Rather, Christmas season.
We’ve been doing lots of fun things this December. Most we’ve been doing for years with the kids now so they’ve sort of become like tradition. Craft Day, baking cookies, decorating gingerbread, FDNY Christmas party, driving around looking at Christmas lights…
So I know you’ve all seen what Buddy & Ginny have been up to but here’s some photographic evidence proving we have fun without our elves too.
We went to an FDNY Christmas party. This year it was in my husband’s firehouse and he was working so that was fun because two alarms sounded while we were there and the kids got to see Dad fly into bunker gear and hop on the rig. Pretty neat.
(Regarding the alarms: It’s a joke between Vin and I that I’m the buff between the both of us (true) and he said “C’mon, it made your night too.” LOL I shall neither confirm nor deny this accusation).
Think she loves her Daddy?
Um. My new favorite picture. Ever. Well, that doesn’t involve the kids of course. Their pictures are always cuter.
Thank you to my lovely 9 year old budding photographer Emily Rae for taking this shot of her Mom & Dad. :)
We’ve been light-looking. We always pick a night or two to drive around with hot chocolate & a Christmas CD as we look for pretty Christmas lights. This picture is taken at our very favorite house. You get to get out and walk down the driveway to check out the displays (lots of “vintage” 80’s dolls here – so fun!) and then at the end of the driveway is a huge display case featuring Santa’s naughty and nice lists. If you don’t see your name on the list, you can add it to the clipboard and it will be added next year. When the kids were babies, we added them with their middle names and sure enough, Emily Rae & Grace Elinor are there! (I don’t think we ever added Andrew with his middle name. I don’t know… middle names sound prettier on girls).
Totally laughing because Emily is pretty much wearing that elf hat in every shot I took of her in December. Best $3.99 I ever did spend at Party City…
Here are two shots from 2008. One of Emily and Andrew in front of the same Sesame display and the other including Grace since I’m guessing we felt it was too cold to take her out of the car (she was 3 months old).
We decorated gingerbread. We actually made some small houses first and then when Andrew was home sick one day last week, he worked on the train. Grace came home just in time for decorating so she helped a bit. We have one large house left to make and we’ll probably do that today.
Grace had her Christmas concert. This was a milestone for the Miller family. It marked our very last preschool Christmas concert. *sniff*
We waited patiently for Santa as we heard his fleet of firetrucks driving through the neighborhood.
We added a new ornament to our collection. When Grace was an infant, I started making these pretty silver frame ornaments at Snapfish. It has become a tradition to frame a b&w shot of the kids and hang the front and center on my tree. I also make one for each set of grandparents. Here is the 2012 ornament ~ the 5th one in our collection.
We made sugar cookies. Well, we made lots of cookies actually: Oreo Truffles, old fashioned butter cookies and iced sugar cookies. I thought these would be a lot of fun for the kids to decorate. I used to make cookies professionally so this is my top-secret cookie & icing combo. The kids did a great job!
Mommy’s finished set of cookies:
Lastly, a flashback. I dug this off an old CD a few weeks ago and shared it on Facebook. It is hard to wrap my mind around how fast time has gone. This was Christmas 2008 when Emily was 5, Andrew was 4 (the same age Grace is now which boggles the mind) and Grace was 3 months old. So much has changed in the past 4 years. So much has stayed the same. I can’t believe just how fast the past four years have gone. Sometimes, I don’t believe that so much time has in fact passed but then I see pictures like this and I think “Hey. It’s true”. My heart is heavy this Christmas with the events that took place at Sandy Hook. I think about all of those families and small children. The teachers. The whole community. I know we have handfuls of brand new angels smiling down on us and while I don’t know just how much comfort that brings the immediate families this soon after, I hope it helps at least some. If this tragedy has taught me anything, it is to have more patience, appreciate the little things, hug my children just a little longer and know that we should live for today – truly – because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. From the bottom of my heart, I wish all of you the warmest holiday season. Enjoy your families! Send up an extra prayer or kind thought for those who are going through so much.