Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Phew.  What a week.  I mean - it's been great, but man we are exhausted! We had our first 'Christmas' at my mom's house on Sunday, then my Dad's on Monday.  We were supposed to go to the Christmas Eve service that night, and then to my sister's house for a little get-together, but it started snowing heavily, so for safety's sake we headed home early.   Our two hour drive turned into a four hour crawl due to snow accumulating on the highway.  Ugh.  We had Christmas morning for just the four of us, and then we went to Matt's parents for the afternoon.  Like I said - BUSY!

Also - I managed to forget my memory card - so there are NO pictures of the majority of the holiday weekend.  Ya.  Fail. I did steal this one from my dad though...
I didn't think to get a picture while my little brother's girlfriend was with us, so the above is the whole gang minus 1!  And of course Jack refused to look at the camera. Yaaay for three year olds. 

BUT ANYWAY - Christmas morning dawn bright and early, and the boys had a great time ripping into their gifts.
And I had a great time admiring their little bods in those matching jammies.  Be still my Momma heart, but I do love a little one in footie Jams. 
Jack got his very first Nerf gun, and I actually picked up another one for Matt - we all know you can't have a Nerf war with only one gun!
They were pretty stoked!
Luke was pretty stoic about the whole thing.  I mean - he enjoyed it..but he didn't really GET it, you know?  He mostly just wanted to keep ripping paper apart.
He has enjoyed pushing that little mower around the house though, and I know that once it warms up outside he will get a lot of use out of it! (We chose this mower - for anyone interested).  It was a great Christmas, albeit very different now that we live up here.  It felt...weird. 

We are currently in the doldrums of the post-holiday slump, the decorations are down, its freezing outside, and we are all sick.  Bleh.  I would fast-forward to April right now if I could.  How about you?  Are you still riding the holiday high?  Or are you in the winter slump as well? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The 'Nastics

Are you a little worried about what this post could POSSIBLY be about with a title like that?  I's..different.

Never fear - that is how Jack says 'gymnastics'.

Here is the thing about Jack. The kid is a bruiser.  He plays rough, he plays hard, and he loves every second of it.  He has no bodily fear whatsoever, and when I saw him start doing what can only be described as a very floppy forward handspring, I knew that we needed some help.

I don't want to teach him a spirit of fear, but I want him to learn to be safe.  So...if the kid if going to flip?  We are going to hire someone to teach him to flip safely.
 Enter 'the Nastics'.  From 4:15 to 5:00 PM on every Wednesday, Jack can be found jumping and rolling his little heart out with Miss Heidi - his gymnastics coach.
I cannot even explain to you how excited he gets during his class.  He literally does not stop hopping.  He hops from station to station, he hops while Miss Heidi shows him what to do, and he hops to the water fountain to get a drink - he is really THAT happy to be doing this.
Matt and I were both so happy to see him enjoying something so wholeheartedly, and you better believe I was totally doing the squealing mom, taking obscene amounts of pictures thing the entire first class.
Do I expect to have a "Go Moms" Visa commercial made about us in the future? Uh - no.  Even if he never learns to do a forward roll without going a little to the side - I consider this money well spent. 
Can you see his face there?  I mean really - the boy is having the time of his life.   And can you guess what his very FAVORITE thing to do with Miss Heidi is??
Jump in the blocks, of course!

*As of last week there is now one other little girl in his class, which is awesome! Except for the fact that she accidentally jumped on his head (yeah - really).  He isn't letting that faze him though, he cant wait to go back to the 'nastics with that 'other little girl'. 

**Also he calls the beam the 'balance bean', and I so do not want to tell him the right way.  It is just too precious. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Christmas Walk - and my Birthday

Weeeelll this post is only about two weeks late, so...let's just call it fashionable, mmmkay?

In keeping with family tradition, my family once again made the trek to Alexandria for the Annual Scottish Christmas Walk.  This is easily one of my favorite days of the year (and not just because it often falls on my birthday!).
I love getting everyone together and loading up with coffee, the stress of trying to find parking all together, and watching my man saunter around in his kilt.  What?  I like a nice kilt.

The parade was great this year - and one of the coolest things was that a bagpipe band stopped right in front of us and played Happy Birthday to their leader.  I like to think they were playing it for me too!

We usually have a group of about 14 or so - so the idea of finding somewhere to eat in the city is a little outlandish.  This year we drove across the river to National Harbor, and it was wonderful! We ate a pub/restaurant, and then we walked around the Harbor.
 How adorable is that little tugboat?  I loved her.

The harbor has a big tree that the kids were loving, and there was also this large silver man buried in the sand.  Jack was totally freaked out...
And God?  He did not disappoint with the sunset.
And with that?  We were ready to pile into our cars and head home.

Right as we were about to do just that, my mom pulled out a box of cupcakes, and a candle, and my sweet precious family sang Happy Birthday to me right there in the parking garage.
It was weird, and kind of embarrassing, and I loved every second of it.  And now?  I am 28 - I have high hopes for this year!

Past years at the parade can be found here : 2008, 2009 - we were snowed in, 2010, 2011

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Tree Bokeh

So.  Life has been a bit on the heavy side lately.  Nothing awful - know...heavy.  In the effort of self-distraction, I would like to show you what I did at the boys' naptime today.  This was inspired by a share of a share of a share on facebook - and I have seen it oodles of times on Pinterest as well.  But let's cut the chatting and let the pictures tell the story, k?

P.S. - The trick here is to actually focus on something in front of the lights.  For example - I originally focused on a lampshade, held my shutter in halfway to lock my focus, then moved my camera until I had the tree where I wanted it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Have Yourself a Mushy Little Christmas

It is no secret that I am a big ol' mushy ball of sentiment.  I just can't help it.  So I thought I would show you a few of the ways that we have a mushy Christmas.  That's totally a thing right? A mushy Christmas?  Mmmmkay then.

1. I have started keeping our Christmas cards and displaying them in a wall collage.  Sadly I can't find our earlier ones, even though I can picture them in my head.
 2.  Matt cuts off a piece of our tree trunk, about an inch thick, for us to keep.  I wish we had thought to do this when we first got married, but I am glad we do it now! I have a mental image of years down the road with a whole bunch of these little rounds lined up on a mantel.  I write the year on the front, and on the back I write the type of tree, and where we got it - in hopes that it will help us remember that specific year.  Also the nerd in me likes to see the difference from tree to tree (for instance the one from 2011 was a Blue Spruce, and the one from 2012 is a Fraser Fir).
3.  Personalized wall 'art'.  You all know I love displaying my little ones handiwork around the house - and this one is especially dear to me.  All it is is a piece of craft paper glued around a canvas, and then we made a tree.  The 'trunk' is Jack's foot, the bottom branches are Matt's hands, the middle are mine, the top are Jack's, and that little smudgy star at the top?  That is Luke's 7 week old handprint. 
4. Giving back together.  Last year we rang bells for the Salvation Army, and although I am not sure that we will be able to do that this year (since we moved away from our church that organized that) I hope to somehow do something similar.  I think it is important that our boys grow up knowing that they can make a difference, even if that just means some quarters in a bucket - it matters.
Aaaand yes - Jack was throwing his bell. 

5. Making ornaments.  This one is kind of a no-brainer, I guess.  Each year we buy the boys an ornament, and then we help them make some as well.  We give some of them away, and we keep some, and my hope is that by the time they are old enough to go out and have their own Christmas tree (sob!) they will have a big ol' bag of ornaments that they either picked or made. 
So...anyway...those are five of the traditions that we keep alive for the holidays.  Do you have any traditions that you love?  I would love to hear about them!! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Brother

 We went to a parade this weekend.  I took some ADORABLE pictures of my baby and my husband watching, but when I went home and looked at them I saw something. 

May I draw your attention to the upper left-hand corner of this GIF?
What a creeper.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Help me out here, will ya?

The chairs.  THE chairs.  You know the ones - they almost started a rumble between Matt and I when I spotted them on the side of the road?  Yeah! THOSE CHAIRS.  Well, I didn't want to invest a ton of cash into them(did you know it would have been well over $700 to have them professionally reupholstered?!), and lately I am loving the look of canvas in homes, so I decided to go out on a limb and try to reupholster them with drop cloths (drops cloths are really just huge pieces of 8oz. canvas).  I know.  That is weird, but I can be a little weird.  And I thought it would be fun and casual and very Miss Mustard Seed.

So - I started reupholstering them.  HOLY CANNOLI YOU GUYS.  I think the best way to describe it is something that I muttered to Matt on the first night that I started...

"It is like a present that just gets worse and worse as you unwrap it"
There are a whole lot of layers to a wingback chair - and these were SO dusty.  My allergies were just out of control while I was taking them apart.  Also - PLY-GRIP.  Do you know what ply-grip is?  It's a scary strip of metal that has teeth that will tear your fingertips APART.  It took me about two nights to get them stripped down to my starting point for reupholstery, and since then it has been going okay.  My problem is the wrinkles. 

No, not the ones on my face - although I am not a huge fan of those either now that you mention it. 

There are some wrinkly type folds on the chair - which believe it or not was sort of the look I was going for - but now that it is actually staring me in the face, I am having a lot of second thoughts. 

So let's get to a pic, shall we?  I sort of posted two last week in the 'things you do' post and in the Christmas tree post, I wondered if anyone would pick up on it, but no one did! Also - as you will see in the picture below - I REALLY need to update our living room tour - it is very different now.
Okay, so there they are side by side - and please know - the seat cushion is NOT recovered yet - just stripped.  Haha - I'm not THAT bad! I have just not gotten around to sewing the seat cover yet. 

Here is another picture, without the pink chair to distract...
...ignore the wrestling children - I have given up trying to take pictures without them in it. 

I am torn.  I half really like how the canvas relaxes the very formal chairs, but my inner OCD  is telling me that the wrinkles are not okay (canvas really does not have enough give in it to make the curves it needs to make on the 'wings').  I do love how the light canvas lightens up a very dark room though, and I like the idea of being able to throw fun pillows on them and let the pillows really strut their stuff instead of having a bold print on the chair that I might not like in a year or two.  

Thoughts?  Keep plugging along?  Start over?  Burn them?

*Also - as a side note - a lot of you have asked if I have considered painting them instead, and while I think that can be a great option with a fantastic looking outcome, it just wouldn't have worked for these.  The original fabric was torn/worn through on several places on each chair, and the fabric itself was oddly textured.  But - THANK YOU for sending me the links!!

**Also also - can we talk about how awful my title was?  'Chair'-ity?  What the what?

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Things You Do; November Edition

Squeaking in by the skin of my teeth on this month's post!! Also - that expression (the skin of my teeth) is kind of disgusting, no?
Jack:  You have started to recognize your name when it is written out.  You can sing through your whole alphabet, and you recognize most of the letters on their own, but I was astounded when I realized you knew that the combination of J-A-C-K means you!
Luke: You have realized that you are silly, and you LOVE to make people laugh.  Whether it is by sitting something on your head, or by sticking your fingers in their mouth, you will try your best to make others smile. 
Jack: You mastered potty training.  You wear big boy undies all the time, and you like to have final say in which pair you want to wear that day.  I am so proud of you!

Luke:  You have started really dancing this month.  You break it down man!! 14 months is a good age for dancing - because you haven't learned to be self-conscious in any way.  I love our daily dance parties.  You bend at the knee and lift your arms over your head - precious!

Jack: You started drumming out discernible beats.  I know that seems like a weird thing to notice, but I REALLY thought it was your dad drumming in your room with you one day - but it was you!! You clearly have inherited that from your father, because I have absolutely NO musical aptitude.  None. 


Jack:  You are SO excited about Christmas.  You told me about a week ago that Santa is a big man that flies around and brings us presents.  We don't do Santa - so I have no idea where you learned that - and I wasn't sure how to respond.  It's not that I think there is anything 'wrong' with believing in Santa, it just isn't something that we do.
 Luke: You are getting more and more coordinated everyday.  You use a fork now, not a baby one - no no no, you had to have a big boy fork just like your brother.  I think this month will be the month that we pack up the high chair and move you to a booster seat at the table, just like big bro.  Makes a momma
want to cry little boy!
November has been a fun - let's see what December has to bring!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

Sunday dawned crisp and cold, and in no time at all Clark Griswold had whisked us out the door to make it to a diner in time for Breakfast.  Because it's not a Christmas tree hunt until you have overdone it on the bacon, you know? 
I instagrammed this picture, and then did everything in my mothering handbook to entertain our hoodlums for the next 40 minutes.  Oy.   But the food was good, so with our tummies full we set off to find some Christmas garland.  After braving the madness that is Christmas tree shops, one covert nursing, and one potty accident (and subsequent outfit change), we strolled out of the store with 30 yards of garland.  Next up?  THE TREE FARM. 
But not just any tree farm, no no, this was the tree farm that Matt used to go to when he was little. Now, I'm not gonna say who - but someone didn't listen to his wife when she was co-piloting, so we got a leeetle bit lost.
Ahem(you guys - it was Matt).  After a nice scenic, loopy, drive, we finally did find THE tree farm. 
And OK, yes.  It was worth the drive. Upon arrival we realized that we forgot both hats AND mittens for either of the boys, so we settled pretty quickly on a nice looking Fraser Fir.  I would ALSO like to add that Clark(Matt) promised we would not get a huge tree this year, that we would find one that was not taller than he is. 

Apparently Matt believes he is eight and half feet tall. 

The boys had fun time manning the saw with Daddy, while I spent my time laying on my belly snapping pictures. 
We hauled that baby back to our car, strapped it to the top, then hurtled down the highway hoping against hope that it wouldn't fall off. 

It didn't thankfully, so Matt got it ready, and brought it in (P.S. - I take a picture of him bringing in our tree every year - it is becoming a favorite tradition of mine - silly as that sounds).
Matt worked on stringing the lights while the boys and I readied the ornaments, and played with our rag garland.
After that, it was a free-for-all with the ornaments.  There are very few pictures of said free-for-all because I was busy trying to keep Luke from stealing all of Jack's ornaments the second after he put them on the tree. 
Now - let me just say - I am a big fan of beautiful, well-laid out trees.  Our tree?  Is never going to be any of those things.  I am a sucker for sentimental ornaments, so that ornament that my cousin painted for me when he was one?  Always going to be on the tree.  Matt's Star Wars ornaments?  Always going to be on the tree.  The salt dough ornaments that Jack painted last year? ALWAYS GOING TO BE ON THE TREE.  

So anyway - we here is our not so little Fraser Fir in all of his mis-matched, sentimental Christmas glory. 

Oh, and can I just point out the top?  How it appears to be chopped off?  Yeah...Matt is tall, but he is not that tall.  I do love that tall guys Christmas spirit though! I will show you the rest of our house all Christmasfied in another post!

Have you gotten your tree yet?  Did it fit in your house??  Are we the only ones that do that every year?

You can see our tree past tree posts here (2008, 2009 - I had a colicky baby and fell off the face of the blog for a month 2010, 2011)

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