taz + belly: November 2008

Family Fun Day

30 November 2008

As always, we celebrate Thanksgiving with Josh's parents the Sunday after and his mom is an excellent cook! Josh & I both had prior obligations for the afternoon that we couldn't miss out on, so we missed church this morning to go over a little earlier. His brother was picking our niece up at 11:30, so we got there just in time to spend the day with her! We don't get to see her as often as we'd like, so it was fun to see the girls playing so hard together. Ella talked about her all morning and was quite excited to see her arrive. Beth, Patrick & Alston {our honorary siblings and nephew} joined us for lunch, too!
Ella & Bella were like little scavengers standing at Josh's chair and alternating bites of his Thanksgiving feast. It was so sweet. We tried fixing them both their own plate and Bull tried feeding Isabella, but they both wanted to eat off of Josh's plate instead. It was impressive to see Ella share for a change.

After lunch they colored...
played beauty shop...
and loved on their daddies.
It was such a great day and a wonderful wrap-up to the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm prepping for our holiday party on Friday, so the postings this week might be few and far between. If anything, you'll likely see some more Christmas decor posts before the week is over.

I hope you had a wonderful Turkey Day, too and that you enjoy getting ready for Christmas! We've got our lights on around here, Ella's wearing Santa Claus pajamas to bed tonight and wearing a Christmas outfit to school tomorrow... 'Tis the Season!

Alabama Day

29 November 2008

Click photo above for more!
Let me start by saying that I'm not a football fan and never really have been. I know that is sacreligious in this state, but I can usually be found chasing a two-year old or reading a magazine during said game. For the sake of my husband, I try to participate... wear a red shirt on Saturdays, accompany him to whatever venue the game will be viewed, being proud for him over a win and sad for a loss. Then there was this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed this season for Alabama, if for no other reason that the pure joy it brings my husband. The fact that Ella stinkin' LOVES to wear her Ah-bama dress is just icing on the cake.

Today we had lots going on before and after the game and it was such a good day. When she realized this morning that she and daddy were both wearing Alabama shirts (and dress) she was excited to say the least. Then she asked if I was wearing one, too. Ummm... no, I don't have one! I told her that I would wear red, but she looked very disappointed. Apparently I should invest.

We had Thanksgiving with Josh's dad's side of the family this morning and almost everyone in attendance was wearing some version of Alabama-wear or at the least a red shirt like me :). We then watched the game with my family and had a great time. Ella was a show-out as usual, so there are many pictures for you to enjoy.

After the game some of our dear friends, who live in Louisiana, came by to see us before heading home. We had such a great time getting a chance to visit with Chris & Amy, Sue's son and daughter-in-law. And by some miracle, Ella skipped right over her shy stage and played with them from the moment they arrived. Chris made friends quickly by reading books and fixing juice after the cut-off time of seven o'clock. Amy got in the bed with her and read stories, too. Ella made sure she knew that we don't say "Oh, my God." Nice right? At least she didn't say that to her Sunday school teacher!

Chris, I'm posting this just for you!

When Amy left Ella in her room, she came to her door and told us she was closing it. A few minutes later we all went in and found her like this.
No, I didn't leave her like that, but she is sleeping in her turtleneck and leggings as we speak! It wasn't worth it to wake her up and she seemed perfectly happy wearing her Ah-bama clothes all day... what's a few more hours, right?

It's tree time!

28 November 2008

Although we don't go "shopping" the day after Thanksgiving, we do travel into town. I laughed this morning as we started out to pick up our Christmas tree... we were side by side with cars who had come from the city to buy trees at a bona fide Christmas tree farm. We were leaving the country for the city to buy a tree that someone already cut down! Oh well. We buy our tree at the Lloyd's lot every year, they have the most beautiful fir trees I've ever seen. We get an 8 footer and a live wreath for our front door.

Today, Ella fell asleep in the car and wasn't nearly as excited about being there as I had hoped. One of us had to be holding her at all times, so the photo ops were limited. The picture above is me & El picking out our wreath. Below is a sleepy-head picture with daddy while looking for the perfect tree. We followed our tree-cutting with a tasty meal of mexican food and then came home to trim the tree and decorate a few more rooms.
Josh dreads the tree every year because I make him put the lights on. I'm one of those decorators who wants at least 100 lights for every foot of tree we buy... that's 800 lights! Unfortunately, we had a casualty right before the lighting, so we are down by a hundred. Even so, the tree looks beautiful and Josh did a great job. I've even conceded... he is a better tree lighter than I am! Since he does the hard work of getting the tree in the house, straight & level and adds the lights, we let him sit out on the ornament hanging. Ella attempted to help me this year, but as you can see below she "can't do it!!" This is my current favorite picture...
Well, until you get to this one... it is REALLY my favorite. This is the excited face after the lights were on and the wrapped presents were tucked underneath. She was napping while I wrapped the presents, but got up just in time to help me do bows and name tags. She was astounded that 90% of the gifts had her name on them. I was telling her who the gifts were to and she asked if she had to share them. I assured her that on Christmas you don't have to share (I hope you don't think I'm horrible) and boy was she happy. Then I was reading the names on the gifts and said, "to Ella, from Mommy & Daddy" and she started screaming, "don't put you name on it, I don't have to share!" Precious beyond words.
Are you jealous that I'm almost finished with my shopping? I have to buy for Josh and a few others, but I'm only a few gifts away from being finished.
Here is the beauty all finished up. It is much prettier in the low-light, but my flash doesn't show that very well. Again... I need photo lessons from K. I did a little more decorating today, which I'll blog about later in the week and I put the first coat of white paint on my kitchen. It's looking cuter by the minute (considering it is my least favorite room in the house!).


27 November 2008

Some things I was thankful for today, inspired by one of my favorite blogs.

Afternoon naps, story time and grandmothers
Bunnies in clothes & Ella Dean Fields
Christmas cookies
Endless sweet tea
Family and friends
Gran & Poppy
Homemade macaroni & cheese
Internet friends
Jesus Christ
K & Cory
Laughing out loud
Mamaw Latta's dressing recipe
Outside games, cousins and best friends
Peanut butter fudge
Quiet rides home
Sweet daddy & princess beds
Unbuttoning pants that grew too tight
Vacation days
Watching the parade in our pajamas
X... seriously, what starts with X?
Yellow leaves

Michael Kors & Taco Salad

24 November 2008

It has a certain ring to it, don't you think? Today I picked up my birthday present from Josh (although it took the birthday money I acquired from other places to finish it off). I have wanted a really nice purse for awhile, but hated the thought of spending any amount of money on one. I finally decided that since I don't really have to carry a diaper bag anymore that it is sort of worth it for me to carry a really nice purse instead. In comes the Michael Kors. Since I couldn't possibly afford one at a department store or at full price, I've been scouting T.J.Maxx. Lucky me, I found the perfect handbag when I dropped by today. I wasn't sure until I looked in the mirror with it on my arm. Do you do that? Try purses "on"? Well... I do and I LOVED it.

Okay, so I realize that purses and taco salad have absolutely nothing in common except that I bought them both today. We've been avoiding taco salad recently because Ella doesn't really care for beef. She did eat a hamburger a few nights ago, so we decided to branch out. We also discovered tonight that she likes tomatoes. So I fixed her a bowl of taco meat topped with tomatoes and cheese and showed her how to dip her chips in it. She liked it a lot. She even told me that she wanted hamburger, tomatoes, cheese and chips in a bowl for Heidi's tomorrow. And that's all!
One more thing... I notice that I'm nearing 10,000 page views. That may not be a lot for some of you blogger powerhouses, but I'm pretty excited!! Watch that counter and if you are the 10,000th page view, I'll send you a Christmas ornament. Snap a picture of the counter or use your scout's honor... I trust you :).

Sweet Sundays

23 November 2008

Today was a good day. I usually try not to spend much time on the computer blogging on Sundays... hence Silent Sundays. Sunday is our family day and we go to church as a family and love our daddy up before he leaves again for work. Today, I wanted to share some sweet moments from our day, so I'll make an exception. Josh & Ella are eating supper, so I had a brief window of opportunity to blog...

The first time I saw Ella today was at 12:19 this morning. We're still sleeping with a monitor on (until she's used to her big girl bed) and we heard her crying out early this morning. When I went in to see her she was standing in the middle of her room with one bunny under her arm in all of her footy-pajama goodness. She told me she had fallen out of her big girl bed and had to use the table to pull herself up. She demonstrated in the dark how she had fallen and gotten up. I reminded her that when we fall down, we have to get back up and get back into bed. I tucked her in, checked for bumps and bruises, found other bunny and kissed her goodnight. As I was closing her door she said, "I'll try to be careful." Precious, right?

** Just now as I was writing this post Ella complained about her sock. She then said, "Mom, I'm not mad at you. I'm just mad at my sock!"**

Okay... back to blogging. Ella was the first one ready this morning and looked precious in a black sweater dress with white tights and her t-straps. I'm sure you're thinking, "white tights... I saw hearts." Well, when I went into her room to gather her up as we were leaving she was sitting in her bed blow-drying her baby's hair and she had pulled her pj pants on over her tights. As evidenced by the picture below. I had to explain that we can't wear 'jamas to church.

We had to be at church a little early for drama practice this morning (Josh, Cory, K & I are in the Christmas Musical on 12/7 if you want to come!!). Ella of course was clingy and didn't want us to practice without holding her. Josh (Jesus) was healing me (sick person) and I was reaching up to him. Since he was holding Ella and I was reaching my hands out to him (her), she dove into my arms. Okay... this was so thought provoking to me. The thought that filled my mind was that Christ had healed my heart by giving her to me once before. I'm sure that I should have been more focused on the task at hand, but I really just wanted to hold her a little longer.

I hope you don't think I'm totally indulgent or wonder at the disjointed nature of this post or any other. It is Thanksgiving week and I am thankful for my home and my family; for my salvation in Jesus Christ and the salvation of a tiny baby girl. For those of you who don't know, Josh & I struggled with infertility problems before having Ella and she was, and is, an answer to fervent prayers. I am forever thankful for the vast number of those lifted on our behalf. Sometimes I wonder if I dote on her a little too much, or indulge her a little too often. Is she spoiled? Maybe, but she will never, ever question whether or not she is loved. I think sometimes that those who struggle to have children, those who yearn and pray for a little one, have one more reason to love the ones they are given. I will never take for granted the happiness this sweet child brings to my life daily. Every little word she speaks, every sweet little gesture she makes... make me love her all the more and remind me of the savior who loaned her to me. Remember all of the wonderful ways you've been blessed by our Heavenly Father during this Thanksgiving season and prepare your hearts for the upcoming Christmas season where we will honor the ultimate blessing of His Son.

Semi-Silent Sunday Letters

Ella LOVES playing with the alphabet. She has a bowl in the kitchen. She carried it into the play room to work on the fireplace screen... all the while singing the ABCs. We'll have more pictures tonight... today is "family night supper" at Gran & Poppy's for my birthday and then Karson's birthday party. Have a restful Sunday.

Puzzle time and fuzzy sweaters

22 November 2008

Today was a good day, even if it was long. I had a booth at the VHS Christmas Bazaar and did quite well. I sold the majority of what was left after the Baker's Farm Fall Festival. What did I do with the oodles of money you might ask? I promptly spent it... at K-Mart and Little Lambs! I finished doing my Christmas shopping for Ella - all toys and the like are completely done and I bought her one last outfit at LL's (I can only afford to shop there about twice a year, but I LOVE their clothes). I have it on good authority that one pink princess castle and accessories will be making a Christmas morning appearance and I expect squeals & giggles galore. Ella informed us just yesterday that Santa was bringing it for her... I take notes!

please forgive the comb-over, Ella strips the bow upon getting home

We had yummy cheeseburgers & homemade french fries for supper. We played with a box of puzzles that is a huge hit around here and we tried on sweet, striped, fluffy sweaters from none other than K-Mart!! Did you know they had adorable kids clothes? And today most all of it was 30-40% off?

are you seeing the stinking adorable pom-pom on the hat??

Blogger Makeover

21 November 2008

I'm working on making over the blog, so be patient. I really wanted a scrappy look and I want to being able to do it myself! I bought a header for now, but I'm going to be working on a few other things. I hope you weren't totally confused when you visited the site today... the same ole content will keep on coming. Have a great weekend!

:::UPDATED::: I think I'm done! I made my own header and buttons... what do you think?

Let them eat cake!

20 November 2008

Here we are eating yummy carrot cake after dinner!

And my AWESOME sister (have I told you that lately?)
bought me this book... I'm so totally excited to read it!

Birthday Wishes...

This was the best birthday present I got today. Watching Ella open a belated birthday gift herself (thanks Grey & Ryan!!).

She reminded me this morning that it was my birthday by singing to me on the way to work.

She & Gran left me two messages on the phone at work.

Nana blogged about me.

Ella, Lauren, Maddie & Heidi called me at work to sing again... and all got confused about whether to say "mommy" or "Kristin".

Heath & his family called and left me a LONG birthday message, complete with songs, well wishes and a reminder not to run any red lights.

I got cards in the mail, in person and taped to my back door.

I got plenty of e-mails, e-cards and blogger comments.

Josh sent me a text message at 2:14 this morning!!!

My oldest friend on the planet took me to a lunch of quesadillas and cheese dip.

I found this preciousness right before we left for work/school.

Gran & Poppy, K & Cory are coming later with a birthday cake and Josh is cooking dinner.

Thanks to everyone who made the big 2-9 special. It has been a great day!

What do crafting & pottying have in common?

Christmas decorations! Before going any further, let me say that unless your name is Kamin, it is rather impossible to photograph Christmas lights and have them turn out pretty!!

These photos are a from the craft room. Although the mantle looks REALLY cheesy here, in person it is actually quite cute. I have a large mirror over the fireplace with three evergreen trees in various sizes. I added large vintage-looking colored lights and red glittery snowflakes to the garland and hung our extra stockings from the mantle. Although I don't usually use colored lights anywhere in my decor, I did this for Ella! She calls the craft room the "play room" and we spend lots of time in there. Since the decor is decidedly more juvenile than the rest of the house, I decided to decorate for Christmas a little differently, too. I also added small garlands above the windows and hung red ornaments from them, then tied the curtains back with red and white polka dot ribbons. I still need to make a few red throw pillows for the chair in this room, but otherwise this is probably the extent of decorating here.

Now for the bathroom! There isn't much to do in a bathroom and luckily ours is black and white, which makes for easy decorating. I swap the apple green towels for red ones and add garland above the vanity mirror and our open shelving unit. Add a few red candles and some green plants and presto-chango, a holiday potty room!

I didn't realize until after I uploaded this photo that there is a styrofoam cup full of paint brushes on the counter. Sorry! I promise it won't be there Christmas morning :)

Garland and lights...

19 November 2008

are all the decorating we do in the master bedroom, but I always love the way they turn out. Above is a picture of the mantle above our headboard. I left the photographs and mirror there, but added a few cream colored candlesticks with candles and the lit garland. Here we have plugs in the mantle so it is easy to light.

We have really tailored curtains in the bedroom and they have a 4 inch platform at the top that holds our garland perfectly. I use a staple gun to attach the garland here and then add the ribbons and stars to either side. I always use my cheapest and least attractive garland here because you aren't close enough to see the details and this garland "sheds" if you touch it too much! I wish we could add lights here, but there obviously aren't plugs 7 feet from the floor.

These are photographs from the top of our entertainment center. There is usually a grouping of candles here year round, but I rearranged them a little to accommodate the garland. This is also a much easier place to light. The second photograph shows a close up of the new addition to this years garlands. I bought these glittery snowflakes at Wal-Mart, they were $4 for a pack of twenty. I used the gold ones in the bedroom and added them to the garland here, on the mantle and above the windows. I love the sparkle they add (you'll be seeing these, in various colors all over the house this year!).

Where's Waldo...

I mean Ella.

Oh, there she is...

amidst fifteen or so rubbermaid containers in my
dining room overflowing with Christmas decorations!

And I forgot to post this picture last night...
my precious girls having some last minute
snuggle time before bed.

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