December 27, 2009

Best Christmas Of ALL TIME!

Does every Christmas get better or is it just me? Last year we had so much fun, but this year far exceeded all my expectations! The thought that kept running through my head on Christmas was how blessed I am. Life has turned out even better than what I had hoped for and this year I've felt overwhelming gratitude. I just sat back while Christy, Ben, and Kimmy helped Sadie unwrap everyone's presents and thought about all the things I've been blessed with. It was a really nice little moment in time!

Here are my favorite memories of the day:
  • Sadie being shocked when she woke up and she was finally able to explore the stuff under the tree which I've been telling her not to touch for weeks.
  • Later, at my parent's house, watching Sadie try to unwrap everyone's presents for them.
  • Ben and I going on a scavenger hunt to find our present from my parents.
  • Laughing at our old family home videos with everyone in the afternoon.
  • Sadie and I going on a walk, just the two of us, that night to look at the Christmas lights.

(Ben and Sadie shown above first thing Christmas morning. Ben seen sitting with his new piano)

(Sadie and Alicia shown opening a Christmas present from Grandma Cliffie)

(Later, at my parents, Sadie is shown with Christy anxiously awaiting present-opening time)

(Sadie shown above admiring Shadow - she LOVES that dog)

(Kimmy shown with her stunning water color painting which she painstakingly created for us with 20 hours of her time! She also made Sadie and Ethan adorable ABC books which she has spent every available moment of the last week working on. In fact, she didn't even go to sleep Christmas Eve - she stayed up the ENTIRE NIGHT working on the projects. She watched Pocahontas 4 times while working on them. Wow! That's love :)

(Sadie and her dad shown above playing with her new farm toys from Grammy and Grampy)

And always, because I'm extra sentimental around Christmastime, I spent the second half of Christmas day wondering what the upcoming year will bring and what next Christmas will be like. We have a lot to look forward to this year and it will be interesting to see how life unfolds.

Christmas With Gramma Meyers

This is my Gramma Meyers. She is amazing! I hope I grow up to be like her. She is 82 years old yet she has more energy and spunk for life than I can muster on a daily basis.

She's definately not the soft-spoken, dainty, fragile type of grandmother. Her hobbies are tennis, yard-work, and house renovations. She has taught all her grandchildren to play tennis and fully intends on teaching her great-grandchildren, too. Which I think she'll be able to do because she is still really good! Also, gramma has more stamina for yard work than anyone else in the family - I am NOT kidding!! She can work for hours and hours in the Florida summer heat without tiring. The rest of us quit long before she ever does. She loves to plant trees and than cut them down. My dad finally took her chain saw away two years ago. But, she still has her saws and electric drills. We also bought her a nail gun last year for her birthday which she uses for her house projects.

One more thing I like about Gramma is that she is so no nonsense. I often hear her say things like, "Why would I get mad? How would that help?" or "I'm getting old - you people need to accept that." Life just is what it is to her and she never gets her feathers rustled or is irrational or overly emotional about things. She accepts the truth and just lives the life she's been dealt the best she knows how.

Also, she is such a loyal mother! She claims my father is perfect and will defend him on any issue. I can really tell she loves her two children more than anything in life. It's really sweet.

Anyways, she is visiting my Uncle Steve in Maryland this year for Christmas so we celebrated with her last week. It was a very fun evening! She made her trademark lazagna. Sadie received lots of presents from her and her favorite was her new tennis racket which she has been smacking us with all week. Gramma is anxious to get Sadie out on the courts and get her swinging!

(Above: My Dad was asked to pose for a picture. This was his reaction.)

(Kimmy shown above mocking my father while imitating his 'pose')

(Ben looks on with humor at Kimmy)

(Gramma LOVES giving and opening presents.)

(Kimmy and Michael are shown above sporting new sweat bands. They say "I Heart Santa")

(My Mom asks for dish towels every year for Christmas!)

(Sarah and Ethan shown above looking happy and handsome)

(Ethan shown above and Sadie shown below sitting in the new wagon my parents bought Gramma for Christmas. She wanted one to use in the yard to cart plants and weeds around)

December 21, 2009

Fun With Aunties

Sadie loves Kimmy and Christy so much. Here are a couple pictures of them playing together last night:

(Sadie was especially fond of Christy this night.)

(Above: Christy shown above with Sadie walking peacefully through the grass)

(Then Kimmy came along and started chasing Sadie and Christy)

(Sadie shown above running for her life from Kimmy)

(Sadie seeks protection from Christy above)

(She barely gets to Christy in time!)

(Sadie shown above rejoicing in the safety of Christy's arms)

(Next: Sadie and Christy seek revenge)

(Run, Kimmy, Run!)

(Kimmy shown flapping her wings like a bird)

(Kimmy tried hiding behind a bush for protection)

(Kimmy's plan worked because Sadie got distracted by the flowers and forgot about chasing Kimmy)

(Then Sadie heard an airplane and we searched for it)

(We found the airplane and it was dinnertime)

The End.

December 20, 2009

Favorite Christmas Quotes

David O. McKay (1873–1970) declared: “True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.

“As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others.” – Thomas S. Monson, December 1987

“Remember!—It is christianity TO DO GOOD always—even to those who do evil to us. It is christianity to love our neighbour as ourself, and to do to all men as we would have them Do to us. It is christianity to be gentle, merciful, and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of them, or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to shew that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything. If we do this, and remember the life and lessons of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and try to act up to them, we may confidently hope that God will forgive us our sins and mistakes, and enable us to live and die in Peace” – Charles Dickens, The Life of Our Lord

“One of the things we can give at Christmas time, that no one else can give, is our thanks… This is a time when we ponder our blessings and when we also prepare for the new year, for which we should make new resolves and set new personal goals. This partial inventory of our collective blessings should help us to be ever more grateful and ever more determined. Please do the same within your families. Count your blessings, and express your gratitude to your eternal partners, to your children, and to your parents for all that they do.” – Spencer W. Kimball, December 1977

Have you heard this new Andrea Bocelli song? I love it!

December 16, 2009

All Aboard!

Have you heard of Travelzoo? It's an travel deal finder. Their alerts come to my email every so often and I browse through all the different travel packages. Occasionally I forward them on to Ben with messages like, "Can we please go to India? Look at the great deal attached!" or "You want to go to Paris this weekend?". A girl can dream, right?

Yesterday one came that really caught my eye: Florida Cruises. After a little plotting, pleading, and planning we decided to book a cruise for New Years. It's going to be our Christmas present to each other. Actually, I've already done all my shopping for Ben, so I guess it's his Christmas present to me. Which he should be happy about because he dreads going to the mall.

Anyways, I was very excited about it yesterday. For months I've been telling Ben that I need to get away: go on a vacation, recoup on all the lost hours of sleep, have a little time to rediscover my sanity before round two of motherhood comes along, etc. This seemed like the perfect solution!

Then I went to bed.

All I could do was lay there and think about how awful it's going to be to leave Sadie! The idea of the cruise became less and less exciting and more and more gut wrenching.

We're going to leave her with my parents and sisters while we're gone (three nights and four days!). My parents have a fairly good track record in the child rearing department, don't you think? And Kimmy - Sadie LOVES Kimmy. She's been known to even call her 'mom' on occasion and may have a slight preference for her over me. And then there's Christy - very patient and playful with Sadie. She can keep her occupied for hours!

So, why am I so stressed about leaving her?

This was not the type of parent I had planned to be. I pictured myself more layed back and easy going. But, Sadie has turned me into an overbearing and cautious parent. It's the mom she's needed me to be and I've conformed. Now I'm trying to transition back to normality and help her develop a little independence. This is already proving to be a painful process for me; I just hope it will be smoother for her.

I picture her wandering through my parents house looking for us in each room. Or waking up in the morning and calling, "Daaad? Maaam?" only to be upset when we're not there. How sad!

Hopefully it won't be like that! Hopefully she'll have the time of her life. Hopefully I'll be able to relax and enjoy myself. Hopefully we'll both be better from the experience! I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope!

December 13, 2009

Sadie Vs. Santa

We had our ward Christmas party this past weekend and we thought we'd try introducing Sadie to Santa Claus.

At first she didn't quite know what to think:

Then, Santa's little helper made her smile:

Things were going so surprisingly well we tried getting closer to Santa:

But, she really didn't like that:

After 10 minutes of crying and wailing she finally calmed down again. When we got home we let her open one of Auntie Kimmy's Christmas presents so that she wouldn't have negative feelings associated with Christmas:

December 10, 2009

Pretty Please

I'm embarrassed to ask this, but not so embarrassed I'm not going to because that's how bad I want to win a full day at the spa.....

I've entered a simple little photo contest and the person who gets the most votes wins an entire day at the spa. My body desperately needs a little pampering now that it's in it's expanding, I've-given-up-on-myself pregnancy state.

So, if you have a moment please, oh please, vote for the picture of Sadie on this website: Photo Contest. In case you don't recognize her, my picture is the one called "Let the games begin!".

This is me saying Thank You:

P.S. This is my one hundredth blog post...where has the time gone?

December 07, 2009

The Cycle of My Life

What did you do today? This is what I do everyday:

(Sadie shown above after her lunch)

(Did you need a close-up view?)

(Next comes clean-up time)

(Sadie shown above drinking the water; it's impossible to prevent - I've given up trying!)

Who knew keeping a toddler clean was a full-time job? It's worth it to see her cute, sparkling face after the bath....even if it only lasts for a few minutes.