Category Archives: Holidays

A Glimpse Inside: Our 2016 Holidays

At the request of my overseas sister, Sara, I am sharing a look into our 2016 holiday season.

It was crazy, fun, tiring and the weather was flippantly confusing, in true florida fashion.

We did a lot of cuddling, playing, crafts, dancing and, in true we-have-a-newborn spirit, napping (Stephen, me and the baby that is, Sarah and Elanor laugh at naps ).

 

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Last night I was told by a sweet friend that lives far far away, across an ocean and 3 hours in the future (that’s how I like to imagine time zones), that updates without words or explanations or big life events are needed. “Just pictures will do. Even if they’re straight from your phone.” So I am going to start doing that, because I love her and when someone I care about asks to see pictures of our life I provide. 

To my Uruguay family.

        Christmas with the Wells: 2015   

    
    
    
    
   
  

What a Bunch of Wells

For your viewing pleasure…

The 2014 Wells Family Christmas photo

 

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and just to show we can be serious when we need to (which is hardly ever)

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Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season!

The Year our Christmas Tree had Bugs

I don’t think a post title could be more obvious what this is about. Yes, our Christmas Tree has bugs. What kind of bug you ask? I have no idea. But it’s a bug, and they are dropping by the 20′s out of our tree and onto my floor. I feel like it’s the year of bugs in our home. I have toddlers you guys. Curious fingered little girls. I am normally in the teaching mindset with my “lets check out these new bugs” mindset when we play, but not this time. No thank you. Not when they are unexpected and inside our house. Thankfully Sarah is a great listener and big sister. She tells me when new bugs are trespassing and does an amazing job keeping Elanor away from the tree and it’s uninvited inhabitants.

First we had the acorn-larva incident, now we have a Christmas tree bug invasion. That is such a weird sentence. Yuck.

To fully understand the insanity of the events I’m going to give you a photo break-down…

 

Tree shopping with our little helpers on Thanksgiving weekend

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Picked out and ready to take home

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The decked out tree of 2014!

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We were having so much fun adding the personalized ornaments we made.

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Then, one day I found a bug or two on the floor. That turned into several bugs during the day. Then I would wake up and find them slowly crawling off the tree skirt, or around the tree.

Because telling you isn’t enough, this is what I would find all throughout the day…

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I somehow managed to just sweep them up and keep the tree for a few weeks. Thinking clearly they would stop, right?!

WRONG!

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A close up for you. It looks a lot like a tick, but wasn’t a tick.
We still have no idea what they were.

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Sorry you now have that ‘itchy bug crawly feeling on your skin. I know how that feels…

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The sweet hubs removing the lights after I took off all the ornaments
(I didn’t want to get my arms in there…)

 

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He went into the storage shed while it was storming on Christmas Eve-Eve and brought our fake tree inside.
He added the lights and I put on the decorations.

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Now you can fully understand the craziness behind this years Christmas tree. I dub it, the year of unusual bugs!

Risen Indeed

Two days ago it happened. The cross was carried and Jesus took the weight of this earth and all it’s sinful nature and died for us. He was carried to the tomb and buried. People mourned, while some celebrated. That much hasn’t changed in this world. Except that between those 3 days of loss, emptiness, confusion and wavering faith, God’s plan was still in action. The stone was rolled away and Jesus was no longer lying there. He rose. Praise God and sing out unto His name because His word was, is, and will always remain truth. His followers gazed upon His warm face. They feasted and celebrated because their faith was alive before them. Oh to have seen that sight. A vision that all believers will get to be in the presence of. To hear His voice, words of a melody I can’t even begin to imagine. Thank God if you have the honor of knowing Him today. To have the peace of His salvation. There is no greater gift.

Our day was able to be filled with that reminder. It began early as Stephen went to the church for a sunrise service. The girls and I followed soon after and got to spend time with friends. Hearing daddy practice the Sunday music set. Keeping the girls entertained while they patiently awaited the church-grounds egg hunt. They had a blast, of course. Picking up eggs and showing them off. Placing them in our plastic grocery bag because this mom didn’t think about bringing a basket. Opening each egg was like a new present. Erasers, candy, pencil sharpeners, Sarah showed me all of it. Elanor opened a pack of fruit snacks and that was all she cared about. I love her minimal spirit. Content with something small. I’m highlighting this time in my mind because you can’t know how they will be in 6 weeks or next year. Sarah was the first born, and she is quite aware. It’s not a bad thing, not even slightly. I just have to keep her in check at times. To be appreciative for the everyday things and anything beyond that is a gift to be extra thankful for. She has a tender heart and is so compassionate. She hurts when you hurt. She wants to fix you so that we can be joyful together. To laugh and tickle and play without ceasing.

The Lord gave us these children and I pray they come to know Him early on. That they understand His mercy and love for them.

After church we went and had lunch with my family. The kids played and our fellowship was relaxing. A good quiet pace for after a busy morning. We later went to the Ringl house to visit and have dinner together. The kids were excited and played their sugar filled hearts out. We couldn’t have been in a better spot for their sugar rush to take place. Cousins, a swing set, sandbox and slide. The weather was cool so they didn’t get overheated, which made it easy to help mom in the kitchen without any munchkins all around our feet. The food was just as good as lunch, and afterwards the kids played during a movie and we all sat watching.

All these children were not even a forethought in our minds when I met Stephen and his family. I never could have guessed that I would one day be sitting in this home watching my children laugh and play. Growing up is full of such wonderful surprises.

It was a good day. The kids got a lot of great family time and we are able to celebrate the fact that we have eternal hope. Our lives do not end here when we leave our bodies behind. His glory is real and redemption is free. Lord, give us the courage and boldness to share Your truth. Let the truth of this day never be overshadowed in the busyness of all our lives.

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20

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We hope you had a wonderful Easter

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A Wells Family Christmas

This past Saturday we celebrated Christmas with the Wells side of the family. It was a fun and very people-packed house. My parents sold their house back in October so they are living in a rental right now and the living space is a lot smaller than what we are used to.

To start the festivities off right, we had our custom pigs-in-a-blanket for breakfast, followed by gift opening. It didn’t take long until we decided to let the little ones open all their presents first and let them go play in the kids room while the adults did gifts. The girls came out occasionally and helped us open our packages. Sarah and Graycie are getting at such a fun age for holidays and special events.

We had a delicious lunch of ribs, sweet potato casserole, squash casserole and whipped salad. Later in the day we gals made Rice Krispy Houses while the guys watched Home Alone/napped on the couches.

On Sunday we all met back at my parents house for lunch and we played 3-round Charades. It was a lot of fun.

Sadly, we have not been back at my parents since Sunday. We had fun plans of girls going out together and kids going to the park and I had a few craft projects planned, but those weren’t able to happen. Elanor woke up around 11pm Sunday night with a horrible virus/stomach bug. Stephen stayed up with her most of the night until we finally put her in bed with me so he could get a little sleep. The next afternoon she seemed a lot better, though exhausted, and then Monday night Sarah had the same thing happen. You can tell both girls have been confused and unsure about how to handle their bodies hurting them. I only caught a piece of it and we are so thankful that Stephen has been healthy (although completely sleep-deprived) through it all. I can’t imagine all 4 of us out of commission at the same time. Stephen was our rock these past 2 days. The last time I was sick was just before I had Elanor and I always forget how life-altering it is when you have children to take care of.

We are hoping and praying for a restful and sick-free night. Stephen and I are going to be ringing in the new year resting on the couch, if we aren’t already in bed asleep by then (actually, he’s been asleep since 8pm, I’m not sure if he’s out for the night or just grabbing a catnap).

You guys make sure to disinfect your house, toys, doorknobs, carseats, and anything else you have taken out of your home. This stomach bug is a nasty jerk and I hope you all stay clear.

On a lighter note, I do have a few pictures to share from pre-sickness.

With 10 adults, 3 toddlers and 1 infant I think we did a great job at getting a picture where not 1 kiddo is crying!

 

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Looking at all those pictures feels like it was weeks ago. It’s weird how being cooped up in a sick house for a few days can make time slow down.

Happy New Years Eve! Here’s hoping the fireworks don’t wake all babes and pets out there!

A Ringl Family Day

Merry Christmas, 2013 Ringl family edition!

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Hope you all had a wonderful and Merry Christmas. We are celebrating with the other half of the family on Saturday when my brother and his family come into town. Sarah is going to LOVE tearing open presents again. She’s gotten really good at it today.

Have a wonderful week and Happy Near Year! 2014 is going to be the best yet!

Tree Time

We started off the holidays right and continued our tradition of getting our Christmas tree the weekend of Thanksgiving. This year we went on black Friday, which also happened to be Elanors 1st Birthday. It was a fun way to celebrate our sweet girl. She had a blast playing with all the lights and Christmas decorations at the store.

That morning we met our friends Brandon, Nicole, and cousin Kate and after getting our trees headed back to their house. We decorated the McKenzies tree while the boys did the lights outside the house. After decorating their place we headed home so the girls could get their naps. While they slept Stephen and I setup the tree and he put the lights on the house so they would be surprised when they woke up. I strung an insane (and awesome) amount of lights on the tree while he was busy outside.

Both girls loved waking up and finding the tree already lit up. Sarah helped me put the ornaments on while Elanor tried to take them all off. We quickly decided that the ornaments were going to be a bit higher this year. Sarah enjoyed being picked up high each time to place them all in place.

Here are some pictures of the occasion.

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Elanors 1st Tree Day

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Playing with all the music & light decorations

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Our Tree Spotter

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Sarah helped Stephen pick a great tree

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Tree Acquired

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Stephen on light duty

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House lights

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 The Birthday Girl 

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2013 Christmas Tree

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We are so excited to start some new traditions this year with our girls. Sarah is at such a fun age and she has really gotten into the spirit of the holidays. She even asked us if she could go see Santa. We were both pretty surprised. Now, as for if she will actually sit there with Santa is a completely different scenario. I guess we will find out soon!

The Smith Family

Last week I got to take some family photos for one of my best friends. I’ve known Melissa since the first year of high school when we rode the bus together. We survived high school together and while in college had many late nights with pizza and sunkist. I am so thankful for her friendship and was honored to photograph her beautiful family. She and Nate had a baby boy in July and he was the perfect little smiler for us.

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This was the first time I’ve done a family photo session (other than my own families) and I had a blast.

Living in Florida makes for finicky weather, so after a reschedule from rain we were able to get together when it was happily not hot. The skies were overcast, which made for some great lighting (and a lot of learning for me)!

I had a great time and loved getting to capture this season of their life. Watch out Melissa, this time next year he will be running bases with Nate! Love you guys.

Tigger & A Pumpkin

Last Thursday we had a great time at our churches Trunk or Treat.

 

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We stayed until it started to rain and then headed home where Sarah got to chow down on a few candies before heading off to bed. She got an extra long teeth brushing that night.

Overall it was a lot of fun. It was nice that everything was right there in a small parking area so Sarah wasn’t worn down and asking to be carried 1/2 way into the night. Then again, Stephen and I probably could have used the extra walking with all the candy she was given.