I just found this draft, abandoned with words not yet strung together in complete thoughts. I really like to write...but boy life has been full lately. I really hope I can put some more words together soon. Take some more pictures. Remember a few more things...
Until then, a few pictures from...when it was cooler:
Thursday, December 31, 2015
The best picture I got of the three in front of the tree:
aka: my favorite picture...ever.
Samuel was literally just rolling around laughing at himself...
...until we reminded him it was actually his turn to open a present. This guy.
Carter wanted to make a present for Samuel this year and spent a LONG time making this pillow for Samuel's "friends."
Ella loved ripping wrapping paper this year...and Carter loved helping with the knots!
Our Christmas sunrise...midway through the presents :)
Andi and Boo thought of a great way for the boys to carry their own waters when we hike...as a bonus, they look super cute doing it :)
The boys decorated some golf balls for Boo:
Carter also REALLY wanted to make a present for Ella...so he made (with a ton of help) this little blanket for her dolls. His interest in making presents this year was my favorite.
I've had laugh lines creasing my face in permanent wrinkle since my early twenties. My guess is that my girl will be the same.
Boo needed help unwrapping...
...Ella was unsure the boys were fully handling the job.
Ham for lunch and hams on the couch.
She must have had a gallon of water on Christmas morning from her brothers' backpacks.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
I rode the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in middle school with my grandparents. I wore overall shorts, a purple shirt and a deeply rooted affection for doing anything with Ma and Pa. After becoming a mother, I discovered that the same railroad runs a special ride based on the Polar Express during the Christmas season. I've wanted to take the children for years and years, but there was always a good reason not to go. Mostly the children have been too young to really enjoy the book or the full ride prior to this year.
But this year...this year the boys were in that perfect window. Old enough to enjoy the adventure, old enough to swing the late night, young enough to enjoy the magic, young enough to be blinded to the parts of the ride that are "just normal."
Thankfully, Ella was too young to fully enjoy the ride, but flexible enough to have a roving good time though the trip was way past her bedtime and super noisy. That girl is so kind with her laid-back personality!
with the conductor:
Aboard the train, the boys were ecstatic to find themselves on a real, moving train. Honestly, they would have been completely happy to ride the train with no festivities. Everything else about the ride just sweetened the pot for them.
After the train started, the soundtrack to the movie started playing. The boys LOVE these songs and were so excited to hear the music. The conductor came around and punched their tickets, and we watched houses lit up for Christmas fly past out the open windows.
(expressive faces run heavy in this gene pool)
Soon, dancing servers passed out hot chocolate and cookies. Samuel was in love, Carter apparently only likes "cold chocolate" and Boo ended up soaking up an entire cup of cocoa in the seat of his pants.
cookies and hot chocolate an hour after her bedtime...she was cool with it
Soon, a recording of Chris Van Allsburg reading his Christmas classic was played while the hot chocolate servers showed the pictures from the book.
(Using Boo for leverage to spy on the group ahead of us on the train)
The train soon pulled up to "The North Pole" where Santa boarded the train.
Santa made his way through the train with a silver bell for each passenger.
The night was one of my favorites as a parent. Most of parenthood is lowering expectations for events like this....but this one...this one was so nice. The children had SO much fun, and because Andi and Boo were there too, I was freed up to have fun and soak it in too.
Trains and Christmas: some of these kiddos' favorite things.
One of my favorite, favorite memories...
...with some of my favorite, favorite people.