Christmas 2010: Part four.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day is always spent with Joey's mom and grandparents.  We always load up the gifts and head to the grandparents for yummy lunch and presents.

And since the kids can't be expected to wait through lunch to open presents, they dug in almost as soon as we walked through the door.

I'm sure you didn't see any of this coming.

Wrestlers? What??

Thankfully, he was just as excited about his remote control police car.  (Joey is attempting to brainwash him.  I think it's working.)

And for Ashton...

Umm... I don't remember ever getting a $50 bill for Christmas when I was 11! What gives?!?

Nothing has ever been more true.

We had a great time celebrating and relaxing with Joey's family until he had to head off to work.  At least I had him for half a day, right?

All in all, we had a wonderful Christmas.  We celebrated with all of the family and the kids have already dubbed this the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Until next year...

Christmas 2010: Part three.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Although Ashton makes it very clear that she does not believe in Santa Claus, Taylor still does.  I love the magic of Santa and I will be very sad when Taylor stops believing.

But since Taylor still believes, we had to set out cookies, milk, and carrots (for Rudolph, of course) before bed.

Sure enough, when we got up on Saturday, this is what we found:

The next thing we found was this:

Santa brought both of the kids an iPod Touch!  I think you can tell that Taylor was excited.

The kids both absolutely loved them and have not put them down since Christmas morning.  From games to music to pictures - they are in heaven.  And Taylor is turning out to be quite the paparazzi, so you better watch out!

Seriously love these kids.

Christmas 2010: Part two.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Eve was a little bitter sweet for me this year.  It was the first of many, I'm sure, that I'll spend without Joey.  Although I love all of my family and truly enjoyed our time together, I missed Joey.

We did manage to snap a few pics before Joey headed to work, though.

When Joey left for work, the kids and I headed over to my parents (where we always spend Christmas Eve).  We unloaded all of the presents and food and then headed to church.

After church, it was back to the house to answer the question "Is it time to open presents?" about a million times.  As a parent, it's a bit frustrating, but I do remember being a kid and the anticipation was a killer!!

So, without further adieu... the gifts!

We draw names for my side of the family, so everyone is only responsible for one gift.  Well, except my parents, because they can't NOT give the grandkids a gift, right?!?

My parents gave Ashton to cutest photo scrapbook frame.  (It's a magnetic frame, kind of, so it's really easy to change out the pictures.)  She loved it and can't wait to hang it up in her new room.

And for Taylor, how about a punching bag and some boxing gloves?

Although it looks like my dad is pleading for his life, it really is just the picture.  He was being a great punching buddy for Taylor to practice with.

There were also plenty of iTunes gift cards, cash, and candy to go around.  I'd say it was a successful Christmas Eve.

Christmas 2010: Part one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I really don't understand how it's almost 2011, but I guess there's really nothing I can do about that. Christmas just came and went and I feel like I need to sit down.

Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe it.

We celebrated Christmas with Joey's dad on Wednesday and had a great time. Great food, great company, and great presents! (Of course!)

You already know that Taylor's favorite thing these days is wrestling. As soon as we got to the house, Taylor decided to show Hugo some moves.

Hugo and Lynda were right on with their gifts, too!

Yep, that's a WWE World Championship Belt.  Taylor was in heaven... although this particular picture might lead you to think otherwise.  I think he was trying to be tough.

Taylor was also super excited to get this:

He's been wanting a Ripstick for a while now, so telling you he was excited is a major understatement.

Christmas this year for Ashton was quite different.  Last year, she was all about Littlest Pet Shop.  This year, she's no longer into toys and is all about clothes, make up, hair, and nails.  It's amazing how much things change in just a year.

Lynda picked out a giant gift basket from Bath & Bodyworks and  Ashton LOVED it.  Now I'm just trying to get her to understand that 5 squirts of body spray, every 5 minutes, is a bit much.  Pray for me.

She also really loved her Target gift card! Like mother like daughter, Target is one of her favorite stores.

Although Ashton is a lot like me, she's always been (and still is) a daddy's girl.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Taylor's favorite thing these days is wrestling.  I'm talking WWE on TV, WWE video games, wrestling action figures - it's pretty much all he talks about.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard on the radio late last week that WWE Smackdown was coming to San Antonio.  The commercial wasn't even over before I had gone online and purchased tickets.  I was so flippin' excited because I knew that Taylor would just be beside himself.

Which he was.

It started at 6:30 last night, but at 3pm, Taylor called Joey and told him he needed to hurry home because they needed to leave by 4.  Taylor told Joey that it would take them 2 hours to get there (which it wouldn't - and where did he even get that?!?) and then they would only have to wait 30 minutes!!  Taylor had been dressed and ready to go since 1 o'clock.

This was the scene as Taylor and Joey were leaving last night.

I think it's safe to say he was excited.

When they got to the dome, Joey bought Taylor some souveniers.

Unbeknownst to me, I actually got really good tickets!  I was texting Joey all night (because I was secretly jealous that he got to experience all of Taylor's excitement) and he said they had great seats and could see everything perfectly!

John Cena

Now that's one happy boy!

(BTW, as I'm typing this, Taylor is currently re-telling me everything that happened last night, word for word, while showing me John Cena's signature moves - The Attitude Adjustment and The Five Knuckle Shuffle.  I love this boy!)

Christmas came early!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

(BTW, thank you all so much for your nice compliments on our Christmas card. Y'all are so sweet!)

Christmas came early for us yesterday when we closed on the sale of our house!

Oh my goodness, I was a nervous wreck all day yesterday.  I don't know why.  I mean, our house was in great shape and (unfortunately) the buyers got a great deal, but I guess I was just waiting for something to go wrong.

But, nothing did and we closed at 3pm yesterday! 

It's a bit strange, though.  That was our first house and when we moved in in May of 2002, Ashton was only 2 and a half.  A year and a half later, Taylor was born and that is the only house he's ever known.  We had some great times in that little house, but it seemed to just get smaller and smaller and it was time to move on. 

After closing, we took my MIL (who we moved in with since we're now homeless) to see the new house.  She hadn't seen it since it was just a slab!

Oh my goodness I'm so flippin' excited!!  I just absolutely love it.  Everything about it!

Christmas card 2010.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I think that by now, everyone has gotten their card in the mail, so it should be safe to share.

I always get our cards through Shutterfly, so this year, I was totally pumped to get in on the 50 free cards!  Who doesn't love free this time of year?!?

I usually like to use collage-type cards, because I can never choose just one picture, but when we got the proofs back from our family shoot in November, I knew this was the one.  I love it!

Gifting. And Stephanie cooks: Chewy Chocolate Turtles.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last night, Ashton and I worked on gifts for her and Taylor's teachers. I needed to keep it simple because I've been so swamped lately that I knew if I tried to get too involved, my head would explode.  And no one needs that.

So we made Chewy Chocolate Turtles.  They are super easy and super yummy! 

I had picked up a few cute Christmas tins at HEB and we were set! Aren't they cute?!?

Chewy Chocolate Turtles

What you need:

  • Tiny twist pretzels
  • Rolos
  • Pecan halves

How you make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Enlist your child (or husband - ANYONE!) to help you unwrap ungodly amounts of Rolos chocolates.
  3. Lay pretzels out on cookie sheet and set one Rolo in the center of each pretzel.
  4. Bake for 3 minutes - no longer.
  5. Press a pecan half into the center of each melted Rolo.
  6. Cool in the refrigerator until firm before serving.

Pajama day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today is pajama day at the kids school.  Every year they watch The Polar Express and drink hot chocolate in their jammies.

Both the kids happily rolled out of bed this morning, knowing they didn't have to change their clothes.  Oh to be a kid again.

(This is where you pretend that there are acceptable blog-worthy pictures.  Unfortunately, there aren't.)

And just for fun, this is how I found Taylor last night when it was time for bed.

He made his own little cocoon.

Ashton's birthday trilogy. Plus one. Part two.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Birthday parties are not my forte.  In fact, they stress me out way more than they should.  But this year, I hit a home run.

Several weeks ago, Ashton and I were discussing what she wanted to do for her birthday party when all of the sudden it just came to me.  "Ashton, how about we keep it small and you invite 3 or 4 of your friends to a party at the mall?  I'll take you girls to La Cantera, we can eat pizza at Grimaldi's, ice cream at Marble Slab, and then y'all can just wonder around the mall and look at clothes?  What do you think?"

Wait for it...

"Mom!  That's the best party ever!  That's what grown ups do, right?"

And that's all it took.  She was pumped out of her mind for weeks!  Last Saturday was the big day, so we loaded up the girls and off we went.

They had so much fun posing for pictures outside the mall.  They were living it up!  And I was their own personal paparazzi.

There's a fabulous pizza restaurant at our mall call Grimaldi's.  I went there for my birthday and Ashton has been talking about it ever since.  The girls loved it!

Ashton opened her gifts while we waited for a table.  This is what Joey and I did for her. (Well, really I did it, but Joye paid.)  My friend Kelly came up with the scavenger hunt idea.  Ashton wanted to combine outfit #3 and #4 so after we finished dinner, we were off to shop.

Needless to say, the girls got a little distracted in Claire's when they decided they must have friendship bracelets.  Ashton offered to use part of her birthday money (which I thought was so sweet!) and I paid the rest.  I had so much fun watching them and thinking about the friendship necklaces that I used to have when I was their age.

Of course, when we walked by the huge trees in the center of the mall, all lit up for Christmas, they had to pause for a photo op...

... and several minutes of jumping off the stairs.  They laughed and laughed and had so much fun.  Usually, I would have had a mini panic attack with all the noise and ruckus they were making, but I was super proud of myself - I just let them have fun!

We took a slight break from shopping for some birthday ice cream.

After we finished our shopping, the girls wanted to go back to the middle of the mall (where the stairs were) and "hang out".  They jumped around and sang Christmas carols and laugh until they were sweaty - and it was 40 degrees outside.  I took some video but it's too large to upload.  Trust me, though, it's fabulous!  Just pure, unadulterated fun!

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the final outfit, but trust me again, it was adorable!!  She wore it to school on Monday and her friends loved seeing it all put together.

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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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