Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas with Cookie and PopPop

After the busy Thanksgiving holiday, my spoiled little babies got to usher in the holiday season, complete with presents! From Cookie and PopPop, I might add (they always give great gifts!) Olivia had been eyeballing those presents since they pulled into town on Wednesday, and I think it took ever ounce of self control in her little 36 lb. body not to rip into them until Saturday morning!
Even Ana Blair got into the presents this year. She wasn't much for unwrapping, but she definitely loved seeing what was inside! She loves this little drum
And Ana Blair, just like big sister, LOVES baby dolls (she's "loving" one in this pic, but it kind of blends into her pajamas
What a stinker
Cookie and PopPop
And after all the hustle and bustle of the weekend, we settled in for a long winter's nap--not as long as Ana Blair though, I think she slept for 4 hours this day!
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving at Our House

Michael and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the very first time ever this year! And...I may have made a few rookie mistakes...and...I may not have prepared all the dishes (the family generously offered to split the cooking responsibilities up)...but...I think it turned out great! Michael and I prepared our first turkey. I wish I would have taken a picture because it was a beaut! I was super nervous about the turkey and seriously considered a phone call to my local Honey Baked Ham at times, but I'm glad we did it! As usual, I didn't get nearly as many pics as I had hoped I would...Olivia helped me set the table with my pilgrim napkins
My table with chairs pulled from every far corner of the house...luckily, my table is huge--however, I don't have enough matching chairs
Yum...what a spread

There's a little pilgrim behind the pumpkin digging into her turkey a wee bit early!

Is pumpkin face turning into my little turkey face??

Big sister was on the move this day. This was the only time she sat still all day. She orchestrated the whole day to entertain her guests...she told me she "just wanted to make sure our guests were having fun." Her entertainment included a rousing rendition of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA," complete with a gymnastics dance routine...(we are talking handstands and cartwheels about 5 inches from my Christmas tree)

After dinner we watched Four Christmases (HI-larious) and played Dirty Santa to welcome in the holiday season...we were exhausted, but had a great day!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast

On Tuesday, Olivia had her Thanksgiving Feast at preschool. The week before as I was carefully choosing which special turkey outfit she would wear, I came across a reminder from her teacher that each child was supposed to wear a black shirt, blue jeans (huh? did jeans exist on the Mayflower) and girls needed to wear a little princess was not thrilled by this news. So not thrilled, in fact, that she insisted that I wear the same ensemble to her school that day...which really wasn't a stretch since I wear jeans and a black shirt 3 or 4 days a week!

The pilgrims marching to meet the Native Americans for their feast

Cute little pilgrim

Somehow the girls scored their own table

Best looking turkey I've ever seen!

Their cute hairbows the teacher had made for each of the girls

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I had so much fun posting my Halloween pics, and I have to tell you that I am positively itching to bust the Christmas decor out (and...surprise, surprise, there is a TON of it!). In fact, I am decorating the inside of my house for Christmas this weekend--with the excpetion of my dining room because we are hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year. This is my table now, but I'll post pics of the table once it is set (why? you ask...because I have Thanksgiving dishes! And this will be my first time to use them!) So for now, I leave you with my humble Thanksgiving decor...
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1 Year Portrait Session

We were a little late getting Ana Blair's one year pics done, but we finally did! If you want to see them:
go to
Click on Enter Site
Click on Client Proofing
Password is: Claunch111209 (case sensitive)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Am Thankful

Those of you who know me know that my father passed away last weekend. I won't try and sugar coat my relationship with him, but I will say that knowing you don't (or never will) have a daddy when you lay your head down at night is very lonely. My dad had a lot of issues, but he loved my daughters. When I said good-bye to him, I left him with a picture of them because I know how happy he would have been with it.
I didn't have a perfect relationship with my father, but during this loss, I cannot help but be reminded of everything that I DO have. And for that I am thankful...
I am thankful for my life. God has blessed me in countless ways, I have so many beautiful things and a beautiful house to call home. But I have so much more.
I am thankful for my church. I have gone to church my whole life, but never before have I seen a group of people more devoted to serving God and who truly try to encourage every single person to serve God the best way that they can.

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I am thankful for my friends. I have been blessed by so many wonderful friends. Friends that have been my friend for as many years as I can remember and friends that I have known for only a few months. Friends that I did not think twice about sending a text to early one Saturday morning to tell them some bad news. Friends that will be my friends forever.

I am thankful for my family. I have been blessed by "in-laws," if you can call them that. I was blessed with a father and "another" mother and a friend. An extended family that raised a man that would make my life worthwhile.
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Sisters that go so far beyond the word sister, friend, mother...we are so close we can say anything to each other. We can get mad, and five minutes later laugh. Sisters that love my girls like their own and that I would spend every day with. And a brother-in-law that has looked after me from the time I was a tiny girl...and who looks after my girls with the same love.
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I've been blessed by this man. So many people at church conjured up this image when they heard the news of my father. Because even though he is not physically my father, he is in every other sense of the word. He has given me a life that I would not have had otherwise. He showed me what to look for in a husband, someone who truly loves his wife. And someone who would even give up a day of golf to come see my girls!
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There are no words for these two aunt Pattie--the line is blurred between aunt, friend and mother. Anyone who has ever met Pattie will never forget her. She is a free spirit. But she loves more than anyone I have ever known. She has loved me and protected me from pain, when I had no idea she even knew what was going on. She has always told me that the only thing she wanted for me was to walk ahead of me and clear my path of stones, and she has done an amazing job. She loves my daughters and would fight to the death if anyone even so much as suggested that they were not behaving (which, if she is with them, chances are they are not!). She LOVES Alvin. Everyone who knows her knows that. Alvin is number one to her on this earth, and together they have shown me a love that I strive so hard to capture. And most importantly, she loves God like no other person I have ever known. She has the most amazing ability to hand her worries over to Him and truly know that He will handle it.
My mom. I love my mom. My sisters and I would do anything in our power to protect her. My mother would lay down her life for one of her children. And from the first moment she laid eyes on Olivia, her love grew to knew heights for her grandchildren. My mother has had a hard life and now it is mine, Kim's and Teresa's responsibility to make it the best life possible for her. She is the strongest person I have ever known.
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I am So, So thankful for these girls. I never knew I could love something like this. I don't have to dwell on this because any of you who are mommas reading this, know exactly how I feel about these girls.
They can take a bad day and make it good. They can take a rough night and make it okay. They make life worth living, just by smiling or giggling. I pray every day that their relationship will one day be as strong as mine is with my sisters.
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And mostly, I am thankful for this man. This man who has made everything good thing in my life possible. This man that I still get excited when I hear his voice on the phone or hear him walk in the door. This man who would go without something he needed just to make me smile.
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This man who shows me every single day that my girls will always have the most wonderful daddy in the world.
For these things, and so, so many more--I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mother/Daughter Dance

Yesterday was Mother/Daughter Dance at Olivia's dance school. She had so much fun, but did tell me I wasn't the best one there (w-w-w-what??). Pretty sure I was! Its been a long time since I danced to anything, except the occasional romp around the house with Olivia...let's just say I broke a sweat! There is definitely a different skill set for the 2/3 year old class and the 4/5s!

This was taken during "freeze dance." All the girls dance freestyle to a Hannah Montana song and freeze when the music stops...I almost fell over laughing so hard watching Olivia try to make sure she was frozen into a pose for when the music stopped!
It was so much fun...not nearly as fun as Father/Daughter Dance will be...stay tuned for pics in January!
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009