I had Chris draw the winner from our new cookie jar :)
And the giveaway winner is.....
Backwards, I know.
Janelle- I found your email on your blog, so I will be sending you an email shortly!
Thank you so much to those that participated. This whole cause has got my mind stirring for next year's Christmas. Family and friends....your gift just might be a donation to those who truly need something. Chris and I are still talking, and granted we have a whole year, but things next year might be different. :)
Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely day. Mine will consist of last minute gift making, gift wrapping, and perhaps a bit of cleaning!!
I had a lot of moments with Molly this week that mad me feel an awesome mix of giddy, warm, cozy, and just overall happy. It's the little things, like...
-wiggling her toes. I don't know why but I absolutely love it when she does this!
-new babbling sounds. before it was mostly "ma ma ma ma". this week has opened up a whole new world of baby talk and I'm loving it.
-reaching for the Christmas tree, exploring how prickly it feels and then attempting to grab the branch.
-snuggling last night after she had been fussing for at least a half hour. finally falling asleep on mama.
-her new found toy - an empty oatmeal container. pure delight.
-oh...and she clapped today for the first time. I know she did it on purpose. Haven't been able to get her to do it again, but that was awesome to say the least.
Finally untangling this yarn. A massive knot was exactly what I needed a week before Christmas as I'm trying to finish up Christmas presents. Especially knots that take an hour and a half to undo. But oh, the satisfaction when it was all wrapped up in a pretty ball. *grin*
On a different note, the weather was amazing yesterday. For December. In Ohio. But I still secretly wish it would snow. Christmas time just needs snow!
And lastly...having presents wrapped and under the tree to enjoy for a bit before giving them away. And that sweet little lion is Molly's first ornament. Rawrrrrr. Isn't he cute?
We're having a pizza and movie night. With Dr. Pepper. If you know me, you know that lately I've been obsessed with Dr. Pepper. I seriously don't know what it is, but I'm obsessed. (Or perhaps the better word is addicted?) But I'm not drinking pop for the entire year of 2012. Drastic and Dramatic? yep, but that's me. :) :) I know that wasn't exactly a "high", but I'm SO excited for tonight. Hubs and my girl. Cozy on the couch. I just can't ask for much else.
This morning my thoughts are stirring. Stirring over Hope.
I think there's a huge misconception in society that all hope is wishful thinking. How sad! Hope is such a bigger concept, it's difficult to put words to.
I don't talk about this on my blog very much--or really at all--but here I go. Back in 2009, my parents were going through a divorce, and all hope seemed lost. (I actually got a tattoo during this difficult time.) Many of us were wanting reconciliation, but it just didn't happen. So in December of 2009, I became a child of divorced parents. Never had I ever in a million years thought that would be me.
Here's the thing: Hope is not based on circumstances. Neither is Joy. Wishful thinking says I want my parents to get back together. Hope says even if they don't, I will still follow Him and look to eternity.
Hope and Joy override circumstances and say even when life is crappy and nothing goes my way, I will choose to give it to my Savior.
Hope is an anchor for the soul--firm and secure. (here)
This life here on earth is a crazy thing. It can be so beautiful and wonderful, filled with happiness and laughter, natural highs and good friendships. But it can also totally and completely suck. People get sick, people die, lose their jobs, say hurtful things, and the list goes on.
But this life on earth is but a fraction in all of eternity. Our hope must rest in the belief that because of Jesus, we can spend that eternity with him in a place called heaven.
Don't get me wrong, I want to soak up all of life's goodness and loveliness, but I want my gaze to lie ahead. My hope is in Him. And so is my future.
Just because I needed to add ONE MORE project to my list of Christmas presents...haha....I decided a couple of weeks ago to make a doll for my baby girl. I know she's not quite of doll-playing age, but here was my thinking:
I would LOVE for it to be a tradition to make her a doll each Christmas. Hopefully each year they will get a bit more intricate, and hopefully each doll will encompass something about her from that year.
For example, this year I was going to add shoes, but decided to pass because Molly doesn't wear shoes yet. Also, I went with pigtails and a bow, because lately Molly has been wearing her hair in pigtails a lot, and she almost always has a bow in her hair! :) :) because it's her choice and all :P
I hope this is a tradition Molly grows up loving, at least for a while. Maybe when she gets too old to play with dolls, I'll replace it with something else.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the phrase "Happy Holidays".
It seems like there is this constant opposition from a certain type of people towards the phrase.
They want it replaced with "Merry Christmas".
I used to have the mindset of the latter. But when I really stopped to actually think about it, I've come to a different conclusion.
I am extremely grateful that we live in America-- a place where we have so many freedoms, including the freedom of religion. That means I am able to freely choose to be a follower of Christ, essentially without fear.
So the thing is, not everybody celebrates Christmas. Just like not everybody celebrates Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, or whatever other holidays there may be.
So to put it in a little perspective, I think to myself, "What if I was leaving a store and somebody said to me 'Happy Hanukkah!'?"
I would probably stutter and at least think to myself--if not say outloud--
"Uh....I don't celebrate Hanukkah."
And so it is with Merry Christmas.
While I personally celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus, I recognize that this is not the case for everyone. I enjoy the freedom to celebrate, and everyone else living in America should enjoy that freedom as well.
So that's my take. I know some may disagree, including some of my close friends and even family members. And that's fine. After all, we're all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. :)
an ornament on our tree, given to Chris and I from my mom, after a particularly trying time in our family. Trust in the Lord.
Drinking my morning coffee out of my favorite Christmas mug!
This moment from Monday night. Molly had her 6 month shots earlier that day and was extremely fussy. She finally calmed down and snuggled me. Can I please just freeze time and make this last forever!?
Molly girl is trying some new food, and it is unbelievably fun to watch her reactions. Sometimes she gags, most times she just makes a goofy face. This particular day, she was trying carrots, and despite the look on her face here, she hated them.
Lookee, lookee what we got. (It's a Vitamix, if you don't know)
Our early Christmas present from me to him, him to me.
Happy smoothie making from here on out!
Thank you, Granny, for this picture!
Molly and Marlee met for the first time!! It was so precious. I can't wait until these two can interact. It will be so much fun!!
I'm having a difficult time knowing where to start this. As I scroll through these pictures, I am in awe at how my baby has grown.
In one sense, this time has flown by. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was pregnant, wondering when in the world I would get to meet her. What would she look like? Would she have hair? (ha!) Would she look like me or Chris?
But in an entirely different sense, this time has felt like an eternity, in the most wonderful way. I feel like when you have a newborn, everyone starts offering all sorts of advice to you, whether you want it or not. *grin* One of the statements I heard most frequently was "Enjoy this--it goes by fast!"
This something I've really consciously tried to take to heart.
It's taken effort--remembering to be fully present in each moment. To literally soak up every second. It's not just a phrase. It's really possible. And I feel like it's exactly what I've done. I've even tried not to wish away the difficult moments like when she is fussy or waking at night, when she pees all over the floor or screams while I'm driving. All of it will pass, and I want to be sure not to miss it.
It's hard to believe that in six more months I'll have a one year old. But I'm going to try not to get ahead of myself. A friend of mine has a baby a few months older than Molly, and she's really said this best: Each new stage is so much fun and sometimes it's like you just want to stop time and linger for a little while longer. But then the next stage comes and you end up feeling the exact same way.
So that's where I'm at. Fully enjoying this six month phase of smiling, giggling, babbling, sitting, NOT crawling (that will come soon enough *grin*) trying new foods, learning to snuggle, and many, many more wonderful things.
Happy half birthday, Molly Denae. I love you more than words can say.
And now a few more photos for your viewing pleasure...