Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa Came!

This is Olivia's door. Olivia's door that was shut all the way when Mommy and Daddy went to bed that night! Can you believe it?? My whole entire life, I never peeked one time, I was too afraid of getting in trouble. But my daughter peeks as soon as she gets a chance!
She loved her pink car once she got over being afraid of it. Olivia, like her daddy, is not a morning person. Anything out of her regular routine makes her anxious. This shot, taken a couple of hours later, was right after she informed us she was going to run down to Weigel's to get an icee.

Ana Blair slept through Christmas morning, but Santa came to see her too!

Christmas at Titi and Poppy's!

Every year before Christmas we go down to my sister and brother-in-law's for a little pre-Christmas dinner. Teresa and Ronnie usually give their presents to Olivia that night so that she's not completely bombarded by presents on Christmas Eve and Day. Many of you who know my sister know that she doesn't really do anything on a small scale. Everything is to the max, and this night was no exception. When it was time for Olivia to open presents, there weren't any to be found. So Olivia went on a scavenger hunt through the house looking everywhere! The kid loves presents! And when we finally made it upstairs she opened a closet door and Teresa had completely emptied it out and made a little Christmas haven just Olivia's size. Words can't really describe how cute it was, even Michael was speechless. She had garland and lights and Olivia's favorite Christmas music blaring, a recliner, a mini tree, presents and tons of candy. Olivia kept saying, "Mommy, its SO pretty in here!" We asked her later that night was her favorite gift was and she said, "getting to go in that room." It was adorable! Thank you Titi and Poppy, we love you!
Olivia's face after seeing it for the first time... These pictures don't do it justice, but it was super cute!

Relaxing in her recliner the next day!
Like I said before, Teresa doesn't do anything small, she even made poor Ronnie dress up in a Santa suit!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gingerbread House

Sunday was one of the first days Michael has gotten to spend the whole day with us in such a long time! And we had the WHOLE day together because the Bears weren't even on TV! It was so fun to spend some time together as a family after he has been SO busy since Ana Blair was born. After church and a little "Feliz Navidad" lunch at Pelancho's (I don't know why I always want Mexican food right before Christmas...) we embarked on our gingerbread journey. We won't be winning any awards unless there is some kind of "A" for Effort award, but we had a good time!
Olivia would have been just as happy opening up the box and eating the contents

Okay, this picture was taken before we started, before the candy
Those of you who know my child well know that she is far from shy. Those who meet Olivia on the street would think she is the most painfully shy child you've ever seen. This picture is for those people. This is what I found jumping on her bed to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock."
And who could forget my little Gingerbread Baby
My sweet girls after church on Sunday. My favorite Sundays of the year are the one before Christmas and Easter Sunday. I have always loved to see the little kids all dressed up in their special dresses!

Christmas with Great Granny

Saturday afternoon I took the girls down to Spring City for Christmas with Great Granny. Michael was working, so we had to brave the rain without him. Ana Blair cried the whole way home. Do you know how far Spring City is from Knoxville? Not that far, about 50 minutes. Do you know how long that feels when there is a child screaming behind you??
When I was a kid, this was such an exciting night because it was pretty much the beginning of Christmas. We always did it the week before Christmas and it was so exciting to get a few Christmas presents early!!!
Olivia and Ana Blair with Poppy (my sister's husband)
Ana Blair and Aunt Titi
Olivia and Aunt Kiki
Olivia with Aunt Kiki, Aunt Titi, Poppy and Esmerelda--Titi's daughter
Seriously this dog has as many clothes as Olivia, and if you know Olivia, you can imagine how much that means!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Polar Express!

Yesterday we got to do my favorite Christmas activity of them all! I love, love, love the Polar Express! Olivia fell in love with the movie last year and we literally watched it probably 100 times last December. She has toned it down this year, but she still cries every single time it is over. So for the second year, Michael and I took her to Bryson City to ride The Polar Express. It is SO worth the 2 1/2 hour drive from Knoxville if your children like the movie or book. The website is if you want to check it out, but be warned, it sells out way in advance, so plan ahead! We went last year and had a great time, but they had even improved on it this year! Can you tell I had a good time? Olivia was really on top of her game this year, she had to wear a gown because the girl in the movie is (luckily we had already planned on a gown) she didn't think she should wear a bow because the kids in the movie didn't wear bows, she fussed at me for not wearing my pj's, she was determined to find the boy from the movie so we could sit with him and she kept telling me she might fall asleep on the train because the kids on the movie did. Of course she didn't, and stayed awake all the way home (11pm), and for those of you who know my child that is way, way, way, way, way past her bedtime! That is a "way" for every hour past! And we were lucky enough that Nana came and spent the day with Ana Blair. As Olivia says, Nana is her "favorite friend!"
Olivia with her ticket that the conductor actually came around and punched for them
Getting ready to board the train as it pulled into the station
I didn't get a picture of her with her hot chocolate, but she was so excited about it! She didn't love it, but she still drank a little just to follow the story. Our car was even served by dancing chefs!
After "Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate!" we read the book together

This was when they told us we were about to pull up to the North Pole
They turned the lights out when we got there so we could see all the lights better. Guess who had to go potty then? Have you ever tried to take a 3 year old to the bathroom while on a dark, moving train?
Olivia and Santa, she was a little nervous but did it anyway!
Singing "Jingle Bells" with her bell that was a special gift from Santa
Caroling on the way back from the North Pole

Olivia's Christmas Program

Thursday we got to go to Olivia's first Christmas program. It was so cute, and she did so good! We were a little nervous that she wouldn't "perform" with Mommy and Daddy out there. For some reason, she is a lot more reserved when we are around, but she did great! Everyone did!
She is the one on the second row in the middle. Not much of a surprise, but the one with the big red bow!!
Ana Blair got to go with us too. Nana and Aunt "Pabbie" came along too!
See her pretty gown Cookie painted for her!!
Olivia with most of her class after the program
She was so happy and surprised to see Ana Blair, Nana, Pattie
Santa made a surprise appearance at the end of the show. I had warned her, but when he came in you could see the color drain from her face. He walked down the center aisle and she was front and center in front of him. I think she was afraid he was going to grab her! She didn't want to sit in his lap, but she let Ms. Jessica stand with her for a quick pic!
Halfway through her party, I noticed she was sitting at a table full of boys. And they treated her so sweet, they were decorating cookies and if she wanted sprinkles, 3 containers magically appeared in front of her, what little gentlemen! Daddy may need to watch out, we may have a little flirt on our hands!

Random Holiday Fun

I know I have been a holiday slacker over the past week or two, but there is a reason. My holiday merriment was interrupted by the fact that I had to have my wisdom teeth taken out last Friday. The surgery went really well, and I wasn't in hardly any pain at all, but I have been kind of lazy about posting....Here are some random pics of what we've been up to! The most fun thing we've done, was the day after my surgery and I didn't bring my camera, but my sister (Aunt Titi) had a pajama party for us and had someone set up in one of the bedrooms giving massages. I enjoyed that, even in my slightly drug induced state! These are completely out of order, but enjoy! We've been busy this week, so I've got lots more to post, but there is a tiny little bundle of joy ready to eat right now!

Ana Blair getting ready for church Wednesday night

Big sis

We got to meet up with our friends Lexy and Wendy (and new baby Dotson on the way) to play and exchange Christmas presents. We have been super busy with our Disney princess toys, thanks Lexy! For some reason, every year it is raining on the day they exchange gifts and it always ends up being in the back of my car in a parking lot!!!

Here they are last year, they've grown up so much!!

Getting ready for school
Hangin' out in her room
And the Sunday after my surgery, we went caroling with our small group. I didn't have my camera then either, but these were some of the pics...
Doesn't it seem like this is what she's doing at almost every event??
Olivia caroling on the steps with her friends Anna Katherine and Katherine.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Pictures

I broke down and faced the fact that I was NEVER going to get a good picture of both of my girls for a Christmas card, so I turned to a professional...I have to say it made me feel a tiny bit better to see her have such a hard time too! We have been going to the same photographer since Olivia was born and this was the longest session we've ever had, trying to get a decent shot. Ana Blair was sleepy, so she fussed every time I sat her down, until she finally conked out and we got some shots of her sleeping. Olivia, as I've said before, has not quite perfected the perfect smile for the camera and was completely weirded out by Ana Blair crying. There's also a little history with the wardrobe choices and props. Olivia's first Christmas card was taken in those boxes, bare chested, so I had the brainstorm that it would be cute to do that again this year. Also, the dress that Ana Blair is wearing was Olivia's first Christmas dress and I thought it would be sweet to have one of her wearing the same dress. Needless to say, maybe I put too many specifications on the shoot!
You can view the session pictures if you go to
Recognize that little cutie on the left? That was taken at her 2 year visit. Click Enter site.
Click on Client Proofing
The password is Claunch120308 (case sensitive)
Here is Olivia's first Christmas card pic, seems like yesterday!
Here are just some pictures I took of the girls after church on Sunday
I am loving that double chin, Olivia was such a scrawny baby, I am loving my little tubby baby!
This was before church Sunday morning, it is her morning ritual. Every morning once we are all up, she likes to get in Mommy and Daddy's bed and snooze for another couple of hours. I just thought she looked pretty comfy in this one!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

You're A Mean One...

Mr. Grinch!
This weekend we went to Nashville to go visit the Grinch. Michael's mom took care of Ana Blair because she would have turned into a little baby popsicle! Saturday morning, we got up bright and early for Breakfast with the Grinch, complete with green eggs and ham! This was as close as Olivia would get to him, the child is still not a fan of people in costume.
Waiting outside to go in
I think she looks a little like Cindy Lou Who in this one
Olivia and Mommy
We had so much fun! It was SO cold, but so worth it! It really is amazing to see these ice sculptures, even worth the freezing cold and sketchy parkas they make you wear!