Saturday, January 13, 2018



We’ve had a wonderful Christmas in KC with lots of great family time and memories. We put the Christmas tree up and decorated it right after Thanksgiving per our usual tradition. It was fun to do Christmas this year at home since we were in the Cook Islands last year during most of the season. Olivia told me that she was really hoping Santa wasn’t mad that we weren’t home last year (!).

Note to self: At least for a few more years, we probably need to stay home for Christmas!

I’ll dive in with an Olivia update! According to her teacher, Mrs. Wiedeman (who Olivia absolutely adores), she is “quite a peach.” We couldn’t agree more! Olivia loves bringing presents to her friends and teachers. Many days I am trying to get her out the door and off to school while she is throwing together some goodie bags or other item to share. When I asked Olivia what she wanted for Christmas this year, she mostly mentioned wanting things to give to other people... she said to me “Mommy, I really don’t need anything you know. But there are some things I would LIKE to have, it’s just that I don’t really need them.”  It is good to recognize the difference between wants and needs and think of others during this time.

This year, Quinn has caught the LEGO bug. He is also a major Star Wars fan. We enjoyed going to the new movie that came out right before Christmas, Star Wars Episode 8, The Last Jedi. We actually had to fib about Quinn’s age in order to get him in the theater. I am not in favor of ever lying about something but I guess lying about your age is a pretty common one!

This year, Santa was being a bit tricky about the present that Quinn had his heart set on this year which was the LEGO Death Star. This all played out pretty similar to The Christmas Story and was absolutely adorable. After we opened all of the presents and Quinn hadn’t received that most coveted and sought after gift, Daddy asked him if he still had a good Christmas and Quinn replied “Yes, it’s ok because I am with my family who I love <3.”

It was so super sweet and a very mature and thoughtful perspective for a little boy who didn’t get the toy he REALLY wanted..... until... just then Olivia spied something tucked way back behind the tree. WAAAYYYY back there. Daddy managed to fish it out and lo and behold, it was the DEATH STAR!

The shrieks of joy and ecstasy from Quinn still ring in my ears. He was beyond thrilled and grateful, bouncing around and off the walls and ceiling for quite some time.

Some other news.... Olivia is becoming quite the skier. We skied a day in Breckenridge when we went to Colorado for the week after Christmas. She love finding little ridges and bumps to ride and also she is a natural tree skier! You practically have to chase her out of them, and I've tried warning her that skiing in trees can be dangerous. Olivia is now preparing for a winter dance performance later this month with her Ballet/Jazz class which will be exciting. Though she is not wild about dance class, she has really stepped up and embraced the busy rehearsal schedule. It’s a good example of following through with your commitments.

Quinn has been to several birthday parties this Winter which is a good way to break up the long, dreary and extremely cold weeks. In addition, we hosted two parties for his own birthday which was January 7th. One for school friends at Dave & Busters and another ice skating party for cousins and their families. In addition to some great LEGO sets, Quinn got a really cool art set from his cousins and he is adamant about keeping it nice (which means not letting Olivia get to it though he does let her borrow it as long as she puts everything back!).

I’ll close with a few pictures of them doing their thing and enjoying life in general. Here is Quinn with his art set plus pics of his old beloved bike and also one of the new bike he got for his birthday which is nearly identical but larger. Pictures of the Death Star construction process, Little Penguins 2017-2018 (quite a resilient bunch with lots of weather to contend with!), Olivia practicing make-up on Quinn and pics from the Carriage Club Santa Brunch where we were joined by Jason's cousin Amber and her daughter Emma.

We feel so blessed to have this precious time together.

Love always, Claire

PS: Last Christmas Papa Mike taught the kids and I to play chess and “chest” is how Quinn pronounces it. I don’t have the heart to correct him on it since it’s so darn cute :) We always play a lot of Chest when we are around Papa Mike and Grandma Sherry.

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