Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review

I can't believe that 2012 is already ending. Each year seems to go more quickly than the last, especially since we had Jamie. Looking back, this was a pretty busy year for each of us in the Lecaque household...

Thomas was kept very busy with school this year. He presented at and attended numerous conferences and traveled to North Carolina, Mississippi, Chicago, Boston, and Bulgaria. He passed his Latin language exam and finished his coursework!! He also lost about 15 pounds, bringing his total weight loss since 2009 up to about 75 pounds. I am so proud of him on all counts!

It was a busy year for me school-wise as well. At the beginning of 2012 I hadn't even thought of writing my thesis, but it turned out I thought of little else from April on. Completing my master's thesis and finally graduating was certainly my biggest accomplishment this year. I also spent a lot of time sewing and cooking--over the course of the year we cut out more and more processed foods from our diet, which meant a lot more work in the kitchen for me, but I honestly just love it and it's worth it to know I am feeding my family the best possible food. I also ran a 5k, drove to Missouri and back with a toddler by myself, and read lots of books. And of course I mainly kept busy taking care of Mr. James!

Jamie's verbal abilities developed by leaps and bounds this year. Last December he was saying about 40 or 50 words and was still signing quite a bit. Now he has a complex syntax and extensive vocabulary. He is always amazing me with his understanding and ability to communicate. He was a ringbearer in a wedding, spent lots of time at the zoo, made some new friends, learned to jump and to open doors, grew tall enough to reach everything in sight, and loved playing with his grandparents every chance he got. He is very cute, smart, and affectionate, and we are so lucky to have him.

As this year ends, we are looking forward to what 2013 will bring, with lots more traveling, reading, and learning for all three of us.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas day {part 2}

At my parents' house, it was time for stocking #2...
Peter Rabbit was thrilled with his carrots and parsley.
And our second set of presents! Again we got SO many nice gifts. Jamie notably got a wide variety of dinosaurs, cars and trucks, and books. His favorite was probably the big fire truck!
Oh dear.

only Christmas picture of the two of us. sad it's blurry!
Later back at Thomas's house, we ate our weight in roast beef and chocolate...
the buche! so so yummy.
Jamie and I both got aprons! {I made his}
And then we ate even MORE food back at my house again.
the traditional Christmas pizza making
We ended the night back at Thomas's house again, playing games and eating treats. It was a very merry Christmas

Christmas day {part 1}

We spent Christmas Eve with Thomas's parents and had our first round of present-opening at their house. It was a wonderful morning!
Please note that Santa is now in the crouton business.

reindeer prints on the balcony

Let's go see what Santa brought!
 Stockings all around...

a little candy before breakfast...

Emily joined us over Skype
We all got enormously spoiled. Though he got a lot of good ones, these were Jamie's three best presents:
#1) his Jamie-sized backpack! When he opened it, he put it on, announced, "Good bye! I am going to school!" and ran off down the hall.

#2) recycling truck. He was kept busy for a long time stuffing wrapping paper in the back. At one point I asked if he wanted to open another present, and he replied, "I am busy recycling."

 #3) tool set. He was busy drilling, sawing, and hammering all morning!

I got so many nice gifts that I was left wondering if there was anything left to get from my family! Among other things, I got a pair of Toms, a Harry Potter cookbook, several other books I'd asked for, a new board game, placemats, and some various kitchen accessories. Here are a couple of my most picture-worthy ones:
anthropologie apron!
new peacoat!
Thomas got a lot of presents too but they somehow escaped being photographed. He was particularly excited to get Bang!, the Settlers of Catan expansion set, some new clothes (that fit!), a variety of old Nickelodeon shows, and some books, including Guibert of Nogent, by his advisor. We did get a picture of Thomas being wrapped up in leftover wrapping paper, though...

Then we were all set to head off to Christmas #2!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve

turkey dinner! with this brine recipe

white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap-pecan crust, homemade whipped cream, homemade caramel, and toasted chopped pecans
pie for Jamie

pie for Mommy

pie for Daddy
the stockings were hung by the chimney with care (including Peter Rabbit's stocking!)
cookies and milk for Santa, carrots and celery for the reindeer
post Christmas Eve bath
traditional Night Before Christmas reading
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

snow days

We don't really get snow in Knoxville, so since last Christmas Jamie has associated snow with Grandma and Grandpa's house. For a YEAR he has been hoping to make a snowman with Grandpa again. Seriously, he never stopped talking about it the entire year. So on Tuesday morning when we woke up to snow, he immediately started clamoring to go out and make a snowman. Unfortunately the snow was accompanied by 40 mph winds. It was pretty miserable, but we got out there and made a little snowman. It only took about 5 or 10 minutes before Jamie wanted to come back in, complaining, "I want it to be warm!"
Yesterday afternoon, though, it was 30 degrees, sunny, and there was no wind, so Thomas, Jamie, and I went sledding! Jamie LOVED it, and I had more fun than I could ever remember. His enjoyment makes everything so much more fun. When we got to the bottom of the hill each time, he kept exclaiming, "Do it again!!" When I asked him, "Do you like the snow? Do you like sledding?" he replied, "I do! I do! I love these things!" Eventually he got tired of walking back up the hill, and then we got tired of carrying him back up, so we called it a day. So, so fun!
snow angels didn't go over as well as sledding :)