Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Santa

Merry Christmas! I know I'm running late on these posts but there were some great ones I couldn't help but document, so you're going to be getting quite a few holiday posts from me. So just bear with me. My camera was smoking today with pictures. I'm sure I'll still be posting about those around February.

We wrote our letters to Santa a couple of weeks ago. This was the first year that Campbell could "write" his letter.

And by write his letter, I mean copy my letters word for word, BUT it's in HIS handwriting and that still counts even if he has no idea what it spells. 

The amount of concentration that this took from this little 4 year old was intense.

I was so proud of him for sticking with it and the stationary I found online was perfect. He checked that he had been naughty (thank goodness he's truthful about it). So it was more or less a confessional. 

Nolan is a pro at Santa letter writing. I'm not even sure I helped him spell telescope.

I love this tradition of writing letters and it makes it so easy that we just send our letters with our elf, Pickles to the North Pole that very night for overnight delivery.

This one wasn't much into letter writing but she was into looking cute!

Luckily, Santa is such a sucker for cuteness.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas card 2012

This is what happens when you have an uncooperative 15 month old who was getting over croup while trying to take family photos. This is a composite of 5 different photos merged into one thanks to a really talented and crafty graphic artist husband.

And here's the back of our card.

I got the idea from Pinterest but I think the original lady had a much more cooperative bunch than mine. Oh well, it's the final product that counts, right?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Here comes Santa Claus

I'm pretty proud that we made it to see Santa downtown the first week of December. Usually, it's a oh-shoot-we-haven't-gotten-Santa-pics-yet kind of a thing.

Not too bad, I'd say. I mean Landry is looking down but what are you gonna do with a 15 month old, right? While she did fuss, it wasn't one of those screaming kid Santa pictures. I'll take it!

Looks like Landry loves candy as much as her mama does.

This is the first year that Campbell went right to Santa. Usually he's got a death grip on one of us.

 Probably because he knows that he better be sweet with all that naughty stuff he's been up to. No one can resist Campbell's big blue eyes and cute hugs. He's a quick learner.

I love downtown Fort Worth so much and especially at Christmas time. I know it's not NYC but our downtown turns into something so magical and heart-warming during Christmas time. It's like those little snow villages that you watch with wonder when you're a little kid.

Minus the snow. In fact, my poor children were sweating as we saw Santa on a 80 degree day. Sigh. One can dream of a white Christmas, right?

This picture on the left is my new favorite of my trio. Do you know how incredibly hard it is to photograph all three looking at the camera?

I made these shirts for the boys last year and I was so happy to see that they fit for one more year!

Many many years ago, I was an assistant buyer at Pier 1. They do an amazing light display and we took the kids to go see it. They love it every year.

Love our Santa pictures every year. I keep an album of each kid with Santa. Love this tradition and I hope my kids keep being good sports about it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's beginning to look like Christmas...

I've discovered that my love for decorating for Christmas has diminished over the years. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love enjoying the decorations when they're all put out on display. And I love love love Christmas music, but the actual process of decorating? Ugh.

My Norman Rockwell daydream consists of listening to Bing Crosby with a fire in the fireplace while reminiscing about each ornament we meticulously place on the tree. Hot apple cider aromas drift through the house and we all snuggle up on the couch and admire our masterpiece when it's finished.

Well, my house is the complete and total opposite that.

I guess that's the life with little ones. Tree decorating takes hours and all the breakables are put up top where little hands can't reach. The boys are throwing a football past a 9 foot tree loaded with sentimental and breakable ornaments. About half way through the process, I convince myself that there's no way that I'm putting out all of my Christmas decorations because that would be insane. And then I start wondering why I even did it in the first place.

But then I realize, this is it. This really is my true dream....to have a house full of kids being normal mischievous kids who squeal with excitement over the tree lighting up for the first time, who break snow globes because they just couldn't resist touching them because they look so magical.


So maybe we're not Norman Rockwell in the moment. In fact, I'm pretty sure I look exhausted, worn out and quite frankly, beat down.

But when I look back to the pictures, I don't remember how glitter was everywhere and it was a mess to clean up. I look at these picture and look at this and smile at that ridiculously cute pot belly on my baby girl and her adorable mushable bottom and wonder how I got so lucky I could cry.

 So you can have your Norman Rockwell moments because those are boring, I'll be busy picking up broken snow globes and finding room on my mismatched tree for more handmade ornaments loaded with glitter, compliments of my tiny artists.

And next year, I'm sure I'll do the same and swear that I'm going to get out even fewer decorations. I talk a big talk but when it comes to seeing more of this, I just suck it up and deal.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thanksgiving-Incredible Hulk style

Hi there, I’m Andrea, your long lost blogger. Oh my, I don’t think I’ve ever been this bad about blogging and keeping up. Guess that’s the life of having three kids and working two jobs. Extra time is pretty much nonexistent in our house.

Thanksgiving was a busy week. Who am I kidding...like there aren’t busy weeks?! I had 12 photo sessions that week! Yes, 12 and I’m still editing. I’ve seen hours past midnight a lot these days. I’m grateful for the growing photography business but looking forward to a slower December when I promised my family no sessions so I could celebrate the holidays with them.

The major kink in our week was Landry coming down with croup. My amazing husband took care of all three while I went on a girls’ trip, and with Landry being sick. He is a rock star. After a week of not getting better and possibly worse, we went back to the doctor and they ended up putting her on steroids and an antibiotic. Within hours, we noticed that she began to sound better. Poor thing sounded like she had been smoking a pack a cigs. The bad news was that the steroids made my otherwise adorable and sweet baby girl turn into the Incredible Hulk. She seriously had ‘roid rage and it was a rough five days. Finally, the last day we couldn’t take it anymore and we didn’t give her her last dose. Suddenly, our sweet and happy girl was back. Glad she was back, but it was at a very tiring and frustrating cost.

Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without snuggling in bed and watching the parade. Well, the boys snuggled anyway.

Landry screamed holy terror and I almost didn’t get a picture of it. She wanted NOTHING to do with the parade. We managed to snap our annual Thanksgiving picture in the backyard with our beautiful sweet gum tree that perfectly turns the week of Thanksgiving.

The boys were working the Heisman pose like no other.


And this is the best we could get from Landry Kate during her 'roid rage. 

Next, we headed to my parents’ house. My brother came in with his kids and it had been June since I saw them. It was so great seeing my nieces and nephews. The boys loved playing football in the backyard with their big cousin, Warren.

The food was awesome, as always. I don't know what I'm going to do when they pass the torch for me to cook the turkey. That just seems too grown up for me to do.

My brother and his boys checked out the Black Friday ads and even were brave enough to go shopping.

I went Black Friday night when I discovered we were down to our last diaper. I was scared to go, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Target was a ghost town and I even bought everything that I saw that was a deal! Double score! The trick is go when everyone else is so exhausted from earlier Black Friday sales.

My nieces Madison was there and looked gorgeous as always so I wanted to get some pictures of her with the kids.

Isn't she beautiful? Love her sweet smile. She told me she wanted me to Photoshop a blemish on her face. I told her it was just easier to do this...

It was a hard "first" Thanksgiving without my sister, Tonya. I was pretty proud that I only cried once. I thought of her a million times that day. I thought about how we would be scouring the Black Friday ads and how in her last couple of years, we would go shopping and I would joke with her that her wheelchair was slowing me down and she needed to upgrade to a jazzy scooter.

But having Madison there with us helped heal the wound. I wish my other nieces could have been there that day too because being with them helps.

In the midst of playing in the backyard, we saw a butterfly. For those of you who don't know, my sister's middle name means butterfly. I'd like to think that was her celebrating with us on Turkey Day. I mean how many butterflies have you seen at the end of November?

Yeah, me neither.

There's still so much to be grateful for in our lives and this year has taught me more than ever that people mean the very most.


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