December 30, 2013

A Few More From Christmas

Clara and Steven are lucky little people, because they also get to celebrate Christmas with Grandma and Great-Grandma!  Sadly, by the time we arrived at my family's, Clara was really feeling ill.  I did, however, manage to get a few photos, so here they are!

Oh, how I love these two children of mine.  Clara was her spunk, love of words, and friendliness.  Steven with his sweet smile and laugh, his desire to climb and scale every object in a room.  They sure did make Christmas wonderful this year.  I have a feeling next year will (somehow, though it seems unbelievable!) be even better.

December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

This has been the best December that I can ever remember.  I'm sure it was this good or better when I was a kid, but my memory is too poor to recall.  The magic and excitement were always present this year.  Having Clara around, seeing Santa, reading a new Christmas book every night, singing Christmas songs multiple times a day, the holiday parties, Baby Jesus... it all amplified the Christmas Spirit and helped me see things from her sweet perspective.

We spent Christmas Eve Eve (not a typo) through Christmas Day with Anson's family.  It was my first White Christmas and I loved it!  I really liked being trapped in the cabin with carloads of kids and most of my inlaws, believe it or not.  (Really!)  Everything was simple, just the way I like it.  Unfortunately, my kids (and a few others) were sick the entire time.  Steven woke up multiple times the first night, refusing to nurse, and only agreeing to fall asleep if I was sitting upright with his head on my chest.  I was tired, but thanks to Clara, I can now run on very little sleep.  ;)  My sweet Clara is a trooper and didn't throw any fits or act like a brat, but she had puffy eyes and had to lay down every time her ibuprofen wore off.  It made me sad to see her like that, especially on Christmas, the day she has been so excited for all month!!  :(

Without further ado, here are the photos from the first part of Christmas:

^^First, we cut down the Christmas tree^^

^^Clara and I built a snowman.  She has been so obsessed with snowmans lately, that we even heard her singing Frost the Snowman in her sleep!^^

^^Clara insisted on being an angel in the live nativity.  She sang Joy to the World at the top of her lungs, even though she didn't know any of the words.^^

^^Christmas morning was wonderful.  The gift giving was short and simple, which encouraged a lot of excitement about what everyone was getting, and also provided lots of time to express gratitude.^^

Part of me wishes that Christmas could last all year, but deep down I know that waiting for each year makes it that much more special.  Still, I'm trying to leave my Christmas tree up as long as possible, even though it's dead!

September 18, 2013

First Day of Dance

This little girl is killing me.  Though it hurts a little bit to realize she's growing up, I can't deny that being her mom just keeps getting better and better.

Her first dance class is something I've been waiting for forever.  Okay, let's be real.  I've been waiting for this moment before she even existed, probably before I was even married.  Ha!  And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!  Little buns in a leotard are about the cutest things on Earth.  And watching her hop like a bunny while wearing a crown and holding a wand?  Yes.

Here are some photos from her first day at dance.  She is wearing mommy's first leotard.  :)

Keep dancing, baby girl!!  (Or playing soccer or singing or whatever it is you love!)

September 16, 2013

BBQ, Cake, Presents, and Grandparents

We had both sets of grandparents and both Mimis get together with us at our favorite BBQ place for Clara's birthday.  (Yum, pulled pork!)  

There are some moments that a mother will never forget.  The look on Clara's face as we sang, "Happy Birthday" to her is something I will always cherish.  I have never seen her look happier.  She knew she was in the spotlight at that moment and that she was/is so very loved.  I hope she knows that every day for the rest of her life.

Clara got the bulk of her presents that night.  She received books, art supplies (and an easel from us!), clothing and, her favorite gift ever (!), a pirate spyglass.

Seriously, you could not pry that spyglass out of her hands for a week after the party!

A big thank you and hugs to our wonderful family for being so good to Miss Clara.  We love you all!

September 14, 2013

Clara's Pirate Party

My little lady turned two last month.  I'm not ready for this growing up business.  In the grand scheme of things, we are little kids for such a short time.  That is really unfair to mothers, if you ask me!  I'm trying my very hardest to soak up every moment and store all of these sweet memories, but life never slows down and my brain sure has a difficult time keeping up.  I am so happy, and beyond grateful, that I get to spend every day with my sweet, funny, smart, sassy, crazy-haired girl.

Well, that's enough sappy stuff from me!  The pictures aren't the best, but here is the little pirate party that I threw for Clara and her gaggle of cute cousins.

The food was all pirate-themed:  Crab croissants, pb&j skulls, goldfish crackers, pirate jewels (fruit salad), pirate booty, swedish fish, fresh water, and sea water (blue punch).  The kids got to pick and frost their favorite cupcake.

I made all of the kids hats out of newspaper and painted them black.  I also made paper bag pinatas to look like Captain Hook and Jake from the Neverland Pirates.


It was a great little party.  I still can't believe that my baby is two...

August 9, 2013

I Want to Watch This a Million Times

Here's our latest vacation video.  Unlike the last one, I actually had a lot more footage to work with!

August 8, 2013

More California Photos

Here are a few more beach pictures, as well as a dinosaur sighting!