Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trail of Lights

The Trail of Lights is back again this year in Austin. It's good. No, really, it is. Ahem, but it is no Wimberley.

I'm fairly reluctant to share this with you lest it become over-run and crazy... but I will. It is the season of giving and all. Trust me when I say you need to pack it up and move on over to Wimberley, TX to experience their Trail of lights at the Emilyann Theater. Quite frankly, it feels like a present. Hot chocolate, smores, weenie roast, line-free visit with Santa, letter drop off for North Pole, train rides and GIANT dino lights. Did I mention free? Bam. Present.

It is a family favorite for sure. Couldn't have come at a better time for this gal and her crazy crew.

*Disclaimer. Capturing a normal picture of Gabe wins said photographer a slushie.*

 Hooray, Wimberley!

O' Christmas Trees.

When you lose both your grandmother's in 6 months, work nights during the outbreak of flu season, and feel like you have more than requested piled oh-so-high on your plate, you do what all sane people do. You buy two Christmas trees.

I mean, is there any better way to fill the holes of missing and tired than to cram it full of pine needles, twinkle lights and holly jolly goodness? I'm all about the self-medicating and let's face it, I'm a sucker for Christmas trees.

Meet our trees.


and "Muffin."

Decorating Sarge was all my efforts (so fun!!) while Muffin was much more of a collaborative approach. Prepare yourself. Gabriel is far too in love with his much too tiny thermal. He's bringing back the mid-drift. Holiday style.

Molly really wanted to hang the star this year, even though it wasn't her turn. She went so far as to climb Kelly and attempt an "accidental" star hanging. Sorry, long n' lean. Not this year.

 Gabe really put in full star effort. Pine needles in your belly button? NBD.

Short legs, short arms and a HEAVY torso. It wasn't pretty.

Milo went all judgey-faced on the whole situation.

Never fear, Milo. Muffin's got her star now. Here's to using your head, Kelly May.

O' Christmas Trees. Indeed.

Thanksgiving 2013

So. Here's some good news to the 2 people that follow our blog---we are still alive. Our Austin home did not fall in to a great November 1st sink hole. Here we are just rocketing through this holiday season. Anyone else still snacking on Halloween candy out there and look up to see that this week is Christmas? Holy Cannoli! I am so thankful for Amazon Prime and that lovely 2 day delivery. Without it, holiday shopping just may not have happened this year. Been a little hard to map our ever-commuting family these days.

Well, basically for this past month, we feel very much like Dallas residents again. This Thanksgiving, we were able to go to Dallas for a nice week long visit. It was a great chance for us to have some quality time with each of our families which was long overdue since we hadn't been back to Dallas since July. There was pie night and cookies with Gigi, cousin park time and a rather exquisite cousin talent show. The Thanksgiving season felt different, empty in some spaces with some missing loved ones but joyful in the parts between. Ain't nothing wrong with a little bit o' joy.

I will say, I am continually in awe of how life continues in stride long after key people we love are no longer here. Pie night has always been my most favorite memory with my Granny. While, the pies will never taste as good as they did with her sitting beside me, spices in hand---what she grew and created with her little bakers is perhaps even sweeter than pie.

This thanksgiving, I was thankful for laughter.

 For traditions.

For family...

But most of all, I was thankful for time.

Typically, when we come home to Dallas, the first place that we head is to my Mom's. She is always home, the lights are on and the house is alive ready to welcome her guests. Thanksgiving lunch is always so loud, so full of family at Grandma's, only silenced for but a minute while Grandma says grace. This year, the house was empty when we arrived. My mom had moved in with my Grandmother to be her supportive company on her last little journey of cancer. Thanksgiving didn't include all our cousins and aunt/uncles because what was needed most this time was calm and quiet. 

Such a very different Thanksgiving, and yet there was such a great opportunity to have quiet, individualized time with our favorite Irish gal. Each of my children were there to visit with her... Lucy even snuck in one last open-mouthed kiss. We drove home weary, quiet and thankful. It was of little surprise that our Thanksgiving trip was our last visit with Grandma. She died the next week. Such a special visit that I will treasure for always. For the cousins, aunts, uncles and friends that were greatly missed at Thanksgiving... so many were there to celebrate Grandma's life in the way that she would have most house, busting at the seams with the people she loved most in the world. 

Joy. Laughter. Traditions. Family. Time. 

So thankful for it all.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Halloween 2013

Oh, Halloween. How I love you so!

Seriously, what's not love? Costumes all day and candy before bed. SCORE.

Oh, and waking up to this cutey asking you if it is "Hellobean yet."

Yes, Lucy. It was.

Our May Family Hellobean. I seriously love me a family theme but alas, Gabriel really wanted to be a Ninja turtle this year... well... after I talked him down from being "Death". Mama needs a few years before the scary costumes.

I guess technically they were all animals.

The post trick-or-treating/pre-candy-crashing moment sure felt magical.

Happy Hellobean!!!