Sunday, December 16, 2007

O' Christmas Tree

I'm late, I'm late and Christmas is just 9 days away!! I'm behind this year, but I'm making progress. Our Christmas cards are made, but not addressed; shopping is still incomplete, although I did put a big dent in it this weekend; the dreaded Christmas card photo shoot took place this afternoon; I'm just about finished decorating; and the pecans for my Bourbon Balls are marinating as I type.

We FINALLY got our Christmas tree Friday night and decorated it on Saturday. So there IS light at the end of the tunnel. And the light in Oakley's eye's speaks volumes.

She is overjoyed with our tree and I think she's already memorized every ornament. She goes round and round the tree as she repeats, "Don't touch it .... just look." Last year we celebrated Christmas without Oakley, knowing that she was halfway around the world, without her family, and without knowing what a very special day it was. It was a difficult holiday for us, but we found comfort in knowing it would be the last Christmas she would ever spend alone. Words can't describe how wonderful it is to have her home with us this year.

I must admit that adding another child to the mix made our annual Christmas card photo shoot a little more interesting. Oakley was dressed and ready long before any of the boys, so I positioned her in front of the tree to get some solo shots. By the time her brothers were ready, she was done with the photo shoot and more than ready to move on to something else ... lunch, in particular.

Bless her heart, I bribed her with a sandwich and chips, and she managed to find a few more smiles. Amazingly, I was able to get a few photos with everyone's eyes open, and everyone smiling (albeit some of the smiles were obviously forced!)

I haven't decided which shot we'll use yet, but I need to get busy if I want to get them in the mail before Christmas!! Care to let me know your favorite?

Next year I vow to have a professional photographer take our Christmas card photo. I don't think I've used a professional photographer since Sullivan was just a baby! It's about time.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When Bad Hair Happens to Good People

We were preparing to head out to dinner and I asked Sawyer to go upstairs with Oakley and fetch a bow for her hair. They were gone for a while and this is how she looked when she returned.

Sawyer, of course, was all smiles. He's no stylist, but you've got to admit, he's got flare:).

Oakley LOVED her new look and was more than happy to pose for some photos.

Yup, Sawyer continues to be her hero!! When we pick him up from school each day, she greets him with a smile and a "Hello! You're my friend." And she never fails to ask him how his day was.

I love looking back in my rear view mirror to see them holding hands -- their mutual affection is so evident.

Ahhh ... it melts a Mother's heart!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I'm a slacker. I can't believe I let an entire month escape me with no post!! I missed Thanksgiving and our 6-month GOTCHA anniversary. We've been crazy busy, but I apologize for not posting an update last month. I'd be remiss, however, if I didn't take time to share how THANKFUL we are to have our sweet girl home.

Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning this year and it often overwhelms me just to look at Oakley. She is absolutely amazing in every way and as I experience each holiday and each event through her eyes, I count my blessings. She reminds me daily to remember what's really important -- the love of family, the grace of God, and the tenderness of a child's heart.

She's so appreciative of all the little things and she was beyond excited as I decorated the Thanksgiving table in anticipation of sharing a wonderful meal with our immediate and extended family members.

I LOVE Thanksgiving. I love our family traditions -- watching the Macy's Day Parade in our pajamas and cooking our favorite dishes with the sound of football games in the background. I love that Sullivan ventures out mid-morning to find the brightest red leaves to adorn our table, and I love spending time with family. It's low-pressure and lots of fun. And this year, Oakley's excitement was icing on the cake, or whipped cream on the pumpkin pie! Yes, she really loves all the hoopla surrounding each holiday, not to mention the food. The girl still REALLY loves to eat!

"Soooo pretty, Mama. It's gonna be FUN!" she exclaimed repeatedly as she helped me set the table.

And with Christmas just around the corner, you can only imagine how she reacts to all the Christmas lights, the holiday music, and the general hustle and bustle. She knows Jingle Bells by heart and sings it non-stop .... non-stop. Michael decorated the front of the house with wreaths on the windows and twinkly lights on the landscape shrubs. She tells him daily what a good job he did.

We visited the mall, and much to my amazement, she climbed right up on Santa's lap, gave him a big hug, and asked him for a baby doll. She was thrilled with the little coloring book he gave her. She talks about him like he's a long-lost friend. And I guess he is.

As we prepare this season to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I thank Him for His presence in our lives, I thank Him for my wonderful husband, my beautiful boys, and my precious little girl.