Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas in North Carolina

This Christmas was wonderful. I was unable to spend last year with my family so being here with them this year was truly a joy. Seeing them take part in Lindsey's excitement just warmed my heart. I love how much they love her and her them.

We spent most of December in a whirlwind of busyness. My parents returned from Iowa the second week of December and Lindsey's grandma and aunt visited from Ohio that same weekend. We did little decorating until mid December. Although, I think that actually helped remind us of what Christmas is all about.

I participated in a bible study with the women's ministry in my church this past november and it was solely focused on keeping Christ in Christmas. In the busy season of the holidays it is so easy to become stressed out and forget about what truly matters. For me and my family it is all about the birth of Christ. It is about the amazing day God became fully human to live his life as man to save us from our sins. The amount of love that takes is incomprehensible to me. But I am so grateful for it for now I have eternity with him in heaven. To me there is no gift worth that price and it is definitely not found in a store.

We baked cookies, sang carols, and just enjoyed the magic of Christmas together. What could be better?

The weather here has been absolutely beautiful this time of year

She had an early Christmas with her Ohio family. They got her some super fun toys including this minnie mouse big wheel. 

Such a focused little thing.

My mom has made the same sugar cookies every year since I can remember. They are absolutely delicious and totally addicting. She also whips up her own frosting that Lindsey obviously enjoys. 

Soo many cookies! We made plates and took them to our neighbors :)

Cranberry almond biscotti. These little bad boys are so good with a up of coffee in the morning. 

Soda Cracker toffee. So easy to make and even easier to enjoy.

We decorated cookies twice. Once with her family from Ohio and again with my brother and his girlfriend from Arizona. 

We spent Christmas Eve at Church like every year. Its usually my favorite service. So many amazing songs of praise. 

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner minus tamales this year. Smoked sausage, Assorted crackers & cheese, olive tapenade, brie with pears & apples and petit fours. Of course wine and spiked egg nog are a must. 

She loves this little people nativity from my parents. She names all the people and animals. 

We always open presents on Christmas Eve in my family. This year with Lindsey we let her open her quiet gifts, clothes & books, on christmas eve and saved the noisy stuff for the next morning. 

No Christmas brunch is complete without a mimosa. That Cupcake Prosecco is amaze. 

I hope you all had a very blessed Christmas and New Years. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mr. and Mrs.

This past Thanksgiving, my mom and Richard finally said I DO. After being together for 5 years, they tied the knot in Eldora, Iowa where he is from. We went with a fall theme. Warm colors, sunflowers, leaves, and lots of candles. It was absolutely beautiful. Even though the weather was frigid, our adrenaline kept us going. My parents drove from Tucson with the RV and truck to Iowa and my brother, the baby and I flew into Des Moines. With many delays we were left with one day to decorate. Luckily it was a very intimate ceremony and my OCD was in overdrive. As maid-of-honor, makeup artist, decorator, and photographer I had my hands full! My mom and I began decorating at 7 am the day of the wedding and didnt stop until 330. The wedding was at 5. Needless to say were were a tad late...okay like 20 minutes. But it was worth the wait. My mom was stunning in her dress and tiara. She finally got to have her happy ever after and I could not be happier for her.

 My Speech:

I want to start by saying congratulations to my mom and Richard and a big thank you to the rest of you for joining us on this special day. For those of you who don’t know me I am Arielle, Darlene’s daughter. My mom and I have always had a special bond. Our relationship is more like best friends than mother and daughter. Although she has had to pull the mother card more than once. For as long as I can remember my mom has been the most stable part of my life. I watched her struggle as a single mom and raise us with as much love and energy she could muster. Which wasn’t a lot sometimes. She has always been strong and independent. Two characteristics I really look up to. Most of all she has always been there to support us and be our biggest fan whether it was in theatre, cheerleading or any one of my extracurricular. She put everything in her own life on hold to make sure our lives never felt empty. 5 years ago my mom met Richard and she’s told me that right from the start she knew he was something special.  He is of course in order to put up with our dysfunctional family. Richard has placed a piece of our family back together that I never knew was missing. He has loved my mom fiercely and took me and my brother in, as we were one of his own. I never knew the love of an earthly father until Richard. He is everything I have always hoped my mom would find. Together they balance each other with a love I can only hope to find one day. As you begin your new life together as a married unit under God I hope you keep this verse in mind. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, 
two can defend themselves. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” I wish nothing but love and happiness for you two and pray that God blesses your marriage and y’all always remember that a marriage founded on faith is not quickly broken. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

5 Months Later

Has it seriously been 5 months since I sat down and did a post? I cannot believe that. I am so lame. But to my excuse I have been insanely busy. Between moving across the country, attending school on campus at a University, and planning a wedding, time has just flown by! But we are loving North Carolina. The people are so nice and the weather is amazing. It is not as cold as Ohio but much cooler than Tucson. Im loving it. My mom's wedding on Thanksgiving was absolutely beautiful. I will have a whole other post on that. For now I think ill update the goings on of my little toddler.

Oh this child keeps me insanely busy. From crawling on chairs, to falling out of her crib (we have made the switch to toddler bed). There is never a dull moment with her.

Here are some things she has been doing in the past 6 months:
- she is now 30 lbs and 3 ft tall
- repeats practically everything that is said to her
- loves to "play" at the nursery at church, asks to go repeatedly
- sings along to the chica show and her sunday school songs in the car
- calls a car her "bye-bye"
- can say uncle, mommy, pappy, jai (grandma), and ammy (grammy)
- says ulck for milk and anything that is in her sippy
- willingly eats green beans but no other veggies yet
- fell out of her crib and is now in a toddler bed
- loves the lide (slide) and wing (swing) at the ack (park)
- sits at the dinner table sans high chair
- says checka for ketchup
- can say the sound of almost all the animals in her little people zoo
- will dip anything in ketchup, even her apples
- is obsessed with books, she always has to have one with her
- always has to do what I am doing, if I have lip gloss she wants some too.
- loves being outside.

My sweet baby is now becoming a little girl. She surprises me everyday with what a smarty pants she is. I just have to work on those non existent listening skills of hers. She is a strong willed little thing and Im very happy for that. She will make a wonderful leader one day. 

I cannot express how much I love you Lindsey Loo Who. You are my world and my heart. I pray The Lord keeps you close to him and gives me the wisdom to raise you up in Him. I thanks Him everyday for sending you to me. You will never know how much I love you sweet girl.