Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

*so, I started trying to put all of the Christmas pics into this blog, but it takes sooooooooo long, so for now, the blog will have to be minus MANY day, when I have 10,000 hours in my day, I will add the pics...(seriously, blogger, can you please provide an easier, faster way to add pictures?????)
We had such a great Christmas this year. I seriously believe that Sadie and Sawyer's ages this year (3 and 4) are by far the BEST ages to have at Christmastime. I know, I know...I'll probably say that again next year...and the next...and the next. But, you get my point. We had SO MUCH FUN!!!

Friday night (Christmas Eve-eve), we went and had dinner at Casa Vieja. Yum. We were supposed to have a big shindig at my sister's house, but unfortunately Emma got strep throat the night before, so we had to cancel the activities for the night. Boo. So, after we went to eat, Dad and Lori came by and we did our gift exchange with them. The kids loved opening their first gifts of the season! Then, they both helped me open all of mine. So cute.

After they left, we let the kids watch our wedding video with us for the first time. It was SO precious. They loved it! The questions they asked and the comments they made were just priceless. I cried like a baby through most of the video. Okay, I sobbed. The kids kept asking me why I was crying and I just told them it's because I was so happy. Yes, that was part of the reason for sure. But, frankly, it's just plain hard to watch! I can't believe it's been 10 years. So many people have changed in that 10 years! There are people who are no longer with us that were in the video because they have passed away. My Grandpa, for example. He was so healthy then. Just walked himself right down that aisle. There are also people who have gotten much older and aged so much in just 10 short years. Dennis' grandfather, for example. He was so much healthier (and quicker) 10 years ago. Then, of course, there were people in the video who are no longer around due to the ugliness of divorce. Boo. It was just plain hard to watch how happy EVERYONE was in that video. Dancing, singing, clapping, smiling, loving, etc. And, then, there was precious little Chance, who was not even 2 years old in the video. There are no words to say how stinkin' precious he was!!!!!!!!!!! I loved and will always cherish that first time that we got to let the kids see how it all began. They need to see that. They need to see how happy we were back then. And, they need to see how happy we are now. It all matters.

Saturday morning, we got up and went straight to Grammy and Captain's house. We had so much fun there. Grammy dressed up as the Fairy Godmother and handed us all of our passes to Disney for the whole week. I seriously cannot wait for that trip to get here! We ate a great lunch and let all of the kids play. It was a wonderful time!!!!

We came home and let the kids nap and then we went to see my Grandma. She's just so wonderful. She's lovely, she's hilarious, she's loud and quiet all at the same time. She's just as perfect as they come. Kate, John, Stacy, and Brittany were all there too. We stayed just a little while and I loved every second of it. I soak up every moment I have with that woman. She's so special. There's just not one other woman on the planet like her. She got choked up several times while we were there and as always, she cried so hard when we left. God bless that sweet woman.

We headed to mom's after that. We had a DELICIOUS dinner and then opened what seemed like a million presents. Mom always goes all out at Christmastime. She got Sadie the cutest little desk for her American Girl Doll. Sadie LOVES it! And, she got me the cutest Prada purse from New York and I LOVE it!!!!!!

We left and came home to put out the reindeer food and cookies/milk for Santa. The kids kept thinking that they heard Santa and it was so darn cute!!! They seriously FLEW through bathtime and getting their PJ's on, b/c they knew that Santa wouldn't come until they were in bed. They kept telling me to look outside and see if he was there. They were excited beyond words and it was so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They came to the den to tell Cocoa, our elf, goodbye until next year and then they went straight to bed. We didn't hear a peep out of them.

Then, the "fun" began. Dennis and I were up until 2:00 in the morning getting it all ready. Wow. We were tired. Excited, but definitely tired. Neither of us slept all night long.

We got up around 7:00. The kids did not. They didn't wake up until sometime after 8:00. Seriously? Who does that??
Sawyer woke up first and then we got Sadie up and the whole moment was a bit anti-climactical. They ran in the den and I think were immediately overwhelmed. They were REAL excited, but they just weren't sure what to do. Hilarious. Sadie just happened to walk by the door and see the trampoline out in the backyard. She was SO excited!!!! So, we put on coats and houseshoes and went straight out there to jump! They loved it!!!!! Mom and Butch came by for just a second and then Dennis and I opened our gifts to each other. He went WAY overboard. He always does. He spoils me. I got him a new 9mm Glock, so he was pretty fired up too! :)
Deb and LJ came by for a few minutes and when they left, we made our Christmas morning breakfast. Mornin Glory Oven French Toast. Yum-O!
We pretty much played all day long. The kids napped and then Dennis' dad came by for a few minutes too. The kids loved showing off all of their stuff.
Dennis smoked bbq all day, so we had a delicious Christmas dinner too. We played our new games on the Kinect and just had a ball. Love the memories of Christmas. They never get old.

Monday morning (the day after Christmas) we got up and went to Dennis' grandma's for Christmas. It was crazy, but a lot of fun! It felt pretty good outside, so the kids were able to play out there, which was nice.

It was a wonderful, wonderful Christmas this year. I definitely was not ready for it to be over. But, it's nice to be able to look back on it and know that it couldn't have been any better!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Surprise at Opryland

Sooooooo, Dennis came home a few nights ago and surprised me with a nights stay at Opryland Hotel for Thursday night. (last night) He found out that he wouldn't have to work on Friday, so we all got to go and enjoy our night together as a family.

He met us at home and we loaded up and headed to the hotel. We hadn't told the kids yet what we were doing. They just knew we were spending the night somewhere away. When we pulled in and they saw all of the lights and the size of the hotel, they were fired up!

The lady at check-in upgraded us to a room in the Delta with a balcony! Woo Hoo! We went straight to the room to see our view!

After we checked out the room, we went and bought the kids their "passports" so that we could go and meet and have our pictures made with all of the Shrek characters. Sadie was a little shy at first, but once we got to meet Puss in Boots, she was ALL about it! We also got to go into Gingy's Gingerbread House and decorate Gingerbread cookies. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

We walked around some more...and some more...and some more...the lights everywhere were just beautiful!!! We grabbed some pizza and burgers and had some dinner and then we went and rode on the Delta Riverboat around the hotel. It was so neat. This was a huge hit with the kids!

I had to throw in that picture of Sawyer eating his pizza. It was the biggest piece of pizza I've ever seen and he had the greasiest face and hands. Hilarious!

We went and got some ice cream and then headed back to the room. We all went to bed very quickly b/c everyone was worn out!

We got up and the kids went straight to the balcony! They loved looking out over everything and getting to see people walking by.

We checked out and grabbed some breakfast at Cracker Barrel and headed home to get ready for our fun Christmas weekend ahead! Can. Not. Wait.

Thank you honey for the most WONDERFUL way to kick off our Christmas weekend together! I couldn't have asked for a better night to spend with my family!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Crack

Well, it has officially hit the Phillips household. It should be illegal, but it's not. It is only offered for a few weeks during the year and the best part...??? It's FREE! It's called CHRISTMAS CRACK! And, Sadie and Sawyer are on it EVERY DAY! All. Day. Long.

I love it!

They are definitely filled with the Christmas Spirit. This has been the BEST year so far with the kids. We have done lots of fun things. We have gone to the Rockettes, gone to see Christmas lights, gone to visit Santa, gone to a Shepherd's Breakfast at church, done several countdowns to Christmas, watched several hundred Christmas movies, talked about the birth of Jesus, talked about the importance of Christmas and giving, had several Christmas parties, and last but not least...we are looking SO forward to Sadie's very first Christmas program tomorrow morning!!!!! I remember going to Chance and Emma's programs at school when they were very little and I would almost cry every time, so I hope I don't embarass myself tomorrow!

We still have LOTS to look forward to this week. We are making cookies for Santa, making reindeer food, making LOTS of people food, and celebrating Christmas with ALL of our families! And, Dennis planned a special, AWESOME night for the 4 of us coming up on Thursday night. I. Can't. Wait. We haven't told the kids yet, b/c we fear the Christmas Crack will put them in rehab, but we are so excited! There are no husbands/daddies better than mine! He is the most unselfish, giving, loving, 34 year old kid that I've ever met! He took his small Christmas bonus this year and bought the kids a Christmas train set b/c he knew how much they would love it. And, they have. And, he planned this whole night for all of us on Thursday night that I am looking so forward to! (details to come)

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is Cocoa, our Elf on the Shelf. Although, I brought Cocoa out a little too early this year (whew!) we have so enjoyed him being a part of our family during this time of year. He has ziplined across the den, eaten cupcakes and hot chocolate, brought the kids letters to write to Santa, sat in Santa's lap, played in the fireplace, written on the mirror in the bathroom, been a snowman, and many other things. We're sure going to miss the little guy when he heads back to the North Pole this weekend.

Anyways, I hope everyone else is getting to experience the Christmas Crack this year! It's definitely a drug worth taking!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Heart

Christmastime is all about the heart. What you feel in the heart. What you let your heart lead you to do. What you let fill up your heart, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't think Christmas has to be ALL about giving to others. I know what you're thinking..."wow, did she really just say that?"
Yep, I did.
The reason I say that is because I feel as though we should ALWAYS be giving to others. Don't just save it for Christmastime! If we would all give all year long, there maybe wouldn't be such a "need" during this time of year! And, if we all would find ways to give all year long, we wouldn't feel the "guilt to give" during this time of year.
People love to proclaim to everyone who will listen what they're doing to "help" others during Christmas. If you're letting the world know everything you are doing to help out others during Christmas, your heart is probably not in the right place to begin with and more than likely, you're not doing it for all of the right reasons.

We love to get our kids lots of goodies for Christmas! I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Now, if we never gave to the church, never helped anyone out, never gave money to help the orphans, or a single mom, or the homeless, etc., and we STILL showered only our kids with gifts at Christmas, I can see the problem. But, I don't think there is anything wrong with allowing your kiddos to have a good Christmas.
I know everyone's convictions are different. Some people desire for the praise of others. Some truly want recognition. I am not here to judge. I am only here to say that only God knows our hearts.
That's what having a "Christmas Heart" means to me. It means that I can do things that maybe nobody else knows about, but all that matters to me is that God smiles. I can do something for someone that my own husband doesn't even know about, but I don't need the praise from him. I simply do it because God leads my heart to do it and we are only called to be obedient.
So, for what it's worth, have a Christmas Heart this year. A heart that's not so focused on how much you're "supposed" to spend on someone, or how to make everything "even" between the kids/grandkids/parents, etc. Just do what your heart leads you to do! Give because you WANT to give. Not because you're "supposed to"! Let your heart be blessed!!!!!