Iced In and the rest of lately

To say that I thought the ice storm was the ruiner of my weekend and/or life is unfortunately pretty accurate.  UGH.  I was so depressed.  (and I think my cousin Lindsey says it the best to all the skeptics.) I was so excited about the amazing shower Linds and Al and Julie were throwing and just seeing all my closest friends.  I was pretty bummed it was canceled.  (Along with everything else fun we had planned when icemagedon hit.)  But, when Jeff saw me get back in bed on Sat and hide my head under the pillows, he really pulled out his bid for the best husband ever and de-iced the car, got gas and loaded us up for the 3 hr drive over to colleyville so I could at least see linds and al and their kids.
 It pretty much turned my whole weekend around and we ended up having so much fun stuffing ourselves with cake and watching amazing programs with princesses and knights and mermaids.
I can not say thank you enough for all they did- all everyone did who tried to come or even thought about it in that weather before we canceled it.  Everyone who sent a gift and called and texted- thank you.  I cant tell you what that has meant to me and to our family.  We are so thankful for the people that surround us and encourage us- esp having four kids.  whew.
ben licking the ice
Since then we have been keeping ourselves busy getting ready for Shea.
We made some snow globes again this year. 
Some of them didnt take too well to the water and their animals/trees came off of the bottom so some of them we just left waterless.  Still a hit.
making snow globes
I made a red and black hat in honor of the lumberjack trend that I cant get enough of but cant wear because I am carrying around a large bowling ball that is causing massive swelling in every appendage I have.
lumberjack hat
I still haven't decided if I am going to add a pom or not…
We got our tree decorated and lit.
We went down for a quick day trip for the Hilltop Gets Lit Christmas party and luminaries.  It was amazing.
hilltop gets lit 2013
I have been making lots of tights and hats for Shea and friends and just loving every minute of it.  I am still so obsessed with spoonflower. It is just so much fun to make a fabric and then have it sent to me and make something out of it!
This one was in hopes that Shea might be here for Christmas.  Unfortunately, it is not looking that way.  I may have to pass these along to someone else. sigh.  I did have tons of false labor for a couple of days and we ran around getting stuff together (and by that I mean making shirts for the rest of us).
But, alas, nothing came of it.
And false labor is not for the faint of heart.  Whew.  I got so excited and then so down that it wasn't the real thing.  I am trying not to throw myself a pity party (which I clearly am trying to make a habit of this winter) and just enjoy the holidays.  I am so thankful that everything looks good with Shea, to have three kids to celebrate with already, to be closer to family; for jeff to have a job, and Jesus's birthday and everything else that makes this amazing time of year so amazing.  I know that I don't want to miss any of this holiday funness, but I am just so excited about meeting this baby.  And not having to carry it around inside me anymore.  And drinking a beer.  And excessive amounts of coffee.
On the 19th, we celebrated my dad's bday at my brother's new restaurant Barter that is the BEST.  It was so delicious that we came right back and cant stop going.  It is just so much fun trying all the food and drinks.  Even the kids just love it and want to go every time we go.
Happy late bday Dad.  I wish you shared a bday with Shea, but I am so thankful to be able to celebrate the father, friend, Jake and person that you are.  Thank you for instilling in me the love of life and the belief that anything is possible that I set my mind to.  Thank you for your love, constant optimism and support in all we do.  We love you so much!
And now on to Christmas for the next four days!!!!!
Hope y'all are getting everything wrapped and hung and bought!  I can not even put into words how much I love this time of year and am just so thankful for the amazing family, house, friends and life that we have to celebrate with.  I am so so thankful for Christ and His willingness to come down and die for my sins, to live on this earth when this earth is nothing compared to the heaven He left and for doing it all by starting with the humility of coming as a tiny baby.  This chance to thank Him and celebrate all He has done is the reason for our season and we could not be more thankful for it.
Merry Christmas to all!! Hope everything goes smoothly where you are and that you have a chance to curl up with family and friends wherever you are.


Bye-Bye Paci

I still can't believe it.
McKenna is paci free and did it without a single tear. It was very spontaneous with how it all happened. Ella had a dentist appointment last Wednesday after school. It was just a routine check up so McKenna and I sat in the lobby while Ella got her teeth cleaned. As we were leaving, I asked the dentist when I should bring McKenna in for her first visit. He responded with, "If you aren't in a hurry, I can see her now." Awesome. I love a double appointment. McKenna immediately panicked and started to cry. He told me to fill some papers out first and then they would call her back. I sat down with her and tried to reassure her that everything was going to be ok. I told her how they were just going to clean her teeth and I even bribed her with a treat. She still wasn't having it. I then told her that she needed to be brave and that made something clicked. She stopped crying and when they came to get her, she walked off all on her own. I was so proud of how fast she went from whining like a baby to being such a brave big girl.
 He showed me her bite and then asked if she took a paci. I told him yes and he explained how it was causing her bite to shift. I looked at him wide eyed and said very clearly, So you are saying that McKenna needs to get rid of her paci? I was trying to give him a message that I was totally going to use him to be the bad guy with the paci. He got my hint and jumped right on board. He explained to McKenna that if she kept using the paci her teeth would be very messed up. He then went and got a mold of some teeth that were crazy messed up. He showed them to McKenna and told her that they were teeth from someone that still had a paci. I didn't care what he was making up, it was fantastic and McKenna was soaking in every word.
Before bedtime that night, we gathered every paci and put them in a bag. We then all stood over the trash can, kissing and hugging each one. McKenna threw them away and never said another word about them. Not one! I had attempted to get rid of the paci multiple times in the last 6 months and it was always so dramatic that I would give in and let her have it. I couldn't believe how easy this was and how awesome she did.
Now I just need to find someone to do this same thing with potty training...


Iced in!

Lindsay, Julie and I  hosted attempted to throw a baby shower for Kristen this last Saturday. The ice storm took over though and we ended up having to cancel. Boo.

When we came up with the theme about a month ago I remember thinking, I sure hope it's not 80 degrees on December 7th.  The theme was "Baby, it's Cold Outside." And boy was it.
A crazy winter ice storm hit the Dallas area on Thursday night. My original plan was to drive to my parents house Friday after Ella got done with school. Once we realized there was no way I would be able to drive on Friday, I took Ella out of school and left Thursday afternoon to beat the crazy weather. 
The shower was at Lindsay's house, which happens to be minutes from my parents house. When we woke up Friday morning it was solid white. Not the fluffy lets make a snowman kind of white though. It was ice. The girls were thrilled either way and tried to make some snow angels.
Once McKenna went down for a nap, my dad drove me in his truck to Lindsay's house so we could begin setting stuff up for the shower. We still had hope at this point that the weather would be a little better by Saturday afternoon for the shower. We started on the party favors first. There was going to be a hot chocolate bar and each guest would get a mug to drink from and take home with them. Lindsay found the coffee mugs at Big Lots for a great price. We wrote on them with Sharpie and then put them in the oven for a few hours. This made the sharpie stay on the mugs even when washed.
I have horrible handwriting so I was the snowflake girl. Lindsay wrote Celebrate Shea on one side and then I drew a few snowflakes on the other.
We then hung up the amazing chalk board backdrop that Lindsay did free handed! (It was going to stand on something that would have filled in the whole window.) She made it match the invites. Julie found the invitations on Etsy and they were perfect.  I made the giant snowflakes out of poster board and they were the perfect finishing touch to the chalkboard.
Julie had made so many fantastic garland decorations. We hung the tassels on the fireplace and I brought my CELEBRATE letters too. Lindsay's sister in law made another amazing chalkboard that would have been on the mantle as well.
I headed back over to my parents house for dinner but had plans to come back over once the kids were in bed so that Lindsay and I could finish setting everything up. That never happened though. The weather just kept getting worse and it would defiantly not be better by the next day. So late Friday night, we sent out an email saying the shower was canceled. We were so sad!
Julie was going to drive on Saturday but couldn't' because of the roads. It was all just such a bummer. We tried to make the best out of it though and still hung out all day on Saturday. It wasn't too hard for me to get to Lindsay's since I was so close so the girls and I headed over for a full day of fun! Jeff, Kristen and the kids finally made it too! We were all so excited to be together! It was such a fun day and we enjoyed a cake made for 30+ people all to ourselves. It doesn't get much better than that.
The kids put on a show for us that was hysterical!
Best baby shower ever!

That night my dad drove us to a movie theater that was close by and we saw Frozen. It was so so cute! I wish I had pictures of all the kids together. Especially McKenna and Kristen. McKenna sat in Kristen's lap and was feeding baby Shea popcorn through Kristen's belly button. Hilarious!

The temps dropped to the teens again on Saturday night so Sunday was still too icy to drive back home in. So we stayed another night and Ella got to have another snow day on Monday. I tried to pull out my teaching skills and do a little home schooling.
Sunday night was one of those little moments I will never forget. We put a blow up mattress on the floor and put on White Christmas. My mother in law introduced this to Ella last Christmas and she loves it! Ella hadn't seen it in a year and she remembered what was coming next in every scene. The sister song is her favorite part and when it came on, McKenna and her danced just like them. It was pretty sweet. Looks like this might have to become a Christmas tradition.

McKenna had been saying all weekend how she wanted her hair cut like this baby doll that is at my parent's house. I thought it was a great idea and Anna was excited to cut it. So Monday morning, Anna and Tyler came over to cut McKenna's hair.
I love it SO much! This girl was meant to have a bob.
Late Monday afternoon is when we finally got on the road. It was still icy in spots but safe enough to get back home.
Whew! What a weekend. 


Popsicle Stick Snowflakes

Thanks to pinterest, we found our Christmas mantle decor.
We just followed her patterns and hot glued all the sticks together.  It went so fast and was so much fun!
We also cut out snowflakes out of paper and hung them up downstairs until we realized how fun it would be to hang them over the kids bed so they woke up to a snow storm every morning :)
It's a blizzard over here!
(What we didnt know is that it actually would be a blizzard the next week and we would be snowed in.  I guess you can say that we are weather predictors.  We hate to brag about all our skills, but when you got it, you got it…)

Thanksgiving Break

I MEAN! Who wants to go to Disney World right now??? I can not stop reading that post.  It is only the 9 month belly holding me back from jumping on a plane right now.  I was on the edge of my seat with every pic she posted!  Mickey! Minnie! Every ride! AHHH! Love it all!
The week of Thanksgiving we pretty much tried to have all the fun we could stand to have outside of Disney World.  
The kids made scavenger hunts, played tons of board games, celebrated my birthday, went to the aquarium with linds and fam, hung snow flakes of every variety; we pulled down the Christmas decor and hung up everything we could find, we went to get the Christmas Tree, we went downtown for the Christmas festival in the square and had numerous crafts at Nana and Papa's. 
It was so much fun.  Having them home just made me so happy.  I was so excited for the break and to have them home.
They, however, were not as enthused.  As soon as Thursday hit, they were asking when they could go back to school and how many more days they had to have off.  
Talk about self esteem boosters, those kids.
Needless to say, regardless of if they had the best time of their lives, I did.  And, luckily they seemed ok when the very next week we were snowed in and they had to stay home with me for four more days.  Poor kids.
I mean, check out that face paint- amazing.  I could not get over it. Ben was so excited.  He asked us to take his pic over and over- especially with his eyes closed so we could see his tiger eyes.
 I made some stockings for a few friends too.  I used a different pattern that I kind of winged and it was really so much fun.  They look more like boots and less like socks.  I also finished Shea's nursery and moved everything of Ben's to the other room so we are ready for his or her arrival anytime.  (Hear that baby Shea? ANYTIME NOW would be so great!)
Hope everyone had a fantastic break and rested, relaxed and ate way too much.  
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