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Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying Goodbye to 2010!

2010 brought laughs, tears, ups, and downs, but through it all I always had God, family, and friends by my side and with it all I did feel very blessed! Scot and I usually sit down and make our New Years resoltions together, as we review the ones we made the past year to see if we followed through, but this year I have just felt like procrastinating and can only think of three things that I want to strive for in 2011.

#1 After much thought and consideration, I really want to add another baby to our brood! (really badly now, especially since I am realizing just how much older Ryder is getting) Before I let every aspect in our life determine when a good time would be to have another baby, but first and foremost I am the one who makes those decisions and who knows my wellbeing better even than myself is God. As I've said before, I am putting it all into His hands.

#2 I can sit here and say that I have done well with staying in decent shape, but I'd be lying! It was like an on and off switch for me as soon as the words "lets start trying for another baby" recently came out of my mouth and I didn't care what I looked like anymore because my body is going to get big and there's nothing I can do about it anyways. This was not the same mentality I had with Ryder, maybe because I didn't know what to expect and was afraid of letting myself go. With that being said, I want to try to eat well and go to the gym better than I have been, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself to lose weight or anything too crazy, but I do want to look good even if I get pregnant. (okay I feel like I completely just contradicted myself.. haha!)

#3 ..and last but not least (and really should be #1 on my list) is that I want to walk a closer walk with God and to go to church more often. Scot and I were once so tightly knitted in our church, being very involved with Life Group and serving God.. and now we seem to hardly be able to get it together just to make it to church! Where did we go wrong and how did we fall so far?? I have been craving church lately and want to make it a priority, resoltion or not, to get back into going regularly again. I do quiet time and pray still, but my talks with God seem less adequate than they used to and I certainly think Scot feels the same way. I know Ryder is at the age too where he needs it in his life, and I want him to grow up in Sunday School the way that I did. It was such an awakening at Christmas as we took Ryder to the candlelight Christmas Eve service and he got to see baby Jesus, and to have us tell the story to him, and he showed such interest, it really made me feel bad as a parent that we had neglected that part of his life lately.

So here's to bringing in 2011 with open arms and hoping to bring about the good changes in our life and hopefully a new member of our family! I pray that God will bless us richly in the coming year, and we thank Him for our health and for all that he has given, and blessed us with in the past year. Happy New Years from my family to yours!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More Fun in the Snow!

The snow is still covering the backyard, so what better to do on a nice winter day than to play in it! It was actually a blessing to have had these past few days off from work to spend time with Ryder and Scot and just take it easy. It's also been nice to reflect on our life as the year comes to an end, and just enjoy the things in my life that make me happy. Playing in the snow definitely tops that list! It was also a bittersweet day for me as we learned this week that Ryder was moving to the two year old classroom in the "big house" this past week and that he had already been using a big boy cup with no lid! (I wouldn't have even thought Ryder was ready for something that big, but it's one of the nice things about daycare.) I know that he will also be rearing up for potty training now that he's officially in the two year old class, but as we picked him up from his classroom, he looked so small next to all of the other kids and it made me wish I could keep him small for just awhile longer. My baby is a baby no more, and it does make me a little sad. With that being said, it definitely made me happy that I still had the next few days with nothing to do but play in the snow with my "baby".

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!!

I am just loving using all these Christmas songs in all of my recent blog titles! I guess I am a little sad that Christmas is now over and we are left with the aftermath of all of Ryder's new toys and games to play with. He is one happy boy and we really did have a WONDERFUL Christmas and I was so happy to get to spend it with my mom, stepdad, and Grannie this year. God also gave us a White Christmas which was even more special and we loved waking up this morning and looking out to see the white snow that had fallen.

We got out our snowsuits and sleds and then we all got dressed to play out in the snow! I couldn't believe how big Ryder had gotten since last year and into January of this year when he last used it. It looks like we may have to even get him a new snowsuit because he is getting so much taller I couldn't believe it! It was still fun playing in his baby sled and we were able to use it to pull him from our house to go sledding down the hill of our neighborhood entrance.

This was the backyard with all of the fresh, powdery snow that had fallen. The Cypress trees look so pretty after a big snowfall and it really made it feel like Christmas this year after the past few weeks we had! We waited until it was light enough outside to go out in the snow, and Ryder was much better this time about getting dressed in his ski bibs and gloves. I think he understood he was better being bundled in the cold snow than not at all! The snow was so freshly fallen that no tracks had even been made yet, and it was even still snowing!
Ryder wasn't really sure about all the snow but we were able to take a few pictures before we went sledding. I decided to leave my camera inside since it was still snowing so that it didn't get wet, but as soon as we got to our snow hill I wish I had it! Ryder did give me a few smiles that I will always remember, but maybe in January we will get another big snow and I can take more pictures then! We are just enjoying the next few days of being off work and getting to spend family time together. We do have a few appointments this week, but we are all very grateful for the time off and looking forward to ringing in the New Year together!! I feel so very blessed for my family and thank God for all that he has given to us. Hope that you and your families had a good Christmas and weekend too!

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Ryder awoke to Christmas morning and little did he know what was in store for him once we came down the stairs! Santa had eaten his chocolate whoopie pie cookie that we had left for him, and look what he left for Ryder in his very own chair! I couldn't wait to see Ryders' expression when he saw the gifts from santa.

Oh boy! talk about one excited little boy when he saw the presents santa had left behind, and he still clung onto Lovey as he ran over to see what was in his chair. He didn't even see all of the ones under the tree that had been added since the last time he'd been downstairs. His stocking was a hit this year too and he was almost more excited about pulling everything out one by one than he was about opening any gifts!

Ryder loves his Tag jr reading system from his Grammy and Grampa that he got for his birthday and now he has his very own story of baby jesus too! Ryder loves books of all kinds and so we can never go wrong with books. Santa really knows his Ryder!

Time to play with some of the toys that santa brought. First things first, lets go bowling!

We let Ryder eat a few jelly beans and "chock it" candies that were in his stocking as a special treat since it was Christmas morning. He was very sweet and shared with Scot and I though, even though he shared the flavors of jelly belly beans he didn't like. ha! I was still happy to get some Ryder snuggles in before he opened more presents from us.

All morning Ryder kept running to the tree and grabbing presents to open but I kept telling him he had to wait until Nana and PawPaw got here to open them since not all of the gifts were for him. I'm not sure if he really understood that concept, but he was a good boy and he listened when we told him to put it back under the tree. We decided to let him go ahead and open the gifts from his Aunt Sandi and Uncle Tobey, and from Aunt Teresa and Uncle Wayne that they had sent for Ryder. It makes it really hard living out of state from most of Scots' family, but we do get to talk to them often and it is so sweet that they always think of Ryder for every occasion. We got to talk on the phone to Grammy and Grampa (Scots parents) too and that made Ryder smile when he heard his Grammy's voice.
I made this collage to show what a difference a year makes! Ryder wore his same Christmas Jammies and we used the same Santa cookies plate this year as we did last year. When I showed Scot the picture collage he couldn't really see much of a difference, but when I look at the picture of Ryder at a year old on the left, I see his round baby face and chubby cheeks, and sweet baby hair. His jammies were big on him so we rolled up the arm sleeves and pant legs. He didn't know what Christmas was and didn't care much about the gifts except for the bow and looking at the Christmas tree lights on the tree. When I look at the picture on the right of him this past Christmas I see a very active little boy who understands that at Christmas he gets to open "Ryders peasants" and loves playing with all of his toys from Santa, and he looks so big to me now! I can only imagine what next years picture will look like!

After posing by the tree for me I was so happy that I got a cute picture of both Ryder and Tucker! I rewarded them both with treats afterwards and told Scot I would quit acting like a crazy papparazi now that I was happy I got at least one cute picture of Ryder by the tree. Lately it seems really hard to get any smiling pictures of Ryder because he is so busy he won't sit down long. I know that a perfect picture doesn't matter to capture Christmas, but maybe thats the OCD I have ha!

There was plenty of time to play with more of Ryders new toys and Scot was really excited about the Cars racetrack that Ryder got. He was like a kid all over again and I loved seeing the two of them play together. He is so happy to have a little boy to play with all of the toys that he once played with and loved. Ryder is a very lucky boy to have such a good daddy and it makes my heart smile to know what a proud dad he is! Ryders smiles did my soul good and this year Scot and I chose not to exchange gifts since money had been tight, but by seeing how happy Ryder was we both knew we had done the right thing and that was all that mattered.

It wasn't long before we all got cleaned up and my parents and Grannie came over to celebrate Christmas with us. There were also talks of a winter snow shower headed our way which made me excited like a little girl again! I love snow and I love to watch it fall, but I don't ever remember having a White Christmas. Once my family arrived, we unloaded their gifts and took a few pictures. I am so blessed to have the best mom and such a close relationship with her. It was fun to have a picture of us girls, three generations of women, to look back on one day. I have dreams of having my own daughter one day too!
I think it's safe to say that one of Ryder's favorite things to do was open "Ryders peasants" as he kept saying over and over again! Once he was dressed in his letter "R" rudolph the red nose reindeer shirt I thought that I would test my luck and see about getting one more picture by the tree. And guess what! He let me take one and he looked precious too! I know that I will probably never again get that lucky, but I was so happy with my sweet pictures, which made up for having to cancel our photo sessions because of last week.

One of Ryders very favorite gifts was the train table from Nana and Pawpaw (aka Santa) and he has played and played and played with it! It not only attaches to the Thomas trainset he has, but came with a helicoptor and airplane set too, and also a construction set and boat. This boy is spoiled! Pawpaw and Daddy helped put it all together for him too so that he could play with it as soon as he woke up from his nap. He also played with one of the opened boxes that was laying beside the front door and it entertained him for a few minutes as we were getting the Christmas meal ready. I served a few appetizers as we waited to eat the main meal, and it was hard to keep Ryder from it all! I was happy to use my Grandmama's relish platter and served crackers with cheese, and a relish tray because my stepdad loves it so much. I wish my Grandmama was still alive to be with us and to see Ryder, but I am very fortunate to still have my Grannie and to be part of our get togethers now that I am all grown.

The snow did fall throughout the day as promised, and it made me so happy to have a White Christmas. If Scots parents could have joined us, it would have been the perfect Christmas! We ate and played and ate and played for pretty much the remainder of the day and then when it was time for my family to leave, I hugged Ryder tightly and thanked God for such blessings that he had bestowed upon us. I know that times get busy, and I don't thank him enough for all that he has given. The snow fall was really the icing on the cake to end our Christmas. We ended the night watching more Christmas movies before tucking Ryder to bed and telling him how much we loved him. I know he will be one happy boy when he wakes up and will be ready to play with all of his new toys! From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Being with Family on Christmas Eve

Friday night we went over to my brother and sister in laws house to celebrate our Christmas with them since her family all live in South Carolina they would be traveling to see them for Christmas. Once we got to their house, Ryder was very happy to see their dogs and it made his night when Tori asked if he wanted to feed Jasmine. It was a special treat for him and she and my brother both are so good with Ryder it makes my heart smile! I can't wait for the day when my brother and Tori have babies of their own that I can love on!
My sweet sister in law and I having cups of hot apple cider. I am so lucky to have such a nice sister in law and love the fact that we live close to one another to be able to see each other often. Our dream is to both live at the beach one day, so maybe once they move we will one day follow to the coast too!

As it was time to open gifts, Ryder got so excited that he wanted to help everyone, including Grannie open their gifts! He was so funny and didn't understand that other people besides him was getting presents ha! Having his birthday a month from Christmas really prepared him on how to open a wrapped gift, so he got lots of practice then, and it was all he looked forward to once he saw all of the packages under our tree!

My sweet family: Scot, my mom, stepdad, Grannie, and Ryder

And the happy newlyweds: my brother and sister in law

Yes!! Cool jewely, this girl lucked out and got a cool chunky necklace, earrings and a bracelet. Thank you for all of our gifts Eric and Tori!

My mom got a really pretty scarf too!

And Ryder "helped" everyone open more of their gifts and he didn't miss a beat when it was someone elses turn to open one, he was right there to help!

A tradition at Christmas is that my Grannie always made "doodads" for my brother which are chex mix, pretzels, peanuts, and whatever else you wanted to mix up and then she wraps them. For me she always gave a tin of Danish Butter cookies YUM! Well as a joke, we referred to my brother as "Uncle Doodad" last year because he is so silly sometimes and it was funny to hear Ryder try to say it this year. Ryder was very fond of the doodads this year so Grannie said she will have to make a batch of them for him too next year ha!
Scot and I got a picture too, then we all got in the car and headed to a Chinese restaurant rather than having to cook a big meal since we would be having our big Christmas feast on Christmas day. We ate dinner and then we got to attend my brother and sister in laws church for their Christmas Eve candlelight service. It was such a cute church with a coffee house concept and we watched as the children put on their performance of Luke 2 and Ryder sat on his Aunt Tori's lap and was in awe of them. He was excited and we kept telling him he would get to see baby Jesus. We have been reminding Ryder of what Christmas is and why the reason we get to open presents on Christmas. He really just understands the part where we say baby Jesus, so that has all he's been saying lately. It's so cute and I would love to get a better nativity scene for him next year that he can actually play with. The one we have now is all ceramic as a whole and not individual pieces. I wanted to come home and read from the bible, but during the service at church Ryder started having a meltdown and was ready to get home, and actually fell asleep on the drive home. We changed him in his pajamas before setting cookies out for santa, and then we brought Ryder up to his room and we all prayed together. It was such a fun night with my family and it makes me realize how much they mean to me. Scot and I watched It's a Wonderful Life (or part of it) and then we both setup Ryders' chair with all of his gifts and stocking from Santa. I went to bed that night with a full heart and thanked God for the little boy that was sleeping soundly upstairs. These moments are the ones I looked forward to so much when we first found out we were pregnant with Ryder and I can only imagine to the coming years during each holiday.