Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas with the Wigs

My last Christmas post is all about the Big Wig Christmas brunch (the day after) Christmas. I'm all about stretching out celebrations as llooooonnnng as possible so this idea was right up my alley! We had the brunch at Papa's house and as always it was special to be in his company--I love that man so very much. He's always been kind, welcoming and loving to me and boy is he handsome! 

Auntie Lynn makes/gifts everyone hats each year and I love this fun tradition. This year she wrote all of the grand and great grandkids names on top hats and it seemed like quite the opportunity to take a goofy group picture. I wish we would have everyone else join the picture too, but taking pictures with that many little ones is never easy so I'll just consider myself glad we have this one!

Great Papa has had a rough year and the vibrant, well-spoken and charming man we've always known is often hiding in his brilliant brain. Growing older is so hard and so unfair sometimes, and it hurts my heart to think that my little boys will not see the very best side of these people I love so much. It was because of my whirlwind thoughts that this moment with Ever and his Great Papa meant so much to me. I looked over and amid the mayhem of conversations, babies crying, children playing tag and hat distribution was my Ever Knight, holding his Papa's hand and looking adoringly into his face. For a moment their eyes were locked together and their smiles gave proof of what must have been an angelic inner conversation and then Papa looked away, smile still bright. Everett later told me with so much fervor, "I weawy wuv my Gweat Papa!" This moment reconfirmed to me that there is not only hope but opportunity and potential for a beautiful relationship to form with their Great Papa. They may not golf with him as James once did or joke with him as I once did but they can love him, learn from him and have moments of shared tenderness that I know will move them to be better men.

I may have gone a little crazy with pictures of all my lovies but can you blame me? Those hats are incredible (and the people aren't too shabby themselves!) Merriest Christmas, one last time!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning was AWESOME!!! We had seven little kids and 19 people total so our tree was overflowing with presents and there were people galore to love and hug and celebrate. If I could I would have a million children so our house was always that full on Christmas morning (but as it is my kids just better have a bunch of kids someday because this little one is our fourth and final!) Santa came and filled stockings and we spent all morning opening gifts, laughing, playing with new toys and gadgets and eating Belgian waffles with speculos and cream. It was absolutely the perfect morning and I wish I could replay it over and again.

The little ones met one by one in Mema's room until all the babes were awake and we could make our way to the living room, single file, youngest to oldest. The excitement in the air on Christmas morning is addicting and delicious.

The kids were all THRILLED with their gifts. Santa brought T a race car track, Ever a remote control robot and Quinny a pink sports car buggy. They kept commenting about how Santa knows them SO well because their gifts were exactly what they always wanted--especially T! Quinny didn't actually say that because she can't exactly talk, but by her death grip on the steering wheel I gathered that she was impressed as well! All the babies loved it and took turns riding around.

Quinny giving Mema a thank you hug after receiving a new dolly! Such an endearing little friend, that Quinner. And how cute are Jordan and Lu?!

Mema gave all the little boys different Star Wars toys and it's safe to say that Ever adores them! That boy and his action figures! It's funny because I thought having two boys in a row would cut down on my toy storage but when you have one boy who is all vehicles and one boy who is all action figures it just means a WHOLE lot of drawers full of boy toys!

Aunt Ash gave T roller blades and they were the star of the show. He wore those babies all day (and ever since Christmas if I'm being honest) and in no time he was skating around by himself like a boss.

The triplets!!! These three have my heart. Gosh, I love them.

Christmas is just the greatest! Can't wait for it to come again soon (and I'm not kidding--let's do this!!!)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Jammies at the Zoo

We spent Christmas Eve morning at the Sacramento Zoo. Technically you're supposed to go in jammies, but we were all running to separate Christmas parties afterwards so we just wore our Christmas clothes. As always, it was a blast and the kids were in animal heaven. 

Before we get to the Zoo pictures, I wanted to throw in this picture with Quinny and her Great Grampa (from right before we left for the Zoo). The sweetest thing I've ever seen was the first meeting (in a long time) between these two. Quinny ran right up to Grampa and basically leapt from my arms to his. She wanted him to hold her and cuddle her and she rested her head right on his shoulder. It was the most tender moment and made us all grateful for the love that baby girl offers to the world. Life is so hard and so unfair sometimes, so seeing small moments of peace and love makes the world feel more balanced, don't you think?

The older four had the opportunity to feed the giraffes, but my Ever Knight was not about to get that close to a nasty giraffe tongue so alas, it was the oldest boys and brave little Aves. They thought it was just about the greatest thing ever!

Wincs is the sweetest, softest, most kind-heartest little guy you'll ever, EVER meet. He likes to cuddle and be held and gives kisses and hugs like no tomorrow. The saddest thing you'll ever see is the baby monster (eh-hem, Quinn) stealing toys from his hands.

Our family is the best! I love it more than I can say when we're all together. (And PS--I so remember being these little kids ages and now I'm the grown up with a brood of kids of my own. Time is trippy.)

Little Wigs, at your service.

We've gotten a whole lotta mileage out of those little antlers! We got them at Target about a week before Christmas because she saw them on the shelf and screamed and whined and grabbed until they were not only in our cart, but on her head. It was hilarious, and definitely a first to see her so passionate about "fashion!" But it paid off because she wore them night and day for over a week! She's a funny girl, that one!

Thursday, December 24, 2015


I'm behind and life is not settling down so here I am, photo-dumping so many wonderful memories from early December into one mother of all blog posts. Buckle your seat belts, holiday action coming right up.

Two weeks after moving into this new ward (church congregation) I was asked to be in charge of the Christmas party. I'm not going to lie, being the new girl trying to plan a party for 200 strangers (and begging for help from those 200 strangers) was not always easy. But I'm happy to report that our "Night in Bethlehem" was a rousing success and I feel so pleased with how it all turned out. I wish I had more pictures from the actual night but I was running around like a crazy woman, but here is one of the beautiful manger made by the EQ President and that killer well (full of bottled water) made by the Mid-Singles Rep. There are a few more photos below.

The idea was that our party-goers would be transferred back to Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. We were taxed upon entry (everyone brought canned food to donate) and then signed the Census. From there, people were invited to walk through the "Israeli Market" and eat kabobs and rice, hummus and pita, cheese, olives and fruit. 

 The simple table decorations turned out lovelier than I had even imagined.

 The market and the star!

 The Winery was a popular stop--grape juice and 7-Up for the win.

We had a beautiful nativity performance from primary children and the greatest ever Joseph and Mary. Sure, there were a couple of hiccups but I think everyone felt the true spirit of the season which is all that we could ask for. I was so grateful for everyone who helped.

Everyone was invited to come dressed in clothing of the time period, so we bought every sheet our local thrift store had to offer and went to town! It was such a fun night!

The boys had a day off of school because of a terrorist threat (scary!) and were begging to make gingerbread houses. It sounded like a fun idea, but I didn't have ANY of the supplies. I kid you not less than an hour after their initial request I get a call from an awesome teenager who has babysat for us a few times asking if she could drop something off for the boys. She shows up with a complete gingerbread house, a bag full to the brim with candy and all the frosting glue they could ever need. I'll tell you right now I hugged her so tight and even kissed her cheek! Maddie was an answer to our prayers that morning and the boys had a blast! Doesn't their house look phenomenal? They were VERY meticulous about the whole thing.

Little girl and a BIG tree! I really, really miss NYC this time of year with all of those giant trees everywhere. This was our one and only big one this season. Sigh.

T's class had a multicultural feast which meant there was a whole lot of Asian food and then some good old American Christmas cookies with M&M's over there on the end (you're welcome, B9)! 

This little monster found a piece of licorice and then hid on the back porch inhaling the thing! She was already a mess by the time I caught her (and she looked so cute) so I put her in the high chair and let her finish it. She was allllll smiles!!!

Everett had a holiday performance and brunch at school and it was just the cutest thing in the world. He sang and danced to two songs and I could've watched him sing a million more. His favorite part, of course, was the feast afterwards with all the fruit and dessert a little one can fit on one plate! We've been so blessed to have him in this wonderful class with Ms. Ana and I'm so grateful she's given him such a fantastic introduction to formal education.

This is one naughty, adorable, feisty, sweet, friendly, wild, talkative, opinionated reindeer!!!

This is fast-forwarding a little to Sacramento (whoops!) but my parents treated us to a night at Winter Wonderland at Cal Expo and it was absolutely amazing! There were hundreds of massive light creations, there was bubble snow (that's my kind of snow), and ice skating shows, and warm treats. It was such a delightful night and I'm SO glad we got to go.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. So glad there is so much goodness, fun and parties to enjoy during the holidays. You know me, always up for (and never want to miss) a party! More Christmas adventures to come soon!