Thursday, December 27, 2012

A quick little photoshoot...

We didn't get a chance to get a picture of the grandkiddos over Thanksgiving this year, so we opted to do a few shots before we went to church Christmas Eve. I knew that we would all look pretty and I am serious, we might have been up at my dad's barn 10 mins. It was all worth it in the end, even if the lighting is a little off...:)

Their reward was a quick climb in the tractor... 

My twin brother, Brad, his wife Alison and Emma... 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pre-Christmas celebrations!

Oh, these girls!
It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing, they ALWAYS leave me rolling. I swear, I don't laugh as much in the entire year as I do when we all get together...
We headed down to WD the weekend before Christmas to have a little holiday get-together at Cam's...epic.
We did a fun little home-made gift exchange- I made Cam some glass etched dishes and some awesome wine glasses that I was pretty proud of. But, I have to say that Matt's song he wrote for Lynz stole the show. Pure awesomeness.

That Sunday we headed up to Nanny's for a bit with Stef and Kaci...

Ileigh giving Nanny kisses...sweet girl!

Eli and Papaw in their matching suspenders!

25 of my favorite Holiday Moments.

1. Finishing up our scheduled photos and edits for the year!
2. Cousins' dinner and making headbands

3. Sunday School Christmas Party

4. Church Musical
5. Anniversary
6. Kaci's dress fitting/Stef coming to town
7. Eli's crafts from school
8. Cami's party
9. Baking and delievering cookies to our fire departments with Eli
10. Santa coming early
11. Sending out Christmas cards 
12. Getting Christmas cards
13. FINISHING the cabinets
(Before and After)

14. Watching lots of Christmas movies
15. Mistletoe
16. Decorating the kids' tree with them

17. Finding just the right gift for people!
18. Happy, Merry birthdays!
19. Shopping with my dad
20. Eli and Ileigh riding the tractor together
21. Pajama Donut Date
22. Going to WD and having everyone at my parents' house
23. Chinese Exchange at Nanny's
24. SNOW!
25. Birthday Cake on Christmas Day

Christmas Eve...

I really love Christmas Eve with our family.
This year we wanted to help Nanny and Papaw out, so we had dinner out on my dad's patio and then went to Nanny and Papaw's for gifts.

Here I am with the girl cousins and their kiddos...

He is my most cherished gift ever... 

Everyone filling their plates 

Alison thought her and I should take a photo since we are wearing the same trend.
I love my sweater dresses and boots! 

Eli "coupling up" something for Aunt Lynda and Tyler 

After a yummy dinner with way too many desserts, we headed to Nanny's
Ileigh was one of the youngest there so she went first... 

I love the way Papaw is pulling Eli close to tell him something in this picture.
He adores Eli. 

Eli and Aunt Karen- he wanted to help her open a gift... 

I know it is crazy and loud and at time inappropriate, but I love all of us crammed into Nanny's house. 

And a little floor perspective of Eli's new toy from Nanny and Papaw. Gotta love the Ninja Turtles! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa Came to Town

Santa came a few days early to our house this year.
If you remember, we have struggled with the idea of Santa since Eli was born- we knew this year we had to do something. Eli is at the age where he knows all about Santa, and talks about him all the time. I am attributing this to preschool because we don't even have decorations with Santa on them.

I have been really torn about this- and if there is a plea for one side or the other I have heard it.
I prayed a lot and Chris and I talked a lot. One day, I had an idea.
Why don't we celebrate St. Nicholas Day?
That way, St. Nicholas could come early...and then we could be done with it.
So, that is what we did.

Since St. Nicholas Day is at the beginning of the month, and our month was CRAZY, we moved the day to yesterday.
All day long we looked for ways to give to others.
We went through all our old toys and clothes and took them to be donated.
We made a special trip up to daddy's work to take presents to his secretaries.
We made and delivered our neighbor gifts.
All day we talked about giving and what the Bible says about giving. We talked about the story of St. Nicholas and how he loved God.

Then, this morning, Eli discovered that St. Nicholas came to visit him.

Eli got some kind of "Bat Cave" which Santa might have found on Craigslist.
Ileigh got the Little People Nativity Set.
(I know, I know your kiddos probably had that for their first Christmas, right? Don't judge. I know I am behind in the "good" mom game!)

Eli was super excited (Iliegh was too) and we all had a lot of fun.
And, now, on Christmas morning we can focus on a birthday party for Jesus and if Eli or anyone else asks about Santa, we can simply say he came a little early to our house. :)