Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday!

Wow - what a whirlwind this past week has been!  First, my sister and her family came in from Charleston.  They stayed with us Wednesday night before heading over to my mom's house on Thursday.  On Friday, we drove over to Pensacola to hang out with family, and attend the annual "The Night Before The Night Before" Christmas party, hosted by someone from the church Grant grew up in.  Saturday, we did Christmas with my side of the family, before coming back to our house the night of Christmas Eve.

That night, I wrapped presents, filled the stockings, and Grant put together bikes for the girls.  I'm not gonna lie, I was so wiped out that I would wrap a few presents then try to take little cat naps.  Grant ended up wrapping the last few presents after assembling the bikes.

Sunday morning, we couldn't wait to hear the girls reactions when they got up and saw all the presents and the stockings.  They did not disappoint!  They were so excited, but since Christmas fell on Sunday this year, we decided to just have them open their stockings first, and then we'd get ready for church.  And yes, I am that mom that puts new toothbrushes in stockings.  At their age, they get excited about anything!

Oh, we did let them open their birthday gifts from Uncle John and Aunt Sarah. 

Surprisingly, they handled not opening the rest of their presents really well.  They played with their new easel, which was already set up and not wrapped, and the swings that Grant had just put up, and they were perfectly content.

We eventually got ready for church.  Aren't they pretty?

When we got back from church, we still weren't going to open presents, because Grant's parents were coming over later.  So I got some lunch ready and Grant was eager to get the girls on their new bikes.  This picture was taken moments before Cami fell.  Don't worry, her face broke her fall, as you'll see in later pictures.

We ate, they took naps, Grant's parents came over, so it was finally time to open all those presents! 

The day after Christmas was Kendall's party day.  She had been a little confused about when exactly she turned 4.  Periodically on Christmas Day we'd mention it, and she'd say, "I'm not 4, I'm still 3!"  So we explained that her birthday was on Christmas, but her party was the day after.  She still struggled a bit with that concept.  Regardless, when she got up on Monday, she knew she was 4.  She was pretty eager to help me with her cake, so she did.  And like all good helpers, she got the reward of licking the spoon!

It was finally time for the party.  It was pretty similar to Cami's - just family, plus one other family, who have been friends of the Spear's for years.  Grant's been working on a tree house in the backyard for a while, and while it's still not totally finished, he got it to the point that the kids could play in it.  That was definitely a highlight for the kids, I'd say...

This time, my mom helped me with the pizzas.  She was in charge of the dough, and I did the toppings.  As you can see, she was feeling her inner pizza-maker.  And she also had a little help from Cami.

Once everyone had their fill of pizza, it was time to open presents (third day in a row of presents - Oy!)...

Then it was time for that cake Kendall helped me make earlier that day!  Kendall had asked for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, so that's what she got.  I used this recipe, by the way, and it was pretty amazing. 

Oh, and in case you couldn't tell, she had a Hello Kitty themed party.  We forgot to get a picture of the decorations, so we got one after the party, when she was wearing her beloved Hello Kitty nightgown (thanks, Michelle!). 

We've had a great last few days, but I'm kinda glad it's all over - I'm pretty worn out!  Now I should be able to focus on getting everything ready for the baby.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yeah, yeah, yeah...Thanksgiving has been over for a while.  Better late than never, right?

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our families (in-town family, that is).  It was so nice to just be able to drive less than an hour and be at our destination, instead of driving to an airport, and spending all day on planes.  Actually, we got to my parents house the day before Thanksgiving, so Thanksgiving Day, we could just relax and enjoy already being there.

My mom has always hosted Thanksgiving Dinner at her house.  From that first Thanksgiving that Grant and I were dating, waaaay back in 1998, it's been a tradition.  Even after Grant and I moved away in 2003, his family would still go over to my parent's house for the day.  I think last year was the only year since 1998 that they didn't go to my parent's house, and that was because Grant's parents visited friends in Alabama.  So, even though not all of our family was present (we missed John and Sarah, and my sister Trina and her family), we still had a great time.  My parents also invited a couple from their church to join us.

As usual, the food was AMAZING!  And PS, I got my brother that "Mullet Do" shirt years ago, and it's still one of his favorite shirts.  We had a fried turkey, ham, homemade bread, quinoa casserole, sweet potato casserole, fried corn, mashed potatoes, and plenty of other stuff that I'm forgetting.  It was all delicious!

Starting with the trifle bowl, my mom made the trifle, Grant made the pumpkin pies (from a real pumpkin - not canned!), Janet, my mom's friend made the cake, I made the pumpkin cookies, and my sister-in-law, Meredeth made mincemeat pie and blueberry pie.  We love our desserts!

And everyone chowed down!

It was a great day, and we were all very thankful to be able to spend it together.