Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas

If I could put all my pictures I've taken and received in the last few weeks and put them in a pile, I'd be buried alive in them. I'd be buried with the ones I love at least. I'm swimming in pictures I've taken; actually drowning because there are so many good ones, but here's just a taste in this post. I feel like I've been running and going for weeks now and although it's overwhelming at times, I absolutely love and thrive on it. It's what life is all about and I keep thinking of this song "You're Going to Miss This" by Trace Adkins every time it gets to feel like it's too much. I seriously sung this song in my head last week when Lily was having a full fledged tantrum in the middle of Target because I wouldnt let her play with the computer customers use to register for weddings and babies. Of course I was in the middle of checking out so there was no quick exit, but had to mentally sing this song to try to keep my cool. And I wish I could leave this wall up all year long because I feel so loved every time I walk by it.

and feeling the love when I see my kids with their cousins (missing Allison and Anna) acting like they are siblings without the rivalry...Jen took this picture and I just love how almost every age is represented and they all learn from each other in so many different ways.

and my little guys on Christmas morning was enough to make my heart skip a beat. Lily opened her favorite gift first (Leapfrog computer) and wanted nothing to do with the 30 gabillion other presents under the tree and it was like pulling teeth to have her tear into the next present when all she wanted was scissors and batteries (pronounced "batter-berries") to play with her new computer. My fault for handing her the first gift I saw, not thinking what was inside of it, instead of strategizing better. I think she's actually holding the computer in this picture because it was the first one taken of the day.

David-Mr.-Never-Takes-a-Picture-And-We'd-Have-No-Pictures-If-Kelly-Didn't-Take-Them-All wanted this posed picture of the kids so I happily obliged. Kinda cute how they are camoflauged in the picture. Kinda sick how many presents they got this year. My house looks like Toys_R_Us threw up in our great room.

Oh and the Barbie Car! We had her go on a scavenger hunt to look for the big present. We did this as kids so of course have to repeat the tradition in our house. She was losing steam after the 4th clue so I reminded her of what she wanted for Christmas and she said "Barbie Car" to keep her enthusiasm up, but she thought presents were over and she got sad saying "Me No Get Barbie Car fwum Santa". One more clue later and she was zooming away.

Seriously, this is one of the cutest dam things I've ever laid eyes on and to see her zipping around not able to steer going through the grass makes my stomach hurt from laughing.

I told her I wanted a picture of her looking at me in her new car to show Santa and she INSISTED on posing like this. As I was about to take it she gets out and says, "No, no mommy. Wait. (holding up her hand) Me do it like dis' mommy".

Where does she get these ideas? HILARIOUS!!

Is there anything better than seeing your kids happy? Seriously! It's like a high and I don't even like drugs.

And Little Grady just took it all in just asking for cuddles which he gots TONS of. I swear everyone should have a newborn to snuggle with on Christmas - they're extra snuggly for sure! It's the weather, the sentimentality of Christmas, the smells, the families gathering, the newness of a baby all combine for extra yumminess. And yummy he is. I saw some people gnawing on his cheeks for good luck, but they're not edible.

Bob's son Brian joined us this year and he's not like part of the family; he is family. Hands down no questions asked; he fits in with this nutty bunch like a glove. And what a natural he is with kids...all of them at any age!

and what can I say about Katie Bug? She's perfect in every way and hope my kids turn out just like her when they're her age. She can do it all. She'll play a game of CandyLand with the little ones then join us on the patio and talk to all the grown ups about the latest tween fads.

I. LOVE. THIS. PICTURE!! Jen must've taken it because I didnt and it was on my camera when I was loading them all on. This shows his sweetness times gabillion. Those eyes and cheeks melt me like an ice cube. (gnawing on computer screen)

I think Grace and Lily are sisters separated by birth. They go off and play for hours and have so much fun. Grace is such a great role model for Lily and shows her how to play nicely, take turns, and have lots of fun all the while being so patient and loving towards her. I could spy on them forever! & maybe I do. :)

My house still kinda looks like this right now; minus the people. This is the same shot taken the last couple of years, but we have a few more wrinkles and that much more love for each other.

and the famous pool picture that just seems to fit everyone just right. The setting is kinda like our family; this crazy puzzle of different personalities that all mesh together and are there for each other no matter what curve balls are sent our way. That's a super cool feeling.

more to come...

life is good :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Through the Years...

It's 4am and I can't sleep. Everyone is asleep, but me! I feel like a kid again waiting for Santa except Santa isn't coming for another 24 hours, but I'm too excited to sleep! So much to do still and my mind is just whirling with it all because it stirs up so much in me and I become SO reminiscent around the holidays. Here's a look back at our family growing; or trying to grow through the years. :) Our first year we were married 2 months before Christmas so we used our Christmas card as an wedding announcement + a Christmas card rolled into one. I wasn't too great keeping Christmas cards, but I remember we used this picture.


2002. The next year, we thought we'd spruce it up a bit and get them done professionally. "Professionally" meaning we went to WalMart (busting out in laughter) Nothing against WalMart, but God love them with the fake Christmas tree/fireplace background. I thought these were so cool at the time though. I don't have the actual card, but remember putting the walmart picture in a frame so here it is taken in the dark from my camera at 4am. I chose that necklace carefully and made sure it showed in the picture. It was such a meaningful necklace because it said something special on it, but at this point I have no idea who gave it to me or what it says. Super special huh?


2003: I have no idea what we did for a Christmas card this year and am totally annoyed I can't find it and kicking myself for not documenting better around this time. grrr.

Moving on to 2004. We started at the beginning of this year and I was convinced we'd have a baby to celebrate Christmas with or at least an announcement maybe on the card. We moved into our house that year and were more than ready. Everyone kept asking us "when ya gonna have kids" and that question tripled when we moved into our house from a condo. I couldn't find the actual card, but remember cutting it out for a Christmas tree ornament. Poor david who looks head-less. ha

2005. I almost didn't do a Christmas card this year because we had been trying for 2 years, married for 4 and I was almost embarrassed to send out another picture of just us. Felt so cheesy, but we took this picture at Skip's wedding and it was semi -decent so we slapped it into a card and sent out just a handful.

2006: Dude, enough of the not-so-Happy-Hutchesons already! 5 years of just us on the card was getting old. It felt like I was reminding all of our friends and family we still didn't have kids or any signs of them coming. It's funny because as sad as we were about the void in our lives, we really tried super duper hard to be happy in other areas of our life. Yes, it was a dark cloud over us, but we tried really, really hard not to let it suck us in to the vortex of depression and taint everything else. We didn't always succeed, but man did we try! We took this picture at Kelle's wedding which was so much fun and filled with so much love. This picture epitomizes that night. I don't remember who took this picture, but thank you if it's you!!

2007. Finally, we have someone other than us on the card! Well, kinda...
Seriously, I couldn't smile big enough in this picture to show my happiness...

2008: The year we became parents. Finally! Look who made the front of the Christmas card! These pictures were taken by Kelle and they're still up on my refrigerator even though it's from 2008. I heart them that much and every time I go to exchange out some new pictures these are always skipped. I was tickling her like crazy trying to get a smile and in the process my smile is the one where you can see the back section of my teeth! Heidi bought her the shirt and it was perfect as she was our present that Christmas.
In looking through old files, I found this one of Lily on Santa's lap that year. I guess you can say we've come a long way since she'll stand next to him as long as he doesn't touch her. I can't wait to show her this picture!
wow, she's really going to town here...

2009: These pictures were taken by my friend Katie and the forest is actually real behind us. We have this picture on a canvas on our wall and every time I look at it, it makes me smile inside.Photobucket

It's ironic that we have "Love Can Build a Bridge" on our Christmas card last year because we sing that song every night with this book. It comes with the song on tape in the back of the book, but because we don't have a cassette player, we listen to it by playing an old Oprah when they were on a few weeks ago singing this song. I can't believe this was just last year! We didn't have any baby in the tum-tum yet and were just contemplating doing IVF#3 in the upcoming January. I keep thinking I skipped a year somehow in my files. Wow, what a difference a year makes!!

2010: And then this year we got to add the snuggle bear Grady. Yes, he's as sweet and delectable as he looks. His neck is heavenly and is such a sweet little soul. The 2 words that always pop up in my head when I describe him are 'sweet' or 'heavenly'. They don't do him justice, but they come close. He'll probably sleep through most of Christmas, but we'll have pictures to remember it as he will watch his sister maybe or maybe not get the Barbie car she's been dreaming of. She's never been attracted to the Barbie brand yet, but saw a real life Barbie car in a Kmart catalog and has been carrying it around like the bible. If you ask her what else she wants, she just says the Barbie car and that's it. All Grady wants is more of Momma's milk and lots of snuggles. I think Santa will make our kids very happy this Christmas. (still feels odd to say kids plural btw)

Jen took these pictures and they capture so much of our heart and our happiness finally being a family of four. It's odd to long for something for so many years and it hangs over you like a heavy dark cloud, then it's finally here and I find myself looking for pieces of that cloud or for the other shoe to drop. Dam, that other shoe. Then I realize there's no other shoe and our family is complete. Our family isn't perfect by any means, but man o man it's sure easier to deal with the daily stress and struggles when you have these 2 little ones in planted in our lives. They put everything in perspective and show us the true meaning of Christmas.

And the true meaning of love.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Southern Lovin'

David's parents came from SC to meet Grady and boy did we have fun! If you know David's parents, you know they just exude love and are the kindest, sweetest souls. They never have a bad word to say about anybody and will help any stranger on the street. We were busy with fun filled activities from morning til night (with a spreadsheet to prove it) and they went home exhausted from all the running around we did, but this was my favorite thing to see at every turn. And we saw a lot of it. Look how cute Grady looks in this picture smiling away with his Papa! you look cute too Lare-Bear! ha
We went to the Shark Shootout and had this picture taken at the Geico tent. I think it's meant for 1-2 people, but we all crammed into the picture window. No idea what happened to my eyes, but we had one shot at it and look what Geico man caught Grady doing? LOL!! Love how Lily holding up the golf ball unsolicited. Dad looks like a Giant.

shhhhh....we were right next to the green and golf is the quietest sport on the planet....the average age in the crowd was 75, but luckily we didnt get kicked out...
(i agree with Grady's shirt btw:)

little Miss Thang was never short of attention. Oh boy did she soak them in. And a big vice versa...
Speaking of helping a stranger on the street, they were at ChickFilet and the man next to them, started choking and they had to call 911. David was there with his parents and I was just driving away with Grady to go to a luncheon and saw all the ambulances, cop cars and sirens/lights zooming to ChickFilet and I could see the paramedics rushing to the area of where we were sitting. I can't tell you how my heart stopped and my life flashed before my eyes seeing that sight. I didn't know if I should jump out of my car, grab Grady and leave my car in the middle of the road which was my first inclination, but I quickly called David and found out it was the man next to them and he was okay after the heimlich was performed. Heavy sigh just thinking about all that again.

How do you segueway from a choking-almost-dying-man-where-I-thought-I'd-lost-someone-real-important-for-a-few-seconds and then go into making brownies?

Well, here I go...

she made 4 batches of brownies and even had her face painted when she saw Santa....

and this outfit from RayRay was the hit of the day we saw Santa. Someone actually took out their cell phone and took a picture of him bc it was so stinking cute!

love her mesmerized look where she looks like a frozen sculpture...

This is what your car looks like when you have a special parking pass for only one car, but 7 people going. They all did this while I was still inside and no one would switch with me so it was quite the funny ride. No idea how they even got back there climbing over all the shizzle in my car!

the obligatory park visit is always so much fun...even though it was freezing....and freezing for us is 50's and 60's! Actually that's freezing for ME!

oh, what a classic picture....

and another. I think I took almost 200 pictures while they were here. My camera was on FII_AHHRRR!!

Umm, Larry missed the age requirement sign for the equipment...

ok, stop yourself right now! Grady will be in this picture in no time. Actually, one of them could've held him. Dam, I just thought of that!

and if I had to fill out a questionairre that asked me my favorite hobbies, I swear "going out to eat" might be first on my list. I love it so much and it could be Don Shula's (ya right) or Taco Bell, I just love being out and about eating yummy food talking with really neat people. Always has been a fav of mine and always will be.

and our visit with Santa was a success. In the last 2 years, Lily has cried (I mean wailed like she's on fire) at the thought of sitting on his lap so I said I'd die a happy woman if I could get them both on his lap, looking at the camera and no tears. Well, I got pretty stinkin' close. Both are looking and both are in the shot. David and I have been in the picture previous years so I was able to pull this off. This year, she'd stand next to him, but wouldn't let him touch her. She kept looking over her shoulder to make sure his knee wasn't even close to touching her. It was hilarious!!

Then I wanted to show off Grady's face a little more with Santa because he covered it with Lily...

can he be any cuter? Santa too of course. I put the camera down after this shot and quickly grabbed Grady because for some reason his leg was turning bright blue the way Santa was holding him. Umm, what???

Then I wanted to get some with Lily and Santa alone, but my battery died!! OMG! Although I was bummed at the timing, I was relieved I got the shots above and had Dottie's camera to help capture the rest of the day....

dinners at home are pretty fun too...despite the cleaning up part....

we did a lot of playing around the house too...

and probably read 75 books. (per day)

I walked out to this site of Grady all propped up and couldn't get my camera fast enough...

We went on the Naples Princess for a sightseeing trip which was a blast. Lily turned into a dancing machine and that's all she wanted to do. Major fits when we stopped or had to do something else. Hard to find a place for a time-out to blow off her steam and reset herself that's not going to disturb others when you're on a yacht!! Holy trapped batman! But, I'd never seen her so into dancing. Thanks Leah for the suggestion!

and we managed a picture in front of this beautiful vessel! I've never used the word vessel before, but it just spilled out. Boat sounds too little and yacht sounds too fancy....
As you can see Lily just wanted to dance - I could barely hold her she was wiggling like she was in the middle of practicing her routine for Dancing with the Stars....

another great picture where you can see I'm wrestling with my 2 year old telling her "dance later" and she's trying to peel off my hand. lmao

and Grady just goes with the flow whereever we take him...

this was a family picture we got before the dance party began...

holy stripes batman...

did I mention we played a lot??....when the kids napped the whole house napped for hours...i actually scheduled naps on the agenda...naps for adults mainly. ha

It was a great time had by all and they say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I think those people are wrong. Distance makes my heart sad and especially with little kids growing up right before our eyes and want all the family to just buy one big house so we can all be together and share in watching them grow up right before our eyes. Until we buy that mansion, lots of trips are planned where we jam pack all the fun and all the love we can pack into a few days. Lily woke up the day after they left and when to the den and asked "where papa and gramma?". Be still my heart.

LOOVE LOOVE this picture! Katie got bonus points for making Grady smile on cue.

see the close up??

and Jamie gets points for making Grady cool and funny like he is.... "who's been throwin coasters??"

Life is good and overflowing with love....