Thursday, December 31, 2015


Christmas this year was a bit different than in years past for us.  There were less activities, less busyness, fewer handmade gifts made, and even fewer photographs taken.  Somehow it just seemed right this year. Christmas Eve 6

Christmas Eve 4

Christmas Morning 2

Christmas Morning 3

Christmas Morning 7

Christmas Morning 9

Christmas Morning 4

This is what it looks like when you get hit with a snowball as you're taking a picture, just in case you were wondering.  Sneak attack.   New jammies from Grandma, lots of giggles, and an indoor snowball fight or two made this Christmas just exactly what we needed.  

Snowman Cousins

Snowmen 4

A few years back I had the wild idea to make all the little cousins matching reindeer shirts for Christmas Eve.  They were all so tiny back then!  Well four years later we've added two new cousins, so of course new shirts were in order.  Because why not make 7 matching snowman shirts with a 6 week old baby?  Doesn't everyone do projects like that?  

Snowmen 1

Snowmen 3

Snowmen 9

Snowmen 11

We even managed to get all of them into one picture and some of them looking at the camera.  Even though we had one snowman that would have much rather been a dinosaur and not part of the picture, I'm still calling it a success.  And how cute is this?  


Gingerbread 9

Gingerbread 1

Gingerbread 3

Gingerbread 4

Gingerbread 6

Gingerbread 7

Monday, December 21, 2015

Season of Simplicity

Every year I say we're going to cut back, the to-do list won't be as long, and we won't over commit ourselves (myself especially) so we can enjoy the season.  And yet, somehow, every year there seems to be more to-do than time and I find myself stressing about completing everything and end up exhausted and feeling like I missed so much of the holiday season.

This year I was craving a much simpler holiday.  With all the changes in the past year I knew there was simply no way I could manage all the hustle and bustle of typical holiday preparations, especially with a newborn that prefers to be awake and held for the better part of the day.  I didn't want to look back on our first Christmas as a family of 5 and remember being short tempered and too busy to play because of a self imposed list of demands.  I knew something had to change this year, and it was up to me to make it happen.  I drastically cut down the amount of decorations we unpacked, said no to a lot of event invitations, and cut my gifting list down by as much as possible hoping everyone would understand.  And you know what?  Everyone more than understood, and it has felt absolutely wonderful.

I must admit that while it has been wonderful, it has also felt quite strange, but in a very good way.  I'll be perfectly honest and admit that neither myself or my husband were quite sure if I could manage to let so much go and really not allow myself to feel stress over the holidays.  I think I surprised us both this year.  Only a fraction of our holiday decorations were unpacked, and we haven't missed a single thing.  There are no pictures of our beautiful Advent spiral being lit because after the first few days it honestly went forgotten most evenings.  Many handmade gifts were abandoned in favor of a store-bought (and mostly online shopped) present that I'm sure will still be very loved. The goodies I had intended to bake and deliver to friends and neighbors never happened, and somehow that all seems okay this year.  Perhaps we'll bake New Year's treats instead.

What did happen this year is singing Christmas carols while the girls decorated the tree placing their favorite ornaments all in front and leaving the back of the tree mostly bare.  Reading our favorite Christmas stories by the light of the tree before bed in the evenings.  Afternoons spent coloring, crafting, and simply being together as a family.

  Christmas Girls 1

These faces here, this is what I want to remember from this holiday season.  I want to look back and know that I spent much more time staring at these faces than I did worrying about some list of imaginary requirements.  I am thankful for the things that did get completed and happy to let go of the things that didn't.  In these last few days before the holidays we'll do some baking together and of course I'll work on a few more gifts if time allows, because those are things that bring us joy.  And if nothing more is completed we'll be just as happy with that outcome as well.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

One Month

As am awake with you for what must be the hundredth time tonight, I realize an entire month has somehow managed to sneak by without so much as a warning.  How can that possibly be?  Surely there must be some mistake.  Though even as that thought crosses my mind, I realize that there is of course no mistake and time has simply sped by in the blink of an eye.  Already I can see the changes in front of me.  You're growing so quickly, as made evident by the ever growing stack of newborn clothing cast aside as I discover it no longer fits quite as it should.

I wish time would slow down just a bit, I'm just not quite ready.  However, as I look at your two older sisters, who adore you just as much as I do, I am made fully aware of the fact that despite my protests time simply continues marching on. 

Your oldest sister eve said to me "Now we get to know what it feels like to be you watching us grow up".  It seems that perhaps I'm not the only one struggling with you growing so quickly.  So please do us all a favor and slow down just a little and let us have time to prepare.  

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Trimming the tree

Tree 1 

 Every year as we put up this old tree a few more branches break and even more needles litter the ground. And every year we say that it’s the last year we’ll use this tree and that we’ll definitely buy a new one next year. Yet every year we pull out the same old tree, and I just can’t quite make myself find a new one.

  Tree 3

Tree 4

We bought this tree our first Christmas as a married couple, and even back then it wasn’t anything fancy but at the time it was perfect just the same. Our Charlie Brown tree, as we affectionately refer to it, has seen many changes over these past ten Christmases. Somehow holding up under the weight of new ornaments marking the additions of new babies and special memories we want to remember from the year behind us. 

    Tree 2

And this year we add another special ornament with the addition of our third and final sweet baby. Perhaps this is just what we’ve been waiting for all this time and this truly will be the final Christmas for our old tree. Maybe next year we will finally retire this faithful old tree and bring a new one home to enjoy…but then again, maybe not….

Friday, December 4, 2015

Slippers for St. Nicholas

This time last year I found myself up until the wee hours of the morning hurriedly trying to finish a new pair of slippers for each girl before St. Nicholas arrived.  Nothing sparks motivation quite like a last minute craft project and a quickly approaching deadline. Thankfully I did manage to finish in time, but only just barely.

Christmas Slippers 7

Christmas Slippers 8

Christmas Slippers 5

The girls were quite pleased with them, though the colorway made them extremely difficult to photograph well. The pattern was the Vanessa Button Slipper from Two Girls Patterns, and it was thankfully very quick and easy to complete.

This year as we began to settle in for the evening and prepare for the arrival of St. Nicholas we discovered that half of the slippers were missing!  Each girl could only find one slipper and though we turned the house upside down, the missing slippers were not recovered.  How is it possible that each child lost only one slipper?  Where could they have possibly gone?

Regardless of the why or how, I find myself once again up facing a looming deadline and hurriedly hoping to finish slippers before the arrival of St. Nicholas.  I certainly hope this doesn't become an annual tradition.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello World!

We are so happy to announce the arrival of our newest girl...

Paisley 18

She had her own ideas about when and how she would be born, but finally at 41 weeks our sweet little Paisley was here.  She was 20 1/2" long and 8lbs 15oz, most of which I'm pretty sure was in those cheeks.

Paisley 6

Paisley 5

She was welcomed into the family by two very excited big sisters who couldn't wait to get their hands on her and begin spoiling her absolutely rotten.  They had waited so long for the day they could finally meet their new sister face to face and the love they showed for her was immediate and intense.  Our sweet little one will never want for a pair of arms to hold her close.

Paisley 20

Becoming a mother for the third time is just as amazing and life changing as it was the two times prior.  We waited so long for her and the fact that she is finally here with us absolutely takes my breath away in some moments.  Being able to relish in the love and warmth of this new addition to our family is a gift beyond measure.  Knowing that you grew and nurtured a life within you is an absolutely humbling experience, and I am honored for the opportunity to begin this journey of motherhood once again.