Family Christmas Photos

If you take a breeze through my twitter feed, this site, or my personal facebook photo albums, you will see a lot of flattering, fun pictures.  But what about the outtakes?

A few days ago, I posted an edited version of our Christmas card. And of Like every family photo, there were a MILLION pictures taken before we found the best (which still wasn’t perfect).  I joked with my sister in law that I should have sent cards with the outtakes, because that’s what life is really like! So in an effort to be a little more transparent, I thought I would post some of them for your enjoyment.

IMG_4768pay attention puppies!”



Where’d Luke go?




I am getting frustrated and the Man thinks that’s funny

IMG_4762 “What’s that? another dog barking? can we play with him?” 


“Oh! Look how close I am to Vivi! I can kiss her face!”

And then there is, of course, the brilliant self portrait we took on Christmas Day.  Truly a Beaut.



Just trying to keep it real, folks.

Farewell 2012!

Robin over at Farewell Stranger has invited the blogging community to say farewell to 2012 through their favorite pictures.

I have chosen one picture from each month, with an explanation about why each is significant. I should note that most are “favorites” for the memories they stir up, not for composition. It was so so hard to pick the best moments of 2012, but I loved having the chance to revisit some photos and memories that had slipped my mind.  Enjoy!



January 2012

These are my dear friends Jess and Gavin holding our other friends Molly and Sam’s daughter Liddy. A large group of us decided to go to an Albany Devils Hockey game, and got group seating right on the ice. Liddy was the first baby of our law school friends, and everyone had to take a turn cuddling her. I love how the happy face Jess is making as she looks at Liddy.  And Gavin’s facial expression is his trademark.


February 2012

Luke and Lacey are my heart. Even though they have managed to ruin almost every piece of furniture in our house, we still can’t resist having them lie on the sofa with (or without) us. They’re the best of friends.


March 2012

When I was 6 months along, I finally felt pregnant enough to jutify parking in expetant mother’s spots at Buy Buy Baby, but not too pregnant to be uncomfortable. It was glorious.


April 2012

Every night, Luke would lie next to me on the sofa, and put his head on my stomach.  I think he heard the baby’s heatbeat. Please also note Lacey’s photobomb.


May 2012

What Baby Lafe’s room looked like mere moments after unloading the gifts from our first baby shower. I thought baby had a lot of stuff then, but that’s nothing compared to now!

June 2012

In June, I was tired, big, and my pants were feeling tight. I had an apperance at Albany County Supreme Court for a very long settlement conference with another attorney from my office. I stopped in the bathroom, and saw this taped to the mirror. It was a lovely surprise.


July 2012

Miss Vivian Eleanor’s first day with us. We had just moved from the delivery room to our postpartum room, and took this picture of her as she was lying on my chest, skin to skin. My heart bursts just thinking of her little breaths and fluttering eyelids.


August 2012

We spent a few days at Keuka Lake with family.  Vivian was just beginning to sleep through the night, and we had begun to figure each other out.  I look at this picture and remember it as such a very happy time. But it was also the beginning of a difficult time.


September 2012

Viv and my first sleepover without The Man. We went to Rochester for my cousin’s wedding, and The Man followed the next morning. Viv and I were playing in the hotel room and I captured this picture of us on my iphone. I remember being amazed at how big she looked, and now I can’t believe she was ever that small!


October 2012

Candid pictures are my favorite.  I so rarely have candid pictures of myself, since I’m usually behind the camera.   The look of joy on The Man and my faces says it all.  Vivian was quiet and peaceful during her baptism, and Father Yanas was beaming when he welcomed her into the Church.

November 2012








I was getting Vivian dressed to go to Grandma’s for the day, and had to set her down on the cocktail table to get her hat on.  Luke and Lacey hopped over and started sniffing her “new” hat. Her face totally captures what I imagine her thinking: “what the….”



My sweet darling on Christmas. December was a hard month for me. There were so many beautiful pictures of Vivian from December, but when I see many, I remember how broken I felt.  Christmas was joyful and wonderful and happy. The look of wonder on her face brings me peace.



What a whirlwind 2012 was. The highs were the highest, and with that, the lows were the lowest.  I am going into 2013 with new goals, strategies, and a heart fuller than it has ever been.  Here’s to the next year!




(make sure to take a moment to check out all of the other bloggers who linked up to the Farewell to 2012 party!)




Vivian’s Inaugural Christmas

The month of December has plenty of traditions that make me feel like it’s truly the Christmas Season.

First is my work Christmas Party (4th), which is held the first week in December.  Then the Breslin Yankee Swap Party (4th), where Sam wears his trademark red or green Christmas corduroys. And finally, my parent’s annual Christmas Party (20+).  Sprinkled in there are several birthdays (Keith, Caitlin, Todd, MIL Chris) which screams “CHRISTMAS IS COMING!”

This year, I started considering the new traditions that will come into our family with small people living in our house.  We’ve always played “Santa Paws” with the dogs, but it’s always been a little silly and sarcastic. I wonder if our future Christmases will be filled with Santa-wrapped presents, Hallmark ornaments, or an Elf on a Shelf (oh god, please no), or some other silly tradition we have yet to invent.

This year, we spent Christmas Eve with the Man’s family.



IMG_4812editIMG_4850editIMG_4851editedit IMG_2731

Then Christmas morning, Vivian played with her Jumperoo from Santa.


We went to Church, and headed over to my parent’s house.  Vivian loved playing with her musical toys, books, and red headband!








Then Santa came by to visit! Vivian was great with him, and kept pulling on his beard.


We spent some time at our neighbor’s house for appetizers and drinks.  My neighbors are like family, and it is so wonderful to have everyone home and happy.   This year was especially fun because my next door neighbor’s granddaughter is four days older than Miss Viv!


Our Christmas celebration continued on Wednesday, when we opened presents with my brother (who worked Christmas day), and had our official Christmas dinner.

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And after several days of running around, we’re finally getting back to our regular schedules. The pups have been passed out on the sofa for days, Viv is sleeping soundly, and I’m trying to find places for all of our lovely gifts! I hope everyone had a great Christmas!



Mary’s Song

I had the Amy Grant Christmas album when I was younger (who didn’t?) and LOVED it. One song always brought me to tears. On my way to work, I was listening to the radio when it came on. I had never heard it played on the radio before, because it is more religiously based than most Christmas songs out there.

I am struggling through a tough time right now and needed to hear those words.

“Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place,
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me.”

-Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)


Listen and see if it can bring you some peace on this Christmas Eve.