Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Christmas Day…

Christmas morning with small kids is as sweet as it gets. Every year I say it gets a little sweeter and this year was no exception. AB was certain “Ho-Ho” was bringing her a Barbie Dream House and that’s exactly what she told anyone who asked.

Her Daddy & I had to remind her often that just because that’s what she had asked for, didn’t mean she was going to get it…

The girls were excited, but both exhausted on Christmas Eve night, so they went to sleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows. But not before we got a jammie picture and left Cookies for Santa.9 AB decided to leave him water this year, because “what if he doesn’t like milk?” (like her). 11

I wish I could say that DW and I enjoyed the sweetness of our quiet house on Christmas Eve snuggled up by the fire while we munched on Santa’s cookies… But, real life was more like he was in my closet assembling the Barbie Dream House and I was in the dining room wrapping other gifts. The only time we saw each other was when he’d need to “walk away” from the Dream House and it’s instructions (which we’re sure are used as wallpaper in hell) and take a break. 

It’s been coming on December 25th for quite some time now, so I don’t know how, but Christmas totally snuck up on me this year. I’m blaming it on the fact that we were sick for two weeks, painted our house, and had two birthday parties that month. I’m also vowing to be much more prepared and on top of it next year. :)

Early the next morning, DW heard Annabelle’s bedroom door open and he jumped up while startling me out of my puddle of drool…We ran toward the living room, just in time to hear her jumping up and down squealing…DSC_9275 “Ahhhhh!!! My Barbie Dream House! I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! I just knew he’d bring me one!” It was adorable and I’m sure Santa would agree that it was worth every aggravating minute it took him to put it together. :)DSC_9281

She stood and admired the dream house for several minutes, before she decided it was time to wake Mamie up.

Poor Mames was out cold. She was excited though, to see the “Barbie Dream” (what she calls the dream house) when she made it to the living room. Annabelle hugged her sister and said, “We got it, Mamie! We got our dreamhouse!” It was precious. DSC_9284

The girls opened the other two gifts they got and then opened the ones from each other.DSC_9290



They got to their stockings last, and those are always fun…



They played with the Barbie house until it was time to go to Pappy’s for pancakes. It was an overload of little girl sweetness. DSC_9320

We do breakfast in our jammies at my in-laws on Christmas day. We had a great morning, but the very best part came when my father-in-law opened his gift from Adam & Lauren…it was a tiny pair of cowboy boots with a sonogram picture that said “BOY!” – We’ve all been anxiously awaiting the news of what they were expecting and we’re SO excited! We can’t wait for Parker to get here (or as we call him in our house, “Parkey”)!

Uncle Adam took a group shot with his GoPro camera – and besides the fact that my jammies and the wide angle lens makes me look like Humpty Dumpty, it’s a pretty cute picture… (Especially our nephew Warren in the front!)3

After spending the morning there, we came back to our house to get Mamie a nap before heading to my parents.

We spent the afternoon/evening at Grammy & Pop’s. (Yes, the girls stayed in their Christmas jammies all day) :)





We opened presents and then had dinner. Mom cooked a great meal and we had a fun night just being together. We ended it with a game of Headbandz… 7

It was a great Christmas and we are so very blessed. DSC_9279


Friday, January 10, 2014

December 2013

For memory’s sake- a little recap of the weeks leading up to Christmas this year.


December is a blur every year for us. Something about the busyness of the season on top of having both girls’ birthdays within a week of each other always makes this time of year doubly crazy for us.

I joke that our theme song is “if we can make it THROUGH December” :)

Here’s a few highlights of what we’ve been up to…

- Elf-Elf came back on December 1st and brought his annual North Pole breakfast and a few treats for the girls… IMG_3441We were in the middle of painting our house (more on that later), so the girls were excited for a surprise after being slightly neglected during the house painting process. :)IMG_3456

Speaking of Elf-Elf, he surprised us (most) mornings by being in a different spot each day. Some were funnier than others… some days we were just lucky he moved. And a few times during the month he found a place he liked and stayed there for a couple days…Ha. One day he left cards for the girls to send Santa their wish lists… IMG_3566




- The girls and I met Carrie, Allie Claire & Whitt one night for dinner IMG_3524and then “Do Art” for our annual ornament painting. IMG_3526The kids were so excited to see each other.




- AB had a full week of fun the last week of school. The week was full of themed days, parties, crafts and surprises. She had never been happier to be a Pre-Ker. I went in on the day they had breakfast in the classroom and cooked pancakes and sausage with a few other moms. It’s really sweet to get to see the kids in their school element. IMG_3816

AB’s teachers sent them home with gifts on Monday of that week


All ready for “Reindeer Day” at school on Wednesday

- We FINALLY got our tree the second week of December. IMG_3491

IMG_3505It killed me to be so behind, but sickness hit out house the end of November and it stuck around for weeks. Thankfully, we’re all better now! School germs are no fun and we have certainly learned that this year.

- AB hosted her sweet friend, Emma, after school one day for lunch and to decorate gingerbread houses and cookies.IMG_3828





- We saw the “Cinderella” ballet again this year. DW’s cousin’s daughter was the star of the show and we loved seeing Skylar shine as Cinderella! She was gorgeous and is such a talented dancer. (She’s also a celebrity in our house now). :) IMG_3623 Before the show, a few of the women in our extended family met at the Ivy House for dinner before heading to Gainesville for the performance. IMG_3612It was a great night.

- While we’re talking ballet… our little ballerina performed a tap number to “Frosty the Snowman” for her last class before Christmas break. IMG_3646She was Adorable with a capital A! IMG_3657

- It was my FIL’s turn to host his sisters & their families for our extended family Christmas party this year. It was also a fun night and we’d planned a few surprises including a rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas” complete with props. DW’s Granddaddy was an officer in the U.S. Army and was captured by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. During his time as a Prisoner of War, he wrote several letters back home. DW’s Grandmother kept all of these as well as many other letters, cards and telegrams that she received during the months her husband was a P.O.W. in a scrapbook. My FIL wanted to share these with the family and so we compiled a few of them, along with pictures and did a little presentation of them. It was really special and sweet. We also all brought food items to donate to our local food pantry. It was a really good night. IMG_3750

- We made our annual trek up to White Springs for the Festival of Lights with Grammy & Pop. We love seeing the oaks wrapped and I say it every year, but ONE DAY we’re going to do that, too. IMG_3689


The girls loved the train display,IMG_3698 “snow,” IMG_3719and we even stood in line to see the big guy himself. Mamie took one look at him and shook her head “no” – so that meant Momma was going to have to be in the picture. IMG_3722

- We had a family date night to the Hallmark store, which is also another tradition for us. IMG_3763


IMG_3769The girls picked out their ornaments, and one for Cooper and then we had dinner at Red Robin…Yum.

This year’s ornaments were: Minnie Mouse for Mamie, a Pony for AB, and a red wagon for Coopie. IMG_3778

We also tried to see Santa at the mall that night, but he was leaving as we were getting there, so we missed him.

- AB did get her picture made with “Ho-Ho” at school, though. IMG_4302


- Another annual tradition is our “Light-Looking” with Uncle Adam & Nen.IMG_3899 This year we went on a week night, which was fun. We had dinner at Cracker Barrel before and Nen had decked out her Tahoe with Christmas lights again this year, as well as printed off our scavenger hunt again. IMG_3898This year, we didn’t see a dolphin or the Grinch.IMG_3900 We ended the night, like usual, where all good nights should end, at the Krispy Kreme. We all considered it a “win” when we pulled in and the “Hot Light” was on.

- We finally took a picture for a Christmas card.christmascard2013 I took it on the 21st, added our message in Photo Shop, printed them at one hour photo, and mailed them out on the 22nd. Two years in a row of last minute cards for us. After the year we’ve had, I knew what I wanted them to say… and “A Thrill of Hope, the Weary World Rejoices” seemed perfectly fitting. 2013 was something for both sides of our family and I’m pretty sure I can speak for all of us when I say we were feeling a little weary by the end of the year. There have been many fun times and great memories in 2013, too, but it’s also been a bit of a rough one and we were ready to see the calendar roll over to 2014!

- AB was in our church’s Children’s Christmas Program. She was a Christmas Tree & an angel. Both were adorable. :)IMG_3884


- Christmas Eve we enjoyed our church’s candlelight service. This year DW and Adam had a part in the service as they played the part of two ranchers in a little skit.cmaseve They did a great job and made us proud. After the service we always have dinner at our house and eat on the set of DW’s grandparents dishes that we have. Then we get ready for Santa to make his big visit…