Merry Christmas 2013

If I’m being honest, Christmas is never “perfect”.
It never goes exactly how I picture it in my mind the entire month of December.
Because in my mind, I’m creating a Better Homes & Garden kind of Christmas.
The kind of Christmas that takes your breath away.
Perfect packages, delicious food, impeccable decor, smiling kiddos, happy family.
No mess, no chaos, no tears, no burnt meals.

Then Christmas arrives and my day is far from being worthy of a BH&G photo shoot.
And if I wanted to, I could let this ruin the holiday for me.
I could always be “disappointed”.
I could always be “wanting more”.
I could always play the “I shoulda” game.
I could focus on all the imperfections.

This year we forgot to video the boys discovering their presents.
My dinner was a full blown disaster–like the throw directly into the trash kind of disaster.
Sawyer threw up everywhere.
And my home looked like a war zone.
I’m pretty sure I used every dish in the house to cook a meal that no one could eat.

But can I tell you something?
And will you promise to believe with your whole heart that I mean this in the LEAST cheesy way imaginable?
This Christmas was perfect.
Best yet.

These two little boys that I have co-created…they’re my insurance policy, my guarantee that Christmas will be magical and perfect despite my many imperfections. They remind me that the Spirit of Christmas isn’t about creating a facade of perfection.
Christmas is about feeling and giving love.

Watching my boys interact with one another. Trade presents back and forth. Give hugs. And kisses. And thank you’s.  Watching them cuddle with their grandma, nana and auntie. Watching Wesley discover how great it feels to GIVE. I went to bed Christmas night with a full heart.

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Both boys love the “idea” of Santa. Sitting on his lap however, not at the top of their list. Ben surprised me and took the boys for a third attempt.  Below is what he came home with.  This picture of the boys makes me realize how much they’ve grown since last Christmas.

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Christmas Eve is just as magical as Christmas, isn’t it. The excitement. The anticipation. The cookie baking for Santa.

photoA mini donut making for Santa’s elves.  Saw this idea via faasdesign on instagram–cheerios, frosting and sprinkles = mini donuts for elves.

making mini donuts

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Then the boys unwrapped their first set of matching Christmas pajamas. And my heart burst into a million pieces of happiness.

boys christmas pajamas

boys wrestlingWhen the boys finally fell fast asleep, Santa made his visit with this special teepee from Tnees Tpees on Etsy. Santa hung a glowing ball from the center and set up their stockings and gifts inside. It was magic.

teepee eve

santa presents

christmas morning pajamasA few grainy shots moments after we all woke up.

out of bead
Wes discovering that Santa, the elves and reindeer loved their treats–and Santa even left notes for both of the boys.

santa note and cookiesSawyer getting caught finishing off the donuts and cookies that Santa left behind. Chocolate lips.

sawyer gets caught

reading santa note
Discovering their new teepee filled with goodies.

boys find teepeeI’d say it was a big hit.

sawyer smiling in teepee

boys and teepee

boys presents teepee

boys opening presents
Showing Grandma his presents.

opening presents with grandmaOpening up his very own Super Hero Wesley costume.

wes opening gift

wesley christmas smile

wes super hero

sawyer laughing in teepee

sawyer bottle

sawyer phone

ben and wes christmas

sawyer and grandma
Beautiful Nana, my grandma.

my grandma
The three most important women in my life. Aunt, Mom and Grandma.

the gals

christmas table

candle in mason jarThe next day I had every spec of Christmas decor packed away and back in the garage by night fall.  Even though Christmas is my favorite time of year, as soon as the day is over I feel suffocated by the decor. Weird I suppose.

Now, time to enjoy snuggles from my boys and ring in the New Year.
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Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Comments

  1. So cute! I too love Christmas, and I too can’t wait to take down all the decor. Although, I say that, and I am typing this on my computer staring at my Christmas tree.

  2. I loved this post, and felt very much the same way about our Christmas. Like you said, the kids they make it perfect, no matter how very chaotic and imperfect it is. Happy New Year Friend. Cheers to 2014

  3. That little Sawyer is a gem! And Wesley’s
    smile says it all!

  4. I love this post! I feel the same way about the craziness of Christmas and I too cannot wait to take down the decorations the day after! I have been doing that for years, once it’s over it needs to go away right now!! The matching jammies are too cute!

  5. I can see why your Christmas was so perfect. This has been my favourite Christmas post to read yet. I love the idea of writing letters to your children to say merry christmas to them! The matching pyjamas are what Christmas at home is all about! Happy New Year to you, I hope it is filled with just as much happiness x

  6. Audrey Crisp says:

    Looks like you had a great Christmas! Love the teepee! Things never go as planned huh? Ha ha!! Looks perfect to me though!

  7. I feel the same way about Christmas and here, 3 days later, my house still looks like a post-Christmas war zone. Who invented husbands going back to work the day after Christmas? Not me. I got my son a Tnees Tpee for his 1st Birthday & in July and I love seeing more people discover her! They are beautiful & my son still loves his. Just a tip, if you add thumb tacks into the top fabric pieces it helps it stay up better. Ours kept collapsing until we did that! Happy Christmas!

  8. Your Christmas was perfect! I love seeing Christmas through little one’s eyes!! Plus that teepee is beyond cute!!

  9. Im so impressed by everything you did for Christmas. Not only the obvious, unbelievable stuff for your kids with gifts and pjs and letters and special treats, but the stuff for the rest of your family and hosting AND cooking and throwing a HUGE relief society church party just days before and testing your meal ahead of time reguardless of how it turned out day of… You are beyond BH&G… Soooo beyond. I could go on and on

  10. Love the baby by the cookies…he looks charming and guilty.

  11. I absolutely love your photographs…so beautiful and your words always ring so honest and true.

    All the best for a fabulous New Year!

    Katie x
    http://www.missenchanting.co.uk/

  12. Looks so perfect and adorable to me. Don’t worr about the meal. I thrown out more then afew in my day. Just try not to make something you never made before for such events, and remember KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. We all try goung over the top and it often doesn’t work out. If you keep it simple you’ll have just as big as impact without all the trouble. Just my 2 cents.

  13. CHRISTMAS was perfect thanks to you! I loved every minute of it including the not so perfect dinner. It was so special to see you so excited to make home made bread and an extra special dinner. Never mattered to me how it tasted…just that you had such a great time making it! I love you! You truly are The Bestest Baby In The Whole Wide World!!!! Better Homes and Gardens couldn’t have captured anything better then your Little Miss Momma Christmas. xoxo

  14. I’m glad that despite some of the issues you had it was a good Christmas. Love all of the pictures.

  15. Love all of it. I was sad when I saw on IG that your dinner failed and Sawyer threw up… but I so agree with all you wrote here that even when all.the.things. go wrong there are so many other things to turn to to find real happiness in. Especially when you are blessed to be a momma. It doesn’t sound cheesy at all… it is the real truth. I love how well you share the honest parts of life.

  16. Where did you get the glow ball?

  17. Love everything about this post! Your boys are precious!! Where are your red stripe leggings from!? They’re adorable!

  18. I too always have perfect expectations of the holidays. I’ve discovered that once you ease up, they end up being better and more memorable. I love decorating as well but always take it all down the next day. Your boys are absolutely adorable!
    Great post!

  19. This post is adorable. I love Sawyer’s face peeking out of the tent! Their PJs are so sweet! I was so excited to get matching PJs for my girls this year, too! What recipe do you use for chocolate chip cookies? Yours look amazing!

  20. Where did you get your pj pants? Love

  21. Sarah Navares says:

    Hi there! I have been reading your blog for a couple years now, and I absolutely love it.. I read a while back a blog where you were being so sweet and transparent about your struggle with pulling. My 4 year old little girl has been coming to me in tears lately handing me pieces if her hair, and I am really unsure what to do.. Is there a way I can email you to gain some insight?

  22. I love how you call your boys your “insurance policy” I feel the same about my children, like it’s impossible for anything to ever be truly rubbish or ruined as long as they are there. The perfectness of Christmas is definitely in the people and not the stuff, and I see that more and more as I get older. x

  23. New reader, post made me cry. Also read about your hair chopping story. Just wanted to take a second to thank you for sharing such truth and beauty. May God continue to bless you and your family. You’re inspiring little families like mine :) – With love, from Nashville, Meagan

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