Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back at 2011

2011 can probably go down in the books as the best year of my life.  I've been happy before, but never as happy as I've been throughout this year.  There have been struggles and bad days here and there, but 2011 has really been a wonderful year!  Just like I did last year in this post, I'm going to look back over our last year month by month.

--We had lots of snow. 
--Brandon and Emily got married.
--I marveled at only having 99 days until Aniston's due date.

--The highlight of February was the 4D ultrasound!
--We celebrated Valentine's Day by attending our first childbirth class.

--On March 13 I wrote this post about having 31 days until Aniston's due date.  Little did we know....
--I went for my appointment on Wednesday, March 23 and was put on bed rest.  Before we went home that day, I went to Hobby Lobby and grabbed a lamp I'd had my eye on for the nursery.  That was the last thing I would buy before I was a mommy to an outside baby!
--On March 25 our precious miracle arrived via emergency c-section at 37 weeks due to preeclampsia.  It was truly the best day of our lives.  I laughed and Bradley and Kesha cried--just like our wedding day!  You can revisit Aniston's birth story here and here.

--I celebrated my 27th birthday on the same day we celebrated Aniston's one-week birthday.  I love that our birthdays are exactly one week apart!
--Aniston's first ER visit was on April 20.  So very scary--not a fun day at all.

--We celebrated with Brandon and Emily at their second wedding.  This was the first time we'd left Aniston with anyone for any length of time.

--My nephew, Colton, was born! 
--I went back to work for a few teacher workdays at the end of school. 
--We took Aniston to the beach for the first time at the end of the month.

--After much crying, praying, and thinking, I gave up on pumping.  Turns out, that was the best decision.
--Bradley and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary!

--Bradley turned 30!
--A new school year started. 

--We celebrated Aniston's half-birthday!

--We went to the pumpkin patch.
--We went to a Halloween party.
--We had fun taking Aniston trick-or-treating for the first time!
--All of our October fun is recorded here.

--We celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family of three.  We went to Bradley's parents' for lunch and then hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house for my family.
--We went to the mountains to get a Christmas tree.  It was a perfect day--beautiful and sunny, not too cold.  We enjoyed spending the time together and had lunch at a little Italian restaurant. 
--Aniston started crawling at the very end of the month!

--Aniston started pulling up and crawling really well.
--We celebrated Aniston's first Christmas.  We had so much fun with family and friends!
--I was off work for Christmas break.  Aniston and I had lots of fun getting ready for Christmas.  After Christmas was over, Bradley took a couple of days off and we spent time together as a family.  When Bradley went back to work, Aniston and I spent the rest of the week shopping and going to lunch with friends. 

It had been such an amazing, beautiful year! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Aniston's First Christmas

Wow, we've been busy!  Our weekend was filled with lots of Christmas fun.  We started on Christmas Eve at 1pm and didn't stop until around 10pm on Christmas Day.  Aniston was just an absolute joy the whole time, of course.  I had worried that she would be tired and fussy, but I think the excitement kept her going! 

On Christmas Eve we gathered with my dad's extended family for lunch.  We've always done this, and it's always so nice to see family we haven't seen in a while.  (Some we haven't seen since last Christmas.) 

After lunch we hurried home, grabbed presents and food, and headed to our next place--Bradley's parents' house to celebrate Christmas with his mom's side of the family.  We had lots of fun there!  Aniston and Colton love to play together.  While we were opening presents, Aniston pulled up on Bradley's shoulder (we were sitting in the floor), let go, and stood all by herself for about twenty seconds! 
Tags are her favorite!

Colton is such a happy baby!

After we left there, we went to Mamaw Louise and Papaw Coy's for more Christmas fun with my dad's immediate side of the family.  Mamaw and Papaw are constantly spoiling Aniston, and she left their house with a ton of stuff.  Her favorie thing was a Red Rider wagon (complete with two seats, seatbelts, and cupholders--wagons have really changed since I was little!). 
This hat reminds me of Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation--our favorite Christmas movie.  Ha!

Opening presents!

Wagon fun!


After we left Mamaw and Papaw's, it was well past Aniston's bedtime.  We put her to sleep, and then Santa got to work!  We had lots of fun putting together toys--and playing with them.  Santa brought toys, a big coat for when it snows, clothes, books, and a new carseat.  Her stocking was filled with puffs and a new sippy cup.  Once she saw the puffs, it was all over!  She wasn't interested in anything else!  Ha! 

My favorite thing we gave her was a board book, The Night You Were Born.  I cried in the bookstore when I read it, and tear up every time I read it to her.  It is so, so precious! 

After we finished opening presents, we hosted a breakfast for both sides of our family.  We usually go to my parents for breakfast on Christmas morning, but this year we decided to start a new tradition since we have Aniston now.  It was so wonderful to have everyone together!

At lunch we gathered at Mamaw Ruth and Papaw Burl's house with my mom's side.  Aniston was a little fussy, but still did pretty well.  Our family is so big.  The house was packed!

With cousins Angela and Abigail.  Aniston was after the toy Abigail had!

After that we were able to relax for a little while.  Aniston took a nap and Bradley and I watched part of Christmas Vacation.  After Aniston woke up, we played outside wit her new wagon and spent a little time with my parents, Mamaw Louise, and Papaw Coy. 

At 6 we headed to Bradley's cousin's house to visit with Bradley's dad's side.  Colton and Aniston were able to play together again.  Aniston showed off her crawling and pulling up skills. 

After that, we dropped by my parents' house to see Eric before he went back to Charlotte. 

Then--finally!--we were finished!  It was a busy but fun Christmas!  We are blessed to have so many places to go and such a wonderful family!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Too cold and dark to go outside?  Then we'll go for a wagon ride inside! 
 (Somebody has their daddy wrapped around their little finger!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Morning

Mary's Song

And Mary said:

"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name.  His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.  He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.  He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever even as he said to our fathers."

-Luke 1:46-55

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Recap 12/12

I love the Christmas season, but, boy, it's a busy time of year!  Our weekends have been busy since Thanksgiving, and it's only going to get worse.  I'm not complaining--I love all the time spent with family and friends.  It's just busy, that's all.

On Saturday we went to Emma's sixth birthday party.  (Emma is Bradley's cousin.)  We had a great time!  Aniston loves being around people.  She is already such a ham!  Jessica and Colton were at the party.  The babies passed the time reaching for each other and trying to take the other's toys.  They're so cute together, and I'm sure they'll be great friends as they get older.  I love that they're so close in age!  Christmas is going to be lots of fun this year.

We missed church on Sunday.  We hurried to get everything and everyone ready, but as soon as we put Aniston's dress on she fell asleep.  We were going to be pushed for time anyway so we decided to just let her sleep.  We went to a family reunion (Bradley's mom's side of the family) for lunch.  After that we headed to Hickory to see Santa!    Aniston absolutely loved him!  She touched and talked to him and did lots of beard pulling.  At one point, Santa said, "Honey, I'm real."  Ha!  When it was time for us to go, he had to pry her little fingers off his beard.  It was so precious. 

All in all, it was a busy but fun weekend!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Morning

But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure. 

Psalm 71:14

Friday, December 9, 2011

A New Start for the Blog

At the end of the summer, our laptop died.  I wasn't blogging regularly before then (I'm using the new baby excuse for that), but I have blogged even less since.  We had a desktop computer, but it just wasn't as convenient to use as the laptop.  (Even as I type that I realize how ridiculous it sounds.  It's true though.) 

This week our desktop went the way of the laptop.  It was older (Bradley bought it around the time we started dating), so it wasn't unexpected.  We had talked about getting a new laptop for a long time, and this gave us the excuse to go ahead and spend the money without feeling guilty.  Bradley shopped around and found a fantastic deal on fantastic of a deal that he bought two.  For the first time since college, I have a computer of my very own!  I'm not sure why that's so exciting, but it is. 

I think this means a new start for the blog.  As with everything else, I have to have a plan.  I want to assign topics to a few days of the week so that it's easier to know what to write.  (I have such a hard time deciding what to blog about.  Once I finally decide, I start writing but then run out of time and never come back to it.)

Sunday (two posts): Sunday Morning (morning post) and Weekend Recap (evening post)
Wednesday: Wordless Wednesday
Friday: Weekly Randoms

Hopefully this will mean that I'll post at least three times a week.  We'll see how it goes!  Free time is scarce these days, but blogging is something I really like to do.  I hope I'll find time to do it more often.