Christmas 2009... in pictures

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This Christmas was great.  We did the usual house hopping, but Christmas is so much more relaxed than Thanksgiving, where we have to cram it all in to one day.  This Christmas, we started off on Christmas Eve afternoon at Joey's dads house.

Taylor's Christmas went a lot like this picture:


... TONS of Star Wars.  Which is great, because he loves it so much.  He got Lego Star Wars, action figures, spaceships, light sabers...  He can never have have too much Star Wars!

Grandpa and Lynda gave Ashton one of her favorite presents - a super soft bear, who she named Frosty.



After Grandpa's house, we went to my parents.  We always spend Christmas Eve night with my family.


Ashton's Christmas went mostly like this picture - TONS of Littlest Pet Shop.  She loves LPS (as they call it) and that's all she asked for.


I got Joey a new watch for work, but when he opened the box, the watch didn't work.  Evidently I packed it too well and smashed the Indiglo light so it stayed on the whole time it was packed.  Oops.


Joey, the best husband in the world, got me this:

It's absolutely my favorite thing in the world.  I'm just so proud of him!

Then there's Ashton, just being silly.  Love her!

Christmas morning, I was awakened from a dead sleep by Taylor bursting into our room yelling, "It's Christmas!  It's Christmas!"  Although I was nice and snugly and WAY asleep, I won't lie, I loved the excitement in his voice.

I also got Joey a gun safe.  He had been wanting one for a while and finally found the right one.  He doesn't look all that excited, but that's only because it was ridiculously early.  He loves it.  Trust me.


Christmas day, we always go to Joey's grandparents for lunch.  More of Memaw's yummy stuffing!  Why is it that we only eat turkey and stuffing twice a year?  Such a travesty!

And as you can see, more LPS for Ashton...

And Taylor has Mimi to thank for his new Heelys.  He wears his Heelys all the time and just in the last week, he started to complain that they were too small, so these came at just the right time!


Later that afternoon, on Christmas Day, we took the kids to see the new Alvin & The Chipmunks movie.  It was really cute!  This is something that my family always did growing up and I'm glad that the kids are old enough now that we can start doing the same.  I just love going to the movies on Christmas!

We had such a wonderful Christmas!  And this year, I truly felt less stress, more love, and the true reason why we celebrate.  I hope you all did as well.

Love Jesus. Spend less. Give more.

Christmas traditions

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I've seen this around, so I'm joing in.  I LOVE Christmas!!

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love wrapping paper, but I hate having to make all the pretty bows.  I'm no good at it. :(
  2. Real tree or artificial? artificial
  3. When do you put up the tree? The day after Thanksgiving.  No exceptions.  No earlier, no later.  I'm pretty hard core about my decor.
  4. When do you take the tree down? The day after Christmas. No exceptions.  No earlier (well, of course), no later.  I'm pretty hard core about my decor.
  5. Do you like eggnog? Never had it, so I'm not sure.
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? The gift that always comes to mind is the keyboard that Santa brought one year.  I LOVED it!!
  7. Hardest person to buy for? Hmmm....
  8. Easiest person to buy for? the kids
  9. Do you have a nativity scene? No
  10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail.  I love to mail out Christmas cards and I love to get them as well.  It one of my favorite things about the holidays
  11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? No comment.
  12. Favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoons Christmas Vacation ("I pledge allegiance to the flag..."  I seriously almost dies when I first saw this!!)
  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Way too late.
  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.
  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Memaw's stuffing, sausage balls, tamales, Christmas cookies, buttermilk pie... I could go on, but it's just making me hungry.
  16. Lights on the tree? Of course.  All white.
  17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night.
  18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Nope. All of our immediate family is here so we house hop.  Sometimes it feels like we've traveled though. LOL
  19. Can you name all of Santas' reindeer? Of course!  Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doner, Blitzen, Rudolph.
  20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A bow.
  21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both.  Christmas Eve is with my family and Christmas Day is with Joey's mom and grandparents.  We also get a bonus in there somewhere with Joey's dad :)
  22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The commercialization and the stress of buying presents for people who have everything they need (including me!).  Love. Jesus. Spend less. Give more.
  23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? I always wanted to have a really pretty tree with a theme, but my favorite ornaments are the ones my children have made.  I love pulling them out every year and seeing how much they've changed over the years.
  24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner? We used to always eat out with my family on Christmas Eve, but now with all the grand kids, we just go to my parents and have lots of finger foods.  I LOVE IT!  On Christmas Day, we have the standard - turkey, dressing, and everything that goes with it - Memaw style.  YUM!
  25. What do you want to do for Christmas this year? Love Jesus. Spend less. Give more.
  26. Favorite Christmas tradition growing up? My brother and I would usually sleep in the same room when we smaller.  I can always remember not being able to go to sleep and then waking up at the crack of dawn and we would sneak out to the living room to see what Santa had delivered.
  27. Favorite tradition now? We don't really have any traditions.  Kind of sad, I guess...
  28. Favorite Christmas Memory? We always used to drive around with my family and look at Christmas lights after dinner, but before we back to the house to open gifts.  I love looking at Christmas lights...
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!  And remember...

Love Jesus. Spend less. Give more.

Toy packaging

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is absolutely hilarious!  I heard this song on my way to work and it could not be MORE TRUE!!

Toy Packaging (by Sara Groves)
Nothing makes me lose my cool like
Toy packaging
Ask the kids to leave the room for
Toy packaging
I have no choice the money's spent
I've worked for hours to make a dent
I guess it's anger management
Toy packaging

Nothing makes me lose my cool like
Toy packaging
Ask the kids please leave the room it's time for
Toy packaging
I'm drawing up a battle plan
To extricate this robot man
My self-esteem is in the can
Toy packaging

In the old days you could hold a box and shake it
And hear the pieces rattling around
My eyes tear up with these grommets, tape and twisty ties
Remembering their beautiful sound

Toy Packaging
I love Toy Packaging
(Mom! Honey!)

Nothing makes me lose my cool like
Toy packaging
Kids you really need to leave the room, mom's opening
Toy packaging
I'm sorry you have to see this sight
You must be brave, no please don't cry
I promise it will be alright
I hope to have it by tonight
Nevermind this dynamite
Toy packaging

You didn't think I'd forget, did you?

Monday, December 21, 2009

I love my 'Boys, but I'll admit, I didn't think for one second that we would win that game.  I was literally on the edge of vomiting the entire time!

It was an amazing game - Miles Austin with that huge touchdown reception.  Demarcus Ware with two sacks and two forced fumbles!!  Barber for two rushing TDs!  It was pretty amazing, and not to mention...

The biggest upset of the Century!!

Go Cowboys!!

Now, they just need to fire Folk, bench Roy Williams and pull it off the next two weeks.  Really, is that too much to ask??

Christmas Party FAIL

Friday, December 18, 2009

I plan the annual Christmas party for my office every year.  For the last three years, the parties have been fabulous.  Everyone has loved them.  They have gone off without a hitch.  A fabulous Mexican dinner downtown, a casino night, a cozy dinner at a quaint restaurant outside of town...

I knew it was only a matter of time.  I just wish that it wasn't this time.

Let me give you some background. I work for an international company and I'm the Executive Assistant to the President of the North American branch.  His boss (the big boss) work in the main office in Germany.  He is retiring at the end of December so he and his replacement decided to attend our Christmas party at the last minute.

Can you say pressure?

I had planned a nice dinner cruise on the Riverwalk, which would have been great until our numbers started to rise and the temperatures started to plummet.  We ran out of room on the boats and had to go to plan B.  No problem. We switched to a cocktail cruise giving more room on the boats, which killed two birds with one stone - we would now only be on the boats for 45 minutes max, thus enduring the frigid South Texas temps (45 degrees!) for a much shorter time, then we'd be in a nicely heated room, all together, for dinner.

Sounds great!  Crisis averted!  YAY ME!

Until we actually got on the boats.  And they began a much longer than 45 minute tour.  In the frigid South Texas temps.

People.  It was awful.

But this is what I was trying to focus on:



The Riverwalk is absolutely gorgeous at Christmas.  So yes, it was beautiful.  But at one point, I actually thought there might be a connection between the San Antonio river and the Gulf of Mexico and that our boat driver was in the process of a mass kidnapping.  She had no intention of taking us back the restaurant so our grumbling tummies could eat.

And speaking of eating? We were eating at the best Mexican restaurant on the Riverwalk.  And the food was horrible.  Barely edible.

I'm tempted to just close my office door this morning.  I thought about sending out an apology email to all the attendees, but no one likes a martyr.  UGH!  It was awful.

It should have been great, but it wasn't.

Christmas party FAIL!

Christmas Card Carousel

Thursday, December 17, 2009

So I'm a day late, but I didn't have a pic of our Christmas cards yesterday to participate.

Don't hate.

Just love my Christmas cards.

A good friend of mine took the pics and I LOVE them!  I think they turned out great!

I mean, other than the fact that my 10 year old daughter looks like she's 15 and is almost as tall as I am.  But hey, what can you do?

Want to play along?  Head over HERE to see the other cute holiday cards.

Slumber party. It's a four letter word.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ashton's birthday started out like most. A family dinner (this year it was Pei Wei), then back to the house for cake and presents. It was as if Target threw up in the house and had partaken in way too many Littlest Pet Shops the night before. That's ok, though, because Ashton was more than happy to be on the raw end of that deal.

Taylor got her a Bop-it.  Would you like to know who holds the current record?  That would be me.  95, baby!  Joey's bitter because he held the record for several days at 62.  He had to know it was only a matter of time.

Friday night is when the four-letter word happened.  Ashton had a slumber party.

Oh sure, they look innocent.  But don't let them fool you.  There was much screaming, running, slamming of doors, and laughing.  OH THE LAUGHING!!!

And I can't forget the ghost stories.  There was the donkey lady, bloody Mary, blue-eyed baby (?).... one girl was so scared she had to call her mom at 12:30 to come get her.  I tried to calm her down.  I even ruined every one else's fun by informing them that none of their little stories were true!  But alas, they did not believe me. 

It was horrible.

Oh, they look all cute.  After pancakes and bacon.  But at this point I still had 3 hours of fun.  And by fun, I mean running, and screaming, and slamming doors, and laughing.  OH THE LAUGHING!!!!

Happy birthday baby

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Today, my baby girl hit double digits.

The big 1-0.

I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep.  I started thinking of what I was doing at that time 10 years ago.  Laying in a hospital bed, getting a pitocin drip, about to ring my husbands neck for attempting to leave my side to go to McDonalds with some friends.  Sure, he hadn't had breakfast, but I was about to push our first born into the world.  He had no right to breakfast.

Ashton was the most perfect baby ever.  She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I was so blessed to have her in my life.  Although it was not at all how Joey and I thought our first year of marriage would go, we wouldn't change it for the world.

Ashton, you have brought us more joy, more laughter, more sass, and more love than we ever knew was possible.  We love you more than life itself.

You change a little bit everyday.  And although it's hard for us to see you grow so fast, our prayer is that as you grow, you will not let the world change you, but you will change the world.

We love you more than all the stars in the heavens.

Mommy & Daddy

Merry FREAKIN' Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

That's exactly what I was thinking on Friday night as I was standing in the kitchen listening to my children scream at each other.  They were arguing about who would get to lay on which couch, who would get which blanket, which movie they would watch, and on and on and on.

In fact, I even told Joey that maybe I should cancel our Christmas card order and reorder with that headline.  "Merry FREAKIN' Christmas!"  Doesn't it seem like that sometimes?  I mean, all the pretty lights on the tree, the stockings hanging on the bar, the garland over the TV, but none of the Christmas spirit was seeping into my sweet children.

I know it happens to all of us, and believe it or not, most of the time, the kids are walking around the house singing Christmas carols (this morning, it was "Frosty the Snowman"), but this year, I'm determined to make things just a little different.


This year, I'm determined to help my family remember exactly why we celebrate Christmas.  It's not about the gifts, the lights, and the parties.  It's about the birth of our Savior.  That is why we celebrate.  Sure, the gifts are fun and I love the lights, but that's not what Christmas is about.


This year, I'm also determined not to spend so much money on needless gifts for people who already have more than they could ever want or need.  When Joey and I finished up our shopping on Saturday evening and I realized that everyone's gift had been purchased and we'd spent less than $200, I can't tell you the satisfaction I felt.  (Ok, that doesn't include mine & Joey's gift exchange, but other than that, it does include the kids and close to 10 other people!  YAY!)  I'm not doing this simply for the sake of being cheap, but rather so we can focus less on us and more on others who have less.


Our church has been teaching the Advent Conspiracy for the last month or so.  I can't tell you how hard this has hit me.  The core of the "conspiracy" is to get back to the true meaning of Christmas (Love Jesus) by focusing less on the material things during the season (Spend Less) so you have more to give away to those in need (Give More).  This seriously touches a deep place in my heart and I'm determined to make a difference.  I don't want to get to the end of my life and look back only to realize that the world is no different than it was the day I was born. I want to leave a mark.

Want to join me?  Love Jesus. Spend Less. Give More.

South Texas Cold

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This is what happens when it gets cold in South Texas.

Your son eats his cereal in his mittens and coat.  And backpack.  And fuzzy head.  And cute smile.

How could you not love him?

(In case you're wondering what happens with Ashton when it's 38 degrees outside?  She comes downstairs in capri pants and a tank top.  Why? Because she's clearly related to my brother and never gets cold.  It's a never ending battle.)

I'm not a fan of criminals

Monday, November 30, 2009

This morning I turned on The Today Show and heard about four police officers who were murdered in a coffee shop in a small town outside of Seattle.

They weren't on duty.  They weren't responding to a call.  They weren't caught in the cross-fire of a shootout. They were simply enjoying a cup of coffee, reviewing reports before their shift began when "reportedly", Maurice Clemmons entered the shop, walked to the counter and then turned around and executed two of the officers.  Then he killed one more before the last officer was able to get to him, wrestled him to the ground and they believe get off a couple shots before he was then killed as well.

Clemmons then fled the scene and is now holed up in a Seattle house, surrounded by police.  Police are unsure if he is dead or alive.

Unfortunately, none of this should have happened at all.  Clemmons, who had a long criminal history - including raping a child and assault on a police officer - should be in prison serving a 95 year sentence (I believe), but nearly a decade ago, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence.

As a future police officers wife, I have no words.  Only prayers.

It's almost that time...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

... time to enjoy the three F's.

Food.  Family.  Football.


I love this time of year.  It's getting cooler.  I love the food.  I love the family time.  You know I love the football.  And it's almost time to decorate for Christmas.

I baked 4 pies last night and tonight there will only be more baking.

A few nights ago, Taylor brought this to me and Joey, which just reminded me of all I have to be to be thankful for:

(Mom I love you and dad I love you too. Ok, ok? Got it, got it? Taylor)

I'm truly blessed with the most wonderful family and more than I could ever want or need.

I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love God. Spend Less. Give More.

Lobster. Wh-WHAT?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yesterday, Joey offered to do the grocery shopping so I sent him with a list of maybe 10 things.

He came back with this:

(That tag says "lobster", in case you can't read it.)

Yes, my husband came home with 2 lobsters, handed me the bag, and when I felt something move, I almost died.

Silly, silly man.

We barely had a pot large enough for these poor, tasty little guys. (And no, they didn't scream.)


Then, since we were working on bringing out our white-trash side, we set the table and dug in.

Yeah, those are paper plates.  Don't be jealous.

It was actually quite tasty, but I'm not really into staring in the eyes of the food I'm about to eat.

Busy, busy, busy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oh my goodness, I feel so out of the loop!  I've been so busy this week that not only have I not been blogging, but my Google reader has reached monumental numbers.  That totally stresses me out!

So what's been keeping me busy this week?

  1. We're having family pics taken tomorrow.  I have to dress everyone.  I know it's only 4 people (including myself), but still...
  2. Been to the gym twice this week!  Seeing that I hadn't been at all since Joey started the Academy, this is a major improvement!
  3. I made the BEST Chicken Parmesan with Garlic-Butter Noodles for dinner last night.  Wish I had extras for lunch today.  YUM-MO!
  4. I've been working non-stop on the new Blogalicious Designs Etsy store!  Check us out for your holiday cards, invitations, and announcements.  We'll be adding more items soon, so if you don't see what you're looking for, just contact us and we'll design whatever you need!
  5. Speaking of Blogalicious Designs... Have you noticed the coupon code in the upper right column of my sidebar?  Be sure to check us out for your blog and web design needs.  And don't forget the coupon code!
  6. Wordpress.  'nuf said.
  7. Bought the new Sarah Palin book.  Haven't started it, but I'm excited to read it.  Did you all see her interview on Oprah?
  8. Speaking of Oprah, can you believe her show is going off the air in September 2011.  I don't watch it that often, and honestly, I'm not a huge fan, but still!  She's been doing that show almost as long as I've been alive.  (I said, almost...)

Well, I'd better get back to all the things that are keeping me from reading your blogs.  UGH!  I promise I'll read them all.  Happy Friday!

My wish list...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not my Christmas wish list, just my overall wish list.  Although I absolutely love Christmas - it's my favorite holiday (see HERE and HERE) - I just can't talk Christmas before Thanksgiving.

So, what do I want, you ask?  Well, other than world peace, here are few suggestions for the powers-that-be:

  • Online shopping to come to my grocery store, like Erin tweeted about.  Would that not be the bombdiggity??  OMG I can't even think about it for very long because it makes me sad that I still have to spend hours of my life each week walking the aisles... UGH!
  • I've mentioned this before, but one day, they will be mine.

  • Sipping a fruity drink while laying by the pool HERE.  My parents are on a cruise in Hawaii and they're torturing me with pictures.  I'm glad they're having a great time, but since I couldn't squeeze myself into their luggage, I'm a tad jealous.

  • Wishing Taylor's blankie hadn't gone missing.  He doesn't need it, but for some reason I was thinking about it last night and got really sad.  It's the blanket that he had ever since he was a baby - and never slept without it.  I just wish I had it to keep, but it's gone.  And I'm sad.  See how much he loved this thing?

  • Sarah Palin's book.  I'm very intrigued.  I watched the Oprah interview last night and was quite impressed that Oprah didn't "bash" her.  I thought it was a good interview.  Now I want to read the book.  And I don't read.  I mean, I can read (obviously), I just don't have time, therefore I usually don't.

And that's all for today.  What are you wishing for?

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THE Stephanie
I’m Stephanie - wife to one extremely handsome cop; mother to two extremely silly kids. The hubs and I have been married since February ’99. I love him more each day and simply can’t get enough of him. My daughter, Ashton, is 12 going on 17. She’s beautiful, creative, smart, and oh, so sassy. Taylor, our son, is 8 and is so much like his daddy it’s scary. He makes me laugh all the time with the silly things he says and does. He won’t remember what you told him 5 minutes from now, just like his daddy. I love to laugh and spend time with friends and family. I’ve also recently discovered a love for cooking and enjoy sharing recipes. I love finding new blog friends, so be sure to leave a comment so I can do the same!
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