Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year!

Since the last time I've written, we've experienced Halloween, Thanksgiving, Jude's 3rd birthday and Christmas. It seems I have a lot of catching up to do. Let's start with Halloween.

I first have to tell you that I absolutely love the fall because it marks the beginning of so many fun events and special times with family. I have never been one to get especially excited about Halloween in particular, but now that I am a mom, I look forward to sharing apple cider, hay rides and, most importantly, creating original costumes with my son. Let's take a trip down memory lane and look at Jude's Halloween costume from last year--his first Halloween in America...

Oh, it was cute, and every part handmade. His car was fashioned from a card board box and even his racing suit and hat was modified with homemade patches from his "sponsors." I was a proud mama. This year, I hit a low point. I was desperate. With time running out, I swallowed my pride and walked into a party supply store...and bought a store-bought costume. I was so embarrassed that, until now, I have not even shown anyone a picture from Halloween. So here goes...

Can you see Jude's distress over his store-bought costume?

Actually, it was really cute. I was just disappointed in myself because I take pride in being creative. So, for me, it felt like a mommy "fail." However, I do not judge anyone for buying their children's costumes, and I can definitely appreciate the convenience. 

Thanksgiving was full of joy and...thanks. Here are some great shots from our special Thanksgiving with our family. Jude adores his cousins and loves playing with them.

 Jude at the "kids table" with his cousins

 Jude serving tea at the party

 enjoying s'mores at our late night bonfire

enjoying his marshmallows a little too much : )

And now to recap Jude's 3rd birthday. He wanted a "race car" theme, so I began with (gasp!) store-bought "Cars" invitations. Once again, I was a little embarrassed that I did not make them, but Jude liked them and they were very inexpensive. For those of you who are Dave Ramsey fans, you'll appreciate the fact that I found myself asking, "what would Dave do?" as I chose the $4 pack of invitations over the cuter, $8 package : ). Plus, it was just our immediate family so I was not afraid they would judge me for the cheesy invites. I had a lot of fun with the decorations. I used the leftover black and white checkered fabric from his Halloween costume last year to make some "Jude #3"banners and little flags for his cup cakes. 

I don't know how I managed not to get a photo of the birthday banners I made, but you can trust me that they were cute : ). Now on to Christmas...

Because Jude's birthday is only a few short days before Christmas, the two are kind of meshed together for him, especially at this age. Although he does understand that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. During his bath one night, he sang, "Happy Birthday, dear Jesus. Happy Birthday, dear God." He is absolutely precious. Unfortunately, Santa Claus and Jesus became very confusing this year. We checked out a book from the library in which a little bird mistakes a little owl for Santa Claus. All throughout the book, the bird insists that the owl is Santa, and the owl insists that he is not. I overheard Jude narrating as he looked at the pictures in the story one night, "Yes, you are Jesus. Nooooo, I not Jesus! Yes, you are Jesus. Nooo, I not Jesus!" Oh. Three is so fun! 

So now I will leave you with some of my very favorite pictures from the end of 2011. I hope your New Year is off to a wonderful start. Ours certainly is, and I will post more about that next time.

this little train (a gift for Jude's bday) was a holiday favorite;
it brought me so much joy to watch him watch the train go around and around;
he would watch for hours...

and hours...how sweet is this?

 at what age do family photos actually work?

Happy New Year from the Pruitt family to yours!