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

My First Half

A year ago I would have told you I’m not a runner. I mean I did run. But I ran because I love to eat. In fact, when I injured myself 1.5 years ago, I told my physical therapist that I’m not a runner. I just run so I can eat cake. #truestory.

Things changed though.

I did a thing. A big thing. A crazy thing. But only half crazy. I ran a half marathon. Like I signed up, trained, and ran a half marathon with 25,000 other people. The St. Jude Half Marathon. And I finished! I did it! My time (because everyone wants to know) . . . 2:06:59. I’m pretty happy with it. This was my first one. And not my last.

So what was it like? Well it was pretty epic. The first 5 miles felt amazing. Brian, my kids, and my parents were at Mile 5 to cheer me on. That was the best. Mile 6 was through the St. Jude campus. I can’t even describe what Mile 6 was like. Everyone should run Mile 6. I had to wipe tears from my face as I ran out of St. Jude. Actual tears. The patients who were well enough were outside, cheering us on, giving high fives. I high-fived every single kid as I ran through. These sweet, innocent kids are so amazing. I saw a few more St. Jude kids later on the route too. And I almost cried again.

I ran as a St. Jude Hero and raised money for St. Jude. Did you know that no one pays for treatment at St. Jude?! That’s crazy right?! And because I’m from Memphis I had friends growing up who were patients at St. Jude. And now I have friends with kids who are patients at St. Jude. It’s really an amazing place. And I hope I never get to experience it firsthand. But it’s close if we need it and that makes me strangely comfortable.

Here’s my name on the St. Jude Heroes car! So cool!

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I struggled more than I expected during the middle part of the race. I had to stop for a massive cramp in my stomach. Not my side. My stomach/abs. And it was still sore over 24 hours later. Weird. Other than that I ran the entire time except when I grabbed water. I apparently need to learn how to drink water while running. Because currently I can’t do it. I tried. And choked.

The last .75 miles I could see the stadium. A guy running close to me yelled out to everyone “we’re going home, we can do this!” as soon as we made the final turn. And he counted down every 1/10 mile. I wish I had that kind of energy. I had enough to finish though. And then I may have almost cried again. I finished. In the middle of a crowd of strangers. And I almost cried. But seriously . . . I did it. I didn’t expect the emotional response but it just hit me right there in the middle of that crowd of strangers at the finish line.

Here’s me after the race:

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Oh and Joey ran it too. I even got him to join in my pre-race selfie. And he kinda sorta smiled.

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Here’s where we started:

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Oh and after the race you have to climb OUT of the baseball field. Like stairs. They make you climb stairs. Then of course I had to walk back to the van. And funny story . . . Brian announced that he had lost the key to the van when we were almost there. BUT we had a backup. In my purse at my parents’ house 30 minutes away. BUT we didn’t end up needing it. We went to the van and James found the key! Under the van. Seriously. See, kids are good for something. Saved by a 3 year old.

So now that I’ve finished, let’s back up. Here’s how I got here:

  • In 2010 I had back surgery. I wasn’t allowed to exercise AT ALL before then.
  • 3.5 years ago I had triplets. Before that I was a casual 3-mile runner for about a year.
  • About 1.5 years ago I injured my IT band and had to go to physical therapy and gradually increase my running. Starting with 1.5 mile “long runs.” I graduated from physical therapy. I even got a certificate. Which I still have. (I may be a hoarder)
  • I told my physical therapist I’m not a serious runner. Like my original reason for running, I was still running so I could eat cake.
  • In March I decided to run the St. Jude Half Marathon. My brother Joey and I decided to do it together. We didn’t train together because we live in different states. But it was still pretty great to have someone to talk to about the training. (FTR I came in before him at the race).

The fact that I was running an actual half marathon kicked in the night before the race. When I picked up my race packet at the expo. And of course more pictures.

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I’m not gonna lie . . . I was freaking out just a little when I picked up my race packet.

So what was the training like? Rough. I did a complete half marathon training program in the Spring. I made it to the last 2 weeks then I stopped doing long runs. Because it was July and I couldn’t run that far in the heat. But I started a new training program at the end of the summer and completed every long run (and most of the shorter runs and interval training). I ran 12 miles 2 weeks before race day. So I knew I could do it. I only ran about 5 times the last 2 weeks. I struggled with some tendinitis in my feet so I wanted to make sure I was completely rested up. It worked too!

Here’s a few more fun facts about running and my training:

  • At least once a week I wanted to quit
  • I decided that running is stupid pretty much every time I ran over 5 miles and wondered why I decided to do this. This was true on Saturday while I was running the race too.
  • I lost 2 toenails training for the half marathon. Apparently this is a “normal” running issue. Yay. I tried to glue them down. It worked the first time and a new toenail grew in and no one knew (except me and the girls at the nail salon. The ones who probably hate me for making them touch my gross glued-down toenail). The second one fell off. Luckily it was basically fall by then. I’m pretty sure I’m about to lose another one. See, running is stupid. Brian really told me to quit over the toenail thing. I considered it. Lucky for you, no missing toenail pics. No toenail/foot pics at all actually. You’re welcome.
  • Nothing will make you feel older than running. I can no longer walk around my house barefoot. In fact, I wear orthotic flip flops most of the time (when I’m not wearing boots or booties, my fave shoes ever). I love my orthotic flip flops. (Oofos). If you run you need them. You’ll thank me later.
  • I self-diagnosed myself with several injuries over the last few months. Extensor tendinitis and plantar fasciitis most recently. I actually didn’t run much the 2 weeks leading up to the race because I was worried I’d injure myself. I think the break was good for my feet but bad for my mental state and my confidence.
  • I now own 4 pairs of $16 socks (Feetures are my fave). They have a right and a left. Oh and I lost 1 basically the first week. So I have 3.5 pairs of $16 socks. They supposedly help with the toenail issue. I’m not sure . . .
  • I also own a fairly crazy amount of Lululemon. Maybe they’ll sponsor me. I probably need to get faster first . . . . But seriously this stuff is amazing.
  • And speaking of things I now own, I also wear a Garmin watch at all times. I bought it for the GPS and the running functionality. But I love that it notifies me about texts, emails, etc. Maybe I need an Apple Watch. Or a fancier Garmin watch.
  • I count while I run. Not always and not the entire run. But usually at least part of the run. What do I count? Sometimes my steps (10 sets of 20 steps at a time), always people (bikers, runners, walkers), and sometimes vehicles if it’s too dark for many people to be out. And I always count when I’m going up a big hill. Somehow it helps. See I’m a little crazy. Ha! Surely other people do this right?

So I guess I’m a runner now. I plan to do my second half marathon in March, the Little Rock Half Marathon. It looks mostly flat. But it’s Little Rock so it’s probably not actually flat, just flat for Little Rock. My goal for the next one is to finish under 2 hours.

And to wrap this up (I know you’re thinking “finally!” if you’re still reading even at this point), here’s some pics of our weekend:

Addison requested Central BBQ for dinner so we went there. The boys are still talking about “the BBQ place” so I guess we have 4 Central BBQ fans now.

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We took the boys to Starry Nights too. They LOVED it! Definitely worth the super long wait. They also like peeing in the back seat of the van (in the potty I brought of course).

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Sunday we came back home. And they boys have been asking to back since then. Maybe 2 weeks in a row at Nana and Grandad’s house set them up for disappointment. Oops!

Only Mason stays awake on long drives so he got the headphones. That lasted a whole 10 minutes.

And because it’s Christmas time and we are in the Christmas spirit I’ll leave you with this one:

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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 . . . .

Christmas 2016 Part 2

We had a very busy, but wonderful Christmas this year. We started in Little Rock with Brian’s family, then headed to Memphis for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family. And everyone spoiled my kids. Addison especially. She deserves it though.

We started our Christmas with the Manns. We had brunch. The boys were a little confused. They kept asking for lunch. Ha! Brian’s Christmas suit made a re-appearance. And Brian tried to dance. As you can see he’s a really good dancer.

The boys did a great job waiting to open presents. The tree and presents were a HUGE temptation but they mostly held out. I only had to rewrap a few presents. A few times. (Sorry for the ghetto wrapping job Liam! I gave up). The boys LOVED Nina’s tree! And all the pretty presents under it!

And a few more pictures from Nina and Pop’s house!

Lolo LOVED the new dancing Mickey from Nina and Pop!

And Brian loved holding this sweet baby.

And we tried to get a picture of the cousins. Just missing Liam! 😦

Then we headed to Memphis. 2 of the boys slept.

But then there was Mason . . .

I kept giving him candy to keep him quiet. Ha! Mom of the year over here.

We went to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house first for some chili. After the super scenic route because Brian is terrible with directions. And by terrible with directions I mean he’s terrible at listening to the directions I give as I give them. (He blames me, but we all know this is not my fault). So we drove over the scary bridge, then we drove through the hood. Then we missed another exit and had to turn around at a liquor store that keeps all liquor behind glass. James thought it was Starbucks. So not even close. But we made it.

Logan really liked the pecan bucket.

Everyone else played the piano. At the same time.

And Logan ate more pecans.

Christmas Eve we started the Griffith family Christmas tradition. It was so special that we were here for all of it this year. We will spend most Christmases in Little Rock because Brian and I decided we want to be home most years. So this year was extra special. So . . . our crazy Christmas tradition is this:

  • Christmas Eve – Christmas with Lou Ann and our cousins
  • Midnight Mass
  • After Midnight Mass – Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s house
  • Back to Mom and Dad’s house for Santa
  • Christmas morning – Santa and Family Gifts
  • Christmas lunch – everyone comes over to Mom and Dad’s house
  • Christmas night – everyone passes out, sometimes on the couch, sometimes sitting up (usually Grandma)
So much fun! I love it! First, a picture of the boys. With matching Santas. And not just any matching Santas. One of these has lived at my parents’ house since I was little. Then my mom found 2 more this year so now she has 3.
Now pictures! First Addison and the boys made cookies with Zizzie. Lizzie looks scared. Ha!
Mickey cookies of course! Nana has the coolest stuff!
Christmas at Lou Ann’s house!

James helped everyone open their presents.

Mason got a tractor. Then he filled it with confetti. Because of course.

Jim liked Mason’s tractors too.

Then Christmas in the middle of the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s! And a rare picture of all 5 of us. And we’re dressed up.

A selfie with Lizzie.

And my 2 favorite girls.

And lots more pictures.

Mason’s cheese face. Ha! I can’t stop laughing at this one.

Group present!

Lolo in my dad’s rocking chair from when he was a kid. This thing belongs in a museum.

Patiently waiting for Alan to open their new toys.

Then we went home and waited for Santa. The boys even put out cookies. And James kept saying don’t touch them. And he checked to make sure Santa ate them in the morning. So cute! Did you see the Santa sacks at the top of this post?! My friend Sumer made them for us and I LOVE THEM! All 4 kids got a stocking and a Santa sack full of presents. And the boys also got a few bigger things. A kitchen, a tool bench, and a train table. They loved them!
And we opened presents too. And stickers. So many stickers.

And of course they loved Nana’s tree too.

And because we didn’t get much sleep the night before we thought naps were super important on Christmas Day. We found Logan like this. I mean I guess technically he did take a nap right?

Then we had Christmas lunch and spent the afternoon with everyone again. And then this happened . . .

Yep. More Christmas suits. Fun for the whole family. Oh and Brian and my brother Joey both got the same fun cat shirts for Christmas too. I’m pretty sure Joey has worn this out in public.

And of course Mason made another new friend. Ha!

And another fun picture from my parents’ house . . . this one lives in their back hall on their picture wall. Coincidence they placed this sign in front of this particular frame? Probably not. I feel like the asshole gene was inherited. Maybe.
And one final picture. Mickey waffles! Brian asked for a Mickey waffle maker for Christmas so he could make Mickey waffles for the boys. And he has used it more than once already.

Just kidding! That wasn’t the final picture. This one is though . . . my Christmas gift to myself.

I bought myself a Young Living Essential Oils Starter Kit and I am soooo glad I did! I’m kind of obsessed and now I want all the oils. So far I’ve used my diffuser every day and night too. And I’ve made things. Yep things. I’ve made face serum for myself, sinus and asthma roll-ons, a cough and cold cream for the boys (like baby Vicks but better . . . even Addison loves it), and I’ve used my oils to clean the boys’ cribs. So basically I did a great job with my gift to myself. Let me know if you have any good tips or recipes for me to try!
I know it’s after New Years now so NYE post coming soon! Mann Olympics 2016 edition was amazing. And I won per usual.

Memphis Trip

My Grandma turned 80 this month so we went to Memphis to celebrate with her! We had such a great time! We got to spend time with my family. Everyone was there too so it was kind of like Christmas.Β 

Eating at Nana’s in our new highchairs. In the wrong order.
And we went to the Memphis Zoo. And used our new stroller! Thanks Joanna for letting it go and thanks Alan for picking it up and bringing it to us! Here are a few pictures from the zoo! The boys loved it!

Addison got to pet the sting rays! I did too! They felt REALLY weird.

It was pretty hot so Mason got a baby mohawk!
My mom took advantage of the fact that we were all in the same place at once so we took family photos. Coordinating outfits too! Matching if you’re my brothers and my dad. (They should have thought this one out a little better maybe.) I apologize in advance for the Griffith Family Photos

Nice matching shirts guys!
And this one is my favorite I think. Ha!

 

And some more non-posed pictures from Memphis!

Logan and Teresa
Mason and Grandma

 

Alan teaching James he can do whatever he wants
Mason and Lizzie – LOVE THIS ONE!
Selfie with Addison
Then on the way home we got stuck in traffic so we ended up stopping to let the boys get out of their seats. And we took them to McDonald’s. Don’t judge. We don’t eat McDonald’s EVER but that was the best option at the time. The boys weren’t impressed. As you can maybe tell from the picture, Mason was more impressed with his placemat than his food. But they were super great travellers so that’s the most important thing!

Our First Christmas as a Family of 6!

Christmas was a lot different this year than last year! We knew we were pregnant last year, but we didn’t know it was three and we hadn’t told anyone yet! What a difference a year makes! The hectic Christmas family traditions are so much crazier with 3 babies! But we made it and we had a great Christmas! And we took our first roadtrip! (And it was a success!) We even made it to see Santa! And no one cried (they didn’t smile either but I’ll take it!)

I haven’t posted in almost a month because we’ve been so so so super busy! We ended up doing almost all of our Christmas shopping online and almost all the last week before Christmas. We had great intentions of shopping a few weeks ahead of time and getting everything done BEFORE the last minute. But that didn’t happen. Instead, we spent 3 nights at Children’s with James (1 night) and Mason (2 nights) the week before Christmas.

The boys will be 8 months tomorrow (December 29) so I’ll write another post about what we’ve been up to later this week (including why we spent 3 nights at the hospital). This one is just about Christmas!

Here’s our Christmas card! I love it! Thanks to Miranda Carr for taking the awesome photos! (She took the Ho Ho Ho one above too!)

And I put the babies in gift boxes too! I had visions of amazing photos. Kind of like the babies in pumpkins pics I did for fall. Well, it didn’t turn out as well this time! Ha! Here’s a collage I put together! Mason wasn’t in the mood!

James didn’t mind it though!

Addison and I went to Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs to see the Christmas lights with Brian’s mom and his brother and his family. It was cold so the babies didn’t go. But Addison and I had a great time!

 

We spent Christmas Eve at Brian’s parents’ house in town with his family. I didn’t get any pictures but Brian got this one of Mason with his Aunt Katie and cousins Liam (11 months) and Emily (2). The babies were a big hit! Emily especially loved them!
And here’s one of all the cousins at Nina and Pop’s house together for the first time! The boys are out of order because Josie didn’t want to hold a baby so Emily is holding James instead!
Later that night we headed out of town for Memphis! Our first roadtrip! Yay! We packed so much into the Mann Van! Addison had one seat in the back row but other than that the entire back was full to the ceiling except for a small space for me to see out.
The boys did great in the van on the way to Memphis (not as good on the way home!) We got there about 9:30. Then we went to Midnight Mass. The boys slept through the whole thing. And we had the cry room to ourselves.
Then my favorite Christmas tradition – presents at my grandparents’ house after Midnight Mass. The boys were great for this too! Logan slept the whole time. Mason and James were awake most of the time but they were really good! Which is a good thing because we didn’t pack any bottles because they don’t eat in the middle of the night!
Here’s a few pictures:
Brian and James
My favorite gift – LEMONHEADS!
Then we went back to my parents’ house and went to sleep (around 5 am) and waited for Santa! I didn’t get any pictures from Christmas Day at my parents’ house (mom fail!) but it was a great day! The boys were perfect! Addison was perfect too of course! We had planned to stay until Friday (the day after Christmas) but because everyone was so good we ended up staying an extra day! Yay! So fun!
Brian took one picture. His “Reinbeer” that my sister gave him!
Here’s a few more pictures from the Christmas season!
Logan
Mason

And our Christmas ornaments (I actually have another set that my mom made but I put them on the tree right away before I took pictures!)

 

Oh and we have an Elf on the Shelf! Of course! His name is Buddy and he gets into a little trouble from time to time. Here’s a few pictures of Buddy from this year. He wasn’t too naughty!

 

 

Buddy turned the milk green! Ew!
Buddy rolled the Christmas tree!
And one of my favorite things about Christmas – Christmas cards! I have lots more that didn’t fit on this side of my kitchen too! One of my triplet mom groups did a Christmas card exchange so I have triplet Christmas cards too! I love my triplet mom friends! We even did a Secret Santa this year and I got the sweetest gifts! And I really had fun buying gifts for my triplet mom too!
Ok this was a little long (I know most of my posts are long!) so I’ll end it here! Stay tuned for an 8 month update!