Monthly Archives: December 2009

Auld Lang Syne

Here is my favorite version of Auld Lang Syne and a part of one of my favorite movies that makes me cry EVERY single time. I think it makes me cry because this year I have been so blessed to have friends like these. (Ignore the fact that the clip is in a different language, you get the idea). I’ll be thinking of all of my friends and family tonight. Be safe.


New Years Eve – A Look Back at 2009

I need to post about our Christmas and I will but I was feeling nostalgic so I thought I would take a look back at 2009.

January 2009

  • JT was dealing with job issues like most of the country
  • We celebrated my cousin’s 30th birthday in style
  • We played in some snow
  • As a family we visited the arch, it was a first for the kids

February 2009

March 2009

  • Celebrated cousins and friends birthdays at Monkey Joes
  • Prepared for kindergarten by attending a meeting
  • A playdate with an old friend so our kids could meet
  • Playdates over spring break with cousins and friends
  • Started preparing for L’s birthday party by making invitations and such
  • An outing with Nana and Papa
  • JT finally found a job

April 2009

May 2009

  • Had a wonderful Mother’s Day
  • The gas man came to change our meter and caused a leak in our line
  • It was a month full of injuries
  • JT and I started the Jillian workout 30 Day Shred

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

  • Preparations began and kindergarten started
  • J turned 4 and we had a superhero party that I never blogged about. I’m still gonna do that one day
  • Took Daddy to Six Flags for J’s birthday and to celebrate being together before school started

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

So excited about a new year a little sad to say goodbye to 2009. The year seems awfully long when your faced with it head on but before you know I’ll blink again and we’ll be right back here ready to bring in 2011.

Hope you all have a nice, safe New Years Eve. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Christmas Pictures

Last year I showed you the beautiful pictures of my kiddos in their Christmas Eve clothes. My mom makes L a beautiful dress every Christmas Eve and we have her pictures taken in said dress because you just can’t resist. Without further ado… (oh these are really bad quality because I scanned them and my scanner needs to be cleaned, sorry)

L in her dress

With the left over material my mom was able to make a dress for L’s American Girl doll Molly so we had to get a picture of that

Mr. J in his handsome clothes, remarkably they match, love it when they match

One of them together and L making her signature heart that she does for everyone she loves

Then last but not least… our photo we used for Christmas cards this year. Thank you to my friend SK for taking it… I used my old “hotomom” watermark instead of my photography one because I couldn’t find the copy with my friends watermark. She’s really talented, you should check her out.

I think that about covers all the pictures we had taken for Christmas.

More Christmas blogs coming

This week has been great. JT has been home all week on vacation and it’s been really nice. Today we’re staying home so I figure I will catch up on my blog and then clean and then make sure all presents are wrapped and ready to go. Our Christmas starts tomorrow at 2:00 and I could not be more excited if I were 4 and 5 years old. Are anyone else’s kids bouncing off the walls? No, okay just mine then. Lucky me.

Monday we went to the Botanical Gardens with my mom and grandmother. It’s a tradition and gosh do we love it, we do the “scavenger hunt” with the kids and we were so happy that JT was with us this year. We even ran into our neighbors with their grandson, so I offered to take their picture for them and in return they took ours. SO nice. We’re hardly ever in the same picture.



Okay all those pictures were from Monday. It was a lot of fun. Tuesday I took L to see The Princess and the Frog. I loved the movie and L really like it too. It was a little scary. The evil Dr. Facilier has evil shadows that come to life and turn into monsters and take away the frog in some parts of the movie and a beloved character is squashed, which is REALLY sad. But after all that is said it’s a good movie. Probably better for the little older girls. 5 year olds may have nightmares. We made it through last night without a nightmare so that’s good. Here’s a picture of L and her friend from school. They were so cute.

Today we are laying low. I have a house to clean, presents to finish wrapping, blogs to write… 🙂 The kids are spending the night at my mom’s tonight so I have no idea what JT and I are going to do, something together before all the craziness starts because tomorrow at 2:00 our christmas goes into full swing. Can’t wait.

Christmas Ballet Recital

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned on here that my daughter LOVES ballet. It sometimes feels like it’s something she was born to do. She moves gracefully and learns the routines with no problem. On Halloween she had an open house where she could bring a friend, all of her friends sadly had school so we took J. J loved ballet. So now he is also taking ballet. It’s so stinkin cute I can barely stand it. Friday night we went to Brentwood High School for the ballet recital. I had to take the kids backstage to sit with the other dancers (I was worried the whole time), they were armed with their bags full of entertainment. We sat through an hour of the show before our kids FINALLY came on. Good lord, that’s a lot of waiting. Not only for us but for a 4 and 5 year old it was a lifetime.

They danced to Silent Night and their costumes were their jammies. They did fantastic. Here are some pictures I was able to take. It took a while because I had to crop out some dude’s huge head.

Here they are searching for us in the crowd

Hey, I don't have any room

Round yon virgin... mother and child

Sleep in heavenly peace....

Not sure what part of the song this is...

And finally a bow to end the performance

They both did so well that I actually teared up while watching the performance.


I’m taking a little break from blogging about Christmas activities to tell you about this amazing opportunity. If you are a photographer or aspiring photography listen up… Me Ra Koh, a nationally renowned photographer is offering scholarships to three women to take part in her program SOAR! What is SOAR??? Well straight from Me Ra Koh’s website

SOAR! is a new scholarship that is not only going to change the lives of three women, but breathe hope and encouragement into people across the nation. The SOAR! Scholarship is going to help three women take their dream of building a photography business come true. Starting December 1st, we invite women to submit a 2 minute video that shares why they have what it takes to SOAR! in building their own photography business. On January 1st , we will announce the three winners and begin their next 12 months of self discovery, empowerment and support to building a business that will last. Women will receive camera gear from Sony, beautiful websites and blogs from SmugMug, designed by Chopping Block. They will also receive software from Adobe, ShootQ, and SHOWIT that will make their life easier. The recipients will be mentored by industry leaders as well as Me Ra Koh’s business coaches from Wisdom Connection. They will be inspired by each SOAR! partner to go for their dreams. But SOAR! is not for the faint of heart. The winners will be required to document their year long journey on the SOAR! website through blog posts, videos, images, teleconferences and more. In turn, the next 12 months will change their lives. And even better, all entries and followers of SOAR! will get to shadow their experience and grow alongside them in real time. SOAR! is about understanding the wind that lifts us. SOAR! is about having the courage to believe our dreams were given to us for a reason. SOAR! is about climbing swiftly and powerfully! SOAR! is about helping you jump, take flight, and believe that you can not only learn to fly but SOAR!

Isn’t that amazing?! Basically she would help you over a year build a photography business from scratch. If you visit the website there is so much encouraging information about empowering women, not only that but you can check out what would be required of you for the 12 months. Sounds like SO much fun. You get three full-paid trips, assignments and blogging material.

If you aren’t familiar with Me Ra Koh, you should be. Click on this link to learn all about her. She’s amazing and completely inspiring. You can sign up for her newsletter or follow her on her blog here.

So go… NOW and make your videos submissions. Good luck to all that choose to enter.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the SOAR! Scholarship and Me Ra Koh Photography. In addition, I receibed an Amazon gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Tagged , ,

School Christmas Concert

Sunday we had the kids school Christmas concert. They were all dressed up in their Christmas Eve finest and ready to sing on stage. We were joined by my mom, my brother and his fiancee C.

 J being the youngest went first (out of my two kids) and did such a great job. I was so proud of him. He did really well and handled being on stage like a pro.

… singing his heart out

…. and waving to his loved ones in the audience

Then it was Ms. L’s turn. She was in her beautiful dress my mom made and her hair was curled perfectly. She did marvelous as well.

…. sleeping in heavenly peace

…. and singing her sweet little heart out

It was a great day. We had lunch out afterwards, mom’s treat, at Steak N Shake. It’s the kids favorite place to eat.

I Believe

Or at least I want to, more than anything. Having kids that still believe is one of the best things about the season. Last year the kids received letters from Santa and they were a HUGE hit, where we order them from is all in this post. Once again the letters did not disappoint. They were so excited and couldn’t wait to read them, this year I gave my mom the honor of reading them to the kids.

Each year you can add three achievements. L’s this year were, learning to read, using her manners and eating so well. J’s were, doing well in preschool, trying everything on his plate and keeping his room clean. This year Santa added some P.S.’s. L’s basically told her to work on keeping her room clean and J’s told him to be nicer to his family. Thank you Santa. The letters also come with checklists you need to put on their doors when they go to bed which the kids like checking off but the BEST part is the boot kit I purchased this year. It’s a boot stencil and white snow you can put on your floor. This way it will look like he walked across our floor to the kids’ rooms.

So excited for Christmas festivities to start. My kids are going to love their presents this year and I can’t wait to see them open them.

Visiting with Santa

We used to visit the mall when Santa came to town. We would head to Frontenac Plaza, I always favored their setting and the Santa there. Last year we did something different, we went to Sears where they brought in a Santa and the kids were able to sit and talk to him and interact with him a little more. They loved it. When I found out that they hired the same Santa to come back this year I knew we were going to the event again. L was extremely silent, barely saying a word. J was very talkative and answered all of his questions. He’s a great Santa and is really good with the kids. Here’s the picture:

I love the smile on my little man’s face. I rarely get to capture that smile, his true smile. Not forced at all. I’ve wanted to post this article I found in Readers Digest since I read it recently.

Thirteen Things Your Mall Santa Won’t Tell You…. – Readers Digest December 2009/January 2010 Issue

  1. Never force your screaming child onto my lap. Just bring them close and give me a few minutes. I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve.
  2. Some of us get bonuses for making our daily photo quota. So please forgive me if I try to move things along.
  3. I make around $10,000 a season doing this, but cut me some slack. Between October and December, most of us work about forty 10-hour days and listen to 30,000 children.
  4. Wondering why both of my white-gloved hands are always where you can see them? Ask my lawyer.
  5. I’m sorry Grandma is in heaven or that Mom and Dad have split up. But even Santa can only do so much, so let’s just stick with what you’d like to unwrap on the big day.
  6. Want to have more than just a few seconds with me? Skip the mall. Let’s meet at your kid’s preschool or a photo studio that invites Santa in for special portraits.
  7. As a matter of fact, i did go to school for this. Topics of study: how to hold children, manage sticky conversations, and care for my hair and beard.
  8. I don’t have total recall. Don’t come back after a few minutes and ask what your kid requested. Stand close enough to listen.
  9. Those of us with real beards think we’re superior. But the best of the rest of us pay as much as $3,000 to wig makers to make us authentic-looking whiskers.
  10. I see you vigorously nodding your head, but even so, I will never, ever promise anything to a child.
  11. Boys tend to give it to you straight: “I want a Game Boy and a remote control car.” Little girls want to explain everything.
  12. Is Santa real? “Well,” I reply, pinching myself and grimacing, “I feel real.”
  13. I’ve been kicked in the shins, hit in the groin, scratched, bitten and peed on. But there’s a reason I keep doing this year after year: This is the best work I’ve ever found.

From Santas in California, Illinois, Iowa and Rhode Island, including “Santa Tim” Connaghan, a traveling Santa instructor. Interviews conducted by Michelle Crouch.

Also, found on their website: 12 More Things Your Mall Santa Won’t Tell You

  1. I’m not an orthodontist, either. Don’t ask me  to your child why she needs to stop sucking her thumb.
  2. Nobody’s facial hair curls like this naturally. That’s why they invented curling irons and got2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue
  3. I’ve noticed a lot of you have started telling your kids the truth about me a lot younger than you used to. Sometimes you spoil things before your child even asks the question, just because you’re worried he’ll hear it from someone else. Please stop. You’re ruining the fun.
  4. Shhhhh, don’t tell but a few us are Jewish.
  5. Santa’s family almost never gets to spend the holiday with him on Dec 25th. Most of us schedule a delayed celebration for early January.
  6. Being Santa can be… complicated. When my daughter was in grade school, the teacher requested a conference to discuss some issues: “She’s under the firm belief that you’re Santa Claus.”
  7. I’m not a puppy, so please don’t pet me like one.
  8. Very few of us do this full time. We’re truck drivers and salesman, engineers and schoolteachers. Lots of us are retired.
  9. It’s hard not to sweat in our heavy wool suits. To make sure we smell nice, some of us sprinkle baby powder in our beards; others use evergreen scented colognes and sprays. And we’re always sucking on breath mints.
  10. Think your child’s request is over-the-top? I’ve been asked for giraffes, pigs and elephants, for visits from Hannah Montana and Elmo, even a cookbook for Mom because she’s not a good cook.
  11. Speaking of good hygiene, please take your barely potty-trained two year old  to the restroom before you get in line. Soil my suit, and it’s coal for you buster.
  12. I love the kids, but my favorites are the little old ladies in nursing homes. When they sit on my lap (which they love to do), they turn into kids themselves, and their favorite Christmas memories come pouring out.

There you have it, thank you Reader’s Digest. I found this article a lot of fun to read.

Tagged , ,

Murray the Elf

Santa sent us one of his elves, the kids named him Murray. He arrived on December 1st. Everyday he sits and observes the kids while they play and interact. Then at night after they go to sleep he magically flies back to the North Pole and reports back to Santa how the kids have been… naughty or nice. By morning time he’s back and in a new place. The kids LOVE hunting for him. It’s truly been a highlight of our holiday so far. Here’s a picture of Murray:

Now that you know all about Murray the other day he was sitting in his new place, we were bringing in groceries and L was tired. It was a bit late and she had had a rough day. He fit was pretty out of control so I sent her to the bathroom to get a kleenex, while she was in there I moved Murray (we aren’t supposed to touch him or his magic disappears) into her room she came back and sat there in awe. She called me into her room and said “Mommy how come Murray moved in here?” I told her it’s because he wanted to see if she was being naughty and mean to us. She quickly shaped up and apologized. Yeah it was great but Murray the elf disappears on Christmas Eve. Santa picks him up when he delivers their presents. So I will use this until I can’t any longer. The funny thing is sometimes I just plain forget to move him so I’ve had to ask my future sister-in-law to move him for me and he really creeps her out. So funny but the kids love him.

Here’s a video I made…

The only trouble about Murray, they are selling him EVERYWHERE. How do you explain to a 5 and 4 year old why Santa mailed one to us and they are also in stores and catalogs. I’m working on it. If you have any ideas, feel free to pass them along.