Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas eve and day

We spent Christmas Eve with my family. I really loved the energy and excitement we had there and of course the food. It was a very relaxed and special evening. We were tracking Santa the whole evening on the internet and close to 9pm we left so Santa could make an appearance at our house. My parents spoiled us as usual and we thank them dearly for the presents and all they do for us continually. Love them to pieces. 

I love that we captured Dacian's sweet smiles and pure joy. My dad played Santa (just look at the presents he's holding) I also really love the vest my mom knitted for Dacian. He was delighted to wear it and I was so excited that my son has such a cute thing to wear. My mom put a lot of time into making that. Thanks mommy.
Miss Lavi got the cutest dress in the universe and also a Madeline doll. What a fun evening. I am so glad we opened my parents' presents to us that night and that way the kids paid full attention to those presents and didn't get drowned in too much stuff all at once. 
We hurried home after we ate and opened presents at my mom and dad's house and put the kids to bed. We had a hard time putting Dacian to bed who of course was too excited to sleep. Finally since Santa can only come while kids are sleeping he decided it was time to go to bed. Phew! 
Then the wrapping and the putting together of the bike and the mini kitchen began. I was so tired and still had so much to do. Plus the next morning we invited a family for lunch at 1pm. The little kitchen was a pain to put together if you can believe that and that was a present from my parents but we hid the box at our house. I love how little it is and how I can put it next to my kitchen and the kids can play while I cook. I think it will be used a lot and even though small it will serve its purpose well. :) 

Picture below is taken right after Santa came. It was a fun night wrapping and putting stuff together with Shane, listening to Christmas music, talking and just having fun just the two of us. I love having Christmas at my house, and I love just us in the morning. I am fine with guests later on but there is nothing like waking up in your own home and spending the special moments of Christmas morning all to ourselves. I had the best of both worlds this Christmas. Thankfully I have a job that allows me time off during the Holidays otherwise I don't know how I would manage everything. 
Well this post is getting too long and it's a little late but I will be back with more pictures and more ramblings soon. I feel blessed and I have peace in my heart and I wish you all the best in the new year to come. May all your wishes come true. 
Love, Maddy

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas! 2010

Well, of course another month flew by.
I am not very happy that I can't convince my husband to get a haircut so thus far no family picture. I am going to take one of the kids but that's a challenge since Lavinia objects to anything that has to do with pictures. If I remember right Dacian did this too when he was TWO.
Anyway, here's a few photos I took recently.
Love my house at Christmas especially since we finally bought our tree.
Anyway, we wish you all a Merry Christmas, may Santa bring you lots of goodies and may you remember the special reason for the Holiday.
Love you all.

I have been having a little fun with my camera yesterday and here are some I like. I love how different things look with all the options a DSLR has.  If only I can really learn to master it now. Long way to go but it's a fun hobby to have and learn more about. No edits, that would probably help my pics some but I am too lazy right now. :)
I finally realized how to have all those pretty out of focus lights.
I wanted to show you all my sweet nativity. My sweet friend Holly gifted this to me a few years back and I just love it. She made the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddles in a crib with hay and Mary and Joseph. I have the other figures from a different small nativity. No big one to show you but this totally does it for me. Thank you again Holly. I think they are adorable. 
And here's my little model who was sweet enough to let me take lots of photos of him and I still haven't gotten a decent one. It's kind of blurry but I liked his sweet face in this one the best. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I love Santa! ... and some thoughts

I have heard from many friends that they are so against Santa because they say he takes away from having a Christlike Christmas. I never felt that was the case and just thinking about banishing Santa so my kids can only think of Christ made me sad. Why not have both? Sure, everything is so commercial now but I think the fun of it comes from trying to make the holiday special and non commercial; thinking up ways to avoid falling in the I WANT this and that and instead of thinking of the importance of what this holiday actually celebrates. I most definitely don't want to spoil my kids rotten and will do all in my power to live and have a Christmas with meaning.  I hope to teach them about being giving and sweet and most importantly celebrating Jesus's birth, the most important gift God gave us all.
Santa is a not a bad thing. Maybe there are people that don't believe in anything and just do Santa because that's better than doing nothing but having both didn't ever hurt anyone. (in my humble opinion of course)
Recently as I was thinking about this a friend wrote this post.
I think it's worth a read and she beautifully wrote what I too think. I am going to use her letter when it's time later on for my own kids.
I want to hear my kids' thoughts on this magical person, I want to see their excitement, I want them to live the magic. I know that in a year or two my kids will talk about staying up to catch Santa and I can't wait to hear their conversations on the subject.  If you think about it kids don't believe in Santa that long anyway so why take it away from them?  I think they will learn and understand more about Jesus when they are older.

Isn't this Santa so cute? He grows out his beard and plays Santa beautifully. He comes to our church for all the kids to see him and have their picture taken with him. I just love how Dacian was so serious about showing Santa what he wanted. I love that I captured both of them looking at the magazine. Cute!

And now shifting gears a little; a few thoughts on this special season. I am starting to stop stressing over the holidays. I always stress this time of year and I have in years past dreaded Christmas. Why? Because it became a chore, expensive, too rushed of a holiday. But as I pause to think about what we are celebrating little by little the stress dissipates and the joy comes back.
I wish we all take time to slow down and think about Christ, think about how he is the perfect example of a humble and loving person and how as son of God he was born in the most uncomfortable of places.
This season my heart turns to my best friend who lost her mom and aunt within a month of each other, who is going through a rough time and I hope that because of her belief in God she will feel comforted and most importantly feel loved. I sure do love her dearly.
Last Christmas we were not doing very well financially that I was wondering if I could afford even a nice meal for our family. Of course I didn't tell anyone about this and we did manage to have a nice, quiet evening with some good (bought well in advance thank Goodness) turkey and potatoes and more. I wasn't very happy I have to admit, mostly because I had lost perspective of what was important here; I was being jealous of what others might have had, or what great food they must've had etc. (food is one thing that makes me happy in life and I don't know how to change that since I seriously need to lose weight) Silly but that's how I felt and now I feel bad that I wasn't happier because truly life wasn't that bad. I was ungrateful but hopefully that was a lesson learned. Surely other people with less knew how to be happier, they had a much better perspective than mine was.
But seriously what I went through is nothing in comparison to what others go through. I have so much more than I truly need. This year we are doing better financially and I hope I can make someone else happier a little. Thinking more about Christ I feel so much less concerned about me and more about others.
 I read in a book recently how one family "adopted" another less fortunate one and involved their own  kids in the shopping of presents. This helped the family focus on someone else, brought them joy to think of this family they were buying for. The kids in the family also learned a lot from this experience and the focus moved to this poor family, to loving them and thinking of others more than about their own wishes.  This more unfortunate family truly was happy to receive ANYTHING. They were so grateful. The little girl in the family brought the man who gave her the fun gifts to her room to show him the tree she had in her room. She told him with delight in her voice to come look at her beautiful tree. Guess what it was? It was a string of green lights taped to the wall in the form of a tree. She was so happy and to her that was more than enough. So I sat there reading that and the waterworks came.
I want to raise kids who are grateful (a little hard to do it; seems the world revolves around them-pretty typical for their ages but I hope they don't remain like that), kind, giving, and loving. I cannot wait until they grow a little older so I can take them out shopping for others too.

(the "Santa" had a fun gathering at his house the day he lit up all the lights. It was so fun to go there and kind of have him all to ourselves since we arrived later after most people had left. This family is just so fun and amazing. We used to be in the same ward a few years back. Everything was decorated with pretty lights and he had cookies and hot drinks for everyone, they sang and the gave out some Christmas movies and had the missionaries there. Fun event for the neighbors too. I guess they do this every year. What a fun tradition!)

Well, it's pretty late so enough of my thoughts for now.
Much love,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A post long overdue

This year's celebrations for my birthday and Lavinia's birthday were quite big. Mostly because I decided it's time for a party at our house. This year I got the flu right on my b-day and I was super sick and miserable. Two days later on Lavi's birthday she had a fever as well. So I had a birthday celebration on Sunday and we did get better by then. 
On the day of Lavi's birthday my parents came over to give her a present and also they brought the most delicious dish ever. See the picture that has a two on it? Guess what? It's Brussels sprout with chicken dish and the 2 is made out of sour cream. I was too sick to cook and I am glad they brought this over because it was heavenly. My mom got inspired from some other dish and made this kind of her own. I definitely will try to make this. Shane almost wanted to eat the whole thing himself. Anyway, kind of funny to stick a candle in a not so sweet desert like dish. 
Also here I am taking all these pictures when I realize I only have one candle in instead of two. Silly mommy. Oh well...
After food came the presents. Miss Lav was so excited to open her presents. She got this pretty dress from my parents and was super happy to exchange her totally mismatched pajamas for this princess dress. It was hard to take it off to say the least when it was time for bed. We got her a baby doll and she has been pretty attached to this baby. She has a binkie that attaches to the baby's mouth with magnets. I also love that pretty much first thing she did with that doll was to put her on the potty. Why oh why can't she do the same? Summer come fast please, I cannot wait to get rid of diapers. 
I guess this is the post of collages. I have too many I like or want to post so this is the easier way to go. We had a lovely party and was glad to have Scott, Candice and their family over and also Kim and her family. It was so much fun. We ate good food of course, mom made the butterfly cake which also was delicious and at the end we played some Minute to Win it games. I needed that. Last year being Lavinia's 1st birthday I mostly did something for her but this year I said I wanted to party and not really do a party with kids. I mean who needs a bunch of 2 year olds running around throwing tantrums every other minute? I mean my very own had a couple to embarrass me well. She was a little shocked I think at the number of people at our house.  
So what other way to celebrate that with a family and friends? Thank you all for coming and for the lovely presents. 
Here's another close up of the cake. 
And here's the TWO year old. Enough said! 
My good friend Cristina sent her this cute dress. Look at that delighted face! Thank you so much Cris. She's a much fashionable little girl. 
 And here we are playing our games. I can't wait to do more fun games like these. I liked it that even the kids got to play and had fun. 
Phew! I was dreading posting this because I had so much to say, lots of pics, editing, etc.
Now I have just a few more from Thanksgiving and our recent snow and I am all caught up.
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