Friday, December 30, 2011

Need a Tax Deduction?

If you are needing/wanting a last minute tax deduction, please, consider donating to our March of Dimes team, Magdalena's Feet!  All donations can be made online at

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Traditions

Noah and I have begun two Christmas traditions.  One it to complete a Christmas puzzle together.  It is kind of addictive, and has taken a much shorter time than we imagined!  The other is to go through the book Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie to prepare our hearts for advent.  Both have given us a sweet time together as we have been so busy with Noah getting ready to finish seminary.  Yes...that is right...we are on our last semester!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

My mom has done so well about creating traditions in our lives so that each year we can look forward to them.  It usually includes a food or how we open our presents.  We always take a break for a snack or dessert.  Because of these traditions I will have so many treasured memories for the rest of my life. 

In the past we have spent Christmas Eve at my Grandmom's house, but with her no longer with us we did something different.  Early in the day I went to Magdalena's grave.  A lot of times we go as a family, but this year I was glad to get the chance to go by myself.  I needed to say some things out loud to her, and if people are around there is never the chance to do it.  Christmas just isn't the same without my big girl.

Noah and I were honored to have my parents come and eat dinner with us.  We all went to church and had a laid back sort of meal.  Then, we sat down to read a book for Walt to go to bed.  He always enjoys having his Mimi and Papa over!  He showed them his favorite books!  

This has been the year of trains for Walt.  There is one near our house that passes by, and he enjoys his daddy taking him to watch it along with lining up his toy cars forming a train.  We were so excited that he was going to be getting a train table for Christmas!  The night before Christmas Eve Noah had put together the table together, and then, on Christmas Eve Papa enthusiastically helped to build the tracks while Mimi organized a few of her last Christmas gifts!

It turned out exactly how I had imagined it!  After it was put together, I wrapped it so that he could have a present to open.

Walt continues to enjoy the train table, and he has played with it constantly over the last few days.  I think that this will be the gift that he can play with for many many years!  At the moment he was just as excited about ripping the paper to find the train set as he was moments later as he discovered his stocking filled with 250 suckers!

I had to take this picture of Lori and me because we both wore the same scarf and earrings on Christmas day!  Great minds think alike!

I love my sweet niece, Laura!  Kids are so much fun on the holidays....maybe it is all the sugar they are eating!

The siblings opening a gift!

Walt received some fun Mater toys!  He was good about waiting for his turn to open up his presents, but it was really hard to wait!

Walt shows off his new slips and Mater pillow pal as he plays with his train!  The day after Christmas we did stay in our p.j.s for a good bit of time.
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Monday, December 26, 2011

A Special Gift

Of course I love this gift of pottery from my parents.  I love having little pieces around the house that remind me of my sweet Magdalena.  She is praising God with the angels right now.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

The Christmas Cottage

My mom and I have watched The Christmas Cottage since it came out in 2008, and with the help of Netflix, I was happy to share it with Noah last night.  It is based on the life of Thomas Kinkade, who we all know as a famous artist.  Thomas and his younger brother return home from college for the holidays to find their mom swimming in bills and a broken house.  While working to save their family's cottage, Thomas spends time with his mentor, a famous artist.  Without giving too much away, let me say that this is a sweet movie, which left us in tears at the end in a good way.  The famous artist is attempting to leave the world with a painting of his wife so that she can be remembered by all.  He finally realizes that he is only painting the pain that is caused by his longing to be with her, and that she should be remember through light.  

Glen, "I have been trying to paint my sorrow, to show a bleakness of a world without Nicole, but then you came with a candle last night, and I knew what Nicole's memorial should be. Not darkness, but light. Sometimes we can barely see beyond the forest to the sky. I was painting the leaves of the forest and never saw the light of the sky behind it. Now I see it. That's all I need to see now."  

Especially around Christmas we can get so caught in our sorrow that it is hard to see the sky.  For me, each year has been different, but there is one thing that has been the same through each holiday.  I know that there is hope.  Certain smells and activities of the season cause my heart to sink.  When I receive a Christmas card with a little girl on it that was born the same year as Magdalena, I can't help but try to picture what she would look like.  God did not intend for me to carry this burden alone.  And with every card I open and barbie doll that I see, I know that I am not alone, and although there may be moments where the sky is hard to find, I know that it is there.  I never doubt that I have been left.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CMA Christmas Songs that Stole My Heart

The night after attending the CMA awards, we had tickets to see the CMA Christmas concert, which is recorded in advance.  Thanks to our awesome CMA connection!

This song convinced me that it was time for Faith Hill to return! Beautiful!

This song gave me chills.  They did an amazing job really focusing on the words of the song.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweet Reminders

Over the last few days I have had sweet reminders of my grandparents.  Every night before Walt gets tucked into bed, it has become our routine for just the two of us to snuggle in an arm chair and read a book.  Walt picks the book out for us.  On this particular night he chose the following book that he had found on the shelf. I got choked when I realized Grandmom and Granddad had given it to me when I was his age. Now, I love to write in books so that I can remember when I gave them to Walt.  Maybe one day he will have this same moment.

Memaw passed away last December, and we had not gotten rid of all of her things, and so, this past weekend we had a garage sale with all of the doo dads (does any other family use that word?) that we would not be keeping.  We found this train, and I put it under my tree.  Walt and I discussed how delicate it is, and he is so good about lightly playing with it, and he always returns it to the right location.  Memaw would love watching him enjoy this train.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas and Sweet Little Happenings

Any holiday makes it harder not to have Magdalena with us.  We hang her stocking and place her ornaments on the tree.  Everyday God is giving us sweet little reminders of his love and grace in our lives.  The older Walt gets, the easier it becomes to celebrate the holidays instead of wallowing.  He is aware of toys, receiving presents, and all of the excitement which surrounds him daily this time of the year.  He naturally makes us want to make it a memorable holiday for him, and by teaching him the true meaning of the holiday, we remind ourselves.  He was a belated Christmas gift from God two three years ago when we found out that we were pregnant shortly after Magdalena passed away.  

A sweet friend sent this Nemo to us in memory of Magdalena.  We had watched Nemo together, and all of the colors attracted her attention. 

Walt was at my office, and he enjoyed watching Justin Bieber's "Santa Claus is coming to town".  The dancing and poppy music made him want to dance!

Walt can make a drum set out of anything.  Tin Christmas containers with his Handy Manny character toys as drumsticks attracted everyone's attention at Wal-mart as we strolled around.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011


This Thanksgiving we celebrated at my parents' house, and we all felt the missing piece, Grandmom.  We all honored her by attempting to make one of the items she would normally bring on a holiday.  I brought the fruit and apple pie while Jennifer make her famous chocolate sauce.  I love how my family sticks together.  Yes, we are a crazy bunch, especially when we are together, but we do love each other.  We are there for each other when we need to be, and I am so thankful for each member of my family, those related by blood and those who actually decided they wanted to marry into the family. 

One of our favorite traditions is eating blueberries on Thanksgiving morning while watching the parade and drinking chocolate milk.  Walt loves blueberries, especially when they are in muffins!  I love that my parents come over to be with us too! 

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Noah's Birthday

We love family birthdays!  Happy Birthday, my sweet husband!  Walt did not like the hat on Noah's head AT ALL!  You can see him screaming with fear!  

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Cousin Bond

The cousins went to see Arthur Christmas with Mimi, and they rocked the house with their dance moves!  First, my mom had the best idea by sitting in the far back so that we wouldn't disturb anyone but the kids could still be kids.  They had candy and snacks the entire movie, and then, to top it off they hand dance time when everyone had left the theater!  

I love how much my older nieces look after Walt.  He looks up to them so much, and they always keep their eye on him.  

Walt does not like characters of any sort, so why do you see this huge grin on his face?  He is with his cousins, of course!  He doesn't need Santa when he has Emma and Caroline (Laura and Landon too!  They are just not in the picture.).  On this particular night he shopped with his cousins, drank hot chocolate, and ate hamburgers and cookies.
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Monday, December 05, 2011

Potty Training

Potty Training....need I say more?  We had finally decided to do it over the Thanksgiving break, but we started off the holidays out of town, so we decided to wait until the Christmas break.  We are gradually introducing the bathroom to Walt, and we are looking into a book that encourages the bathroom.  However, I don't think any of that will compare to the cool toilet Walt has!  It even makes the car sound!  He loves cars!  When, I have an update on how this goes, I will let you know.  As for now, we are scared and looking for a way to avoid it, but Walt is growing up.  We can tell that he is ready!

Can I just say how much I LOVE this picture of my little man!  He went Wal-mart shopping with me, and he was a real trooper the entire time we were there!  With fish in hand, he went through all of the isles with me with a smile on his face.  Even at the very end of the trip when we had to wait inside because it was pouring rain and we lacked an umbrella, he was patient.  With Walt's personality and age he is either one extreme or the other, and I was very thankful on this shopping trip that he was in the positive extreme.

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Saturday, December 03, 2011


A sweet friend of mine has a son who is an intern for the CMAs, so we were able to go and be seat fillers for the award show!  That means that we would sit in the seats of people like Tim McGraw if he needed to use the bathroom.  Since the show would be televised they wanted all seats to be filled.  It ended up where two producers (we think) did not show up, so we sat on the eighth row for the entire show!  It was phenomenal!  We saw some of the top country singers like Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and Martina McBride sing their hearts out.  Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures, but being steps away from Reba and Faith was priceless.  
I am not sure what this statue is, but we were definitely confused by  it!  

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