Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Christmas! It's too much, just too much. And it is ongoing as we have another three weeks of vacation left. We are still in VA and Dave is flying to UT in a couple days to snowboard and spend time with family for a week while I hang here with my family. We have been having a crazy busy but fun time.

Since Dave has been on break we have done the following:

Visited Santa Land on the 7th floor of Macy's in Minneapolis.
It could have gone better.
*Let it be known that Dave is a stud who, when my bus transfer expired before we made it home from this adventure, and we had no cash on us to get a new one, gave me his student bus pass so Joe and I could ride and he gallantly carried an unconscious Riley the 2 miles home, tramping over snow and ice. *swoony swoon

We made lots of Christmas gifts:
We made corduroy purple monsters and little Where the Wild Things Are-themed hot cocoa mugs and plates for the babies. We transferred pictures onto wood and the babies donated footprints for cute "mistletoes" Christmas decorations. Dave made me this, the best scarf, during his bus travel and McDonald playplace time (everyone needs a red scarf! It is super awesome.) The children helped us make cinnamon ornaments to tag onto all the presents. Oh, and that blue material piled on the monsters' heads - toddler-sized snuggies I made while they were at the playplace. Also awesome.

We picked up our Harrelds from the airport and went to Rochester to visit Grande and Pops:

Next day, we drove through the night and four cities to get to VA. We broke down in Charleston and had to be rescued and don't I feel grown-up now.
Joe skyped with the Great-aunt Mel's puppet.
And took full advantage of "Uncle" Lora and Uncle "Dumpy"
Got their first music lesson.

 We got lots of thoughtful gifts.
Were thrilled by their first annual McClure Christmas concert.

Joe finally got to hold Mister in his lap, which he has been trying to do since they met a few days previously. Mister is the dog who magically appeared last Christmas Eve to charm everyone. We miss our Bear, who passed away just after Christmas last year, but Mister definitely has a place in our hearts now too.
Singing and dancing fit to wear a boy out.
Then we had a sister over-nighter in NC to see baby Lila. And those other guys :)
Abby and Lucy and Spiderman kisses. Andrea's face says it all. Bahaha.
You can tell who is feeding the baby.
Abby! ABBY! I love them.
What an awesome family - I wish we lived closer! But I am so glad we got to visit a little.
 We dropped Andrea off at the airport the next day, Saturday, and before we returned home we had a Hunger Games: Catching Fire/Coldstones outing. I felt like I was skipping school! So fun! 

It was good to get back to Riley and Joe and Dave and the rest of the family though. I am rather attached.

We have been caroling to all our surrogate grandparents, visited Lora and Darren in Christiansburg, attended church in the itty bitty Richlands branch, been swimming at the Y, and today we even got enough snow for a little sledding! Shew - no wonder I'm beat! All these danged family and friends to see and partying to be done - what's a girl to do?

This: this is what a girl's to do:



Yep. Time for bed. Cause I just said "yolo."

Nice knowing you, '13! Smell ya later!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holidazzle! For shazzle my nazzle...

Slight lull in the blogging due to Dave's big case competition/ sprint to the finish  this week - and the resulting major kickback days where we have done whatever the heck we wanted. Pardon my language. It's how I feel.

So....drumroll...the first semester is over!
I made Dave a congratulatory cookie cake. Riley and Joe pushed a chair up and proceeded to not look directly at it in front of me, but both got a finger in the frosting somehow before the night was done.

Thursday we had some moms and babies I visit teach with over for lunch and cookie decorating. Toddler parties are the best parties! Someone brought Doritos and they were like the highlight of these kids' lives. Ok, mine too. Frosting was more likely to get licked right out of the bowl than spread on a cookie, and of all the cookies we frosted, exactly four made it to the display plate. The rest, one may assume, were too good not to eat on sight.

Oh and some ended up stuck, frosting-first, underneath bibs to baby shirts. Maybe saving them for later.

Yesterday we did a little babysitting (another toddler party in two days - we are on a roll!) and then last night we went to....drum roll again please...

The Hollidazzle Parade!

It was 12 degrees so we bundled up in as many layers as a car seat could fit (Joe was wearing shoes over shoes) and packed along a thermos of hot cocoa. Aaand m&ms and marshmallows. Sugar high!
Major crowds you guys.
"I did it!"
Kissing some frozen cheeks.
After the parade, actually, before it even ended, Joe and I went inside to thaw our noses. And we missed the end of the parade! Santa passed and everyone flooded indoors to find their ways back to their various parking garages via skyways that network all over the city. Joe loved the skyways, so getting back took a really long time.
I think he liked the view/ladies more than anything. He kept scooting closer but she maintained her distance!
Santa on a rickshaw. We saw him after all!
Happy Hanukkah!
 Afterwards we drove around looking at Christmas lights. They are pretty fantastic now that snow is covering everything. Riley and Joe cheered "Christmas lights!" with us for a while but were out by the time we got home.
 Now that's what I call a successful evening!
Aren't they great??
After we put them to bed, Dave and I watched a Grithwold Family Chrithmas (actually called National Lampoon Christmas or something, but I always have to lisp out the 'real' title) over a plate of chili cheese nachos and giant cookie cake. I know, I know - I am jealous of myself ;)

And that's a wrap! It is snowing outside now but I believe a visit to Santa is in order today, as well as a few Christmas gift projects. Also I just got a request for bacon. Over and out.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thanksgiving/Christmas Mashup

I realized I didn't give actual Thanksgiving a mention! No one cares now - we are all over it and onto Christmas, but here's a few pictures from the day we spent with Don's sister, Beth and her family. We all had a great time - stuffed our faces and all that. Riley was in heaven at the kids table and later chumming around with the swarm of little ones. Joe ate a whole piece of chocolate pot de creme with his hands and devoted the rest of his time trying to sneak sodas off the table. And there was an especially interesting vegan, congealed pumpkin pie that fueled the entertainment of the evening.

 It was awesome to be with a big and boisterous family on Thanksgiving. Later that weekend I made the traditional dishes from my side that I missed - cornbread stuffing and real pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes, you know, just to round out the holiday.

Oh, and we made turkeys with our friends. Note for next year: feed the babies lunch BEFORE this activity. They were hungry and couldn't believe their luck when mom set piles of candy corns, oreos, rice krispy treats and frosting in front of them. They hand over fisted it before I realized my mistake and had little interest in the pb and j's I threw in front of them a minute later!
 It was a fun activity. Luckily I got pictures before Joe bit the beaks off all of them.

Now we are onto Christmas! I love it! Lights, nativities, snow, parties, service projects, treats - there is no end to activities to keep our hearts warm in this extreme, sub-zero, early winter we are having!
 (Soapy, naked baby photo bomb)

Riley's new favorite corner, bear quilt compliments of Patti Smith!)
 I got them bundled up in their snowsuits to play that one day it was above twenty (thanks for the suits, Don and Suzette!) but Joe was happier watching from the car with a granola bar. Riley was thrilled - her first snowman!

And then a little ugly sweater bowling with Dave's fellow students. To celebrate the end of their first semester! The near-end, that is. They have a big case competition the next three days and then he is done till Jan 20th!

 I last-minute borrowed some bears off of our Christmas wreath to make Riley and my sweaters. She felt quite pretty, I believe.

Whew. You are now up to speed. And we are off to make ornaments with our neighbors! Happy Holidays!