Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 comes to an end.

WOW! I mean.... seriously, WOW!  Can you believe that today is December 31, 2011??  If this is how fast time flies when you have one child, what am I in for when 2012 comes? 

With all of that being said, 2011 has brought so many blessings that I am reminded about today.  I am so incredibly thankful to have spent another year with Daniel and Leeland.  Some fun things about 2011:

--Getting my job (though I later left) at the Pregnancy Care Center.  Truly a blessing to work there, and absolutely adore the ministry.  They will always have my heart and prayers and I look forward to volunteering some there in the future.
--Leeland turning 1, having an awesome dinosaur party and enjoying cake for the very 1st time.
--Daniel getting his new job with the Police Department.  He's still in the academy and we look forward to graduation in 2012.  But what a great opportunity, and even better that I now get to stay at home with my little guys.
--Finding out we were expecting baby #2... and another boy! And so blessed to have had a healthy pregnancy so far.
--Finished up my 1st semester of MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers), getting to know some other Moms, enjoying adult conversation, and allowing Leeland a place to play with other kids for a couple hours. That was a lot of fun!
--Leeland has grown and changed and developed SO much in the past year that I could write a book, but one of the more fun things has been watching his imagination develop.  He is very in to pretending and it is absolutely adorable to see what his little mind comes up with. 
--And just to brag a little bit.... I have been pretty darn good at winning giveaways in 2011. (Hehe!)  I can only hope that 2012 brings even more freebies.
--Daniel winning in his powerlifting competition this year, with a medal and a fancy trophy to show for it.  I couldn't be more proud of him and look forward to cheering him on at more competitions once he is finished with the academy.

Maybe my preggo/Mommy brain is failing me, but that's all that I can think of right now.  I hope you all have enjoyed your 2011 and cheers to 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

31 weeks

I had Daniel take a few photos of Leeland and I before the Christmas Eve church service this weekend. I wanted to get a decent belly shot so that Hayden knows that he was here at Christmas loved and thought about. 

We had a midwife appointment this morning which was extra exciting because it was the 1st appointment that Daniel had been able to attend with me because of his work schedule.  I'm measuring right on point and Hayden's heart beat makes a beautiful sound.  There are some concerns about my thyroid levels being low so I had additional blood drawn today, but I'm not worried.  Other than some back pain, which is probably brought on not only by the pregnancy but also by chasing and lifting a toddler, I am feeling pretty great! Only 9 weeks left to go and my is time just flying by!

Christmas Festivities:

We were unable to go to Michigan this year for Christmas (much of Daniel's family lives there) because Daniel didn't get enough time off work.  He only got Saturday through Tuesday and since we typically drive, 2 days are spent traveling there and back. (About 13 hours in the car one way.) It was nice to celebrate and enjoy my family's typical traditions that they do here, but I really did miss getting away.  Looking at the calendar prior to Christmas weekend, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and like we had overextended ourselves.  It's so easy to get caught up in all the festivities, and subsequently not truly be able to worship and celebrate.  Here's what our weekend looked like.....

Friday December 23rd

 Praise God that my Brother-In-Law is home safely from Iraq!  We were so excited to have him back on this side of the pond, AND home to celebrate Christmas!  Friday night was spent at my in-laws celebrating his return.  While he was in Iraq, he missed his birthday and Thanksgiving so we had a Thanksgiving dinner re-do with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie... And I baked him a birthday cake.  Of course we also had to celebrate Christmas in there, so Leeland and his little cousin got to open all of their Christmas presents.  My in-laws left the next morning for Michigan which is why the babies got to open their gifts a bit early.

Saturday, December 24th

Christmas Eve morning we had another couple over that is friends of ours for breakfast.  They of course brought Leeland a gift-- cute little track suit pictured below.  And they even got Daniel and I a little something which was unexpected and super sweet of them.  I made breakfast, I made this breakfast casserole and this french toast recipe.  Both of them SUPER easy, I prepped both ahead Friday night and baked them in the oven that morning. 

Saturday evening we went to church.  The Christmas Eve service was PACKED!  It was such a sweet service though, with what seemed like lots of extra singing which was totally fine by me-- the band at church is always wonderful and singing Christmas carols with a packed house is just magical.  After the service, we went to my Granny's house for some yummy food and for Leeland to yet again open some more Christmas presents.  

After my Granny's house we were headed home to play Santa, or just simply put the gifts that had been wrapped and hidden in our room for several weeks now under the tree.  

Sunday, December 25th-- CHRISTMAS!

Christmas morning we woke up and got Leeland up to open gifts.  We had a minor issue with my fancy camera and all of our Christmas morning photos had to be taken on my iPhone.  I was quite bummed!  We left the camera out in the car on accident the night before-- when Daniel walked the dog, he brought it in.  It was pretty chilly out that morning and when he brought it in the lens got all fogged up.  I wiped and wiped and it kept fogging, it took about an hour to "defrost" and of course Leeland was not waiting to open his presents. 

After we opened up our gifts and our stockings, it was time to head to my parents house.  Their tradition is a big Christmas morning breakfast-- bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, pancakes, eggs.... MMMM, I'm starting to drool just thinking about it. And of course there was more presents.

Once we were done there, we were free to celebrate as a family.  We came home and took naps with new PJ's on and then got up and had some dinner.  And cake.  Our new tradition this year is a "Happy birthday Jesus" cake-- an excellent way to teach the boys a bit more about the meaning of Christmas. 
And that my friends is our Christmas in a nut shell with some photos.  The past 2 days since Christmas have been all about family time (taking advantage of Daniel's time off work), cleaning, organizing and trying to figure out what to do with all these presents!  Our little man really racked up and got far more than he could ever need or want.... kind of makes me nervous about next year with 2.  Hope you and your families had a great Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011


My worst fear came true this week-- that's an exaggeration, it's not really my "worst" fear, but it is one that I have talked about and hoped and wished not to happen.  What is it?  Something happening to Leeland's teeth.

I remember running into another Mom a couple months ago at a football game, and Leeland was about the same age as her youngest son and they ran around and played so we were chatting.  She asked if I had other children and I told her we were expecting (at the time not knowing it was a boy yet) and she told me that she had 3 sons.  She followed that with, "if you end up having more boys, there's a support group for Mom's like us."  I giggled and said something about how from all the stories I have heard about my husband and his brothers that we needed to make sure we have good medical insurance.  And she said, "no, you need good dental insurance," and followed with a story about a freak accident with her youngest son and his tooth having to be pulled.  Mind you, he was only about 16 months old at the time. 

That has been my fear.  In all actuality, we of course get 2 sets of teeth in our lifetime so it's technically not that big of a deal, but knowing that Leeland may have a jacked up tooth for at least 7 years before his permanent teeth come in is really scary to me.  

So anyways, Leeland chipped one of his front teeth this week.  Thankfully it's a small chip so there wasn't any sort of root or extreme damage causing us to rush off to the dentist office, but it's a chip in his tooth none the less.  Daniel says that it is small enough that no one would notice if I didn't point it out, but I know it's there! The way it's placed in the corner of his front tooth makes his tooth just look, not straight across at the bottom (if that makes sense).

He bonked his mouth on the side of the bath tub the other night.  He cried and I consoled him and remember checking his lips and glancing at his mouth to make sure he wasn't bleeding.  (He has been known to get a bloody lip in falls from now and then).  I don't recall looking at any of his teeth (dumb me) and he stopped crying after about a minute so I assumed he wasn't hurt too bad.  The next morning, we were sitting on the couch enjoying our cheerios together-- and Leeland likes to take very large fist fulls of cheerios and put them in his mouth.  When he did, I noticed his tooth didn't look right and thought for whatever reason there was cheerios stuck in his tooth.  But it wasn't cheerios-- it was the chipped tooth. I beat myself up about it most of the day because it took me to the next day to notice and I felt horrible about being a "bad mom."  And then I just got sad for him that his teeth are perfect anymore.  :(

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


We took Leeland to see Santa this past weekend. Let me remind you of how it went last year when he sat with Santa for the first time at about 8 months old....
Leeland would be on the left in the above picture with my sleeping nephew on the right, who never flinched at any of Leeland's screams might I add and enjoyed his little nap with Santa.

And here is this year-- he still didn't care for Santa much this year, though it was the wailing of last year....

Just a little bit of whining this year. :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dallas Cowboys Cake

I made a Dallas Cowboys birthday cake this weekend for a surprise birthday party.  Sadly, the only picture I took of it was from my iphone. (My bad.)  Here it is though:

Celebrating Advent

 Tis the season to begin celebrating Christmas and not have stones cast at you.  Kidding, but for real, I have lots of friends who are very anti-anything Christmas before Thanksgiving.  This past week at MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) we had a guest speaker Jen who came to speak about traditions.  She was specifically speaking about the importance of traditions in the family year round but she also mentioned several of her family's Christmas and Holiday traditions. 
 One of the traditions that she spoke about was the "Jesse Tree," which is essentially a Christmas tree where there is a new ornament placed on the tree everyday of the season and there is scripture that goes with it.  The scriptures take you and your family from the beginning with creation to the birth of Jesus. I grew up in a family that only went to church on Easter and Christmas and this was something that I had never heard of and immediately knew that I would like it.  The concept of keeping the season so focused on what truly matters and the anticipation of the celebration of Christ on Christmas day.  I knew that we needed to start this tradition and we needed to start it this year-- let me remind you that Tuesday was November 29th and the advent season typically starts on December 1st.

Thankfully she also shared that Ann Voskamp has free Jesse Tree printables on her blog.  If you haven't heard of Ann Voskamp, she is a fabulous author and her most recent book "One Thousand Gifts" climbed to the top of the charts.   You can find her blog/website here. Once you subscribe to the blog, you can get access to the free printables for the Jesse Tree.  The printables include picture cut outs that you can use as ornaments and also devotions and scripture to go with each day.  I cut out the ornaments and attached them to some scrapbook paper and added a ribbon to hang them on the tree.  Most people use a separate small tree for their Jesse Tree but due to it being last minute and not entirely in the budget, we're just adding the ornaments to our regular Christmas tree.  It really works out for us too considering I limited the ornaments on our tree this year since the ones we have are glass and I didn't want them in tiny hands. 

It is going really well so far!  At almost 20 months old, Leeland is still a little young to completely understand but he truly does love to read and hear stories and he loves the Christmas tree.  We sit and read the devotions before bedtime and then he and Daddy add the ornament to the tree together.  I think it will be so much fun to see how he comprehends and gets more and more into it each year.  I know that it is going to be a precious time that we look forward to each Christmas season. 

A special thank you to Jen for sharing about the Jesse Tree and also to Ann Voskamp for the awesome devotions and printables!

Lastly for this season, just for Daniel and I-- our yearly tradition is a candy advent calendar.  This calendar I got at Starbucks a few years ago and I buy candy to refill the drawers each year.
Hope you all are enjoying advent as much as we are!