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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Picture Traditions

The holiday season seems to be flying by and typically I am on top of my annual photo traditions but not this year, but I did get them in before Christmas! 

It's amazing to be able to look back over the years at these pictures of the boys. I pray that they will appreciate them one day or at least maybe their future wives and kiddos. 


BELIEVE.
Rejoice in the birth of the Lord - for unto us a child is given this night to bring peace and love to all mankind.


Monday, December 23, 2019

2019 Lights Tour

Two years ago we did a KC Lights tour with the Shafers. We surprised the kiddos with PJs, pizza and a limo ride that took us down to The Plaza, Crown Center and through the neighborhoods of Waldo and Mission Hills. The kiddos still talk about that outing so Jenn and I thought we would recreate it and this time some of our other favorites came too, the Palangis.  



We did the same thing as last time---PJs, pizza and a limo BUT this year we were headed to a few different places--Lenexa, Overland Park and Olathe were our destinations figured if we stayed closer, we could see a few more places. And because we are both planners, we had a stop every hour or so that would allow the kids to get out and move. 


First up, Sar Ko Park in Lenexa and it was just beautiful. & yes, we all went in onesies!




After Sar Ko Park we hit up Deanna Rose and then tried to find another neighborhood but failed although it did lead us to a hidden gem of a cul-de-sac where we got star treatment as our limo had a little bit of a hard time turning around so the homeowners all stopped traffic and directed us. 
Such a lovely neighborhood.


Our 2nd to last stop of Pauley's Penguins, a home in Olathe that has hundreds, maybe thousands of penguins. And in all shapes and sizes. 






& our last stop was at the Olathe Community Center before heading back home & getting everyone tucked into bed for Christmas Eve!









Saturday, December 21, 2019

A Hartley Christmas

The Hartley Christmas just keeps getting bigger and better each and every year. This year we added two new official family members and two furry family members & you better believe we packed us all under one roof--good thing Grandma and Papa have extra space these days. 

We decided to head down on Friday night so we would have a little time with my mom and dad before the rest of the family showed up---the boys don't get my mom and dad to themselves very often and they boys LOVE being spoiled by them. 


& our elves grew in numbers too, Trenton got in on the action this year, although he wouldn't wear his hat. One of the things I love most about going home for Christmas is that there it's a come as you are. Sweatpants and last year's Christmas shirts are totally a-okay!




Whoa, Nellie. She was furry. She was big. & She was in charge.


& we got to meet the newest four legged family member--Millie, my nephew, Blake's little Aussie-doodle. 


Finally, everyone had arrived and it was time to open presents. Kaden had one thing on his wish list, a blue tooth speaker. CHECK. & Logan wanted a Hydroflask. Also, CHECK.



After those two picture, I put my phone away and tried to get lost in the moment. The boys are getting to an age where their requests are becoming more specific but thankfully, they are still so very appreciative of anything they get. 

Once we were done unwrapping gifts we had a few hours to kill until the entire Hartley clan would be arriving so the kids got to coloring and building. Prior to heading down to my parents', Kaden and I ran to Michael and picked up a couple cardboard houses, they spent HOURS coloring this and even more surprising, everyone got along!! Best $8.00 ever spent!


& poor Nellie didn't know what to think of little Millie and could often be found perched on someone's shoulder, whomever was in this chair. She definitely doesn't realize how big she is getting.


The Hartley clan arrived, we all ate and then the BIG guy himself showed up. The boys once again proclaimed they both wanted new mountain bikes. Phew. 


& well, as for me, I was holding my newest buddy & actually was kind of the first person outside of my sister that got to keep him while his momma and daddy ran some errands. He slept pretty much the entire time but there wasn't anywhere else I would have wanted to be. 






& just like Thanksgiving, Christmas just wasn't the same, it probably never will be. We were all missing Uncle Scott so much but no more than Aunt Kelly, the girls and these three. It's hard to look at my dad and not be sad, he lost his brother and his best friend & I can still tell how much he is struggling with it. Which is why these family gatherings are so important--to take advantage of the time we do have because you just never know. 


This one, he's my favorite & his selfie game has improved greatly.


& after everyone was gone we loaded up all the kids in their matching pjs and we went to see the Carthage lights. The line was long but it was worth the wait. As we got back home, our camp out was ready for us. The kids, minus Logan and Trenton, and I were all sleeping out in the shed--it's the only place we had enough room to make it all work & we were determined to make it work. 


The following day was game day for the Chiefs and sadly we had to head home to KC. We made the most of our morning with Grandma Sara and Papa Tom but saying goodbye just doesn't get any easier, especially after a weekend that was full of all the people we love so much.


Friday, December 20, 2019

More Festive Celebrations

December is just full of parties--we started with the Griffith's Holiday Party which is always a great time. We are surrounded by our friends who are more like family & delicious food. & these kids keep getting bigger and bigger, it seems like it was just yesterday we were trying to get them to sit still for a picture and here we are, they know exactly what to do to get it done and over with quickly.


& then before we knew it, it was time for holiday parties at school. Which meant ONE more class party as room mom. Thankfully, this one was just as easy as the Halloween party. The entire school did a sing-a-long which was followed by hot cocoa and cookies. Kaden had been waiting for this day because he was finally doing the black light!


and the party was so quick that I didn't even get a chance to grab a picture with Kaden!



& as soon as the school party ended we flew home, packed the car because we were headed to Papa Tom's and Grandma Sara's but FIRST, one more holiday party with friends. This time, we were building gingerbread houses and we all know, I love some good healthy competition. & I'm starting to think my youngest does too!


& these two just give me all the smiles. I love their budding friendship and their desire to hangout even though they no longer go to the same school.



& I may have thought it was more of a DRESS UP party than it was. I made the boys wear their sweatshirts and I brought out my Christmas dress--and we were one of only two families that went for it BUT we still had such a great time and so thankful for new friendships. 


Monday, December 16, 2019

IT'S SNOWING

Saturday 50 and sunny, Sunday a 20 and a blizzard. 

The only ones that were slightly annoyed by it, me and Gus. The boys, Justin included, and Nellie were all about the snow. They couldn't get enough of it. And this snow, it was the good snow! So good they were able to get an extra day off from school & got to go back and play in it again. We should note, that there was a BIG Chiefs game happening on this particular Sunday so Fun in the Snow, only happened before, at halftime and after. 





Monday was a never ending day of in and out, in and out. Snow pants on. Snow pants off. No snow pants or boots, just use Mom's Uggs. UGH. 

We did make the best darn Snow Ice Cream that I have ever had though. It was tasty.