Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas 2015

Things were a little different this year for Christmas.  Usually, we do a huge production of hosting, cooking, etc.  But, with the expected birth of my nephew Charlie, who was due on Christmas Day, the name of the game for this season was flexibility.  Flexible meant we wouldn't do a big day of cooking and we would be ready to go to Austin at the drop of a hat.

In the end, Charlie came a week before Christmas, but we still kept to our small plans.  We had family over in the morning and spent a quiet afternoon of family and neighbor time followed by a festive dinner out at a Chinese restaurant.  Do I dare say it might have been one of the best Christmases ever? Sometimes less is more and sometimes less is necessary for recharging. We enjoyed the ease of the day and the glorious 85 degree weather.
Christmas Eve at my mom's:
Aunt Samantha gets the award for most creative presents with this amazing shark shirt:
In keeping with the "ocean" theme, she also got Grace a really cute mermaid blanket:

Christmas Eve night complete with lights on the stairs and Christmas tree pictures.
("Enough pictures, Mom")
Christmas morning present highlights included Legos, space rockets, and a new baby doll high chair.
We try to keep the present overload to a minimum, so I was thrilled when somebody asked Palmer what he got for Christmas and he said, "so many things, like a million!"  Sweet.  For the win.
We had family over for the rest of the morning to do presents and have snacks.  Grace is a super big helper with opening presents.
 When she's not hitting up the bar.  (Craft cocktail kind of gal...)
 Cheese for all.
Yeti cups: the gift of the year! I bought 6 in October and thank goodness because they were scarce and going for top dollar in December.  Also, my amazing sister got me tickets to the Dixie Chicks for next summer.  I'm so pumped!!!  Best sister ever.
The dudes and their Legos.
The rest of the day was spent outside in mild May-like weather conditions.

And to round out the night, we spent an evening in line and waited about two hours for the best Chinese food in town. It was such a scene and so much fun.  I might want to make it a new tradition!

 Merry Christmas from our family...and Big Tex's head(?!?)

Wordless Thursday


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tis The Season

As per usual, we've filled the season with fun and festive memories.  Although I haven't lugged out my "real" camera or taken as many photos as I normally do (I'll blame stress of the house stuff), we've enjoyed our balmy December with temps often in the 70s.
Grace is NOT a fan of Santa.  She met him downtown at Neimans and at first, she was slightly curious as her brother introduced her...
Whenever she saw Santa this month, she screamed bloody murder and ran the other way.  Scarred for life!

Playgroup Christmas friends.  We love this bunch so much!
Double trouble:
Palmer's first Christmas program:  The awards for "Parents of the Year" do not go to Rick and me for misunderstanding the full depth of the calendar event known as "Christmas Sing A Long" at Palmer's school.  

Apparently, that is a full-blown school program and when I saw all of the other dads in the audience and the fact that the show was in the sanctuary, I frantically emailed Rick.  Oops.  He was in the middle of a meeting.  We'll know better for child #2... Sorry, P.

However, I am proud to report that Palmer did NOT yell "hot dog," nor "alright, alright, alright" in-between songs.  Yes, this was a concern and something we had to discuss pre-show.  Lord, have mercy.
Rick and I get out from time to time...
 With or without Cher as a tagalong...
We love our annual gingerbread house-making fun.  This year's theme: Army Fort.
It was a delight to work on our castles with the Wonsmos family.  William and Palmer have been such buddies since they were infants and Grace and Lila are quickly keeping up with their older brothers.
I was the "Mystery Reader" at Palmer's school.  The class was given the following clues: "She's a mommy.  She has two kids.  Her favorite Starbucks order is a tall nonfat latte with whip.  She exercises before her kids wake up.  Her kids have curly hair."  Palmer was jumping out of his seat yelling to the class that it was HIS mommy.  So much fun!!
Christmas with the Jordan extended family.  Palmer and Elle could not adore each other more.  Except when they fight like siblings, which is only 40% of the time.
Palmer asked me if I liked his "new smile".  I told him I probably preferred the original version.  And Grace saw Santa and freaked out.
That's a wrap on December from Rudolph...
...and the rest of us.

Cactus Jack

My brother and sister-in-law's son, Charles Augustus Cardiff Thomas (CACT, thus the nickname Cactus Jack) was born last week.  The kids and I raced down to Austin to see little Charlie as fast as we could.  Palmer was so excited to meet Charlie and came downstairs the morning of our trip to tell us he had been practicing holding the new baby:
We tried not to overwhelm Holly and Luke's hospital room too much, but just couldn't wait to love on our new little guy.
Palmer already has big plans for Charlie and was so sweet when holding him saying, "Hi buddy.  I love you.  I'm Palmer.  We're going to have so much fun and I can teach you things.  Do you want to go on the big slide at the club next summer?"
I gave the new parents some space (mostly from my super loud children) for about 48 hours and then traveled back to Austin to pick up Aunt Samantha from the airport.
Nana watched my kids and I had two days of Charlie-time without any distractions.  It was so special.
I'm so proud of Luke and Holly.  They are going to be great parents.  Charlie is already surrounded by so much love.  And he knows about perfect timing.  Luke finished his last final of law school and turned his last paper in just a few days before the baby's arrival.  Luke is now a proud graduate of UT Law, a new father, and a terrific husband.  Charlie is going to love all of the adventures Luke has in mind.  Holly is already one of the best aunts I know and Charlie is so lucky to have such a kind and smart momma.
We love you, little guy.