Our Christmas recap.....(longest post ever)

This post is pretty much for memories sake. Warning, there are a few hundred photos of Wren with her presents. 

Oh, the depressing feeling of Christmas's end.  Our 48 hour Christmas festivities have finally come to a halt.  When she woke up, we sang Happy Birthday to her baby Jesus along with some major clapping on her part.  I had to pack away her nativity scene while she was gone because she loves her baby Jesus! He slept with her many nights in December.  This was the second year that I hosted Christmas morning breakfast.  It's a nice way for both sides of our families to come together before we start the 3 stop home hopping.  We all ate and watched Lauren play with her new kitchen and babies.

We didn't buy much for her this year, because one, we are on a super tight budget and two because she loves to play with plastic cups, keys, and golf balls.  She got from Santa two baby dolls, Cabbage Patch and Baby Alive, a baby stroller, and a Disney Princess Tent.  All together we had four get togethers not including our own.  Lauren's 7pm bedtime was shot both nights and stretched into 10:30ish. 

The best part about Christmas this year was to see our families fall in love with Christmas all over again as they watched Lauren. They say that Christmas is a child's holiday, but I can argue that several adults could say this was their best one yet.  I hope that everyone found joy in whatever holiday or tradition they celebrated this December.  I hope that you all rekindled the spirit that many of us had as children.  I also hope that it inspired you to reach out and do something for someone else.  As we head into the new year, my wish is that we all become a little more cognoscente of those around us and to give a little more of ourselves to those in need.  As 2011 draws to a close, I hope that we all can say we made wonderful memories with those we love. In the end, that's all we really have anyway, right? On with the pictures!

Christmas Eve Morning in her new Elmo jammies 
 Christmas Eve at her Great Grandparents house
 My grandpa gave Lauren a baby doll and this beautiful 85 year old baby bed of my grandmothers.  Although we told her it was for her babies, she still wanted in it.  As always, my grandpa gives such thoughtful gifts.
 Whew! A nap before mass at 5:30. I even drove around for an extra 30 mins so she could get in some extra sleep.  Note the hair bow is out and thrown about the car.
 Right before church. 
 Way.......past bedtime and she was so delirious she posed for a picture.
 Chasing the mouse with Nanny and Great Grandma

Brushing Daddy's teeth with Baby's Alive's toothbrush.

 Her new kitchen

With Nanny and Grandpa

Grandpa and Papa on Christmas Morning
Her new bounce house that she now lives in
Her first play house
Playing with Great Grandpa who bought the above items and already has her birthday gift planned.
Her first bicycle
Wren and I, Christmas night. 
Lauren and her aunties


Merry Christmas

May today be surrounded by the squeals of joy, laughter, and warmth of family and friends.


Baking cookies for the first time!

Tonight we went over to Ryan's parents to bake cookies.  She really enjoyed stirring and eating all of the chocolate chips. She also got to open an early gift from a neighbor and she really enjoyed it! Here are a few pictures from today.

Me and Wren
 Wren and her girlfriend Callie
 During this shot, she reached down and got a mouthful of raw dough!! Ahhh!

On her new V-tech turtle.

Lipstick and Nailpolish

Lauren is getting ready for the holidays.  Yesterday she took my lipstick and applied it on herself and her crib.  Today she got her Christmas pedicure. I'm on a little break right now.  I am loving the time that we are getting to spend together. I hope that you and your family and friends are making memories today, tomorrow, and into the new year!!

How pitiful is this!
She knew she was in trouble!

 Waiting for her piggies to dry.
Having a tea party to pass the time.



Happy Birthday to Ryan and Uncle Kyle! (late)

 Happy belated 31st birthday to Ryan! Happy 29th birthday to Uncle Kyle! We did a lot of celebrating this week in between birthdays, baby showers, and baptisms! Lauren enjoyed all of the candle blowing and eating wax and icing off the candles. 


Thanksgiving recap.......

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We sure did. Boy, I can't tell you the last time I have felt so completely full. Full of blessings that is. We are incredibly blessed to have such an amazing family around us.  I hope you all spent the day enjoying the ones you love!! Here are a few of my pictures.  We celebrated with both sides of our family, but for now I just have ones mainly from our dinner at home. I will post more when I get them!

This is after Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  This is my dad and my grandpa, Wren's great grandpa.  Both of them are literally the perfect examples of what a grandfather should be.  I have amazing memories with both of them and Wren is already working on hers.  
 We found out that Wren LOVES pumpkin pie. She was tricking my grandpa into giving her her second piece. It of course worked.....
 Happy she could be outside for a few minutes during our annual photo shoot.
 Go-cart rides with her bubby. 
 This is her second time out of her life. Hitting has entered her repertoire.  There will be thousands more but we had to capture it.  She sits there completely still and just looks at everyone.  We all say, "Don't look at her!" but we are all looking while we say it!  : )
 Me and my tiniest blessing! And her with her tiny pony tail!
  Look at those little turkeys!! I loved these!!!
 All the pies from our dinner at home. First time making a pecan pie.  It was a success!

I finally hired a housekeeper............

I have been wanting one for awhile. I found one that prefers to get paid with oranges and toothbrushes, which is great because that's all we can afford.  I can't say that she is entirely efficient, but she works cheap.  Plus, she is so darn cute!

She loves to wear my aprons.  This is after she made all the pies for Thanksgiving. I let her take a 5 minute break.


Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween to all of you!! I hope you all have a wonderful
night with your families and friends. I on the other hand will be in class! What a Trick!!
Little Red at the door of her Grandma's house.
 Thank goodness it wasn't a wolf who answered!!
Lauren's favorite treat, baby Goldfish!

Burlap and Kale (Hmmm....they probably taste about the same.)

 Whew...what a jam packed weekend we had! It was a wonderful weekend full of Trick or Treating, spending time with friends and family, crafting and cooking!  Real quick I wanted to share the last two with you guys. Have you ever made Kale chips? I had heard of them but never had the chance to try them.  I had a beautiful bunch of Kale from the farmer's market and decided to give it a shot.  I LOVED them.

Here is the super easy recipe I followed. Kale, Kosher salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Use a Misto is you have it to spray it on the leaves I love mine!!!). Thats it! Wash and spin your Kale and separate it from the large stem, lay it on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes. No longer than that! I tried a few variations of seasoning salt, Ranch powder, and BBQ seasoning.  Kosher was my favorite flavor.

Here they are out of the oven. They shrink considerably.  
They are so light and have a great consistency!
 Here is the burlap fall banner I made for my sun room. I love how rustic it turned out.
 I made a couple of pillows too. This one is my favorite. A fall tree
made from felt and scrap fabric from my scrap box.