Christmas Round 2

We were finally able to celebrate with the Hubs side of the family...everyone was illness free so we enjoyed a nice afternoon together.  We chatted, went to lunch at a new restaurant, came back to our place and opened gifts and just enjoyed each others company.  We got some nice gifts but I was especially looking forward to the bag of good chocolate that my mother-in-law is notorious for.  Little lady got the baby bullet (that makes homemade baby food) and a fancy baby monitor that senses movement, tells the temperature in the nursery and acts as a night light among other things.

And...who's ready for another awkward maternity photo?!?  I am trying really hard to poke out my stomach.  I mean, there's no doubt that it's getting bigger but it really hasn't rounded out yet.  I still have my belly button for crying out loud!  I still have to tell people that I'm pregnant, not that I'm complaining.  I have 3 more month to go and she'll make up for lost time. Let's just cross our fingers that my belly is a little less awkward looking soon because the time for maternity photos is quickly approaching.
27 weeks- it should go without saying that these pants are pajamas and I would never leave the house in them...I was just too lazy to change into real clothes but thought a pic in front of the tree was necessary.
This picture also doubles as proof that I did breakdown and put up a tree.  I actually snagged my small tinsel tree out of boxes before the movers put them in the attic.  And, all of the ornaments were in a get rid of it bag that I made last year and never got to give away. It will definitely make for easy clean up!


Christmas 2011

The Hubs and I Christmas Eve 2011
 We had a fabulous Christmas.  Technically we still have one to celebrate since Hubby's side was sick with the flu for the holidays but this post covers my side.  We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Jas and Nell's.  Nell went all out with the decor this year. 
Part of the gorgeous decor done by Nell.
 We had ham with all the fixings, a buffet of desserts and a hot chocolate bar.  Of course, no Christmas Eve is complete without seeing who gets the almond in their chocolate mousse.  If you find an almond in your mousse then you get money.  There is always an almond in one of the kids and one of the adults.  Jas and Kiki were the winners of the cash this year.
J as Santa's Little Helper- the kids take turns handing out the gifts every year and this year it was his turn.
The kiddos put on their annual Christmas play.  This year it was about how "The Grim Stole Christmas".  For the past 2 years these plays have centered around poking fun at my Dad.  We always called my Dad Grim when we were kid/teenagers.
Lou showing off the coveted white elephant gift.  It was a cosmetic bag with some funky purple polish that I gave and all of the little girls wanted it.  She held that thing tight throughout the game so that nobody would take it.

We then added a new tradition by doing a white elephant gift exchange.  Everyone had a good time but Lou was the happiest with her gift.  It was really funny to watch the kids trying to figure out if they should or should not switch gifts with others.  The adults weren't so shy!

The biggest surprise of the night- Mimi was gifted a Kindle by Pappy and she had no idea she was getting one.
Next we exchanged regular presents.  I think the most exciting gifts came from Pappy who gave Mimi an e-reader, E that got some remote control helicopter and Gigi and Munchie who got a Barbie house.  The siblings and spouses always draw names for secret Santa at Thanksgiving so it's always fun to see who got who.  This year Hubby was given an amazon gift card from Nell and I was given Victoria's Secret perfume from Roc. 
Kiki and Lou gave out their own presents to the adults this year with money that they earned.  The men were given gum ball machines, the women got notepads and our little lady got a cute little lamb bib from her cousins.

My Hubby said that this is the best gift my parents have ever given him.  It's a pen that has a bullet as the point, he loves it.  This will also have to suffice as the traditional shooting yourself at the holidays photo-op that is typically done by Bab.  We somehow managed to not get that shot this time.  :(

An angel picture for my sister draw especially for her by Kiki.

Some of the baby's loot.  Gigi was officially booted out of her position as the baby of the family by being given a normal sized stocking.  Something tells me she didn't mind!

Christmas pajamas have been a tradition in my family since we were kids and now the next generation continues it.

I think that pretty much sums up the Christmas Eve festivities in a nutshell.  We had a great time celebrating and look forward to next year!

The Big Move

Well, we got all moved in but boy was it a crazy few days!  I don't suggest moving the week of Christmas and I also would advise against moving while pregnant, the hormones were a little out of control.  After the movers packed and loaded all of our belongings we were left in an empty house.  Bab and her fabulous friend came and helped clean the house.  The only problem?  The movers took all of my cleaning supplies and vacuum.  We decided to go get some mexican food before we got started!  So with what supplies Bab brought and our shop vac that we planned on trashing we cleaned the house.  It wasn't bad but it was raining the whole day of the move so the floors were kind of yucky.  Just as we were finishing up the house in the sunroom my beloved potted plant fell over leaving a huge potting soil mess, that didn't make us too terribly happy.

It was getting late and Hubby still had a half day of work ahead of him the next day and I had to wake at the crack of dawn to get to the new place to let the movers in.  We left our beloved home but not without some tears shed like to babbling idiots in the driveway.  We spent the night at our dear friend Shell's house.  She and her new beau provided some much needed comic relief.  They were very understanding of my still blood shot eyes and my pregnancy hormones. 

Thursday morning Hubs and I left Shell's home- he went to work and I came to the new place.  Since the home kind of smelled like a dog to me the week before the carpets were cleaned, deodorized and given an enzyme treatment.  The only catch?  The electric wasn't turned on until late Wednesday night so the carpet cleaner had to come Thursday morning.  There was an overlap where he was still cleaning carpets and the movers were trying to bring in our stuff.  The movers probably hated me that morning but there was going to be no dog smell in our home!  After they unloaded us Dad and Munchie (who came to help me) and myself started trying to organize the chaos.  Hubby was at the new place by 1:30 and he was followed by Mom...with all of us we divided and conquered. 

Around 3:30 Friday morning I woke up to pee and noticed that I was standing on a wet floor...plumbing leak!  Later that day Hubby went out to the storage room where the water heater is to grab some tools that we put in there and he was standing in water too...good times!  After some do it yourself work gone wrong a plumber was called in and all was fixed within an hour.  Friday brought a whole lot of organizing and cleaning and Jas and Lou for a visit to see the place

It has now been almost a week and we finally got the last boxes unpacked today.  Old lady curtains have been removed , old ceiling fans have been taken down and donated...we are trying to put our own stamp on this place.  We'll get there!


On The Verge

I could be the closest I've ever been to a nervous breakdown this morning.  I couldn't sleep last night, my mind racing with last minute thoughts- did I get everything done that I needed to before the big move?  I finally got up at 6:45 and just got moving.  I put away most of what I could recall from my nights mental to-do list.

Last night Hubby and I cleaned out and tried to organize the garage in such a manner that when the movers pack it it won't take us 10 years to figure it out.  My house looks like a tornado came through it, all of the furniture is in the middle of each room.  Of all days, I got called in for an appointment that I absolutely could not get out of this morning so my visiting teaching companion is coming to sit with the movers while I'm gone.  When I get back home I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself.  There will be no TV, no furniture, no books or magazines.  All I will have is the internet on my phone and/or laptop...how long will I be able to entertain myself on the internet while sitting on the floor?!  Hubby has to work a full day today so it's just me until he gets home or until Bab gets here to help me clean this place.  My Bab is coming to clean this place like no other.  Hopefully it'll be so sparkly that it'll sell quickly!

All of the preliminary inspections have been completed for the relocation company.  Now we just wait to hear what, if anything, needs to be fixed on the home.  We will then do repairs and list the house as soon as we get them completed.  Oh, and it's raining today...yay!



I passed the glucose test!  I was so nervous to take the test because I heard all sorts of terrible stories about people failing and how horrendous the liquid is that you have to drink.  I don't know, I didn't think it was bad at all.  My OB has the fruit punch flavor, I chugged it in a matter of seconds like taking a shot and I didn't eat or drink the day of the test because I was scared it would cause me to fail.  While I waited my hour out I was seen by my nurse and doctor.  Little Lady looks just fine, her heart rate was at 136 beats per minute this time.  She is measuring a little small but the doctor said it was nothing to be alarmed about, he seems to think that she'll make up for lost time once I hit 28 weeks.  It really isn't a surprise to me because both of our families are a little on the petite size...with the exception of our heads!  I did finally gain a little weight, I think I gained 3 pounds.  Anyway, everything looks great!


Farewell Weekend

We had a really good weekend.  Not only did we get many projects done on  the house but we were also invited out for some last hurrahs with friends.  We were invited to dinner and a bonfire with a group of Hubby's co-workers  Saturday night.  We were treated to a delicious meal made by the resident grill master, and homemade s'mores and jiffy pop made over the bonfire.  We had a good time just relaxing and talking with them around the fire late into the night. 

I've already shared the emotional farewell that we had at church on Sunday but the day turned around shortly after.  We were invited to our dear friend Shell's house for lunch with her new beau.  The made fajitas for us, we made chocolate hazelnut mousse for them and then we decorated her place for Christmas while watching Christmas Vacation.  While Hubby will see her at work for a bit longer it will likely be the last time that we are together due to the move and the general craziness of the holidays.

We also attended our church Christmas party on Friday night where the Hubs and I were in charge of the Santa pictures.  My Dad and Gigi were with us and were able to enjoy the holiday festivities as well.


New Opportunities

The Hubs got a new job!  It's bittersweet to be leaving our home that we love, a town that we love and so many people that we have come to know and love.  BUT, we are so excited to be moving back closer to our family, closer to our hospital where our baby will be born, a new job that sweetened the deal enough to get us to move.  We are going to move in to my Nana's home, one that I have many fond memories in.  The timing for this couldn't have been more perfect.

We had our last day at church in Horse Country today and I don't think either of us expected to be so torn about the experience.  We were both released from our callings at church during sacrament meeting and it was announced that it would be our last Sunday there.  It was so hard for me to leave my sweet little primary class and very difficult for Hubby to leave the young men that grew very attached to him in the last 2 years.  We were both pretty emotional when we left church.  Our ward was really good to us and we were sad to leave.

Now, back to the happy stuff!  Our family really rallied to help us this weekend especially as we quickly tried to get the house and yard in top condition to put on the market.  My Dad and Gigi came and stayed Thursday thru Saturday.  Dad and I painted the master bath and sunroom and  spacked, sanded and touched up all of the places where we had hung pictures and mirrors.  Saturday brought Bab and her crew to help with the yard.  We raked and trimmed hedges while the Hubs did some carpentry work inside the house.  We also took down our light fixtures and put in builder grade stuff for a more uniform look.  I consider our house to now be de-personalized and as vanilla as we can possibly stand!  Now, we start working with the relocation company to get our house listed and the packers/movers scheduled to come move our belongings to our new home.  We hope to be moved by the 23rd is all goes well.


'Tis The Season

After we got home I realized that we didn't get a picture.  Just pretend that we don't look exhausted at this point!
The ladies out of the group, I stole this picture from a friend.  The lady in the white and I are due at the same time.
For Christmas parties!  The Hubs and I attended his work Christmas party last Friday at a swanky hotel on the river.  We had a good time hanging out with his co-workers and their plus ones, eating good food and buying really expensive Coca-Cola from the bar.  Okay, the last one was a lie but a necessity...we were thirsty!  Shell, her beau, myself and the Hubs shopped for last minute accessories pretty much all day  and then later Shell and I had our makeup done.

I would like to add that I only found out about this party the evening before hence the plain black maternity dress.  Also, I was going to wear metallic gold peep toe pumps and decided that my pregnant body would stage a revolt if I did that to myself.  I probably should have sucked it up but at least I was comfortable!


Cleanin' Out My Phone

Lou on the hammock at Mimi and Pappy's

Gigi having a tea party for one while spending the night at our house

Sleeping Beauty at Mimi and Pappy's

The cutest little skirt from Children's Place...I resisted the urge to buy it.

Gigi laying on the cutting table at a fabric store...Mimi was trying to determine the length of a twirly skirt for her.

A Dynasty Barbie...sold at a Toys 'R Us near you.

The kidlets making "funny faces" on Thanksgiving

Gigi showing off her Minnie Mouse get up for Halloween

Nativity Dresses

My Mom worked on smocking nativity dresses for the grand girls all year long.  It was definitely a labor of love and the girls adore them.  Mom wanted pictures of the kids all together to send out in her Christmas card this year so Hubby did a photo shoot on Thanksgiving day...they are yet to be edited for the card.  The boys weren't left out, they got new ensembles too!


Black Friday 2011

Me and my partner in crime, Bab, working the line at Target.
 Well, we conquered Black Friday 2011.  This year we started around 9:00 on Thanksgiving night and finished around 2:00 Friday morning.  Of course, we did some more shopping at retailers in the afternoon on Friday and I actually went back out with my Mom on Saturday morning.  Even though my shopping this year technically spanned 3 days I'll lump it all in to Black Friday.

For the first time in years we went to Wal Mart where we scored several Christmas gifts for the kidlets.  If there was ever any doubt that the Hubs and I love our nieces and nephews I think we put those to rest by going to Wal Mart for them.  I especially LOATHE Wally World and typically refuse any trips to that black hole.

We managed to lose Bab and Roc's exchange student in the Black Friday shuffle...we may or may not have threatened his life once he was found purchasing toys after looking for him for almost an hour.

My parents ventured out for their first ever Black Friday experience...it may also be the last time!   They did score a new LCD TV which is what they went for in the first place.

Not including the baby's nursery fabrics that I started purchasing the only other thing that we bought was bedding!  Actually, now that I think about it I also purchased a headband and some leopard print bows for the bambino.  Her accessory collection is growing almost as rapidly as her jam packed closet.
Some of the fabrics I scored at Black Friday sales for the nursery.  We're going pink, orange and gray...it's a start!

Thanksgiving 2011

Mini pecan and derby pies, we also had pumpkin and cherry.

Showing our guests from Portugal how to celebrate a proper American Thanksgiving- playing games and watching the parade while the turkey is cooking away.

My white chocolate garnishes for the mini pies- I did 2 trays of leaves and acorns and got bored on the second tray...hence the squirrel, pistol and Hubby's semi-automatic edible gun creations to name a few!
Roc tearing up a turkey leg after carving the bird.  This year's turkey was brined overnight and basted in butter and herbs and covered in bacon...delish!

About to devour my chocolate hazelnut mousse cups garnished with shaved chocolate and hazelnut chocolate wafer cookies...they were divine!
The traditional holiday photo of Bab with a gun...this time it was edible.  And Nell in the background prepping food.

 We had our Thanksgiving at Bab and Roc's house as we always do.  The Hubs and I spent the night over at their place so that we could prep food and decor late into the night and then wake up early to help with the final touches.  We had all of the traditional foods and amazing desserts.

Highlights from the holiday:
*The kids table decor- the tablecloth had activities and pictures that could be colored.  Bab made each child a personalized mayflower out of felt filled with candy and crayons.  They also enjoyed activity worksheets and treasure hunt where they had to locate mini turkeys that Bab made out of an egg crate.

*Making the adult place cards with Gigi and Munchie.

*Many Pinterest projects, most of which turned out: harvest salad, turkey shaped fruit and cheese appetizer, chocolate hazelnut mousse cups, mini fruit pizzas, turkey shaped veggie tray (the only fail!) and mini pies.

*My in-laws were sick and couldn't come at the last minute so the Hubs took over his Mom's traditional dressing assignment...he did a fab job.

*Nell's homemade yeast rolls...Thanksgiving isn't complete without them and Bab's crock pot macaroni and cheese.  Yum!

*Spending LOTS of time with the fam (and friends from Portugal).


Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for:
*Friends and family to share holidays with.
*A belly full of delicious food.
*Traditions- my favorites which include Black Friday shopping with my Sis.


Thankful Thursday

The Hubs and I
I am thankful for:
*Visiting Teaching- this is a program in our church where women visit and share an uplifting message with other women once a month.  It is through this program that I have had the privilege of getting to know ladies that I may have otherwise not had the opportunity to know.  I especially love my companion...she is a saint.  Visiting with these women has become one of the highlights of my month.

*Really, really good friends- you know, the ones that are pretty much family.

*Opportunity- the Hubs and I have had a lot of new opportunities placed in our path and I am grateful.


Sugar and Spice

Little Lady's closet 48 hours after confirming that she is a girl.

We found out Thursday that we are expecting a little girl...but the Hubs and I already knew that!  It was nice to finally have confirmation that our guesses and most everyone else's guesses were correct.  For the record, only 3 people thought it was a boy and 2 of those people are my nephews that are severely outnumbered by girls in the family.   We are beyond excited about our little lady.  We were able to get several good images from the ultrasound despite her stubbornness.   Luckily, at the beginning of the ultrasound she was sitting indian style so we were able to see her "lady parts" right away.  Hubby was also relieved to see her NOT sucking her thumb.  He had already given her a pep talk about how she would have to wear braces if she did.  The 2 technicians commented about how incredibly active she is and how very stubborn she is, she has been that way since the 7 week ultrasound.  She refused to take her arms down from her face so they could get a profile shot.  They poked and prodded and she wouldn't budge.  Her heart rate was 148 this visit.
This baby has accumulated quite the wardrobe in past few days.  In fact, I hung everything up in her closet when we got back home after a weekend in the Capital City and called the Hubs in for inspection.  He looked at the clothes and then looked at me and said "this is crazy".  She is loved.


Thankful Thursday

Tulips in Virginia Spring 2011

I am thankful for:
*Healing. I've been thinking a lot lately about the significance of this week. Had I not miscarried in the spring I would have been having a baby this week. I am so grateful that for whatever reason the Lord saw it fit for us to be pregnant again by my due date. He truly gave us a miracle and today we find out if this little person is a boy or a girl.

*Family that over complicates the simplest of things. I tell myself that it is only because we all care about each other so much!

*Being able to stay home right now. I'll admit that I feel like time is dragging now that I am not working and that I dislike not being a productive member of society...but I know that there is a time and a season for everything. In the meantime, I'm glad that I have been afforded the luxury of being unemployed during a very convenient time in my life.


In The Words Of Bon Jovi

Whoa, we're halfway there!

Want to know what I look like at 20 weeks?
The conversation that Hubby and I had while taking this picture went a little something like this-
Hubby: I think the other angle was more flattering.
Me: I don't think the point of this picture is to be flattering. I'm trying to showcase my chunkiness.
Hubby: Well, just try to look natural.
Me: There is nothing natural about me taking a picture in which I am spotlighting my belly.

A Walk In The Park

The Hubs had a long weekend off of work so we took advantage of the extra down time and explored our beloved Horse Country.  We took a leisurely stroll through the park, ate lunch at our favorite deli downtown and went antiquing.  Did you know that Horse Country has some of the best antique stores around?  Here are some gems that Hubby took at the park-

And my find of the day from a hidden little antique store...this fabulous lamp.  Of course I replaced the cruddy old shade with this new textured one from Target but I am obsessed!  The shop I got it from was about to get in a huge estate of danish modern furniture.  I had to get out quick! 3 storage units full of danish modern sounds like heaven to me.


Thankful Thursday

My favorite- caramel hot chocolate

I am thankful for:

*A precious husband that kisses me goodbye every morning, even when I'm not coherent.

*Wonderful neighbors- we joke about how involved they are sometimes but they really are the most genuine people I know.

*Being able to keep warm this time of year- we have heat in our home and cars, we have coats and sweaters and last but not least...warm beverages.


Halloween 2011

Halloween is our favorite holiday to decorate for.  I love doing Christmas, Hubby hates it...but we both agree on Halloween!  I wish we had taken a video of the house once it got dark instead of pictures in the daylight because you can't see all of our strobe lights , lighted decor, fog machine and the spooky noises from our ghost and witch. 

We heard lots of screams from little kids as they came up the sidewalk onto the porch.  Then we would hear things like "awesome" or "this is the best house ever".  That makes all of the planning worth it!  My favorites this year are the witch on the door that's eyes lit up, the whole thing started shaking and she would start talking and cackling.  Also, I loved the glitter encrusted skeleton that hung from the tree with a hidden strobe hitting it.
 Hubby's favorite things this year- the cauldron that he turned into a fog machine hider so it looked like a witches brew.  He was also please with the animated ghost that came down and hit kids in the head when they got up the steps to knock on the door.  Epic fail of the season- the black light bulbs that I got for the outside lights.  They got so hot that we were scared that it would be a fire hazard so we had to wrap the exterior lights in fake cob webs to muffle the light.  Hubby says that next year he wants to add a haunted house in the garage...we'll see!
I will be armed with a wish list tomorrow morning for day after sales.  The 2 must haves for next year- more strobe lights and some creepy spiders.


Trunk or Treat

We had our Trunk or Treat at church this past Saturday.  We were in charge of the photo booth which was super easy because Horse Country has some photogenic kids as it turns out.  We decided to pair down our trunk display this year because the activity was done when it was still light outside and that makes it less spooky.  We did blast our Halloween CD...there's nothing like a little Monster Mash to get you feeling festive this time of year!  It must be said that I totally ran out of candy and the mini tubs of play-doh that I was handing out.  I was unprepared and therefore lame to the last 10-15 kids that left our trunk empty handed.  Oh well, you live and you learn!


Family Vacation 2011

Roc with the exchange student, Gabriel

E, J Man, Munchie and Kiki

Kiki and E, the oldest of the grandkids

Classic family photo op by Bab

The Hubs and I

You can't even see what is written in the sand but look at the faces on these children.  And yes, this was the best photo out of the series with all 6 of the grands.  From left to right: Lou, Kiki, J Man, Munchie, E and Gigi
We went on our family vacation about  a week ago.  We all went to Murrells and spent a few days together.  We tried and tried to get last minute reservations in the mountains but it just didn't pan out so we went to the beach instead.  It turned out pretty nice, I think the kids would have gotten in the ocean had they had their suits on.  They definitely got soaked in their clothes.  We ate, shopped, swam, golfed, went to the beach, flew kites, toured Atalya, the kids had a pizza party and more.