Thursday, December 29, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I was to have had so many years of continuity with all of the holiday traditions that my family celebrated. I spent 33 Christmas Eves at my grandmother's house with my cousins. 33 years is a long time. It grew to include our spouses and children, her house was literally filled with laughter. There was the hole we felt after my grandfather died and then again after my dad was gone and then when my grandmother's brother passed away. Always moments of remembering in our way individual way, but still merrymaking to be had. My father would put the money envelopes we were given in his shirt pocket. I loved that. The windows would fog up with all of us crammed in there, so we'd have to open the front door. My brother would have us listen to his fire scanner as the local "authorities" tracked Santa. Hess trucks would be coveted. Pizza was consumed. Yes, pizza. This all encompassing tradition has now ended, new ones will begin, the Hess trucks remain. How lucky though that I had an obnoxious amount of years of expectations that were quite literally always met.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011 in pictures

I'm home with the kids all week and thus have more time for pictures than words. Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Christmas Eve at Grandma's. We can hardly contain our excitement.
Luke got a guitar from Auntie Kristie and Uncle Tom. He has waited so long for one that his reaction was priceless. "It's a gui..." he could barely say the word he was so happy.
Taking a break to gather our thoughts.
Christmas morning and Luke does in fact have tape in his stocking. Thank you Santa.
What is in the big box??
A dollhouse for Ellie.
The Nerfman cometh.
Dart tag!
John gets some alone time with the guitar.
We need a bigger house.
Luke got a camera from Grandma, so we took a little walk around Crandall Park and took some pictures as we tested the water with a stick.
Luke "Bono" Stevens.

He kills me.

Ellie and her dollhouse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two minutes with Ellie

Just a little look into what it's like to make dinner with Ellie underfoot. Distracting, in the cutest way possible.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Through the years we all will be together...

Luke thinks we can't see him since he is wearing camo and believes he has blended into the tree.


I've been on a hiatus haven't I? I don't like to come here and be vague or write in a veiled silence so I've just taken a break. We've been busy and lazy homebodies all at the same time. John's team at work adopted a family for Christmas and helping out with that felt really good. We're excited to surprise our kids this year and share a really fun holiday with our families, despite some of the uncertainty and trepidation we've been feeling. It is time to rise above and trust in the unknown. To be the caterpillar in the cocoon that will soon emerge and take flight when the time is right.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


After the kids go to bed we talk about how funny they are and the things they said to us throughout the day. Ellie has been cracking us up with her bold and commanding tone.

Exhibit A (hopefully this does not offend anyone)
Lately, if someone catches her eye she say to me, "what's him name mom?" So I took her grocery shopping with me on a recent Sunday afternoon. We were in the bread aisle which is sort of a corner area that leads to the peanut butter/jelly/cereal aisle, it's in a kind of open area. As I'm putting something in the cart and looking over my list she yells out and points, "Where's your mom and dad! Where's the mom of him, mom!?"

I looked up and there in front of us was a Little Person.


She stared at me and he stared at me. It felt like time had stopped and then he turned on his heel just as his wife also a Little Person met up with him. This sent Ellie into a rant, "where's they mom and dad? They kids lost?"

Oh my God. She stared them down as I moved us to another part of the store. Of course we saw them in every aisle and thankfully she kept her mouth shut. I tried telling her that all people are different, and that they were not kids.

Exhibit B
Luke goes to a Catholic school and they say Grace before they eat lunch. We always said Grace growing up so it's really sweet to see him take ownership of it at dinnertime. Recently John was home to share dinner with us and as we all held hands and began the prayer, John closed his eyes as he recited the words. Ellie yelled out, "Wake Up DAD!"

So funny. So we laughed and she cried that we made her sad. Poor girl.

Ellie you make us laugh so much, thank you for being you. Even though you embarrassed the crap out of me in the store.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Ellie was born on John's 33rd birthday, which is fitting since she takes after his side in the looks department. In celebration of her 3rd and his 36th year, we partied it up with our closest friends and family in a swarm of pink tissue paper.

Three years ago we were here, trying not to panic.

Her first birthday was spent at Gram's house.

Her second birthday is where she discovered Strawberry Shortcake, Polly Pocket and was given her first horse trailer.

Her third birthday was all about sparkly pink, horses, and princess dresses.

26 years before he was here and one of his friends who was at his 10th birthday party was celebrating with us on his 36th.

A successful weekend for sure.