December 10, 2013

Know your own strength

My daughter's teacher asked her to send in a couple of photos from Christmases past. And what's almost as fun as taking cheesy holiday photos of the present? Looking at the cheese of the past. 

First place in the race for my favorite holiday photo of Christmases past: the twins' first December.

Even though that baby chub is fantastic, the following photo shoot meltdown is what really makes this my favorite. 

Second place: humiliating animals with costumes. Our dog Blossom was kind of grumpy about this Santa suit. But this mainly wins because I just loved seeing our old girl. She disappeared on the Kentucky farm a few years ago, and we never found her. Very sad days after that. 

Third place: reaction to the best present that I've ever received. 

The present was a giant painting that Amory commissioned as our version of a family portrait. The artist is Evan Poirier, illustrator/street artist/baller. It's still my favorite thing ever. 

Fourth place: family time! Hugs with granny. 

Gingerbread houses with Skeeter.

New Year's family reunion at Clifty Falls in Madison, IN. Anyone reading this ever been there or heard of this? Or points if you've ever stepped foot in Indiana. 

I love how looking back helps you appreciate the present. Sorry, twins, because even though you were adorable babies, I'm so glad that you're growing up. There is still part of me that doesn't understand how we made it through those first two years of twinhood without going totally insane. 

When I look at this slogan from Gold's, "Know your own strength," I feel grateful for the strength I had to keep it together with four kids ages six and under. Now that they're older, we're getting to the fun part.

What strength are you grateful for? And I wanted to backspace and say, "For what strength are you grateful?" So I will say that I'm grateful for the strength to overlook rules that aren't really that important. And the wisdom to (occasionally) know the difference.

Tell me about one of your December traditions. We always give pajamas as a present on Christmas Eve. They make for much less raggedy Christmas morning pictures.

Tell me a tradition you've seen that you want to copy. One of my friends makes a little to-do list of random acts of kindness, like taping quarters to a vending machine, for every day of December. So I want to make that one of our traditions.


And to bring happy holidays to one of you out there in bloglandia, the winner of the Candy Cane Joe Joes is #17 -- Mimi! 

Mimi, send me your address to yomommaruns(at), or you can message it to me via Facebook.


  1. I always got new jammies on Christmas Eve as a kid too. Fun to have new ones for the pics in the morning! My husband took the funniest pictures of my Springer Spaniel with a Santa hat. She HATED it and all the pictures are proof. Who know a dog could look at you with such disdain?: haahahaa Love all your pics. So fun.

  2. being single and without kids means i don't have a ton of traditions-but we still do the same thing we have done every Christmas Eve- lebanese dinner and gift exchange/dirty santa with my dads family. I love that time together. I really like the december list of kindness idea!

  3. One of our December count-downs is a month of little stockings and every night the boys write down something they are thankful for. At some point (usually around March), I type up the list - fun to look back over the years at how things have changed (and stayed the same!).

  4. I love this post - especially the twin photos ;)

    I think the strength I'm most grateful for is my enthusiasm. I have many non-great tendencies but I am a really perky enthusiastic person and I'm really grateful for that trait!

    We've started doing pyjamas on Christmas Eve too - I think it's an American thing as I'd never heard of it as a UK tradition but I really love it.

  5. We do the pajamas on Christmas Eve. Santa also puts a potatoe in the stockings ... "For the bad days". Babies get a sweet potatoes in theirs. The Tweens and teens always roll their eyes but it's cute.

  6. Those are some precious baby photos! I like the idea of Christmas jammies.. I will be stealing that idea :) I love my boys, ages 8,6,4.. but look forward to the next stage.
    That is a fantastic portrait, BTW. Original artwork is something special.

  7. Love the pics! God bless! Tradition started about 4 years ago: Christmas Morning: Hot Tub with Mimosas (or just OJ for my 16 year old son)! Love it! After giving thanks for all our blessings, it's a great way to relax after the holiday craze!

  8. The twins are cute both posed and getting those curious mouths into action, but the little dog is my favorite, very sweet! So sorry that she was lost. Commissioned artwork, now that's a hard present to pull off, I'm glad that it turned out to be something that you really love. Your husband must really know what you like.


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