Monday, December 30, 2013

Still in Christmas mode

I've decided that Christmas is kind of like a wedding--lots of planning, last-minute scrambling, and anticipation of the big day, then it's just...over. At least with a wedding, you usually have a honeymoon to enjoy afterwards. With Christmas, not so much.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Unless you're like me, and take vacation during the week between Christmas and New Years, stay hunkered down in full Christmas mode, spending as much time as you can with your family. I'm talking decorations still up, tree lights on, still watching Christmas movies in our PJs until the afternoon. Kind of like a Christmas honeymoon where you can still pretend like it's Christmas but all the stress is gone. I see so many people ready to get rid of all traces of Christmas the minute the last present is unwrapped, but not me.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2 and their new Skylanders Swap Force game were all enjoyed.

And when we got inevitably stir-crazy after sitting on the couch all day doing nothing, we headed out to Chili's with Christmas gift cards in hand. There were even still playing Christmas music on Saturday. :)

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

I don't go back to work until January 2, and I'm soaking in every moment of my time off, remembering all of the Christmas fun.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Eggnog and treats left for Santa, Twas the Night before Christmas in front of the tree.

And with that, I'll leave you with a big old photo dump of our wonderful Christmas, filled with family, fun and presents galore. But noticeably absent of any good (DSLR) photos or a single picture of the 5 of us together. It wasn't until we were packing up our stuff at the in-laws' and I grabbed my good camera that I realized I didn't use it at all and didn't get a picture of the cousins like my mother-in-law asked. I'm honestly bummed, but there's nothing I can do about it now except be grateful for the few photos I did get here and there during the day.

We started with a flurry of presents unwrapped at home.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Then we hit the road by 9am to spend the day with Adam's family. You want guaranteed chaos? Put 8 kids and 12 adults in a small room with a million presents. It's the best kind of chaos...if only we could have seen everyone's reaction when they opened all the presents we got them. But just try to tell those 8 kids to go one at a time. Yeah, not gonna happen. :)

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Grandma Cheryl.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Cousins Luca and baby Piper. Lorelai was obsessed.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

The kids played outside with some of their new toys.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Logan was so excited to try out his new hovercraft.

There was also eating, loom bands and plenty of lounging.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

And look! I was even there, as proven by these ridiculous selfies. :)

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Me and my boys. Missing my girl though, and a photo of the whole family.

By the end of the day, we were all beat and ready for a good night sleep. It was a simply great day.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Snuggle pile with Aunt Sarah, Luca, Lorelai and Scout.

Of course I'm sad it's over, but it'll be here again next year. And the anticipation until then is half the fun anyway. ;)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wishing you love and cheer

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

(A Lazy Crazy Life}

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas. Hope it's filled with love and cheer!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Enjoying the season

There have been way too many years that the Christmas season has passed me by in a flurry of stress. Where I'd been so behind on my holiday to do list that I barely had time to pause and truly appreciate the joy of the anticipation and the spirit of the season.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

But I can honestly say that's not the case this year. Overall (aside from the whole job situation) I've felt the least stressed I've ever felt in the weeks leading up to Christmas that I can remember. Shopping wasn't a dreaded chore this year, thanks to online shopping and continuing the effort to pare down gifts for the kids. Presents are almost all wrapped, and I put together our Christmas card (digital only again, mailing cards one of the easiest things to drop off my to do list). We were also able to contribute to our local rescue mission's toy/book drive.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

I did have a momentary freak out when I was trying to put together wish lists for me and the kids to give to family (why is it always so hard for me to come up with things I want??). But aside from that, there's been a lot of enjoying...

Driving around looking at Christmas lights.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Time off work (8 days!) to relax and spend time with family.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Making teacher treats.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
No real baking this year. We did homemade white chocolate popcorn and 
pretzel hugs.

Daycare Christmas parties.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Watching Christmas movies.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Playing outside in spring-like weather.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Almost 80 a few days before Christmas?! I can't decide whether to be 
happy or sad. Or wishing for snow...

Finding Jack the elf every day.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Decorating my mom's tree, per a longstanding annual tradition of having a tree-trimming party.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

All that's left on my to do list at this point (after we wrap the rest of the gifts today, of course) is to spend more time with family and wait for Santa to come. I can't wait...and I'm not the only one! :)

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sometimes I cry because I'm so happy

{A Lazy Crazy Life} {A Lazy Crazy Life} {A Lazy Crazy Life}

The other night, I checked on each of my kids before I went to bed, just like I always do. I took a snuggly sleeping girl to the potty, and gave each boy a kiss and fixed their covers. And as always, I whispered in their ears how much I love them, how amazing they are, and how lucky I am to have them.

I always hope that my loving words will make it into their subconscious or their dreams or something. I don't know. But that night, by the time I made it back into my bed, I was literally in tears (and I may or may not be in tears again as I write this). At that moment, I was so overwhelmed with the love I have for those 3 special people.

I cried to Adam, marveling about how happy I am because of them. How much I love and cherish our family. How awesome our kids are. How did we get so lucky to call them ours?

What a good feeling.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Good news!

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

I'm happy to say that after a long 2+ months, Adam has a job! He accepted a verbal offer on Tuesday, and signed his offer papers today. He starts at the end of the month. Hammalujia! I'm so, SO happy for him that he found what seems to be a really good fit. A lateral move, so he didn't have to settle for a position below what he was doing before. Which, let me tell you--was a definite challenge. There were far more open positions for property managers than his desired regional manger position, so he put in lots (and lots) of applications to positions for which he was overqualified. As a hiring manager, he knows firsthand that in most cases, his resume was completely passed over because he was overqualified. Not many people want to hire someone who would be better at their job than they are, you know?

So after a fair amount of disappointment and frustration, his patience paid off and the stars have aligned. We can enjoy the holidays with a great weight lifted off our shoulders knowing that bigger and better things are officially right around the corner for him. Whew!

To celebrate, we went out to eat at Moe's and then did some Christmas shopping. And I think Adam and I both slept a little easier that night, knowing that the future is a little more certain.

 photo 9FEDAC74-C3C2-411C-8426-3B305E8A46D4_zpsl6164byy.jpg

 photo 335A14B9-F3C2-45CB-B66D-1E09F3E2B6F6_zpso3glvlcc.jpg  photo 76C428F6-5A11-42A5-9BD6-1D5972BE816A_zps1hsdmmbz.jpg  photo 1D9C24AD-C47C-49F0-96A6-853C965CEB22_zpslwcrvchn.jpg

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Capturing the moment versus being in the moment

I have an arguably bad habit now (since I've been blogging, maybe? Eh, probably before, since I've had kids) of thinking in photographs and photo-worthy moments. I don't have a camera in my kids' faces ALL the time (unless you count my cell phone...which you probably should) but when it comes to the bigger moments and events, I feel a strong need to document the occasion with pretty photos. As if it won't be real or official unless I get real, official photos.

When we decorated our tree this year, I made Aidan and Logan change out of their pajamas into actual clothes, got out my camera...and took a total of 3 pictures. Literally. Turns out, I was too interested in helping put the ornaments on the tree than taking photos.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

At the time, I didn't think twice about it and had a lot of fun decorating with the family, but after the tree was all decorated and everyone had gone off to do other things, I had this disappointment that I missed the moment. I almost had each of them pull an ornament off the tree so I could take a "candid" (ha!) pretty photo of the decorating. I realized that I was being silly though. My pictures of the annual decorating of the tree might not be plentiful or perfect, but they exist, and it's (hopefully) enough to help me remember the moment years down the road.

I think that's my biggest thing with photos (in additional to just really appreciating nice photography). I have a terrible memory and fear that if I miss a photo, I'll miss a memory, or my kids will miss a memory. I don't want any of us to forget playing Christmas music--and the subsequent arguing over which songs to thumbs up or thumbs down on Pandora, ha!--while reminiscing about each sentimental ornament and deciding which would go on the tree and where.

And I never want to forget that Lorelai's idea of where ornaments should go drastically differed from mine. :) She gets an "A" for effort though. I loved Aidan's, Logan's and her enthusiasm for tree decorating.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

I guess it's the age-old question of mamarazzi everywhere: how do I capture the moment and still be present in the moment? If I have to choose, will I regret not getting the perfect photos in my mind to remember the moment?

In general, I feel like I'm pretty good at balancing the two, and don't feel like I've truly missed anything while looking through my camera lens. But I think I need to do a better job about not beating myself up if I miss the perfect shot to capture the moment, because it still happened regardless. And hopefully what the kids remember when looking back at photos is that I was there and in the moment with them.

Which also means I need to be better about getting out from behind the camera. Hmmm, maybe I should recruit Adam and go stage some photo ops after all. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lorelai says

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Lorelai: I need a haircut.
Mommy: What kind of haircut?
Lorelai: A purple haircut!
Aidan: Purple??
Lorelai: What, you like me blondie?

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Her daycare school pictures. I died from the cute.

Teacher: Lorlelai, why are you being so bossy?
Lorelai: I'm not being bossy, I'm being you!

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

When we still had her tent set up in the living room from her birthday, where she put her mostly deflated birthday balloon: "I can't even deal with that balloon in my tent!"

After I had said earlier that her water bottle smelled funky: "That smells funky funky-licious." It was particularly hilarious because we have never said anything like that (that I know of).

While playing UNO: "I'm freaking out, I don't have any matching cards!"

Pulling up my shirt and grabbing my (squishy) belly: "Mommy, I got your chubby belly." (Guess we should stop saying that to her, huh?)

She frequently answers requests to do something with "okay, sure!"  (When she's not saying no, of course...)

Hallelujah is "Hamma-lujah" and Mike Wazowski inexplicably comes out as "Mouskey Wiper."

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Love her so much.

(Check out more Lorelai-isms here.)

Friday, December 6, 2013

High Five for Friday!

TGIF, ya'll! I've really started to get into the Christmas spirit this week. And I'm not super stressed...yet, so I'd say it's been a pretty good week, :)

ONE>>> Our tree is trimmed and our halls are decked as of December 1st, and I just finished up the outside lights (could use a few more on the bushes, but it's more than last year) tonight.

{A Lazy Crazy Life} {A Lazy Crazy Life} {A Lazy Crazy Life} {A Lazy Crazy Life}

TWO>>> Um, it was almost 80* today. Enjoying that while I can before it bottoms out to almost freezing on Sunday.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

THREE>>> I dyed my hair (just a semi-permanent box color) and I'm digging the new darker look. I've gone darker before, but it's been a couple of years. My hair was looking totally blah so I needed something to freshen it up.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

FOUR>>> Dexter is now streaming on Netflix, so Adam and I are totally bing-watching. Since last week, we're almost halfway through season 2.

FIVE>>> We have finally ditched horrible, terrible, no-good Time Warner Cable in favor of Direct TV. Well, not completely ditched since TWC is our only option for high-speed internet, but no more land line or cable so our TV bill is a lot lower for at least two years, and we'll hopefully have far fewer fits of rage when trying to deal with their abysmal customer service. I can't even tell you the kind of frustrations and pure idocy we've dealt with for two months over an incorrect bill. We haven't had phone service with TWC since Oct 1, and it took more than EIGHT HOURS of phone time and two trips to their office to finally get the bill taken care of. No more! The down side is that we now have an ugly-ass dish on the front of our roof since that's the only place they could place it to get a signal, but at least it's mostly disguised by a tree and it blends in with the roof color.

And a bonus number SIX>>> As soon and I got Lorelai home the other day, she grabbed a book, pulled her chair over, and started reading to Adam while he cooked dinner. It was the cutest darn thing!

{A Lazy Crazy Life}

Monday, December 2, 2013

30 days of thanks

Like last year, I spent the month of November finding something to be thankful for in every day. The big things are obvious...but the little things are just as important and it's an ongoing effort to stop and truly appreciate all those little things that make me an incredibly blessed and fortunate (and overall happy!) person.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 1: Thankful for sweet treats. Both a blessing and a curse after Halloween, but I chose to look on the bright side. :)
Day 2: Thankful for lazy weekend mornings watching a movie with my family (my messy house can wait).
Day 3: Thankful for quality family time on a gorgeous fall day at the NC Zoo.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 4: Thankful to be back at Zumba after a long hiatus. Such a great workout!
Day 5: Thankful for the ability to telecommute so I didn't have to actually be in the office for my 7 freakin' AM meeting.
Day 6: Thankful for a bath time full of laughs with this silly girl.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 7: Thankful for this gorgeous sunset (even though it came an hour too soon because of the time change!).
Day 8: Chocolate wine + Grownups 2 on Redbox + handsome hubby=perfect at-home date night. And for that, I'm thankful.
Day 9: Thankful for cousins that can come over for a last-minute play date.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 10: So, SO thankful that Lorelai's knee seems to be better and she's able to walk on it now. Whew!
Day 11: Thankful for all the veterans who have served our country.
Day 12: Thankful for the joy this girl brings into all of our lives, with every kiss, every smile, every hug.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 13: Thankful for the sibling bond these 3 share. In quiet moments like these, I'll often find them snuggling, completely unprompted. I'm also thankful for my own sister, whose birthday is today.
Day 14: Thankful for family dinners.
Day 15: Thankful that Lorelai did so well on her first trip to the dentist and got a clean bill of health.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 16: Thankful for my silly boys (and photobombs by Logan wearing Lorelai's Minnie Mouse ears).
Day 17: Thankful for gorgeous mild weather in the middle of November, and neighbors for the kids to play with.
Day 18: Thankful for a daycare center that has taken excellent care of Aidan, Logan and Lorelai over the past 9 years. One that's so fun, Lorelai doesn't want to leave at the end of the day.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 19: Thankful my kids are good sleepers (and pretty much always have been). We really got lucky! And I just love how peaceful and angelic they look when they're sleeping.
Day 20: I cannot even tell you how thankful I am for what Logan wrote, especially that last line, especially given some not so warm fuzzy feelings he's expressed recently. Not gonna lie, this totally made me cry happy tears.
Day 21: Thankful that Logan is willing and able to help quiz Aidan on his spelling words.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 22: Thankful that both Adam and I were able to attend Logan's class Thanksgiving play/feast. He was so shy standing in front of everyone, but memorize every single thing. #proudmom
Day 23: Thankful that Aidan and Logan are so helpful with grocery shopping. Aidan's got 2 bags like Adam, Logan's got one bag and Lorelai's hand.
Day 24: Thankful for relaxing spa time where I enjoyed a nice facial (compliments of a birthday gift from Adam...from May).

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 25: Thankful for warm blankets and Parks and Rec on the DVR. Brrr!
Day 26 (oops, missed a day): Thankful for Bojangles.
Day 27: Thankful for fun family time at Frankie's and a day off to spend it.

{A Lazy Crazy Life}
Day 28: Thankful for family, excellent food, and the loving hands that prepared it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Day 29: Thankful for Grandma sleepovers and a kid-free date night.
Day 30: Thankful for Lorelai's first successful sleepover at Grandma's (was totally expecting her to bail and have to come home like last time) and a morning date to see Catching Fire while the kids were still at my mom's.

As always, there's so much more I could include on this list. Not everything's all sunshine and roses in my life all the time (obviously), but I'm filled with so much gratitude.