Monthly Archives: January 2011

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the rest


We had a quick “Christmas” this year at our house, which is why I only have a few pictures. Because of my family’s Christmas in Ohio being held on Christmas eve, Santa visited our house that morning, one day early. We woke early, opened gifts, got cleaned up, packed the car and headed out. It wasn’t ideal and it sort of threw everything off, but it was the only time we could all get together. We made it work.

We had a delicious lunch at my Aunt Shari’s house with all my aunts, uncles and cousins. Everyone took turns holding baby Tyler, my cousin Brian’s sweet boy. It’s been a few years since we’ve had a baby around at family gatherings, and we are all just smitten with him.

After lunch, the kids ran around the house like crazies and had a blast together, as usual. Sweet little Cooper fell asleep leaning on a rocking chair (below, top right). The kids opened their gifts and then the adults had a white elephant gift exchange. Jake got the Shake Weight, which I had never heard of before, but I guess there are infomercials for it. He started shaking that thing and everyone cracked up. We were laughing so hard. The kids then had fun hitting everyone with balloons. Cooper got his second wind and attacked the big boys, while his brother Graham fell asleep on the couch. Zach was so cute leaning against him pretending to sleep, too. Zach has always really liked Graham. So sweet.

We had a wonderful time, as always. By about 5 p.m., I was so exhausted that I could barely keep my eyes open. We had been up since about 5:30 a.m. and I was so tired. We stayed at my grandparents house that night and the first thing I did when we got there was lay down on the couch.

Christmas day (Saturday) was spent at my grandparents house. It was a little strange to not be home for Christmas. We had the entire day there just my parents and brothers and us. The rest of dad’s side of the family was arriving on Sunday morning for our family Christmas. So we lazed around all morning, watched a movie “Ramona and Beezus”, had a delicious lunch prepared by my mom, watched both National Treasure movies, and played some games.

The family arrived on Sunday morning and we had a yummy yummy lunch. BBQ pork sandwiches made by my Aunt Deb and her daughters. It was SO good. After lunch, Grandpa went around passing out old Bibles to all the grandsons along with a slip of paper with a verse on it for them to read aloud. They went around and read the verses and we had a little Sunday church service as we always do with Grandpa. It was cool, some of the Bibles were really old and Grandpa told what each was – one was grandpa’s when he was in school, one was grandma’s, etc. Then we had my cousin Brian reading his verse from the Bible on his Kindle and Jake reading his from the Bible on his iPad. The old with the new. :)

We have a new addition to this side of the family as well. My cousin Paul and his wife Kaeli welcomed sweet little Eli last fall. I loved getting to hold him. We were bobbing our heads back and forth together and I had him smiling big. Ah, the baby fever. I’m thankful that there will be lots of baby cousins in the future. :)

For Jake’s family, we had to wait until January for our Christmases since that was the only time we could get together. We did get to spend New Years’ Eve at his dad’s house, though. We hung out with a couple of his sisters and all the kids. They played video games and we played board games and euchre and had snacks. It was a lot of fun bringing in the new year with them.

That next week was when Chloe got sick and I felt really nauseous for days. That Saturday, we had our family Christmas over at Jake’s dad’s house. Everyone was there and it was so nice to see them all. I felt queasy the whole night, though, so that took away from me enjoying myself fully. I didn’t take my camera along because I just wasn’t feeling up to taking any pictures, which is kind of a bummer. I hate not having pictures of that.

But now we’re all well (thank God!) and ready to have our final family Christmas with Jake’s mom. We are all looking forward to a weekend with Heather and Jeff and baby Scarlett. It’s kind of nice stretching Christmas far into January. :)

52 layouts

I’ve been considering what to do this year for a year-in-review album and I think I’ve decided to do something similar to project 365, where people take a picture a day all year long. I won’t be doing that, but Heather just came out with THIS AWESOME TEMPLATE. It can be used for the picture-a-day approach or as one layout per week. I love it! I can handle that. Now, I guess I should probably start taking more pictures so I have something to fill up my pages.

I just threw this layout together as an example. It took me maybe 15 minutes to choose a few pictures, resize them, drag them into the layout, choose a paper for the strip at the bottom, then I tweaked the color of the journaling/title boxes by changing the hue/saturation so it would match the paper and added journaling to each box. So easy!

This is totally doable. 15 minutes a week. You can do that. Then next January, you can look back and have 2011 fully documented and get all the layouts printed into a photobook. I love it!

the other side


just because I’m dreaming of spring and flowers and warmer weather

It has been a very long week around here. Chloe got sick with the flu last week and missed a couple days of school. Then on Sunday evening, Zach got very sick and has been home all week. Yesterday, the sickness finally hit me hard. And Jake came home early from work yesterday and stayed home today as well. It was so hard last night with both of us sick. This is the first time in all the years we’ve been married that we’ve ever been this sick at the same time. He was asleep in the living room and I was asleep in our bedroom. The poor kids had to fend for themselves for the most part. I hated that I wasn’t able to do anything.

Chloe was so sweet, though. She sat outside my bedroom door while I slept and then got me water and medicine and a cold washcloth for my feverish head. At one point, I had to spend some time in the bathroom and when I came out, she was laying on the floor by the door. Then she proceeded to read to me for over an hour. It was the sweetest thing ever.

I woke up today with the worst headache, but I was able to keep some food down and get Chloe to school. Now, I sit here catching up on emails and the other responsibilities of daily life that were ignored for the past few days. Things look so different when you’re on the other side of being sick. Two days ago, I thought it would never end, but now I’m on the mend and I think things will soon be back to normal.

Looking forward to a nice weekend with friends to make up for the nasty week behind us. Have plans to get together with my dear friend Jen this weekend. And my college roomie Julie will be in the area this weekend, too, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to get together, too.

One WONDERFUL thing that came out of this week was the birth of my cousin’s twin daughters – Gillian and Tessa. Congratulations to Josh and Karen! We are so very excited to meet the girls. I think maybe Mom and I will have to plan a trip to Ohio very soon! :)

christmas at the farm

Christmas at my parents’ was a little different this year because it was no longer at the home I grew up in, but at their farm. I really love the farm and, though there isn’t as much room for the kids to run around, it’s a nice cozy space. Feels like home. We had a yummy dinner, as usual, and then opened gifts.

A couple of unexpected guests joined us this year. Naked Ken and naked baby doll. haha! Zach thought it was hilarious.


My silly brothers. This one of Tim cracked me up. And Rick has been putting his stocking on his foot for I don’t know how many years.

Dad opening his gift from us. Chuck – Seasons 1 and 2. I love that show! (Gotta love his glasses pushed up on his forehead. hehe!)

Jake opening one of his gifts. And Zach with his new Diary of a Wimpy Kid shirt – one of his favorite gifts. He also got the Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts School.

The sweetest moment of the night was Chloe’s face when she opened her American Girl doll from Grandma. She had no idea she was getting one. She was almost crying. It was so fun to see her genuine excitement and emotions she could barely contain. :)


You also may have noticed that Chloe came in one outfit (pink), changed to another that was a gift (purple), then another that matched her doll. Such a girl.

I was surprised by a couple gifts, too. A brand new vacuum cleaner, which we’ve needed since ours broke some time ago, and a new set of stainless steel pots and pans. A very nice Christmas indeed.

More Christmas pictures to come.

AJAXed with AWP