Viewing category: Christmas Dozen Photos

Saturday Behind the Lens

Saturday Behind the Lens

I got behind the lens this weekend– a couple of times already (rare these days).  Christmas countdown has begun so I stopped by Coco’s new (beautiful) home to get some quick Christmas-card-worthy shots of her children, Downing and Catie Tyler.  With a two year old you never quite know how it will go. “CT” seems to be the exception to the rule. Then again, it makes it easy when they’re cute- throw in some golden hour sunlight and a beautiful orange tree, fall foliage and– whoila!  Don’t want to ruin whatever shot she chooses- so here’s a couple of the outtakes. I think she could make some Christmas change by charging people to use her new back yard for family photos. But that’s just me….

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

IMG_0195

FacebookTwitterGoogle+EmailShare

Sleepover

Last weekend we had a cousin sleepover. My sister and I had the bright idea (finally) of swapping out Friday nights with the little cousins allowing for some much needed quiet nights/nights out on the town for the parents.  The kids did great- they are finally at an age where you don’t have to worry about choking, wandering off (okay, so maybe you have to watch Big Whit), wetting the bed, or otherwise terrorizing both animals and home.

Instead, it was arts and crafts, popcorn and movies with sleeping bags set up in Meme’s suite. Very fitting- I think she would have liked having them camp out on “her side.”  Saturday morning they awoke super early so by 9am, when we had already been up for 3 hours, we hit Dunkin Doughnuts then headed to Sassy and Pops house where the kids wouldn’t take ‘no answer’ to their unanswered beating on the door as ‘no one is home.’  Sorry, mom.

With the holiday season officially here, it somehow comes with a bittersweetness. Last year, as I took pictures of her on Thanksgiving day, in the back on my mind I thought it could be her last Thanksgiving but in my heart thought she would gather with us for more years to come. Holidays may have an bit of a sting this year.  But I have to remind myself,  how sad would it be if it wasn’t.  There is still so much to be grateful for.

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

 

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Door #2– suspecting Sassy was still asleep they beat on her bedroom door.

 

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Front door. Sorry SBK, but everyone has an itch sometimes.

 

 

 

Christmas 2016

I try to keep myself in check. I really do. Attempting to give our children 3 gifts, just like the three wise man carrying gift. Santa also brings three gifts (excluding books and clothing).  Either their mama can’t count, or my kid’s Christmas list have gotten more expensive over the years because they made out big time this year.  And by big time I mean they have had a lot of down time, slacked some on their chores, slept a little later than usual, oh yes- and had a great Christmas morning to wake up to.

I struggle with this a bit but try to remind myself that my husband and I do not buy much for them (relatively speaking) throughout the year. Britton will tell you, matter of factly, that she purchases most of her clothing, makeup and “wants” herself.  And darn it, they are good kids whose daddy loves to give them things he wasn’t able to have growing up. Isn’t that what parenthood is all about? Giving our kids the best life possible? Be it experiences, gift, education, or love?

Christmas Eve was celebrated with Mike’s mom and step-dad, “Gan,” at our house for lunch followed by Christmas Eve at our church where Kenley served as crucifer (acolyte). For the past 35 years we have gone after church to the Hanley’s house. We’ve missed this tradition only twice in 35 years– and one of those times was when my dad was dying. It’s just not Christmas Eve if not with our dear friends and family at the Hanley’s house. We missed my life-long friend MHH (aka Mary Heather Hanley— yes, her real name is Mary Heather Lines now but she will always be MHH to me) this year who had baby #3, Ellie Grace, just a few weeks ago so she was not able to fly cross country from Seattle this time. She gets a free pass this one time. Once.

After listening to Santa’s sleigh bells on the drive home, the kids open their one gift (Christmas pajamas) finding out which wrapping paper is theirs. They then all sleep together, have their Mama threaten them not come out of their rooms, and count the hours until 7 am Christmas morning when they’re told they can wake us up.

Oh Christmas 2016, we don’t want you to be over. I stand in protest by continuing to play ‘Contemporary Christian Holiday Radio’ on Pandora. Just ask Alexa.

Christmas morning

Christmas morning

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Christmas eve pajamas for the kids (well, technically shark slippers for Raynes who has been able to wear the same Santa pajamas for three years strong now)

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

We then made the annual trip over to Sassy and Pops– a whole one mile drive– to see cousins and create chaos.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

New braces for B. Merry Christmas, kid.

 

After opening gifts, but before afternoon naps, we drive the one mile back him before we return a second time for the ‘big’ family dinner at my parent’s house with Mr. Robinson’s parents, Meme, aunts, uncles, cousins, and three french hens.

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Nana is doing great and has recently graduated from the wheelchair to the walker, and is a healthy weight now as well. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and having conversations (and laughter!) with them. They enjoy her company as well!

 

 

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

My Aunt Deborah's ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

My Aunt Deborah’s ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

My brother-in-law’s mother, Leslie, bakes the best Christmas cookies and decorates each and every one. My kids are lucky if I manage to make slice-n-bake cookies.

 

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I'm kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I’m kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Merry Christmas 2016 to you and yours!

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone. Six years goes by in the blink of an eye. Trust me, I say this from experience little one. A whole 39 years and 9 months so I would know. 

In keeping with the theme of December birthdays, December 21st is always a good one with its cookie decorating, red and green colors and generally all-around jolly mood by all.  A foul-proof party if you will. The recent Florida fall-like weather has felt more like September than December. A good ol’ fashioned backyard birthday party, complete with a pinata and tire swing.

20161222-img_2634-2

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone via grateful simplicity

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

A trampoline is really all one needs in life. According to these kids.

 

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Mrs. Harris has a 9 day-old– who would’ve known?!

 

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Okay. this makes me laugh. Stand back!

 

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

A race for the candy- because they all need more sugar.

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

 

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy Birthday to you, Allie Boone

Happy 40th “Mrs. Grant”

‘Tis true.

40 is around the corner for me– and according to Mr. Robinson, it ain’t so bad. Raynes Pre-K teacher/my friend Sarah, affectionately known as “Mrs. Grant” turned the big four-oh so this month so we celebrated the way most almost and already middle-aged women celebrate. Boarded a trolley, loaded with alcohol and carols, to drive around and look at Christmas lights while laughing and sipping wine. Turns out December birthdays are lots of fun with a built-in theme every year. As for me? I’m still in total denial that 40 will be here soon. And while I can’t be sure, I may have even seen a grey hair (or two!) today. Which immediately made me feel light-headed.  Who am I? Whose body is this? This is happening? Yes, this is happening.

Happy 40th “Mrs. Grant”

Happy 40th "Mrs. Grant" via grateful simplicity

 

Happy 40th "Mrs. Grant" via grateful simplicity

Cheers to Sarah!

 

Happy 40th "Mrs. Grant" via grateful simplicity

 

Happy 40th "Mrs. Grant" via grateful simplicity