Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feeling Joyous

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As I sit on the couch with my sweet hubby reflecting on my most favorite Christmas of all time.  I am filled with joy and happiness.  These two little gingerbread babies made it the most special day.  Bradley ripping through every present in sight and telling me that he heard Santa say "Ho, Ho, Ho" when he came through the chimney last night.  Ellie with her sweet smile, and little dancing body every time she heard the weebles song on her new toy.  Joy.  There just isn't another word for it.  For a tuckered out boy, who asked to go to bed without a bath because he was just plain tired.  And a little baby who watched her brother dance around the room throwing paper and putting sticky bows on her PJs.  So much more to share.  But for now I will leave you with my favorite picture from the day and a wish that you had a special Christmas too. 

Merry Christmas!!



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night

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I've been trying to just soak it all up.  The holidays.  The joy.  The excitement.  He makes it pretty easy.

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He is full of never-ending conversations about Santa, his elf on a shelf, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, presents, fun, friends...I hope I never forget how special this Christmas time has felt as a family of four. 

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Our year has been full of some of my most favorite memories, hardest moments as a mother, and I have seen miracles happen right before my eyes.  I sat down the other day and re-read Ellie's birth story.  Wow, just a few months and the memories fade so fast.  Thank you Lord for this beautiful family.  This amazing big brother.  And many blessings that you have given us.  Health.  Family.  A beautiful house to call home.  A new neighborhood that I have fallen head over heals in love with and so so much more.   


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I am also grateful for the memories we have made this year.  This being really the first BIG Christmas at our house.  We have been busy.  Making gingerbread houses.  Gingerbread play dough (so fun!).  Coloring and more coloring Christmas pages. Looking each morning for our Elf and running upstairs to report on his status.  Painting wooden ornaments for an adorable mini tree that lights up a sweet little boy's room--note to self, get a picture!  Opening our advent calendar and counting down the days.  Driving around to see the lights.  Going to see Disney Live with our friends.  Watching Santa Buddies with Mom on the couch.  The list just goes on and on.  I hope he remembers every little detail, because I know I will.  I love you baby boy, and I hope this is the most magical Christmas yet!


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I have also been busy hosting.  I threw my first Girls Night Out Cookie Exchange this week.  It was great!  I am going to try and get my act together and have a little bit earlier in the month next year, because a lot of people were out of town that wanted to come.  But the turn out was great, and the cookies delicious. 

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Monday night also made me feel so thankful.  Can you tell the theme of this post?  

I was surrounded by some amazing friends that have just filled the pieces of my heart.  I can truly say after living in our town for almost five years, that I have come home.  There will always be those besties stretching from DC to Rhode Island to San Fransico (you know who you are!!).  But I have made my besties here, and they rock.  They love me 100%, my kids, and my family, and there isn't a greater friend than that. 

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They came and held me and cried with me after Ellie was born.  For that I will forever be grateful. 


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I hope my sappiness and joy is leaking right through my blog post straight to your heart!!  Cheers everyone on this Christmas Eve, Eve!  Love to you all!!

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Now I am off to stuff my face with the 100s of cookies that were left at my house. Finish wrapping some gifts with my sweet hubby.  And look forward to seeing my sweet babes wake up in their matching gingerbread men PJs on Ellie's first Christmas Eve! 



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

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Have you noticed a theme with my titles lately?  I haven't been doing it on purpose, but Christmas songs make for some great blog titles!!  

Today I am 31 people.  Wow!  For some reason that seems a lot older than 30...moving to 40 I guess.  It has been a great birthday so far.  The guy at the gym said Happy Birthday to me at 6am when I checked in with my ID.  That was a nice start!  Then Chris stuck around and made me a fabulous breakfast.  I'm a lucky girl.  A new silver Ipod Classic doesn't hurt either.  I am getting ready to load that baby up with some great music and movies.  Can't wait!  My poor nano has bit the dust, and my ipod couldn't have come at a more perfect time.  I also got some awesome jewelry from my sister Lindsay and my sister-in-law Kim.  Love me some jewelry!

Dinner tonight with my family.  Coconut shrimp and crab cakes are being served up by my great hubby and son.  Then tomorrow we are out for date night, dinner and the broadway show Grease!  (I secretly love when birthday celebrations get stretched out for days at a time!!)
 

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Last weekend was full of some awesome family memories.  I know it sounds cheesy, but I am just eating up this little boy at Christmas time.  He is so sweet and full of excitement.  

It is a race every morning to run down and check on Mr. Elf.  Yes, we are very creative over here, no crazy elf names, just plain "Mr. Elf" works for us.   He has been quite tricky and hidden in some great places.  My favorite was the morning he was riding on the camel in the nativity scene.  Bradley came running up stairs to get Chris to come and look at him.  Chris was brushing his teeth and said, just tell me where he is.  Bradley said, ' you know that baby Jesus thing we have for christmas? well, he is on that!'  So hilarious!  

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We signed up for breakfast with Santa last weekend at a local Inn.  It was so great!  The food was yummy and perfect mix of things that kiddos and adults like.  Then Santa and Mrs. Claus were waiting for you to visit, and get your picture.  Well, round one didn't go very well.  I did get this adorable picture of Ellie with Santa.  She was a hoot!
 
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After a pep talk and some bribing, we went back for round two with Santa.  I didn't snap one photo because I was desperately trying to make friends with Santa and Bradley.  It worked!!  After giving him a high five and telling him he wants a scooter like his friend Will.  He asked to sit on his lap.  The photographer there got a great shot and all was right in the world.  We are making progress people!!!!!  Last year the picture was me sitting on Santa's lap and Bradley on my lap.  Not exactly what I had in mind!


After some hot chocolate, we went outside and did this.....
 
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A gorgeous carriage ride around the grounds of the inn.  What a magical moment.  All of us tucked under the warm blanket, candy canes, and memories of Santa pictures in our heads.  Then a trot around to look at decorations and just be in the moment.  I love this time of year!!!!!
 
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Ellie does too, can't you tell?!?




Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

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We kept things simple this year and just went to a local farm and picked out a Christmas tree.  We might of had some bad luck though, because Chris is convinced it isn't going to make it to Christmas.  It isn't taking much water....so we are going to attempt to re-cut the bottom to see what happens!  Bradley had a great time walking around the lot and looking at the trees, of course Ellie was happy about the whole thing as always.

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We did a lot of the decorating after we put Ellie to bed that night.  She was tired from our trip to Grandma's house.  Bradley was really into the whole process this year.  He wanted to hang up every ornament, and had questions about all of them.  He even helped me decorate the tree upstairs that is silver balls for the front window.  

It is so magical to see the holiday through is eyes.  I love his enthusiasm.  Last year was really fun with him, but this year has been amazing to say the least.  He talks about Christmas constantly, Mr. Elf, and baby Jesus.  I just love this little boy!  After we finished with the tree, he changed into his gingerbread man pjs and we watched The Mickey's Christmas Carol as a family.  It was so much fun!  After reading a few holiday books he was tuckered out.  Just trying to do the simple things, and make them as special as possible. 



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We had a little family dinner to celebrate Bradley's birthday last weekend.  It was the perfect time for some Christmas pictures in front of the tree.  Could they be any cuter??

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The boys ran off to play, but sweet Ellie just hung out under the tree.  Gotta love a baby in a smocked Christmas dress. 

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Then my parents came over to give Bradley his gifts.  He is in LOVE with his new spiderman jacket.  He has worn it just about everywhere!


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A bit more than two weeks left!!  Merry Christmas!!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Four Years...Some of my Favs

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Bradley, you entered the world in style.  10 days late and counting...you had us all guessing about who you were, boy or girl, and what in the world you would be like!  I will never forget the doctor coming in to tell me that you weren't doing well, and we were going to have a c-section.  I was so scared.  I just wanted to snap my fingers and have you out of me and healthy.  In the OR you showed me instantly that everything was fine, with your loud screaming and HUGE body.  8 lbs. 11 1/2 oz.  Your Daddy got to have the first peak at you and tell me that it was a boy.  I knew it all along.  A little boy that stole my heart that day and still has it.


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You introduced me to motherhood, and were patient with me when I didn't know what in the heck I was doing.  We spent 10 painstaking days feeding you breast milk from a syringe because you wouldn't nurse.  Oh the tears that were shed over you in those first few nights.  Then a week later you figured it out, and never looked back.  You were showing us then that you were stubborn, and not much has changed.  You like for things to go your way, and to know far in advance what our plans are.  You like routine, schedule and peanut butter sandwiches. plain.  eggo waffles. plain (no syrup).  pancakes. plain.  french fries. plain.  not much for variation, but that is OK.  You are like your father in that sense. 

I Love my Feet!

Bradley at six months old, feet in the mouth, gotta love this classic picture!

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Then the walking and talking and toddler years hit with a bang!  You were EVERYWHERE!  It was so fun, and so hard at the same time.  You would amaze me with your words and little sentences that just seem to sprout from thin air.  We knew we were going to have a little chatterbox on our hands, and you did not disappoint!
 
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Two years old and the memories begin.  Decorating the Christmas tree, and making cookies with Mommy.  You were potty trained and going to a little toddler preschool class twice a week.  It is so boring to say, but it really feels like just the other day.


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I have to admit to you though, the year 3 to 4 has been my favorite year by far.  You are SO much fun!  You have such a personality, likes and dislikes, and we have entered the world of "Why."  Which is secretly love answering, unless it is the millionth time that day.  I watched you go from the baby to the big brother in one day, and handled it with grace.  We had some rough patches, but overall you are amazing with Ellie.  I think that seeing you two together are my favorite memories from this year.  You were the first one to make her laugh, big belly laughs, and you are her favorite person, everyone else doesn't matter when Bradley walks in the room.  She looks up to you, and always will.  I hope you will grow up to be a great role model for her, and watch out for her.  You introduce Ellie to people at the grocery store, and tell them, "This is my sister Ellie. She has two teeth.  She doesn't know how to crawl" or whatever other funny anecdote is on your mind that day.  You love your family and just hanging around the house.  You make friends easily and play so well with other kids.  Some of the moms in the neighborhood have nicknamed you "the mayor."  Because you are always the first to introduce people on the playground, talk to strangers (we may need to work on this), or to get kids to play together.  

You make me so proud, especially when I see you being kind to Ellie or others.  It makes me feel like all of the hard work Daddy and I have done is starting to shine through you.  Turning four makes me so happy (for you) and so sad at the same time.  I can't believe that much time has passed since your birth.  The months literally fly by, and here we are about to celebrate another Christmas.  I know this one will be the best one yet, you are over the moon excited about Santa, but I want to freeze time.  Pinch myself.  Sneak into your room at night and watch you sleep.  Watch your little boy body, sleeping on your new spiderman sheets, in your gingerbread man pjs.  You are still so innocent.  You love Max and Ruby, Curious George, and will even settle in to watch Seasame Street.  But, I know those days are numbered.  Your entire birthday party was about superheros.  Superheros with big muscles, and shooting things from their body.  (secretly, yuck, but I am trying to embrace it!).  I will miss the little boy that drooled on the couch when Elmo was on.  That begged me to read books with him at night.  Please don't grow up too fast.  Give Daddy and I the chance to enjoy this ride, and keep soaking all of you in.  The Curious George and Spiderman loving little, big, four year old boy that you are.  I love you to pieces.  
your mama. 


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Monday, December 6, 2010

Super Heroes and Super Moms

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Well to say that the party didn't go smoothly would be a bit of an understatement.  What could have gone wrong pretty much did.  But, there was still one happy superhero, and I discovered my superhero mom powers in the process.  

Friday night we were supposed to go out to dinner as a family.  Well, Ellie got sick, really yucky cold sick.  So, we changed things up and put her to bed early and headed off to dinner with half the family.  My Dad hung back at the house to watch Ellie.

We decided to have my parents watch Ellie for the party on Saturday morning.  I didn't want her to get anyone sick, and she really needed some rest.  Everything was ready to go; medicine, bottles, etc.  when the phone rang.  It was ACAC, the local gym where were having the party.  They told me they didn't have any power, and we could re-schedule.  Ummmm...it was 9:25 (no, I'm not kidding, chris and I checked the caller ID to see), and most of our guests were probably in their cars on the way to the party place.  So we flew into plan B, C, D, and E, which was......???.....

Invited everyone to our house, play in the basement, and call it a Superhero Party!!  Of course, I used my amazing mommy skills and printed out a bunch of superhero coloring pages, set up a craft table, all while calling people on their cell phones to re-direct them to our house.  

It felt frantic and a bit overwhelming, but luckily we also have super powered friends and family.  My mom jetted to the grocery store to buy snacks and paper products.  Greta rushed out to grab juice and spiderman fruit snacks.  Brandi made a fun trail mix from food in her house, and we called it a party!

Most importantly I think Bradley had a great time, and didn't know the difference.  That is what is important.  The capes looked great on the kids and Bradley loved his gifts.  He was one, happy, happy boy.  Deep down I felt bad that it happened like that.  I would have loved to have planned some fun superhero themed games or crafts, but it just didn't happen.  I think God was playing a little joke on my completely controlling and over planning self.  Maybe he was trying to teach me a lesson, that it can still be fun and special without going overboard!

I love you little Bradley, and thank you for being so positive and happy about the whole thing!


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Here is the superhero crew checking out Bradley's new bat cave that he got from Mommy and Daddy!



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Chloe in her superhero cape!

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Mommy and Bradley taking a moment to get a photo!
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Sweet Ellie didn't make it out of her PJs that morning, but she did wear her super cape.  Cute little girl!!

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