Thursday, December 17, 2009

North Pole Nights with Nikki Sivils

After many, many personal posts, I finally have some layouts to share! Yesterday was my day to post over on the Nikki Sivils blog, and share my projects for the month. I thought I'd share them here too.

This month I worked with the North Pole Nights collection, which is a whimsical and playful collection featuring mainly non-traditional Christmas colors. Of course for this first layout I decided to make it as traditional as I could get it.

"A Visit with Santa"

Here I used a lot of the cut-ups, as well as a border punch to give the ledger paper a little oomph. And both the candy cane and year on the tag are accented with red liquid pearl to give them a shiny look.

"Xmas hugs"

For my 2nd layout, I decided to go the non-traditional route, and this picture of C and Gracie from last Christmas seem to fit those colors perfectly. To give the tree some "ornaments" and the flowers centers, I used Nikki's corduroy brads, and really love the look! They add such great depth and texture!

With the craziness of the holidays fully upon us I'm not sure how often I'll get to blog over the coming days. So just to be on the safe side, I want to wish all of you a very happy holiday season and very Merry Christmas!

Breakfast with Santa

A few weeks ago we went to a local restaurant to have breakfast with Santa. This is a fundraising event for our local Christian radio station, and so while we're not 100% sure how far we'll push the Santa-bit, we DO like to go to the breakfast to support them. Sooo, even though it was SNOWING outside, we loaded up the girls and went and ate pancakes and bacon with Santa.

Last year, they didn't have a formal picture-taking spot or really a place where kids could even sit on Santa's lap. But this year it was different.

Both girls told him what they wanted.
Sarah Kate was short and sweet. She wants a baby doll.
She ALWAYS wants a baby doll. (I bet we end up with 40.)

Caroline was prepared with her list.
And she kept talking, and talking, and talking....
I thought she'd never stop!
In fact, I was a little embarrassed by all that she wanted.

Then it was a quick hug and we told Santa goodbye.

Or so I thought.
Caroline started walking toward me, stopped mid-way, and exclaimed,
"WAIT! I forgot something!"
I just rolled my eyes. Completely embarrassed this time.
Santa was quite patient. More so than I would've been.

Overall, a nice outing. I was glad we did it and were able to support J103 too. Luckily the snow wasn't completely gone by the time we were finished!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I didn't forget. Promise.

I just didn't quite get around to it. In fact, I kinda just moped around the house all day yesterday dreading this post. And just a warning, this isn't the happiest of posts. You may even want a tissue, if you choose to keep reading. But then I want to remember and be intentional too, so no apologies.

Yesterday was Dec. 14th, the one dark spot on our Christmas calendar every year. You see 3 years ago (has it been that long already?) I had major and critical in-utero (however that's spelled) surgery in an attempt to save both the twins' lives. Sarah Kate was showing signs of congestive heart failure, and Claire had very little amniotic fluid in her sac. Both were the result of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

The surgery went well, the ultrasound 24hrs. later showed that both girls were doing well, but little did we know that that was the last time we would "see" our little Claire. She didn't make it to the 48 hr. ultrasound, which was on Dec. 14th. So each year I mark that day as my day to remember.

To remember what might have been.
To remember to hug my Sarah Kate just a wee bit tighter and longer.
To remember to thank God for His faithfulness, His protection, and His provision.

-His faithfulness, in that He remained true to His promise that "I'll never leave you or forsake you."
-His protection, in that Josh and I drove back and forth to Cincinnati two different times, through rain and snow, and were safe. (We Southerners usually don't drive well in snow and ice.)
-His provision, in that we had a $25,000 surgery and because we'd already met our deductible, only paid a $15 co-pay for it. Of course we had other medical bills, but that one still blows me away.

We were especially blessed during that time. Many people reached out to us, some of whom I still don't even know, and it was one time where I could almost literally feel the hand of God working through His people. And as hard as it is to remember, I don't want to forget.

This is one of the lasting mementos we have of our Baby Claire.
We lost her at 20 weeks, so these footprints are barely an inch long.

I cherish them.
I always will.
And I won't forget.

For so many different reasons, I won't forget.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow! We got SNOW!!!

We woke up Saturday morning to a (thin) white blanket of SNOW! We never get snow, so it was such a treat to wake up to its beauty and get bundled up and play! (And I'm not going to apologize for the MANY snow pics. I never get a chance to take snow pictures!) We actually had other plans for Saturday morning, so we had to squeeze in some snow play before we headed off to our breakfast with Santa.

Caroline, of course, absolutely loved it! We had to hold her back from getting soaking wet before breakfast. My favorite quote from her was, "It's snowing! It's Christmas! It's snowing!" (And then later when it melted she sighed, "Awww, it's not Christmas anymore. The snow's melting.") We're working on straightening that thinking out.

Little Bit, however, wasn't as sure about snow as her big sister. It reminded me of the 1st time you put a baby on grass...she just didn't know what to think of it. And she definitely didn't understand what all the squealing was about.

She warmed up to it a little before we left, but not much.

After our breakfast with Santa, we headed over to our friends house to sled down their hill. Of course, by that time the snow was already melting. But hey, we did what we could!

Yes, it was a fun, fun day! And a good nap with a fun TIDE football game later on made it all the better! Oh, and as the snow started to melt, Sarah Kate decided she LIKED the snow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving recap in pictures

So I'm a wee bit behind. Since Thanksgiving we've been busy hanging out with family, getting our Christmas decorations out and up, and preparing for the Advent season. So here's a quick rundown of Thanksgiving day, which we spent in Calhoun, GA at Josh's aunt and uncle's house.

The (bigger) kids' table

I can't find the picture of the littlest kids' table. No, come to think of it, the littlest kids wouldn't stay still long enough for me to GET a picture.

Em and SK (my fave shot of the day)

And then we hung out on the backporch most of the afternoon, so these photos are of the people who were out there with us. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of everyone who was at the Plummer family Thanksgiving. And while editing I realized that I didn't even get a shot of Grandmother and Pop. Sad. But in total there were 20 adults, and 9 kids who ranged in age from 11 yrs. to 19 mo. (And usually there's more of us.)

Emily and Tim (minus their kiddos)

Josh and Bobby

Sharon and Sarah cuddling under a blanket

Sharon and Aunt Sandy

Not the greatest shot, but I love that it captured the laughter.

Quite possibly a new tradition of roasting s'mores on Thanksgiving.

Ben and Mike

Except this is what happens when Aunt Sandy makes her own marshmellows.

They melt in your hand. literally.

And one little girl is very confused and disappointed because she's sticky. "Heeey! This isn't how marshmellows do!"

Daddy made it all better.

We're thankful for such a large family. It's always a lot of fun when all the cousins get together and start telling stories! :D Thank you Aunt Sandy and Uncle Tommy for hosting such a wonderful family get together!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Gift of Family

Thinking of things I'm thankful for this week, but of course I'm thankful for them always, and I wanted to share a couple of those.

1. First up is a the Gift of Family. Not just the LO, but the actual gift of having a family. A husband who loves me despite all my flaws, one very creative and very outgoing little girl who's mission it is to dress up in a different Princess dress every single day, and another little girl who's more shy and reserved until you know her but then incredibly funny and cuddly too. Yes, I'm most definitely thankful for my family.

Monday, November 16, 2009

WHAT a great weekend!

Wow! That seriously was one of the best weekend's I've had in a LONG time! It was just so much fun! :D Josh and I went to Oxford to see the Rebels play Tennessee. That game's always a little tricky because it dictates the mood of the following week. If WE win, then we have a great week rubbing it in to all our TN friends. But if we LOSE then we have to hear it over and over and over....there's just so many of them! But as it turns out it was a GREAT game (for us). And it looks like it'll be a great week! :D

The final score was 42-17. At one point I even got a little bored watching (but not too bored of course), so I started playing around with my camera. And it's a good thing! I ended up with some shots that I'm REALLY happy with!

Dexter McCluster's big run (later named Nat'l. Player of the Week)

He ran right past us, and I had my camera in hand!

Tennessee's field goal attempt THAT WE BLOCKED!

The massive UM flag in front of the TN section

And then tailgating in the Grove.

But it's more than just tailgating. Everyone sets up these tents at 5am, and it's wall to wall people. Women hang candelabras, order catering for massive feasts, bring out their best serving pieces and display HUGE floral centerpieces of red and blue roses. It's tailgating like no other. And it's one of my favorite places to be. I love Oxford, the Grove, and all things Ole Miss.

Other great highlights of our trip were:

1. Not having to break in to Dennis's house Friday night, but seeing/hanging out with him instead.
2. Running into Mitchell & Gigi, Shea & Terry, and Filly in the Grove. We all got to catch up, chat, reminisce and enjoy each other's company.
3. Touring the Phi Mu house and seeing all its amazing renovations. Oh MY it was beautiful! And memories came FLOODING back! (and made me feel REALLY old)
4. Eating at Old Venice, the place of our first date. And then getting to order my absolute FAVE--crawfish pizza!!! Only in Mississippi can you find such a delectable treat! (okay, maybe Louisiana too, but still it's the best!)
5.Nice QUIET drives to and from Oxford! At one point Josh and I just enjoyed the silence and being together. Funny the little things you appreciate after having kids.
6. Seeing the excitement on the girls' faces when we came to pick them up. That's always a warm fuzzy feeling too. As much as it nice is to get away, it's just as nice to know you're loved and missed by the kiddos.

Overall FANTASTIC weekend! I can't wait to do it again next year! Thanks Sarah and Mike! Next year we won't plan it for the same weekend as Charity Ball. ;) And thanks Mom and Jim for keeping the kids! ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's been a sad sad week around this house.

For the last 10 days or so, we've been without a "bonkie" aka blankie for Caroline. It's been so heartbreaking to tuck her in bed each night and remind her that we haven't found it yet. So so sad. At one point she even said, "Mommy, I don't want to use Baby Kate's and pwetend it's mine. I want MY bonkie." Sad. Pathetic. Heart-wrenching. We've called to see if we'd left it anywhere. We've turned the house upside down searching for it. I even told a friend the other day that I was thinking about just replacing it even though it wouldn't be the same. And ironically, about 2 weeks ago I'd taken these pictures of her with it in anticipation of a "love" layout. But since then, I haven't had the heart to scrap them.

Well today, yes today, WE FOUND IT!!!!! WOOOOHOOOOOO! I had no clue how much that tattered smelly old blanket meant to her...and me. We did the happy dance when we found it! :D And to top it all off, we found 2 missing library books too! Oh yeah! It's a good day here! :D :D :D Baby girl is ecstatic, and Mommy's happy too! :D

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A couple SK layouts and a thank you

I've been scrapping a lot lately and I finally get to share. Thanks to tropical storm Ida, we've had a LOT of rain that's kept me from taking pictures of my work. But not any longer!

I'm still working on "catching up" on Sarah Kate's pages. I do a really good job, I think, of taking just as many pictures of her as I do Caroline. Scrapping them is a whole different story. And so later in life instead of hearing "Mom, you didn't take as many pictures of me!" as most younger siblings exclaim, I'm going to hear, "Mom you didn't scrapbook as many layouts for me!" Sooo, I'm trying to remedy that. Here are 2 that happen to be 2 new favorites of mine.

For this 1st one, I called it "Tell me" because I want her to tell me WHEN she got so big!!! (I'm not a fan of the growing UP part of growing up.)

Sketch by Becky Fleck, but then I think I kinda deviated so far from it that I probably could claim it as my own. At what point can you do that? Whatever the case, I originally started out with her sketch in mind. The creative process just overtook it.

This one's "Grateful". I did it from a challenge over at Treasured Scrapbooking. It's a little simpler than I usually do, but then it also only took me 30 min. to do it! I just LOVE it when creativity hits, and a page just flies together! So fun!

Journaling reads,"SK-I'm so incredibly grateful that God chose to spare you from a horrific pregnancy and keep you as one of our family." Obviously there's a much longer story to that, but now's not the time. I don't have the emotional energy. But at this time of year when everyone says they're thankful for family, I always think of her and how thankful I am for her. Not that I love her more, or Caroline any less, I'm just exceedingly grateful. "...For He is faithful in all He does." Ps. 33:4

Speaking of faithful, on this Veteran's Day, I want to thank my grandfather John Frank Dail, for not only faithfully serving in our military, but also for serving his wife and family for so many years. Even as I type he's sitting at Grandmother's bedside. He's probably either sleeping or driving her nuts, but still. He's there. He's faithful like that. And there aren't enough words, and "thank you" just doesn't seem to be enough. But I AM thankful, and grateful, and very proud to be his granddaughter.

Thank you to all the other past and present servicemen and women out there too! Thank you for protecting our freedom!

Sorry to end in such an serious sentimental note. I hadn't intended on ending like that. But I hope everyone is have a wonderful mid-week! I'm looking forward to the Grove on Saturday! ;) :D (More on that later.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Been playing with "Mill Street"

I got the latest (and now sold out) Noel Mignon kit last week, and I'm 100% in love. The first few times I pulled the papers out, I just stared at them. They're just so pretty! I didn't want "mess them up" by cutting them! I finally broke down and dove in to some Cosmo Cricket goodness, and now I'm thinking I need more of these papers! Who would've thought that turquoise would be a great Fall color?! But it is! And again, I'm in love. This time it's with CC's Nutmeg. Good grief! And I believe the sermon I/we heard on Sunday was about contentment. Ugh. Tough stuff when it comes to me and paper...Here's what I've done with it so far. I've got another one on my table right now.