Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How the Cookie Crumbles....

“Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit”....

What a life we've had lately! The weekend started off with a bang with my work Christmas party. Christopher's firm came to speak about our 401k plan and stayed on for the party. It's sort of a fun thing to see Chris in action. I was so proud (personally) and pleased (professionally) with his presentation! He did such a great job! My dad raided his office wine fridge and Steve fired up the bbq. Most people brought their families and Miss Haley was obsessed with a little 10 mo. old named Jack. It was really the perfect time for a little holiday cheer as it has been a slow year for everyone!

Sadly, our little family attended rosary and funeral for our neighbor Pepino Primavera on Friday night/Saturday morning. It was a very sad event and my heart and prayers went out to his widow, Sharla, our dear family friend.

Soon after the funeral mass, Chris headed out to his rugby game and my mom and I settled down to preparing for our annual cookie exchange on Sunday. As is our custom, we polished our silver, dusted off our china and pulled our punch bowls for the event. This is the second year we have hosted the party and it is always such a success. I think everyone enjoys a little "ladies only" time away from the hubbies and babies. Christopher was a big help, coming home early from the rugby party to help finish setting up, making a quick trip in during the party to carve the ham and carefully washing our heirloom china and sterling pieces after. What a fantastic husband I have!

The party was such fun we had about 30 women this year, my sweet mother-in-law even made it down for the event! Here are some pictures from the party...

The yummy cookie table...

My honey with my heart and joy...they crashed the party for a bit so Chris could carve the ham....

and so I could show off my pretty pretty!

Of course, we have tons going on from now until New Years. Lane and Curtie come home tomorrow....I can't wait! We have Christopher's office Christmas dinner at the Palms on Friday night, Saturday is Conway Christmas and Sunday we head up to the Bay for a hair appointment. I am so looking forward to all the family time!

Our little joy, Miss Haley, is doing fantastically well. She has been trying to walk and actually managed a step on Saturday...I can't believe it! She is onto string beans, though she is much more interested in whatever Chris and I are eating, so I've been giving her tastes of a variety of things. I need to take pictures of her next to our perfect Christmas tree...I'll do that and post them next time around. Until next time....merry, merry to all!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Love, Life, Loss and the Perfect Tree

Gosh...what a week. I think I should probably start with the sad news and end on a happy note. Our family friend and current neighbor Sharla Primavera lost her husband, Pepino, on Saturday. It was unexpected; I don't think he was even 40 yet. She had taken their two kids to the store and when she returned, he was on the couch, gone. I can't even imagine what she must be going through and our prayers are with her, their two children and their twin babies she is carrying (due in June).

And so we find solace in the life God provides....

Mr. Noah Flinn Gardner was born last Thursday at 6am in the morning. Alas, no home water birth. Noah was not having any of it! My mom and I visited that same afternoon and Katie, Jason and little Nono all looked healthy and happy, if a bit tired. He is just a beautiful baby and we are thrilled to have him in the family! I've heard the family is home now and doing their best to adjust to lack of sleep, changing schedule and all the joyful chaos that accompanies a new baby! Here are some pictures from the hospital.

Speaking of babies....Chris and I attended the Right to Life Gala last Friday after a quick stop by the AHDC Christmas party.

I always have such a great time at this event. Brooke and Carlos were able to join us this year and the Davies as well! I managed to have the winning bid on some adorable Christmas socks and onesie for Miss Priss. I may have enjoyed myself a bit too much on Friday night because Haley's 5:30am wakeup call was a bit harder than usual to answer Saturday morning. We managed to make a quick trip to Target so Chris could get his dress up item for the rugby party that night and then, Chris left for the game and I joined Haley in her morning nap. It was much so that we were actually late to the rugby game. As it was just the over/under game (over 30s play under 30s), I didn't harbor too much guilt. The under 30s won, much to Christopher's dismay (he is an over 30 this year)!

All in good fun, the rugby crew served up their "shoot the boot" drinks (a disgusting tradition that involves serving up a doctored beer in a rugby cleat to the distinguished players of the game...I won't mention the horrible things they add to the boot)

and donned their costumes. Every party has a theme....crazy hat, worst sweater, etc. As this was the over/under game the teams had to dress up as babies or old men, respectively. Here is Christopher's outfit.

Yes, it's a full size footed onesie!

Sunday my mom and I attended the annual SJM tea. Chrissy Hardcastle invited us as her guests and it was a very nice event. They didn't have such a thing when I attended, but it was such a good idea. Moms of SJM students host different tables and invite their lady friends. The hosts decorate the tables and some of the hosts go over the top! It was such fun to walk around and see all the themes and centerpieces. I hope we are invited back next year.

We sent Haley home with my mom and picked up my cousins, Seri and Catherine Toyloy, for our movie date. Chris and I saw the 1st Twilight at home on an off Friday ondemand. I sort of liked it and Chris said it made him feel like a 12 year-old girl. So when the New Moon came out, I called my teenage cousins to see if they would be our beard so we could see it at the theater. We had a ball and I'm definitely on team Jacob. Yummy...Chris said he is nearly 21 in real life so it isn't against the law or anything!

Now...the big news! We finally got our tree yesterday! It is gorgeous...just perfect! I think it may be the most beautiful tree we've ever had. So, Chris and I started a tradition where we go and get hot chocolate, load up the car cd player with Christmas music and head out to somonian farms to pick out our tree. It was even more special this year with Miss Haley. We bundled her up in her cozy bear outfit and she looked just perfect. We were all so happy to find the perfect tree together!

When we first arrived at the tree lot

All bundled up!!

Just the right size!

where is it????

We found it!!!

We're so excited and we just can't hide it!

Haley keeping an eye on the car while the guys load the tree

Now, more Haley news! She is just growing up as fast as can be. We’ve moved her into her highchair, because she has learned how to escape from her bumbo.

She is pulling up on everything, desperate to walk!

Crawling everywhere and putting everything in her mouth – cords, plastic bags, etc. She is such a ball of motion now! We are baby proofing as much as possible, oh what fun!

Well, until next time…love to all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving, Photo Shoot and David Grey

It's official!!! The faint smell of wood burning fire, crisp winter mornings and foggy breath in the's the Christmas Season. I LOVE this time of year. Everyone is a bit more jolly, thoughtful and festive. I hauled out my boxes of Christmas decorations the day we returned from our Thanksgiving jaunt to Sonoma. I've found I have to do things in stages since Haley...a bit here...a bit there. So, my garland is hung, our stockings are out and the ornaments are just waiting for the perfect tree. Mmmmm...Christmas!

I ordered my Christmas cards today. We just got back our order from our Woodward Park photo shoot. They turned out so well! I'm thrilled. Here are my faves....

It was such an easy photo shoot, Mark was really great. I think we're going to do an all family shoot with him if we can find the time when Lane and Curtie are home for Katie I's wedding.

Thanksgiving with the Comstocks was a ball this year. Kathleen and Mike rented a house on a winery in Sonoma. The tasting barn was literally right across the driveway...dangerous! We visited with the Haakes (family friends). Kathleen and Linda have been friends since grammar school! Linda's daughter, O'meara, just had little Carolina, the first grandbaby in their family. What a sweet one! I managed to snap a picture of Chris, Haley, O'meara, Carolina and Grandpa Walter...Miss Haley was on a roll, showing off her new crawling everywhere skills!

Kathleen, Sarah and I orchestrated Thanksgiving dinner and it was fantastic! Brian and Sarah took on the turkey, stuffing and gravy and it turned out wonderfully! Kathleen made sweet potatoes and more stuffing and Chris and I did green beans, homemade rolls and mac'n'cheese. Yummmm....

Besides the amazing food, we had such fun just enjoying every one's company, shopping and wine tasting. Thanks Mike and Kath for a great holiday!

My parents returned from their month long Europe/FL vacation the same day we got back from Sonoma. They couldn't wait to see Haley and came over as soon as we got home. They had a fantastic time but were glad to be home.

We got them right back into babysitting mode when we left Haley with them on Monday night and headed out to see David Grey and others at an acoustical concert at Twist. It was really a great event and we had a ball with the Camarenas as always. Thanks for inviting us Carlos and Brooke!

The holiday party season has begun and things will be hectic from now until New Years. I just have to keep reminding myself to stop, take a breath and enjoy every moment of this Christmas, our first as a family. Love to all!