12.27.2011

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Christmas morning, we were prepped and ready to celebrate our savior's birth!
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Miller was so excited about his train table.  He didn't want to want to open any other presents and it took some real persuasion to get him to pause long enough to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and blow out the candle.  That's pretty huge since blowing out candles is pretty much his favorite thing to do.  It was so sweet to hear him sing to our Lord Jesus.  I know he doesn't comprehend what a gift Christ is, but it is still so amazing to watch him learn about Him.
He was also pretty pumped to get to have "cake" for breakfast.  Little did he know it was whole wheat banana bread ;)  After "cake", Bryant and I exchanged gifts while Miller played with this train table.  Look what the hubby gave me!
I am super excited about my new wide angle-telephoto lens and definitely look like a member of the Paparazzi now.  It still has a great aperture value and I look forward to some fantastic pictures, both near and far!  This lens came with a hood which I've never used, but from the little bit I've read sounds like it would be good to use.  Thoughts from any more "professional" photographers out there?  Miller finally came around to looking in his stocking and I think he was pleased.
Once we had opened all of our little family's gifts and spent some time playing, we got ready to go to Bryant's parents' house for a late breakfast and opening gifts.  Once again, it was hard to get Miller away from his train table.  Once again, as soon as the camera started rolling he toned it down a notch.  Prior to this video he was very insistently replying "no presents play with Mill-Mill's trains".
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I finally gave up on trying to get him completely dressed.  So he's in half clothes/half pjs.  It wasn't a battle worth fighting.  We finally made it to Nana and Papa Frank's for a delicious breakfast, many wonderful gifts, and time with family.  By the time we got there, Miller was no longer insisting on "no presents" and happily accepting them all.  ;)
Christmas this year was really special with Miller being a little older and able to understand more.  We weren't great with our Jesse tree {I think we only discussed and hung eleven of the twenty-five ornaments}, but it was still amazing to see how many of the Bible stories Miller remembered.  Next year I vow to be better!!  Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours!

12.25.2011

Christmas Parties

Hello friends!  I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas!  I'm going to back up a bit and post about some Christmas parties we had this past week.  Bryant's family is all about some Christmas parties so we were busy, busy, busy for the past several days.  On Thursday we gathered with my mother-in-law's siblings and their children/grandchildren.  We had a delicious dinner and the kids exchanged gifts.
Mike and Deidra gave Miller this cute police motorcycle complete with a working siren.  We had this inside for about ten minutes before I told Bryant it needed to be an outside toy.  Miller liked to turn on the siren and leave it running even when he wasn't riding it.  If I snuck over to turn it off he'd run back over, turn it on, then run off to play.  Needless to say, I can think of about a thousand things I'd prefer to have as background noise than a police siren.  It is perfect outside though!
I got to snuggle with sweet Molly for a while.  Molly is the little girl of Bryant's cousin, Mallory.  She was so snuggleicious.

The next night we went back to Margaret's for Christmas with the Ainsworths.  The Mastin and Ainsworth families have been getting together to celebrate Christmas for the past twenty years or so.  Of course, it was much easier to get everyone together when the kids were little and the families lived right across the street from each other.  We had a pretty good group this year, but we missed Shannon, Austin, and their families.
Sorry this picture is blurry.  I need to show Bryant how to set my camera on automatic mode if he's going to take a snapshot.  It was the closest thing we had to a group shot though!
 More baby snuggles.  I got to see Malley, my sweet niece, a lot this weekend.

Saturday morning {Christmas Eve}, Margaret had her annual brunch for some of the ladies in her extended family.  We had to take the annual "kids" on the stairs picture.
And the annual adult picture.  Somehow I snuck into the kids picture even though my recent birthday makes me anything but a kid.

That evening we gathered with Bryant's immediate family and his grandmother, Betty Jo, for the Christmas Eve service at their church.  They don't have a nursery, so it's always a bit of a gamble when taking small children.  Miller did surprisingly well and loved the candlelight part at the end.  Malley was doing great as well; that is until I picked Miller up and didn't pay attention to the fact that his shoe swung right into her face.  Ouch.  Sorry Malley girl!!  Miller and Malley got a lot of playtime in this weekend.  It made me very aware of how much we're going to have to work on the definition of the word "gentle" before the baby comes in May.  Poor Malley got pushed around quite a bit.  Don't worry Malley girl, Aunt Whitney's got your back.  We're working on it.

After the service we went back to Margaret's house for a yummy dinner which was cooked by Betty Jo and a few gifts.

It was a great few days with friends and family!  Stay tuned for a post about the big day!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope your day is filled with fun, family, and most of all worship and praise of the One who was sent to save you!   Be back soon with an overview of our Christmas.  For now, I'm buried in wrapping paper, boxes, and gifts!

12.22.2011

The Big 3-0

Yep, that's right.  Yesterday I had a pretty big birthday.  It feels really strange to say that I'm thirty and somehow I still can't quite believe it.  My friends and family didn't disappoint in making me feel loved and special.  My day began with a "happy birthday" from my baby boy {after a little prompting from my mom of course} and, per his request, a candle in my cheese toast which he helped me blow out.  After breakfast I got ready for a spa day that my sweet husband planned for me.   Kendall made plans to come along which made it even more fun.  My mom was kind enough to drive up to keep Miller so that said spa did could actually occur.  Thanks, Mom!  Kendall and I enjoyed pedicures, a yummy lunch, massages, facials, and lots of uninterrupted conversation.  So far thirty feels pretty primped and relaxed ;)  Unfortunately, we never got a picture together because we looked pretty rough most of the day.  {Gotta love the massage-oil-in-your-hair-look.}  After we got cleaned up and dressed, we did a little shopping until Bryant got to Huntsville and picked me up.  From there we went to dinner at Commerce Kitchen and then to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  
Add to that the many messages and calls I received from so many of you and I'd say it was a pretty fantastic day!  And as if Bryant hadn't already done enough, he gave me tickets for us to go see Wicked in February!!  Yay!  I've been wanting to see it for years and I'm so excited!

Thanks for making an old lady feel special everybody!  ;) 

12.19.2011

Christmas - Take Two

We traveled to Birmingham this weekend for Christmas with Poppy & Cissy.  As always, Poppy had quite a few toys and activities planned.  Miller loved the train that Poppy has around his Christmas tree and spent a lot of time turning it off and on.
 
Saturday morning, Santa made a special trip to see Miller and bring him a couple of gifts.
 
After Santa came, Miller played with Poppy & Cissy so that Bryant and I could go shopping and have lunch.  It was such a treat to have a quiet lunch out!
That night we all went to the Zoolight Safari.  The weather changed on me and I didn't pack accordingly.  I think Miller was the only child who wasn't bundled up appropriately.  I felt so bad, but he didn't seem to mind.
 
Snow! {Man-made of course - it wasn't that cold}
 Miller wanted to touch every. single. light.  In the whole zoo. 

We made the mistake of mentioning the train at the zoo.  It was all Miller could talk about all afternoon.  After quite a bit of line-waiting, we finally boarded.
It really was a nice ride, complete with a bell from Santa along the way.  Miller loved it.  However, I am not exaggerating when I say that the second the train stopped, Miller started chanting "carousel".  So that's exactly where we headed next.
We could have stayed for hours there was so much to do, but we had to get the little man home for dinner and bedtime.  He had a rough weekend sleep-wise.  The next morning we exchanged gifts with everyone.
Bryant got these little finger flashlights in his stocking and they were a big hit with Miller Man.  He wore them around all morning.
Brad and Lauren got Miller this Thomas train to play in and he was so excited!  It folds up really easily and will be awesome to pull out on rainy days.
This is hysterical.  Remember when I said we should have just given him a box of leaves?  Well, that's exactly what Uncle Brad did.  Miller was soooooo excited!  Honestly.  Out of all the gifts he received, this one got the biggest reaction.  It was so funny!
After the excitement of the leaves had worn off, we all got dressed to play outside awhile before we drove home.  I caught this shot of Miller and Bryant and just thought it was too precious not to share.
Love.  I am one blessed girl.  Thanks for a fun weekend, Poppy & Cissy!