Wednesday, December 28


chris had a three day weekend.
that was our christmas miracle.
it was probably the best weekend in, oh, maybe
two years!
because he had monday off we took grandpa's boat to new pass for some fun in the sun.
afterwards we went to the park with the carpenter family to shoot the rocket, which landed in the pond on our first launch. chris and jack went back on tuesday afternoon and were able to fish it out with a fishing rod.

it was a perfect family weekend!

quite possibly the best christmas of all time

what a great christmas
i loved that christmas fell on a sunday this year. 
it kept things in perspective and was a great reminder to the kids (and us) what christmas is really about.

ellie got a cinderella dress and shoes
(which are sprinkling our house with glitter. it's terrible! everywhere we go we look like we took a dive in a glitter bottle)

and jack received the nerf gun he wanted!
i love their sleepy-head reaction on christmas morning
...and the discovery that santa ate their cookies :)

nothing beats sittin' in your car,
 in nothing but socks,
 after a long morning at church. 
right, charlie?

chris' first prime rib.
followed by chris' homemade cheesecake.
it goes without saying that it was the tastiest christmas dinner in the history of all time.

we had such a nice afternoon with family.
that was the best gift of all.
cheesy, yes. but still true.

our family gift this year was 
a rocket
i think dad is having more fun with it than anyone!
we've already been out to launch it several times and the kids get more and more excited each time.

next up,
the day after christmas!
yes, there's more!

the 24th

here is a run-down of our christmas eve festivities:

our 2nd annual christmas eve donut run to bennett's

aunt rikki was able to join in on the scrumptious action!

and since it is so close to bennetts we stopped at 
one of my favorite places on earth,
the thomas edison winter estate.
(which costs too much so we just hung out in the front, took pictures, enjoyed the banyan tree, had way too much fun with the statues of edison and his wife, mina, and paid $0)

so many great traditions have come from the brower side, including spaghetti dinner on christmas eve. the browne family loves it so much, they have adopted it.
so we ate dinner at my parents, grandpa read the account of Christ's birth in Luke 2, and grandma the night before christmas. seriously, there is something magical about reading those two stories on christmas eve. i can't help but feel giddy with anticipation and i love that the kids are old enough to really feel it too!

the big kids found this note on the toy room at grandma's that said,
"elves at work
do not enter!"
jack and ellie were so curious and wouldn't stop asking questions about the elves.
rikki caught ellie trying to sneak a peek and it made me smile.

next up,

ready to sumo?

larissa came up with a great theme for charlie's party. i know your thinking "a theme for a one year old's prty?!" but it fit so perfectly with our big "little" man:
a sumo wrestler party!
and when she offered to make the cake,
we were on board!

check out that leather thong...
fruit leather that is!
complete with vanilla bean buttercream- perfection!
all the kids wanted to touch the belly button, but how could you not?

it was a very practical  birthday.
because charlie doesn't need anything 
and christmas was just two days prior, we asked that no gifts be brought.
but those browne's just couldn't resist spoiling this little guy.
here's a quick rundown of his spoils:

206 diapers
12 gerber grabber food pouches (his fave)
3 packs of food puffs
2 puzzles
1 pair of shoes
1 bag o' blocks
and some cash for a BIG treat


we had several cute videos, but this one made chris laugh so hard that i decided to post it. i think this is the most aggressive/loud charlie has ever been. i suppose he's just trying to play the part of a sumo???

and what birthday would be complete without a magic show?

this is jack's

Tuesday, December 27

it's been a year

(day 1)

(day 4)

i can't believe a year has passed.
charlie is one today. 
this sweet boy has taught me a thing or two about love in this short year. with jack and ellie, i learned really quickly that a mother's love is about endurance, patience,  and sticking with things even when they are hard and most of the time unenjoyable.
charlie has taught me about the softer side of love. about the snuggly, cuddly, squishy kind of love. the love that doesn't mind being woken up in the middle of the night for a feeding and kisses or changing another messy diaper and tickling wiggly toes.
i know i said this when charlie was born, but there truly is something special about him. i can't walk through the grocery store without at least one person saying that his smiles made their day. his happiness is contagious and for that i am grateful. i am so grateful for a loving heavenly father that blessed our family with this sweet boy. 
charlie loves loves loves his brother jack and his sister ellie.
nothing makes him happier than seeing them when he wakes up from a nap or takes a bath with them. he laughs so hard at their silly faces and funny voices.
and jack and ellie return that love equally.
we can't get enough of our little charlie man.
happy birthday baby!

(almost day 365)