Sunday, January 18, 2015

Butterflies and Babies. (And budding photographers)

Saturday morning started like any Saturday morning: Liz and I chatting about nothing in particular, both of us noting that our husbands were gone for the day.  The weather was supposed to be warm, but super windy, teasing us with bright blue skies and rare unobstructed sunshine.  I joked that the kids and I would be at her house by lunch... (pause)....and that's basically what happened.  The stars aligned perfectly as my aunt Sandi was able to join us-- and I always love soaking up some San time!

We hung out in Huxley for awhile and scrounged (literally... Liz wasn't lying when she said they had no groceries in the house) for something to eat.  The kids played, the babies cooed, the grownups chatted.  Honestly, I could have killed the whole afternoon there-- it was just nice and relaxing.

But, we tend to schedule things and decided to head up to Ames to visit the Reiman Gardens.  I've been planning on visiting the gardens since Liz was in grad school and have never gotten there, so it was the perfect time to head up there.  And though the sun was shining outside, it was far from warm... so the humid butterfly garden felt especially nice. (Well, actually Charlie complained that it was too hot for him after all of ten seconds.  The turd refused to smile in this picture too.  Whatev.)

Once he had Anna on his lap, he couldn't contain his smile though...

But after about three minutes, Charlie came up to me and said that he was ready to go.  I handed him my phone, gave him a quick tutorial on how to use the camera and let him run wild.  He took the following photos.  Not to shabby, eh? (And a great way to occupy him and Nora for close to a half hour!)

I found about fifty of these on the memory card... they must have really been interesting to him.

I love the photos Charlie took-- how great to really see the experience through his eyes.  It makes me want to hand the camera to him more often... be prepared!

What a great way to spend a Saturday in January.  Surrounded by butterflies, beautiful plants, water features, and people I love.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Merry #3

On Friday afternoon, my parents made their way to our house, followed by my sister's family on Saturday morning.  We had a great time doing nothing in particular.  The day was spent chatting, eating, playing, changing diapers, rocking babies, kissing babies, giggling, laughing, and smiling.  Oh, and there might have been some rough housing and football playing as well.  Again, let's just let the pictures speak for themselves, shall we?

Anna slept through breakfast on Saturday morning.... Charlie and Papa enjoyed looking at his NFL cards and talking stats.

The babies enjoyed each other's company.  At one point, we looked over and Eloise was sucking on Anna's fist.  Anna didn't seem to mind and Eloise was very happy about it.

We posted this picture to Instagram and titled it: "Christmas Dinner"

Papa and the "bigs"

At one point, we heard Nora say: "Uncle Mason, can I have some snuggles please?"  Uncle Mason was happy to oblige.

Oh, these two....

I LOVED having a baby around at Christmas.  Love. Love. Love.

The ladies received homemade gifts from me...

It's a stomp rocket!

Testing out the stomp rocket ("It goes ONE HUNDRED FEET in the air, Mom!") on this freezing a$$ day.

Nora thought the whole thing was a little over-rated.

We called this one: "Dessert"

Hey guys, let's set up the tripod and take some family pictures, shall we?  Sure.  Why not?

Oh wait, these people do take a nice picture!  It just takes ten thousand takes...

And now let's bring out the photo props...

I agree, Anna.  Time for a long winter's nap.

Merry #2

Part 2 in a 3 part series.  (Doesn't that sound professional?)

Christmas in Spahnville:

Christmas Eve day was spent preparing for the big day.  I made homemade clam chowder and prepped veggies for our supreme nacho dinner.  (Charlie's idea which we whole-heartedly consented to)  Charlie ran around the house pretending to be in the NFL (his current obsession) before we settled things down with a little craft.  I think it turned out pretty cute, don't you? 

Later, we took our "annual" Christmas Eve photo booth pictures.  Again, cute.... right? 

That night, we prepared for Santa by taking more silly pictures and then driving around to look at lights.  (I really love this little tradition that we've started-- even though I really was not in the mood to leave the house and Charlie was about ten seconds from losing his shit all together.  So no, he did not wear socks and shoes in the van even though it was 10 degrees outside.  And no, Anna wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of going in her carseat.  And yes, my tire was low on air and we were out of fuel.  Deep breath.  Enjoy the holiday.  Deep breath.) 

And even though we were exhausted, we managed some Christmas reading.  (My favorite, of course)

That  night, we totally forgot to leave milk and cookies out for Santa, not to mention the reindeer food we had made that was supposed to be sprinkled out on the lawn.  (Whoops) I guess Santa didn't really care because he still left the loot.

Then it was on to opening presents.  (We used the word 'presents' very loosely... as evidenced by the wrapped up cereal.) 

When all the gifts had been unwrapped, and our living room was officially declared a disaster zone, we refilled the coffee cups and settled in to relax and enjoy the day.  Very merry, indeed.