Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 was a year full of ...
  well, full of EVERYTHING!

Growing, and changing, and learning...
Travel, and building, and moving...

Each year I put together a "Year in Review" photo book.
Now, don't kid yourself, I won't have this years' done until sometime next May, I'm sure...
but I do make smaller, more concise ones for the grandparent that get done in a timely fashion.

While working on them, and looking back through the year, I'm amazed at what a year can do!
Last Christmas, I still had a BABY!  A tiny little one, still taking bottles, and being carried on my hip.
Now, that baby is in love with her OWN babies!  And runs around like a mad woman, and talks up a storm,
 and is about as opinionated at they come!  Man, I love her!!!
Then there is Lila.  Sheesh... I don't even know what to say about her!
She's 3 years and 3 months old and I'm already dreading the teenage years ;)
But she's beautiful (part of the reason I'm dreading the teenage years), and she's smart,
and she tells me she loves me!  And oh my heavens, Drama and all... I love her too!

It's been a good year!
Ryan and I are heading out for a night on the town tomorrow to wrap up 2011 and ring in 2012!
Happy and Safe New Year's to everyone!
May 2012 be just as full!

And because I want to end on a sweet note...

Monday, December 26, 2011

What a Wonderful Christmas it was!


I'll admit,  I was not in the festive holiday spirit Thursday evening.
No snow, exhausted, crabby kids, and I still had ALL my gift wrapping to do.

However, come Friday afternoon, the festivities started and my Christmas glow
grew brighter and brighter over the next 3 days!

We spent time with our families and also had some quiet time.
The girls loved opening their gifts and playing with their cousins.
We enjoyed great food and even better company!

This Christmas, brown or not, was one of the best I can remember in a long time!
Christ was present in my heart and home, I couldn't ask for more!
Friday evening with my Dad and family

Christmas Eve at my Mom and Alan's

Our DELICIOUS Christmas dinner prepared by my Amazing husband!
Prime Rib
Cheesy mashed potatoes with Bacon
Balsalmic Glazed Brussels with Craisins
See??  Amazing!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to all!

With love and joy from our home to yours,

we wish you the very Merriest of Christmas's!

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you
John 14: 27

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Landree Lou!

This sweet little girl just happens to be my Goddaughter!
So cute, right?!

Well, it's her 3rd Birthday today!
Happy HAPPY Birthday Landree!
"Uncle" Ryan and I, Lila and Elle hope you had a wonderful day!
We love you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baking and burning

On Tuesday the girls and I made cookies to take around to the neighbors.
Oatmeal Scotchies, MY FAVORITE!

Lila and Elle were pretty good at taking turns "helping", and all was going smooth until it came
time to be patient while I had to put the dough balls on the cookie sheet.

So the running around and choas ensued.
I attempted to clean up the mess while the cookies were in the oven, and almost had the kitchen
back to normal when the last batch was in!

Then they crying started.
A little too much chaos, and someone fell and got an owie.
Well, what do ya know? It's time to get in the tub...
and then get our jammies on...
do you smell something? Hmmm?
Then put Elle to bed...
then brush Lila's teeth...
yeah, I really smell something...
LIGHTBULB.... cue curse words.

I don't recommend you leaving your cookies in the oven for 45 minutes.
12-14 does the trick!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Heavenly Birthday

Two years ago today I met a very special person.
She graced us with her beautiful presence and then left on angel wings.

Even though her stay was far too brief,
she made a big impact on my life!
I'm blessed to call her parents my friends
I know they think of, love, and miss her everyday.

Happy 2nd Birthday sweet Anna!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This morning I'm feeling grateful for all the great blessings in my life.

The past month has been, to put it mildly, Rough.
Only 3 evenings home together as a family.
Sick kids, sick mom.
Missing Ryan.

But through all of that, I realize how lucky we are.
We have GREAT family and friends that have helped us get through it.
Watching the girls, taking care of the dogs, sending us home with food, etc.
The girls have been amazingly adaptable, considering they've been shuffled like a deck of cards.
My dogs have not chewed any limbs off dolls or destroyed any other toys, regardless of the fact they've
been seriously neglected.
My stomach bug blessedly lasted only a nasty 8 hours.
The girls are now once again healthy.
E loves babies.  (and yes, she's sitting on the kitchen table.  don't judge)

Lila likes to use Rio as a pillow!
(not a great quality picture, but the moment was so cute!)

And, Ryan will put his feet on US soil again tomorrow afternoon!!!
We are SO ready to have him home!

Yesterday, when I was driving in the car with the girls, Lila suddenly said to me,
"Mommy, know what?"
Me: "What's that baby?"
Lila: "Daddy really misses you."
Me:  "He misses you and Ellie too"
Lila: "Yeah, but he REALLY misses you!"
Me:  (tearing up a little) "I really miss him too, honey."
Lila: "I know Mommy, I know.  It'll be ok."

What an intuitive little girl!

So I'm spending my day being grateful!  Even though I have to clean the house, pick up dog poop, change the sheets, and run errands before getting the girls and bringing them to my mom's, then heading to work.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to my baby sister!

It's a good day!
My baby sister turns 25 today!

Such a cute little girl,
Her first Christmas!

Such a beautiful woman!

Alex, I love you and wish you a WONDERFUL day!
Sorry we won't see you, but there is lots of loving thoughts coming your way today!

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tree hunting and Cookie baking

Whew!  It's been a wild couple of days!

This past Saturday, Ryan and I were crazy enough to accept the job of photographer at our friends' wedding.
Lets just say I very well may have been just as nervous as the Bride and Groom!  Seriously, I had made myself sick worrying/stressing/over-thinking this for quite awhile.  I think we ended up with something the Bride and Groom will be very happy with...  more on that later.

Sunday, Ryan left the states and flew off to the land of the Orient where he will stay until the 14th of the month.  The girls had spent the night at my mom and Alan's the night before and I was able to visit with them for awhile before bringing the girls home with me.  
Yesterday morning, I again loaded the girls along with the pooches into the truck and drove up to my Dad's in Wisconsin.  Not an awesome drive, but we got there.
After naps (kinda), we made the decision to go and look for a couple of Christmas trees for my Dad and Konny!  Boots, snow bibs, jackets, hats, and mittens....  Elle was pretty good for about 40 minutes, then her and I hung out in the warm truck.  Lila on the other hand, was quite the little tree hunter!  She helped Papa and Konny find just the perfect one!  I think all parties were pretty happy with the outcome!  I can't wait to see the pictures of the trees all decorated to perfection!  It was so fun!
  Pizza for dinner at a cute little small town restaraunt, then home to bed, sorta.
Ellie has something against sleeping at night at Papa's house, bah.

Getting ready to go find that perfect tree!
The nest we found in Konny's tree

This morning, after a cup of coffee and some muffins, it was time for the cookie baking to start!!  Of course my camera battery died before I could snap any of the finished product, but hey, that's what phones are for, right?!  The girls had a BLAST and I think Papa and Konny did too.  Although, they were pretty darn exhausted after experiencing the chaos of two small girls for 2 days! Ha!

The phone camera!
Finished product~!  Don't they look delicious?!
They are now tucked in bed and will head off to daycare tomorrow!  Mommy will have 2 days to herself to tackle the house, and laundry, and the mountains and MOUNTAINS of photo editing to be done... but 2 whole days, this is exciting folks!

I'm now going to take a quick hot shower and tuck my lonesome self into bed.  Missing my hubby tonight.
Night all!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The process

A real Christmas tree.
What is it, that makes a real live tree so special?
I think it's the process...
Going to get it, dragging it in the house and setting it up, the sweeping/vacuuming the ridiculous amount of pine needles off your floor.  Hmmm???
I'm considering switching teams here... an artificial, pre-lit sounds pretty darn good right about now.
Then there's putting on the lights, the garland, and placing each ornament in just the right spot.  See?
A process.

Honestly, I love going to pick out the tree.  It's one of my favorite things to do at Christmas.
The trouble this year, is that we just didn't have time.
So, Ryan picked one out on his own and brought it back from Wisconsin last Sunday.
It was up and in the tree stand when the girls woke up from naps, and then it was time for mom to put
the lights on.

When I was little, putting the lights on the tree was a job for me and my Dad.
He was meticulous.  So I became meticulous.  
Cords must not show.  Hide them well.
However, we also had an artificial tree growing up.
It's funny how THOSE trees are a little more agreeable to do my bidding when it comes to 
looking the way I want.  Real trees have a little more of their own, lets call it "personality"!
They go exactly where they want to go, no matter how much you tinker.

Long story long... our tree has cords showing.

The girls were not super interested in putting on lights.  Ryan read to them on the couch
while I started.  Then, when they got bored and impatient, I quit, handed the reins to Ry and
let him finish.  Our tree is also a little on the chubby side this year, and our current amount of lights
didn't exactly make it all the way around and to the top, so a little improv was needed.

After Elle went to bed, Lila helped me unwrap all of our bulbs and ornaments.
It was so fun watching her face, even as sick as she was, get all excited about the different ornaments!
I realize she doesn't look real excited, but she was.  She was also dealing with a major fever and cough.

Ryan and I put the majority of them on after Lila went to bed, then turned out the lights and enjoyed
our masterpiece.

I think it's just perfect!
Cords showing and all!