Monday, February 1, 2016

The Little Things

Time for a moment of honesty. Most nights around our house are not exceptionally fun. We do all the usual stuff: have dinner, talk about the day, clean up, take baths, read books, go to bed. But from time to time, there are those special days where the stars align and everything just seems right with the world. When those special nights find us, we tend to make the most of them. Here's a sampling of what one of our recent family nights looked like. Now, for the first pic, you need to look real close to find Noah's tiny feet sticking out of the pile. The rest of him is buried under 70 pounds of brother and sister.






I won't lie, it's possible that one of the things that made this night possible was the chance for Aidan and mom to go with one of Aidan's best friends to see Star Wars...again. At the Moviehouse & Eatry...again. 

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Awkward Family Photos

Ryla and Noah are often thought to be twins. it makes sense. They're pretty much the exact same size, and at only 14 months apart they have some really similar developmental traits. We were concerned that being so close in age could lead to some friction and fighting. We were wrong. 

These two are so obnoxiously close to one another that they border on inseparable. Ryla has learned to use this closeness to her advantage. Her latest trick was to con Noah into wearing her leotard. That's not weird, right? They both appear to be very proud of themselves. But in the years to come it's very certain that Noah will not be proud of these incriminating images. 


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Pre-Team

Ryla does nothing but gymnastics. That's really not an exaggeration. You ask her to walk across the house and she will cartwheel the entire way. You ask her to play in her room, she'll do handstands on the wall. She watches a show, she'll practice her back walk overs off the couch. What's the result of this? Oh, just that she gets moved up to pre-team and is officially a level 1 gymnast. Nice work, Ryla. Now, please try to act excited...
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Aidans 7th Birthday

We're not really sure how we ended up with a 7 year old. The kid is just so big now! This boy 100% hates to wear anything besides basketball shorts and t-shirts, but isn't he a suave looking little guy when we can bribe him to dress up a bit?

Aidan's a pretty happy kid in general, so this picture doesn't seem too out of the ordinary. But this is the moment he found out what his birthday present was. Wait for it...a trip to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He was over the top excited.

We didn't just go see Star Wars, we went to see Star Wars at the Moviehouse & Eatery. The kid just knows how to rock a recliner.

Aidan has an intellectual bent, so when Papa sent him his own chess board, he was really excited. He hasn't beat dad yet, but the day will come- probably sooner rather than later.
Oh yeah, that's a light saber from Aunt Kelli...no big deal.
And now for the party. This year Aidan wanted an American Ninja Warrior party. And since we live in a cool city, there happens to be a parkour gym that offers exactly what he wanted. Aidan and 15 of his friends were able to run wild in a real (mostly) kid friendly Ninja Warrior course. Complete with a real warped wall.

















Thanks to all the family and friends who reminded Aidan that he's a special little dude.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dressember...Man Style

When Cliff and I talk about what our kids will do when they're grown we dream about Ryla being some ultra talented executive who finds a productive and healthy way to exercise her desire for things to be done her way. We laugh about Noah being an entrepreneur because he just has to do things his way. And when we talk of Aidan's future, we're confident it will involve something along the lines of being in the Peace Corp, running a non-profit, or being a modern day St. Francis of Assisi. 

We have good reason to come to this conclusion. Here's an example of how we get this idea. For the month of December, Mom and Ryla participated in Dressember. This is where ladies where dresses for an entire month to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking. Aidan overheard Mom explaining this to Ryla and was troubled that he couldn't participate. 

Of his own accord and with no prompting or direction from any adult influences, Aidan asked if he could open up his drink stand to serve hot chocolate. He said he wanted to donate all of his money from selling drinks so that the little girls didn't have to be slaves! Seriously?! 

The kid ended up raising around $150 over the course of the month. On one hand, we're like, "Yay, we're so proud of our little guy!" But on the other hand, we're like, "Kid, stop making mom and dad feel guilty for not be as selfless and altruistic as our 7 year old child!" 


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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's Christmas Time

November and December is crazy for everyone. However, in our house, those months bring 2 birthdays, 3 major holidays, and an anniversary. This means we cram an obnoxious amount of good times into these two months. The kickoff to the season this year was getting the lights up on the house. Things went much quicker this year (and by quicker I mean slower) thanks to the addition of three "helpers." They each had a job to do while on the roof. Noah brought dad each new strand of lights, Aidan was responsible for the zip ties, and Ryla was on clipper duty so dad could trim the ends of the zip ties. 

What is Christmas without eggnog with good friends. This crew of 7 always has a great time together. And their good times usually end to two sets of very tired parents. But they're just so cute!
And how could we forget about the school programs. Ryla switched Preschools at the end of her semester. She was done early enough with one school that she could make the program for the new school. She had only been to school there one day, but that didn't stop her from finding her way to the spotlight with her bestie Adalyn. 
So Noah was an "angel" for his program. What's completely ironic about this role is that when he's at school he really is an angel. He's the kid in class that drives everyone else nuts because he's so good. We've learned to use this to our advantage, though. Whenever he's having a particularly devlish day at home, we just tell him we're going to call his teachers. He miraculously changes his little attitude immediately.











It's pretty normal for someone in our family to get sick around this time of year. Between the kiddos being little and the incredible pace at which we live during this season, it's inevitable that someone comes down with something. This year Aidan was the one whose lucky number came up. Three days before Christmas he got slammed by Strep. Since he's super tough, though, he was back to 100% in less than 24 hours.
When Christmas Eve rolled around it was time to make some Santa cookies. Again, the three little "helpers' really streamlined the process....


And of course we had to take a trip to see Santa.

Since we've moved to Austin we've adopted the tradition of a Christmas Eve service. Because of it's proximity to Christmas morning it's pretty easy to coerce the kids to get dressed up and smile for pictures. We're still not really sure what we'll do when they figure out the whole Santa myth.
By all accounts we had a fantastic Christmas season. We've got one more birthday coming up in January before we enter our "Ordinary" season. Thanks to all our friends and family who have made this a great time of year.

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