Monday, December 28, 2009

Then We Headed East

Well we actually headed North but it was to the East house to celebrate Christmas with my family! After naptime we went to my parents house for some fun with them and my brother and Kelly! It was so much fun. Here are some pictures...

There were TONS of presents!! I am talking about TONS. We all went a little overboard with the presents this year.

It was so great to have Kelly and Andrew home for the week. They finally got to meet Kate. They bought her so many wonderful clothes! I can't wait for her to wear them all. Here they are showing off some of the clothes.

By this point Ben was really getting the hang of present opening so he had a blast!!

Kate pretty much slept through all the fun!

We had an awesome meal of appetizers! It was so great and my mom did an awesome job as always of making it look so pretty.

Kate and Granna

Granddaddy and Ben
Andrew got a snuggie from Kelly's dad so I had to put a picture of him in it (I promised him I would)

I of course had to get in on the snuggie action. I just don't get what the big deal is. I prefer my afghan any day

Ben showing off his Batman PJs!

As you can tell we had a wonderful Christmas! It was so great spending it with family and friends. Now it is on to the hard part of rearranging the whole house to fit all the new stuff!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day...

(We sang this carol in church a couple of weeks ago and since then it has been stuck in our heads so I thought I would make in the title)

Christmas morning dawned and was full of fun. It was the 4 of us ripping into all the presents from Santa and each other! Great fun! We enjoy checking everything out and eating a fun breakfast together. I love our quiet family morning.

Ben didn't quite get the whole Christmas = presents concept before this morning so he didn't wake up early. Both the kiddos were still asleep and Matt and I were sitting in the living room waiting to open presents at 7:30. I know that was probably the last year of that. Next year I am sure we will be up at the crack of dawn! Here are some pictures of the morning...

All the Santa loot! These must have been some good kids!
Ben checking out what he got. He loved his scooter and shopping cart.
But his favorite was the $4 Matchbox cars!

Kate with all her goodies! She got a play mat, a Bumbo, a penguin and a monitor!

Matt opening his stocking. He loved his Batman PJ pants!

Ben riding his scooter with a dumb dumb in his mouth. What you can get away with on Christmas morning!

Then it was on to opening presents...

Ben thanking Kate for the DVD that she got him.

Ben sporting his Lighting McQueen bedroom shoes.

Mommy with her socks Ben got for her. That is what I told him I wanted and he told Matt and they went and bought them.
Family picture

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

We had a great Christmas Eve! It was a quiet day at home for us. Then that evening we went to the Vesper Service at church. It is a nice time to focus in on the real meaning of the season. Each year we deliver "blessing baskets" after the service. These are basket of goodies the church prepares for people who have to work on Christmas. We usually take one up to the floor where Matt works at the hospital. After that, we stop at the local Chinese restaurant (it is the only place open on Christmas Eve) to pick up some dinner. We come home and eat it around the coffee table and then have a birthday party for Jesus. It is such a fun night for us full of traditions that help us think about what the true meaning of Christmas is!

Ben and I made cupcakes for our birthday party for Jesus this year. They turned out really cute.

Here we are singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Ben had been practicing all day.

Baby Kate and Mama!

Kate hanging out under the tree. Kate did great going to church and to the hospital. She rode in her new sling and loved it.

At the vesper service, the pastor tells the Christmas story to all the children up front. Ben did great sitting and listening. You can see him on the far left in the picture.

Matt and Ben with our Blessing Baskets!
Eating our yummy Chinese food from China Cook!
Ben leaving his cookies and milk for Santa.

Meeting Brad and LeeAnn

We were excited on Tuesday night for Kate to finally get to meet LeeAnn and Brad. We got together for dinner with them and our friends Jonathan and Jennifer. It is always fun to get together and just hang out and talk! We had so much fun. I thought I would share some pictures from the evening. You can also check out Brad and LeeAnn's blog for more pics (The Wright Family).

Our kiddos with "Uncle Brad and Aunt LeeAnn"

LeeAnn and Kate! It was great for Kate to get to meet who she shares a name with! We can't wait for baby Paige to get here. Kate and Paige are going to best buddies we just know it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

29 and Holding!

I celebrated my 29th birthday on Monday! It was a wonderful day. Ben woke up early that morning and told me happy birthday. He then climbed into bed with us and when Kate woke up she joined us. It was fun to have my whole family together!! Then I got to go have a massage which was wonderful. Then that night we went to my parents house and had a party. It was great!!!

I think it maybe my last birthday for a while! 29 sounds like a good age to stay. My 20's have been great and I don't really want to leave them behind. But I guess life doesn't work that way so I will just enjoy my last year in my 20's!

Hanging with my beautiful kiddos

My sister in law Kelly has a birthday 4 days after Christmas so we shared the party! I am so glad to have her as part of our family.

Baby Kate in her cute birthday outfit for mama!

My favorite cake in the world is a strawberry cake from Edgar's bakery in Birmingham. Matt searched all over the area and finally found one in Athens so he drove all way there to pick it up for me. It was yummy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas with the Eckleys

We celebrated Christmas with Matt's side of the family on Friday night. It was a little early but with all our busy schedules it was the only time that we could find that worked (we were still missing Aunt Joanna but she was getting to be with her family for the birth of her nephew!) It was a great time. Good dinner and then fun time opening presents and watching Ben play! Here a few shots from the evening.

Uncle Brett and Kate

Ben checking out his awesome book from Brett and Joanna. It has cars that race around tracks.
Mema and Kate

Matt checking out his loot! He got a great jacket and some work clothes and some Wii games. Just the stuff he likes.

Opa in his bike helmet. We got him a bike!

Big umbrella for me! I need it now with 2 kiddos and all the rain we have been having. I also got an awesome coat, some books and other fun things!

Opa and Kate

Ben got lots and lots and lots of Batman stuff!!!! He was so excited. And all we have been doing since then is playing Batman!!!

Kate got some beautiful bows from Brett and Joanna and lots of diapers from Mema and Opa! Just what she needs.

It was a great start to the family holiday festivities! Lots more to come!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

14 Years Ago

14 years ago today a great guy asked if he could come over to my house and bring me lunch for my birthday. Little did we know where we could be 14 years later!

December 20, 1995 was our very first date. Matt was 16 years old and I was 14 (hence why he had to come to my house and we didn't go out). He brought over Chick-fil-A and we watched a movie. Good times. He also gave me the world's worst birthday present - a book of 100 ways to torture your cat. It is surprising I let him stay around! I often think about how it wasn't my plan to meet the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with at 14 but hey it happened and truth be told it worked out pretty well! Just a couple of more years and we have been married for as long as we dated. It is pretty amazing to me that I have now been with Matt for 1/2 my life!! And it has been wonderful! He is an amazing husband and now an amazing father! Love you Matt! Happy Dating Anniversary!

I didn't have any pictures on my computer of when we first started dating but here we are looking really young (and skinny!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas Ho Ho!

Thursday night we took Ben to Santa's Village to meet the big guy in red. He was very excited to see him. We had been asking him what he was going to tell Santa and he kept saying "Merry Christmas Ho Ho!" He calls Santa Ho Ho so I thought it was cute that is what is wanted to tell him! Here are some pictures from the outing!
Decorating a Christmas cookie
He is very into penguins so he liked having his picture made with the penguin.

Santa!!! We thought we were being smart this year and going on a Thursday night so the line wouldn't be as long as last year. Everyone must have had that idea because we waited about 1 hour and 45 minutes. At least it wasn't too cold! I thought the pictures turned out cute!
Ben told Santa he wanted some cars for Christmas.

Driving Santa's sleigh
Ben is also very into snowmen this year. His favorite book to read is called "Snowmen at Christmas." So here is Ben as a snowman!

Checking out Santa's reindeer!