Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

So after an incredibly difficult start to my Christmas holiday I'm happy to say I'm on the uphill swing of things. I don't know that I'm past it, that its over but I can say I know what a blessed life I do have. We all go through our tough times and if its things like this that I have to go through to talk with my husband, to see how much he loves me and his family and what a genuine loving man he is then I suppose I can hack it. Our holiday was more than wonderful. We were showered with more than enough gifts, ate more than our fair share of food and are more than pooped. Santa actually came to Lee Pike this morning. We had Christmas with the Lewis' on our typically Tuesday night family dinner.....Wednesday we traveled to be with my family in Knoxville. Josh had to work Christmas night so he came back Thurs. Yaya, Addi and I stayed until Saturday. Addi LOVED Christmas in Knoxville, she was most fond of the while & chocolate fountains we always have with strawberries, pineapples, oranges, pretzels, marshmellows, mini vanilla wafers and probably more I'm forgetting. It was perfect height for her because she could reach up and grab vanilla wafers and dip them in the fountain and RUN!!!
She was quite the ham. I just miss my family so much after we leave from there but its always so nice to be home. We went ahead and stayed a few extra nights and did Santa gifts this morning since this will be the last Christmas we are away from home, after all we have to wake up in our home when Santa comes (on the real day this time)....funny how things just change after kids. I believe Daddy was really missing his girls too. Addi must have been incredibly good this year because she got more things than I could even remember so they aren't all in the picture above. Those are a just some of the things she got. The slide climber was from Santa. Here are just some more pics of fun stuff we did over Christmas. I'm ready for the New Year though so I'm sure resolutions are to come!!
Thanks for the encouraging words and prayers. I love you all and hope you had the Merriest Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Perfection or Pressure?

I must say I am writing a bit heavy hearted today so I'll start by asking for a prayer. I mean seriously, its Christmas. We had a wonderful evening last night with Grammy & Papaw & the Coffelts for our Christmas and yet I still find myself waking up so sad today. As a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter I've come to realize that I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself. (Don't most of us mom's?) I whole heartedly don't think this pressure comes from striving for perfection because in all honesty I do know I'm far from perfect and in reality I know I never will be nor do I want to be. I do however strive to do things the best I can. I probably try to do more for others than I should, and even typing that sounds wrong. How can you do too much for others? I sit here today, a big kid when it comes to Christmas - the family time I look so forward to, knowing Jesus Christ died for me, I'm having such a heavy heart because I made a mistake....a costly mistake and it makes me feel like such a failure as a mom & wife. I have this weight on my heart & so badly want to be able to smile and really feel happy, something that I really typically have no problem with. I feel like I'm at a loss for words (very rare) & this is just not a feeling I'm used to having so I just come to you, my blogger friends, to ask for a prayer...please just pray for Josh, Addi & I as we travel today to spend Christmas with my family in Knoxville and I can get out of this funk. I've been so excited about this time and I'm having just a bit of a tough time this morning. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 IS more than 1 (did you know that?)

What a weekend. It was busy to say the least but really makes me thankful for the family I've inherited through marriage. I don't think I have to tell anyone who knows them how great the Lewis fam is but really when I sit back and listen to some horror stories of inlaws it just makes me incredibly grateful. I have a sis in law that is as close to a sister as a person could have & she has a great hubby that we have a ton of fun with. Then there is my nephews which is the whole point of the post. Before Addi came along we did tons of stuff with them. More than we get to do now that we have our own but being the fun aunt and uncle is lots of fun. Staying up a tad later than we are supposed, jumping on couches, eating some sugar - you know the things that make you want to visit those aunts and uncles. I can remember taking Seth to the Unum easter egg hunt, to birthday parties of my friends kids and even once Eli got to stay by himself while Seth had an outing with his mom/dad. We love those boys so much. Even though we don't get to keep them as much as we'd like we always welcome it so when they chose us to stay with while their mom & dad got a much needed weekend away to Nashville we were very welcoming to the idea. They are very good kids so its not like its difficult on us however 3 IS very much more than 1. We had originally planned to attempt Rock City for the Enchanted Garden of Lights (needless to say I invited my mom as well as Grammy/Papaw) however with the rain it wasn't something we could plan on, and well I like to know the plan, its just the anal-ness coming out in me. We picked them up around 11 on Saturday afternoon and headed to have Addison's 18 month photo's made at Master Portraits. I LOVE Master Portraits......affordable, the staff is wonderful and the delivery of the photo's is unlike any other - speedy doesn't describe it. The boys were great in making Addi laugh so that was an added bonus. After the photo's we went to the Railroad for the Christmas Open House sort of thing. We had lunch there and got to go on the caboose to visit Santa....might I add that Addi didn't want anything to do with Santa. She was ok while the boys were there but after that - uh uh...We managed to make a WalMart trip & a quick stop by movie gallery. We veto'd The Hulk & decided on The Bee Movie (Eli) & Star Wars something...something...something...(that Seth wanted, its got more to the name than JUST Star Wars don't you know!!). We had pizza for dinner & I was reminded that they always have dessert however Andi doesn't keep many sweets in the house so I'm sure this was the disappointment of the weekend for them.
We managed to make it to church ON TIME using the new barcode-kiosk system with 3 children. We headed home for lunch, lasagna (which they did not say a thing about having it for lunch the last time they stayed the night, Josh & I were SURE they'd remind us of that! Nor did Eli tell me I needed to vacuum my bedroom this time either). I need to finalize some Christmas shopping so I did that while Addi napped & the "guys" watched Star Wars something...something...something. (PS...don't forget Yaya was there too for reinforcement, I definitely don't want her help in ALL of these adventures to go un-noticed!!). The funnest part of the weekend was making the gingerbread house. They had so much fun with that and laughing at me for getting icing everywhere. I have learned that things don't have to just be "pretty" and "neat" when doing stuff like this with kids. Its beautiful because its their own creativity that comes out. See I am learning I just still have a year or two with my pretty tree, maybe by then we'll have a different house and can have 2 trees, one pretty "store" tree and my Addi tree. :) Here is a re-cap of our weekend in pics. I love those little guys and how much they make my little girl laugh. She tries so hard to be JUST like them. At one point the boys were laying in the floor on their bellies watching tv when she laid down right beside them, I didn't have my camera but it was a memory to melt my heart.

 case you were wondering, we're not any closer to even thinking about baby #2 yet

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Family outing to Eli's Christmas Program

More than a babysitter

The transition of me returning to work was an easy one for us. Not because I couldn't hack being a stay at home mom or didn't enjoy my time with my beautiful little girl but because of Miss Erma. Miss Erma is more than a babysitter - she has become part of our family. I must say I'm one lucky mom. From the day we met with her to discuss Addison coming to stay with her I never once felt uneasy about the situation. Josh & I went with to her completely unprepared. I mean, yes I had read many websites & knew what I was supposed to ask. We went with our list in hand and NEVER once got it out. We sat down with her & she began talking about how she ran her ship. She gave us references (other than that she's one of my bff's relative), she talked about how she liked to keep supplies in stock, that she LOVED to give baby massages if that was ok with us....heck I like massages so I knew surely Addi would too, what girl doesn't right? We left there that day thanking God for providing a grandmother not a babysitter. She does this because she loves these kids not because she has to. I mean sewiously (as Addi says) how many of us could keep 4 babies all under the age of 2 all day, every day and not leave the house at all. I can ensure you its not something I wish to add to my resume!!! Add teething, colic, diarrhea, spit up, no naps, feedings, diaper changes.....again, all under the age of 2. Which brings me to the only part of Miss Erma I didn't like - she only keeps them until age 2. I do understand, she basically feeds to Hixson First Baptist & they send her referrals as well. I have no problem with HFB, actually I've only heard how wonderful their daycare is however I have had my heart set on sending her to Hixson United Methodist. HUM is where both Seth & Eli have gone. They both have peanut allergies so I feel like if my sis in law has trusted them I can too. At this point we do not know if Addi will have this allergy (please say a prayer, we have her 18 month visit on Friday and will be taking a spoonful of peanut butter with us to that visit). I just have enjoyed going to their Christmas Programs & the Lewis family has grown up with a teacher there so its nice to have those ties. The downfall is that they don't take them until they are 3, so at this point she's on both waiting list. Then I begin to wonder if its right to move her at 2 then again at 3 when she's gotten used to a new place & attached to new teachers. I'm telling you right now, we are one lucky family - Addi is one lucky little girl. Miss Erma asked me last week if we had her on a waiting list anywhere, that basically she was willing to keep Addison until she was 3. One of the other little girls mother had asked if she'd keep her until 3 b/c of a similar daycare delimma & because Addi & Kendall play well together, because Miss Erma LOVES those Addi hugs & because its hard to find "good" parents (not that others aren't at all, but that she has to be careful as well, I mean after all she's keeping children in her home - it gets tricky and can be sticky situations at times). Needless to say I got a little teary eyed. This is huge for us, I get so sad thinking about moving her. Addison loves her and I see that Miss Erma loves Addison too. Plus she'll get to hang out with Maddox more too. Miss Erma is not just her babysitter, she's an extra grandma to her. She cares about her, she cares about our family & that just melts my heart. So who is this wonderful woman....this is a picture of her. I'm hoping to get one of her & Addi soon - you would think I'd already thought of that huh?

I honestly just can't say enough about her and I truly feel blessed God has not given her to me but to my little girl.

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Its the most WONDERFUL time of the Year!

I have always loved Christmas but Christmas with a child, well its the best. I love singing Christmas Carols to Addi in the car. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Christmas Carols and the absolute best part about XM radio is that I have not just 1, not 2 but 3 stations soley dedicated to Christmas music and it just brings out the inner child in myself. I love shopping for others, I love the look on their face when they open their gift. I love the time with family, I love the time at Church listening to the real reason for the season. I love the Christmas lights, the tree and all of the decorations that come with it. Addi loves the lights - she has been great about not playing in the tree and she even got her own tree for her bedroom from her honorary Granny Lil bit (my boss, Sandra). Its adorable. Its purple (who would've of thought, huh?) and it has the cutest decorations on it, none of which came on it but was decorated with much thought by Sandra.
Something I've never done though at Christmas is the whole Tacky Sweater don't get me wrong there are some really pretty Christmas sweaters out there and then on the other hand they can definitely get Tacky. I borrowed my sweater from my boss, who is 5' pushing it and tee tiny. So everything she has in her closet is petite and well my pinky isn't petite. She found a sweater that she was so embarrassed to even have so it was perfect. I'll be opting for a more pretty sweater for the next party since the one I wore this past weekend nearly cut the circulation off in my arms - the three quarter length arms, which weren't supposed to be three quarter length, weren't elastic so I still had impressions on my arms the next morning on the way to church. Here are just some of the best outfits from the night. Brad will probably kill me for this too but better to ask forgiveness than permission, right?

Monday, December 1, 2008

A very Thankful Weekend

For those that know me pretty well know that I'm not one to save vacation time what so ever. We are pretty busy people so it typically is wiped out however this year I still had over a week to take before the end of the year. I decided to take Tuesday & Wednesday off last week giving me a nice bit of time to prepare for the holiday. I've also decided to pick this time of year to become motivated to start using that gym membership again. I can't remember the last time I was that sore though, wow! So for the rest of the year I'll be off on Friday's to burn the rest of my days, which is great b/c we have several Christmas parties to get ready for.

Our holiday was full of lots of much needed family time, some shopping and the saddest UT ballgame I've ever been too, even with a win.

Seriously though, all my life Phillip Fulmer has been a part of UT football. I can remember playing in Kingsport volleyball tournaments and on the way home mom dropping me off at the ballgames to meet my uncle & Brent. The man dedicated his life to UT football and although I was just as bad as the others with saying it was time for a change its just sad that the time came. I have much respect for him and UT will never be the same without him.

It was nice to be back home though. Even though I miss my family so much because the time with them is so few and far between. We got home around 2 on Sunday, unpacked, had some lunch and finished with the decorating our tree and getting Christmas decorations out. I haven't really even started on Christmas shopping - better get to it, huh?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. Its so easy to get caught up in what is going on in our life. I love that this Holiday makes you stop and think not only about your family & friends but even the people you wouldn't normally think about (like the verizon guy that has helped up switch cell phone providers, given us numerous discounts and ordered my new blackberry storm....remember, I'm addicted to technology!!)