Thursday, February 14, 2013

Countdown to 8:00

We were lucky enough to bring 2012 to a close with some great friends.  Though Chad, Cliff and Daniel have been friends since college, the Robinsons and Sineways have turned into life-long friends who we are thrilled to "do life" with these days. 
The Robinsons were nice enough to host everyone - all 13 of us - and we had fun with the kiddos counting down to 8:00!  We had fun eating dinner, playing games and fighting sharing toys! 

2012 brought three new additions to the group!  Carson (April), Audry (October) and Ben (November).  God is good!

Every half hour we popped a balloon and did an activity.  8:00 was "party time!"

This is what our NYE looked like.  Wouldn't trade it!

Great picture of Daniel and Jennifer.

Leah and Griffin being domestic.  Foreshadowing to 25 years from now?  Maybe we'll be showing this picture at their rehearsal dinner! 

Jack and Griffin showing us their muscles.  So strong!


Sweet, sweet Anna

All tuckered out after a fun evening!
So, when the clock struck 8:00 we got our hats on, our noise makers out and celebrated in style!  The kids were home and in bed by 9:00 - late for them - and Chad and I weren't too far behind.  We decided against ringing in the new year at midnight...we knew those cute kids would be up bright and early!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Christmas Day!

 Christmas morning came around our usual wake up time - 7:00am.  I can't remember if the boys woke up at the same time or if one of them had to be woken up.  Chad occupied the boys upstairs while I got the video camera ready down stairs! 
The reaction from the boys was surprisingly calm.  Obviously Carson didn't really have a clue as to what was going on, and I'm not entirely sure Griffin did either.  It was fun to see all the "pieces" slowly come together for him this year - Santa, asking for certain gifts, Christmas morning, etc.  Griffin was excited by his train table but in a very calm way.  I think he was just taking it all in - at his own pace.  We thought he'd go crazy over his much anticipated circus train, but there wasn't much of a reaction at all!  Haha...guess you never know what you expect as parents. 
It was pretty nice actually.  The morning was fairly calm and definitely fun.  Griffin went slowly, from toy to toy, giving each one some play time...obviously the trains and train table were favorites though!  I think Carson also had fun going from toy to toy...he loved everything!

Everyone playing with their new gifts!

Papa Don and Boo got to see what Santa brought the boys with a little "Face Time." Isn't technology wonderful?!

After we enjoyed our morning at home, we got ready to head over to Aunt Cindy's house for the traditional Christmas brunch.  A yummy meal and a chance to share stories from the morning!
I love how C is looking up at Papa Charlie here.

Oh, how I love Gaga!

Three generations.

The ladies.

After a busy day, it was nice to come back home and wind down.  We took time to remember that it was also Jesus' birthday and Griffin had fun singing happy birthday to him.  And even though the house was a mess and our new toys were everywhere, sitting under a blanket and snuggling with my boy made me one happy mama!  It was a very, merry Christmas.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Meeting Santa!

Griffin was excited to visit Santa this year and tell him what he wanted - the circus train, a turn table and Tidmouth Shed.  We joined the crowds and stood in line at Perimeter Mall so we could see the bearded man.  As we stood in line Griffin kept talking about how he couldn't wait to get the circus train.  It finally dawned on me that Griffin was under the impression that he would get the gifts he asked for immediately.  Like Santa would magically pull whatever he asked for out of his sack and hand it to him right then and there.  Yikes! 
I told Griffin that today we were only going to tell Santa what we would like for Christmas but that he would have to wait a few more weeks (until Christmas) to see if Santa brought him these gifts.  Que the two-year-old melt down.  Right there in line! 
Luckily by the time we made it to the front of the line, G had pulled himself together.  He really enjoyed sitting in Santa's lap and Carson did great too!  Carson took one good look at Santa and decided he liked him!  (I'm not sure that Carson has met anyone he doesn't like yet...sweet boy!)
After G recovered from the bad news I gave him.

Lucky for us Carson asked Santa for hand-me-down toys from his brother!

Once we were finished with our visit and we were back in the car Griffin continued to cry about the fact that he didn't get his circus train that day.  Haha - poor boy!  When you think about it, this is a hard concept for a 2 year old to understand.
Now, writing this post almost 2 months after Christmas, Griffin is still talking about Santa.  He still asks people what Santa brought them for Christmas, and he is still coming up with new requests for Santa.  We keep telling him that Christmas is a loooong way away now and that he'll have to wait until next Christmas to ask for these toys.  He also keeps asking where "Eddie the Elf" is...his Elf on the Shelf.  The answer is simple and the same every time - at the North Pole with Santa.
Can't wait until next December!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Month of Celebrating

This year the Christmas celebrations were all spread out...which made it feel like the never-ending Christmas...which was okay with me...and GREAT with Griffin!
We started with a small get together at my parents house with the Knights!  Sweet Carson was sick (that's the theme of this winter) so he stayed back - lucky for us Chad's parents were in town and were happy to keep him - while Chad, G and I enjoyed round 1 of family, food and presents!!  This holiday season was especially special for Ramsey and Jenna as they got to see Christmas through Jackson's eyes for the first time.  I must say, holidays are so fun as parents!

No surprise here - G at the train track! 

Since Carson missed the celebration, my mom came over the next day and we helped Carson open his gifts!  Griffin left earlier in the morning to go to Papa Don and Boo's house for the week (hallelujah - Mama needed some time away from that boy), so Carson got a private opening session.  It worked out perfectly because if G had been there, Carson likely wouldn't have gotten to play with or enjoy ANY of his loot!
His first experience with opening gifts.  He got the hang of it pretty quickly!

Fun puppets from Ramsey and Jenna were a hit!

I got Chad and I got a new camera for Christmas so I had fun playing with it and took a ton of pictures of the tree and decorations.  Here are two of my favorite.  Two out of about 700 photos.  Haha!
Notice our new stockings!  I love them!

Next, the Boyds were in town for a short visit and our house turned into a war zone while Griffin and Blake ran around, played and opened presents.  The adults played referee between the boys who LOVED playing with each other - as long as toys weren't involved.  Turns out neither one of them is very fond of sharing.  Fun times!  (We're going to miss this phase one day, right?)

I love this picture!  Thanks for the train letters Aunt Nat Nat!

The next shift was Papa Don and Boo.  Poor, poor grandparents weren't feeling well.  They were suppose to stay with us for a bit and then head up to Natalie's to spend Christmas morning up there.  Being the ever-so-loving grandparents they are, they sacrificed their time with their grandkids to keep us all healthy.  After a quick trip to the doctor (to confirm they were both sick), they came to our house for a quick present opening session, then jumped in the car and made the four hour drive back to their house.  Now that's love!

Papa Don in his face mask (Boo had one on too).  He does get the award for "Best Grandpa!"

As always, the boxes and the paper are the most fun.

Griffin got a big boy bike!  (A month later and the kid still hasn't figured out how to pedal.)
Just getting creative with the new camera.  Sweet Carson boy!

Finally it was time for the traditional Christmas Eve celebration with the Lovetts...only this year we changed the location to Tripp and Jan's house - the young Lovetts.  It was fun to have the whole gang there!  We changed it up a bit this year and did a secret Santa gift exchange which always adds a little life to the party.
I just LOVE this picture of Gaga and Chad.  They both look great.

The kids are the star of the show.  It's so fun to have little ones around!

Jackson and Carson

Griffin kept everyone busy, demanding to be chased around the house.  He ran around and around for a good 30 minutes and his sweet cousins and aunt and uncle were happy to oblige.

Mom and Dad and all their grands.  Wonder if we will ever get a picture of everyone looking at the camera?


An awesome picture of two awesome people.

Carson man and CiCi!

The gift exchange got heated a few times!  Those Lovett ladies like to steal gifts!

After lots of fun with our family, we were excited to head home and get ready for Santa Clause to visit the next morning!  Griffin really seemed to "get" Santa this year - or at least understood that some man was suppose to bring him presents that he asked for - specifically a "circus train" to go with the rest of his million trains.  We explained that it would be nice to leave Santa a snack because he would be hungry when he got to our house because he had such a busy night.  Griffin chose to forgo the traditional milk and cookies and left him water and "fruit ray rays."  Fitting since this is Griffin's favorite snack.

Santa was here!

And with visions of sugar plums circus trains dancing in their heads, the boys went to sleep - ready for some fun the next morning!