Monday, January 22, 2018

Christmas cheer.

It's hard to remember a year without a December full of Christmas anticipation, especially since having kids. But this year, anticipation was at an all time high. We had visitors even more exciting than Santa coming to pay us a visit. On more than one occasion Henry was asked what part of Christmas he was most excited about. Uncle Andy & Auntie Cheryl's visit always made the list. Henry basically sat at the window the majority of Christmas Eve morning watching for them to pull into the driveway. What an exciting scene when they did! Henry bolted outside and wrapped himself around Uncle Andy. It took Charlie all of 30 seconds to warm right up and attach herself to them as well.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

We took our Brits for some refueling by way of Mexican Food and then back home to build a fire to relax and catch up in front of. And then of course, we had some very important business to attend to. Uncle Andy even got cajoled into practicing for Santa's arrival before the other prep began.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
{Henry took that last photo!}

I know the holidays are over-commercialized and we spend money on things none of us need. But I can't help but smile at this scene every Christmas Eve.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Christmas morning was a hurricane of excitement. Santa had come.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

We watched Paddington (Pad-car according to Charlie) multiply before our very eyes.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Then even more excitement when Gaga & Pappy arrived to have Christmas breakfast with us.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

We had a wonderful day of playing with family and new toys. That night we had an unusually traditional Christmas dinner complete, of course, with Christmas crackers and ridiculous hats. Everybody started to settle in after a long and wonderful day.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Henry and I, however, found ourselves wide awake after everyone else had gone to bed. Henry knows I'm not the biggest fan of lego play, so when I asked him if he wanted me to assist while he built one of his new lego sets, his eyes lit up. It's kind of amazing to watch him build.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

We absolutely adore having Andy and Cheryl here and have so much fun with them! We went to a Predators game (my first!), on a bus tour of Nashville, toured Bellmeade Plantation, and went to the Space & Rocket Center. Such a full and amazing week! We were so sad to see them head back over the pond at the end of their visit on January 1.

Just because December was over, didn't mean Christmas was over quite yet. Our Ohio family came down for Christmas the first week of January. It always seems like its been far too long since our last visit. I love soaking in the company of these people. Pappy & Gaga's house feels complete when all of us are together.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Can I just add that trying to get a photo of this group is just growing increasingly hilarious and impossible?

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

The last two years around Christmas we have been happily surprised to have weather around the 70 degree mark. That was not at all the case this year. It was so cold outside that it nearly took your breath. It did not stop these three from their yearly trek down to Pappy's pond.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Could this girl be any more beautiful? I'm so proud of her.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

If you know me you know that the minute Christmas is over I'm ready for winter to pack up and get out of Spring's way. I order way too many garden seeds and start planning outdoor projects for warmer weather. Last week, January basically told me I could shove those ideas for a while because it was only getting started.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

In Tennessee 2 inches of snow means an entire week out of school. Our country roads were pretty treacherous so we stayed put for the most part. Mr. Zuill was out of town all week for a work conference so he missed playing with us in the snow. It was soooo cold. On the first day, Charlie tolerated the temperature for about 20 minutes before she started saying "back 'a Charlie's house!", but when she was out there it was magic to watch.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Henry, of course, headed straight next door desperate to play with these guys.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

I'm not the most snow-prepared mother, and I'm fairly certain not one article of clothing Henry had on was suitable snow attire by any standard. The poor boy was frozen when he came in from playing. So cold that only a bubble bath could release him from his misery.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Charlie was content to watch birds at the feeder the rest of the day, with her big pal Gus.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

So that's what we've been up to lately! Thanks for checking in!




Monday, January 8, 2018

Wrapping up 2017.

My word. I am so behind on our blogging its become ridiculous. So quick, while the kids are momentarily distracted, let me catch up!

Since Henry's birthday we have had so much going on- a constant stream of those wonderful fall activities that are so much fun but also exhausting! Halloween is always one we look forward to. After a short run of practicing "trick or treat!" with Charlie the unicorn, we set off with this group for some serious candy collecting.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Dressing up for Halloween is always so much fun. Of course, we'll take advantage of most any opportunity to dress up- like on the 50th day of school. These two!

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

The time between Halloween and Thanksgiving flew by ridiculously fast. Before we knew it we were all lined up on the side of Horton Highway for the annual College Grove Christmas parade. Henry, Ava, & Olivia all rode in the parade again this year and we had perfect parade weather.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

The first week of December also brought treats like "Shelf the Elf", our yearly advent calendars & Christmas donuts, and lots more fires in the fireplace. Charlie was fascinated with Christmas and all its decor this year. We have a big vintage light up Santa that is taller than her that I put in the living room. On a regular basis he got hugs from Charlie while she declared "Best friends!". If you ask her what Santa says, she'll tell you "Ho-Ho cherry pie!". We're still not sure where that came from.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

And of course no holiday season would be complete without a visit to Santa himself. Just as we suspected, Charlie was very unsure of this jolly bearded fellow. She was ok with some proximity to him as long as her Ha-Ha was beside her. But my how things changed if he wasn't right by her side.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

Charlie has lost just about any hints of being a "baby" these days. She is talking up a storm all the time, making four and five word sentences to tell us all about what she sees and exactly what she likes and doesn't. This morning I heard her calling for me and went to get her out of her crib. In the first minute of being in there she had asked me where her daddy and HaHa were and said "It is raining, I can't play." She has really started to do so much pretend play in the past couple of weeks and keeps us laughing with her antics for sure.

Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: January &emdash;

We had some very special visitors for Christmas this year so I have lots of photos to share about that soon as well. In the meantime, thanks for checking in on us!