Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pea on your Face

After speaking with Caton last night, I realized I have really been neglecting this blog. There are so many great stories and moments in my life that I have completely disregarded posting about. My sincerest apologies for that. Because during this conversation Caton also mentioned that she loves making appearances on this blog, I figured I would start with a story involving Caton as the star role. This conversation took place when Caton was over for dinner the week of Christmas.

Aubrey is happily eating peas and one sticks to the side of her mouth and remains there for most of her meal.

Caton: Aubrey, you "pead" on your face. (proceeds to laugh very heartily at her own joke)

a few minutes later I am sweeping up the countless peas that Aubrey has dropped on the floor throughout dinner.

Caton: Aubrey, you "pead" all over the floor.  (once again, laughs very heartily)
Me: That is the second pea joke you've made and you laughed really hard at both of them.
Caton: What can I say, I crack myself up!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rocking Chair

 Aubrey got a rocking chair for Christmas.Watching her climb up into it and sit down is possibly one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ok, I'll be done talking about Christmas now. This picture was taken on Christmas night just before bed. The last picture before the tree had to come down because it was really dead on the 26th.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is a really hectic day. We started our day opening presents at our home. Aubrey got a little rocking chair and bubbles!

Then we went to my mom's house for brunch. Homemade cinnamon rolls, fruit salad, chicken wing dip, english muffins, breakfast egg salad, creme puffs, bacon, and sausage. Mmmm.

While Aubrey was in bed we attempted a family game hour; and tried to play Taboo which Martin, Aubrey and I received from Santa Claus that morning. It was somewhat of a failure. My dad made one guess the entire time and then spent the remainder of the game basking in the glory of one good guess. Jessica spent the entire length of a timer flipping through cards trying to decide which one to describe. Alex would give descriptions and then ignore every answer until someone made the same guess for the third time. And Martin just didn't even try and slept through the entire thing, perking up halfway through to guess Jekyll and Hyde during one of my descriptions.

Then, at two we went up to Mary and Carlton's for another Christmas.

Mary: Here you go Martin, I thought you would like this.
Martin: Oh, thank you, honey.

Everyone starts laughing.

Martin: I mean, thanks mom.

a few hours later

Megan: My favorite part of the day was when Martin called mom Honey
Martin: Oh boy, you had to bring that up again.
Megan: I just wanted to reiterate it so Jenna would remember to put it on her blog.

This picture was probably taken right after Martin's phone conversation with Kendyll's principle. It went something like this,

Kendyll: (with a fake phone) Martin - the phone is for you. It's Jenna's mom.
Martin: Hello. Oh hi. O yeah? Kendyll's principle called you too? She isn't doing any homework? O yeah, that is bad!

Kendyll:(starts crying almost immediately) Let me see the phone. .....Yeah. But no one does homework in preschool!

Then on the way home we stopped and listened and watched the lights that are set up to music.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Traditions

Every year Martin's extended family gets together on Christmas Eve. It is always a really great time to see the family

Kendyll and Leigha are always looking ridiculously adorable in their Christmas dresses.

Aubrey went in relaxed attire this year and just wore her pajamas. She still looked adorable, though And she got two super soft stuffed animals.

Every year there is a game of Apples to Apples. I love that game, but didn't play this year and instead colored with Kendyll. Aubrey spent most of the night glued to a game of Connect 4 loving every single minute of dropping circular pieces down the slots.

One of the little cousins was playing some sort of game that required him to scream every couple of minutes. Every time he screamed Kendyll would place her hand on her chest and say, "Oh my gosh, that scared me!"

One time when I walked away and Aubrey started crying because of my absence, Kendyll took it upon herself to go tell the boy's mother that his screaming was making Aubrey cry.

At the end of the evening when Kendyll and Leigha were changing into pajamas, Leigha started dancing on the table in her diaper. And let me tell you ,that girl has rhythm.

Uncle Jesse, "Well, I guess we know what she's going to be doing in twenty years"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Giving Gifts

While I love spending time with family and celebrating the birth of Jesus and the real meaning of the season, I also really love giving gifts to people. Especially when I have a really good idea in my back pocket. I usually try to keep my gift list on the smaller side so that I can concentrate on getting gifts that people will really love and that will really make me happy to give rather than giving a gift just to give it. This year I am so so so excited about most of my gifts. I'm just going to post about my absolute favorite gifts that I gave this year.

My mom is going on vacation to South Africa in February (I'm so jealous) and the friend she is visiting told her to bring lots of pictures of the family and farm. Aside from the fact that this book is completely amazing and would be completely worth having without a reason, this will be the perfect travel size photo album to bring with her to Africa. Also, it will be AMAZING on the coffee table when she returns.

photo from via google images

For my dearest friend, Caton, we have had a growing obsession with sushi in the last few years. So for Christmas, I got us a sushi making class at the NYS Wine and Culinary Institute! I am so very excited about this. (I think it's as much of a present for myself as it is for Caton) I'll be sure to share about it next week when we attend.

from google images

And....this last AMAZING. I think it's okay to post this now for various reasons. The first beign that Martin doesn't read this blog. The second being that at the time I am scheduling to post we should already be Tailgating at the Buffalo Bills Game! I am seriously so excited to surprise Martin with this present on Christmas Eve morning. He loves the Buffalo Bills and has for his entire life but has never been to a game. I can't wait to share stories of every detail of the day.

And to just reiterate how much Martin loves the Buffalo Bills.

actual quote from Martin's first grade journal: Go Bills! Go Go Go Bills Bills Bills! Go Bills!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Tree in the Woods

Judy: I really like your Christmas Tree. It looks very natural. It looks like you would find it in the woods....and the birds decorated it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Quiz

stolen from Rachel!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? I'm definitely saying hot chocolate here. Something about Egg Nog really freaks me out and I can't get myself to drink it.

2. Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree? Is this even a Christmas debate? I think its obvious that he wraps them (or at least delegates the job to his elves).

3. Colored or White Lights? I love the classic look of white lights!

4. Do you hang a mistletoe? This question just made me realize that I didn't! And I really wanted to!

5. When do you put your decorations up? I'm not going to pretend to be organized enough to have an exact date or weekend when I put up decorations up. But I will say I try to aim for sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Anything that is an appetizer. Mmmmm. I love appetizers! Lucky for me, growing up Christmas Eve was always a cheese, cracker and pepperoni night.

7. Favorite Holiday Memory as a Child?  Right now, watching ABC Christmas cartoons every night in December before bed comes to mind.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? From my cousin, Peter. I can't remember how old. I want to say farely old. Anyway, I didn't believe him and asked my mom and then cried my eyes out.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Recently, no. Growing up, Santa would always come while we were at church on Christmas Eve and we would open all of our presents the night before. My parents always told us Santa knew to come to our house early because we had to go to the barn and milk in the morning and he knew we might get stuck our there with a troubled cow so he wanted us to have our gifts the night before.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? White lights. Ornaments that I have accumulated as gifts from St. Nicholas over the years and that I now give to Aubrey each year.

11. Snow? Love it or dread it? Both are such strong emotions. It's hard to commit to one or the other; I think it's nice to have a dusting for Christmas and for a couple days are year to play in, but other than that - I'd live fine without it.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes. My parents used to get our family seaon passes to the local ice rink. Best part about winter: the ice just after the zamboni has gone through.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Probably the Kindle Martin got me a few years ago. I still use it constantly.

14. What's the most important part of the Holiday to you? Family

15. Favorite Holiday Dessert? I don't really do dessert. I do, however, love the shrimp and cocktail sauce Martin's mom has out before dinner every year!

16. Favorite Holiday Tradition? I'm mostly just really excited about starting traditions with Aubrey!

17. What tops your tree? A paper star that Martin made the first year we were married. It says Our First Christmas and is attached to the tree with a clothespin.

18. Giving or receiving gifts? Giving, definitely! I can't wait to reveal all the great gifts I have to give everyone!

19. Candy Canes? yucky or yummy? I like the flavored ones. You know blueberry or strawberry. There is just a lot of peppermint in a regular candy cane.

20. Favorite Christmas Show? Oh. There's way too many good ones to name, but refer to question 7. Pretty much any cartoon that comes up on the 25 days of Christmas. Do they still have that?

21. Saddest Christmas Song? I'm not qualified to answer this question. I try to avoid heavy doses of most Christmas music.

22. Favorite Christmas Song? Joy to the World and All I Want for Christmas is You.

23. When do you finish the bulk of your Christmas Shopping? Near the beginning of December.

24. Who's the easiest person and hardest person to shop for? easiest? Aubrey hardest? my dad.

25. What is your favorite Christmas cookie? refer to question 15.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mary, Joseph and Jesus

You might remember this post when Martin called to tell me about our starring roles in the upcoming church Christmas play.

...Well....the play came...and went. It was actually quite a success. I'd say we really lucked out because we didn't have to actually say anything. We pretty much just wandered around like mimes while the play was narrated in the background. This turned out to be very fortunate because we missed the rehearsal while we were in Chicago the weekend before.

moments before the play is supposed to start while we're sitting in the back of the church in our Mary and Joseph attire
Martin: I think they actually think I am Joseph....I think people really think I'm Joseph.

Of course, I think the best part about the play was how supportive our families were. My parents were there. My grandparents were in town. Martin's mom was there. Martin's sister Megan and her two kids were in attendance. Martin's Grandma was there. Martin's sister Gretchen and her daughter were there. It was crazy!

Aubrey was pretty great throughout the entire show and a stellar baby Jesus. I was really crossing my fingers on that one since this meant missing her morning nap in conjunction with being a presentable and adorable baby in front of a crowd of people all at the same time. Luckily, the only time she cried was when a woman in our church took her away from Martin and I and stood with her in the closet on the side of the altar while Martin and I were journeying to Bethlehem before I had given birth to Jesus. But, like one woman pointed out to my mom,

You'd cry to if someone took you away from your parents and shoved you in a closet.

Mom: Isn't Aubrey doing such a great job?
Kendyll: No. She keeps trying to throw straw out of the manger onto the ground. I think I should be baby Jesus next year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas is Coming: Baking Cookies

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a little baking, right??? Honestly, I'd be happy with a chips and salsa get together at 10 in the morning, but I've never been one for sweets. However, I do really enjoy spending time with people I love - and if that means baking I am all in. (plus, if I'm being totally honest - I didn't do anything)

On Saturday morning Aubrey and I went over to my sister-in-law, Jenn's home, to make Christmas cookies. We were supposed to me there at 10 am and I made my first fatal error when I decided to make eggs for breakfast for Martin, Aubrey and myself before going to Jenn's. What was I thinking?? Christmas cookies making clearly involves a lot of eating. Plus, Jenn is the ultimate hostess and had made a delicious french toast that I had no room for.

Because i have problems I wanted to be helpful, I had a lot of fun seeing how close I could get the cookies together and therefore have fewer times to roll out the dough per cookie.

Aubrey had some fun frosting cookies.

But she mostly just ate her body weight in frosting. Fun fact: disclaimer(this is where I get all excited about something not so monumental and, in general, very momlike) I have learned from Jenn that tongue depressers are the perfect utensil to let children frost with! No need to worry about handing out knives to the little ones!

Jenn and Aubrey also had a good bit of fun feeding each other cookies.

The end! Hope you had a chance for baking this season!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is Coming: Ornaments

 We have a tradition in our family. Every year on December 6th, St. Nicholas Day, we put out our wooden shoes. And every year St. Nicholas brings us an ornament. This is one of my favorite holiday traditions to start up with Aubrey.

This year, because she loves teddy bears, Martin and I St. Nicholas got her a teddy bear ornament. She adores it. She immediately hugged the bear tight to her when she first received him. Now she frequently crawls over to the tree to check up on him/ take him down to play.

This is one of my favorite ornaments of all time if for no other reason than it actually has ever single word for the bible enclosed. They are just typed extremely small.

I got this one last year and it quickly made its way into the favorites list. It's so beautiful.

Do you have any fun holiday tradition? I'm always looking for good ideas to start in our family!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas is Coming: Decorations

I'm a big fan of somewhat subtle Christmas decorations. Just a hint of festivity in the air. I'm not really one for overkill.

A mason jar with evergreens and corks. Who wants to come drink wine with me?

I love this vase. And I really love it with evergreens inside

A few ornaments for some added color.

Little House Christmas on display. And the Wise Men making their way to Bethlehem.

Stockings hung with care (my sister-in-law, Megan, made the stockings!) . A nativity (my brother, Garrett, made me that manger a few years ago!)

And a tree picture that I made years and years ago, when I used to be somewhat crafty.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Now that my mom is a grandma it is one of her missions in life to seek out every toy that Aubrey must have in order to have a fulfilling childhood and then talk about the need for us to find said toy constantly. This started with a Fisher Price Noah's Arc. Everyday I heard about this Noah's Arc and how much Aubrey would love it and how she really needed one and how we somehow, someway we had to find one at a reduced price.

I personally thought she would live without a plastic Noah's Arc (I did) but apparently, I was incorrect.

Luckily for all of us, someone gave her one for her birthday. And believe it or not, she really does love it. She plays with it all the time. She loves the animals.

So, just when I thought we had acquired all the toys that were essential to a successful childhood, my mom was back with another request need. A Fisher Price Nativity Scene.

Mom: You really need to go on Craigslist and look for one. They are really expensive in the store.
Me: Do you really think she needs one? She has plenty of toys. Jen brought a carfull of toys over just last week.
Mom: Yeah. But she'll really like it. She is always playing with my nativity scene. Laura says that her kids love theirs.

We had a conversation similar to that everyday for a week. (the week between her birthday and the first weekend in December. If you're following the story that means immediately after receiving the coveted Noah's Ark there was already another toy which she needed)

Then, the first Sunday in December Aubrey and I went to church and were greeted by Hank and Cheryl with a wrapped present.

Cheryl: This is for Aubrey because Martin wouldn't take any money for that straw last week.
Me: Oh gosh, you didn't need to get anything. It's no big deal. What did you give you - one bale?
Cheryl: Yes. Open this as soon as you get home. She's going to need it before Christmas.

That's when I immediately knew that the box contained the coveted Nativity Scene.

And, it really is one of Aubrey's favorite things.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Is Coming: Oh Christmas Tree, Family Photos

After returning from Chicago and seeing our Christmas tree still standing we decided it would be a good time to put the decorations up and really get into the Christmas spirit!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas is Coming: Oh Christmas Tree

There's a lot going on around here, a family trip to Chicago, Martin's 27th birthday, but I am really in the Christmas spirit this year - so, until that magical day this blog is going to be all about the holiday!

First Up: The Tree!

I'm not sure if you remember our Christmas Tree Scandal last year, but suffice it so say - we had a few difficulties.

This year, we were really excited for a glorious comeback!

We headed to our favorite farm stand (Harrington's, my previous employer!)

Martin spent a lot of extra time inspecting the tree to make sure it would stand this year for the whole season.

And we found a winner!

Because everything we do is typically as complicated and drawn out as it can possibly be, the night of the tree purchase was not the same night as the tree putting up which also happened to not be the same night as the decorating of the tree. If you're following all that - it took us three seperate nights to get the tree up from start to finish. But that's what the holidays are about - making memories. So, the first night we bought the tree and then had dinner with my family. By the time they left - Martin crashed into bed before they had safely made it out the door and I realized the tree would not be going up that night.

Then, on a seperate night, we put the tree into the stand. This year Martin used a lot of baling twine to reinforce the tree this year for added security

And then we pushed it into place and cut the wrap off.

This probably would have been a good time to decorate the tree, but given our previous tree disasters we thought it might be better to test the waters and see how long she stood before making such a large commitment as putting up ornaments. So we waited.......a week. And went on a four day vacation to Chicago.

Oh Christmas Tree!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A First Birthday

Martin and I were really excited for Aubrey's first birthday on Thanksgiving Day. I made cupcakes. A smash cake. And a cake in the shape of a one! On thanksgiving morning we were so caught up in the blissful state of frosting Aubrey's various cakes our only thoughts were on all the different colors of frosting we could make with just four bottle of food coloring.

Then my brother Alex was the first person to walk into the party that evening.
Alex: Why did you make Aubrey a penis cake?
Me: What???!!
Alex: That cake looks like a penis.
Me: It's a one!

And then my best friend, Caton, showed up
Me: How does that cake look to you?
Caton: I think it looks a little inappropriate

But, setting aside the fact that Aubrey's cake was a definite fail and the jokes about how it would be a better cake for her 21st birthday rather than her 1st, it really was a lovely birthday

Kendyll did an excellent job helping Aubrey open her presents. And an even better jon showing them off to everyone.

And, although Aubrey didn't really dig into and smash her cake - she did really seem to enjoy it.