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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

This wonderful Thanksgiving weekend...
We feasted...
We roasted...

We looked adorable...
We decorated for Christmas...
With Aunt Mitsi...
We cuddled...
We kept looking adorable all weekend long...
We relaxed...
We listened to Christmas music...

And we cuddled some more.

It was a fabulous weekend! We stayed in comfy clothes the whole time, spend quality time together, watched movies, had great conversation, were creative (Brian wrote some songs on the guitar and I sewed some new blankets), Christmas shopped online, and thoroughly enjoyed each other.

Wilder has slept in his room for the past two nights and it's continuing to get smoother as a transition. Last night I think I finally got six hours of sleep with only one feeding in between. Lovely! I think I'm getting the hang of this. I'm learning to be an adoring mother while not freaking out about every little noise he makes -and as such a vocal baby he makes a lot of noises (though, thankfully, mainly not crying. He just "talks" a lot, which makes for long nights if you can hear every sound.)

It was thrilling decorating our new house for Christmas. We bought our faux tree today and used treasured decorations I've "inherited" -some bulbs from great grandma Ruth, some pre-Kelly ones my folks had, and many that I've grown up with and been given through the years. Twirling the garland around our banister and making the ribbons to decorate it, I felt thoroughly grown up -we have a beautiful home and it sparkles in its holiday splendor! Besides, Christmas is the best time of the year. And this is a holiday seasons of firsts. First Christmas in our new home, first Christmas on our turf together (we've either visited family or were apart,) and first Christmas with Wilder. There is something extra special about your own home, together, during the Christmas season. This place is so full of love, of thankfulness, of gladness, it makes my heart overflow. I pray God does something very special in our hearts this season, something that we'll remember for the rest of our lives. I'll be planning on it.

Sending our love,

Product Review: Choxie's Chocolate

Many times I have passed the goodies aisle in Target and been tempted by the vogue packaging of Choxie's chocolates (the fact that it's chocolate is excuse enough to be tempted.) Finally I caved and decided I must try this fancy looking product. The pricing and packaging makes one assume the quality is on par with, say, Lindt chocolates. An 8 oz. box of assorted milk chocolate truffles for $5.99 would make you think so. Specialty chocolate shops are near that much per ounce.

Very disappointing, I must say. It's waxy. There is a tremendous lack of quality in both texture and flavor. I like Hershey's Treasures better --and I HATE Hershey's. I feel so had, my box of Choxie staring unapologetically from my chocolate stash on the counter next to me. I feel like a school girl who got kissed by the cool jock -that got paid 5 bucks by the snickering crowd -and he was a lousy kisser. Wh-ell, I'll no better next time.

A definite bet on a delicious experience that won't pull your purse strings: Dove Chocolate Promises. Both the milk & dark chocolate are creamy, heavenly and cheap -plus they are small enough to enjoy several in one sitting without feeling guilty! Besides, who can resist the fun sayings inside. I love being told to "take a bubble bath," "do it now," and "write a love letter."

Obviously not all chocolate is created equal, but we have a choice. And with the power to choose, I say no to hotsy-totsy Choxie and embrace many other delicious options.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Month to be Thankful

Wilder is one month old. He's had his first smile, his first formed sound ("Ga-Goo! Ga-Goo!" believe it or not,) his first bath -a lot of firsts. And it has been one month of wonderment, of awe, of exhaustion, of experimentation, of healing, of extreme joy, and certainly of thanksgiving. Actually, it's been an entire year of thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for...

  • A flawless and easy pregnancy
  • helpful and wonderful husband who loves me
  • A healthy, beautiful and wonderful baby
  • That Brian and I had SO much time together this year, especially after his 15 month deployment
  • A fantastic and safe road trip
  • All the hikes we took this summer in Alaska
  • Wonderful new friends
  • Family who love us
  • A great church home
  • How easily and quickly we found and were moved into our new home and that we were able to have this spectacular place as our first home
I am also thankful for all things we are daily blessed with and often take for granted like...

  • Being able to talk with my mom or sister in an instant via cell phone

  • Reliable and safe transportation

  • Taking scalding hot 15 minute showers

  • Too many clothes

  • Too much food

  • The wonders of the internet and how it helps us keep in touch so easily

  • Instant everything -from food to heat to light, etc.
  • Air travel which has made the world a smaller place and loved ones nearer

  • That we live in the best country in the world and that every day my husband contributes to its greatness and protection by serving in the military
When we take time to acknowledge the blessedness of our lives, the over abundance and the luxury that we daily take for granted we ought to feel a little disappointed for griping so much -I know I do. The lists I just popped out only scratch the surface of all the things I have to be thankful for. I am also extremely thankful for my mother, my sister, my friends and their friends who have and continue pray for me and my family. I'm thankful for the grace that covers me through Jesus. I'm thankful for His unconditional love that he lavishes on me even though I come nowhere near deserving it.

So many wonderful things to be thankful for this year and every year! Big things, like health and safety, and small things like chocolate and toothbrushes. Today I encourage you to talk over turkey about the things that you are grateful for. Make it a family tradition! We have decided to place lists on the fridge through November where we write things we are thankful for, then we'll put the pages in a book so that as time goes by we can see how we've blessed throughout the years. It is so encouraging to witness how God has blessed us through this past year and I'm thankful for another year to look forward to!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

He'll Be Home For Christmas

Wonderful news! Brian's deployment has been postponed until the spring and he will be home for the holidays! So far word is mid-March for deployment, but nothing is official, set in stone or on paper. He will be off to officer training camp for two weeks at the end of this month through early December which will be good practice for Wilder and I in gearing up to be just the two of us come spring.

Since Christmas truly is the best time of the year (even though ours won't be white) we are thrilled to get to spend it together. It will be our second -our first at our home base, and our first in our new home. We're looking for a tree and still figuring out the perfect spot for it.

What Christmas will look like in our family has been a source of several discussions and much thought. Family should be at the heart of it all. Family, faith and fun. Notice "stress" is not listed. To keep stress as far from the equation as possible we plan to maximize good old fashion family fun and minimize the "gimmy gimmy" and "everything has to be perfect or I'm not a good housewife/parent/party diva." We're having family game night. We'll do a puzzle. We'll give gifts that mean something -and we'll keep the gifts to a minimum. I won't be making 8 different kinds of cookies unless I want to. We'll focus on the love and joy of the season and remember God's faithfulness through the ages -past, present and future. I'm looking forward to the challenge of resisting the commercial Christmas and finding our own, meaningful ways of celebrating that we will enjoy for years to come.

And, most of all, I'm thankful we'll get to celebrate Wilder's first Christmas as a family, not from two different parts of the globe.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Poetry of Parenting

It's been three weeks and...

we've hit the town,
been up, been down,
felt like falling on the ground
(from lack of sleep and the flu...)
convinced myself to just not do
all the things that I used to
like vacuum, clean, or cooking dinner
you'd think by now we'd both be thinner
but, thanks to Mom, our freezer's packed
with frozen dinners and yummy snacks!
I haven't written anyone
or called them back on the phone,
it's not because I do not care
it's only that instead of a pair
of hands I'm down to only one
and my idea of having fun
is sleeping, snagging half a nap
with baby sleeping in my lap.
I truly think of you so often
and don't you think that I've forgotten
all of you, those far and near,
who in my heart I hold so dear.
I think of you between midnight feedings
diaper duty and evening meetings
with Brian when we steal a second
to reconnect (and do some neckin'.)
I promise that I soon will write
but, honestly, won't be tonight.
I'm loving being a new mama
Though I spend the day in my pajamas
and wanted all of you to know
I love sharing how we each grow
in this new phase of life we're in
now, please Lord, let the sleep begin!

Yours Truly

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We're Growing!

Wilder at Two Weeks: Beautiful and Sheer Heaven

Wilder has been an angel of a baby. He's eating and growing like a champ and beginning to sleep very well at night. I am finally feeling rested and we're getting into a routine -slowly but surely.
I never dreamed motherhood could feel so heavenly. Every day I find myself tearing up as I hold my new baby boy, thanking God for such a beautiful gift -such an incredible, precious treasure. It's utterly overwhelming this feeling of gratitude, of such beauty, such purity. I'd like to share a little bit of my heaven with you.

And thankfully I'm hanging in there and truly feeling great! Wilder and I are taking daily walks and I'm healing fantastically -had a bout of mastitis, but it seems to be cleared up and I'm just one happy mama!


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