Thursday, January 30, 2014

Christmas 2014!

Well it's been another crazy month, with birthday party planning, cleaning the new house, getting new carpet installed, etc.  This blog has definitely taken the back burner lately, which I hate, because writing and posting pictures about my life is how I remember it.  My memory is horrible and you have no idea how often I go back and reference this blog to remember certain things.  So I hate when I have things that I know I want to post about, but can't seem to find the time or energy to do it.  So I am making time.  Christmas was over a month ago, and our lives are only going to get crazier as we are moving into our new house.

This Christmas was especially joyful because it was the first year that Addy truly understood the excitement.  She eagerly anticipated Santa's arrival and LOVED decorating the house for the holidays!  

She even read a book to the Christmas tree:

We delayed our closing date on the new house until after Christmas so that we wouldn't be adding the stress of moving to an already stressful, busy time.  And I am so glad that we did.  We had Christmas at Tina and Jay's house with them and it was great!

Addy and Emma watching Daddy and Uncle Jay put up the outdoor decorations

My little elves :)

We went to see Santa.  Emmy was wary of him, but Addy was awesome!  She was so excited!
They could've gotten a better Santa, that's for sure.  But it was cute because we got a video too!

Santa also came through Tina and Jay's neighborhood in a fire truck and he stopped and let all of the kids sit on his lap.  I mean ALL of them.  All 40+ of them.  It was so nice.  I'm sure they weren't anticipating such a turnout, but they stayed at our stop for almost 45 minutes!  One of the neighbors hosted and we all had drinks and snack while we waited.  Fun times had by all :)

Addy got her nails painted for the very first time and she loved it!  And then she promptly peeled most of it off that night ;)

And you can't have the Christmas season without a Starbucks Red Cup!  
Addy's very own hot chocolate!

Tina and Jay got Addy a Gingerbread house making kit, and all six of us had fun with that one afternoon :)

Addy was so excited about her new tricycle from Pap and Meemaw:

And these coat/hat combos from Aunt Sue and Uncle Lee are the best!!

We had Christmas at my Dad's house when my step-sister and her family were in town from Vegas:
Of course, this toy was Emmy's but Addy loved it!!

I LOVE these stockings that the kids have at my Dad's house!  And Addy was very into opening the stocking gifts, as she discovered that a lot of them were candy ;)

And then we tried it.  Yup we tried to get a photo of the three kiddos together.  Ha!  Next to impossible ;)

This was the best I could get.  Emma, Addy, and Aiden.  Cousins :)

And then Christmas Eve was finally here.... and half of our household was sick :(  No joke.  Mike, Emma, and Tina were all under the weather.  Jay, Addy, and I were fine.  We were a house divided ;)  So us well folks headed next door for the neighbors annual Christmas party, while the sickies stayed home.
Addy and I are ready to go!

Mike and Emma...not so much ;)

Aunt Tina and I read Christmas Eve stories to the ladies:

We got cookies and milk ready for Santa:

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care:

And Christmas, it came!!!

Addy got a note from Santa!

Love the excitement!

Emmy loved this light up Penguin :)

But I think her favorite toy was the You Are My Sunshine book :)

And the skates!  Oh the skates!  That is all Addy ever said when people asked her what she wanted for Christmas.  I have no idea how she even knew what skates were, but she did, and she wanted some.  And she was soooo excited to get them!

Christmas outfits are on.... Emmy's is complete with a hat.  This girl LOVES hats!  She carries them around saying "hat hat" until someone puts it on her head.

And no fancy outfit would be complete without a twirl :)

And here we are: the whole crew. 

 I can't look at Emmy here without laughing.  But that's us these days.  A little disheveled, but full of love.  It's been a crazy couple of months but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I am so grateful for the generosity of my sister and brother-in-law, and am very blessed to have the amazing family that I do.  It was a Merry Christmas indeed :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

December Self Portrait

Here we are almost halfway through January and I am finally getting around to posting my December self portrait.  Par for the course I suppose, ha ha ;)

December was a whirlwind month, as always, with Christmas decorating, shopping, wrapping, and traveling.  It's a crazy time, but I adore it.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays; it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

But amidst the chaos, my sister gifted me the best surprise of the season.... a massage at the Hershey hotel and dinner downtown afterwards!!!  I was BEYOND excited when she revealed this gift to me!  We went on December 23rd, when the majority of the stress of the season was over, and it was the most relaxing, wonderful thing to do at that moment in time :)

As a parent of two toddlers, it is not often that I get time to do things for myself.  Yet when I do, I feel refreshed and invigorated.  It recharges me to be the best mom and wife that I can be.  Mike and I talked about this and we are definitely on the same page.  We both always feel rushed to hurry up and get home so that the brunt of the parenting doesn't fall too heavily on the other person.  Time to ourselves rarely feels relaxed.  So in the new year we are going to (try) to set aside more time for ourselves...guilt free.

That wonderful afternoon at the spa really showed me how important this time is to one's well being.  As much as we adore our family, we need a break sometimes, and that's OK.  It doesn't have to be as fancy as a spa day, but even an afternoon at home while the other parent takes the kids somewhere would be heavenly.  As all parents do, we give so much of ourselves to our families, that sometimes we lose a little bit of our sense of self in the process.  In 2014 we vow to work on changing that.  After all, if it will make us better spouses and parents, its a win-win for the whole family :)

Cheers to 2014!