Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #37

It is almost the end of the year!  Wow, that went FAST!  Ok...well not the waiting for baby part...especially not the extra two weeks.  But everything else went FAST!

2011 Thankful Highlights

1. I am thankful for the birth of my baby girl Abigail!

2. I am thankful for the Lord's provision for all of our needs and quite a few of our wants!

3. I am thankful for a temporary but hopefully successful diagnosis of Grace's rash issue: Citrus allergy!  SO much easier than gluten or dairy!

4. I am thankful for family and friends who have encouraged me!

5. I am thankful for my Princess girls and co-leaders!

6. I am thankful for 27 years of life!

7. I am thankful for flexible schedules.

8. I am thankful for awesome and encouraging moms who blog and let me peer in on their lives.

9. I am thankful for safety at our teen center and events.

10. I am thankful to get to see the Lord at work and be invited to join Him.

I have a love/hate relationship with the end of the year.  I love it because it feels so new when the calendar year changes.  I hate it because I get introspective and pick apart life.  I know there are some new goals I have for the coming year and some things I want to change.  I just pray that I do it in such a way that is constructive and not overwhelming.  To be continued...

Monday, December 26, 2011

I love Christmas.

My husband kept saying yesterday "You just love Christmas don't you?"  I do!  I love it with my whole heart.  I love picking out gifts for people and watching them open them.  I love the excitement in Grace's eyes when she gets something she LOOOOVES.  I love watching her pick up gifts to give to people then proudly announce "I help you!" and help unwrap!  I love that my family is patient and kind to my little girls.  I love the generosity I get to show and receive from others.  I love the new things that populate our home and thinking of who gave them to me.  I love that we [my family] gives gifts that are useful and helpful and pratical with a hint of whismy.  I love that we get to sit around and play games.  I love that we get to take naps.  I love Christmas food and Christmas leftovers.  I love everything about Christmas.

Usually the day or two after I get this little bit of a hole where the Christmas spirit was.  This year though (and I realize we're only a day after) I still feel the joy of it.  I feel the organized cleanness of the house because I was practical in putting away gifts.  My daughter has a toy she will love and play with for YEARS and she gets excited when she sees it.  I feel like this year is different and this year Christmas won't fade as quickly or as suddenly.

I want to tell you all about our day and gifts and treasures but I'm sure you have stories of your own that you are currently holding onto in your mind.  Enjoy them, snuggle in them and when January has you down, make a cup of hot chocolate and go back to them!

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Off to a good start...smh.

So smh means Smack My Head apparently.  Glad I could educate you.  Here is how my day has looked...

Kiddos woke up around midnight and did NOT want to sleep last night.  Abi woke up at 7:45, Grace woke up at 9.

I marked all the stocking presents with first initials...forgetting A stands for both Aaron and Abi.  Abi really has no use for Aaron's socks and undies. 

Breakfast was delightful but I think I need to make french toast more.  (Only hub's favorite breakfast).  I was a bit rusty - it turned out ok.

I accidentally told Hubs he was getting coffee for Christmas awhile ago.  Imagine his disappointment when he waited until after presents to make a pot only to find out it's whole bean and we don't have a grinder.  (He improvised with a mini blender - what a man)

Went to start making the coffee cake.  Need an egg so I probably shouldn't have used them all for breakfast.  No big deal, will grab one on the way to the parent's house and make it tonight.

Put Grace down for a nap...she is still awake an hour later although now she is locked in the crib.

Had some stomach pains.  Figured I was going to die of appendicitis seeing as a friend posted on FB about it last night.  Good news, an hour later it passed.  (After I told her I thought I was dying and it was her fault).

Started on sweet potato casserole.  A few text messages and a phone call later I'm SURE my mom thinks I have lost my mind.  YES, bake then mash the potatoes.  NO, don't bake it now, bake it here.  YES, this is NOT that difficult.  Turns out this needs eggs too.  I got everything else mixed and now need to go to the store PRIOR to going to the 'rents house.

Was going to go ahead and get me dressed so I just need to get the girls dressed after this alleged nap that doesn't appear to be happening.  'Cept all my clothes are in the basement where Hubs is napping.  Didn't feel like putting my pjs back on so I threw on a cotton dress.  I kind of look like a nun.

Ok, Grace is singing, Abi is screaming (just woke up)...I am going to go see what I can do about this crazy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #36

Here's the quick list!  Ok, my lists are never quick.

1. I am thankful for celebrating both Christmas and my father in law's 50th birthday last night!  We gathered for an innocent little family celebration at 5:00...and people started pouring in the door for his surprise party at 6:30.  I had been receiving birthday cards for him all week - it was fun.  Jill (mom-in-law) did a great job!

2. I am thankful for how well behaved Grace was last night.  I mean, she's two, but she listened, was polite, said thank you, waited her turn.  I love it.

3. I am thankful for a new prescription for the kiddo.  We have got to figure this rash thing out.  It is back and the prescription, no joke, is for "magic butt cream".

4. I am thankful for my husband and how hard he works.

5. I am thankful for the next two days filled with family and fun!

6. I am thankful that I can take a day mostly off randomly and no one really caring.

7. I am thankful that both Morgan and Joie are going to be home for awhile so I'll get to see them!

8. I am thankful the vast majority of people in my family are Christians and we really do focus on the Lord during this crazy season.

9. I am thankful for peppermint hot chocolate thanks to my little sis-in-law.

10. I am thankful for You!  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Behind much?

Oh my goodness!

I was doing so well and keeping the blog updated and then life struck!  Here is the week in recap:

Thursday and Friday: Jury duty.  What an experience.  They were all liars! :)

Friday night: Sick as a dog.

Saturday: Prep for church party, hug on my girls who I hadn't seen in two days.

Sunday: Church party. Grocery Store. Hang with Hubs.

Monday: Play office catch up. Bible study. Stay up till 11:30 stuffing newsletters.

Tuesday: Try desperately to keep eyes open.  Love on kids, accomplish something.

Wednesday: So far so good!  I have a lot of baking, house stuff and planning to do tonight then we should be good to go for the rest of the week!

Tomorrow is "Christmas" with Hub's family.  Friday is supposed to be a normal day, yeah right.  Saturday morning we'll eat a lovely breakfast at home, exchange gifts then go to my parent's house after naps!  And of course Sunday is Christmas!

It's going to be crazy and I LOVE IT!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #35 - Jury Edition

I had jury duty today AND was selected to sit as a juror.  Oh, civic duty....

1. I am thankful for the right to a trial and an unbiased jury of your peers.

2. I am thankful for people who show up without really lame excuses about getting out of jury duty. (My two favorite of the day were "well, if I don't think the law is right I wouldn't be able to find them guilty regardless" and "I carry the constitution with me at all times so I would first have to decide if the law was constitutional."

3. I am thankful for Stephanie who watched my girls today (5 kids and pregnant with twins...I bet she was as tired as I was!)

4. I am thankful for my second peppermint mocha of the season although Starbucks is still better than McDs and I haven't had one of those yet.

5. I am thankful for a day of adult conversation...I mean, talking to two year olds is great but cracking jokes that adults actually get and laugh at just made my day.

6. I am thankful for people with a sense of humor.

7. I am thankful for the delightful man who walked with me to the courthouse, got selected as a juror too, and told me to have a "wonderful day sweetie and be safe getting home."  There really are still nice people in the world.

8.  I am thankful that the Judge bought us cookies.

9. I am thankful I only have one more day of service.

10. I am thankful for my nap on the couch once I got home tonight.  Now I'm going to see if I can get Abi to bed and get some more rest tonight before reporting again at 8am tomorrow!

Link up here:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All in a day's work...

Yesterday we...

...colored on the walls. our fingers messy!

...made some new ornaments.

...spent some time just being sisters.

...built block towers.

...this wasn't from yesterday but was a fun picture from our cookie making day!

What did you do yesterday??

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hi Mom! and The Peppermint Mocha Saga

I recently gave my blog link to my mom...don't tell her I complained about how she made me clean out my car?  mmmkay?

This week seems busy already and it is only Tuesday!  Last night we had Bible study and I am pumped that the girls are coming - not so pumped when I feel like we aren't getting through.  I think they thought I was losing my mind last night.  I must have said "Are you listening because I want you to REALLY hear me" at least three times last night.  I'm reminded that it is my job to plant the seeds and water them but the Lord's job to make them grow.

It was a good night though and I think we covered a lot of good information.  We talked about "must haves" and "deal breakers" in relationships.  This week their journals are what physical boundaries they have for their dating relationships.  It is always interesting to me to see what they came up with and why they choose those boundaries.

Today Hubs took the day off which led to a nice morning with him and then he watched the girls so I could go to the DMV for my license plate.  And FINALLY get a peppermint mocha (although it is the McDonald's variety and not the Starbucks variety but it is a start).

I have been posting on my Facebook page for the past few WEEKS about how I wanted a peppermint mocha but I haven't had time to get one.  So I FINALLY got out of the house on Sunday (by myself) and went to Target with the plan to stop at their Starbucks and drink it while I finished Christmas shopping.  So I approached the counter and proudly stated: I would like a Peppermint Mocha please!  To which she replied: Sorry, we're out of peppermint.  Now, I had been waiting WEEKS for this mocha so I replied in my not so quiet voice: Are you serious?  You can't be serious!  I have been talking about how I was going to get a peppermint mocha for weeks and you're out of peppermint?  I think I may have looked a little crazy and I may have had a tear well up in my eye...and then I finally said, ok, I'd like a medium caramel brulee, not looking her in the eye.  So she rang me up and gave me a coupon for a free drink.  I must have looked pretty upset.  (Although in my defense I was not rude, it wasn't her fault!)

Hope you are enjoying the holidays and not taking the peppermint mochas little things too seriously.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tradition 4: Stockings

Stockings are a BIG DEAL in my family.  These are the gifts you can open as soon as you get up.  My stocking usually contains: candy, socks, pens, jewelry and other random goodies.  Back when we used "real" film we used to get film every year and as a kid we got Lifesaver books every year.  These are never expensive items and are always fun.  I distinctly remember getting a mood ring one year and wearing it back to bed after I opened my stocking.

Why would I go back to bed?  Because the rule in our house was stockings could be open any time Christmas morning provided that you had first fallen asleep and that you did not use an alarm clock to wake yourself up.  So I generally opened mine about 3am then went back to sleep. 

My sister and I had a competition every year to see who would get there first.  And although she lost EVERY year, it was still indeed a competition.  Oh, that was the other part, you couldn't leave your stocking items exposed.  Since a lot of what we were getting were duplicates we (I) always made sure to pack them away so it didn't ruin the surprise for my sister.

The first year I was married my sister was excited that she was FINALLY going to beat me.  How could I win?  I was in a different house about 10 minutes away.  This was going to be her year.  Just to mess with her, I sent my alarm clock for 4am, broke into my parents house, opened my stocking, packed it up and drove home.  Did I break the rules?  Yes.  Did she think it was hilarious?  Of course.  (Since then she has beaten me since she wakes up at my parents house and we have to drive there after waking up at home...and Hubs does NOT like to be rushed.)

Have I mentioned I love Christmas?


Friday, December 9, 2011

Tradition 3: Passing the Presents

One thing that makes me absolutely crazy in Christmas movies is when you see the kids tearing down the stairs Christmas morning and ripping into presents all alone.  OR when everyone is sitting around but everyone is just opening presents and ignoring everyone else.  (And if that is how your family does things, I do not mean to offend! :)

In our family my mom and dad always implied that if we were all going to spend time and money buying things that we expected each other to enjoy, they wanted to be able to see the presents get opened.  So, typically either my dad or whoever is sitting closest to the tree will pick up a present.  Whoever it is for will open will be taken, oohs and aahs exchanged.  Then, that person will go and present a present to the next person.  You are not allowed to pick a gift for yourself and you are not allowed to dig through the pile unless you have a really good reason or someone hasn't gotten a gift in awhile.  Then it is ok to find them one.  (Or if you have a two part gift and you want to find part one...sometimes that's allowed...other times you just have to wait until part one is found).

Presents in our family take ALL MORNING, we also usually have anywhere from 6-12 people there depending on what family is there.  We get up, eat breakfast, read The Book, open presents, eat more breakfast and finish opening presents.  Usually followed by the younger people messing with electronics, the babies and "old" people napping. 

I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  Can't wait!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #34

I am thankful!! :)

1. I am thankful for being finished Christmas shopping!  I got some cool gifts, a lot of personalized things and I have REALLY enjoyed picking things out (and finding great deals!)

2. I am thankful for a to do list this weekend that I'm excited to tackle.  It includes things such as wrapping gifts, dying my hair, watching "The Help"...would be more pumped if Morgan or Joie were home for the weekend to hang with me and the girlies while we did it all, but ya know, it'll still be awesome.

3. I am thankful for my "rest time" yesterday.  Hubs let me chill for a little bit while he watched the girls in the afternoon.  I needed a break.

4. I am thankful for 42 jars of jelly made, sealed and ready to go for this year!

5. I am thankful for a Doctor who calls me to make sure my kid is still feeling ok.  I LOVE her!

6. I am thankful for friends who call to chat!

7. I am thankful for Christmas cards!  (Ok, any mail that isn't advertisements or bills is good in my book!)

8. I am thankful for the season of Christmas, CHIRSTmas music, and time together!

9. I am thankful for church Christmas banquet next Sunday!  This will be the girls first (of 2-3) chances to wear their Christmas dresses and I'm pumped!

10. I am thankful for more writing this week.  It may not all make sense but it is such a good outlet and I miss it when I stop doing it!

Leave me a comment or link up at:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tradition 2: The Book

Blog post from my bed #2. If we didn't know each other so well this could be awkward.

Actually, Christmas tradition post 2!  The book.  That's right, this is the tradition you secretly hate as a kid, grudgingly accept as a teen and think of with fondness as an adult.

We would all go get breakfast and finally, finally gather to open presents and then would bring out the book. Someone was picked to read it...I think usually me so I had to pay attention...and then we would all take a minute to remember Christmas isn't about the insane pile of gifts we were about to open but about Christ's love and sharing it with others.

I used to hate it.  I mean, it is such a short book I could probably recite most of it pretty accurately and we read it EVERY year.  But it's what we do. It is my mom's 'thing' and I hope my kids grow up and learn to love it too!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mommy, Employee, Teacher, Homemaker

I posted on my facebook the other day...

" I'll start off as mommy, then move to employee (although its not just a job), then switch to teacher and finish off the day as homemaker...its gonna be a busy one!"

This is my life everyday although usually there are a few more hats thrown in.  I get to be a friend, daughter and sister.  Sometimes I get to be the good guy but sometimes I have to be the bad guy.  I get to be a writer, a speaker and a listener.  I wear a lot of hats.

My children are most important.  I was excited this morning that they both slept in.  I was able to get up, get dressed and get my thoughts together before I saw Miss Grace.  Now, she usually wakes up a cheerful little thing but a few minutes to plan goes a long way in my world.  We had breakfast, cut coupons, washed up and played before I heard a noise out of Abi.  I ended up waking her up.  After some focused MOMMY time it was nap time for them and EMPLOYEE time for me.

Now, when I go to work I have a crazy commute.  It usually starts in the living room, goes through Grace's room with some kisses and tucking in, back to the kitchen for a cup of coffee flavored sugar milk then down the hall to my office.  Occasionally there is a detour to change the batteries in the swing or to give baby, baby, camel, doggy, pig and Grace another kiss because the first one didn't count.  In my office I focus on teens, teen events, teen drama and teen missions.  I plan events that will bring kids into our teen center.  I coordinate with people who will be there to make sure nothing crazy happens and of course to tell them about Jesus.  Then I spend a few minutes raising money, a bit of time studying for Bible study and then my inbox is usually full again so I start with event planning once more.  I promote shows, design posters, order radio advertisement.  On a good day I do this fully dressed in real clothes without spit up on them.  On a bad day, I do this with a baby in my lap and a two year old building and knocking over a block tower.  Other than not being able to hear on the phone though is that REALLY a bad day?  After that I switch to TEACHER.

I have the awesome privilege of meeting with 7 girls once a week with two of my dear friends as co-leaders and teaching them about all the crazy good things God has in store for them.  We talk about parents and boys and drama and love and heartbreak and success and the things that make them laugh, cry, and everything in between.  I get to point out where God is in all of it.  It is SUCH a blessing.  I usually start Mondays feeling behind and tired and end them energized from their awesome fellowship.  This is one of my favorite parts of the week!

Then after that I head back to my house where some nights I finish up 21 jars of homemade jelly (made 42 total), or go back to the office to tie up a few loose ends.  I try to do my coupon organizing, floor cleaning, meal planning and house fixing in this time.  It doesn't all get done.  Fortunately my husband is an amazing cook and an awesome friend so together we make it work.

At the end of the day, I make my rounds with peeking in on sleeping kiddos, carry my baby bundle up the stairs and pass out in my bed pleased at what got done, frustrated with what didn't and ready to start it all again the next day.

If you made it to the end of this post, I congratulate you.  This is my life and I wouldn't trade it!

Tradition 1: Ornaments

I thought I would start with this tradition because it started before I was born.  It started when my sister had her first Christmas if I remember correctly.  Every year, sometime after the tree was up but before it was too far into the Christmas "season" my dad would take us shopping for Christmas ornaments.  Just us and dad.  We could pick out anything we wanted (well, within reason) and I remember really looking forward to this special time with dad.  It also made setting up the tree so much more fun because we always looked at our ornaments, figured out how old we were when we got them and got to relive some of those memories.

Grace's first Christmas I remember telling my husband how important this was to me and INSISTING it was a tradition we needed to continue.  He is a trooper :)  Grace has two daddy-daughter ornaments on the tree so far and I'm excited to add one for her and Abi again this year.  All with their names and the year on it so they can look back and remember them.

Our other fun ornament tradition started the year Grace was born with hand print ornaments.  Every year I have gotten some plain ornaments and paint and had her put a hand print on them.  She has three up now and Abi did her first one this year!  I remember the first year trying to pry her little fists open with Joie and getting paint everywhere.  It was awesome.  This year her hand prints aren't smudged and look great! 

I'm not a huge fan of the Christmas tree as a symbol of the holiday but I LOVE that it contains memories and moments that we can continue to cherish.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Funny Friday...On Sunday

Sooo, I'm in bed typing with my thumbs because really, when else am I going to string together coherent thoughts.  And then I woke Abi up...nuts.

Ok, where were we?


1) I changed Grace's diaper today. It just looked weird to me. Then I realized she'd been wearing one of Abi's diapers.  Time to potty train.

2) Thursday I was just having a down day - my post baby body isn't making me thrilled and my hair is in serious need of some help.  I thought it'd be nice if my husband told me I looked pretty.  Then I started cracking up. Hubs of course asked what was funny and not wanting to reveal my innermost thoughts I dodged for awhile but then caved and told him the story above...but ended it with "and then I realized it was 4pm and I was still in pajamas so I could see why maybe that wouldn't cross your mind"

(He has since told me I was pretty)

3) I don't usually recommend movies that could be deemed awkward at times but Crazy Stupid Love made me laugh...hard.

4) Grace asked me what "that" was pointing to my stomach - so I told her it was my belly to which she said ohh, boo boos, I sorry.  Yeah, I have stretch marks kid and they're YOUR fault! :) she's sweet.