Thursday, January 28, 2016

Santa Came!!

Waking up on Christmas morning is my very favorite moment of the year.  The anticipation was thick and their reactions at almost 4 and 2.5 were just perfect.  They are excited about everything! Even a new candy cane :).  

After we got home from Aunt Celeste's house, I put Everly to bed (her night time routine is fairly simple and quick) and headed back downstairs to set up 'Santa' while Wes put Emma to bed.

What has worked out pretty well for us is one Santa present per kid plus their stocking and then there are wrapped gifts from mom and dad.

This year they each got what they requested: a Peppa Pig toy for Everly and a princess scooter for Emma.

I adore getting everything set up in anticipation of the morning to come.

I didn't get any pictures of them coming into the room to see what Santa brought, but Wes got this video and I will truly treasure it forever.  Their reactions are sweet and adorable and gosh, I love getting to be their mom.  If you have an extra two minutes this morning and you need your heart warmed, go ahead and watch this video.

We played with our toys for a little bit, basically as long as Emma could stand it.  Everly would have been just fine if we quit right here, she was so excited that Santa listened to her and got her just what she asked for!

Before we moved on to opening the rest of our presents.

Such excitement for Elsa panchies.  It was a princess themed year, this year for Emma.

We switched off, one girl at a time so that they could watch each other open their presents.

Which was a good lesson in patience for everyone :).

These two :).

It is hard to believe that these are the same two girls two years ago.  My babies are not quite babies anymore.

Their unwrapping styles are so different.  Emma is rushed, ripping off the wrapping paper, acknowledges the toy quickly and is ready to open the next present while our Evsie's is a little bit more methodical and really examines her toy when she gets it.  Just look at that toe point!

Pretty excited about her ba-tarr-as (tiaras).

And then you will notice that Emma scooped up the one she liked best and held onto it while continuing to open her presents.  Ahhhh, oldest children ;).

Once we finished, we slurped down some of our coffee and got ready to head to my parents house to keep celebrating.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday | January

On the last Wednesday of every month, I love love love linking up with ShayShaeffer and Mel for  What's Up Wednesday.  Grab a cup of coffee and get comfy, reading through everyone's posts is always so much fun!

1.What we’re eating this week…
Wes made these tostada’s last night from Mix and Match Mama and they were delicious.  I actually think we are having the leftovers tonight :).

We also made this corn dip from Larson Lingo for our play date and then again for my father-in-law’s birthday and it is my new favorite dip.

2.What I’m reminiscing about…
My first baby turns 4 in a couple of weeks and my second baby turns 2 ½ this week.  My sister is in the throes of having two brand new babies right now, and the other night it hit me that before she even knows it, she will have two fully communicating (and hopefully slightly less demanding) toddlers.  Time is a beast.  Some days seems to drag on forever where I am secretly waiting for it to just be bedtime already and then bam! Just like that you have a four year old.  I can't wait to snap a few more pictures of her this weekend :).

3.What I’m loving…
Adding a new baby to our family.  I mean, we could not love sweet Helena Kate anymore.

4.What we’ve been up to…
Ally and Travis came in town last weekend! My mom had all of us over for lunch on Saturday and there is nothing I enjoy more than catching up with my family.  As an added surprise, baby Helena and big brother baby Seodore came too!! We snuggled the new baby, took goofy pictures with Theo and watched my dad chase the girls all around the kitchen.

Then, on Sunday, we got to celebrate my father-in-law’s 77th birthday!  Emma was being extra sweet and we had the best time playing with cousins, eating pizza and celebrating my father-in-law.

5.What I’m dreading…
Potty training Everly.  At 2.5 she shows mild interest.  She will go pee-pee in the potty at school (~ 1 – 2 times a day), but at home it is an entirely different story.  She will ask to wear panties at home and she will maybe go in the potty once (twice if we are lucky) and then she will have an accident and it is all over from there.  She demands her diaper be put back on and she doesn’t want to talk about it.  I just didn’t realize how lucky I was with Emma- potty training that girl was a breeze.

6.What I’m working on…
We have been working on getting our house ready to move to China.  We had the foyer painted (more to come on this), I painted the door blue and Wes has done more than his fair share of painting (the boys room, all touch ups in all other rooms and he will have to repaint one of the walls in our back living room).  We have also been going through stuff and donating/trashing/recycling what we don’t need.  The purge has felt AMAZING! I did not realize how much stuff we would accumulate in just six years, but it is atrocious.

We are also working on our patience with the Chinese government and just the whole relocation process in general.  We are now delayed to a mid-March departure date, but I have mentally prepared myself for April (next week I will have an Expat Q&A post to share more details).

7.What I’m excited about…
After our playdate, my friend Steph posted on Facebook that there was a live Peppa Pig show.  We hadn’t heard anything about it and by the time we looked up Dallas tickets, they were nearly sold out the seats were way high up (which I was thinking was not good for a 2 and 4 year old).  However, that smart husband of mine looked up to see where else the show was playing and we bought tickets to take the girls to the show in San Antonio on Valentine’s Day weekend!  We haven’t told them yet, but I think they are going to be so excited!!  I am excited for a small road trip and to see their reaction once we tell them!

8.What I’m watching/reading…
YOU GUYS! I read a book! My dad often asks me how I have the energy to do everything I do, but the answer is obviously, some things take a lesser priority. Like reading. I am embarrassed to admit that I have not read a full book, cover to cover since at least Everly was born.  But on an airplane to China, I had nothing but time and read The Perfect Letter by Chris Harrison.

9.What I’m listening to…
Taylor Swift and Adele.  I have yet to purchase the Adele CD, but I think I need to remedy that this week.

On a more boring, but practical note, I have been keeping a close eye on all of the stock market chit chat.  I find it fascinating and a bit scary to see what has happened to the stock markets since the beginning of the year.

10.What I’m wearing…
I did a horrible job at taking pictures of my clothes, like there are zero, but here are two new dresses that I bought (both are on super sale).  Aaacck, the other one must have sold out. So here is a picture of just one of the dresses.

Also, I have been loving this ‘poncho/sweater’ thing.  I have it in black.

I am also thinking about scooping it up in this color.

11.What I’m doing this weekend…
This should be a pretty low key weekend coupled with beautiful weather.  I am going to take Emma’s 4 year old pictures and Everly’s 2.5 year old pictures.  We are also hoping to have a park play date with Aunt Kelli and baby Connor and maybe go to the Fort Worth stock show and rodeo.

12.What I’m looking forward to next month…
Celebrating all things Emma.  Last year, we had a Worm Bash to celebrate our girl turning 3.  This year, we are going a little more low key- on her request list is a pink princess castle bounce house (done!, please pray for no rain), a princess cake, pizza, vegetables and fruit, lots of balloons and monkey bread (random, right?).  I am thinking I can make most of those things happen for her.

13.What else is new…
Ally and Travis got a puppy!!! Named Hatcher! And we love her already :).  I cannot wait to let my girls get their hands on this sweet puppy.  We have been receiving video’s and have even had a FaceTime phone call with our newest furry family member.

Hope you have a great week :).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Christmas Eve with the Mitchell's

I am declaring the rest of this week 'wrap up Christmas' week.  It is always my goal to recap Christmas before February gets here and if I make a strong push, that might just happen ;).

Our Christmas Eve is pretty set in stone.  We take the girls to the children's Mass (which was pure chaos this year- I am not going to lie, I have never been more disappointed in my girls than this evening) and then to my sister-in-laws house for Christmas with my husband's side of the family.  Before Mass, I like to snap a few pictures of the girls in their Christmas dresses.  The lighting is pretty severe, but gosh I love these girls.

It is a shame she has no personality ;).

The prettiest blue eyes :).

This look should have been a warning for what I was about to experience.  Girls clinging all over me, crying during Mass, both needing to be held by only their mama- you get the picture, it was ugly.

When we got to Aunt Celeste's house, the girls got busy playing right away.  I do have to mention that now they are a bit older, they do a pretty good job at playing by themselves when we are at someone else's house if there are lots of kids around.

Wes, his sisters and his mom and dad!  Love this sweet family I get to be a part of :).

Finally, a birthday picture with me and my guy!

After we eat dinner, the kids always open their presents first.  Now that there are so many little ones (although no new littles were added this year), it is always pure chaos.

These are the 12 littlest 'kids' in the family, we are just missing the very youngest from this picture.

Once everyone has a present, they just go for it.  I love watching all of their litter personalities react.

Everly takes a look at her present and then always goes over to daddy so he can open it up.

Once the kids are finished, all of the adults play white elephant every year; most of the gifts are terrible, but it is always fun to see what everyone gets and what is the "good" gift of the year.

Emma loved it this year, taking the opportunity to help me, daddy and her brother pick and open up their present.

And like always, somehow we managed to end up with the biggest, ugliest, most unappealing stuffed animal of them all.  According to us.  According to them, it is the best thing since sliced bread.

It's hard to say no to that smile, right??

I love this picture of Everly and Aunt Celeste.  Before we headed home, I changed the girls into their Christmas jammies in case they fell asleep on the way home (for easy transfer).

And at this point, I handed over the camera to Emma and I let her be the photographer.  She was in heaven!  And I even got in a picture :).

Her favorite partner-in-crime though, 3 year old Rachel.

It was so funny to watch them; Emma would say make a funny face and Rachel would oblige and then come running over and they would look at the back of the camera together and squeal in delight.

And do this over and over and over again.  This is my favorite :).

Such a fun night!  We headed home to tuck in the girls and remind them to dream all things Santa.