Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2014

On Christmas Eve, we got to sleep in (as much as our kids ever let us!). We didn't have any plans until later in the evening, so we hung out all morning. I made a quick trip to Walmart for a few last minute things and then headed home to get ready for our Christmas Eve.

We headed over to Nick's parents house around 4:30pm. The kids played for awhile while the adults finished up dinner and then we had our traditional Mexican feast. SUCH good food and such good company! After dinner, we went downstairs to open presents.
Tessa got everything she could have ever wanted! She got a puppy that walked and barked (which she'd been asking for for weeks!). She got some princess barbies and a pink basketball. And a Jamaica shirt and necklace! She was in present heaven.

Tommy got everything he dreamed of! He got a remote control helicopter and truck, a Jamaica shirt and necklace, a basketball and a Paw Patrol tower that he is OBSESSED over! 

  Tommy and Tessa got a big gift together--a full size basketball goal!! They LOVED it. Tommy was so excited and asked all night when we would put it together so he could play with it.

 The kids got matching PJs with this set of cousins, too. I'm a sucker for matching PJs ;) Aren't they all just the cutest?!?

After we had dessert (Aunt Michelle's delicious churros!!), we went home and set out some cookies (that I may or may not have gotten from a cookie exchange at work) for Santa. 


The kids were off to bed and slept soundly. And by some miracle, they slept until around 8am on Christmas morning. We woke up to the pitter-patter of little feet running to our room. We got a few snuggles in with Tess before we went and woke Bubba up to open presents. They were in such good moods (thank God) and ready to open more presents!

This picture just cracks me up! Have I ever mentioned my children are NOT very photogenic at times?

I'm finding now that I didn't take many pictures on Christmas morning :( I'm super bummed but I think I was video taping most of it, so at least I have that! The kids each got Broncos jerseys, socks, devotionals and a few other things. Tommy got some Paw Patrol stuff and Tessa got some Barbie stuff. They were thrilled with all of it, of course! I was one lucky lady and got an awesome infinity necklace with a 'T' on it, the white jacket I'm wearing in the picture above, a massage, a purse, some slippers and a shirt! Nick did so good! He got pretty lucky too, if I do say so myself ;) We got him a carhartt coat with a collar, a shirt, a camo coat, a hunting blind and some pajama pants. We had a GREAT morning together!

After we did our thing, we got around and went to my mom's house. We had a delicious meal of all of our favorites. And then we opened MORE presents!

  The kids each got a chair with their name on it. Tommy got a HUGE fire truck, some tools and a ton of other stuff I can't remember for the life of me! Tessa got some shoes, socks, books and more. They had a great time. The best gift of all was one that my sister gave my mom......

She bought her a pink taser. And I swear, my husband played with it aaaaaallllll morning. He thought it was hilarious to hold the taser by somebody while they weren't working and then make it go off so it scared the crap out of them. It was super hilarious........for him. Super annoying (and scary) for everybody else! I was on edge the whole time just waiting for him to scare me next. That thing is small, but it gives off a FIERCE electric charge!!

Our 2014 Christmas was wonderful. We are blessed with two wonderful families to spend our holidays with and I'm so thankful for them all!

**Once again, my kids just ROCK the faces during their pics :) Hilarious!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pre-Christmas 2014

We had such a wonderful Christmas season! It was--of course--very busy, so I'm going to have to split Christmas into two posts.

First, we went to see Santa. Or.......well........we looked at him from afar. I thought for SURE my kids would be okay sitting on his lap this year. Last year, Tommy wasn't having it at ALL and Tessa showed ZERO emotion and avoided Santa's eyes at all cost. This was the best we could get this year....

They both refused to take a picture (or even get near Santa) without Nana holding them. Santa held out a candy cane and they veeeeeerrrrry slooooooowly walked up just close enough to grab the candy cane and run away! Hilarious! 
 All of the grandparents met us there. I felt bad that they came just to watch my kids refuse to talk to Santa, but we're very grateful that our kids are so loved!

A few days later, we had our annual Christmas party with the Cains. "Santa" (aka Sheldon) always makes an appearance and the kids LOVE it!

 Tommy got a fireman's jacket and helmet. He was SO excited!
 Tessa got a glow in the dark HUGE fluffy walrus that she still sleeps with every night!
 And just a few random shots from the night........

These silly girls LOVE their aunt Brookie!
They give her all kinds of kisses!
 All of the kids got matching PJs--except Brylie because they ran out in her size RIGHT as I was buying them :( However, she looked darling in her little Misses Claus suit! I just love these kiddos!
 It was a wonderful night of fellowship and food and fun. I managed to snag these two for a picture right before they fell into bed.
I don't think I could possibly love them any more than I already do!

We had a wonderful time doing all of our 'pre-Christmas' activities!

Monday, December 22, 2014

I WON'T pick my nose!!

After Tommy's Thanksgiving program (aka--5 minutes of scratching his face and picking his nose) I was a little nervous about how he would do at his Christmas program. I was, however, still extremely excited to see my little guy perform! I love, Love, LOVE watching little kids programs and have always dreamed about the day it would be my children up front belting out Christmas songs about Jesus.

I had a million few talks with Tommy about the Christmas program in the days leading up to it. I reminded him of how he'd been a little silly during his Thanksgiving program and suggested that maybe it would just be best to sing the songs and only move our hands when we're doing the actions the teacher taught them. He reassured me several times that he would do a good job singing and that he wouldn't act silly while he was on stage.

Whew. Glad we got that cleared up.

His program was on a Monday night, so Nick and I hurried home from work, stuffed dinner down and spiffied up our little man. Lately, he's been into "only wearing shiwts wiff cool stuff on dem." I had to prep him about the fact that he had to dress nice for his program. I got an eye roll and a sigh, but he agreed ahead of time to wear a nice shirt and jeans, so he didn't put up a fight on the actual night of the program.

As we were getting ready to head out the door, I started my spiel again about how he should act. He quickly cut me off and said, "MOM!! I knooooowwww! I pwomise I will sing and I willn't pick my nose!"

I laughed a lot and "pwomised" to back off and leave him alone.

We got to his preschool and dropped him off in his classroom. I was already almost in tears while we were finding our seat, just picturing my sweet boy up there. I was nervous for him because I knew he was nervous. He had a hard time letting go of my hand because it was not just his class performing, but the "older" class, too. So there were a lot of kids and......he doesn't do well with crowds :)

We got seated and all the little kids started walking into the sanctuary in their little Santa hats!

I died.

It was the cutest thing!

He was pretty shy at first. He sang about every 4th or 5th word and wouldn't hardly look up. Bless his heart! By the second song or so, he started to loosen up (I use that term lightly). He finally started looking up and around while he was singing.

And by the third song.....he was TOTALLY out of his shell ;) He started making funny faces at me and told me later that because I laughed at the first one, he kept doing it so I would keep laughing (oops!). 

They did 4 songs total and I SO loved watching him. It was perfect and sweet and amazing--and he didn't pick his nose! We were so glad some of his aunts and uncles and grandparents were able to be there to watch also! 

I can't believe I already have a kid in preschool participating in programs!! Where does the time go?!? I remember the Christmas I was pregnant with him and just imagining what our future Christmases would be like. I couldn't have ever thought it to be as wonderful as it actually has been. We love you, Tommy! Thank you for not picking your nose!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My sweet new niece

So in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we got the sweetest little blessing added to our family! I wish I would have blogged while it was all still VERY fresh in my mind, get's in the way.

My brother and sister-in-law were expecting their daughter very close the Thanksgiving. I believe the actual due date was December 1st. I'm just gonna be honest here and say that I was SO praying she'd have her while we were all off work for Thanksgiving break. I would've gone to work dead tired if I had to, of course, but I knew there was no way I was going to miss being at the hospital during my niece's birth. So I prayed and prayed that she would be born shortly after Thanksgiving. I even cooked up a little plan--I made my sister-in-laws favorite spicy snack and took them to her for our Thanksgiving dinner. Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. Yum.

As she ate her first pepper, I MAY have been staring her down (sorry JJ) to see if she would immediately go into labor. Didn't happen. We went through the rest of the meal with nary a contraction. Bummer! But at least she enjoyed the peppers :) Shortly after dinner, she was resting on the couch and I heard her say, "Ooooo." You better believe my head whipped around and I was all, "Did your water break?!?" Nope. But she was feeling some pain, so that gave me hope (sorry again, JJ).

I went to bed that night knowing my niece wouldn't be there that day. We got up the next day and hung around the house. My mom had asked if she could have the kids, so my cousin and I were going to go shopping. BUT.........WAIT FOR IT............

JJ went into labor!! Woot-woot! So after a few over-the-phone conversations with my mom (who was sliiiiiiightly crazy about being adamant she would NOT miss the birth of her granddaughter and yet insisted on still trying to baby-sit my kids despite my refusal to allow her to do so), it was decided that mom would get my other two nieces so she could watch them while my brother and sister-in-law waited out some of the contractions at home and my cousin and I would take my kids with us for our shopping excursion.

After a few hours at Kohl's (only to find out our Kohl's cash wasn't valid until three days later), my cousin and I were ready to pull our hair out and my kids were exhausted. We went home, Nick and I got the kids tucked into bed and I waited.......and waited.......and waited. For what felt like forever, but was really less than 20 minutes. I finally got the call that they were heading to the hospital. My mom and sister were going up there, so I decided to go ahead and go, too. My mom brought my other two nieces up the hospital so they could be there when their baby sister was born. They were SO excited!!

We got to the hospital around 9:30pm. We hung out in JJ's hospital room for a few hours until JJ and Brandon were ready to try and get some sleep. Alex was being so sweet to her mommy and was so worried about her! It almost killed her to leave her mom when she knew she was hurting, but we went out to the waiting room where we were just SURE my nieces would fall asleep quickly.

Uh, no. That did not happen. Those girlies stayed up until 3am!! They were so tired, but so excited. After they dosed off, we all took turns snoozing, too. Brandon and JJ's twin sister came out to give us updates every few hours. And then finally, it was time to start pushing. We were all fully expecting to wait in the waiting room until she was born. But I was SO stoked when JJ's sister came out and said that we could be in the room while Brylie was born.

I had been secretly hoping she would let us, but that's not exactly the kind of thing you ask from a person ;) But when it's offered?!? I jumped on it! I've never gotten to see a birth (even my children's!) so I was ecstatic to be there when Miss Brylie entered the world. My nieces were sleeping in the little private waiting room attached to each hospital room and my mom kind of hung back behind the curtain and peeked every few minutes, but Brooke and I were right in the action!

And it. was. AMAZING. There is nothing.......NOTHING.....that could ever be more miraculous than birth. It was truly awesome and my sister-in-law was a total rock star! After about 15 minutes and 3 or 4 pushes, Brylie was born and JJ was smiling almost the whole time. I told her later that if every birth was like that, I would have had 3 or 4 more children! She was amazing!

The rock-star and her newest daughter.......

Sweet family!

She was NOT happy to be taken from her momma! 

Her daddy holding her for the first time!

 Her big sisters FINALLY got to hold her!!

Ooooo, I'm in LOVE with this little girl!! She is just the sweetest!

Her Aunt Brookie loves her ALMOST as much as I do!

After we all took turns holding Brylie, we headed home for some rest and to let them get some sleep too. The kids were just dying to meet her, but I told them we'd have to wait until the next day. When it was time to head to the hospital, they were so excited!! They each took a turn holding her and they're smitten already!

Uncle Nick took a turn holding her, too.  He hasn't lost the touch ;)

We couldn't be happier with this new, sweet addition to our family! We love you sooooooo much Brylie!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This holiday season seemed SO busy. It felt like we had a million things to do! I think Tommy being in school this year is part of it.

He had a Grandparent's Day/Thanksgiving program at school one day in November. I was super bummed because it was his first program and parents weren't really invited to watch it! It was on a Tuesday morning, so I didn't take the day off work, but all of Tommy's grandparents got to go. I was really nervous to hear about how he did because he is SO shy. I asked them to tape part of it and send it to me so I could see it.

I got a 5 second video of him standing on the stage and the whole time, he was picking his nose. Lovely. Oh well. At least he got ON the stage! I'm going to call that a win!

This year, we hosted Thanksgiving for Nick's side of the family for lunch. We crammed all 12 of us into our kitchen and had to bring in two long buffet tables to get everyone seated. It was a tight fit, but we made it work! I love having all of our family together and am so grateful we all live close to one another. We (of course) had too much food, but it was all SOOOOO good. I tried sweet potatoes for the first time and liked them!

After we ate, we sat around feeling fat :) And I think there was some football watching going on. We went out to the barn for awhile and let the kids get some fresh air.

Then for Thanksgiving dinner, we went to my mom's house. I took some cream-cheese filled jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon, hoping it would induce labor for my sister in law (and it did!!). My mom cooked a huge, random assortment of food (as is our usual holiday tradition!). We ate dinner and then played a SERIOUS game of Taboo!

After we left my mom's, we went home and rolled ourselves into our fat pants and slept soundly through the night!

It was the perfect Thanksgiving day and I was and am SO thankful for all of my blessings in life!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Halloween 2014

Yes, I'm just now writing about Halloween.'s what I do. Tomorrow.

Anyways, this year, my kids had both known what they wanted to be for quite awhile. Tommy wanted to dress up as a hockey player and Tessa wanted to be a kitty cat. Luckily, I already had a Thunder hockey jersey, a hockey stick and a hockey helmet we'd gotten at a thrift store a few months before. Cheap is the name of my game when it comes to Halloween! And Tessa, I dressed in all black and one of my friends had a tutu with a tail and some cat ears that they let us borrow. DONE! So simple, so fast, so cheap. Loved it.

These are the only two pictures I got all night--I brought my good camera, but of course the battery was dead!

We went to my mom's first and had chili. It was delicious and warm, which is good because that night was COOOOOOLD. We met my brother and sister in law there and after eating, went trick-or-treating with their cousins (a witch and a puppy). We only did a couple blocks because it was freezing, but they had a blast and got a TON of candy. I had considered bringing our double stroller for the kids, but thought for sure they'd want to walk and get candy. I was so wrong. JJ brought her double stroller and most of the time, their kiddos walked, so my lazy bum kids hitched a ride in her stroller! I felt so bad because they were being so whiny about walking and being cold, but my brother pushed them around the whole time. Tommy refused to get out at some of the houses because he was enjoying that stroller so much. Those two kill me sometimes (and drive me INSANE)!

After trick-or-treating my mom's neighborhood, we headed over to Nick's parent's house. We met up with his sister and my nieces. They looked so pretty in their dresses! We took all of them to a few more houses and then called it quits because of the temperature. Me and Tommy could have gone all night (because I don't mind the cold and I love the atmosphere of Halloween), but everyone else was ready to get warm again, so we went back. Luckily, it was on a Friday night, so we were able to stay out a little later without worrying about getting to bed.

It was a fun night and I'm already looking forward to the next Halloween (and hoping it's  little warmer!).