Monday, December 21, 2015

Feeling Thankful

Life can get so busy and crazy this time of year.  I know that I have felt our lives just pick up the pace since Halloween!  From our trip to birthdays, Thanksgiving, and now I find myself getting ready to celebrate Christmas once again.  How do the years go by so quickly?  Working, parenting, and just life seems to be whizzing by, and I want things to slow down some days!  

I captured all of these images on my iPhone on Thanksgiving Day.  They aren't the greatest pictures, but they are my life right now...  Busy, no time for editing, just click and upload!  The picture above is one of my favorites from the holiday.  Mom and Dad piled up with all of their grandkids just laughing and giggling.  It is so nice that they are close and get to see everyone so often!  They have been a huge, huge help to me this fall while I have been taking Gracie to therapy at UVA and I don't know what I would have down without their help!  Thank you Gigi and Pop Pop!!

My girls...Chris snapped this picture right before bedtime, and we took a million pictures just to get this one that isn't too blurry!  Grace was a moving target and was over picture taking at this point in the night.  These girls are my heart and I love them both dearly!

The whole crew settled in for Thanksgiving Dinner!

We opted out of any Black Friday shopping and took the kids hiking at Sugar Hollow.  We made it farther than we have ever been, and got to see some new sights.  Each time we go we drag the kids a little bit further into the woods with hopes that we will build up their endurance.  They are becoming pretty good hikers despite lots and lots of complaining on the way back.  Ellie repeated a million times that "her legs were going to fall off"  "that her feet we killing her" on and on.  This is all the while that I am carrying Grace on my back who weighs over 40 pounds!  Oh the joys of forced, family, fun!  One day it will stick and they will enjoy it, right?!!
Oh the poses you get with these two are hilarious!  Vogue looks from Ellie with her hands on her hips, to I have no clue what Gracie is up to!

Then this boy just walked and explored and really took it all in!  He was up ahead of the crew for most of the walk telling us where to go next!  Love his adventurous spirit and willingness to be a leader!  A quick picture of Lucy Belle above, she was in and out of the water all morning!

Good luck getting ready for Christmas, I am going to try to take a deep breath and enjoy my two weeks at home with my crew!  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

That Silly Mr. Elf

You know your Elf is truly special when your children write him letters and draw him pictures.  Our Elf is just known as "Mr. Elf" around these parts, but he is very, very, well loved!

Mr. Elf sent us a super special "North Pole Breakfast" this week that did not disappoint.  

The breakfast was filled with all of the things that elves love best, "Sugar, sugar, and more sugar."

We dined on sugar covered donuts, candy canes, rice krispy Christmas cereal, Frozen marshmallow cereal, and got little Santa erasers!

We also got in the Christmas spirit by making Gingerbread Men Ornaments for our tree.  

Grace and Ellie loved this craft!  It was gingerbread scented salt dough, and then we cooked it in the oven.

Of course then we had to draw a picture of our gingerbread cookie ornaments too!

I can't wait to see what Mr. Elf has up his sleeve next!  He is on the loose....

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

You Know Life Happens

I had a thought the other day about just taking down my blog for good.  Just let it go, and admit that I don't have the same time I used to write about our little family.  But, as always I am drawn back to this place and space.  This is our story, and in the past few years our story has been a little hit or miss to say the least, and this blog definitely reflects the changes in our lives in the past three years.  

Mostly our lives have been affected by my working and running a small preschool. I have gone through many stages of a part-time working mom.
  • Stage One: Rosy Glasses! I can do this.  I can keep everything going that I used to do and run a home business; no problem.
  • Stage Two: Letting Go!  This shit is hard.  How do people work and take care of a family?
  • Stage Three:  Realization that your life has changed! Man, I really did everything around the house.  As in everything in our domestic life.  I can't keep it all going.
  • Stage Four: Acceptance!  I will do what I can at home.  I will do my best at work.  I will find the balance.  Many things won't get done.  It's Ok. 
  • Stage Five: Summertime!  No work.  Go back to Stage One.
This is now my third year working.  Many things have gotten easier.  At the same time my children's lives have gotten busier.  Grace has had a series of highs and lows.  But, overall I feel like I am getting the hang of school, planning, family life, and knowing when to ask for help.  

Chris and I recently got away for a long weekend to Punta Cana.  A big thank you to Grandma and Aunt Kim for watching our brood while we were gone.  It was a much needed break for sure.  I had quite a meltdown at the end of the October.  Grace was falling apart at the seems every evening due to adjusting back to school, Ellie brought home lice from her Kindergarten class right at the same time I got sick with a fever~flu thing.  Let's just basically say, it wasn't pretty.

After a pretty major meltdown on my part, Chris and I talked about dialing it back in with commitments.  The kids were busy, I was stressed, and I felt like all of my time to myself was spent working when I had a free moment.  Chris came up with a great plan to take the children to dinner and the grocery store every Wednesday night.  This will allow me to plan, prep, and get ready for school each week for a good chunk of time.  Sometimes, it just boils down to admitting that you can't do it all.  No one can.

I am truly lucky to have such a great partner who gets it, and is willing to take three children to the grocery store.  Pretty awesome. This will keep us from having to spend weekend time shopping too!

I have a lot to share, from big upcoming performances, to therapy and stress with Grace.  We definitely have it covered over here. 

For now I will leave you with some super sweet pics of the kiddies!

Ellie and her buddies getting ready to walk into dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker.  She auditioned with 90 children and got chosen as a party guest and an angel.  She will be performing in two shows at our local community college.  Super proud of her!

A little Halloween fun from last month!

This little thing loves some face paint...and minions!

And I can't get over this picture!  Bradley is so big, but at the same time will wear a star wars mickey hat and pose with Daddy.  I love this age with him!

I hope to see this place again soon, and share more of our little family adventures.