Monday, December 31, 2012

Still here...

Just wanted to let everyone know I'm still here!  We left for Texas December 22nd and arrived back home in Mississippi December 28th, and I'm desperately trying to create order in our house full of half-unpacked suitcases, Christmas presents, and Christmas decorations that I am itching to take down.

If I don't get a chance to blog later today...Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Running/Project/Diva/Random Pictures

I feel the need to let everyone know that I did not run the half marathon that I was planning on running the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I was doing well training, then the girls got sick, which coincided with Chet working really long days.  My only options for running were at 4:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m...and I'm just not that dedicated!  I could have run the race, but I wanted to run it well, not run it and have a broken body for several weeks afterward (or walk it).  My goal is to properly train, so I shall choose another race and train for that.

I forgot to post pictures of my little project in my Christmas decor post.  We took family Christmas pictures last year, and I wanted to display them only during Christmastime.  And I wanted them in frames that are obviously Christmas-y.  The solution?  Ridiculously gaudy bright silver, red, and green spray paint!

I already owned the silver frame (it was originally black), and I bought the other two at Goodwill (nice wooden frames with really interesting custom-framed pictures in them...a Native American and a carousel horse).  Viola!  A Christmas-only display!

Sydney is a diva, as far as dress.  She doesn't really act like one (thank goodness), but she loves bows, sunglasses, dresses, etc.  Perhaps she is more "girly" than "diva", but diva is what I think when I see these pictures:
Check out that pink Razr phone.

Here are some more, not-so-diva-ish pictures.  We have been trying to get back in the habit of going outside more often.

I bought these fashion glasses for Syd at Target...and then returned them.  And Lorelei's burp rag is literally her pacifier.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hints of Christmas

Is it just me, or is it ridiculously difficult to take a good picture of a Christmas tree?  This serves as your warning that our tree looks nicer in person than in these pictures (hopefully).  I really need to learn how to use my camera...

Also, our tree is wild.  It needs some serious trimming, but at this point, I think I'll just let it be. 

Here is Sydney about to put the first ornament on the tree.  It took me a while to finally put lights on it (I appreciate pre-lit trees more than ever now!), and we went with colored lights (something new for us).

All lit up, sans ornaments.

It took me a few more days after finishing the lights to finish putting the ornaments on, and Wednesday night I made the garland I had been wanting to make.

(You can't see the star tree topper because the branch it is on sticks up at least a foot above the rest of the tree, ha!)
Random close-ups:

Perhaps I will post another picture once there are presents underneath.

Our "mantle":


By the front door:

Living room:

Lone Christmas bear:

Christmas cards (on the wall between the dining area and kitchen):

Avon Advent calendar:

Kitchen bar (bad lighting, sorry):

There you have it, folks!

More Santa

Here are the "official" Santa pictures from the Christmas party we went to last Saturday.  I think this will be it; I see no need to visit the mall Santa.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Long, Random Update

It's already December 11th?!?!?!

Here are a bunch of random updates.

Sydney was rambunctious at Lowe's the night we bought our Christmas tree.  As soon as we got there and weren't looking for half a second, she picked a flower from one of the flower pots for sale and climbed onto this employees-only buggy.  Obviously I condoned it by taking pictures:

The girls were fighting over a doll stroller, so I put it on top of the hutch.

They were mad.

December 1st we hired a babysitter and attended a Christmas party hosted by Chet's Commanding Officer.  There was a white elephant gift exchange, and Chet opened a gift containing this cat shirt:

But it was "stolen", and I'm not even sure what we ended up with.  I sort of liked the cat shirt...

Last Tuesday Chet had a clean-up knee surgery (to get rid of scar tissue, etc.).  He drove himself to the hospital early that morning, I dropped Sydney off at the CDC at 8:00 a.m., and Lorelei and I arrived at the hospital around 8:30.  I only had to wait a few minutes before the doctor came out to tell me he was done, but Lor and I had to wait a little while before Chet woke up and we could see him.  There was another lady in the waiting room with her 16-month old son, and he and Lorelei were playing together.  When the nurse came to the waiting room to take us back to see Chet, both Lorelei and the little boy were right next to me (the little boy's mom was sitting across from us).  The nurse thought they were twins and kept saying, "You poor thing!" (thinking I had to care for twins that age AND Chet post-surgery).  I told her she could still feel sorry for me, because I had a nutty 2-year old at home.  :-)

I didn't take any pictures of Chet at the hospital in his post-surgery state, but Lor practiced climbing to keep busy:

She didn't like when I sat her back down in the chair.

I took the girls to the Discovery Center last Thursday (we hadn't been in a while).  They had fun playing in the store:

Lorelei is getting closer and closer to walking.  She does great as long as she has something to hold on to for balance -- even if that something is fairly unsturdy, like that shopping cart.  I told her she has 20 days to learn how to walk if she wants to keep up with Sydney.

Sydney is a goofball, in her mismatched pajamas (courtesy of Chet):

I tried out a new hairdo on Sydney:

This past weekend we went to THREE Christmas parties.  The first one was Saturday morning, at a neighbor's house.  It was for the kids, and they decorated gingerbread houses and sugar cookies.  Sydney loved it.  (I don't think she knew that the house and decorations were edible, otherwise she would have been eating rather than decorating.)

I may or may not have eaten some of it as the day went on...  Saturday night I was upstairs putting Lorelei to bed, and Chet was downstairs doing dishes.  He sent me this text:


Saturday night was a Christmas party for the members of Chet's battalion and their families.  It was huge (there are 600 people per battalion).  There were lots of fun activities for kids, and Santa was there.  Now I'm going to go off on a quick tangent...

***Tangent: Until this year, Sydney did not know about Santa Claus.  And even though she knows he exists now, we have not made a big deal about him.  For example, she has no idea that Santa brings presents for Christmas, nor does she know that you even get presents for Christmas.  Chet and I have decided to make Christmas about the celebration of Jesus' birth, and are still deciding exactly how we plan to incorporate Santa's role into Christmas (we better have it figured out by next year -- Focus on the Family has some fantastic advice on this subject).  It's not that we refuse to talk about Santa -- we just don't mention anything unless she asks.***

Anyway, Santa was at the Saturday night Christmas party, and Sydney wanted to see him, so as we were waiting in line, Chet quickly explained that Santa was going to ask her what she wanted for Christmas, because we receive presents on Christmas in celebration of Jesus' birth.  She looked at him funny, so he suggested she tell Santa that she wants a baby doll.  She was a little perturbed that she did not walk away with a baby doll after sitting in Santa's lap.

I didn't think about it until my dad said something after seeing these pictures, but Sydney really has no fear.  She watched dozens of kids go before her and scream their heads off over sitting in Santa's lap, and she was as happy as a lark!  She wasn't scared of the Easter Bunny last year either, and I thought he was scary looking!

I love Lorelei's face in that second picture, ha.

Sunday afternoon was the third Christmas party we attended, with our Sunday school group.  One of the men kicked off the evening by reading the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20, after which his wife explained to the kids why we receive presents for Christmas.  I wish I had a picture of the kids' faces during this.  Then we ate a delicious potluck dinner, went Christmas caroling around their neighborhood, sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus with a cake, and decorated sugar cookies.

***Another tangent: Yours truly (me) was the baker of the birthday cake for Jesus.  I had never made/decorated a cake before, but I volunteered to do this.  Chet had a lot of faith in my never-before-used cake baking/decorating skills, because he suggested I make a double-layer cake.  Sure!!  Why not?!  I just used cake mix for the cakes, but layering them and icing them was an adventure.  It turned out fine, but was obviously an amateur's job.  However, it was delicious (tasted better than it looked), and I'm probably going into the cake-making/decorating business soon (kidding).***

Next time I will put the chocolate layer on the bottom, so it doesn't look like I sprinkled dirt on the icing...

Just let me know if you need a custom-made cake!  :-)