Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmastime!

This is my FAVORITE time of the year .... by far! I don't like to overlook Thanksgiving, because I love that holiday, too - I have so much to be thankful for, as I mentioned in the previous post, so I definitely always want to give Thanksgiving its proper recognition (and plus, the food is glooooorious)! BUT - the Friday after Thanksgiving gets here .... and while most are out doing some Black Friday shopping, I'm doing some Black Friday decorating :-) I want the tree up, the lights, the decorations, the Christmas music, the hot chocolate, the lights outside, the football, etc. :-) This is probably the first year that Jake is legitimately excited! All we had to do is start putting the tree up - and his facial expressions were priceless. The excitement was written all over his face. I've always loved this time of year, but I feel as though it is magnified now with kids, because even though it sounds a little cliche, I absolutely LOVE living the Christmas season through the eyes of a child. There are few things like it.
With all of that being said, I feel that I should take a moment to note that I'm not naive enough to think that everyone loves this time of year. As I've started getting ready for this holiday season, I've had a heavy heart for particular family and friends during this time. I have several friends who have spouses/family members deployed ... and just in the past few weeks, I have known a handful of people who have lost a loved one - some unexpectedly ..... and then I have several family and friends who have been spending day after day at the hospital with a loved one. I feel like there has been so much sadness lately, so much loss. I sometimes even feel guilty for my excitement and anticipation of this season - as so many others are just trying to figure out how to make it through the next hour of their separation and/or pain. I wanted to recognize this, because since it has been heavy on my heart, I have just really committed this season to prayer! I want to be INTENTIONAL about my prayer for those who are spending this season not quite how they expected. As I have been thinking about those particular family and friends .... and preparing myself and my family for this holiday season, I have been reminded of the HOPE - the HOPE that comes along with this season. I am reminded of one of my favorite Christmas songs by Point of Grace:
"We're not that far from Bethlehem
Where all our HOPE and JOY began
For when our hearts still cherish Him
We're not that far ... from Bethlehem."
The HOPE that this season brings should be what carries us through our day to day (sometimes our minute to minute).
As the hustle and bustle of this season begins, my prayer is that I continue to take the time to fully appreciate this advent season - to do a good job at sharing it (and explaining it) t0 my kids - and to also continue to remember those in prayer who may be experiencing a little more difficultly during these next few weeks.

Now that I have shared my heart, here is a little "sharing of my home" with some pictures of decorating the tree - and video, too (outside pictures coming soon .... just haven't taken any yet). It was nice to have Chris (and my parents) here, too. I know it sounds funny mentioning Chris, but between deployments and work schedules.... it's sometimes hard to coordinate all of that, so I don't take for granted ONE MOMENT we spend with Chris .... especially since I know what it's like to have him deployed at this time of the year. Wishing you all a wonderful start to your Christmas season.

Jake was having a BIG time!
Cole wanted in on the action, too!






Breaking out all the singing snowmen from Hallmark the boys can play with, hoping it will keep their hands off the tree - a little :-)


Cole's first Christmas season....
Playing with their nativity set....


video


video

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving.

Gosh. I have so much to be thankful for! Sometimes, I do take a step back and just think about how much the Lord has blessed me with. I could write for days about all the people and things I am thankful for - and why, but since it's late, I will just say that I am so thankful for all my family and friends .... and not just at this time of the year, but always! I am especially thankful for my partner in crime - Chris. I feel beyond blessed to be going through life with him ... my best friend..... and then, of course, there is Jake and Cole. These 2 are the Lord's most precious gifts to Chris and me. Again, I feel so grateful and so blessed!
Thanksgiving was a lot of fun - and it was so nice to have my mom and dad here. We had some delicious food (still eating a few leftovers), watched some football, and chased the boys around outside. It was in the 70s! Ahhh, I love it :-)

Cole's 1st Thanksgiving. It's fun that at his 1st Thanksgiving, he can actually partake in the meal, and oh how he enjoyed it!
My turkeys...
Jake trying to feed Cole.
Chris carving the turkey ....
and of course eating it, too!
Happy boy :-)
Lovin' him some Thanksgiving feast!
Jake relaxing....
Thanksgiving 2010.
Mimi and Papa Dee with the boys!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nana and Papa's House!

The boys and I drove down to Florida with my mom and dad to visit Nana and Papa over the past couple of days. Chris was gone for the cruicible, so we figured it would be the perfect opportunity. I like taking every chance I get to go to Nana and Papa's house - especially since we are only about 4 hours away right now. Soon, we will move - and possibly across country again, so it will be harder and harder to get down there ..... and I just love being down there with them. Like always, we had such a great time seeing them and the rest of the family. No Florida trip is ever complete without some pictures on the dock! Lots and Lots of memories on the river! I'm so glad my boys get to experience it, too!
As you can see, Cole loves it :-)


I will add, though, that now that I have my own young kids, I am a little more nervous than I used to be (as a kid) going out on the dock :-) I now understand a LITTLE more why our parents would always "freak out" when we would go running out there :-)



Ahhhh..... you can never have enough of these pictures!

I know to most of you you may wonder why I took a picture like this (and sorry, Dad, that you were mid-bite), but for anyone in the family, you know how many wonderful memories have been made at this kitchen table! It's always fun enjoying breakfast and fresh squeezed OJ at the table, chatting, and enjoying the amazing scenery. It just never gets old....

Loving the outdoors - we had great weather!






So sweet....
I love this :-)
Such fun boys....

This rocking chair used to be Papa's rocking chair as a kid....

Jake LOOOOVED this magnifying glass.... oh my goodness, he must've looked at everything in the house with this thing :-)


Love it!