Whew. We've been over the river and through the woods, to two grandparents' houses. Virginia to Ohio, and back again. Christmas and New Year's have been celebrated, family visits enjoyed. Car now unloaded, suitcases unpacked, laundry caught up and Christmas decorations neatly packed away until we tear into them again next year. School has resumed, sort of. Our county declared a "cold day" and canceled school just the second day back to reality, then delayed school the next. A first for me. Too cold for school? Um, ok. Anxious for our normal routine to return despite feeling an overwhelming need to make an escape from it all just a couple weeks ago. Breaks are nice. Sometimes routine is better.
In an attempt to make up for my absence here on this little loved space of mine, I leave you with a bit more than a few of my favorite photos from our Christmas break. Sadly though, I did a poor job of capturing my girls with family this time around... Trying to enjoy more of the moment means stepping out from behind my camera and photographing less. I'll continue to work on that balance.
But, here you go.
Rob, Esme, and I shared in the efforts to build Oia her own scooter board for Christmas. It's perfect. It's therapy laced with super fun play for our girl who doesn't really play with toys. She highly approves.
For weeks, Esme told everyone under the sun that she wanted a Caillou doll for Christmas. And a sucker. She could hardly wait for both. The kid almost died with excitment when she unwrapped that Caillou doll but don't you know she hasn't played with him for more than 5 minutes total since she got him. But, I'd still buy whatever toy she'd wish for next just to see this joy.
Cousins Colton, Oia and Callie. Esme wasn't feeling up to a picture at the moment her cousins and sister were. Naturally.
Christmas morning at Mamaw's. Little sister walking her new puppy.
At one point during our stay, Esme was quiet and temporarily missing for a moment. I asked Rob to walk down the hall and check on her. He came back out, grinning ear to ear, and asked where my camera was. There's just something about the way a toddler explores and plays that makes you want a toddler in the house forever. We will never take her imagination and independent play for granted.
Oia with her Aunt B. My beautiful sister. Two peas in a pod.
Snow is something I could live without. And Oia sides with me 100%. Which is why she attempted to catch *a* snowflake before heading back to the door inside. Total time outside? About 60 seconds.
Have sink, will play. And make one helluva soaking wet mess at NeNe's. Their bliss.
And even though I'm not a fan of the white stuff, our Esme loves it. So out we went another day. Precious little pink bundle, she is.
But nope. Couldn't convince this darling to come back outside and play. Not even for all the ice cream or chocolate in the world. She's no fool.
New Year's Eve made me feel especially old this year. I struggle to stay awake until midnight and I can't tell you when the last time hubby and I partied to ring in the new year. It's overrated. I don't care at all for modern music or Miley Cyrus and all her disgusting ways so watching the last 15 minutes of 2013 live on Times Square was torture. What was most enjoyable was peeking in on my peacefully sleeping girls. Both asleep well before midnight, side by side. My night was most complete when watching Oia through the darkness, who lifted her head ever so slightly off her pillow, then peeked through sleepy-slitted eyes over in her sister's direction. Her only purpose was to make sure Esme was still there. And she was. Oia then lowered her head and lifted her arm up and over to rest it on her sister. Then back asleep she fell. Esme never budged. That's what made my night. My day. My week. And my year. The world was celebrating the close of one year and the beginning of another but the world as each of my girls know it was just sound asleep next to the other. I pray their world is always this safe and cozy and full of love.
Happy New Year, friends. I'll be back soon.