Thursday, December 3, 2009

Favorites...Favorites...Skim...No Whip

Come on in...

Grab some hot chocolate...I prefer Peppermint...skim whip.

And look at some of my favorite ornaments...Oh, did I say favorite? That reminds me, I am my mom's favorite! Although my mom loves us all equally (that's what we tell the others), I am the favorite since I was born on her birthday. There are five siblings and I am the only one that got it right ;) (Enter sarcasm here). My mom and I saw these ornaments at a kiosk in the mall a couple years ago and couldn't resist. We had the heart in the top corner personalized with our birth date. Albeit tacky and gawdy, they are perfect for our running family joke. We each have one on our tree and when the siblings are over, we make sure it is front and center...eye level preferably ;)

While we're on the topic of favorites, these two ornaments represent my absolute most favorite people on the planet...M & K = Matthew & Katie (a.k.a Pride & Joy)!

OK, so onto pictures of the tree. Isn't that what this is about anyway?

Over the past couple years, I have gradually transformed my tree into a "color-themed" tree. I try to keep this tree as a balance between being tastefully done and also fun and whimsical for the kids. This is where Santa leaves the gifts afterall! My color scheme is red, white, and silver with splashes of green.

Excuse the blurriness of this photo but I still wanted to post it anyway. I have a few of these ornaments on the tree and they look beautiful at night when the lights reflect off of them.
I buy 90% of my ornaments after Christmas because they are so much cheaper. These ribbon balls were on sale for $1 each so I bought 6 of them. (Three striped and three polka dot).
This year I added some red and white gingham ribbon to match the trim on the tree skirt.
This is the "kid" tree down in the basement. It adorns all the kids non-breakable ornaments. It also has their pre-school made ones along with our "destination" ornaments. Every time we take the kids on a trip, we make a point to find an ornament to add to their collection. It will be fun to look back over the years at all the ornaments that represent the places we've gone together as a family.
We took the kids to Disney World in February. I had never been there before either so this was a first for all of us (except for Chris.)

In August we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. If you live near or visit the Baltimore/Washington area, I highly recommend this attraction!

A couple weeks ago, we went to Luray Caverns and the kids absolutely lurved it! Sorry, couldn't resist ;) It's a beautiful drive through the mountains, which is stunning in the Fall with all the foliage.

Chris attended the annual Oracle World...aka...Nerd October. He brought this Cable Car back for the kids.

I'll leave you with this image. There's something about this picture that just makes me want to curl up on the couch...perhaps in one of those Snuggies...or not...and sip a Grande Peppermint Hot Chocolate...skim whip!
May God bless you and your family this holiday season!

Hop on over to Kelly's Korner to see some more Christmas Trees!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kidney Tests Are Back

About 2 weeks ago, I had to do a 24-hour urine collection to check the status of my kidney functionality. Although I had not experienced any more complications, I was still a little nervous that something would come back abnormal. Not for any particular reason other than the fact that test results rarely yield completely normal results for me. When it comes to other people, I tend to have a much more realistic, optimistic attitude. With myself, not so much. Because of all I have gone through in the past 5+ years regarding my health, nothing surprises me anymore. In fact, it's quite the opposite. What actually surprises me is when I hear that everything IS normal. Weird, I know. I just thank God everyday that I learned so much about my health AFTER being blessed with two healthy children.

Anyway, so the nurse called from the Urologist's office yesterday. Instead of cutting right to the point, she said "Hi, this is "R" from Dr. G's office. I have your urine test results. Has anyone called you yet to discuss the results?" Uh...."no." Of course, I am waiting for bad news at this point. Then she says, "Well, Dr. G looked at all your levels and everything is in the normal range." Well, geez lady! Couldn't you have just said that without prefacing your statement as if I'm going to lose my kidney!?!?!?

The important thing is that everything looks good right now. In three months I will go back for a check up and do some repeat testing and maybe a sonogram to look at my kidney. In the meantime, I will continue taking 4 supplements a day for "maintenance."

With the holidays here, I realize how much I have to be thankful for this season. It's been a crazy year, but in the end, when I count my blessings, it certainly takes more fingers than it does to count my kidneys...I mean...kidney.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fat Man in a Fiat

So it's time again for Show Us Your Life over at Kelly's Korner. This week's theme is "Show Us Your Favorite Christmas Traditions." Ever since I was a kid, my parents hosted a neighborhood Santa party every year. All the neighborhood kids would gather in our garage for cookies while we waited for Santa to arrive...usually in my uncle's convertible Fiat :) Then, we'd all take turns sitting on his lap and telling him that we've been "a good boy or girl" and rattling off our Christmas lists. We'd each receive a candy cane and a photo with Santa.

Once we were grown and out of the house, the tradition stopped...until last year that is! With so many grandchildren, it was only natural that the tradition start again! Now it is held in my parent's basement instead of the garage...with no Fiat...and presents instead of candy canes...and yes, plenty of photos!
In the picture below, you can see that Santa is holding a list. My parents, in an effort to fool all the kids, typed up a list of personal tidbits about each grandchild. That way, when they sat on Santa's lap, he would "know" stuff about them....their likes, interests, favorite things...and most importantly, their names! There are lots of grandchildren to keep straight and our family friend Sam Morton was brave enough to fill the Santa role. The kids had a blast and we look forward to doing it again this year and for many years to come!

Another family tradition is to go to Richmond and have brunch with my husband's family. Below is a picture of the five cousins last year at brunch. Connor, Katie, Madison, Matthew, and Hayden. After we eat, we go visit Santa and yes, take pictures :)

And of course, on Christmas Eve we have to leave out our cookies and milk for Santa. And don't forget the carrots for the reindeer! This picture makes me laugh because it truly captures Matthew's personality. He is inspecting each Gingerbread Man to make sure there are no cracks or broken "limbs." :)
And among my favorite traditions is decorating for Christmas!!!! Can't wait to start that project next weekend. But I'll save those pics for another Kelly's Korner carnival :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thanksgiving and Holiday Bows

Although I am still dragging my feet with putting together a real website and a real business, check this out to see my latest Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday bows.

Here are a couple of my favorites...(and no, I did not make this shirt. just the pigtail bows to go with it.)

Stop by my "I haven't created a website...or a business...but I have fun designing bows - especially holiday bows but can make pretty much anything" site and check out the rest! Oh, and in the meantime, tell me why you think you should win a free bow of your choice :) Or just leave any ol' comment - that qualifies you for the drawing as well :)