Friday, December 19, 2014

tis the best season

The Miller's Christmas countdown...where all is mostly calm and all is usually bright.

Up to this year we've all ways been holiday barnacles, tagging along on the traditions of whichever side of the family we were with. But this year we're venturing out into the unchartered territory of being the creators of traditions. And I'm not going to lie, I feel like a close runner up to Ms. Claus because I am keeping the holidaze in check and we are actually enjoying the season. (Plus my belly is getting bigger and I may have found a gray hair or two so watch out Ms. Claus.)

I give major props to anyone who can do 25 days of Christmas fun and cheer...we do 12.  

My mother picked these little wool stockings a few years ago at J.Crew (the were part of their holiday decor) and now we use them as our advent calendar. Our list of activities includes:

1. Pick out the Christmas tree
2. Decorate the Christmas tree
3. Deliver Christmas treats
4.  Make reindeer food and ornaments 
5. Watch Charlie Brown christmas
6. Make fake snow
7. Christmas shopping
8. Secret Santa (ring and run with treats)
9. Symbols of Christmas Family Home Evening
10. Gingerbread houses
12. Act out the Christmas story 

Rhett knows two Christmas songs, Jingle Bells and the repetition of the word "Alleluia" from Handle's Messiah. Always the loudest soloist, he belts "alleluia" over and over in the most nasally voice and it sounds more like "All-weee-oo-ahhh. " He also confuses it with the beginning of the Lion King so we often get a combo of "Alleluia" and African chanting at the beginning of the Circle of Life.   

It might bring out a little ba-humbug in Jake and I when he sings it for the 30,000 time.

Rad has died and gone to ball ornament heaven. 

Thankfully the ball ornaments we own are plastic and surprisingly super durable.  Dented? Yes. Broken? Never say never. He is also preparing for the great chapped lip apocalypse of 2015 by applying layer after layer after layer after layer after layer of a rouge tube of Chapstick he found somewhere. I keep taking it away and then keep finding it tucked somewhere in the Christmas tree or tree skirt. 

Next year will me the totally be the year we take the boys to see Santa...but until then we won't tell them that's a usual Christmas activity. We can only do so much. Rad can just fill that role this year since he's becoming quite good at yelling "ho!" (X 3 of course.)

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rockstars (with videos!)

What do the word musical and the Miller's have in common?

Well for starters they both start with the letter M...and then the similarities take a deep plunge into not much.

Let's rank our musicality.


- Can play one song on the guitar. The classic Erin Clapton Tears in Heaven.
- Has a really nice singing voice and a great quick wit with changing lyrics. Shower time is his inspiration.
- And at the last 3 wedding we've attended Jake has thrown his back out with his dance moves. Maybe it's time to start calling them "epic" dance moves.


- Expert at singing any sort of woe-is-me songs.
- Has learned the louder she ups the volume in the mini van the more she sounds just like Taylor Swift.


- Has a pastime of singing and dancing with himself in the mirror singing songs about Jesus' muscles (no, no - we don't wonder what we've done wrong)
- Sings "Shake it off, shake it off off" complete with some WIDE hip swings.
- Is enthusiastically tone deaf


- Loves "grooving" (one word for dancing, my word for seizing)
- Although he can't really talk, he can contribute to singing "You are my Sunshine" and "Let it Go"

^^^I call this video "No one puts Rad in a corner" and it's possibly one of my favorites of him.

^^^And in case you ever wondered why we call them rockstars...Rhett enlightens us.

Forrest Gump and a box of chocolates around here --- always.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

coastal life

Behold! Pictures from Coos Bay Oregon! Land of Thanksgiving 2014, the best clam chowder, and home of Jake's childhood.

I feel it necessary to briefly document the flights because if I don't I know I'll forget is flying with chimpanzees and we'll repeat the experience all too soon.

Let's bullet point it. 

1. No one puked. Yay.
2. Rad tightened up the apron strings real nice and refused to be put down or go to anyone else. 
3. He did kiss the bald head of the man in front of us. Progress toward independence. 
4. Rhett astutely observed that my pants were unzipped in the line waiting to board the plane. 
5. Jake and I realized that when the pilot says "We'll be touching down in a quick hour and ten minutes folks, enjoy the remainder of your flight." what parents actually hear is "We'll be touching down never. Enjoy the remainder of your life of this true treasure of a flight." 

^^^But wait what...?! Shut the duck up!! We made it! 

Chugging along. Let's move beyond the flight, Speedy Gonzmiller.

^^^We went crabbing and Rhett and Rad proved that the apple falls MILES from the tree by approaching and touching a little crustacean that looked like a great candidate for the first Miller pet (according to Rhett). FAR from their mother tree.

The little boy pictured above who was one of our "instructors" told Rhett that he liked to eat the crabs. Rhett looked at him like he was Kanye crazy. If I could read Rhett's thoughts I think we would have been thinking "The only seafood I'll eat is Goldfish crackers. My palate is that refined."

^^^Rhett screamed "It's a killer whale!" while we were crabbing but it turned out to be a very friendly sea lion. Whew. Free Willy part whatever averted. 

^^^Pine Cone Wars sounds like a great new series for TLC.

^^^Because reality TV needs more cheese-heads. 

^^^These city slickers have never had such close proximity to chickens. But that didn't stop Rhett from passionately declaring he had never loved a chicken so much and Rad was DESPERATE to kisss one. Running full speed with lips puckered.  

^^^Jake's family lives pretty much right on the water, so it's always great when the weather cooperates and we can frolic there.  These aren't swim club friendly beaches so there won't be any pictures of us sausaged into wetsuits. Feel free to scroll down angst free.  

^^^Well OK don't mind the mushy moment. I promise it was merited! We got to go back to the beach that Jake proposed at and it's been 7 years since that moment. So we snagged a smooching selfie while our children peeterd probably too close to the water. 

^^^My mother in law is super skilled at bird feeding which the boys absolutely hated...

And lastly worth noting...

^^^Favorite papa moment of the trip...mowing the lawn.

^^^We made the discovery of the best clam chowder in the world. And not like the "best (insert item) in the world" dinky signs you see at gas stations that seem questionably sketchy. But like FOR REAL the best.  

^^^Favorite cat. Rad's new true love. Wuv. True wuv.

PS Thanksgiving did happen and it was awesome being in the pregnant stage of being able to eat and eat and eat. Hello deviled eggs!

Plus there's something so special about being with family when it's cold and rainy outside. That cozy Parenthood moment when everyone tries to get a warm roll at once. We have a lot to be grateful for this year especially, and despite Rad's look of terror in the only pic I managed that day, we are very grateful for being a family.

Thank you Oregon!

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