Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catch Up

I think I set a personal-fewest-amount-of-posts-in-a-month record this November.
What can I say? It's the happiest busiest time of the year!

Let's play catch up, shall we?

I took a photography class last month. FINALLY! I'm still working on new techniques...but I am trying. Bare with me as I fine tune this new skill!

With the help of Court and my in-laws I was able to get away for a few days! Mind you, I was at a law conference (B-I-G yawn!) but it might as well been an all expense (read: all shopping expenses) paid trip to Paris!! It was the first time I'd been away from home without either a child or a husband in OVER FOUR YEARS!!! I had dinner with girlfriends, snuck out of the conference early to do a little Seattle shopping and was able to visit all those little boutiques that the double stroller can never manage! It was pure heaven....for about the first 40 hours. Then I started missing my little fam and high tailed it home! Mission accomplished! Thank you again Court, Priscilla and Dave!

Snow came a bit early this year for us...November 10.

Luckily, it didn't stick around too long.

These farm girls are opposed to shoes, socks, jackets, hats and gloves - even in the snow!
Oh to be young, right?!

If you are asking yourself if Charlotte's hair really looks green or if that is just bad lighting, the answer is it's most definitely green! 
She decided to paint her hair with the paint from our art easel. And though washable, it definitely left behind some evidence of her "escape from nap time into the playroom without mommy knowing" escapade.

Grace wore her princess dress for a solid week. She even slept in it!
I did manage to get her out of it when we went into public, but the second we were home....on it went!
She is gonna LOVE Cinderella!
That just might be under the tree from Santa on Christmas morning!

Princesses aside, we can really see a flourish in Grace's imagination. Be it the conversations she has with her Barbies to creating Seattle's skyline with her blocks - cannon included of course....Seattle just isn't Seattle without a cannon - she is at a REALLY fun age. It is exciting to hear the new things she thinks of everyday. 

With that splurge in imagination has come the question - why.
I knew it was coming. I thought it would be sooner.
But it is now here and I do my very best - most of the time -to exhaust her curiosities. 
Other times...well you know...other times are other times.

In other news, I have spent an INSANE amount of time picking up leaves, sweeping up leaves, bribing Grace with pennies for her piggy back to pick up leaves.... 
  I just don't understand how we have so many leaves in our house this time of year! ;)

 And then there is Miss Charlotte. I forget she is just two. She keeps up with Grace step for step.
She's so physically tough but just a stern look can send her into cataclysmic tears. 
Don't even tell her - or Grace for that matter - that Mommy is gonna cry because...(insert they won't give me a hug, get dressed, overall cooperate) and it will send them into cataclysmic tears to infinite plus one!
It's unreal!

 Uncle Johnny-roo stopped by for some ball - throwing, leaf - hopping action!

And then it was Thanksgiving!

Grace wore her special Thanksgiving outfit to school before the school break started. 
She was not about taking pictures that morning or smiling or holding still.
These are the best pics I snapped and that is saying A LOT!
Regardless, I am glad I have a picture of the skirt I made her for our big family feast!
Charlotte has one too...not sure if I got a picture of hers...

Grace and I made special treats for her teachers.
A little cinnamon muffin mix just to say thank you and maybe ease the breakfast duties if they had lots of family in town!

Not sure how many pictures I got of our Thanksgiving festivities! I spent most of my day in the kitchen but I will upload them soon and hopefully get at least one post together before 2013!

Northpole breakfast is on deck, a 34th birthday in the hole and a fabulous 4th birthday less than two weeks away!

Did I mention I was busy?!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Light It Up

I do the lights on the Christmas tree every year.
Court says I am particular about the way the tree is strung with lights.
I think he is using a little fancy psychology to get himself out of doing the WORST job during the holidays!
Ok ok....so I do like a lot of lights on the tree....and I do like them done a certain way.
Oh alright! I'll just string the damn thing myself!

Apparently, we got a wider tree this year because after putting all the lights we used for our tree last year on this year's tree, I was only just half way done!

Looks like I'll be hitting the lighting section at Wal-Mart hard tomorrow!
By the way, this took me the better part of an entire day. An entire day and I am not even close to being done yet!

Wish me sanity!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bringing Home the Tree

With Thanksgiving so early this year, we were able to move into the Christmas season earlier than ever!
We didn't waste a minute!
The morning after Thanksgiving we rallied the troops and picked out our Christmas tree! 

It was a cold morning and we were all moving a bit on the slow side.

Luckily, they had doughnuts AND beautiful trees!

I think we picked a winner!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving {2012}

So I didn't get any pictures of our Thanksgiving Day. 
Not surprising as I was in the kitchen for most of it. Not sure if that's a valid excuse since everything I DID want a picture of was IN the kitchen with me...hmmm perhaps it was the day drinking that caused my lapse in picture taking. That damn white wine just goes down too easy!

Anyway.....while I have no pictures to prove it, the Thanksgiving meal was a success!
Nothing burned. Nothing was undercooked. All came out according to plan.

With the stress of cooking behind us we were able to cut loose a little.
Did someone say Gangnam Style?

Then it was onto the 2nd Annual Thanksgiving bonfire!

Court built a massive fire with pallets that I had thought I was going to be all super crafty with and turn into a table...but that was before I found out that "working" with pallets is the worst thing ever. While you may be able to get them for next to nothing, the amount of manual labor that goes into ripping out the boards - ALL WHILE TRYING TO KEEP THEM INTACT - is next to impossible. 
So to all of you Pinterest groupies take my advice. Pallet projects = no fun.

That is...they aren't fun unless you do this to them!

The fire was SUPER warm.

And SO pretty.

The girls were thrilled to be outside at night and the rocks quickly became 
far more entertaining than the fire!

While the girls ran around, the men folk smoked a few cigars.

The women folk kept warm with a little vino and were charged with 
keeping kids, dogs and men OUT of the flames.

It was serious business!

All too quickly the fire came to an end much like the Thanksgiving holiday.
Even in the midst of all the chaos - the cooking, the kids, the dogs - it did not pass without a heartfelt reflection on all that we have to be thankful for.

I am particularly thankful for this guy...and what he can do with a pallet!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve {2012}

We hosted Thanksgiving again this year which we LOVE doing!
Everyone arrived on Wednesday and it was a very relaxed day - a little prep in the kitchen, a few errands - and then off to dinner!
We ate out which probably helped make it a relaxed day!
Grace and Charlotte were so excited to have their grandparents, aunt and uncle in town!

All these years I have battled Grace over bedtimes and nap times. The kid just never wants to sleep!

That is, until we go out to dinner!
Can you tell we don't get out much? ha!

Nothing like an hour car ride to lull the little ones into a dead sleep! Too bad the grocery store and all other errands can't be done by hitting a drive thru. My life would be waaayyy different!

She eventually woke up...

Ahh yes! There is the Grace we know and love!

Luckily, I had planned for the girls to be a bit restless at dinner.
The iPad of course!
(Don't leave home without it!)

But I also found patterns for some quiet activities for the girls to do at the table. 

A few pieces of cut felt and the girls occupied themselves by feathering turkeys and adding foliage to naked trees. 

It was a fun, fantastic and most importantly relaxing dinner with my family.
The wine flowed, the steaks were cooked to perfection and the dessert was so good we ordered a second! Nothing like eating light the day before the biggest meal of the year!

Onto the cooking!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Solo Slumber Party

Court is out of the town for a few days so I've moved my sewing machine to the kitchen table. I have A LOT to get done! In the next five weeks, we have one anniversary, Thanksgiving and three birthdays! All but one we are hosting! So busy is an understatement! (Oh yeah...and Christmas is right after all this hoopla!)

When Court is out of town, meals get REALLY simple and cleaning doesn't happen. It's the closest thing a housewife gets to a vacation! So in those moments I typically would be cleaning or cooking, while Court is away I sew!

Grace seeing that I was posting up at the kitchen table for the evening (which is in the living room) she decided to transport her bed into the living room. She quietly read books, put on her princess dress and sparkle shoes and ran around the house casting spells. When asked what her spells were about, she said she was trying to make Barbies appear. 

She is obsessed with Barbies! Loves them!
I have LOTS of friends who are anti Barbie. That they hurt your self esteem, create unattainable expectations of beauty, blah blah blah.
I don't buy it.
Barbie is a doll. Barbie is pretend.
The End.

Anyway, I was planning on making it a late night but I quickly realized I was more tired than I thought when I sewed an entire piece inside out requiring the entire thing to be re-done!
Upset at my mistake, I decided to pack it in and hit the hay!
There is nothing worse than sewing when tired. All sorts of BAD mistakes happen! Time consuming to fix mistakes...and who has time for that? Especially at this time of the year!

When I told Grace I was heading to bed, she asked me to read a few stories and that was that!
A few minutes later, I came out to check on her and she was sound asleep!
Her first solo on the floor in the living room!

I have a feeling Santa might have a harder time filling stockings this year!