Thursday, December 30, 2010

What I appreciated today....


I think I have more fun decorating this dinner plate, than doodle has with it. Tonight homemade sweet-n-sour chicken, fried rice and snow peas adorn Mr. Funny Face.

Best running shoes ever! An hour today of straight running and my feet still felt great!

Him teaching that!

Happy girls!
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After the rain comes the sunshine

The weather has been soupy lately....we need the rain but it is putting a damper on our daily plans. So, when the sun came out this afternoon we all jumped at the chance to run and play! Doodle is enjoying his new basketball hoop and bike! Sissy belle just loves being outside!



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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas morning




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Christmas Eve

It has become tradition to spend Christmas Eve at our house. Kinda a central location for everyone, gives us a chance to go to Christmas Eve services and I like to host! This year MSW and I opted for an Italian Feast! Homemade lasagna (truly all from scratch, lasagna), chicken piccata, salad and a variety of 'antipasti.' With Christmas music playing, the fire crackling and our littles playing all around us...we cooked our hearts out. I will always remember cooking this meal with my sweet man. We laughed, we sampled, we stopped to dance to our favorite Christmas songs. The food was yummy but the memories...even better! Wish I would have taken more pics of it all...

Us on Christmas Eve at our house before dinner.

Baked and decorated "cookeys" for Santa. The note inside was so is hidden away in my memory chest.

Sweet brother and sister...okay so she really did not want him to hold her and he really was squeezing her but I'll take what I can get!

Dinner....nothing was left over!

It was a wonderful evening!
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Gingerbread House 2010




I knew seeing all that candy would be torturous for the baby girl so we waited until nap time. I read a little tip that made all the difference this year. Instead of trying to put the house together with that impossible royal icing, hot glue it together.
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The baby doll @ 14 months




How can so much happiness and love be tied up into one precious, little soul? She is...

*smart, so smart! She has has a huge vocabulary and is very inquisitive. She asks, "what's that?" about a 1000 times a day. If you don't answer her right away, she will get right in your face and ask, "What's that?!?!"
*I bought her 3 new dresses yesterday and they were laying on my hope chest. She just brought them to me and asked, "Who's these?" When I told them they were hers, she hugged them and said, "Thank you!" GENIUS!
*when i pick her up out of her crib in the mornings, she hugs me tightly and says, "love you."
*she is a pro at walking and even runs sometimes.
*she is becoming a daddy's girl more and more each day. At Christmas in Pearsall after being passed around and around she finally landed in her daddy's arms, she looked up at him, patted his chest and said, "My dada!"
*she loves, loves, loves clothes and baby dolls.
*(knock on wood) is a great sleeper. She goes down in her crib easily and sleeps most night for 10-12 hours.
*has a sweet tooth like I have never seen before. Girl loves her some chocolate!
*handles her VWD like a rock star. At any point has several bruises but never slows her down much.
*she is a perfect mixture of sweet & sass. As the only girl at daycare, she rules the roost of boys. She bosses them around all day long and is very equipped to assert herself when need be.
*she is a genuinely happy baby.
*has a contagious laugh and smiles with her whole face.
*has the most delicious thighs and cheeks....totally could eat her up with a spoon.

I love you, sweet baby.
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Working my fingers to the bone all the while with a *happy* heart

It happens every year. I am so excited to get all the Christmas up and start right after Thanksgiving dinner. It is beautiful when I am done and I enjoy it ALOT. But, then about a week before Christmas I am over it. I am tired of the clutter and the dead tree. I hold on to Christmas Day but on the morning of the all comes down. Maybe it is my OCD...maybe it is my readiness to start January with a different feel....I love a sparkling, clutter-free home to ring in the new year.

Up early, before everyone else. I start downstairs first, collecting every little trace of Christmas cheer. The fam wakes up and we migrate to the garage. Uh-oh....the garage. It needs a make-over too! I got a new car 2 days before Christmas and she does not fit into the garage without the Mr. tearing down some shelves. Might as well start there. A little demo work and reorganization of all my decoration storage boxes and the garage is done. The tree is out and Christmas 2010 is packed away. Now begins the real work.... (But the next day because that project took 12 hours!)

The upstairs was the first complete clean. Furniture moved around, bathrooms scrubbed, closets cleaned out and carpets steam cleaned....whew! A little new decorating going on too but I still am picking out curtains for our bedroom. Another 12 hour work day.

And then on to the project I am dying to do. It is my little motivation to do things in a certain order. I start with my least favorite thing and work towards what I am most excited to do....keeps me motivated to get to the "fun things." I have been over our living room for a while but was not sure what to do. I do not want new furniture yet...doodle is still way too rough and dirty to do that! So, a little face lift will have to do for now. I had two goals with this room: lighten it up and make it fun. New curtains and throw pillows and little details that make it happier. Pictures to come soon as some of the details are finished.... I sewed for 8 hours yesterday. I don't fancy myself as a seamstress but I am pretty proud of my Anthropologie inspired designs.

All that awaits me is my kitchen. The cabinets need to be cleaned out and baseboards washed. My new refrigerator is set to be delivered in February so I might wait until closer to that time so that I can really do a make-over on the kitchen but as cluttered as the pantry is right now I am sure I will do something in there this week.

In the midst of all this de-cluttering and cleaning are two little helpers. Sometimes requiring me to do the same thing 3 or 4 more times after their "help" and we have to take several breaks for snacks, diaper changes or cuddles but they make my work so much more fun. We crank up the music and "go to town."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Girls' Week with my baby doll


I am officially in the first week of my four weeks off. Doodle is still in school this week and MSW is working so that leaves just me and my girl. It is times like this that I truly realize how much I love having a daughter! Don't get me wrong, I am so excited to have both boys home too next week. But, there is something special about just having some girl time. We have had a very productive week so far. Monday I had my annual doctor's appointment, so after a little morning "Targeting" Crystal came and watched Camy for a little while and then hung out with us for the rest of the afternoon. Tuesday was a little more exciting as the morning begun with Camy locking me out of the house. Yes, she was inside and I was outside! A quick call to daddy had rescue on the way. She sat at the back door watching me freeze as she giggled at me the whole time. We had a more low-key afternoon, cleaning out closets upstairs.

Yesterday was a busy day! We loaded up early and headed out to finish our Christmas shopping. 6 hours at La Cantera, a nap in the stroller and lots of gifts bought! She is such a great little shopping partner! Today she will hang out with daddy this afternoon while I have a shoot and tomorrow she will go see her friends for a couple hours while I host Cade's school party.

It has truly been a great week and I am looking forward to next week too! I promised Cade a Christmas activity every day! Need to get working on those ideas!
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Girls' Christmas Party




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We are blessed to have so many wonderful friends who share such awesome Christmas traditions with us. One of my highlights is the Girls' Christmas Party that Natalie hosts each year. The food is amazing, there is always some type of gift exchange that is fun and exciting and I always have such fun with all the girls that Nat invites. This year was probably my favorite, they are all amazing, but this year's theme was...."My Favorite Things." It was so much fun to see what everyone brought and what everyone chose as their gifts...we laughed and laughed!

Laurel turns ONE!





I'm not a fan of all these "characters" you keep trying to make me pose with, people!

After football and before an evening Christmas party, we traveled to Austin for Laurel's first birthday party. Such a cute party with a visit from Frosty! It was so great being able to celebrate the 1st birthday of such a special little friend!
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Santa Party





Every year some of our friends host a Santa party. It is a great party full of yummy food, great people and a visit from the big man. As I suspected, Camy was not a fan. I know the end of believing for Caden is coming, but for now, he still believes in Santa and I love that!
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Update on the Wallis homefront


The intentions of blogging are there...oh memories for my children waiting to be documented. Alas, it is the thing on the list that keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the things to do list. I love to is my reward for getting everything done; however, as of late, I just have not been able to mark through enough of my tasks. So tonight, with a hot cup of Abuleto hot chocolate on my desk...enough is marked of to blog.

Let's see a catch up of sorts!?? Doodle has become our star football player. He is one of the youngest, playing against mostly 8 and 9 year olds. It makes me sick out of my mind during the games but he is having so much fun. The season ended last Saturday but his team made it to the playoffs and those start this Saturday. School is going well and so far he has straight A's. He has lost his two bottom teeth and is growing tall.

That baby girl of ours is doing wonderfully well. She is walking all over the place and talking up a storm. Her favorite phrases are "What's that" and "Who's that?" She is starting that phase of stranger anxiety but so far the only time is at church. She cries for two minutes when we drop her off and then is all smiles and play as we watch through the two-way mirror before heading into the sanctuary.

Speaking of church, our family was chosen to light and recite the prayer for the lighting of the final Advent candle. This should be interesting. All four of us attempting to light the candle as we recite our lines and prayer. We are a bunch of clumsy clowns so this could be very interesting.

I am in the last week of work for a while. Last week marked the final lectures and this week is finals. Friday is my last day and I do not report back until January 10th! So ready for a break. Deciding to keep my job has been both a blessing and hard some days. Most days it is a great balance. I pick Camy up shortly after she wakes up from her nap and snack and doodle is picked up within a short time of getting out of school. Those are the days I don't feel guilt. But then there are those days that I stay later at work....a student with a crisis, a senate meeting, etc... There is a constant struggle to give my best to everything. I struggle with that. Then comes those moments that pulls it all together. It was announced on Friday that I am the 2010 recipient of a National Teaching and Excellence Award. I am really excited! To be honored with this award is really special, especially considering that 2 months ago I was about to walk away from it all. I have no doubt that I am where God wants me to be at this time in my life. It is not easy every day and it does not feel like the right decision every day but every day I try my best and to be recognized for that feels good. So in May me and my sweet husband will stay in a fancy hotel room and attend a special evening in which I will receive my NISOD medal and recognition.

On the home front, we are in full Christmas spirit. The house is decked out from top to bottom. There are a million twinkle lights and a big, fresh tree! Half of the shopping is done and the Christmas cards are sent. I think the season will truly begin this Friday when I am done with work. We kick off the weekend with 3 holiday parties so that should for sure get us in the spirit!

I hope to be doing alot more documenting of our lives in the next few weeks.
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About Me

Live, Laugh & Love...that's my battle cry! I love this life I've been given & blessed to share it with my handsome hubby, MW, my sweet son, doodle bug, and beautiful sissy belle!