Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Full of Thanks...

...and food.  And wine.  And happiness. 
We're still recovering from a long week of celebrating with family and friends.

Here are a few things we're thankful for:

1)  (Easy to reach) breakfast buffets with a seemingly endless pastry selection.

2) Healthy baby girls.

3) Food in the shape of other things.

4) Brother-in-laws who prep your turkey, but let you pose with it and take the credit ;)

We are thankful for:

5) The bond between cousins.  No matter the time or distance.

And the closeness with cousins we get to see often.

We are thankful for:

6)  A way to express creativity.
In the art room making turkeys and playing dress up.
Making our ornaments.
We are thankful for:

7) Aunts and Uncles who love us.

8) Grandparents who adore us.

9)  Just enough space for a grand dinner.  And an impromptu dance party.
Kid's table!

We are thankful for:

9) Traditions.  And electricity :)
Drum roll....
10) And friends who are more like family.

 Billy and I curled up in front of our happy fireplace on Sunday night completely exhausted, our house still smelling like smoked turkey, and decided there wasn't anything more we could ask for.  Our lives are full and for that we're thankful.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Real Life Moments: October

I love the momentum the month of October creates.  It's like the opening ceremonies for the holiday season. Each little fall tradition bringing us one day closer to the most wonderful time of the year.

October is filled with so many things that mark memorable milestones for our family.  For instance, the day of the KC Marathon (always mid-October) was the same day Max started crawling 2 years ago.  And the same day that two of my dearest friends felt Max kick in my belly the year previous to that.  I love it when big experiences fall on a day that makes them easy to remember and file away in your mental timeline.

Here's what the KC Marathon looked like for us this year...
 Busy, busy making signs.
Looking out for Dad.  We were able to watch the race from the end of our street since Billy was on the full marathon route this year.
This photo is horrible, but I have to include it. Max likes to run when we go for walks on the trolley trail. He goes as fast as he can and says "I run just like Dada!" while high-fiving joggers headed in the opposite direction.  Its so cute to watch him run his little heart out and to see others reactions to my mini-marathoner.  Billy always said that the reason he started doing this race was to show his boys a good example of hard work, setting goals and the power of a strong mind.  Max doesn't understand all of that yet, but he does realize that his Dad is pretty amazing and that he's a pretty good guy to want to be like.
Our annual neighborhood block party also makes me realize how quickly time is passing.  Last year Sullivan was a tiny little thing that slept in the stroller the whole time.  This year he kept up with Max playing with the neighborhood kids. 
 It was also the day we met our awesome babysitter, Carley!  The boys enjoyed their picnic on a blanket in the street with her at the party this year...
Also pictured:  Sullivan and his focused determination to carry his ball all the way down the street to the party.
And then there are traditions that we squeeze in wherever we can.  Like our trip to Deanna Rose for a hayride and pumpkins...

These two cousins...is there anything cuter?  Max told me he wants to have a baby sister who is "exactly like Annabelle."  I thought that was the sweetest thing ever.  I'm so thankful that they're close in age.  I think the bond they're forming now will last forever.
And then there are some days that are just regular days...
1 & 2) There were a few days this October that felt more like summer than fall.  So we took the cloud dough out to the deck at Max's request. 3) Max and Daddy working the cash station at Max's school Pancake Breakfast. 4) Max likes to wear his boots...even when its a 75 degree fall day.  He's also the best brussel sprout picker ever.  Look how focused he is :)

If you're missing a rolly polly Sully...just check the laundry baskets.  Here he is getting graham cracker crumbs all over the clean clothes.  Awesome!
2nd place to check is the pots of dirt out back.  This boy loves to dig!
This was a day I got to watch a couple playgroup friends' kiddos...Conner and Corrine.  Their mommas' were having a work/lunch meeting.  Max and Corinne loved baby Connor!  They also got very busy tracing shapes on the chalkboard wall with water and paint brushes.  Honestly, if handling four kids under the age of 3 is always this easy...sign me up! :)
Max sharing with Sullivan.
Sullivan sharing with Max.
Last but not least Halloween EXTRAVAGANZA photos!  This holiday seriously lasted over two weeks. I was never a Halloween person before, but these kids...they just make everything so much more fun.
Here they are at Finley and Sawyer's first birthday costume party.  Not ready to debut their Halloween costumes quite yet they went as a pirate and an astronaut.
Then there was the BMA Boo Bash.  Endless donut holes and balloon creatures.
As the room mom for Max's class I got to put together a fun little party with Sullivan's help. They got to eat jack-o-lantern orange cups and make spiders out of a marshmallow and pretzel sticks.  Then a game of ghost bowling and pumpkin toss.
Then the big finale.  ACTUAL Halloween!  We went to Annabelle's house for dinner and crafts and then a trip around the block for candy.
Getting candy from Aunt Jenni.
Uncle Adam got him hooked on these things.
Final, final stop...our backyard neighbor's house through the "secret garden" gate.  This neighbor is very much like the character Wilson from the show "Home Improvement".   Max had lost his monster eye by this point :)

Another October down.  Now comes the real whirlwind of traditions and chaos...November and December!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Autumn Leaves

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
 ~Albert Camus
Oh, the simple joys in life like fall leaves in a pile.  It gives me so much happiness to introduce these pure and uncomplicated aspects of the world to you boys.

Sullivan clinched every leaf like it was found treasure :)
I see so many important lessons and experiences taking place in this one photo alone...