So, you might have noticed I haven’t been posting 52 Weeks of Brotherhood. I continued that photo project for three years. It helped me focus on some of the beautiful things between them as brothers even during the weeks when life with two boys felt overwhelming. But it started to feel like a chore, and I don’t like photo projects, let alone any project, once it feels like a chore.
So I silently put it to rest as the new year rolled in, but I didn’t pick out a new project.
Then I saw someone mention monthly family pictures for the year. I apologize to whomever mentioned this in late January, but I only saw it in passing, and by the time I realized I wanted to join in on the idea, the Internet Time Machine ate your post. But I really liked the idea of a year of family photos, though I’m not quite sure that the rest of my family will enjoy the idea as much as I do. Previously, they only had to endure a family photo of some sort in the fall. Every month? They might kill me.
But onward we go.
Except for the fact that I almost missed the first month because life is busy. But then I remembered. And I got this photo on our most recent visit.
Nearly forgetting made the most awesome family photo ever. It’s going to hang on our photo wall.
I don’t know what the rest of the year will bring family photo wise yet, but I’m looking forward to this new project.
First we tried our annual dog picture in front of the tree with antlers.
Callie didn’t seem too amused. So we took them off.
And she smiled like a good dog (but my lighting was way off because I broke my external flash). (Check out Instagram for a better photo.)
The boys seem to be really in to the Christmas traditions and Advent activities this year. Tonight’s activity was to go on a Christmas Light Scavenger hunt. Before we were halfway done, LittleBrother declared this the “best Advent activity ever.” I found myself agreeing. It definitely felt like a step up from simply “going to see Christmas lights” as we’ve done ever year during our activities. Additionally, as I made it a “family” activity instead of a competition between individuals, the fighting remained rather minimal.
By rather minimal, I mean that I only raised my voice a few times. Hooray!
They’ve really gotten into baking and making holiday treats as well. We’ve baked cookies and made our holiday white chocolate popcorn. By we’ve, I literally mean we with a heavy emphasis on their help. They’ve done more with baking this year than in any year prior and, again, with minimal arguing. It’s actually felt mostly enjoyable, if just a little bit noisy. Also, as it seems we are somehow required to listen to Straight No Chaser’s version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” while baking, I can only handle so much repetition. They, however, could listen over and over and over again.
We’ve also shopped for daddy, enjoyed an art night, and generally spent a lot of time as a family. Their only complaint thus far is that I’ve made them stick (pretty close) to bedtimes, except when we spent the weekend away, as they’re still in school through this Friday. I know they’ll feel a little more excited when they can sleep in each other’s rooms and stay up later than usual.
I’ll invest in some ear plugs—or just borrow BigBrother’s.
#HatfieldXmas15 + 52 Weeks of Brotherhood update: Last Wednesday, my iPhone was in a plastic bag with rice. When I went to grab a picture for 52 Weeks of Brotherhood off of my iCloud account, I realized I hadn’t set up the photos to backup to iCloud when I got my new phone. In September.
Thankfully the Rice Bag was magical yet again and my phone works just fine.
#HatfieldXmas15, November 29
What? You don’t pretend like the Christmas tree measuring stick is a bazooka? Your Christmas tree farm visit must be boring.
#HatfieldXmas15, December 6
Our Advent activities are also going along mostly swimmingly. The boys really enjoyed baking cookies the other night as they did almost all of the work.
Someone is being bossy in this photo. Can you tell which brother is doing the bossing?
I broke the egg because our chickens have tough shells and I wanted to crunch down on M&Ms and not eggshell. Details.
We’re really trying to make the most of this busy season by spending time together as a family. It’s hard sometimes, with everything going on, but we’re doing as well as can be expected.