When your toddler is helping to decorate for Christmas and she's naked.
If Edwin is half as hairy as Andy, he'll be able to grow his own beard like this by the time he's four.
Quite amazed by the Christmas Parade. Each time a group passed, it was "more, more." Meanwhile, he won't sleep in a quiet room in a comfortable bed, but no problems zipped into dad's coat and amidst shouts and music and sirens and any other loud noise you can think of. For two hours.
But the no-napper is eight months old (on the first) and very happy about that!
We also went to see Santa because it's something to do. One screaming baby, check. One shy toddler, check. I wondered why all the other moms looked so done-up. They knew they would be in the photo also.
That shop. Still getting worked on, but getting closer. Here they are framing up the hip roof/covered area.
These two are awfully cute together some of the time. He adores her and I think she's pretty fond too.
Our Christmas tree adventure begins with a donut snack. This was probably the most successful part of the day, but next year we will plan better and get the full experience we were hoping for.
I love when I upload my phone and find this. Someone has learned the art of the selfie. Maybe not the art of it, just the gist of it.
Poor Edwin has to wear Leena's hand-me-downs sometimes, including the bonnet I made her and can't let go of yet. It's more of a preview as to what he will look like in his scrum cap.
Holiday party at Sister's and the boys are starting to wrastle.
Under the Stairs
At our house we like to move things around a billion times instead of finding forever homes for them. This is a popular landing spot. Someday there will be a pantry there and it won't be an option.
I kind of can't wait for summer rains when it's warm and Leena can jump in all the puddles she wants without fear of getting sick in cold wet clothes.
Day date shopping for Christmas presents. I love me a shop kitty sleeping in the sunny window.
My proudest wrapping moment. And Leena's first bike.
This old man had a birthday today, and while we didn't do anything extravagant, we had a nice day together as a family. And then we ate cake. And I tried to get "portraits" of the kids for grandparent Christmas gifts.
Ducky telling the story of Jesus' birth, in a roundabout way while setting up the nativity. Leena didn't care. She just wanted to play with the donkeys.
Smith/Peterson family Christmas was a fanny pack Christmas! (Thanks to Santa Robert.)
Getting ready for the long haul. Only spending five nights in Little Rock, but all our stuff makes it look like a month.
Road trip commence! Andy just got off work and we have 1000 miles between us and our destination. Fingers (and toes) are crossed for smooth sailing.
Day two. Nearly there but we stopped for lunch at Casey Jones Village. Perfect place for kids to play and have a break from the car! And I got a penny for my smashed penny collection. (Yes, that is a thing.)
Little Rock, AR
Cece's house is becoming one of our regular visits when we are in town. It's always so nice just to spend time with family. And Leena took to cousin-cousin Eden immediately, whether Eden wanted her to or not.
On my walk to Vanessa's with a sleeping Edwin, I passed Bonnie's house. The only Roller contact I had. And though it was brief, it was fulfilling!
Andy took this while he and Leena threw rocks into the lake for hours and I walked sleeping Edwin. (Notice a trend?) I actually didn't even go down to the water's edge. Something I wish I had done, but alas.
And a family Hold 'Em tournament, hats required.
The patriarch of the family guards the goods with his eyes closed. We did a book exchange white elephant, which was lots of fun. My Richmond coloring book contribution was a bit of a dud though. Oh, well.
Here we have Hudson, Sylvia, Edwin, and Silas. Just some of the babies born in 2016! I love how quickly and exponentially our family grows.
Ole Sawmill Cafe
Somewhere still in Arkansas
Got a nice early start for our return trip. So early we had to stop for breakfast before we even hit Memphis.
Yes, we drove the entire way without a sleep stop, pulling into our driveway around 2 am. We figure the best thing to do is let the kids run around a park for awhile after that. And, if you didn't notice, Andy is wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
Mini Christmas with the Schemmel's. Adah is showing off her new cat ear headband. Thanks, Auntie. (That's me. The auntie who gave the headband.)
Andy and I didn't really exchange gifts this year for many reasons, but he did surprise me with these flowers for surviving our trip. Because survival is what it felt like by the time it was all over.
I have not been an avid breastfeeding post-er/updater, but this is fairly significant because it marks the end of Edwin's and mine's journey: My last pump session. Not quite our year goal, but I'm perfectly happy with how far we made it. And not going to lie, don't miss the teeth biting me one bit.
We spent the last afternoon of the year at the garden and Andy spent it at work. Since it's the end of the year, I guess I can reflect a little on 2016.
It wasn't the best year. We lost three grandmothers and a dear friend, in a very short timeframe. We've been wrapped up in projects and stressed out.
But there have also been some pretty great moments. We had a beautiful, healthy baby boy who is cuter than cute and lighting up our lives daily, even if he won't nap. And Leena is cracking us up and keeping us on our toes, in every way imaginable. We've been working on building dream shops and a home we are proud of and happy to be in. So bring it, 2017. We are ready to not have any babies and take it easy.
Lastly, if you missed it, the ultimate 2016 reflection: A one second every day video.