Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review

We started the year with an unusual amount of snow.  We enjoyed more snow days than we've ever had.

Love this photo of the boys in their monster sweaters.

More snow!

Ben's first haircut

Ben started showing interest in potty training...and almost a year later we're still working on it.  No hurry and no worries is my approach. 
I love this photo, he's so proud of this mess.

Will helping prepare the soil for planting flower seeds.

My grandparents. 
As most of you know, my grandfather passed away in September 2011.  I'm so happy I went through my photos for the year and found this sweet photo of my Papa Ralph and Mama Winnie.

Easter egg hunt with Mark's family

I don't think I ever posted this photo on the blog.  Just had to add it :)

I planted a garden this year. 
Sadly this was its prime. 
Since we had a record setting heatwave and drought and my little garden withered away.

The only Rangers game we attended this year.  We usually go to more but we just never seemed to make it to Arlington to the Ballpark.  We're still huge fans and were super excited that the Rangers made it to the World Series again.

Ben turned 2!
We celebrated with family and friends with a "Go, Diego, Go!" themed party.  Ben was so into "Go Go" in the spring and summer.

Family Vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee

Our road trip continued on to Georgia where we stayed with family and met up with my blog friend, Katie.
This is the arch at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Will's first swim lessons were a success.

The boys decided to take a bath with their clothes on.  There's never a dull moment at our house.

Mark turned 38!

We repainted Will's room.  It's still a work in progress.  That should be a new year's resolution for 2012 to finish decorating his room.

I turned 34!
Will planned a special birthday dinner.  That's right, I said Will planned it.  I'm not really sure how he came up with the idea but he told Mark that he wanted to take me to the Olive Garden for my birthday.  Mark's parents joined us for a fun night celebrating my birthday.

Ben moved to a big boy bed.  We took off the front of the crib.  We also gave away the glider and ottoman that we've had since Will was a baby.  Our boys are growing up!

Mark and I attended the Avett Brothers concert in Dallas.  What an amazing show!  We had a difficult August and September dealing with the stress of sick family members and the loss of my grandfather.  The concert was something fun and carefree and just what we needed.  We hadn't had an overnight date out on the town since we've had kids so this was a huge treat.

We carved a pumpkin. 
 (By the way, this was the first time we carved a pumpkin as a family.)

Will turned 5!
We had a monster-themed party that was a blast.

Christmas Eve
Will and Ben leaving cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer.

Will lost his first tooth at the end of December!

New Year's Eve
We had a fun day spending time together as a family.  We took the boys to one of our favorite yogurt places, Yumilcious. 

Will says it's yummy! 

You can see that Ben's enjoyed it.  It's all over his sleeves :) 

I spent over an hour going through all of the 2011 photos on my hard drive.  It was a good reminder of all the blessings in my life. 

Happy New Year, dear friends!

May the Lord bless you in 2012.

In loving memory of Papa Ralph.
June 1916-September 2011
I miss him every day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Break

Many happy memories have been made over Christmas Break 2011.

The first Saturday of the break started with a party where the boys decorated Christmas cookies.
I wrote about the cookie party here, but I didn't show you the photos I took with my phone using the hipstamatic app.

Santa was at the cookie party.  One of the funniest moments was when Santa asked Will about his "big brother" shirt.  Santa asked him if he wanted any more little brothers or sisters and Will said "Nah, one is enough!"  and we all got a big laugh out of it. 

After the cookie party, we went to the Dallas Arboretum because we'd heard that Santa's reindeer would be there.  Sure enough, Santa had left Dasher at the Arboretum while he attended the cookie party.  Will was able to pet Dasher, but Ben didn't really want to get that close.  The boys were pleasantly surprised to see Frosty the Snowman at the Arboretum, too.

On Sunday, we had our annual Holiday cookie exchange for the ladies from our church.  The ladies never disappoint with their delicious cookies.  So pretty and tasty!

We made several trips to Wal-Mart and Target to get a few last minute things for Christmas gifts.
While in Wal-Mart the boys found this police car, which Santa did not bring to our house on Christmas day (thank goodness!).

Mark's still good friends with one of his childhood friends Durwood.  I think it's pretty cool that they've known each other since they were born.  Durwood has a little boy the same age as Will and each year Will, Ben and Dade exchange books at Christmas.  This year on Thursday the 22nd we met up at a restaurant that's midway for both of us and the boys traded books.

Since we made the drive into civilization, we stopped by Whole Foods before we headed home.  We don't have a real tree and I think they are so beautiful.  I took a quick pic of the boys in front of one.

On December 23rd we went to visit my grandmother and great-aunt at the nursing home.  My uncle and aunt met us there.  We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed our time together.  After the nursing home visit we decided on the spur of the moment to take the boys to see the Chipmunks movie.  They had been wanting to see it and we didn't have anything else to do so it worked out perfectly.

On Christmas Eve we celebrate with Mark's family.  We have a breakfast/brunch at his parents' house.
I gave my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law a pretty mug with their initial on it from Anthropologie.  I printed monogram initials (from Martha Stewart) that I had seen on Pinterest and attached it to the box.
It's the A, B, C gifts--Andrea, Brandee and Carol

Now that Christmas is over,  I can finally show you the beautiful bracelet we gave my mother-in-law.  It has the names of all of her grandchildren.  It was my sister-in-law's idea, and I think it turned out so much prettier than I had imagined.   We purchased it from the Vintage Pearl.  My mother-in-law loves it.  She has worn it almost every day since we gave it to her.

Christmas morning
Really, I don't need to say anything about this photo.  It makes my heart happy.

After church on Christmas day, we stopped by Mark's brother's house.  Will and Maggie checking out Maggie's new DS. 

We own some land that connects to the property of Mark's brother and his wife.  This is where we plan to build our forever home.  The area to the left of the photo where the cedar trees are is where we hope it will be.  Obviously the trees will have to be cleared, but it seems like the perfect location.  I have a lot more photos to show you from our walk in the woods on Christmas day, but I'll save that for its own post. 

After Christmas, I was lucky enough to have some free time to meet up with some friends for lunch and shopping.  We enjoyed lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

We shared the tiramisu cheesecake. 

Mark and I had to run some errands in Dallas and we ended up at the Dallas Galleria mall.  The Christmas tree is ginormous!!! 

I think Will and Ben would have had fun ice skating but we'll save that for when they get just a little older.

On Thursday night, Will lost his first tooth!  I'll admit that it made me a little teary-eyed.  I can't believe he's old enough to lose teeth.  My little boy is growing up!  He's putting his tooth in a special pouch (actually, it's a James Avery jewelry pouch) so that it doesn't get lost and the tooth fairy can find it. 

He's getting ready to put it under his pillow.  We had to google the going rate for the tooth fairy.  Apparently the tooth fairy is more generous than when we were kids! 

Now here's some holiday randomness!

I like egg nog once a year and this reduced fat version was a bonus.

We gave in and bought the holiday edition Coke cans.  We rarely buy soda for the house, but it was a holiday treat. 

Run, don't walk to your nearest Target and get some Peppermint whipped cream.  It's amazing on hot chocolate. 

Happy Holidays dear friends amd Happy New Year!

life rearranged


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