Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our First Christmas {a night to remember}

Three years ago I got engaged to Jon.  I have yet to write a post about that part of our love story....but until then: just know that it didn't go as plan but in the end we got married and that's what matters, right? :)

So tonight it was only best to have our little family's Christmas.

First I had to get us ready.  Ellie got a bath and I got a shower.  I know, I accomplished a lot today. ;)

Then it was time to work in the kitchen.  This mess was just not going to work....

Then I got going on dinner.  I melted a stick of butter and poured it over some chicken tenders in a 9x13 pan.  Then sprinkled some bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and italian seasoning.  I had baked potatoes already in the oven. Cooked the chicken on 400 for about a half hour, so I could make enough for leftovers.  Then I also made a side of macaroni and cheese.  Jon brought home some grape juice, and we called it good! :)

When Jon got home Ellie had fallen asleep in her bouncy seat, so we went ahead and ate dinner.  Jon led us in a sweet, meaningful prayer, and then we enjoyed each other's company with out watching television.

Then we sat down on a blanket next to the Christmas tree (where I had the bassinet set up also), and by this time Ellie had woken up.

Daddy & Ellie bonding

Sorry the pictures are dark and blurry.  I had turned off many lights so Ellie could sleep.  But she sure was enjoying our first Christmas....

 I had wrapped the brown blanket around her to keep her arms from going wild to wake her up and to keep her happier. :)  She really enjoys looking at her Daddy! :)

Then Daddy got really goofy with her.

Do you spot the pacifier ;)

Then Daddy started our family's tradition.

Listening to Daddy read the Christmas story

 After he was done we talked about it.  Then talked about how we were going to go about opening presents in "our" family.  But this year it was easy.  Jon and I had both gotten each other one gift.  We didn't get Ellie anything because she wouldn't remember and I had recently got her a few new outfits anyways.

I told Jon he had to open his first. :)

I know I said I got him one gift.
But this was a 2 in 1--awesome Blu-Ray deals!

Then it was my turn to open.

Wow!  I was really surprised!  I couldn't believe he picked a house decor item!  He did a GREAT job!  We decided to hang them up over our fireplace.  Because the wall is not symmetrical at all, so the randomness of the mirrors would work well.

So we got started on hanging them up.  First we made "samples" of the mirrors to tape to the wall to decide where they would go before we started making holes in the wall.  (Nothing like using leftover printer paper from my old college assignment.)

Jon loves the picture of Ellie so much he didn't want to put it anywhere else. :)

And here's one from far back to show you how hard it was to figure out what to do with that fireplace.

I plan on putting something on the mantel.  It would've been nice for Christmas to have some pretty greenery and stuff don't you think?  If you have any ideas of what I could do let me know.

And then I dished some ice cream up for my hubby and he started to watch Saving Private Ryan that I had got him.  My dad called me and I got side tracked...I saw Jon run towards the room where I had Ellie sleeping.  She was crying and it was distracting me, plus it didn't help seeing Jon run.  He has never done that before.  I quickly ended my phone chat with dad apologizing and then Jon came out with Ellie.

"The bassinet broke."


While Ellie sleeps sometimes she wakes up shortly after and scoots around a lot.  Apparently she was so squirmy it triggered the old bassinet and the leg gave out and started to collapse.  Ellie was fortunately still up right in it but she was a little startled.  My poor baby!  I told Jon it had been pretty rocky before and it might just need fixed.  So while he messed with it I held my sweet baby (who was totally calm by now like nothing had happened).  Jon fixed it and we put her back down to sleep.

I then texted my parents to let them know what had happened.

It was the craziest thing.

Nothing like adding that to your family Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  That was our first of five.  How many do you have?  What are your favorite traditions?

Monday, December 17, 2012

First Christmas

i don't remember my first Christmas.  i don't remember seeing my first Christmas tree all lit up and decorated.  i don't remember the first time i opened my first gift. but i do remember the first time i played Mary in the Christmas play (and many more years).  i remember the first time hearing what Christmas was all about.  i remember sitting down and listening to my dad read the Christmas story.  i remember joyfully opening presents with the wasn't my first Christmas, but it has special memories.

this year would be Ellie's first Christmas.  however she will never remember.  however i still plan on making it special for Jon and I, and Ellie will be right there beside us.  because we are a family.  on Wednesday we are celebrating our little family's Christmas.  it will be a special time and hopefully will continue to be a tradition (i'm a big fan of traditions).

i'm going to try to think of something yummy to have for dinner.  then Jon and I will read the Christmas story.  we'll probably talk sweet little things about Ellie, and then we each got each other one gift.  first time to do that for Christmas.  in the past we have never really gotten each other gifts for Christmas exactly.  actually we celebrate the weekend before Christmas because that's sorta when our 'little family' began.  Saturday night before Christmas back in 2009 Jon took me out to eat and the plan was to propose to me.  i knew it was coming, but didn't know what all he had in store for me.  in fact, i have yet to write that blog post about that part of our love that will be for another post.  but until then know we got engaged December 21st, 2009.  So this year we are celebrating our little family's Christmas on Wednesday, December 21st. :)  Three years ago that day he asked me to marry him.  and i said yes.  so what better day then to celebrate our family's Christmas??

after Ellie's first Christmas she'll probably want to eat and go back to bed.  but then on Friday we'll travel to my parent's house to stay for the week.  because we will have four more Christmas' to celebrate.

so not only is this Ellie's first Christmas on Wednesday, but first of many! :)
but that's what Christmas is about.  Fellowship.  God wants us to get together with our loved ones and celebrate His birth.  I'm looking forward to spending plenty of time with family the rest of the month!!  hopefully Ellie is ready for extra hugs and kisses.

Merry Christmas everyone!!  While remembering Ellie's first Christmas, I'll also keep in mind of the very first Christmas!!  God is good like that.  children are truly a blessing. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jesus Paid it All

i didn't really mean that.

i'm just kidding.

why did you do that?

don't they know that hurts my feelings?

why are they not doing that for me?

don't i deserve this?

can't you do this one thing for me?

it's not that important.

he will understand.

let me do this one thing first, then....

don't we all from time to time?

you'll do it for me, right?

the endless thoughts that run in our minds from time to time.  moment to moment.  why?  because we are human.  and the argument inside your mind can cause it to continue on and on and on.  and i'm so thankful for this

because it saves me from the unending grace.

because with out it i wouldn't be me and you wouldn't be you.

and the fact is we could do nothing.  in fact we have done nothing.  nothing to deserve this.


and yet God gave us this

and no i wasn't about to pick one of those church pictures of nicely cut hair Jesus on the cross with nails.  i picked something a little bit more realistic.  something i wish i saw way before i was 14.  before then i didn't truly understand what it meant.  it was the typical sunday school answer.  jesus paid for my sins.  all of them.  awesome teacher that's nice.  i believe in him, that's cool.

but no!

it wasn't easy.

it was God's Son.

God provided a promise.  and it was fulfilled.  and i never got it completely.

until I lay here next to my daughter.

because Jesus paid it all.  All to him I owe.  He wiped me white as snow.

so my daughter wouldn't have to.

so i could be with Him.

God watched his Son pay.  So my husband, my daughter, my future children, and i could have life.  and especially you.

eternal life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ellie {2 months}

Oh my dear Ellie you are two months old today!!  Daddy and Mommy love you so much and can't stop smiling with all the sweet little things you do!  Mommy will tell you all about it....

You are so so cute.  Who can't stop looking at you?

took this pic today! 2 mo old
While Mommy was doing your two month photo shoot she is reminded of all the sweet things you do, and all the things you do not like!  Ellie, you enjoy smiling and "talking" to us.  Sometimes it even sounds like you say "hi" back.  When we talk or stick our tongue out you move your mouth and play with your tongue too.

...or just watch us try to get you to talk :)
Then Mommy wanted to start showing your size.  Your one month photo was in your bouncer so you had to do one good one in the bouncer for month two.

one month old
two months old
Sorry the views are different, but you can tell the slight difference of how you are growing up!  So content!  Here's another way to start showing your growth.

changing mat in living room
Super long!  Still in newborn clothes however some 0-3 month stuff.  You are long like Mom and Dad so all your newborn pants are too short.  After the far away shot I just had to get one of you up close.  You are such a sweet baby to look at.

Always wide-eyed!  Daddy noticed one day how your eyes get even BIGGER (can you imagine?) when we turn off the lights in the room.  It's like you try to not miss out on seeing what is around you.  You definitely get your curiosity from your Daddy! :)  You are certainly in God's imagine.  No doubt about that.  You are so beautiful.  How badly Daddy and Mommy want you to know how much we love you.  Even when you grow up thinking we are crazy people (it's true), we hope and pray you will lean on our Savior for guidance.

I'm sorry for what I did to you next in the photo shoot.  I just wanted one good naked picture of my baby girl.  However you HATE to be naked.  You have this freak out moment and arms go wild and you burst into tears.  And Mommy's heart sinks.

Mommy tried the pacifier and it worked for awhile.  But you were still unhappy.

So with outpouring love Mommy got you dressed again and held you close.  You love your Momma's voice and she is so blessed.

My dear daughter, back when I was ten I prayed and prayed God would give me a little sister.  And even though He never gave me one....He did give me you.  And the blessings are overflowing!!  Because you look a little bit like me and a little (maybe a little bit more than a little) like your Daddy!  And that is truly a BIG blessing.  You have a very special place in my heart my dear Ellie.  And it will always be there.

Because you and me, Ellie, will always have this special bond.  You already stole my heart with those sweet looks.  Your sweet toothless smiles.  And sweet little coos.  But I'm not over yet.  You got Daddy right there too!  When he calls Mommy on his way home from work he asks about you right away.  He's disappointed when he hears you are sleeping.  He so badly wants to see you.  Mommy can't wait to see your special Daddy-Daughter bond.

It has already begun. :)

It looks like you are pushing Daddy away however you're not even touching his face.  You're actually trying to join in on the fun of your silly Daddy! :)

Happy Two-Month Birthday Ellie!  We are so thankful for what what you have brought to our lives!!


(and Daddy too)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekend-Ness & Crock Pot Meatloaf

This past weekend was the last weekend before we start celebrating Christmas.  Jon and I both love Christmas, but we were looking forward to taking Ellie (ahem, and me) out of the house and walk around.  (Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us use your stroller so we wouldn't have to carry Ellie everywhere!)

Friday Jon got off in the middle of the afternoon.  When he came home he helped me get Ellie ready to go out.  (She had a blow out just in time for Daddy to come home.)  Then we had late lunch at Pancheros.  If you know Jon at all, that is NO surprise what so ever!  Then we went to Westdale Mall near our apartment.  The mall is best for walking.  It's indoors and not crowded.  There are hardly any stores left in this mall.  Besides a few salons, Younkers, JCPenny, Payless, and Chick fil A there's not a whole lot else.  Except the Cedar Rapids Library.  So Jon and I did some window shopping.  Well, actually I got some new gloves and we got a Christmas gift!  And couldn't pass up the sales on an outfit for Ellie. :)  Now she was something to wear next weekend at my Dad's business Christmas Party! (Pictures later.)

When we got home I fed Ellie and put her to bed.  She fell asleep!  Yeah! :)  (She usually fights it.  So Jon and I watched a movie we had gotten from the library.  And it was just the two of us.  Jon and I have not had an evening together at the apartment without interruption for two months!  It was such a wonderful blessing. :)

Since we stayed up late Friday night enjoying our sleeping baby, we slept in.  All three of us!  I love it how well Ellie sleeps in the morning. We got up and ready and once Ellie was awake we started off on our fun-filled day!  We ate at Arby's and Ellie fell asleep.  It gave us some extra minutes to chat about life.  Then we went up north Cedar Rapids to the nice mall.  We walked and went in a few stores.  We came home with another outfit for Ellie, a wall decor to hang up our jackets that match our bedroom furniture, and then ended the night with grocery shopping at Walmart.  It was pretty late (which was fine since we had a late lunch) so we just put in a frozen pizza.  Ellie went down for the night so we enjoyed another night of just the two of us.  We stayed up WAY too late.  Ugg something like 1am.  Ellie was up about 3am and then again at 7am.  I couldn't fall asleep and got up at 8:30am to get ready for church.

After church (can I add we made it on time?), we went to Carlos O'Kelly's for lunch.  Jon is a huge Mexican eater and he's not a fan of their food so he got a Jimmy John's sandwich beforehand.  Don't worry he didn't bring it in.  He ate it in the car while I fed Ellie.  When we got home I started cleaning.  Big time!  Our nightstands and dresser drawers needed organizing.  Then I dusted.  Meanwhile worked on some laundry and had dinner in the crock pot.  While I was busy in mounds of clothes, dust, and well the kitchen....Jon was working on a list I had given him. :)  After two years of marriage I found the best way not to feel like I am nagging my husband!  If there is a few things I would like him to help with around the house apartment, I just write them down.  And he looks at them and does them in the order he wants.  Then I don't have to keep bothering him to do what I need help on.

His list:

  • Hang up wall decor in our bedroom
  • Hang up picture over living room couch
  • Clean up computer stuff so there's a walkway to the nursery
  • Make bed (had sheets washed while at church)
  • Sweep and wash kitchen floor
  • Organize mail, bills, and papers
  • Clean shower (going to give Jon haircut first)
  • Vacuum apartment (didn't get to this)
And it helps encourage him to know I have a list as well. :)  So here goes:
  • Dinner, clean up kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Organize dresser and nightstands
  • Organize bathroom cupboards (long story why)
  • Dust bedroom and living room
  • Clean toilet and bathroom floor (after Jon gets haircut and cleans shower)
  • Help Jon file papers
Ellie slept very well for us again this evening.  It was such a blessing!  She went down at 9pm and fell asleep within 15 minutes.  She didn't wake up again until 3:45am!  But what I really wanted to share with you was this awesome blog I found.  Possibly found it through Pinterest?  But I can't remember.  It's a blog filled with yummy recipes.  And I get emails every time she makes a new post.  It's awesome.  Every day I wake up to a new blog post with a recipe!  Some times it's snacks or dessert, but I also get good meal ideas.  And one day I happened to get something so good I wanted to try it...Slow Cooker BBQ Ranch Meatloaf!  She got me at Slow Cooker!  So awesome! :)  I am always looking for more slow cooker recipes that are NOT soup.  

I had to get my hands dirty and mix it all up in a bowl.  Ugg touching raw meat.  But it was SO good.  For future reference it's a good reminder that Ellie needs to be good and sleeping or something when I make it.  Touching raw meat is the main part of making this meal and I can't do it if she's cranky, hungry, and needing me.  

It says to put it on low for 6 hours but by the time I got to making it we would've had dinner way too late.  So I put it on high for 4 hours.  It worked okay.  It was yummy!  It was so meaty and delicious.  Try it!  I served it with organic sweet corn and a spinach salad with leftover bacon from that chicken meal I made the other night.  Delish!

Can't wait to enjoy it today for lunch!!  Click on the link to find her blog AND to get the recipe!  yumm!