12:57 PM

"Don't forget to put the Yankees back in their package"

These were the words Emily uttered to me as she drifted off to near-sleep last night. "What Yankees?" you ask. By Yankees I believe she meant Hanky. You know, like a wipe-your-snot hanky. This was after I had supplied her with one to wipe her runniness. Her poor little snot-chute-thingy under her nose was all red. She was feeling OK otherwise, but we all know how annoying a runny rose can be. She is a trooper. She also wanted to be sure I knew that she "liked Yankees the best" as compared to tissues, and she questioned what these Yankees "are even made of actually?" This cute little exchange really reminded me of the joys of life, those everyday miracles that we often overlook in the daily grind. I am going to make an effort to be more mindful of these miracles...and with the new year coming up, this is the best time to start.

6:58 PM

Christmas was wonderful!

It really was. The kids loved the festivities...visiting with relatives, opening their presents, putting out cookies and milk for Santa. It rocked.

Emily's favorite presents were her American Girl Doll and clothes. Also, Andy made her a beautiful armoire for the clothes and it turned out really, really nice. She loved it.

Ethan got a bunch of trucks and a race car track. He loved opening his presents so much, at one point I actually saw him use his teeth to tear the wrapping paper on a particulaly difficult to open gift.

It was so wonderful to celebrate with our families. I loved getting together with Andy's side of the family. The cousins are all getting so big. They are growing into an adorable bunch of big kids. They all seemed to really love the gifts and had a great time together.

Christmas Day with my family was nice too. My grandparents were in town, and it really was great visiting with them. I wish they lived closer. I think everyone really loved the photobooks I made. Shutterfly rocks!

Right now, I am just enjoying this little break. The calm before the storm, if you will. My new job starts on Jan 2nd, so that will be an adjustment. I am glad I asked for a planner for Christmas. I am definitely going to need it!

6:17 PM

Whew!

This has been a super, super busy month. Which, of course, is my sorry excuse for not posting in forever, but it is true nonetheless. What have I been up to, you ask?

First and foremost, we have the Christmas preparations. We decided not to go "nuts" with buying this year, in an effort to bring back some old time charm a'la Little House on the Prairie. You know, making rather than buying, keeping things simple. In the process, I learned two valuable lessons:

1. As much as I yearn for a simpler life, a life free of TiVoed shows, long lines at the supermarket, and malls, I would not last a week in the Frontier days. Those women were tough.
2. If your aim is to keep things simple, and you are a bit obsessive about projects, just buy the damn presents. Sell your soul to the credit card companies and get it over with already!

So, what am I talking about, you ask? Well, we decided to make the following gifts for my loved ones:

1. Photo books for my parents, aunt, and grandparents
2. An armoire for Emily's dolls
3. Doll clothes for Emily
4. Six of those Cookie mix in a jar things for random recipients
5. Nine "I Spy" bags for each of the kiddos in the family
6. Seven personalized suitcases for those to whom eI am "Aunt Natalie"
7. Stained wooden cars and dinos for Ethan
8. A basket of random goodies for my grandparents
9. Cookies for neighbors and family
10. Candy for neighbors and family

I have to finish the I Spy Bags, cookies, and candy, but other than that, I am pretty well on track. I will post pics of all my creations in the ner future.

So what else is new? I have a new job, that's what! (Can you tell I have been reading an awful lot of Junie B. Jones?) I am the new "Instructional Coordinator" for a cyber charter school. My job will be to pester people, which I am pretty wonderful at, if I do say so myself. The best part is, I can pester them in my PJs since I get to work at home. WooHoo! I start January 2nd. Let the pestering begin!

Well that's about all I have to say for tonight....my sewing machine is calling me. More later!

9:29 PM

It has been a while...

not that anyone noticed since I have yet to inform anyone that this blog actually exists. We have had a very, very busy month. Here it is, in a nutshell:


First, we had the annual pumpkin picking-carving extavaganza followed by Trick or Treating. Emily was, need I even say it, Dorothy. Ethan was a little clown (did someone say typecasting?) . They had a great time, and Andy and I enjoyed the spoils of the venture for the following weeks....all that is currently remaining are Pixie Stix and some Tootsie Rolls. I am sure their day will come in good time.




Then we had a good old fashioned Thanksgiving at my Mother in law's house. Delicious, as usual...and it was just as delicious the next day when we ate the leftovers. Oh, how I love Turkey dinner. Lucky for me, I also celebrated my 28th birthday on Thanksgiving Day. I don't feel a day over 22.

7:27 PM

A formal day

Today was definitely what I would refer to as a very formal day. We were all going to get gussied up to attend the wedding, where Emily would dazzle the churchgoers with her flower petal dropping abilities. We had to be up and at 'em bright and early in order to assure this eventful day went off without a hitch.
First on the agenda was styling my sweet girl's hair. Let's get one thing straight...I am not a hair doer. At this point, I can safely say that I have mastered the art of brushing hair. I am barely proficient at the art of the pony tail. I was in way over my head before I even got started. After foolishly turning down 2 offers by Stephanie, my extremely hair-styling-talented sister in law, I took a quick trip to the store for hair spray and bobby pins and got down to business. One hour later, I had a very excited little girl with a very sloppy up-do. Luckily, Steph un-did and then, subsequently, re-did the do before the event.


I am happy to say that both kiddos were absolutely wonderful during the entire event. Ethan sat nicely in church (Thank you, Teddy Grahams), and Emily pulled off all of her flower girl responsibilities delightfully. At the reception, Emily danced a Polka with her great uncle Joe, and Ethan danced up a storm in the center of a circle of middle aged ladies. Pics soon to come!





8:52 PM

Feeling nostalgic

Emily is fortunate enough to be the flower girl in a wedding tomorrow; consequently, I was the lucky one chosen to escort her to the rehearsal dinner this evening. Looking at the young couple, I was reminded of this exciting time in my own life...the frenzy of wedding planning, the anticipation of the big event, and that so-in-love feeling that just made me so sure I wanted to be a Mrs.

This got me to thinking about how gosh darned lucky I am. I really have lucked out in the whole love department. I am thinking about when I met Andy, and how at first, he was my chem lab partner. Now, he is my life partner. There are not a lot of people who fit together as perfectly as he and I do. We are alike in many ways, but I believe it is our differences that make us so compatible. We are both very spiritual and loyal. We both value our family above all else. On the other hand, Andy is the most geographically talented person I know, and I have gotten lost in my own neighborhood. I am super sociable while he would prefer to keep a small, more close knit social group. I can't think of a duo that needs each other more than he and I. Without him, I would never have matching socks, and he would never go on spontaneous "family fun" trips. Our relationship takes the whole "You complete me" thing to a whole new level. OK, enough of all that sickeningly sweet stuff.

8:38 PM

Where is that darn handbook?

I have been feeling the need to write lately, so this seems to be just the answer to my increasingly worrisome inability to just. sit. still. Why exactly is it that the busier I am, the harder it is to relax? I think the answer to this question is somewhere in the Mom handbook....unfortunately, I have misplaced mine. If you have a spare laying around, please let me know. I think there are probably some useful instructions in there on, say, removing splinters or carrying out your daily responsibilities when you are sick as a dog.
In the meantime, I will continue to muddle through on my own, which unfortunately results in situations like:
Kids eating markers:and kids entering the shower while almost fully dressed:


and older, thought-they-would-know-better kids sticking plastic gems in their ears. I have no picture for this one, but it was in fact one of the funniest things I have ever seen..... after the gem was safely removed using a special tool called a Bobby Pin. Again, no need to alert me, I know this was a terribly unsafe thing to do....it was the only tool I had though. I think the Mom toolkit is probably with the handbook....again, if you see one laying around, please let me know ASAP.