Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Most Wonderful Break Of The Year

Since Caleb is a teacher, Christmas break is always his longest break of the year (he's works full time painting during the summer). We always look forward to 2 full weeks together.

We sure stayed busy and got a lot out of these past two weeks! We celebrated two birthdays (Elliana's and mine), Christmas, New Years, we got away for 3 one night mini-vacations, and we spent lots of time with close family and friends.

The break started out with Ellie's 5th birthday party. She loves to swim, so we went swimming with family and then headed back to our house for pizza and strawberry shortcake for dessert. The strawberry shortcake was her idea and it made things easier for me. Score!

I feel like a terrible mom, but I was juggling so much for Ellie's birthday that I don't have one picture from her party. Not one. Oh well, hopefully I can steal a few photos from my MIL later on. ;)

The next day we were treated to lunch and The Nutcracker by My MIL. This is a fun annual tradition that started last year. All of the ladies in the Howard family ages 4 and up get to enjoy a girly day. So much fun!

The next several days were a whirlwind of finishing Christmas shopping and wrapping gifts.

I should mention in the midst of these crazy first few days of break we were nursing our little Emsley back to health. She was on breathing treatments due to having the flu and developing bronchiolitis. It was a long, scary week but she bounced back even faster than the Dr.'s expected her to.

Then, on the 23rd Caleb's brother Nate and his wife Amanda came into town for Christmas. They stayed with us for the first night. They live in Kansas City and we always enjoy spending time with them. We so wish we could see them more!

Here they are hanging out with our kids when they came to visit us after Emsley was born.

While they stayed with us they agreed to photograph Emsley for her 6 month pics. When they visited us last summer, they took some newborn/family shots of Emsley and I adore them! I so love Nate and Amanda's unique talent! Any time they post their most recent photo shoot or video, I check it out and I'm always impressed. I'm so happy for them for making their dream come true. I can't wait to see how Em's most recent photos turned out!

The next 3 several days were kind of a blur. You know how Christmas Eve and Christmas festivities go. Christmas Eve we visited our old church with Caleb's family and then enjoyed a fun, casual dinner back at his parent's place.

Early Christmas morning Ellie ran into our room right at 7:00 AM and announced "It's Christmas! Merry Christmas!" I just love celebrating Christmas with young children. :) We waited and waited for Ethan to wake up on his own, but after an hour of waiting we decided to wake him up ourselves. The kids opened their stockings and then we read the Christmas story to them from their children's Bible. After reading to them we continued on with opening gifts with just our little family of five.

About mid-morning we headed to my parent's house for Christmas brunch with my sisters and their husbands and families.

Here's my baby sister Courtney and my BIL Jeremy piled under all of the nieces and nephews that make up my side of the family. Can you find my 3 kids? ;)

After brunch we had a marathon of opening gifts to and from each other that seemed to last FOREVER! I guess that's what happens when your family grows from 6 to 18 in 12 years.

Still, it was a wonderful morning/ early afternoon.

These 2 cuties gave us a little Christmas gift by sitting up on their own for the first time! It's going to be fun watching them grow up together.

After we finished opening all of the gifts, some of the family went on a long walk to a nearby park (it was exceptionally warm this Christmas). After the walk our family headed home for some naps and for me to make some food for Christmas dinner with my cousins and Aunts and Uncles. We're a huge group!

We played our annual gift exchange "game" after dinner and Caleb and I ended up leaving with one of the gifts we brought. Ha! We didn't mind too much though, because we left with the board game Apples to Apples, and we already enjoyed playing that game on New Year's Eve. More on that later...

The next day we headed to the Howard family cabin to celebrate Christmas with Caleb's side of the family. His side of the family is somewhat large too, but not quite as large as mine. The highlights from the cabin were celebrating Christmas, eating yummy food, spending more time with Caleb's family, and definitely at the top of the list is sledding at Beaver Meadows. SO much fun, I think we could have gone sledding all day!

After 24 hours at the cabin we headed home for 1 night and that brings me to my 32nd birthday and the second half of Christmas break. I'll post more on that later though...

1 comment:

Courtney said...

I can't believe how fast Christmas break goes for our family now. Between birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and all the in-between stuff it's over before you blink. We are both excited to get back to a normal routine finally.
I can't wait to see the pics of Em either, they always do such a good job capturing your kiddos.

About Me

My Photo
I am a daughter of the King. Saved by grace. Follower of Christ. I love my God and I believe that he is faithful and true to his word! I'm still figuring out and trying to follow his plan for my life. I am a wife to my best friend Caleb, a mother to my miracle babies (they are my greatest joy and challenge), a sister and best friend to 3 passionate women, and a daughter to 2 amazing parents that continue to teach me what it is to be real and faithful to God and his word. I am lucky to get to be a stay at home Mom (thanks to God's provision). I love music, singing, coffee, cooking, baking, traveling, our beautiful state of Colorado, and mostly being with the family and friends that I love!

Husband, Caleb

Husband, Caleb
Caleb is an amazing husband and father. He is always so good to me. He is my best friend. He is the romantic one. We love to laugh and spend time together. We've been married for 7 years and I just love that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

Our 1st Miracle

Our 1st Miracle
Elliana Faith... God blessed us with our first miracle little girl in December 2008. She is sweet, smart, spunky, funny, strong willed, precocious, extremely outgoing, vocal and so full of life! She brings us so much joy.

Our 2nd Miracle

Our 2nd Miracle
Ethan James,.. God blessed us with our little boy in March 2011. Ethan was a bit of a surprise and an even bigger miraclle. Ethan is ALL BOY! He is very active, into sports and running around. He is also sweet, introverted, affectionate, and laid back. These days he often has us laughing, he's starting to show a little bit of "clown" in him. He makes our hearts happy too. :)

Our 3rd Miracle

Our 3rd Miracle
Emsley Jeannette... Our surprise baby girl was born on June 11th, 2013 and came into the world 4 weeks early. Her first 2 weeks of life were spent in the NICU, but due to God's hands and the prayers of many people, she grew quickly and came home to join our family! She is an easy, sweet baby and we are enjoying getting to know her personality.


We fight one day and then the next day we're fine. We're always loud and crazy when we get together. We're very passionate. We've been through it all together, lots of ups and downs. We're eachother's biggest supporters.


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