Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
This Christmas will aslo be known as the Christmas of the great dart gun war, thanks to some dollar store gifts and the very competitive nature of the men (and women) in our family. And it will also be remembered as the Christmas of the designer handbag. I'm so glad I have a father who not only travels so much, but who loves is wife and daughters enough that he brings back amazing finds like Prada, Burberry, Dolce & Gabanna (and more.) So each of the girls got a designer handbag this year. It was fantastic!
But more than anything it was just fun to see the munchkin on Christmas. Even if he didn't really know what was going on, he still seemed to have fun. It was a busy day for all of us. We started the day with stockings and gifts at home. Then headed to Trav's parents for more presents. The plan originally was to go to my sister, Jesse's for breakfast and more gifts, but thanks to the great blizzard, my parents were snowed in. Because we have 4 wheel drive, we decided to be adventurous and try and make it up to them. And it's a good thing we did too because Jesse and Kelly were stuck in the drive way and needed us to pull them out. We had breakfast and more fun there. Then it was back down to Trav's parents' place for dinner and games. We had a good time and we were abundantly blessed in many ways.
Hope your Christmas was equally as wonderful. Much Love!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Yes, that's right, red long underwear, complete with flap on the butt.
Mom didn't want a birthday cake, so instead we had a white chocolate cream puff tree.
It was delicious!
She got lots of fun presents (of course!)
And then came the Cunningham family tradition of opening one present each on Christmas Eve.
Gideon got a CARS backpack from cousin Lily. Inside it was a book and cute onesie. He really did seem to like it, especially the fact that it lights up.
I think Cami and Jacob are trying to put Travis and I in therapy. I got a pink Tar Heels hoodie (Thank you guys very much it's awesome!) But then they inexplicably got Travis a Duke hat. Seriously guys, were you trying to start a fight? It worked!
Cody seemed to like his new camera (all the sisters pitched in to buy him a nice one that he can take through wrestling season and on his mission next year. Notice it's even Madison red.)
Gideon was more interested in the mistletoe, than the kiss from Aunt Hillary.
The greatest stocking stuffer ever!
After we got home, St. Nick came and visited. We figured we'd better get pictures while it still looks perfect, because in the morning, it won't anymore.
Santa was really good in the stocking department this year, getting way too much stuff. But hey, we're not complaining.
It's easy to get depressed or sad when we look at the world we live in today. The political, social and economic climate of the world and even this country is in turmoil. Which is what makes Christmas even more special to me this year. Because what we celebrate at Christmas is hope. The birth of Jesus Christ gave the world hope. Because of his Atonement on our behalf, we can have hope for a better and brighter future. We know that the sacrifice our Heavenly Father made of His only begotten Son, was for the benefit of the world. On that night though, 2000 some years ago, he was just a baby.
I can't help but draw parallels. Nine months ago a very special young woman made the ultimate sacrifice. She put aside her desires and placed her beautiful baby boy into my arms. It was the most bittersweet day of my life. I will never forget the love she had for him, or the look of heartbreak in her eyes as she chose to leave him with us and walk away. And yet, even though her great pain was evident, there was no discouragment or hopelessness. In fact, there was great hope in the room that day. Because of her sacrifice, she had benefitted so many lives including her own. Much like the sacrifice our Father in Heaven made by providing us Jesus Christ for a Savior. (I don't mean to sound blasphemous here, this is just how it seems to me. Can you tell me any human sacrifice that even comes close?)
In the midst of the civil war Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem that became one of my favorite Christmas Hymns. It speaks of the hope provided by the birth of the Savior and his eventual sacrifice.
The old familiar carols play
Today we'll celebrate our usual family traditions. We'll bake goodies and brave the snow to go caroling. In our case we'll celebrate a birthday and laugh at silly inside jokes no one else gets. And tomorrow we'll read the Christmas story from the New Testament, and we'll open gifts. We'll eat too much and play games. (And if it's a good year, we may even get a little karaoke in.)
But although I appreciate all of that very much, in the long run, none of it matters. This is already the best Christmas we've ever had. Because of the gift of our Savior and the sacrifice of one special young woman, I've already recieved the two greatest gifts anyone could ask for. Everything is, is just icing on the cake.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Have I ever mentioned that I hate winter. And I know hate is a strong word, so I mean HATE winter. "Hate, hate, hate, double hate, loathe entirely....." Okay enough of the tangent. I think you get the picture. I am one of those people who would rather be hot than cold and would be more than thrilled to live in a world with no snow or ice whatsoever. Seriously, I wouldn't miss it one bit. I've begged my husband to let me move to a warmer climate, but no, he insists that we must stay here because he for some reason likes the snow. (Which I find ironic since he travels so much and doesn't get to play in it anymore.) I've tried to adapt to my new state. Over the last decade I've learned to ski, gone on snowmobile trips and even tried sledding and the infamous "Tube Game." But it doesn't seem to matter how many layers of clothes that I put on, somehow my toes and fingers never stay warm, so I just don't enjoy those outdoor winter activities. I've tried to find good things about it. But frankly, I'm tired of trying to pretend I'll ever be happy in this weather. (For the record, you'll never ever hear me gripe about heat or humidity. That's why I'm allowed to whine all I want about winter.)
Some of you look at this and think, "Wow it looks so perfect for Christmas." I just look at it and want to cry. Actually I have cried about it come to think of it.
So since a lump is forming in my throat again, I'm going to change the subject! Cody got to start wrestling this weekend. Just two matches because the coach didn't want him to overdo it. But he did extremely well, winning both of them, one by pin and the other by major decision so we're all getting excited for him to get back to a full schedule. Providing he doesn't break anything else, he'll be competing at a tournament on the 30th, so we're very much looking forward to that.
The munchkin is getting used to wrestling and didn't seem to mind the noise and craziness at all this last time. And of course, he's stealing hearts and making friends all over the place. Just ask Doreen.
We went to visit grandma and grandpa on Sunday evening to find out that the elf had a little surprise for the munchkin.
What a sweet little elf! It's not even Christmas yet and he already had a stocking full of fun stuff for Gideon.
This is my new favorite picture! What a little charmer!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Dinner at the Elk's Lodge Family Night where Trav's cousin, Ted, has played Santa Claus for nearly 20 years.
All things considered, he did really good for his first time with Santa. Considering that it was really late for him so he was an exhausted and cranky munchkin, and it was very hot in the room because it was so crowded and we'd had to wait through way to many mediocre dance numbers and a very long line before we even got to him. Still, at least he didn't cry.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Well officially at his nine month check up he's now 19 lbs. 10 oz. and stands 30 inches tall. Which means that he has graduated to a big boy car seat. The doctor was amazed at how ahead of the curve he is developmentally. He confirmed that the munchkin will be walking any day now. (Especially when I told him that he's already taken a step on his own a few times.) And because of all this, he not only gets to have a big boy car seat, but he gets to face forward now. (That's been really fun for him.)
But even big boys get tired.
He also discovered the live Christmas trees really don't taste very good. Go figure.