THE HOLIDAYS: A PERFECT TREE.

We chose a sweet little fraser fir this morning down the road at the high school Christmas tree stand. We were the only souls there at 8:30am other than about ten high school honor society students. They were polite, helpful and happy to take pictures. 🥰

Charlie ran around the place with Mike chasing behind, while Ben and I slowly walked the aisles, on the hunt for the perfect tree. Not too tall, not too full, a little bit skinny and the best smelling we could find. She’s waiting on the porch now, while we straighten up, dig out the tree stand and have final discussions about placement. “Play room!” “No! Living room!” I have a feeling that Mike’s argument of playroom so we open present on Christmas morning right next to her will win. I can’t wait to see her all dolled up!

Do you have your tree yet? I feel like everyone but us has theirs already!

LITTLE THINGS THIS WEEK.

1. this tree-scape advent calendar…img_4327because it’s loved just as much this year as last.

2. this sheep refrigerator art…img_4391and the tiny hands who made it at school this week.

3. this collection of things found in my pocket…img_4335when self care, lunch duty, and babies collide.

4. this mason jar…img_4406and the vast expanse of water it has helped me drink this week.

5. this play nativity…img_4341for day 5 of the advent calendar, and for the full hour of entertainment it provided yesterday.

in other news:

this was one of those glorious weeks that passed by so quickly, it’s almost as if it didn’t happen at all. i keep asking myself, was there school on monday? am i sure? there was, it flew, and the week is behind us already.

this weekend, the rest of the christmas decorations are going to be pulled out of the giant chest they live in. it’s our first year in our new house, and i’m itching to decide where things should go. the christmas tree has been a discussion – the playroom, or the living room – and we haven’t quite settled on it, but one of us is going to reason their way into success.

it was a good, easy week at school. the excitement about our christmas tree in the corner, the book tree in the hallway, twinkle lights on every surface and the wrapped boxes underneath have been highlights in my chats with my students. thanksgiving memories of turkey and stuffing are far behind us. i’m reading the grinch with my kindergarten and first graders, and mike reads it nightly with charlie (‘gwinch! gwinch! ‘lou who!’) and i swear i have it memorized.

it’s the best time of year, friends, i hope you’re soaking up every little moment.

“staring down from his cave with a sour, grinchy frown at the warm lighted windows below in their town. for he knew every who down in who-ville beneath was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath.” –how the grinch stole christmas! by dr. seuss.

A THANKSGIVING SPENT IN INDIANA.

img_0306img_3967We are very thankful for time spent with our families in Indiana this year. Flying with our two little guys wasn’t any easier than I thought it would be, but it was better than it could have been. Taking them out of their routine showed us that we should probably make it more of a habit than we do now. All the missed naps, refused feedings, and early wake ups were so worth the time spent with both sides of our families.img_3981img_3832Our parents’ houses were full of laughter, food, wine and loved ones, just how I like it. img_3947 While we were home, we also had a baby shower for my brother’s wife. They’re expecting their first, a baby girl, and we couldn’t be more excited for them.img_3973img_3828

We got in all of our Thanksgiving traditions: The turkey bowl at my aunt’s house, Thanksgiving dinner at home, trivial pursuit at Uncle John and Aunt Dianne’s, and then down to Mike’s house for Ben’s (and his cousin, Harper) baptism the next day (more pictures to come for that).img_0334img_3849img_0288img_3844img_3942img_3834img_0366Honestly, I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked. I just didn’t ever have my phone on me! Too busy enjoying my time with everyone. That’s a good thing! img_3923It’s so hard to be far from family and only have a couple visits a year to look forward to, but I can’t say I was sad to leave the icy temperatures behind. I said to Mike when we got outside the airport, “oh my gosh, it’s so humid. It feels amazing.” Words I never thought I’d utter.img_4065Those wide open skies, red barns, bare trees, and fires in the fireplace make my heart squeeze with the homesickness of it all though. Until next time, Hoosier state! img_3793

 

OUR WEEK AT A GLANCE. {vol. 5}

img_0371We’re home after a whirlwind of a week in Indiana. Our parents’ houses were both packed with food, family, laughter and wine which is just how we like it. Days passed by in that busy mode of doing everything and nothing all at the same time. A walk down the street felt like  true achievement. Now that we’re home, we’re in vacation recovery mode, practically buried under piles of laundry and half empty bags with fingers crossed that our house doesn’t succumb to the flu bug that’s been going around the rest of the family.

week at a glance

This week looks to be pretty quiet. I’d like to get the Christmas decorations out, but have low expectations of getting anything up. The weather was so beautiful today that I took the boys to the park after school. Dinner, we pulled out that half gallon of mommy soup from a few weeks back and just had to heat it up and make a few peanut butter sandwiches to go with. Taco Tuesday follows, then sheet pan chicken with broccoli and potatoes on Wednesday. Thursday is a night without Mike, so I’ll heat up tacos for Charlie and I, and then Friday is, of course, pizza night. I also pulled out some frozen pumpkin muffins that I made a few weeks ago, there’s cheesecake ice cream in the freezer and Mike’s making popcorn for our snack tonight as we speak, and hot chocolate is in the pantry for another night, so those are some treats to look forward to this week.

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I’m hoping to get a couple runs (honestly, walk/runs) in during the week and then one night of yoga (I’ve been so stiff lately!), and this weekend we’ll get another couple runs in together if the boys allow it. Other than that, I started a new book today from school, and I can already tell it’s going to be so cute. We’ve got a hallmark Christmas movie on, and it’s supposed to get down into the 40’s tonight! Brr! We put the boys to bed in their flannels, and sweatshirts and long pants are laid out for the morning. I can’t wait to hear Charlie say “Brrrrr. Told.”

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LITTLE THINGS THIS WEEK.

1. this oversized suitcase…

because it’s borrowed from a friend and fingers crossed, big enough for four.

2. this tiny sound machine…for the (hopefully) extra sleep everyone will get whilst room sharing on our holiday travels.

3. these sweet family stripes from a fairy godmother…

because come December you’ll find us wearing them nightly (I’ve already been cheating by wearing my leggings).

4. this pan of homemade granola bars…

for being ready to wrap up and tuck away for a long day of travel tomorrow.

5. this stack of tiny warm hand-me-down clothes…

for two little boys headed to winter!

in other news:

we’re on vacation!! i’m scurrying around cleaning and throwing things into suitcases haphazardly, consulting my packing lists and intermittent breaks for side-clenchingly funny videos that mike finds on instagram. our flight leaves for indiana at five pm tomorrow and i’m relying on a combination of preparedness by trying to think of all possible scenarios and also prayer. it’s our first flight with both (very mobile) boys, right around bedtime! 😬 i am sure we will come away from it so much wiser than we are now. we are so excited for a whole week with family! what are you up to this weekend, reader? something good, i hope.

8 MONTHS WITH BEN

I can’t believe that this little red headed pumpkin pie is 8 months old. After a rough, tear filled first few months with Ben, he has transformed into the happiest baby. I have no idea what switched, but I’m not complaining. At this point, Charlie cries more than Ben does. No joke.I think the most important update this month is that Ben is sleeping! through! the! night! Just a few weeks after we moved into our new house, he dropped his last night feeding (watch him start waking up again after typing this down). He goes to bed early (6:30 usually), but is up and at it early too (like 5:30am early). I’m okay with the schedule because we have to get up so early for school anyway. In other big 8 month old baby news, he’s crawling! It’s a herky-jerky stiff little beginner crawl and for a couple weeks he went backwards instead of forward, but now the kid has it down. He can get what he wants! He’s trying to pull up on everything, but isn’t quite there yet. He can stand for a while if we put him up against something, but his hunky little body doesn’t let him stay up for long. Ben loves to watch his big brother terrorize the house, he loves to eat (with his two teeth!) white bread, puffs, graham crackers, loves his binky, jumping (with help), and the bottle. He’s a fantastic napper in the morning, but consistently struggles to go down in the afternoon. He’s become an acrobat during diaper changes, bending and twisting in ways I didn’t know a baby could move. He loves playing with crinkly containers of wipes, and loves playing with everything around the house that isn’t a toy. He’s still into his baby swing, but also likes to just sit on the floor in the kitchen with the colander or a rubber spatula while I’m cooking. He does not like sitting in the playroom if he can see us far away in the kitchen. Separation anxiety is definitely setting in.

He babbles loudly all day and says “mamamamama” and “dadadadada” with no real intention of saying mama or dada, but it still warms our hearts. His cry sounds so much like Charlie’s that sometimes I have to look at the monitor to see if it’s him or Charlie who is up. I thought Ben would hate the car for the rest of his life, but he’s the best little car rider now. He often falls asleep on the way home from daycare which is such a godsend. The echoes of his cries will ring on forever in my mind from his first 3 months of life though. I think I’m recovering from the PTSD of that phase.I have no idea how much he weighs, but he’s wearing 9 and some 12 month baby clothes now, and we’ve started moving things that Charlie is outgrowing directly into Ben’s drawers, so Ben is definitely catching up to his big brother!

He’s just the best little (big) guy and we love him so very much!