Easter Weekend 2014

Easter 2014

What a wonderful Easter weekend we had! It was a great mix of fun and family, good food and a powerful early morning service at HPUMC.

I was just so happy this weekend, with my big family and my little family, hunting eggs, eating way too many chocolates and singing hymns.

I have a few too many photos to share, but these kids are just too darn cute not to. :)

Easter 2014

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We decided to do the egg hunt and lunch with my family on Saturday rather than Sunday so that we wouldn’t be so rushed on Sunday. It worked out great. We made it to my parents before lunch and let the kids run around and eat chocolate all afternoon. They had a blast with their cousins!

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

The kids were skilled egg hunters this year. Caroline was pretty motivated by jelly beans and chocolate eggs. They were so proud of their full baskets!

On Sunday we were up with the birds and made it to the 9AM service. I was glad we did because the lines to get in as we were on our way out were crazy. And how awesome is that? I love a full church on Easter.

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

We didn’t get a real family photo because it was just us at the house on Sunday, but I’m so happy with both of these. Brian needs that one in his office, don’t you think?

Easter 2014

The Easter baskets didn’t make an appearance until after church. I knew there was no way we’d make it on time if we pulled these out first so we waited.

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

They were so excited to come home to these little baskets. They each got a coloring book, some candy, new books, cute  cups and a little toy from the dollar spot at Target. Nothing fancy, but they were sure happy with them!

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Easter 2014

What a wonderful day! I hope your weekend was filled with family and friends and fun, too!

Flashbacks: (I can’t even. They look so tiny!)

Easter 2013
Easter 2012

Christmas at Home

We hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year. Brian’s mom was here and my parents came over after our late afternoon church service so we had five adults and our two young kiddos.

I planned the menu last week and grocery shopped Monday morning along with everyone else in town.

Caroline and I were the first to wake Christmas Eve morning and we quietly hid out in the laundry room, ironing placemats and napkins and dressing up dolls.

I spent the day polishing silver, prepping food, making place cards, setting the table so everything would be just so. We served dinner on my nana’s Christmas china and dessert on her candlewick plates. My silver is the same pattern she chose all those years ago and the one my mom uses so regularly.

Brian and I bustled in the kitchen while his mom kept the kiddos entertained. I was amazed that the timing all worked out and we sat down to a delicious and cozy dinner of perfectly roasted beef tenderloin, caprese salad, roasted chick peas + pistachios, green beans, and rosemary potatoes (recipe from The Pioneer Woman’s new holiday cookbook) with fabulous pies from my mother-in-law for dessert.

Brian said a beautiful Christmas Eve prayer and my mom cried so I felt like we were doing something right!

After dinner we all filed into the family room around the tree, and the kids opened their one present for the night, new coordinating pj’s.

Except Andrew’s were too big – they were out of his size and the size up were about six inches too long, but he didn’t care one bit. He was so excited because Santa was coming! and his family was there! and it was Jesus’ birthday! Christmas for a four and a half year old is so very awesome.

And it was pretty awesome for me too. It made me so happy to work hard to create a beautiful table and a tasty dinner to celebrate this holy holiday with our families. This was the first time we have successfully hosted a holiday without my mom having to come rescue my meal – I tried the first Christmas after Caroline was born and it was SO BAD.

This Christmas dinner though, this, made me feel like a real grownup. I have the very best memories of Nana and Pop’s and those easy Christmases of my childhood surrounded by our extended families, but the chance to spend a relaxed Christmas at home, in our new home that feels so very us, was really special too.

And I think the kids thought it was pretty special on Christmas morning.

I will never look at this photo and not smile, right?

As per our usual, I will take down the tree and pack away all the Christmas decorations on New Year’s Day. It’s always a little bittersweet, but I think it may even be more so this year. We’ve had a really beautiful first Christmas in this house.

The Disney Cruise

We’re back!

Oh how I’ve missed the internet. And y’all. And your blogs.

Our family spent the last week on board the Disney Fantasy with Mickey and all his friends. We’re cruise people. We cruised a whole lot before the kids because it’s easy to see so much in a short period of time, and it’s pretty relaxing too.

So a week on the Mickey Boat with our kids and my parents and my sister’s family with her two kids wasn’t exactly relaxing, but it was a blast!

We left out of Florida last Saturday after flying in that morning so it was a long, long day. But the kids did really well considering. It was a great start to the week.

We made stops in St. Maarten and St. Thomas and the Disney private island, Castaway Cay, in the Bahamas. But mostly we enjoyed our time on the boat. Andrew’s face every time he met a new character was priceless.

I’m pretty sure he has a crush on all the princesses. :)

And since we were travelling with four kids four and under we did the smartest thing we could have done and brought along our babysitter. She afforded us a little downtime in the afternoons while the little ones were napping and a few nights of adults only dinners too.

Brian and I had a chance to ride the Aquaduck a few times. Andrew rode the Mickey slide approximately 62 times and the littles ran around the Nemo’s Reef splash pad for hours.

Two mornings we went to a Disney Junior show and danced around with characters like Jake from the Jake and the Neverland Pirates and did the Hotdog dance with Pluto. Seriously – Andrew was kind of in shock. It was cute.

Disney is known for their attention to detail and I can’t say enough about how beautiful these ships are. We spent five nights on the Dream last spring and they are both just impeccable ships. The service is outstanding and the entertainment can’t be beat.

I’m sure when the kids are a little older and we’re a little braver we’ll make the trek to Disney World, but for now, while they still need naps and regular sleeping and meal schedules the cruise is the way to go.

Andrew’s been drawing pictures of the Mickey Boat ever since we got home Saturday night and he’s written a few letters to Mickey too. We’re supposed to hold on to them and give them to him the next time we’re on his boat.

I’m really hoping we’ll get the chance to hand deliver them. :)