Matt's side of the family welcomed a new addition on the night before Christmas Eve so much of the time for his family celebration was spent sending shifts to the hospital to see our new nephew. Unfortunately I forgot my camera when I went so sadly, I have no pictures to upload of the almost 10 pound cutie.
The snowstorm we had for Christmas this year made things very memorable. We postponed our Christmas Day plans w/my family due to weather but I have to say it was a rather enjoyable day. We had a leisurely family breakfast after opening gifts and then went outside for sledding, snowman building & a snow fort 'competition' between Matt & I (with Maddy's help of course).
We tried to do fairly minimal gifts & placed a greater focus on the meaning of Christmas. One thing that we did in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day was an advent calendar. In addition to the nightly door opening, we chose one character from the Christmas Nativity & told Maddy the story about who they were & what part they played. She really looked forward to both the treasure she found in the door (candy, stickers or money) and the evening story time. I would be remiss if I didn't say that Mom & Dad enjoyed it too :).
Loot from her stocking
Coloring w/Mom in her new Kai Lan book
' That is the biggest candy stick I have ever seen in my life' says Dad
Dad made an igloo for his fort (show off : ) Helping Mom w/the the 'Princess Castle' Fort
Maddy & I made gingerbread cookies again this year. I cheated this year & bought a kit that came with everything you needed (except water, honey & butter). We made gingerbread men last year but it was a lot of work so I was grateful to find a cheater kit.
We've been reading the Gingerbread Man story a lot lately & it's amazing to see what details she notices in the book now that she didn't before. I thought it would be fun to see this years & last year's photos of her making the cookies:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.--1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I am so thankful today for so many things. For health, as so many struggle with sickness & worry about what might be next. For family, as disfunctional as mine can be at times I am glad to have one living parent and many others in my life that mean so much to me. For shelter, as so many are losing homes due to various circumstances I am thankful to have a roof over my head today. For a job, with unemployment high I am blessed to be working at the same company for over 10 years.
Take time this week to consider all of the things you are thankful for, list them out if you have to and pause to ponder this- if you have at least $20 to your name you are doing better than at least 80% of the world's population.
Maddy officially moved from her crib to a 'big girl bed' last weekend. She has loved it! There are still times when she isn't sure if she should get out on her own, but she's slowly learning that it's ok. It's a little sad seeing our girl grow up, but we know part of the process. She has been potty trained for a couple of months now & this was her big incentive while we were potty training.
It's was a cold & rainy October here so we we're able to get the leaves up until this past weekend which means everything was dried out & not much of the beautiful colors were left. Fall is usually my favorite time of year in our neighborhood because of the mature trees & the gorgeous colors we tend to get. I have fond memories of raking leaves at my mom's house & jumping in the big pile so that's something I love to let Maddy do too. Here are a few fun photos from this weekend.
Seriously, what has happened to fall this year? Between work & bad weather I haven't really been able to enjoy it at all which is a huge downer since this is my favortite time of year.
I was out of town for our 2nd Forever Family Day last Wednesday but we did celebrate a little early by going out for dinner to our local Chinese restaurant. The owner loves Maddy & spoils her rotten. This time Maddy walked out with a large laffy taffy, a 'N m N' Cookie (as she calls it) and a frosted pumpkin bar.
It didn't have the camera with, but here are some professional photos we had taken a month or so ago as a family-
We moved my mom last weekend out of her house of 26 years. I have been a little reflective this week about all of the memories I had in that house. My mom & I moved there when I was in Jr High after my parents split up. At the time it was both bitter & sweet. Bitter because of the circumstances that caused us to move to the house. Sweet because as a kid who formerly was a 'country kid' it was pretty awesome to become a 'town kid' having more things to do within walking and biking distance.
In this house I went on my first real date, started high school, went to many dances, proms etc. This is where I learned to drive, graduated from high school and spent weekends and some summers home from college. I graduated from college, started my first job in corporate America, met my husband & got married.
We hosted over 20 exchange students during our time in the house from about 15 different countries. Including the younger brother of our very first student from Brazil many years after she stayed with us. Because our house was in town it was often the hang out for friends after school, between events and just in general.
Most recently, this became 'Grandma Mommy's' house for our daughter. She knew just where to toys were kept and wasted no time after saying 'hi' to grandma making a bee-line for that cabinet.
Once again, I am at a bittersweet point in life. Sad to see mom moving out of the house that played such a big part of my life, but happy for her to begin a new chapter in hers. Her new place is an apartment with a beautiful lake view from every window and it sits right next to the only big park my hometown has to offer. Maddy has once again found the legos & grandma's bear at the new place and is happy to see grandma no matter where she is.
I haven't had time to post much as I've been busy with a project at work. Our big deadline in the week after next so hopefully things will start settling down a little. I am thankful today to have a job. I see so many people around me unemployed or having their hours cut and my heart goes out to them.
We took Maddy to the State Fair this weekend. We have the traditional foods that we usually get every year, but this year we also decided to buy one of the Blue Ribbon Bargain books which was fun to use for trying a few new things. We also both took a turn with Maddy on the Giant Slide which is still one of my favorite rides after all these years.
I lost my camera a few weeks back when my family was in town for my uncle's 80th birthday so I've been a little lost. We finally broke down & bought a new one just in time for the fair. Though it's not the DSLR I've been pining for, it's better then the disposable box camera I had been using.