Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Aftermath

Christmas Eve started out like this...

And this...

And there was a little of this...

Which eventually led to a whole lot of this...

And a few too many of these.

So we decided to start fresh the next day. Christmas morning started out looking like this...

And this.

But very quickly led to this...

And this...

And eventually this.  We may have a little work to do in the moderation department.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feelin' The Love

Four score and seven years ago....oh wait, wrong speech.  Seven years ago today, I married my best friend. That moment marked the beginning of a wonderful journey.

We moved across the country to Idaho and bought our first house. The house in which we bought our first Christmas tree, put up our first lights, and began to create our own holiday traditions.

We became parents to the most amazing daughter, whose love makes us better parents, better partners, and better friends.

Our little adventure has not been without a cost.  Our journey to Idaho has meant we now have family and friends scattered in all corners of the globe.  Friends we once saw every Friday for cold beer and hot pizza now take months (or even years) to see again.  Family who used to live just up the street now take two time zones and three plane changes to see. 

But there is one time each year when we get to see them all.  Each December, opening the mailbox becomes more than just an exercise in picking up bills and thumbing through catalogs. It becomes our connection to the people who have touched our lives. Each December, we have watched people fall in love, seen children grow, and for just one small moment, been a part of the families we love and miss.

Thank you, for helping us stay connected and for reminding us that the world isn't such a big place after all.

Happy Holidays - May 2012 be full of wonderful adventures (and maybe a trip to Idaho)!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Reason For The Season?

Yes, you read that correctly, I ended that statement with a question mark. David and I are not inherently religious people.  Spiritual might be a better word, as long as it doesn't involve attending church on a regular basis (although I did have perfect attendance in 6th grade Sunday School).  But when it comes to Christmas, we are ALL over it.  For the last seven years, we have put up a tree and hung our stockings.

But this year was the first year we put up a manger.  Since we met, we've argued every year about which type of figurines to buy.  I like the really simple ones and David liked the super traditional style. When we finally found these (thanks, Mom), we knew it was the perfect fit.  That is, until David put the set together.  As I came over to admire his work, I immediately realized something was terribly wrong. 

 You see, there was no Baby Jesus. 

In a panic, I called out to Morgan to see if she had swiped the little guy and shoved him in her purse or maybe put him down for a nap in the fridge.  She was adamant that she was not involved.  At this point, David assured me that Baby Jesus was safe and sound.  Apparently, Catholics often wait until midnight on Christmas Eve to place the baby in the manger.  This was a totally foreign concept to me, as the Baby Jesus I grew up was super glued to his little bed. 

So I innocently asked, "Just where are you keeping the baby until then?" -- Without hesitation, David slid open our end table.  Sure enough, there he was.  Needless to say, I was appalled. It's one thing to keep a Christmas tradition alive but a whole different story to keep Baby Jesus locked in a drawer. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's All About The Improv

As I was watching Morgan freestyle her Christmas moves in the living room this morning, I couldn't help but notice she actually had a little rhyme to her reason, a little wiggle to her jiggle, a little hokey to her pokey. Right up until we got about 58 seconds in...I am pretty sure the nose picking wasn't a part of her original choreography. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elfity On The Shelfity

For those of you who do not have small children or have otherwise been living in seclusion, let me introduce you to Elf on the Shelf.  This creepy little guy has taken Christmas to a whole new level. No longer is it enough to tell our daughter that Santa will know what's up.  We have now infiltrated our house with a full on Christmas spy.

Part of the mystique behind elf on a shelf is that children cannot touch him.  If they do, he will lose his magic.  Instead, parents place him on a perch somewhere in the house under the guise that the elf is watching everything that goes on and will report back to Santa.  In theory, it's supposed to serve as a tool get your child to behave until Christmas morning. In practice, we're already having some mixed results.

It started when Nana and Grandpa stopped by to celebrate Nana's birthday (Happy, Happy, Mom!) - They read the cute little book to Morgan and talked to her about how the elf works. Morgan even got to name him.  I didn't want to end up with some random name like Shoelace or Bologna (I'm a control freak, I'll own it), so I gave her two lovely Italian names to choose from:  Mario or Luigi.  She picked Mario -- strong choice.

Once they finished reading, it was time to see just where Mario had set up camp for his first night in our house.  Being the good little Italian elf that he is, he took a spot on top of our wine rack -

That's Mario, way back there, already lurking.

But then, as usual, things got derailed.  Because we were excited to use Mario as leverage to get Morgan to follow the rules, we had already told her Mario would be reporting back to Santa on whether she ate her dinner and picked up her toys. Girlfriend decided that this was not sufficient and that Santa was going to need the whole story.  She ran to the bathroom and scurried back with her toothbrush.  Morgan then grabbed David by the back of the hair and swung his head in the direction of Mario.  "Dad, tell Mario I am brushing my teeth RIGHT now. Tell him that I am a listener and that he needs to tell Santa TONIGHT." 

Oh yeah, he's telling Santa...right after he takes two aspirin and puts some ice on that head injury.

Monday, December 5, 2011

When The Moon Hits Your Eye

I am pretty much a mutt.  I am part Irish, part Scottish, and maybe even a little Norwegian.  The closest thing my family ever got to celebrating holidays of our heritage was when my mom dyed all of our pancakes green on St. Patricks Day  (Don't worry, Mom, the tradition is alive and well.  Morgan will totally know her roots.) -

David, on the other hand, is 100% Italian.  So Italian that he actually knows which one of his relatives came over on a boat. So Italian that he actually had a grandmother who would squeeze his cheeks and yell out phrases in a language that he couldn't understand. So Italian that he thinks a major component of parenting includes teaching our daughter and her friends how to make their own pizza.

Frankly, I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Apple Does Not Fall Far

I am prefacing this post with the following disclaimer:  My husband is vehemently opposed to me posting the picture below.  For some strange reason, he thinks the picture is unflattering.  I don't know what his beef is - I didn't catch any plumber's crack or toe jam...although you may be able to see a little belly button lint if you squint really hard. 

The point of this post is really much more about those funny moments as a parent when you can't help but appreciate how much your child resembles each of you.  Last month, I asked David to put Morgan down for her nap.  This process usually takes about 5 minutes.  When he hadn't returned 30 minutes later, I started to wonder what the hell happened.  I slowly cracked open the door and discovered two little sleeping beauties, one in her bed and one crashed out on the floor.  I thought about leaving him there, but then I realized his snoring had the potential to not only wake Morgan up, but scar her for life.

Not two weeks later, Morgan randomly started falling out of bed every night.  I found her under her window, next to her dresser and even behind her door.  Then one night, I discovered her sprawled out on the floor like some crime scene photo, looking just like David.  There are so many ways that I am glad Morgan takes after her dad...I'm just not sure this is one of them.