Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Photos

Hi everyone! We had a wonderful Christmas. It was very quiet, which was kind of sad when we talked to family, but also really nice. We started the morning when Nolan began stirring around 7 AM (that may be the latest we sleep in on Christmas for years to come)! We made muffins and coffee and ate breakfast. Then we got the camera's ready and let Nolan go look through the sliding door into the sun room, where Santa and his elves had visited. Santa left one present not wrapped, a stuffed striped mouse, that's about half Nolan's size. I am not sure if he saw the rest of the presents but when he saw Mousey sitting under the tree, he started giggling. When we opened the door he immediately ran for the mouse and gave him a huge hug and then ran around with him until we got him to sit down and open some presents. The only road block was getting him interested in the next gift...he loved each present so much he would be mad when we would try to redirect his attention to the next thing. Nolan recieved some wonderful gifts from Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins & friends, thank you all soooo much! We are truly so blessed. He's still not sure what to make of the talking/dancing snowman (from Aunt Pat & Uncle Byrd), but he likes to dance with it, from a very far distance. Brian and I were tickled about our own gifts, too. Brian recieved his miter saw from Nolan. He also recieved another Rachael Ray cookbook since he made such mean meals from last years cookbook. I also recieved a cookbook, from my favorite lady Paula Deen! It's her "Celebrations" book and the recipes made my mouth water. Of course as she puts it, all good southern cooking has lots of butter and salt, so of course I would love it! Brian also remembered that I really REALLY wanted the DVD Little Mermaid that is only out for a limited time, and I am soooo excited about watching that with Nolan (poor kid will probably have to listen to me sing every song). After present opening Nolan went down for a morning nap...and so did the we and the dogs! See, the quiet part was kind of nice. We snacked on the yummies that Jack & Tish sent us and Brian fried a turkey for dinner. Not just any turkey. This thing could have fed an army. We have TONS of leftovers, which is what we both wanted. Dinner was awesome, we even opened our last Paso Robles wine, sigh. We went there 2 years ago (or 3?) and this was our last bottle we bought. A red zin from Zin Alley. It was A-MAZING! After a tuckered out Nolan went to bed we snuggled up on the couch with our remaing glasses of heavenly zinfandel and watched a movie. And ate carmel pecan pie. Brian's parents arrive today and we're looking forward to having them and watching Nolan show them all his fun toys...thanks for checking in us, we miss all of you! Nolan on Christmas eve with the train (bought before he was born, but he can't get enough of it)! Christmas morning with his Mousey!Here's Dad & Nolan trying to open Nolan's gift. However we HID one of his already opened gifts behind Dad, so we could get him to open this one. Not going to happen. He had no interest in the wrapped gift, he was just determined to get to the one we hid!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Faith Club

Last night I finished reading the book The Faith Club, by Rayna Idliby, Suzanne Oliver & Priscilla Warner. They are three of women of 3 different faiths, a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew. The basis of the story is that they came together after 9/11 to write a children's book that showed the connection and tolerance of all 3 religions. What erupted were years of conversations and soul searching as they learned about one another's faiths, stereotypes and even grappled with their own inner faith. I cannot recommend this book HIGHGLY enough. I learned so much and am suddenly feeling like there will never be enough time in the world for me to read all the books about faith and religion that I want to, not to mention about their history. I didn't realize I harbored any stereotypes, but as I read the book, I realized I related to some of them...even in my own Christianity! Anyway, if you are looking for a good read, especially if you are a woman (although I think men could learn a great deal from it, as well), read this book! It's fantastic and left me feeling so much closer to God. I really needed that!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I doubt we'll be on the computer much tomorrow, or tonight, so I just wanted to wish all of you a very blessed and Merry Christmas. May the true spirit of Christmas joy and love be with each and every one of you and your families. May our men and women who are fighting this war be remembered especially and we pray for their safe return. May their families be hopeful and happy and comforted as they spend the Holidays without those they hold dear to their hearts. We feel so especially blessed and grateful to be together and to have our wonderful dogs and our son, Nolan. We will be thinking of all of you throughout tomorrow. Merry Happy Joyful Blessed Christmas!

Christmas Eve EVE

Yesterday the three of us had a fun outing. We started out with the park, since it was a beautiful day (I know we're brats, but hey, its raining today!). The park was decorated with Christmas decor and had Christmas music playing, so Nolan danced in between slides and jungle gyms! Then we did some shopping, and finished off with dinner at the Crab Trap on the beach. YUM! It was a cool evening, but gorgeous. We walked on the beach with full bellies and then headed home to put a very tired (and slightly grumped) Nolan to bed.
Here we are at the park (he LOVES any slide, even the big one, but we had Dad go along, just in case, as it was tall)!

Nolan was asleep when we got to dinner:

Nolan's dinner came in a beach pail, with a shovel. And yes, he literally "shoveled" my mashed potatoes into his mouth. He is ALL BOY!

Momma & Nolan on the beach:

When we got home, Nolan was still sound asleep so of course I cuddled my little buddy, who is just fast growing these days and doesn't fall asleep on me like he used to.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Snowy Weather in the ol' Stomping Ground

I am stealing this picture from Kim's blog. That's Matt shoveling their driveway! Kim said
they have 3 feet plus drifts. I am really missing a little snow for Christmas here, but I have to say it makes me so sad to hear of everyone's travel plans that are cancelled/delayed/changed. I am very grateful that thus far everyone we've talked to/emailed/blogged with is safe, one way or the other. We are praying for Beth's parents who are en route to see their new granddaugter and are now driving since their flight was cancelled. Beth's hubby Sam is stuck on alert...I was sad in the blizzard of '03 when Brian was stuck on alert and I didn't have a newborn. Anyway, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. It sure looks pretty in the pictures, that white stuff, but I guess it's causing lots trouble.
I bet Tammi & the boys are loving it that they are here in has been warm (that's all I will leave it at, because I don't want to seem like I am rubbing it in). Hope everyone's having a lovely Christmas season. God bless!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No Morning Nap...

I had a playdate at our house this morning, so Nolan had friends to play with and his AM nap was skipped. He's done it before, but usually when we're out and about. Apparently those cat naps in the car actually do help. Halfway through Nolan's lunch, I noticed some VERY heavy eyes. And then...well, you take a look at the sequence of events. 1. YAWN!

2. Asleep!!

3. Wait, are you taking pictures Mama, maybe I should smile...

4. You ARE taking pics, that's so funny, but I still can't open my eyes:

5. Okay, I am REALLY asleep now, night-night!

And just for good measure, here's a short clip of him FIGHTING to stay awake, before the final head droop.

Christmas Party

Last weekend we attended Brian's work Christmas (family) party. It was a lovely party and lots of fun had by all, especially a very active Nolan. Even with both of us there, we were tired afterwards, because there was lots of space to chase Nolan around. Santa came to the party bearing gifts for the kiddos and even read them a story. Nolan enjoyed listening to Santa read, but when it came time to sit on the big guys lap, he still wasn't having it. That was the only hiccup in the day! Nolan LOVED his present from Santa, though! It is a top that has 4 animals, 4 number buttons and music! So fun, thanks Santa!
Saturday evening Brian and I really got in the Christmas spirit after Nolan went to bed. Get your mind out of the gutter, we watched "It's a Wonderful Life." Brian gave it to me our first Christmas away from home, as he knows how much I LOVE the movie. I forgot he had never seen it, so it was even more special...I thought he may think it was cheesy, but he really enjoyed it. I hope you had a lovely weekend as well...everyone gearing up for the BIG weekend??
Santa's arrival (with the little elves in front):

Nolan clinging to Da-Da when Santa arrived:

Nolan with his new toy:

Nolan with the wrapping paper, almost as much fun as a toy (at least when other kids are playing with your toy)! (this is his Christmas outfit from G&G cute!)

Friday, December 15, 2006

How Big is Nolan?

In the last week Nolan has done so many new things, it is so incredible to us. Seriously, every day he does something new. We have been trying to teach him some basic sign language and the first one he learned was "more." He now does that not only for more food, but when he's hungry (we're working on hungry & thirsty signs), and when he wants more of ANYTHING (toys, playing etc). He's realized that the sign "more" gets him SOMETHING and it really has bridged the communication gap for us, because its a great starting point. He signs it and we know he wants something...we just get to figure it out. But it's way better than him just screaming at us. Since he learned the sign for "more" he has also picked up on "all done" and sometimes he does "milk." And a few times he's signed "dog" but he likes to say dog more. In fact last weekend he said his first word, "Dog" and the next day said "ball" (pointing to a Christmas ornament). He also points at the dogs and says "bad." Oops...better start telling the dogs they are GOOD!
He's also started bringing books to us and then climbing in our laps so we'll read to him. That melts our hearts to no end!!!
Anyway, I hope it doesn't appear that I am bragging on my son, what I am really in is complete amazement. It just gets better every day and he's so's just so unbelievable how quickly they learn.
And of course, Nolan learned the fun baby game that when mom and dad say "How big is Nolan?" He reaches his arms above his head and we say, "Soooo big." I took a picture of him doing it the other day (when I did NOT ask him), and he had a PB & J sandwhich in his hand (and mouth)that got smeared in his hair...and we still had to go grocery shopping! He's the messiest kid ever, I tell ya!

Oh Christmas Tree

Here are some pics of our Christmas tree, which we put in the sun room. There's room in the living room, but it would have been a nightmare keeping Nolan away from it. At first we weren't sure if were going go like the tree out there, but we really do. It's very cozy and it's sooo nice to sit out there with Christmas music playing and just looking at the tree!
Here it is the daylight (oh and Nolan LOVES playing with the train)!
The tree at night:
And a pic of our stockings...Nolan wouldn't get out of the way :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hard Freeze

Brian cut this rose for me last week when we had freeze warnings every night. We didn't realize it got THIS cold here (in the teens at night). I think this is fairly unusual weather for this area, but I guess we'll see after living here a few winters. I guess I am already a FL gal, because yesterday I was like, "Thank goodness the weather is warming up again!"

Meeting Santa

Last week Cheyna told me that Santa would be at Whataburger (a fast food burger joint) one evening and her & Andrew were taking Abby. The three of us decided to join them. I think Nolan & Abby may have been the only 2 kids Santa saw that night. We were expecting a crowd...not so much. Both of our kids were scared of the big guy, so we'll have to talk him up quite a bit since this weekend we're going to a base party that Santa will be at...and he'll have presents!!!! I think Nolan was mostly in awe of Santa, but when he realized he was sitting on his lap and his Momma & Da-Da were not, I think it freaked him out, as you can see by the picture below. Not to worry, Santa still gave him a candy cane and then we had yummy chicken fingers & fries to make up for the traumatic experience! :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Messy Boy!!

Nolan is eating mostly regular food now (no more baby food), and he doesn't like Momma or Daddy to help. He wants his fork and spoon and food and we can go away quite frankly. Okay, Mr. Independant, but when are you going to BATHE YOURSELF???

Sweet Tooth

Nolan loves anything sweet...fruit (most of his sweet intake), cake, cookies. And earlier this week he tried his first candy, a succer. He loved it!!!
And this picture just cracks me up!!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Daddy's Little Elf

We decorated the house for Christmas this past weekend and Nolan was quite the helper. No really, he wanted to help with everything and even figured out how to climb the step ladder...scary! Here he & Daddy are, hard at work:
Dad, let me up!

The two boys posing. Notice Nolan's studly tool belt? That was a present from Avery, Kim & Matt...a HUGE hit!

Dad, can I drill? PLEASE?

Christmas Parade

Saturday we met Cheyna, Andrew & Abby downtown for a Christmas parade. I was surprised at how many floats there were and how festive it really was...impressive for a small town! The kids on the floats found great joy in chucking the candy at us at alarming force, so we had to block Nolan a few times, but he had a blast. The batteries on my camera died as soon as I took the 3rd pic, so no photos of the parade or Bri. So sad...
Cheyna & Abby:

Nolan watching the parade:

A self portrait of Momma & Nolan...then the batteries went ca-put!

Picture Madness

Friday Brian, Nolan & I headed to Pensacola to try out the Sears picture studio. We had a MUCH better experience than we did in Destin. Nolan had lots of fun too, as I think he's starting to realize when he's being photographed the attention is all on HIM! Then we went to Chili's for lunch and we ordered Nolan his own meal for the first time. He had grilled cheese with a side of corn on the cob. GOBBLE GOBBLE, he loved it!!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

High School Reunion

Brian and I attended my 10 year HS reunion while in St. Louis. It was interesting to say the least. It was actually lots of fun and it was great to see how everyone was doing and what people were up to. It felt somewhat like a time warp. Thanks Grandpa M for watching Nolan while we had the night out. I only managed one picture from the whole night, but at least there's one! Here we are before we left:

One with Nolan of course:

From L-R: Christine, Sarah, Jessi, Katie & Myself:

Here are some more pictures from our trip! Nolan did lots of cake eating (thanks Grammie for making me cakes)! At Grammie & Grampie L's: At Grandma & Grandpa M's: Playing in leaves! G&G L and Nolan:
Great Grandma M with Nolan: Maddie (and her pretty earring) and Nolan:

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thanksgiving Pictures

Here are some photos from Thanksgiving Day. Like I said earlier, we had a beautiful day and were so blessed to spend it with both sides of the family. Thank you to Tammy and Scott (my side) for the gracious hosting, yummy foods and for Nolan's birthday celebration. Thanks Robyn and Chris also for their graciousness and warm hospitality. Both of our hosts are the families with 3 kids. Brian and I were exhausted from chasing one around all day. Whew! Anyway, here are the pics!
GOOFY runs in our family:
Scott (my cousin) & his youngest Austin: My cousin Jeremy & his niece (and my cousin), beautiful Sarah: This is my adorable, but grown up nephew, Corey. I swear, when he walked in the house I felt like I had entered a time warp. It was like looking at my brother when he was that age. I really miss Corey and wish we could see him more. He's such a great kid (who is out growing the label "kid" everyday).
Twins??? No, this is Nolan and his older cousin Austin. WHen they are standing next to each other you can clearly see that Austin is bigger (and older). But in this pic, from this particular angle, they look so much alike!!!

This is Chris & Robyn's newest addition (and first daughter), Mallory. She is gorgeous and I loved snuggling her! She's a doll!

This is Great Grandma M, with her great grand kiddos! (Grant, Nathaniel, Mallory, Nolan & Maddie).