January 04, 2018

To The Cheesy Little Girl On The Messy Kitchen Table...


Yes, you...the cheesy little girl on the messy kitchen table. I absolutely adore this picture of you. I love it so much that I am going to have it framed. It's not the normal picture I would get framed... it's not neat, put together, or planned out. In fact, the clutter of the kitchen table kind of announces my failure to live minimally and organized (I'm really working on that). Your wiggly self is not entirely in focus. Some people would cringe that I let you sit on the table, feet and all. But this picture of you is oh-so-perfect in my eyes. 

On this day, we baked Christmas cookies, a tradition we will do for years to come. We made snickerdoodles with red and green sugar. I was prepared for a chaotic mess of ingredients everywhere, but you were surprisingly careful and orderly during the process. You let me roll the dough, then you dipped it in the bowl of cinnamon and sugar and placed each ball of cookie dough on the pan. I know that you're having fun any time your chin puckers out in that irresistible under-bitten smile. That sweet dimple on your cheek and those squinty eyes tell us that you are thrilled. 

Your little life has already revealed so much. You've shown us our strength and resilience, yet at the same time, you've shown us our utter dependency on Christ to sustain us. We have laughed a lot harder than ever since you've came into the world (seriously...you are freakin' hilarious). We have balanced and juggled more. We have learned to live more selflessly. And if I can really sum up why I love this picture so much, maybe it's because you've shown us that life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. Our lives mirror the messiness and joy shown in this picture. 

I look forward to baking with you again soon. In the meantime, I trust that you will help me find the perfect place to display this picture of you. 


January 01, 2018

Advent Part 2 and Christmas Recap

December 13: Jade and I painted our toenails a "Christmas Red." Her little toes were so cute! I put her on the bathroom counter and had her brush her teeth to keep her busy while I painted them. 

December 14: We surprised Brian at work with a Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa from Starbucks. I was going to leave work quickly to pick Jade up from her baby sitter's so we could get there before Brian would get off. But we ended up having a snow day that day and we got to go earlier and hang out with him in the office for awhile. It worked perfectly! Also, the Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa is kind of incredible. I'm thinking it's only a seasonal drink, but I'm pretty sure it is a White Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Dolce syrup if I had to guess. It's SUPER sweet, so the smallest size is great. 

December 15: We were supposed to bake Christmas cookies this evening, but my mom came up for a fun, spontaneous weekend and Jade's babysitter invited us to a fundraising dinner, so we did that instead. We baked the Christmas cookies on the following Sunday (this was a Friday). We made snickerdoodle cookies with red and green sprinkles. I was expecting it to be chaotic and messy, but Jade did amazing with it! I mixed the dough and rolled it and she helped dip the dough in the cinnamon/sugar mix and place them on the baking sheet. 

December 16: We were supposed to read "The Crippled Lamb," by Max Lucado. This ended up being a really busy day with a wedding, so we pushed this to the following day as well. This is such a sweet story written from the pain of view of a lamb who witnessed the birth of Christ. I read it when I was little and still love it so much. 

December 17: So this was the day we baked the Christmas cookies and read "The Crippled Lamb." We also helped prepare gifts to give family members and Jade's babysitter. 

December 18: We placed marshmallows on pretzel sticks to make them look like snowflakes. Idea found here. We will do this during the month of January as well, for a fun and wintery snack. 

December 19: We used the pom poms from the felt Christmas trees from earlier in the month and I got out some small jingle bells to use for a "Jingle Bell Busy Box." Idea found here. 

December 20: This night we had to pack for our travels, so we kept it low key with Christmas movies on the Freeform channel. Jade will surprisingly stay pretty still and quiet for movies. 

December 21: We left for Kentucky to spend Christmas with Brian's side of the family. It was quite an ordeal, as one of our tires literally fell off our car on the interstate, about an hour and a half after we left. It was so scary, but everyone was okay. We ended up staying the night in Cincinnati at my parents house because the whole ordeal obviously put us behind and we were too exhausted to keep driving. We left the next morning for Kentucky. Half of his family had the flu, unfortunately, so it was a very quiet and different kind of Christmas. We definitely felt a sad void without them! 

December 22: Jade and I read, "The Legend of the Candy Cane," by Lori Walburg. After that we planted a magic candy cane using a peppermint drop, a pudding cup, and crushed Oreos. When she woke up the next morning, there was a candy cane in the pudding cup. And yes, she ate it for breakfast, haha. :)

December 23: We drove to Louisville to celebrate Christmas with Brian's grandma. That evening, we made homemade peppermint play dough using a few drops of peppermint essential oil. I honestly thought Jade would be more into this than she was. She only played with it for a few minutes. I think next year she might enjoy it more. 

December 24: For Christmas Eve, we drove up to my parents house. My family always does a really nice meal on Christmas Eve night. My brother flew in from Hong Kong and my sister was home, too. My grandparents on my dad's side also came into town.  

December 25: We opened presents and stayed in our pjs ALL day. I wouldn't have had it any other way! This was the first year we didn't go see a movie. That's usually a tradition with my family, but I started to not feel well by the evening, my brother still had jet lag, and we weren't sure if we had the energy to risk taking Jade not behaving in the theatre. So we skipped that this year. I'm sure we will do it next year! Brian and I got unlimited movie passes for Christmas, though, so we are looking forward to using those this year! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to 2018. Today we don't have plans to go anywhere, which is nice. I made pancakes, eggs, and bacon, and we just have plans to stay in and stay cozy. Happy New Year!!!