Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A quick hello!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their families, I know I did!   We are up in Indiana visiting my family and will be here until Sunday.  My parents are still living in the dark ages and don't have high-speed internet so in order to post pictures, I have to make my way over to Starbucks and use their wi-fi.  I went once to post some pictures to facebook but my blogs tend to take a while to post, so I haven't found the time to do a Christmas recap yet.  I am missing my little blog while I am on vacation, but I am enjoying family time!  But don't worry, soon enough I will be back with a catch-up blog packed full with lots of photos  ;) 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Let the Festivities Begin!

Since we planned to leave for Indiana on Thursday, we celebrated Christmas here in Knoxville this week.  Tuesday, we celebrated with Jeff's family at his mom's house.  That's where Hayden got to open his first Christmas gift of the season! 
He got a pj's and a pillow pet from Mamaw.
Playing peek-a-boo with his hat (and wearing daddy's new tie)  :p

Jeff recieved a mysterious gift from his brother Ray...

First of all, let me just say that this little guy did not come home with us! 
Jeff's niece noticed a box moving under the tree and asked my mother in law about it but she didn't give it much thought.  We all had a big laugh about this interesting gift. 
Mamaw Judy got all the kids pj's and they all decided to change into them after they opened them.  I got a quick pic of all of them in their new pj's.
Look at my handsome little man in his monkey pj's  ;)

Wednesday we had Christmas at our house.  After dinner, we let Hayden open his gifts from us and Jeff and I opened ours to each other.  Hayden was very excited about all his new stuff!
First, he spotted his gift from "Santa." 

Side note:  You'll have to excuse the bad terrible quality of the pics, it was dark and we have really poor lighting in the living room thanks to the 'night light' in the ceiling fan I purchased for this room.  I refuse to use flash.  Ever.  And my little enrty-level DSLR just doesn't have the capability to handle such dimly lit coniditions (guess I need to upgrade;)   Wow, that was a long explanation.  I guess the fact is that I am just embarassed of the quality of these pics.  There, I said it. 

Anyhoo, back to what "Santa" brought Hayden...
I told Jeff I don't really think it's fair that Santa gets credit for stuff unless he sends me some money :p
Opening some more presents

Love this little Crayola toy, but I hope he doesn't now think that he can color on all his toys...
Hayden with all of his gifts from mommy & daddy (and Santa.)
He was so excited I think he could have played with his toys all night.  When he finally did go to bed, he wanted to bring his pillow pet & sock monkey
Oh, and look what Santa brought me!

You know you're an adult (or someone that takes a bazillion pictures) when you ask for stuff like this for Christmas... ha!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Treat

Made these up for Jeff to give out to his co-workers as Christmas gifts.  (Of course I tried a couple myself...)
I guess they could be called "white candy covered Oreos."  I had wanted to make white chocolate ones, but to make a long story short, I sent the hubby to get the chocolate & got the 'candy coating.'  It still tasted good, so I hope the recipients don't mind the faux chocolate  ;)
Santa would probably like these better than the ol' sugar cookies we're planning to leave out for him...  ;)
Ugh, I took these photos after dark, hence the really poor lighting  :-/

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Lights and a Baby

I saw an idea on a photography forum that everyone was doing so I thought I would try it with my little guy.  I am always looking for a photo op!  ;) 
Anyway, they didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped but Hayden was giving me some pretty cute expressions!  I put together a little collage...

The many faces of Hayden:
I also loved the way these looked in b&w so I converted a couple few several...
one of my faves even though his face is not completely in focus, kinda what happens when you shoot wide-open with a busy toddler (probably not the smartest decision on my part!)
Maybe Santa will bring mommy some external memory for all these photos I take...they are beginning to eat up some serious memory in my computer!  :-/

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feeling Sentimental

Yesterday I came accross a very sad story.  Someone on Twitter had linked to a blog of a mother who had just lost her 22 month old son in a tragic accident.  I read the blog post where the mother told the story of what happened to her baby and it was one of the saddest things I have ever read.  It hit close to home since the baby was just 3 months older than Hayden.  I cannot imagine her pain and all I could do was pray that the Lord would give her a peace that only He can give.  Today, she posted a slideshow with pictures of his little life.  I just sat and cried as I looked at photos of this beautiful little boy who's life had been cut way too short.  I felt my heart breaking as I wondered how a mother could handle so much pain and anguish.  Today, she had to bury her precious, beautiful son but praise God that one day she will see him again (from what I gather from her blog, she is a Christian.)  What a wonderful day that will be for this mother! 
I try to learn from stories like this.  I try to get something out of it other than a broken heart.  I want to remember that we have no guarantees in this life.  I could lose my baby tomorrow, so I will make the most of today.  I will savour every precious moment I have with him, even if he is whining and crying.  I will be that crazy, overprotective mommy that everyone rolls their eyes at.  No, I can't protect him from everything but as his mommy, it's my job to protect him the best I can.  And I will thank God for every day that He gives me with my precious baby and be grateful that I am able to be home with him every day. 
Lately, I have come to realize just how true the title of this little blog really is.  I really am blessed beyond measure.  But may I, like this mother who just lost her son, be able to praise Him in the bad times as well which is when our faith is really tested. 

{I was camera-stalking my baby during his lunch today  ;)  Another thing I tell myself is that you can never have too many photos because they are precious memories.}

Mommies: hug, kiss and squueze your babies every chance you get!  They are such a wonderful gift!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm Getting Featured!

Hello, readers!  Just thought I would let you all know some exciting news!  Cassity at Polly Want a Crafter (an AWESOME crafting blog for all you fellow craft lovers) is featuring my DIY Christmas wreath tomorrow!!!  I'm pretty excited and I hope that you all will stop by Polly Want a Crafter tomorrow and check it out!  The post will go live at 7 am for you early birds  ;) 
Hope everyone is getting ready for Christmas, it's just over a week away (yikes!) 

Christmas for the Children with Julianne Hough, a benefit concert.

For those of you who don't know, my husband works at a community mental health center (Helen Ross McNabb) as a clinician.  They have a Christmas for the Children program where they provide Christmas for several needy families during the holiday season.  Last night they had a concert benefitting the program and raised $7500!  It gave me and Jeff an opportunity to donate to a great cause and enjoy a  fun date night as well!  It was a wonderful, intimate concert of only about 150 attendees.  I brought my camera but made the regretful decision to use my 50mm lens instead of my zoom lens!  (The 50mm is like a permanent fixture on my camera and I didn't even think to replace it with the zoom lens so I could get 'up close' shots.  SO, you will have to excuse the heads and random bodies in the photos  ;)
So cute, Jeff was getting his ticket signed by the pretty girl  ;)
All the McNabbers & Julianne
We were able to meet her briefly (basically, I shook her hand and said hi) and have our photo taken with her.  They had a professional photog that took our pic with Julianne and they are mailing them to us.  They made me & Jeff get ours together since we were a 'couple.'  But, later I saw people asking her for pictures & snapping them with their own cameras/phones.  I was going to have Jeff take a picture of me & her together but by that time, she was on her way out and people kept asking her for pics and saying "last one" so I decided not to try to get one.  My fear of annoying the crap out of her by asking for another pic outweighed my want for one.  ha!  We also got to chat with her guitarist for a bit (we ran into him in the lobby & Jeff wanted to tell him he did a good job.)  He was really nice and even asked us what we what we were doing (after the show.)  I'm sure he was just being nice but Jeff seems to think he wanted us to come to an after-party.  Kidding.  I don't even think there was an 'after party' and I'm sure he could tell we were an old married couple, especially after I told him our 'big plans' for the night included picking up our toddler from the sitter & heading home  ;)
It was a good night.  A nice Christmasy party since I don't get to go to a company party anymore and Jeff doesn't have company Christmas parties.   It's funny how much you enjoy getting out for an evening after you become a parent!  I have to admit though, I was pretty excited to see my little guy when we got home (he got to have a 'date' too at his girlfriend Victoria's house!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Home Tour

So, the Nester is having an awesome Christmas Tour of Homes linky party and I just had to link up!  A lot of these photos are from my previous posts, but there are a couple newbies and I will probably add a little to this later since I am not 'done' but my impatience got the best of me (as usual.)  I didn't go all-out this year since I don't have tons of Christmas decor and this SAHM is on a budget!  ;)  I am, however, looking forward to hitting some day-after-Christmas sales with my mom this year and hoping to score some great stuff for next year!!!
Here is some of our home for Christmas...
Starting with the front door  :)  My DIY mossy wreath (which is getting featured on Polly Want a Crafter 12/16/10!)
Next is the enrty table...
I did pretty much the same thing last year except this year I added a wreath above the table and I love it!

Next is the dining room complete with my DIY cardholder...

I added a little Christmas cheer to the chandelier...
And to the candle holders...  (you can find the post on both of those here)
This is all I managed to do in the kitchen  :p

And of course the trees...

 My little man has a tree for his room and I staged this little photo of him sleeping in front of the tree.  I will cherish it for years to come!
The changing table/hutch in Hayden's room...

Some gifts are already under the tree.  A decision I regret since I failed to realize that my son would be very curious about them!  ;)
A little centerpiece for the ottoman that doubles as a coffee table...
please excuse the crappy/grainy was DARK and my camera did not like the high ISO setting  :)
I wanted to put some glittery acorns in the tray, but I did not have any tonight, so the ornaments will do for now.
The vase is filled with a yummy smelling scented mixture of pinecones and such...
And of course a bokeh tree photo!
I did a little in our room...basically, I just hung this wreath and put some 'snow' in my little mini vases  ;)

As you can see, I didn't bother to clean the baby handprints off my mirror before I hung it  :p
Here is the link to the Tour of Homes party!  There are lots of homes to look at, so be prepared to stay a while if you decide to browse around!  :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa's Workshop

...that's where I felt like I was tonight when I was wrapping, wrapping, wrapping!  Isn't it sad that we spend so much time wrapping presents and making them look pretty just to have them ripped open?  I think next year I will just throw everything in gift bags ;)  (I'm kidding, I like pretty presents!)
Anyway, I got red and gold paper to match my tree.  I didn't get any gold ribbon and kinda just used what I had with the red ribbon.  You can spend a small fortune on just wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and tags!  Oh tags...yeah, I didn't get any.  I don't like the random sticker ones with designs that don't match anything and the really pretty ones are expensive.  I didn't really find any that matched my color scheme anyway, so I have up.  I pretty much know who's is who's but I wrote on the backs of some with a Sharpie  ;) 
I really wish I would have gotten gold ribbon for the red paper...oh, well.
One for mom  :)
One for my other 'mom'  :)
Some for the little man (I tried to make them a little more 'kiddish.')  Is that even a word?  I make words up as I go along...
Little ornaments make great gift 'jewelry' like this little sleigh...
So far...I haven't shopped for Jeff yet and I have a couple gifts coming in the mail still.  Maybe I'll be done before Christmas!  ;)
Oh, and I think I might just throw a bow on Hayden's little Power Wheels quad, that's a bigg'n!