Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve @ GreatMama & GreatPapa's House!

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Me and my lovely, latin family (notice I'm the only blonde/not almost black haired person?) We celebrate Christmas Eve and Ryan's maternal grandparent's house every year. We eat the tamales we made and froze on Tamale Night. Ryan's grandpa actually makes toys in his wood-shop for the youngest grandkids (and great-grandkids) like a real, live Santa Claus! And his grandma paints them and sews blankets and outfits for the dolls. It's wonderful.

1. Gimmy, gimmy, gimmy, gimmy...!"                                                                                  2. True love.

3. Complete satisfaction. No interest in any other presents.                             4. We love our GreatPapa!

*the annual cousins in christmas pajamas shot. perfect.

Monday, December 24, 2012

'twas the night before Christmas...

* Wendy Lou, 4 1/2 years old, Christmas Eve 2012. Sleeping with the new doll her Great Grandmother had just given her that night.

Can't you just see the visions of sugar plums dancing above her head?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sorry Harvey.

*my children with the real Santa

Christmas 2012
Wendy 4 1/2 years old & Harvey 1 1/2 years old
Does it make me a bad mom if I love this picture? Sorry Harvey.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Introducing Michael Marshmellow

This year my mom, who is the best grandma around, bought us our very own elf on the shelf. Wendy named him "Michael Marshmellow." She said she chose "Michael" because "it's such a brotherly name," and "Marshmellow" because "she loves sweets and so do elves." (She loves the movie "Elf" and Will Farrel has taught her that elves love sugar- I seriously believe she would eat the maple syrup, chocolate syrup, marshmallow, m&m, pop-tart spaghetti for dinner if I let her). 


The month of December is so fun and exciting with a 4 1/2 year old in the house. Every morning she wakes up with a twinkle in her eye. She runs out into the living room and searches for Michael Marshmallow. She giggles with excitement when she finds him and runs back into our room. "Mom, close your eyes and hold my hand. You HAVE to see this!" Then, she literally drags one of her parents out of bed and down the hall. We pretend to keep our eyes closed and shuffle along behind her. I can't help but smirk at her excitement. When she finally gets to wherever he's hiding she tells us to open our eyes and relives her excitement as we get to discover what mischief he's been up to for ourselves. Just the expression on her face is enough to melt me... I wish I could bottle this up forever.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Williams Family Together 2012

I always LOVE our family photos by Amelia Lyon. Every couple years, I get to reap the benefits of the talents of this sweet friend of mine. I feel so blessed. The pictures she takes of me and my family are priceless to me. I joke that if my home were on fire, I would grab my children and my Amelia Lyon pictures. But seriously, I'm not joking. The rest of our 2012 family pictures are up on her blog: here

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Williams Style Thanksgiving

Every year our Thanksgiving is awesome and crazy busy. 
Here's the breakdown:

8:30am: Get up and go play a flag football "turkey bowl" at the field in my parent's neighborhood. I usually play for a minute then watch all the kids while their dads play. The SMART wives send their husbands with the kids so they can cook in peace. Maybe I'll get smart next year too :)

11am: Come home to put baby boy down for an early nap (it's gonna be a looooong day & he's gonna need it) and finish cooking up the side dishes I was assigned.

2pm: First Thanksgiving feast at my parents house with my dad's side of the family. He is the oldest of 7 kids,  I'm the oldest grandchild and grandkids are still comin'= lots of people and lots of fun. We eat on their beautifully landscaped drive way (sounds random, but it makes for a very nice atmosphere - would you expect anything less from a talented landscape architect?)

5pm: Head on over to the in-laws for a SECOND Thanksgiving with Ryan's Mom's side of the family. We have perfected this art of too much Thanksgiving by learning to eat light and ONLY eat your very favorite dishes at each house (at my parents, it's my Grandma Lamb's rolls, my dad's salmon instead of turkey, Aunt Chrissy's pumpkin cookies, and Martineli's sparkling apple cider. At the in-laws, it's Aunt Annette's creamed corn, my mother-in-law's sweet potatoes and Aunt Jacque's apple pie). 

By the end of the day, I have cooked in & cleaned up THREE kitchens. Maybe some day we'll get the guts to tell my sweet mother-in-law that we need to trade off every year because it's too draining. It's too hard, though, when your families live 5 minutes from each other and eat at different times. Plus, you feel a little un-grateful because having those 2 families so close is really a huge blessing in our lives.

Highlight of the day:
ME: "Wendy, you need to take four more bites of turkey, before you eat dessert, because you're four years old."
WENDY: "I. don't. eat. animals."

EVERYONE started cracking up. It's purely because of her hate for the taste/texture of meat, not some deep love for innocent creatures. She has never preferred the taste of meat. I make her take bites of white meat when we have it because she is a finiky eater and that girl needs some protein. My little vegetarian.