Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Playtime with Ella

Yesterday, Katie Anne and I went down to see Ella and Erin. We couldn't attend Ella's birthday party because we spend Christmas Eve lunch through bedtime at Saunders's parents' house, celebrating Christmas with them. So, Erin and I wanted to get the girls together to play and let Katie Anne give Ella her present. She picked it out herself- it was the pink piggy bank from Fisher Price, and it was absolutely one of Katie Anne's favorites when she was around one. (We never got her one for our house because they told us she played with it at daycare last spring for hours a day... Saunders said, "That's my little banker!")

When we first arrived, Ella was asleep, so Katie Anne had a great time "inspecting" all the toys Ella had gotten for her birthday and Christmas. Once Ella woke up, Katie Anne got SO excited... she kept yelling up the stairs, "Ewwa? Where are you? Come on!" while Erin was getting Ella changed. Then, Katie Anne immediately gave Ella her present, which she really liked. The girls played together with it so nicely- Erin and I were impressed by the way they got along! Of course, Katie Anne was a little thrown off by Ella's "new walker" status - she thought Ella was going for the left-right combo a couple of times when in fact she was just unsteady on her feet. They really had fun together- they did a great job of sharing the coins for the bank, and they had fun playing on the fireplace hearth with Elmo and Cookie Monster. It is just so crazy to think that they are only 8 months apart - that's the exact same age difference between Erin and me! (I told Erin I'm the Ella to her Katie Anne.) It will be fun to get them together when they are older and can play more things together. Here are some pictures of the fun...

Giving Ella her present...

So excited!
Too sweet...
Hugging girls
Sharing the coins
Katie Anne shows Ella the ropes
Playing so nicely together!

Ella says, "I think I like you, kid."
The sweet hug - before the aftermath!
Poor Ella- after the hug, she lost her balance and hit her forehead! She felt fine a few minutes later (the pacifier heals all wounds) and wanted to go home with us, but she did have a little goose egg to show for it! We're about to call and see how she's doing this morning.

The Big Chop

On Monday, I went in and got all my hair cut off! I had really neglected my hair in the past few months, and the ends were still that weird hair that grows when you're pregnant, so I knew that it was pretty dry and past time for a trim. I didn't realize it was that bad until I saw some Christmas pictures of me and it was so stringy! For evidence, click here.

So, I'd just intended to have about 2 inches cut off when I made the appointment before Christmas, but I went in Monday with a whole new plan- which was actually no plan! I just told Pam, who cuts my hair at cha.cha salon, that I wanted it shoulder length, layered, and lowlighted. She asked me to pick the colors from the little color samples, and I said, "Nope- just surprise me." Whew- very trusting!

(By the way, what's up with the trend of lowercase and periods between letters? We have another store in Cartersville named c.a.n.o.p.y ... neat stores, weird names.)

So, she cut away! In some places, she cut about four inches, but in other places it was six! The lowlights are dark brown (almost black) and auburn. When she first blew it dry, I was not sure- I liked the color a lot, but it was a big change in length! It can fit into a pony tail, but just barely... I haven't had it this short since the summer I got pregnant with Katie Anne, which was almost 3 years ago! Pam does a great job coloring and cutting it (and I knew this already from her cutting my long hair), but she likes to blow dry my hair kind of sleek over one eye and then puff up the back, which I don't like. (My dad was always telling me to keep my hair out of my face, and it just stuck!) I could tell even from the "sexy style" that it looked a ton healthier and the color was great. So, I just put it up and thought I would not judge it until I did it myself. Once I blew it out myself yesterday morning and curled the ends under, I really like it! It feels 100% healthier and is very shiny, so I'm glad I made the cut. I'm sure I'll grow it out again, but this time I'm going to try harder to take care of the ends so it will look good when it is long.

So here's a picture I made yesterday...Then, I realized you really couldn't see anything because (as usual) I was wearing black, so I put on a red shirt really quick so it would show up...
I'm laughing in that last picture because Katie Anne was looking up at me and screaming, "Say CHEESE, Mommy. Say CHEESE!" because I was just smiling without saying it. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Katie Anne - Child Model!

A few months ago, I got a call from Louis Tonsmeire's studio in Cartersville. Tonsmeire has made lots of pictures of Katie Anne... both of her Santa pictures as well as her Easter pictures last year, Halloween pictures, and her first birthday pictures. Well, the call was in regards to Louis being interested in using a picture of Katie Anne on his website if he developed one- they were just in the brainstorming phase. Louis said Katie Anne's first birthday shots were some of his favorites that he'd done, and he wanted to include them if he did a website. Of course, I signed the model release, but I honestly didn't expect the site to be developed and I'd kind of forgotten about it.

Well, when I got home today, I had a message that the site was live (although still a work in progress) and that Katie Anne was featured! Click here to see her picture... depending on your monitor display, you may have to scroll over to see her. Out of the 14 kids, she's the second from the right. We're very proud that, out of the thousands of kids Tonsmeire's has photographed over the years, they chose Katie Anne to be on the site!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Love the Shoes!

These are the Crocs dress shoes I was talking about!
They are made of all Crocs shoes material (whatever that foamy/plastic material is) except for that one shiny stripe over the toe- that's a firmer plastic. Yes, the entire heel is the Crocs stuff! They are so super comfortable... just hug your feet the whole time you're wearing them. I can't wait to wear them to work - I can actually be comfortable in heels all day!

*No, my pants were not that short... I was holding them up. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Love & Marriage, Love & Marriage

Saunders and I celebrated our fifth anniversary yesterday (December 27). It is hard to believe we've been married for 5 years! Sometimes it seems like it should only be a year or two, and other times it seems like we've been married forever. In January, we'll have been together for a total of ten years! Although we definitely can have our sparring matches, we are truly a matched set and soulmates. We agree on almost everything but disagree on just enough to keep things interesting. We work very well together as a team, and we work very hard on our marriage- being thoughtful, helpful, and supportive, and taking time each day to talk to each other are big priorities. Being happy and fulfilled together is not something we take for granted, and I think that our happy marriage is a result of our efforts as well as our love for each other. I think we'll be together for "as long as we both shall live" as we promised to each other five years ago!

I can remember our wedding like it was yesterday- it was such a fun night. Some of my favorite memories of the day are... Saunders's face as I came down the aisle, listening to Phillip Dothard sing The Lord's Prayer, the feeling of leaving the church as Joy to the World played, how surprised everyone was at our choreographed first dance, the delicious food- especially our cake... just the whole night! I'll never forget how all our guests danced and danced, either. We had such a good time that we stayed until the very end! Saunders got out our wedding video a few weeks ago, and we watched it and relived the whole thing. It was so fun to see everything again- especially our toasts and all the messages that guests said to the videographer. Some of them are just hilarious!

To celebrate, we went out to dinner at D. Morgan's downtown last night. We had a drink in the bar like two real adults, and then we went upstairs for a delicious dinner. I had French onion soup and shrimp with grits, and Saunders had hummus and steak with potatoes and asparagus. Afterwards, we went to the movies and saw Twilight. (I finished the fourth book on Friday.) I really enjoyed the movie, and Saunders did, too. Here's his quote as we were leaving the theater: "I can't believe how not terrible that movie was." :)

Here are some pictures of us throughout our relationship as well as one we took before going out last night.

Our second date - how young we were!

Homecoming Night- Fall of 1998

Senior Prom

Spring of 1999

Cartersville High graduation
UGA graduation
The happy couple!
Our first dance!
On our honeymoon...

The king and queen at Atlantis...
Yes, we even planned our honeymoon trip so we'd be in Florida for UGA's bowl game that year. That's dedication!

Us last night- Happy 5 Year Anniversary to us!

Party at Grandmama's

On Saturday, we had a party at Grand- mama's house in Atlanta. (Grand- mama is Saunders's maternal grandmother.) Saunders's aunt Pam and her family were there as well as Trisha's family.

This was sort of a hybrid Christmas party/ birthday party for Saunders's mom, because her birthday is Dec. 27. (Neat little note- Vicki's birthday is 12/27, and Saunders and I got married on that date. My birthday is 6/25, and Vicki and Saunders Jr. got married that day- isn't that a neat coincidence?) Vicki's cake was the Carlton/Jones family favorite- punchbowl cake!

We got to enjoy some of Grand- mama's delicious cooking (yay for the potato casserole- Trisha and I have built a reputation around grubbing that stuff down) and Katie Anne got to see her second cousins Hannah and Justin as well. Here are some pictures from the day!

Katie Anne and Grandmama get out some toys.

The Bros. Jones.

Katie Anne loved Grandmama's antique rocking chair!
Daddy helps Katie Anne get ready to eat lunch.
At the table, full of potato casserole (me)
and mandarin oranges (KA)!

Grandmama serves up the punchbowl cake.

Trisha's little sister Kristen.

Carlton and Trisha are flying back to Arizona tomorrow- Boo hoo!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Glawson Family Christmas Dinner

After our Christmas breakfast, we went over to my parents' house for Christmas dinner. We spent the afternoon hanging out, eating yummy appetizers that my mom made, and playing the Wii. We love to Wii Bowl! Greg and Jillian were on their way back to Georgia from spending time with her family in North Carolina, so we just relaxed and waited on them to get there. Katie Anne used the time to take a much-needed nap!

Once Greg and Jillian arrived, we got to eat our yummy dinner. My dad had bought the giant nugget tray from Chic-fil-a, so we had nuggets galore! Katie Anne loved them and ate about 6, but the funniest thing was she preferred them cold! Once we heated them up, she wouldn't eat them! We had two different kinds of chili that my mom made- her regular chili (red sauce with beans and ground beef) and a white chicken chili. Then, she sat up a "chili bar" with toppings like different cheeses, sour cream, and oyster crackers. I made little ramekins of macaroni and cheese, so we were stuffed by the end of dinner!

After dinner, we moved on to opening presents. My parents are in between moving out their old living room furniture and getting new furniture delivered, so the living room was empty. They moved the dining room in there, and we opened our gifts in the empty dining room so we could sit by the tree. It was neat- we've never done that before!

Everyone got lots of great stuff. We gave my parents a big new grill and cover, and Greg and Jillian gave them a date night basket full of gift cards, DVDs, and snacks. We kept the grill a surprise out on the garage, and they were really excited about it. Katie Anne got a kitchen to keep at my parents' house as well as puzzles, a McDonald's cash register with play food, two pair of shoes, a fire truck, and a Leapfrog Baby video game system with several games... she loves it and has played it a lot today! Saunders got a black dress trench coat, new dress shoes, a bottle of Crown Royal Cask #16 (his favorite), a box of his favorite cigars, sunglasses, and a book he'd asked for. I got a Wii Fit (hooray!), two sweaters, several books, a shop vac, and a cool pair of Crocs dress shoes- so comfortable! I ran out of battery before I could take a picture of the shoes, but my mom took one and I'll post it later. Greg and Jillian gave Saunders a gift card, me a white sweater, and us Mario Kart for Wii to share. Greg got a coat like Saunders, lots of tools and a tool box, sunglasses, a weedeater, and then we gave him a computer game. Jillian got a sewing machine with a carrying case, Sewing for Dummies (she asked for it!), a rice cooker, a laundry sorter, and a sweater, and then we gave her a tool box full of sewing supplies. My parents also gave Katie Anne, Jillian, and me matching Crocs mary janes- they're blue with flowers on them! So, we'll look so cute when we all wear them together. We got so many wonderful presents- everyone was far too generous! After we opened presents, we went into the living room so Katie Anne could play with her kitchen and Greg and Saunders could play Mario Kart. Saunders has played it for hours today!

It was a great Christmas! We had so much fun together. Here's a slideshow of some pictures I took.

Click to play Christmas Dinner

(All together, from the Joneses' Christmas on Christmas Eve through my parents' dinner, I took over 500 pictures! Yikes!)

The Johnston Family Christmas Breakfast

After we opened up our Christmas presents from Santa at home, we loaded up the four-wheel drive sleigh for a trip to Angela's house. The Johnston Family (my mom's side) has an annual Christmas breakfast where everyone gets together, eats delicious breakfast foods, and the kids get to tell everyone what Santa brought. I can't even begin to tell about the food that was there... so much to eat! There were so many delicious things that we ate and ate and ate. Some of our favorites were... I love my Aunt Judy's little breakfast sandwiches, Saunders loved the breakfast pizza (not sure who brought that) and Andy's freshly cooked eggs, and Katie Anne inhaled 5 of Randy's sausage links!

When I was young, everyone used to exchange gifts. As the family got larger (my mom's one of four siblings, and there's twins and triplets in the grandkids), it went to just grandkids and great-grandkids under 18 getting gifts, and we kept that routine for a while. Last year, we started drawing names for an adult gift exchange, and it is now my favorite part of our Christmas breakfast! Before Thanksgiving, we answer a questionnaire to give the person who drew our name ideas, and reading the answers to the questions is really interesting, too. I think all the adults look forward to finding out who everyone drew and seeing what each person gets. We open gifts round robin style, where you present the gift you brought after you've opened yours, and it makes it really fun to see everything.

Then, of course, pandemonium insues as all the little people open their presents. Katie Anne had been waiting very patiently to open her presents while the adults exchanged, so she was super excited when we told her it was her turn! Katie Anne got a baby doll with care supplies (bib, bowl, spoon, pacifier, etc) from Mamaw and Randy, and she totally loves it. She got kitchen utensils and supplies (spoons, spatulas, whisks, colander, bowls, etc) from Papaw and Granny Nelle, and she loves it, too... but I love it even more because it TOTALLY matches her kitchen! I couldn't have found a better set myself- and believe me, because I searched for a pink and gray set! She got a neat electronic puzzle from my Aunt Janet and her family that plays Mary had a Little Lamb, and she's been playing with it all morning.

We had such a good time at the breakfast! Here's a Smilebox slideshow of the fun.

Click to play Big Family Breakfast
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Our Christmas Morning

We had a great Christmas morning together! Katie Anne absolutely loved seeing all her presents set out in the living room by Santa... so much so that she didn't really want to open anything else! She loved her kitchen especially, and it was tough to convince her to sit down and look at her stocking and gifts.

Her big gift was her kitchen, and she got pots and pans and some food for it. She also got a Spin and Ride Zebra, a Barbie laptop, some new (desperately needed) bath toys, and a Cookie Monster TMX. Saunders and I did stockings only for each other this year- he got two DVDs, a new tie and socks, and Reese's in his, and I got a book (The Myth of Multitasking... yeah, right!) and a bunch of my favorite candies- Andes, Wintergreen mints, and a giant Hershey's bar.

We had a wild moment when an explosive diaper in mid-gift exchange led to a total outfit swap. (I didn't want my loyal readers to think I'd made my child change clothes for photo opportunities- although both PJ's were cute!) The funniest part was when Katie Anne didn't want to put down the twin dolls that Lily and Bear gave her... so she tried to open her gifts while still holding both of them. We also got a lot of laughs from the Cookie Monster TMX... Saunders liked this toy the best by far! You'll see pictures of all of these moments (except the explosive diaper changing) below.

Here's a Smilebox slideshow of our morning's adventures.

Click to play Christmas Morning
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There's lots more pictures of our Christmas Day together to come!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve at the Joneses

Today, we celebrated Christmas with Saunders's family. We had a fun time hanging out, eating, and exchanging gifts. Carlton and Trisha flew in this morning, so it was great to see them! Katie Anne was very excited and had fun playing with them, especially playing ball with Uncle Carlton. Here's a Smilebox slideshow of some of my favorite pictures of today. (I took 199!)

Click to play Christmas @ The Joneses
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We had a delicious lunch of turkey, ham, dressing, creamed corn, squash casserole, sweet potatoes, macaroni & cheese, and of course our Agan's rolls! Then, everyone piled into the newly renovated sun porch to open presents. We gave Doc a baseball book and a shirt; VJ a handmade bird feeder and family photo book; Grandmama a Southern Living Christmas book and KA pictures; Carlton a video game; and Trisha crafting books and supplies. We got fun gifts- among other things, Saunders loved the gun he got, and I got some desperately needed pots and pans as well as a pretty sweater. Vicki also made me a beautiful terrarium in a giant glass pear... I just hope I can keep it alive! Katie Anne got a little purse from Trisha's sister, a cute outfit from Grandmama, and signed-by-the-author books, sports balls, and galoshes from Doc & VJ. Carlton and Trisha gave her a pink piggy bank that Trisha made herself!

Afterwards, we started a new tradition- making cookies for Santa at Doc and VJ's. Katie Anne absolutely loved it. She could hardly wait for the cookies to bake. She helped put the cookie dough on the pan, mix the colored icing, and of course- decorate the cookies! She did a great job, and the cookies are actually really tasty. Everyone enjoyed the decorating project, and we all agreed we'd make it a part of our waiting-for-Santa routine!

We ended the night by watching The Muppets' Christmas Carol, which is one of the Joneses' (and especially Saunders's) holiday movies. Katie Anne got a little crazy, so we took her home and gave her a quick bath before bed. She set out her cookies and milk for Santa just before bedtime. She had a hard time not eating them herself, but she kept saying, "These Santas! These hers!" Pronouns are a work in progress... Now, she's sleeping with sweet dreams of sugar plums dancing in her head.

Cindy Lou Who...

Cindy Lou Who
Who was no more than two.

Thanks to VJ for the cute shirt!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!
We've got a full day planned. Saunders has to work for a little bit this morning, and Katie Anne and I will be doing some cooking to get ready for our holiday parties. Then, we've got lunch at 11:00 at Doc and VJ's house, naptime, and cookie baking for Santa tonight. Tomorrow, Christmas morning will be just us at home checking out what Santa brought, then its off to my family's events... breakfast with my big extended family at Angela's house, then hanging out in the afternoon and eating dinner at my parents'.
Pictures galore are soon to come!
We hope you have a great day with your families and friends!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Girls' Day Out at Pottery Lane

Today, we had a girls' day out at Pottery Lane. Vanessa came up with the great idea to get the girls together to make some Christmas crafts, and we had such a good time. Katie Anne and I met Vanessa, Lily, Natalie, and Emma downtown to paint Christmas ornaments. Then, we all went out for lunch together. The girls had a lot of fun painting, playing, and giggling together. The moms weren't in on the joke, but the girls sure found something funny. They literally laughed together for ten minutes! I had too many cute pictures to post one-by-one, so here's a Smilebox of them.

Click to play Girls' Day Out
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I hope we make this an annual tradition!