Christmas Card Outtakes

All of our Christmas Cards have been stuffed, licked, addressed and stamped and are on route to family and friends.

I never know how long it will take for the mail to get to their destination but I am guessing in the next couple days all our North Dakota family will be getting their cards. We have cards going from coast to coast (Oregon to Washington D.C.), some travelling as far north as British Columbia, and even a handful going over seas to Finland. It is easy to feel blessed this time a year. Christmas cards can be such a hassle but they are worth it.

This year was by far the most fun and the easiest Christmas Card shoot yet! Every year it gets a little bit easier.

Here are a few out-takes from our very informal Christmas Card shoot.

A few more out-takes here. 

 

Divide and Conquer

This past weekend Elise and I left the boys to fend for themselves. We packed up a bunch of princess dresses, multiple pairs of pjs, and hit the road.

Christine, Jess and I have been friends since college. We try to get together for a girls’ weekend 2 times a year. Sometimes we get together more than that, and sadly, sometimes less. There have been 3 girls’ weekend crashers in the past. Namely, Elise, Christine’s boy Jaxon and Jess’s boy Cooper. We are all Mamas after all and when a new baby enters our group, said baby is allowed to crash one girls’ weekend after their arrival on earth. This helps ease the guilt of leaving a baby at home and also the rest of us get to snuggle a little one for the weekend without the 18 year commitment of you make it, you raise it.

This weekend was a bit different. This girls’ weekend we decided to invite the kiddos. We decided this will either be our best idea ever or our worst idea ever. I left the boys at home with Tim, because all the kiddos there would be 4 and under, and to them, a weekend home with Dad is more fun than playing with a bunch of babies.

The boys had a blast at home with Tim. They played hours and hours of Minecraft, went to their weekly science class, watched boy movies, played Legos and ate nothing that even resembled a vegetable all weekend. In fact they were still in the same clothes that I sent them to school in on Friday morning before Elise and I hit the road. To say they had a good time is an understatement.

Tim sent me some pics throughout the weekend. Everyone of them made me grin and giggle.

I think the most memorable thing Tim did with the boys was having a slumber party in the basement.

*Correction* I have been informed that it wasn’t a slumber party it was camping in the basement.

What I learned while driving to Grand Forks with just Elise is this, Elise is way more fun to travel with then the boys! Yes we made a few more pit stops at pottys than I would have liked, but time flies when you are singing along to Disney Princess songs. We stopped for a snack at the gas station and she was content with an apple and a little tub of peanut butter and didn’t once ask for any candy.

When we made it to Fargo for potty and lunch break we dashed to the bathroom and then took our time eating a yummy lunch. Then she played in the mall play area to “get her wiggles out.”

One kid is easier than three.

That said, when Elise was eating her yummy lunch or climbing the play equipment she said to me over and over again, “I think the boys would like this! Can we tell the boys about this park? That little kid won’t play with me, the boys like to play with me.”

One kid is easier, but three kids is more fun.

The boys didn’t change clothes all weekend. Elise, on the other hand, had many costume changes. However the majority of the weekend she spent in a princess Aurora dress that Gracie was kind enough to share.

We ventured out of the house as a group only once. We went out to lunch and then went to SantaPalooza where Elise got to write a letter to Santa.

What did she ask for you wonder? Oh this little girl with two big brothers wants only one thing, a pink spider.

Gracie is destined to be Elise’s BFF. Christine got pregnant 4 months before me and about the time she found out she was having a girl, I found out I was pregnanrt. When I found out I was pregnant with a girl it became official. Our baby girls would be besties.

Gracie’s mom Christine is a photographer. Check our her Facebook page her or click on the photos below.  She isn’t like me who carries around a big camera and pretends to know what she is doing. Christine is a legit photographer. While the girls were playing princess, Christine and I quickly moved some furniture, convinced them to let me curl their hair and positioned them in front of a big window with lots of natural light. It goes without saying that Christine and I met while doing theatre in college and staging, costuming and directing is something we don’t get to do often now that we are moms, so when we saw the opportunity to pose our sweet girls, we did!

(Next three photos were taken by Christine)

Also funny to note, Jess was also in our theatre posse in college so when she walked into the room and saw that we had rearranged all her furniture, costumed our kids and placed them in “the good light” she didn’t even bat an eye. It is as if she expected her dining room to be transformed into a photo studio while she was in the other room caring for her son Cooper.

What is really cosmically wonderful about Jess, Christine and I being friends and all now being moms is that not only are Gracie and Elise close in age, but Christine and Jess both have little boys that are just a year apart. The age gap between 20 month old Jaxon and 10 month old Cooper seems big but by next year they will be great buddies.

It was a fun weekend. It wasn’t easy and we were all tired come sunday morning (kids sleeping in new places never makes for a restful night) but being tired is being better than the usual hangover that comes with girls’ weekend so I think this may become a tradition. Not every weekend will we invite the kids (Mamas need a break) but I think at least once a year Elise and I will leave the boys behind to play video games and stew in their own boy filth while we go and play dress up and eat chocolate cake.

a few more blurry phone pics here. 

Halloween 2014

Trying to get a photo of these three together is getting easier. I can now get them all in the frame of the shot with out tears unlike their first Halloween with all three of them!

Now the problem is that once I get them in the frame there is no telling what will happen, especially when they are in costume. I have to say that the theatre geek in me is quite impressed at how committed the boys were to their characters.

They are silly and wonderful kids.

Here they are in full Minnesota Halloween costumes. Harry Potter was the best costume for the cold weather. Dorothy was the worst. Thank goodness the coat from last year’s Eloise costume still fits her. The fleece lined leggings helped keep her warm too.

Tim took this photo for me before we headed out to Trick or Treat.

The stars and stripes on their costumes are glow in the dark tape. Safety first when running around the neighborhood at night asking strangers for candy!

 

Toto made the trip around the block too. I think this may be the last year I pull the wagon while trick or treating.

The kids chose two candies each when we got home. Then they put on pjs and sat in front of the fireplace to thaw out.

The sugar crash happened shortly after.

 

more photos here.