Another version of the family photo you saw. Love this one too. Dang I have so much to be thankful for.
On Thursday we went to E's family for their traditional thanksgiving. Connie always makes sure every guest has a new Christmas ornament and a chocolate turkey from Sees. Such fun traditions.
Since we didn't do a family birthday party for James this year it meant that family presents were given throughout the weekend. Four days of presents? So awesome.
Juliet was a little timid on her first Thanksgiving, mostly sticking to the yogurt puffs she's accustom to.
The entire crew, minus me.
Once we discovered that Juliet LOVED cranberry sauce she was no longer timid. So glad we brought the baby smock and kept her beautiful dress clean.
Later in the weekend my dad came over to deliver James's birthday present. It is so fun to have his birthday overlap such a long weekend. Feels like such a celebration.
And Jenga was a huge hit.
On his actual birthday we had chocolate chip pancakes with candles.
And finally, at the end of the weekend we finished up all the celebrating with another Thanksgiving feast at my Mom's house. Aren't the ladies of my family so beautiful?
My Mom's new house is amazing. One huge open room in the middle perfect for entertaining. And so much color and beautiful things to look at.
Melissa insisted on a sibling shot. Glad she did. Oldest (and wisest) to youngest. Me, Brandon, Melissa, Chandler.
And my family of four.
My grandma was there and so excited to see the kiddos.
Is this photo of Nana with Juliet not the most perfect moment ever?
The entire family joined us.
Excited for the feast!
Melissa and her love Whit.
Dang I love this three year old.
The food? AMAZING. The turkey was brined overnight, the garlic mashed potatoes and garlic cloves, the cranberry sauce was made with orange juice, and the list goes on and on... OMG...
The entire crew (minis me).
Weeks ago my mom asked James what kind of birthday cake he wanted and after some thought he said "pink". I love that he said that. So she decided to make a homemade strawberry cake (with a pound of real strawberries) and oh my... divine!
Such an incredible weekend celebrating family, food and James. And it ended with a three layer pink cake. Pretty much perfection.
Long time readers of this blog may remember that when I was pregnant the first time we called the baby "Baby November". Once we found out the baby was a boy (James!) we stuck with the name until birth. Seemed so gentle for our sweet baby boy that would soon join our family.
Well we haven't called James "Baby November" in three years, but birthday boy requested a trip to Red Butte Garden "to see the waterfalls" on his birthday. The garden was perfectly November. All the leaves had fallen and the garden was readying itself for winter. Birds and squirrels hustled by with nuts and berries. The ground was crunchy with leaves and the air wasn't too chilly. Sunset arrived early and we stayed until the gates were closing.
Happy third birthday my dear. Love that your birthday request is to visit the garden we all hold so dear.
Twins Daddy and James.
With his birthday present flashlight. Didn't put it down all weekend.
Lovin' the remote on my camera. Lovin' the mild temperature.
My boy as the sun sinks lower into the sky.
Sunset in the garden is so stunning.
Juliet is such an easy baby but like any baby, she got tired of the stroller and wanted to explore eat leaves.
When we said "hey! don't eat those!" she smiled from ear to ear.
James is now at the age where we can ask him to look at the camera and smile. Staged? Yes. Adorable? Hell yes.
As the sun got lower the golden light got more and more brilliant.
Baby November loves November is a title I've used before! We visited the garden in November when James was almost one! Check it out.
So, some stats. James is an amazing talker. He has full conversations, remembers things, uses big words, is a master on the iPad, is potty trained, is an amazing sleeper, and is getting into the "terrible threes".
He is funny! So funny! He makes me laugh every day with his silly antics, his sweet expressions, and his goofy dance moves.
He has become a really great eater. Once upon a time he was picky, but now he tries almost everything that we eat, and likes most things too. His favorite meal is lunch, his favorite time of day is a tie between nap time and "digging time", and he loves his daddy most of all.
He sleeps from 7:30 pm to about 7:30 am. When he wakes he always has a sippy cup of milk and watches his favorite television shows on my bed. His current favorites are Cat in a Hat and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. After a show we eat breakfast, put Juliet down for a nap and usually head outside to play. We dig, we chase, we throw the ball. He also loves the iPad and plays that for a bit in the mornings.
Once Juliet wakes (at 11:00) we either take a walk or play in the basement. By noon he's ready for a nap ("I'm feeling tired. I want a nap") and I lie down with Juliet at 1:00. At 2:30 I leave Juliet's side and wake the boy. Once up, he usually wants to watch another show or play on the iPad again.
When Juliet wakes at 3:00 or so, we head out of the house for the day. Parks, friend's houses, nature trails, or the zoo are all favorite spots. By dinner time we've returned home as has Daddy. James misses E so much when he's at work. He'll often say "I was missing you today! You haven't given me a kiss yet!"
Dinner, playtime, tub, and wrestling are all traditions before bed. He usually gets in trouble in the bath for doing huge splashes and getting E and the bathroom soaked, but once he's in his room he's wound up and so happy. E and James wrestle (ka-slam game!) and play "horsey game" which has evolved to be nothing like riding a horse.
Before bed, every night, E reads him a book. Then I come in and we have a family hug, a drink and turn off the light. The last part of his day (every single day) is two "treasure hunts" on his back, which is a silly tickle I do on his back before bed. He loves it.
And I love him.
This boy is such a good boy. Such a sweet person. Such a silly man. Such an amazing big brother.
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving we haul the Christmas tree in from the garage.
It's a big job that involves rearranging the living room, cleaning up cat toys, forgotten crayons and hair elastics from under the sofas, and sweeping the corners of the room that haven't seen a broom in a year.
But it is oh so worth it. We always have Christmas music playing in the background. We have coffee and Thanksgiving leftovers and pecan pie. This year we had something new. Something that has never been around for Christmas before.
Our Christmas tree is the first Christmas tree she's ever seen. And oh was she mesmerized.
The ornaments hung like little orbs of wonder.
James is at the best age. Christmases just getting more and more fun. He was thrilled to help decorate and only wanted to decorate with the red glass balls. He got them "all perfect" in one single location on the tree. Notice half of the balls are just set on the limbs just barely balancing.
Baby girl scooted her way over to the ornament box and carefully inspected the contents.
I love when James does this face. It is his concentrating face but he only does it when he's in a very good mood. I think he heard E coming up from the basement and had his head cocked and listening.
And, some wispy baby curls to end the post. More holiday goodness to come.
Baby bunny's outfit? It was mine when I was a baby. I don't think she'll wear it again, she hardly fit!