Monday, December 28, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas!

Well, I have to say that we (Josh and I) really dropped the ball this year. We bought hundreds of lights to decorate the exterior of our house - they are all still in the box! Even though we celebrated Christmas THREE TIMES by the time we opened presents with all of our different family, we probably only have 3 pics of Kyndra this Christmas. This year Christmas seemed to come and go more quickly than ever before. It is probably due to the fact that I feel like I am ready to pop (only about a month till my due date!!) I would rather sleep than bake, and the thought of all the holiday crafting and decorating just didn't really appeal too much to me this year. We did manage to get a tree up, but half of the lights went out and we never got around to fixing them. Our house is the farthest thing from a winter wonderland that your could imagine.

And yet....

We had a WONDERFUL time with my whole family together this year. It has been so long since we have been able to all get together for a holiday, so this was a very memorable Christmas.

We had a ton of fun watching Kyndra play with the styrofoam peanuts just as much as she played with the elmo doll that Aunt Bev and Uncle Les sent.

We had a great visit with Josh's family. Uncle Jonny bribed Kyndra with Barbie tents and Oreos the whole time, and I am sure that he is her favorite person now.

We had a safe drive home from Schererville, IN, in the midst of a blizzard.... even though the 4 hr. trip took over 7 hours!!!

This year, I felt like I really didn't prepare for the holiday like I should have. However, maybe my lack of Christmas fever allowed us to slow down and really remember the whole reason that we celebrate this holiday in the first place. Being pregnant, I find myself thinking about Mary a lot this year. That poor girl had to travel so far while being great with child... makes my 7 hour trip in my parents' AMAZING Kia seem kinda trivial. She didn't get to deliver her child in a birthing suite, but instead, a dirty animal dwelling. She didn't even have a cute outfit to put on her sweet little child. She had to wrap him in rags just to keep him warm. As amazing as it was that Mary was willing to go through all of this, it is even more amazing that Jesus was willing to humble himself in this way. He knew exactly what he was getting into when he left Heaven to be born in the manger. So maybe my neighbors didn't get a Christmas card... but at least we took time to reflect on the whole reason that we send our cards at all.

Thank you, Jesus, for being born!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ahhhh, Birthday Week!!!

We have a tradition in the Graham household: BIRTHDAY WEEK!!! Instead of only celebrating on your birthday, we celebrate the WHOLE WEEK LONG! Each day, we eat the birthday person's favorite meals, go to his favorite places, and do his favorite things. Since my bday is the 17th, I am now enjoying my birthday week. Today I decided that I was going to have a nice, relaxing day and only do things that sounded fun. Housework can wait a day! I started out by grocery shopping. I know that some people dread grocery shopping, but I really look forward to it each week. Croissants were on clearance... it really IS birthday week! I then went to the gym and worked out, which I do enjoy if I am in the right mood. My energy is non-existent if I don't work out, and I wanted to have energy to enjoy my day. After coming home, I put Kyndra down for a nap, ate a yummy lunch, and took a quick nap myself. The best part of the day was that I didn't change out of my jammies when my nap was over. If it were possible, I would live in jammies... they are just sooooo comfy! Kyndra woke up, and we gave ourselves makeovers. (See the pics below!) I made myself a deluxe cup of joe (decafe with pumpkin spice creamer, and even cool whip on top!) Now Kyndra and I are going to start working on dinner. Cooking is one of my favorite things in the world to do.

What a WONDERFUL day!

.... and yes... I am still in my jammies!!!

"I want pretty eyes!"

As I was doing my make-up this morning, Kyndra told me that she wanted "pretty eyes". I usually do everything I can to keep her out of my make-up, but today I felt adventurous! Quickly I set Kynny on the bathroom counter and gave her free reign of my make-up bag. I was laughing the whole time.... this girl LOVES make-up.

A Video to Amuse You

Here is some random video of my crazy daughter. She was being particularly silly this night. She seemed to tone it down as soon as the camera was rolling, but I still thought Gigi might want to see it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What is your Motto this Holiday Season?

At our Christmas Tea, my amazing preacher's wife, Robin Ogle, said something that really caught my attention. She said that she always picks a Bible verse for the holiday season. As I mulled this over in my mind, I thought of several verses that could be my motto for this year. Finally, I decided that a statement my preacher made in a sermon recently would be my theme. He said,

"Everything you get is so that you can give."

At Christmas time, we get so much. It is so much fun to try to figure out how to give with each get that comes our way. I am not suggesting that you should give away every gift you receive... that would be insulting to the person who gave it to you! I am saying that we should try to use everything God allows into our lives to enrich somebody's life.

Here is an example. I was given a Starbucks gift card. (my FAVORITE, by the way!) Normally, I would hang onto that little card and look forward to whatever coffee drink I decide to get. Trying to implement my holiday theme, I decided that I am going to use the card to take a teen girl who is going through a hard time out for coffee. It is much more fun to share a cup of chai with someone else anyway!

This Christmas, why not make a game of it? How many things can you use for others? It really makes the holidays fun and keeps you unstressed. Best of all, it keeps your heart from becoming greedy. I don't know about you, but I tend to really have to fight greediness this time of year. It is human nature to want everything. By always trying to figure out a way to give to somebody, you are fighting selfishness.

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Acts 20:35b

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Update on our Baby

I had a sonogram today and found out that my baby that is due on Feb. 3 is breach. Nothing to worry about yet, but it explains why her kicks feel so different from Kyndra's! We have chosen the name Kayla Joy. Kyndra and Kayla will share a room, and I have decorated it in Monkeys. I will post pics of the nursery when it is finished. My WONDERFUL dad is helping me put in new closet doors, so when the closet is done I will give ya a peek of their room.

Spoiled Rotten!

Just wanted to thank all of the SWEET people of Calvary Baptist Church. My husband and I were overwhelmed with the kind Christmas gift you gave to us on Sunday. It is such and honor to serve God with you. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity!
Also, another thanks to the ladies of Calvary Baptist Church. The gifts you gave me at the Christmas tea were amazing! I already have a hair appointment, a candle burning, and Monical's pizza in my tummy! You all are really the BEST!!!

A few new pictures for ya!

Cheap and Yummy Jambalaya

Need a new meal idea? Here is one I tried yesterday. It got good reviews. My favorite part? It was REALLY cheap to make! Enjoy!

2 onions
2 bell peppers (I made mine without b/c nobody in our family likes bell peppers!)
garlic (to taste)
your favorite seasonings (I used a chipotle spice, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. You can use what your family likes. Cajum seasoning is great with this too.)
1 or 2 packages of smoked sausages
3 cups of beef or chicken broth
2 cans of diced tomatoes
3 cups white rice

In a LARGE stockpot, melt a few Tbs. of butter. chop the onions, pepper, and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Cook 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Sooo Pretty

Kyndra is "all girl". She always asks for a barrette in her hair if I don't put one in. She sits on the counter while I put my make-up on and plays with all of my brushes. "I want eyes" means she wants eye shadow.... I always thought that we would have the make-up battle around 12 years old... not two!

One day the house was quiet.... too quiet! I immediately knew something was wrong. I found the bathroom door closed, which could only mean that Kyndra was into something that she wasn't supposed to be into. As I opened the door, I heard, "Mommy, I pretty. Pretty eyes!" I guess the pictures explain it all!!!