Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

We are driving to Knoxville, TN this Friday to spend the holidays with our family. I am so exhausted and stressed out trying to pack for three people for the next two weeks!!! Plus, wrapping presents and praying that everything fits in our car and making sure we have plenty of snacks and movies.......but I couldn't be happier!! I love this time of year, the hustle and bustle, the Christmas lights and music, spending time with family. We haven't been to TN for Christmas since 2006 so I am overjoyed to get to spend Christmas in the house that I (for the most part) grew up in. I know my Mom loves when we come home for the holidays so she can really decorate the house and put up a tree for her Granddaughters. I grew up away from big city living and so appreciate that when I go home because it's so quiet and relaxing. I love going home for any extended amount of time! Heather, it goes without saying that we'll miss you and Marco terribly!

Also, I LOVE getting to spend Christmas with my in-laws. Now how many people can say that? We have so much fun playing games and working puzzles and grazing on treats all day long. My sister-in-law Cathy works at Hershey's so she always has plenty of chocolate around and is so welcoming and accomodating! Having a house full of people might be stressful for some but not for Cathy. My other sister-in-law Lisa LOVES babies and has a heart as big as Texas. Since her babies are all grown up she loves on all her little nieces and nephews like they were her own! She is so genuine that you can't help but love her. Really, I think of them both as two extra sisters (and I am pretty fond of their significant others and beautiful children as well).

In the middle of all this is Jason's mother Alva, a.k.a. "Nu-nu." Don't ask me who came up with that name but I think it was Miranda, the first born Granddaughter. She is a doting "Nu-nu" who ALWAYS remembers your birthday. She spoils her grandchildren along with the best of them. And I love when she reminisces about the past because I not only get to hear funny stories about Jason but about Cathy and Lisa as well, and there are some funny ones.

No matter where you choose to spend the holidays I truly hope that they are blessed! We won't be back in Arkansas until late January 5th, so Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Can't wait to see your holiday pics and share ours as well. Love to all!!

Do you believe?

After family Gymboree today we went to the mall with Erin, Delaney, and Livi to have lunch and to whisper our Christmas wishes into Santa's ear. Now, last year Hanna wasn't very fond of the white bearded man but this year.......she couldn't wait to share what she wanted for Christmas. At first she was nervous and a little hesitant until she saw her best friend Delaney walk away unscathed. It might have helped that she had Haley up there with her even though Haley was sweetly oblivious to what was happening.

If you haven't gone to the Pinnacle Hills Promenade to see need to. This jolly old elf embodies the whole concept of the magic of Christmas. I mean, I even wanted to sit in his lap and give him a big hug and tell him thank you! If you don't believe, you will after taking one look at this Santa Claus. You can take your own pictures, plus, you get a 20% off coupon from Gymboree!

For the last few months the only thing Hanna has exuberantly asked for is a "dwagon castle." She may have seen something on tv or in a magazine, I'm not really sure. She hasn't requested anything other than that. A few nights ago her Bratz spin toothbrush spinned for the last time and I casually mentioned that maybe Santa will bring her a new toothbrush. So, I thought the first thing she'd ask for would no doubt be the dragon castle, instead, she stuck her lower lip out and looked down and said "My brush teef hasn't been wooking to well." Of course he had to ask what she said and I shamefully explained that her tooth brush wasn't working. He said the funniest thing, "Well that is tragic." After a little coaxing, she finally admitted what she really wanted. We're counting on you Santa, don't let us down!

Thank you Nu-nu for the adorable reindeer sweater!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Zachary's 4th Birthday

Happy Birthday Zach! We love you!

On Sunday we went to Zach's 4th birthday party at the Little Gym. The kids got to bounce up and down, catch bubbles, run and play, and then have cake. I'd say it was the perfect party. Hanna was the only little girl but she didn't seem to mind at all. She loves hanging with her two favorite guys, Zach and Nicholas.

Hanna and "Nichas"

Last Friday I had an appointmet to get my hair done and Jason wasn't able to take off from work to watch the girls for me. I had arranged to leave Haley with my friend Tran and Hanna with my friend Erin. I figured it would be easier to split them up. Erin's family ended up getting sick the day before and we didn't want to chance it. So, Tran stepped up to the plate (nervously) to watch both Hanna and Haley. I knew she could handle it. Both girls were on their best behavior, or so she says. Tran took a couple pictures of Hanna and Nicholas jumping in her bed while Haley napped. Thank you Tran and Nicholas!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sister Sister

Some people might say that it would suck to have to share a birthday with your sister. In the last thirty.....something years that thought has never crossed my mind. I always felt pretty special to have a carbon copy of myself to help blow out the candles. Sure, we had our fare share of "sharing" but the good always out-weighed the bad. People always asked if we could read each others minds or feel each others pain. Thankfully that's a no on both! But we do share a special bond......I mean, we did come from the same egg and all. We may not be able to read each others minds but we are definitely on the same wave-length and are very similar in a lot of ways.

We have duked it out at times, as most sisters do; fighting over the curling iron and hairspray while getting ready for school, fighting over clothes, who gets to go first, fighting over who's turn it is to empty the dishwasher.......the list goes on and on. I've said many times that I couldn't imagine growing up without her. She was there the day I was born, she was there my first day of kindergarten, she was there when I graduated highschool, got engaged, she was my maid of honor, and she was there for the birth of my first child. She has proven herself to be the greatest aunt to my little girls and I know that she loves them dearly and misses getting to see them everyday. I can't wait until the day I get to spoil her little ones! And while our lives have taken two different paths I still feel as close as ever. Just wanted you to know that you're always in my thoughts and I adore you and think you have great taste. Also, I kind of forgot to mail you a birthday card. So, without further adieu.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!!! I will love you forever.
Gotta love those prom pictures!!

I said, brrrrrrr

What a great day to pull out the winter sweaters! Thank you Mimi for the girls' matching sweaters. They looked so cute in them!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Pictures

Hanna and Haley were supposed to have their Christmas pictures taken together but it didn't work out as planned. It's just as well, I think they probably turned out better separately. It's stressful enough trying to get the perfect shot of one much less making them pose together. Hanna's were taken at her school and Haley's at Picture People. Haley was very unsure about the whole thing and didn't care to be sat down on the big white paper alone. She really didn't trust the photog and she wouldn't even look at him! I was cracking up at her. She eventually warmed up to him but never let her guard down completely. I was curious to see how Hanna's turned out since I wasn't with her when they were taken. I think she posed like a perfect little lady.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Merci Beaucoup!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all that attended the party and for your thoughtful and generous gifts. It would not have been the same without all of you there (we missed you Zack H.). We love our little Hanna so much and it is deeply gratifying that you all share that love (at least a little). Having said that, I feel the need to shout out a few special "thank you's" to some individuals that deeply deserve it. So, here goes......and these are in no particular order.

Christina, thank you so much for taking the time and even wanting to make Hanna that very special tutu. It is gorgeous and was such a sweet surprise and so perfect for her birthday party attire. It really took the guess work out of what to dress her in and I really appreciate it so much. She wanted to wear it to school today to show her friends.

Tran, thank you so much for finding and buying the sweet gumdrop garland for Hanna's party. It was so sweet of you to think of us and it added so much to the deco. I wouldn't have had anything to drape around the kitchen chandelier without out it. I loved it! And thank you for creating the candy themed background for my blog. I'm just crazy about it!

Anthony, thank you so much for compiling my crazy list of candy/lollipop songs onto a cd for Hanna's birthday party. It was so much fun listening to the songs playing in the background. I know some of the songs were probably hard to find since some were ancient but I really appreciate you taking the time to find each and every song. I will keep that cd forever!

Mom, you don't know how much I appreciate you writing out the party invitations and addressing the envelopes. I've always loved your handwriting and can't duplicate it no matter how hard I try. It took such a load off and lowered my stress-o-meter considerably. You also helped with the placemats which was a huge help. Thank you for taking care of the girls Thanksgiving weekend while I worked away!

Heather, thank you for lending your artistic hand and creating several of the placemats. No way I could've done them all myself! Thank you for helping with the decorations and shopping for candy supplies with me but most of all thank you for listening to me ramble on and on about my thoughts and ideas without too much complaint. Love you!

Jennifer, I can't thank you enough for getting us the Candyland beach towels!!!! I am in love with them. I know it took some effort on your part to make it happen. It was such a special treat to be able to send the kids home with them. Thank you!!!!

Raven, without you the candy party probably wouldn't have transpired. I hadn't given too much thought as to what I would do for Hanna's birthday when you came to me back in September with the candy idea. You know how much Hanna loves her candies as you've been the supplier on more than one occassion. Thank you for the great idea.......and so sorry your candy boogers didn't make the buffet.

Erin, you enthusiastically kept an eye out for ANYTHING candy! I so appreciate you taking an interest and wanting to help out with the party. I think you had as much fun as I did hunting for candied treasures. I would have never stumbled upon the candy flavored chapsticks and bath gels had you not found them. And thank you for the precious "Happy Birthday Hanna" flag with the little pink lollipop from Gaddie & Tude. It was the perfect topper for her cake.

Last but certainly not least, Jason, how do I begin. You are such a great husband and doting father to our girls. You put up with my many shenanigans (that is a word, I looked it up) and usually have a smile on your face while doing so. I know I drove you up a wall and back over the last few months with my crazy candy capers. I appreciate you letting me have my fun and not complaining too much (just wait till you get the credit card bill). A little nervous about that one. Just keep in mind that this was all for Hanna whom you deeply love. Thank you for hanging my paper lanterns.......several times until you got it right. You were a picture taking fool at the party and even had the video camera going at the same time! For that, I thank you a million times over. Luckily, it only happens once a year.......well, twice.

I think that covers everyone and if I left anyone out, may I be lashed with a wet noodle a thousand times! Never quite understood that statement but at any rate I do sincerely apologize if I've slighted anyone. Many thanks!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Candy Land Birthday Party

On Sunday December 7th we threw Hanna's 3rd birthday party which was a Candy Land themed party. I LOVED planning and decorating for this party SO much because who doesn't love candy. The colors were so vibrant and I lucked out and found a ton of candy-themed items and made a few of my own. The party was so Hanna, as she always says, "I yiiiiike candy." Hanna was so excited for her friends to come and sing happy birthday to her and eat cake. She kept wanting to know what color her cake was going to be. Party-goers included Zach Knight, Nicholas Robinson, Delaney Ewing, Bella Bauer, and Peyton Mudd.

They got to decorate foam trees and stockings and cookies that looked like lollipops. Afterwards, we plated up chicken fingers, sweet potato fries, and mandarin oranges for the kiddos while the adults had calzones. I decided to make the cake myself and used a french vanilla mix and made a cream cheese frosting which I tinted the prettiest shade of pink. My vision was to have the cake look like a swirly lollipop on top but I think it more resembled the greenish eye of a hurricane. You be the judge. At least it tasted pretty good.

After eating cake, we proceeded into the kitchen nook area to open presents. Hanna was spoiled by all her friends with lots of great gifts and she LOVED all of them. We wanted to show her friends how much we appreciate them and sent them home with some goodies of their own. I made personalized place mats for each to keep. I set up a candy buffet with Chinese take-out boxes so everyone could fill up with assorted candies (skittles, runts, m&m's, sour balls, gummie bears, gummie worms, candy necklaces & bracelets, smarties, ring pops, lollipops, chocolate bars wrapped in a special Hanna wrapper) and candy flavored chapsticks and bath gels. They also got a Candy Land game beach towel that came with game pieces, so cute.

Overall, I think the party was a great success, nobody shed any tears during the process (nobody=myself). No, the tears came the next day on Hanna's actual birthday when I was reading her the card my Mom sent. I just got emotional at that very second when the realization hit me that my sweet baby Hanna is a big girl "fwee yeaws old." She was very concerned about my blubbering tears and asked if I was sad. I told her yes a little and then she said a very big girl thing (which made me cry even more), "Oh, Mommy. It'll be awe-white." We love you so much Johanna Cathleen.......Happy 3rd Birthday!!