Monday, December 29, 2008


We don't know where the started, or why exactly, but Hunter has NAILED a very effective dirty look, and for whatever reason, it is usually directed at his Daddy. Makes me giggle...thought you would want to see it. This was taken (by Brian, of course~ hee hee!) on Christmas morning. Not sure what he was mad about, b/c he was up to his eyeballs in all kind of new toys...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas at the Farm

So...we headed up to my parents' farm in Bowie at around 9:30...ready for Christmas #3. When we arrived everyone was all ready to open gifts, so we got right to it. Harrison ripped through his in no time, and was so excited by everything (he's so fun to watch b/c he has the best reactions). He was especially pumped about his new MP3 player from Reagan and Jon, but had said over and over that this had been the best Christmas EVER all around. Greatness.

Hunter got the new Elmo Live from Mimi and Papa, and it was just about the cutest thing ever watching him talk to Elmo, and listening to Elmo talk to him (check out the pics of that). Hudson was is usual sweet self, excited about everything, and wanting to play with each thing as he opened it. After the boys were done with their gifts, Mimi and Papa told them that there might be one more thing outside for them, and that they needed to check. So off we headed to the garage, and when the door opened, there were 3 new electric cars for the boys to drive sitting in there! You should have heard the squealing! And off they drove to check out their new rides. :) Such a great surprise!

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner (Mom is so good at that~ the turkey, dressing~ my favorite, green beans, potatoes, apple pie, etc. etc. etc.). Needless to say, we all ate more than we should, and were stuffed. After dinner we went on a hay ride of sorts (there was no hay) on Dad's trailer that he pulled with his tractor~ so funny, but fun at the same time.

Later that night the grownups played Scrabble and the Wii (hilarious), while the boys played with all of their new toys. They were so good, which made the trip even better.

Brian and talked on the way home the next day about how this was the best farm trip we had had in a long time. It's always fun to get away, but this time was even better. Playing games with Jon & Reagan, Todd & Beth, and Mom & Dad was so fun, the hayride was goofy but lots of fun...we laughed a lot, and it was great.

We are so incredibly blessed, all the way around, with family who love us, with more gifts than we deserve, with the most wonderful way to spend the celebration of our Savior's couldn't have been better.

Christmas Morning

So fun! After the Christmas Eve service we went to look at Christmas lights. They were beautiful, and it was so funny listening to Hunter. He is obsessed with lights of all kinds, and all the different colored ones just about made his little head explode. :) "Geen lights! Boo lights! Re lights" (Hunter speak).

Then we headed home to get settled for Santa's visit. We had a slumber party in our room that night, as a way to insure that the boys wouldn't be up too early. Last year Brian and I were awakened to them playing with the toys Santa had brought. Not cool. Harry and Hud slept on a pallet on the floor, and Hunter slept in bed with us. It was kind of a long night, but made a great memory.

At 6:15 we gave up on getting them to wait, and headed out to see what Santa had brought. It's so fun seeing their favorite part! We had so much fun opening presents, took our time watching each other, and everyone was thrilled with everything, which was great. We ate breakfast with Nana, she took Addy home with her (thank you!) and we loaded up to head to the farm. And the story continues...

Christmas Eve

I have so much to blog that I'm a little overwhelmed...Christmas Eve was greatness! We went over to Nana's for an early dinner (she made her chili~ my favorite!!), exchanged gifts, played the Wii, and went to the Christmas Eve service at church together. It's always fun going over there...I just wish that all of us had been together it. But we had a GREAT time with Nana and Aunt Stacey...thanks for a great Christmas!

The Obsession Begins

My littlest man has suddenly become very passionate about watching Blue's Clues. Not exactly sure where he even saw it the first time (they aren't on Noggin nearly as much as they used to sad, 'cause it really is a great show, but thankfully we get as many as we want for free through our AT&T U-Verse. Yay for Hunter. Trying to control how often he watches is proving to be way more of a challenge...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Programs

This has been a crazy week full of programs and parties! Hud's program was Thursday morning, Harrison's was Thursday night, we had the church staff party Thursday night, our Sunday School party last night...I'm tired, but it's been fun. :)

I wasn't able to get any good pictures from Harrison's program Thursday night. My camera doesn't have a good enough zoom, and the lighting is horrible in the auditorium at his school, but rest assured that he did a great job. They did a Christmas Down Under theme, and it was very cute. :) I will see if my sister or mom got any better ones, and will post those later.

I had been told by a couple of people at Hud's school that he had turned his music rehearsal on Tuesday into his personal karaoke bar, b/c he was loving the microphone. So funny. But on Thursday he got the stage fright, and decided with his friend Caden that they were NOT going to sing in front of all those people. He looked so sad (and so very cute at the same time) standing up there, that it took all I had not to run up there and rescue him. By the last song though, he was at least smiling again.

After it was over I told him how handsome he looked up there, and asked him why he didn't want to sing and he gave me two different stories: 1) "I didn't like all those people looking at me." (competely understood, I don't like that either), and 2) I wanted to sing a rock 'n roll song, NOT a Christmas song (I have not a clue where that came from, but it made me smile). :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eli Update

The boys are taking Eli the Elf's whereabouts VERY SERIOUSLY, and they have been very well behaved so far this month. :) They love to see where he has decided to sit each morning, and have found him in some funny places. This elf has quite the personality. We are all having fun with Eli. :)

This morning we found him in the middle of our Nativity scene, right up close to Jesus. I guess he wanted to get a good look at him, and maybe, like us, craves being close to Him. I've been especially emotional about Christmas this year...not exactly sure what makes this year different from the others. It has always been my favorite time of year, and I've always loved celebrating the birth of our Savior along with my family and friends...and these past couple years have been bittersweet b/c of the death of my sweet Dandy just a few days before Christmas nearly 3 years ago, a very weird mix of sadness, missing him while at the same time excitement over the magic of this time of year, and how fun watching the excitement in the boys' faces as the big day gets closer...I don't know what it is.

Listen to the words of the song that is playing right now~ "Joseph's Lullaby", by MercyMe. I love the Christmas songs that are taken from Mary's perspective, and this is the only one I know of from Joseph's, and it has quickly become one of my favorites. I think it took becoming a parent for me to see Jesus from this perspective. So often I think of him as my Savior, my Lord, my Redeemer, the list goes on and on. But to think of him as a Son, as Joseph's son, and ultimately, as God's Son...a completely different concept. I think about each of my three boys, and am filled with more love than I can explain, and I realize that that is what Joseph felt for Jesus, but he knew what was ahead for overwhelming that had to have been. We think about Jesus' birth and get caught up in the big things, the wisemen coming, the angels singing, the fact that our Savior was born in a dirty barn, which are all remarkable, humbling things, but for whatever reason this year it's the more simple things that are making an incredible impact on me.

I can imagine Joseph holding his newborn son, counting his fingers and toes, trying to figure out who he looks like, enjoying that first precious moment, and then can remember watching Brian hold each of our boys for the first time, and doing all of those same much the same, yet so incredibly different. So listen to the words, because they explain what I'm trying to say so much better, and enjoy the song...hopefully it will give you an even greater understanding of the sacrifices given for us that began with this spectacular birth.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New York City

Click to play
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

I don't even know where to begin to describe this was absolutely incredible. This trip was a gift to my sisters and me from our mom and dad last Christmas~ we have been planning and waiting for it all this time, and it was so worth the wait!! My mom, Reagan, Beth, and I have never taken a trip like this, with just the four of us, and after this week have decided that we have been missing out on some much-needed bonding, fun, and just a really great time together.

Some highlights of our week~
1. The city itself is just incredible...such a different way of life with everyone walking everywhere, lots of babies with their mommies or nannies, all of these GREAT little shops everywhere, wonderful bakeries, pizza places, a Starbucks on nearly every corner (good thing we walked as much as we did!) was a totally different way of life, one that I really liked.

2. The people~ they were so accommodating, so helpful, and genuinely nice. Despite our efforts to blend in and not be tourists, so many times people could tell we weren't "locals" and would offer to help us find where we were going, take our pictures, ask where we were from, how we liked the city, etc. etc. I really don't know where the idea that New Yorkers are rude came from, because not one time did we experience anything like that. In fact, I found that the people there were more friendly and genuinely interested in striking up a conversation than people typically are here. Interesting, huh?

3. The Rockettes~ my personal highlight of the week. Maybe it's the old Dixie Belle in me or something, I don't know, but I have wanted to see the Rockettes perform for as long as I can remember. Watching the Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular was absolutely amazing. The Rockette's performance was flawless, breathtaking...the whole show was magical. I was seriously moved to tears by the end of it.

4. Bloomingdale's~ speaking of being moved to tears, our first night there we walked around and ended up in Bloomingdales. It was a great department store of course, but that's not what made me get emotional. That happened as we were leaving the store. We walked out and started looking at the Christmas decorations in each window of the store~ each one was a different, retro-y vintage looking Christmas scene. Christmas music was playing, and there were Christmas lights all over anything that would stand still, and I got choked up. I guess I couldn't believe that I was actually in New York, and it was a very surreal, incredible feeling that I will never forget.

5. Live with Regis and Kelly~ on our second day there we got up early and headed down to where Live was taped, in hopes of getting stand-by tickets. We waited patiently, and were finally told that all seats were full, but that we were welcome to stand on the side of the studio and watch, or we could come back for VIP passes the next day. The lady that offered that to us was so incredibly nice (her job would be such a cool one to have!), and we offered to take the tickets for the next day. When we came back, she remembered us, and took us right to these roped off seats in the front row, thanking us for being so nice the day before. Hard to believe she was thanking us for being nice...makes me wonder what kind of people she has to deal with on a daily basis. But anyways...seeing Regis and Kelly up close was greatness~ she is the TINIEST thing I have ever seen, and was just as I expected her to be~ funny, genuine, really sweet, and so beautiful. Regis was precious, funny, cute as could be too. They taped the first 15-minute segments for the Dec. 29 and 30 shows (they will be on vacation) while we were there too, so you'll have to check those out and see if you can find us!

6. Serendipity~ a restaurant I have heard about several times...ever heard of their famous Frozen Hot Chocolates? They were SO YUM...the owner was walking around talking to everybody (have I mentioned that this is a friendly city?!?), and it was a really fun place to eat.

There were so many other things...riding the subway, the cabs, trying (unsuccessfully) to get on The View (oh, well), the shopping, the sightseeing...I could go on and on. The best part was getting to spend that time with my mom and sisters. We made so many memories, and I am SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL to my parents for sending us. I know it wasn't easy on my dad, Brian, and the boys to let us go, so thank you too boys for unselfishly letting us do this. I am forever thankful for this trip, and will never forget it. :)