happy 4th of july!


happy 4th of july, everyone!  we are having a wonderful day hanging out at home.  it’s been lazy and just what we needed as a family.  i got to sleep in and the boys have spent all day outside playing with their magic sand.  i got some tie dye kits from target on clearance and we just finished an epic tie dye session!  we are all so colorful (we don’t need no stinkin’ gloves!)  it looks like a bunch of hippies live here!

IMG_2246 IMG_2229 IMG_2235 IMG_2231 IMG_2243anyway, i hope you and your families have a fantastic weekend!  stay cool and Happy Birthday, America!




happy christmas…


this post comes through a haze of sleeplessness, sparkling wine and happy, screaming toddlers.  if you are a parent you understand what christmas morning is like with little people up before dawn (really, it’s still the middle of the night) ready and excited for the wonderful gifts waiting to be opened.  my parents had the tradition of placing our stockings on our beds, which i thought was awesome growing up, but i now know it is a brilliant plan for getting an extra half hour of sleep! go santa!




the boys were overjoyed and chris and i were overwhelmed and our hearts were so full because of the amazing gifts our parents and siblings sent for our boys.  really, you guys gave the kids too much and we cannot possibly begin to thank you enough.


right now, the littles are driving around in their power wheels jeep that my dear friend gave to us (it is a hardly-used hand me down from her son) and would not accept any money for.  felicia dee, you are a dear and i have many whiskey sours for you over the course of our friendship together. 😉

so, as this tired mama finishes her glass of wine and turns off the dvd left in the player downstairs, i want to wish you all a very happy christmas and many happy returns for the new year.  the house of mayhem and chaos will continue in 2014 and i have lots of fun things to talk about with you.  so, cheers and be sure to take some time today to love on your families and sit back and smile at the bliss in your life.



encouraging a sense of wonder and magic…

the holidays are truly a magical time and i love sharing the sense of wonder i see in my boys this time of year.  starting at halloween with the quest for a costume, the excitement carries straight through christmas.

when i was a kid growing up in phoenix, halloween was trick-or-treating at grandma and papa’s; thanksgiving was (and still is) my favorite holiday–a time of just being with the people you love the most; and christmas was decorated palm trees and cacti everywhere you looked, fun times with the cousins at one house or another, picking out really fancy, fluffy christmas dresses at irwin’s baby shop, and a magical night when santa brought stockings and one gift  (which was weird because grandma jerry and santa had remarkably similar handwriting.)  my sister and i would wake up early on christmas morning with our stockings at the foot of our beds and spend the next hour going through them to see what treasures we got.  then, we’d go into mom and dad’s room, wake them up and wed ‘ll sit on their big waterbed, sloshing around, and show each other what was in our stockings.  i think i miss that tradition the most.  there was no snow at our house, but the holidays were magical nonetheless.

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now that we have children of our own, christopher and i love the joy we see in their eyes at the first snowfall of the year, their excitement at decorating for halloween, thanksgiving and christmas and the wonder of everyday life as they discover new things.  the countdown to christmas is especially fun.  we got a sew-it-yourself advent calendar wall hanging from target and the boys “decorated” all the ornaments themselves.

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one thing we are going to do this year is start the tradition of the “elf on the shelf.”  three seems like a good age to introduce the elf and i want a new encouragement for good behavior.  i got our elf (also at target) and just spent some time wiring his arms and legs because i think our elf will be very adventurous and maybe a little naughty.  i want the boys to know that even though we and the elf are asking them to be very, very good, that is a lot to ask and we understand if they misbehave.  even the elf won’t be able to be good all the time.  we will also be receiving a letter from santa on thanksgiving saying that our elf is on his way and to be on the lookout for him.  i like the idea of sprinkling the seeds of anticipation at thanksgiving.

i’ve been perusing pinterest for ideas for the elf and ran across this awesome thing some parents are doing to foster a sense of wonder and magic for their children.  it made me think of things i can do to foster that in my boys.  i think i will adopt the mischievous dino idea and incorporate it throughout the year, not just at christmas.


i want my boys to continue to look at the world through wondrous eyes.  i want things to always seem magical and i want their imaginations to bloom.  as adults, it’s hard to find the time to see the magic but that is something i want to foster in myself as well.  i get a glimpse of it every year at the fourth of july when we stand under the stars and watch the fireworks and when the first snowflakes of the year fall.  it wells up something inside me that i remember from being a kid.  i never want to lose that and i want to encourage for myself and my family all year long.

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what do you do to encourage a little magic in your life?