Friday, January 31, 2014

A December Bride

A December Bride  by Denise Hunter
Layla O'Reilly is a home stager trying to get her new business up and running.  She ends up engaged to Seth Murphy after attending a wedding with him as her last minute date.  
Instead of ending the engagement they keep the lie going while Layla decorates Seth's house for a special Christmas tour.  They spend several weeks together decorating Seth's house to try and get Layla a more secure future for her business.  Layla is trying to impress a wealthy real estate broker, but Seth has his own reasons for maintaining the false engagement.  
I liked that this was a love story and that the author kept things appropriate when it came to the physical aspect of their relationship.    The beginning of the book showed some promise, but the end was fairly predictable.  I have seen this book  described elsewhere as a good candidate for a Hallmark movie and I thought that was a very apt description.  
Overall I was not impressed by this book.  This novella did not take long to read, but I don't think that I will be in a hurry to read another book of this series.  If you are looking for something light hearted and fun to read during an afternoon then this would be a good choice.

I Love Books

This Christmas I got a Kindle.  I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy reading books on the Kindle regularly, but it turns out I love it!  I have read several books since the beginning of the year.  I was so excited to find a new website called  I am able to download books for free, as long as I review them for you here.
So if you start seeing book reviews here on the blog that is why.  I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

3 Months Old

Three months, this precious little man has been a part of our family for 3 whole months.  Malachi is such a sweet baby, he smiles all the time and he has enjoyed discovering his voice.  He is also a big boy.  I haven't had him weighed since last month, but he has continued to grow.  This 6-12 month outfit  is fitting him quite well, and the size 2 shoes are getting a little snug.  Basically Malachi is the same size that Addison was at a year.

And just for fun here is a group shot. I am so lucky to be there momma!  There are days that are hard with this many little kiddos, but the rewards are worth it.

I hope your new year is going well!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

This year we decided to let the kids stay up as late as they wanted to.  

Ben-Ben made it to about 8:20.

Here is Malachi on the baby monitor, he was out around 10

These two night owls made it all the way to Midnight!

We barely made it to midnight.

Happy New Year!  Apparently Paris does NOT do a fireworks display every year.  We learned this the hard way when no fireworks went off at midnight.  The Eiffel Tower did sparkle and it was beautiful, but kind of anticlimactic when you are expecting fireworks. 

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Seeing the Sights in Paris

This is Grandma, Poppa and Uncle Joe's first trip to Paris so after Christmas we bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus and set out.  We used the L'Open Tour bus, we boarded near the Opera.    Traveling around the city is more challenging than you might think with 5 adults, 3 kiddos and an infant.  It was a chilly day so we were all bundled up too.  Our first place that we got off the bus was Notre Dame.  Malachi was happy to be able to see everyone.  

The Hilton Men in front of Notre Dame's beautiful stained glass.

Grandma and Poppa with three out of the four.

Uncle Joe and Notre Dame.  It was a chilly day, but the sun was shining!

From Notre Dame we rode around the city and made our way to the Champs Elysees.  We ate lunch at Pizza di Roma, we have eaten there a couple of times and we have been really impressed both times with our meal.  They have a table upstairs that will accommodate our large group size.  We usually try and to go to lunch around 12, before the rest of the crowds hit the restaurant.  If you ever get there the Mama Rosa pizza is a little different, but very tasty.  We were able to order 3 pizzas and feed the 8 of us.

The Arc is such a neat sight.

The sidewalks were starting to fill up in the afternoon, but we were still able to get some fun pictures.

What, a picture of just Jon and I?

After taking pictures in front we made our way up to the top of the Arc.  We had the double stroller for the big boys and a stroller for Malachi, but Paris is not a very stroller friendly city.  Thankfully we had plenty of strong arms to carry strollers and boys up and down stairs.  When we got to the base of the Arc we were directed to an elevator, it is reserved only for people with strollers and wheel chairs.  The elevator was a tight squeeze for all of us, but we were so thankful for it.  The elevator let off right at the gift shop and there was just one more flight of stairs to the very top.  Grandma waited with the strollers while the rest of us went up.
The views at the top were so much fun.

That is Malachi hiding under the blanket, I found out he does NOT like wind at all.

Jon went down and relieved Grandma of stroller duty and she was brave enough to make it to the top.

From the Arc we got to cross a couple of very busy roads, and then we made a run for our L'Open Tour bus and enjoyed a sunset ride around the city.

The next day we picked up where we left off and started at the Eiffel Tower.  It was kind of a yucky morning, misting rain and cloudy skies.  

Joe was dressed to stay warm, but we were worried that security at the Eiffel Tower would be nervous about his covered face so this look didn't last long.

Addie and I stopped for a quick picture.

Poppa, Uncle Joe and Addie.

And then crazy Daddy jumping in the background.  

After the Eiffel Tower we made our way through Les Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb.  We could have spent a lot more time there, but soon enough it was lunch time.  We have eaten at the cafeteria that is on the grounds of Les Invalides two times now and we have been pleased both times.   We were hoping to  catch another L'Open Tour bus at this point, but after waiting for 20 minutes the bus that came by was full.  The next bus wasn't scheduled to come for another 30 minutes so we decided to just walk back to our car and drive to our next destination, the Champs Elysees Christmas Market.  

Addie's little fit here was after getting to ride a pony we didn't let her jump on the trampoline.  She had to sit and wait while her brothers got to have their turn and she was not happy.  

This little guy was excited about his turn.

Ben kept yelling "I am having so much fu!"

I had fun snapping pictures of the boys as they bounced and had fun.

Look at that grin.

Garret was so little one of the workers kept pulling him down and bouncing him and then he would giggle.

Addie forgave me after she got to pick her special treat for the afternoon, cotton candy as big as her head!  She did share this with Garrett, but the size had been diminished after we got caught in some sprinkles.  

The kids had earned some fun time after trekking all over the city for 2 days.  I never get tired of visiting this amazing city, and I hope that the kids have fond memories of this special time.

Christmas Morning Magic

I love Christmas morning when we all come down stairs together.  I am kind of a nut about making sure that everyone goes into the living room at the same time.  

I LOVE the look on Jon's face in this picture, he knew what to expect, but it is so fun to experience everything with the kids.

Ben's face here is priceless too.  The boys both got dress up sets of Chevalier or Knights.

Addie loving on her knew Daisy the cat, Uncle Joe hard at work opening a package for someone.

Garrett all dressed up and ready to fight!

Malachi was up for a little bit and loved his new giraffe, and cuddling with Grandma.  

The kids getting ready to open their big gift from Nannie and GeeGee.

They were so excited to tear into their new kitchen!

Warm new hats for everyone!

We had a great morning opening gifts and then we enjoyed a breakfast of quiche and pastries that I had picked up the day before at our favorite bakery.  I think that is my new favorite food tradition for Christmas morning.  

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!