Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Swim With The Fishes

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

The aquarium always does fun stuff for Halloween and we’ve been going since Evan was a baby. This year the costume dress up weekend was “Pirate and Princess” themed. Unfortunately, I spend a bazillion dollars on costumes that are not pirates or princesses but were TOTALLY aquarium appropriate…so the kids dressed up anyway.

Although they weren’t eligible for the pirate/princess costume contests, I can promise you Evan won Unofficial Best Costume, just based on the fact that EVERY person we saw commented on it. Because it’s AMAZING.

p.s. The weird spacing thing on photos with captions makes me crazy but I cannot fix it so try not to let it drive you crazy too.

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She traded her mermaid crown for one she made in the craft room

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They loved all the throwing games to win “pirate gold”

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I wonder if the seals are getting nervous about the shark staring at them.

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There’s an art installation set up about ocean pollution. This one was adorable/sad.

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He’s goldfish. FYI.

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Evan saw the pirate and yelled “JACK SPARROW!” and the pirate said “CAPTAIN. It’s CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow!” This was like the 5th time we ran into him just walking around, obviously they’re BFF’s now.

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This is the best I can do for family photos right now.

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Sorry Linc.

Then we went home and painted/carved pumpkins, something we never managed to get around to last year. Painting is genius, since carving is such a PITA.

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Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Considering this week was Christmas, it was decidedly uneventful. I mean, BESIDES Christmas. But we spent all of the 25th (and the 26th) in pajamas eating stocking candy and being as lazy as possible. Then I got the worst pregnancy headache of my life (aren’t you glad I announced so now I can complain about it all the time???) and barely moved for 2 more days, so there you have it. Uneventful.


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At the casino for some shopping, donuts and examining a fake ice wolf

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Sleeping beauty

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I have eaten two of these in a week


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Watching the zamboni

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Once she got the walker thing she did great

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5 pm. THANK GOD the days are finally getting longer again.


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A Christmas cookie miracle!

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Easiest baking ever

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My favorite part of Christmas Eve


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Arming my children, one gift at a time

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Presents bigger than the child herself

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Blurrily playing their new Jake and the Neverland Pirates game


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Christmas recovery: chugging water and watching HGTV

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Wiggly tooth. He fell on his face. The dentist said he’s going to lose it and have a hole for a long time.

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Nothing says “Happy Day After Christmas” like Taco Bell


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Two things in common: cuddles and technology

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Using his new fan to dry Caroline’s nail polish


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Apparently all the baby wants is fake Mexican food

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Naps for those of us with migraines/exhaustion

I had a newborn session this week (an early Christmas present not due until January!) and another session scheduled for next week, and I’m surprised to find myself excited about it. I burned out a little after the fall and hardly picked up my camera during the holidays so I’m excited to get it out again. Plus I’ve got a pregnancy post to write and a What’s for Dinner post I never finished and like 10,000 words about the Walking Dead I’d like to write but will spare you because no one cares about a show that already happened even if I only just caught up on.

I should probably also get the kids out of the house before we all go nuts, but everyone is doing that so pretty much everywhere is full of parents with the same crazy look in their eyes counting the days until school vacation ends.  I’m hoping a Target run for some storage bins and and Icees for the kids will do the trick.

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You & Me Always
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Swim With The Fishes

North Pole Express 2013

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Back in August I saw a post go up on Facebook for the Essex Steam Train North Pole Express tickets. They’d only been on sale for like 20 minutes and the page was blowing up with people who couldn’t get on the specific train they wanted because they were already sold out. So I made a snap judgement, crossed my fingers that my husband would get first-half leave, and threw down a bunch of dollars for four tickets.

I would recommend it. Maybe not for a 3 year old, although Caroline loved it, but definitely for kids a little older who still believe in Santa. It was pretty magical, especially when our elf (every train car gets their own elf) found out it was Caroline’s birthday and had everyone sing Happy Birthday to her. I only managed to choke back about 85% of my tears, because magic.

And now here are a bazillion pictures:

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Matching pajamas because I win at parenting

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Snack before we board

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Looking at the North Pole

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Dancing in the aisles

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I wasn’t sure we were ever going to get Caroline off the train – she LOVED her elf

Merry, merry Christmas to my Christmas-celebrating friends! I hope you all have a lovely holiday full of magic and family and memories and cookies.

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Sunday, December 15th, 2013

I survived party week! Now I have 10 days to clean up before Santa comes, takes one look at this disaster, and leaves with our gifts because I’m disgusting. I wouldn’t blame him.


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Off to church

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The Christmas tree farm has an adorable quaint tractor-pulled wagon to take you up the hill to the trees…or a heated mini bus. DUH.

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Caroline Claus


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Trying to climb out the window at the pediatrician (wusses, it’s not even a flu SHOT)

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Tree decorating

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I’m the big one with the crown, the scribble on the left is E


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Snow day = cookies


They LOVE eating snow


Self portrait(s)


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More snow eating



Sent him off to school in my slippers. I LOVE THE BUS.


My house really needs some Christmas lights. Maybe next year.

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SO HAPPY her Mormor is visiting


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Bumpas are too tough to need coats


She was in a crazy bad mood considering we were shopping for her birthday





Castles for the Princess

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World’s Tackiest Cake? The castle turns into a purse for carrying around the princesses. World’s BEST Cake!

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Grandpas are awesome, because they read your new book 6 times in a row without complaining. Mommies don’t do that.

Besides the party and beating several levels of Candy Crush, I did NOTHING useful this weekend. It’s a good thing both kids love Caroline’s presents because it’s buying me a few days of recovery/time to get my photos together so I can share. Although Her Highness might be so spoiled at this point I never actually get a day off again. BRB, writing hate mail to the Navy.

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Slightly Christmasy

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

We have a family tradition of getting our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. It was something my family did, it was something E’s family did, and it’s something we’ve done throughout our marriage. This year Thanksgiving was late, and also fell in the middle of shift work for E, so he didn’t get the day off. Or the day after. I was a little bummed, but we planned to just get the tree in a few days when E could get a few hours off of work.

That never happened. He literally hasn’t had any time off – besides a few hours to sleep most (not even all) nights – since mid-November. If it was at any other job besides the military, his hours would probably be illegal. I know I’ve complained about how much he works before (probably a lot) but I’ve reached a point where I’m not sure how I’M going to get through it.

Right now the only thing I’m getting by on is making sure the kids are still enjoying Christmas. They are so excited about every single part of the holidays that it’s pretty easy for me to let myself get wrapped up in it too, although the fact that we’re missing 1/4th of our family is always in the back of my mind. My mom sent the kids an advent calendar and GOD FORBID I don’t remember to get it down so they can open the day’s door first thing in the morning. And amazingly, they’re keeping track of whose turn it is and remember better than I do. It’s teaching them sharing! And fairness! And that if you touch something covered in glitter it will stick on your body basically forever! Those are all very important lessons.

My biggest accomplishment so far is that I took both kids to the tree farm on a weekend (SO CROWDED) and we chopped down a tree. I CUT IT DOWN MY OWN SELF. WITH A SAW. I did a hack job and a nice guy with his own family came over and steadied it while I was sawing so it didn’t fall over and crush me, but besides that I did it alone. Luckily the farm picks up the cut trees and carts them down to the station where they shake them and wrap them up for you, but then I hauled it to the car, into the car (God bless minivans) and home into the house. I totally failed at getting it into the stand but E got it set up the next morning and now we have a fully decorated tree. We had to rearrange because my little desk/office corner went in the former Christmas tree spot, but now we can sit on our new little couch, enjoy the fire and look at the tree at the same time. Tomorrow the kids get to start opening their Christmas books (I was going to do one for each day of December but books are really expensive, yo) and we can sit on that new couch by the tree and I can read to them about the Christmas story while I sob quietly because magic and family and loneliness and children and Jesus and FEELINGS. It’s raising my level of holiday spirit from Grinch to Slightly Christmasy, which is a definite improvement.

I haven’t had much time for my own photos lately, which makes me kind of sad. Partly because once something is part of your job it loses a LITTLE bit of the fun and partly because it’s hard to juggle the kids in public and take photos. It’s pretty easy to lose one kid while you’re taking pictures of the other one, and I’m generally only seconds away from losing a kid even WITHOUT a camera in my face. It’s amazing I’ve kept them alive this long, honestly. But this might be the first Christmas they remember when they look back as adults and I want to make sure I have at least some pictures to show them, so here are a few.

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Evan’s first choice, but I told him it was too short.

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Caroline’s first choice, also on the small side.

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Final selection

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After we killed it.

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Watching them wrap it with the cool wrapping machine

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The farm had all our favorite food trucks, including the delicious kettle corn people from the farmer’s market.

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The princess places the angel

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Yes, I know it’s out of focus

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Fun with bokeh cut-outs

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