Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Part 1

The boys' loot.  

Brody ran right up to his and kept saying "Woah". 

We ended up wrapping Mason's big Skylander gift but I did put a couple of the figurines out.  He fell on the floor all dramatically in disbelief.  It was great.  =)

"Oh my goodness!  I just can't believe it!"

The gift he found months ago....

This sweet boy just loves little figurines.  Here he is lining up the Disney characters. 

5 and 2 are great ages for Christmas. 

Headed out to Mickey Mouse and Pops' house in our jammies to open gifts. 

Just ripping through it all. 

In fact, Mason apparently mastered the skill of opening gifts.  He somehow managed to rip a small piece of wrapping paper off and get the box open.....I thought it was an unopened fit. 

My favorite picture of the day.

Mason had just told Mickey Mouse how much he loved her.  He was so excited about the SHIRT she bought him.  

John got a new watch. 

Fun morning with the gparents.  They are way too good to us. 

Mason woke up Christmas Eve assuming there would be snow.  I mean he was really disappointed (and Im pretty sure it happened last year also).  Mickey Mouse found some InstaSnow and we made some ourselves if Mother Nature wasn't gonna cooperate. 

Poor Brody was exhausted by this point. 

My sister Kellie was able to come over for lunch.  She was in town from Chattanooga. 

She brought the boys cars.  What boy doesn't like cars!?

And we also made it across the street to Mrs. Connie and Mr. Jimbo's so Brinkley and Mason could exchange gifts. 

You think they were excited to see each other?!

Our annual Christmas picture since about 3 years old. 

We went back to my parents and began loading up the car.  Next think we know, Brody is passed out on the floor.  This kid has never done that.  He was beyond tired.

John and I working on getting all this stuff put up.  I had anxiety for days.

It was a great day with my awesome people.  We had a wonderful time celebrating Jesus' birthday and we have so many things to be thankful for.

I have been reflecting back on our year for a while now.  I cannot find it in me to think this was a bad year.  In fact, I think it has been an amazing year.  Sure there were some low points, some tears, and some "whys".....but those did not last long.


I am thankful for the opportunity for our marriage to become closer than I ever thought it could.

I am thankful I was shown how selfless my husband is - He only worried about the boys and myself....never himself.  This is something I know I need to work on.

I am thankful for John's strength.  Life went on for him even though he was really, really sick.  He did not let it show.

I am thankful for the medical team and medical advances that helped cure him because I cannot imagine life without him.

I am thankful God blessed our family much more than we deserve this year and we will NEVER forget it.

It is now the end of December and we are all healthy.

(Christmas Part 2 is coming but we are off to ATL tomorrow for our bowl game so who knows when that will happen!)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Birthday and Christmas Eve

Backin' it up...

Happy Birthday to me.  I turned 31 this past Friday.  I had to work like everyone else but it ended up being a great day.  

Mason woke up excited.  He asked how old I was and I told him 31.  He then figured out that he couldn't quite count to 31 therefore it must be very old.  So next he asked me if I was going to die soon.  I told him hopefully not....all the while Brody is repeating everything saying "Mommy die, Mommy die".  Mason just wouldn't drop the die thing and ended the conversation asking if I was going to die for him and Brody like Jesus died for all of us.  

What a way to start the day.  

Our elves were excited too. 

John had flowers sent to my work.  Did you hear me?!  John had flowers sent to my work.  That was a first.  My sweet little 5 year old had been talking about getting me flowers for weeks and was very excited to see them. 

They had also been excited about a birthday cake.  Mason insisted it needed flowers on it and both boys worked on it before I got off work and headed to my parents.

I loved it.  Brody may have eaten a few of the flowers...

My wonderful parents spoil me wayyyyy too much and upgraded my camera.  It is amazing.

Blowing out the candles.

The best parents in the world.   We had a great, relaxing night just hanging out together.

I was playing around with my camera and caught this picture.  It's the best.

Selfie stick family photo before seeing Santa.

We met Reese and the boys at Bass Pro to see the Big Guy.  There was a long line and all the little boys were over it by the time we got up there.  Again, Brody just slid right on out of Santa's lap the moment I sat him up there.  Unfortunately, Santa didn't grab him back up there!!

But this kid was happy.  =)

I don't think Anderson and Griffin were much into him either...

We had our annual girls' Christmas dinner Saturday night.   I grabbed a picture with the Joker before I left. (PB&J face)

Such a fun night.

Dirty Santa gifts.  We do "our favorite things" gifts.

John and I took the boys to lunch the next day.  They had to clean off our table so the boys had their first trip to the bar.  BroBro may be a tad too excited.

But it was a peaceful lunch with these game kiosks.  Great parenting skills here.

We took baths, put on our jammies, and jumped in the car to check out Christmas lights.

We even brought along Emma.

About a week ago, Mason got the idea to actually tell Leroy and Michaelangelo where he hoped the would be when he woke up.  It has been AMAZING.  There is nothing worse than lying in bed, realizing you haven't moved the elves, and then trying to figure out what to do with them.  He has no idea but he has made this much easier for us.  As requested, he wanted them to sneak into Mom and Dad's room.  Check.

Brody came down with a fever and a constant, pitiful whimper.  Pat called me worried because he had never acted like that.  His fever wouldn't go down and I was praying it wasn't the flu right before Christmas.  He tested negative at the doctor so it was just some stinking virus.  His fever is gone but still not 100%.

Mason's last day of school before Christmas.

We had a fun cookie decorating party to go to Christmas Eve.  Our neighbors did this last year also but times were a little more crazy a year ago.  I had to work that morning and had been off for a week with John in the hospital.  He actually took the boys last year but felt terrible because he had just had his first dose of chemo.  My how a year can change.

I was excited to take them this year.

Brody and Will are the same age.  They basically just ate snacks the whole time.

Mason's cookies for Santa.

Lucy goes to Pat's house also.  She adores Brody (or Brody Ody as she calls him) and always watches out for him.  Her mom works with our neighbor so we get to see them often!

We decided last minute to order a Prime Rib Roast and attempt to cook a good Christmas Eve dinner. We invited our parents over to test it out.  Apparently this is a tricky meat to cook yet very expensive.    It ended up being a nice, relaxing Christmas Eve.  Maybe we will continue to try and perfect this prime rib in the years to come.  Here is Chef John helping.

As usual, Dad was snoring.

Mason was really excited that it was Christmas Eve.

Mom and Dad always have us open our Christmas jammies the night before.  She let the boys each open up a puzzle also.

Brody with those crossed arms/angry face.  This was a challenge getting a picture.  Mason's hands may have been in his pants due to a tag scratching him.  It was the best I could do...

The boys went to bed so Santa could stop by.  Mason began to cry when I put him to bed.  He just didn't think he could go to sleep because he was too excited. He was so scared Santa wouldn't come if he couldn't fall asleep.  Two minutes later I realized we never put out cookies and milk so I ran back in to get him up....and he was already sound asleep.  =)

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.