Friday, December 26, 2008

We wait, plan, shop, decorate......
and it's over so fast!

We had a wonderful Christmas and hope you did too! I do know that I "hurried" it along some as I continue to look forward to what next Christmas will be like.

Christmas Eve Breakfast @ Mike & Faye's, one of my brother & sister in laws house. It's always a great morning to hang out and spend time together, Mike & Faye are both yummy cooks too!!

Before we headed to my parents house, we stopped for a picture in front of the tree. I still didn't have a part to my tripod at this point (Santa brought me a brand new tripod though) and we had to work on getting a shot of us both. Of course Gizmo gets in too....

Later we headed to my parents house to go out to eat with them, Longhorns was yummy. Before we left their house though, another photo opportunity. Again, it was quite complicated without a tripod. We aren't in the "best pose", but it worked. Man, my face is looking quite large in this one. Yowie- Thanks Lindsey for letting me borrow all the clothes, they are coming in quite handy and seem to fit more each week......

Christmas morning is always one of my favorite times to just "be" at our house! Santa comes, we look at our goodies, Andy makes breakfast, then we hang out and "play" with our new stuff. Santa visits Andy at the living room tree (the night before) and me at the dining room tree (early that morning) and we are such big kids!! We are working on a plan for next year~ ... and I consider it quite brave to put a picture up of myself up here, without make up, straight out of bed, that's a brave (or crazy) thing to do my friends......

Santa visits Andy and leaves: Wii Fit (thank you my little elf for helping), a floating golf mat thingy for the pool (it's sooo cool), a book, a few movies, Wii Sports Party, a running shirt, a watch, a CD and variety of stocking goodies.

Santa visits me and leaves: a silver charm bracelet with 2 new charms (not in the picture), a tripod, a new UNO game, a calendar, a planner, a baby book, "Horton Hears a Who", "WallE", an ornament that is a digital photo frame (so neat) for baby pictures, Wii Chicken Shoot, Play Doh (b/c I play with it in the car) and stocking goodies! My favorite part is always my letter from Santa, so much fun!!

We played games and watched the Disney Christmas Parade all morning. We examined our goodies and went to my parents house for sandwiches about 1:30. It's the last year we are leaving our house and I can't wait until next year when everyone has to come our way to see what Santa brings the munchkin (or munchkins we hope and pray). We all went down to visit my Grand Mother for a little while together. Then we returned home for a nice long nap, watching a movie, followed by a late night of Wii Playing!! (Andy got tons of games from my parents too, so we had a lot of games to examine!)

We really had a wonderful Christmas season and CAN NOT WAIT until next year!!! For now though, it's over. Time to start stacking up the piles of stuff, finding new ways to organize and consider taking down decorations. It always seem so sad and empty when the trees are gone, I'd leave 'em up all year if I could.

We have big things to look forward to in the new year with a sonogram January 6th when we find out if he's a he or she's a she!! Then we are taking our last "just us" Disney trip, January 12-18th and we are so excited about that. It will be so much fun to enjoy our "us" time and know that our next trip will be to show our favorite place to our favorite new little person. (or persons!) Big things await the Tanner family!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tanner Chirstmas

If you are on Facebook (and who isn't these days) you've seen these. Just in case though, I'm posting a few here too.

Here are the munchkins last night at our Tanner get together. I couldn't love these three a bit more than I do, no kidding. They melt my heart, how cute are they?! Great niece Layla, great nephews Tanner & Trey. Pure joy I tell ya!

(yes, even when she was later crying b/c she was so tired she couldn't stand it and saying "I don't know, I just cry".......)

We only did munchkin gifts this year and we were surprised when we realized they'd bought gifts for our munchkin as well. Warmed my heart people!! Here's the little one's "loot"!!

I even saved all the tags that said "NEW baby Tanner"!!

Our niece Trisha paints the cutest stuff. She made this door hanger that has awake babies on one side and sleeping babies on the other. It's so darn sweet & cute!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Surprise in the mail

Okee dokee, I love a good surprise! Especially the kind you aren't expecting that just show up and in the mail, even better!!!!!!!! So I was shocked yesterday when this little package arrived for me with an adorable maternity shirt! I love it!! It's perfect, fits good now with room to grow! I wore it to church this morning!

The fact that I don't know who it's from is cracking me up. I have racked my brain to no end trying to figure out who we know in Virginia. I've searched through my Facebook friends trying to find someone from Virginia. I've reversed address searched the address on the package, to no avail. So.... who are you? I'd love to personally thank you! If you aren't going to confess, then accept my public "You're so sweet, that was a great surprsie! I love it and thank you!"

Here I am, 14 weeks & 6 days preggo. Just 1 pound gained, but sure feels like more! I'm wearing only maternity pants & jeans, quickly outgrowing my PJs! I'm having an issue with shirts: too big for my own, but not big enough for maternity that are usually huge at the bottom. Strange stage.... My friend Amy said "oh yeah... fun stuff, you're not looking pregnant and people just say ... hey she sure is getting fat" Mom & I went shopping for clothes Thanksgiving week, I've bought a few things on Ebay and borrowed some too! (Thanks to Aimee for my 1st pair of life saving preggo jeans & Lindsey for a bag full of things I can't wait to wear! Yes, they fit!!!)

Another mail surprise from a few months back.....

Just for the record, Terry- Andy thought the shirt was from you! He said you probably stopped and mailed it on your way to Florida just to trip me up. I assured him yall weren't headed to Florida this week and that you would have mailed from home.

For those of you who don't know my funny friend Terry, this is what she sent me right after she found out I was pregnant. Matter of fact she was one of the first to know about it and about our adoption plans, she's always around when I'm dying to spill my guts though not telling "everyone" yet.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Very Special Bear

Most of you have heard me already ramble about my doctor's visit yesterday. What can I say? It was such a relief to hear that little heartbeat and have the doctor say that I was having "a textbook pregnancy".

I have spent the last 8 weeks since seeing & hearing that little heartbeat (@ a 6 wk ultrasound) worried to death about hearing it again. Yesterday, to our sheer delight and answers to many prayers, the second the "microphone" touched my tummy our little one's heartbeat was loud, clear, strong and I dare say happy! Andy was there to hear it with me and I think he was in utter disbelief at how amazing it all is. Hearing and seeing for yourself just can't be put into words! (as many of you know)

I didn't see "my" doctor yesterday, but another from the practice. As much as I adore my doctor, and I really really do, I dare say I loved this one just as much. (if not more) Which is exciting! He was/is wonderful! He knows first hand the feelings of taking many years to get pregnant. He has experienced being a parent biologically and through adoption. He's "been in our shoes" so to speak and really understood my crazy anxiety more than others might. It made me feel fantastic!!

He was excited with us as we shared that we are continuing in our adoption journey as well as with this pregnancy. We're just waiting for God to send us our little blessings both ways!! We hope daily our phone will ring from a birthmom who has chosen us!!!! Our excitement for adoption and our huge desire to adopt is absolutely no less great than it was last December when we made our official decision!! This pregnancy is such a huge surprise blessing and our desire to have little ones grow up together is overwhelming!!

Our niece, Aimee, told me about this fantastic idea about a build-a-bear. I went there a few weeks ago and purchased an "un-stuffed" bear and a recorder do hickey where you record your voice, message, whatever. I took the little recorder yesterday to the doctor visit with us. When we heard that little happy heartbeat, I recorded it on the do hickey. Then we went to the mall and put it in the bear's paw and stuffed the little bear! Now all we have to do is squeeze his little paw and hear that happy heartbeat anytime we want!! It gives me the complete warm fuzzies and I (pathetically) admit to not being able to let him out of my sight!

We know that "every good and perfect gift is from above" (James 1:7) and we can't wait to continue to get to know this little one! We look forward to being parents in any way God chooses to bless us. Who knows how many little ones we'll have at the Tanner house next Christmas?! We couldn't be any more excited!!

We look forward to January 6th when we get to go back and find out if he's a he or she's a she!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Monica needs...

Stepping away from Christmas for today and following in Lindsey's footsteps yet again. (It's becoming a habit my friend) She actually found this on another blog, so I'm not the first to copy -cat. Anywho..... Go to google and type in "your name needs". Of course I searched for "monica needs" and here is the first 10 things it appears google thinks I need. Hmmmmmmm.......

Monica holes in her skin
(what? um...... no thank you)

Monica needs...a bicycle master plan
(he he he, that just makes me laugh. what exactly IS a bicycle master plan? are we saying i need to ride more? have you seen me on my bike and how clumsy I am?)

Monica needs...another dress washed
(no really they are all nice and clean, b/c frankly I haven't worn a dress in ages)

Monica needs...volunteers
(yes, for preschool all the time. this is true)

Monica needs...more friends
(well sure, new friends are nice. i have some great ones though)

Monica PR
(what? is my public relations needing a little work?)

Monica needs...a stylist
(lol, oh that is fantastic. true, i probably do. since all i currently wear are maternity jeans and sweatshirts for the most part)

Monica get a job
(I have one thank you and i wouldn't trade it for the world)

Monica needs...some highlights
(I agree and would love 'em, but i can't afford 'em.)

Monica needs...a 4th of July parade
(sure, how about a Christmas parade though b/c I'm planning on seeing one tomorrow)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Traditions
the movies section

**This was originally posted last year in December. In sticking with traditions, it looked like a great time to share it again. I love Christmas movies and have so many favorites. We've watched the Grinch on TV already and the DVD version of "Christmas Vacation." Watching all the movies is a huge tradition. Don't forget to read the end and post your own thoughts!!**

'Tis the Season

You know the holidays have arrived when TNT is playing Christmas movies every night & Charlie Brown Christmas comes on network TV. Gotta love it. So many movies, so little time. Here are some of my favorites, too many to list them all. I could watch one a day through December and not get through them all!! Love, love, love them!!

As I finish this, I go back and think of all the ones I've left out. I'll never remember to name them all. The Disney CG film where Minnie & Daisy are ice skating, love it. Snowden on Ice, love a good ice skating movie. Prancer, oh Prancer.... Have you seen it? I love that movie, not very well known. Jingle all the way, makes me laugh. Christmas with the Kranks, fun. All the Home Alone movies are great for the holidays, the first is my favorite by far! It's a Wonderful Life, classic .. though I don't love this like everyone else, I watch it still. Twas the Night Before Christmas with the mice in the clocks, fun. Little Drummer Boy, the movie about the Christmas that almost wasn't.... what's that one? (Oh - The Year Without Santa Claus) Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Santa Claus movies, those are all good. Ok, I can never name them all, I have an entire cabinet section FULL of Christmas movies only!!

Charlie Brown, man... You have to love the story there. The music, you know it when you hear just a few notes. What a great sound track!!

A Christmas Story, how can you not LOVE this movie? Who doesn't feel for the kid when the bullies are after him, who doesn't love the scene where he sticks his tongue to the pole, you know you quote "You'll shoot yer' eye out" and how about the end where they are singing in the Chinese restraunt? You know you love it!

Frosty or Rudolph? Could you pick?? Why pick, let's take 'em both!

Grinch, you know it by heart ... right?!

White Christmas, everyone needs at least one good musical for the season! This is such a classic! Makes me wish for snow as I watch it and drink my hot chocolate.

Smoky Mountain Christmas, WHAT?? You haven't seen this redneck hit?? Seriously?? Watch it, it will be on CMT again. It's great. Sweet story and it's not Christmas unless I've seen this one a few times! Love the kids!!! Dolly is the woman!

Miracle on 34th Street, do you like the old one or the new one???
I love them both, I watch them both each year.

Ok.. you're on a deserted island and can only have one Christmas movie with you. What are you taking?? Me, hands down... I'm taking Christmas Vacation!! This could very well be my favorite movie of all time, period. It makes me laugh until I cry, every single time I watch it. No kidding!! When my Mom's side of the family gets together for Christmas, we have this movie playing. We all know it by heart and once I forgot the movie... it wasn't pretty-
Love, love, love, love it!!!


Your turn, tell me your favorites. What is your favorite Christmas movie? Do you watch it at a particular time of the season? Do you watch them on TV or DVD? Favorite memories from them?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Traditions
part 1 - the decorating

Last year I became totally involved in finding out how different families celebrate Christmas. I began by asking my preschool kiddos all sorts of questions: Does Santa wrap your gifts? Where does he leave them? What is on top of your tree? Of course you can only get so much information from a 4 year old since more often than not it's "I forgot" about what they did an hour ago.

I asked friends, extended family, strangers on the street (ok, maybe not) what traditions they had. Little did I know that by Christmas this year I would be pregnant with our first little one and finding out about traditions has become all the more exciting!

There are traditions my own family has stuck too through the years. You know I like to ramble on and on. This post will be broken up into parts! This post is dedicated to decorating! Be sure you skip to the end if you can't make it through all my rambles and take a minute to comment with my questions!!!!!!!! (please)

The Tree: I remember looking forward to (and begging) to put up the tree way before the Christmas season arrived. I do remember one horrible year where my parents broke my heart. I think I was about 5 or 6 (I'll have to ask Mom) when my parents got the bright idea that they would "surprise me" with putting up the tree without me. (I imagine they thought it would be easier that way) They let me spend the afternoon and evening at my Grandparents house and when they brought me home, the tree was up and done. "Surprise" .... "What?" Are you kidding me? I was so upset and still remember it, that's just wrong and it never happened again.

For two years we went to a tree farm and cut our tree down when I was young. It was a huge deal and took forever to pick out one that we all three agreed on.(If we had a bigger family, it would have been serious trouble) The problem was when we brought that monster home and Dad rigged a tree stand. Yikes! It didn't make him a happy camper and after two years of a seriously grumpy Dad after the tree stand making ....... investing in an artificial one seemed the way to go!

Thankfully now that I have my own family and home, I can (usually) sucker (beg) Andy into letting me start decorating even before Thanksgiving arrives! The only reason I need his "go ahead" is b/c he has to lug the hundreds (only a slight exaggeration) of boxes up the stairs. I decorate everything that stands still, seriously! We have two "big" trees, both are artificial. One in the dining room, a nice theme and white lights. Then the living room tree is multi color lights and a hodge podge of decorations from both of our childhoods, gifts and such. I decorate both bathrooms, yes I'm serious. I decorate the kitchen and go as far as to swap out to Christmas dishes, canisters, mixing bowls, etc... The kitchen has it's own very small, table top tree complete with white lights and ornaments. It's quite insane and I only wish I had a bigger house to do more!!

Here's the living room tree. Notice the muppet stuffed animal under the tree, he's from Hardees. Does anyone remember buying Christmas animals for like $1 or something there? (Or sets of glasses from McD's?) We had a Hardees in Powder Springs ages ago. There is also a baby reindeer on a present from there too! Then another reindeer from the Disney Very Merry Christmas Party a few years ago!

Here's the tiny table top kitchen tree.

I have begged for a white large tree for the kitchen. I've been collecting "candy"-like and gingerbread style ornaments the past few years for that kitchen tree I'll eventually get. Though I have no idea where we'll put it in there, it's already decorated in my head!!

Ornaments: It was tradition for years and years for a
wonderful woman named Jane McClure and her husband Herb to
give me an ornament at Christmas. She was a customer and friend of my Moms. Jane & I were big buddies and I miss her now that she's been in Heaven for many years. I have a gorgeous collection of glass bells and a few glass sleighs that she gave me and they are very special to me!

From Jane, 1981! (I was 7)

I love the ornaments that came from Andy's Moms tree. There are some sweet ornaments on there that Andy made when he was little and one that his Grand Mother made for him. I love them! There are some quirky little retro like ornaments from my Maw Maw's tree and they are some of my favorites. I am so very into retro-Christmas decorations, love 'em. Then there are some from my Mom's tree that just make me smile and bring back memories.

Andy's Grandmother made this for him when he was little.

I have oodles and I do mean oodles from previous preschool munchkins. I love to look back at those names and remember those little guys, wondering what they're up to now. (Thankfully some I still keep up with 11 years later!)

From Jill & Laura, sisters I had ages ago.

Stockings: Growing up my parents and I had the matching traditional red stockings with white fur at the top. I have all three of them now. They hung on a variety of places since we didn't always have a mantel for them. Andy & I have very "country" looking stockings. One has a snowman and one has a Santa, they aren't designated as who they belong to. Santa just chooses one for each of us when he visits and fills them!

When we lived in our first house they hung on those nifty little mantel hanger do-dads. Until.... Santa knocked one off the mantel when he got it down to fill it, breaking into tiny pieces. He left me a rather angry note about why I had them "rigged" like that. (More on the traditional Santa note later) This house had nails already in the mantel when we moved in, just perfect for stockings. I have begun the search for baby munchkin an official stocking already. I bought one last year that is perfect, but now I fear what if we have two little ones next year. (adoption and pregnancy) I want them to be similar. For now I'm still pondering that one.

Here is one of our stockings and part of the angel & star garland too.

Paper Decorations: I have to ask if any of you remember those old decorations that you buy and hang up, well... anywhere I guess? I had all sorts of them and Mom let me hang them on the doors in our house. I still have a few of them in a box, I need to find a good use for those. From time to time I see them in the dollar store and wonder if people still buy them and where they put them?

Outside: Growing up it varied on just how much we decorated outside. When I was in middle school my Dad grew braver and braver, getting involved in decorating all the trees outside. We would put up the tackiest hodge podge of lights in the trees you can imagine. They would hang all over the place with no rhyme or reason and I LOVED them. I loved hanging out with Dad, while he did all the work and I adored the finished project. Mom & I hung lights around all the windows and the front door too! She also had those old fashion plug in candle looking lights for all the windows. The bulbs were red for awhile and later went all white. I was eager every night for the sun to set and to plug those suckers in!!

Andy & I stick with white lights outside. We have two white snowflakes that have white lights, they go on windows on each side of the porch. I put white lights around the front door and front porch. (Though I don't now if I have the energy this year or not) We have 1 white deer with white lights who moves his head and he sits in the front yard. Andy surprised me last year with making him a Rudolph by replacing the bulb on his nose with a red one. We put white lights on the ground around him to resemble "snow" and then Andy wraps up the old farm wheel do-hickey out there in white lights too. We want to add another white animal out there, but it's never in the budget. Eventually......

One year Andy's brother Mike brought us a gorgeous real tree from their property. It was HUGE and was in the front of our yard. We put those huge old fashion lights on it out there (multi color) and it was awesome! It was a one time deal though, good memory!


Your Turn:

So if you have stayed with me through all this babbling, God Bless you! Now, tell me about your decorating traditions!!!

Tree: Hodge Podge? Theme? How many? Solid lights or multi? Artificial or real? When does it go up? Tell me!!

Ornaments: Do you have special ones? Do you collect anything? New ones? Old ones? Style? Theme? Everything goes? Favorites? Please share!

Stockings: Does everyone match? Do they have names on them? Have you bought new ones or always used the same? Holders? Nails? Tell me all about 'em!

Outside: Do you decorate out there? Lights? Blow Ups? Animated? Tree? Thoughts??

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook:

My friend Lindsey (you can find her link on the right there) has found and is following this neat blogger stranger/friend's daily journaling ideas. She gives writing prompts for you to journal about daily. (I think it's daily) Anyway, I think it's kinda neat. I am not going to follow them daily, but from time to time it'll be fun. There are so many times when, strange because I like to ramble on and on, I can't think of a thing to ramble about. So.... click on the picture below if you'd like to read more about the original blogger stranger/friend. The picture is a link to her blog. Here goes......

December 2nd: 2008

Outside my window... I am happy to see the sun out again, the trees are blowing and I see the leaves have piled up on the back porch again.

I am thinking... that someone today asked me if I had children. I said "no, not yet." (Though Aimee it was a Grandpa who was visiting my room and looking at pics on my wall. He said he was about to tell me how beautiful my daughter was, he was looking at Layla. I told him she wasn't mine, but I'd claim her and she had my heart!) It took me a minute to remember to say "oh, but we are expecting!" My friend Dawn said "I wondered when you were going to say that". It seems so funny that for so long I have been use to saying that we don't have kids or that we are waiting to adopt. I forget to say that we are waiting to adopt AND I am due in June!! How can I "forget" something that occupies my thoughts all day, every day! (and most hours of the night too!) Crazy when I got caught off guard that I didn't even mention it for a second.

I am thankful for... feeling so much better today. Yesterday wasn't a "good day" on the feel good scale.

From the kitchen... I am surely wondering what is going to come out of there tonight (it'd take a miracle) or if Andy is going to have to pick something up.

I am wearing... my "play" clothes. Brown stretchy comfy pants, an Army National Guard long sleeve t-shirt and pink Tinker Bell bedroom shoes. (Shout out to Teresa!)

I am creating... oh goodness. To be someone who loves crafts so much, I seem to have lost all motivation. I have an old scrapbook half done, a travel scrapbook ready to go and waiting (though stopped), I have two afghans that I am crocheting (both stopped), I have a digital scrapbook that is paused, I have some things I want to cross stitch and can't get the energy. I can say that we are crafting like crazy at preschool though!! A regular Christmas workshop!!

I am going... to Disney World in January and am so excited!! We're taking our little one to visit our favorite place, even before he or she arrives! Sounds just like us huh?

I am reading... "Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy" and "Second Glance" by Jodi Picoult (my 11th book by her in the past 5ish months or so.

I am hoping... that I can find in a store what Andy has finally decided he wants for Christmas!

I am hearing... Gizmo snoring and a Christmas movie "The Christmas List" that I DVRd on the ABC Family channel. (and is now turning out to be one I don't really like)

Around the house... I think that this may be the first year I am not decorating the kitchen and our bedroom. I think I've done all I can. I decorate everything that stands still!

One of my favorite things... is at night now when only the two Christmas trees & lights on the banister are enough light to watch TV and give our house that warm Christmas glow. I LOVE it and with a fire too, pure Heavenly!!

A few plans for the rest of the week: the bank, Christmas shopping to get a few more things off the list, clean bathrooms (why do they have to get dirty week after week), work on the laundry pile, consider my official Christmas card plan and consider that list of crafts I listed above.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... it's my dining room tree. I love it! It's the tree that has a "theme". Everything is green and/or red, it's very very country! It has red "berry" garland, pine cones stuck here and there and I can't stop buying things for it when I find something. It is in need of more wrapped presents under it though! (The one that is wrapped and there is for Mr. Trey!!) I haven't gotten the train out yet that Grand Daddy gave me either.

I'm also very unhappy that I have just lights on the rail and stairs all the way down. My garland from the last few years finally met it's day and had to be trashed last year. It was green and I put white lights and red berry garland on it too. I want some new garland really bad, but it'll have to wait until after Christmas sales I hope!