Monday, December 7, 2009

baking & wrapping, cleaning & decorating..loving our life

Whew! Tis the season for busy & fun times! I wanted to update sooner, but lately have found myself otherwise preoccupied with that thing called Life. Clay was gone all last week & we had a busy agenda for this weekend, so I was rockin' out all the time I had to get everything done & hold down the fort.

Baking, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, shopping, errands, open houses, playing, teaching, reading, planning, singing, coloring, and hosting one cookie swap...that was my last week. Challenging, festive, rewarding, enjoyable...just a few words to describe it. Parker is starting a new phase: "the I'm almost 2" phase that brings new adventures and frustrations all at the same time :) With the frustrations come just as many laughs as well though, so as I said before, it was a challenging but enjoyable week for us at home in Minnesota these last several days!

Tuesday night was my wrapping night. After I put the little tot down for bedtime, I sprawled out on the living room floor to wrap any and all presents that needed wrapping. 2:30am came & I literally fell in my bed...

As you can see, the baking started on Wednesday evening with yummy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I laughed and also almost cried when I realized that my "baby" can reach things on our counters now! I almost gave in when he came back in the kitchen with this innocent, questioning tone of asking "Tree, Mama?" (in our words that would be "Three" as in the number 3. Yes, I was feeding my (almost) 2 year old chocolate chip cookies at bedtime the other night...) But, I decided that with three, bedtime might not come so easily for Parker-man and knew that I had quite a long list of to-do's before mama could crawl in the bed that night! So...

...Happily enough, we ended our Wednesday evening with just 2 chocolate chip cookies, a beautifully lit Christmas tree, Chevy Chase's Christmas vacation playing on the tv in the background, one bedtime story & sweet baby hugs & kisses.

Love the festive feeling of Christmas & the sweet smells of baking in the kitchen... :) Amongst the busyness of the days & the crazy schedules, I love to make our home feel magical & serene in the evenings. Hopefully, one day Parker will be able to look back & when asked about one of his favorite memories of Christmas, be able to respond without hesitation..."the magical feeling of home!" My mom did such a great job of making us feel that way each year; it's something I want to carry through with our family.
The whole last week felt & looked like this around here in the evenings though. I loved to sit down each evening after Parker was in the bed & just take it all in. Every day came new aromas drifting from the kitchen...cookies, caramel apple crisp, red beans & rice, eggnog cookies, apple cider...If we weren't baking, Parker & I were reading Christmas stories, playing baseball, watching Thomas the Train Christmas movies, cleaning and so many other fun things getting ready for our weekend activities.

I had my Mary Kay Open House Thursday & Friday afternoon & evenings and Saturday morning. It's always nice to chat with girlfriends & sip warm apple cider while you do your Christmas shopping! :) Saturday evening, Clay & I hosted our first Annual Holiday Cookie Swap with friends from church. I'm already looking forward to next years because it was so much fun..& yummy! :)

Our cute friends, Brent & Kelli. Brent & Clay fly together so we have known them since almost the beginning of our move here. Kelli is due with their first baby in March! (it's a Girl!)
Luke & Katie White...such a sweet & giving couple. They have been the coordinators/instructors of our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Bible Study this fall. Can't wait to share many more memories with them in the future! Katie is due with their first baby in June!
Amy & Andy Nordquist - what a fun, dynamic couple. They are into everything from semi-pro water skiing to marathons...would love to be in their space more! :)
Craig & Kristen Petersen - LOVE these two! Outgoing, friendly & glad we met y'all! These two can have you rolling on the floor in a matter of seconds! ha!
Laurie & Mike Coddington - She's a school teacher (sweet as they come!) & he's a wrestling coach with a never-ending sense of humor (Clay jerked his head around so fast the first time he found out the Mike was into wrestling that I could have sworn I heard a pop/snap!...they have plenty to talk about! ha!) Laurie is expecting their first baby in June!
While the guys visited, the girls chatted, baked & decorated cookies (eggnog cookies) in the kitchen.

Everyone brought some to share too... a few of our cookie choices to swap were Eggnog cookies, chocolate chip oatmeal, chocolate peanut butter crackles, chocolate mint cookies, & peanut butter cup cookies!!!
It was such a great evening of fun & fellowship!
On another note, Parker is LOVING his Daddy being home this weekend...
Sunday: FPU Graduation Night at the White's!!!

The Dave Ramsey Look-a-like's: Some of the guys thought it would be funny to dress as Dave does...what do you think? Are they characters or what?! ;)
So glad we got to meet & know each of these couples better throughout the length of the Bible Study!
As I look back on our last week, I am so thankful for good friends & blessings. It is such a joy to be able to work in our home full-time right now. I am itching to scrapbook & record some of these memories & feelings. :) Maybe I should take a double-vitamin dose to be able to pull some more late-nighters! jk

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