Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas was just a little different this year. We woke up late (a Christmas miracle with a toddler!) and made cinnamon rolls. Then we just crashed and watched Rudolph and Frosty that Grandma sent us. During Bella's nap, I gave Steve a shower and got all of our bags ready, and once she woke up, we headed over to our friends' house.
Dinner was at the parents of Trey, our youth pastor. Trey and Whitney were friends before Steve's accident, but they have just gone above and beyond and have been so supportive through this process. We were told to call Trey's parents, Big Daddy and Ginger, which pretty much made my Christmas all by itself! Their Christmas tradition is to have crab legs for dinner, and it was amazing! I brought along some more "normal" food for Steve - ham, mac 'n' cheese, and a salad, but I definitely had my fill of crab!
We will definitely never forget this Christmas! We missed our family so much, but our friends were so generous and welcoming. Whitney even had presents for us so that we wouldn't feel left out when the family opened all of their presents. Trey's mom, Ginger, gave us a get us "crab leg crackers" so that we would always remember this day. Such a wonderful family!

Mommy and Bella making cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning

Daddy napping before breakfast

Bella playing with the toy kitchen at Big Daddy and Ginger's house...she loved this!

Just one of the many pots of crab legs!

Our official Christmas Day picture. For the record, the baby is not ours; Charlotte Faith is Trey and Whitney's youngest. Steve was the designated "baby holder" while the rest of us were clearing the table.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh. My. Word.

This is a wonderful problem to have, but our freezer and fridge will not hold anything else! We have been blessed beyond belief with food from our friends, our church, and Steve's bank. Just when I thought our freezer couldn't hold anymore, one of Steve's co-workers brought over "Christmas dinner" from the employees. It included...(drumroll, please) entire ham, an entire turkey (full-size!), large containers of green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, pumpkin pie, apple pie, a breakfast casserole, 4 2-liters of soda, and a bottle of sparkling grape juice for New Year's Eve! Like I said, oh my word!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

We Are Loved

Everyone knows about Steve's accident, so this is going to be a positive post! The most discouraging part of the accident (other than the surgery and hip itself) has been that we won't be able to spend Christmas with the Wires side of our family. Steve and I have been looking forward to this for weeks, and it was a huge disappointment. (I promise I'm working up to the positive stuff.) Presents, of course, are not a substitute for our awesome family, but I opened the door this afternoon to check the mail, and the mailman was walking up to the door with an armload of packages...all from Steve's family and stuffed with homemade goodies and our Christmas presents! It was a wonderful moment that made us so grateful for the family that we have. We're going to wait for Christmas to actually open the presents, but I can tell you already that Bella made out like a bandit! Here's everything set out on our couch - a huge, gigantic "thank-you" to Grandma Ferguson, Grandma Wires, Mom and Dad, Stacey and Craig, Matt and Julie, and our wonderful nieces and nephews! We miss you all so much!

Our friend, Ben, stopped by with lunch and he brought his dog, Scotch. Bella loved him! She giggled and chased after him the entire time - I think she terrified the poor little guy. She had a really cute moment when Ben held Scotch and let Bella come up and pet him. She babbled away and had a whole conversation with him.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Santa, We're Sorry...

I guess I should be happy that Bella hates strangers and pray that this continues when she's 4 and playing in the park. I have to admit, I really, really, really, really wanted her stranger-hatred to pause for just one evening, so she could smile happily on Santa's lap. Not so much...we showed up at Chick-Fil-A and she had a great time. She was in a really good mood, so about halfway through dinner, we decided to try it.

I picked her up, pointed out Santa, moved to the Christmas tree to show her the ornaments, and then pointed to Santa again. She was great with all of that until she figured out what we had in mind, and then it was definitely all over from there. We took one with me still holding her, but it didn't matter - she already knew the plan, so we decided to just let her scream it out on Santa's lap. Santa was a champ, by the way. He was the same Santa that CFA had last year and very sweet.

We returned to our dinner to let her calm down and then watched about 10 other children smile sweetly on Santa's lap (stupid kids). I posted one on FB already, but here are our official Santa 2010 pictures...enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let's Twist Again!

The Christmas program was a huge success! This year, it was designed as dinner and a show; I think having dinner really added a fun element, because people were able to just relax and visit with each other. I invited the parents of one of the little boys that I watch, and Steve invited a co-worker and his fiance. I survived with only one embarrassing moment - thankfully, it's too long to describe for the blog.

On to happier memories...our song, "Let's Twist Again" was an absolute blast! Our costumes were horribly unflattering (well, mine was), but we just tried not to look in the mirror after getting changed. Some picture of our group...

Ashleigh, in the green skirt, sang the solo. She did a great job!

I think Emily bribed someone to be able to wear a V-neck shirt; it fit much better than the other shirts. As you can see, "goldenrod" is not a good color choice for me.

Our program

Friday, December 10, 2010

What's A Girl To Do?

I was all prepared to write about a special moment Bella and I had today. As I was sitting on the stairs, watching her and Rex play in the playroom this morning, she walked up to me, took the toy out of my hand, and wrapped her little fingers around mine to hold my hand. She then gave me the sweetest, most satisfied smile. It was precious. It would have made for a beautiful blogging moment. But, of course...

A few minutes later, I was in the kitchen and heard what sounded like pine cones being smashed against one another. The only place I have pine cones is ON TOP of the dining room table. That's right...I walked in to find this...

She used the farmer's bench to climb up on the table! How did she figure that out?!? Maybe it wasn't that hard for her mischievous toddler brain, but I really never thought of the bench being a potential hazard. Apparently, she found the pine cones and candle too hard to resist.

It was hard to scold her when I was secretly so impressed that she figured out how to climb up there without dying.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our "Snow Belle"

Mom Wires sent a box of Christmas goodies this week! (If your mother-in-law doesn't do this, I'm very sorry, but mine's the best.) The box had Christmas cookies, some cute outfits for Bella, our yearly ornament (she buys one for each of us - again, the best), and a Little People Nativity set so that Bellla could put her grubby little hands and mouth on her own Christmas decoration! We took some pictures of Bella in her new PJ's by the Christmas tree. I switched out the PJ pants with thick tights and boots to make it look more like a "day" outfit for the pictures. Now, I have some seriously cute nieces and nephews (I think my sisters-in-law put special chemicals in their food to make them this way), but these pictures are so stinkin' adorable!
Yes, I gave my child a glass ornament...I was trying to distract her and I didn't think she'd put it in her mouth. Silly, Mommy.
This one is going on her high school Senior "memories" board one day!

Her "sweetness" pose

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Girls Gone Wise...

I teach the 10th grade girls' class at my church for Sunday School, and I am preparing to do a study with them on the book, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild. I cannot tell you how unbelievably excited I am about this book. My parents did a great job of communicating to Mel and I about sex and dangers, etc., but I still feel like a lot of the teaching stopped at "don't have sex." In all fairness to my parents, it could have been that my hormonal teenage self was just ignoring the lessons, but still...
This book covers topics like body language, flirting, setting boundaries, and appearance. It would probably be a good study for a group of women, too, but I am just so excited to teach it to the 10th grade class. I would love to think that 16-year olds are still innocent and naive, but we all know that's just not true. And I really want to talk to them about real-life experiences; not just" don't have sex", but all of the decisions and warning flags that should go off in their minds before they're even at that point. I haven't finished the whole book yet, but I would still highly recommend it to someone with teenage girls. The website,, is also an incredible resource.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friend Time

I have to post a picture in honor of one of our best friends, Melissa. We were all at Melissa's house on Saturday night to help put up their Christmas tree and decorations (which were gorgeous, by the way!). Melissa (or, Auntie Melissa) usually thinks Bella doesn't like her since she sees Bella at church, and Bella is always cranky and tired. On Saturday night, Melissa and Bella had some fun "toy time" with just the two of them. It was really sweet, and I think Melissa enjoyed getting to spend some time with her when Bella wasn't screaming and clawing for Mommy. Ah, the joys of a toddler!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekend Plans

One week down, only two more to go! I am barely containing my excitement to be in Ohio! Normally, I don't long after cold, snowy weather and gray skies, but this trip means a great road trip with Steve, stopping for dinner at an actual restaurant (or pizza delivery), staying in a hotel, and an entire week to crash with family that we rarely get to see!!!
Tonight, Steve and I are going to see The Nutcracker. One of our youth group guys won the lead for the toy soldier, so we're going to support him and make this our "Christmas date". I spent yesterday baking, and we're going to visit Steve's widows and widowers (he's a deacon, so they're not his ACTUAL widow) on Saturday morning. :) We're bringing Christmas cookies and poinsettias...very "Christmasy."
Sunday begins a loooooooong week of choir rehearsals, dance practices, and the Christmas program at church. I'm in a 1950's dance routine for the song, "Let's Twist Again" - complete with poodle skirt and saddle shoes! It promises to be extremely fun and completely humiliating all at the same time.
Here's a video of Bella on her horse! Hopefully, it will load...

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's A Walk In the Park

Last night, we visited Mel's store on the Square and walked around the park. Bells is finally getting big enough to be able to play in the area that they have set up for kids. They have a big train for kids to play on and a little train depot.
All bundled up and ready to go! It was really chilly; once we got to the park, we had to add her new hat.

Checking out the train depot.

Playing in the "engine room"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanskgiving Yumminess

We had a great week with my side of the family - Mom, Dad, and Rachel got here on Monday night and we had a great time Christmas shopping, visiting Mel's store for lunch on the Square, and Thanksgiving! Some pictures from the week...

Sweet potato puree with a maple syrup and pecan topping.

Fabulous apple pie...Mom Wires' recipe with a lattice top. It was delicious!

Mom on the motorcycle...had to have a "bike" picture in here! Mom had a blast!
We had "fake Christmas" on Friday morning. This was our chance to have Christmas with my side of the family, and it's a fun way to have two Christmases! My favorite gifts were a food processor from my parents and a robe from Steve.

Mel got Steve a Harley Davidson Atlas; it shows where the good bike routes are and describes the motorcycle laws of each state.

Bella and her stocking - she got a lot of baby powder and socks (It sinks when Mommy shops for you!).

Bella got a girl's bomber jacket and a set of puzzles from Grandma and Grandpa. Loved them!

And finally...we took some family pictures on the swing in the backyard for our Christmas card. We just took some family pictures, but for the Christmas card, we like to include Mel, too. I don't want to give away the picture yet, but here's a cute one of Bella that I cropped.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pear and Fig Pandowdy

I love Martha Stewart! Reading her magazine is when my crafty, nerdy, baking, scrapbooking side gets to come out. I really like the holiday issues, because there are a ton of recipes. I am not a great cook - my mom and sister definitely have the skills in that area, but I can (usually) follow a recipe.

My family is coming into town tonight and since I'm sure we'll be quickly overwhelmed with all of the Thanksgiving yummies that are our traditions. I wanted to make a new recipe ahead of time.

Here is a recipe I found in Martha Stewart; it's a pear and fig pandowdy, which I read is the New England version of a cobbler. It smells divine!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Price I Pay For Being Stubborn...

Okay, so I'm sure over the course of my life, I've paid worse "prices" for being stubborn, but this one is current...

When you have a baby or toddler in your home (in my case, three toddlers), you have to decide just how hardcore you want to be about child-proofing. I've read a lot of articles that suggest accepting your current state and removing anything that has decorative or sentimental value from your home until your child is about 5 years old. This is just not me; I can't remove everything I love from my home, and especially my living room.

As a stay-at-home-mom who has to see the inside of her house all day, I want to take pride in my home and how it's decorated, and I don't want the whole room to be decorated in exersaucers and sippy cups. I want to be able to clean up at the end of the day and have it look like a "normal," adult living room. Maybe this is just asking for a headache, but it's what we've chosen so far.

The risk you run, of course, is when a small human and your decor collide. In this case, Rex (one of the toddlers I watch) decided to use my caroler figurine as drumsticks against the side table. And since I've already put way to much dialogue into this blog, can I just whine for a moment and say that chasing three toddlers around the house, while also trying to keep the room intact, can be EXHAUSTING! There, I whined. Now I'm off to find some super-glue...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

Worked on our Thanksgiving craft this week. We traced her hand to make the turkey's body, and I cut out feathers, an eye, and whatever the weird red thing is that hangs down (I'm too lazy to Google it right now). Then she colored the little body. I did it for all three toddlers and made extra of Bella's hand for both grandmas. Coming in the mail soon!

The back that shows the outline of her hand. She's so cute and pudgy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

'Tis the Season...

...for footie pajamas and runny noses!

Steve absolutely LOVES seeing Bella in footie PJ's, so whenever the weather gets colder, I find some new ones for her to wear. It's so cute to see her walk around in them - she's so cozy and fuzzy!

Bella is also working on her first cold of the season, and I think Rex is, too. I always make sure I'm stocked up on tissues - they sneeze a lot and toddler noses are not cute with snot! We're extremely thankful that Bella's colds tend to be mild. Steve and I were commenting last week about how thankful we were that we had never had to take Bella to an E.R. or urgent care facility. I think that's a miracle for a toddler! We have a tough little human!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Steve's Deacon Ordination

Sunday night was Steve's deacon ordination. Pastor had each of the men stand, one at a time with their wife, and he read a short testimony about each man. Then the men sat down on chairs at the front of the sanctuary, and their wives stood behond them. Pastor invited any man who had been ordained as a deacon or elder to come and pray around the men in groups. Steve and I had about 6 or 7 men around us, most of whom we knew well, and it was a really special time of prayer and blessing.

Believe it or not, Steve wasn't nervous...I think this is his "waiting" face. :)

We had eight people on the other side of the camera trying to get Bella's attention and make her smile, but no such luck! I think she's staring at Auntie Mel right here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Garage Sale Finds

Found these two pieces at a garage sale this morning. I spent a total of $3.91. I love them!

On the bottom one, I just bought the print and put it in a frame I already had.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Man and Christmas Decorations

I guess those two titles should have been separate...first, my man! Steve received an award at the bank for Credit Analyst of the Month! It is the first time the bank has ever given out the award, so it's pretty cool for him. His bosses are going to take him out to lunch, but more importantly, he received a 1/2 day off for free! This means more time with the family for Thanksgiving! Wahoo! Bella doesn't exactly bring home a lot of artwork, so I taped Steve's certificate to the fridge.

Next...I know it's early (okay, VERY early), but I've already decorated for Christmas. I usually hold off a little longer than this, but we had a free weekend - very rare for us - so I decided to drag the boxes out of the attic and get some of it done. Having Bella be a little older inspired me to make some homemade decorations. I might be able to claim that Bella made them, because they definitely look like a child did them! I'm just telling myself that it makes it more "homey".

This is the only picture I took of the homemade crafts. I made a snowman and a bunch of paper snowflakes to hang in the windows. It won't snow in Georgia in time for Christmas, so this is the best I could do!


Our mistletoe! Hung in a very convenient spot with lots of traffic! The little neighbor boy that I watch in the afternoon (he's 9) is terrified that he's going to walk beneath it at the same time I do. I've promised him that I won't attack him.

And my favorite...a nativity set given to me by Steve's mom. It's from the Willow Tree company; I have quite a few of their pieces that are "maternity" or "parenting", and I just love this set! It always goes on our mantel.

I'll put up some more pictures when it's closer to the actual season!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Playground on Sunday

We finally had a relaxing weekend! It's been about 6 weeks since we could claim that, so I was excited. Saturday morning was our photo shoot with our friend, Ellen. It was really cold and a little windy, but we were determined to persevere. Ellen got some gorgeous shots! She sent us a few samples, and I love them! I'll post some of the final shots when they come in.
I woke up feeling sick on Sunday, so we didn't go to church. We just took it easy and after lunch, we walked to the playground in our subdivision. Bella is still figuring out that she can do things on her own, so it's fun to watch her realize she can do it by herself.
Going to post a short video of her on the slide by herself! She loved going down and didn't even seem to mind plopping on her butt at the end. Once she realized she had sand on her hands, THEN she started fussing. Go figure! It was a nice, relaxing family experience.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Am THAT Parent...

1. I let my child play with a toy (even in her mouth) while walking around Target, and then just put the toy back before we check out.

2. I no longer think it's disgusting when she eats something off the floor without even using her hands.

3. I go the the bathroom with the door closed and the lights off just to have a moment of peace and quiet.

4. When I go to the Kiddie Play area in the mall, I want to hit the other children.

5. I let the three toddlers in my house trade sippy cups like it's their job.

6. I strongly believe that "Repeat Play" should be an option on every Disney movie's menu.

7. I gave up forcing my child to eat green vegetables and now just feed her pears from a can.

8. My proudest moment was when my child blew on her own french fry to cool it down.

9. I've yelled at my child while she was throwing a tantrum.

10. I've had to call Poison Control three times in the last year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Signs Of Fall

Fall officially hit North Georgia this week! We've woken up to freezing rain most mornings, and it seems like overnight, people have gotten out their winter coats. I realize to people actually living in cold climates, it doesn't seem cold here, but 40 degrees is definitely cold enough for this Florida girl to start wearing turtlenecks! Here are signs around our house that Fall has arrived...

Having so much rain made my dahlia bushes explode! These beautiful peach blooms came like crazy at the beginning of the week, so I used them as a centerpiece for a dinner with friends on Monday. I love having fresh flowers in the house!

Our pumpkin dressed as a pilgrim turkey! When we went to the Pumpkin Patch, I specifically bought a pumpkin just to dress him up! These wooden pieces are made by Steve's dad and they look great! I've even had my neighbor ask how she can buy one.

Nasty grey clouds! I've actually been looking forward to cooler weather for awhile now - it's hard to get excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas when it's still 80 degrees outside. Unfortunately, it also means that my time outside with Bella is extremely limited.

Stopped at Target last night and couldn't resist this adorable pea coat for Bella! Steve's blue eyes look great anytime he wears red, so I'm thinking Bella's will do the same.

We have our "Official Wires Family Photo Shoot" this weekend with Ellen, a Senior in our youth group. She has done portraits of a lot of the families that we know, and I'm excited to work with her! Pray that Bella is in a good mood on Saturday morning!