Friday, December 31, 2010

another year has gone by

Hello friends! I hope this post on the very last day of the year, finds you doing well and ready to ring in the new coming year. 2011. Can you believe that?!??! Time just flies!

I know Christmas is over, but I just couldn't help but share with you some pictures from this past week.

Also, I had these first few picture from Christmas in my picasa web album ready to put on my last blog post, but somehow I missed them...
Gigi and a very sleepy Ella Claire


















Stephanie and Andrew, the newest cutest couple around! :)






































I mean seriously. How cute are they?!?



The day after Christmas, after we heard that the night service at church was canceled, Jeremy, Ella Claire, Andrew, Steph and myself loaded up and went out for a little after Christmas shopping. Unfortunately, the 2 stores I wanted to hit up the most, williams-sonoma and pottery barn were closed. So, we decided to go on a road trip and check out the light show in grand bay.
















































Super impressive! These pictures honestly don't even do it justice. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Christmas in Alabama, but it's a home in Grand Bay that has gone all out with their Christmas lights. They have a sign in their yard that tells you what radio station to turn your car radio to and the lights flash to the beat of the music. You just pull over off of the road and enjoy the show. It was nice going after Christmas because it wasn't very crowded. There were a few cars coming and going while we sat there and watched the lights, but nothing like what I had heard it was like before Christmas. We decided this would definitely be a new tradition. Check out the link I posted above if you want more information!



























Earlier in the week, we went over to the Grand Hotel in Point Clear for a very special occasion. Brian and Jess got engaged! Steph, Jeremy, EC and I just went over to take a few pics of them. But, while we were there, we went into the dining room to see their amazing gingerbread house. Andrew and Steph went to see it a few weeks ago and told us all about it. I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I was so happy to have an excuse to drive over and see it. It weighs 700 lbs is 8-foot-wide by 16-foot-long and is an exact replica of the Grand Hotel property.


















































We also took a family picture in front of one of the beautiful live Christmas trees.



















































And here is the happy engaged couple! So adorable!


























Emma has been over to play a few days this week.






























































She went to the store for some groceries.....






































....then she and Ella Claire whipped up a delicious breakfast! :)




































































































Of all the new toys, I think Ella Claire still enjoys her shopping bags the most! It cracks me up to see her put them on her arm and walk around the house.






































Taking baby for a stroll in the store.










































































Okay, I know this post has been insanely long (the last one was too). But, I have one more thing. I don't know if you read Beth Moore's living proof ministry blog, but I found it earlier this year and it has been such an encouragement to me on so many occasions! A few weeks ago she announced on her blog that she would be doing something called The Siesta Scripture Memory Team. She calls all the ladies that read her blog siestas (you'll have to go there to read and find out why). So basically, the SSMT is just a way to encourage the ladies that read her blog to memorize God's word and to be kept accountable for it. I LOVE IT! I NEED THIS! :) I know it will be a challenge, but I also know that hiding God's word in my heart is one of the most important things I can do as a believer.  It will strengthen my walk with Christ and in that allow me to be a brighter beacon for Him! If you are interested, this is where she explains how it will work.  She has a few instructions, and that's only because she has done this before and knows what works best to keep people accountable and likely to stay on tract. If you decide to do it, let me know and maybe we can help keep each other accountable too! :)

Happy New Year Y'all! Stay safe and I'll see ya again in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas recap

Christmas has come and gone.....and ours sure was nice! I hope that yours was too! We always have a busy Christmas eve and Christmas day. Both my parents and Jeremy's live in town, so we go from one family to the other.  It's a blessing to be able to spend holidays with both of our families, but it does leave us feeling a bit tired after it's all over.

This is Jeremy with his grandmother, Nan and Ella Claire on Christmas Eve.

















Christmas Eve dinner at my parents. My moms buffet had only enough room for dessert! :)

















Dinner on Christmas eve is always finger foods. Beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin on yeast rolls with blueberry spread, bruschetta and much more!









































Christmas morning at our house. This year Jeremy and I opened out gifts Christmas Eve night after EC went to bed. It was nice being able to focus on each other and then watch Ella Claire with her gifts the next morning.










































































































































Santa came to see Ella Claire and Madelaine at Nonnie and Papa's house too....


























There was double everything. It looked like a twins Christmas. :)


























Daddy and Uncle Brian were in charge of putting together these adorable Melissa and Doug shopping carts. Uncle Brian is sporting his homemade tacky sweater that Jess made him for the tacky Christmas sweater party at church.




























































This next picture is blurry, but I had to post it because its the only one I have of Ella Claire and I wearing our matching aprons from Aunt Kim, Uncle J and Madelaine. We love them and I know we will get LOTS of use out of them over the next few years.


























Jeremy opening his new coffee maker.






































EC sitting with Uncle Brian after opening her gift from him, an inch of pearls for her add a pearl necklace that he gave her last year.






































Madelaine, Kim and Justin










































































































































This last picture of Ella Claire yawning pretty much sums up how we all felt after celebrating the most special birthday of the year. It was a wonderful time with our family and even though I am ready to get back to our normal schedule, I'm always sad to see it end. But, we all know, it will be here again before we know it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve!
All of our presents are wrapped and the goodies are baked. It's finally time to stop rushing around, it's time to celebrate Christmas..... and oh am I ready! I completed my shopping with the help of Ella Claire on Wednesday and I wrapped, baked and cleaned with the help of Ella Claire yesterday. Literally, we did everything together. Let me show you my little helper in action....

















I spent most of the day with her attached to my leg. :) I can't complain though, because I love that she needs me and wants me. I want her and need her too. :)

































































A few weeks ago, I saw something on one of my all time favorite blogs, that I just had to try. Since Jeremy and I have lived in this house, I have always baked for our neighbors at Christmas. It's usually decorated sugar cookies. But, this year after seeing this post by Darby, I knew I wanted to do the same thing for my neighbors and try my hand at homemade cocoa and homemade marshmallows. How FUN is that?!?! I was a little nervous though. I get nervous baking or cooking for others anyway, but I was nervous it wouldn't taste as cute as it looks or somehow I would mess it up since it was my first time making it. I always like to try something first before I make it for someone else ya know?  Y'all! I am so glad I decided to try it. It was pretty easy to make (the cocoa was easy peasy) and so tasty! You can get the recipe for the hot cocoa here and the marshmallows here.



















































And here are our jars of cocoa and bags of marshmallows, ready to be given away!











































































Then later on I made some sandies to take to my parents house tonight, per my moms request. I thought about doubling the recipe, because they are one of my favorite cookies too, but after I sifted 2 cups of flour with my old timey sifter, I was glad I didn't. My arms couldn't take any more! Jeremy usually is my designated sifter :) but he was sound asleep with visions of sugar-plums dancing in his head.
































































We finished all of our wrapping and here is a final picture of our tree. She is looking a little droopy I know, we forgot to water her and I'm afraid once we realized it, it was too late!






































Before I go, I wanted to show you my nativity scene that I forgot to take a picture of the other day. I just love it so much and like I said, will be adding to it over the years. I love how Mary and Joseph both just look in awe.  I can't even imagine how they must have felt on that day!






































As you celebrate Christmas this year, I pray that you have joy in your heart! Remember the greatest gift of all! Merry Christmas!!
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