And Lavender's third. And Geneva's fifth. And my thirtieth. And Avery's thirty-first. And my mom's fifty-fifth. I suppose this explains why I am just now getting around to posting pictures. Our family is getting quite big! It's funny that the holidays seem to magnify whatever state you're in: if you're single, you feel REALLY single; if you don't have children, your house seems very quiet; and if you have a largish family, buckle up! Our plans were simple, our visitors were few, and still this winter has felt very full to me. We baked, met Santa, wrote letters, played outside, saw a parade, read stories, gathered around the fire pit, invented a dessert called "snowman supreme," and rang in the new year with glögg and good friends.
But nothing compares to the experience of watching a tiny being as he beholds all of this for the very first time. I could have thousands of children and this would not get old. So, Merry First Christmas, Ari! Happy first Solstice. Happy first New Year. Happy first everything.
This was going to be our holiday card this year. That was one thing that did not get crossed off the list! Oops.
Letters to Santa
Baking cookies at Nana's house...
...and eating cookies at Nana's house!
A boy and his Daddy!
Visiting Mr. Claus himself. This was as close as Lavender would get!
Ari loves Santa.
Spending some time outside on one of many unseasonably warm days.
...and Hoppy Ball Soccer.
We left a couple of pumpkins out and the girls got to observe decomposition. Hooray for rotten science!
Avery, three kids, and The Polar Express.
Ari and Nana on Christmas morning!
Lavender, using her new chopsticks to pick up her new farm animals.
Lali and her new accordion.
Many years ago, Avery's mom sewed this sock monkey for his cousin Hilary. This Christmas his aunt Karen passed it down to Ari. What a gift!
Out for a walk on the Greenway with Papa.
Geneva exploring an amazing all-wood play structure!
New Year's Eve party! Geneva and Lavender wanted to make something called "Snowman Supreme," and we didn't let not knowing what that was stop us. A few marshmallows, pretzels, and chocolate chips later, we had a new dessert!
It has been a happy winter so far. I can hardly wait to see what the rest of it will bring: more adventures, more smiles, and more firsts.