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Our Christmas....

...was perfect!
We spent Christmas Eve at my Nana's, as has been the tradition since I was little. The Christmas Eve party has always felt a little "empty" since my mom & Grandpa passed away though. Even with all the fun and excitement of seeing it through Arissa, Mariah, and Mallory's eyes, it's always felt (to me) a little incomplete w/out my mom & Grandpa. But this year, we invited Jesse's Grandma, his uncle & 4 nieces (in addition to my Dad, mother in law Mariann, cousin Becki & husband John & baby Audrey). It was a lot of fun, very happy and cheerful just like Christmas is supposed to be. And with all the fun & laughter, I felt a little less like something was missing or wrong. Being around my family (immediate and extended) always makes me think....I am lucky. Lucky that God gave me the mom & dad that he did, and the grandparents, but also my new family. I don't think it's any secret that Jesse and I didn't know everything we should have about one another when we got married and started a family, and I am so lucky that the family I gained by marrying him are loving, fun, truly likeable people.

Anyways, so we had food and opened gifts, laughed a lot. (Well, I always laugh a lot). We went home, put M&M to bed, then Arissa Jesse & I watched Miracle on 34th Street, the original version. I love that movie! I used to watch it over and over and over when I was little, all throughout the year. Eventually we all fell could only have been cozier if we'd had a fire in the fireplace (and if we had a fireplace!). :o) As what I decided to consider a Christmas gift to Jesse and I, the girls didn't wake up the next morning until about 8:30. LOVED that!! We rushed to the living room and opened it was a blur of wrapping paper being torn, toys a-flying, smiles, and thank-yous, and "I can't beLIEVE it!" (by Mallory). Hannah Montana and the Disney Princesses were most of what was under the tree....a little bit of Dora, some Shrek, and Barbie in the mix too.

After the mess was made, my Dad and Grandma came over to see what the girls had got, and to be given their presents. Then we were off to Grandma Mariann's (my mother in law) for breakfast. Jesse looks forward to this breakfast the whole year, because in our house for breakfast you only get cereal or pancakes, or sometimes scrambled eggs. But at his mom's for Christmas breakfast, we get biscuits & gravy, eggs, hashbrowns, and corn beef hash. After we ate, we opened many nice clothes & pjs for all of us. I haven't taken mine off since I got them (except to go to work). :o)

Then we started reading a book about the Story of Christmas....and didn't finish until an hour and five minutes later!!! (It was a deceiving book....little on the outside, LOTS of words inside!). But it was nice, I like the way it told the story that we've all heard a million kind of made you think.

Then it was home for naps for all!!! (YES!!!) It was a wonderful Christmas. And the very next day I managed to get all our Christmas decor boxed up and back in the garage (except for the tree and the outside decoartions).

And some of the pictures....

The Before & After

BEFORE: Thursday 12/20/07.....scared to death

AND AFTER: Friday, 12/21/07.......happy as can be:

Leave it to Nana to be able to convince Arissa to sit there quietly like it was nothing! When I got home from work Friday I was surprised by the beautiful daisy earrings in Arissa's ears....she was so happy! She couldn't WAIT to show Jesse. He couldn't believe it. Arissa proudly tells everyone that she comes in contact with. :o) I'm so proud of her. It was the same lady that saw her cry and kick and scream and refuse the first time, then sit there quietly w/ no tears the next time. We went to Grossmont center over the weekend and Arissa HAD to go in to Claire's to say hi to her.

Ears pierced....or not

Poor Arissa.
She had her ears pierced when she was about 3-6 months old. The earrings fell out and the holes closed up; we had them pierced again. When she was about 1 year old, she woke up one morning and they had fallen out again....and that time we couldn't find the earrings, Arissa was acting sick and had vomitted, and being brand new parents it freaked us out so we went to the Emergency room because we thought she had maybe swallowed them. She was fine, and Jesse spent the next week going through each dirty diaper to try and find those earrings (they were expensive). Eventually we found them on the kitchen floor.
That was the end of that, we gave up on trying again. Mallory had her ears pierced when she was less than a year old, and Mariah had hers done this past year. I've asked Arissa many times if we can pierce hers again, but she's terrified. Even though she watched Mariah have hers done and saw that it wasn't so bad, she wanted nothing to do with it. She still has the holes in her earlobes, and I'm certain I could get earrings in w/ just a little push. But she isn't having it.
Until this past week when she told me she wants them pierced. So last night, we loaded everyone in the car and headed to the mall. She was excited, she picked out cute little daisy studs, she got in the chair, the lady came over, got all ready, and then came the meltdown. Arissa cried and cried, the lady gave us a few minutes to calm her down, I tried everything I could think of to convince Arissa to get it over with, she agreed but then when the lady came back again, she refused. So we left.
Then last night she goes "can we go back tomorrow to get my ears pierced?". I said "WHAT?? We drove all the way over there and wasted an hour of that lady's time because you said you didn't want to do it!". She goes "yeah but I was tired. I'll feel better tomorrow.".
:o) So as of today, her ears are hole-free. But possibly not for long!

recent random photos

Jesse & Mallory keeping warm at Chris & Alex's birthday party (Nov.): A picture Mallory drew, hanging up in her classroom:
Best Buddies: Mallory, Chris, & Mariah:
Arissa to Jesse: "Daddy! You and Shrek have the same body!!! Except he's green." :o)
The girls playing games w/ Daddy on Thanksgiving:

Let the blogging begin!!

OK so I set up the blog, did one post, then kind of left it alone for a few weeks. That's because I mainly set it up for friends and family (near and far) and I mentioned it in our Christmas I wanted to hold off on posting so that when people got the cards and came by the blog, that post would be the first they saw. But now the cards are out, so I can begin what I'm sure will be a daily obsession!
A few things:
Here's what the girls are giving their teachers for Christmas:
Aren't they cute? They were the cheapest little things, but once I put the pictures in, they suddenly looked so much more valuable!

Speaking of Christmas gifts, here's some that I made (since they've already reached their recipients, I guess it's safe to post pics):

The fairy doll I made for my good friend's (Missy) daughter, the cross stitch thingys I made for some friends, a couple family members, and my penpal in France. This year is a "homemade" Christmas, I just hope everybody didn't mind!

Well there's a lot more I planned on saying, and a whole bunch of pictures to go with it, but I'm low on patience and am having trouble posting the pictures. So I guess this is all for now!
Welcome to our blog!!

"So this is Christmas"....

Making my Christmas cards this weekend, and thinking about what I'm going to write in the accompanying newsletter, it occured to me that it would be nice to have a place where extended family and friends could check out our photos and see what's going on with us year-round. So, I created this blog!!

This is our "official" Christmas photo being sent w/ our cards this year. (credit to photographer: Gary Ware) I'm happy w/ how it turned out.....all 5 of us are looking at the camera and actually smiling. What more could you ask for?

It is SO Christmastime at our house!! The day after Thanksgiving, we went to town. Jesse made, with his own two hands and some wood from Home Depot, a star for the roof of our house. He bought some 2x4s and a mitre box/saw, did the math in his head, and spent about a week cutting and hammering. Then he climbed up and hung the star, strung the lights, and:
Isn't it beautiful? And even during the rainstorm we had last weekend, during whcih the wind knocked over everything on our porch and blew over our trashcans and messed up the yard, the star stayed put because of however Jesse secured it.

The girls, of course, LOVE it. They also love this:

This is our first year w/ a prelit tree, which we inheritted from David & Andy last year. This picture was taken before our new cat Bella climbed up and down the trunk of the tree several times and chewed on the lights until the bottom half of the tree no longer lit up. But it's still beautiful and even if only the top half is lit, it still makes it so Christmas-y and warm. love it!

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