see the pictures of my amazing husband playing personalized songs on the guitar for my precious children in their matching pajamas, there you have it. A true confession of our lives.  Sometimes we have it all together. And sometimes we are a hot mess! 

Back to Bethlehem

We went Back to Bethlehem this weekend with Nan and Pop. It was wonderful, as always. I love that the kids get to experience this every Christmas. They do such a good job at bringing it to life. Unfortunately Liam was asleep through the first part of it. Lydia really got into it this year and wanted to know if the little fat baby was the real Baby Jesus. 
Photos in order: 
1. family picture by the camel and donkey. 2. helping the blacksmith 3. carpentry
4. nuts and fruits from the land 5. grinding herbs 6. pressing olive oil
7. painting 7. photo op with a shepherd 9. photo op before the live nativity performance


Lydia had her Christmas ballet recital yesterday. Cutest. Thing. Ever. They danced to Kermit the Frog’s Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas. I am so proud of our sweet girl. She did so well! 


I have put off the whole Elf on the Shelf thing for as longs as I could. I love the idea and think it is so cute. But really, who has time for all that?!?! Well now I do, or better find the time. Lydia came home from school the other day so excited to tell me about all the kids in her class that have an elf that live at their  house that do all these silly things and she wanted to know why we don’t have a little elf living at our house. Sigh. Because Mommy sucks and has way too much on her plate already to house a little elf that moves all the time. But I caved. And I have NEVER seen Lydia Grace so excited. So worth the ridiculous price and effort!

We discovered him last night. He must have just flown in,  eased down the chimney, and was trying to climb up our fireplace. He brought his book with him so I read it to the kids. Lydia already knew the whole story because she has one in her classroom too. (Thank you, overachieving teachers, thank you! Just Kidding.) So, after we read the story Lydia was jumping around with excitement and hugging me every 10 seconds. She wanted me to text her teachers so that they would know that she has an elf now. She named him Mr. Buddy. Not long after we discovered him, Liam shoved Lydia because she was in his way. Jared and I were all “Liam, do not push your sister! That elf is here to tell Santa if you are naughty or nice! Do you want to be on the naughty list?” He looked at us. He looked at the elf. He looked at us and said “No, hims still happy, wook” as he pointed to Mr. Buddy’s mischievously smiling face. Chuckling we were all “No, Liam, he will tell Santa.” So then he goes right up to the elf and gets as close as he can without touching him, because if you touch him he loses his magical powers, you know, and says “He wooks fake!” Jared and I were rolling. And Lydia Grace- she was furious. She was completely appalled by his skepticism! How dare he even infer that Mr. Buddy is FAKE!  “He is NOT fake, Liam! He is real. He is really, really real!” She yelled throwing her arms around like a Baptist preacher.

I, on the other hand, was appalled that my 2 year old knows and uses the word fake correctly. And that he was so skeptical. He was looking at Mr. Buddy like you want me to believe that that little, fake looking thing flies to Santa every night to report my behavior. I think I‘ll take my chances! Being naughty is way too fun!

This should be exciting!