Monday, January 23, 2012

my favorite part...

Photobucket

my most favorite part of Christmas this year... and maybe ever...
was...
just before bed...
The Excitement!
We set out milk and cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer... then put the magic key outside since we don't have a chimney...
then we sat just the four of us on our driveway under the stars and moon... we hugged our children tight as can be... and Pappa and my eyes met and we were sparkling happy to be in this moment! I will always remember this moment...
Isabelle whispered quietly...
"Mamma, if you are really quiet and listen hard, you can hear the bells..."
it was so beautiful and sweet all at the same time!
we sat there for a bit and listened for the bells... and we heard them.

Photobucket

Santa Claus came!!!

Photobucket

Santa's reindeer were quite messy this year!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Uma and Umpa made the coolest tent!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

thank you Santa... but my darn foot can't keep these sweet Toms on my foot... :-( had to return them to the North Pole...

Photobucket

Photobucket

a surprise present for Pappa... he was so happy!

Photobucket

Photobucket

I love every bit of Christmas... my girls make it magical!!!

Christmas Time...

Photobucket

just came across these pics and had to post... I loved our Christmas time!
It was magic!
I love the coziness of it... it's a nice reward after such a crazy busy season with our photog biz...
We plan it right finalllllly... so we are OFF the week before Christmas!
I dream of it... and when it happens... it's like fireworks good!
Like I never want it to end good!

above... Skyping with Farmor & Farfar is so wonderful... technology these days is fantastic!
you can feel so connected to those you love all over the world!

Photobucket

can I just say... we will NEVER do the hard gingerbread house... you know... the one that requires melting sugar... spun sugar... sugar glass windows... ya that kind! NEVER!
from putting the roof on upside down... to crashing front of house... to broken chimney..... THEN...
Then...
Pappa Mattias yelling a VERY LOUD word that I maybe shouldn't write... just in case...
but it starts with an "F" and it wasn't fudge.
to me running in to see what happened...
to me grabbing the SAME pan that he BURNED his hand on...
then I said the "F" word!
to me soooooo burning my hand like the whole grabby part of my hand!
so bad that I couldn't let the hot water of my shower touch my hand bad!
ya, it hurt... and NO there will not be SPUN SUGAR EVER in our house..!

Photobucket

marzipan santas... much better!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I love how Christmas makes children prance and lift their hands up like fairies... it's magic! totally is! and I love every day of Red & Green!

Photobucket

This is how we do it...
Christmas Eve!
We celebrate at our home Christmas Eve as Swedish style... that's when they celebrate... we pull out all the traditions! Food! Drinks!
it's beautiful!
but... we eat outside under the stars... maybe a little bit different than Sweden... but that's how we do it!
Then Christmas Day we do it American style!

FUN!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

and then the Swedish Tomten comes!!!
He is very old and comes with a lantern leading his way and an old sack... full of presents for our girls from Sweden...

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Sunday, January 22, 2012

a day on the farm with the Sullivans...

Photobucket

I can't express how much I love taking our kids to a farm... any farm!
The experience of being so close to where their food comes from is the best lesson ever! and they really love it too!

Photobucket

this sweet mama and I have known each other since we were in kindergarten (5 years old!) and we actually met on a farm too... picking strawberries! I know I can hardly stand it myself!
So we have been friends like our whole lives... grown up together... our parents are great friends... weddings together... babies together... and we're even this cutie pie's God-Parents!
so..... when the news came that they were moving back to Florida last year... I was beyond ESTATIC!!!
So any good warm welcome needs a Farm Tour!!!

So here we are with the Sullivans! You'll see them a lot more now that we're beach buds again!

Photobucket

I mean the pitch on this slide was the best... my little girl's skinny bum was not hardly touching on the way down! That's a good slide! The faster the better right!

Photobucket

This is Ridge... my God-Son... and yes, he is the cutest! and yes, he really loves me! and man oh man do we ever love him!

ok... this is pretty sweet... I hardly had a chance to change up my settings when my little girl squealed... SANTAAAAAAAAA!!!!! I was like... what!??... turned and BAM! yes, the jolly guy was at the FARM!
I know... pretty sweet! Sometimes things like this happen... I like to tell our little girls that it's called Karma!
Isabelle: What's Karma Mamma...?
Me: well... Karma is when good things happen to you because you're really good! and don't just be good so that good things happen... just be truly good... and Karma will find ya!
Isabelle: I like Karma Mamma!
Me: Me too! :-P

Photobucket

are these two farm kids adorable or what!
and gosh, could their feet get any dirtier!
we had to scrub their feet raw to get close to their rose petals!
but it was worth it... running free on a farm... no cares... cow poop... chickens clucking... sun on our cheeks... cool breezes!
it was one of those... I love my life... kinds of days!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

yes, they even got to feed the babies!

Photobucket

can't take it! I want a baby cow in my backyard! maybe let's start with chickens!

Photobucket

ok... prepare for a little bit of oooohs and ahhhs...
my girlfriend and I were talking when this view happened... our jaws dropped... it was like the most perfect light ever! we are both professional photographers so yes... the first thing that came out... ahhhh the LIGHTING!!! The yummiest lighting ever!
This is the sweet light we always try to find... the light that can make a shot AMAZING... waaaahbam!

....


Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

but the lighting wasn't happening for a client... not for a shoot... no, it was happening to us! to our children... as we watched the lighting fall so soft on our children... I know we were both thinking it... saying it out loud... look at our children... being children... naturally outside... free... just like we grew up!

I'm not changing... I'm letting my kids grow up like kids... outside!
call me granola but my kids have to be kids... I'm not going to tell my kids stories of how it used to be... because it still can be... if you let it! throw them outside and give them nothing but an imagination!
It's the BEST gift you can ever give them!

Thank you Sullivan Family for moving on down! So happy you're here!

3...

Photobucket

oh dear... totally wrote in my last post that our little sweetie turned
2.. totally meant 3!!! whoops!
We are LOVING 3!!!
she's got so much spunk and her true character is blooming!

Photobucket

so here we are waking and singing Swedish Happy Birthday to Cecilia!
it's a fun tradition... breakfast in bed, candles, singing, flowers, and presents!!!
all week we collect cards in the mail and never open until the real day! the special day! usually we don't even show the person who's birthday it is the pile of cards... so it's more of a surprise!
I love it when it's my birthday... listening in bed trying so hard not so smurk... the giggles out in the kitchen... the scurrying to collect every last detail.. the hushes... the tip toes... it never gets old! I look forward to it every year... and I hope my girls do to!

Photobucket

this cool German rainbow is amazing! The most played with toy in our home currently! Not only can it be a rainbow but also a horse stable.. a fleet of boats... a farm... a pond... and a rocking seat of course!
I love how Waldorf toys magically make children's minds come to life instantly! I start to doubt it when I pay online... nervously cha ching... but the satisfaction of happy imaginative play makes it all worth while! and I totally never regret it... the thought also that so many of the toys are made so carefully and with so much love!

Photobucket

Photobucket

a little play doh is always fun though... OUTSIDE!!!

Photobucket

and of course Elefun!

Photobucket

so we spent her birthday riding bikes in to town as a family to the Botanical Gardens! One of our most favorite places!
The day was gorgeous... as most days are this time of year!...

then back home we lazily sat in our garden being together...

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Happy Birthday my little girl!
I love you so!