Friday, December 30, 2011

Confession Friday 12-30!

Gracie confesses: I get more food in my hair than in my mouth when I eat!



Mommy confesses: I'm in love with those Chiclet teeth. :)

I confess that every year for Christmas I secretly hope Eric is going to say, "Just joshin' ya! We don't have any student loans - we're going to Disney World!" Hasn't happened yet.

I confess that when Eric goes away on business trips, I purposely watch sappy love stories which make me miss him more. Why do I do this to myself? I have no idea. But I do it every single time.

I confess that we had to let Evie down for the first time ever yesterday, and it killed me. She talked of nothing but Chuck E. Cheese for two days, got super excited every time a commercial came on tv...but when we pulled up and saw a jam-packed parking lot we knew it was a no-go. I guess somehow we forgot that even though it was 1:00 on a Thursday, kids are on Christmas break right now. I hated telling her we'd have to do something else instead. I cried. She did not. :)

I confess that I am sooo spoiled by having Eric home all week. I'm going to miss my late night movie buddy when he goes back to work. :(

I confess that after three failed attempts, I am resigned to the fact that I can never shop in Forever 21 ever ever again. It's the music (goodNESS, the music)...and the chaotic clothing piles...and the high schoolers. I think I'm getting old. But thank God for the internet, cause I can't resist me some cheap knits and jewels.

I confess that the ONE thing Eric and I wanted to make sure we got done on this staycation was to at least get a good start on organizing our basement. Yep. Haven't even cracked open the basement door (yet).

I confess that we should have saved our money and bought one couch!

I confess that Evelyn calls pomegranate juice "dolphin juice," and now so do I. Enjoying some dolphin juice this very moment.

I confess that Grace went to all of our Christmas gatherings barefooted, because we never could find the girl a pair of shoes that fit her feet. This is getting ridiculous....

I confess that it has been SO HARD to blog this week with my entire family home. I've been away from the computer a lot, and I don't miss (most of) it.

I confess that Eric would probably make a better stay at home mom than me. He cooks, he scrubs on his hands and knees, he runs errands...while I sit on the computer trying to think of things to confess to the world.

I confess that this is probably blasphemy, but "The Help" might just be a better movie than "Fried Green Tomatoes." I don't know...pretty close. It's definitely a must see!

I confess that Eric is calling me for lunch (Mr. Mom!) so I've gotta run. Catch ya in the new year on Tuesday!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Morning! 2011

Christmas morning didn't turn out exactly the way we had planned it, but then when does anything? Originally Eric and I were scheduled to be greeters at church on Christmas Day which meant arriving a little early, and so we had planned our entire morning around this. It was going to be tight, but we could do it! I was really looking forward to the service, and I had the girls' Christmas dresses all laid out and ready to go.

And then Eric came down with pink eye last week and our kids took turns running super high fever, and we didn't think it would be a great idea to shake hands with every single person who walked through the doors of our church. :) When we woke up on Christmas morning Eric still had a bloodshot eye, and Grace's fever sky-rocketed once again. I honestly don't know if it was from being sick or from cutting teeth, but suffice it to say we did not make it to church. And so our entire morning didn't look like anything I had planned in my head.

Despite all of the sickness in the family, we still had a great morning together opening presents and playing. But I'm getting ahead of myself....

When we got home on Christmas Eve it took foooreeever to get the girls to go to bed. They were super over-stimulated from a long day of lots of activity, and while they tried, they couldn't get their little brains to shut off. Evelyn thrashed around in bed for an hour tossing and turning, poor kid. And poor mommy and daddy, haha. But eventually the kids drifted off and we got to work!


Eric helped me arrange the gifts just so this year. I was very happy with our attempt at a modest Christmas!

Evelyn and Grace woke up the next morning excited to see what gifts were awaiting them under the tree. (Honestly, I don't know who was more excited us or the kids!)



Evelyn went for the chairs first thing, and Grace wanted to check out the stockings. :)



So happy that I was able to capture sorta-kinda halfa smile from Gracie. Those girls really do love their new sofas. (Don't mind Gracie's brand new stained up PJ's. The girl would not stay out of Santa's cookies the night before, and she got sugar cookie icing all over her, haha. So much for making sure we had nice jammies for Christmas morning pictures!)


Evelyn discovered the dvd in her stocking and promptly put it away. :) We were cracking up. Oh, Ev...she's such a helper these days.


BTW: Our verdict on Cars 2...it's cute, but not for super little kids. At least not for ours. The plot line is too intricate for them to follow, and so ten or fifteen minutes in they get bored with it. Too bad! I think they'll like it more down the road.



Okay, gotta speed things up a little here. We have a date with a mouse and some arcade games this afternoon. :) The girls really enjoyed opening all of their gifts! Here's a few pictures of the fun.






Evie is smitten with her Mater. :)



The night before was a little loud and a little chaotic, but we were able to enjoy a nice and slow Christmas morning. This year was much less overwhelming when it came to the amount of stuff the girls ended up with. Not a single thing was banished to the basement, and Evie and Grace have gotten lots of play from each of their toys already. (Up until a week ago, there were still unopened toys in our basement from LAST year - ridiculous!) 





You should have seen the MESS that was our house by the end of this day! Haha.

It may not have been exactly what we planned, but it was wonderful just the same. Eric and I can't get over how big our girls are getting and how they're interacting with one another lately. But that's a topic for another post and another day. :)

Thank you all so much for sharing Christmas morning with us. I really do feel like so many of you are a part of our family - and you might as well be. As we bring this year to a close I need to give a big THANK YOU to all of you who check in with us regularly and love on our family. I hope that you'll continue to join us for fun and memories in the new year. Only one post left for 2011! Crazy! 

Here's a big virtual hug and a "Have a nice day!" from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

What a Christmas! And it ain't even ovah yet. Not for this family, anyway. :) We still have one more family party to attend on New Years Eve before we haul IN the holly, de-Christmasify the home, and call it a year. I'm hoping beyond hope and wishing beyond wish that we can party it up with gusto one last time to make up for the fact that poor Gracie spent her entire Christmas Eve and Day in utter agony, cutting not one, but TWO molars on either side of her mouth. It was a long two days. Wonderful, but long....

***
One year a girlfriend at church stopped me and asked which Sunday Evelyn would be wearing her Christmas dress that season, to which I replied, "Oh...we didn't really get a specific outfit to wear for Christmas this year." But in my head a cyclone of thoughts began furiously circulating and what I really wanted to say was, "Holy cow! I totally forgot about a Christmas dress! What the heck am I gonna do?? I'm the worst mother in the world!!!" You get the idea. Cool on the outside, freaking out on the inside. I have no clue what Evelyn ended up wearing that year, but I do know one thing: I vowed to never make that mistake again. As a mama who loves to play dress up with her kiddos, how in the world could I forget about the dressiest event of the year on a child's calendar?

So we really made up for it this year by going as traditional Christmas as it gets, in the quintessential holiday fashions of red and black plaid.



I am in love with traditional. And I am in love with those girls.



We had three stops to make on Christmas Eve this year: Grandma and Grandpa Robert's, my grandparent's house, and my mom and dad's. We knew it was going to be a very long day, which was scheduled to begin right smack dab at the start of our usual nap time. Woohoo! :) We actually spent twenty minutes driving around town to try to get the girls to sleep - which we successfully did - but as soon as we walked into grandma and grandpa's the girls were up and they weren't about to lay down when there was so much stuff to get into fun to be had.


Grandma set up a super adorable kid's table this year for Evie and Austin, but Grace thought it was the bee's knees. Despite being terribly crabby, she sure was stinkin' cute.


Evelyn spent most of the afternoon with her chubby fingers fishing over her head into the candy platter for chocolates on the hors devours table. I'm not sure if she ate a single nourishing thing all day, but boy did she get good at unwrapping colorful foiled treats. Sneaky, sneaky. :)

Of course, it's not a party until cousin Austin shows up!


Grace wouldn't keep her bow on, but one of the first things Austin did was to pick up the abandoned accessory and plop it on his own head.



The kids got a kick out of their matching headgear, and while we ladies were hooting and cackling (and snapping pictures) I'm pretty sure Austin's daddy was in the background cringing for his son's future feelings about this documented dress up session. Baha.



We didn't wait long to open gifts and let the kids have their fun. It is SO hard to believe that just a few short years ago there wasn't a single child at the Robert family's Christmas, and now it is all about the kids. What a change!


Grace got a rocking chair just like her big sissy did last year. She LOVES it, as I knew she would. Hooray for no more bruises over rocking chair fights.


Grandma Robert recorded Hallmark story books for all of the grandkids this year, and oh my goodness...thank you Hallmark for such a great idea. It's a gift to be treasured forever and always. (Grandma, the girls have already been listening to their stories!)



It's a tradition for all of the family members to receive an ornament in their stocking each year, but this year instead of brand new ornaments, we were told to choose a decoration straight from grandma and grandpa Robert's tree. Eric and I chose one ornament that Grandma Robert made herself, and another that hung on Grandma Robert's mother's tree. My sentimental meter was buzzing off of the charts.


We received many wonderful and generous gifts, and the girls were very happy with their new presents. :) But by the time we were sitting down to dinner our girls were so over Christmas, haha. They hadn't napped, Gracie was in pain (which we still didn't know - we thought she was just getting sick), and they were way over stimulated. We still had two more stops to make, so we maybe got a few bites of food to eat before we packed up and headed to my grandparent's house.

Sadly we didn't get any pictures here, because we knew it would have to be a short visit. We chowed down on some delicious home made pizza (a Linnertz family Christmas Eve tradition), and the grandkids ran around like wild banshees. Ah, just like the good old days of yore.

Grandma Linnertz got all of the little girls the same present this year, and they had a blast with their totally rad light-up microphones. Pretty sure they locked themselves in the bathroom with all of the lights off and squealed themselves silly. Pretty sure some boys got their fingers smashed in the door when they tried to join in the party. What's Christmas without a little violence among family members? :)

It was loud and crowded and chaotic, just like I always remembered it. Evelyn was in her element around all of the buzz, but it was here that we realized the reason why Grace had been so fussy all day. Over a bowl of chex mix I reached my hand into Grace's mouth and felt the culprit. I knew that the best thing for our baby was to get her out of the noise and change her into more comfy clothes. Poor kid! So after about an hour of visiting with my relatives we said goodbye and headed for the quiet sanctuary of my parent's house.

It was here that I realized we hadn't gotten a single family picture all day, so before we changed the girls into their Christmas jammies we snapped a photo in front of my parent's tree.


Whew! I would have been so mad at myself if I had totally forgotten that one.

Since there are quite a few people just in my immediate family, we've adopted doing a gift exchange over the past few years. Between my parent's five children, my kids, and our significant others, gift buying can get a little out of hand. So we gathered all together, figured out who had who, and got to opening. We are very straight forward gift givers in my family. Skip the frills, get to the fun. It's just how we do.



One of Evelyn's gifts was a remote control car, and that thing was awesome! (Too bad it eats batteries - sorry Ev! Mom and dad need to get to the store.) But it was too funny because John got one too, and their signals kept getting crossed so that one controller was controlling both cars. Um, maybe you had to be there. But Eric and I were cracking UP.

My parents always try to get Eric and I a bigger joint gift, and this year we received a rotisserie, which is super cool. We cook a lot of chickens and turkey breasts and lots of other stuff that will be even more delicious now!


Our cue to leave. :)

We visited with the family for a bit, but the hour was getting late and we had lots of business to attend to at home still. All we could do is hope and pray that the girls would go down easily so that we could work our magic and get some rest! We had big plans to do our Christmas morning, go to church, and then head out to another family gathering that afternoon.

Too bad things never go as planned. But since this post is already monstrously long, I think we'll save Christmas day for tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hi, friends!

This is one of those quick messages that will probably be deleted in a day or two. :) Just wanted to check in to let you know I haven't: a) died b) left the country or c) forgotten about you. We have a super busy week,  full of fun things, and we're still recovering from the holidays. I'm sure you can all relate! Anyway, believe it or not, I take a lot of pictures...ahem...and I maaaay have maxed out the storage on our computer - which has already been amped up with more storage once before...and I have 700 Christmas photos hanging out on the camera that can't be uploaded. Eek! So hopefully we'll be back in business tomorrow. Can't wait to share our Christmas with you. :)

Later taters.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Confession Friday - Happy Birthday Jesus!

Ahhh!! Eeee!! I have so much to do today, so I gotta keep this short and sweet. :) I confess that I'm getting super duper excited for all of the Christmas festivities ahead! Except that....


I confess that I have no idea what kind of state our family is going to be in for Christmas, and I'm nervous as all get out. First Evie and I were sick. Now we're sorta better. Then Eric came down with pink eye - random. And now Gracie has whatever Evie had. We have one day to get everyone better for the holidays. Yikes.


I confess that I'm obsessed with cute pajamas lately, but I don't like spending money on something that no one else is going to see me in anyway. Wish Santa Claus visited moms and dads!

I confess that I love wearing glitter and sequins, and I adore that the holidays give you a free pass to sparkle without looking like a fruit cake.

I confess that I know one thing that Evelyn is getting for Christmas from her great Grandma Robert, and it made me tear up just hearing about it. I'm going to run and hide when Evelyn opens it tomorrow. I will not cry on Christmas, I will not cry on Christmas....

I confess that several toys are going to magically disappear tonight to make room for new things. The girls won't even notice.

I confess that I'm sad that Christmas is almost over and we haven't even celebrated yet. I'm not ready for the magic to end and the long, boring Midwest winter to carry on....

And now a break in regularly scheduled programming to bring you a birthday party for the Lord. 



There was cake. There was ice cream. We had hats. There was a paper chain full of things that we wanted to thank Jesus for. Written on those strips of paper were the names of people mostly, but Evie specifically wanted to note that we are thankful for dancing, kisses, cars, and camels. Because where would we be without a good camel? :)





It was just a sweet time with the family, really. We read the Christmas story, lit some fireworks, and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Who cares that this time of year isn't really when he was born? Gotta celebrate sometime!




This is one tradition we'll be keeping up!

And now I confess that Santa Claus is not allowed in our house until it is spic and span, so adios amigos!

From our family to yours, we sincerely wish you a very Merry Christmas! Have fun with your friends and family, and enjoy the next few days of magic and memories. :)

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