Sunday, December 09, 2012

A few of my favorite {Christmasy} things...

Darren reading Charles Dickens by light of the Christmas tree in our children's bedroom. 

Our big beautiful tree, which presented a number of interesting challenges this year!  But I love it.  :)

One of our many nativities (my favorite!) awaiting the placement of baby Jesus on Christmas morning.

A Christmas book basket!  It doesn't hold all of my favorites, but I can easily change out our selection.

And finally... my current favorite Christmas song.  Caitlyn and I have been listening to it all day!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

A visit from St. Nicholas

Dining room table set with our pretty Christmas table cloth and dishes, and little monogrammed stockings filled with real gold dollars (!!!), chocolate coins, and candy canes.  We also had clementines, hot candy cane cocoa, and
Butter Braid pastries that I specifically ordered from the kids' school fundraiser for this morning's breakfast.  :)

Our St. Nicholas statue, and a new wooden sign I bought at Hobby Lobby.  Love it! 
Also:  St. Nicholas DVD and (not pictured) some appropriate Christmas books.

Austin held up his candy canes and said, "Look, Mommy!  A heart!" 

The kids were so happy to wake up this morning and find all their goodies.  Over breakfast, Dylan sighed and said, "I wish we didn't have to go to school."  With one look at each other, Darren and I made the unspoken executive decision to let them stay home.  We wrote notes to their teachers that we were keeping them home today for personal family reasons, which is true!  I'm so happy to share this special day with them.  We're listening to the David Archuleta Holiday Pandora station right now while deep cleaning their bedroom.  I've promised that if we can get it done today I'll take them after school tomorrow to buy a Christmas tree of their very own to set up in the big bay window of their shared room.  They don't realize it, but failure is not an option here!  Even if I have to do most of it myself, their room WILL be clean by tonight, because I am in love with the thought of Darren reading them their nightly bedtime Christmas story by the glow of Christmas tree lights.  Happy St. Nicholas Day! 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Spectacular Sunset

Darren and I stepped out into the backyard for a while yesterday evening to play with the dogs and to talk privately for a few minutes. I am so glad we did, or we would have missed the most spectacular sunset!  I stood on top of the kids' slide to take this first photo, and finally tried the panoramic feature for the second.  Absolutely beautiful!  Love our southern NM sunsets! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Card photo shoot

I was determined to get a good photo of the kids for our Christmas cards last Sunday while they were all dressed so nicely after Mass.  I had the perfect location in mind, and we even went to the earliest Mass so that nobody would be complaining that they were hungry for lunch, but just for good measure, we promised donuts as a treat if everybody would behave and cooperate.  The kids love running around the garden that we took them to (and I really can't blame them, it's so neat!) but they were very good sports and uncomplainingly (for the most part) endured their mother's neurotic photo taking.  Forty seven pictures later, I decided we were done and I would just have to work with whatever I got.  :)

This one was almost our Christmas card!  I really, really love it.  But, while it does magnificently capture the spirit of my Kris, (and I happen to love Austin's scrunchy smile in this one), it just wasn't quite right for this year's Christmas card. 

Here's another one.  I like this one a lot, too (as evidenced by my blog and facebook banners) but it wasn't quite right for the cards, either.  Hmmm...

This is one of the first ones we took.  I was just happy that they were all in one place, looking at the camera, and looking relatively happy.  But, Meghan's a little too hidden...she's sort of lost there in the middle.  So, this one didn't make the final cut, either!

Ahhh....finally.  This is the one that I decided to use for our Christmas cards.  I love the way Austin is standing with his little hands in his pockets.  He looks like such a sophisticated little man!  I have never ever seen him put his hands in his pockets, either, so this must have been a new trick that he just learned.  I love this one!  Even Dylan has a real smile!  

I asked Caitlyn to take a picture of me and Darren together since we were on a roll.  It's pretty good!  But you'll notice that I'm not posting this one in "extra large" format.  No picture of me is good enough for me to want to see on such a large scale.  ;)

And, I'm including this one here at the end because I just think it's really cool.  Dylan had the camera and, in typical Dylan fashion, was not content to merely snap away with the existing settings.  Oh, no.  He, of course, in a matter of seconds, managed to find and figure out the panoramic sweep function that I knew existed but have never tried.  I love my two littlest girls running in the top left corner, but it's Darren sitting contemplatively in the bottom right corner that really speaks to me.  My quiet anchor.  (Probably he was just relieved that by this point, we were nearly finished.)  :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scenes from our Thanksgiving Day

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Our sweet Pilgrim and Indian after their First Thanksgiving skit

Darren could sit and talk to my Grandpa for hours.  I just love this photo of the two of them.

I took the kids for a walk around the block on which I grew up.  Brought back so many memories.

Me and my adorable children with my Dad and Grandpa

Monday, November 19, 2012

My sweet Kristen

Sometimes I am just struck by the beauty of my children in certain little moments.  This morning it was Kristen.  She was playing outside in a new fur trimmed hooded coat and I thought she looked so absolutely gorgeous that I had to find my camera and charge it up for a bit just so I could snap a few pictures. Such a sweetheart!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real} ~ Master Bedroom

I've never played along with the {p, h, f, r} link-up hosted weekly at Like Mother, Like Daughter, but I do enjoy seeing the posts that other bloggers share!  So, even though I'm not officially participating, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things about our "master bedroom"!  (I'm still so glad that we decided to convert our actual master bedroom into one giant kids' room last spring!)

Darren's mom was here visiting over the holiday weekend,
and she brought us this beautiful clay cross!
I love it!

Apple Pie scented oil warmers!
One of the things I love most about fall is 
the abundance of delicious fragrances!

It's a little blurry, but I just love this snapshot of my kids 
jumping on my bed one day recently while I was trying to rest!

Yes, that is a very real mountain of clean laundry you see hiding in the corner,
patiently waiting to be folded.  It will happen one of these days!

{pretty, happy, funny, real}
The ever present kitty making herself comfy on my bed!
I love her!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012