{Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!}

 Do you know I meant to do this post in November??  Then I meant to do it again at Christmas.  Then I meant to do it again on New Years.

So now I’m finally doing it :-)

Where to start, where to start…..well, it was my busiest Fall/Holiday Season I’ve ever had.  I also had 2 sisters that had babies at the end of October, so that just added to the craziness.  We had Thanksgiving, then we had a surprise birthday weekend for my dad’s 60th birthday down at Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, MO, then my sister from Dallas and her 5 kids came back to Kirksville and stayed through Christmas.  I went back to Kirksville in early December so that I could help out with all the kiddos and the new babies and then before you knew it, everyone was arriving for Christmas.  Then we had the twins birthday party, then we had an 8:30 AM baptism in Edina at St. Joe for Owen, Lola, Preston & Grayon, then Santa came to visit us, then we  had Christmas Eve, then we had Midnight Mass at St. Joe in Edina, etc, etc, etc.  It’s so funny because every year we’re like, “next year won’t be as crazy, we won’t have this and that going on.”  We said it last year (we had Caroline & Jared’s wedding), we said it this year and I’m sure we’ll say it next year :-)

So I guess that’s what I’ll start off with, Christmas!!!  Christmas is my mom’s “thing”.  She does A LOT of things really well, but Christmas is her biggest thing and she knocks it out of the park every year.  This year was an “on” year (meaning everyone, 32 people, would be home) and as usual, she began prepping a year ago.  But what was different this time around was the fact that she didn’t really get her month of crunch time just before Christmas.  Amanda was back with all her kids so that we could help her with the new babies and it turns out, Preston & Grayson require a lot of time, ha!   I know she wouldn’t have traded that time with them for the world, but it also meant her Christmas wouldn’t go exactly as she planned, which she was fine with…but I knew the little things were driving her crazy ;-)

So before we made it to Christmas, we had Miles & Bennett’s Birthday.  We did a VERY SMALL photo shoot the day of their Birthday.  Here are a few :-)

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 These are their new winter hats :-)

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They fight over Papa and get upset if he’s holding one of them.  So my dad usually gives in and just holds them both :-)   One way you can tell them apart is that Bennett always goes after my dad’s glasses and smacks him in the face in the process, ha!

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Well I’ve never seen a bigger stinker face :-)

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 Throughout December, the Bobzien’s were at my parents house.  One day I decided to take the twins to the park (turned out being an awesome idea to go then because that night we got a few inches of snow) and just so happened to take my camera.   I tried to push them on the Merry Go ‘Round, but they decided it was more fun to push me on it :-)

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Carolina is obsessed with shoes.  All month long, all of a sudden she would bust in a room and in her cute little voice say,  ”I FOWD MA SHOOOS.”   Well, Ellie had a pair of pink crocs (ugh, I hate crocs…..so ugly) and we tried so hard to hide them from Carolina, but she found them.  And when she finds a different pair, they tend to stay on her feet for extended periods of time.  I’m not joking…..she’ll sleep in them.  Once, while I was in Dallas, I got her up from her nap and she had on Carson’s giant spider man shoes.

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Oh, by the way, here’s that first round of snow we got :-)   LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!  I know pretty much everyone hates snow, but for me……a full on blizzard just makes me giddy!   And yes,  I let Carson run out with me without a coat.  Only cowboy boots and P.J.’s.   And yes, he survived.

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So later on that week, people started making it home.  Everyone made it into town by Saturday night and then we all headed over to Edina on Sunday morning to get some kids baptized :-)   I planned on taking pictures, but I end up being a stand-in God Mother for Miss Lola because Zane’s sister Christie got hit with the flu.  My mom did take a few pictures though.  I actually find the one’s of us walking up the aisle kind of funny…..I don’t think they ever intend for it to be a mob of people, but I guess that’s what you get with our group???

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It was somewhat crowded up at the alter with 4 kids being baptized.  That’s 4 kids, 4 parent’s (Kaitlin & Zane had both Owen and Lola baptized because they’re slackers and didn’t do Owen when he was a baby) and 8 God Parents….plus Colton because he just randomly walked up front.    I had to stand up at the alter, I wasn’t able to switch to the wide angle lens for my mom, so we didn’t really get too much as far as teh actual baptism part goes, but I do love this one with Owen’s feet.  It was definitely a, “what the heck are you doing to me?!?!”  moment for Owen :-)

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Preston & Grayson did great, but Preston did do a nice, loud “splat” of spit up on the tile floor.   Luckily there were lots of people up there and it was quickly cleaned up :-)

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 I did catch Miss Carolina’s cute little legs :-)

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 Later that night, just before we we started our family gift exchange, Carolina spotted someone on our front porch……………….


You should probably know that Briley had already switched into her swimsuit so she could get in the hot tub.  Obviously here mom was thrilled because it made for such cute Santa pictures……, ha!

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 After Santa left it was time for some more Christmas lounging, sleeping, drinking, baby holding and gift exchanging.   Once again, these two fighting over Papa and his phone….

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They are also super sneaky and love to go after everyone else’s phones.

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Sara & Ryan’s “elf on a shelf” came back to Kirksville and apparently caught some sort of virus from my grandma & papa’s elf, Christopher Popinkins.

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Carson made his mom a nativity set at school and he was VERY proud to give it her :-)

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The gift exchange is always VERY entertaining and Sara & Ryan did NOT disapoint this year.  A co-worker had photo-shopped Ryan’s face (when he decided to sport facial hair this fall) on this magazine as a joke a work…..but they turned it into Christmas presents :-)

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Grandmas side is where they all go when they just want to rest :-)

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or if they have a secret to tell

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or if they just want to snuggle and suck their thumb :-)

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Everyone was exhausted at the end of the night :-)

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The next day was pretty lazy.  Lots of laying around, some cooking (we did most of it ahead of time), monopoly, Christmas movies, etc.   Lots of caffeine as well.  We don’t even start getting ready for midnight mass until like 9:00.  No it does not take us three hours to get ready.  We have to leave the house by 10:30 to get to Edina and get 5 pews.    But yeah, we do Midnight Mass, get home around 2:00ish and usually everyone is in bed by 3/3:3oish???  or at least I think they are….I’ve never been allowed to stay up till Santa arrives, but I’m guessing everyone is in bed by then ;-)

We always kick off our Midnight Mass Dash with family pictures.  I’d like to say we have a method, but we don’t.  Everyone always ask me, “where shoudl we stand” and I always say, “just squish together.”   Some of the kids were NOT having it, but then I busted out my remote and told them they could push the button to take the picture.  Problem solved :-)

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This was the start of the Bobzien’s family picture.  Colton running off and Todd chasing him.   Yes, Todd is also holding a baby

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Any other photographers out there get the,  ”go take a picture of this, go take a picture of that, get your camera and come here, etc.” ???   Well, once we made it into the church (it was FREEZING outside), got coats off, got snuggled in……Andrew tell’s me I need to go outside and take a picture of the moon and the new church steeple.  So out I go (no coat & a skirt) to take a picture and I’m glad I did.  So pretty :-)

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Midnight Mass…..oh Midnight Mass.   We (the girls) LOVE our St. Joe Midnight Mass.  Christmas would not be Christmas without Midnight Mass at St. Joe in Edina, MO.   Well, this year was a bit different of an experience.   Baylor decided his prime hours for mischief were between 11:30 and 1:30.  Miles & Bennett refuse to fall asleep anywhere but their beds, but did surprisingly well throughout church….they’re just into this “baby talk” phase and love to let out little squeals :-)  Owen was a hot mess and was out in the car before they even started mass.   Preston spit up on our cousin Nancy who was holding him a few pews back from ours.  To top everything off, Colton (who was asleep in the pew) rolled off the pew and was ANGRY when we got him up off the floor and he realized he was still in church, still in his blazer and bowtie and not at home in his bed and P.J’s.   Like fall back asleep, wake back up yelling, fall back asleep, wake up yelling and on and on type of angry until Mass ended.    We zoomed on out of there :-)

The next morning, we woke up to this…….

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That’s what son-in-law’s are for, right?????  :-)

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Then Ali & Andrew showed up.  At first, Andrew just waved and didn’t really LOOK at Jared when he yelled something along the lines of  ”Merry Christmas, Sh*tter’s full!”

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Then he noticed and just kept pointing, over and over again and laughing!

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HA!  I love this picture I caught of Ali :-)   Miles (or Bennett, who knows!) holding his bottle just adds a nice touch.

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Then………………………. (p.s. could have been a cute picture but my dad opened the doors before I was ready, grrrr)

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Everyone filters in and grab’s their seats!

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Owen’s top priority was seeing what the situation was with Santa’s leftover cookies :-)  Good Lord this kid makes me laugh!

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Colton’s new work bench kept the 2 year old boys very busy!

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Owen giving his new cow a “hug”  :-)

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Just wrong on so many level’s.

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One of my absolute FAVORITE gifts of the season….my mom made Jackson & Carson these AWESOME Cardinal quilts out of the cutest fabric, pictures and memorabilia from games they’ve gone to.  I didn’t get a full picture of it (even though my mom asked me like 1 5 times) but maybe Ali will post one.  It was hard for me to get “full length” pictures Christmas morning because I had an 85mm Prime lens on.  Not than any of you understand that…oh well :-)   My other favorite gift was the tent that my mom made the grand girls.  She said she didn’t spend anything on it and made it entirely out of scrap fabric she had.   Once again, I didn’t get a picture :-(   Seriously though, CUTEST thing ever.  The detail, the craftsmanship,  the cuteness….too much!  My mom’s amazing.  Once I get pictures, I’m posting them.

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I love Jackson’s face in this next one.  It was exactly what my mom wanted.  The look of someone opening something they didn’t even know they wanted, but now absolutely love.   He was pretty cute with it :-)

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The tent kinda looked like this (image stolen on pinterest) but WAY cuter because it was made of all different types and colors of fabric.


At some point, Miles ended up with a cookie from his party that was three days before Christmas….still don’t know how he ended up with that.

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This is when Briley found out that her and all her girl cousins and their momma’s  (minus Carolina because she’s too young) get to go see Mary Poppin’s this summer in Kansas City.  Briley LOVES musicals :-)

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Then they each got Parrot head umbrellas :-)

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That’s Eddie’s butt up in the air  in front of Andy & Autumn :-)

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Lincoln got a new John Deere Hat from Papa :-)

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Brady was VERY worried that those babies were going to take all the fire trucks ;-)

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yes, she has a ribbon in her hair and a giant tub of cheese balls.   No we do not normally have such foods in the house, but Briley LOVES “white cheese puffs” and my mom found these at the store and had to get them for her :-)

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I didn’t really get any pictures from that night.  Turns out you need a lot of hands to get Christmas dinner together and get it all cleaned up.  I did manage to snag a few pictures of the tables before we ate :-)

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Later that night, Sara had me sneak in and take a picture of these there playing Headbanz.   It’s the game where you each have a card on your forehead and the other players try and give you hints until you figure out what your card is.  In this situation, Bella had a Polar Bear on her head and this was the hint Carson gave her,

“well…..it’s kinda like a bear, except it’s white.”

Kids are funny :-)

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Perhaps the best news/part of Christmas this year???   We found out that Andy & Autumn are expecting their third baby mid- August!!!!!   We’re so excited :-)

So there you go, that was our Christmas!!!  Hope yours was just as warm, just as snuggly, just as cozy, full of family & friends and just as imperfectly perfect :-)


So, since my last blog post, I also traveled all over the place visiting/taking pictures of my new niece and nephews!   Lola Grace Taylor was born on October 22nd and Preston Charles & Grayson Early were born on October 28th.   In the next day or so, I’ll show you LOTS of pictures from both trips and I’ll show you all my “put on my photographer pants” professional pictures I took of the babies.   Yeah they’re like 2.5 months old now, but better late than never :-)

Tomorrow…….wedding sneak peek!!!!!

Welcome back to my blog.  I intend to stay on the blogging train this time :-)

Good night!!!



  1. Mom says:

    Well, guess what….we just had the most incredible Christmas Ever!!!! Thank you for capturing so many of the really “sweet & crazy” moments….It really is a Wonderful Life !!

    • Mom says:

      Just wanted to say – the picture of St. Joe was well worth the cold, snow and discomfort you endured – BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

  2. Meghan says:

    Loved seeing all the pictures, Lissy! Caroline…I love you…that’s all! :)

  3. Carol says:


  4. Brenda says:

    Can I just say what a beautiful family you have? I love to see your wonderful Christmas pictures. And a message to Mary Carol, you are amazing;
    you orchestrate a lovely holiday for your family.

    Happy New Year!


  5. Kathy says:

    I must say, I’ve been missing your blog posts and am so glad you’re back! Anyway, as always, love-love-love all the pics and Christmas at the Early’s – so very special. When are you guys going to adopt me? :)

  6. Amanda says:

    Now that was fun … real crazy … but FUN! Thanks for all the pics Lis. What would we do without you? By the way Carolina is still looking for her pink “shooos.” She has also move on to wearing her swimsuits all day. Somedays more than one at a time. :)

  7. Julie says:

    Love, love, love this! We also loved spending the holidays with the Early’s! I so enjoyed cuddling with little Preston! All of the Early grandbabies are too fun to watch and be around. Miss Briley Mae…what can we say about her? She is in her own happy little world and I love her so just for that! I chuckled through this whole post, Lissy!

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