the true meaning. OR when I wanted to kill my children on Christmas day.

After a day of amazing gifts and fun family moments I was standing in the living room talking to C’s aunt when Bailey came in and asked to whisper something in my ear.

She said, “When do we open more presents?”

And that’s when I lost it.

I told her to walk away from me RIGHT NOW, I excused myself from the conversation and walked across the room to whisper to Chris what SELFISH kids we have. I was aghast. After EVERYTHING they’d been given! After ALL the time I’ve taken to read the Bible each night and do things for others and talk about how Christmas is important because it was the day Jesus was born. I just couldn’t believe it.

So at 6:30pm on Christmas night we took the kids to bed. After having decided previously they could stay up late and skip baths. Instead we herded them upstairs to the tub.

Before they got in, Chris told them to pick up their room and then he wanted us to all sit in a circle on their floor. Of course Parker was already naked and Grayson had NO idea what we were doing! But we all sat down together and Chris told them how sad we were that they just weren’t understanding the true meaning of Christmas. He talked about how some people have so much less than we do and how we need to live as much like Christ as we can and do good for others instead of wanting all the good for ourselves. He talked about what selfish means and reminded them about Jesus.

And then he asked us to all hold hands while he prayed for us.

In that moment I couldn’t have loved him more!

Today was really amazing.  We have the best families and received great gifts (I will link to our favorite gifts tomorrow or as soon as I can) and gave good gifts and were lazy and got to see friends and family we rarely see and it was just perfect. Even when I wanted to kill my children and thought I had failed at parenting completely.

Because it showed me a side of Chris I have never ever seen before. And for the first time, we knelt on the floor of our tiny bedroom holding hands and prayed together. That was perfect.

The three day+two nights PAID trip my parents got us was just a big fat dollop of icing on the magical cake!

Merry Christmas!

the christmas play.

Sunday was the Christmas Play at our church and thank goodness because it came directly between bouts of the plaque. Bailey threw up last Tuesday night and was back to school on Friday when we thought we were in the clear. Of course Saturday at play practice all the moms were comparing puke stories because MAN is there a bug going around! Sunday was great, the play was awesome, we had a fun night of Christmas light viewing and then at 3am Parker started throwing up. Now it’s 6:30am Tuesday morning and Gray is puking. It’s taking them one by one and KNOCK ON WOOD it hasn’t hit the grown-ups yet! But I have friends who went down and went down hard so I’m kind of just waiting. Chris thought he had it last night but managed to make it through the night!

ANYWAY. Since I was up I thought I would post the little video I made of the Christmas play. The focus is AWFUL in this video because it was so dark but kids are cute, in focus or not! Enjoy!

Emmanuel Episcopal Church | Webster Groves | Christmas Play 2010 from Kuhn Construction on Vimeo.

we are the griswalds.

You can’t make this stuff up. Do you guys remember when I pushed a silver VW bug out of the middle of a huge intersection with the help of a one-armed man while my kids watched from my car? That story was just too much to make up! And so is this one.

We decided tonight would be a good night to go get a tree. We were supposed to go last Saturday with my in-laws and eat a great dinner at one of our family’s favorite restaurants followed by the kids running through the tree lot talking Bubba into spending way too much money on a big beautiful Christmas tree, ending the night with ice cream at Ted Drewes. The evening was canceled when a family friend needed us (which was WAY more important than any of the other stuff we were missing!) so tonight was it.

Right after Gray woke up from his nap we loaded the kids in the car, looking adorable in super photographable outfits because of course I was thinking of the photo-op more than anything else. Which is why I forgot a coat for myself and gloves for the kids and why I put the girls in their cute coats instead of the warm ones and why Gray was just in a vest. A vest. Instead of a coat. And about halfway there I realized what an idiot I am when I noticed the outside temperature was 14 degrees. FOURTEEN.

We went on though because Gray was already whining about being thirsty and the girls, who rarely argue, were arguing over every little thing. So by the time we made it to the restaurant we’d chosen I had instituted SILENCE in the car which made our curses audible when we realized the restaurant was closed. No worries, we were on The Hill (the Italian part of St. Louis)… surely we’d find something open. Nope. We went to every place we knew of and each and every one was closed.

By the time we pulled into Bread Company’s parking lot Parker was asleep, Gray was crying for water and Bailey was scared to talk I’d yelled at her so much to JUST BE QUIET FOR ONE SECOND.

Running the 20 feet from the car to the door made us both realize there was no way the kids could survive leisurely walking the tree lot without a trip to the ER to cut off all frozen apendages. So over soup we decided we’d make a run for it. And screw the big beautiful EXPENSIVE tree! If Bubba wasn’t buying we were going Charlie Brown ALL THE WAY.

We finished dinner, drove across the street to the Ted Drewes tree lot and literally sprinted into the rows of trees. And when I turned down the fourth row I hear Chris yelling at me that I’m crazy, to keep going to the back! But Bailey found a sweet tree she liked so I paused before C caught up to us and told Bailey to KEEP MOVING, our tree was in the back! OUR tree that was lopsided and crooked and four feet tall and $30! We signaled to a guy who wrapped it for us so I could pay while I sent C and the kids ahead to the ice cream line. When I finally got to them Grayson was shivering so hard he couldn’t talk so I sent all the kids with C to get in the car while Chris and the high school worked tied the tree to the car while I got the ice cream.



When I got to the car I couldn’t feel anything. Chris was still outside working with the tree-worker so I got each kid their ice cream and within minutes we were on our way laughing about our tiny+cheap+ugly tree we scored! Christmas music was on, we were all munching on our bowls of Ted Drewes and looking at the lights. It was nice and I was thinking that someday we will look back on our tiny little savingforahouse tree and smile. I was thinking this when I mini van pulled up next to us honking which explained the big smile and wave I gave the guy who was yelling YOUR TREE FELL OFF YOUR CAR!!!


Insert record needle scratching the song to a halt as I turned slowly around in my seat only to see our lonely little tree get run over by a car.

I kid you not.

The roads were slick from the 4 inches of snow we got today so Chris slowly did a u-turn and parked the car in front of… wait for it… some kind of homeless-shelter-half-way-house-mental-hospital. He left me doing tennis head between him running through 4 lanes of traffic to get our tree and the random men sitting outside smoking staring at our car. And I swear that if I wasn’t so worried about the men to the right of me or the cold taking my pinky toe I would have gotten out of the car with my camera that hadn’t been used yet to videotape Chris running across this huge street with our tree on his shoulder. Because it was all kinds of hysterical.

And THEN rather than stay any longer in the most random location we’ve ever parked he shoved our gray-street-slush-covered tree in the car forcing Grayson to lean to his right the entire way home.

Since then we’ve convinced the kids we have to LOVE this little tree that’s been run over and we know someday they will recount this story and laugh about what idiots their parents are. The entire way home we kept watching for a semi truck we could drive under to complete the evening! HA!

I’d have done anything to have photos to share with this story. But I don’t. Really, just imagine Chris with this smashed tree on his shoulders trying not to slip while running as fast as he can across traffic in the dark on the coldest night so far and you don’t need a photo!

I can’t make this stuff up!

Elfkin lately.

So the little dude has a sweet tooth but at least the next day he followed up with a healthy snack!

(Last year I cut his hands apart for something and so when I need them together now I use a little straight pin I keep tucked into his belly when not in use… in case you’re wondering how he’s holding things!)

capturing the everyday. at christmas.

I’m falling in love with our everyday again. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it’s because we’re creating some really amazing memories during this in-between time in our lives. SO I’ve kept my camera out more and am actually using it! Even when the house is a mess or the lighting is bad or the kids are mismatched. Doesn’t matter. It’s our life. Right now. And I’m intent on capturing it! Because one day, when we own our dream home (which is NOT our little red house since it SOLD yesterday!) and are years past this time we’re going to look back and want to remember… just like I sometimes miss living in our tiny house in Spokane, newly married with not a penny between us!

SO last weekend when my father-in-law, my brother-in-law and Chris were “forced” to put up the outside Christmas decorations I wanted to capture it. Because it was nap time and they had to go through the kid’s window to get on the roof so the kids were enthralled. Which was funny because the men were grumbly!

Do you love that I accidentally got a shot of C’s winter treat? HA! Every year it’s what keeps him sane and this year is no different… although now that he’s keeping it in our bedroom… HA!

To all the WGHS students that are reading this… this is NOT actually his alcohol. Coach Allen has never and does not ever drink alcohol. It is bad for you and could kill you. He does not condone any kind of drinking at all. Ever.

Just sayin’.

Oh. And do you want to see what ELfkin’s been up to? He got into a little mischief yesterday!

Silly Elf. He got into GoGo’s yarn stash and was all tied up! Under glass of course because one little two year old doesn’t remember what it means to NOT TOUCH THE ELF!

Just wait to see what Elfin is doing tonight! HA!