Friday, December 29, 2006

Traveling Around The Holidays

This year we made our way down to Beaumont to be with Brandon's family for Christmas and had a small Christmas with my family the weekend before. Kaitlyn received so many cute things from her grandparents and I couldn't even point to one of her favorites as she enjoyed having a few new toys to play with at Christmas time. What a fun time to watch her open presents. She made sure every piece of wrapping paper went in the trash.

I am proud of myself this year as we were able to celebrate Christmas together a lot this month. We went to see the lights in Deerfield Park at least three times with our families. We went to see Santa Claus, shopped early and I even got creative and made earrings for several friends and family. As much as I want to keep Christmas about Jesus; I also want to celebrate our family and beliefs for God has given us so much to be thankful for.

Kaitlyn with Poodles on her ears!

With Christmas and the New Year around the corner, reflection on 2006 and the upcoming year is all I can think about. So I have decided to write a few things that come to mind.

1. I am so thankful for having flown Kaitlyn and myself to Kansas to see my Grandmother one more time before she passed away on Nov. 7, 2006 at age 80. Gran was a great cook, listened well and could always give good advice.

2. On Feb. 5, 2006, I was so thankful to have made it a year with Kaitlyn. She has grown into a little girl right before our eyes. Now she walks, talks, feeds herself, runs, dances, sings, colors, plays with playdoh and says, "Mommy," which gives me such great joy to hear her.

3. On July 5, 2006, Brandon and I celebrated three years of marriage and look forward to another year.

4. On Sept. 6, 2006, Brandon made my birthday sweet by taking me to a fun restaurant, although I think I am looking forward more to my 30th birthday because Brandon went to DisneyWorld for his. I can't imagine where I can convince him to go with me now!

5. A tradition was born this summer with Pool Time Fridays for Kaitlyn's friends and moms. It was so much fun to play in the pool. We built a pool fence to hold those kiddos in. I can't wait to see what happens this summer!

6. We enjoyed our first family vacation to San Diego in August. We had so much fun and it was pretty economical. San Diego was a great choice as Kaitlyn still talks about the beach and the zoo.

7. This Christmas season I will remember mostly Kaitlyn playing in her new car, giving hugs and kisses to her grandparents and opening presents by one piece of wrapping paper at a time.

8. Kaitlyn is so active and keeps me running after her all the time. I look foward to her having more stamina to sit and play with one toy for longer than five minutes. Oh boy, that would be great! Oh and can I put in this request: Brandon and I be able to take her with us somewhere and she is not running around the whole time. Our little explorer can wear me out, especially when she disagrees with me.

9. On Nov. 17, 2007, Kaitlyn will be a flower girl for the first time. I look foward to seeing her in a pretty little dress again.

10. I look forward to how my relationships will grow with God and within my family, extended family and close friends.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Why is it we procrastinate until the last minute when there are a ton of things to be done? I have been doing this all week. I thought I would be ready to head on down to Beaumont for Christmas tomorrow morning, but I just don't feel ready. I have tried to be a little more creative this year for Kaitlyn and making some fun memories, like making some presents and practicing Christmas traditions with Kaitlyn. I think I need to read the "Simple Christmas" book lying on my end table. Ha.

Today, Brandon and I took Kaitlyn to see Santa. He is actually the same Santa as last year and he was really sweet to her. She was excited to see him as we stood in line and waived hi. However, it was another story once she was on his lap. She looked at the camera like she had been hit by a bus. Not one thing came out of her. She clammed up because she was shy. I know it doesn't help to have these people standing around saying, "Give us a big smile," "Say Cheese," and the one I usually always get a smile with, "Boo!" Who can blame her? We stood in line for about 30 minutes and in her world that is an eternity!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jingle Bells

So we haven't shown you our house all decorated... Here are a couple of photos of our lights and Disney tree. We are putting up a little more every year. Brandon has not completed his dream of Disney characters dotting our yard, but I am sure we will have those soon enough.

Kaitlyn has her first sucker.

Kaitlyn performed in her Mother's Day Out School Christmas concert. It only lasted about 15 minutes; however, it was just precious. And like the fun feeling I had with my first parent/teacher conference, Brandon and I both couldn't believe we were seeing Kaitlyn perform, i.e. stand in a box with the other toddlers watching the older children sing with the hand movements and the parents everywhere with their video cameras. Kaitlyn's favorite song is Jingle Bells and tries to sing and dance to it.

Kaitlyn (1 yr class) and Ashley Dickens (3 yr class)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

O Christmas Tree

We are busy little bees here. Ever since we returned from Kansas City for Thanksgiving, we have been in the holiday spirit. We put up all of our Christmas decorations in a day. We have most all of our Christmas shopping done. We spent last week sending out Christmas cards and now we have moved on to holiday get-togethers.

Our favorite thing this year has been driving over to Deerfield Park on Legacy by our house to look at lights. We like to say "Pretty Lights." With Christmas music in the background, it is very Christmaseee.

Brandon's parents, Gigi and Big Daddy, came in town last weekend and watched Kaitlyn on Monday for my meeting. They were able to listen to Kaitlyn talk A LOT. She even said Big Daddy. Before we know it, she will be putting sentences together and that will really blow us away. Where did our baby go?

Kaitlyn had lots of fun this weekend and so did mommy and daddy. We went to an office party and we felt totally out of place in the hot, trendy bar in Uptown. But, as usual that didn't stop us from having some great times with some new friends. The smoke is what killed it for us, we totally forgot about that. Thanks to Papa for watching Kaitlyn. We really enjoyed not having to pay a babysitter!

This weekend for Kaitlyn, there was a bounce house birthday party. Brandon and the other dads had just as much fun because they were going down the slide, sometimes without their kids! Kaitlyn was a little young to really enjoy it. She played mostly with the cars and in the toddler room, but did enjoy the big slide with daddy a couple of times.

Tonight, Brandon and I wrapped presents until we could not wrap anymore. That is a big chore, for sure! We are definitely looking for tips on being a good and efficient Santa Claus for Kaitlyn!!

Then we had a little book exchange with some little friends. Kaitlyn didn't want to share her toys with her friends, but they all liked making sugar cookies and opening a present.