Cut out sugar cookies are my kids favorite Christmas cookies.  And I must confess that they are my favorite to make. 


Because, the mess and the silliness, and the giggles, I love it!




I typically have them cut out the cookies one day and we decorate them another.  This year we decorated them with our cousins.


More kids, more mess, more fun!



We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my family.  thanksgiving

On the way home, we stopped at a new to us tree farm to cut down our tree.








It was an unseasonably warm day and we had a wonderful time finding our tree.  Looking forward to the Christmas season!


It’s hard to believe that my youngest will be school age next year.  Seriously, how did that happen?  Sometimes when we drop the big kids off at their tutorial on “school at the building days”  he will pause outside the Kindergarten room and tell me, “That’s where I go next year Momma and then you will be all alone and so sad.” 

And my heart kinda breaks a little. 

Because he is right.  I will be so sad.  I will miss my little buddy at Trader Joes who pushes the cart and makes a dash for the coffee.  I’ll miss him packing up his book bag with sooo many books so he too can carry it around like the big kids, even though I am most often stuck lugging it around. 

Scott encouraged me to make sure I am cherishing these days… not just getting stuff done that I need to, but really taking advantage of this time with him.

Which I know I am guilty of not doing. 

So I brainstormed a few things I want to make sure we do together this year and one was visiting Santa.  Because I realized I had never taken him to see Santa.   Usually our Santa visit occurred at the family Christmas party at Scott’s work, but we haven’t been for 3 years to that party due to a gymnastics meet falling on the same morning.  And so we haven’t been to see Santa for 3 years. 

I asked my 4 year old if he’d like to visit Santa.  “Oh boy,” he exclaimed, “I thought Santa was just for pretend… I had no idea we could see him in real life.”  He was so excited…. and I had to chuckle and wonder what I am doing to my poor child. 

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He thought we were going to the North Pole and wondered if Santa would open the door for us and let us in.  I went on to explain how it works when you visit Santa… you wait in line and then go up and sit on his lap and he will probably ask you what you want for Christmas.

“Oh no, Mom, that is a problem.” 

“I don’t know what I want for Christmas.”

I told him that was ok, he could just tell Santa he didn’t know.

So, we went… he got a bit shy when his turn came and I realized while we were there that his asthma was bothering him and he was getting a cold.  But, I went up with him and sat with him till he warmed up to Santa a little.  Then they talked and hugged and I snapped a picture.

Afterwards he told me that Santa did ask what he wanted and he said he didn’t know.  Santa told him that he would bring him some surprises then.  Then my four year old said, “Mom, I guess Santa will have to use his phone to figure out how to find our house, right?” 

hahaha… Santa using google maps to find our house.  Made me chuckle. 

It’s hard to balance time these days… I try to take full advantage of the two days the kids are at the building, to work out, run errands, catch up on housework, and often my little guy comes along side me… and I enjoy having him along side me.  But, I also need to make sure I am intentional about making some precious memories during these days.  Because he is growing up faster than I’d like to admit.



A Relaxing Christmas

December 29, 2013

in Christmas,family

It has been a very relaxing Christmas vacation at the circus house.  My sister in law and her family came in to town the evening of the 23rd.  We had too much fun making cupcakes for the kids for baby Jesus’ bday party on Christmas night.  She is an awesome trooper.  She happily obliged my request to roll out 19 baby Jesus figurines out of marshmallow fondant at 10:00pm.  Seriously, worlds best sister in law.   IMG_9448

Christmas Eve was low key.  We did a gingerbread house with the kiddos.  Which was a mess.  I think it remained standing for all of 2 hours before it collapsed on itself.  But, we had fun and that was the idea. 

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Scott and I took our nephews to the playground for a little while so we could have some time alone with them.  Then the girls went with my sister in law to Nana’s to do a little cooking, while I grabbed a shower and tidied up the house.


Then it was church in evening and Scott and I started wrapping Christmas presents at 9pm on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day we lived in our PJs.  My parents, Scott’s parents and Scott’s sister and her family came for the day.  We opened presents in the morning.  And then spent the day in our pjs hanging out and playing.  In the evening we enjoyed lasagna for dinner and Jesus’ birthday cupcakes for dessert.

 christmas collage 2

My brother and his kids were supposed to come for dinner and to spend the night, but the kids got sick and weren’t up to traveling.  I missed them immensely

Since Christmas, the low key easy going status quo has continued.  I can’t believe Scott only has 3 days left of vacation and the kids and I only have a week.  I am loving the break. 



I know it isn’t very seasonal to have 66 degree weather the night of winter solstice.  But I gotta confess I didn’t mind it one bit as that was the evening I’d been planning to take the kids to see the lights at Brookside Gardens.  I had never been but heard someone talking about them once.  Unlike other light displays, this one you park and get out and walk.  Which could be a hard sell for 4 kids on a cold winter night.  But, this Saturday the weather was perfect.  (and clearly we weren’t the only ones who thought so as we had to sit an hour in line at the parking lot before we could get in). 

Seriously, my three year old walked around all night in short sleeves with NO JACKET… In DECEMBER. 


The lights were impressive.  It was really enjoyable to walk around the gardens and enjoy the displays. IMG_9315IMG_9318IMG_9356

The bull frog which actually croaked was amongst our favorites.


The lightning storm and rainbow were pretty cool too.


Two of the kids decided to demonstrate their bravery and stick their hands in the lion’s mouth.  (I think this is my favorite shot of the night).IMG_9433

In the end I found it worth the drive and wait to spend a relaxing evening with the family walking around a garden of lights. 


But, now I say, bring on some snow!


Dear Children of Mine,

10 years from now when you are wondering what in the world to get Mom for Christmas, I have an idea for you.  So write it down and stick it away and remember it when your 19, 17, 16, and 13. 

All I want for Christmas, is you.  It’s true… nothing wrapped under the tree could possible come close to time spent with you.  So, if you really want to make my day, ask me if we can make sugar cookies together.

Like we did back in 2013. 

You can invite your roomate from college, that boy from church you think is kinda cute, your bff… the more the merrier… just promise me you’ll lick the icing and giggle over the snow men that turned out looking more like moustaches.  And then, AFTER your friends all leave, I’ll pull out these pictures from back in the day and we can laugh and giggle over the flour ALL over your shirt and pants and those goofy 3D glasses the you decided to wear while icing the cookies.  I’ll tell you that even then I knew you’d be the comedian of our family. 

I promise, it would mean more to me than you’ll ever know.  So I’ll tuck these pictures away for us to smile and laugh at then.

Love Always, Mom