Saturday, December 17, 2011

::christmas came a bit early::

since we are going to be out of town on christmas day, we decided to celebrate early so we could have a special day together as a family.

our kids are at such a fun age and were so grateful and excited about the whole morning.

we just finished reading charlotte's web with lily and she has been so hoping for a pig of her own. her excitement was absolutely palpable when she pulled her very own "wilbur howden smith" out of her stocking. she adores her new pig.  adores.

crosby d's first christmas celebration. what a gift you are, big man.

merry christmas to you all!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

::sweet nativity::

complete with a live llama, chicken, donkey and baby goat.  the kids loved it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

making a gingerbread house is not nearly as easy as it looks!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

is this so wrong??

the weather here has been amazing.  

it seemed so strange to be putting up a christmas tree and wearing shorts.  but, you better believe i've been loving it! 

our kids were playing with the hose yesterday and both ended up soaked.  they wanted to take their wet pants off and keep playing. 

classy, right??

oh, and a little shout out for all my howden family -- the day before thanksgiving, lily said, "mama, isn't about time we started singing for health and food and loving friends?"  
yes, it is girl! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011


there are few traditions i hold more dearly from childhood than those surrounding the christmas season...
going to my grandma's house on christmas-eve-eve to have a family dinner.

waiting on the landing with mugs of steaming hot chocolate with excited anticipation of what waited for us downstairs.

the big family christmas party at our house every christmas afternoon.

as our family has grown and our kids are getting a bit older, we have been excited to create some traditions of our own.  however, there are some from childhood that are too wonderful not to be passed on.

my grandfather, poppy, used to read twas the night before christmas for us every christmas eve.  i remember such a giddy excitement growing within me as he read.  i would feel so safe, so tucked in, so loved,  and so eager for santa's arrival.  

my parents recorded that story for our kids in a book and we got it out yesterday as we decorated.  finn has carried the book everywhere with him and hearing my parents' voices read that familiar story from all corners of our house has made me so happy.  we will most certainly enjoy it in the days to come and especially on christmas eve.

and every holiday season, we would make ornaments as a family from a salt and flour dough.  they are truly some of my favorite ornaments and my dad's enormous and beautiful santa still tops our family tree proudly.  looking back at the handmade ornaments tells such a story and reminds me so much of growing up.

so, this year, we mixed up the dough and set to work.  lily and finn loved it and i love our new additions to the tree.  i am sure in years to come we will reminisce about these ornaments and our last christmas in this home.  and it will bring such wonderful memories...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

::so much to be thankful for::

happy thanksgiving!

we hope you all have had a wonderful day today.   we are sending our love from c'ville!

we had a restful and relaxing day and i am overwhelmed by all we have to be thankful for this year.

we missed our family dearly and wish we could have seen everyone today.  but, we did have a sweet day celebrating just the 5 of us.

crosby's first turkey trot and first thanksgiving!  
(he didn't seem to mind the trot at all!)

a thanksgiving-eve viewing of a charlie brown thanksgiving.  the kids were in heaven snuggled with us and eating popcorn.  

the kids were so excited for the feast that they waited at the table for about 30 minutes prior to us eating.  they were especially excited for the "treat pie!"  they couldn't wait to choose between pumpkin and the end, they of course chose both! :)

we are so thankful for all of you!  much love!

and on a sweet note of thankfulness, tonight we went around the table telling what we were thankful for.  after we had gone around once, lily said, "i am thankful for God."
and then finn said, "in my crib today i prayed to God and told him i loved Him."
oh my heart about melted.  sweet boy of ours...

Friday, November 18, 2011

::my little lumberjacks::

and yes, finn is this much of a ham.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

::we have arrived::

i can officially say that crosby is sleeping through the night.  hallelujah!!

i prematurely thought we were there a while ago (oops!) but can now truly say we are sleeping all night.

after 10 1/2 months, it feels like heaven.  i think it will take us a few weeks to truly catch up, but i am so happy with the forward progress!

good work, big guy!!

Monday, November 14, 2011


i am so thankful.  

ryan had a conference this past weekend in las vegas.  he was provided with the funding to go and my parents SO very generously offered to come watch our kids so that i could accompany him.

it was an amazing getaway together.  

i was so caught up being carefree that i neglected to take any pictures.  but, maybe it is better that way.  

vegas was pretty crazy and not exactly what i had pictured.  but, the cherished uninterrupted time ryan and i had together was exactly what i had dreamed of.

thank you SO much, mom and dad!  we love you!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011


before finn was born, i remember feeling sad that my love would be divided and lily would not receive as much undivided attention from me.

fast forward a few years and the bond between the two of them is so amazing and beautiful that i cannot even fathom entertaining that worry again.

as crosby has gotten older and more of his personality has emerged, it has been absolutely wonderful to watch his relationship grow with lily and finn.  he.adores.them.  truly.  adores.  his whole face lights up when they enter a room and his mood can go from sour to contented just by seeing them.

i especially love it when lily or finn has time alone with crosby.  it is so sweet to see the tenderness they have for him.

finn was pretty thrilled with himself this morning when crosby was laughing hysterically at his antics...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

::our little warrior::

on sunday, ryan, duke and i completed the tough mudder.

let me tell was tough.

but amazing.

we traversed about 10 miles up and down wintergreen's mountains all while completing 25 obstacles.
we climbed over walls.  we dove into pools of ice water.  walked balance beams precariously placed over pools.  hung from cargo nets.  walked through fire (literally).  swung (and did not fall) from monkey bars.  and  ended with a bang as we ran through 10,000 volts of electricity.

it took such mental grit and camaraderie.  i never could have completed it without ryan and duke.  we each helped one another at various points and we all had our tough and weak moments.  we were able to help total strangers and encourage people we had never met before.     

it was one of the hardest things i have physically endured.

but, it was nothing in comparison to what crosby (and duke) went through in the NICU.  we were so thankful to be able to raise money to support the march of dimes all in thanks to generous donations from our family and friends.  and we were so thankful to be able to give back in a tiny way for all the care crosby received while in the NICU.  and it could not have meant more to us that duke came all the way here to be a part of our team, to support us, and to help contribute to the goal of giving back to the march of dimes.

it felt so full circle to complete the course together, especially with duke by our side.  to see his strength and health as we worked together gives me such hope for the man crosby will be one day.

thank you duke and ryan for being such an amazing team.

and thank you so very much to our friends and family for helping us to give back to those who supported us so much this spring.  we could not have made it without you.

thank you.
the start line.  do you see duke?  second row back, blue shirt, red headband.

how amazing are these guys?  whole course in suits?!

the finish!

us at the crack of dawn.  and clean and shiny.  not for long...

crosby, we love you so very much.  your grit and toughness inspire us each and every single day.  we love you, little warrior!

and of course, lily and finn.  we adore you.  sporting our team LFC apparel pre-race...