Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jesus' birthday party

Our Christmas journey was a little bit crazy this year.  It was our first long distance road trip with both of the girls in tow, but it actually went shockingly well thanks to our only Black Friday purchase -- a DVD player for the car.  All of our surprises would surface after we arrived at our destination.  Our car got a flat tire (which had been repaired before we left), the plumbing under the kitchen sink at my in-laws was massively leaking and they scrambled to find a plumber open on Christmas Eve, my grandfather got a stomach bug so he missed meeting Hannah for the first time, and then Hannah & I got sick with bad colds (were both running fevers and placed on antibiotics by the time we got to an after hours clinic) so we missed seeing our friends.  My head was a total fog for almost all of our visit.

But amid the hustle and bustle, we had a great time just being together with our families and watching the little ones delight in the magic of Christmas.  Lucy woke up next to me on Christmas morning and whispered, "It's Jesus' birthday party!"  Wow.  I thought that the real meaning of the holiday had really sunk in and was so proud -- I mean, we have been reading Christmas books, singing carols, attending children's time in church, talking about the nativity scene, etc. for weeks.  But... then she continued with, "It's Daddy birthday party! And Hannah birthday, too!".  At least we're getting closer.  :)

Lucy really took her time opening each gift and would exclaim, "Mama, look what I got!" with a huge smile and an expression of sheer joy.  And my happy baby Hannah was thrilled just to crinkle wrapping paper and to have a seemingly endless supply of arms available to hold her -- her very most favorite thing.  Santa was very good to me this year... I finally got a DSLR camera!  You can see the evidence of my new present (major props to the hubby) in these two shots and in the slide show below.  The first couple of pics in the slide show are from my old camera and the rest are from the new one -- you can really tell the difference in picture quality.  I am so excited about learning how to use it to capture the unique expressions of my beautiful subjects.  Yay! 

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Merry and bright

Trying on Pop Pop's reading glasses

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life's a zoo

For this week's Wordless Wednesday edition, a few pictures from our recent trip to the BREC Baton Rouge Zoo to see the holiday "Zoo Lights" decorations.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Just look at those baby blue eyes and that spiky strawberry-blond hair and those cheeks.  Oh, those sweet pinchable cheeks.  And don't even get me started on that "life is wonderful" grin.  I have a hard time with people who don't fawn all over themselves when in contact with such a happy chubby baby. 

I know, I know "every crow thinks hers is the blackest" and all that.  But, come on.  Seriously.  :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

And then there were four...

Helping Daddy trim the tree

Building our first ever gingerbread house with sweet Cooper
There was something so fulfilling and exciting about hanging stockings up this year.  The babies we have been dreaming about and praying for the last few years are here at last, in our little home, ready to experience the joy and love that surrounds the holiday season.  Andrew & I have been a married unit since April 2004, but now it finally feels like we are really a family.  I guess I can't really describe the emotions all that well in words.

Lucy was hardly aware of Christmas last year, but this year is a whole other story.  She adored getting to decorate the tree and has really enjoyed reading Christmas stories, ranging from the nativity story to Santa Claus to Olivia.  She has helped me roll out and decorate sugar cookies for her school's holiday party, declared that she wants a "train, princess, and football" from Santa, and sung bits and pieces of random carols (like Frosty the "No-man").  But I think she's most impressed with the bling and keeps asking to go see the lights in our neighborhood!  It's such a blast to see the magic of Christmas through a little one's eyes, especially since she has yet to be caught up in the commercial aspect of the season.

I love Christmas -- not only is it a special time devoted to celebrating the birth of our Savior, but done correctly, it's also a time to express generosity to friends and families and those in need.  Plus, I've always been ministered to through music so the simplicity and passion expressed through a beautifully-sung Christmas hymn gets me every time.  You will never see me with dry eyes after a room full of people sing a candlelit, a capella version of Silent Night during Christmas Eve service. 

However... our extended families are "broken" by divorce, our grandfathers are celebrating without the long-time companionship of their wives, and the amount of hurt and need in the world sometimes seems cruel and overwhelming.  So my prayer for this holiday season is for LOVE.  Love to heal hearts and relationships and bodies.  Love that mirrors that of a Father who gave his only son to bring hope to the world.  Amid the rampant chaos and spending and loneliness and hurry, I'm trying to make this Christmas all about love, love, love.  Join me?  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas card outtakes edition

Showing off our new Christmas pjs ~ thanks Honey!

This is one of a series where Lucy is either: sticking her finger in Hannah's mouth, pulling her ears, placing her in a headlock, or making sister mad by holding her hands down.  Needless to say... we didn't use any of these.  :)

Watching "Frosty the Snowman" (again!) and getting a little emotional when he starts to melt

Okay, so this one wasn't really taken for the purpose of using it on a card, but I couldn't resist posting it.  I mean, cute baby hat + cheap plastic Dora sunglasses + big Daddy smile = priceless.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Turning tricks

Hannah is now 5 months old (!) and has recently acquired a who new set of skills and tricks.  Here are a few adorable highlights:

Learning to sit up by myself

Devouring Eating oatmeal cereal & trying out veggies like sweet potatoes

Finding my feet and trying to stick them in my mouth

Snuggling with sister in her big girl bed.  She's particularly fond of "hugging" me in a headlock position.