Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas and New Years in Iowa

We're back in Iowa for a packed weekend full of stuff.

We have Christmas round 2 to celebrate with Grandma and Julie, an early birthday for Charlie and ringing in the new year. Busy, busy.

Getting here was a debacle. For starters, winter in midwest is always unpredictable so up until the morning of we weren't sure how the roads would be. Secondly, flu season this year has been brutal. The week leading up, C came down with a fever and just generally not feeling well. By yesterday she had recovered, BUT, a close family friend that was staying with Oma and visiting for the weekend wasn't feeling well. Sooo....the morning of after more back-and-forth than necessary we called a hotel, booked a room and loaded up the car. And we were off.

Christmas at Grandmas was low key with sandwiches, gifts and plenty of smiles. We came back the next day to celebrate Charlotte's 7th birthday. She had requested a cake with blue icing, white icing, and plenty of sprinkles. Grandma delivered.

The plus to staying in a hotel is always the pool. Unfortunately, because four year olds prefer not to listen to directions and because water is so tempting Grace jumped in before we were ready which meant I went in fully clothed...including a phone in my pocket. Whoops.

So other than a very expensive trip to the Apple Store once back home, the weekend was wonderful. Everyone stayed healthy, we had a lot to celebrate, shared a lot of laughs and opened more presents than we needed.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day Warm and Fuzzies

After all the anticipation, and hype, here we are: Christmas morning.
We're in our pajamas, coffee in hand, snuggled warmly on the couch as the sound track of Christmas music mixed with laughter plays. 

Santa Claus was here last night as evidence by the crumbs and letter that he left. He managed to hang a new indoor swing in the office without waking any of us up, and left two very large very cuddly stuffed animals for the girls. One fox that C quickly named "Gilbert" and an elephant which G named "Fluffy". Welcome to the family Gilbert and Fluffy. 

This is it. This is really what matters. I know that sitting here watching everyone how fortunate we are. We're healthy and happy, we have a warm house to come home to each day,(albeit constantly under construction) and a warm dinner to sit down to each night. What more do you really need?

Merry Christmas to All.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas. The house is quiet, Santa Claus is on his way. The presents are mostly wrapped - doing a few last minute items this eve. Oma is here to celebrate with us this year. She wasn't last year and it felt a bit ''off'". I'm happy we can all be together while we lounge in our PJs drinking coffee and watching Christmas morning unfold.

Dada got the reading gig this eve while I visited with Mom for a bit and finished the wrapping. I snuck up for a few photos of this sweet scene. It never ceases to amaze me how much love can fit in such a small space. 

The sugar plums should be well on their way now. 

Until the morning.....

Friday, December 22, 2017

Nutcracker and Tea

Charlotte and I joined a group of neighbors for a special big kids night out. I didn't think Grace would be able to sit through the entire production so it seemed like a perfect way to cash in on some one-on-one time with Charlotte.

We put on fancy dresses and lipstick and walked down the block to meet up with the rest of our small group where we climbed inside of a limo bus. Because when you put on fancy dresses and shoes you need a fancy ride. 

First stop was The Drake for what is likely the most expensive tea we've ever had, though I believe the point is that you're paying for more than just tea. Charlotte loved this place. They bought us cocktails, and small bites on fancy layered plates that were magically refilled when we weren't looking.

After tea we were off to the theatre where we made it to our seats just in time. The Nutcracker was a beutiful performance but I'm not convinced that we're ballet fans quite yet. Charlotte's first question was "when are they going to talk?" and I'd be lying if I said I didn't nearly fall asleep in the second half (Charlotte actually did).

It was a wonderful evening, full of memories....and tea!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Grandma and the Girls

You know that feeling when you are trying to take a photo of a group of people and the kids won't actually look at the camera at the same time? Really frustrating. 

Friday, December 8, 2017


First sled outing of the year. For all the scraping windows, snowy boots, shivery mornings the first snow is still pretty magical.
Our sledding left some to be desired as a result of a wimpy hill and very little snow. But we still had fun!