Friday, December 31, 2010

Hasta la bye-bye, 2010

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I could wax eloquent about 2010, about all the good and bad and change and growth it brought.

But I’m tired.  We have been going non-stop with the holiday festivities for a solid month; Seth is continuing to boycott potty training, Erin is teething, and the inner workings of my brain aren’t something you want to be privy to right about now.

So, instead, some NYE linky love.

My dear Mandie, who had a year much like mine, made me just laugh out load with her year end post.

The always eloquent Kelle.  Just go read it.  The post, and the back links.  You won’t regret it, I promise.

And if you just want some mindless-yet-inspiring homey project fun to while away the hours while you wait for the ball to drop, head over to Rhoda’s for a linky party of the best home projects of 2010.

Happy New Year, peeps.  I’d tell you I’ve resolved to be a better blogger in the new year, but….yeah.  I’ll do what I can do, how’s that?

Thank you for being faithful readers this year.  I know that so many of us read in Google Reader, or other feeders, and that makes a big difference in the ease and frequency of commenting, but I know you are out there, and I love you!

Muah!  Welcome, 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours….

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May your holiday be blessed, and may all God’s riches be yours this season.

Love,

Jim, Monica, Seth, and Erin

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You are my sunshine, Little Man

Happy third birthday, Seth James.

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Fighter.  We started the year out with a bang, didn’t we?  I look at that picture of you, sitting in that hospital bed at Vanderbilt, and my heart breaks all over again.  You were so little, and we were so scared.  But you are a fighter, little man.   Other than the day you were born, I don’t know that I’ve ever been so amazed by the creation of your body, your life, and the miracle that you are.

If we could not start out this year with an ambulance ride, that’d be great. ;)

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Hot mess, to quote Miss Jessi.  Dude.  Your hair.  It’s wonder of nature….and it just might be time to sport a new ‘do.  But for now, I see this snapshots of your double crown in the back, and the overgrown widow’s peak in the front, and I can only smile.

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Heart-stealer.  Ah, your favorite people – your grandparents.  Seth, they love you so much.  I hope you have many, many years with them.  One of the redeeming things about coming from a family with a history of divorce is that you, sweet boy, get to benefit from more-than-the-average-number of grandmas and grandpas.

I know that since we moved you to Tennessee, you don’t get to see them as much as you used to…. but know that distance doesn’t dull love.  Oh, who am I kidding? You already know this!  Even the hundreds of miles between you and your grandparents don’t phase you – they are still your best buds, and you talk about them as though they live across the hall.  Here’s to many more shake-milks with your besties.

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Oh, Seth.

This photo ranks top 5 for 2010.  You were so much fun this spring.  (You still are, but man, there was something special about playing with you in the days leading up to welcoming Erin into our home.)  Maybe it was because I was so intent on enjoying my last days with you as my “baby.”  I know all too soon – if not already – you’ll be too big (or at least too busy) to be pushed down the sidewalk on your Little Tykes trike.

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Brother.  I had no idea.  NO idea, when I snapped this picture of Erin’s first minutes home with you, that you would become the light of her world.  Seth, your baby sister ADORES you.  You are her favorite person, hands down, and I love that.  You are the best big brother, and she is so lucky to have you.

I pray that you will always love her and care for her as much as you do right now.  Compassion, tenderness, and a friendly heart will serve you well throughout your life; I’m glad you get to practice those skills with Erin.  I’m glad I get to WATCH you practice with Erin; you are teaching me more and more each day.

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Explorer.  Watching you learn, Seth, is the highlight of my days.  You are so determined to keep up with the big kids – it both warms and wrenches my heart.  On one hand, I want you to stay little, in 18 month shorts and size 4 Crocs.  On the other hand, I know you have to grow.  Your clothes have to get bigger numbers on the tags; your mind has to develop more – even to the point where you can begin to hold a logical argument with me; your world has to broaden, even as I’d hope to shelter you just a little longer.

Keep doing your thing, little man, even if it seems like Mommy isn’t ready.  I’m probably not; but you are.

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Daredevil.  No fear, little one.  You have no fear.  You’ll ride it, jump off it, crawl under it; you’ll build it bigger, stack it higher, throw it further; all with the gusto and gumption us “older” folks envy.  I love seeing you tackle new things, and I hope you’ll always be as curious and open to new things as you are at this stage of your life.  (Except when it comes to all the big no-no’s out there in the world….but you’re only three; we’ll talk about those later.)

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Bailey-bud.  And then there is your buddy, Bailey.  He is your best friend.  And I LOVE that.  Nonna could not have known when she brought you an ease-you-in-Erin present that we’d be getting the best dog ever as a part of our family.

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People-bud, too.  Thankfully, Bailey isn’t your only friend.  You also charm the likes of non-stuffed peeps.  Claire and Aylin are only a couple of the people you love most in your life.  I am so glad that you have such a sweet spirit, and that people like to be around you.  I think you get your social side from me (which is great), but I also think you get your more laid back traits from your dad (which is even better), and that makes you a great little guy to be around.

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Helper.  I know I don’t tell you often enough, but I love that you love to be around me, and that you want to do the things I do.  From bathing Erin, to mixing things up in the kitchen, to vacuuming, though I sometimes get exasperated with having you right underfoot, you are the best sidekick a mommy could ask for.

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Stud.  You’re starting to have some pre-pubescent tendencies.  Stopping to check yourself out in the mirror, closing your door for privacy…it cracks me up, but we’re just rolling with it.  You are becoming more and more your own self each day, and, well, we are just so lucky to be your parents and to be able to sit back and watch the transformation.

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Star-gazer.  No dream is too big, son.  We love you so very much, and are here to support you in your dreams every step of the way.  (Even if that dream is, today, at three years old, a purple unicorn PillowPet!)  No matter what, we love you.  You are God’s greatest gift to us.

Happy third birthday, darling boy.  You are my sunshine, today and always.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Random Thursday Musings

  • I love, love, love the way the sunlight warms up the rooms at the back of our house, especially in the dining room and Seth’s room.  There is just something about the way Sherwin Williams’ Blonde takes in the light and magnifies it hundred-fold.  It just makes me smile.
  • I can’t get used to Erin’s new toothy smile. It has totally transformed her face, and while that’s not a bad thing, my mommy-heart is aching with the cold, hard truth of her growth.
  • Potty training Seth is going to teach me more about patience and compassion that any other parenting experience to date.
  • It really is better to give than receive.  I’m not really anticipating what is under the tree for me – though I will appreciate any gifts; I’m much more excited about what I’ve chosen for my family.  I was much more intentional and thoughtful about what I selected this year, and I hope they all love their gifts as much as I love them (them being the recipient, not the gift, I mean).
  • I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed a cup of coffee more than the one I made this morning.  Peppermint Mocha creamer, a favorite mug, no reason to get out of my jammies, and my littles both in a great mood = the perfect way to ease this non-morning-person-momma into the day.
  • I’m not going to stress about not getting a post up for the “show us your tree” part of the Holiday Home link parties.  It’d be simple enough to get a picture or two of our trees, but I’m letting myself off the hook.  However, I am going to indulge, and spend the rest of my coffee time browsing some links posted at the party.

Hope y’all are having a great day!  Anything random bouncing around in your head that you’d like to share?  Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear what’s going on with you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Picnik fun

As a mommy-reward for potty training going so well today, I’m spending a little nap time playing in Picnik.

I’m thinking of making these into canvases to hang somewhere in the house.

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love his features too

I already have canvases I could apply them to, so I’d be an easy, inexpensive project.  I love them, but that’s just me….  Opinions?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Craft 2010

It’s so basic it’s almost embarrassing, but hey, I’m a busy mom with two little ones who have a tendency to destroy things, so we keep it pretty simple around here.

So far, this concept has taken me from fall to winter seamlessly.  The formula is pretty much foolproof.

Take any number of any size (cleaned and de-labeled) glass jar – think spaghetti sauce, pickles, baby food, etc.) and fill with something seasonal.  Embellish as desire and time permits.

For fall, I filled my jars with candy corn, and tied a simple orange ribbon around the neck.

For the holidays, I did this:

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The jars were filled with sparkly, ribbon-y, bag filler, and although the lids were already spray painted black, I went a step further, and covered the top with some super-wide candy cane-ish ribbon I had stuffed in a box of gift wrap.  I merely used a rubber band to hold the ribbon in place, and then covered the rubber band with some narrow gold wired ribbon.

Placed on the end table in the living room along with Seth’s Santa pictures, the jars add a festive touch that I’m not super invested in, if, for example, inquiring little hands would happed to deconstruct. ;)  And, of course, there is the added bonus of getting to reuse the jars (and bag filler) for years to come.

Head over to Kate’s blog for Part III of the Holiday Home parties for more crafty inspiration.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

I “big, pink, puffy-heart” Shutterfly

And apparently, they big, pink, puffy-heart bloggers, because they are giving away 50 free holiday cards to bloggers!

All you have to do is share about the offer and you've got yourself 50 free cards! Just click HERE to register.

They have so many layouts for Christmas cards that I’m having a hard time narrowing my selection down…. that, and the fact that I have an awesome photographer friend who just got us some awesome shots of our family, so I’m having a hard time narrowing those down, too.

How about you?  Have you selected your holiday cards yet?  Do you even send cards?  Last year was the first year I did so, and now I’m hooked.  There are just so many awesome designs out there!

Even if  you don’t send out cards, there are some other great items like gift tags or return address labels that will add a festive touch, whether it be to the gift, or the credit card bill that bought the gift!

Whether or not you have a blog, and can take advantage of this offer, I think Shutterfly will be able to meet all your  holiday stationary needs.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vignette 2010

It’s simple and straightforward.  I have other little spots around the house that are more creative or elaborate or impressive.

But this little scene is everything I love about decorating for the holidays.

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A silver Pottery Barn candlestick – a thrift store steal at $1.  A beautiful large basin  -- also a thrift store steal at only $2.  Pinecones from the yard, with a select few painted gold.  A baby poinsettia from the market.  And my all-time favorite scent from Yankee Candle filtering through the house.

Every time I walk by the piano, I smile.  This, to me,  is Christmas at it’s finest.

See you over at Rhoda’s for Link Up Holiday Party Part II.

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