Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wrappin' it Up

I realize that I haven't posted one single picture of my Christmas decorated house this year, and since hubs is a wee bit OCD, all my decorations (inside and outside) were taken down by 2:00pm on the 26th. It's okay though. I didn't go all out with decorations like I usually do. We have a very curious toddler these days, so our end tables are empty, and our bookshelves are filled with toys. I'm running out of out-of-reach places to put our everyday decor as it is, so I didn't have a lot of options for Christmas decorations this year. The only pic I have from this year is of our very sad looking tree. I had every intention of fully decorating the tree, but Izzy had other plans. The bottom half of the tree was actually dressed with beaded garland for about 5 seconds before she ripped it off and pulled into the middle of the living room. I quickly decided a nice looking tree was not priority this year.

Here's the culprit, decorating the tree with her necklace.

Izzy got to meet Santa for the first time this year. I gotta say, hubs and I both were ready for a major scene. We just knew she would freak out when we sat her on Santa's lap, but we were wrong. She didn't seem thrilled to meet Santa. In fact, she looked a little confused, but there were no tears, and that's all that matters. Maybe next year she can actually tell him what she wants. On second thought, maybe it's better if she doesn't...

In keeping with tradition, hubs and I made it to our four Christmastes this year. Kind of surprising considering neither of us come from divorced families. First was Christmas at Mom and Dad's house with Dad's side of the family. Next was Christmas at Mom and Dad's house with Mom's side of the family. Then we had lunch at Griff's parent's house on Christmas Day, followed by dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's house, also on Christmas Day. All of this is in addition to our own little family present opening and breakfast on Christmas morning. Whew! I love being with our families though, and the food is always delish, so you won't hear me complain about four Christmases....you might hear my jeans complain, but not me.

Round 1 with Dad's extended family.
Round 2 -Mom's side of the family. Izzy loves her new sleeping bag!
Christmas Eve night with just my family. Lane was losing his patience about now. ;-)

Christmas morning at our house. Izzy found the gifts Santa left for her.

Ready for Christmas with Griff's family.

KK and Izzy in their matching tutus from Nanna and Pop-Pop. So cute!

She loves her accessories!

Izzy has reached a new level of spoiled. Santa brought her a fun play kitchen (which she LOVES), a shopping cart, and lots of new wooden puzzles. Her grandparents and the rest of our family spoiled her with lots of toys and adorable clothes. With all of her new toys, in addition to the backyard toys we scored on Craigslist, our house is beginning to resemble a daycare center.

I'm not gonna lie. I was pretty excited about the kitchen.

One of 4 outside toys found on Craigslist, all for $75 - score!

Hubs and I agreed to not exchange gifts this year. I must have been exceptionally well behaved this year because Santa surprised me with a Nook Color anyway, and I'm kind of obsessed with it. It has solved my reading in bed issue - I hate reading with book lights, and hubs hates when I leave the lamp on. The Nook Color is backlit, so problem solved! I was worried that reading on it might strain my eyes, but so far, so good.

Every year, my family gets together to make Christmas candy. I took this opportunity to make some trays for my neighbors. This is junk candy, puppy chow, peppermint bark, and chocolate caramel turtles...good stuff!

I roped my mom, aunt, and mother-in-law into helping me with this project: taggies for the babies in the NICU. Griff and I were very appreciative of all the little hats, booties, blankets, etc. that were donated by volunteers when Izzy was in the hospital, so I thought it would be nice to give the current patients a little Christmas gift. These were a little time consuming, but actually easy and fun to make. Thanks to my helpers!

I also payed up on a promise I made several months ago. One of Izzy's nurses asked for a poster of Izzy's journey/story to display in their unit, and I finally got around to it. Actually, my little cousin, Mallory, was over, and I took advantage of her excellent taping and cutting skills. Thanks, Mall-Mall! ;-) We visited the hospital a few days before Christmas to deliver the taggies, the poster, and lots of goodies for the nurses.

We spent NYE at Mom and Dad's house, eating pizza and playing a friendly game of "Texas Hold'em for Dummies." Dad is regular poker player, and hubs is pretty decent, but we decided that the rest of us should never be allowed to play in public. Ever. We ate blackeyed peas and tosted with champagne in styrofoam cups (we like to keep it classy) at midnight. Great ending to the year! I hope you all had an equally crazy and enjoyable Christmas and New Year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cookie Decorating Party

Our friends hosted their annual cookie decorating party last weekend, and we got to take Izzy for the first time. She had a blast eating, ahem, decorating cookies! Hillarie did a great job with the party. Everything was organized perfectly. Cookies were made in advance and were waiting for each kid in a cute little Christmas themed take-out box, and tables with frosting and sprinkles were set up in the garage. After we finished decorating, our frosted cookies dried in the kitchen while we played outside. We had a great time!

A sad looking tree, decorated by Mommy.

Izzy didn't see the need to decorate a perfectly fine cookie.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Signature Chefs

As most of you know, Isabelle was born at 23 weeks 6 days gestation, weighing only 1 pound 9 ounces. She had the odds stacked against her from the beginning, but with many prayers, excellent care from her doctors and nurses, and the support of the March of Dimes, she is a healthy toddler, throwing tantrums with the best of 'em.

We have been huge March of Dimes advocates since her birth. I signed us up for our first March for Babies walk from my hospital bed the day after Izzy was born. We both knew we needed to do something. Our baby was sick. We felt helpless. We needed an outlet. That outlet was the March of Dimes. We've participated in two walks now, and last year we organized a charity golf tournament for MOD. With the help of our very supportive friends and family, our team, Izzy's Angel, was the #1 fundraising team in Tarrant County last year!

We have the honor and privilege of being this year's March of Dimes Ambassador Family for Tarrant County. There are two major fundraising events held each year: Signature Chefs and March for Babies. The Signature Chefs event was held last month. It is a dinner and auction where several of the finest local chefs prepare a signature dish and donate some sort of fancy dining experience to be auctioned. We had a great time sampling about 20 delicious treats (Sadly, I spent too much time talking, and didn't make it to all the tables.) Seats for this event normally go for $250 a pop, but we were generously given two tables to fill with family and friends. After the dinner and auction, this video was played.

Next up is March for Babies in April. I will be hitting you all up to participate soon, so get ready!


Just as soon as I accomplish my goal of walking 60 miles, Griff goes and one-ups me by running 26.2 miles. After several months of training, he completed his first marathon on December 5th at the Dallas White Rock Marathon. He and his training partner, Hillarie, did an awesome job, finishing in 4 hours 17 minutes. So proud of both of them!

Here they are at mile 20. Still looking strong!

Waiting for them at mile 26. Izzy was over it by this point.

There they are - making it look easy!
Just .2 to go!

All that running made Izzy tired.

The marathon man and his fans.

We're proud of you, Daddy! (and also very sleepy)