Christmas with Just the 6 of Us – Christmas Part 2

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home. Just the 6 of us. Side note: It’s still crazy that there are 6 of us! Ha! Remember me? The one who wasn’t going to have a bunch of kids? Yep. I’m part of “just the 6 of us” now. And I love it. Kids make Christmas magical. So the more the merrier. (Just this once though). But seriously, Christmas has a completely different meaning as a parent. And I honestly think it’s even better to be a parent on Christmas than it was to be a kid on Christmas.

We spent the few days leading up to Christmas in Memphis with my family.  You can read about it/check out our pictures here if you missed it: Christmas Part 1. We came home Christmas Eve so we could celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home. We’ll do this most years. Because it’s the best.

Christmas Eve we put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Ok just Rudolph. And James initially wanted to leave out snowman cookies, milk, and coffee. Because “Santa needs it.” True James. Santa definitely needs coffee! Santa also got Oreos. Because check out that Santa cookies and milk mug in the middle. It’s made for Oreos! Brian found it knew we needed it. Because Oreos are the best thing ever. And a triplet mom staple (especially during the pregnancy and first year).

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And of course we took another Christmas jammies Christmas tree picture! 2/3 looking and probably yelling. 1 looking away completely uninterested. #reallifeIMG_5002

After the boys went to bed it was wine time. Of course I had new Christmas wine glasses (Actually plastic. Can’t break! Thanks Target! Only the best, classiest for us.)

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Then SANTA CAME! I caught him on camera. Ha! (I may have had way too much fun with this.) Capture the Magic moms! Write it down for next year! My kids LOVED it!

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And then Christmas morning. My favorite morning of the entire year. (Ok the only morning I actually don’t hate of the entire year! Ha!)

And my favorite picture from Christmas morning:

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Big kids love Christmas too. This look though. This is what it’s all about.

Also, in case you’re wondering: It was shoes. She got at least 3 new pairs of shoes. And LOVED every single one. This girl is my child for sure.

Oh and Brian got a special gift too. Actually special wrapping. You see, I’ll confess, I’m somewhat of a hoarder. And I keep things like receipts. Brian can’t stand it. He always asks why I need them. So . . .  I saved them just for him. Ha!

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After presents we made muffins. That was not the plan though. Addison requested cinnamon rolls. You know the ones. The ones that you have to press the seam to open them and it’s super terrifying. Well our refrigerator decided to die on Christmas Eve. So no cinnamon rolls. But we had most of the ingredients for French Toast Breakfast Muffins and I substituted the rest.  Recipe here: Velvet Lava French Toast Breakfast Muffins. Seriously everyone should make these. Super easy. And amazing. You have to eat them right away. And I prefer mini muffins for these.

James helped.

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We spent the rest of Christmas morning opening everything. Every. Single. Thing. We played games, worked puzzles, played cars, colored, the boys rode their new scooters around the house. Super fun morning just hanging around the house.

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Sorry for the slightly risque pics. They were wearing undies I promise. The robes may look a little Hugh Hefner-ish but they love them. That’s all the matters right? Ha! And we all know James prefers to be naked. So undies is a major improvement. Especially when sitting on the furniture.

Christmas Part 3 is coming up soon!

Christmas 2017 – Part 1

We had an amazing Christmas this year! The boys really loved everything about the Christmas season, from the Christmas lights to Santa to presents to cookies. Everything. They loved all of it.

We saw Santa twice. I was a little worried they would call him out for being fake. Because my kids (all 4) love the movie Elf. Ha! And they talked nonstop about the fake santa and how fake Santas are bad. Oops. Luckily the Santas we saw looked legit.

Here are our pictures. The second Santa is the Santa we see every single year. He’s so great!

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Oh and what did my kids ask for from Santa? Well … nothing normal. James asked for a black elf. I knew he meant an elf wearing a black shirt. But the mall Santa didn’t. Thanks James. Logan asked for a candy cane. Because he saw candy canes next to Santa. Luckily Santa knew what they wanted already.

We also saw Elsa, Olaf and Kristof from Frozen. The boys were a little starstruck. Ha! James would NOT turn around for the picture. IMG_4634

Brian and I went to our annual neighbor Christmas party (with our neighbors who moved away but we still count as neighbors). And we dressed up of course.

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We went to Memphis for the beginning of Christmas. We stayed until Christmas Eve and had the best time.

We went to Zoo Lights the first night. I love seeing the boys so amazed by the lights. And I love the Memphis Zoo and Zoo Lights in particular. Brian proposed there 8 years ago!

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And we rode the carousel. Logan made Lizzie ride the “sleigh” (aka a bench that didn’t go up and down) so no pics of him. And James rode a “cheetoh” HA!IMG_4812IMG_4813IMG_4823

Christmas at Lou Ann’s house was first. The boys got lots of cars. And their very first Starbucks gift cards. Mason was like what? Really?

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The next day we made cookies. They boys LOVE making cookies!

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Actually it turns out they love cooking in general. Especially James. He spent the entire trip in the kitchen helping Nana cook. Love it.

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Mason and James both helped make lasagna. I guess this means I should let them help more at home?IMG_4888IMG_4889

That day we went to my grandparents house for another Christmas celebration.

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Logan got an excavator so he was all set. This boy is legit obsessed with trucks, cars, and especially excavators.IMG_4920IMG_4922

And of course the boys wore their Christmas suits. I think I need to step up my game next year. Lizzie? You in?IMG_4909

That night we had Christmas at my parents’ house. And lasagna. And bread pudding. I gained at least 5 lbs in the 3 days we were in Memphis. For real. I didn’t get very many pictures that night unfortunately. But we had a great time.

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And I attempted a group photo. Unsuccessfully of course.IMG_4943And I’ll end with a few more miscellaneous pictures from our Memphis trip.

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And one more random Christmas picture. Because it’s probably my favorite from the whole Christmas season this year. This boy LOVES Christmas. I think he loves all holidays. But he loved this book in particular.IMG_4543

New Year New Me – 2018 Edition

New Year New Me? We’ll see. Probably not NEW but hopefully a better version of me. I haven’t gone back to see my resolutions from last year, but I’m sure I didn’t achieve all of them. What are goals if not unrealistic right? But I’m no quitter so here are my goals for this year.

2018 Resolutions

  1. Run 2018 miles. Not by myself. But I’m hoping to run 800-1000 of those miles.
  2. Run 4 times/week (required if I’m to reach #1)
  3. Run 3 half marathons.
  4. Drink more water
  5. Stay up to date on my blog and post at least once a month (including the Christmas ones for this year still!)
  6. Spend less time on my phone at night
  7. Get at least 6 hrs of sleep each night (harder than you might expect)

We’ll see how I do. Today was day 1 of the Run the Year challenge. I convinced my brother Joey and my sister (a non-runner) to do it with me. We’re on a team so we get to work together. Our team name: The Derek Zoolander Team for Kids Who Can’t Read Good. A little long. Super awesome. Today it was also 15 degrees outside so I bundled up and headed to the gym and ran on the treadmill. Here’s a picture to commemorate the first run of the year:

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I think running outside would have been better. I HATE the treadmill. I ran outside a few times this week when it was a little under 30 and I was totally except I couldn’t feel my face. So . . . back outside for me!

For my other goals I’m actually doing a weightloss/fitness challenge starting today with 42 of my triplet mom friends. We have 2 competitions – 1 for weightloss (not for me) and 1 for accountability/making healthy choices. I get points for things like drinking water, not eating 2 hrs before bed, and meal planning. Just what I need.

Oh and I’m starting Whole 30 on Jan. 3. Anyone wanna join?

So what did we do for NYE? Not much. The Mann Olympics are on hiatus . . . probably until the boys are old enough to stay up past 8:15. See, Addison ditched us this year to hang out with her friends. So basically we’re not cool enough anymore. We did get in a few games though – Battleship and Yahtzee. I won. Of course. (Not the game pictured of course but I won the next 2).

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We still had a good night. We had headbands. And Brian made it to midnight! I was not expecting that at all! And he took a selfie with me. He’s the best.

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And of course we had wine.IMG_5405

The boys took a picture with me too. And they also wore headbands

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Here’s a real life shot. This is how picture taking goes in our house. Ha!IMG_5395

Other than that we had a pretty laid back relaxing (ish) day. I took 2 kids to Target, B took 1 to Kroger, the boys had their first hot chocolate!

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And then we just hung around the house. And the boys played Santa. Because Uggs are apparently Santa shoes. Who knew?

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Today Brian and I both went to the gym (no fun picture of him), we hung around the house, we went to a friend’s house, and we got ready for back to school! Yay! We’re soooo ready for the boys to go back to school. And by “we” I mean Brian. Because he’s been the lucky one who got to stay home with them almost every day over the break.

And in case you doubt that the holidays are exhausting around here, I’ll leave you with this:

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Christmas Cookies

I LOVE CHRISTMAS COOKIES! Addison and I started making Christmas cookies when she was about 4 years old and we’ve made them every year since then. And they get better every year too. This year we made our frosting. And last year we found the best sugar cookie recipe. It has almond extract in it AND you don’t have to chill the dough. If you’ve ever made cut-out sugar cookies you know how amazing that no-chilling-the-dough part is.

This year we let the boys help. They LOVE helping in the kitchen. And I love letting them help. I mean I love sharing my love of cooking and making cookies with them. Idk how much I love them actually helping. They have 6 hands. 6 hands that want to touch everything. And 6 hands that want to turn the mixer on/off/up/down . . . whatever setting I don’t want it on. But they loved it and so did I.

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They especially loved eating the cookie dough. IMG_4450IMG_4455

And the hands.IMG_4456

And then I made a second batch without little people helping. Apparently I’m not much better on my own. So we ended up with a batch of red cookies. #cookiefail. So . . . maybe don’t put the vanilla right next to the red food coloring. Or maybe read the labels. I measured it out, poured it in, then busted out laughing. Ha! We had to make some white frosting after this but otherwise no big deal.IMG_4458IMG_4459

We let the boys decorate some cookies too. Don’t worry. They ate the ones they decorated. .James mostly just wanted to decorate his cookies. He didn’t actually eat them. (I threw them away. It’s still safe to eat our cookies).IMG_4462

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And we ended the night with new Christmas jammies. I LOVE THEM! IMG_4479

Addison and I finished decorating the cookies after the boys went to bed. And we maybe ate cookies instead of dinner. Tis the season right?!IMG_4487

Oh and because it’s a milestone, here’s Mason and Logan with their first ever Frappaccinos today at Target.

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Don’t worry. James was at Kroger with daddy and he had Starbucks too. Not a Frappaccino obvi because dad isn’t near as cool as mom (or he makes better decisions that me). But still he had a good time too.

 

Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for this year. Right now I’m mostly thankful for sleep, coffee, wine . . . the usual. Oh and family. We love family! This year we went to Memphis for Thanksgiving. But before that, the boys had the entire week out of school. You know, because everyone gets an ENTIRE week off for Thanksgiving. BUT the boys had a blast. And they spent an entire day with Nina and Pop. They even went to the zoo! I received 1 picture. This one:

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Basically that’s the best picture ever.

We left for Memphis on Wednesday afternoon. But first, Starbucks. Because it’s a staple around here. And they have Christmas drinks and snowman cakepops.

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The boys did great in the car. Logan and James fell asleep. And Mason talked to himself the entire drive. Ha! Then Logan gave me the biggest smile ever.

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MLJ were such big boys in Memphis. This was the first trip where I felt like it wasn’t a shitshow. They slept on cots! And they just hung out, played, ate, and in general they were like big kids.

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Each night the boys picked someone to read books. The first night they picked Alan. The cutest ever. Oh and they actually went to sleep. As in didn’t get up once.

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On Thursday morning, Joey, Lizzie, Teresa and I got up and ran a 4 miler. Joey and I are doing the St. Jude Half Marathon this weekend so I wanted to run in an actual organized race before that one! It was cold but it went great! Here’s a before and after pic (*we lost Teresa apparently):

And for the record, I was the Griffith family 4 mile champion. Go me!

Brian took the boys to breakfast while we ran. Because it was sooooo cold! They had pancakes and biscuits for breakfast. Carbs and sugar. Perfect. Thanks dad!

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Thanksgiving dinner (actually lunch but I guess we call it dinner now even if it’s at 2:00) at my grandparents’ house was perfect. The boys ate. Kinda. Logan ate 2 pieces of pumpkin pie though. And some carrot cake. And multiple helpings of mashed potatoes. At least he ate more than a roll right? Here’s some pics:

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And this one of the boys. Thanks to Jimmy. I tried to take a group pic and failed. At least 35 times. Then Jimmy walked up and the boys looked straight at the camera and smiled.

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Oh and James helped cook Thanksgiving dinner (the 2:00 one that was really lunch)

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Later that night we looked through the paper to make our Christmas lists. James was mostly interested in “shoe boots” but Mason took his shopping very seriously.

Then more Thanksgiving food. The boys brought their own chairs over so they could choose their dinner (the meal we ate at night time actually)

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Friday was a free day! First the boys did some Christmas crafts with Nana

Then the girls went shopping. I only bought myself 1 pair of boots too so I call that a success. (I also bought some actual Christmas gifts too).

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The boys went to the park while we were shopping. And they apparently played with sticks.

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Friday night we went to the Germantown Christmas Tree Lighting with Liam, Steph and Uncle Cliff. And I got 0 pictures with Liam because he just refused every time I tried. I did get a few of my kids though.

I tried to get one of the boys with Teresa too. Only Teresa looked at the camera.

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Then it got even worse when I tried to take a group shot inside. I think they hate me. Or pictures. Or I have too many kids. (That last one is definitely true!)

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The boys also went on an adventure. In the ditch behind my parents’ house. Where we used to play baseball when we were kids. Oh and Mason found balls. Ha!

When we got home these guys were back.

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We’re working on names. Currently their names are Buddy, Duke, and Smoby. That last one is the one we’re still working on. Ha! Leave it to James to make up a name.

And now that it’s officially Christmas time, here’s our first Santa pic. It was a family affair apparently. But don’t worry . . . I have at least 1 more Santa pic planned.

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Right before this picture my kids (Logan actually) knocked over a 10 foot tall reindeer, which fell into at least a million pieces. At least it seemed that way. Fun times.

More Christmas to come! The boys are super excited about Santa. And they are convinced that Logan is on the naughty list. We’ll see if he gets presents . . . .

Easter 2017

Ok so I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth I promise. I’ve been soooo busy I basically fall asleep the second I sit down every night. And I usually sleep on the couch, sometimes sitting up, until sometime between 1 am and 4 am when I eventually get up and go to bed for real. So I’ll catch up on everything over the past few months soon. But for now, here’s some cute Easter pics of my kids. None of me because I forgot to get a family pic. #momfail. Not my first either. My kids may have eaten candy for breakfast and dinner today. Not sure if that’s a #momfail or #momwin. Probably depends on who you ask.

The boys were really into the whole Easter holiday this year. They loved the Easter bunny. They loved Easter egg hunting. They loved church. And of course they loved the candy. So much candy. They were super excited to open their Easter buckets. Their most favorite thing in their buckets though was the “mac and roni” of course. Ha!

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We had some bunny ears too.

After eating candy and a little real breakfast we went to church. And what do we wear to church? Just ask James. I learned this morning that James calls his church clothes his “Jesus costume.” Ha! Best. Thing. Ever. He came up with this on his own too which makes it so much better. And because I forgot to get a group shot, here’s a candid of James in his “Jesus costume” during the Easter egg hunt.

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I hope Jesus approves.

We hosted Easter at our house this year like we’ve done the last few years. It’s exhausting, but so worth it. This year we had twice as many kids because my brother in law Jason and his family moved back to town last summer. More kids = more fun. And more noise. And more chaos. But so fun. Here’s a few pictures from the little kid Easter egg hunt.

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James was definitely the best egg gatherer. All 3 boys have completely different egg hunting tactics. James was on a mission to fill his bucket. Mason only wanted to pick up certain eggs. And Logan opened every single egg before putting it in his bucket. And asked Nana to help when he couldn’t do it himself.

Of course opening the eggs and eating the candy was the highlight of the day.

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And after that I slathered them in Tranquil oil and put them in bed. And I really hope they don’t wake up until morning. Because I’m so tired.

Oh but while I’m sharing, here’s some pictures from the boys’ Easter egg hunt at school this week too.

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And they got to see the Easter bunny. And loved it! I am so in love with this picture!

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They may have gotten into those buckets in the van on the way home too. Oops.

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And by on the way home I mean on the way to Starbucks. For cake pops. Candy then cake pops. Sounds like good parenting to me. Oh except Logan asked for a cookie this time instead.

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Oh and this may have happened yesterday. An Easter massacre.

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Basically they hate me. But I won because they didn’t get any Easter grass this year. And probably never will ever again.

Last week they got to meet and play with a real bunny. James loved it. Mason wasn’t so sure. Ha! (I wasn’t there but this is what I assume based on the pictures and videos Brian sent me.)

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Addison loves me. She did this for me. And made my OCD very very happy. She also dyed the eggs by herself this year. And they were all cooked this time too 😉

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Ok so that’s all. I have some clothes to fold. Like always. But I’ll post again soon!