Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolution


2008
My New Year's resolution: to finish a 5k race. Oh my!

Holiday Highlights

Phew!

Christmas is over. My house is a disaster. We are finished travelling (nearly four states in ONE week).

I'm going to bullet point the highlights to save us all from a novel of a blog entry.



  • Alli and I sang "Welcome to Our World" by Amy Grant at the candlelight Christmas Eve service at my dad's new church. Mr. B. played the congas. It was pretty!

  • Mr. B, myself and the babes opened our gifts on Christmas Eve (in keeping with the tradition Mr. B's family started many years ago). Then, Alli & Bren - my brother and sister joined us and we played Chinese checkers and pick-up-sticks until late into the night.

  • The sweet babies got their kitchen set and table and chair set that Mr. B's grandpa hand-made for Mr. B and his siblings when they were young.

  • I hosted Christmas morning brunch - cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole - for my parents and siblings. We tore into our presents and celebrated all Christmas day. Mom, Alli, and I made a fabulous Christmas feast for dinner.

  • Everyone (but Mr. B, who had to stay home to work...ick!) piled in the cars the day after Christmas and headed up to my parents house in Chicago.

  • Alli and I spent a night in Chicago - we got to see Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. I was spell-bound. We had prime seats and the show was gorgeous!

  • Thursday, we tucked into the minivan (5 adults and 2 car seats!) and made the 1.5 hour drive to my paternal grandparents for a celebration. Beck and Evie got to meet their second cousin, baby Anika, for the first time. She was so sweet and it was great to see my cousins again too.

  • Evie tried her first dill pickle. Yum!

  • Friday we were on the road yet again to spend a few days in Indiana at my other grandparents beautiful home. Mr. B. drove up and met us all there to join in the festivities.

  • We got boat-loads of presents and I begged for a bigger car to fit them all in. The begging didn't work.

  • Saturday, we had a lazy -but so yummy - brunch at Aunt Mandy's house on the lake. Then spent all day watching old home videos, playing Scene It - Disney edition, eating, taking naps and topped it off with watching Little Women (my favorite).

  • Shopping and the 5 hour drive home filled our Sunday.



We had such a fun, blessed Christmas!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Matchy

Yes, we are that family.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Real Reason...


Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gifted

Christmas shopping: Finished!

I put the finishing touches on my shopping last night and here's what I got:

Books!

Home to Holly Springs is the first installment of Jan Karon's Father Tim series. A certain Mitford lover in my family has been eagerly awaiting Christmas so she can receive the hard-cover version of this book.







Babies by Gyo Fujikawa is an adorable vintage first published in 1963. Mom said it was one that was her favorite when she was tiny!

It's a board book - it will withstand Evie's "reading!"



Goodnight, Goodnight Sleepyhead by Jane Dyer was just way too sweet to pass up. The baby girl must put all of her stuffed animals and dolls to sleep before she can lay her head to rest.

Another board book!






The Daring Book for Girls by Miriam Peskowitz will make one of my very favorite daring girls a very happy girl indeed!













And, of course, I had to get my little ones this book since it belonged to the library but it was one of their favorites.

Check here for more of my favorite current reads.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An Uncanny Resemblance




When I can't remember which brand I use, I just look for my husband. Convenient!

Cow Christmas


Doesn't this picture sorta make you wish you had a cow? If for nothing else so you could decorate her barn and pet her warm nose?
Good thing photos don't come with scent or maintenance...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Letter


Merry Christmas, Everyone!

This email, sadly enough, is going to have to pass for the B. family Christmas card this year. Call me unorganized, untraditional or whatever "un-" you decide is best. It is what it is. I promise to do better in 2008 - it's my resolution!

This year has been a doozey. I won't go into all the reasons why. Let's just suffice to say that Mr. B. and I have learned a lot about life, God, ourselves, and each other. 2007 is not a year that I would wish to live over again, but it is a year that I see has held vital lessons and experiences for our family.

Mr. B. is still working at Bally Total Fitness as a Fitness Director and part-time Personal Trainer. He is really enjoying "his team" of trainers that he has developed over the last year. He had a job offer in August with another fitness company but turned it down when Bally heard that he was considering leaving and gave him a promotion of sorts. He is great at what he does and Bally does not want to lose him!
We had a chance to go camping for one night which was probably one of the highlights of Mr. B.'s year. The man loves to get out into nature. We were adventurous and brought both kids. Not my idea of fun...but he loved it.


I have been busy with raising two kids under two. I also have accepted a job as a Kindermusik teacher (teaching music and movement to children 0-7 years of age) that will begin in February of '08. I am so excited about this new venture and grateful that I only have an incredibly flexible schedule so I can still stay home with the kids. One thing that allows me to take the job is that my parents have taken a new Senior Pastoral position at a church only 30 miles from us so Mom can watch the kids while I work. Isn't it amazing how God works?
I also have been really busy with a MOPS program. I am a small group leader two Fridays a month and have had a blast getting to know some lovely ladies. I'm still scrap booking, reading lots and have found a new love, the blog! I love the ease of writing my thoughts, adding pictures and posting it on the net for all to see and keep updated on our daily lives.


Beck is two. He's getting so big and so is his hair. Everywhere we go, someone mentions the boy's hair. It is a glorious mop of ringlets (that is, when it's not a nest of dreadlocks).
He is still obsessed with anything round that can be thrown. "Socca Ball," "Base-a-Ball," and "Baket Ball" are his favorite words. He loves to give goodnight kisses right smack on the lips and must have a prayer with a big, fat "amen" before bed every night. He is developing a love for books and will sit with me or Ira for as long as we'll read to him. (That's my boy!)
Beck loves to visit our extended family. It is almost a daily occurance for him to ask for Grandma, one of his Aunties, Papa or "Gampa Jack."
He has one of the sweetest little spirits and we feel completely overjoyed that he is ours.


Evangeline Faith celebrated her 1st birthday on December 17th. It sort of amazes me that it has been a year since the little lady has been here! Words to describe Evie: snuggly, opinionated, beautiful, noisy, musical and go-getter.
She is the perfect counterpart to our laid back son.
Evie took her first few steps on my birthday and now is not satisfied unless she's running or speed-crawling. She loves baby dolls and thinks their sole purpose for existence is to be kissed. And the girl can eat! My, oh my! She double-fists her meals into her mouth and then screams for more. (Again, taking after her mother.)
She is very much a mama's girl and gives a wary stare to whoever may come to take her from me. In the last few weeks she has really attached herself to Ira though. I see a very remarkable relationship developing between those two.


So, that is us! Again, I know it's not a traditional card and I'm really feeling terrible about this, but it is all I can do to keep up on the laundry and keep my children alive these days (well, it's not as bad as that).
If you know someone that does not have internet access and hasn't received this riveting little installation, please print the email and show them (I'm thinking grandmas here).


We wish you all a delightful Christmas with lots of love and laughs and a safe and happy New Year!

Do "The Rubber Duck" to a Reggae Beat

I remember this Sesame Street skit from when I was 4 and watched the show. It's still on! My children danced to it this very morning. L-O-V-E it.

The Best Gifts

This is from an email that I recieved from the Susan Branch website. Go to her feel-good site and sign up for her email list.
It just brightens my day to open my inbox and see one of her charming works of art there!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Hunting We Will Go...

I have been blog hunting. And I've found some good ones, folks. Get ready...




I have a new blog love! Curious Sofa Diaries has the most captivating set of photos I have seen in a long while.
Look at Curious Deb's home! It is cut from the same cloth as my very dreams...



To. Freakin'. Die. For.



4 above photos from Curious Sofa Diaries


Esprit Champetre

Photo from Esprit Champetre

Is a French blog but the pictures are worth wading through the foreign words. Actually, it makes me feel a bit cultured and wonderful to visit this blog with words I cannot even begin to understand.


Then there's the adorable Sadie Olive ~ le journal.


Photo from SadieOlive

She has these great photos and lovely little things all over her house. And she's so darn cute!

Everyday Beauty is the last on my list for the night.

This blog is chock-full of fun homemade things by Andrea and almost every one of them includes sparkle! And she has this new baby boy that is surely one of the cutest I've ever seen.

Photo from Everyday Beauty

Dear Evangeline,

We have just celebrated your 1st birthday, little one. Sometimes it amazes mommy how fast things seem to go!
On the day you were born I was enamoured with the beauty of your face. The perfect nose, pouted lips and sleepy eyes. Today, I am enamoured with your beauty of spirit as well. That, my girl, is true beauty.
You are vibrant and observant. You light up our days with the sparkle in your big blue eyes. But that sparkle is reserved for only the closest to your heart. Every one else receives a wary stare until they prove their worth to you.
There is a poem that reminds me of you: "There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very good. And when she was bad, she was horrid!" You don't have a curl but you do have a cowlick (just like mommy!) so that will have to do.
You love to dance, twirl and clap to music of any kind. Kissing your baby dolls is your favorite past time - right after kissing mommy and daddy.
For such a small girl you sure do know how to eat! You gobble up almost anything we put in front of you. But your favorites are scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese and pizza.
Mommy has so many dreams for you and for the two of us together. But my prayer for you is that you have a soft heart before your God, a gentle spirit and a fierce drive for purity and good.
Evangeline Faith, you are a joy and I am looking forward to another precious year with you.
~Mommy



"I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good; to be admired, loved, and respected; to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send."
~"Marmee" from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Welcome, Nayah Jordan!

Lovely little Nayah Jordan A. was born to Mr. & Mrs. A. on December 11th. She weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was 21.5 inches long.

She joins her 3 older siblings as baby number 4 and only 11 months after her older sister, Tavi! Mrs. A. is a brave soul to have two little bebe's so close. Visit her over at her blog and congratulate her on her newest family member.

Welcome to the world, sweet baby girl!

Perfect, Pink Party Pics



The fleet of sprikley cupcakes. Ready and waiting for a hungry birthday girl.




Ever so cautiously...



Playing with her Baby Belle.




Beck's face when he realized it was a day all about Evie.



Beck's face when he realized Grandma had sent him a gift too!



The pink polka-dotted aftermath.


Little mama.


Here come the cupcakes!


Taste test.

Ever so lady-like.

At this point, we must have a flash-back to Beck's first birthday cake experience. This is a perfect visual of the difference between my two children:



Beck.

Evie.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Daddy's Girl

Sunbathing away the jaundice - 1 week old.
Goofing in bed - 1 year old.


Tomorrow is baby girl's birthday...so exciting!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snowflakes and "Santee Claus"

Oh, we had such a fun day. Shopping and shopping.



Visiting Santa and getting candy canes from his bottomless basket.


He was a very gentle, very nice (cute!) Santa. No fake beards or bad breath. Evie liked him.




We hit the Disney Store.




And Janie and Jack. One of my very favorite kids stores. The. Cutest. Clothes. Ever ever ever!



The ride home took 3 times longer than it should have. Snow isn't the most common thing in this area and the behavior we witnessed on the road was testimony to that. Completely clueless! :)


We have at least 7 inches on the ground now and it won't be stopping anytime soon. Delightful!

Mr. B. filled a bowl with the white stuff and we drizzled maple syrup over it. What a yummy treat!

Sasha gets all excited and beside herself when it snows. A true Minnesotan.

Mr. B. Just as ruggedly handsome as ever.

Now Christmas can come...we've had a proper snow.

Gonna Be A Bright, Bright Sunshiney Day

There's a few inches of snow on the ground and it's still coming down in fine, wet flakes.

We will read The Snowy Day today.

We will head to the mall and brave the bustle of last-minute-shoppers - which is, I admit shamelessly, what we are.

We will stop at Starbucks and indulge in an over-priced peppermint hot chocolate.

We will turn the Christmas music up a notch and dance wildly in the light of the Christmas tree.

We will take pictures and remember.