Christmas Eve 2016

Before Thanksgiving we headed to the mall for some early Christmas shopping. We happened to walk by “Santa’s Workshop” and I thought Sam’s eyes would pop out of his head. He was in sheer amazement at seeing Santa Claus in the middle of the mall.

As we walked by, he peered surreptitiously over the walls trying ever so hard to not get caught, but sly little Santa saw him and winked. Sam quickly ducked down with eyes of sheer amazement and gasped, “He is real, Mom! We were wrong!”

And so the saying goes, “The rest is history.”


We headed to the mall the day before Christmas for a special treat – to MEET Santa! Sam was amazed and Timmy was pleased as a peach. All three children sat in Santa’s lap and the boys told Santa exactly what they wanted for Christmas. Interestingly they each named one thing. Later that day, Daddy went out and bought those two precious gifts because … well, why the heck not?


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Later that evening we opened our Christmas jammies, but poor, Cary, she was just not into it all. christmas-eve-2016-5 christmas-eve-2016-6

Turns out she was really sick, and the next day would prove it. But we put her on to bed, and we played Dominoes with the boys.

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After games, we went outside to “feed the reindeer.” I grew up feeding the reindeer and thoroughly enjoyed sharing the tradition with the boys. christmas-eve-2016-8

We made sure to write a note to Santa, but since Sam had only just decided that very day that he believed in Santa without a shadow of a doubt (apparently he’d mulled over his Santa experience all month before finally deciding), we didn’t really have that great of cookies to leave him. Santa didn’t mind though, I’m sure!christmas-eve-2016-9 christmas-eve-2016-10

Timmy was over the moon excited that Santa was coming, but Sam was holding back his emotions. He was turning into doubting Thomas by the end of the night. haha!

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Lo and behold, Santa came! He worked late into the night because making little boys’ dreams come true at the last minute isn’t always easy! 🙂


Johnson Family Photos 2016

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we gathered for a family photo shoot. We added two more little girls to the family so Nonnie wanted an updated picture. It was NOT easy getting a picture of everyone and we certainly aren’t professionals, but I think we snagged a few good ones worth sharing. 🙂


The snazzy woman who makes us all get together for these sessions (for which we are actually all grateful even if we give her a hard time).


Sometimes the test pictures are some of the best ones.



The group that all the following craziness branches from …family-pics-2016-5 family-pics-2016-6

And because this picture makes us laugh until we cry, we’re including it here. family-pics-2016-7

I could point out a million things in this picture, but I love that Anna and Timmy are holding hands. I’m also glad that my kid isn’t the only one who tucks his hands in his sleeves (ahem, Addison and Avery). 😛


The boys!family-pics-2016-13

The girls.



Oh, Timmy, why so sad?


The Johnson’s…



Then we gave the kids the camera. Yes, we did! They had fun. The rest of the pictures are courtesy of all those over the age of … well, family-pics-2016-16 family-pics-2016-17 family-pics-2016-18 family-pics-2016-19 family-pics-2016-20 family-pics-2016-21 family-pics-2016-22 family-pics-2016-23 family-pics-2016-24 family-pics-2016-25 family-pics-2016-26

I love this crazy family! The chaos, the loudness, the laughter. Just all of it.

A Day of Firsts {Church & Family Hike}


We headed off to church for the first time as a family since Cary was born. This boy was looking all grown up in his preparatory school get up. img_1910

Little MIss was content all service right there in Daddy’s arms. img_1914

After church we headed out for a family hike down at Beaverdam. It was a beautiful day and the boys had so much fun! img_1916

She did great too! img_1919 img_1925 img_1930

So grateful for these people!

Some Moments to Remember


One night I should have really been getting dinner started because it was a karate night for Samuel, but I cannot bring myself to get up. I mean really… Look at that. I didn’t get up either, and somehow Sam made it to karate on time with a full belly. It all worked out.


This kid keeps me on my toes. He’s loud, messy, and runs wherever he goes. He’s all boy and gives the absolute best hugs. He’s silly and sarcastic, loving and sensitive, and he’s growing and changing so fast! He reminds me so much of my brother and that makes my heart happy because I know this powerful little personality can change the world someday. Or at least make a big impact with bravery and courage!


Little Miss finally “woke up,” and she’s letting us know that she’s not a fan of being put down. She’s not a fan of a car that sits still or a stroller that stops moving. She doesn’t like dirty diapers on her bottom or Mommy to hold her and not let her have milk. But she’s easily consolable if you stick her right in here or nurse her to sleep and transfer her to her bed. She will let you know which one she prefers at the moment though. I hear you, Baby Girl. I hear ya’ loud and clear. ? She reminds me of Sam as a baby which likely means we will be spending a lot of time at home for naps. I’m okay with that!

We took a trip out to Walmart and the car wash, and I’m not sure, but I don’t think Cary was too big of a fan. She sure is cute though!

DIY Water Table

Since we won’t be making it to the pool, or water park, or beach, or well, pretty much anywhere for the next several weeks, I asked begged Mark to make the boys a water table. They played for an hour or more the first time we pulled it out. I see lots of time spent out here this summer.

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Cary’s Second Week in (Mostly) Pictures


Two weeks old!


It’s hard to believe she’s 11 days old already. It’s even harder to believe that I was pregnant just two weeks ago. She’s such a quiet baby. The past two days she’s started “saying” a bit more, but she’s a sweet girl. So alert and observant!


She is so peaceful! thumb_img_1775_1024

How we do most of our sleeping at night. thumb_img_1835_1024

And how we do the second leg of sleeping at night. So thankful for a Daddy who helps out in so many ways!

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We finally made it over to Nannie and Pop’s for a visit. thumb_img_1779_1024

They were so happy to finally meet her!


We had plans of all three “boys” wearing their Super Man shirts for a photo shirt, but umm… well, the new Super MAN never arrived. thumb_img_1807_1024

So, Grammy fixed her shirt and we had a fun little photo shoot to document it. thumb_img_1814_1024

The best moments in the world!


One of the greatest comforts for all of us during this transition was books. Lots of books! We did a lot of reading together and this was our favorite in those first few weeks.


Sweet Miss at the end of two weeks!

Family Time with Pepaw and Nonnie


Pepaw came to see me and I was so excited!


We took a trip to the Virginia Living Museum after being cooped up for weeks and weeks. Nonnie and Pepaw joined us and the weather could not have been more perfect.


The boys love having Pepaw in town because he’s not afraid to get on the floor and play with them. Legoes were the activity of choice most of our days together!