Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas 2019

Lexi, William & Kate,

I love to lure you out of bed on the morning of Christmas Eve with scents and sounds of bacon sizzling and warm fluffy pancakes sitting on your plate adorned with some kind of silly dollop of whole-made whip cream. Christmas music plays in the background as we excitedly start Christmas celebrations.

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the whole year. I love the tradition, the beauty, excitement and joy that surrounds the day. I have such fond memories of it growing up and hope that you will too.

After breakfast and finding the elves, the rest of the morning is a lazy day cleaning up and then starting to get ready for Church. This year, we were hosting an open-house for anyone to come and gather, so we were busy getting food ready and putting some extra attention on the house and making sure it was presentable for people to come over. Around 1:00, Kate was laying in a ball on a pillow and I knew it wasn’t a good sign… she had a small fever, took a nap and then eventually threw up. Poor kiddo.

I was pretty devastated. We had all of this food ready to serve people and I knew I wasn’t going to make it to church, which is my favorite thing about Christmas Eve. I love the carols, the soft glow of the candles, the dimmed lights and everyone squeezed together in a pew. And of course the message–a new baby, a celebration, a symbol of growth and new beginnings. There is a sense of serenity and hope for the world that is filled with so much anger, deceit and struggles.

So the party was off, church was off, until Daddy decided at the very last moment to take William & Lexi and meet Great Grandma, Grandpa & Grandma. Then, headed over to Great Grandmas for a visit and spaghetti.

Kate and I snuggled at home and watched a movie together. By the time bedtime rolled around and everyone was snuggling up in their Christmas jammies, making sure we had cookies and milk for Santa–Kate was starting to feel a little better.

Once everyone was all snug in their beds, mom (and supposed to be dad, but her fell asleep) began setting up the Christmas maze. You each had a reel on plastic string (Lexi–Pink, Badger–Green, Kate–Purple) and we wrapped the string all over the main level of the house. It went under chairs, through spindles around walls–all over the place making it nearly impossible to walk anywhere on the main level. All the strings led back to one shared present. It took a lot of time to set this all up, but I could not wait to see your faces the next morning.

When you all three of you finally woke up Christmas morning, we headed downstairs and you had no idea what the heck happened. You quickly discovered Santa had arrived and brought just what you had asked for: Lexi–Rainbowcorn, William–Transformer, Kate–an Elsa dress. But then needed to figure out your maze so we could actually walk around and open the rest of the gifts. You each had your reels and started to roll up your string as you navigated around the obstinate course.

Eventually, all strings led all three of you back to the same gift–which had our DISNEY shirts in because we were going to DisneyWorld in March!!!! There were some jumps and cheers, but your excitement quickly shifted to the rest of the gifts that needed to be opened. I love that you each play a role in picking out gifts for your siblings, because you are so excited for them to open that gift–it is one of the first gifts you reach for to pass out.

Kate was still under the weather a little bit, but was still enjoying in the festivities and excitement–was just pretty clingy to mom.

After all the gift giving was complete, we had some Carmel rolls before each of you kids dug into your lego builds. Lexi had received the resort and Badger the fire station. Slowly, we started to pick up the house a bit as the Sampson’s were coming over to celebrate. Kate took a nice nap and woke up feeling like happy Kate.

A few days later we went to Grammy and Papa’s for Bothwell Christmas

Once again, we are so blessed to have wonderful families to gather with and celebrate this joyous season.

Merry Christmas my sweet babes!



Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas Activities 2019

Lexi, Badgie and Katie,

When your Daddy and I walked into our house for the first time 10 years ago and I saw 25 foot ceilings in our living room, I immediately visioned our house decorated for Christmas anchored around a huge beautifully decorated tree that lit up that room from floor to ceiling.

This year, part of that dream came true. We were gifted a new 12 foot Christmas tree with more than 1000 twinkling lights built into it. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, many of those lights started to burn out, which caused the entire string to burn out and Daddy and I had to manually replace them–which was kind of a nightmare. Eventually, we just gave up and decided we’re going to have to get new lights next year. BUT it was beautiful and has really become a statement in that space. Once it was all set up, you kids loved to help decorate. In true kiddo fashion, every ornament you put on ended up in a 1″ radius of each other so once you were in bed, I had to re-disburse the ornaments around to make it a little more balanced.

You love to help decorate the rest of the house as well. The three of you especially love the little snowman collection we’ve started. Grammy gave us a lot of her snowmen and we’ve added to it and you guys LOVE to play with the snowman and pretend they are little character people.

This year, we splurged a bit on our Santa visit and did the Santa Experience at Mall of America. There are no lines, or a rush to get in and out and you get to have a much more relaxed and personal visit with Santa as he gets down on the floor and plays with the kids or talks to them before taking pictures. Kate was a little hesitant on the big guy in red, but the our appointment happened to be on Lexi’s birthday so she was extra excited to see Santa on her birthday.

Another thing that was a lot of fun that I want to continue for future years is special shopping trips with you kids to pick out gifts for your siblings. Lexi and William had a special trip to Target to pick out a gift for Kate, Lexi and Kate for William and William and Kate to pick out a gift for Lexi. Together you had to decide on a gift you thought the receiver would like. I love observing activities like this and watching each of your personalities at work. Lexi, you love to look at every toy aisle while making mental notes of things you think they might like, but will not decide until you have seen everything and then hem-and-haw over your decision. William, you like to look but when you find the gift, you know, and your mind is made up. You don’t need to look at another thing.

Other highlights of the Christmas season included: Cookie baking, gingerbread house decorating, listening to Christmas music, Christmas movies X10, looking at toy catalogs, advantage program at school, Lexi’s dance recital, Lego advent calendar and our daily elf visits.