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Some Christmassy 2016 Photos

February 12, 2017
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[I am sorry to the people that did not make it in these photos. It was unintentional. …Namely Rebecca and my mother, who seem to have eluded the camera when I was taking photos (I think they were beside me on the couch); and The Martins because I must not have gotten my camera out when we saw them.]

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This gift of Jacob’s was perhaps one of my favorite things about Christmas this year. Back in 2011, Jacob and our boss at work- Robin- started a prank battle with these creepy AF caroling Christmas dolls.
THE STORY IS HERE:
Battle of the Caroling Dolls
When Jacob left his job at The Village, he took one of the caroling dolls with him with every intention of getting the final prank in–maybe even years later when the time was just right he’d take the doll back to The Village and leave it where Robin would find it. The topic would resurface every now and then over the years, and he would confirm his plan to do so.
Well, this year Dad gave a package to J and told him it was NOT from him.
When J opened it and received a caroling doll for Christmas I could not stop laughing. FIVE years later Robin beat J to the punch and remains the prank master.
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Well played, Robin!

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

30 Day Photo Challenge DAY ONE

February 19, 2011
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I’ve had this meme on my ‘Journal Things To Do’ list for well over a month… originally seen in Rebecca’s journal, though several folks have picked it up since then.

Obviously I am incapable of completing this challenge in 30 consecutive days, so I just plan on adding to it when I feel like it… in between whatever else I want to journal about.

So here goes DAY ONE

Day 01 – A recent photo of you and 15 facts about yourself
Day 02 – A picture of the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 03 – A picture of you and your best friend
Day 04 – A habit that you wish you didn’t have
Day 05 – A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
Day 06 – A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 07 – A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
Day 08 – A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 – A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 – A picture of you when you were little
Day 11 – A picture of your celebrity crush
Day 12 – A picture of something you love
Day 13 – A picture of something you hate
Day 14 – A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 – A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 – A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with
Day 17 – A picture you don’t remember being taken
Day 18 – A picture of the last movie you’ve seen
Day 19 – A picture of someone you miss
Day 20 – A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel
Day 21 – A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 22 – A picture that confuses you
Day 23 – A picture of something you crave a lot
Day 24 – A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 25 – A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 26 – A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 – A picture of something your afraid of
Day 28 – A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29 – A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 – A picture that tells who you are

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1) I’ve had my baby names picked out since I was 13 years old. They’ve changed and evolved over the years, but the list has always been in my head. I’m not even so much a fan of babies as I am children and family and motherhood/parenthood. But I do love pregnancy and childbirth no matter how miserable it may be. (And it is. Miserable.)

2) I’ve never felt angry at Ben. Sometimes I wonder if it’d be easier if I did. I have so much compassion for him that it hurts, and I get tense and defensive when others are down on him.

3) Greens and yellows and bright blues improve my mood. A spotless, bare room makes me feel depressed. I love knick knacks and colorful walls.

4) For the movie that Jamie and I have written about our lives I have chosen Keira Knightley to play me. I think she’s gorgeous. And it beats being played by Cillian Murphy or Pony Boy.

5) I used to have really romantic ideas of what adult single life was like. I’d never experienced it. Come to find out it’s a lonely Hell Hole full of creeps and jaded, reluctant individuals. I can either pout or laugh about it. I do both. I’m glad for the folks who found their sweethearts in their teenage years and held onto them… they never have to learn these ropes and good for them.

6) I can’t decide if (after I get a job of course) I want to room with my parents or find an apartment and an unrelated roommate. I need a vote.

7) Speaking of finding a job…  I’m having the worst luck ever. I’m either “over-qualified” or I don’t have enough experience. STUPID COLLEGE DEGREE! YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE THIS EASIER! (I may be bitter about my college degree… and debt.)

8) I am SO excited to go back to school (OSU!!) and revamp my entire life.

9) I’m totally against animal abuse or torture. I’m not completely heartless I don’t think. However I have absolutely no emotional attachment to animals and I hate cats. And I love my fellow cat-hater support group of friends who are equally cynical and bitter and foul and politically incorrect… because we can all come together, with our mutual general cynicism and hatred of cats, and not be offended by…. well, by anything. :]

10) I love the smell of gasoline. I’m trying to think of stuff I’ve never told the internets!

11) I have to sleep with a fan on every night to drown out the rest of the noises in the house. Anything and everything wakes me up and I have a hard time getting back to sleep.

12) Life is beautiful and I worry too much. That’s something I’m working on– obsessive worry and defining everything at all times. I just wanna have goals, know who I am and what I believe, and go with the flow. I’m determined to make this change.

13) I once FB friended a girl from Liverpool because I thought she was someone else… And I kept her on my friend list because she and her British friends typed in British accents just like we type in American ones (ya, gunna, wanna, til, etc.) and I loved reading it! But then she finally deleted me and I was sad. I’m thinking of friending folks from different english-speaking countries just to read their accents :].

14) I am an organization freak. Not necessarily a neat freak or a clean freak.

15) Sometimes I wonder (worry?) if I’m going to be way too lenient on Adry in his teenage years. I’m just not sure I’m against anything passionately enough, or with enough conviction, to forbid it. However my goal is not (and never will) to be the cool mom, or a friend. I will always be the parent… striving to perfect that delicate balance of unconditionally loving, guiding, and supporting while letting him find (achieve?) independence.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Bringin’ in the New Year. 2011/26

January 4, 2011
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First, in defense of my camera, I must admit that some of these (a lot of these) aren’t the greatest of photos. BUT that’s because I don’t use automatic mode- I use all of the creative modes- because I am trying to LEARN. And I am still finding the right balance between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for the right depth of field for the amount of movement going on in whatever lighting there is. It’s a delicate balance and I am a beginner and I’ve never taken a photography class (which basically means I just learned what that stuff even means). So! I am at fault for whatever flaws there may be in these photos. Not my camera.

Anyway!
New Year’s Eve Pictures!

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Me messing around…

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Mom and Dad made a really fancy meal for NYE. Asparagus soup, dinner rolls, salad, filet mignon, bakes potatoes, mixed vegetables, and wine. Mom of course made sure the table looked all pretty.

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Jacob is something special.

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The boys played together all night. Adry adores Jameson and follows him around like a worshipping puppy.

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Nick and I

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Nick and I… after I made J try to get a “better” one of us.

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This is how the cool kids bring in the new year. CANDY LAND.

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Tony

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Pammy

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Ruthie

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Nick is attempting to teach my brothers how to play Euchre.

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Les

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Dad playing harmonica

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Whatever Jameson does… that’s exactly what Adry wants to do. I think he watched him play phone games for like an hour.

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This was my parents’ 28th Year Anniversary and I failed to get a pic of them together.

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Chip and Mer

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Chip and Mer candid after pose-for-the-picture time.

Then a few days later I turned 26 years old!

And I went to Jessie and Jamie’s apartment to eat Pei Wei Pad Thai and watch a cute movie with some girls. Jamie surprised me with Coke, a theater gift certificate, and a Reese DQ ice cream cake with ‘2’ and ‘6’ candles on it. Totally sweet of her. It put me in a sugar coma and I promised myself to not eat sugar again until I turned 27. I almost successfully forgot to take my cake home but Jessie made sure I remembered. That Jessie– always lookin’ out.

OMG it is 2011.

OMG I am 26 years old.

OMG I would have been married for SIX years.

I’m not going to lie. The last few weeks of December/ the first week of January have been really incredibly hard. Emotionally draining. I’m glad it’s all over. Sort of. The fact that it’s over also means… it’s over. And that’s still hard to swallow.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Piles of Pictures

November 21, 2010
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November Morning Bike Ride

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Let it be known that before the bike ride Dad informed us that it was a “NO TEXTING ZONE”. Bike ride time was for bike riding ONLY, dang it. But check this hypocrisy out:
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Ooooh, but he was texting Mark The Music Leader about playing at church so it was important!

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He’s making funny faces at Adry.

Adry’s Photography

Adry took this photo of Uncle Jacob:
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Random

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Adry is watching his Monkey NighNight get washed.

Playtime at Tuttle Mall

Your kid might play in the Tuttle Mall play place, but this is what my kid does:

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…lies around watching the children…

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…and lies around some more

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…still lying

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In the elevator

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Rolling the ball in the fountain

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Throwing Grandma’s money in the fountain

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Quarter of a Century

January 5, 2010
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Last year, when I turned 24, I moped around and was in denial for a few days until I made the fantastic decision to APPRECIATE and find the beauty in every age and stage of life. When I voiced my decision someone’s response was, “Wow, that’s lame,” and so of course, but only for a minute, I retreated back to sulking and self-doubting and counting all the years that dragged me further away from my youth…

BUT, you know what, even if my decision IS lame, I EMBRACE THE LAME because it totally worked. Totally. Not only did I really enjoy celebrating a new year and a new age, I looked forward to it! I’m past my quarter life crises; I don’t even think 30 will get me down, now. I’m excited to live my current life of being a young mother and wife, I’m excited to raise my children, I’m excited to watch my children have children… life will be good all the way through because every stage and experience is beautiful.

For my birthday I requested, from The Food Woman, wet burritos. And no bake cookies.
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Wet burritos is an art perfected by The Food Woman. The ooey gooey cheesy yumminess, the rice, the corn, the beans, the sour cream, the chewy tortilla, the chicken. It is one of my favorite Food Woman meals.

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It was very strange because I sat at the head of the table. No one has sat there, except Ginny, for four years. It was our first Sunday meal without her.

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I had a Coke for the first time since before Thanksgiving. Glorious. The longer you go without Coke, the more amazing it is.

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Jacob made fun of me for taking pictures of myself, but HELLO how many times do I turn a quarter of a century old? ONCE. And who else does photograph documentation? No one but me. And so who else is supposed to take pictures of me on the day I turn a quarter of a century old? JUST ME.

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I just requested that Ben take care of Adry all day for me for my birthday. No diaper changes, no meal clean-ups, nothin’. Ben did it all. Also glorious.

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That evening a group of us went to the movies to see Avatar in imax 3D. (Mom, Dad, Jacob, Rebecca, Matt, Alexz, Hutch, Jeremy, Tay, Ryan, Ben, and I… which was also strange because we hadn’t been able to ALL go out together at the same time for four years because someone had to be home with Ginny at all times.) Anyway, I LOVED IT! I had been very skeptical, but it blew my mind. I loved the graphics, I loved the world, I loved the animals, I loved the story, I loved the characters. Seriously, you NEED to go see it while it’s at the theaters in 3D, and I do recommend seeing it in imax. It is a MUST DO.

Anyway, after the movie I had a nice time visiting with Matt, Alexz, and Hutch back at my apartment. I had not seen Hutch nor Alexz for several days due to the holidays, visiting family, and trips to Disney, so it was nice to just sit and talk… and eat tortilla chips and cheese… AND get Christmas gifts… AND goodies from Disney. Thanks, girls 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

NEW YEAR’S EVE 2009

January 4, 2010
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Happy 2010!
Happy 27th Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Happy 5th Anniversary to Me and Ben!

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I am wearing my zipper necklace that cousin Sammie got me for Christmas.

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on our way to my parents’ house

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all bundled up and PASSED OUT!

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Mom, Les, Sandie

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Matt and his awesome mustache

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I wanted to get Matt’s whole outfit in the picture because I thought he looked nice… he is about to kick someone in the head.

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yep. Kicking someone in the head.

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Les, Sandie, Mom, Maurine

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Playing Uno. My family is currently obsessed with that game. Or at least Matt is.

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Jeremy, Tay, Becca

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Before going out to eat we all gathered around the table for a game of Left Right Center. I won 7 or 8 dollars in quarters! WOOHOO! (Jeremy, Tay, Jennaka, Pammy, Tony, Norm, Dad, Ben, Matt) We also played Bunco.

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Ben, Matt, Becca, Jacob, Mom

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Matt took this one. I was trying to make sure I got a picture of everyone at the table. (Patty, Jennaka, Pammy, Tony, Norm, Dad)

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Me, Jeremy, Les, Tay

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Matt is still trying to make sure we got a picture of everyone there! (Mom, Maurine, Sandie, Me)

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After games we once again went to the Japanese Steakhouse to bring in the New Year. It was fun! AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, YUMMY!

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The anniversary couple

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The other anniversary couple

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Onions! MMM!

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You can take a stab at the kinds of thoughts going through Matt’s head about his noise-maker.

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Pammy, Ryan came!, Tony, Patty, Norm

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with their New Year hats on

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Makin’ NOOOISE! That place got loud. Pammy and Ryan look like they are on a very serious mission to fill the last minutes of 2009 with as much noise as possible.

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VIDEO COMING SOON

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Brother Sister Love

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My favorite part of a Japanese Steakhouse NYE (BESIDES THE FOOD) is this little Japanese man who dresses up and dances around every year.

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VIDEO COMING SOON
And then he got in a brutal sword fight with a patron. BEAT DOWN!

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Ben found this flower for me on a bench outside of the restaurant. OH THE ROMANCE! SWOOON! 😉

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After we brought in the New Year (and ate to our tummies’ content), Ben, Matt, Becca, Jacob, Tay, Jeremy, Ryan, and I went back to our apartment for the first game of 2010: Catch Phrase. I felt super young and hip when I thought I was staying up ’til the wee hours of the first morning of the year, but then I fell asleep on the floor. Anyway, we told stories, we laughed, we told more stories, we made fun of our game-playing ridiculousness, and we laughed some more. Turns out I had a really great night 🙂 Happy 2010!

MISSING VIDEOS:: I can’t read the HTML very well to know where to put these suckers.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmastime Two Thousand Nine

December 26, 2009
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(It’s late. I’m tired. But I felt like journaling. Ignore mistakes.)

Christmas is officially over. Sad Face. Every year on December 26th I am tempted to get depressed. I have to remind myself to look forward to New Year’s Eve and my birthday. This year I started to get depressed on Christmas Eve because Christmas Eve meant I only had two more days left of Christmastime. I just want Christmas to last all winter, THAT’S ALL!

But, I’m looking back on this year’s Christmas (already) and thinking about how it was a really great one. …A few minor challenges involving a really sick and pukey baby, but overall just really great.

Have I mentioned how awesome of a family I have? And how thankful I am for them? Every day I am so, so thankful. When I think of other people who are far away from their families during the holidays (or who don’t even have a family to be near) I am filled with compassion; I just want to share my family and all of the fullness I feel.

 

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I don’t know. Ben’s wrapping job kind of gave me a chuckle. Masking tape. He said we didn’t have scotch tape, but… why didn’t get just go out and get some when he got the wrapping paper? See, this is why I love Ben. He’s so goofy and doesn’t really understand that he is, haha.

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Do you realize how hard it is to get a decent picture with/of my child? Especially when he is sick?

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He spent pretty much all of Christmas Eve doing this. Crying. If he wasn’t crying he was whimpering. If he wasn’t whimpering he was whining. He was so sick. Even so, I dressed him up in the Christmas Eve church outfit Grandma Sanders got for him and WE WENT TO CHURCH, dang it!

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Hello, plastered smile. I was so frazzled. It’s stressful to try to get ready and go about trying to accomplish things during the day with a clingy, crying sick toddler. I mean, it would have been an accomplishment to break away for 10 minutes to get a shower. …which I didn’t, but the way- I had to bring him in the shower with me. AND hold him as he refused to be set down. Poor baby.

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I was determined to have a good Christmastime.

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Sometimes he became distracted from his misery and decided life wasn’t too bad after all.

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Chex Mix at Grandma and Grandpa Sanders’ house

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playing with the jingle bells

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feet crossed, looking out over the snow (which melted before Christmas. boo) and cars driving by

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right before falling asleep on Christmas Eve

CHRISTMAS DAY:

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Adry feeling the anticipation of Christmas morning! …he was blocked off by Lester the Hedgehog’s cage so that he couldn’t run and see all of his presents.

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Ben, Matt, Jacob, Adry, and I all packed into my parents’ office to sleep. Blankets everywhere!

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He was finally allowed to break free! He made a run for it to all of the good stuff in the living room.

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Uncle Jacob was apparently half dead as he made his way to the living room.

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Christmas Morning “BEFORE PICTURE”
Adry got a GIANT deli/cafe complete with stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, cash register with credit card, display case, metal cooking utensils, plats, cups, silverware, pastries, vegetables, and fruit. It is pretty amazing. Jacob got a car.

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Matt got a new hedgehog cage that my dad built (he did a great job!) and an acoustic guitar. I got an AWESOME comfort bike. I took it for a whirl and OMG. I can’t even tell I am riding a bike. I am pretty excited about it.

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Christmas Morning “AFTER PICTURE”

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Matt, Alexz, Mom, and I all went in on bongos and bongo stand for Dad.

I got mom some este lauder Pleasures perfume.

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Matt and Alexz got Adry this adorable, soft, cozy, gigantic stuffed dog. I told Matt I wanted him to hold the dog to give him some scale. I said, “smile or look decent or something” and this is what he came up with. See, no one cheeses for me. It’s sad.

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Matt’s guitar

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MY BIKE!

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After a delicious Christmas brunch of french toast, cheesy eggs, fruit salad, cheesy potatoes, and bacon we were able to get Adry into his Christmas Day outfit (given to him by Grandma Ellwood), but it didn’t last for long….

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… He seemed to be doing fine health-wise until in the car on the way to Grandma and Grandpa Ellwood’s when he threw up everything he ate for the past ten days, plus a kidney and maybe half of a liver. It was not a good day for his Christmas Day outfit, nor for his car seat.

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On our way to The Ellwoods’ (pre-puke inciden)

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We had to strip him down and Grandma Ellwood washed his outfit only for it to get puked on again later. I believe my poor guy was sick to his stomach a total of four times throughout Christmas Day.
But, for a good chunk of time he was able to forget about his sickiness in order to focus on the heaps of new toys he received. I didn’t know this many toys existed in the world. TOYS TOYS EVERYWHERE!

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Adry has two uncles and a grandpa influencing him to be a drummer. He plays on Uncle Dan’s drum set at Grandma and Grandpa Ellwood’s, and he plays on Grandpa Sander’s drum set back in Hilliard. Aunt Kristi got this adorable little bee drum for him.

Later in the night we played games, as usual, at my parents’ place.

OK, I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Goodnight, all. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Now let’s celebrate the upcoming New Year! 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

December 20, 2009
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Today was sort of a lazy day.
I had a long list of Things To Do and only accomplished about one third of it.
The good news is that I finished all of my Christmas shopping! But I also intended to spend the afternoon and evening wrapping and never got to that…
Instead I watched Elf. (which, I hardly laugh out loud during movies, ESPECIALLY not at slapstick comedy, but Elf, for some unexplainable reason, tickles me every time. When the taxi runs into him, when he does the splits up the escalator, when he says “SMILING IS MY FAVORITE!”, when he covers his eyes and runs into the lockers– I just have to giggle.)
And I also played around with our Santa hat and took pictures of myself and Adry… and even Reese Pete will make an appearance under the cut. My mom might kill me for that. I will explain that under the cut as well!

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I tried my best to get a cute picture of Adry in the big Santa hat, but Kid is unstoppable! He doesn’t quit moving. …Which is kind of why Baby Einstein is a sanity saver sometimes because it’s the only thing Kid will sit still for.
ALSO, I am kind of getting a kick out of the baby hand prints and smears on the fireplace door. Awesome.
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I will post a kissy face picture of myself in a Santa hat, yes. I normally wouldn’t, but I kind of like how my polka dot boots made it into the photo.

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He enjoyed running around with the hat over his eyes, getting dizzy, and falling down… because he’s weird.

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Reese had just gotten back from the vet with two new blue leashes. Mom took the leashes off, but then Adry spent the next half hour chasing Reese around trying to reattach them. He finally managed to loop one around his ear and clapped at himself and said, “yaay!”. Poor Reese is a good sport. Since Adry joined the family I have a whole new respect for that little canine. He’s always been a turd to me- he growls if I so much as brush his fur with the tip of my toe- but he puts up with ANYTHING when it comes to Adry. Adry shows his love by lying on Reese, giving him tight full-body hug squeezes, petting him oh-so-ungently, shoving toys in his face trying to get him to play tug-of-war, and Reese takes it all without an audible complaint. His pack instincts tell him Adry is the pup. For a small preppy little westie you really are a good boy, Reese Pete. Especially because you don’t jump up and I can say, “go away” and you leave the room- that’s my favorite part about you. (I’m not a pet lover, it’s true.)

Anyway, mom has disallowed me to post pictures of Reese for the past few months because he has been very ill. VERY ill. Like, almost died ill. He had a terrible skin infection/disease/something or another that caused open sores all over his body. Mom took him to the vet and he had to be completely shaven (except his head and one or two legs) and he was stuck wearing a cone for a while. The veterinarian had said he might not have lived. Anyway, poor Reese lost weight and looked like he was some sort of starving, diseased, third world dog. It was awful. But the cone is gone, his fur is growing back (still not groomed, though), he gained some weight, and here he is being a sport about running around with a leash on his ear. But he still isn’t the cute little westie we are used to.

From last year at christmastime (Santa hat included… gotta keep the theme!):
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal