Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Paisley's One!


haha! What a way to start a post about your 1st baby's 1st birthday!

Really, though. Where did this year go? As Andrew was putting together a slideshow of first year pics for her party tomorrow, we realized that it was like a "year in review" for us! Basically all of 2009 was her first year. And it was amazing to consider that her whole first year was so intimately connected with everything we did. She was everything to us. We did everything for her. We all acquired new titles and roles and we all have been learning to walk in them. A new mommy, a new daddy, a new daughter, a new family!

Here's a peek at a very abbreviated version of Paisley's 1st year of life!

What a year. Thank You, Jesus, for sending us such a precious, joyful, full-of-fun-and-life angel! And thank you for coming into our lives, pretty girl. We love you so much and always will!

We're having a birthday party for her tomorrow afternoon. We've invited her uncles, her Brock grandparents, and her Brock/Jones great-grandparents. A "smaller" crowd so as not to overwhelm her too much for the first go-round at this birthday business.

So I've trimmed our green and red Christmas tree in PINK streamers and ribbon, made a "Paisley" banner, hung extra lights and glittery things, and generally OD-ed on pink-ness. We're having pink punch, pink gift wrap, pink napkins, pink cups, a pink mini-cake just for Paisley ... and chocolate hazelnut milkshakes for the crowd! (which are not pink. but the straws are.)

Remind me to pick up that cake at Safeway tomorrow!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

just five...just 70

So, for a long time I've been wanting to try my hand at stamping metal discs to create gorgeously personalized jewelry...

And I got the opportunity to do just that! The women's Bible study (Aspire) at Branches Church - that my mom leads - needed a great Christmas gift for all the women who would be attending our Christmas Brunch yesterday. So my mom and I got our heads together and decided that we wanted to do something that said "JUST FIVE." Explanation to follow.

Explanation: "JUST FIVE" has been a sort of mantra for the women's Bible study and, by extension, for the whole church for a couple years now. The phrase was coined to encourage us to spend just five minutes each day reading God's Word. A simple and life-changing discipline, but surprisingly hard to do!

Branches distributed green rubberband bracelets inscribed with "JUST FIVE" a while ago and we all have them floating around our houses. This Christmas, however, we devised a plan to supply the women of the Bible study, at least, with a pretty "JUST FIVE" bauble.

So I got the stuff and - with help - made 70 of them! Nothing like jumping in with both feet, huh? That's so me. But I was totally thrilled with how they turned out! And now I've got a new hobby...

Monday, December 14, 2009

you call that a weekend?

Wow. We've had a crazy few days since my last post! Some might call that a weekend. For us, it's the most work of all!

You see, I'm currently managing the "coffee department" at our church. Doesn't seem like too big of a deal until you add in some donuts, bananas, volunteers, a staff breakfast spread, and the 300+ church attendees we feed and caffeinate every Sunday!

Before December hit, the Sunday coffee job didn't seem all that stressful. I could easily do all my organizing of lists and people early in the week and then just grocery shop (or delegate the shopping) for Friday or Saturday.

Christmastime changes everything.

That, and the fact that we're in process of changing how we do what we do! -- the way we serve coffee, creating a new "traffic flow," the budget -- oh, and running into our volunteer's holiday schedule conflicts. December has become just a bit more stressful. Then add in the normal happy stress and busy-ness of the season, and a few Christmas parties to plan, and you have the recipe for quite a lot of "fun"!

This must be why we have songs to remind us that "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

shopping day!

Andrew started my day in a crazy way! He woke me up with a phone call at 6:30am from work. He was just getting off and about to head home after working all night long. Said he wanted to give me a chance to get out of bed cause when he got home, we were jumping in the car and going out Christmas shopping. Payday was here!

I heard Andrew come in and say a chipper "Good morning!" before he dashed off to the shower. My head was still fuzzy at 6:50 as I pulled myself out of bed, grabbed yesterday's jeans, and sat in front of the heater waiting for it to turn on. To warm up the cold jeans, of course. I only dozed off once while sitting there. Not bad.

Then a flurry of slow activity as we got Paisley up, got her changed and fed, and bundled into the car seat. It was so cold outside, even she seemed to grasp the reason behind keeping her little hat on.

Then we were off!

1st order of business: Starbucks drive thru for Cass. Andrew had already had something, which explained his abnormal energy level.
2nd: cash the paycheck!
3rd: divide it amongst 3 envelopes.
4th: shop the day away!

We were highly successful! (translate: lots of awesome stuff at great prices!) Paisley was an angel all morning. Riding in the cart, the Baby Bjorn, our arms, the cart, our arms, our arms, our other arm... We really did get a lot done and it's only December 10th! That's pretty early for this Queen of the Last Minute. Yes, that title truly did require italics, bold, and a color. Whoops! More italics.

So Santa's little Harper elves returned home happy and full of Christmas cheer. And there my story ends.

For now.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

mom agenda

Yeah, so I just fell in love with these planners again! I remember seeing them before... Before I was actually a MOM... But now I am for reals and I can have one!

~ happy dance! ~

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

on being christmasy

So I've been working like one of Santa's little elves tonight! Online shopping early in December is the only way to go!

While I'm at it, I've been compiling Christmas lists for myself, Andrew, and Paize. Complete with pictures, links, and descriptions! Just trying to make it easy for those who say I'm hard to shop for... [wink] ... You're welcome!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Things I Love About Being A Mommy

  • finding baby shoes under the furniture
  • playing on the floor with our heads together when she leans in to give a sweet kiss
  • her smile of anticipation as she toddles into my arms and awaits the applause
  • all the different tones in which she says "Mama"... every emotion is communicated!
  • when I rearrange her blankets one last time before I go to bed and her eyes flutter open, then she gives a sleepy smile and closes them contentedly
  • mirror time with my baby, smiling and waving to and kissing our reflections
  • the moment of recognition when she understands what I'm saying and responds to it
  • the pride of showing off a "trick" well-learned
  • tickle giggles and real laughs

baby, it's cold outside

It actually dropped below freezing last night! And it's just stayed so cold all day. Clear and crisp, but cold! So that -- plus the fact that Andrew's got a few days off -- put me in the Christmas mood!

After giving a few piano lessons, taking a late evening trek to Fred Meyer, putting the baby down for the night, etc... it's 11:52pm and we're finally pulling out the pieces of our fabulously pre-lit and perpetually evergreen Christmas tree!

The movie is on and branches must be fluffed. So, until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

turning, turning!

Thanksgiving night at Mom & Dad's. We're teaching Paisley to carefully climb down the stairs. Here's what she does when I tell her to turn... It's just too much fun!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What the heck are Paris Blues and how does one get them?

Come to find out, it is nothing psychological. Has absolutely zero to do with your sad state of mind upon leaving France.

Evidently, they are jeans. And that does ring a bell somewhere. I'm pretty sure I've seen them before.

Anyway, Nordstrom sells them, so they've gotta be all right.

So the fine folks at Paris Blues apparently like to feature different musicians each month as part of their ad campaign. The smartest thing they've ever done (not that I know all they've ever done) is choose Redcast as their December 2009 artists-of-the-month!

So that's cool. Go to Paris Blues artists page. There on the bottom right you'll find the December feature -- Redcast -- complete with a picture of the boys. Click that photo to hear Beside Myself and to read a (somewhat dated) bio!

Did I mention yet that you can follow the boys on Twitter for all the latest from their own mouths? @SethRedcast @JarrodRedcast @DarrenRedcast. Catchy.

December 8th is just a week from today! Christmas Concert, baby!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Virtual Decorating

That's what I've done tonight! I've decorated my "home" for the holidays! Like the look? I've been learning lots! The next thing I'd like to teach myself is how to make the perfect header...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
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