Wednesday, January 8, 2014

post holiday update {in pics}: baby news, being tired, and my favorite Christmas gifts

The last few weeks of this year were wonderful and, if I can be honest, they were exhausting too.

I love the holidays, but it kind of felt like I was running a marathon, and my body and mind were so very tired by the end.

After it was over, I just felt so thankful for all of the work to finally be done. I know every season won't be this way, and this is just life now with a house to run, homeschooling to do, 5 kids to love, babies to kiss and nurse and change, parties to go to, guests to prepare for, classes to teach, a blog to write, presents to shop for and wrap, food to buy and make...

It was all a good work, I think. It was a good tired to be.

I so enjoyed the little break I had from everything after Christmas- I didn't blog or teach classes for the most part. I needed to recover, and it took me nearly a week to feel somewhat normal again. I'm even more thankful for a cold January now to stay in the house, read books, and find a good routine for the new year. 

I have lots of fun things to share in the next few weeks {Lord-willing}, but I wanted to catch up with a few pictures {okay, lots of pictures...hahaha!} of our last month:

1. The baby is {as we say in Texas} growing like a weed!! He has outgrown all of his 9 month outfits and is now into 12-18 month sleepers! He loves his sisters and brothers:

 2. He rolled over from back to front for the first time last week {a feat in itself since we never actually put him down... ;)}:

3. We had a wonderful {beautiful} Christmas Eve with my in-laws:

Everyone is growing up! It's happy and sad all at the same time.

4. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: this baby has been one of the most joyful blessings we have ever received. I am so thankful he is part of our lives. :) And this is one of my favorite pictures of all time: 

5. I think I might have fallen even more in love with being a mama this year. Is it possible to give a baby too many kisses? {the answer is probably yes, I found out after accidentally inhaling Zane slobber...always remember to wipe the baby off before you kiss him, Mandy...}. 

5. We almost never buy toys for the kids {the grandparents love to give them}, but this year, we gave the girls these cozy coupe shopping carts, and they were over the moon. :D

6. Shoes were the present of the day for the grown-ups:

If ankles could talk, they would be smiling thanks to these new Brooks running shoes:

7. But the best present of all was seeing our family. My brother Josh and my sister-in-law Cayse drove 7 hours to stay with us. We MISS them like crazy. Don't tell, but I secretly tried to use Zane cuteness as leverage to make them move back: 

He's got her in his grip... I'll let you know if it worked. ;)

8. They gave Noah a magic trick set, and his amateur skills had us rolling and in tears: 

9. Rob gave me this book for Christmas, and I devoured it over the break. It was so good, I want to read it again this month.

10. 2014 means that these boys will turn 9 and 11. They're getting so big already. Make it stop.

7-8 more years? This isn't possible. 

I really want to make 2014 last a little longer. Rob and I set goals for the new year, and one of them is turning our focus to doing more fun things with the bigger kids like overnight camping and game nights. I want to soak up this sweet season of young ones as much as I can before it changes.

How do you plan to enjoy the season that you're in this year?

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