Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013 Part II

My sister and her family live about three hours away from us now and this year they decided that instead of traveling home on Christmas day or being here beforehand and having their kids open presents at a grandparents house that they would stay at their house and travel back to Dayton a few days later.

For the first time in thirty years of my life, I didn't spend Christmas with my dad or his side of the family with the exception of Heather. It was definitely different but I must admit, it was nice not having so many stops in one day. We got to take our time visiting family this year and actually savor the moment.

We held the Murphy gathering this past Saturday and once again we got to sit back and enjoy ourselves and not feel so rushed.


My uncle Dan and aunt Robin. I always seem to get her eating something and she HATES when I take her picture.  She may kill me if she sees I posted this

I made mashed potatoes, stuffing, and took some BBQ smoked sausages to munch on while we waited for everyone to arrive for dinner. My aunt made ham and an awesome roast that just fell apart and melted in your mouth, and my dad made chicken and dumplings. The dinner was so good and I almost made myself sick because I went back for a second helping of mashed potatoes and stuffing...totally worth it though.

I love Dylan's grin. He made me take several photos of him while we were waiting to open presents.
For Christmas this year I had a bunch of prints made for each family member from our trip to Cedar Point. I framed them up and everyone was touched to receive them. My aunt and uncle even cried a little. I also had a photo book made for them and my dad and his girlfriend and they were a big hit. To this day buying my camera was the best purchase that I've ever made. I didn't take a lot of pictures last year but I've tried a little harder this year and with the help of my camera tripod that Daniel gifted me with one year, I was able to take a nice family picture of all of us at Cedar Point.

My dad and Donna opening up their pictures from us.
For Christmas two years ago Daniel bought me two Rachel Ray skillets. Our pots and other pans are in bad shape so I've been wanting a set of her other pots and pans for awhile now. Even when we had the money to buy them I just couldn't bring myself to purchase them so this year my dad and Donna gifted them to us. I was so excited I could have cried.

Me and my new pots and pans.
The girls got lots more clothing and they both got little Nerf guns. The three of us were upstairs last night having a Nerf war and I had a blast.

The kids must have been good this year. Lots of present opening.
My favorite part of the holidays is the time I get to spend with my family. These people are the highlight of my days and it does this mommas heart good to know and see that their love for me has extended down to my daughters. I'm blessed beyond words and was so thankful that my Crohns disease behaved itself on Christmas day. I'm in a much better place this year than I was last year and even up until a few weeks ago.

Haylee, Addison, Dylan, Ireland, and Cadence. And yes, my kid is half naked again. Ireland stripped down shortly after this picture since it was so hot in the house.
I hope that each and everyone one of you stopping by my little blog had a wonderful holiday season. 

Christmas 2013

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. I remember the excitement that I used to feel on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa's arrival and trying to fall asleep and I must admit, I feel the same excitement now as a parent.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner here at our house with my mother-in-law. I made my families homemade spaghetti sauce and homemade meatballs which I must say were pretty darn good. I served it with a side salad and garlic bread using my good china. I only use my china once a year and it's on Christmas Eve and this year I was even brave enough to allow the girls to use it as well.

Christmas Eve dinner.
After our dinner we allow the girls to open our present to them. We buy them each a new pair of pajamas that I had just washed and dried that morning so that they were nice and fresh. We also allowed them to open two other presents that family had sent or left for them. My aunt Robin made Addison the cutest little cape and bought Cadence a ballerina outfit.

Sporting their new pajamas.

Opening up a present from their daddy. A big map so they can see where he is when he is out of town.
 Last year I started the tradition of writing Santa a letter before the girls head off to bed and we continued with it this year. The girls were so anxious to set out his cookies and milk that we did it quite early this year.

Letter to Santa with Addie wearing her new cape.
 Once we finally got them settled in bed it was operation wrap the presents...that is until I ran out of tape about three presents in. I used some leftover ostomy tape from when I had my ileostomy but it didn't hold very well so I gave up and quite a few presents were left unwrapped. I bought a pack of four rolls after Christmas so I should be set for at least another Christmas or

My wrapping station on the dining room table.

I wasn't looking forward to wrapping the dollhouse and clothes anyway.
 I wish I would have videotaped their expressions as they were coming down the stairs and seeing their presents for the first time. They were so excited and were tickled pink that Santa had brought them their dollhouse. Cadence squealed with delight each time she opened a present and they got so many awesome things they didn't know what to do with themselves.

The kid won't keep pajamas on over night but yet she won't go to bed without them on.

They went straight to their dollhouse.

Opening up her new Baby Alive. We went through a lot of diapers that morning.

Addie and her Baby Alive.
 Aunt Heather came over shortly after we finished opening our presents and she spent quite a bit of time playing dollhouse and playing their new games. The four of us ladies got down amd dirty with Hungry, Hungry, Hippos while Daniel cooked us up a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage links, and fried eggs. You know it's a holiday when we have two breakfast meats at the same time.

A little dollhouse play before breakfast.

Me and my babies. They had been trying out their new make-up beforehand.
Most years we are up and rushing around getting ready to be at my mother-in-laws by noon to begin our family visits. This year my dad's side of the family decided to hold our Christmas celebration a few days later so that we could accommodate my sister being out of town. This meant that this year we could have breakfast and enjoy ourselves and it was heavenly.

We made our way to my mother-in-laws around 12:30 or so and we got to open even more presents and have a lunch of taco's. My brother-in-law is dating a new special lady and she has a little girl about a year older than Addison. The girls love having another person to play with while we are there.

Mamaws tree.

Both girls are really into Barbie right now.

My baby opening her new art easel.

Our family photo.

Addison and Lilly.
After our stop there we traveled to my step-dads side of the family. This is only the second time in my life that I've been able to spend time with his family and while I didn't get any pictures it was nice to sit around and visit with my other siblings and extended family. I did get one instragram photo and it was of me and my new nephew, Kai. He's a black miniature schnauzer. My brother and his new wife, Jessica, adopted the little fellow for Christmas and I fell madly in love with him. We had a miniature schnauzer that looked just like him growing up and we all adored him and now we have another one to love. I would post the picture but it doesn't want to download correctly so I'm over it.

After an almost panic attack on the way home we arrived safely at home where we all got into our jammies and played with more toys. Thanks to my Crohns disease I have a fear of being stuck in traffic on the highway and needing to use the restroom. When we left my grandparents I knew a bathroom visit was not far off and wouldn't you know, we hit traffic and came to a crawl driving through downtown Dayton. I survived thanks to some breathing techniques but it took a few to get the blood flowing back through my hands properly because I had been clenching my fists so

To be continue...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

First Snow Fall of the Season

We had our first big snowfall well before Christmas this year and the morning the girls woke up and discovered that the ground was covered in it they were ready to go straight outside and play.

We had to make a quick trip to the store to purchase snow boots and gloves but after that they were free to run about in it...for the whole five minutes they lasted Oh least they had really cute boots and hats.

Addison making a snow angel. 

Cadence outside ready to head back in. See her eyes watering from the cold?

Bandit is always game to go out and play in the snow. 

Christmas Cookie Party 2013

I'm going to back track a little and do a quick post about our annual cookie party. Each year I invite my dad's side of the family over to our house to decorate and exchange cookies and sweet treats.

Rolling out our sugar cookie dough and using the cookie cutters.
I usually serve lunch or dinner depending on the time and we all just sit around eating and playing with the sprinkles and icing. This year we had sloppy joes and potato chips, it was cheap and easy to fix.

Let the icing and sprinkling begin.
I've been hosting this party for many years now, even before we all had kids, but I must is so much more fun now that there are small children involved.

Heather and Sue standing guard over the goodies. 
Once again my sister and her family were unable to join since they live three hours away now and unfortunately my dad wasn't able to make it either because he was called into work. We made the best of it though with a few new additions; my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and his new girlfriend and I must admit...this was our best exchange yet. Even my uncle Dan commented that he had some of the best cookies and treats that we've ever had.

I call that a successful party and I can't wait until next years.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

I can't believe another Christmas has almost arrived. I say it every year but I am really excited to see the girls reactions on Christmas morning. Santa is bringing them lots of good stuff this year and I can't wait to see the wrapping paper go flying.

We were extremely late this year getting our family portraits done so we'll be sending out New Year's cards instead of Christmas cards. We went Saturday and had our pictures done and I thought I would share a few of my favorites with everyone. I must say, our family really cleans up well and my children are the most adorable ever!!

I am so blessed. Even though I've got a couple of more surgeries on the horizon, I'm still feeling half way decent. Now to just lose all of that weight I gained. 

I shared the picture of the two of us because I was rocking my make-up 

We love Portrait Innovations when they do their 54 portrait package specials. We paid less than $20 for our family pose but they got me hook, line, and sinker with the picture of the two girls that I just had to have. I paid an extra bit of money but I'm sure everyone will agree, it was money well spent for the picture shown above. I love these girls with every ounce of my being and I have spent many moments staring at this picture amazed that I created these two beauties. 

From my little family to yours, we're wishing you a Merry Christmas!! 

Monday, November 25, 2013 Review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a marketing representative at asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of their awesome products. I of course jumped at the chance.

There were so many items that sparked my interest that it was hard to make my final decision.

After much deliberation on my part I finally settled on one of signazon's canvas prints. I've wanted a canvas print of our family for quite some time now but I've either not had the money available or just haven't gotten around to it when I did.

I'm so glad I picked the canvas print. My experience with signazon went very smoothly, shipping was quick and my product arrived without any shipping damage thanks to lot of wrapping precautions.

I am in love with my print and I was so excited to receive it. I've gotten lots of comments from family and friends who have seen it as it's much bigger and more beautiful in person. For now it rests a top of our entertainment center but fingers crossed, next year it will grace the wall of our new home along with a few more prints from signazon.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

1st Day of Preschool

This little lady started her first day of preschool last Monday. She was so excited to be going to school that she could barely see straight. I had her shirt made for her and she told me she wanted to wear a skirt with it so that is what we did. 

Little sister had to wear a skirt to match. Next year at this time I'll have two babies in preschool. 

Mommy, little sister, and her mamaw took her to school on her first day and as you can see by the picture, we didn't leave quick enough for her. She now rides the school bus to and from school and it's all she talks about. Every bus she sees is her school bus. I love this baby so much and it's tough on mommy putting her on the bus all by herself and sending her to school with people I barely know let alone fully trust but it's a part of her growing up and I just have to trust in the Lord to keep her safe.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Mid-Week Random

* Addison will be starting preschool very soon. I hope. We opted to send her to our school districts preschool program and it's becoming a bigger hassle than I anticipated. She has an hour long assessment tomorrow morning where they will decide if she has any learning disabilities or decide if she will be a good fit for their typical peer program. I will find out next week if she has made the cut and then she will get to participate in a play date with her peers where the final determination will be made. I'm thinking she won't be in school until September and seeing everyone elses kids already starting preschool has me on the anxious side. I'm calling around to other preschools this afternoon to have a back up preschool in case this one doesn't work out. The girl has her back pack and lunch box all ready to go so we're ready to do this thing!!

* I decided in July that I was tired of fighting with Addison and her hair. She would wake up with a rats nest of tangles every single day and wouldn't keep her hair pulled back. It took some time but I bit the bullet and had her hair chopped off to right past the shoulder. And after another morning and Cadence being hysterical getting her hair done, she has a very tender scalp, I decided it was time for hers as well. Cadence's was cut to her chin  and gone are all of her curls. I may or may not have cried as they were chopping it off. Her hair was beautiful and sitting there as they were about to begin I about had an anxiety I had to remind myself that it will be easier for her and less painful so I pulled myself together.

*Daniel has been traveling a lot lately. He was gone all last week and while I don't tend to miss him during the day since I'm used to him not being here, the evenings are a different story. I miss the adult interaction and talking about our days.

* We've planned a surprise birthday party for the girls at the Great Wolf Lodge in February. I'm so excited I can barely see straight. Four days of nothing but fun and splashing with close family. We'll have a smaller Princess party for the rest of the family the weekend after we get back. Just cake and a few snacks.

* Speaking of birthdays...I'm turning the big 3-0 next month. Daniel is getting me a hotel room in our town over night the Saturday before and me and some close female family members are doing some early Christmas shopping, dinner, and then hanging out at the hotel pool. I'm ready for a night away from my

* Our garden is about done for the season.We're still getting an assortment of peppers, okra, and some cherry tomatoes but that's about it. Now we're patiently waiting for when we can harvest all of our pumpkins. We have a ton.

* We have never been cat people but when we rescued Sophia from the side of the road in June while out searching for Bandit things around here have changed. I haven't been enforcing the "she stays outside on the porch rule" quite as much. In fact she occasionally sleeps inside at night. Not only are we becoming lenient with her but we've become the neighborhood cat gathering. We now have two outdoor cats which we know belong at the farm across the street but I swear they are here at our house more than their own. We've named them and everything.

* Now that the official announcement has been made I can share the news here on the blog. I'm going to be an auntie again. My sister Nikki is expecting her third child this March. Apparently we like to have our children in February and March in our family. Hopefully in a couple of years I will be able to announce that I'm expecting my third child but Daniel is still a work in progress.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Family Vacation 2013

As I mentioned in a post right after Christmas my uncle Dan and aunt Robin gifted our entire family with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge and Cedar Point for the first week of August. We've been back for a few days now and it's hard to believe that it is all over. It went by so quickly that I feel like we weren't even there. Plans are already in motion for a week long trip next year and I can't wait.

Here are a bunch of pictures that I wanted to share!