December 30, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 365

When the sledding in the back of your neighborhood is an old ski slope and requires helmets...

December 27, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 362

A very Merry Cape Cod Christmas!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas 2016

Christmas is by far my favorite time of year!  I love the glow from all of the Christmas lights and all the traditions we've kept and new traditions that we've started as a family.  It's certainly a very busy time of year, but it's worth all the craziness!  I'm always sad the day we take down the tree.

Christmas Eve is spent with the inlaws, they come up mid afternoon and we have a nice dinner (my homemade spaghetti and meatballs) and this year we decided to attend church down the street, something my MIL had been missing out on since coming to spend Christmas Eve at our house.  I was excited that Mother Nature didn't rain on our parade this year, and so we were able to do luminaries.  We got rained out the last 2 years.  It was nice that the boys are all older so they were able to help out more getting them ready.

Getting the bags prepped!
Evan helps put the candles into the bags!
Each bag gets a scoop of kitty litter and a candle
David was excited to help light them.
The luminaries all lit!  They are so pretty when the glow!

After church we got back to have the boys open their traditional Christmas pajamas.  This year they were actually excited for the ones that I chose!

Traditional Christmas Eve gift!
And of course it would not be Christmas Eve without the reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Each of them got to take turns reading pages from the story!  And then it was time for bed!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...
Ready for bed!
The beauty of a glowing Christmas tree!
The boys are ALWAYS up early on Christmas morning, but our rule is they have to wait until 7am to go down stairs.  We like to give everyone a chance to sleep in a bit.  So while we wait for the grown ups to get up and get their coffees made, I take the traditional picture at the top of the stairs!

Then it's time to do their stockings and presents from Santa!  Santa leaves them a letter, which David reads every year and hides one of their gifts, leaving them clues on how to find it!  It's been a fun tradition that they look forward to every year!

The traditional scavenger hunt!
Our annual Christmas morning picture!
After Santa gifts have been opened, we warm up cinnamon rolls and have some breakfast.  The boys help sort all the gifts and then we do round 2!

The boys finding out that we are going to NYC in April to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway!
Then it's time to clean up, get dressed and take our traditional family portrait before the inlaws head out and we get ready for my family to arrive.  The prime rib goes into the oven and I start getting some warm appetizers ready.

Add caption
When my family arrives we do another round of gift exchanges but it's the Prime Rib dinner that everyone looks forward to!  This is my 6th Prime Rib and I think I've pretty much perfected it!
And the evening would not be complete without our family portrait!

December 25, 2016

December 24, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 359

The annual Christmas Eve pajama picture!  They're never very excited to open up pajamas as their first gift, but this year they were psyched out of their minds about their Santa onesies!

December 23, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 358

Vacation started today so we headed to the movies in between Christmas deliveries and haircuts!  So now the mad dash to get the rest of the wrapping and baking done before tomorrow!  #christmaseveeve

December 22, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 357

Shaun looking so handsome for his big Holiday meal at school yesterday!  He picked out his whole outfit himself!

December 21, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 356

The boys couldn't wait to highlight their parts in their Willy Wonka, Jr. scripts when they got home today!  David was cast as Mike Teavee and Shaun will be playing Oompa Loompa #5 (which means he gets a small solo!).

December 20, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 355

Evan's parachute.  It was his December STEM project for school.  Bonus, was the bonding with big brother David, who helped him build it!

December 19, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 354

David helped me make Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna for the PTA sponsored dessert buffet for the staff at his school!

December 18, 2016

365 ~ 2016: Day 353

One week until Christmas and I have about 80% of my gift wrapping complete!! #WINNING

Getting into the Holiday Spirit!

I love this time of year!  It's always busy but it's so fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything!  As is our tradition, we took out all of our decorations the day after Thanksgiving and began putting them all up!

Playing with the Christmas Lego sets that we put out on the piano for decoration!
Trip up the tree with Christmas stuff!
Charlie had to work the weekend so I set up time at the studio to do the boys Christmas portraits so I could get my Christmas cards ready!  We had some fun getting into the Christmas spirit with some props and the cocoa booth!

Santa, Reindeer & Elf
David, Shaun & Evan's Hot Cocoa!

Another Christmas Spirit tradition is going to the parade!  I met up with my mom and sister earlier in the day and we first headed to the mall so I could get the boys pictures done with Santa!  Afterward, we parked our car nearby where we planned to watch the parade and walked down the street to get lunch at the local pizza shop!

David and Grammy ready to watch the parade!
The kids are ready for it to start.  It was a really nice day to be out, not too cold!

I needed to be in at least one picture!

This year Charlie and I made it back to NYC for Christmas!  He has a conference he can attend their and I enjoy tagging along!  We got to see Book of Mormon and then while he was at his conference, I treated myself to the Illusionists show which featured The Clairvoyants from America's Got Talent!

Rockefeller Center!
I couldn't help feeling a little guilty about our trip since the boys had their 12 Days of Christmas Concert with the Finches Choir.  I was thankful for Auntie Kristin and Omi for getting them ready and to their show and seeing them preform!

Anutie Kristin text this to me before their opening show!

The Music school took this picture and used it on their website!  That is Evan singing Solfege Santa!
And the last Christmas Spirit bucket list item is the annual glowing tree portrait!  I do plan to do this up until they head off for college!