Friday, December 30, 2016


I am so thankful I tried to post a photo of each kid every week. I did miss a few weeks. But, I will cherish looking back at these photos for years to come.

We played board games this week:
gabe...4...he is starting to really enjoy board games. he is the proud owner of candyland and managed to beat us the first three times.
 gianna...2...she finally got over her croup. she enjoyed lots of cuddles this week, as did I!

Isaac....I need to be better about taking photos when he is awake ;).

Thursday, December 29, 2016

...Books with dad...

Steve was able to take off the week between Christmas and New Years. We LOVED the extra time.
He reads to the kids almost every night while I am putting Isaac to bed.
This night, it found us in our new PJs:



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

...Christmas with family...

We hosted Christmas with the grandparents, Busia, and Uncle Brian and Aunt Kristi.

Unfortunately, Gianna woke quiet early with severe croup and was struggling to breathe due to the dry air. After finally getting in touch with our pediatrician, she started on a full dose of steroids. Our focus was then on keeping her still and calm to prevent hospitalization. Once family arrived, the kids opened presents and we spent the morning watching them play with toys.

We had our big meal, a new tradition of foods (roast porchetta, mashed rutabaga, green beans with carmelized onions, cranberry sauce and a chocolate beet cake). I was too preoccupied with Gianna to take many photos, unfortunately. Steve spent most of the day retrofitting a new furnace humidifier, which made a drastic improvement in her breathing.

Thank God, she started to improve almost instantly.

Little man slept through most of our festivities, but I did get a photo with Busia.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

...Christmas Morning...

The kids slept in until nearly seven. Steve and I were so excited for when they awakened.
We started coffee and slid the cinnamon rolls into the oven.
Stockings are always first. They were my favorite part as a child. My mom always had the best little surprises in our stockings.
Gianna loved her gum and her little orange in the toe. She really didn't want to open anything else. She happily ate her orange and then wanted some gum. She finally opened some new toothbrushes and she was content for the next hour.
Gabe was so excited about each little thing. The hair gel was probably his favorite thing as now he could be just like dad.

After stockings, we moved into the toy room and started to open presents. Gabe could hardly contain his excitement. He loved his magformers. Gianna received a little tea set and served us tea all day long. We purchased walkie talkies for them this year, but after purchasing over the phone, I realized after they arrived that they were the incorrect ones. So they were a bit bummed, but got them a few days later.

The morning was slow and perfect. We ate scrambled eggs and cinnamon rolls while listening to Christmas music. The kids played with toys and Issac snuck in some cuddles. Slow mornings are my favorite.

When you are four, gum is so exciting. Her bed head always makes me smile.

We had to try out the hair gel.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

...Christmas Eve...

Christmas Eve.

The kids were full of excitement all day on Christmas Eve. Gabe didn't remember much from last year and Gianna was too young.

We had our typical waffle breakfast as, well Saturday...and we don't dare stray ;).
The kids went down early for a nap as Mass was at 4PM. This was our first Christmas with our Parish and we had hoped to arrive around 315. The kids were a bit slow to awaken and don on their Mass clothes, so we slid into the last pew at 330. The Church was packed and beautifully decorated.
The children's Mass had an excellent choir and Fr. even called up all of the children during the homily. I was hesitant to let them both go up as we were about 25 pews back (almost the last one) and I knew my snap and glare wouldn't be effective at that range.

Gabe listened intently and Gianna lasted about five minutes before she realized we were nowhere in sight and started to look frantically for us. Fortunately, I was on the end and caught her gaze as she started to frolic back down the aisle.

I so wish I had a picture of us or at-least the kids. But, I really wanted to focus on enjoying the moments and not arguing for "just one more picture."

Steve in a suit, Gabe with a tie, Gianna in her pretty dark green lace dress, and Isaac in his first button up collared shirt. We belted out the Christmas songs.

We came home and opened a present, a book from Gabe's Godmother to finish our Advent book basket. The kids were extremely excited for the next day...I hope some of it was about Jesus's birthday.

Gabe asked to put baby Jesus out in the Creche.
Steve and I finished wrapping presents. We talked about the gifts the wisemen brought for Jesus. I know they didn't notice that they also received three gifts...someday.

...just be...

hustle and bustle is at an all time high this week.
i am one of those people that makes lists. i have lists for everything, every day, and everything in between.

i found myself glaring at the "list" for the week. all of these projects that i had planned to accomplish for the week. cookies, cheeseballs, errands, finishing christmas shopping, meal planning, house prep....finishing a stocking. it was all on there.

i found my impatience getting the best of me. nap times were never long enough to finish that one more thing.

all i have been searching for is peace. peace that i thought would only be found when all of my list was complete. as i finally got to the last major project, isaac's stocking, i found solace in the quiet of my stitches. i know the meaning of christmas, but yet i found myself getting caught up in these little details. as i stitched each stitch, my nerves finally started to settle. i was forced to focus on ONE thing, a constant battle for me as multitasking is my favorite thing.

just be.
a conversation with a friend this week who was struggling with the to-do list.
just be, i said.
i needed my own advice.

in the last few hours before christmas, i pray that you may just be and focus on the ONE thing.

Friday, December 23, 2016


gabe...4...playing legos. this week he has asked to talk to my dad (papa) everynight. they have talked for hours about dinosaurs. i love how much my kids adore my parents even though they are thousands of miles away. he is planning their next dino dig.

gianna...2...she is my dollface. my dad has always called my mom that. i have found myself using that nickname. my love is fierce for her. daughters are truly a gift.

isaac...3mo...he rolled over for the first time this week (belly to back),. he is becoming increasingly vocal and the older two get so excited.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 cookies...

there are only two kinds of christmas cookies in this house, soft molasses and cinnamon nut stars.

we have made them every year, typically with my in-laws, but we couldn't find a weekend that worked.
so, we decided to do it as a family. the cookies might not be as intricate or as perfect in years past (which was hard for me!!!), but the kids had fun. they were just getting over colds, so they had limited roles this year.

we decided to make peanut butter blossoms a few days later. we might make a batch here and there through the christmas season.

gabe was in charge of grinding nuts, and he was super excited. gianna was in charge of adding ingredients (bed head hair!!!). we had a hot chocolate party right after naps and got to work!! we pulled out a bit of dough for them to cut and then we all helped decorate.
we have given a few dozen to dad's office and plan to share more with friends! 
Here are a ton of pictures :) :