Thursday, December 29, 2011


I've been busy enjoying my family this week so I'm just getting around to posting about Christmas.  We had a wonderful holiday with both of our families.  We started the weekend off by going to church on Friday night. Here is a picture of Jonathan and Adalyn before the Christmas service.
On Christmas Eve day, we headed into Louisville to spend the day with Jonathan mom, sister and nephews. We exchanged gifts and enjoyed the kids.  In the afternoon we went to Jonathan's cousin's house for a party with the extended family. We had a great time!  Jonathan's cousin has small kids, so she had a great idea to do the Christmas Eve party early in the evening so that the kids could get home at an early time. We were very thankful for that! 
By the time we drove home, it was past Adalyn's bedtime but we let her stay up late enough to read 'Twas The Night Before Christmas and also the Real Christmas Story. After she went to bed Jonathan and I got to work wrapping her presents and getting stockings ready.

Christmas morning we set the tripod up to get a picture on the stairs. One of my family's traditions was that the furthest we could go downstairs on Christmas morning was that we could only go as far as the stairs. And when my parents were finally ready for us to open presents they would take a picture of us in our pj's half asleep on the stairs. So we did that picture and even though it's against my better judgement, I'm going to post a picture. Please don't notice the lack of make-up. (Can you believe we got everyone to look at the camera at the same time??)
We video taped Adalyn opening gifts and never even thought to get the regular camera out! OOPS! Adalyn was so much fun opening her gifts. We got her mostly books and just a couple small toys.  Santa got her a baby doll and a stroller (the stroller was $7 at a consignment sale last August and I hid it that entire time!) and she loved it. She keeps trying to climb in the stroller herself. So cute!

Christmas afternoon we headed to Toledo to visit my family.  My mom is home from the hospital but is unable to leave her house. She has a nurse coming to attend to her wound every other day but she has been getting stronger so we are very thankful.  Her friends, family and church have surrounded her with delicious meals! We even had someone bring us a full Christmas dinner. It was quite wonderful!  After dinner with my parents, my brother and his family we opened gifts with my parents. My parents were so sweet with Adalyn's gift even with my mom in the hospital. Thankfully my parents had the Internet at the hospital and my dad is a good gift wrapper! But we were truly reminded about what Christmas is really about this year.

We stayed with my parents for a couple days and were able to see my aunts and uncles.  One of my cousins lives in China and was home for Christmas. She had never met Adalyn and we were so excited for them to finally meet. She had brought the absolute sweetest gift from China for Adalyn. A Qi-Pao (sounds like Chee-Pow and is like a Kimono) and a panda bear wearing a Kimono. Of course we had to try it on Adalyn! She was so cute in it!

My dad has tons of bird feeders and squirrel feeders so when we are at their house, it is like being at a nature preserve. He has some beautiful birds! It's like the squirrels know they are nice because they aren't afraid of people. They come right up to the door. Dakota likes to bark his head off at the squirrels as they play in the yard. The day we were leaving one of the squirrels came right up to the door. Dakota was barking his head off but the squirrel just came closer. He actually had his front paws up on the window and Dakota had his paw on the inside of the window. We watched Happy Feet the night before. I've seen too many kid movies about animals because I just pictured what the two animals were saying back and forth. And what that squirrel thought of the loud furry thing that was allowed to be inside when he was out in the cold! HA!

All in all we had a wonderful Christmas! We don't have many pictures to show, but I'll just say it was because we were so enjoying the moment that we never got the camera out! We're home now and going to spend the rest of our vacation working around the house, cleaning and organizing and spending time together! I'm looking forward to some "down time"! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Family and Santa

Last Saturday my brother and his 3 kids came in town to stay for a couple nights on their way from Florida to Ohio to visit my parents for Christmas. My oldest niece had never met Adalyn before and she was so sweet with her. My other niece and nephew were around last summer when we went to their house in Florida so they had already met Adalyn. They were also very sweet with Adalyn.  Pretty much she didn't know what to do with all of the attention.

My nieces and nephew are so very well behaved and are so fun to be around that we didn't want to see them leave. Our house was loud and lively but I loved it. It was a good loud - everyone enjoying each other and playing games together.

The kids swapped presents and they were so excited about the gift they had picked out for Adalyn. It was sweet. They showed her how to play with it and helped her get the pieces in the openings. Precious. Dakota seemed to enjoy all the extra attention too!

One of the things that I had yet to do this season was to get a picture of Adalyn with Santa so I thought what better time than when her cousins were with her.  So we got one picture with just Adalyn and Santa and one picture with all of the cousins. Of course Caleb needed to know why this Santa was a different Santa than the one he had already seen this year and knew one had to be an impostor. But since it's difficult to know which one was an impostor he went ahead and told this Santa what he wanted for Christmas too.

We went to the same Santa we saw last year who happens to be outside a bookstore in town (instead of fighting the mall traffic and lines). We got on a call-ahead list for Santa so that we could go hang out in Joseph Beth. (That bookstore is pretty much the coolest thing ever and has a whole toy section so we stayed busy for the hour we would have been waiting in line.) The kids played so nicely while we were waiting.

Santa!! (She was just tears!)
After waiting for her cousins to get in the picture, the tears started coming. :(

This big tree was outside the store. Great picture-op for the family:)
We had an awesome weekend!  Adalyn and I were actually able to meet up with the whole crew on their way back down to Florida today for lunch. It was a nice surprise to get a call that they were able to meet up on the road! Adalyn was reaching for my brother while she was in the high chair at Chick-fil-a. I'm pretty sure she loves her family!! I just hope that we can see them more often than once a year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jonathan's MBA Graduation

I need to take a moment to brag on my husband. On Saturday he graduated from Morehead State University with his MBA (Masters in Business Administration). When he graduated from UK (undergrad) he didn't walk, so I told him when he graduated with his Masters that he would be walking! I was so so proud of him when I saw him walk into the ceremony in his cap and gown!

Let's back up a minute. Jonathan had always talked about going back to school at some point, but we put it off due to the expense. Then he got a job at the University of Kentucky. Employees of UK can attend any state school for FREE because the school values learning. (We of course paid for taxes and books out of pocket but we couldn't complain since everything else was covered).  So two years ago Jonathan decided to start his masters classes at Morehead. (Morehead had a completely online program where UK he would have had to attend physical classes.)  He took 2 classes per semester for fall, spring and summer the past two years...aka no breaks! When he puts his effort towards something he goes full out for it. Last year when Adalyn was born I even asked him to just take one class per semester but he was so determined to finish in two years that he kept up his pace.

Jonathan is a really good student and he has this brain that just sucks up info, so he did amazing in his classes with (I'm sure) less studying than his fellow students. For the first few semesters he was getting a 4.0 and then found out that Masters grads don't get any honors. He was so bummed out. Let's just say that he would have had honors cords had they had them for the MBA students. I truly don't know how he completed his courses in such a small time with such amazing grades while working a full time at a very stressful job, being a supportive husband and an attentive daddy.  He truly is amazing. And I'm so lucky to have him!

Since his classes were online he'd never been to the campus before. We were all surprised by how small the gym was (and that the graduation was in the gym). There were more people graduating than I was expecting since it was a winter graduation. The gym was packed so we had to sit up in about the furthest seat away from the stage. Bummer. But I still took a few pictures! It was a very long and very boring ceremony. (You really forget  how boring they can make those things.) Although watching him walk across stage to get his hood was so exciting! Here are some pictures of his big day!

Waiting patiently for the ceremony to start.
 Jonathan walking in.
 Jonathan walking across stage.
 My two favorite people! (After the 2 hour ceremony can you tell that A wasn't "perky" anymore?)
 Jonathan, his mom, sister and kids.

We came back to the house afterwards for cake and a celebration. We were blessed that our friends and family could come and celebrate Jonathan and his achievement! We of course were sad that my parents weren't able to come. We know that they really wished that they were there. My mom was actually back in the hospital with an infected incision. She has since come home and will be healing for at least the next month. We're just glad she's ok and is home from the hospital. But we for sure missed them at this momentous occasion.

Jonathan, I am so very proud of you! You did it!!! And no more studying and papers!! yipee!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Christmas Decorations

This is our second Christmas in this house so of course I went back into my old blog posts and pictures from last year to see where all of my decorations went. I'm a person of habit so if I found a place for my decorations last year and was happy with it then I didn't want to waste time this year refiguring out the same decorations. Many of these pictures are quite similar to last year, but I did mix things up a little bit:)

Let's start with the living room. Adalyn received the Little People Manger set from Jonathan's boss last Christmas. (How sweet was that?) So, we set the manger up under the tree and she loves to put the people and animals in and out of the black bin. She was playing with her manger until I got the camera out and then she thought I needed her to crawl to me. :)
This tree was new last year and I still love it. I absolutely love the fun feel of the lime green and bright red. The tree topper makes me happy! After Christmas last year I went to one of my favorite boutique stores by my mom's house and I got a bunch of fun glass ornaments on discount. This year as I was unwrapping all of these awesome ornaments it was like opening Christmas presents because I couldn't remember what I had bought and I still loved everything I had bought!
 Here it is at night. Glowing.
I like my mantle. The red present was from the same fun boutique as the ornaments. I bought it and a green one two years ago after Christmas and last year had them sitting together on the fireplace hearth.  I didn't think that would work this year with Adalyn into everything, so I moved it up to the mantle and I love it! It's so sparkly and the colors are great. I already posted about my fun Mud Pie stockings. At some point I'm going to have our initials embroidered into the top circle, but not this year:) I love how everything looks together.
 At night. I love how the red box looks so different at night.
This is above my couch. I love reindeer and I've built quite a collection. I used to have a few around the house on the ground, but again I decided this year was not the year to have pokey metal decorations on the floor, so they took over the shelves. The only two new items this year are the picture frame (which was a Christmas gift last year and I was so excited that it matched my new lime green/red color scheme) and the red/green glittery garland on the top shelf. You can't see in this picture but it's the same material and colors as the gift on the mantle and I love how it pulls the colors and texture into this wall.
Hey! How did she sneak in here? :) I just couldn't resist. She was playing with her "bike" from grandma and papa. She has finally learned how to get on and off of it herself!
Jonathan hates when I put any decorations on the TV console but this green present is perfect because it's tall and skinny so it's out of the way of the TV screen and it's cute so when I watch TV it makes me happy!
Here's a wide view of the living room in all it's toy glory:) As unbelievable as it is, Adalyn has not bothered the tree or the presents one bit! I'm so relieved! I was careful to put less ornaments on the bottom row of branches, but she hasn't gotten into it at all.  She will look at it and point to it, but she's so good about not touching. I hope we keep this up next year too:)
This is next to the front door. I wanted to do a bit of winter theme and just do plain trees. (There are three different sizes of lit trees.) The tree on the stand has little pine cones and I always keep it out all winter. I love this little corner at night.
This is our dining room. Our table is so bit that it takes up the entire room, but I love having a tree in our front window, so we just squeeze it in! This is what my tree looked like back when I was single. I was really into the dark red and gold colors. I still like this tree, but it's not as fun as our other tree.  We put our memory ornaments on this tree. All of the "Couple's First Christmas" and "Baby's First Christmas" and Willow Tree ornaments that J gives me every year go on this tree.
My Willow Tree nativity set. I absolutely love it and I've loved holding Adalyn and showing her all the different animals. I love giving it the main stage of the buffet. I've been building this set since we got married. Every year J's mom gives me another piece to it. Last year I got the angel and I now only have one piece missing! (I totally just realized that there is a reindeer booty in the forefront of the picture. Sorry!!)
 The dining room
I love this mistletoe. I have it in our main walkway. My mom always hung mistletoe under our entryway growing up and I love the memories. Adalyn loves when we walk under it. She points up to it and then we kiss her. It's so cute! She's gotten really in to giving kisses:)
Jonathan's mom gave us this advent calendar our first Christmas and I love it. Growing up I used a felt advent calendar that my grandma made me and I have such wonderful memories of using it. When Adalyn is old enough we will use that one also. But I love this one. It's perfect with our decorations!
Somehow I forgot to take pictures of the two pink trees in Adalyn's room. I love her trees. They give such a pretty glow to her room in the evenings. Maybe one night before she goes to bed, I'll remember to snap a picture:)  And now our decorations are documented so I can look back next year to see where everything goes! Ha:) I hope you enjoyed a peek into our house this Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

6 Years Ago Today...

Six years ago today Jonathan asked me to marry him! It was the best Christmas gift a girl could ask for! And yet he still got me a beautiful Tiffany's necklace for Christmas that year. He's so romantic:) It's been an amazing 6 years! I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world. He is an amazing husband, provider, and leader of our house. Oh, and he's an awesome baby daddy too:)

(I feel like we look like such kids in this picture! Oh and you can tell this was a long time ago...back when I had my nails done every two weeks. There is no way I could find that kind of time anymore!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Random Post...Surprise!

My wonderful husband has started a blog!  Go check it out here! Of course back in college he was a bit of a computer geek (ok so maybe he still is a bit of a computer geek) and he was able to write his own code for the buttons on the side of his blog. I was amazed and asked why he never offered to make my blog all cool with fun buttons!! That is just wrong! :) I'm interested to read what he has to say on his blog... And maybe I'll sweet talk him into making my blog pretty:)

We have finished all of the Christmas decorations in the house, but I hate the wreath on my front door. I've looked to buy a new one but can't find one anywhere. The wreath I've used for the past few years was faded and looked pink/orange instead of red, so I pulled a wreath out of the attic from at least 6 years ago and it is awful.

Jonathan and I got ALL of our Christmas shopping done last Wednesday (we took the day off to spend together) and Saturday! It feels so good to have everything done.  We also wrapped all of our gifts for everyone but for Adalyn. All I need to do is buy Jonathan's gift and think of something for Adalyn's sitter. I want to get her something extra special but I am at a loss...

And as a reward for reading yet another random post, here are two pictures from Adalyn's one year photo shoot with Jes. She refused to smile except for 2 in pictures the entire day but I still love them!

Please continue to keep my mom in your prayers. She is still in the hospital and is slowly recovering, but it is a slow process filled with ups and downs. Unfortunately she also was diagnosed with pneumonia a couple days ago, so now we are praying for her lungs along with her colon! Hoping she can go home soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Phone pics and an update

Here comes another random post. I can't gather my thoughts for a real post so I decided to upload a couple of my phone pics from the past couple weeks.

Eli stayed with us when his sister was born. When E and A saw each other in the morning (A was already in bed when he got to the house the night before) it was precious and they played so sweetly together. Eli wanted some milk and kept telling me that Adalyn was thirsty and that she needed a drink too. (How do you love that cheerleader pose my child is sporting?)

I tweeted this picture last week. I fell in love with these stockings last year and then couldn't find them in stock anywhere. Thanks to Jes for texting me a picture of them at a local store. I wasn't sure about the white with green dot stocking so the tags are still on in this picture. But I've decided to keep the white one. I love them!! They make the room so happy. And yes, we do have a stocking for our dog. He is our first child!

Before church on Sunday we took a picture to send to Grandma Nan to cheer her up. This outfit is so cute! Layers of ruffles!

Adalyn loved the kids menu that she was given at the Olive Garden. She looked like she was reading a newspaper. Cracked us up!

Jonathan worked on the outside decorations last weekend. I love the lights. They make me so happy! We have new landscape since last Christmas so we needed some extra strands of lights to finish the bushes. Jonathan went to Lowes and Walmart and would you believe that both stores were completely out of all Christmas lights??? He ended up finding some soft white LED lights that I just KNEW were going to look blue and wouldn't match, but he put them out anyway, and can you tell where they are? Didn't think so!

This week our church is packing 1 million meals to be sent to Haiti through Lifeline Ministries. Our MUMs group decided that since our meeting was cancelled and this event was going on during our normal meeting time that we would all volunteer together.  We had to wear some especially flattering hair nets.  Lindsy and I had so much fun since we're competitive and were rockin it so our table finished first!

Just a portion of the MUMs group.  These were the ladies (and gentleman - our table leader) who were at our table! And  yes, that baby hung out in her stroller with a hair net on the entire time. Such a good baby!

Update on my mom: She is thankfully out of ICU as of Tuesday. She still has a lot of recovery ahead of her and is in a lot of pain but she's at least going in the right direction. She's back on fluids so that's great! Thanks for your continued prayers!