Friday, December 31, 2010

2010-A Rebuilding Year

2010 rocked our world--in the very worst ways, & in the very best ways.  It is a year I never want to repeat, yet a year I want to relive a million times.  It was a year full of trials & tribulations, blessings & celebrations.  It brought with it some sorrows, but even more joys.  There were severed relationships & sweet reconciliations.  There were times we were stretched thin, & times we stood up strong against all odds. Our marriage struggled at moments, & then grew roots that went stronger & deeper than ever before.  We got knocked down, yet we always stood back up.  The hits seem to come one right after another, & the minute we would get to our feet, another one seemed to  come & pull the rug out.  But even then, we always managed to shuffle back to our feet.  Storm after storm pelted us, & we weathered each one; sometimes gracefully, & sometimes not so much.  There were moments when parenthood didn't agree with us so well, & there were moments we handled it all quite beautifully.  There were times when it would have been easier to give up on everything, but we never did. We persevered, & are so very thankful we did.

Yeah, 2010 rocked our world. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
But as I sit & reflect on 2010,  I can't help but be proud of where we are today. Because here on the other side of 2010, we can see all the beauty that the year held, even through the hard times.  It wasn't always pretty in the midst of each day, but looking at the big picture from right here--it's beautiful.  We became parents, a family, a team.  We grew, gained wisdom, & have more knowledge than before.  We found out what we were made of, & realized how strong we really are.  And if given the chance, I would gladly do 2010 over a million times again.

Jared & I always joke that  2010 was our "rebuilding year".  Everything was new & fresh, & needed figuring & sorting out.  Leave it to my hubby to relate our lives to a term used in sports.  But really, he's right.  Just like sports teams have to take time to figure things out, sort through everything, see what works & what doesn't, learn to work together, become new, smooth out the kinks, mess up, even fail sometimes in order to become great, that's exactly what this year has been for us.  We have learned that a "rebuilding year" isn't easy.  It takes lots of work, lots of growth, & lots of patience...

But you know what happens to a team after a "rebuilding year", don't you?  That team comes out & shines.   That team comes out & shows what they're made of.  That team comes out & they ROCK IT!!

And while I am not really a "make a new year's resolution" kind of girl {never have been}--I do have one small  resolution in mind for 2011, & that is simply to  ROCK IT!!!

So farewell 2010!  You are a year that will go down in the history books for us, & one we will never forget!

 To 2011, get ready!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nasty Little Bug

A nasty bug has struck our house.  And the whole Kansas City area, from what I hear.  It started last night when Jared & I went in to check on Jett before we headed off to bed.  I peeked in over the crib to find that Jett had thrown up EVERYWHERE. I had heard him fuss over the monitor a little earlier, but it's not unusual for him to do that every once in awhile in his sleep.  He went right back to sleep so I thought nothing of it.   But when I saw that he had been sick, it broke my heart & I felt like the worst mother ever for not knowing.  We woke him up, stripped his clothing & bedding, drew a warm bath, bathed him & proceeded to sanitize everything in sight.  After his bath, we put him in clean warm jammies & Jared & I took turns rocking him, thinking we had seen the last of the nasty visitor.  Nope--the nasty little bug struck again--all over Jett, me, the blankets, jammies, etc.  Back to square one--stripping, cleaning, sanitizing. Needless to say, it was a very long night.  Jett didn't throw up again after that, but he was very restless all night long, & Jared & I didn't sleep because we were worried about him.  We checked on him every hour on the hour & jumped at every little whimper we heard in between.

Thankfully, Jett seems to be feeling better today.  He is eating, drinking, & playing.  But unfortunately, that nasty little bug has decided to come after me.  Not fun.  So we are on a steady diet of saltines, chicken noodle soup, & clear liquids around here.

And just for the record, usually when anyone is sick in our house, they get my special homemade chicken soup to help nurse them back to health.  But when mama is sick...mama doesn't feel like cooking & we just get the stuff from the can.

Here's to hoping this nasty little bug hightails it out of here as soon as possible.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"The Reason For The Season"

The Christmas season is quickly dwindling down.  Soon the twinkling lights will be unplugged, the ornaments will be wrapped & stored away, the tree will come down & be smashed back into its box, Santa & his reindeer will fly back to the North Pole, each decoration will be tucked away in storage bins, & we will say good-bye to the most wonderful time of year.

Around our house, we crank Christmas out to the fullest!  If you've read my blog or know me personally, you know that I don't skimp on the details when it coms to Christmas {or anything for that matter}!  We do the Santa thing, we blare the Christmas carols, we watch the all time classic Christmas movies, we bake the cookies, we drink the cocoa, we go completely overboard, & it is great--really great.  But don't think for one second that in the midst of all the Christmas celebrating in our home, that we forget what the real reason for this beautiful season is.  His name is Jesus.

And while I am thankful for that sweet baby laying in his manger & all that he represents at Christmas time, that's not who Jesus Christ is to me.  He is much, much more.  He is my Savior.  He is not just the reason for this season, he is the reason for my being.   After all, he did so much more than just come, be born, & lay in a manger--he came to die for my sin.  And I owe him my entire life, not just a season of it.  I liken my life to the season of Christmas--that without Jesus Christ, it would be pretty pointless.

So this week, I'll pack away all of the decorations that go along with the Christmas season-each twinkly light & every pretty Christmas card, but as for the reason for the season?  He stays.  He doesn't get tucked away with the Christmas tree or the lights, to simply be forgotten until next year rolls around.  No, our Jesus, our Lord & Savior, he stays.  He stays to be a part of our every day lives, through the good, bad & ugly, the whole year through.  He's the one who will get us through our rough patches, & be there to celebrate with us our victories & blessings!  He's the one who will stretch us, & grow us into individuals that look more like him!  I am excited to one day teach my son that Jesus Christ is the reason for this beautiful season, & the one who makes Christmas what it is.  But more importantly I want to SHOW him who Jesus is by the way we live our lives & the personal relationship we have with our Lord & Savior.  Not just at Christmas time, not just during this particular season, but all the time, through every season.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas High

 There are new toys strewn from one end of the house to the other; I have a overtired, overstimulated, very cranky baby; Jared & I are absolutely exhausted, & here I sit wishing we could do it all over again--& not just Christmas day, but the whole entire month! It was a Christmas that beats all past Christmases & I am still reliving every moment in my heart & mind so as not to ever forget it!

And you know that sort of "let down" feeling that always seems to settle in on December 26th, after all of the excitement, energy, & anticipation has fizzled out? Well, for the first time in my life, I didn't wake up with that feeling this morning. My heart is still bursting & full! Maybe it's because I experienced my first Christmas as a parent, or maybe I just haven't come down from the high yet, & that "let down" is perhaps coming later. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because this year, I squeezed every bit of life out of Christmas that I possibly could! I took the time for the important things--like making memories & traditions, spending days in our jammies doing a whole lotta nothing, dancing in the kitchen to Christmas music, & baking cookies--lots & lots of cookies! I slowed down & did less hustling &bustling. I stopped to watch every "starry eyed" moment that Jett had & made sure to not let one slip by me. I drank in the moments where it was just the three of us, all snuggled up together! It goes without saying that this Christmas was a very special one for us. I knew it would be special all along...I just had no idea that it would blow every single previous one straight out of the park!

Here are some of the moments of Jett's first Christmas that I want to hold in my heart forever & ever!

*How absolutely delicious he looked in his Christmas jammies & how it took everything for me to not eat him right up!

*The moment it hit Jared & I that we now are the "parents" & how much work goes into getting everything set up just perfectly for Christmas morning.
*The way he did his little "What's this?" when we walked into his room early Christmas morning with a camera in my hand, & video camera in Jared's.
*The way his eyes lit up when he caught a glimpse of all of his presents! I thought for sure he would be too young to even notice or care, but he knew something was going on, & his eyes were just full of excitment!
*How he jibbered & jabbered {the way he does when he's excited over something} when looking over all of his new toys!
*The way he had every grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, & cousin wrapped around his little finger, making them jump at his every little whimper!

*How my heart swelled with pride as our family loved & doted on him!

*How after 3 Christmases in one day, only 1 short nap, & being BEYOND exhausted, he was still a little trooper & never once had a meltdown.

*That my favorite Christmas present this year really was being able to see Christmas through my sweet baby's eyes!

It was a Christmas that no matter how I try, I will never be able to capture & explain in words. So I will relive it over & over again in my heart, & I will hold onto this "Christmas high" for as long as I can!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All...

...And to all a good night!!

Merry Christmas to you & yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Knock your socks off cocoa & marshmallows!

I have had several requests for the homemade cocoa mix & marshmallows that I gave out as gifts & raved about on facebook, so I thought I'd post the info here on my blog for ya!

Let me just say, that homemade hot cocoa mix & homemade marshmallows knock the socks right off of the store bought kind!

I got the idea from my blog friend, Darby over at flythroughourwindow & decided to give it a whirl!

Both recipes are Alton Brown's {from Food Network}
Here is the Marshmallow recipe
Here is the Cocoa Mix recipe

Enjoy! Hold onto your socks!!!


Our Christmas Eve EVE

Here's what our Christmas Eve EVE looked like:

We had a nice visit with Santa Claus! And because my hubby is amazing & went bright & early to get a "pass", we didn't have to stand in the line that wrapped around the store! We went straight to the front of the line & the whole process only took about 5 minutes! This Santa was one of the sweetest I have ever seen, & Jett did great! He didn't cry, but as you can tell, he wasn't about to sit on that lap for very long!

We came home & decided to have a "Jammie Day"! I'm pretty sure we will be adding "Jammie Day" to our list of traditions to carry out during the week of Christmas!

We made sugar cookie cut outs, & Jett helped out!

And we laughed our heads off when Jett stuck his hand in the flour mixture & proceeded to shove a handful in his mouth!

We made a big pallet on the living room floor & cozied up to watch the fire glowing in the fireplace!

It has been a perfect Christmas Eve EVE.

It just doesn't get better than this!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Perfect Plans

If there is one thing in life that that you can always count on going 100% as planned--it's that nothing ever goes 100% as planned.

You see, I had these big, lovely, picturesque ideas of how Christmas would play out this year. Everyone we love would be gathered together in our home on Christmas morning, Jared, Jett, & I would spend the few days before Christmas doing nothing but watching Christmas classics, eating our weight in sugar cookies, taking long winter naps, & singing Christmas carols. It would go down as the best Christmas in history! A girl can dream, right? Well, I certainly WAS dreaming, because reality swooped right in {like it tends to do}& brought along with it real life circumstances. I hate it when that happens.

First of all, my family won't be coming on Christmas morning after all. Everyone we love WON'T be gathered together in our home at the same time. Boo. The little bro had a work scheduling conflict making our original plan fall to pieces. I'll admit I had a slight breakdown over it, but real life kept on happening so I had no choice but to pick up the pieces & truck on. Life happens.

Secondly, Christmas is only two days away & our days leading up to Christmas have been far from relaxing. No long winter naps, no watching of Christmas classics, & the sugar cookies have yet to be made. Boo. Jett ended up with another ear infection on Friday, which landed us in the ENT's office on Tuesday, which landed us in Children's Mercy today getting surgery for ear tubes. Talk about an eventful week--& it's only Wednesday! That sure wasn't in the plan!

Turns out, there's no such thing as perfect plans. We paint pictures in our minds of the way we want things to turn out, the way we dream them to be, & in all reality, we have no control over this life. I am learning this lesson over & over again, & one day maybe I'll really "get" it & quit with the "perfect " planning already. Old habits die hard.

On the bright side {because there's always a bright side}, even though our families may not all be gathered together under one roof on Christmas morning, we are still blessed enough that we will get to spend some time with each side of our families throughout Christmas day--well, that is, if the weather cooperates {see, i'm already learning this "go with the flow" thing}.

And even though our days haven't included much rest & relaxation, our Jett Jett got some much needed relief to his little ears! A day after meeting with the ENT, he was scheduled for a surgery that usually takes months to get into! What a blessing from God!

Perfect plans simply do not exist. Life throws curve balls & bumps in the road, & we have two options- to crumble right along with the plans, or to pick up the pieces & keep on rockin' & rollin'. Here's to rockin' & rollin'.

Now MAYBE, JUST MAYBE we can get a nap in over these next couple of days..maybe even rent a movie or two--but don't worry, I'm not counting on it!

Merry Christmas! Leave a little room for the unexpected!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Family Tradition!

We made the news!! Well, the news at my husband's company, anyways!

Jared works for a very large greeting card company & this year the area he works in wanted to do an article on holiday family traditions! Jared & several other people were asked to tell about some of their own personal family traditions, & lo & behold, Jared's were chosen to be printed for everyone to see! What fun!

I was so excited when I read the article for myself, to see that Jared mentioned not only an old Christmas tradition that we do in our home, but he also mentioned a new one we started once we knew that our nest would be expanding with a little addition!

Between the two of us, Jared & I have lots of traditions that we brought to the table once we got married! It has been fun to carry them out each year, tweak them here & there, & even make our own new traditions along the way! I could make a list a mile long of all of the little moments & traditions that make our Christmas truly "ours", but for the sake of not being here all night, I'll just tell you about the ones the hubster made the "news" about *wink*!

Jammies Tradition!
Each year, for as far back as I can remember, on the Eve of Christmas I got a special package to open! Inside that package was a special pair of Christmas Eve jammies! Sometimes they were warm & cozy fleece, sometimes they were soft & snuggly flannel, sometimes they had feet, sometimes they came with slippers. And even though I knew each year that I was going to open a package of pajamas, it never got old! It actually ended up being one of my favorite parts about Christmas--one of my favorite family traditions! Once Jared & I got married, & he realized how important this tradition of mine was, he continued to carry it out every single year! Every year he goes out searching high & low for the perfect set of Christmas Eve jammies for me, & I do the same for him! It has, & continues to be a highlight of Christmas for both of us every year! And now, it is even more exciting, because not only do we get to search high & low for each other's Christmas jammies, we also get to search high & low for the cutest little baby Christmas Eve jammies! That's the wonderful thing about traditions--the longer they get carried out--the more fun & meaningful they become! So as I sit here & type, there are three sets of perfectly picked Christmas Eve jammies, all wrapped up & waiting under the tree for three warm bodies to cozy up inside of them! We'll all have to wait until Christmas Eve to see what they look like! I love old traditions!

Annual Christmas Ornament!
I never got into the whole ornament thing. I knew of lots of families that chose an ornament every single year, & their trees were covered in all kinds of different figurines & characters dangling on the limbs of their Christmas trees. My family never did that, & it was a tradition I really wasn't interested in. I opted for having a tree with white twinkling lights, matching ribbons & balls, & going for a look that in my mind was more clean & "matchy". Well, last year as I waddled past the great big wall of ornaments in a local shop {I say waddled because I was VERY pregnant},I threw clean & "matchy" straight out the window! All of a sudden, a sentimental wave of emotion came over me, & those ornaments were calling my name! There were trucks & trains, Charlie Brown & Snoopy, super heros & firetrucks, cars & tractors--so many ornaments perfect for the sweet little boy that wiggled inside of me! All of a sudden my mind changed, & I knew it was the perfect time for our little family to take on a new tradition! So Jared & I decided right there in the store that once we had our little boy, that every year we/he would choose an ornament to hang on our Christmas tree at home. And as we started to walk away, thinking that next year would mark the start of our new tradition, I glanced & saw the ornament I could not walk away from. She was adorable. She was perfect. She was a pregnant girl, & in one hand she held a jar of pickles, & in the other a carton of ice cream. Forget starting NEXT year--we would start our tradition right then & there! And so we did! After all, we were already a family of three, even if our little guy hadn't made his grand entrance to the world yet! So we took the pregnant girl ornament home, placed her on the tree, & she looked perfect amidst that clean & "matchy" backdrop!

This year, we stood in front of that great wall of ornaments once again, & chose for our little Jett, this very sweet, very traditional little ornament representing his very first Christmas!

He even helped to hang it on the tree!

And because I am clearly now a sucker for ornaments, I couldn't walk away with just one. So I made up yet another tradition right then & there in the store {you can never have too many fun traditions, right?}! I decided that every year we would choose an ornament for our children...AND we would choose a family ornament!

So this is what we chose for our family ornament this year! I absolutely love it!

One of these days, I will have to pack up all of those sweet little ornaments that belong to my children. I will have to place them in boxes. And I will have to part with them. I will send them away with their rightful owners so that they can take them to their own homes, & hang them on their own Christmas trees to share with their own families. What I love about our "family ornament" tradition is that on the day that I have to pack up those ornaments that have come to mean so much to us through the years so that they can go to another home & hang on another tree--on that day--my tree won't feel so lonely. Those family ornaments will still whisper a reminder of all of the memories we made as a family. I will get to look at each year's ornament, & still get to be reminded of the fun we had that year, the memories we made, & they will stand in place of all the little rattles, firetrucks, cars, trucks, trains, & super heros. I really love new traditions!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Artsy & Crafty!

Happy Monday! Hope you all have had a better Monday than me. It's been a rough day, but instead of boring you with those details, I thought I'd share what I've been doing to relieve a little stress!

A little arts & crafts time always did cheer me right up!

Sipping hot cocoa is one of my favorite things about the holiday season! I absolutely LOVE this idea of having cocoa mix & marshmallows sitting out & readily available! I plan to leave it out all winter long! Plus, I think it makes for a cute little decoration on my countertop!

For years, I have been trying to figure out a cute way to display all of the Christmas cards we receive each year. It seems that they either end up in a stack on the counter, or taking up a bunch of space on display! Well, not anymore! A little ribbon, a hole punch, & some lanyard hooks, & ta da!! I love it!

***I got both of the above ideas from my blog friend over at Clover Lane! She is so creative & I just love her simple style! Go check her out!***

I love spending time in the kitchen cooking, baking, & whipping up all kinds of yummy treats! I also find that it is way more fun to look stylish while doing it! I had some really cute fabric just laying around waiting for the right craft to come along, so when I ran across an online tutorial for this adorable ruffle apron, I knew it was a match! I am really pleased with how it turned out! I can't wait to make more as gifts for my girlfriends, & maybe even a give away here on my blog {once I perfect it, of course}!

Welp, there you have it. My stress relief for the day! Goodnight!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I have a rule. You see, I carry the title of "MOM" now, & that's what moms get to do- we get to make rules. And although I never understood it as a child or teenager, I understand now, that moms don't make rules to be mean. We make rules because at the end of the day, we really do know what is best for our own families. How does the saying go? Oh, that's right- "Mother knows best." I couldn't agree more!

So, here is my rule.

On the Eve of Christmas, we stay home as a family. We don't travel. We don't run last minute errands or pick up final gifts. We don't gather in anyone else's home for Christmas celebrations. We stay nestled in our own cozy warm home & we make moments with our children that will be memories they carry with them for a lifetime. We will bake cookies for Santa, play games, watch Christmas movies, get all snug in Christmas jammies, recite "The Night Before Christmas", & then at the end of the evening, we will nestle our children all snug in their beds.

You see, when I was growing up, I loved Christmas! I loved waking up at the crack of dawn--oh, who am I kidding--it wasn't even close to dawn! My brother & I would tiptoe into Mom & Dad's room & try getting them up at 4am, be sent back to bed & try again at 5, be sent back to bed & sometimes if we were REALLY lucky, they would cave at 5:30! I loved running out to see our stockings overflowing with prizes, & tearing into all of the beautifully wrapped presents! There is no denying that I have a soft spot for Christmas! But it is Christmas EVE that holds my fondest memories! I remember the togetherness. I remember sipping hot cocoa. I remember opening a package of special Christmas jammies. I remember BEGGING to open just one more present--& sometimes getting to, because Mom couldn't stand the pleading any longer! I remember the anticipation! I remember my brother & I being little balls of energy, ready to explode with excitement! I remember being all tucked into bed that night, & tossing & turning all the night long because the anticipation was just consuming me! And then once Christmas morning came, of course it was always fun--but in my heart, it didn't hold a candle to Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve brings with it a truck load of eagerness, excitement, anticipation, giddiness, silliness, twinkling eyes, cheeriness, merriness, jolly-ness--the whole sha-bang! And not for one single second do I want to miss out on my own children experiencing all of the above! I want to watch every bit of their excitement unfold! I want to see their eager eyes as we set cookies & milk out for Santa! I want to hear their little voices begging & pleading to open JUST ONE gift! I want to see their giddiness as Jared & I tuck them into bed at night & see that they too, are little balls of energy about to explode at any moment! I want to spend the entire day cozied up with them sipping hot cocoa, baking cookies, skipping naps, & having togetherness. I guess what I'm saying is that I want to really truly experience Christmas with my family, & I don't want to miss a single thing. Not one single moment. I know that one day my children will all be grown, & they will go off to have their own lives & families. Sure, I'll still be a part of it, but it won't be the same--I won't have THESE days back ever again. I only have them for a short time & that's why I intend to make the very most of the years & time we have together! I want my children to grow up & have vivid memories of the moments we made together as a family!

Now don't think for a second that I don't think extended family is important. I believe that grandparents, aunts, uncles, & cousins are a precious part of our lives & memory making! And we will have our time with them every single year, no doubt!

But every year on Christmas Eve, you will find us snug in our home.

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Next Year At This Time..."

Last year, Santa Claus wasn't the only one sporting a big round belly {only mine didn't shake like a bowl full of jelly}!!

Gosh, I remember it like it was yesterday! I remember feeling all of those kicks & nudges inside there! I remember sitting in his nursery during the wee hours of the night, with his little night light glowing, while outside a blizzard whirled about {remember that crazy snowstorm last Christmas?}. I imagined as I rocked in that rocking chair, the tiny baby that would soon be on the outside of my body & all snuggled up in my arms. I imagined what he would look like, imagined every toe, imagined his little nose, & wanted so desperately to be able to peek into that big round belly of mine for just a sneak preview! I would close my eyes & just imagine that "next year at this time..."

Well, "next year at this time" has come {so quickly}, & it is much, much MORE than I ever could have imagined. And now I can't imagine what my life was before our Jett came into it! "Next year at this time" is a really, really WONDERFUL place to be!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Home for the Holidays!

Hello there! I am feeling MUCH better today! Jared & I made up, & I got some good sleep last night. Amazing what a little sleep can do for the mind & body! That, & crossing a gazillion things off a mile long to-do list! AND then there were all of the sweet words of encouragement so many of you poured out to me through facebook & email. Sometimes, it's nice to hear that I'm not alone in this motherhood journey, & that many mommies out there can relate. Thank you to my sweet girlfriends. You know who you are...

So, with that said, I ran Scrooge clear out of town this morning, & we are now up & running in the Christmas spirit once again! I decided to set the {now much smaller} to-do list aside today, & just let a few things go. After all, I want to truly enjoy this Christmas season, not merely survive it.

I'm pretty sure one of the things that aided in the blowing of the gasket last night is the fact that I am hosting Christmas this year at MY house! Everyone is coming--& by everyone I mean, my side of the family AND Jared's side! We are all having Christmas breakfast at at my house{Thank you, Lord I didn't have to do a turkey!} This is BIG! I mean, what could be bigger than the biggest holiday of the year?! I just don't want to drop the ball on anyone's Christmas. I want it to be perfect! I want everyone to feel comfortable, & get to come, relax, & make wonderful Christmas memories! I want them to leave with great big cheery, merry hearts, uttering to one another things like, "THAT was a wonderful Christmas!" I want it to be a special Christmas, one that leaves footprints on their hearts. It's a lot of pressure, you know. But then when I stop & really take a look at the situation...I'm the one who's bringing on all of this pressure myself. For the past week or so, I've been running around this house like a crazy woman, cleaning, sanitizing, painting baseboards, pressing table know, all the stuff that nobody REALLY notices! It has been an all out frenzy, & thankfully a gasket finally blew to make me take a step back & quiet the busyness going on in my head.

These are our families I'm talking about here. This is Christmas. Nobody is coming to look at how clean my home is. Nobody will be analyzing my baseboards & trim to make sure they are the brightest white. No one will judge if everything isn't pristine & perfect. That's not what Christmas is about. It's about the laughter that fills the room. It's about the people that gather together. It's about the memories we make as a family. And this year, it's about Jett waking up to see that not only has Santa come to visit, but everyone that loves him so very much has come to visit him also! I cannot be more excited that on Jett's first Christmas, the ones we love the most will be in our home all together under one roof on Christmas morning! We don't have to hurry through opening gifts just so that we can get in the car & on the road to the next Christmas. We get to relax, watch Jett's face as he experiences his very first Christmas, eat, laugh, & enjoy the great big love we all have for each other! Now THAT is what Christmas is all about!

There really is no place like home for the holidays!

And just for fun, I added a couple of pics from past Christmases!

Christmas 09' Being silly! If you look really close, you can see Jett--he's the little bump I'm sporting!

Christmas 08'-Jared's sisters & me!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bah Humbug!

Alright...I blew a gasket tonight.

Jared & I got into it {oh & you thought it was all rainbows & butterflies around here? Nope.}.

I haven't left the house in six days. Count them- six. S-I-X. That's a long time to be cooped up & not have one single breath of fresh air. I have avoided getting Jett out in an attempt to keep him from getting more sick, & all the while some major cabin fever has been setting in on my part. Oh, & who knows if my attempts at keeping him healthy are even working! There is still snot flung from here to Kingdom Come!

I have been working my butt off around this house trying to get it in tip top shape for Christmas. Cleaning, painting, organizing, shopping, blah blah & every other woman who is trying to make it a perfect Christmas for her family.

OUR to-do list is a mile long, & somehow it feels like it all is falling on my shoulders to complete. I can't do it all. I simply can't. There aren't enough hours in the day & I'm gonna need some help.

Finally tonight, I had had enough. Jared walked in the door, I handed him the baby, & I walked out the door. I needed to get out of this house. I left, & didn't come back for five hours. I spent the time chipping away at my to-do list, turned the radio up loud in the car, bought some last minute Christmas gifts {do you realize how hard it is to buy presents for someone you are ticked off at?}, bumped into my bff & did some shopping with her for a little while, & tried to enjoy the fact that I wasn't racing against time to get home for a bottle, or a nap, or a bath {again, do you know how hard it is to enjoy anything when you're ticked off at someone?}. I finished the evening off with doing my grocery shopping {it was actually the perfect time to go grocery shopping. No lines.}

I needed to get out of the house. I needed to get some errands done. I needed a freaking glimpse of the outside world. But now my feet hurt, my back is aching, & I missed my baby's bedtime. I'm mad at my husband. I'm mad at this day. I have two words. Bah Humbug.

Tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jett Jett happenings

It's time for another update on our little Jett Jett! Boy oh boy, is he coming into his own! The 10 month mile marker has brought along with it so many new happenings, & so much personality! It has been a fun month, & we are gobbling our little guy up!

* We'll start with his ears. I haven't updated since the last ear infection. We took him in after he finished up the really strong antibiotic, & praise the Lord, his ears were all clear! Doctor said if we could keep him clear for the next few months, then Jett probably wouldn't need tubes. On the other hand, if he gets another infection, then off to the ENT we go... He is battling a cough & runny nose as we speak {I can see a tooth on the surface of his gums ready to pop through- it seems like he ALWAYS gets a cough & runny nose right before a tooth makes its appearance}, so I am PRAYING it clears up with no infection settling in his ears!

Now that we've covered the bad stuff- onto the good stuff! There's way more of that & it's more fun!

* Climbing stairs. It took him minute {& I mean only a minute} to figure it out, & then up the stairs he went! He has absolutely no fear, & climbs up them like he's been doing it for years!

* Walking. Not on his own just yet. He has a push toy that he waddles along behind. It is the cutest thing! He goes up & down the hallway over & over & over again. And when he gets "stuck" up against a wall...HUGE meltdown! He throws himself to the ground, & big crocodile tears come rolling down his cheeks. Once we set him & his push toy on the "straightaway" again, everything in the world is okay! Well, until he gets stuck again.

* Waving. He doesn't do it on command...only when he feels like it. But last night when DaddyBoy came in the door & waved, Jett deemed that an appropriate time to go ahead & wave back! Perfect timing!

* Blowing kisses. He puckers his lips up like a little fish & the gives the cutest little "smack" at us! Of course we eat it up!

* "Awww face". That's what we call it. Whenever he is doing something sweet, & we say, "Awww", he squints his little eyes {almost like he's smiling with his eyes} & musters up the biggest grin he's got- not a single tooth is hidden! He is such a little ham!

* "What's this"? This is my newest favorite thing that he does. Jared still hasn't seen it yet, but he does it all day long with me. If he hears something out of the ordinary {like the washer on spin cycle} , he will put his little hand up, & start whispering "sshhshshshshsthshtheshs". I LOVE IT!!! It did break my heart though, today, when he thought he heard the garage door open, & rushed over to wait for DaddyBoy ,doing his little "shthshshhthtshsh" complete with little hand in the air--only to realize DaddyBoy wasn't actually home. It ended in tears, but a quick phone call to hear DaddyBoy's voice made it all better!

* Shake it! It used to be that when he was ready for me to come & get him from his crib in the mornings or after nap times, I would hear a sweet little "mama.maaama.maaaaama." Not anymore. His new thing is to shake the daylights out of his crib railing! Once the crib starts rockin' ,that's my cue to run in & scoop my little sunshine up!

* VROOOOM! This amazes me. I'm not sure how he knows to do this already {I guess by just observing. That, & it's a total boy thing}, but as he rolls his cars across floors, ottomans, & couches he makes a "car" sound! It really doesn't sound like "vroom", but it's definitely his interpretation of what sound a car makes! Jared loves that his son is all boy & the two of them spend hours vrooming cars together!

* Hide & Seek. We do this all day long! I crawl around the couch & hide, & he comes crawling after me. Once he finds, me, I scream, he screams, & then we do it over & over cracking up laughing the entire time! Who needs to run on the treadmill when I get my cardio in this way?!

* Riding in the buggy. At Kindermusik class, Miss Darcy brought in laundry baskets, & we use them as "buggies"! We have a buggy song that we sing & each of the babies takes a turn riding in the buggy! It is really adorable, & sometimes the babies buddy up & take a ride together! Well, at home, sometimes after I'm done folding laundry, I will start singing the buggy song, & like a little lightning bolt, he is right at my side ready for his buggy ride! When the song comes to an end {& I wear out from pushing that darn thing around the house} he shakes his head no & cries. That means-"Go again, Momma!" So off we go...for just one more ride.

* Music man! He absolutely LOVES music! There are a couple of songs from Kindermusik class that are his favorites, like "In the Moon", "Riding in the Buggy", & the Kindermusik "Welcome Song". He loves Laurie Berkner on Nick Jr, & lately with all of the Christmas carols we have been singing around the house, he has decided that "Jingle Bells" is his all time fave! When he hears it, immediately a smile flashes across his face, & he gets to bouncing! He's even got really great rhythm already! {He gets that from me--just sayin'}

* He is now wearing size 12-18 months clothes. Seriously? I remember when I would glance at this size of clothing in the store & it looked so HUGE! I thought it would be FOREVER before MY baby would fit into them. Ha. It's here.

*He's got 'tude. And I'm not quite sure where he gets this from. Alright, alright...he gets this from me too. His little will has really been showing here lately. Especially when he wants to take the bowl I am feeding him from & throw it, or when he wants to bang his sippy cup on his high chair so that little milk splatters go flying all over my kitchen, or when he wants to touch the fireplace, which he knows is a big no-no. When we tell him "no", he shakes his own head "no", as hard as he can & gives us a "look". Or sometimes the big crocodile tears show back up on the scene. Or sometimes, like last night, he takes us by complete surprise, & not only shakes his head "no", but also proceeds to chuck a toy car across the floor!!! WHAT?! Who taught him how to do that?! While I would like to say that Jared & I held our ground on the matter of his little attitude, we didn't -we both burst into laughter !

Well, as you can tell, we are having the time of our lives with our sweet boy! Every single month gets more & more fun, & to imagine that it is only going to get better & better just doesn't seem possible! I realize these updates probably aren't extremely interesting to anyone who isn't Jett's parents or grandparents, but these little moments are our everything. They are the way we hold on to our memories & will one day get to laugh as we read them to Jett! How fun that will be!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

That's all she wrote!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rock A Bye Baby

I write to you now with a big, gooey, mushy, melted heart. I told you in my last post how Jett wasn't feeling good yesterday. Well last night, we did our usual nightly routine--bath, bottle, blankie, {a gazillion kisses},& bed. He is always in bed by 8, & we usually never hear a single peep out of him til' morning. But not last night.

Around 9 or so, Jett let out the saddest little cry & it seemed to blare over the monitor. I immediately sprang off my chair to run to him, knowing this was so unusual & out of the ordinary for him. I rushed into his room, scooped him up in my arms, & whispered all kinds of "Mommy's here, You're okay, & Shhhhh's". His crying came to a halt the second I picked him up & I carried him in the dark to the rocking chair in his nursery. I began rocking him back & forth. I thought for sure that at any moment he would start squirming like he always does. You see, Jett stopped letting me rock him around 5-6 months. He would squirm & struggle, & just want to be put in his bed where he could go to sleep. It broke my heart back then that my little baby had already outgrown being rocked.

But last night, we rocked & rocked & rocked, & I couldn't believe it, but he never moved, never squirmed, never budged. There he lay in my arms, his warm little jammied body cradled perfectly in my arms, just gazing up at his momma. As I stared into his sweet little face, I couldn't help but flash backwards to the teeny tiny baby days, when this rocking routine was so familiar. When he would wake me in the middle of the night, & we would diaper change, nurse, swaddle, & rock & rock & rock. I remember hearing all of the horror stories of mothers having to get up in the middle of the night, but you know, I never once minded it. I actually looked forward to those times. Those times when the rest of the world was asleep & completely quiet, & it was just the two of us. As I would look at him, all I could think was that I just wanted to hold onto him forever. I knew even then, that the time was going to fly by, & I clung on to every bit, determined to soak each moment in. I remember so many times looking at the clock & thinking, "In 5 more minutes, I'll lay him down." Then 30 minutes would go by, & I would find myself still saying, "Just 5 more minutes". I just couldn't get enough of my new baby. I knew that those middle of the night feedings weren't going to last forever. I knew that one day, he wouldn't call for me in the middle of the night anymore...that one day he wouldn't need me in the middle of the night anymore. And in a blink...those days were gone, & he began sleeping through the night--just as I knew he would.

As we kept rocking, realizing very clearly just how quickly those newborn days had actually gone, I then started to think of the days ahead... last night I was looking at the face of my baby, but one day, it would be the face of a child...& then a teenager...& then eventually, a grown man. He will graduate from kindergarten, from high school, & from college. Maybe he'll fall in love- get married. My mind was spinning with all of the details of his future & what it would look like. And I couldn't help but know that one day, one day much too soon, he will no longer need me to scoop him up, shush into his ear, & rock him back to sleep. He will be too grown up, & just like those middle of the night feedings, the precious days of rocking my baby will be gone.

After about 20 minutes or so of rocking, his little eyes grew heavy, his breathing got slower & deeper, & he was off to dreamland. I sat just a few minutes longer with him & cherished the moment. He's not my teeny little newborn anymore, that is for sure. But he's not all grown up just yet, either. For the time being, for this moment right now, he is still my baby. He still needs me to rush in & scoop him up. He still needs to be shushed back to sleep. He still needs to be rocked. And for that, my gooey, mushy, melted heart is truly thankful.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas kind of day {part 2}

The day started out kinda "iffy". We all got up & were getting ready for church when I noticed that Jett was coughing & sneezing quite a bit. Pair the coughing & sneezing with the 11 degree weather we are having, & the fact that one more ear infection is likely to land us in the hospital getting tubes, & Jared & I decided it probably wouldn't be the best idea to get Jett out. So, DaddyBoy went on to church & Jett I got back in our comfy clothes. Throughout the day, the coughing got a little worse, the sneezing became more frequent, & by bedtime, his nose was running like a faucet, & he was extremely fussy {teething, perhaps?}. I am praying another ear infection is not on the horizon, but so far, that has seemed to be the trend for us. Boo.

But we weren't about to let a runny nose & cough come & steal our Christmas day {part 2}--it had to go on---& it sure did! We still managed to get our Christmas pretzel treats all put together, complete with cellophane bags, ribbons & bows. We put the final touches & details on our Christmas cookies! Even Jett was in the Christmas spirt, full of laughter & playfulness {up until bedtime when he melted}. brother stopped by for a surprise visit {& tried to eat up all of our pretty cookies}! All in all, it was a great day & I am already sad that the weekend is quickly coming to an end. I sure wish Christmas time came around more than once a year--but I suppose that is all the more reason to make the very most of it--complete with lots & lots of Christmas kinds of days!

A yummy Christmas treat for our neighbors & friends!

I got a little carried away with the food coloring!
Jared showing off his mad cookie decorating skills!

What he really wanted to do with the frosting!

All done! So pretty!

Happy sweet {sick} boy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Christmas kind of day!

We had a Christmas kind of day here at our house today! We cranked up the Christmas music & danced around the kitchen in our jammies this morning, we made a Christmas card display to hang so that we can actually enjoy the cards we receive this year rather than stacking them in a pile on the counter {got the idea from my blog friend over at Clover Lane}, we made a yummy Christmas treat, made the invitation for Christmas breakfast at our house this year, & ended the night by baking my famous Christmas cookies {which we will decorate tomorrow}!

I love being all cooped up with my sweet little family--especially at Christmas time! My favorite people & my favorite time of year--doesn't get better than that! I live for days like the one we just had! It was completely unplanned, completely Christmas, & completely perfect! I'm already excited for the next one!

Here is our yummy Christmas treat! White chocolate covered pretzels--made festive! One thing you have to be really careful of when making these--not to eat them as you go!

My famous Christmas sugar cookies! I will be sure to post pics after we "beautify" them tomorrow!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens...a few of my favorite things? Nah, not really.

But here are a few!!

1) Having our initials all over our home! I love using our initials to decorate! It makes our home feel so very "ours"!

2) Ugg Boots. I seriously LIVE in these things all winter long! They are like heaven for feet! Love them!

3) My PINK Kitchen Aid mixer! It is a must have in my kitchen! Perfect for whipping up quick batches of Christmas cookies!

4) My diy {do it yourself} chalkboard in our kitchen! I change the sayings for the seasons, write sweet messages for birthdays, & use it all year long!

These are a few of my favorite things! What are some of yours?

Oh, & stay tuned for a few of Jett's favorite things!