December 31, 2011

walks and other favorite things.

We've been taking family walks around town this week, and I'm loving it.  We'll load the girls in their strollers with blankets and walk and talk and enjoy wherever we are.  Mostly at local parks--today we went to Sloan's Lake. The foothills looked beautiful with the clouds behind:

Typically, January is my least-favorite month. Everything is bare, washed-out, blahh. We don't get much snow; I think I'd adore January if we were pummeled with snow.  Anyway, in an odd turn of events, I've been sopping up everything winterish lately. I'm actually waiting for January to see what it brings instead of dreading it. How's that for a good way to start the new year? Some of my favorite things right now:

* putting on the kettle first thing in the morning and enjoying tea, coffee, or chai * seeing everyone in their winter garb: tall boots, coats, mittens, and especially earflap hats * wearing my fingerless owl gloves * sleeping on flannel sheets * going for walks with my man and my baby girls * reading in bed * seeing Christmas lights everywhere  * dreaming about how to make the house cozy and festive * pondering a running regimen again * watching the Cosby show in the evenings * thumbing through my books on writing * blankets * feeling the girls' chubby, rosy, warm cheeks against mine when I hug them *

Everything is better when you have someone to share it with, whether it's a Friend or Relation, and because R is home from work this week, it's made winter a little sweeter, I think.  I'm thankful for that.

December 29, 2011

Our Christmas

We spent Christmas Eve day with my parents, which was lovely. They brought food over for us to prepare, and I spent the morning cooking with my mom while R and my dad watched football. We feasted, opened gifts, and just had a good time being with each other. Mom looked beautiful in her seafoam green sweater and new haircut. I can't wait to take her for her Christmas gift from us: high tea at the Brown Palace! (A fantastic and special splurge, just for she and I)

On Christmas Day, our little family opened gifts and ate cinnamon rolls. We taught Liv that Jesus was born on Christmas--she'll tell you "Cheesus" was born that day. :) We received a box from Raul's Aunt and Uncle earlier in the week, which we opened Christmas morning. This was what was inside:

 Doesn't she look like a little doll? Liv put the coat on over her jammies and had to be coaxed to take it off to put on REAL clothes to go to Bueli and Grandpa's.

R's parents made Christmas dinner for the whole family. Liv ran around and enjoyed eating sweets and being snuggled by her many cousins. Natalie, on the other hand, was mostly held by cousin Myriam, and slept 90% of the time. {She smiles at Liv more than any of us!}

Not too much beats baby smiles... (maybe baby dancing, but that's another post for another time. :) The girls did great for having such a busy holiday weekend; it is a blessing and joy to have them as a part of our family!

Wishing you and yours a very merry New Year!

December 20, 2011

holiday cheer & holiday jeer. Sorta.

After I set up some watercolors for Liv to tinker around with the other day, I decided to get crafty my own self.  I've had these clear bulbs stored away in the basement for the last three years with high hopes of decorating them as Christmas gifts... {insert hearty laugh here}. No go, at least not yet. So I figured, why not put them to use now instead of having them just sit there?

I used some glitter tempera paint from Liv's stash, as well as some glitter I bought for 99 cents last week for another project {an easier and therefore realistic project: glittered clothespins. Yessss.}.

Anyway, I simply poured the paint inside some of the bulbs and swirled it around... in others, I dumped glitter, and the rest I left plain. I tied them up with thin silver ribbon around our dining room chandelier. It's glitzy without being overwhelming--at first glance, some of them almost look like old-school lightbulbs. Sweet.


Today has been One of Those Days so far. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just feel... off. Which is a shame, because there's much on my To Do list, Christmas is around the corner {which is cause for excitement}, and Liv is sick. I can't be bummin' when there's much to do! There's no good reason to be down today--we all actually got a fair amount of sleep last night despite Liv's cold, which usually doesn't happen...things could be much worse right now. Maybe it's just the last of the pregnancy hormones working themselves out? Who knows. I just feel... blah.

I drove to the grocery store this morning, and the whole way there Liv was rubbing her eyes and whining, finally falling asleep right as I pulled in to park. Great. So I made an executive decision: I pulled out, went through the Starbucks drivethru for a gingerbread latte, and decided the girls could nap at home and we'd go to the grocery this afternoon.

As soon as I'm handed my latte, I hear "Mommy tea?" from the backseat. Liv was awake and pointing repeatedly at my red cup {which is her way of asking for something}. You know when you have your heart set and are determined to see it through? That's how I felt about the latte. I craaave little pockets of alone time these days! I was picturing myself sitting down at home during naptime with my latte and Pinterest, or a book, or whatever, anything, for some me-time. No laundry, no cleaning, just sitting. Instead, we came home, and Liv decided she was as awake as ever--in fact, she's jumping in her bed upstairs as I write. Thump thump thump... I don't even know how she makes most of the noises she does up there in her crib. No nap has been had, except by Natalie, who is still in her carseat. And that will be ending soon too. Undoubtedly, now I will have a cranky girl on my hands at the grocery. I should've just woken her up earlier and gone in; it was a gamble, but I chose poorly this time. Drat. Such is mommyhood--trial and error.

So it's just one of those days. I inhaled my latte and some leftover pizza for lunch. Not what I was envisioning for this afternoon, but I'll take it. It's all a reminder that in my own strength, I can do nothing joyfully, but in Christ alone, it is possible... do I really believe this? I do. So I need to trust Him, and go on with my day. Reminding myself of that is helping already... Or maybe that's just the caffeine finally kicking in. ;)

Ahh me. All of this is to say: I never realized how incredibly selfish I was until I had kids. It is sobering and fantastic, all at once. I've felt the sobering this morning; now I'm ready for the fantastic. :)

December 10, 2011

christmas cookies.

Ah, the first gingerbread of the season. Usually I'll make gingerbread in the fall--I'll make BIG pumpkin cookies and ice them up all pretty and enjoy them with tea {or gift away!}--but no such thing this year.  So it had to wait until a couple of days ago, when Liv helped me put a batch together:

She loves pouring the dry ingredients into the bowl after we've measured them. Or, not so much into the bowl, in this case. :) 

My friend Susan came over for some lunch and to help us decorate the cookies, which was great. Once Liv discovered she could eat the icing, her little finger was constantly covered in it.  She liked decorating the cookies, but enjoyed eating them more!

We haven't quite figured out what our holiday traditions will be yet as a family, but it's fun to think about. Some things on my radar:

Christmas jammies
Hot cocoa
Driving/walking around to see lights
Christmas cookies
Homemade marshmallows
Garlands for their rooms
Advent calendar

I didn't get to an advent calendar this year, but by next, both will be a little older and a little more excited about Christmasy-things, so it's all good. 

A cute quote I found this afternoon:

"Bless us Lord,
this Christmas,
with quietness of mind;
Teach us to be patient,
and always to be kind."

- Helen Steiner Rice