Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Christmas 2012

It's only a month late but, Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the season. I know we sure did. Sean's parents came in town for a week and we had a wonderful time enjoying the holiday break as a family. I got used to long mornings watching cartoons with Mason in bed, slowly drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, and brisk family walks with Hazel. Sean had almost two full weeks off work and we successfully accomplished taking it easy during that time. It was definitely a rough adjustment when we had to get back in the swing of things in January!

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is our annual Christmas Eve dinner at our house. It's open to any family that is in town, which this year included both sets of our parents. The Gadek's always have Christmas Eve with Brian's family, so they have never been able to attend, Doug was driving in from Oklahoma that night, and Grandma and Uncle Philip stayed in Louisiana. The six of us that were there this year know how to party and had a wonderful evening. Beef Tenderloin and Apple Pie are tradition, and we always have festive appetizers, sides and drinks to go with it. This year Sean made his favorite pie, minced meat, as well.

I still can't believe that we actually had a white Christmas in Dallas this year! Santa dropped of some goodies for Mason on Christmas Eve and we spent Christmas morning at home letting him play with all his new fun toys. Then we packed everyone and everything up and headed to my parents house to meet up with the rest of the family for the day. Everyone was in great spirits, there was delicious food, a fire burning, and merriment all around. When the snow started falling it really made the day perfect. I wish I could capture it forever - it was such a warm and cozy day with those I love the most. Mason took a great nap at my parents house while we all enjoyed a Christmas meal, the falling snow, and relaxing.

The snow stuck around for another day and Mason had a great time discovering it. He loved making snowballs and footprints in it, and of course didn't seem to mind the cold at all. For a good week after, he'd look for snow when we opened his window in the morning. Hope we get some more this winter!

It was hard to send Sean's parents back home, but our fingers are crossed that this time next year they'll make a move our way and we can see them more often. Sean still had a few days off after his parents left and we soaked up some valuable family time with just the three of us.

Here are some pictures from the week of Christmas. I really wish I could turn back time and experience this all over again!

Sean and his Dad cooking, and Mom R and Hazel bonding by the fire. Hazel loves it when Mom and Dad R are in town!

Merry Christmas Eve!
My silly boy loving life on Christmas Eve. We started a new tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas by the fire as a family before Mason heads off to bed.

Christmas Eve dinner. Yum!

Annual Christmas Eve dinner
Santa came!
Mason's big gifts were a bike and a chair. He loves them and has used them both daily ever since!

Christmas day excitement/madness at my parents house

Christmas day at my parents! I love having the whole family together.

One of the best Christmas's in recent memory! (Mason was a little over pictures in the bottom right pic)

The Robison's and The Henderson's

Discovering snow!

Our good friend, Pete, has a birthday at the end of the year and always hosts a delicious dinner at his house with his close friends. It's a great way to wrap up the week!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday Happenings

December was a fun month filled with holiday activities for us! I have fallen behind on the blog and wanted to do a recap of our shenanigans leading up to Christmas.

The Nutcracker
For my mom's birthday back in November, my sister and I gave tickets to The Nutcracker at the Winspear Opera house. The tickets were for early December, and we had a great time taking her to the show, a fun happy hour, and a delicious dinner to celebrate. 
Love these ladies!

Toddler Birthday Parties
Mason has a lot of friends right around his age and had six birthday parties (eight including his own home and school parties), to attend in December! My nephew also turned thirteen on the 13th so it was an exciting month of  birthdays. We didn't get pictures at all the parties, but snapped a couple!
Having fun at his school birthday celebration

Watching cousin Matthew play basketball against HP around his birthday

Riding a train around the neighborhood with his buddy Hutcheson at Hayes' party

Holiday Parties
We certainly had plenty of fun opportunities to spread the holiday cheer this season! It started with Sean's company party at Hotel ZaZa. We took some silly pictures in the photo booth and Mason likes to keep the print-out in his kitchen. Mason had several Christmas-themed playdates he attended with his weekly play group and our PTA group. Caroline hosted a fun afternoon happy hour playgroup/gift exchange at her home that the moms and kids all enjoyed. My parents held a Christmas party for my dads office and invited us to join as well. We had a wonderful time hanging out with my dads co-workers and eating the amazing food my mom made, as well as indulging in some creative festive drinks! My friend Lindsay hosted an ornament exchange at her beautifully decorated home where I had fun hanging out with my girlfriends and swapping ornaments! The Pfeiffer's threw their annual Christmas party and we had a blast celebrating with a fun group of couples. Mason came with us to this party and thankfully went right to sleep in his pack n play when we got there. The cold weather hadn't hit Dallas at this point so we were able to spend a lot of time out on their gorgeous patio. The night after the Pfeiffer's party, we attended the PTA Christmas party. My parents graciously offered to have Mason spend the night at their house that night so we didn't have to worry about coming home for a babysitter. We dropped him off in the afternoon and had time to knock out some Christmas shopping and catch a movie before heading to the party! Finally, Pete and Dorrie had us and the Emanuels over for a fun and kid-friendly happy hour that led into a delicious chili dinner. Mason had fun playing with their two boys and the Emanuels sweet daughter Beatrice, and we had fun chatting with Dorrie's parents and treating ourselves to their always delicious spread!

Photo Booth fun at the HL company party
At my parents Christmas party
Play date HH

Christmas play group and lunch at Amanda's

4 kiddos squeezing in a 2-seater wagon. They had more fun than it looks!
Pfeiffer's Christmas Party

Mason's class Christmas party

Checking out Christmas lights with BeBe and Papa while we had a night off!

Christmas get-together at the Andrews

Breakfast with Santa
The school Mason goes to put on a great Breakfast with Santa event that included singing and dancing with the Kidville band, hot and cold breakfasts, auction items, craft activities for the kids, and of course, Santa! The line for Santa was about 15 minutes long so I used that time to help prepare Mason for what to say when he sits on Santa's lap. I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure I heard him saying he wants a 'choo-choo' for Christmas! So sweet. Sean donated one of his picnic tables to the event for the auction, and we took a peek at what the bidding was at before we left and were very pleased with the going rate! We were glad to be able to give back in that way to his school. 
Breakfast with Santa

"I'd like a choo-choo, please"
Dancing with the Kidville band

Sean's donated picnic table

Stella & Dot
I am so excited to announce that I decided to sign on with Stella & Dot as a stylist. I would  never think that selling jewelry through a trunk show would be my thing, but the more I talked to my sponsor about it and the more I learned about the line, I really fell in love with the product and now find myself really looking forward to the time I put in working. It all happened very quickly - I first met my sponsor at a PTA event in early December, signed on as a stylist in mid-December, then turned around and held two launch shows in time for customers to place orders before Christmas! It's been a whirlwind of an experience so far, but I'm finally feeling like I'm getting settled with this new venture and look forward to what the new year holds. You can check the line out by clicking here!

Looking back, it's hard to imagine that all this happened in just a few weeks, and it doesn't even include the week of Christmas (or decorating, gift buying, treat making, card mailing, etc.). It's a very busy, but very fun time of year and we loved every moment. More on Christmas week to come!