December 23, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things

i. love. Christmas.

i love pretty much everything about it.

so, i thought i'd do a little post on some of the many things i love about it.

because i know everyone is just dying of curiosity.

1. Christmas music.

my brother says this makes me a nerd. i don't care. i start playing Christmas music on November 1st. in my mind, this is the earliest day that is somewhat reasonable to play it and not be perceived as entirely crazy.

amy grant's cds are my favorite ever. my brother says this really makes me a nerd. i still don't care. her first Christmas cd is my favorite, but "breath of heaven", which is on her 2nd one, is my favorite song ever. it is so beautiful and powerful.

2. decorations.

i love decorating our house anyways, but especially at Christmas time. it is all just so beautiful to me. i am slowly building up our supply of Christmas decorations each year, but it is hard to find things that are beautiful and not cheesy, and reasonably priced. but i am determined. the first time that husband ever saw my parent's house at Christmas time, he said that it looked like a museum. that is the reaction i'm going for!

3. hot chocolate.

with whipped cream.

no explanation necessary.

4. the clothes.

not Christmas clothes. just winter clothes in general. i love turtlenecks, and coats, and scarves, and gloves, and boots.

as far as actual Christmas clothes go, my opinion is that no one over the age of 12 or under the age of 65 should wear them. unless maybe you're a kindergarten teacher. maybe. otherwise, it's just not cute. in my opinion. but i do think it's especially adorable on little ones, and i have been having lots of fun dressing up my two. and then cuddling them up cause they look so stinkin' cute.

5. the cards.

i love getting all the cards in the mail. especially ones with pictures and letters.

however, sending them out has gotten a little tricky. it's next to impossible to get a good family photo, especially when one of you is 2. then i went to order them this year, and it was so hard to find one that said "merry christmas". i don't want to say "happy holidays" or "seasons greetings". i am sending out cards in honor of Christmas which celebrates Christ's birth. and the fact that this is becoming so difficult is just plain sad.

what was my point?

oh yeah, i like Christmas cards.

6. baking.

i love baking anything, and Christmas is the perfect excuse to go to town. i love making cookies and using all the cookie cutters and sprinkles and all. i love watching other people enjoy all the goodies.

i loved baking goodies with my mom when i was little, and i hope that my kids will enjoy baking with me when they're older.

7. eating.

so much food is around all month long. i choose to eat it all. or at least a lot of it. and i choose to not feel guilty about it.

try it.

it's fun.

8. wrapping presents.

there is something so calming and relaxing to me about wrapping presents. i love to take my time and think about the person that the gift is for. i love pretty papers and bags and ribbons and bows and tags and putting them together to make something beautiful.

and then i love to see them under the tree.

9. traditions.

love them. i love them all the time, but there are so many at Christmas especially. we are trying to be very intentional about the traditions that we have in our family, because i think you can have too many and lose the meaning of them all.

i have a lot more to say about this, but i will save it for another post all it's own.

10. family.

i love any occasion that brings family together, so this is a given for me. i am fortunate enough that i not only love all of my relatives, but i actually like all of them too. not only that, but i married into a family that i love as well.

well, i was going to stop at 10, but i need one more.

11. Jesus.

this is one of the sweetest books ever. my mom gave it to little man for his first Christmas.

but it's not this book that i love, but what it says. it reminds us of where Christmas came from and why we are really celebrating. because all of the decorations and food and presents are all good and fun, but that's not what it's all about.

God gave us Christmas.

and that's my favorite thing of all.

December 22, 2010

there are four

i didn't grow up dreaming of being a teacher or a doctor. i didn't grow up with big plans to travel the world or go on some wild adventures. those things are all wonderful, they just weren't my dreams.

i grew up dreaming of being a mommy. i grew up dreaming about a husband and kids. about a family.

when husband and i decided we were ready to add a baby to the mix, i was beyond excited.

and then we waited. and waited. and nothing happened. and i was scared.

not just scared that my reality might turn out differently than my dreams. scared of letting go, giving up the "control" that i wanted to have, and letting God work.

He taught me so much during that time. things i didn't know i needed to learn.

He made our marriage stronger during that time.

now i can look back and i'm so grateful for that time. so grateful that God has a plan for us that is so much better that any plans we try to make.

because the story continues, and God did bless me with my sweet little ones. at the exact moment He chose.

God knew each of our babies and He knew when they would enter this world.

when i look at our mantle, i don't see four stockings waiting for Santa to come fill them up.

when i look at our mantle, i see our family. and i'm so grateful.

December 13, 2010

snow days

it snowed a lot here yesterday, which is such a treat for us! we don't normally get this much snow before christmas, but it certainly will get you in the spirit.

not that i needed any help in that department.

snow days around here mean relaxing in our jammies.....

with footies.....

and naps.....

and baking.....

while we listen to christmas music.....

and fill up the cookie jar.....

wonder why i love snow?

December 5, 2010

she's here!

well, if anyone is still out there, we have an announcement to make.

i have been a not-so-great blogger, but things have been a lot a bit hectic. but we are slowly getting back on track, and making new routines, and working on old ones.

and now, i am very eager to get back on this blog and catch up on things before i forget it all. a lot has happened around here that we want to remember.

but first, our announcement.....

Makayla Brynn arrived on November 12, 2010, at 1:18 pm.

she weighed 8 lbs 11 oz, and was 20 1/2 in long.

we are in love.

she is such a good baby. she sleeps a lot, and doesn't cry much at all unless she's hungry. she looks just like her brother did as a newborn.

a few more pics.....

and my ginormous belly right before delivery.....

and all ready to go home.....

husband was able to take some time off of work to stay home with us. we basically just locked ourselves in the house and soaked up some much-needed family time.

after the long summer we had, it was just what the doctor ordered.

but alas, all good things must come to an end. he is back at work, and i am learning how to balance life at home with two little ones.

and life is starting to feel normal again.

we are blessed beyond measure.

October 3, 2010

thomas the train

thomas the train is a celebrity around here.

as soon as little man gets up in the morning, he looks for one of his trains to carry around.

"choo-choo" is one of his few words, and he says it at least a hundred times a day.

he loves the videos, although i have to admit that i don't quite understand the attraction. it's really kind of slow. it's not animated, and a lot of it is just still shots of the trains where only their eyes move.

but Caleb loves it.

so we go with it.

not to mention, it's a heck of a lot less annoying than dora, or diego, or those stupid silly wonder pets.

so, a few weeks ago, when our speech therapist mentioned to us that thomas was coming to town, we immediately looked into it and bought tickets.

we found out that thomas is actually quite-the-celebrity everywhere. not just at our house.

there were a lot of kids.

and strollers.

and cameras.

and lines. long ones.

and parents, who were all probably thinking the same thing we were.

"when did we become those people who are willing to spend way too much money to stand in the middle of crowds in 90 degree weather to let our two-year-old, who probably won't remember this in a month, see a pretend train?"

but then you see your little man's eyes get big, and his little face lights up, and those thoughts disappear, because it's all worth it.

after all the fun and excitement, and maybe a little bit of heat exhaustion, husband and i suffered a momentary lapse in judgement, and we did the unthinkable.

we took our little man into the gift shop.

this was truly the little kid in a candy train store, and it was not pretty.

actually, it went downhill very, very, very quickly.

so we did the most logical thing to do after an episode of that magnitude.

we packed it up, drove it home, and put our little man down for his nap.

August 20, 2010

in a rut

i am in a big one.

i think about sitting down to update this blog, and then i can't think of a thing to write about.

life is so incredibly busy right now.

i want to sit down and write about all of the fun things we're doing this summer. about how we enjoy our hot summer days by the pool, and come inside for homemade popsicles, and grill out every night, and chase fireflies, and fall into bed at night exhausted by all the fun we've had.

but none of that is real.

we wake up in the mornings and go. we rush around getting dressed as we go over our to-do lists, agendas, and coordinating our schedules. little man has therapy four days a week. our house is under construction, so there is constantly another phone call to make, another decision to make, someone to meet, an errand to run, and so on. i fall into bed at night exhausted from keeping up with my ever-so-lively-two-year-old and carrying a baby around in my stomach 24-7. husband falls into bed exhausted from working at the house all day and working at a restaurant all night.

that is our reality.

i'm not complaining. i know that this is only for a season.

i'm reminding myself that every season of life has blog-worthy aspects.

this blog is my journal. a scrapbook. it's our family's story.

our story might be crazy right now, and not at all what i thought i'd be writing about when i started this thing, but that's ok.

we are learning lessons. we are growing stronger. we are living life.

and that's worth blogging about.

July 20, 2010

and away we went

a few weeks ago, we went on a family vacation. this was our first big vacation since little man was born, and we had been planning it for quite a while. we came very close to canceling after all of the flood mess, but we have great friends who encouraged us to go. and in the end, we figured if we ever needed to just get away, this was it.

so away we went!

we went with two other families who are very good friends of ours. we all stayed in one big house right by the beach on Tybee Island, which is just outside of Savannah.

first of all, let me say that whoever invented portable dvd players for the car is a genius.....

we had as smooth a car-ride as one could expect with a two-year-old on board.

as soon as we got into town, we drove down the cutest streets with all of these little shops. they were lined with these trees.....

.....which i think are just gorgeous. when i think of an old southern plantation, these trees are on it. of course, usually in the movies the plantation ends up being haunted, but they're still beautiful to me.

miss Paula Deen's restaurant is down there, so we all ventured there to have lunch. it was very busy there, and even though we had reservations, we still had to wait for a table for quite a while. we opted to wait outside with little man, since it was too crowded inside.

the look on his face pretty much tells you what he thought about the wait, and the heat.....

we all had the same look on our faces after the meal. Paula's great and all, but it was a typical southern buffet lunch, and that's all i'm saying!

a few more pics around town.....

this was Caleb's first time to the beach. we were a little worried about how he would do with the sand and the water. he doesn't really like to walk in the grass, so we weren't sure how he would feel about that much sand; and he really didn't even like bathtime, so we definitely did not think he would like the water at all. but he really surprised us! he was walking around on the sand like it was nothing, and he was jumping the little baby waves in daddy's arms and loving it!

showing off his muscles and throwing back a cold one.....

and this pretty much sums up how he felt at the end of the day.....

we literally took over a thousand pictures while we were there. here are 999 just a few of them.....

we had a great time, and we are so glad that we went!
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