Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Grinch tried (and failed) to steal our Christmas

I'm finally finding time to share our Christmas with you.   We are a little under the weather right now.  It's very interesting to me that some women get curly hair or taste buds change after having a baby...well after I had Bella, I developed asthma!  I would've gladly taken the curly hair!  It looks like Bella might be following in my footsteps. But with the breathing treatment and steroids, I'm sure we'll be better soon.

Ya know, when Clark Griswold opened his jelly-of-the-month club instead of his Christmas bonus on Christmas eve...well I wasn't expecting a bonus, but I felt like 'ol Clark when I opened a letter from work on Christmas eve stating that as of December 2012, they will be taking away an incentive that I depend on.  Apparently, due to the healthcare reform (screw you Obama!), there will be a new law passed that employers will no longer will be allowed to give incentive pay in lieu of benefits.  Because I do not use any of the benefits at work, I got the incentive pay.  What that means to me = an $800/month pay cut. Can you hear me freaking out?!!?  So unfortunately, I'm forced to look for another job/extra income.  This breaks my heart because , I LOVE my job-my shift, my co-workers, the doctors.  This will means I'll be working more to make up that extra money and will be away from my girls more.  I'm trying to focus on the positive.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise, I doubt it, but maybe.  What it boils down to is 'ya gotta do, what ya gotta do'.  After I read the letter on Christmas eve, I put it away until after Christmas and tried to ignore the fact that I knew about the drastic pay cut.  Please don't feel sorry for me, I know every family has to make sacrifices to do what's best.

Now for the good stuff.  Other than those things, we've had a great holidays. Bella (who's 2 years) tore into those gifts & Lucy (7 weeks) was snuggling with someone at all times. The best thing about the holiday season is being with good friends and family.  We laughed and ate until our bellies hurt, then we woke up and did it again. We started new traditions this year that I think will work out wonderful for our growing girls.
Rylee & Bella in their new seats.  Thanks Aunt Viv!

Christmas at Mimi & Pops: laughter, steaks and lots of wrapping paper everywhere (perfection)

 Mimi with her girls

For the past 4 years, my friends from high school get together. We are living in different cities and states and we still manage to make it work.  We have all developed in to different people with the same background and we love each other for who we are.

Aunt Terisa preparing our wonderful Christmas eve breakfast

Bella's new 4-wheeler

Christmas with the Crowe's is always fun!

Cousins at Mammaw's 

Mammaw reading to one of her great-granddaughters, Rylee

Painting by my very talented uncle Chris

the CRAZY Hartsfields

Christmas morning

Daddy putting a ring on Bella...sweet!

Bella's new horsey

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Monday, December 26, 2011

It's time for a change!

I hope everyone had a blessed and wonderful Christmas!  We certainly did!  It was SO fun watching our 2 year old dig into her gifts and her eyes light up.  Little Lucy did good with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  She got passed around & didn't seem to mind it a bit.  Check back later, I'll be sharing some of our fun.  But for now, I've got something else on my mind...

Truth is, I'm frustrated and discouraged and embarrassed and even a little depressed because I'm FAT!   I recognize this and know that I'm in complete control, so I'm going to do something about it.  I know it won't be easy or fun.  But it will be rewarding when I hit my goal weight.  I'm not telling specific numbers because, well...I'm too embarrassed.  I need to lose 24 pounds to hit my goal weight, my healthy weight!!  Yes, I just had a baby 7 weeks ago, but that's no excuse to not work toward my goal weight.  If I use the excuse "Oh, I just had a baby."  Then I'd still be fat at 7 months, then 7 years after the baby.  I'm not going to just accept that since I had babies that this gut, love handles, or ginormous legs & butt are staying around.  I have had the hardest time picking out outfits this holiday because NOTHING fits or looks flattering.  I understand that this is normal for moms to gain "baby" weight, but I'm kinda pissed about it!  My body has been through enough after carrying and delivering 2 babies.  I did it without too much complaining because I understand that physical changes and discomforts are just a part of pregnancy.  But this flabby post-baby-body just sucks!   I'm telling you this because I hope it keeps me more accountable.  I will try to update my progress weekly with hopefully good numbers.  My timeline is 3 months.  If I work hard and stick with my plan, I should be able to achieve my goal.

To be continued...

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

***Our highlight reel***

For the past few weeks I've been learning how to put our videos from our camera & phones onto DVDs.  We recently got a new computer so it's taken me a while.  But I'm finally caught up.  Today I learned a new trick that I'm so excited about!  Watch these without critiquing.  I am in no way an expert at this.  I'm just doing these "highlight reels" for me & my family to remember the good times, not to win an award.  But I'm loving this so much, you'll probably be seeing a lot more.  I've got several ideas now that I've started...
September 2009-September 2010

October 2010-February 2011

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Card Tree

For the past 3 weeks, I have been so excited to check the mail!  It hasn't been just bills!  I have received some adorable Christmas cards this year.  It makes me feel special that the sender was thinking of us when they mailed their set this year.  Unfortunately, we didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards this year...I have been busy, ya know...delivering a baby, taking care of a baby AND a toddler, planning a 2nd birthday party.  But next year, they'll be sent! 
As some of you finish up your Christmas shopping, or look forward to your upcoming family and friend gatherings, take a moment to wish a stranger a Merry Christmas.  And remember that there are some that won't be receiving much or are away from family members this Christmas due to the military, too many miles separating or those who've went to heaven.

I certainly wish all of you a very merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011


We enjoyed our 4th annual Christmas movie & dinner with my mama & sisters.   We ate dinner then went to the Alabama Theatre to watch a Christmas movie.  This year we watched Elf.  We love Christmas movies at Christmas time and the historic Alabama Theatre is such a unique place.  My 83 year old Mammaw tells us stories of when she lived in north Birmingham as a teenager, her and her friends would ride the bus to the Theatre on the weekends for fun.  When I'm there I think of her and wonder did she sit in this very spot 65 years ago?

We made a quick stop for shopping.

Thanks to the Japanese lady at Mt Fugi who attempted to take our picture. You are a much better waitress than photographer.

Before the movie we all sang a few Christmas carols to get us in the spirit.  We sang at the top of our lungs & giggled the whole way through!


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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bella!

 Happy 2nd birthday to a vibrant, kind-hearted, full of life and joy, little girl!
I love this girl more than words can even describe!  I'm so happy that the Lord has given me 2 wonderful years with her.  I am begging for many, many more.  She makes me smile so often throughout each day.  Just thinking of her brings a smile to my face.  She makes my days brighter, my life fuller, my heart more eager to do what's best.  
I love you my beautiful Bella!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Laughing Elmo

Nana & Papa got Bella a laughing Elmo for her birthday.  Bella was completely caught of guard by how Elmo was going to laugh and roll around all over the floor.  She was even a little scared of him.  As long as she had some distance between her & Elmo, she just laughed.  I know these pictures are a little redundant, but the Birthday Girl's expressions are just priceless.

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