Christmas Eve and day were spent in the company of good friends and a plethora of food. We are usually out-and-about people; it is rare to find us at home two days in a row, and especially rare to find us indoors for so long! But it was really nice to prepare for company and spend the whole day cooking, eating, drinking, and laughing with people whose company we love.
There were kids-a-plenty and some very funny and endearing moments, such as when all the kids (except the babies) decided to make a firewood run out to our garage and turned it into quite the adventure!
… and a sweet moment when, at the end of the night, we found the kids huddled around a fishing game on the iPad on the kitchen floor just giggling and enjoying each other:
After our guests left, Andrew and I were actually tearful as we talked about how lucky we are. We placed gifts under the tree and in the boys’ stockings (my favorite part) and sat by the fire until it burned down. And even though someone had stolen the snack intended for Santa…
… the boys awoke to the magic of Christmas and took their time opening gifts and being thankful. We realized that the ages of 5 and 3 are perhaps the most wonderful ages for Christmas morning. Not only did they ooo and ahh over everything (Oliver kept saying “This is the best Christmas ever!” and “This is just what I’ve always wanted!”), but they were polite and thankful and just so sweet.
There is something so great about waking up in your own house on Christmas morning… but we are also really looking forward to seeing extended family in the coming days. Ohio, here we come!
We had a wonderfully relaxing day (the kids are still in their jammies at 4pm as I write this) after a great Christmas Eve dinner and party with a few good friends. Pictures to follow tomorrow. We are all feeling pretty lazy and very grateful. Hope this holiday finds you and yours well!
Thursday morning, three little boys woke up all better, ravenous for breakfast and in high spirits. I finally turned the corner too, able to stand up without seeing stars and having to run to the toilet. It seems that we all go through this only once or twice a year (hopefully I didn’t just jinx it) and so I was able to be very thankful for the other 363 days that we are healthy!
I also realized that I am so, so thankful for washing machines, extra towels and blankets, Andrew’s flexible work schedule, the fact that I am still breastfeeding Emil (who has been surviving on breast milk alone for the past 4 days), and PBS kids.org (which took the place of a television for the boys to distract them from the misery for a few hours).
And if the boys weren’t in great moods to begin with, they were in store for a real treat yesterday afternoon: the first snow of the season! We only got a light dusting, but you would have thought we had gotten a foot watching their reactions! So, with bellies finally full of healthy food, we bundled up and took a walk outside, then played in the back yard for an hour. It was what we all needed: fresh air and something new and exciting to enjoy after a rough couple of days!
Annoyed that I asked to take his picture… I promise he was having a blast!
With Christmas right around the corner, we look forward to a weekend full of time to relax and get ready for a little holiday party we’re hosting on Christmas Eve. And next week, I have a tasty vegetarian chili recipe to share, if you’re interested!
Hope this last weekend before Christmas finds you happy and healthy!
On the Third Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…
Well? Here it is, folks. The 2012 Knight Family holiday card. Our three French hens (roosters?) were surprisingly cooperative and hilarious… especially the little round one in front there. This is our fifth year of a wacky card and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Andrew has thought of every idea, while I pulled together the last-minute details. We are a good team like that. Anyway, here are the outtakes:
And I’m considering dressing Emil like a chicken more often. So warm and cuddly (even with baguette on his face)!
Happy Holidays, and have a wonderful weekend!
Well, we really kicked off the holidays this weekend! We have a HUGE stack of boxes all ready to ship piled high in our kitchen, a Christmas tree wafting scents of pine throughout our living room, cranberries strung on the tree, and one great holiday party under our belts. I love this time of year!
The boys had such a great time picking out a tree on Friday night… and Emil enjoyed having his papa within a climb’s reach while he adjusted the Christmas tree! Hey, there’s never a bad time to play “horsie!”
On Saturday we braved some stores to finish up our Christmas shopping, then got all dressed up to attend a wonderful low-key party at the house of our new friends, Elisha and JJ. The boys had a few holiday-inspired moments of brotherly love. This has been happening a lot around here! It’s so sweet to see how much they love each other and I certainly hope it lasts.
Elisha and JJ really outdid themselves. The food was amazing, the atmosphere cozy, and the company lively and genuine. The best kind of people to meet, and I really hope to see more of them soon. I have found as an adult (and more so as a mother), it is really easy for me to meet people, but much harder to meet people who I feel a genuine connection to and whose kids I just adore and who are in similar places in their lives… or just people who I really admire and think are awesome and amazing. They are definitely some of those people. We had a fantastic time, and our boys did too!
We were talking about the uvula here (I have no idea)… hence the pointing to the mouth. Elisha is the one holding the glass of wine– she’s one gorgeous mama, right?!
This week is going to be jam-packed, but in a good way! Plus, I can’t wait to send out all of those packages and deliver freshly-baked chocolate chip pumpkin bread to some of our friends around St. Louis! I think I will be spending a lot of time in the post office over the next few days!
Self high-five for a job well-done!
I haven’t been posting a lot of outfits for the boys (or Andrew, for that matter) lately, so I wanted to share what they wore yesterday before preschool and for a bit of Christmas shopping. It looks a bit like Emil is wearing pajamas, but it’s actually the coolest sweater-onesie and he gets mad compliments on it. I kind of wish they had one in my size, it’s so cozy and warm!
On Emil: Hat: Speesees (circa 2007); Red Sweater Romper: BabyGap- I love this one!; Boots: Riley Roos (which have lasted quite well through three boys!)
On Milo: Fair-Isle Scarf: GapKids (similar); Holiday Sweater: Thrifted; Jeans: Tea Collection; Desert Boots: GapKids
On Oliver: Chambray Shirt: Thrifted; Vest: Crewcuts; Corduroy Pants: Tea Collection; Boots: Thrifted
An interesting thing has happened clothing-wise with the boys. I was delusional in thinking that any significant number of pants would last through Milo and Oliver and actually make it to Emil. We’re lucky if Milo doesn’t blow the knees out of his pants by the time he outgrows them! Luckily there are a couple of amazing consignment/thrift stores for kids around here, because these guys know how to tear it up at the playground (see the below black eye if you don’t believe me)!
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow we are almost finished with our Christmas shopping! And this is a good thing- we will be sending packages to most of the people on our list since we are staying in St. Louis until after Christmas. Over the weekend and yesterday afternoon, the boys and I collected enough pinecones and small sprigs of pine to decorate a small city (or just to make some ornaments and decorate the presents we plan to send out in a week or so)! And though most of those sprigs went directly into the freezer (to keep them from drying out too soon, shedding their needles within cardboard boxes, and becoming a cursed mess upon opening), I couldn’t resist wrapping a couple presents… one of my favorite parts of the season is wrapping the gifts– is that strange?
Plus, I’m hoping the scent of freshly-cut pine will burst forth from those packages once they arrive! I can’t wait to send them!
… Because we just took our annual Christmas card picture, and man oh man is it a good one (at least I think so)! And no, I won’t be giving any hints. You’ll just have to wait… but here is last year’s card, and the year before that (I was newly pregnant with Emil in these pictures and didn’t know it yet)! By the way, the above is the set-up before Oliver was in costume. Yes. Costume.
Andrew is out of town for another 4-day stint, but hopefully this is the last trip for a while (he’s been collecting data for his research). While he’s gone, the boys and I will get started on Christmas shopping and maybe take a little day trip if all goes well. Hope you have a fantastic weekend, and Happy December 1st tomorrow! Woo-hoo!
Some warming links for your weekend:
I am loving this blanket in orange.
The cutest slippers for a little guy… or an even littler one.
… and this coverall hat is amazing– also called a pullover balaclava– who knew? (but only if you have unlimited funds, of course… which I don’t… boo.)
A great pair of gloves for a guy.
A great mug for that hot cup of tea or coffee (that light green color is my favorite).
As I wrap up the holiday posts, I cannot forget to mention what a fantastic family Andrew has… I managed to take a bunch of pictures at my mom’s house, then just kind of put the camera down to breathe over the next two days. As a result, we have no evidence of the remainder of the trip, which involved the following, in no particular order: playing with cousins Reina and Liam as they hosted us at their house; eating delicious dinner with Annie and Billy- this time in their place; hanging out with Andrew’s youngest siblings Katie and Austin, who gave us a break from being parents for a couple of hours; Andrew taking the kids to throw rocks into the creek in Loveland; a huge family get-together at Andrew’s Aunt Janine & Uncle Dan’s house; grown cousins and growing cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents and Gina-mom and more fun and action and delicious food (including the most delicious bread pudding made by Andrew’s Nana… remind me to get that recipe).
And then, early Christmas Eve morning, we went home.
A little dirty.
… where we ran to the grocery store, cleaned the house, made bread (all Andrew), and prepared for a feast with friends on Christmas day. But all the rushing around was well worth it, as we awoke fully rejuvenated in our own beds Christmas morning. The boys were beyond excited and it was a truly magical moment to see them come downstairs and light up at the sight of filled stockings and wrapped presents… for THEM!
Oliver’s favorite gift was, surprisingly, a guitar just like his papa’s. And though we gave this gift to both Milo and Oliver, Oliver let us all know that it was “actually [HIS] guitar.”
And then, after Christmas Day, we were lucky lucky lucky again as our other dear friends brought us an entire feast AND presents AND lots of love to go around.
And there you have it. Christmas. Is. Over.
The holiday season is insane. I am aware that the previous statement is the cliche of all cliches. But really. It is December 7th. Three days ago, 21 full days before Christmas, I went to THREE different stores to buy plain white Christmas lights to hang on our tree this year, as somehow ours had been damaged or just crapped out on us after years of use. THREE different stores and all were sold out. Sold out of Christmas lights nearly a month before Christmas? When I asked where the Christmas lights were, employees looked at me like I was asking where I could buy a Thanksgiving turkey- they were all, ummm… you are sooooo too late for that, lady. Am I going insane???
So there sat our tree, a third of the way lit, as I ran out in the pouring rain to quell the fears of two (or three) young men who seemed to think that decorating a tree is a race against time and insisted on breaking hanging ornaments on the lower half of the tree the very moment its branches were alight with bulbs.
An hour and three stores later, I returned, sopping wet, tail between legs, all but empty-handed. My consolation prize: indoor/outdoor icicle lights which I believe were the last three boxes. And I had to lunge at those suckers Black Friday-style. Clearly, disaster averted. It turns out you can decorate a Christmas tree with icicle lights perfectly nicely thankyouverymuch. See?
This whole fiasco is making me wonder about simpler times. The good old days. You know, the days when people burned their entire houses down after putting open-flamed candles on dry pine trees they had dragged in from the cold. Now that, my friends, would have sucked.
And so there you have it. The holidays are insane. But we really have it pretty easy, don’t you think?
And just an FYI- our open-flamed candle is not nearly as close to this tree as it looks… actually a few feet away. I will do my best to burn our house down through some completely separate hair-brained scheme. But for now, our Christmas tree is lit and all is right in the world.