Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

So do I have to turn the Christmas music off, now that the twenty-fifth has passed and it's no longer "Christmas in July" here on the Hart of the Matter? Bummer. Well, I leave my Christmas tree up until at least Valentine's day, so maybe I can leave the music playing a little longer.

My dear blogging obsessed friend,
Bethany, "tagged" me, which gets me off of the hook from thinking up my own post this week! Here goes. . .

A. Attached or single? Attached
B. Best friend? No need to name names...she knows who she is!!
C. Cake or pie? Oooh that's a tough one. It depends on what kind of cake or pie, but I guess pie? Nothing fruity though!
D. Day of choice? Friday.
E. Essential item? A computer with Internet access!
F. Favorite color? Green.
G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears. After I read the book "How to Eat Fried Worms" eating candy worms was all over for me.
H. Home town? Osage City, Kansas
I. Favorite indulgence? Bubble baths, pedicures, Oreo cheesecake. . .
J. January or July? Hmmm. . . this one's a toss up, because I love every season, but I'm going to go with January because there's always a chance for snow!!
K. Kids? Two sweetharts, Kaylen and Avery
L. Life isn't complete without? Friends and family.
M. Marriage date? May 20, 2000.
N. Number of brothers and sisters? Three older brothers. And I do mean OLDER. My 'youngest' brother was 19!!!! when I was born! (I was already an aunt when I was born!)
O. Oranges or apples? Apples.
P. Phobias? Spiders. Hate em'!
Q. Quotes? Life is measured in moments, not milestones.
R. Reasons to smile? Seizure free days. Kaylen kisses. Avery giggles. Snuggles, hugs, kissess. . . .my girls and my hubby.
S. Season of choice? I love them all, but I lean towards winter.
T. Tag 5 people: I only have three "blogging" friends that know me so, Rachel, Nikki, and Angie TAG, you're it! I don't think that Nate (Confessions of a CF Husband) or Angie (Bring the Rain) would actually be reading this?!
U. Unknown fact about me? I going to be a great-aunt at 33! Trying to figure that one out? My niece (that was born before me!) is having a baby, and I'm so excited!
V. Vegetable? Green peppers.
W. Worst habit? Procrastinating. (But then I do really great work under pressure. My new boss :) is reading this. Don't worry, when it comes to work, I never miss a deadline!)
X. X-ray or ultrasound? It depends on which organ we are looking at? I have had lots of really fun ultrasounds though, and usually x-rays are for yucky stuff like slamming my finger in the car door and breaking the tip off! TMI?
Y. Your favorite food? Oh wow! One food? Impossible. Cheesecake, tacos, chips and salsa, macaroni and cheese, chocolate, french toast. . . . yeah, I love food!
Z. Zodiac sign? Libra

post signature

Friday, July 25, 2008

Christmas in July

It's official!! Christmas is half-way here! I L*O*V*E Christmas. I would put my Christmas tree up now and leave it up until December, if I hadn't just taken it down after Valentine's Day! There are so many things about the holiday season that make my heart sing, that I look forward to winter from about this point in the year on! (This is a long post, but it is deep, so I hope you will bear with me and read the entire message!

I love the traditions surrounding Christmas, I love the memories of all my childhood Christmases (is that a word?), I love Christmas shopping, I love Christmas decorations, I love Christmas music, I love Christmas movies, and celebrating the birth of our Lord.

Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning since I became a mommy. Being Santa is almost as fun as believing in him isn't it? I love searching for just the right presents, wrapping them, hiding them, and watching the joy on Kaylen's face as she unwraps each one!

We have started some fun family Christmas traditions in the last couple of years. Each December I wrap up 25 Christmas themed books and for the 25 days leading up to Christmas, I let Kaylen upon up one book that we read together each night at bedtime. She LOVES this version of an advent calendar. It stretches out the excitement of opening gifts for twenty-five days. I put the books away after the holidays so they are 'new' each Christmas. We have been doing this for the past three years now. People always ask how I come up with 25 Christmas books? Holy cow! I have at least FIFTY or more. I was a teacher for a long time so I bought them from book orders and the Scholastic warehouse book sale each December. Friends and family have contributed to our collection, so we have way more than enough to wrap one for each night!

Our most recent tradition started with Avery's birth I guess. We brought Avery home from the hospital on Christmas Eve, and Kaylen home rode with us instead of Grandma. On the way home Kaylen was noticing all of the Christmas light displays, and so now on Avery's real birthday we fix hot chocolate, load into the car and go look at Christmas lights. I love that even though our girls are young, we have our meaningful traditions that Kaylen really looks forward to.

Christmas of 2006 was a really difficult one for our family. Avery was seizing twenty to thirty times a day and was just days away from her first brain surgery. I was a nervous wreck about it. On December 22nd Avery celebrated her first birthday, but it was under the dark cloud of knowing the surgeries were just days away. We took Avery to have one year portraits done, but she was so drugged up from the seizure meds, that the pictures still make me sick to my stomach to this day when I look at them. All of the camera flashes at the studio made her go into a really bad seizure and so we left there, all of us in tears, without getting any good shots of her.

A friend of a friend who was getting into the photography business at the time, heard our story and offered to come into our home and take pictures of our girls. I don't remember feeling happy or joyful during those weeks leading up to Christmas and Avery's surgery, but these pictures capture none of the dread or despair I was feeling and looking at them brings a smile to my heart. I see only joy and love between two sisters in these sweet pictures and I am so thankful that we have these images to remind us that despite the unbearable situation we were dealing with that year, our girls still enjoyed and celebrated a beautiful Christmas that year!

I actually took these first two pictures myself.

The wooden rocking horse Daddy built for Kaylen for her first Christmas.

I LOVE this one!

There are hundreds more where these came from, so maybe I will find time to share a few more of my favorites tomorrow for "Flashback Friday.' In the meantime, Merry Christmas in July!

post signature

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Wow! It's hard to believe that summer is more than half over! Kaylen (and I) go back to school in less than a month! Where has the time gone!? We have been busy, busy, busy this summer as you can tell from my few and far between updates.

One of the highlights of this summer was our Fourth of July bash! We had over fifty people gathered in our backyard to enjoy a picnic, waterslide, and fireworks for the Fourth! It was so much FuN!

The table was set with my now famous (thanks to
Bethany) wrapped silverware, to kick off the festive mood. . .

Kaylen and I had a blast making this Sparkler centerpiece for the buffet.

Just a few of the dozens of people gathered in our backyard!

The waterslide!

Fearless Kaylen flying down on her belly!


Miss Avery getting in on the action! Her hair was CrAzY from the humidity that night!

Stompin' on some spap-pops with Mommy . . . great physical therapy!

Having a blast!

Kaylen's first sparklers!

Light it up Daddy!

Oooooh! Ahhhhh!

On the Fifth we headed out to the lake on our friends' boat to watch the awesome fireworks display from the water! It is sooo beautiful to see the fireworks and their reflection on the lake with nothing blocking your view! With no city lights it is completely PITCH black which makes them even more breathtaking! (It also makes for an interesting boat ride back to the dock!)

I have to say that this Fourth of July was one of my all time favorites! Avery got to stay up late and watch the fireworks from the safety of my lap and her "WOWs!" and "YAYs!" made it so, so special! I can't wait for next year!

post signature