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Celebration and Survival Modes

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 in The Fam

We’ve been cycling through a series of celebration and survival modes the past two (and a half?) months…and I have a lot of catching up to do.

If you were wondering where your Christmas card was I’m sorry, we didn’t get one out this year.  But I LOVE getting all the cards and catching up and seeing snapshots of people’s lives.  Thanks to all who sent one to us!

Backing up….

There was Halloween. Whitney thoroughly enjoyed getting her hands dirty in pumpkins.  I couldn’t resist buying a few extra to cook up and freeze for future pumpkin breads and pumpkin waffles.


It was the best year of getting free candy from the neighbors yet. Tyler and his neighbor buddies made a name for our courtyard with a pulley system connecting three houses with ghosts flying between them.  Dylan says “mom, you don’t need the hat to be a witch” (thanks, son).


Then…I had a birthday in wine country with my sister, the kids and I were lucky to have a special trip to Disneyland celebrating a 60th birthday with dear friends, and we all made visits to each of the great-grandmas (Leslie put on her charms big-time), took a marathon drive home from Phoenix and started a new obsession with Monsters Inc., which we the kids have watched probably two dozen times since.


Helping great grandma smoke everyone in Yahtzee.

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In Monstropolis they say “there’s nothing more toxic or deadly than a human child,” which brings me to our next theme for the past two months: sickness.  We are regulars at the pediatrician’s now, and he looked me straight and said “You have three young kids, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with me this winter.”  Ugh!  We now own a home hookah nebulizer, because Whitney got bronchitis and couldn’t shake the gunk in her lungs.  Poor girl. We all got sick, then well, then sick again.  I think this is our new rhythm.  People ask me how life with three kids is…well, when one of us is sick (especially if it’s me) we can barely get past survival mode. You should just see me mount my soapbox when out in public “hands out of your mouth” “don’t touch that” “off the floor honey, that’s gross” “yucky, there’s germs there, we don’t want to get sick again!!!!” {all efforts are futile, though, I know}

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Thanksgiving involved Tyler’s best cinnamon rolls yet, and Dylan’s first bee sting during our family mile.  To his credit, he ran a whole lap before the bee got him. Poor guy.

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Leslie with her twinsie cousin, Ellery.IMG_7708

We’ve all been enjoying the Googs, as we call her (Leslie/GooGoo).  She started grabbing at things, which quickly progressed to pulling hair (Whitney couldn’t be more proud to have Leslie pull her hair – that’s big sister love right there), and now she sits sturdily and enjoys scooting backward and rocking on all fours.  Starting her engine about to take off, I’m sure.

IMG_5955 IMG_2355 IMG_5975 IMG_2570Dylan is constantly busy…some new favorites are learning to spell words like “poopoowhitney” on a program that will read back to him.  And Candyland.  Can you say competitive?  We’ve played dozens of games and surprisingly he’s won most of them fair and square.

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Whitney loves to sort and fold laundry (some of it I don’t need to re-fold!) and she’s constantly cooking in her kitchen and playing baby dolls – or real Leslie doll, most recently helping us feed her now that she’s started her first foods.

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Sickness through most of the advent season meant that we kept it way more simple than I had planned or hoped, but it still turned out to be a lovely Christmas.  We picked out our best tree yet, Dylan was proud to put up decorations (he’s our little Griswold), Leslie enjoyed Santa (the other two did not), and we hosted Tyler’s parents and brother here for Christmas and had a lovely relaxing time remembering again the story of the birth of Jesus – our hope.

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We did do a quick trip to Southern California for an extended family bash…this year we did something different and stayed right next to the beach so we could wake up and throw rocks in the ocean for an hour before heading over to the party – such a good idea, even though it was brief, we loved it!IMG_7754 IMG_7813 IMG_7787

There you go.  Welcome to 2016.


  1. These photos have made my day! And Dylan’s curls… oooh, I want to squeeze em! Hopefully our crews can be reunited at some point in the new year. We shall see! Lots of love and good things to you ALL!

  2. Despite all the bouts with sickness, the kids look very happy and content! I am so glad you had a relaxing Christmas. We are still “recovering” from a trip to Disney World. We had a wonderful time there, but the 14-hour drive home in the wee hours about did me in. It is hard to miss out on sleep these days! I will attribute it to being in my forties. I read something recently about preventing colds that I have yet to put into practice but might try: supposedly gargling three times per day reduces the incidence of colds by 40%. I think I will try it, because we are sick/well/sick/well here all the time, too. Take care, and happy New Year!

  3. Such sweet photos and wonderful stories. Praying you get over all your illnesses (and no future ones). Thanks for the update!

  4. As always I LOVE LOVE reading your posts!!!! You are an amazing mother Michelle and the kids are a terrific reflection of that. Keep up the good, hard, loving work you are doing. Love to you all and miss seeing you all so much

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