Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Buddies . . .

These are some of my friends - these are really good friends - we've been friends for close to 8 years and these gorgeous ladies opened a huge door for me with my career! (Goodbye Southwest, hello Private Practice!) We clicked as friends right from the start and I think it's pretty amazing that we are still in touch, considering we haven't worked with each other in over 4 years. I think that's true friendship and I feel very blessed to have these girls in my life. We were lucky to get together for dinner and some vino after Christmas. Happy New Year C & C!



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Did you know a MIRACLE happened on December 29th?

Did you hear? A MIRACLE! Two precious little babies entered this world on December 29th, right before noon. (Or just after, I'm not exactly sure of the time, I was crying too hard to remember!) My girlfriend, Kristin, and her husband, TJ, welcomed, Olivia and Sebastian. Olivia came first, and Sebastian followed 7 minutes later. Miss Olivia was a tiny bit over 7 lbs and little Sebastian was a tiny bit over 5 lbs! They are amazing!

This has been a journey of faith, love, patience, courage and hope. I look up Kris and TJ in so many ways, I am lucky to have them in my life! These little babies are products of the strength and hope Kristin and TJ held onto . . . they are proof that miracles happen and they happen to people who deserve them most.

I love you both and I can't wait to be a part of these wonderful babies' lives for years to come!



Saturday, December 26, 2009

LGO

Mark got a gift certificate to La Grande Orange at the grab bag gift exchange at the Gleason's. We invited my two cousins, Shauna and Danielle and their spouses for our favorite pizza dinner. Here are the boys and girls, enjoying dinner. Yummy pizza!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas! Here are the cookies and milk for Santa and his reindeer. The jar with the red lid is magic dust and oats - we sprinkle the mixture on our lawn so Santa knows where to land his sleigh and the reindeer can eat the oats. The key is for Santa since our home doesn't have a fireplace. These are very important things to have! :)


Our tree, with the presents underneath . . . I love this picture. It represents hope and joy, unexpected surprises and fun . . . everything Christmas holds. This year, more than any other, we really scaled back. As a mother, who wants to be able to give everything to her kids, there were times, I felt like I hadn't done enough. But they didn't notice a bit, and I don't want Christmas to be just about the presents. Last year, I felt like they didn't even really check out the present they were opening, they just went to the next present. So I found a great article, a game we played, getting ready for Christmas. Every time they opened a present, they said "Thank you" to the gift giver, and after opening the present, they had to say at least one nice thing about the gift. We played at home, finding anything around the house, putting it in a bag and "giving" it to each other. They really liked the game and it was great practice for Christmas. My munchkins have so much, I hope they know it's fun to get the presents, but Christmas is about family, love, and giving - to others. It's a work in progress, I know, we'll get there someday! :)


Coming down the stairs, seeing the presents.


Little La la, on her way down . . .


This was Karsten's big present from Santa, a huge dinosaur; this dinosaur has a remote control to make it walk, eat, growl, roar. Every year, a dinosaur makes it on to K's list. He loves them!


Bad picture of Ella and her Santa gift . . . she got all the Disney princesses in Barbie form. Yeah!


This was so awesome! K had made a present for us at school. He snuck it home, hid it in his room, and put it under the tree - ALL BY HIMSELF! I seriously had no idea that he had done this. Mark said he saw him bring it home, but didn't see it after that day. What an amazing kid, he held onto it for over a week, and remembered to bring it to us. This was the best present ever!


Thank you, Cece! This is the cutest purse, that has Ella's name in rhinestones on it from my wonderful friend Cece. So sweet of her to think of my little ones this holiday season! They loved each of their gifts!


Miss Ava. I got Ava her first baby doll and stroller. No picture of that, because my little niece is obsessed with shoes, and she wanted to put her new shoes on!!!


Off to the Gleason's . . .
Me-la and Ava


Amy and Megan


Me ad my Love.


The next generation! Ava, Ella and Isabella. It's so great, the next generation of cousins really love to play together. They look forward to the family gatherings as much as we do now! What's scary is that Ella looks like the ringleader! AAAHHHHH!


Shauna and baby Jon


Ella, Isabella, Jon (Isabella and Jon are siblings). Do you see how Ella's pants are unbuttoned? She always has them that way! It cracks me up. Speaking of cracks, that may be the reason her's is always showing . . .


Scooters! Nana and Papa (my g-parents) got all the kids scooters this year. It was so great, they all loved them and they got to play with them at the party.


Picnic Christmas dinner!


With all the craziness in the morning, we forgot to do the Stockings! So when we got home, the kids opened them.





It was a really fun Christmas, we were definitely busy, but everywhere we went, we had a great time, and shared a lot of love and happiness. I hope Christmas brought the same for all of you! xoxo

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

And the Christmas festivites begin . . .

The first stop on the Yori Christmas extravaganza takes us to Mark's sister's home. We were scheduled for a fabulous dinner of lasagna, veggies, bread, the works! The wine was flowing and the kids were happy as can be; they love to be with each other. They were spoiled with numerous presents, as were we and the evening was super fun!

Jessie and Jer's home is so great, they even have room for a track to ride bikes/scooters through!


Best friend buddies.


Hi Baby!


Here, the munchkins are waiting patiently to open their presents.
You can see my dad is in the background - this Christmas was even more special because my Dad was with us for most of the time. He came to my house Christmas Eve afternoon, and Mark's family was so generous to include him in their Christmas Eve dinner. Dad stayed the night at my house, and was able to enjoy Christmas morning with us. It's been a long time since we've shared a Christmas morning, it was beyond fantastic!


Presents OPENED!


My gorgeous sister-in-law, Jessica. She put on a wonderful dinner and magical Christmas Eve; Thank you, Jessie!


The next stop on our journey brought us closer to home, just right next door - The Giglio's! Our wonderful neighbors had some of their family and friends over for a little present opening, so we joined in! Jen and Tony got my kids each a Snuggie! Would you believe they both had them on their list?! It's true! They were so excited!





Beero, surprised all of us and got my little munchkins some Christmas presents! It was such a nice gesture, totally unexpected. One of the wonderful things she got them were little poppers, we all had a great time, throwing them outside on the driveway. What a cute idea! The kids loved them!


Jen and her sister, Kelly. My little Bostonian sports fanatics!


My love!!!!


My little love!!!


After the Giglio's, we went home and my Mom and Rich, my sister and her family came over for a night cap and to have the kids open their Christmas Eve pajamas. My mom always gets the kids new pajamas to wear for Christmas Eve - they think it's so fun to have new PJ's for Santa. We also had Charlie (my sister's step-daughter) open her presents since she wouldn't be able to join us in the morning.


Grandpa Rich is the BEST!


Love him!


All right, everyone to bed, get ready for SANTA!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ella and Gracie's Christmas Program

I can't believe Ella is already performing in a Christmas program . . . my little baby is growing up so fast! Love of Christ Preschool had their annual Christmas program and instead of our boys (Jaden and Karsten), the girls were participating. Ella has been singing "We wish you a Merry Christmas" for weeks now. (It's the ONLY song she's been singing so I was a little worried if she even knew the other songs.)

Grace and Ella have such a special bond, some may think a little too close, but I think they are precious. They only want to be in school when the other one is there; if Ella gets picked up even a little bit early, Gracie is upset, or if Ella is earlier to class than Grace, I cannot leave until Grace gets there. They love to be together. This Christmas program was no different. As they walked to the stage, they were reaching for each other's hands. During the whole program, they sang to each other! They wouldn't turn towards the audience, just face to face. I wish I was closer to take some pictures, but I couldn't get any. You'll have to take my word for it - so sweet. They truly are as close as sisters. We are so blessed that they have each other. Love you baby girls! You make me so proud!

La la, all dressed up, ready to sing!


My handsome boys.


LOCLC Christmas Program


Ella's name in print . . . for the first time, but not the last!


Little girls, up on stage.


Aunt Mimi, Mama, and Me-la


Exiting the stage . . .


The cousins - Grace, Ella, Karsten, Jaden


My Mom took us out to dinner afterwards with Mimi and Ava. Every day I ask the kids their best and worst; what was their favorite part of the day and their least favorite. We went around the dinner table asking each person their best and worst and you know what Karsten said? His best was watching his sister sing tonight. Aahhh, I love my little buddy. My kids make my heart grow with love. And I am so lucky I get to share them with my wonderful hubby! These are the times that make it all worth it. xoxo
 
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