Sunday, January 6, 2013

White Christmas

About three or four weeks ago Dylan proclaimed that he was asking Santa for snow this year. I'm pretty sure it was 75 degrees and holding at the time. I said something (clever, I'm sure) about how that would be pretty much impossible for Santa. Dylan did not buy into what I had to say. He believed the whole time that he would get snow. The weather finally got cool the week before Christmas, but not freezing so I still thought snow was not even a possibility. Then, 3 or so days before Christmas, I start hearing chatter about a possibility of snow. I didn't believe it. I was shocked when around lunch time on Christmas day it began snowing. It wasn't just a light powder. It snowed pretty hard for a good two and a half hours.

We bundled up and headed out to play in it as soon as there were a couple of inches down.


Both of the kids were excited, but especially Dylan. He didn't seem surprised though. He truly believed the entire time that his snow was coming. It felt like true Christmas Magic. 

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Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning, Dylan woke up at 4:30 am and came to our room. I managed to open one eye wide enough to see the time and promptly instructed him to get in bed with Daniel and I to snuggle for at least another two hours. Luckily he went straight back to sleep. London woke up around 6:30 am and that's when we all got up. The kids were thrilled to find all of this waiting for them.


I go overboard every year. I say I'm not going to every year. I do anyways.
This year may have been my worse case yet. They each had over 20 gifts. I know. But its so fun to shop for them and then even more fun to watch them open it all. 
Look at the pure joy...

It took a good hour to open everything. The kids would open about 5 gifts and then they would stop and want me, Daniel, and my mom to open a gift. We stopped for coffee a couple of times too. It has never taken more than 20 minutes to open gifts before, but I really loved that it took some time this year. It felt like we  could really savor the magical moment for longer.
They were so sweet and thankful. They were both saying "Thank You so much!" after almost every gift. London was so funny. After just about every present she would proclaim "Oh my goodness!!! It JUST what a I wanted!" There sweet hearts make mine very proud.
After presents we ate breakfast and we just hung out. It was perfection.
My mom made a big pot of her vegetable soup, which is my favorite. I was so thankful for the yummy food and that I didn't have to cook at all that day.

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was wonderfully filled with tradition.
Like always, my brother and his family came over, as well as my mom.
They spent most of the day with us and we had the best time, just hanging out.

I call my mom Santa Grammy. She is too good to all of us each year.

And Uncle Jona always picks the perfect gifts for the kids too. They gave Dylan the 6th Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and also a create your own story DOAW book. Anytime we went looking for Dylan, he could be found with his nose in that book. And Aunt Donna is London's favorite playmate. 
London got this huge unicorn from my mom. She's obsessed and name her "Sparkles".
And the kids got a WiiU as their joint present.

Mom and I love planning the menu every year, but this year she outdid herself. She cooked a beautiful crown roast with crawfish stuffing.

The kids made a toast to the Holidays and to each other. 
London said she had never had sparkling cider before, and I think she may be right. It seems as though she liked it...

Everyone left right before dinner. We had some leftovers, relaxed, and then headed to church for Christmas Eve service. Since the service started at 7pm (which is dangerously close to bedtime) I let the kids go in their pjs. The service was pretty laid back, so it worked out okay. 
London was having a lot of trouble staying awake during the sermon. Since I needed her awake to put cookies out for Santa and hear a Christmas bedtime story, we snuck out to the Lobby and listened to the rest of the sermon their.

Obviously our kids are very comfortable and at home in our church. I'm so, so glad for this.  
We went back into the sanctuary for the last song, which is always Silent Night sung by candle light.  My eyes start to burn instantly to the first note of the song, every single year. I look around and everything makes me feel like crying. The pregnant woman that is rubbing her belly while she sings. The older family with college kids home for the holidays. The brand new baby. It all hits me in the softest spots of my heart. I don't know why this tradition turns me into such a sap, but it really does. Just when I feel like I can't take any more sappiness from myself, Dylan throws his head back and closes his eye as his belts out  the chorus as loudly as he can and as of key as he could possibly have been. My eyes stop stinging and my shoulders start violently shaking as I do my best to suppress my laughter. I look over at Daniel and he is staring at Dylan in disbelief. I look to my other side and our youth and worship leaders wife is grinning ear to ear. I mean. It was so funny. I love that he was caught in the moment. And his noise was joyful. That's all that really matters.
We came home, left cupcakes and milk for Santa, read a couple of Christmas books, and got tucked into bed. I put presents out as soon as I thought it was safe and jumped into bed myself. I think I get as excited as the kids do for Christmas morning.

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Classroom Parties

I've always noticed other moms with multiple children trying to balance the party scenes during the Holidays, bouncing from one child's classroom to another. On one hand, I felt sad for them that they had to miss half (or third, fourth, ect..) of each kids party. On the other hand, how lucky that they have more than one kiddo. I mean, they must get to make double the goody bags and double the home made cookies with beautiful frosted piping. I mean that's how I roll. I go all out for the holidays. I make 30 little cake pop Christmas trees for Dylan's sweet classmates. And other years I plan the whole party top to bottom with lots of lovely details. Yep. That's how I roll. Or rolled. When there was one kid in school. Now I have two kids in school and bless their hearts... I don't seem to have my act together at all these days. You would think it would be double the work, having two kids in school rather than one, but it seems to be like quadruple the work somehow. Maybe because they are at two different schools?? I don't know. I just don't have my act together. There have been zero fancy, or even homemade treats sent into either school from the Hilburn house.  When I sign up list is posted I find the easiest item and plop my name down beside it. I am Dylan's room mom, but I don't feel like I've had to to much with that. Maybe I'll be better the second half of the year. Or maybe I won't. The world will still go round either way, I'm sure.

All of that to say.... This was the first year that both kiddos had a Christmas party at school.
And wouldn't you know that not only were their parties on the same day, they were at the same stinkin time.
The only thing I could do was split my time. Luckily London's Party started 10 minutes before Dylan's. This meant I was able to stay 20 minutes with London, drive 5 to Dylan's, and be there for last 20 of his. It was a crazy day, but fun! And I feel so blessed to get to party with TWO kiddos. ;)

London's Party was first.
She was most excited to give Mrs Courtney her gift and also have cupcake.

Most pictures I took have other people's kids in them, so I wont share them, but here are a few..

I signed up for juice boxes. Then I felt bad that I signed up to only bring juice boxes. This is her very first Christmas party. I mean I should hand paint Santa hats for the whole class, like I did for Dylan... right!?  So, I found these cute little snow men bottles and instantly felt better about bringing juice. I know that I'm silly and crazy but its just how I think.

London is such a social butterfly. It was fun seeing her with all of her friends. She was a little clingy to me, which surprised me a little, but I'll take all the extra hugs any day!!

Another thing that surprised me is that she got a little upset when I told her I had to leave. She LOVES school and is sad on days that she doesn't go (she goes 3 days a week), and she never ever cares that I'm leaving during drop off. I guess because other moms were there and she didn't want hers to leave? I don't know, but it made me sad. She was easily consoled with a cookie though, and I snuck out the door.
 Next was Dylan's party.
I did help plan the details of this party but another group of moms executed it and did a great job!

I loved this little tree they decorated as their craft. 
As soon as I got there, Dylan asked for his gift to Mrs Butts, his teacher. I love that my babies having giving hearts.

His class did a book exchange with chapter books. 
I loved this Santa project they had done earlier in the month. Dylan is so funny.

And that was the big day of parties. Maybe next year their parties will be at different times, or better yet different days!?

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Santa 2012

This is our 6th Christmas in Texas, and this is our 6th year to visit "our" Santa Clause. We love this him and I love that we have the same St Nick in each year's Santa picture. Last year we went to see him with some of our favorite friends. We had such a great time that we decide to do the same this year. We made a day of it, having lunch in the food court, seeing Santa  playing around, and finishing the day off with a "shopping spree" in the candy store. We gave each kid 30 seconds to grab any three kinds of candy they wanted. It is harder than it sounds, but they all managed to get 3 things. It was so funny to watch.

Dylan surprised me by agreeing to wear his Rudolph shirt. He's getting to big for all this "cutesy" stuff, but I'm so glad to get one more picture of him looking "little". I suspect it will be the last year for any shirt of this kind. My boy is growing up fast! 

Lou Lou looked precious in the outfit that Grammy made for her. She was most excited to see Santa this year. 

They both gave sweet smiles and told Santa what they wanted for Christmas. London would not tell anyone exept for Santa what she wanted. This made me a little nervous, like maybe she was testing me (not likely since she's only 4, right!!?). Luckily Dylan heard what London whispered to Santa and he has a big mouth.
And I'm happy to report she got the guitar that she was wanting. I knew Dylan would ask for a video camera (which he did get Christmas day).  

I'm already looking forward to seeing Santa again next year. Its such a fun and special day. 

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