Monday, December 18, 2017

Grandpa: 98 Years Young

Today would have been my grandpa's 98th birthday.  Sadly, he passed on last Friday, just a few days before.  So tonight I raise a glass of champagne (one of his favorites) in his memory.  


I've been missing him & my entire family terribly over the past week!  Many of you may have seen on Instagram, that I flew home to Spokane to see him two weekends ago.  He was quite ill and only seemed to be getting worse.  I was worried that if he didn't make it until Christmas, I would never have the chance to introduce him to Kane or to say goodbye.  I decided to make a last minute trip home, and I'm so happy that I did.  Initially I made the trip just for me.  To have some sort of closure.  I wanted to see his smile, remember his voice.  Hold his hand.  Give him hugs.  Say one last "I love you."


What I didn't quite foresee, is how important my visits would be for my grandpa.  He has just the sweetest smile; he's known for it!  And baby Kane brought out that smile again & again.  Babies can be so healing.  You cannot look at them and not smile!  Thankfully Kane was super calm & relaxed for nearly all of our visits.  And the best part was how sweetly he would nestle in with my grandpa.  It was the most heart warming thing.  And there was something so poignant about the moment.  About seeing someone in their final days in this world with someone so brand new to it.  It brought joy to all of us.  And having 4 generations together one last time was something pretty special too.


My grandpa commented on what a good baby Kane was.  How soft his little hands were.  How happy he was.  My grandpa has such a tender soul, especially in his older years, and it was so apparent during his time with Kane.  We became closest during my college years.  He was so quiet when my grandmother was around, but after she passed, he opened up more.  Our relationship blossomed & flourished over the past 10 years.  He loved taking me out to dinner when I was in town and often had a bottle of my favorite champagne chilled.  He always sent one of my favorite candies with my mom when she came to visit, and he never forgot birthdays.  He was thoughtful & intentional.  Never one for many words, especially not on the phone.  When I said my goodbyes after the last visit at the hospital, I told him that I would see him again at Christmas.  And I so hoped it would be true.  But a big part of me knew it was our final goodbye.  He teared up, as did I.  And that moment will forever be with me.


I miss him.  Lately he sneaks into my thoughts more often than he had before.  Over the last month, I was used to daily updates from my brother & mom.  I always knew how he was doing.  I definitely feel that absence now that he's gone.  And not being with the rest of my family during this time of mourning is so tough.  I really struggle with living away from family.  Thankfully we are going back for a visit just two days after Christmas, and I cannot wait.  This Christmas will be a little somber without his presence, but I'm sure it will be filled with many memories.  Stories will be told.  Memories will be shared.  Home videos will be watched.


A huge thank you to all for the sweet messages.  They truly have brightened my days over the past week.  Thank you thank you thank you.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Little Winter Shoot

Finally I get to share with you all our recent family photos.  I love seeing all five of us together!  Are we complete?  Perhaps.  However, we're not quite sure.  For now, I'm pretty obsessed with all these boys of mine.  Once again, the ever so sweet Kali took our photos.  She was an absolute sweetheart for switching the dates for me about a gazillion times.  I really wanted a snowy winter scene, and snow has been hard to come by this year.  So we waited.  And waited.  Rescheduled and then moved the date again.  And then finally, in early November, after a long drive waaaaay up the canyon, the snow gods shined down on us!










Kali brought a few treats (as always), and Finn was not content until they were all in his pockets.  All of them.  And the urge to playing the snow was strong.  So the boys were covered and cold quite early on, but the shoot was still perfection.  Kane stayed true to his non-smiley self, but he makes up for it with his gorgeous eyes!









Now everyone do a little snow dance, because our mountains are still hurting for snow!  
And I really want a white Christmas!  And the slopes to be a tad more covered!  
So pray pray pray.  And then pray harder.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

From Our Family to Yours

Now that our Christmas card has made it into the homes of our loved ones, I can finally share it with all of you!  The night we received family photos back from Kali, I was excitedly putting our card together!  Shutterfly always has so many beautiful options; I can never decided.  So I draft up at least three or more options and have Conor be part of the selection process.  Our recent family photos were  just a delayed newborn shoot, so while I wanted them to have a winter feel, I didn't want them to scream Christmas.  We went with neutral wardrobes in hopes of having a somewhat timeless feel.  With such a beautiful snowy backdrop, I wanted a simple template for our card this year.



I almost went with the "merrier than ever" card, since those words seemed so fitting for a year with a new baby, but instead I fell in love with this simple bow design.  Playing off the color of the bow, I matched that to back of the card as well as the envelop liner.  I love adding little extras like the envelop liner; it just makes the whole thing that much more festive.  It's nearly a little present in itself.  And of course the envelopes with your printed return address are a must; it makes getting them addressed and mailed off that much easier.  I typically like to seal them with some washi tape, but this year I found the perfect gold stickers to tie it all together.  And have you all seen the Snowy Day stamps?! Adorable!



Merry Christmas to you all!  
Thank you for all of the support and letting me share just a little bit of me with you!




*I received this product in exchange for my honest thoughts.  
Mad card designing skills are all me; the cute kids are mine too!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Halls are Decked

Our Christmas lights went up the weekend before Thanksgiving, and we've been getting festive since!  This is the time of year when we wear all. the. red. things.  And when Christmas pajamas are on repeat.  And we have a lot of Christmas pajamas.... because 1. hand me downs.  2.  I have a pajama buying problem.  At age 5, Liam still wears pajamas nightly, and I'm really hoping this doesn't change soon.




We cut down our tree the day after Thanksgiving, and she's a real beaut!  Full on the bottom, skinny up top.  And no joke, the top just scrapes our ceiling; talk about a perfect pick!  It's an incredibly prickly (and sappy) tree, so that has kept little hands off it for the most part.  Our tree was going through about 3 pitchers of water a day (talk about high maintenance), and one night we forgot to water it... She went dry.  And then stopped taking water cold turkey!  We drilled some holes in it (twice!), and I'm happy to report she is back to taking water, although only about half a pitcher a day now.... womp womp.  Who thinks she'll make it 'til Christmas?!








Our UPS guy loves me, whereas USPS is completely under performing this holiday season.  Still waiting on one missing package!  Anyone else already wrapping presents just to assess what exactly they have bought?!  This is the major downside to online shopping.  I would say I'm 75% done with my shopping, which is right where I want to be.  I do actually enjoy getting out to the stores a bit.  There is just something special about the hustle and bustle.  People all bundled up in their coats, walking from store to store, Christmas music playing.  I also have a love/hate with the post office this time of year.  But again, I love making that trip to drop off my Christmas cards!  Which have been mailed and are filling mailboxes as we speak!




Our elf, Tinsel, has been making a solid appearance.  We actually love having him each season, and rarely forget to move him.  Only one close call so far, but I remembered during an early morning nursing session and snuck out to move him.  We've added wire to our elf which makes him far more fun to play around with!  The boys also have advent calendars, well two really.  A chocolate one from Nana (cheers to chocolate at 6:30am) and a lego one from us.  Liam helps Finn assemble his each morning which is adorable and often a major delay to us getting out the door for Kindergarten drop off on time!



The temps have been quite chilly lately, so we're spending far more time inside.  Hot cocoa, christmas music, and all the bright decor & lights around our home make it far more enjoyable to stay in.  Plus, there is something so special about a baby during the holidays.  In case this is our last Christmas with a wee one around, I'm trying so hard to soak up the moments.  To remember the little things, especially the catchlights of Christmas lights in his eyes.



We did our annual Santa photos (with Conor dressed up as Santa), and it was so so adorable!!!  And then I got an email that they lost our session!  I was so so disappointed and rather upset, because doing that whole thing is always a bit chaotic.  Regardless, we went back and shot it again.  Kane was terrified of the flash, so hello surprise kitty face!  But I still love seeing them all cozied up together in their jammies.  However, in the following years, I think we're going to rent a Santa suit and do some of our own photos, maybe in the mountains.  I'm feeling inspired!




We've barely even tapped into our many traditions; 
I cannot wait for all the fun that lies ahead!  
Hope you have all been enjoying this wonderful season so far!  

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