Monday, February 13, 2017

Christmas 2016!

What a magical Christmas!

We started a few days early with Christmas at Granny V's house. The boys decided last year that it was now officially Christmas tradition that we wear pajamas to Christmas at her house, even though it starts at 5:00, so that's what we do!

This year, we took a break from cooking and just ordered a ton of Mexican food. It was perfect. Everyone was happy. After we ate, the boys helped pass out presents and insisted on opening theirs first. Since this was our first celebration of the year, we were anxious to see how they would react to the clothes. They were so excited! They loved every single present and it showed! Raising grateful boys is important to me so that was my favorite part.

A few days later, it was finally Christmas Eve! We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and the boys put on their matching reindeer shirts. These were my favorites and I'm going to miss them!

Then we loaded up and headed to Grandpa Mark's house. Stephanie had made a few German dishes and they also had turkey and ham and all the traditional holiday foods. The boys struggled to make it through eating without starting on their giant piles of gifts but they fought through it.

Lincoln and Georgia just hung out on the floor together stealing each other's toys.

It was finally time to open!

After they opened, the boys had to go outside and fly their remote controlled helicopter from Uncle Mason. They crashed it about 524 times before the battery finally died. We ran a few last minute errands for Christmas morning and then headed home to try to let Porter take a little nap.

Then it was time for Papaw's house! Eileen's cookies were the hit of the night for the boys.

We played Dirty Santa with gift cards. From the beginning, Pax had his eye on a big snowman box. Aunt Jojo whispered to him that he shouldn't get that one, she had intended for it to go to Papa but Paxton was relentless. He went and grabbed the box, hoping for a Braum's gift card and opened...a John Wayne cookbook. We held our breaths and waited for his reaction. "Is this a cowboy cooking book?" he asked, expressionless. "Ummm...yes" I told him. "Woooooow! Cool!" he exclaimed and started thumbing through it. We all sighed in relief. He was seriously so excited about it and told everyone what he had ended up with. Even when Porter got a Chick-Fil-A card, he still maintained his pleasure....

Porter was carrying around a bag of chips the whole night. Eventually, little boys started getting sleepy and it was time to come home and get ready for bed. We put on Christmas jammies and put out cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. I think this was the first year we actually put out cookies because we're usually all so tired from Papaw's that we just rush through bedtime. But I liked the more intentional tradition of putting the cookies and milk out and I would like to add reading the Night Before Christmas next year too. We put the big boys to bed and got settled in with It's A Wonderful Life just like we do every year and I got busy assembling and stuffing stockings. Paxton asked Santa for a Playmobil school and Porter asked for the Playmobil playground and a new toy cell phone and that's what they got!

Christmas morning started early with one excited five-year-old who couldn't wait for his little brother to wake up on his own. They raced into the living room to see what Santa left and immediately started playing before they even opened their stockings.

Again, they were so excited about even the tiniest little things in their stockings and it was so precious.

Lincoln loved his toy from Santa but his new sippy cup was his favorite.

Once everything was opened and assembled, we had to get busy cleaning up for my family to come over. The house filled up fast with kids and aunts and more presents and food. We let the kids open their presents first so they could take naps while the grown-ups opened theirs. Lincoln, in Hulsey family tradition, got his Cabbage Patch doll and immediately leaned in for an eye gouge. The kids were all so cute and excited and everyone picked out perfect gifts! After they finished opening, we started eating.

The kids went down for naps and the grown-ups opened presents. When the kids woke up, we all ate some more, played with new toys, played video games together and stayed in jammies all day. It was perfect!

It was my favorite Christmas so far. It just felt so cozy to be in our new house with our completed family. And it's so fun to watch the families grow every year! The boys have 4 new cousins this year which makes things so much more fun!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

November in Review

Let's pretend it's the beginning of December and it makes sense to be posting about things that happened 3 months ago.

Paxton's class had 50s day complete with a Sock Hop. He was made for that decade.

He and Jared also got to go on a weekend camp out with Cub Scouts. They had a total blast and came home with way too many stories about spider hunts and animal poop.

These two paci-lovers and I stayed home and got lots of snuggles. Porter was sad that he didn't get to go camping so I tried to pack his weekend with fun things to keep him distracted from what he was missing.

We ate breakfast at Corner Bakery, he got a haircut and we visited Gramsy. We went to Chuck E Cheese and had pizza night with Teighynne and Mallory and the kids. He said he had as much fun as Paxton had.

Playing in the rain in pajamas is one of Porter's favorite things. He will change out of his clothes, put on boots and take his umbrella outside to splash in puddles. It's pretty cute.

Porter, Lincoln, Brooks and I all stood in our two-hour voting line to vote. Porter told everyone in line around us that one of the candidates was a bummer which was a little awkward. As we were watching the coverage, I realized that the last time we had done this, we had one little toddler and had to take a comparison picture. We talked about how the next election they will be 9, 7 and 4 and I almost cried. It goes so fast!

I got to go to Paxton's friendship feast at school and it was adorable. He asked to take a picture with his friend.

Jared surprised him at lunch at school for the Thanksgiving feast and they ate together.

Since their little tree lights from last year didn't work anymore, the P's got to pick out new lights for their trees. Paxton picked out blue and white LED lights and they were so bright that it looked like afternoon at all times.

Porter picked out multi-colored lights and considered his decorations to be new toys and broke about half of them.

We got a new fake tree this year since I was tired of sweeping up needles and Jared was tired of worrying about the tree dying before Christmas. Jared built a fire, we turned on Home Alone and all decorated it together.

Ryan and Tabatha came to town and we got to go to dinner downtown and then to see Transiberian Orchestra with them. Our seats were awesome and it was a fun night!

We went to the Omniplex with the cousins and saw the big tree they had.

And just like that, it was Thanksgiving! We started the morning with the parade and cinnamon rolls like every year.

Our first stop was Papaw's house with Jared's family. It was such a nice day, the boys spent most of it playing outside with their cousins!

Then it was time for Christmas at Gramsy's. It was really neat this year that there was a full kid's table.

After we ate, the kids all opened their first present of Christmas from Gramsy: matching Christmas jammies, a Christmas movie and hot chocolate! They all quickly changed into their jammies and headed off to play.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October in Review

October flew by! And once again, I failed on the blogging front. Let's just say we were busy having fun.

Last weekend was Porter's last soccer game of the season. We were kind of relieved...he is naturally pretty good at soccer and after watching his first practice and the warm-up before the first game, we were kind of excited to watch him. Unfortunately, when the reality of sharing the ball and taking turns hit, things changed. He spent most of his games playing with the other kids on the team, collecting leaves or just sitting in the middle of the field. There was one entire game where he refused to step onto the field at all. He got a medal and a cupcake and was thrilled.

Paxton had Red Ribbon Week at school which according to him means "your friends might ask you if you like slugs and you say no because slugs are gross" so maybe we'll work on that next year....but he had fun wearing pajamas, a tie, and dressing up as Brother Bear from the Berenstain Bears.

Porter and Lincoln are becoming besties. Porter loves to entertain him, especially when Lincoln is supposed to be concentrating on eating. And most mornings, I find Porter in my bed snuggling with Lincoln after I get up to make Pax breakfast. It's pretty adorable. As close as Paxton and Porter are, I kind of worried that Lincoln would be the third wheel, but I think their time together while Pax is at school has been great for them.

Malynne stayed with us one weekend and we had a blast with her!

The boys were excited for her to join our Friday night pizza and movie night.

A gallon of my pumped, frozen milk was about to expire so I donated it to a local mom in need and felt amazing.

Porter isn't great at playing by himself while Paxton is at school, so we draw and do puzzles a lot to keep him busy. He sat down one morning and drew his first person and said it was Gramsy and her pet cat on a leash.

We had a pretty epic fall break. Jared had vacation days to burn so he took days off to coincide with Paxton's days off and we hit the ground running!

We renewed our Omniplex pass one morning and played there for awhile. It was Lincoln's first time to go and he liked playing in the baby water area.

We went to a Trader Joe's and then to the new Pops for lunch.

One morning we were all just sitting around, relaxing after breakfast and Jared suggested we drive to Mount Scott for a picnic lunch. We packed up and got ready and headed out the door. The mountain was just under 2 hours away and we got there right in time for lunch.

The boys thought it was so cool to be up that high and they had a blast climbing on rocks and looking for flowers.

I was a little nervous that they were going to fall off the side, but everyone made it out alive.

After lunch and some more exploring, we decided to check out the visitor center. We saw a few bison grazing in fields on the way.

The boys liked the visitor center and the "stuffed" animals they had there. They each picked out a notebook to remember the trip and we headed home.

Jared and the boys have been talking about camping for months now. Jared got a tent at the beginning of the summer and they camped out in the backyard the first night and loved it. They have been begging for an adventure in the woods ever since. Now that it has finally been a little cooler, Jared decided it was time to take them.

We all went out to Lake Arcadia and the boys picked a campsite and then played while Jared set up the tent. Jared and the P's went on a hike while Lincoln and I went to get dinner.

When we came back, they had gathered wood for a fire. Jared made a fire and we are dinner and then made S'mores and told scary stories.

As it got dark, we started hearing twigs snapping in the trees around us and it was a little too quiet for me. Lincoln and I headed home to sleep in a bed. As they were walking Lincoln and I to the car, Paxton said "uh oh" and Jared said "what's wrong?" And Pax said "I'm about to cry". Jared asked why and he said "cuz I'm gonna miss Mommy". It melted my heart. They did fine though; in fact, they had a blast and said next time they still wanted to stay in the tent and not come home with me.

We spent Monday relaxing after all of our adventures.

These three have spent a lot of time outside this month and have loved it!

And Lincoln turned 6 months old and has started working on sitting up and has started solid foods so that has been fun to watch.

We also packed in lots of Halloween fun!

It was a busy October which makes it fly! I can't believe Paxton has already spent 2 full months in Kindergarten and I only have 9 months left at home with Porter before he's in school.

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