Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Festivities

Today has been a great day. Really, the whole Christmas season has been pretty exceptional. Thought I would highlight some of our activities.....

- Aunt Jane played hooky and came over to spend her birthday with us and Julia. How sweet for her to want to spend her day off with the baby girl?

This is an example of a pretty perfect Sunday afternoon. All of us curled up on the couch by the fire watching 60 Minutes. Doesn't get much better than that!

Julia and Daddy playing Magic Carpet Ride in the laundry basket. Now that's better than a carnival ride any day!
- I got to celebrate Christmas with my adult friends at the second annual Christmas in Birdeye celebration at Martin and Kara Smith's house. It was a blast and I hope that it is an annual event. John and Julia stayed behind and celebrated by spending some time together in front of the fireplace.
- The CrossRidge Community Hospital Auxiliary (volunteers) hosted an Honor with an Ornament event in the front lobby. People bring ornaments to honor or memorialize a loved one. Julia stole the show this year by yelling "Yay" and clapping anytime anyone spoke. The ladies in the auxiliary are by far my favorite part of my job. It's almost like having 35 Grandma's!
- We had lunch with Tara and Emmy at Colby's. We love that Emmy and especially loved the sushi kit that she gave us for Christmas!

Yep, this is the best picture that I got! This is usually what happens when I set Julia down to "pose" for a picture!

Julia playing sushi

- John, Julia and I got a wild hair and drove to the Blytheville air force base to see the Delta Christmas lights. It was so worth the trip. Julia LOVED the lights and said, "oooh weeee" at least twenty times as we were driving through it. She also got to see Santa and have her picture made with him.

- The second Santa encounter was at Eldridge Court where the neighborhood sponsored some great holiday decorations and free visits with Santa!

- The third Santa encounter was a Miss Melinda's house (Julia's babysitter). Santa and Mrs. Claus made their rounds and had a second to stop by Miss Melinda's. Julia did not love the live Santa at any of their three meetings!

- John and I got a night out and we enjoyed a Christmas program and delicious dinner at the Methodist Church. Thank you so much for inviting us Jake and Leann!

- Shawnie came over to visit and brought Julia a great holiday teddy bear (that she loves!) and two awesome books (that she loves even more!). She also brought John and I some delicious peanut brittle that is made in Arkadelphia which is her new home. Yum...bring on the calories.

- Julia and I went to the Arts Council Festival of Trees this year at the Tech Center. Every year, businesses and volunteer organizations in town decorate a tree to symbolize the work that they do. After the ceremony, Mary Margaret, Maggie Grace, Becca and Sol came over to eat some soup and play. We love our Maggie and Sol!

- Our book club was festive this year too. We played dirty Santa with a book that each member brought. I came home with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society which I have already delved's going to be a winner, I can already tell. We discussed The Last Lecture which was an amazing little book as well!

- Christmas Eve was spent quietly at the Shepherd house while John and I were in recovery from our illness. John rolled over and said one thing to me in the midst of our illness. It was, "Do we need to go to the hospital?" I am glad that we can laugh about it now!

- Christmas morning was a blast as we waited on little Julia to wake up. Apparently, she forgot that she was supposed to wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas and slept in until a little after 9! Wow, I am not complaining and we can enjoy that for another year or two I hope! She was all smiles when she saw her new car. She played hard and John and I loved every minute of it!

- Jessica, Chloe and Jonny came over to hang out for a while. Chloe kept reaching for Julia and Julia kept reaching for us!

Some Santa left some crazy glasses on our truck this morning??? Every light you looked at with these glasses on let you see a snowman, gingerbread man, or some other Christmas guy. Can anyone help us solve this Santa mystery?

- Christmas afternoon was spent at my parents house. We had a good lunch and enjoyed spending time with family. Julia has a new that where she grabs our hands and forces us to walk her around the house. She is very strong willed and won't take no for an answer. We spent most of Christmas Day "walking" Julia around everywhere! Mrs. Pat came over and brought Julia a children's Bible that is really neat! We came home and played with our toys that Santa had left, had a bath and read new books for a LONG time! Julia is such a sweet little cuddle bug when she is tired and wants me to read to her. After I finish a book, she want to hold it and read it to me. Her little voice sounds so sweet...even though she is speaking Chinese! She also spent a lot of time riding in her new car. She pitched a fit when we took her out of it tonight! I think Ole Santa got that one right!

Julia playing with some toys that Santa left.

The most fun that she had all day was probably in the bath tub. I have finally let her get out of her baby seat and have free reign in the tub. Her favorite part is to feel of the water as it comes out of the spout. She crawls back and forth from one end of the tub to the other.

Julia "walking"

Julia "walking" again

Julia's gifts from her Grandparents. BE BA (that would be Big Bird) to those of you who didn't know by now. She only says it at least twenty times a day! Big Bird and Elmo are interchangeable in her mind. They are both named BE BA.

With that, I'll say it again....our Julia has been our shining star! She is such a joy and has made every holiday, especially Christmas, so happy!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

PS....Oh no you did not John me a shop vac for Christmas. Yep.....and I have really been wondering what was in that big package under the tree for me from "Santa". He says I needed it to vacuum up my thread shop. Thanks honey, just what I always wanted.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Memorable Christmas Eve

Unfortunately, we have had a very memorable Christmas eve. John and I came down with an evil virus/food poisoning last night and spent the day in bed recovering. Fortunately, Julia's Jee Jee came to save the day soon after she woke up and she stayed with her grandparents all day. John and I decided we were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel around 7 tonight. So, it's now 10:30 and we are up helping Santa put together a toy.

We wondered what we would have done without backup today? What would a single mom have done? Thank goodness for friends and family. We are looking forward to a much brighter day tomorrow. Of course, our Julia makes this holiday so sweet. She LOVES Santa, all of them except the live ones anyway. When we ask her, "What does Santa say?" She replies, he ho he! Now, that is what Christmas is all about.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Enchanted Forest

Last Saturday, John and I took Julia to the Enchanted Forest at the Pink Palace museum in Memphis. Enchanted Forest has been around for 50 years and holds a fond memory in most every Southerner's mind. It was once housed at Goldsmith's and I remember what it looked like and smelled like from when I visited when I was a little kid. Santa awaits at the end of the forest. We skipped Santa this year, but Julia loved seeing all of the animated characters. We met Tracy, Brad, Dempsey, and Joanie there. Tracy and I still look at each other and grin when we are together with our families. We were buck wild together in high school and we hope that our girls don't pay us back one of these days!

Julia was fascinated by the circus that was on display at Enchanted Forest. It was animated and huge!
Julia got to turn her car seat to the forward facing position in the car. John and I are positively sure that we know why they make them face the rear for the first year of their lives....because wrecks would be much more common that they are because parents would be turned around staring at their precious babies instead of paying attention to the road!

We noticed some teeth marks on the top rail of Julia's baby bed. We have always bragged on her because she is so quiet when she wakes up from her nap or in the morning. She just quietly lays in bed and will make some sweet little talking sounds when she is ready to get up.....or so we thought until now! These teeth marks are getting worse by the day and you can see the wood in several places! Guess that explains the quiet time.

A Busy Sewing Elf

I have been staying up way too late almost every night sewing for Santa! I wish he would hire at least one more elf to help! However, I have to admit that I am so grateful that people actually want to pay money for me to create things! Doesn't get much better than that! Here are some of my latest creations...

Burp cloths make a great baby gift....they are cute AND the momma and baby actually get to use them! It's hard to find that kind of combination....cute and usable!

Take 100!

Noone warned me about the difficulties of getting one cute Christmas card pose! It took us literally about 100 takes and three different attempts on three separate days before we got the perfect shot! Here are some of the funny ones that didn't quite make the cut!

This one made the final cut!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Parker!

Parker turned one this week and his parents had a fabulous monkey themed party for him Saturday. We had a blast and Julia was in good spirits and was feeling very social. She obviously had so much fun that she was worn out because it is 9:24 am and she is still sleeping!!! Parker was such a perfect little birthday boy and he loved his cake!

Birthday fun with the Kings. These babies bring people together....I am so happy to have "met" the King's and gotten to be friends with them. Julia and Parker were born 0nly a few days apart. Someone asked me last week if they were boyfriend and girlfriend. I said no, that they were just really good friends.

I had to have someone take this picture because it shows the aftermath of Julia devouring the cake. Remember that she wasn't touching her own birthday cake! Apparently, it was the chocolate flavor that did it for her!

Julia loving on her party favor monkey when we got in the car to leave the party.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Week of Festivities

I had to post this picture because it just cracks me up! Look at those beautiful hazel eyes!

Monday night was the Endowment Foundation's grants ceremony where we give non profits in Cross County money to do charitable work. It was held at the library. John brought Julia and she got to hear her very first library story time. He said she liked it and sat still to enjoy the story. I have very fond memories of spending lots of time at the library when I was a kid. It really warms my heart to see my own daughter in that very same library.

Thursday night was the Christmas parade. We had a blast for about 7 minutes. It was freezing cold and I didn't dress Julia warm enough. She let me and most people around us know it too! We enjoyed the rest of the parade from the warmth of the car! Julia continues to remind me that even though I like to think I am in charge, the truth is that she is THE BOSS!

Happy Birthday Julia!

Our baby girl turned one Saturday, November 29th. We had her party at our house from 4-6 pm. Her friends came over and played and we had a really good day. Julia was not interested in her cake and we had to put some goldfish in it to get her to even touch it. The picture above is when she woke up on her birthday morning! She is always so happy when she wakes least until it's time to change her diaper!

Lots of friends celebrated our big day. Evan, Soloman, Parker, Phen, Shiloh, Sophia, Emmy, Caroline, and Chloe were all there!

Parker doing his hand print ornament

Caroline enjoying her favorite food....cake!

Julia showing everybody that she is SO BIG!

Emmy enjoying a cupcake!

Opening presents and Julia taking a break to suck her fingers while holding the soft, velvet dress (instead of Taggie) that Emmy gave her as a gift.

Julia had a great time after everybody left smashing her cake. She still never put her hands in her mouth for a taste!

I never want to forget....

-how good you smell when you get out of the bath and into your pjs

-how sweet you are at night and how good you cuddle after you have your bottle

-your sweet smile when I walk in your room to get you up after a nap or after a night's sleep

-your face and how it lights up when your Dad walks into the room

-they way you say, "ooooh" when you see something you like

- how cute you are when you suck your fingers and hold Taggie

- the o shape that your lips make when your are excited

- how soft your skin is and how good it feels to kiss your cheek

- how proud I feel when you do good things like eat brocolli, learn a new word, play well with others, etc.

Happy Birthday my sweet angel!