We heard, “I’d like to make a toast.  To a Merry Christmas and happy 2011!” several times throughout supper tonight.  Each time, Lauren insisted we raise our glasses.  I’m beginning to wonder if the thrill she got from toasting trumped opening presents.  It was a wonderful day filled with fun, family, and well, toasting!  To see way too many pictures from our day, click here.

‘Twas the Night before Christmas

What an evening!  We…

  • rolled, cut out & baked sugar cookies
  • checked Santa’s location on the computer
  • wrapped presents
  • took pictures
  • checked on Santa again
  • opened Lauren’s first Christmas Eve present
  • decorated cookies
  • triple checked Santa
  • snacked around while watching a movie (Lauren’s Christmas Eve present)
  • prepared Santa’s cookies and the reindeer’s carrots & celery
  • checked where Santa was one final time before retreating upstairs for our annual reading of The Night Before Christmas

We tucked into bed a very excited Lauren as she pleaded with us, “Santa’s coming! Get to bed now!”   Honestly, the anticipation of what tomorrow will bring is just as thrilling for Ryan and me as it is for Lauren!  To see some pictures from today, click here.

Breaking It In

Ryan got me a new camera for Christmas and so I could enjoy it throughout all of the festivities, he let me open it a few days early.  Now when I look at some of the snap shots I took with my old camera, I can’t believe it took me so long to upgrade!  Check it out for yourself…

Old Camera:

New Camera:

Old Camera:

New Camera:

One Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed

Our lives are slowly getting back to normal. The moments we shared while the kitchen was being restored are irreplaceable, unforgettable, and meaningful…but life just wasn’t as carefree. The place where we sought refuge had been invaded and it turned our world sideways. Basking in the glow of our new shiny floors, we are now enjoying our home as it becomes our sanctuary again. We’ve been playing catch up. We’ve enjoyed lazy mornings, lounging in our PJ’s. We’ve invited friends into our home again. We’ve spent afternoons at the playground because we wanted to, not because we were forced out of the house. We are no doubt embracing our blissful life wholeheartedly. And what better way to celebrate than with a liberating jump on the bed for this month’s photo shoot!
While not ideal, it seems that Lauren has survived this whole ordeal with her zest for life and humor unscathed. Upon discovering that Hailey had had an accident by the back door while waiting on me to let her out, LP carefully examined it from a distance and declared, “Mom, it looks like there’s water in there. We better get it cleaned up fast! We all know what water does to this floor!” 

For more pictures of LP on the bed, click here.

LP Contemplates

“Why are we who we are and not someone else…or an animal?”“How do you make a bridge?”“What do some clouds rain and some clouds not?”

“Why do the leaves change color before they fall off?”

This was all during a 15 minute drive to the store.

Our Shining Star

Today Lauren performed in her Christmas program at school.  She was super excited to get to sing for us and we are so proud of her!  I can’t get over how big she looked up on stage.  She’s one amazing little girl.  And might I add, no tears from me this year.  Guess we’re both growing up a bit.  To check out her performance, click here.


And for a few more pictures, click here.

Backseat Driver

While Ryan was leaving a parking lot, Laure yells, “STOP!  STOP!!  STOP!!!”  Ryan slams on the breaks and asks, “What?”    LP replied, “That was a stop sign back there…guess it should have been a yam sign instead.” (yield sign)

All Smiles

This year Lauren didn’t have even the slightest bit of hesitation when it was her turn to sit in Santa’s lap.  She happily talked to him, telling him a few things on her wish list.  In addition to chatting with Santa, LP also had quite the breakthrough with clowns.  She let a clown touch her face while getting her face painted and actually hugged a clown after he made her a balloon flower.  I was completely amazed and super proud.  We all had an absolutely wonderful time at Ryan’s Christmas Bash this year!  To see some more pictures from our day, click here.

Broken Hearted

To helplessly watch as Hailey becomes so fragile is completely unbearable for me.  It’s terrifying for me to see her collapse and know there is nothing I can do but try to comfort her until she can get up again.  I’m constantly listening for a commotion when she’s not in sight for fear she might pass out and I’m not there for her.  I’m anxious all the time.  It’s like when I first became a mom and with any little noise that came from Lauren, I was on alert.  It seems like I’m reliving that all over again.  I wake at night when I hear Hailey move.  I jump out of bed to check on her several times each night.  I feel so helpless, so frightened, so sad, so heartbroken.  I’m so afraid that I won’t be there for her when she needs me but at the same time fearful of what it will be like if I am there.  I don’t want her to feel alone or scared.  I don’t want her to be in pain.  I don’t want to say goodbye…I’m not ready.  I do love her so very much.