Saturday, December 27, 2008

11 Years Ago...

Today is my 11th wedding anniversary. This is the second time since the year of our wedding that our anniversary has actually fallen on a Saturday, the same day we got married. It makes it easier to look back and think things like, "this time 11 years ago we were at our rehearsal dinner" or "I was getting my hair done" or "we were arriving at our reception" etc.

Actually...as I write this we were finishing up pictures at the church and making our way over to the reception. It's amazing how clearly I can recall that day, and yet how long ago it seems at the same time!

Tonight we're in between visits from grandparents so we have no house guests, which also means no babysitters. Brad planned a home date night. He made an amazing dinner while I put the girls to bed...T-bone steaks with sauteed mushrooms, grilled asparagus and couscous with pine nuts and chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert. It was fabulous! I spent the day cleaning so right now a quiet night at home being pampered sounds just as appealing as a night on the town.Here's to the next 11 years, sweetie! They are never boring, that's for sure! Looking forward to the adventure.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The White House

Nana was flying to CO today to visit my brother and his family so we headed to DC a few hours before her flight to explore. We took her to the Pentagon to see the 9/11 memorial and show her around.
I hope I never see this memorial enough that I grow callous and find it less emotional...today was extremely moving since there were a lot of Christmas presents that had been left at the benches of loved ones.
After a walk the Pentagon grounds we took the metro up to the White House. This is the Blair House at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue, it is the official state guest house for the President of the United States...it was in the news recently because the Obama's requested residency in early January and their request was denied because the Bush family said it was already reserved.
Construction is underway in front of the White House for the inauguration. On the right in this picture is the platform where Obama will be sworn in and the structure on the left is being built for media coverage. Regardless of political affiliation it was neat to be in the midst of the preparations for a historical event.
Baileigh thought the White House looked small and that the National Tree wasn't that big either...compared to the tree in NYC. Geesh...tough crowd!

Christmas Day

Yesterday was the perfect Christmas...slept in (relative...7:30, but with three young kids I think that is pretty good for Christmas morning), stayed in pj's all day, cozy fire, hung out with my family, ate a lot of good food, relaxed and relished in the blessing of the gift of the Christ child.

Mckenna was ecstatic that Santa brought her the gumball machine she requested!
Baileigh's favorite was her Nintendo DS.
Brooke was happy and excited in general, but her Aquadoodle was a big hit.
The big family gift was a Wii and a lot of games and accessories.
Daddy got a Wii fit...this wasn't a hint, it was a request. I can't wait to see him trying Yoga!
Good old fashioned games were also popular this year with Mouse Trap, Operation and Connect Four.
Brooke got a piggy bank from Nana and spent the day filling it up with any coins she could find around the house.
We ended our day with a traditional ham dinner and a Wii game night. While it would be nice to live close to family and pile in the car and head to a grandparents house later in the day...there is also something nice about staying in pajamas all day and just relaxing as a family. Hope you had a Merry Christmas with your loved ones.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

The temperatures were up and the rain held off today so we were able to get out since Baileigh is on the mend. We went down to the fairly new National Harbor area to explore.
The Harbor area has a Gaylord Convention Center and several other nice hotels as well as a lot of shops and restaurants. It's a beautiful setting on the Potomac that looks across to DC and a few of the monuments in the distance.
There is an unusual sculpture in the marina...it essentially depicts a man buried under the sand who is trying to get out. The kids thought it was funny, the adults thought it was disturbing.

The main reason we headed to the marina was the fact that Santa and his reindeer do an annual water skiing show. There was also an appearance by the Grinch and Frosty on a wave runner.The show...a little anti climatic, maybe I was just cold, but the girls thought it was fun.
The crowd in front of the Gaylord waiting on the show...there were several news trucks covering the show, including CNN (must be a slow news day).We had a few hours at home for some down time and then went to church for a Christmas Eve service.
In front of "the flower tree" according to Mckenna.

We returned home for a late dinner and to open the official Christmas eve present. The girls are at the age where they don't seem to remember that they get pj's every Christmas eve...they genuinely seemed surprised!
The matching jammies.
They all ripped their clothes off and were ready for bed in record time!
I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning...all the girls are at such a great age and they are so excited. Here is wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Laying Low

Sunday night Baileigh wasn't feeling well. She could barely swallow and had a fever. I took her to the doctor yesterday and now we're on antibiotics for strep throat...at least some virus along those lines. The doctor saw the spots and took a throat culture but said we didn't have to wait for the lab results. She sent the prescription into the pharmacy so we could get going and she said she would call me if the test came back if it showed something that she wouldn't treat with amoxicillin.

So our plans for the week have changed, at least for today. Between Baileigh's need to lay low for at least a day and the frigid weather outside we're altering our original plans of going into DC tonight to see the National Tree. Instead we're going to go to the Bull Run Festival of Lights tonight so we can stay warm in the car.

Today we decided to stay in our pj's, build a fire, listen to Christmas music and make sugar cookies for Santa. Apparently he doesn't want the other 12 variety of cookies we've already made and the girls insisted that they needed to make sugar cookies to leave out for him on Christmas eve.




Just Like Mommy

Brooke, doing some housework...dressed just like Mommy!



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nana's Visit

Nana braved the weather on Saturday and drove from MI to VA to spend the week with us and celebrate Christmas. I'm getting my monies worth out of the girl's Christmas outfits so we wore them again to church.
Attempting a decent photo with Nana...

Okay photography friends...can you explain these dots on my picture below. I get them frequently and cleaning my lens doesn't seem to help. It seemed worse during our construction phase and I assumed that it was dust in the air but this morning I had the same problem.
After church and lunch we headed home to make a Gingerbread house. The girls have been wanting to save this activity for Nana's visit and they were very excited for this activity!
We have a big week of plans on the calendar...but we'll see how that goes because Baileigh was complaining of a sore throat tonight and now has a fever of 102. I guess we'll start our full week with a trip to the doctor tomorrow morning.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Her Two Front Teeth

Today has been a big day in the life of our seven year old! First, she got a haircut...almost 4 inches in the back with some layers around her face! Then this afternoon she lost her second tooth. I have found her in front of the mirror several times today admiring her shorter hair (which she said makes her look 18) and the gap in her teeth. Here are a few photos to commemorate her day.
The only negative is the fact that she is going to have to wait two weeks until she can go to school and show off her new smile to her friends!



Friday, December 19, 2008

Your Opinion?

I feel like we've been crazy busy, yet at the same time without much news to post. The kids are all officially on vacation which makes me happy! We have family coming in town for the next week and then more family visiting the week after Christmas.

I was thinking about the fact that this will be my last Christmas pregnant. Ever! Their is a brief moment of sentimentality, and then I looked at my pregnancy update email and read the titles of the following articles: 1) Hemorrhoids, they hurt! 2)Are you suffering from constipation? and 3) Should you prep your nipples for breastfeeding?...then I think...YEAH, it's my last Christmas ever pregnant! Don't get me wrong. I feel so blessed and am frequently overwhelmed at our ability to have children and of the miracle and gift of the entire conception to birth process. That disclaimer said...being pregnant four time in the past seven years is more then sufficient and I am ready to end the childbearing phase of my life.

So I'm essentially in my final trimester, less then 100 days according to my ticker on the sidebar. Thank goodness, considering I look very similar to how I did at the time of delivery with my firstborn! I haven't gained any more or less weight, guess it's just the joy of a fourth born!

I decided to start a poll and see what you're opinions are on the chances of having a boy or a girl as well as a due date guess. We'll skip getting your opinions on our names...I think it would be pretty awkward to have you shoot down our first choice and then we give the kiddo that name regardless. I guess I can't truthfully say that your opinion counts since reality is that it doesn't change anything...but it would be fun to see what the majority thinks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Very Funny!

I got this link from Brad today...his message said he just doesn't want to be this guy come Christmas. Ironically, I've actually asked for a stick vacuum for my kitchen floors amongst other things...I told him I didn't care what type, as long as he did some research and got one that gets lots of good reviews and comments like "I have 4 kids and two big dogs and I LOVE THIS VACUUM!" So I think I'll show him some compassion considering it was a request (and I'm sure he did his research).

This video is four minutes but super funny and worth the watch...I couldn't figure out how to get the actual video here so you have to clink on the link

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Visiting Santa

The girls have been begging to visit Santa. This is really the first year they have asked...a lot! We had planned on going yesterday but Mckenna was under the weather, so we decided to go today after church. Apparently 1,000 other people made that decision. Despite the long line, it ended up being worth the wait.

I don't usually dress the kids up to see Santa, but since we were going after church and since Baileigh was singing with the choir this morning I decided to put them in their Christmas outfits. I had no idea how Brooke would react to Santa...she is confident if she keeps her distance but I thought she may freak out at the thought of sitting on his lap.

The long wait may have helped. The girls had a lot of time to watch Santa and let the excitement build!
When it was our turn all three marched up to Santa and gave him big hugs! I was shocked! Brooke didn't want to sit on his lap, but she hugged him and then stood and watched and even asked him to say "HO-HO-HO" (see video below).
Santa was awesome (and had his own hair and beard)! The line was long because he was very patient and slow with the children. He talked to them about things other then presents...about being kind, and how special it is to have sisters and how much they should cherish each other. I had heard about some malls in the area with more impressive "sets"...but I had watched this Santa a few times while I was in the mall this past month and was always impressed.
The girls wrote Santa letters each asking for one special thing. Mckenna asked for a gumball machine. Let me just say she is going to be one happy kid this Christmas!
Baileigh wrote her letter and asked essentially for an art kit. She didn't want a specific thing, just lots of paper, markers, crayons etc. I love the line she writes that says "P.S. I believe in you!"
Despite not being willing to sit on Santa's lap, Brooke stood and smiled for the picture.
Here is a quick video of Santa reading Baileigh and Mckenna's letters. In the midst of his conversation with them you can hear Brooke ask Santa to say "HO-HO-HO" and then give a huge smile when he responds to her.

video

Brad and I both got emotional watching the girls with Santa...sounds silly, I know, and we were both surprised. I think we just both envisioned the upcoming years and know that perhaps even next Christmas we may not have three girls so enthusiastic and excited about Santa!