Friday, December 31, 2010

Twenty-Ten. 365 days and DONE.

2010 was a good year.  It may sound prosaic but it was a year in which we have learned a LOT.  For many of my friends, the latter half of the year was extraordinarily challenging, and watching them go through the ups and downs of this unpredictable life was unsettling and disconcerting at times.  But it brought ME hope to see them still cling on to the ONLY thing worth clinging onto: their faith in God.  In some ways my heart has never been more stirred.  I know it only needs more stirring, though.  Which is why I'm really looking forward to 2011.

I'm sure there will be many more good times, learning times, sad times, contemplative times, exciting times, boring times, and growing times.  May you be blessed with a combination that leaves you feeling more thankful than before!

Happy New Year!  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May everyone have a peaceful (restful?) jolly good Christmas!

'Tis a Wonderful Life!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Happenings 2010, Installment I

For now, this is about as good as it gets.  Expect more posts and more pictures the rest of 2010.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Past, Revisited

I don't know about y'all but I know about us, and uh, this is the only way we know how to rock.  
 -Alicia Keys & Usher "My Boo"

Just recently Greg & I started recording and watching NBC's The Sing-Off, showcasing different groups singing a capella to win a huge prize.  So far almost every group we have seen has been outstanding and does an amazing job creating a huge sound with just a few people.  One of the judges is from Boys II Men (am I embarrassed for instantly recognizing him? absolutely not); another judge is from the Pussycat Dolls (am I embarrassed that I once had a song of theirs as my ringtone? um, perhaps); and the other judge is the infamous Ben Folds, who provided the background music for at least half of my college years.  Hey, I discovered him a little late, but better late than never, right? 

My musical tastes have ebbed and flowed over the years, from Portishead & Bjork to Sloan (nods to Kennon & Dave) to Guster, Travis, Death Cab for Cutie, and all the way back to the Black Eyed Peas & Fergie ("G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S").  Seeing some of these groups perform these "throwbacks" of only 5 years, mind you, brings back a lot of fun memories and frighteningly ages me a bit. 

But I don't even think I was alive when this song was recorded, but e'er since I heard it on my parents' stereo, I've loved it (you need to only watch the first minute or so, the rest is judge commentary):


And speaking of 5 years ago, today 5 years ago two of my very good friends were wed!  Happy anniversary to LPK & MK!

1209 Roomies "hit in the face with a bat"

Seeing LP off

Lil' LPK & Tall MK!

And this explains why Justin Timberlake is playing right now.  Blast from the past, mutual admiration among the 1209 roomies.  You know.

Friday, December 10, 2010

little bugaboo

I notice I have more to post if I'm actually taking more pictures!  (Fancy that?)

The other night we took advantage of free museum admission to the Glazer Children's Museum in downtown Tampa.  For the next few months, they offer free admission for everyone from 4-8pm on the 1st Tuesday of the month.  It was crowded, there was a line outside to get in, and it was cold, but it was worth it to get in. 

where do I start??

enjoying her .00341 seconds commanding the steering wheel



necessary family shot
The other week, when Mommo was in town, we spied some very inexpensive felt stockings at Joann Fabrics, and very inexpensive felt stickers with which one could decorate said stockings.  An idea was born and today it was realized.  We had some family & friends over for hot chocolate and a stocking decorating party!

From L to R: Amanda (housing baby Abby), Braden, Callie, Mia, Loren & Maddie

doesn't Amanda look great for 34/35 weeks pregnant?

being "craftastic"

Loren really figured it out quite quickly--she must have an eye for these things!

Mia pushing Callie around -- pretty sure they both enjoyed the jaunt

I oft hesitate to post pictures of group gatherings, such as a playdate, for fear someone feels left out.  Yet the pics of the kiddies are cute! My ideal philosophy is: invite who you can, take turns with the folks, and try to be mindful.  I would love to invite the whole world but sometimes smaller parties are more manageable, are they not?

Hope everyone's had a great week & is headed into a fun weekend.  Only 15 days till Christmas. Are you ready?  (Are you ready?)


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a December photo montage

Enter pigtails!

Enter cheesy smiles!

And enter "cold" weather!  I'm a Minnesotan Mama with a Florida baby!  It was 41°F this morning and we were outside for a while.  Picture this: I'm bundled in a warm sweater & scarf & mittens and I can barely get the same on Mia.  I was lucky to get a 2nd layer on top.  This Florida baby is gonna push her fingers' & nose's limit when we go to Indiana soon!

PS: Fun Fact: Greg & I were engaged 4 years ago yesterday, on December 6, 2006!  Can't believe it's been that "long," but it's been fun!  Don't we look a bit younger?
Can you see my bling??

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Been TOO long...

It's only been a week but it feels longer -- perhaps because a lot has been packed into these past few days. 

Updates on la bambina:

She's been sleeping so much better, and even a bit longer too!  I usually rely on her to wake me up before 7:30, but these last few mornings, we've slept in till 8:30 at least.  I will enjoy it while I can, because this is not "the norm."  She's allowed us to put her down in the crib for naps and bedtimes without too much of a fuss.  Sometimes she'll whine for up to 15 minutes, but she usually crashes by that point in time and snoozes right on through the night.  Naps are lasting about 2 hrs, give or take. 

Mia's going through another "willful" stage though too.  Everybody's version of "willful" is different, however, so I know what we consider mountains of work others consider molehills.  So I guess we trade good sleep for some behavior modification, but I'll take it.  At least we're well-rested, right??

Her brain's growing too.  She's now saying "Yes" or "Yeah," while nodding her head the correct way.  It's quite cute. 
"Do you want applesauce?"  "Yeah." *one solid head nod* 
"Do you want to lay in your crib?"  "Yeah." *leans toward crib*

She'll also sort of ask you a question in a Foreigner-speaking-American-English sort of way.  Like, "[Banana], no?" as in, "I can have this banana, right? Or not?"  It's her way of asking for our approval.  "No?  No?"  We appreciate that. 

We're trying to teach her to say, "Merry Christmas," and over the last few days it's taken its own adaptation from sounding like "Mry Kss-ss" to "Mry Ta Ta" to "Sss".  I'm not sure why we've dropped so many syllables, but she'll also nod her head as she says this like she's a very dynamic speaker.  I don't know who she learned that from, because I'm not dramatic, ever.  Srsly.


I left Mia in the capable hands of Jenn H & her 2 charming daughters this morning while I got my hair did by my fav stylist Liz.

Jenn sent me these pictures while I was out:

She's holding hands with Loren and fiercely maintaining her grip on the travel tube of toothpaste she grabbed before we left the house this morning. I guess she wants to be prepared in case she & Loren head out on a long journey.  Through the backyard.
Mia (R) and her buddy Maddie (L).  Maddie calls Mia "Mimi"! They love playing together!
It's always nice to know your child is behaving and playing just fine while you're out.  Things always take longer than you think they will (I'm a chronic under-estimator) so at least you know your child is in good company. 

The holidays are in full-swing and last weekend after an amazing Thanksgiving we decided to move on right ahead into Christmas.  We put our tree up, hung the stockings, furnished the TV stand with some garland, and have some other holiday-type things set up to remind us 'tis the season.  I already have ideas about some holiday menus and can't wait to try holiday round II at our house this year.  It's also only taken me 3 years of having Bright House Cable to realize that channel 433 plays nonstop holiday music.  So I no longer have to play holiday music DJ in the house...I just let the TV do it for me.  And as grainy as some of the wintery images on that channel may be, they at least make me think we're some up north, where it would actually SNOW right now.
Speaking of the north, we'll be traveling northward before the actual holiday but will be in town for the 25th, ready to start some Ciampian traditions!  We are feeling really blessed and cannot believe 2010 is just about done.