Christmas 2015


Christmas was busy and full this year, so full. We were lucky that everyone agreed to come to us and celebrate this Christmas in our brand new house!

Mom, Saundra and Addie arrived on Monday and it was instant snuggles and love…IMG_4339

This holiday season was also Star Wars Christmas…IMG_4343

And bananas…IMG_4345

Some may call this waiting until the last minute, I call it planning the perfect time for the activity at hand, but we decorated our sugar cookies…

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We got ready for church in a flash, rolled into Christmas Eve service, then came home for our traditional pierogies meal with cocktails…IMG_4375

We got everything ready for Santa…IMG_4376


Then sometime during the night, Santa came, bearing bananas…



Then Christmas morning was full of excitement, laughter and love…IMG_4381 IMG_4390 IMG_4392 IMG_4393 IMG_4399 IMG_4402 IMG_4404

While there were a lot of good gifts given, this was certainly the year of the claw…

…and the drone…IMG_4448

…and the selfie stick (look at that joy)…




The aftermath was considerable…IMG_4459

But we found a way to get through…IMG_4464


Then, as it was unseasonably and record-breakingly warm, we hit the beach…IMG_4466 IMG_4473 IMG_4479 IMG_4483 IMG_4486 IMG_4487

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After we had our fill of beach and bocce, we came back home to the smell of ham wafting through the house and Christmas dinner…
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I include both of these photos because the progression of looks on the boys’ faces is just classic…IMG_4497 IMG_4499


Saturday we took everyone downtown and spent some time there, enjoying restaurants and breweries. Then on Sunday folks started to leave. Dan didn’t have a flight out until later so we took him with us to explore a new hiking trail (Ev Henwood)…


It was a great break, leaving us full and exhausted (as it should be) and so happy.

It is so hard to believe that my baby is four – FOUR! I have always said that when he came along, we knew our family was complete. He is pure energy and love, and I am so thankful we get to be his parents. Between his propensity to hit his head (and others), snuggling being his favorite activity, his train love, and his phenomenal imagination and creativity, he keeps us on our toes! We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his birthday day than taking part in our church’s outreach project to “feed the firemen.”

We arrived at the set time bearing garlic bread. The firefighters then let the kids tour the facility…

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After that excitement, we took the birthday boy to get his favorite dinner: PIZZA! We hit Slice of Life downtown for a “late”night out. When we came home, we gave the birthday boy his birthday candle on an Oreo, his favorite dessert…


The following weekend, we had his birthday party at the Wilmington Railroad Museum. We invited his preschool friends and a few other families we’ve met during our short time in this city. Luckily, the weather was gorgeous and the kids had fun running all over the small museum and caboose.

IMG_4292 IMG_4293 IMG_4296 IMG_4301 IMG_4308 IMG_4313 IMG_4318 IMG_4322 IMG_4326 IMG_4327 IMG_4331 IMG_4333I feel like the party was a success and he loved it – I loved it.

December 17th was packed with Christmas performances and celebrations for the boys. From one to the other…

We started at Bryant’s school where they did a full Christmas pageant. Bryant got to be a shepherd and really just spent the entire time enthusiastically waving at us. It was pretty heart-melting. We didn’t get too many shots or videos, though, since the Mamarazzi was pretty intense.


After the stellar performance, all the preschoolers got to partake in way too much sugar at an all-family cookie party…


After some Chick-fil-A lunch, it was over to Curtis’s school performance.

This was held outside since it is a small Montessori school.


The one iPod player also broke (since it is a small Montessori school), which led to the performance being unintentionally hysterical…

See it on YouTube here

Ah, young Christmas sing/shouting (“shingting?”)!

It was the highly-anticipated night, the night the boys finally got to perform in the church Christmas musical.

They were so excited (Curtis even had a speaking part) and practiced a lot.

They took stage and began, with waves and smiles…

And two minutes later Bryant decided he was tired…

Curtis was amazing at his part (and you can see him in the video below). So good!IMG_4247 IMG_4254

See it on YouTube here.

Bryant even makes his first performing cameo on our local news station:

Afterwards, the church gathered for a pasta potluck dinner and even though my little sheep was exhausted, I got this picture and the cuteness shouldn’t even be allowed…


‘Tis the reason for the season!

I just want to hit the pause button. I want to stay here, in this moment in time, forever. And ever. Please.

Sure, life is busy, but it is also so magical. My children are honest, innocent, and so beautifully fun. Life is brilliant for them.

This year, following with our tradition, we made sure that our visit to Santa was personal and special. So we bought tickets to the Enchanted Gardens at Airlie Gardens.

The first thing we did was wait in line to meet Santa and the anticipation was palpable…




And then, we were there! We met him!



See it on YouTube here.


Yes, I may have gotten teary-eyed.

But then we were free to run through the enchanted land…










On a glorious 70-degree North Carolina Day, the Town of Leland offered us its Christmas Parade.

Bryant and I loaded up our bike (not even having to wear long pants over our short pants!) and went up to the main road.

There, we had an impatient wait for things to happen…


And then they did.

There was a whole lot of awesome in the Leland Christmas Parade as well as a whole lot of ridiculous, but in the homegrown variety way. Here were some of the highlights (and yes, that’s the Piggly Wiggly pig and a dancing chicken for Bojangles)…



But, of course, the best float BY FAR was this…



Not to be held back any longer, Bryant grabbed his dad’s hand and my boys paraded down the road with Pack 747 under the shadow of the Waffle House…

IMG_4149It was epic.

While Bryant and I were on a trip to the Lake, John and Curtis had a “big boys” weekend back here at home. It included a great visit with PapaGa as well as this…


See it on YouTube here.

Curtis went five miles on a beginner trail and, he says, he can’t wait to go back!



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