passa fest … 30 years later

How fun is this picture … the Passa clan, thirty years ago. 

I thought it would be fun to bring the Passa family together again, so we hosted a gathering at our house followed by Lincoln's baptism the following morning. 

Lincoln got his hair washed for the occasion

Nothing says Merry Christmas like Mexican + Margaritas

a little project to keep the kiddos busy

Baptism Day …

My cousins, Mikayla and Noah, are Lincoln's godparents. They were the ring bearer and flower girl in our wedding - so sweet to see the photos side-by-side.

Followed by a special visit by Santa to the church … who knew St. Nick hung out at Mass?


BReaking BAd: the elf edition

Is anyone else as tired of hiding the elf?

I have lost so much creativity this year. I tried so hard the last two years … and the views to my past ELF posts prove it. Through traffic on Pinterest, my elf pages have seen hundreds of views in the last month.

(see here and here)

So this year … I decided to try something new.

Maybe it's due to my obsession with Breaking Bad.

And a combination of the heavy amount of cold medicine I have been taking.

I bring you … BReaking BAd: The Elf Edition.


Balancing Act

It's been a while. 
What can I say? 

Life is crazy. 

I am playing the "I have been busy" card. Which I always hate when anyone else plays that card. 
Because really … how can you be that busy?

Well, let me tell you. I have been that busy. Times twelve. 

It seems obvious to think that adding another human to our family equation would create more "busy." As smart as I like to think I am, I apparently forgot just how much work another human actually is. 

Maternity leave was awesome. Yes, there were highs and there were lows. But by Week Six, we established a great routine and the next Eight Weeks flew by. 

And now, I am back at work. I adore my job and love working for an amazing brand. I soaked up my leave and looked excitedly for the time to come back. 
Not working simply isn't an option for me. Because I love it.

However. I need to find two things. 

1. Routine
2. Ability to Let Go

I am craving for routine. Routine makes me tick. 

I thrive on the unexpected at work … the unexpected announcement, the unpredicted surprise, the unplanned meeting. These things fuel my motivation to work. 

But when it comes to the framework of my day, I need to know what is going to happen. 
And when. 
And for how long. 

You'd think that having one child (Emmett) … and then another child (Fletcher)  … would force me to make choices and let go of things that I simply can't do anymore. 

Didn't happen. 

Lincoln arrives. For the first time in my life I really let go of things in order to make room, both physically and mentally, to care for a new special angel. 

But I need to let go a bit more. 

This was confirmed this week. 
As I met my trainer for our weekly 5am workout, he asked me if I had my Christmas Tree up yet. 

Without blinking, I responded. 

"Almost. I have five of our six trees put up. I have one left."

I didn't realize it until I said it out loud. 
I am completely crazy. 
I have three kids, a busy job and I am putting up six Christmas trees. 
What is wrong with me?

It is December, one of the most magical months of the year. People told me that I planned my maternity leave well. I had my time off, then I can come back to work in the middle of the holiday season and enjoy time off during the Holidays with the family. 

Let me say, for the record, it is hardest time to come back to work. 

Not only is it complicated trying to get into a new routine, but I have a bazillion things to do in order to get ready for Christmas. 

Deep Breath. 

The Wheels are in Motion to bring routine and structure to our crazy life. 

1. We hired a new housecleaner. 

2. We wrote a schedule to help us manage child logistics during the week. Grandma and Grandpa will be pinching in to fill holes (a lot of holes) to get Emmett on and off the bus. 

3. I finally cracked the code on how to make an amazing protein shake. Operation "Lose the Baby Fat" continues to be a work in progress. 

4. I am going to stop at five trees. Sorry, Tree #6, you will stay in the box this year. 

5. My Christmas Shopping is DONE.

You might not hear from Mommy Erica much in December. 

I've got some magic to whip up for my three little angels. 

But I promise that I'll be back soon. Just like working, blogging is a hobby that will always have room on my plate.

In the meantime, some fun pictures below from the last few weeks.

My last few days of maternity leave … 
The universal Stay-at-Home-Mom outfit. Lululemon. 
Lunch with Emmett on my last day of leave
I seriously spent the entire afternoon, on my last day off, holding Lincoln and watching Breaking Bad.
I adore the sight of winter gear nestled inside a warm entry while it snows outside.

Baby Lincoln on my first day at work.
Lincoln stayed with Grandma and Daddy during my first two weeks back at work. 

Fletcher's Thanksgiving Feast at his school.

Walking to our neighborhood tree lighting the night before Thanksgiving.

The boys helped me prepare Thanksgiving Dinner sides …

Emmett watched the Turkey all morning. 

While these two slept …

Leave it to Emmett to draw a "Map" of where everyone should sit for dinner. 

This photo may be my favorite of the weekend.
As tradition would have it, Terri and I hit up the Black Friday shopping. Somewhere around midnight in Macy's I nonchalantly asked her if she saw the pretty gold and white tulle dress in the ad.

She immediately knew which dress I meant, she had seen it too and liked it.

So we spent the next 45-minutes walking through the store trying to find it. It was located. In the Junior's Department. Which we are apparently too "big" to shop in any longer as we couldn't zip it up.

It didn't look quite as cute on us as it did in the ad. But it sure was fun.

Poor Baby Lincoln. His big brothers are obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.