Monday, November 28, 2011

Markers of the Christmas season

The Sunday night after Thanksgiving we go to Michael's parents house and decorate their tree. I think this was my 11th year to participate. We always eat pizza, and the grandkids get new Christmas pajamas. We pick out our favorite Christmas songs and drink delicious hot drinks while listening to the songs.

Isabella "helping" April hang ornaments.

Cappy and the granddaughters.
(Isabella is digging her hand in a cup with her new found love- puppy chow.)

This year the Christmas pajama theme was penguins. Isabella got stocked up with Christmas pajamas for the season!
Hooray for another year of family traditions!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This weekend my aunt and uncle treated my cousins, sister, and me to a night in a hotel downtown and dinner at the melting pot for Hayli's 30th birthday. We had a lot of fun, and this night also marked my first night away from Isabella. I ended up only being gone about 20 hours, so less than a full day, but it was a milestone, for sure. I felt good about it as she was at home, with her daddy, and I got several updates that things were going just fine.

Heather and Hayli had never been to the melting pot, so it was fun to get to experience it with them!

Something always happens to me when time for the chocolate comes. Its rather embarrassing, but I usually cannot stop laughing.

I love it when Hayli laughs really hard because she always cries, and it gets even more funny. The melting pot is great since you are there for so long and its more of an "experience" than just eating out.

Afterward we walked around downtown. It was pretty to see it all lit up for Christmas. We rode on one of the canal boats. (They are doing free rides in December Thursday through Sunday).

It was so fun to hang out just the four of us since we grew up together, and its been so long since we've been able to.
We walked back to our hotel afterward and stayed up late talking and laughing. Hayli and I have had these ugly red shoes that we have passed back and forth to each other since junior high. She originally gave them to me as a joke, and then I would hide them at her house when I went to visit in Australia, or a family member would pass them back and forth for us. The red shoes were joined by a tacky felt, red hat, and an equally ugly red bag. Anyway, I've had them since we graduated college 7 years ago, and she had forgot about them.

What could it be?!

I got her good, after all these years. (I also gave her a real present other than the red shoes). I better not be getting them back for my 30th birthday after keeping them so long!
It was a fun end to the holiday weekend!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas time is here!

Friday I put away our fall decorations and exchanged them for our Christmas decorations. Not as much as usual because there are only so many high surfaces that can't be reached by little hands. We put up the tree during Isabella's nap. She was quite impressed when she woke up!

It makes me laugh to see Michael's hand holding her back! I put all the soft, non-breakable ornaments on the bottom half of the tree. So far so good with the tree, she hasn't messed with it very much. I think it helped putting up the tree in her room first and practicing "don't touch- just look". But who knows, that could have nothing to do with it. Our tree fell on top of me once growing up and it was quite scary!

Our wild Santa Baby

She was so excited when I plugged in the lights this morning.

Isabella, you have brought magic to our holidays! I'm excited about old and new Christmas traditions she will get to participate in with each of our families and the traditions we are starting for our family!

Friday, November 25, 2011

We finished our Thanksgiving trifecta this evening. Isabella enjoyed her first taste of thanksgiving foods. Her favorites seemed to be ham, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. She also got to taste the glory of the day after pie for breakfast. Reading through my gratitude journal from this year the common themes are family, fun experiences with Isabella, staying home with Isabella, sunsets, good friends, safety, Isabella's laugh, and good talks with Michael. We have been blessed so much by our faithful God, our families, and friends. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

14 Months & Happy Thanksgiving Eve

We had a good Thanksgiving-eve-day. Michael headed out before the sun came up to trout fish with my brother in law, while Isabella and I went out to get donuts and stayed in our pajamas until mid day. Then we headed to my moms and made a of couple pies.

Apple-cranberry pie in a cinnamon-sugar-butter sauce.

Ready to bake!

I snapped this sweet picture of Isabella and my mom while Isabella was in a post-nap-still-sleepy phase.

And today Isabella is 14 months! She actually sat in the chair for the picture this time.

She is saying and trying to say lots of new words, trying to be brave and take more steps, and developing more and more personality each day.

I can smell the dough of my rolls rising and have clean sheets to slip into for the night. I'm looking forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in the morning and spending the day with our families.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The weekend is coming to a close, and it was a good one. I enjoyed a date night, chai latte with a friend, and lots of family time.

For dessert on our date night we had peppermint chocolate chip milkshakes at chick-fil-a. They are SO good! We enjoyed getting to eat without juggling feeding someone else at the same time and talking without any interruptions- always nice!

I am a wait-until-the-day-after-Thanksgiving for Christmas person, but this year I couldn't wait and went ahead and put up Isabella's Christmas tree a little early.

She was in awe of it. I put it up on her dresser this year so we don't have to worry about her eating the bulbs and knocking it over.

It turned really cold Sunday. After church it was a great day for napping,

reading books,

and being silly.

We also had family pictures taken by my talented brother in an effort to get a picture for our Christmas card. Here are some of the outtakes we won't be using.

I think she must be saying: "It's freezing!! You guys are crazy! Get me outta here!"

It is really difficult to get a picture with a baby where the baby is looking and smiling...too bad I ruined this one!

Merry Thanksgiving!
Looking forward to a short work week for Michael, time with our families, delicious food, and being mindful of the many things we are thankful for!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

seasons come and go

I spoke on a panel this past Friday to MFT students and recent graduates. I ended with encouraging them to remember the hard parts of right now, that feel so overwhelming and never-ending, are just for a season. Eventually you finish your hours, your courses, your thesis, get a job, begin licensure, pass the exam, get licensed- it does all actually happen. And, I reminded, in the midst of these difficult seasons you must try to glean as much as you can from them, knowing they will pass.
The ironic part is I was saying all this, coming off my own week of "overwhelming, tired, is-this-ever-going-to-pass?" Being out of school or out of whatever does not exempt us from tiring seasons.
Luckily this tiring season was nothing too serious. Isabella was sick this past week, and it was the longest amount of time that she has been sick. The first few days were not too bad when she was clinging and cuddly. But then another child took over that was crazy fussy, screaming, and at times inconsolable. A rash covered her body, and I tried to not think the worse. A trip to the doctor confirmed it was just the end of a virus and she should be getting well soon.
Hence the lack of posting. I spent most of my down time catching up on things, resting, or rocking a baby. And nobody really wants to hear about how tired we are, frustrated, or disappointed about missing a cooking class, lunch with friends, etc. So instead I'll tell about the good parts. Our families were awesome coming over several times to help with Isabella and to give us a break. A sweet friend stopped by with a happy present for me.

My sister came over one night to craft, and we made these felt banners. It is hard to see in the picture but they are adorned with the cutest little turkeys. It makes me happy. I didn't get my glitter pumpkins made this year, but I'm going to let it go. We are already listening to some Christmas music around here.

And over the last week or two it seems the trees have really started to show off.

Isabella discovered the joy of bubble wrap. So fun!

And finally after a week, my sweet, happy girl seems to be back!
We are bouncing back from a busy week of homecoming, a house guest, and a sick child.
Here's to a new week and new season!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Not much to say tonight. Just hoping my baby feels better soon.

Here's a few pictures from this past week that I haven't posted:

On the hayride

Lollipops are so fun!

My dad likes to make crazy hair at bath time!

Ice cream! Mmmm!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N Spells HALLOWEEN!

As I turned the calendar to November this morning, I found it hard to believe! It is amazing how some days or weeks seem really long, but as a whole, life really moves very quickly!

Isabella and Ava hanging out in their Halloween jams.
We spent our Halloween morning visiting our friends at their new house.

I went to work briefly in the late afternoon. When I got home Isabella and Michael were on the porch passing out candy. Isabella had a blue mouth- the tell-tale sign of the M&M's her dad was slipping to her, each one followed with "Mo!" "Mo!". She's got telling us more down...we are working on please, but not there yet. She'll get there. :)

I had mixed up some sugar cookie mix during her nap, so it would be ready to make cookies when I got home. She helped me roll out and cut a few of them, in her costume and all.

I'm so excited to be starting our family traditions, to be making memories, and shaping her childhood with what I hope is a lot of love, fun, and warmth in our home.

My parents came over with hideaway, sonic drinks, and chocolate covered strawberries from Godiva (amen).
We passed out all of our candy and could have given away more. Now we know for next year.
After we put Isabella to bed, Michael and I watched Hocus Pocus. A silly Halloween movie that I used to watch with one of my friends growing up.

Happy Halloween!

I found a cupcake costume on sale for $6 in Isabella's size for next year, and pinned a very cute owl costume tutorial on pinterest. Oh, the options for dressing up!

October was really fun, but very busy. November is going to start off busy, but I hope to create some more room for still as the month goes on. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays. (They are all my favorite, but some are a little more favorite).
Happy 11-1-11!