Monday, December 31, 2007


I realized this morning that I replied on a blog or 2 from my sister's computer lately (while logged in as her). Oops! Sorry if your blog is one of the ones that I commented on as "emily".

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Tonight I am dog-sitting my brother's dog, Bogey. He is a sweet Golden Retriever, and my dog, Milly, loves it when he comes to visit. Bogey takes medicine... I'm not sure for what, but he does. So, tonight I was looking at his medicine bottle, and these are some of the things that it said...

Bogey K-9 Selke
May cause drowsiness.
Alcohol could intensify the effect.
Use caution when operating a car or dangerous machinery.
May cause dizziness.
Warning: Do not use while you are breast feeding.

I'm sorry, but that is just flat-out funny!

Friday, December 28, 2007

My New Best Friend

His name is Dyson. :)

My parents are visiting this week, and this morning my dad went out to get some dog food and came back with my new best friend. I cried. Really. I did! Admittedly, I have been a bit weepy lately... but a vacuum? Crying over a vacuum?!? I don't even like to clean. But I love... triple love... quadruple love... that my parents surprised me. And truly, we needed a new vacuum cleaner more than you can imagine.

Today I am reminded of when I was a kid and my Granny and Pap would come to visit. My Pap was like a super-man that swooped into the house for the week and fixed things that were broken, and if we needed anything while he was visiting, he was sure to take care of it. He was amazing... the way that he could fix things, and I remember the feeling of being loved and the sense of security that I found in having him and Granny around. Today, my dad was that person all over again for me, and my mom was wonderful as she helped with the housework that seems to pile up on me through the school year. As an adult I have a new-found appreciation for someone bearing my burdens with me. There is nothing like it!

Thanks Mom & Dad for the wonderful, wonderful gift and for being so thoughtful and helpful. I appreciate it - and you - so much!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

To Be Known

There is nothing like being known. Really known. To share unspeakable moments by just exchanging glances. To receive a phone call asking if you are okay. Not because of the things that you have said, but because of the things that you have not. I experienced that yesterday. And for that I am so thankful. At a time when I was feeling very alone, my friend reminded me that I am not. She listened, she shared, she cared. Thank you, friend. As always, thank you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

4 Years

Four years ago today my life changed. I took my first steps of a journey I didn't want to go on. I experienced heartache like I had never known before. Because of that heartache and this journey I have now experienced love like I never had before and for that I am thankful.

On that Christmas 4 years ago, there was a gift from Allie to a baby that she had been dreaming of holding for years. It was a matching outfit and bib and tiny little teddy bear from Baby Gap... mint green because she didn't know if this baby was a new brother or sister. On that Christmas 4 years ago, there was a tiny little stocking hung on our mantel by Jack... the big brother in waiting. Santa filled it with Winnie The Pooh pacifiers that Christmas. Throughout the experience of my miscarriage I would take the baby stocking down, and Jack would find it and put it back up... "for the next baby" "for a new baby" "not for our dead baby", he would say in his little 3-year-old voice.

I never knew how impacting that day four years ago would be. I never knew that I would never have another Christmas and not remember the pajamas I was wearing when it started, the towel that I dried my hands with, the way the bathroom floor felt as I laid on it, the way that I cried as my little boy rode his new bike outside while I laid in bed and tried to save something that I ultimately had no control over. All of it. I remember all of it. Especially at Christmas. I never knew how because of all of this my life would change. I would become a different person. My love would be deeper, my priorities would be different, my relationships would change, my highs would be higher, and I would live with some very low lows.

So, at Christmas, as I remember Jesus' birth, I am extra thoughtful about where He is now and that 2 of my 5 children might be sitting on his lap instead of Santa's. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that He came to this lowly earth to create a way for them to get into his presence and a way for me to join them someday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'll Be Home For Christmas...

Today we had a very different kind of Christmas. Good, but different. This year is "in-law year" for my side of the family and everyone is dispersed between their spouses' families in Livingston & Waco, TX and California. (Corey's mom & siblings live all over the place... Tennessee, Oklahoma, Colorado, Mexico.) We will get together this weekend with my family to celebrate and exchange gifts, so today it was just the 5 of us... our little family... celebrating Christmas.

It all started at 6am this morning. Allie (never the first to awake) was in our room ready to go. Honestly, I am surprised that she beat me up... I am usually bright eyed and bushy tailed on Christmas morning. I have even been known to wake the babies, so we can get things started... I LOVE Christmas morning! Anyway, by 6:15 Allie went to wake the boys and Corey & I got the cameras and coffee ready. The kids were so excited to run downstairs to see what Santa brought! It is always hard to get a good photo of their first glimpses of the tree and all of the loot on Christmas morning, but the expressions on their faces are priceless.

The highlights...
~ The American Girl Doll Of The Year, Nicki, for Allie

~ A bike for Jack

~ A "panano" for Cooper

We spent the next hour or so looking over what Santa brought, going through stockings, and opening gifts from each other. Cooper was so funny as he looked through his stocking. He was very methodical and excited about every little thing... especially the fruit snacks and candy.

~ Mini Cooper cars are a big deal in our family... we point them out every time that we see one on the road. I have started a Mini Cooper car collection for Cooper, and he loved playing with the 2 that he received today.

~ Webkinz... It was only last Christmas that we had never heard of the cute little toys, and the big kids got their first Webkinz. A year later they are still excited about them. Jack gave the reindeer to Allie and Cooper (our little "turtle") gave the turtle to Jack. I LOVE his face in this photo... so excited!

~ When else can a couple wear matching Cowboys PJs besides Christmas? Allie thought that we were embarrassing, but oh well... that is not the first or lsat time that that will happen. We thought that it was fun. :)

~ My best gifts ever!

This afternoon we all went outside to watch Jack ride his new bike. (Yes, were we still in our PJs this afternoon. That is one of the things that I like about Christmas in Texas... watching the kids play with their new toys outside in my pajamas. One year we all played basketball in our PJs on Christmas Day.) While we were outside I got a chance to play with my new toy too... Corey got me a new lens for my camera, and I LOVE it!

We spent the early-afternoon/ evening cleaning up our big breakfast, playing with all of the new toys, talking to family on the phone, preparing dinner, baking pies, and playing with toys some more...

Then, this evening we ate our Christmas dinner. It was hard to make "Christmas dinner" for only 5 people (half of which don't eat much) because there are just some things that you HAVE to eat... or it's not Christmas. We had ham, dressing, cranberry sauce, my potato concoction, Corey's zucchini concoction, "fluff" that Allie loves, & rolls, and I made my Granny's pecan pie for Corey and another pie for me and the kids.

After dinner we were off to the movies (with the rest of our town... I didn't know so many people went to the movies on Christmas!). We saw National Treasure 2. It was great! My favorite part was near the end, in a tense moment, Cooper said to me, "This is a scary movie. Let's get outta heeya!" He actually loved the movie... especially the popcorn and coke!

~ Allie & Cooper wore their new clothes (given to them for Christmas by their daddy) to the movie.

Now we're home... One of us is asleep, one is playing her new Wii game, two of us are playing guitars, and one of us is unwinding on the computer. It is calm and peaceful. I am not sure if I like holidays to be this quiet, but I am adjusting. Christmas has just about come to an end, and I cannot believe it. It was a good day. A different day, but a good day.

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve evening we went to our church's Christmas Eve service then we took the kids out for a nice dinner. Allie has had a few opportunities to eat at nice restaurants, but the boys have not. It was fun to teach Jack all about etiquette... he read the menu as seriously as anyone in the restaurant and even ordered a salad. When we got home, we ended the night by giving the kids their Christmas PJs. My camera battery died before I could get a picture of the kids wearing their new pajamas... they are well documented on Christmas morning though. (photos to come)

~ It is so nice to have another photographer in the family. After many years without photos together, Corey and I are starting to get to say "cheese" at the same time. Thanks Allie. XOXO

~ Merry Kissmas

~ Getting new PJs on Christmas Eve... one of our many traditions.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Remembering 2005

~ Visiting Santa

~ My Babies

~ Our Family at the Selke Christmas

Remembering 2006

~ Before The Nutcracker

~The day that we went to visit Santa

~ Christmas Eve morning

~ Before the Christmas Eve service

A Burrrrrry Cool Day!

We went to the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylord Texan today, and it was so cool... literally. It was around 9 degrees inside of the several rooms that the exhibit was held, and we were inside of those rooms for about an hour and a half. Thankfully, they provided some lovely parkas for everyone, and we brought hats and gloves. But, by the time we finished the exhibit, our faces were red, our noses were running, and some of our parts were numb. :) My favorite part of the exhibit was the huge nativity. It was beyond life-sized and took up an entire room. (The clear glass didn't photograph too well.) Also, we all went on the ice slides at the end of the exhibit, and it was a blast! The whole experience was really fun and so amazing!

Here is something that I found on their website that is interesting....
2,000,000 pounds: amount of ice it takes to create ICE!
400,000: number of visitors who enjoyed ICE! in 2005 and 2006
5,000: number of ICE! blocks hand-carved and transformed into our winter wonderland
40: number of artisans from the City of Harbin (China) Tourism and Development Commission, who sculpt the attraction by hand
34: number of days needed to hand-carve the ICE! display
14,000: total square footage of the unique structure that houses ICE!
9 degrees: the temperature setting for the ICE! structure. The average temperature fluctuates from 14 to 20 degrees, but is always under freezing.
1,400+: number of LED lights frozen within ICE!
3: number of types of ice used in the construction of ICE! - Clear “glass-like” crystal ice – so flawless that it is compared to Waterford Crystal – makes up 80 percent of the sculptures. “White ice” blocks, which are more like compacted snow, make up 15 percent of the sculptures. Colored ice, which contains dyed brilliant colors, is used for highlighting and accenting the remaining 5 percent of the sculptures.

~ Waiting to go through the exhibit

~ Sporting our warm duds

~ Almost everything in these pictures is made of ice. It was really amazing.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mission Accomplished

We did it! The gifts are officially wrapped. A load has been lifted off of my shoulders. It makes it feel so much more exciting and festive to have the presents under the tree. Cooper was asleep when we brought them all downstairs, but Corey & I cannot wait to see his face when he sees them tomorrow. It is so fun being parents!

The best gift of all ~
Since Jack was little bitty he would always set up nativity scenes with everyone looking at Baby Jesus (as opposed to the face-forward approach that I take in nativity set-up). Sometimes I will walk by my grown-up sets and see them changed to "his way", and it just makes me smile. I guess it really does make sense. Everyone was probably looking at the baby in the manger that night... not posing for a photo like I set it up.

And can I just say how much I love Little People? This nativity is a Little People (by Fisher Price) one, and it is one of my favorite things about my Christmas decor. I will set it out when my kids are 25 years old... and older.

Now, on to grocery list making, grocery shopping, cooking and baking. Nothing like last minute, huh?

Visiting Santa & Looking at ICE!

We procrastinated.

Each year we go visit Santa. Usually, we go in middle of the day, in the middle of the week to avoid the crowds... this year, it just didn't work out. (See posts from the previous week.) So today, we were determined...even though it is 2 days before Christmas... even though it is a weekend... to see Jolly Old Saint Nick. Also, we have been trying to go to a local resort hotel that decorates amazingly for Christmas all month. This hotel, The Gaylord Texan, also has an exhibit called "ICE!" that we have been considering visiting - we just couldn't decide between it and The Nutcracker. Today, ICE! won... and Santa was there too, so we killed 2 partridges with one stone. :)

I did not expect Cooper to stay on Santa's lap for more than a half a second, but miraculously he did! He wouldn't speak to him, but I helped him let Santa know that he has talked non-stop for a month about wanting a piano. Jack was brainstorming last minute about what he should ask Santa for, and finally came up with his 3 things (only one of them was one that I had not heard before), and Allie only told Santa that she wants an American Girl doll. Santa said, "Which one?" When she said, "Nicki", he said, "Oh! The 'doll of the year'". We were impressed with his doll knowledge. When we walked away, Cooper said, "Now I want to open my presents." He's still learning...

I'll post some pictures from ICE! later... I must get to wrapping gifts for now.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rant #2

Tonight I am actually in a good mood, but I must get a few things off of my chest...

Bloggy friends... please, oh please, do not break from blogging for Christmas. There is more to write about now than ever. And I get so very sad when I click on your name in my bloggy list to see the "Sorry, I am taking a break." message. Is it really that hard to post a bit about the wonderful Christmas experiences that you are having or share a photo or two of your sweet little kids or tell the bloggy world a story of your traditions or memories? ;)

So, there it is... my plea for you to post. If even a little "I burned the pies." or "Johnny found his gifts under my bed." or "I can't wait until Christmas!" or "I won the Scrabble game today." or SOMETHING.

Merry Christmas!

Thank You... I Think

Recently, as I drove by the Jewish synagogue in town I read the sign outside of their building...

To all of our Christian friends,
Merry X-Mas

At first, I thought, "Aww. That's nice." But then, I was not sure...

I am sure that the sign was put up in the right spirit, but I must say that I hate it when the very reason that Christmas (not "winter break") came to be - a celebration when Christians remember the birth of our savior - is reduced to an "X". Now, I am not a person that is offended every time someone wishes me a "happy holiday", and I don't need to remove the words "Santa Clause" from my vocabulary (actually I LOVE the fat old guy), and if a Jewish person wanted to wish me Happy Hanukkah or Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur, I'd actually like it. But please, if you are going to wish me well on my religion's holiday, don't remove the reason that I am celebrating it from your greeting.

And to the rest of the world... if you are going to celebrate the holiday that involves trees with gifts under it and enjoy the days off of work that are given to you because of the holiday that is on December 25th... please, call it what it is. CHRISTMAS.

And to my Jewish friends... I hope that you had a wonderful Hanukkah.


Yesterday I took Corey for another x-ray and to see the doctor one more time before everyone was gone for the weekend/ Christmas break. There was no change. No bad news. No good news. Just an instruction to go home, wait, drink a lot, and take pain meds... some more. I didn't realize until I got back to the car how very much I had hoped that this trip to the doctor would end this experience for our family. I hated that Corey had been in pain and unable to work for a week! I could see Christmas on the horizon with no way of "getting it all done" by myself before then. I felt tired and weary and frustrated. I cried all day... at every little thing. Obviously, it was not all about the stone but more about my frustration with life in general. I truly did not know how much more I could take. God and I had our first ever out-load yelling match. Well, I did. He just listened.

That afternoon Corey wanted to take the kids shopping, so he could let them get Christmas gifts for me. There's one thing though... I had to drive them there because he is on pain killers. We have tried to do this a few times this week, but have failed each time as he could not tolerate the pain once he got up and out. Yesterday, he seemed okay though. So, while Cooper and I were in "Barnes & Noble Jail" (It really wasn't too bad - for jail.), he and the big kids did their shopping.

Then, it started. No, not Corey this time. It was Allie. Her ear was really aching. We tried to keep moving, but after an hour or so of her holding her ear and whimpering she was in full-blown wails. After many prayers, a call to her doctor, a pharmacy stop, some medicine that didn't seem to make a dent in her pain, another trip to the pharmacy, and many many many tears and yells and screams, Allie and I headed out at 10:30pm for the urgent care center. She, in fact, had a terrible ear infection. Lots of puss and bulging. After some motrin and ear drops for pain at the urgent care place, we were off to the 24-hour pharmacy. Finally, at 1:30am, we made it home and with the help of some Tylenol with Codeine (her, not me... although I would have liked some too) we finally fell asleep.

When we were driving to the pharmacy to get her new prescriptions, I called Corey to give him the update on Allie, and he gave me his WONDERFUL, FABULOUS news! The stone had passed. Thank God! It took a week, almost to the moment, but he passed it!

So, we are all a bit exhausted from the week long ordeal and Allie is still not 100%, but we are so thankful that we are all on the mend before Christmas. I call it our Christmas Miracle. ;)

For anyone interested... here are some pictures I found online of what poor Corey has been battling. Small, but immensely painful!

Related Posts with Thumbnails