Thursday, December 31, 2015

Andy's Birthday...

So I have to admit, the previous two posts (Santa & Wolf Trap) took place on the same day as our favorite guy's birthday. Seems to happen that way every few years - well, when Andy's birthday falls on a Saturday that is. Luckily he's the best dad ever and understands the need to sacrifice a bit of his day to the holiday activities for his kids. (Don't worry, we rewarded him with a fun camping weekend the following week.)

That all being said, we did still spend a lot of time celebrating Andy - because let's face it, he deserves it. The morning started with some family photos (courtesy of the selfie stick) and then breakfast at Ted's Bulletin in Reston Town Center. I can't believe we'd never been there before - I mean, they have a cinnamon roll the size of your face, so what's not to love?!

Later that evening we had Ommy & Poppy over for some veal osso bucco and of course some Harper cuddle time as well.

There's no doubt Andy is someone worth celebrating. Happy birthday bub! XO

Wolf Trap Sing-a-Long...

The rain kept us away last year so when the weather forecast was calling for sunshine and mid-50's I knew we were not going to miss out on this fun tradition again this year. So we loaded up the car with Grandma & Olivia tagging along and with our "Toys for Tot's" in tow as well. Upon arrival we met up with Ami, Laura & Rachael and then as per tradition, Sommer, Adelyn & Jasper joined as well!

We pulled out the blankets, had some cookies, and listened and sometime sang along with the Marine Corp Band as they played all the holiday favorites.

Looking forward to next year when we can introduce Harper to this fun family tradition!

Santa and our boys...

We are so lucky every year that we are able to attend the kid's Christmas party at Kathleen's office. This year we were even more appreciative as it was the perfect opportunity to have Harper get to meet Santa for the first time. No long lines at the mall filled with germs, instead we were able to be first in line, Harper and Adam got to spend some time with the big guy (and the best Santa out there for sure!) and then we scurried Harper out of there before he could be exposed to too many cooties. Kathleen was sweet and kept Adam with her so that Adam and Olivia could spend time at the party doing all the various crafts and of course enjoying some cookies!

A perfect visit with Santa where Adam asked for Legos (shocker) and Harper just seemed happy to be home. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy 10 years Liddy!

In all my life (well, up until 10 years ago) I never thought I'd have a dog. Allergies stood in the way of even being able to enjoy other people's dogs, so how could I ever imagine having my own. Luckily about 11 years ago our friends Kristine & Kathleen got Emma, a labradoodle, that I could pet, snuggle, and play with and without having an allergic reaction! Hallelujah! The hype around "hypoallergenic" dogs was legit and so the hunt was on for a doodle of our own and upon meeting our sweet Liddy it was love at first site - no doubt about it.

Hard to believe that was 10 years ago, but alas, as with everything, we blinked and here we were celebrating our sweet Liddy's 10th birthday! We just love this pup so much - she has always been so loving, such a cuddle bug and protector (sure she barks, but I think it's out of love and concern...), playful, a swimming champ (she's probably the most upset about the sale of the boat) and even though we keep throwing curve balls at her (Adam, Sadie, and now Harper) she remains in good spirits and is as gentle as can be.

I am so thankful to Liddy for making us "dog people" and now with the addition of Sadie to our clan, I know that we'll always have four legged family members adding love and joy to our home.

Happy birthday Liddy Poppins Puddin Head, we love you so much!

Mini-trees & Advent Calendars...

As much as I love the holidays, I know that Adam (and soon to be Harper) love this season even more - so much magic, color, sugar (eek!), and of course the promise of Santa & presents at the end of it all. I love the tradition Andy's family had of having a tree in everyone's room and was happy we carried that on with Adam for his first Christmas, so it was fun to see that our elf, Al, brought one for Harper's room. Adam loved decorating his tree and having the honor of also decorating Harper's.

It's also not officially the holidays until an Advent Calendar (or three...) pops up. Ommy & Poppy gave both Adam and Harper the traditional kind filled with chocolate behind each window - Adam loved getting to eat his piece of chocolate in the morning and Harper's chocolate at lunch. Adam also was gifted a Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar from my co-workers as a "yay! you're a big brother" gift." Putting together a new, albeit mini, Lego set, and Star Wars Lego set for that matter, every morning was quite the unique and special way to countdown to Christmas.

Getting our "Ho Ho Ho" on...

After hosting a wonderful Thanksgiving there was no rest for the weary as it was time to get decorating! I find it's best if you just never sit down as the chances of getting back up are sometimes slim to none. Luckily, just as with our Thanksgiving preparations, we also had extra hands helping out with our decorating efforts. Auntie Anne & Mark were on Harper holding duty while "Elf" and "Home Alone" played in the background and Kathleen was on garland hanging and tree fluffing/lighting duty. I promised her I'd go help her with her tree - which we did the next evening.

I loved seeing our mantel with two extra stockings hanging from it. Kathleen gets major kudos for making our stockings, I just love them - and she has confirmed there are still more color combinations that can be made - good to know, ha! ;)

The weather was perfect for our real tree hunting outing - though it was a little too warm for Adam as it meant they didn't have the bonfire going or hot chocolate brewing - sorry bud. Our outing didn't last long as the very first tree Andy saw was deemed the winner by all. A huge frasier fir measuring in at 9+ feet! Thankfully Poppy stopped by to help get it in the house and set up.

I was also happy to have Adam's help this year with decorating the family room tree. A big 9 foot tree takes a lot of ornaments, so his help was much appreciated (once I decided to surrender control of course - not easy, but I swear I'm working on this). He turned out to be a really good ornament placer and it was nice having someone lower to the ground to help cover that real estate. I've taught young grasshopper well I suppose. ;)

When all was said and done we had two gorgeous trees and a house full of Christmas flair to kick off the holiday season. I loved walking Harper around and showing him all the lights and decor - he did seem mesmerized. Ah the magic of Christmas through a child's eyes - and now I've got two of them - be still my Christmas loving heart!