That Christmas feeling....

My grandparents' Christmas with Conniff record was my favorite thing about Christmas when I was a child. If they had other Christmas records, I definitely don't remember them. I only wanted to hear this one over and over again. My request to hear the record was never denied, even in the middle of Summer. Hearing the traditional Christmas songs channels everything good about Christmas for me. I used to listen to the CD when I was away from home in college, graduate school and across the pond. This record always transported me back home and put me in the holiday spirit.

I don't remember one present my grandparents gave me for Christmas as a child. Not one. I'm sure there was a special doll or toy each year - they always tried hard to get my brother and sister and I just the right gifts. My grandparents did not have much money and I remember my grandmother used to put things on lay away (remember that?!) at the small department store in my hometown. The gifts were not ex…

Roxie and my babies

Thinking about and missing Roxie this time of year....The similarity of these two photos of Charlie and Izzy at almost the exact same age (about 8-10 months) with Roxie is amazing, but not surprising. She was the most patient of dogs and wonderful with the kids from the time they were born.

Failed Holiday Photos 2.0 - #TBT Izzy's first Christmas

I would be remiss if I didn't include my valiant attempts at getting a Christmas card picture on this blog. I started early this year, knowing two kids would be more challenging than one. I am happy with the picture we used for the cards (none of these) but a few of these are cute, funny and perfectly imperfect.

Failed holiday photos - #TBT Charlie's first Christmas (and Roxie photos! ❤)

Charlie's first Christmas. A must-have photo, right? We spent the long Thanksgiving weekend in pursuit of the perfect picture. You will see a similar trend, beginning with this cheery family photo....

Just say Yes!

I had the best, unexpected and unplanned Sunday with Charlie. Izzy had a busy social calendar (first grade girls do not mess around), Ryan was busy and Charlie and I found ourselves alone. What to do?

Sundays are our catch-up days at home and our parental to-do list is usually long. I don't enjoy it, but it is the one day we go to the grocery store, do laundry, vacuum, run errands - all the stuff that has to get done around the house when both parents work all week. Most Sundays we encourage the kids to play outside, have a neighbor friend come over and basically entertain themselves. On Sundays, I say 'No' a lot. No, I don't have time to play. No, I can't throw the football. No, I can't play dolls or dress up. No, no, no. There just isn't enough time in the day, in the week, to get it all done.

This Sunday I asked Charlie what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to make a saxophone! To back up a bit, Charlie's third grade class went on a field trip l…

The Halloween Sweet Spot

8 and 6. Those might just be the absolute perfect ages for Halloween. Costumes, candy, school parties, ‘booing’ friends, carving pumpkins, ghost stories – they love it all!
I will admit that I loved coordinating the kids' costumes when they were little and they made for some pretty darn cute pictures.

But when they were that little, Halloween was more about what I wanted and the kids didn't really get it. Now, I happily sacrifice the cute coordinating outfits in favor of them using their imaginations. I love seeing what costumes they come up with each year. And as long as I don't have to make it - anything is fair game! Trick-or-treating with little ones can be hard work, and one scary clown sighting can ruin the entire night. We're past the hard work/scare easily stage and in what might be the very best stage. My kids are so excited to go trick-or-treating this year - and they want to go with us, their parents! Another couple years and they will be going with friends a…

Pumpkin Patch circa 2011 #TBT

This is one of my favorite Fall posts and Izzy's first trip to the Pumpkin Patch! Hey kids, what's with the expressions? 

Better late than never. We made it to a pumpkin patch this weekend. The pumpkin pickings were a little slim, but so were the crowds so it all worked out. Combined with the beautiful weather on this late Saturday afternoon, we couldn't have asked for a lovelier day.