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Hamilton Christmas in Photos

Fritshaw Christmas

Our Christmas #1 in photos. 


















Sitting for Santa

On Sunday we went to the Mall at Lawson Heights to get the boys' photo with Santa. Unfortunately, Santa from last year was not there. Please send some love to his family . . . we heard he passed away. Read about our great experiences with him HERE. The new Santa was an incredibly kind man and the boys did great. We thought we better get a shot of Calder alone in case Boone didn't cooperate.


As you can see, we had no problems with cooperation from Boone. He even snuggled in to Santa for the last shot. He takes after his brother. Here is Calder's first photo shoot with Santa. We were in Rapid City, SD spending Christmas with my brother, Luke.


Grief Connection

I had an incredible conversation at a Christmas party last week. There were tears and laughs and I walked away trying to remember all the things we spoke about because it felt like many of them directly touched my heart.

The woman I spoke with, like me, has an intimate relationship with grief. Although K. is 25 years ahead of me on her journey and the loss she suffered quite different, I feel like she knows exactly how I feel.

I have known of K's loss for a number of years. She reached out to me after Tripp died and has sent me many kind and considerate words over the last 2 years. Even though I knew about her loss, I had never heard her entire story. She shared with me the events leading up to and following the death of her beloved. I found myself repeating, "I would not have been able to do that" over and over in my head. Even as I thought it, I smiled at my own mistake. MANY people have told me that they wouldn't have been able to function, or go on if they lost o…

I couldn't help myself. Phil Robertson.

If you haven't heard about Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson's anti-gay remarks, then you probably aren't on Facebook and must not have seen the news or read the paper for a few days.

Here is exactly what he said from the Huffington Post:


“It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man’s anus," Robertson told GQ. "That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine," he later added. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won’t inherit th…

Lessons From Tripp

A good friend posted THIS on her Facebook wall stating, "Jordan this reminded me of some of the great yet terrible ways you have taught me to be a better friend." 

How true. Good can come from tragedy if we choose to learn from it. The article is titled, "6 Mistakes People Make When a Friend's Child Dies", but I think the lessons transfer to a number of situations. 

For me #4 really hit home. The first Christmas is hard and seeing pictures of other people's healthy bundles ripped at my soul. I found birth announcements even harder. I know they were never sent with the intention to hurt, but part of me just felt like healthy babies were all around me, yet I didn't have the one I wanted in my arms. The cards were a fast reminder of how unfair things had become in my life and what I had lost. Just over a year after Tripp passed my cousin and his wife sent me a birth announcement and thank-you card for their precious little bundle M. Inside the envelope was a…

This might make you a bit queasy

I have a cold. It was not on the To-Do list. Calder got one on Wednesday, but is luckily starting to feel better. I am not sure what's up with Boone. He seemed to have the start of the cold on Saturday with a fever (didn't have a thermometer so couldn't actually check) and then on Sunday he woke up with this pus filled blister:
Bad quality of shot, but it was hard to snap our wiggly, screaming child. Both Hugh and I wanted to document it. Have you read THIS story? Actress, Sarah Chalke, saved her son's life by being taking things into her own hands. She ultimately aided doctors' discovery of what was wrong with her son by documenting his symptoms with pictures. I am not saying this blister is the start of some horrific disease. I just feel like it is so easy to snap a picture, it is worth the little fight and few tears to get it.

You can see in the shot it is quite red around the blister. The doctor at the walk-in clinic had no idea how he could have gotten in. I …

It's a wrap

Hugh only has 8 days left of school before Christmas. We are so excited to get to spend the holidays with him at home! Calder asked me earlier this week if Christmas was on the weekend. Hugh is only home on weekends, so this inquiry was based solely on that fact. When I told him Christmas was a holiday, he quickly asked about Boxing Day. How the heck does he know about Boxing Day?! 

Hugh and I have put a big dent in my to-do list. It feels awesome. I am going to try and stay busy the next few days and really power through it. Most of the fun things are left, like wrapping gifts and baking, but there are still a few items that I am dreading, like cleaning the house. What can you do?

Rosie pulled quite the stunt on Sunday night. She wrapped both of the boys' doors. Well, I should say she wrapped Calder's door. She tried twice to wrap Boone's and woke him up both times. She did manage to get the paper draped over Boone's and then left a note for me to finish the taping! I …

Sugar Cookies

I may have blogged about these cookies before, but they are a hit around our house. I know they are good because Calder has been ANNOYING the heck out of me to make them ever since he found the Christmas cookie cutters in a box of decorations. Another good indication they are good is that I have seen my brother and husband eat a dozen in one sitting. My sister has probably also eaten close to that many as well, but she likes to sneak them when people aren't looking. It's like it doesn't count if no one sees!


Calder did a fabulous job of being my helper. On Thursday he was with me every step of the way while we made the batter. On Friday, he stood by me and helped cut all the cookies out and then he decorated every single one with sprinkles. He only iced one - his first cookie you see him eating here. I wasn't ready to ice and he wasn't willing to wait to eat one! As I said on Friday, we were very busy last week and Sugar Cookie Friday was no exception. We had a sma…

What a week!

It has been crazy around our house this week. This is the first time I have been able to sit down at the computer to write and feel like I won't fall asleep from exhaustion at the keyboard!

Some of the crazy has been life, some of the crazy has been December (the busiest month of the year), and the rest of the crazy has been me getting crazy about life and December!

Hugh has been great. I made a list and he is helping me tackle it. It is hard getting the some of the Christmas stuff done working around naps, activities and carting around 2 kids (who can't be present for some of the shopping!). He reminded me yesterday that December is busy. We just need to suck it up. Hugh and I are homebodies and like our down time. When we start having multiple evening and weekend obligations we get out of sorts. Don't get me wrong, we love all the festivities, we just wish they were spread out over a couple of months instead of one! But obviously that wouldn't be nearly as fun!

My si…

Rosie the Elf

On Saturday Hugh gave Calder the Elf on the Shelf book. They read it and talked about it. Calder didn't seem overly excited, but we hoped he would get more excited when he saw what the elf was up to.

On Sunday morning it was my turn to get up with the boys (Hugh and I take turns sleeping in on the weekend) and only minutes after Boone and I got up, Calder crawled out of bed. As the three of us moved to the living room I remembered the elf. Or rather, I remembered we had forgotten about it. I went darting back into our bedroom to confirm with Hugh that he had told Calder the elf was coming that morning. He had. . . Not surprising since was our plan all along. Unfortunately, we completely forgot about he plan and the elf was still hidden away in the box. I quickly sent Calder back to our bedroom for some cuddles with Hugh and raced to our office to get the elf.

Here's what I came up with in 30 seconds. So much for being stoked to start this whole Elf on the Shelf thing. WE FORGOT…

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason...

That is one of the worst things I can possibly hear when it comes to Tripp's death. In my mind there is no good explanation as to why Tripp was taken when he was and the idea that God has a bigger plan doesn't sit well with me. The God I believe in is good. He wouldn't hurt Tripp on purpose. He wouldn't hurt me on purpose.

I remember the first time I heard someone say it. I know exactly who said it to me. In fact, I know every single time it was said to me and who said it in each case. That is how badly it makes me feel. I heard it most recently this fall. I felt sick about it for 3 days. I don't think any of these people meant it maliciously. They were trying to be comforting. The problem is "Everything happens for a reason" is not comforting. I mean, think about it, what kind of reason would be a good one for ending the life of an infant? Maybe Tripp was going to grow up and commit a horrific crime? Maybe I did somethi…

A little bit of not a lot

Calder was concerned last week as we drove down circle drive. I was chugging back my bottle of water when this conversation occurred:

C: Mom, you're not allowed to drink and drive.
J: I know babe. That means not drinking anything with alcohol like beer or Palm Bay while you drive.
C: Oh, so you can drink water. . . or pop . . . or juice.
J: Yep, you got it.
C: Well, I can drink anything I want, because I'm not driving.

I'm not sure if Calder was referring to having a pop or possibly a Palm Bay!

Hugh LOVES Palm Bays as does my sister and dad, so there are always plenty in our fridge at the lake. For a treat this summer, Calder would occasionally get some ginger ale and orange juice when everyone was having their adult beverages. It would get a bit confusing for guests when Calder would ask for a Palm Bay. He thought his ginger ale was called Palm Bay. The super confusing part would be when he would argue with us that he should be allowed to have a Palm Bay because he had had…

All I want for Christmas. . .

Seriously. Close the box. Wrap these two up. They are it. All. I. Want.
The two of them played in the box for probably 20 minutes. Boone only got hurt twice. Surprisingly, neither time was Calder's fault.

There is nothing I need for Christmas. I consider myself very fortunate for that, but I do definitely have some wants. I have been shopping around for some brown boots and have tried on more than 20 pairs only to come up empty handed. I have found a pair I adore at Town Shoes (they are THESE Steve Madden), but am waiting for my size to come in to try on. Technically, these will be my birthday boots from my mom, so I guess they won't be a Christmas gift. Nevertheless, if I get them before Christmas I may just wrap them and put them under the tree. It is fun to open presents on Christmas morning! Ha! I also want THIS pair of brown Uggs. They are so warm and cozy and fit right into my lifestyle. Hint, Hint, Hugh. I hope that I get some candles in my stocking and maybe a new book…

Christmas UPDATED

For me and our house, the Christmas season starts Dec. 1. We don't turn on our lights until then (which by the way, Hugh has avoided taking down in the spring for two straight years) and I don't do any decorating. I will do Christmas "stuff" before Dec. 1, though. I like to enjoy the Christmas season and shopping in packed malls is one of my least favourite things to do, so I typically try to get that done in November. I have done a bit of online shopping and yesterday spent a few hours in the city kidless, so I am getting close to wrapping it up. Hugh and I are going to try and get a sitter and go into the city one day next week so we can completely finish it up. Hugh and I came up with a comprehensive list last night, so we should be able to be fairly efficient shoppers! I am also going to try and wrap all the gifts in November. I actually HATE wrapping so this will knock one more thing I dread off the December to-do list and since Calder recently stumbled upon one…

Changes to Facebook

No, there isn't some mass overhaul coming that will have all your friends posting annoying backlash. The changes to Facebook I'm chatting about today are changes that I am making to how I use the social media.

I used to be a "creeper" or a "snooper". I was on Facebook almost everyday, but usually made it my mission not to be seen. I didn't want people knowing I was creeping on them, because quite frankly, I was worried that would make me look creepy. I also worried that people would judge me for being on Facebook everyday (A perfect example of me being worried about being judged - how dumb!). I rarely commented on anything, nor did I click "like" when I saw things I actually liked. I only posted a status update or new photo a couple times a year.

A couple of things changed that this year. First I posted a new pic of our baby boy. The response was overwhelming. I felt so much love from all the comments and every single "like" (I actua…

Random Thoughts

I have always thought I would be a hockey mom. Maybe because my mom was? I'm not sure. But then when I married a hockey player, it felt like that fate began coming true. Now that Calder has his hockey gear it is actually beginning. He starts Huskie Hockey Camp for 4-year olds on Saturday mornings in January. I read this nice little article on Facebook, called A Hockey Dad's Last Ride. Made me want to appreciate every moment. . .

Olympics? Yes, please! I LOVE them. I was very lucky to have been off work for the last winter Olympics (it was the end of Calder's maternity leave) and I will be off for Sochi 2014. My favorite sports to watch are hockey and curling, but I seriously like all of them.  I saw THIS video on Facebook this morning. It made me cry. Figure skating might be my least favorite sport at the Olympics (remember I love them all ;-)), but I will be cheering my heart out for Virtue and Moir to repeat as Olympic champions. . .

My status update this morning on Face…

New with Calder

I have been delaying writing the posts about the boys because I don't want people to think I am bragging. I know. . . "Don't worry about what others think." So here I am writing about what they are up to. It wasn't as hard to write about Boone, since basically all of his triumphs have nothing to do with us. Calder is a whole didn't story. . . He is learning so much right now. It is incredible. I am so proud of how hard he is working. It may sound like bragging, but honestly, this is all Calder and I want a permanent record of his triumphs in my blog.

The last couple of months Calder has been soaking up knowledge. It is amazing. I will start this post back at the end of August. The summer was over. Hugh was back to work, so Calder and I started doing "school" work together. I had a list of things for him to work on and he would get a sticker every time he did one. Five stickers meant he could play on the iPad (This was virtually the only time he was a…