Sunday, January 1, 2012

happy new year.

our christmas eve traditions are some of my most favorite things.
to say the kids were excited this year would be an understatement... especially mason.
the anticipation of christmas morning was a lot for him to handle.
he had a christmas eve checklist to get us through the day.

put out the reindeer food.


he left it up on our upper balcony... with the help of his father.
you know... because the reindeer land on the roof.


track santa.


kyle surprised the kids with a projector so they could track santa on the big screen.
they thought that was the best.thing.ever.


light our christmas eve luminaries.

it is a community wide event... yet we were one of maybe two houses on our street to have them.
mason was offended and called the rest of our neighbors grinches.
no offense to our neighbors, of course, but i agree with him. ha.


dinner at grandma's. and the festival of lights.



we went to a new church this year for christmas eve service.
i liked it... very contemporary.
instead of lighting candles in the pews, everyone went to the front to light tea lights.
so calm. so peaceful. so pretty.


pajamas from the tooth fairy.

when we got home from church, the kids found gifts of pajamas on their beds.
the tooth fairy brings them every christmas eve.
it's tradition and has been since i was a kid.

'twas the night before christmas. and put out cookies and milk for santa.


christmas morning mason was the first to rise.
he was so excited and woke me.
"mom, can i just go sit downstairs and wait?"
needless to say he and i ended up waking everyone else.
isn't that how it goes? chop chop!



one of mason's favorite gifts, from his grandma...
a wooden bat and a warm up jacket for his travel baseball team.


another favorite.
american girl dolls.
yup... we took the plunge.

i have no idea where this smile came from... but it is making an appearance a lot lately. hilarious.


even gigi would like an american girl.
i took her with me to the american girl store when i bought the girls' dolls.
it was like trying to get a kid out of a candy shop.
so cute to see her light up like that.


payton is such a good little mommy.
i love watching her with her doll.




nika fought hard to keep her laptop to herself.
darn big sisters.
it was pretty funny... picture nika rolling across the floor, holding on for dear life.
home girl is learning to stand up for herself.




when we were in russia, we brought home a matryoshka doll for nika.
our intent was to create a collection for her...
but we don't really have access to authentic matryoshka dolls.
enter her grandparents... they got her one for christmas.
it was purchased from the moscow ballet... which has a traveling show that was here in the states.


another of mason's favorite gifts this year.
as if we needed another nintendo ds in this house.


and one of my favorite gifts this year.
headphones for the kids.
black for mason. pink for payton. purple for addison.



mostly i love that they have not been buried in the madness.
the kids still grab them and throw them on.
three points for me.


we had a very blessed christmas day.

nice! a huge thank you to my in-laws.

we spent christmas evening with some of my extended family.
love them... and love that my kids will have these memories.


the kids each got small gifts to open.
and we played charades...


we spent a lazy new year's eve at home as a family with my mom and grandmother.
playing games.
watching the times square celebration on television.
mason made it to about 11:50 p.m. before he just couldn't keep his eyes open any longer.



happy new year.


ps... today marks day one of my 365 journey... click here to read more. my challenge to you is to join me... pick up your camera and document your life.

pps... i finally redirected my blog to the url i bought a few years ago. i think this may mess with rss feeds, google reader, yada yada... not too sure, but check it out and edit the address if you need to... so sorry! the url is


  1. So amazing! I love those traditions and it looks like Christmas was a huge success!

  2. We need more traditions over here! Love the Christmas tree bokeh ;)

  3. beautiful pictures and beautiful moments. just wondering why the tooth fairy gives you pijamas? i mean, is there a story behind that?

    oh and Elias 'popeye' smile is all over our pictures now, he used to smile other way but i think he is older enough for a new smile. 

  4. LOL Ali, I have NO idea why or how it became the tooth fairy. My cousin was telling me the other day it should be from Santa's Elf, but... 

    When I was growing up, we always got pj's on Christmas Eve and my parents always told us if was from the tooth fairy. So there ya have it. LMAO!

  5. Thank you for posting!!! I wish we all lived closer together.  The kids are adorable!!!!  OHHH and the new smile is priceless....I love it!