Sunday, January 16, 2011

christmas from santa

Although all of our Christmases have been special, this was truly the first year that both girls really understood who Santa is and counted down for weeks before he came! It was definitely the most special Christmas we've spent together.

Famous Chocolate Chip "Brookie's Cookies" made for Santa

And milk of course!
I know two girls that were very excited on Christmas Eve!
......And the next morning, Santa had left a LOAD of presents!!
...including this vanity, which was a favorite!
Santa left a guide for presents too!
And a note...
We loved looking at all of our Christmas cards! Thank you to all of you who sent them!
Every year when Santa comes, the elves come upstairs to leave an ornament on each child's door. One silly elf always have a hole in his candy bag, and spills Hershey kisses all the way! That same silly elf always came to mommy's house when I was growing up too!
...We all love that silly elf! :)
WOW! Lots of present opening!

Daddy used his new smiley face pancake pan to make us all breakfast! YUM!
The girls had fun pampering mommy at the vanity...
...and daddy too!!
Merry Christmas, Sammi & Natalie! Thank you, Santa, for a wonderful Christmas!

This year we were also able to adopt a family who needed some help under the tree through St. Mary's Children's Center. It was extremely rewarding and we plan on having each of our girls adopt a child through this program every year. It is a great way to teach our kids about giving to others, appreciating what we have, and also experiencing the true spirit of Christmas. If you are looking for a way to give back to the community in the Indianapolis area, I highly recommend going through this organization! (Click HERE.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

christmas with the shermans & grandma parker

For the second year in a row, I was able to convince my Grandma Parker to come stay with us for Christmas! Mom and I drove to Cincinnati to pick her up and we had such a memorable time over the week she was visiting!!!

The next three photos sum up how much my girls love Grandma Parker!

Sammi and Grandma playing Sam's version of Battleship...

Grandma and I have a big joke about how much we both love junk food, so as a joke (but kind of not) I bought her tons and tons of boxes of Little Debbie snacks as a Christmas gift -- hilarious!

We bought our brothers these hilarious toasters for Christmas - Reds for Jordie and Cubs for Scott!

Ashley and Jordie

Samantha sporting her reindeer ears!

...And opening her prized pillow pet, which she LOVES!

Merry Christmas, Sherman Family and Grandma Parker! Grandma, thank you SO much for spending your Christmas with us!!! I plan on picking you up every year, so you can go ahead and put it on your calendar!!! :) xoxo

Monday, January 3, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like....

(a white) CHRISTMAS!

Okay, so we're already into the new year, and I'm just now getting back to personal blogging. I have to admit that although a large part of the reason I went "missing" over the last few months was because we were SO busy this fall with our studio (a very good thing), I also sort of went into a depression after we lost Dan's beloved uncle and I simultaneously was diagnosed with a medical condition (Interstitial Cystitis or IC - click HERE if you're interested in knowing what on earth that is) that threw me out of sorts emotionally for a while. After meeting with several doctors & a specialist, getting my diet under control, finding a mix of drugs and supplements to aid in treating my symptoms, I am finally feeling like I will make it - and with a smile on my face! :)

So... I'm back! :) And I am starting off 2011 with a few blog entries to catch us up on the last few wonderful weeks of Christmas!

Daddy putting up our new tree
Natalie loved helping!

We had just started pulling boxes of ornaments out of the attic...
I didn't get any photos of the stocking holders I placed on the fireplace holding our stockings - but they were HEAVY. And just as my curious Natalie started to pull her stocking down to look at it, I turned and saw it - all happening in slow motion through my eyes without me being able to do a darn thing about it because I was moving in slow motion too - that stocking holder glided off the mantle and hit her right in the face, on her forehead. (Thank GOD it she didn't lose an eye!!!) The next second, which felt like an eternity, was like someone had hit the pause button in the room as I, still moving in slow motion toward her wondered what would come next, as at that particular moment I was not sure where exactly or how hard it had hit her face. Then her scream and the blood came quickly. The room spun back into "fast motion" and blood was pouring down her face and all over the floor. I scooped her up, ran to the kitchen tackling her head with a mass of paper towels while trying to grab ice, frantically telling Sam to find my phone. Dan was in photo sessions so I called my parents. Her head was bleeding so much that I didn't think I could just throw her in the car to take her to the ER myself.

Long story shorter: by the time my parents arrived (10 minutes later), the bleeding and crying had mostly stopped. My parents immediately said she would not need stitches, but helped me clean her (and the floor) and love on the poor thing. Four weeks later, she still has a huge healing gash in her head and it makes me feel like a terrible mommy every time I look at it! I know, I know.... these things happen!! But I should have had the foresight to not use those holders. They have been safely put in storage for the next 10 years and I bought small clear command hooks in the meantime.
Not long after, she was happy again, eating cottage cheese!

After naps, we proceeded with our Christmas preparations and made Christmas cookies! We made the packaged cookies as directed, then homemade icing...

We sandwiched the cookies with the icing, and rolled them in Christmas sprinkles! Fun and delicious!

Finished cookies! Pretty good for 1 & 3 year-olds!

A special thanks to my friend Maggie for helping me fold, stuff, seal, and stamp our Christmas cards! Poor Maggie is on hospital bedrest (for 15 weeks), pregnant with her first child, and so I put her to work at something she could do in bed! :) I always love our hospital visits (although I of course wish they weren't in the hospital)!

Sammi enjoyed helping to pick out and stuff her teachers' Christmas presents!
Those were most of the early Christmas preparations we did! I will post more about our Christmas celebrations with family and from Santa soon! Thanks for checking in, friends! Much love to you! :)