|New Year's Eve 2013|
|New Year's Eve 2013|
Papa Ed became the #1 celebrity around our house during the Holidays. Papa goes ALL OUT for Christmas and the Snow Village is only the tip of the iceberg. If Papa's name came up, Bee would grab her boots and head for the door because she wanted to get to Papa's house to play. Tom and Todd spent Christmas at mom's this year and that was another big draw, so we spent lots of days at Grandma Ginny's and Papa Ed's house. Everything from the twirling Christmas tree, the Snow Village, the snowing Christmas tree, the choo-choo trains, the movie theater and even the stuffed singing frogs were enough to blow this little girl's mind open. When we would return home I got the feeling that she was pretty underwhelmed by our regular old Christmas tree and measly decorations. It's hard to compete with Mr. Christmas himself! We had some family and friends come enjoy the Snow Village and Bee was super proud to show off her awesome Papa.
|Tea party with Uncle Tom in the loft|
Every year I make a conscious decision during the Holidays to scale back, do less and enjoy more, but it's proving to be an impossible challenge. There is just too much fun to be had! We didn't check every last thing off our Christmas bucket list this year, but judging by the level of exhaustion from my kids, we enjoyed more than our fair share of holiday cheer. Visiting Temple Square after Christmas was sort of awesome. Still lots of people, but less of the crazy shopping crowds. Even in the bitter cold the Temple grounds can keep that little bit of Christmas spirit alive.
Russ and Jana put together a beautiful little Christmas Nativity program for the Duncan grand-kids this year. Is there anything cuter than this? Clearly, no. Ellie and Cody ran around the house playing Mary and Joseph for an hour afterwards. I was so proud of my little angel and Shepherd boy. Five grand babies under 4; the greatest success of the night was this picture on the stairs. A favorite new tradition has been born.
|We miss her everyday, but especially at Christmas.|
When you have kids...Halloween is fun again. However this year I had a $0 budget for costumes and negligible amounts of desire, time, and energy to make anything memorable. Abracadabra! We borrowed costumes from the CKJ's and it was perfect. Our sweet and salty concessions combo was super fun. The afternoon before Halloween I pulled the red tutu out of a bag in front of Phoebe and her eyes popped clear out of her head while she exhaled a gargantuan "WOOOOOW!" Big hit, that tutu. Cutest red M&M you ever did see. And Julian's popcorn head poking out of his popcorn bag literally stopped traffic during the trick-or-treating at the Foothill Village.
A blog worthy milestone: The Bradlee Duncan's celebrated 10 years of marriage this month. Here's the thing about marriage (mawage...). You can never predict what problems you will face as newly wedded and blissed out on love. And the problems you do inevitably face as a couple, as a family, and as a deeply flawed human being, are never what you think they will be. At our ten year mark I'm not going to write that I'm grateful for the challenges we have faced, even though I might admit that sentiment in an honest conversation with a friend. That particular colloquialism has the tendency to sound trite. Because those challenges are real, are hard, it hurts, and we are equally human. I will say that marriage continues to be a refining process for both of us and if there is one thing I know for certain, it is we are yoked in this partnership equally together. I'm often amazed at where his strengths pick up where I'm lacking and vice versa. Ultimately I'm grateful for his easy temperament and passion for life. He's thoughtful and the true romantic in our relationship. He's my confidant and sounding board. My #1 fan. He sticks his long bony cold freezing feet on me. every. single. night. But you know what? He's still the one.
Posted by gina bina at 10:15 PM
You have these days as a mom, where you want to freeze time just so everything would be still that you might step back with a long breath to pause and simply marvel at the little people who own your heart. This was one of those days. She is one of those people.
My mommy heart had been craving some one-on-one time with Phoebes and Willa's Fairy Festival seemed like the perfect evening outing for us girls. We were first timers to the festival, which was wonderful and magical, even for the adults. Little fairy's (and pirates, and gnomes, too!) running all over the gorgeous host estate. All for a good cause. We met some of our besties there too, which made for a super fun glitter filled evening. The weekend before I made a quick trip to the craft store and was able to whip up a fairy wand for just a couple dollars. I like my wand, I mean her wand, so much I don't let her play with it. Ha! Spending precious time with my fairy was just what I needed that day.
|Friends: Bee, Jane, Caroline, Leah, Gigi|
"You can do anything you think you can. Knowledge is literally the gift of the gods, for through it you can solve every human problem. It should make you an incurable optimist. It is the open door."-Robert Collier