making spirits bright

Scenes from Christmas 2014: There were pajamas, costumes, pajamas that looked like costumes and costume jewelry. There were impossible-to-find Harry Potter Legos for the boy on Christmas morning and a fancy dinner for the adults on Christmas Eve (I was responsible for the fancy table setting but not the fancy food...thanks in-laws!). Now that we've had a couple of days to rest we're gearing up for New Year's Eve. I'm hoping the girls can make it until at least 8:00pm this year.



those are some lights

Last night Alex and the girls and I celebrated some serious Christmas cheer at Mozart's Coffee on Lake Austin. The word around town is 1) this coffee shop produces one of the best light shows in Austin and 2) it's an Austin tradition; you have to go! So we went, and the lights did not disappoint. This was a Texas-sized light show, and perhaps better than 15 minutes of crazy lights dancing above your head was Scout dancing at your feet. She had her own choreography thing going the whole time. It was pretty amazing. (The dancing.)


snow white returns

It was the second day of our first half of Christmas break--Girls' Only Vacation. That means that today was an all-day dress-up affair. The Halloween costumes were resurrected as Tillie became Snow White--"Don't call me Tillie! I'm Snow White," she declared--and Scout was a fairy princess turned Cinderella. We went to the movies dressed like this (we does not include I), and we ate popcorn and Red Vines (we does include I) while watching The Book of Life . There were waffles for dinner, and Scout told me "today was a fun day." Score one for Mom!


day at the museum

Today was the first day of the kids' two-week winter break. It was also the first day of Catcher's five-day vacation in Houston with his grandmother. Alex is in Oklahoma for work, so that left the girls and me home alone. We had a calm morning--after they devoured gingerbread house candy at 7:30am--and spent three hours at the Thinkery this afternoon. I almost don't want to write this for fear that the secret might get out, but Friday afternoons are bizarrely quiet at the Thinkery. Even the first Friday of winter break! It was a win-win for me: the crowd was under control, and I only had to keep my eyes on two children who wanted to do all the same activities. Scout and her shadow.


pajamas and a pea coat

Today was pajama day at school. It was also the day of the Christmas party where someone let a certain first grader have too much sugar and not enough structure, so he was a terror on the way to his sister's ballet class. But you would never guess that by looking at this sweet angel.


skipping with the girls

Just your average 75-degree December day here in Austin...Alex skipping with the girls on our way to see Catcher's "Celebrations" program at school this afternoon.


a capitol tree

One of the great things about having your child enrolled in a preschool directly across from the state capitol is we get to have class picnics on the lawn (which the school also uses as playground on occasion). Another perk is that, odds are, one of your child's classmates has a parent who works at the capitol, so during the holidays she can get you up close and personal to view the Christmas tree in the House of Representatives chamber (otherwise roped off to the public). Tillie and I accompanied Scout and her class on a field trip, which means a short walk, there on Friday afternoon where we partook in carols in the rotunda and a Texas-sized tree in the chamber. It turns out that getting a decent shot of a class of four year-olds in front of the giant tree isn't as easy as gaining access to said tree.


look of the week

Not to be outdone by her big sister, this little one is developing a style sense of her own.*

*Of her own, in my humble opinion, is greatly influenced by the other girl.


christmas card spoiler alert

You have to take a lot of pictures (a lot!) to get a halfway decent one of your children--you know, where at least two of the three are looking at the camera and/or smiling--for your annual Christmas card. I had what I thought was a great and Pinterest-y idea for our card this year. The execution did not go as planned. But why should it when working with a six, four and two year-old? Here are some of the outtakes from this year's photo session. And let's be honest: we put ourselves through the madness of coordinating outfits and repeating phrases like "get closer together" and "act like you like each other" for the chuckle we get when sifting through the outtakes. Or is that just me?

P.S. None of the photos below made the final cut, and no paper lanterns were injured during this photo session.