Friday, December 28, 2018

Life with Bennett {week 18}

Closing out the last week of 2018 being 18 weeks old! How perfect is that?!?!

We wrapped up our Christmas activities last week...


This sweet boy wore his daddy's old jon jon from 1984!

It fit him perfectly!

We went to a Welcome Home event for my friend Sarah's husband, who is a wounded veteran. He had surgery in August and has been at Walter Reed since Bennett was born (maybe before?). He was finally able to come home to be with his family for Christmas! So we (along with a few hundred others) welcomed him home in the cold and rain! 

You can see the news coverage here and here


Pajama day! We watched Christmas movies for most of the morning.

Then we baked Christmas cookies that afternoon!


More Christmas cookie baking with my little bakers!

That evening, Santa drove through our neighborhood in his red convertible, so we camped out by the front door to look for him!

There he goes!! Back to the North Pole to get ready for Christmas Eve!


Christmas Eve! Ella was a little sad to wake up from nap and find Marshall, our elf GONE! 

He did leave a note and 3 boxes, one for each kid to open later that night.

Then we went to church for the family service at 4:00!

After church, we flipped Lucas's car seat around so he is now facing forward! And we set off to look at Christmas lights!

After we got home and had a quick pizza dinner (we're fancy), my kids got to open their "Marshall presents." 

Each kid got new pajamas and a Christmas book!

Ella: pajamas | book
Lucas: pajamas | book
Bennett: pajamas | book 

Then we left cookies and milk out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer! Ella also sprinkled reindeer food on the front lawn for them, too (glitter and oatmeal; she made it at preschool)!

Then these 3 kids went to sleep while Santa delivered all kinds of goodies!

I'll be back at some point soon to recap Bennett's first Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Our 2018 Christmas Card!

Merry Christmas Eve EVE!
I wanted to pop in real quick and share our Christmas card with you all!

Just like last year, I ordered these using a Groupon from Photo Affections. I am always so amazed at the quality...I hold them up and compare to my friends' card from Minted and I honestly cannot tell a difference! 

My kids had a Christmas pajama photo shoot with Weslie Woodley, so don't mind me as I share a few more! I wanted to put all 50+ images on our card...I seriously love them all!

I also did my annual Christmas interview with Ella...and Lucas, too this year!
Ella's responses are in pink and Lucas's are in blue, but you can probably figure out who said what even without the color coding!

What is on your Christmas list?
Performing Arts Center
A truck!

What is the best part about Christmas?
Ice skating!
I want a truck.

Where does Santa live?
At the North Pole!
Look, an elf on shelf!

What are the names of Santa's reindeer?
I don't know, I can't remember them
I don't know

What do you think Santa's favorite food is?
Cookies, chocolate (and then some incoherent babbling...)

What will Santa bring Mommy and Daddy for Christmas?
Teaching stuff for Mommy and clothes for Daddy
(just laughs)

I also wanted to share a few traditions, more for my own sake! Ella is super good at remembering things year to year, and I am I'm writing a few reminders here for me next year!

Elf on the Shelf:
-arrives December 1 in the morning
-brings the 24 Christmas books with him (wrapped and under the family room tree)
-leaves at naptime on Christmas Eve
-leaves a goodbye letter with their Christmas Eve present (pajamas and a book)
-Christmas Eve present is wrapped in same wrapping paper as the 24 books were wrapped in!

-Each kid gets a "want/need/wear/read" gift from Mommy and Daddy
-Santa also brings them an extra gift
-Santa does their stocking presents/chocolate as well
-Santa does not wrap presents!
-Each kid's want/need/wear/read gifts get wrapped in their own special wrapping paper

I'll be back in a few days for a 4 month update on Bennett (who will be 4 months old TOMORROW--HOW?!)!

Hope you have the very merriest Christmas!!!

Past Christmas cards: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

Friday, December 21, 2018

Life with Bennett {week 17}

Happy Friday!

We've had a pretty epic week in terms of Christmas events and activities! 


Last Friday we kicked off Ella, Lucas and Bennett's 12 Days of Christmas!

Every year I dress my kids up in matching Christmas outfits for the 12 days leading up to Christmas and every year it really does make me question my sanity. I was honestly not going to do it at all this year because hello, 3 kids to dress this year = $$$. But then, in October I started looking through all of the Christmas clothes my kids already had and sadly realized we had quite a few matches. The rest I pieced together by buying secondhand or having my monogram girl make a matching shirt or two! {My instagram is @fergmindy if you want to follow along!}

Speaking of questioning my sanity, I also took all 3 kids to the mall on Friday. I had to return a few things and I was determined to find something to wear to Trav's work Christmas party that Sunday. 

It was every bit of a hot mess as you'd expect. The best part was telling my kids that the security cameras were cameras for Santa to watch them, and they totally bought it! Ella kept saying, "Look Mom! There is another Santa camera up there!" Ha! 


Major GSD (get stuff done) day! I made cookies that Lucas promptly helped himself to...well, actually he helped himself and then took about 20 minutes to eat said cookie. I later found the remainder of it in his dump truck. 


Another Christmas performance by Ella! Lucas was really into the pre-show entertainment!

This time she was an angel!

She did a great job and didn't want to take the wings off! :)

Sunday night was Trav's work Christmas party. Bennett helped me get ready!

Shoutout to Kathryn and Chelsea for answering my 290478 texts about what to wear! This year, the party was at Topgolf so it was way more casual than in past years! Which meant I couldn't do my normal Rent the Runway dress and I had NO clue what the heck to wear!!!

I ended up wearing this shirt, these jeans and these shoes! The necklace is super old and probably from Target?! 
Since it was crazy casual, there was no performer this year (in the past we have had Jason Derulo, T.I., 2 Chainz, T Pain....). However, Nelly just happened to be in attendance so he got up and just randomly started rapping!

I was SOOO tired, but had to work at the Y that morning!
Bennett got to ride in the buggy for the first time!

The kids all did caroling in the front lobby and it was the cutest thing. 

Bennett in that buggy (far right) is hysterical to me!


We met up with our friends at Gingerbread Lane!

Let me tell you how hard it is to get 6 kids under 5 to take a picture!

Both of my big kids loved looking at all of gingerbread houses, but it was SO hard not to touch! 

This one was my fav:

Bennett enjoyed them too!


We had our church story time Christmas pizza party!

Before the pizza, we sang some Christmas songs!

And Lucas played peek-a-boo with the scarves!

Bennett wasn't sure what to make of all the noise, as usual!

Then it was pizza time! Lucas sat in the chair for about .5 seconds and ate 2 bites of pizza.

After nap, we were feeling inspired from Gingerbread Lane, so we made our own gingerbread house!

To be honest, I was surprised Ella even let Lucas touch anything!


Yesterday was the ultimate adventure: we went uptown to see the singing bears!!

And yes, Chelsea and I totally planned to have all 6 of them match! People looked at us funny 😂

In past years, we have taken the light rail Uptown but yesterday it was pouring rain nonstop. No way was I waiting out in the rain with a stroller. So we drove. And paid $21 for parking. 
We will be taking the light rail every year from here on out! 

Apparently, everyone else with children in Charlotte decided to visit the bears yesterday too and we saw no fewer than about 10 different families we knew! 

These boys sat and watched the bears for about 1/2 of a song...then they were walking/running laps around the bears. 

I'm just really glad Chelsea's husband came along with us to chase the boys, and also to get this picture:

Mamarazzi in action!!

After a picnic lunch, we went across the street to the Ritz to see the Winter Wonderland

The girls wrote letters to Santa, while Lucas wouldn't take his eyes off the train that ran around the gingerbread house!

He was so obsessed with it that he actually managed to reach over the fence and disconnect the last car from the rest of the train. Whoops. Since the train was still moving, I couldn't reconnect it, so we just ran out of there quickly before Lucas got in trouble/arrested. If anyone from the Ritz is reading this, I am SO sorry for my crazy child's actions! I hope that poor train got fixed! Please let us back next year!