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!