Taking time.

It takes time to develop things – relationships, careers, BABIES, life is an evolution, as is this blog. I have such high hopes to air the thoughts in my head, capture on paper, create a memory I intend to go back and read. But I suppose in my ability to try to take time to blog, which I have failed,  I have been taking time to enjoy other things. Like,

Beautiful faces.

Christmas trees.

Friends.

Moments.

Family.

My new house, my every day struggles to cook healthy, delicious food for my family. My time is more precious than ever and in the attempt to do it all I still find a way to feel like I’m not taking enough time. As I closed out 2010 I took time to just sit, in my house, with my husband, champagne in hand – and celebrated. As I welcomed in 2011 I did the same thing – spent the morning snuggling with my babies and took the afternoon for lunch and drinks with some great friends. Taking time is what I will do this year.

My resolution.

(**Note that all other resolutions I never can keep up with still apply – workout more, read more, blog more, make photobooks**) 🙂

Happy New Year friends, may it be your best.

All about B.

Even though this was technically Brooklyn’s 2nd Christmas, it was a first for us on many levels. Given that she was just about 3 1/2 months old last year we really didn’t do much in the way of gifts, etc…This year, however, it was all about B.

She looks deceptively innocent in her Christmas dress. Please, don’t let her fool you. Here is a special project she worked on during the Christmas break. It was called Operation destroy the kitchen.

Having a little one allows you to watch all the cheesy cartoons (although we did when she wasn’t here too), decorate more, make christmas cookies, put up more lights, go look at lights, buy more gifts, and just love on the idea that her little imagination is about to embark on years to come of Santa and the North Pole, reindeer landing on the roof, her daddy reading Twas the Night before Christmas, and me, teaching her lines from classics, like Christmas vacation.

We spent Christmas Eve at my mom & dad’s house, as I have every December 24th of my entire life. I don’t know if next year we can swing that having her and a little baby in tow but whether it be at their house or ours I’m sure we’ll spend it together.

We opened gifts.
We played in new castles.
We read new books.
We made breakfast with Grandpa:
We had a wonderful Christmas.

Warm Whispers…

Awhile ago I posted about a supposed ‘FORK’ in the road of my life. Decisions were to be made about whether or not we would try for a second baby. Collectively we could come up with so many reasons NOT to, and so many reasons why we absolutely should.

Months passed, and I could never close the door. Even when we both agreed that we were blessed with one beautiful child and that was enough I wasn’t completely at peace. My husband knew all along, he just said he wanted to wait for me to come around at my own time. He knows me a little too well.

We decided to try again, giving ourselves through Christmas. If nothing happened by then we knew that that was our sign, and I convinced myself I’d be okay with that.

We’re pregnant.

Again!!!

I’m actually about 14 1/2 weeks along but have been keeping things between family and friends until I hit the 12 week mark and told my boss. Both of equal importance!

This time around is so different. I still have been barfing a bit, but not near as much as with Brooklyn. I haven’t gained any weight, in fact, I’ve lost 5 lbs. I did do that with her too so I’m not worried about it, and trust me, I am eating. I think that because I’ve been there done that I am not nearly as fixated on EVERY LITTLE DETAIL or already experiencing the anxiety of having to BIRTH a child. That thought absolutley terrified me. It, physically, didn’t make sense to me. Watermelon. Lemon. TERROR. My husband is blissfully happy with this 2nd pregnancy as I’m not near as much of a crazy bitch, not yet at least, and I’m not screaming at him that WE HAVE TO READ PAGE 32 in the pregnancy bible book because OMG WE’RE 14 WEEKS AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW!!! (break down sob fest). See, the first pregnancy was definitely different.

In fact, I have to remind myself I’m pregnant most days. Chasing a 15 month old around is basically like owning exercise equipment and on top of that I keep my normal pace I always have. I get in trouble and my husband literally forces me to sit down and rest. My body feels it though, and this little baby sends me subtle reminds he/she is there. Warm Whispers to take care of him/her, slow down, stay healthy, rest, and GET READY.

We are so blessed this Christmas to be surrounded by our amazing family and friends, and to know that another little life is soon on the way. I am very thankful…

Merry Christmas! Happy Festivus! Hannukkah! Whatever it is you celebrate, CHEERS.

…and UGLY it was.

Our Ugly Christmas party was a success. As my dear friend KQ put it on her FB status update:

“you know it was a good party when everyone needs asprin the next morning, you go home in someone else’s shoes, and you are drinking out of cups that say ‘happy birthday jesus’. Good times!!! XOXOXO to all the partay peeps”

Pretty much sums up the night. Everyone brought their A game of ugly Christmas attire:

The white elephant gift exhange was a success:
Cookie decorating, not so much:
It’s boring to act like adults all the time, right?
Happy Birthday JESUS!!!!

Gratitude

There are a lot of things that can stop me in my tracks and me feel every bit vulnerable and emotional. There are the typical things, a song, a moment in time, a sad story, a happy story, a Folgers commercial…okay so I’m one level of stable above that – but in general you could classify me as one of those people that get moved by things.

I can be very cynical, and real too. In fact, one of my favorite past times is getting together with my close friends and just having those call it like we see it kind of conversations. Many times this may involve some serious shit talking, but hey, what are friends for.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I took my child, loaded up the mom car and picked up the grandparents to hit up the local Chuy’s parade – kids giving to kids. If you don’t know what Chuy’s is, look it up and figure out a way to get a hold of the jalapeno ranch. You can thank me later for changing your life. The concept is genius, it’s a toy drive where kids bring a gift to the parade and fill the beds of Chevrolet trucks to the brim, for other kids.

Brooklyn is too young to get this but we headed out with our Play-doh gift in hand anyway as I wanted her to just experience the scene and see the floats. I mean we’re talking Macy’s parade runner up floats here -look at the enthusiasm! 😉

So the motorcycles kick it off, we’re clapping, dancing, waving, and the crowd is collectively enjoying it. Kids everywhere, smiling, feeling every bit of that magic of the holidays. We were near the front of the parade and I noticed that one of the next floats in line was a group of men and women representing our troops. Suddenly it just seemed like the entire crowd shifted focus and it was no longer about the parade, the kids, the toys, but it was about stopping to honor our heroes. As they made their way down the street everyone stood up, waving, cheering, and clapping. I have no idea what came over me as this is the behavior we should see in one another but it’s like I felt this wave of gratitude hit everyone at once and it completely got me. It could have turned into a big ol’ sobfest, hot mess, but I held it together.

It was one of those had to be there moments, but I suppose that morning I woke up vulnerable to feel everything. It was just nice to see literally everyone on the same page for one small moment in time, appreciating, giving thanks, and feeling every bit of grateful for what these people have sacrificed. All political bullshit aside, it was about gratitude. Spend a minute today and be grateful for something.

Sdoft and Gen-dle

We had an awesome Turkey day, stuffing our face with lots of good food, compliments of some amazing chef I know. Ahem. We started the prep on Wednesday night and I had full intentions of capturing all the details a la photograph but all I got was this one:

They were damn good deviled eggs too.

The rest of the time off we spent with family, enjoying the change in the holiday season as we are now fully launched into xmas mode. All decorations are up, music is on, and we even have a print out of ABC’s 25 days of Christmas because yes, we are that cool.

Brooklyn has been suprisingly good with the Christmas tree, full of bright white lights, sparkling red and silver balls, different ornaments we picked up over the last few years representing us and what we love the most. We got her a stuffed snowman with the word ‘Noel’ on his tummy, that’s her ornament she can take on and off the tree. On and off. On and off. On and off. On and off. On and off. Exhausted yet? SHE’s NOT! On and off. On and off……
Brooklyn’s ornament

I decided to teach her to be soft with the tree. I took her hand and lightly rubbed her face, then mine, and whispered, soft. We then sat by the tree and did the same thing, and I said soft, gentle. Now, anytime she looks at it, or goes near it she whispers sdoft, gen-dle, and barely touches the branches or other ornaments. My husband is amazed and I tell him it’s my mad parenting skills.

It’s been really cold here too, which for me, adds to the whole Christmas spirit. I’m talking 40’s people which for those of us in Texas is sub zero temperatures. Our “winter” coats are for style, not warmth so there are a bunch of us walking around freezing our asses off. Possible snow flurries tommorow too which if that happens will most likely mean day off at which point I promise to do the Carlton in celebration. It snowed a lot, once, when I was about 5 or 6. It was magical, and all I remember is my dad sending me flying down the neighbors driveway in a beer cooler. That experience was not sdoft, nor gen-dle, but it was fun.

Prepping

22 lbs of meat is defrosting in my refrigerator. I gave my potatoes a trial run last night for the hubs and I…new recipe that actually will NOT make it to the table Thursday. Sticking to what I know, which are good ol’ fashioned mashed potatoes with tons of butter, sour cream, garlic, and salt, which are clearly low fat. When you are cooking to impress my normal consciousness of nutritional value goes out the door. I’m all kinds of Paula Dean up in here.

And I have to be, you know why? Because ALL of my grandparents are coming. The matriarchs of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners will be there, including my own mother. My dad’s mom, God love her (or something), is always one for a comment. You know, the subtle dig with the high pitched voice and smile to tag along just to let you know it was okay, but not quite right. My mom’s dad who I absolutely love, we call him Captain Rick, who will drink straight vodka with lime the moment he arrives only to either continue to comment about how good the food is or say nothing at all. Which again will signify success or failure. Then my Nana (mom’s mom) is coming who is essentially Betty Crocker. No seriously, she is. And her house is always spotless, bushes trimmed to perfection, everything with her outfit coordinates, mother f’in pressure is on. Then as mentioned my parents who are both damn good cooks, and of course my brothers. I’m not worried about those two, the fact that they are not going through the drive thru to eat that day nor spending their own money is considered an all around win for them. Plus, I’ll have beer and wine – for free. Another win.

Please pray, light a candle, something for my turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs, cornbread, and rolls. The cranberry is coming straight out the can so if that screws up the store brand distributors can suck it.

Okay so in all seriousness, I am thankful. Very thankful to have family close enough to pay a visit, thankful for my brothers coming into town, my parents, my husband, my daughter, my friends…my list goes on but the point is BE thankful. Take your moment wherever you are and reflect on what you have. Time here is precious and no matter what bullshit or hardship circulates in our lives there is always time to stop and give thanks. We put our Christmas decorations up early this year so that our house would be all the more cozy when everyone is over. We just started putting the tree up and I caught this:

and NOTHING makes me more thankful.