Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas at home

Before we leave on our Holiday trek across MN and ND we open gifts at home. It is the calm before the storm. It’s wonderful to have some family traditions that are just ours.




a few but not many more, here

Daddy Story Time

One of my favorite things that Tim does with our children is story time every night before bed.

It is a favorite, because by the time that Tim comes home I am done. I have reached my limit of mommyhood for the day and I need a break. Tim comes home every day excited to see the kids and the kids are pumped to see him. I don’t know how he is able to leave work at work (even when he is on call 24/7) but he does and it is the best gift he can give to our kids. No matter how rough a day he had at work he walks through the door with a smile on his face. I love him for that.

Story time is an extension of that. The kids take turns choosing books. They don’t always like what the other has chosen, but they love Daddy reading to them so much that in the end it doesn’t matter if it is a Princess book with simple story line, a Lego Super Hero book that is more comic book than story, or a reference book from the school library about weather.

Over Christmas Tim and I took turns reading at story time. The photos below were taken on one of his nights of reading at the Shannon house. The kids had behaved surprisingly well, so I didn’t flee from them the minute it was bed time, this time I stuck around with the goal of capturing this special time between Tim and the kids. The lighting was rough so I didn’t get the perfect photo I hoped for but I am still happy I intruded on story time and got the photos I did.


I hope the kids cherish the memory of Tim reading to them for many many years.



a couple more photos here

To and From the Shannons


We missed Christmas with the Shannons because Elise was sick. 


It sucks that we missed Christmas (and all the photo opportunities for me to practice with my new camera!). Even though we couldn’t be together on Christmas, we were still able to exchange gifts. Tim quarantined the kids, Lucy and I to the van when we made a pit stop in Grand Forks. It was sad to wave to family from inside the van and not even be able to hug them, but we really didn’t want to get anyone else sick. We were in the Shannon’s Grand Forks drive long enough to swap wrapped presents and we were on the road again.

This morning we opened the gifts from the Shannons and it was then that I really felt guilty and sad that we couldn’t be with everyone else. Not only did I want to watch them open the gifts we gave them but the kids loved, LOVED the gifts they received from their Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles and cousins and I really wish we could have been there so they could have seen the kids reactions. Photos and video (when I figure out how to edit and upload from the new camera) are the only way I can begin to share the joy they felt when opening their gifts.

So here they are. More photos of our kiddos opening gifts that have been generously given to them by people who love them so much.

This pig oinks Christmas songs while walking. I am surprised that Elise hasn’t worn out the batteries yet. She pushes go on the pig, gets on all fours and oinks and crawls right along side it. Tim hates this pig.

I can’t tell you how good it is to see her moving around like this. There is a bit of the sparkle back in her eyes again. Thank God. She had us all scared for a bit.

Michael got the best gift ever. A tornado maker. Remember when he was obsessed with the one at the Children’s Museum? Joy doesn’t begin to describe how excited he was. Well done Uncle Steve.

I don’t know if they coordinated it or if Uncle Ben and Aunt Carmen just know Michael as well as Steve but they nailed Michael’s gift too.

Patrick got an Angry Bird pig “cuddly” (they call all plush toys “cuddlies” and I think it is adorable) which he loved and immediately began acting out Angry Bird scenes.

The boys were equally excited about their new treasure chests full of Jake and the Neverland Pirates booty.

Elise’s OT would probably be just as excited about this new shape sorter as Elise is. Yay for fine motor and planning skills.

The two gifts Tim was most excited about were the Star Wars Legos he got and a pink unicorn that Elise got. Apparently the unicorn hails from a video game that Steve and Tim both play. Where ever its origins, Elise loves the thing.

I was stoked to open multiple pairs of warm socks (even a great pair of leggings). I was bummed to open a really fun looking board game. I was bummed because the Shannons are always so much fun to play games with and it is sort of a tradition to play the new board games late in to the early hours of the morning the night of gift opening. I am really missing board game time this year. The gift I keep smiling about and will bring smiles for a long time is the wine glass Steve got me. It is sitting proudly in my kitchen window sill right now and that is where it will stay because every time I look at it, I laugh.

Grandma and Grandpa Shannon gifted all three of the kids a great devotional that I fell in love with. The devotionals inside are great and very kid friendly but it is the cover art that really draws me to the book. It is already being displayed on the playroom bookshelves. Along with the newly displayed board book are two framed photos that Grandpa and Grandma Shannon gave Tim. I LOVE these photos. It is so fun to see Tim as a child.

Many more photos here. My favorite are the ones with Patrick and his pirate gear. What are your favorite?

If the fates allow

“Through the years we all will be together. If the fates allow…. Have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”

The fates were not on our side this year.

I mentioned that Elise was sick over Christmas Eve (here) and Christmas day (here). She had a fever that couldn’t be broke by Tylenol and cold baths. She wasn’t sleeping and wasn’t eating. This went on for 4 days. Yesterday (Friday), the day we were suppose to head to Grand Forks for the Shannon Christmas, my Mom and I took her to the walk in clinic before hitting the road. It ends up her high temperature, cough, lack of appetite, congestion and runny nose were all symptoms of Influenza A. My poor baby girl was sicker than we realized. She is so strong.

When the clinic confirmed that she tested positive for the flu we knew we couldn’t take her to the Shannon’s. It was quite the let down for all of us but we knew it was the right thing to do. The boys were surprisingly mature about it though they were the sad about missing out on playing with their cousins.

It was a long nine-hour ride home. Elise was very uncomfortable the whole ride. We got in around 10 pm and the kids went straight to bed. Elise slept the best she had in days. What is it about sleeping in your own bed? This morning her fever broke for the first time. There still isn’t even a glimmer of a twinkle in her eyes but I think she is on the road to recovery. The boys however are claiming to be sick. They both look a little pale but neither have a fever, yet. We don’t know if they are “playing sick” because it is unpacking, cleaning and getting everything organized day or if they have caught what Elise has. I hope they are being reluctant helpers and are not sick.