Phoebe flies her kite

And the flying is easy.

My kiddos.

Smiling Jack

Jack and Jules

Lucy and Julia

Bee, running

Julia and Lucy and Jack

Dave and Jack

Lemme have that camera, mom.

Lounging

Jack and the cat

Jack pushing the wagon

Phoebe pulling Jack in the wagon

Jack

Bee

Lucy

Phoebe

Lucy, making Jack laugh

Pushing Bubba on the swing

Hee hee

It was glorious.

(Described in the style of If You Give A Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff.)

If you give a wife a weekend at one of her favorite places…

Our 10th Anniversary at Oglebay

…she’ll want the kids to go along. So, you’ll rent a cottage.

Ash Cottage at Oglebay

When you arrive, the kids will remind you that cottage guests can swim in the pool at the lodge. You’ll go there after you check in.

At the pool

Swimming

Jack and Grandma swim

You’ll feel thankful you asked your mother-in-law to come along and help with the kids. You’ll send her to the spa for a massage and pedicure the next morning. Your wife will want to go with her.

The kids will want to go somewhere special, too. You’ll take them to ride horses.

Ready to ride

Bee's signature pose

Bee and Boomer

Julia and Scotch

Lucy and Prize

Lucy rides

Indoor arena

When the rides are finished, they’ll want to go to the zoo. But it will be very cold and windy. So you’ll visit The Children’s Museum instead.

Bee, the snake charmer

Bee!  Not as tall as the snake.

Turtle

Sand Table

Poetry

Reading nook

Bee, in a mermaid costume, plays with a train

Jack

Sewing

Julia's Quilt

When the museum closes, the kids will be very hungry and tired. You’ll order them pizza and buy the movie Frozen on iTunes so they can watch it with their grandma at the cottage while you, finally, get to take your wife out, just the two of you.

While you’re out, you’ll reminisce about the past ten years. You’ll talk about the kids. Talking about the kids will make your wife miss them. And chances are, she’ll want to go back to the cottage so you can share the rest of your anniversary with them, too.

Happy 10th Anniversary

Christmas is coming and we’re counting down to it, as you know, and that’s taught me two things: 1. It’s very hard to take photographs indoors and at night that don’t look like crap. And 2. Phoebe never wears clothes.

I still haven’t successfully taken a photo for our Christmas card.

We’ve slowly been decorating for the holidays. This morning, I added some Santa hats to a few of our family photos.

Santa hat - Lucy

Santa hat - Julia

Santa hat - Phoebe

The girls went wild over it. Who knew something so simple could bring so much joy? They were bouncing and squealing as they each found the picture where they were the one in the Santa hat. They can’t stop giggling about it.

(By the way, I need to do a MAJOR overhaul of my walls. I have so many beautiful pictures of the kids to frame and hang. Currently, only Julia has school photos up, there aren’t any pictures of Phoebe past age one and NONE of Jack. It just feels so daunting. And with four kids, I’ve got a lot of photos. How do you organize your photos? What do you have on the walls? How often do you update? Do you have any tips? Someone, please. HELP ME!)

Jackson is crawling now, so the primary task of my day is picking things up off the floor and cleaning the floor and oh my goodness HOW DIRTY IS THE FLOOR?!?! And where did all this tiny stuff come from? Barbie shoes. Bracelet beads. Coins. Light Brite pegs that I swore I got rid of back when Phoebe was crawling. I’m finding it all as these are the things Jackson most desires, you know besides shoes and anything else that’s gross. I’d be annoyed if he weren’t so pleased with his newfound mobility and completely delighted with everything he finds. He’s just so happy about it all and that makes me happy, too.

So, I’m almost afraid to ask, but I really want to ask, did you watch The Sound of Music Live? Did you hate it? We watched it and I’m not afraid to tell you that we LOVED IT. There’s been a lot of criticism for the show and mostly Carrie Underwood, but I thought she was Just Fine as Maria – lovely, even. What she lacked in acting chops she more than made up for with singing. But, I think it was Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess that delivered the stand out performance. She was AMAZING. “Climb Every Mountain” brought me to tears. It was the climax of the show for me, and I would watch it again just to experience that moment. It was beautiful.

I’m doing the 12 Days of Christmas for Dave again this year. I’ll be starting it this Friday, which also happens to be the last day to enter my little giveaway. Have you entered yet? I think you should.


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