Happy 4th of July

We heart patriotic holidays!  The somewhat brief but solid unity that surrounds our nation on these days is becoming more and more rare and something to be cherished.  The flags that line our neighbors yards, the gathering of masses for parades and salutes and celebrations.  If nothing else, we are all grateful as a nation for the sacrifices of those who made it possible.  Also there are so many adorable patriotic outfits for the littles.


We celebrated the 4th in our usual low-key ways.  In the morning we hung out at our favorite park with Pawpaw before he headed back to Louisiana.



In the afternoon we swam at a friend’s pool and enjoyed watermelon and barbeque and visiting with all the littles.



We skipped the fireworks and will likely continue to skip them for the foreseeable future.

I have some personal qualms with fireworks and will likely continue to avoid them whenever possible.  Ike is more or less in agreement with me, being that he has always been rather sensitive to loud noises.

Fireworks are beautiful displays and a wonder to watch.  The problem is the audible similarity that they bear to a battlefield.  Holidays like the 4th of July and Memorial Day are meant to honor serve men and women and thank them for their sacrifice to ensure our freedom and pride in this nation.  However, service men and women who have given the ultimate gift in serving in the line of fire often return home with severe PTSD as a result of their experience.  The sounds of fireworks akin to bombs and gunfire can often set off episodes of traumatic fear and anxiety in our veterans.  These brave countrymen (and women!) have given so much so that we can have and celebrate these patriotic holidays, far be it for us to create any more suffering to them by the way in which we choose to celebrate.

This is my soapbox PSA and only my opinions and views.


Easter 2016

This Easter I questioned, and not for the first time, if taking a toddler to church is worth the trouble.  Off we went, nevertheless in our pastel Sunday best.  I accidentally brought a fire truck that makes noise, and Ike was ready to leave about 10 minutes into the service, and we ran out of GRANOLA BARS!  Anyway, we didn’t get asked to leave, so I’m gonna call that a success.

My dad was in town for the holiday and was gracious enough to prepare the meal and a bonus one on Saturday too.  We were well fed for the whole week.  So grateful.

There was egg dying.


And Easter Baskets.

And a rained out/indoor Easter Egg hunt where Ike discovered that there are TREATS inside those plastic eggs.  Locating and then taking them in and out of a basket is just the beginning of the fun!


So a few days later this happened.  Naturally.


Ah, I love this little guy, even when he behaves like a heathen in church.

Valentine’s Day 2015

Happy Half Off Chocolate Day!  Just kidding, that would be the old cynical me talking.  Yesterday was the big, hearty, red holiday that I used to hate, never missing an opportunity to make a snide comment about the Hallmark Holiday’s origin.

How’d I celebrate this year?  With my kids and my husband doing all things pink, red, and heart shaped.  Naturally.  What?  Who hates Valentine’s Day?  No one, especially not me.

It started with breakfast.  Pink, heart shaped, chocolate chip pancakes.  Did I cover everything cliche in that sentance?  I think so.  Adorable right?


Pancakes are more or less a staple in my house on the weekends.  These were made with Pomegranate juice and pureed strawberries in lieu of red food coloring to keep them “Ike friendly”.  I just used the combo of fruit juices in place of the water in the “just add water” pancake mix.  And sprinkled in chocolate chips while they cooked on the first side.


Then there were these gems that I saw on Turn it up Tuesday by Fry Sauce and Grits.




I made them for the girls.  Ike is still a little small for that amount of sugar (he got enough from the pancakes) so he settled for a balloon.  That he has been dragging around the house since yesterday morning.



Then we went for an ever so romantic trip to Ikea to buy Ike a kid-sized table and chair.

Later that evening, Isaac and I went to the Melting Pot for dinner, just the two of us.  The cheese and chocolate fondues were both amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  Then we made a reservation at the ‘lazy boy’ movies (AMC Phipps) for 10:15. I fell asleep at about 8.  So, in conclusion, I totally won Valentine’s Day, but I was much too exhausted to enjoy it.

Happy Christmas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except Mommy and Daddy and Ivanal, but that’s all, really!  Until about midnight, then Ike was also stirring a bit too!

The stockings were filled with happiness and cheer.  The gifts under the tree multiplied without fear!



Christmas morning started around 6am, because that is when Ike decided there would be no more sleeping, not even in between mom and dad in the big, warm, family bed.  There were blueberry pancakes and fruit salad for breakfast.  Ivanal and Ike each opened two of their gifts after breakfast.  Then there was the mad dash to get everyone dressed for church.


We wanted to arrive early, because Christmas is a historically super busy church-going day.  Not so much this year.  Maybe everyone goes to vigil mass or midnight?  Not sure, but there was ample sitting space in a normally jam-packed Our Lady of Lourdes 10am mass.  That was good, because little man had to roam the aisles to strut his Christmas bow-tie.  Prior to falling asleep for the better part of the service.



Ike woke up in time to make friends with a very pretty little girl.


After church there were piles more presents to be opened.  Ike was not especially interested and suddenly found old toys far more fascinating.  There’s still a few gifts under the tree for him and he wanted nothing to do with his stocking.  More things to do when we repeat Christmas with Gabby later.

I cooked Christmas dinner for everyone, with a lot of help from Ivanal on Christmas eve.  Glazed ham, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and dressing were on the menu.  I ate way too much, then I took a nap with Ike.

The evening we pretty much all layer around in a food coma, Ike got in his Santa PJs and Isaac, Ivanal, and I watched Elf.  Elf is, in my opinion, the most best Christmas movie ever made.  Farrell is hilarious and no one can pull off yellow tights the way he can!


We did a lot of phone calls and facetimes with the other family in Indiana and Louisiana.  But we did miss everyone and I am trying to figure out how to make the rounds to everywhere to finish Christmas-ing.  We are headed to New Orleans tomorrow.


Happy Christmas from Ike and Danielle! Hope you had a wonderful day baby.