’twas the night before Christmas….

a stellar and original post title, i know. but bear with me…..

i always thought i would have MORE time as my children got older.

more time to do stuff for myself.

more time to do stuff by myself.

more time to do what I want to do.

i’m finding that’s NOT the case.

even though all three are in school (alex for 2.5 hours a day, 3 days a week and 2 hours a day 1 day a week), my “alone time” is spent running errands,

eating lunch,

folding laundry,


cleaning the house,

and more.

there’s no relaxation.

no rest.

no soap operas and bon bons.

trust me.

there’s NONE.

if there were, i’d tell you, so you could have hope for your future, too.

instead, i’ll be the bearer of bad news and tell you that unless you’re getting paid to blog, it ain’t gonna happen automatically.

so here we are.

me WISHING i would MAKE more time to write.

to share photos.

to tell stories.

to vent.

to blog.

to dream.

but honestly?

i’m thankful i’m busy.

i LOVE my munchkins and after a period in my life where i never thought i’d marry.

and then never thought i’d have kids,

i’m THANKFUL to be here. surrounded by laundry and dirty dishes and kids’ shoes all over the house (one child in particular is VERY HORRIBLE about leaving his three pairs of flip flops EVERYWHERE except where they should possibly be. and yes it’s december and YES that child still wears flip flops as often as he can get away with it. i shouldn’t hound him as much as i do – i used to wear flip flops in december in NW washington. he’s WAAAAAAY better off here in Arizona than I was in Washington!).

but i digress, as usual.

christmas eve was low key around here for the kids.

i spent the day cleaning.

and baking (i spent about 4 hours in the kitchen just churning out cookies and fudge and treats).

and cleaning.

and i delivered tasty treats to some neighbors.

oh…. and did i mention that i chose to POTTY TRAIN the youngest?!


for almost FOUR AND A HALF YEARS i’ve sworn up one side and down the other that i was FINISHED with potty training.
“i’ve done my time – i’ve trained two,” i said, “the last one will have to potty train herself.”

and then my friend potty trained HER third child, who is 15 months younger than alex, over thanksgiving break. and i was JEALOUS.

and mad.

and frustrated.


and i decided it was now (meaning “winter break”) or never.

and since alex is FOUR AND A HALF (almost) YEARS OLD,

i chose NOW.

the week of Christmas.


yes, i did.




and all that explains that in some of the photos you are about to see, you will enjoy seeing a dark-haired, big eyed sweetie sitting on a potty. because what’s an advent calendar crammed all into one night without a bit of potty training on the side?!

my amazing father-in-law keeps making these great gifts out of wood.

i love wood.

(or should i type it this way: #ilovewood)

and he keeps surprising me with his skills and abilities (it’s a relatively new hobby for him). this not-a-Christmas-present gift did not disappoint:



coolest advent ever.

did your father-in-law make you one?


then back off.




he rocks. he and mom put this whole thing together.

cut, sanded, built, painted, printed, cut, filled….


yep. i know it. best in laws ever.

no, you can’t have them.

they’re mine.

and taryn’s. and sterling’s.


i’m selfish.

and i don’t like to share.


IMG_8868 IMG_8865 IMG_8862 IMG_8856 IMG_8853 IMG_8846 IMG_8838

so after opening ALL 24 blocks from the advent calendar….

and reading ALL the strips of paper (the story from Luke 2) out of order….

(i MAY have dropped the advent when i was pulling it out of the box and the wrapped boxes may have fallen all over the guest room floor and they may not have been numbered so they may have been put back onto the tree willy-nilly….)

and eating only ONE day’s worth of chocolate….

and putting ALL their coins into their wallets….

and reading the ADVENT story IN ORDER from 1 to 24….

it was FINALLY time for a poorly timed photo shoot:


where i eventually (after 2 minutes) gave up on getting a decent photo of all three munchkins in front of the tree…..

and we proceeded to open our Christmas Eve presents.

(which were NOT jammies this year)…..

mommy went first….. i scored some AMAZING wonder woman pjs.


i’m stoked.

i even shared a photo on instagram (yes, i finally joined a few months ago!) and Facebook.

then it was dave’s turn: he scored a new, LIGHTWEIGHT sweatshirt. solid black. while not thrilling, it’s something he’d been wanting and he’s worn it several times already.

davey was the next obvious choice (age order from oldest to youngest on Christmas eve):

IMG_8880 IMG_8881

i think he was a WEE bit excited to get the next book in a series!

samantha was actually rather patient (sniff! sniff! she’s #growingup) waiting for her turn to open her gift.  But when she found a ridiculous amount of GLITTERY SPARKLES on her new shoes THAT FIT, her excitement could NOT be contained:

IMG_8885 IMG_8886

and darling Alex, the potty-trainee, was last (but NEVER least).

though i have no photos of her, she opened a NEW SWEATSHIRT. it’s cream with gold hearts on it. she calls it the “heart sparkle” sweatshirt and wears it every chance she gets.

i guess it’s a good thing we skipped pjs this year.

well, except for me.

i am LOVING my wonder woman jammas!

and that, my friends, concludes Christmas Even in our home this year.

hopefully i’ll share Christmas with you. and our adventure SINCE Christmas. and our adventures BEFORE Christmas. but i’m not going to make empty promises. just know that i WANT to be here with you. i think CLEARER when i spend time here. but it’s just not always possible at this time in my life. and that’s okay.

i’m learning.


i guess i’m growing up, too!


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