From there, ’tis the season for writing letters to Santa, decorating their own individual mini trees and gorging on Vanessa’s Christmas morning casserole—just a few of the family traditions her kids have begun to eagerly anticipate, allowing Vanessa to fantasize about the moment they bring them to their own families. 

Take what happened on Camden’s 9th birthday this past September. Vanessa always keeps a record of the family pictures taken at previous years’ events. She didn’t have any photos of Camden because they were celebrating his day at Disney Resort in Oahu. “Then when we got home, they were there and it just made him light up,” she reveals. “It made me feel good. It was like I was doing this for myself, but he is also acknowledging it and looking forward to it. It was such a sweet moment.”

For the next several minutes, the elementary schooler gushed over each memory from Camden’s Construction Site and Lachey Racing to Lachey Ninja Warrior Family and “they had fun giggling at each other,” she says of her eldest two. Brooklyn is so small in most of the photos that they are saying, “Look at them! You look so little! Your cheeks are so small! Look at your pigtails.’ It was a lot of fun.