Wednesday, December 29, 2010

family photos by kim

 Earlier this month Kim did some family photos for us and she did an amazing job, of course!! This time I was extra impressed by her skills because it was super cold and windy outside, Annie was not her usual smiley self, and Audrie and I were both having a horrible hair day. But I don't know why I ever doubt that Kim would still be able to do her magic, no matter the challenges! She is amazing!

I usually post our family photos all over the world the moment she gives them to me. I decided this time I would practice a little restraint and wait until I mailed out our Christmas cards. So now I can finally post these photos she took for us. Thank you, Kim!!

 I decided to push Kim's patience to the test by bringing along a huge bouquet of balloons for the photo shoot! It was so windy that it didn't really work, but Kim still managed to get some wonderful shots. And Jamie and I got the laugh of our lives when all of sudden the balloons took flight and Kim went running wildly after them, leaped through the air, and caught the flyaway balloons! It was pretty hilarious. She definitely goes "above and beyond" as our photographer! ha!

 Now I just have to decide which one of these to make our new blog header...

Thank you again, Kim, for the priceless photos. I promise no more balloons in the future! :)

christmas at my moms

 I don't know if this counts as an official "white christmas" but we did get some snow on Christmas morning!

Those are the steps to my mom's porch. We went to her house Christmas morning after we recouped from the excitement with our girls.
 Audrie and Annie wore their Christmas dresses to Green Forest so for my mom's I put them in some cute hot pink outfits. As you can imagine they both have a lot of pink in their closets. Audrie had to wear her new shoes, of course.
 My nephew Matthew met us at the door with his new nerf gun. (We don't have a lot of nerf guns in our house! ha!)
 My mom was cooking up a storm and my brothers were "helping" by crowding around her each time she brought an amazing dish out of the oven.
 I made a new recipe for a tasty french toast that soaked all night in a pan of cinnamon, sugar, half and half, eggs, nutmeg, etc. I baked it before we left for mom's (and drizzled it with a black walnut/brown sugar glaze) and we had to smell it on the 30 minute drive. Our mouths were watering! My sister Carolyn sent my mom a Heavenly Ham to bake for all of us and it was so yummy.
 My brother, Eric, harassing his daughter Emily.
 His other daughter, Kara, looking super cute in her pajamas.
 Annie pretty much stands up all the time now. She's realized there is more to the world than crawling and she's dying to know what it is.
 Audrie in her polka dots. This dress is actually from last Christmas. But that's the awesome thing about little girl's clothes. She can wear the same clothes for years, because as it gets smaller you just add layers.
 My nephew Stone talking with Annie about her new Strawberry Shortcake DVD that Kim got the girls (and the case actually smells like strawberries!).
 My nephew Jacob got a new camera for Christmas so this is how I saw him all day.
 Emily trying to teach Annie how to walk (despite my protests!).
 Kara trying to explain the rules of the card game to Seth and Stone.
 My mom gets everyone Christmas pajama pants and tshirts every year. The past few years my brother Caleb has designed a new logo each time. He does a great job!
 Stone modeling his shirt.
 Annie was getting a little fussy from too many days in a row of holiday partying and being on the road. But my dad is like a "baby whisperer". I don't know if it's because he has had 12 kids or what but he has a very calming affect on babies. My mom says it's because he is so tall that he holds the baby up high where they can see everything and he talks to them in his deep voice so they are mesmerized. Who knows what crazy things he is telling Annie, but whatever it was- it worked!
 My sister Mary sent us a package of goodies to open. So naturally Audrie had to help.
 The card said there was enough in the box for everyone to have something. My mom laughed when she opened it because all we could see was a box stuffed of those styrofoam packing peanuts and my sister lives in Minnesota (where it snows non stop). So my mom was laughing that Mary probably sent us all "snow" for Christmas!
 Mom told Audrie to pass everyone out some snow!
 Audrie thought it was great fun and spent a long time making sure everyone had a handful of it. (Really there were presents in the box, but we just thought it was funny.)
 Audrie helped me open our present from my mom. I always look forward to our yearly Christmas gifts from my mom! Every year she gives all her kids a huge bag of gifts including a homemade decorative pillow (and my mom has 12 kids). I'm not sure when she has time to do all she does to make Christmas more special for us, but I sure appreciate it!
Whew! Ok, that is the last of our Christmas photos. When we got home late that afternoon all four of us crashed and took long naps. It was the perfect ending to our wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

christmas morning

 We were really excited to wake up Christmas morning and celebrate with our girls! Annie woke up first so she helped me make coffee and bake some cranberry-orange muffins. It was sweet to spend that quiet time with Annie because it was fun to think about this morning last year when Jamie and I found out we were having a girl!

 The excitement got going when Audrie woke up. As soon as I walked in her room she sat up fast and asked me if Santa was here. It was so cute! I told her that Santa left her presents and she needed to go wake up daddy so we could open them. She wasted no time doing just that!
 Audrie was so cute with every present she opened- she would hug it and say "it's my favorite!".
 Here is me and Annie in all our morning beauty.
 Annie got a lot of fun presents from Santa that she enjoyed chewing on.
 We didn't get Audrie one 'big' present this year because our plan was to get her several inexpensive presents so she could have fun opening lots of presents this year. She loved it all!
 Audrie and Annie were both good at helping Jamie open his presents too. :)
 Jamie got Audrie some adorable pink sparkly Tom's shoes.
 That she loved and immediately put on.
They are super cute!
 Jamie also got me an amazing locket with sweet photos of both the girls on the inside. I love it so much!!
 Jamie's mom got the girls a table and chair set. We put it out so they could find it Christmas morning. It's the perfect size for them!
 We got Audrie several new board games because she loves playing them and they keep her busy for a long time. :) Here we are playing her very first game of Chutes and Ladders. Oh the memories I have of playing this game nonstop as a kid!
 When Jamie's mom mentioned getting the girls the table and chairs I thought it would be really nice to have, but I had NO idea how MUCH Audrie would adore it. She honestly has spent hours every day at this table since Christmas. Tea parties, art projects, eating snacks, playing on the laptop, reading books there, etc. The table is a huge hit!
 Here she is Christmas morning having a tea party with her new baby doll and a reindeer. Two things she asked Santa for! What better way to spend Christmas morning than having a tea party with a reindeer??
It was a precious morning with our girls!