Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do you ever have one of those days?

Entering the ranks of moms with two little ones, a question I ask every morning as I plan my day is: Will it be worth it to take two children out today? On a day like this, I would say, "No way!" It's 41 degrees, the wind chill factor makes it feel like 30 and the mall is CRAZY with folks returning Christmas gifts. But, Patrick asked me to go with him to Navy Federal to sign up for a Roth IRA, so if I had to be out, I might as well make it a full blown trip!

So, for you Dulles Town Center fans, I parked in front of Macy's with a clear mission: one store, one quick stop --which means no airplane park, no trains, and no carousel-- just a direct route to get my mom a deep fryer for her birthday. It was on sale for $49.99 and I had a Macy's $15 off card. After pulling everything out of the car including two children, fighting the raging wind, and finally finding the fryer--first by finding the elevator and then going clear across the entire store again only on a different floor-- I get to the counter, wait in line after three people and realize as I get to the register---I forgot my wallet in the car!!!! I had taken it out when I needed it for the bank. My mom's birthday is tomorrow and I won't be able to get this gift on sale again.

So, I traveled all the way back to the car, with Micah on my hips and a wailing Caelan in a stroller. Somehow, the temperature seems to have dropped even further? The raging wind almost slams the car door shut on me and Micah so I quickly grab my wallet, head back in, down the elevators to repeat the whole process--- I get to the counter, and she rings me up and guess what? The stupid fryer is not only NOT on sale, but my $15 card doesn't apply to this specific item!!!! Knowing what it could have cost, I just couldn't purchase it!


Now feeling the pressure to redeem this trip, knowing full well that I'm out of time because it's almost Micah's nap, I still force us to go get something to eat. Poor little guy almost got indigestion as I made us race down our food, trudge all the way back through the mall, back up the elevators, through the cold, and get Micah in the car before he fell asleep. He was soooo tired, but I "talked Mulan" the entire twenty minute ride home so he WOULDN'T nod off, meanwhile shaking Caelan's carseat with my free hand so that he WOULD fall asleep.

This is my life as a stay-at-home mom. Today I learned that sometimes you need to just go home and cut your losses because now I still have no fryer, but bad heartburn, and will need to do this all over again when they wake up from their nap. I checked online and they do have the fryer at Bed Bath and Beyond for the sale price and I have a 20% off card.

Okay, thanks for letting me rant and rave! I feel much better. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Day

Christmas 2008 came and went, but with it left many wonderful memories of family and friends. Some of our favorite moments include:
  • Having the Andersons visit from Seattle and engaging in stimulating biblical discussions
  • Hosting our first wine-tasting with our neighbors
  • Seeing Patrick's martial arts family
  • Attending Christmas Eve service as a family and hearing Micah yelling out, "An Angel, Mommy! Baby Jesus!"
  • Having our first ever Christmas Eve dinner out at a restaurant (with no one to sing us Fa Wa Wa Wa - Deck the Halls) Ha!Also this year, we continued the Ring family tradition of visiting the National Christmas Tree and then having pizza afterwards.The Ring side of the family traveled to different places this year, so we spent Christmas Day with my family. My mom, brothers, and their families joined us in our home for brunch and opening gifts and later we met with my extended family for Christmas dinner.To see our Christmas, I attempted another video this time using Picasa Movies. I chose the song "Christmas Day" by Michael W. Smith and Mandisa. (As a side note for the Ring family watching, featured are some of the wonderful gifts you gave our family! Even though you couldn't see us opening them, at least you can see the joy on our faces.)
Please watch my Christmas Video via and make sure to "watch in high quality", a button on the bottom right hand side of the screen. It makes a huge difference!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

And about time. You know those warm, fuzzy, feelings you get when you see the neighborhood starting to light up? Everywhere you go, there are ornaments, wreaths and christmas songs playing. Somewhere in the distance, if you're paying attention, you can smell a chestnut crackling or gingerbread fresh out of the oven. Okay, maybe that was a bit of a stretch. :) Every year, I get so excited about Christmastime, and this year I was feeling none of it. I was starting to worry that the sleep deprivation was preventing me from yuletide cheer!

But alas, once we started putting up our tree, it all started to come together. This year, instead of our traditional red and gold, I went with what Patrick calls "psychadelic" colors: magenta, silver and blue!Putting up a tree for a two year old is seeing a hundred little new sparkling toys. It was just too tempting for Micah. He was inexplicably drawn to the glass "nays" and only managed to break one ornament so far.

His favorite Christmas sayings are "Snowman yuckee!" or "Nutcracker yuckee!" (it's this phase where everything is well, yuckie!) and when I ask, "Micah, what's Christmas?" He says "Baby Jesus buffday", but then quickly changes his answer to, "No, Micah buffday." Well, it was recently his birthday too. Here are my two greatest gifts on this birthday celebration.

I tried to take a picture of my newest gift this year. It was a feeble attempt! Poor little guy had fuzzy hairballs in his mouth for days...

One neat addition to our Christmas decorations is Caelan's stocking. First there were three, and now there are four. Also, Patrick has decided to officially pass down his red heirloom stocking, which is over forty years old, to Micah, whom he affectionately calls his number one son. Next year, there will be an M on it.

Once everything was decorated, it definitely felt like the most wonderful time of the year. Here's a window into our home at Christmastime.

Since there was a lag time of getting into the spirit of Christmas, you know these decorations will be up until Valentines Day! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Favorites

Favorite Christmas Cookie- As a family tradition, Patrick's family makes TONS of great cookies. My favorite among them is the rice crispy christmas wreaths his sister Kristen made for us one year. Patrick likes them all, but he favors the russian tea cakes and the marshmellow w/peanut butter w/something or other (obviously he can't remember its name).Favorite Ornament - Mine is the "ugly" ornament. I started putting it up to remind me every year that Christmas isn't about the decorations, flawless parties, and perfect gifts for everyone. Somehow although I try not to, I get all caught up in the to do's and the events we over-commit to---I simply miss WHY we do these things in the first place. The ugly ornament tells me that I can't do it all, that I am not perfect and it's Christ who is made perfect in me. He is the reason to celebrate!

Favorite Tradition- Patrick's family would go down to see the National Tree and then go to Shakeys for pizza. Yes, Shakeys is way out of business but it was GOOD pizza.
Favorite Christmas Song - Well, all of them are my favorite. I'm not trying to cop out of giving one answer, but when I was eight years old, I hardly knew the words to any one Christmas song. That sounds impossible, but remember I am an immigrant and my family didn't celebrate Christmas (they thought Jesus and Santa were one in the same!), so that year my aunt bought me a record of classic christmas songs. I must have sang that whole album over and over again all by myself. The music filled me and they all became my favorites!

Favorite Gift Ever Received- When I was like 6 years old and we didn't have any money, my one gift was this Barbie Styling Head that came with curlers and a hairdryer. I remember unwrapping it and being thrilled to my toes that this half-head thing was all mine and I get to put makeup on it as often as I want!
Favorite Christmas Meal- Patrick loved getting up in the morning and having fruit soup (chopped up oranges, bananas, strawberries in orange juice - yummy!) and patizza, which is sweet bread layered in walnuts and brown sugar icing. And also some turkey sausage on the side. Yum, who's getting hungry?

Fresh Tree/FakeTree? I've always had a fake tree (we grew up poor, hello?) but Patrick always had a real tree. Now, he's a big believer in fake trees that are high speed low drag and the magic word is PRE-LIT! Besides who wants a pine or mold allergy once a year?

Favorite Christmas Movie - Before I married, I didn't have one. Now, hands down my favorite is also Patrick's favorite: A Christmas Story. Patrick likes the part where the kid's tongue gets stuck on the ice and I thought the funniest part was when they were at a chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner and the waiters sang "Fa wa wa wa..."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Relaxing Saturday

Okay, so she got me to blog. On Saturday, we visited Nota Viva Vineyard in Purcellville that our friend Scott originally suggested, and it happened to land on my birthday so we celebrated it at the same time. We had a really great time.

My lovely wife bought a bunch of food for everyone to share so we spent several hours eating great food, drinking great wine, and visiting with good friends.
It was really nice to spend time with close friends that we've had for several years. I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday.
We also give thanks for Soryda's mom for watching our two sons while we were away. It was nice to be able to get out of the house and just to relax and spend some time as a couple. As a funny footnote to the day, Soryda was baptized into the club of seasoned parents. Micah wasn't feeling well and and lost his lunch on Soryda's white sweater. Even funnier was when she came downstairs wearing her purple one, her mom said, "Oh that one looks better anyway."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Blog about our Blog

To encourage my husband to blog, I thought I'd take the opportunity to say that I am really enjoying blogging and I wish I had more time to do it. Nowadays, everyone seems to have a blog and no one really seems shy about sharing. And it isn't surprising that everyone has something to say even if it is meaningless, insignificant minutia of one's day. I still appreciate it because they tell it with an understated gusto.

While I like to write, I don't profess to be a writer by any stretch of the imagination or claim that I have anything profound to say. I write because I like it and I have dozens of journals that I can look back with fond memories. I find that there's discovery when you process, and this is often where God speaks to me, and heals me.

As a creative outlet, and a perfect place to make crazy design choices (have you noticed how often I've changed the background? Too fun), the blog allows me to lay down memories with words and photos that will last a lifetime. I can imagine Micah as a father, with his two year old, sitting around with his wife and family and watching the video I made of his digger party. Of course by then, it'll all be quite star-trek like with hollograms and virtual options. I feel like I have given him a priceless treasure that he would never have received if I didn't take the time to blog it.

Now, if only I can get his father to do it. Patrick wants to write, but feels he doesn't have anything important to say. Hogwash! If you're out there and reading this, please encourage him that anything he has to say is worthy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

First Smile

Among other things to be thankful for this holiday season is the long-awaited reward of seeing my baby smile. Caelan has had longer wakeful periods and has been less fussy. Thank you God. He's now starting to show us his amazing dimples.