Friday, January 31, 2014

A late start

That title could mean two things for this post: 1. yes, I'm super late posting about Christmas but because this is more of my scrapbook than anything else...I'm caring less and less about the self-applied pressure I've created to keep up with blogging. Life is busy and sadly blogging isn't high up on the priority list. But because I want to remember each moment with these sweet little beings - I will continue...late or not. AND 2. We got a seriously late start on decorating for Christmas this year. Between being gone for Thanksgiving and then being gone for Chelsea's wedding we just didn't have the time until a couple of weeks before Christmas. Once we got started we put on the full court press and the kids were ready to team up with us to make it happen!

 Yes, Avery is in a ballet outfit. Hey, at least she's clothed. 

 We purchased a pre-lit artificial tree at the end of the season last year after Christmas so that this year (well, last year..go with me) we could have two trees: a kids tree and an an adult tree. Our adult tree has old ornaments of mine, a series Tim and I began when we got married and then my series that my Grandmomma started for me when I was little (yes, it is still going - longest running series for Hallmark). The girls were all about unwrapping "my houses". 
 Grey pretty much walked around with boxes...stacking them, un-stacking them, carrying them around some more, etc. 
 Love the wonder Christmas decorations evoke - so precious!
 We got the house decorated in a couple of days and then we started doing some other fun holiday things, like making our first gingerbread house..with "Honey". 
 This was all my Mom and Kennedy's project and she says she now knows some things she didn't before (apparently it wasn't a piece of cake). It took them several different shifts to get it done, but in the end they did and it turned out great! Best of all, they made special memories. 

 After all our decor was up, it was time to let the elf loose. Criddle entered the scene via the kids Christmas tree and they were SOOOO excited to see him. 
 The elf...if he only knew the social media drama he caused. Honestly, the elf is fun in our house - he is not a tool for manipulation or bribery with behavior - he is simply to create wonder and fun. My utmost concern at Christmas is that my kids know what we are celebrating and why, so I keep trying each year to tie the two together in some way: 
 I do not stress about where to hide the elf and the elf hides in plenty of boring places, but truthfully I get as much enjoyment out of creating elaborate scenes/escapades for the elf as the kids get out of finding him each day and seeing what he's been "into". So, without further ado: 

 Criddle is clearly a ladies man. 

 I mean, I can't tell a lie - I would totally be up for jumping in a bathtub full of holiday M&M's. Yum...
We were thrilled to be with our new church family on Christmas Eve for a special service, here we are all dressed in our Christmas best! 
 On our way to the church on Christmas Eve, we dropped of cinnamon rolls to our local fire department. My Mom took us once (maybe more but I don't remember) when I was little and I still remember it. It's important to me that the kids understand that although we are enjoying family time together, there are men and women who are working hard to keep us safe and I want them to have a sense of appreciation for their sacrifice and their service. The guys at the firehouse were really nice and showed the kids the truck before we left. 
 After church, we jammied up and got started on cookies for Santa!  
 Pretty sure for every cookie Avery cut out of the dough - she ate one too. Stinker!

 So fun that Kennedy could write her own note to Santa this year! 

Ready for Santa! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Love is in the air

In December, Chelsea said "I do" and I was thrilled to be a part of the festivities! 

Thanks to Tim's Mom, I was able to fly in early in the week to help anywhere I was able and to just be there for Chelsea leading up to the big day. 

The day I flew into Pittsburgh, Chelsea and I ran some errands and then grabbed some food before heading to her house. Well, let's just say that the food we ate didn't set well with me for whatever reason and less than 12 hours later I was so sick that I had to make an emergency call to my Dr. to call in Zofran for me to a local pharmacy. True Story! So awful. I'm happy to report it only lasted 24 hours and no one else was sick. I'm sad to report I lost an entire day of helping and hanging out. 

The day after my own personal plague was the bridal brunch at ironically enough....Chelsea Grill. I cannot tell a lie, I was a tad afraid to eat but I got over it and had a great time with all of these ladies who love Chelsea so very much.
 Love this girl so much...can't imagine life without her!
 One of my favorite parts of the rehearsal and ceremony - the parents praying a blessing over their child and their child to be. Such an incredible way to start things! 
 Um...I think they were "over" the rehearsal but they obliged my request for a picture. 
 Such a beautiful church!
 I love old things. Old buildings. Old jewelry. Old quilts. Old people (true story). The rehearsal was at an old restaurant and I thought it was really cool. 
 such charm
 The groom with my girl. 
 Kennedy had the privilege of speaking at Chelsea's wedding and Chelsea's friend Cindy was nice enough to "fix her up" before the ceremony. 
 My beautiful girl!
 Chelsea wanted snow on her wedding day and snow she got! It was gorgeous. 

 Tim and I went alone with Kennedy and Nana came in to keep the babes. 

 Kennedy practiced and practiced her poem ahead of time and when it was "go time" she did beautifully. Kennedy and I worked together to write the poem but all of the descriptive words were hers. So sweet. 

Kennedy's Poem:

 This day is very special,
Your perfect wedding day!
So here are a few things,
That I would like to say.

You both look so pretty,
In your suit and fancy dress.
And we are all filled,
With joy and happiness

Chelsea: you are generous,
loving, joyful, and witty,
But most of all,
you are so very pretty.

Eric: you are handsome,
Kind, gentle and shy,
And I am so glad,
That you are Chelsea’s guy.

This day has been so much work,
A lot of give and take,
But it will all be worth it,
When we get to taste the cake!

We have reached the end of my poem,
But I have one more thing to say.
I love you both very much!
Happy Wedding Day!!
 Courtney drove up from Ky and I was super thrilled to not only see her but to pass on boat loads of maternity clothes - Yay, yay, yay! 
I felt bad that Chels had a camera in her face 24/7 and thus I didn't take more of her myself, but that meant I had ZERO pictures with her except for the ones the photographer took (gasp!). Thankfully I've not gained access to some of those pictures (perk of being behind in blogging possibly?) So without further ado...the beautiful bride. 

 In addition to reading her poem, Kennedy also participated in the "ring warming" portion of the wedding. The rings were passed around in a sachet and all of the guests were given time to pray a blessing over their marriage. So cool. So emotional. 
 Chelsea has literally felt like a part of our family, so it's hard to believe she's now starting her own (no, she's not pregnant..I just mean she and Eric and at some point little ones). She is going to be an incredible partner for Eric and one day - an awesome Mommy. I couldn't be happier for her..for them. 
Congrats friend! Cheers to your happily ever after!