Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Magic

As always, our Christmas season was a good mix of joy and chaos.  This year we really tried to slow down and enjoy our many holiday traditions, but I'm not sure we've found the right balance quite yet.  I was striving for simplicity, but ended up getting a little overly excited and deluded by the lights and sales and hypnotic Christmas music.  No escaping it...December is the busiest and also the most wonderful time of the year.  

I used to think there was nothing better than being a kid on Christmas...until I had kids of my own.  Now all I need is to see my boys faces light up with excitement and my holiday is complete.  Thankfully I got to see that look of wonder on their faces many, many times this season.  So precious and priceless were our memories this year...regardless of the general holiday hustle/bustle.


Cousins at Union Station.

Fletcher ready for his first neighborhood lights tour.  The boys get to wear jammies and drink hot chocolate in the car.  And I have to say some of the most impressive displays you can find in all of KC happen to be just one block over from our house.

No Christmas is complete without a traumatizing visit to Santa.  Max said, "Santa looked really different than he did last year."  Hmmm...I didn't realize we'd be analyzing details here, buddy ;)
Max asked for a bow & arrow, games and a drum set.  Sully asked for a puzzle, bow & arrow and an airplane that flies.  Fletcher just bawled his little face off, poor baby.

Christmas Eve family photo

All the boys in their plaid with Lolli & Boobo

 GG's great grandkids all piled on the bed in her room :)
 Max was very concerned that he wouldn't be in bed by the time Santa made it to our house.  He monitored the Santa Tracker on Aunt Cara's phone.  Santa was in Greenland and then, within minutes, he was spotted in Canada.  This stressed Max out to know Santa was on the same continent and we were not even home yet!   He insisted we leave ASAP.  When we got home the boys put out cookies and raced off to bed quickly.

Santa showed up soon after they nodded off.  It was a close call ;)

Every year they each get three gifts because that's the number of gifts Jesus received from the wisemen on the night he was born.  And because we have to keep the excess under control!

In addition to their three gifts they also get something from Mom & Dad to all of them, one big group gift from Santa, plus stockings.

Their gift from us (and their talented Uncle Matt) this year was a homemade See-Saw.

Stockings.  I think the tin wind-up toys were the biggest hit with each of the boys.  Max got a robot, Sully got a train and Fletcher got a little monkey that plays the cymbals.

  Christmas morning. 
This is a peak parenting moment. There is nothing sweeter than watching them try to comprehend how all of their favorite things mysteriously appeared under the tree. 
I didn't take pics of them opening presents though.  It was one of my attempts to slow down and truly enjoy the moment through my eyes instead of the camera lens.  Images of their happy little faces are saved securely in my memory, though :)

Here are a couple post present pics:
Max was excited about his Little Human's book.  It's book for kids by the creator of  the popular "Human's of New York".  Also, Sully got "The Book with No Picture's" by The Office writer BJ Novak.  It is hi-larious.  I highly recommend both!

Confession: Billy and I spent a good 15 minutes on the see-saw on Christmas Eve. I forgot how much fun they are :)
After enjoying his presents awhile, Max said, "But, wait...we didn't get a big gift from Santa this year?"  Billy and I looked around.  Hmm...I guess not.   Billy said, "I think I heard the basement door open last night...could he have left something down there??"  The boys raced down the basement steps and found this:
A brand new drum set from Santa to all three boys.  Which, if we are being honest here, the drum set was mainly fueled by Billy's secret desire to play drums.   I think he's used them just as much (if not more) than the boys have since Christmas morning.

Christmas Dinner, karaoke and games at the Murray's

We hope you had a merry and bright Christmas too!
the Murrays

Blogs of Christmas past...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fletcher | 1

{Stats: 32 inches - 90th percentile | 25lbs - 75 percentile}

Dear Fletcher,

Well, it happened.  You turned one.  The first birthday is always such a sentimental, yet victorious milestone for parents.  We made it.  Although I'm not sure where the time went.

My little fox, you're so easy going and sweet as can be. And your curiosity is contagious. I love the way you want to share the world with others.  Always pointing out "new" things with a light in your eyes about your discovery.  Your smile and your giggle make our hearts burst with love.  Life with you really is so fun.

I am excited for all the newness this next year will hold.  Happy first birthday, sweet boy.

My whole heart, 

Here are scenes from your first birthday celebration...
Birthday dinner.  Chicken, quinoa, squash, grapes and chia pudding.
The brothers helping open gifts.
Loved the wooden blocks.
Fletcher opening his handmade gift from Sullivan.  A rattle made out of baby socks, bells, cotton and ribbon.  We use what we have :)  Fletcher's face in the first pic is priceless...he's genuinely excited about his new rattle!
{Here's Sullivan busy working on making it earlier in the day.}
Max made Fletcher a boat :)
Practicing birthday cake demolition for his party.
 The weekend following his birthday we held his party at The Vintage House.
Birthday boy in his new hat.  Thanks, Neeley and John!
We had Frito Pie, apples/caramel dip, pumpkin cheesecake dip, spiced almonds, and carrots with hummus. Apple cider and hard cider for the adults. And, of course, cupcakes.
Sully with food.  As always.
Billy made the cupcakes and I made the fox cake.  I always make the kids' 1st bday smash matter how they turn out.  I figure its the thought that counts :)
Still a little apprehensive...
Children's Mercy is the charity we decided on for Fletcher.  We have so many warm hats and mittens to donate thanks to our generous guests.
Party favors. 

The grandma's giving birthday boy some love...

Fletcher had a great time.  He was a little overwhelmed at times and confused by all the "Happy Birthday!" exclamations, but the cake and new toys made it all worth it I think :)

For nostalgia....