Monday, January 5, 2015

twelve drummers drumming...

Well, we've just returned home after our own little traveling version of the 12 Days of Christmas, and, if we're kicking it old school with the Epiphany, it appears I still have one more day to eek in a holiday recap post.  If you've already reached the point of Christmas saturation... forgive me, but it must be done. {Also: I'm right there with you.}

We arrived in Waco on the 23rd with a very full sleigh. This is my official reminder to Near-Future Kate to simplify in 2015 -- you tried to do too much {wrapping and overnight shipping and last-minute creating} with too little time and you ended up driving everyone crazy and being a bit of a Grinch on your very favorite day {Christmas Eve} of the entire year.  So... do less of that next time, please. 

Self-Imposed Mommy Martyrdom aside, it was another celebration for the ages -- I've spent Christmas in Waco every single year of my life, and it's pretty special to have my kiddos sneaking cookies out of the same tins and attending the same church service and leaving treats for Santa and Rudolph on the same coffee table and waking up in the same beds as I did for their first Christmases. There are a lot of bodies and opinions and personalities, but who really wants a quiet, relaxed holiday, anyhow?  Holidays should only be calm in the carols, methinks. 

This year, we actually managed to sit through the entire candle light service with both kiddos -- L mostly sat in my mom's lap and asked a lot of questions in a very loud stage whisper, and we funneled a continuous stream of Cheerios into B's mouth to keep him placated, but both their shiny round faces taking in the candle flames during Silent Night will always be one of my favorite holiday memories.  L picking her nose with her child-friendly glo-stick follows closely behind. 

Almost 3 is a really fun age for Santa and other Christmas magic. L was quite serious about selecting cookies for Santa and just the right apple for Rudolph. She wanted to make sure I included the line "thank you for coming to our party" {???} in her note to the big guy in red. She didn't have trouble falling asleep, but damn if she wasn't raring to go before the sun rose Christmas morning.  I kinda figured she'd geek out over the boot and hoof prints {always a massive hit with me as a youngster}, but she was basically like "well, duh there's going to be a mess when Santa comes through that ashy fireplace, NBD guys." 

She was super thrilled about her gifts, though. Definitely some typical toddler greed and over-stimulation this year which kind of made me want to pack everything up and take it immediately to a deserving women's shelter, but I drank some coffee and ate a few pigs-in-a-blanket and decided she hasn't quite been spoiled to rottenness yet. 

At 10 months old, L was somewhat of an aberration on her first Christmas; she never really meddled with the tree or ornaments {or explored anything without caution}, she was quite interested and entertained by the toys she received, and she didn't give two hoots about ripping wrapping paper.  B, at almost 9 months, only concerns himself with two trains of thought: (1) how quickly can I put my life and/or breakable items in immediate jeopardy, and (2) what is sister playing with and might I touch and/or gnaw on it as well?  As you can imagine, that adorable doll house with all the tiny furniture is essentially Baby Godzilla Bait while all the fabulously age-appropriate toys are discarded after 7 seconds.  Add these tendencies together with B's new stair-climbing skillz, and it's been a super relaxing twelve days away from baby-proofing devices.  Oh and the teeth! Let's not forget the four new teeth {for a total of eight! how can that be?! too big!}... I sound complain-y, but I probably wouldn't trade those early morning bed-sharing snuggles for the extra sleep. {Probably.} 

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. Cliche Alert: Kids really do make the holidays so much brighter -- even when they're teething and being bratty and hopped up on gingerbread men and refusing to nap. 

As we've done for the past few years, we headed down to Austin on the 26th to impose on my parents for a full week.  E can work from the Austin office, and I take any opportunity presented to spend time in my favorite city with my favorite people. 

Better weather would have been nice, but we managed to enjoy the Mozart's light show, the Zilker train, and park playing in between the bouts of freezing drizzle.  And of course Mexican food, Kerbey Lane pancakes, playdates with friends, the children's museum, and lounging around in jammies all day are fun no matter what's happening outside. E and I even managed three cinematic notches in our Award Season Belts {Wild: really enjoyed it -- as much as the book...with the added bonus of Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed coming across way less self-indulgent than Strayed herself} {Foxcatcher: amazing acting -- Steve Carell is terrifying, Mark Ruffalo is superb as always, and Channing Tatum wants so badly for us to all forget he used to strip for cash; I wish there'd been more to the plot than just what's on John du Pont's Wiki page} {The Imitation Game: I am ashamed to admit I fell asleep halfway through -- but I'm blaming the late showtime and the wine. The first hour was fabulous, and E says the second followed in similar fashion}. 

We had a very relaxing New Year's Eve -- a Thinkery trip during the day and a delicious supper at home along with a viewing of Chef that evening.  We even made it to midnight!  

L was so jazzed to meet 2015, she woke up at 5:45 am screaming about her errant lovey {"my yaya jumped out of my bed!"}.  Come eight o'clock, she looked just about as perky as her mama did on New Year's Days 2001 through 2011. 

Gingerbread pancakes, the Rose Bowl parade, and the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular on Netflix made spirits a bit brighter {sadly, I can't say the same for the football scoreboard that afternoon}. 

I haven't mulled resolutions over much -- we are due for a major Stuff Purge, and I'd like to not absolutely hate photographs of myself at the beach in May; pretty standard stuff. 

We're home now, missing the extra friendly faces around the coffeepot but glad to be back in our own beds {although I do wish Flossie would've thought to pack away all my Christmas decorations before she flew off to the North Pole}.  Waving farewell {another one of B's new tricks!} to the holidays is a bummer, but I think a bit of routine will do us all good... Plus! Birthday Season! It is upon us! 

If you've muddled through to the end, you get extra brownie points.  Or just some brownies.  The corner pieces even! 


  1. I am usually so over Christmas once it's behind us, but for some reason I'm not this year, so I enjoyed reading! I follow you on IG and wondered how y'all were able to stay in Austin so long - glad your hubby can work here so you can stay longer with your parents. You enjoyed more Austin festivities than my family did as Austinites! We went to the Round Rock light display since it's a drive thru and it was really neat but maybe not one to repeat every year?? Or at least not on 12/22 like EVERY other person in RR. Glad you had a great holiday!

  2. Happy New Year! As a Michigan State Spartan, I have to say it was a great game ;)

  3. As always, I love reading about your family and the similarities we share. We weren't away from home quite as long as you, but we still experienced all the joys of holiday travel with kids -- late bedtimes, no naps, too much sugar, and more toys than could fit in our car for our return trip home. Happy 2015 to you and yours! (Loved seeing your sweet kiddos in our mailbox!)

  4. Happy New Year!! I love following the adventures of you and yours here and on insta. I'm a longtime reader but first time commenter (resolutions in practice!). So glad L&B had a great Christmas!!

  5. Okay, so I know that we shouldn't stereotype on gender norms, etc. etc. However, DH was into everything- we couldn't have a tree when she was Deeds' age, and she was all over the place. DEEDS? Takes it to a whole new level. The boy has never met a plug he didn't love, a door he didn't want to slam, or a slow speed of crawling. This boy thing- it's true.

    1. I'm totally with you on this one. This kid is CRAZY. I used to roll my eyes at all the "better buy a frequent flyer card for stitches" jokes, buuuuut... I need to see if they actually make those.

  6. LOVE your holiday recap--the photos are wonderful and the commentary is always appreciated!!

  7. Corner pieces are my favorite also! Sounds like a glorious holiday season, and I totally agree with you that the littles make the season that much brighter, even in their chaos!


happy little comments!