Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Well, I think the last post I put about Christmas was behind. I took some pictures to show that we were slowly catching up. (but I never blogged about it...slacker! :)) We got our tree up and wrapped some presents.

We made it through the last few days of work (we didn't get off until Dec. 21st). A sigh of relief....until about 1:00a.m. when Olivia started to throw up. She was up the remainder of the night throwing up. The next day I had many errands to run and things to get done before Christmas, so John stayed home to take care of Olivia. She wasn't sick anymore, but very weak and very tired.

We continued to get ready for Christmas over the next few days, but also tried to take it easy for Olivia's sake. We made some crafts and stayed home and played. I sewed every chance I got to be sure to get everyone's orders done before Christmas.

Christmas Eve mid day we went to Johns' dad's house. We enjoyed a great brunch and family time.

It was getting to be naptime, so we headed home. I was exhausted since I have been staying up most nights until 2 (at the earliest) to work on sewing, so I laid down to take a nap. I woke up and noticed that John was under a blanket and really cold. This is not like him. About 5:30 on Christmas Eve John got sick. He felt miserable. He insisted that I take her on to my family's house for our Christmas Eve celebrations, so with my stomach feeling off, we loaded up and headed to mom's. I didn't have time to be sick! There was still a ton to be done, so I figured I felt nauseaus since I had been surrounded by it since early morning Thursday. We ate a great dinner, opened our Christmas Eve presents (always pj's and a nutcracker) and then made our traditional sugar cookies.

Oscar loves to help bake!

It was super late and we knew Santa would be coming soon, so Olivia and I went back home. Poor John was sound asleep on the couch, so I quietly took Olivia to bed. Once she finally went to sleep, it was time to get busy. I still had gifts to wrap, crafts to finish (the footprints above), and sewing to complete. At 4:40 I finally laid down. This is our first Christmas to not spend the night at mom and dad's, but it wasn't really optional. So, I guess it worked out. We got up and Olivia opened her presents from Santa here at home.

She stopped mid way to clean up and then said, "wipe" and took off downstairs for a kleenex. It was pretty comical to watch her. I think she was most excited about the batteries.

A few nights ago when I was rocking her she said, "baba's (batteries), Santa, ho ho ho!" I thought that was super cute! She finally understood that Santa wasn't some guy who comes in the house in the middle of the night to do anything bad. When we first mentioned him and told her he was going to bring her toys she said, "noooooo" and looked very frightened. We have a stuffed Santa that when she saw it she said, "back" as in to put it back in the attic. She loves him now and he stays in her room.
So, we finished up at home and got ready to go to mom's. We had a lot of fun opening presents there and then ate a delicious lunch.

Luckily, John felt well enough to go. I knew he was still weak, but he wasn't missing Olivia's first Christmas home. Before we knew it, it was time for mom and dad to head out to Chattanooga. We hung out a bit more while John and Olivia napped. This gave me a great opportunity to play with Annelyn. They woke up and it was time to go to his mom's house. She had a huge meal! We opened presents and then John and I played catch phrase with his neices.

In the meantime, Olivia had gotten her appetite back so she was getting Nana and Aunt Amy to feed her as much as they would. It was late and Olivia needed to get to bed. We came home, changed clothes and then went back to mom and dad's house to keep their dogs since they were in Chattanooga. Somewhere in all of this, I began to feel miserable. By this morning, I had zero voice and had been up with nausea all night. I never did get sick though. I went to the doctor only to learn that I must have the same virus, but that it hit me differently. I feel flu-like whereas they threw up. I also have an upper respitory virus. So, instead of cleaning, shopping and playing with Olivia today, I have spent my day in the bed. All this to say, this really isn't how we invisioned our first Christmas with Olivia. However, I told John I would much rather her be here with us all sick then her be in Korea and us here without her. We love that child so much!!! She is so much fun. I am hoping I feel better tomorrow and that we can play. At some point, I really need to find my floor. As John tripped over toys a few minutes ago, he said, "um...we may need to pick up a bit." They played all day and all the new toys haven't found new homes yet. That is on the list this week. Merry Christmas! We are so blessed to have this Christmas with our precious Olivia!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Star of the Show!

Last Monday we went to see my niece, Annelyn, in her Christmas play at church. I think this child has found her calling. She loved being on stage and singing the songs. She is 4 and the play was long. She got a little restless and felt the need to help her buddy next to her since that child had not made it to practice. Annelyn would dance a bit with the songs and then try to help the girl do the motions. It was hilarious. Olivia enjoyed watching the play and cheered her cousin on. Great job Annelyn! We love you so much! When we left, she cried as they were going home because she couldn't understand why the people didn't want to see it again (in practice they must have done it several times through). I thought that was precious--its hard to be little sometimes.

Love that they are all going one way and Annelyn is going the other, but she is rockin' it!!!

She didn't miss a beat of the singing and dancing at first.

Straightening her friends' costume. Poor kid. She was so polite to let Annelyn invade her space.

"helping" her friend. Really???

a time out for a the middle of a song.

Um....hello Annelyn, you are in a play. Sit up.

Annelyn had a solo. She did a wonderful job. I was impressed that she would get up and sing in front of a crowd!

Olivia clapped. She thought the play was great!

Sweet girls! They love each other!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decorating mom and dad's tree

Last Friday we hung out at mom and dad's house and John put the lights on the tree. We all went over again Saturday night to decorate!

Before we decorated, we had a great dinner that had some of my Thanksgiving favorites. The girls did a great job with the tree. They both decided they liked having Jeremy (aka...Moose) to hold them up high to hang the ornaments.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So, let me set the scene of Christmas' before this year. Anyone could pretty much walk in my house at any given time (without warning) and it was nice and neat. Maybe a blanket on the couch was unfolded. The laundry was clean and put away, the dishes were in the dishwasher or put away, decorations (didn't matter the month) were done at the first of every month. Christmas presents were usually bought and wrapped before Halloween. Everything has a place and it was all where it needed to be.

Christmas 'then'

Now....enter Christmas 2011 at our house....
(sorry....I don't really even have a picture of now--maybe I will take one soon. Just add lots of toys surrounding the decorations)
These are the same deer that are at the base of the mantle in the other picture. Notice, no glass vase with pretty green sticks there? Olivia broke that lovely vase back in the summer. She now walks past the empty place and says shaking her hand, "don't touch." I gotta admit, its pretty cute to see her do that. It was just a vase.

I took the day off from work because mom had some more eye surgery and was unable to keep Olivia. John took yesterday off with her, so today was my day. This morning, I found myself in Wal-Mart at 6:30 getting some thread. I thought I could get some sewing done before my "helper" woke up. As I walked through my house all I see is mess. We have toys out in the den, stuff all over my counters (papers/junk), fabric, shirts galore upstairs, laundry (clean and dirty), etc. A MESS I tell ya. I got a little flustered since, if you know me, mess is not in me when it comes to my house and things. I am OCD in that everything has a place and it must be in the right spot. Enter Olivia! She is very good to clean up, but can make a mess just as quickly as your children can, I am sure. SO, I found myself trying to straighten up and pick up before she woke up rather than sewing. We have yet to put up our tree upstairs and um, presents, well, maybe people will get them before New Year's! :)
So, as I look at my decorations through coloring books, toys and more toys, I am so thankful that I GET to have these toys and things that say Olivia is here and well. Last year we dreamed of spending Christmas with Olivia here, and now we get to. So the tree isn't up and decorated and presents aren't bought yet, BUT we are having fun and enjoying each other. It will get done, right?

I found this poem on another blog and couldn't help but think this is how I was feeling this morning--a bit like the Grinch.

Read to the rhythm of "Twas the Night Before Christmas".

Twas the first of December I was already “done.”
My fudge was not working, this was no longer fun.
I had barely just started this advent of peace,
It was all I could do to hold back a scream.
The stockings were not hung by the chimney with care!
And remnants of cookie sprinkles are still everywhere.
How many people do I have to buy for?!
Why can’t they all want something from the same store?!
I did not nestle my children in their beds...
In fact, I wrestled them with a head-lock instead.
When out of the kitchen there arose such a clatter-
I arose from my bed screaming, “What in the world is the matter?”
“No, you may not have a drink of water before bed!
For in the night you will pee, and I will (again and again and again) have to wash your bedspread!”
I pulled out Martha Stewart and Southern Living too,
I thought to myself, “Our neighbors, I will out-do!”
Then came the Grinch slithering slyly into the room,
I didn’t even notice the impending doom.
Slowly, but surely, one thing at a time-
He stuffed up the chimney all the peace that was mine.
Amid all the boxes and garland and holly,
I found myself displaying nothing but folly.
“That ornament! It’s an heirloom!”
I said with a cry.
“Baby Jesus doesn’t go there!” with an impatient sigh.
About to pull my hair out,
I sat down with a plop.
With a thought to myself, “They're causing my efforts to flop!”
As I looked around in utter dismay...
My eyes fell on baby Jesus asleep on the hay.
The Lord brought to my mind
That lowly stable scene,
Where not an ornament was hung
And blinking light did not gleam.
Where there was not a single gift wrapped with glittery bow,
But instead the Light of the World, wrapped in swaddling clothes.
All of a sudden Martha Stewart's tree wasn't so nice,
As all of the ornaments clumped just three feet high.
I remember the giggles that got them all there,
and giggled as Mary and Rudolph rode into the Snow Village Square.
I tossed the December issue of Southern Living out the door,
And leaned back on my Christmas pillow that was (once again) thrown on the floor.
With my new-found perspective, I rolled onto my face-
Confessing my sin and receiving His grace.
I went to the rooms of all my precious, sleeping babes,
With tears in my eyes,
Kissed each one on the face.
Christmas is not what I had been portraying it to be.
It’s not about tinsel or trinkets or a tree...
If I get it all done, that will be fine, but regardless
A peaceful December is mine.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Presents and decorating

Can it get any better? I mean, really??? We are loving every second, but lately even more so. Olivia has turned into (yes, still very add that in) a comical little person. Her personality has really taken off. Maybe because her mom and dad are pretty silly, but she is stinkin fun these days. Maybe we are really feeling the holiday spirit, but we will take it! I love this girl more every second. Sometimes I hug her and kiss her and think it just can't get better, then I want to squeeze more!

We came home the other night to a box. We were playing with Oscar as that is a must when we first get home and Olivia went to the kitchen (hers) and got one of her knives. She then worked quite sometime on getting that box open. Funny thing, we open boxes with scissors. Grammy, where did she learn to open boxes with knives??? This kid imitates everything and takes every word in!

She loves to hold clothes up to everyone to make sure they will fit.

Now for the shirt....will it fit--I'll check!

She loved decorating the tree! She is going to really like doing the fun tree upstairs this weekend!!

Tree done, ready for bed, love my new jammies!