Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Years

We had a very quiet evening in our house. After dinner we took a family trip to the grocery store for our weekly shopping trip, when we arrived back home, the girls helped me unpack the groceries. They love helping put everything away, makes it a bigger job for me having to unstack everything they piled, but they get so excited. We played, put on jammies, read one last book and they were off to bed. Luckily, tonight they fell asleep right away, because last night they were up partying in their cribs until 11:40pm.
Once the girls were in bed, Josh and I made a drink and a plate with a few snack and worked on catching up on some of our shows. Josh headed to bed just after 11pm since he has to work in the morning and here I sit.
One year, we will have plans again and find a sitter for the girls, but for now, I don't mind a quiet night at home with my three favorite people. Josh and I are determined to make 2012 a wonderful year for our family and so far we are off to a great start.
I hope everyone had a fun and safe night and make 2012 a year to remember.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

I was really bummed this Christmas because Josh had to work both Christmas Eve and day, but it all ended up working out. On Christmas Eve, Josh got home from work with enough time to shower and change before headed out for church. The service was wonderful. It was a family service, so the girls came with us to the "big people church" and did amazingly well. While singing, Lillian put her hand up to my mouth and said, "mommy, stop singing." When every song was ending, she would say, "we all done singing now." Claire seemed to love all the music and singing going on around her, she didn't say a peep. When Pastor Dan started to speak, he asked all the kids, "whose birthday is it?" The appropriate response would be Jesus, not my Lillian. Lillian shouted back, "it's my birthday! It's my birthday!" We all than sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and the girls both puffed their chests out and were so proud of everyone singing them Happy Birthday. We ended the service with all the lights turned off and one by one we lit candles we held while singing, my favorite, Silent Night. Right in the middle of the peace and calm in the room, my little Lillian shouts out, "Mommy, I got to go potty!" Nice. After service we headed back home with Grandma Pattie and Grandpa Jim and ate a Papa Johns pizza. Nothing says Christmas like having a pizza delivered to the house.
The girls helped Josh get cookies and milk ready for Santa before going to bed for the night. We told them that Santa only delivers presents when little girls are asleep, wouldn't you know, they feel asleep much quicker than normal. However, they did spend roughly 15 minutes wishing each other a Merry Christmas and talking about Santa's visit before they fell asleep.
I was not looking forward to Christmas morning with Josh stuck working. It didn't feel right. Well, we were blessed, because Josh was able to come home to help me get the girls out of bed in the morning and he was there to watch the girls open up every last gift they received under the tree. It was wonderful. We kept the gifts to a minimum. Lillian and Claire don't know the difference right now and there were very few items they mentioned the past few months they wanted.

 They both sat down so nicely waiting for each gift to be handed to them and Lillian made sure Josh and I were not forgotten, she wanted to grab gifts to give us to open as well.
 So let me tell you, I think those Sing-a-ma-jigs are beyond annoying, but every time Claire saw one at the store, her face would light up and she was ask for one. I decided, against my better judgement, I pick one up for each of the girls. Claire was instant smiles and Lillian was ready for her next gift.
 Another items Claire has been begging for is a drum. Actually, she really wants the drum sticks, so again, against my better judgement, I bought a drum for the girls and a set of maracas. Eek, I should know better than that.

 Their big gift this year was a dollhouse. It stands over a foot taller than them and is plenty big for both of the girls to play together and not have to fight over space. The love it!

 Josh had to head back to the road as soon as we finished opening gifts, but we were glad he was able to spend part of the morning with us.

That evening after Josh got home from work his parents and his sister Maggie and her husband Baris, came to our house for dinner and more gifts.

 Aunt Maggie brought the girls some of her old Care Bears from when she was a little girl since her other gift has not arrived in the mail yet. Claire loves her "new pink honey bear from Aunt Maggie."

Lillian and Claire snacked all afternoon and by the time dinner was served they were no longer hungry. I made a delicious french dip, twice baked loaded mashed potatoes and a corn casserole for dinner, but since we all snacked so much before, we all had to force ourselves to eat even more, but we managed.

We had a wonderful Christmas and were happy to be able to spend with some family, but there was certainly a lot of family that was missed this holiday season.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Update

I know, I am terrible and I have not yet posted about our families Christmas and you still will not hear about it in this post. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to find a little extra time to put together a post with some of the not so great photos that were taken. In my defense, I have had a very busy last few days and that isn't just a made up line. Josh and I bought three gallons of paint on Tuesday and I have been a painting fool. This is something that I have been wanting to do for way too long now, so it feels great time finally get this project checked off the list. I (with a little help from Josh) painted the living room and the main hallway in our house a beautiful color called Sterling by Behr. That was all done (two coats) on Tuesday. Luckily, the girls spent the entire day and stayed for dinner with Grandma Pattie. Today I painted our mantle and all the trim in the living room, including the archway into the kitchen a creamy white color called Swiss Coffee by Behr. I am now falling in love with my living room again. Of course, now that the walls and trim is crisp and clean, the nasty old carpet and ugly popcorn ceiling look horrible, but those two things are just going to have to wait a little longer. Here is a quick shot of the living room tonight. I need to start figuring out what I want to hang the walls again, so for now they are blank until I get it just right. No worries, I have many ideas cooking up inside my head.  

I will try my hardest to get a Christmas post up tomorrow and I will add more photos of the living room as it comes together.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Time to get out some cookies and milk for Santa.

 Santa stopped by to visit.

The Ward Family
Josh, Melissa, Lillian and Claire

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 Years Old

I can't believe my baby girls are now three years old. Last night we had our usual snuggles on the couch and read a book before putting them to bed. Unlike other nights, I dreaded putting them in bed. It was like Sunday night, you don't look forward to the week starting, so you hold off going to bed, like you can keep Monday morning from coming, only that doesn't work. I hugged my two year olds extra tight last night and shed a few tears. I love seeing them learn and develop and discover new things, but every birthday has been difficult for me, I want my babies to stay babies just a little bit longer.

 Josh and the girls right before we put them to bed.

Last night before Josh and I went to bed, we filled their bedroom floor with balloons. Josh woke up before they did this morning and heard Claire when she woke up, "Lillian, wake up. Look, balloons!" They were so excited and had a blast kicking, throwing, hitting and jumping around in them.

For months now, we have been asking the girls what they would like for their birthday and/or Christmas. The only thing they have both said over and over, is they want new honey (teddy) bears. When they told us this for the second or third time, Josh and I decided that we would take them to Build-a-Bear and let them pick out whatever bear and outfit they would like. Claire has said from the very beginning that she wants a pink bear, because that is her favorite color and spotted hers right away. Lillian took a little longer to choose her perfect bear. Once she spotted the the purple bear with hearts and peace signs, it was love at first sight.

Lillian had decided early on in the day that she did not want to smile or show any signs of happiness for the camera.

They waited to patiently for their turn.
Before you can close up your bear, you have to kiss a heart and fill your bear with love.
Lillian and Claire had so much fun picking out and making their own special bears. They did not want a special box to carry them out it, they were carried in their arms.

For lunch we headed to Red Robin, another favorite of the girls. They each ordered their own lunch, chicken fingers and french fries, but we skipped on dessert since we had cake waiting for us at home.

Lillian once again refused to show a smile, so she covered her face with the menu.
Shortly after arriving back home this afternoon, we put the girls down for a nap, and they actually took one! Grandma Pattie and Grandpa Jim stopped by this evening for cake and ice cream, oh and more presents. First the girls opened a special birthday package that came earlier this week in the mail from Grandpa Mark and Grandma Sandy, which resulted in a gasp and excitement for a new princess crown and jewels. Those will go along great with the princess dress up clothes Grandpa Mark bought them when we were in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.
They received some fun games and scooters from Grandma Pattie and Grandpa Jim, which have already been put together and taken for a test drive.

Claire is modeling her jewels from Grandpa Mark. They have been worn all evening long.

I ran out of frosting while making this cake, so it is a little sad looking, but still tasted delicious.

This is the result when Claire grabs the camera and starts taking pictures. If her tiny fingers were not in the way, I bet she would have some really cute shots. Just look at that smile Lillian is flashing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Decorating the Tree

Sunday the commotion of a birthday party was over and the house was back to normal. Since the Packers played awful that afternoon, I decided it would the perfect time to dig the tree out of storage and set it up while the girls napped.
That evening after Josh arrived home from work and the girls woke up from nap, we turned on some Christmas music and decorated the tree together as a family for the first time. Lillian and Claire loved picking out ornaments one at a time and ask questions about it and then find a special spot for it on the tree. Some ornaments they requested to hang up high and some needed to be right at their level. The process was long, but wonderful. There were many times Josh and I took a step back and watched the joy and excitement on two little girls faces.

 After decorating the tree, we sat down at the kitchen table. I made hot chocolate for everyone and we turned the kitchen lights and the Christmas music down and read our Advent story about Joy and lit the rose colored candle on our wreath. We folded our hands together said a short prayer and enjoyed this moment as a family, as we have every other Sunday evening since Advent began.

 I don't think there are too many homes that have both a rainbow of balloons and a Christmas tree decorating their living room at the same time. I love it!
 The girls have spent many hours sitting and looking at the various ornaments. They ask us where we got each one. Some have great stories, our first Christmas being married, their first Christmas, a wedding favor, our first Christmas in our home and some stories are not so special, Hobby Lobby.
 Claire enjoys hanging out under the tree every now and then.
These last few days in our house have been wonderful. We have created so many memories in just a short time. Josh and I have decided a new tradition has began, decorating as a family, hot chocolate and slowing life down. This is what the holiday season is really about, creating memories with those you love and cherishing those moments forever. I feel so blessed.