Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I realize I am a day late in my well wishes, but yesterday did not allow much time for blogging. For the second year Todd and I hosted Turkey Day. I love to host on the holidays, It must be the domestic diva in me. I am one of those people who believes in the motto "the more the merrier." Nothing beats celebrating the holidays with a house full of people you love! We had a few less people this year, only ten. Todd was super-helpful in preparing the house for all our guests. Everyone lectured me about not overdoing it (which I learned the hard way a couple weeks ago when I overdid it for Maddie's birthday.) I took their loving advice, spaced the work out over three days and two people, and was able to enjoy the day. Plus our Thanksgiving is something of a potluck, everyone brings something. We supply the turkey, which Skip preps for me (I am waaaay too intimidated, and yes I know I have to get over it!), and I baste. I also make my favorite mashed potatoes, which always get rave reviews (seriously, Martha Stewart has the most amazing recipe), and my apple crumb pie (which pleases my husband to no end!)
I always get excited to set our table for the holidays. I get to bust out all of our Williams Sonoma porcelain and crystal that we received as wedding gifts. I use the table runner with cute little retro birds that I purchased on a trip to Tahoe. The silverware was a shower gift from our friend Alyssia. It is a vintage silver set from the 1930s. It came in a beautiful wood box. I swear it is one of my all-time favorite gifts. Every time I take them out of the box I smile. Alyssia and I had a conversion one day about how much we love antique silver. While shopping in an antique store one day she stumbled upon this box of silver flatware and knew it would be the prefect gift for my bridal shower. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness I almost cried when I opened it! And of course, in the center of it all was Maddie's Thanksgiving centerpiece. I beamed every time I told one of our guests that Maddie made it :)!
I had a great time at dinner. We were in such great company! Plus the food was amazing! I swear Thanksgiving dinner (and the day after leftovers) is one of my favorite meals. So delicious and hearty! YUM!!! Overall, a very successful Thanksgiving. Good food, good company, good times!

The Switzers-AKA: Our Bonus Family
My in-laws-AKA: Mom and Dad No.2
My parents and grandma
Todd and me

Tomorrow we begin decorating for Christmas. I can't wait to share some photos! Until then, happy holidays!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Maddie created a lovely centerpiece to grace our Thanksgiving table. She loves to build these little foam scenes and buildings. My only conundrum is what what do you do with them? There is only so much space in our home for all of her art projects. But then I got the idea to have her create seasonal projects that can be displayed for the holidays. We bring them out for the holiday, enjoy their beauty, and then pack them up after the holiday has passed. This also makes them more special since we do not look at them every day, like Christmas decorations. Plus she gets to see her own personal contribution to the family's holiday decorations. But this little Thanksgiving centerpiece is so cute and charming. She did a great job and had loads of fun creating it. I keep trying to fan that artistic flame she's got. It is definitely a genetic trait in my family.
Todd was so sweet last weekend. He came home with an armload of flowers for me. Two bouquets of Stargazer Lilies and two bouquets of Mums. I am so lucky to have such a thoughtful husband! He likes to surprise me with flowers now and then (gotta love those random acts of kindness!) Plus Todd knows I have fun arranging flowers (I got the bug after my mom and I assembled all of our wedding centerpieces.) I forgot to add picutres of my Halloween banner in my last post. I was very happy with how it turned out, and even got it completed in time for Halloween! I had a challenging time finding trims and do-dads to decorate it with, but ended up having enough after all. This year I hung it over the mirror in our living room. I was precariously balancing on the couch trying to hang it when Todd was not home (yes, I know, not something you should do while pregnant!) Not sure if we will hang it there next year, or find a new home for it. But here it is, I hope you like!

I just a great new book with all kinds of tips, tricks, and inspiration.
I love, love, love it! I was so inspired I got a few pages done yesterday. Lately Ihave felt like I was stuck in a scrapbooking rut and my pages all looked the same. I needed something or someone to push me to try new things. Elsie's book did it for me. She has so many great ideas! What a creative spirit!
I have some new photos of our crackheads, oops, I mean dogs! They are so crazy. Granted it's not all their fault. Now that I am the size of a house, have chronic backpain, and baby is sitting so low, walking is not as comfortable as it once was. Thank goodness we love 'em so much. Sibes and their energy are definitely not for everyone. Mischa and Leyongo sharing his bed. He stayed with us a few days while his mom and dad were in the hospital delivering our niece, Tana. A rare, quiet moment for our girls. Um yeah... This habit is completely my fault. Our nightly routine, cuddling on the couch. Hands off the blanket and no one gets hurt!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've Been Naughty....

...and haven't posted in over a month. Sooooo bad! I have two excuses for you: 1-I've been super-busy and 2-When I have not been super-busy, I have been super-lazy (I blame the pregnancy!) Also, I apologize in advance for the photos. I have not had the chance to Photoshop them yet. I just wanted to get them posted.
But I did want to throw out some blog updates before I head off to my pre-natal appointment. First of all, here are some photos of Lucas when we had our 3D ultrasound in October:
Our little sweetie sucking his thumb. Awwww....

At first he did not want to cooperate with the ultrasound and we were left looking at the back of his head. But after some belly-jostling he became more agreeable. Truly amazing to see this little baby rolling around the inside of my tummy. We were able to watch him move, suck his thumb, and even saw his sweet little tushie. Skinny little butt with no fat, too cute for words! Todd and I had the whole family with us to celebrate this special moment: Maddie, my parents, and my in-laws. I wanted everyone to watch the newest member of the family. What a little miracle! There is a lot to be said for modern technology.

Maddie celebrated six last week. WOW!! SIX!! I cannot believe the years have flown buy so quickly. I remember her ultrasound like it was yesterday, and now she is this big six year old. Exciting and sad at the same time. My little baby... sigh... She had a week of celebrating between Dad's house and our house, lucky little girl. We hosted a tea party for her and 10 of her little friends at the English Rose. The girls dressed up in pretty party dresses and were served a real tea luncheon. Lunch was served on actual china, with hot cocoa from a tea pot. I think the girls felt quite regal with their gowns and fancy china.

The following day we celebrated with family at our house. It was much more relaxed and casual, which I welcomed now that I am so hugely pregnant. We had our family and bonus-family (all of the wonderful friends we call family, Maddie's honorary aunts and uncles.) Auntie Sarah and Uncle Darin brought over their new baby, Tana. She is so precious and blonde! Maddie had a great time visiting with her family, opening gifts, and eating cake.

After all of the fan fare died down and Maddie was contently playing with her new toys, I realized how lucky we are, and how lucky Maddie is. We have so many wonderful people in our lives between our families and bonus-families. Maddie is so fortunate to grow up surrounded by so much love and support. This love and support provides her with a feeling of security, which I don't think all kids get to experience these days. With love and security she has the opportunity to grow up confident, happy and self-assured. It really does take a village to raise a child!

We bought Madeleine her first digital camera. Nothing too extravagant or expensive, she is only six and who knows how much abuse it will have to take. But she is so infatuated with Mommy's camera that I thought it was time for her own. Plus it will distract her from trying to use my pretty Canon Rebel EOS (which happens to be my other "baby"!)

At the beginning of the month my mom, mother-in-law (Mom 2) and sister-in-law threw me a baby shower. They did a fabulous job! I loved all of the cowboy decorations (Lucas's bedroom theme is vintage cowboy, Maddie is vintage cowgirl). It was so much fun to celebrate his pending arrival with so many loved ones. Plus he and I got totally spoiled. Everyone was incredibly generous and I cannot thank them enough! You forget how tiny babies are until you look at the size of the clothes. Maddie even got a "big sister" t-shirt to wear on the big day. So sweet! She could not wait and wanted to wear it the next day. At the shower Maddie did a great job being Mommy's helper. She unwrapped the gifts while I read the cards. Todd and I are trying to get her involved as much as possible so she feels included in this entire process. She has really enjoyed helping us prepare for Baby Lucas, and we have enjoyed sharing this process with her.