Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

Before 2010 comes to a close, I thought I would wrap up our year with Christmas pictures.

Things were a bit different for us this Christmas.  Typically we (the four of us) spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our house and then pack up and either head to Matthew’s family Christmas or my family Christmas.  This year, everyone came to us!

Our goal was to have our house completely finished by the time everyone arrived.  Those dreams were not realized.  We have worked hard getting as much done as possible, but it was just impossible to get everything done.  And guess what?  It worked out just fine.  Everyone had a great time (or they said they did) and everyone was pretty comfortable, even if all the windows weren’t trimmed out and we all had to share 1.5 baths.

The first people to arrive were my mom and sister.  They got to our house around noon on the 21st and left about 10am on the 22nd.  A very quick visit but a fun time!  It was so quick and fast that I took almost no pictures.  Shame on me.  These are the ones that I did take…of the girls opening a few of their presents while they were here:


The day after my mom and sister left, Matthew’s family started arriving!  While they were here, I did another awful job of taking pictures.  I am really going to need to start hiring a photographer when family comes to our house.  I think that’s the only way all the fun will be captured.

Aaron (his brother), Beth (his sister), Brian, Julia and Noah (his brother-in-law, sister and nephew) came on the 23rd and Matthew finally took a break with the home improvements.  He had been working had since he went on break from school.  (He has since picked right back up and is going strong again.)

Before Matthew’s mom and stepdad arrived on the 24th, we opened a few presents:

The girls and Aunt Beth


Matthew playing Nora’s new Leapster 2…I think this one was “Tangled”


Matthew opening one of his gifts from Beth


Finally…the girls get to open some of their gifts from Pops and LeeLee!


Noah got to open some of his presents too and he LOVED it!


And the pictures stopped after that (it was about 10 am).

Then, amazingly, they started again at around 5pm.

It was time to make our traditional sugar cookies for Santa and the kids (especially Elyn) LOVED it!  I remember Elyn’s first year that we did this…


She’s grown a lot in three years!


This year we had a lot more helpers and it made it a lot more fun!


After we made our cookies we made individual pizzas for dinner (another Christmas Eve tradition).  I think this year was the best pizza making year!

After we ate our pizza, we gathered all together again to open all the presents under the tree.  With 11 people opening (3 of them kids), I’m sure you can understand why this is the only picture that was taken:


After we opened presents, the girls got on their new pajamas and got ready for bed.  First they had to set out the reindeer food so that the reindeer would be able to find our house…


Then, we had to put the milk and cookies by the fireplace for Santa…and make sure the door to the stove was opened.  We wanted to make sure he could bring the loot inside the house!  Noah wasn’t too excited about this part:


Nora and Elyn were loving it though!  (Side note: Elyn asked me a few weeks ago why Santa doesn’t just come in the door…hmmmmmm.)


It took the girls a few minutes to go to sleep that night….Nora was so excited and asked me about 5 times if I thought she was on the “nice” list…bless her heart!  I assured her that she definitely was!

Santa came!


I was videoing with my iPhone…I have no idea where our camcorder is-sigh.  Nora and Elyn are holding onto gifts they had gotten the night before.  Nora got a Jesse doll from us and Elyn had gotten the Sleeping Beauty baby from Nora (which she will say to this day that it is her favorite present).


Look what Santa brought Daddy!!!!!!


The unicorn pillow pet!!!!!!  The ONLY gift that Nora asked Santa for!  This is ALL she wanted.  She told me that the elves could pick out the rest-ha!  (I love how she still has a death grip on Jesse.)


And this is as much as Elyn has been on her bike since this morning…she’s not crazy about it.


Look!  Santa ate the cookies!!!!!!!!


AND, the reindeer ate the food!!!!!


Nora LOVES her bike (good job elves!) and begs to ride it everyday!


After discovering what Santa had brought, it was time to get down to the business of cooking…Elyn helped me with the rolls.  If you look closely behind her, you can see the dusting of snow that we had on Christmas day.


Christmas lunch took FOREVER to make.  We didn’t eat until about 2:00.  Thankfully these three were in pretty good spirits throughout the day.  Aren’t they cute eating their really late lunch?  All three went down for a nap about 15 minutes after these pictures.


The dining room.  My mom helped me decorate this when she was here for the less than 24 hours.


Our spread.


There was definitely NOT a lack of food!  We STILL have leftovers at our house.

Matthew was worried about our refrigerator becoming overheated because of the massive amounts of food that we had to put in it after everyone was done eating.  So, the majority of the leftovers went outside to the deck.  Thankfully, the temperatures were very cool.


The day after Christmas, we were all starting to get a little stir crazy.  After church, lunch and a little nap, we loaded everyone up and headed to Matthew’s school to play in the gym.  We put the girls bikes in the van and a few balls and went to burn off some energy and some calories!  It was a lot of fun!  Nora rode her bike HARD the entire time we were there and when we got home, she was crying saying that her legs hurt.  That’s what happens when you work out, sister.


The next day, we all got out of the house again and headed to Chuck E. Cheese.  The only pictures I got were of Noah.  Chuck E. was getting a big group of kids together to dance in a circle and Noah jumped right in (my two scaredy cats ran away).  He was so happy to be there!


And that’s it…my poorly photographed holiday.  It was a great deal of fun and we would love to repeat it again!

It’s New Years Eve now.  The eve of 2011…wow!  I have made one resolution (because resolving to lose weight seems silly at this point).  I resolve to do a better job of taking pictures this year!  I have really slacked off the past few months.  Sure, I’m busy and we have crazy schedules, but that is just an excuse.  I LOVE going back and seeing old pictures of my kids and events that have happened.  I pledge to do better!

2011 is a big year for us!  I am looking forward to the year and nervous about it too.  My sleep is going to go way down in 2011-ha!

We are ringing in the new year from a hotel room!  We had planned on going to a hotel this weekend, at some point, as a special treat for the girls before school started back.  Nora loves to swim and we wanted her to strengthen her skills and Elyn loves the elevators and finding any excuse to stay up late.  Our friends, the Grahams, had a FREE hotel stay that they were not going to use and it expired TONIGHT.  They offered it to us, we took them up on it and, here we are, ringing in 2011.

I wonder how long we will stay up?

Happy New Year blog world…see you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our little baby BOY!!!

We have been in awe ever since finding out yesterday that we are about to become parents to a BOY!

For my own memories, here is a rundown of our visit…

Thankfully, Matthew’s sisters, brother-in-law and nephew were still in town.  They watched the girls for us so we could have an “adult only” doctor’s appointment.  I knew Nora and Elyn would have been so excited to see the baby, but I was feeling anxious about the whole thing.  Since we had not had an ultrasound up until yesterday, I didn’t know what the day would hold.  We had been very prayerful for a healthy baby but I was still a little nervous about what the results would be.

(I would like to take this moment to also add that WHATEVER the results were going to be, we already knew this baby was a gift from God.  We knew that even if the ultrasound had shown an abnormality, we would love this baby with the same intensity as we love our girls.  My nervousness, I believe, is completely natural and something every mother feels.  We are only half way through this pregnancy…things could still happen.  God is good NO MATTER WHAT and that is what is always at the front of our minds….okay.)

We arrived for our appointment and were called back to the room right away.  I was a bundle of nerves!  As soon as I lay down on the table and the tech started gliding the wand over my belly, I started crying.  This was our first view of our baby!

Most of the time I had to really guess as to what she was looking at.  Is that the brain?  Oh, it’s the stomach.  Hmmm.  Is that the (insert body part)?  Usually, I was wrong.

The baby was not the most cooperative (hopefully not foreshadowing!) and I had to roll over to my sides several times.  She had a hard time getting a really good look at the heart but finally pushed on the baby enough that he let her see his ticker.

The entire ultrasound took about 30 minutes-which I thought was FOREVER!  My lower back was hurting by the time it was all over.  She said, “Ok.  The doctor will be right in to go over everything with y’all.”

I looked over at her and asked, “So, do you know what it is?”  She said, “Oh, I didn’t even look.  Do you want to know?”  Um, yeah, that would be great.

It took her about 10 seconds for her to tell us, “It looks like you’re having a boy.”

WHAT???????  I started laughing and she said, “How many boys do you have?”


I could not quit laughing and Matthew just sat there, quiet as a mouse.

The tech left the room to get the doctor and I kept saying, “A boy!  A boy?  A boy.”

I asked Matthew if he was excited (because he had not said anything up until this point).  He said he was but had no idea what to do with a boy.  He then told me that another girl would have just been a lot easier-ha!  Then he said he was really nervous about this new responsibility.  He has a lot to teach a boy-how to be a spiritual leader, a good man, a good husband, a good father…

I really don’t think it is going to be a difficult job at all because this little boy will grow up with such an amazing example of what a Godly man looks like…he will see daily what a wonderful man, husband and father Matthew is.  This is already one very lucky little boy!

Okay, back to the appointment…

As we were waiting on the doc to come into the room we both made comments about how long the ultrasound seemed to take.  Matthew was convinced something was wrong with the heart because she spent so much time focused on the heart…and he likes to think he is a doctor.

The doctor came into the room and said, “Everything looks healthy!  Perfectly healthy!”

Huge sigh of relief!!!!!!!!

He told us that they did the ultrasound as if I am 35 (I will be 34 next month).  Thirty-five is considered the start of “advanced maternal age” and the starting point for really looking for birth disorders.  That is why the ultrasound was so lengthy…they were being thorough!

He asked a lot of doctor questions and did a quick check of the baby again.  We asked him to prove to us it was actually a boy.  And he did…he pointed out some pretty key parts to us.

He did say that I am going to need a repeat ultrasound because of an issue they discovered with me.

Apparently, I have a “low lying placenta”.  I have never had this before.  This is also the “least serious” of placenta issues.  However, it is still necessary that they recheck when I am around 28 weeks to see if it has accelerated to a bigger problem.

Although, I will be having a repeat c-section, so it is really not even an issue.  But, like all good doctors do, he wants to be on the safe side.

When we left, they handed us a sheet of some pictures…here is my favorite:


Looks like he is blowing a bubble, doesn’t it?  That’s his little hand.

You saw the video from yesterday and how excited the girls (mainly Nora) were to learn they would be having a little brother.  And that excitement has not died down any.  Nora has come up to my stomach multiple times today to “hug” the baby and tell me how happy she is that it is a boy.  So sweet!

Elyn keeps telling us she wanted a girl…sigh.

When I say we are unprepared for a boy, let me tell you-WE ARE UNPREPARED!

Thankfully my cousin, Julie, has two boys and has already said she will pass down some of their clothes to me.  My sister-in-law, Julia, has a little boy and is willing to share her wealth of clothes too.  I think between the two of them and some other friends, we are going to be set with clothes.

BUT, everything in our house is PINK and sparkly and girly.  As my brother-in-law said, when he walked into the girls playroom…it’s like “no boys allowed” in here.  Yep, that about sums it up!

This poor baby boy is going to be SO mothered and forced to be dressed up more times than Matthew will be able to count-ha!

I’m not 100% confident I am going to know how to change his diaper.

I do know that we already love him…even if he doesn’t have a name…poor baby!

But, we are working on a name.  We know his last name.

That is our story of how we met our boy…our son.

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