Monday, January 2, 2017

We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Our elf, Lloyd Christmas, returned after Thanksgiving and kicked off the Christmas season! This year was a good one because since Christmas and New Years fell on the weekend, Dave and I both had two long weekends of no work back to back which made for lots of lounging in our pjs and playing with new toys and building lots and lots of Lego sets.

We started off by riding the Christmas train at Irvine Park. We had never done this before and were so pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was! We will definitely be doing it again next year. It was really cold and crazy windy when we went so hopefully next year will be better weather. The boys loved meeting Santa and riding the train through the tunnel of lights. 

We decorated our house early this year because Great-Grandma came all the way from New York for a visit. We decorated cookies, went shopping, and spent time together as a big family. It was so much fun and we were sad to see her leave!

Waiting for Great-Grandma at the airport

Making Christmas cookies

The boys had fun school parties and Carter's class sang some songs at their Winter concert. Christmas eve we spent with our cousins and we were so thrilled to see snowy footprints from Santa by our fireplace on Christmas morning. He also left a glove and his glasses! We'll have to remember to return them next year!

Dave's favorite present was a new guitar

We had a blast watching Christmas movies this year. The classic "Home Alone" is now our boys' favorite and they giggle uncontrollably and now repeat lines from the movie. We love watching "Elf" so Torrey and I took Carter to see the musical. It was pretty cute and they even set up a candy bar for the kids to pack boxes full of candy to munch on throughout the show. Sugar high!

Last but not least... we ended 2016 on a high note with a little get-together with some friends. I told the boys they could stay up as long as they could... poor Archie made it till 11:30pm and crashed on the couch. He was so disappointed the next morning to discover we had done all the poppers without him! (And I felt terrible for not remembering to save him some!) Carter stayed up till 1:30am. He definitely takes after his night owl father because I am definitely not a night person. It was so cute to see Carter shout the countdown as this was the first year he ever made it past midnight.

Goodbye 2016... here's to hoping 2017 brings us health and joy and happiness and new family adventures!

Birthday Boys are 5 and 7

Make a wish! 5 and 7 here we come!

Birthday cake for breakfast

Well, every year I get a little emotional when my kids turn another year older. But this year when I bought the 5 and 7 candles for their cake, I actually cried. How in the world did we get here so quickly? And the fact that my little Carter is 7 was the hardest because I feel like 7 years old is when I really recall being my own independent person. I remember my own childhood adventures at age 7... feeling carefree, riding my bike around our neighborhood, buying candy with my brother at the boat landing across the street, having slumber parties with friends, building forts and hideouts in our neighborhood... sigh. It feels like yesterday.
Carter Francis has become such a sweet young gentleman. He loves everyone in this world so deeply. He has so many friends and sees the good in everyone and every situation. He has definitely overcome any social anxiety and shyness he had as a young child and just seems to be the life of the party everywhere he goes. 
Archer Anderson is the silliest guy ever and Dave and I just can't get enough of his personality. He is such a unique individual. He loves things that bring him comfort and joy which at this stage is mostly playing Batman and building Legos and spending time with his family. He is quite content to stay home and play... sometimes I feel like I have to bribe him to get out and do things that most kids would think are fun! His giggle is contagious and his sense of humor makes his daddy proud. His vocabulary is off the charts! He is only 5 but sometimes I feel like I am having in-depth conversations with an adult. He loves going to school and has made some friends of his own which is fun to see. He loves Carter more than anyone in this world and is fiercely protective of him which is the cutest thing ever. 
This year we had a surprise birthday party at an indoor bounce house to kick off the birthday festivities!

The slide is fun for kids of all ages!

Selfie with my parents!

I laugh every time I see this picture!

For the boys' birthday weekend, we rented a historic beach cottage at Crystal Cove. It was so lovely and amazing and was honestly one of the best nights I have had with my family. I loved how simple things were there. We built Legos and played games and listened to the ocean waves. The kids played hide and seek, we walked for coffee and hot cocoa, and we flew a kite on the beach. I felt like we packed one night full of so many memories. My mom's birthday is 2 days after the boys, so my brother picked her up and we all had breakfast together. Archie daily talks about how much he loves our beach house and I'm eager to have a return visit soon!

My favorite room in the whole cottage

Morning snuggles on a cold beach morning

Grandma Carol enjoying the front deck

Birthday brunch!