Team Elam a family story

Xmas 2015

Yep. this awful – middle of the moment shot – is the ONLY picture I took for our Christmas.  It was a completely wonderful experience to watch each kiddo hit their most precious place as they end up getting their hearts desire. I LOVED this Christmas 

xmas crazy

Now THAT’S a play date!

We started the night with water balloons and wrapped it with tequila shots! Iris Collis you are a woman after my own heart!!! 😘😘😘😂😂😂

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4th@home

Last year was our inauguration – our official induction – into the neighborhood. We headed downtown for the DC parade, but the fun didn’t stop there! We pull up back at home to the entire street blocked off and a pyromaniacs dream lit up and down the row.

I was not ready. See I have always been in the “unlawful” part of the US.  The part where if you were lucky enough to get your hands on a firework and smuggle it in, you lit it and ran!! so my knowledge and experience pretty much boil down to the year Jennifer and I started dating and in an unfortunate incident, I lit his Uncle’s buick on fire… I ran like hell and haven’t delved since.  

Virginia is not that place.  It is a completely legal, supported, CELEBRATED! form of entertainment.

This year we were ready! I had a bag of recently purchased, totally legal;0 assortment of sparklers, snakes, and (the piece de resistance – A Spangled Star!) Now, did I know what a Spangled Star was?!? NOPE! but the guy at the fireworks stand (and that’s a temporarily trailer parked in a lot completely crammed full of explosive devices) told me to light the fuse and run!

RUN! got it 😉

So last night, we banded together, old and new to feast, laugh and light the sky. It was one for the record books. 

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kite festival fail

Ahhh friends, I had such high hopes for this weekend! and I don’t just mean the kites!!LOL!!!! I had visions of a picnic on the Washington Mall with Jennifer and I toasting our good fortune as our adorably well behaved children played with their kites around us, enjoying the sunshine… 

The reality was bitingly cold winds that were more likely to turn our adorable and sparkly kites into dive bombing kamikaze machines, tears, falls and major frustration – Ima literally got wrapped up in her kite strings (see pic below) all leading to the painful realization that we needed to bail. Jennifer called it a win – we did indeed see some kites, we shared in that joy for about 2 seconds and then we bundled up to enjoy a picnic in the warm cuddliness of our living room… #4kidsandcounting  #kitefestivalfail #rollinwiththegoodtimes 

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HOME

Oh my goodness! There’s nothing like a trip to remind you of the merits of home. My bed, my pillow, this crazy place we’re building up to make our mark – never looked so good. My heart is so full watching the kids unload, let go and relax. Thankful for family, for our incredible Christmas and all of the memories we just made, but so very thankful that we have this little piece to come home to…

home

Christmas on the farm

The true sense of Christmas – Peace, Love, and Joy – comes so effortlessly here on the farm. There is a quiet that can only be found when you are miles and miles from civilization. There is a slower, more deliberate pace here that forces you to take a breath and sigh out the stress. I am thankful that we have this refuge. Thankful that the kids have the experience of where life comes from – Farm to Table has a whole different meaning!! And so very thankful we have so many here who love us.

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Meet our own personal Hooch…Bear :)

Meet our French Mastiff – Bear! Also know as a snootier – Dogue De Bordeaux – his breed is known for their size :):) but also for their protection, snuggly nature and quiet disposition.  We’ve been searching out breeders for the last couple of months when we randomly walked into our local pet store and came face to face with Bear’s beautiful green eyes. The rest is history.

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bucket list!

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Naughty or nice?

Sooooo, one of the crazy things they do here in Fairfax is a Santa run. Santa himself, rides a fire truck down the street waving with Mrs. Clause and a Dalmatian at their feet.

We, of course, run outside waving and shouting our love! This year as I tucked the kids into bed, Harley asks if she can do her wish list with nana (totally predictable) but as I go in to tuck Noah he looks worried. I ask him what’s wrong and he replys “I hope I’m not on the naughty list”

Ohhhhhh my! It was everything I could do to keep a straight face 😄😄😄😄

Eagle strong!

I had the honor today to attend my dads retirement ceremony (excuse the video I had 2 kiddos asleep in my lap:) 

The poem he quotes is as follows:

To laugh often and much; 
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was so incredibly moving to hear men and women alike talk about the impact my father has had on their lives and that of the military reserve as a whole. There were people who spoke about his mentorship – his levelheadedness – his calm. I stood by and recalled memories where this man I loved to threw me in the deep end but not to let me sink.where I too leaned on him to be my rock.  Where I could trust him to remain calm (even in the most upheavaled of moments:) He is a man who embodies so much of what I hope to accomplish through life. I am so proud to have both parents who have served our country. Army Strong!

Here’s to the next chapter!!!!