This Christmas was by far our best and most special yet. The girls are at the absolute perfect ages for all the magic, still obviously young enough to believe in everything and be really into it, but also old enough to understand.  Waverly did not miss a thing, loved every little part, and Avalon was beyond precious.  It was the first year she actually wanted to open her own presents and her little eyes were just wide open the entire time.

Christmas Eve was really busy for us, we spent most of the morning at brunch with family and then afterwards spent some time at home wrapping last-minute gifts, baking cookies for Santa, and letting the girls watch marathons of Christmas movies.  We had an early dinner at my grandparents, exchanged some more presents, and then headed back home to get the girls ready for bed.  This is always one of my favorite parts, I love watching them set out the cookies for Santa and throw out the reindeer food, this year more than ever I kept thinking about how sad it will be when one day they don’t believe in it anymore!!  After they finally made it to sleep, we played Santa for the sixth year now!  This time definitely took the longest to set up (note to self for the future, set up the toys that have a lot of steps the week before and hide them!), we were exhausted by the time we were finally done, but going to sleep knowing how much the girls have to look forward to in the morning is always well worth it.

Christmas morning was everything, there is always so much anticipation to it but it also never disappoints.  Waverly got up first, per usual, and waited for Avalon, and then we all ran downstairs to find that Santa had came!!!  Waverly had asked for all things Shimmer & Shine, and Avalon wanted all Peppa Pig, so they were both excited to find a bunch of that, along with a new dollhouse and easel for their joint presents that have already been used a ton.  We also got them both jump ropes and hula hoops, Waverly had asked for them but of course we knew that they would fight over them if we didn’t get two of each.  Avalon calls them “hul-ee hoops” and it is my favorite!
The trade-off for a busy Christmas Eve is that we get a Christmas day spent entirely at home, which is really important to us.  We had family stop by through out the day and hosted a dinner that night, the absolute best way to end a beautiful holiday. 

My brother has been in town from Colorado this week so we are soaking up some extra family time and looking forward to ringing in the New Year in a few days.  Merry Christmas, friends, hope it was perfect!!!! XO

December, you are our forever favorite.  And we cannot believe you are already almost over!!  Before this month started, I made it my mission to really try to spend as much time at home slowing down and soaking in the season this time around, and though things were crazy our way, I really think we accomplished that.  The girls spent endless hours in their favorite holiday jammies, watching Christmas movies and baking and coloring and just being kids, and we also were able to make it out to enjoy some of our annual holiday traditions.  Before I sign off for the weekend and my winter break, I thought I would share some pictures from our December, and document some of the things I never want to forget from this year’s Christmas season.

The girls running down the stairs each morning to find our elf, get their treat from the advent calender, and piece of chocolate from our Trader Joe’s countdown.  Waverly almost always wakes up before Avalon, asks me 249 times if she can go wake up her sister (the answer is always a hard no), paces the hallway outside of her room, while secretly trying to be REALLY loud to “accidentally” wake her up.  They never missed a morning of pure joy running downstairs to find him, though we most definitely missed a couple mornings of actually moving him to a new place.

This was the first year that threatening calling Santa actually worked really, really, really well — and it was amazing.  We have been using the app where you can actually call him and his face pops up, and I swear you even mention it and both girls freak.  Waverly even went running and hid one time, I am really going to miss this in the new year.

The ornaments coming on and off the tree daily, or maybe even hourly.  This one actually drives me CRAZY.  Watching your kids put ornaments on the tree while sweet holiday music is playing is simply magical, watching your favorite glass ornament fall to the ground and break because your kid was playing with it for the hundredth time is not.

Listening to holiday music in the car, at the house, and watching the girls dance to it on repeat.  Waverly’s favorite is Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Avalon’s is Jingle Bells, the only time they don’t ask for me to play them is when they are asking to watch Home Alone or the Trolls Holiday Edition.

Avalon’s little voice saying “Santa a little scary, mama”, and asking me to hold her every single time we even talk about him.  Both my girls do not like dressed-up characters, this was only the second year that Waverly even agreed to get near him, and that lasted about 2.5 seconds.

The holiday season with little ones is just the best, I never thought I could love Christmas more than when I was a kid, and this definitely tops it.  We are three days away and I am tired, but my heart is full.

From our family to yours, we hope you have the happiest, merriest Christmas EVER!!!!!!!  XO

Today is the last day of school before winter break for all three of us girls, and goodness we are READY.  Life has a funny way of bringing you highs & lows all at once, this week we got some really exciting and wonderful news about a job offer for my husband and then just a few hours later, learned that we needed to put our yellow lab to sleep.  I got our dog, Bogger, for my husband as a Christmas present about a year before we were even engaged, and ironically here we are fourteen years later, losing him a week before Christmas and trying it explain it to our two little girls who absolutely adore him and have never known a life without him.  It’s been heartbreaking, to say the least, but we know that he lived the happiest life and is in a much better place.

Yesterday morning, I was completely struggling after saying goodbye to him and watching the girls give him hugs for the last time.  I dropped Waverly off to school and before heading to school myself, made my morning Starbucks run (bad habit!).  There was a huge line, and once I finally made it to the front, the sweet lady who helps me each morning let me know that the car in front of me had treated me, she handed me coffee and told me to have a wonderful day.  And it seriously brought me to tears.  Of all the cars, and all the mornings, fate just worked out that it was me getting the sweetest gesture at exactly the time I needed it most.  The person in that car didn’t know anything about my day or how I was feeling, and will never know, but that small act of kindness meant the world to me.

So today, I plan to pay it forward in my own way.  And I challenge you to do the same.  Life sure has it’s hard moments, but it has really beautiful ones, too.  Finally, sharing some pictures of our little ladies, their outfits are by Jojo Maman Bebe and I adore them so much.  Such sweet, classic & timeless looks — you can find their website here.  


Most of the time I still consider myself a new mom, it’s totally cliche, but I really can remember those first days bringing home a newborn Waverly Maye from the hospital like they were yesterday.  Feeling so freaking overwhelmed but also so in love, going on dreamy, magical little family walks around the neighborhood where our rented condo was, and then spending hours during the night crying and completely helpless because I didn’t know why she wouldn’t go to sleep.  The time since then kind of all blends together but somehow, here we are, five (& and a half) years later with a kindergartener and her two-year old little sister.  And in all actuality, I’m not a new mom at all.
So I thought I would take a break from my regularly scheduled holiday programming today to document our life lately with a legit “big kid”.  Though I will forever call her my baby, she is far from it and I was reminded of just that this weekend when we went to her school for a holiday craft night and book fair.  We really try to stay connected to her school as much as possible, one of the hardest transitions from preschool to kindergarten (for me!) has been not really feeling a part of it as much.  So every time we can sign up to volunteer, attend an event at her school, or have a family member come visit her for lunch, we always try to make it happen.  It’s so fun to see her in her element, and it’s a reality check of how mature & grown-up she is. 
The night of her event, we walked into the gym and I pointed to all the booths we could go visit and also showed her that Santa was there, and about FELL OVER when she responded, “ummm mom, I have eyes, I can see”.  She waved to about fifteen different kids, most of them older than her.  She didn’t hesitate to walk over to them and say hi, and they all knew her name just like she knew theirs.  Her top pick from the book fair was a Shimmer & Shine diary, that even came with a key, and the next morning I found her hiding in the bathroom writing in it.  That was right before she requested a shower rather than a bath, closed the curtain because she “needed her privacy”, and then made her own lunch.
All this to say, we have officially entered the phase of parenting a kid.  If you would have asked me a year ago if I was ready for it, I would have said hell no (and that I never would be), but I’m kind of loving everything that comes with it.  She’s turned into a little BFF, someone I can shop with and watch Fixer Upper with (she can even last through the entire thing without being distracted!) — she loves to hear stories about “when she was little” and literally cannot wait to lose her first tooth.  She’s started reading books to me and likes to brush my hair, and the sweetest ever, she begs every night to hold Avalon and sing to her, just like I have done for both girls since they were born.  I will forever cherish my time with my kids as actual “babies”, but this stage has its own magic, just in a different kind of way.  Love them both forever and ever.
And on a side note, SEVEN more days until Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!  Not that we are counting or anything! XO

Does anyone else feel like the Christmas season has flown by this year, more than ever before?  One minute it just turned December first and we had all the time in the world, and the next I’m getting emails that there is still time for last-minute gifts.  Seriously, don’t blink.  I can’t even think about the fact that 2018 is just a few weeks away.

With that being said, I definitely still have quite a few gifts to buy — but thankfully am pretty much done with the girls and I cannot wait to see their little faces Christmas morning!!!  Waverly’s list is rather extensive, she’s totally my child and a true shopper at heart.  She can find something she wants anywhere (like even the gas station), so she’s been adding to her list since early summer and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.  Avalon Elle, give that sweet girl a bouncy ball and a bag of candy and she is GOOD.  So funny how different they are!  We decided to get them a couple big joint presents this year, a dollhouse and an easel, and then a few little toys that fit with each of their favorite things right now (Waverly is all Shimmer & Shine and Avalon is Peppa Pig!!).  One of my favorite parts is also filling their stockings, I thought I would share some of what we have planned so far. 

Hat BookDollsNecklacesCrayons

I remember always loving to open my stocking as a little girl, my mom always put so much thought into things that really fit our personalities at the time and I hope my own kids will love it just as much.  It really is the most magical morning of the year.

Lastly, I also always love to put a few fun bows in their stockings, with two little girls it’s just a must, and this year teamed up with Sandy at Zozu Baby on the cutest, most festive bows & socks for the season.  If you are still in need of some holiday goodness, you must check out her shop, everything is adorable!!

Merry December, friends! XO