Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Look Back at 2011

This year brought us many ups and downs-

In January, Addison said her first word (mama).

February brought us smiles and tears. We had to say our earthly good-byes to Pawpaw. Heaven got another angel. We celebrated Addison's 1st birthday party and her first steps.

Throughout March, we suffered sickness- especially the evil stomach bug.

In April, Addison had her first haircut. We celebrated Audrey's 4th birthday. Also, our town was destroyed by vicious tornadoes. Audrey's birthday party had to be postponed due to all the damage.

May saw celebrations of Corey's birthday and finally Audrey's 4th birthday party at the gymnastics place. Audrey had gymnastics Olympics. It was also the end of preschool and gymnastics classes.

In June, we enjoyed some lazy days of Summer. Corey went deep sea fishing and Audrey attended vacation bible school. Also, Boots, an adorable little puppy, showed up at our house and we took him in.

Throughout July we enjoyed supper with a few friends. Grammy, Audrey, Addison and I took a memorable trip to the beach.

August brought on the beginning of preschool for Audrey and Addison (her first time). Corey spent a couple of weeks hunting in Colorado.

In September, Audrey had her first day of ballet class, which she loved. Also, our family of 4 took a wonderfully fun and relaxing trip to the beach.

October was full of Fall fun, visiting WES Fest and the Fall Festival at Mom's church. The girls trick-or-treated as Ariel and a bumblebee.

In November, I celebrated my birthday and we enjoyed Thanksgiving with Corey's dad and sisters and with my family.

December was full of wonderful Christmas memories. Audrey had a Christmas Tea Party, Parent/Visitor Day at ballet, and her Preschool Christmas Performance. Addison was only fond of Santa from a distance. Corey and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.

When I began this post, I thought of the many downs we had during the year, but as I began typing I realized that I didn't really want to recall all those low times, I only wanted to remember all the great memories and blessings that we received this year. So, when I really look back I can see with a different perspective that 2011 was indeed a "good" year. I pray that 2012 will also be full of wonderful memories and blessings for my family and friends.

Christmas 2011

I am like a kid at Christmas. I get just as excited as the girls about the Christmas lights, Christmas trees, toys, presents, wrapping paper, Christmas songs, etc! I just love that magical time of year.

This year was no different! I was even extra excited that Corey was off from the fire department and would be with us on Christmas morning.

Audrey, in typical form, was up really early to see what Santa brought her. We made her wait for a while until Addison woke up, but I ended up having to go in and wake up that sleepy-head because Audrey (and Mommy) just couldn't wait any longer. (I had to tell her that Santa came in order to get her out of bed :) )

Once Addison was up, both girls stormed into the room to find all their gifts under the tree. There were lots of smiles, laughter and shreds of wrapping paper.

Audrey got her guitar and Dora book she longed for along with a baby doll, doll accessories, a Bible, Leapster Explorer, gowns, clothes, and more.

Addison got an Elmo, Let's Rock and a Cookie Monster. Both of those got jumps and squeals from her. She was so excited. She also got a baby doll, stroller, a magnadoodle (so she would leave sister's alone), clothes, DVDs, and more.

After playing with the toys for a while and enjoying a good breakfast together, we packed the car and headed to Grammy and Grandaddy's house to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family.

I had been dreading this because I knew Christmas wouldn't be complete without my Pawpaw. Although I missed him terribly, I didn't break down (I think I'd done enough crying over him being gone the previous 2 weeks). The girls and their laughter kept our minds off of being sad. And it also helped that my Nana was doing well and was able to leave the nursing home for a while to celebrate with us.

Audrey and Addison got tons of great stuff- art supplies, bath toys, games, clothes, toys---you know how the grandparents love to spoil ;)

Corey and I got gift cards to some of our favorite places. (Totally what I wanted!!!) And I can't wait to spend them :)

Later Christmas evening, I took the girls over to Aunt Carolyn's to visit some of the family since we didn't get to see them Christmas Eve at their Christmas party. Once again, they spoiled the girls with lots of toys, books, clothes, and puzzles.

It was a wonderful Christmas this year! I'm sad that it came and went so quickly. But I am happy that I have these wonderful memories to cherish forever.

Christmas Eve 2011

This year, for the first time in about 10 years, Corey was off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We decided to take advantage of the fact that he would be around to celebrate with us and stay in town.

I wanted to make sure I got some pictures of the girls in front of the Christmas tree in their cute dresses before all the excitement began, so I took a few photos of them first thing on Christmas Eve. I thought the pictures turned out pretty good. I love the looks on their faces. Can you tell how anxious and excited they were about Christmas being just around the corner? They couldn't wait to get into those gifts (we had to keep a fence up around the tree except for the photo shoot because a certain little almost-2-yr-old wouldn't stay out of the gifts!).

We decided to stay in town for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning so the girls could actually have Santa visit them at their home, especially since Corey was off on Christmas.

The evening of Christmas Eve we loaded up in the car and rode around looking at Christmas lights. Then we followed that up with a delicious dinner out. Once we got home Corey and I exchanged our gifts to each other (because we knew there wouldn't be time the following morning) and we let the girls open one gift each from us.

I got a new porch swing (Yipee!!), some warm, comfy house shoes, PJs and an Amazon gift card to use with my new Kindle (YES!!). Corey got some golf goodies and house shoes. Audrey was thrilled with her "real" necklace with ballet shoes charm. Addison had fun with her new phonics refrigerator magnets.

After reading the Christmas story, the girls left some cookies and milk out for Santa before they snuggled in bed. I thought they would have a tough time going to sleep because they were so excited, but I guess the day had worn them out because they fell asleep quickly. Good thing, because Santa was on his way!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dozier Christmas Party

This past weekend we celebrated at the Dozier Christmas Party.

I wasn't all that thrilled about attending. Not because I don't love my family or enjoy seeing them, but because this was going to be very emotional.

The last few weeks have been really tough on my emotions. Without my Pawpaw, Christmas just won't be the same. He and Nana always made Christmas complete.

This was the first Christmas celebration I had to endure without my Pawpaw, and to make matters worse my Nana was absent too because she hadn't been feeling well and had to stay at the nursing home.

So, while we had a wonderful time visiting with relatives, there was an emptiness. A piece of the puzzle missing. I shed a few tears, but overall it was a nice day.

Here's a family photo with my parents, my brother (Keith), me, Audrey and Addison. (Corey was on shift)

Addison was showing off her new pony to Susanne and Keeley and entertaining everyone.

Addison with Aunt Shirley. Audrey was assisting with opening gifts.

Uncle James and Audrey. They are big buddies.

Uncle Lynn and the girls.

Aunt Shirley playing with Audrey and Addison.

It was a fun beginning to a bittersweet Christmas season for our family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Preschool Christmas Program

Last week was a BUSY week. First we had Audrey's Visitor Day at ballet, the next day was her preschool Christmas program.

Audrey was assigned the part of Elizabeth. One of the preschool workers read the story of Jesus's birth while the 4-year-old class acted out the scenes and sang songs. It.was.adorable!!

Grammy was able to spend the night after Audrey's ballet class and also attend the preschool program.

Isn't this the cutest little "Elizabeth" ever?!? :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Audrey ballet

This past week Audrey had Parents/Visitor Day at her ballet class. We were looking forward to being able to watch her perform all she had been practicing each week. As soon as I found out when it would be I called Grammy to see if she could take off work and attend. I hadn't told Audrey that her Grammy was coming. She mentioned several times that she "really wished Grammy could come watch her". So needless to say, she was so excited when she answered the door and found Grammy there, ready to watch her at ballet.

I took many pictures (surprise!) so I picked a few of my favorites to include below-

This is Audrey with her dance teacher Ms. Molly Brooke. She is such a fun and wonderful teacher. Audrey adores her.

Audrey was just precious and did so well (I know...I'm a little biased. Haha!). We all enjoyed watching her show off. I'm so happy that she loves dancing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Decorating for Christmas

The girls LOVE helping to decorate for Christmas. Audrey has been Corey's helper for a couple of years. This year Addison loved helping put up the decorations, too.

Audrey already knows just what to do. She took charge of things :)

Addison was completely fascinated with the HUGE doggie.

Audrey- our quality control inspector.

Addison was trying her best to get Santa to talk back to her.

Daddy and his elves.

Corey and crazy dog, Boots, offering his assistance.

Audrey- Adorable Elf #1

Addison- Cutie Pie Elf #2

After freezing outside while putting up lights and decorations, we moved the party inside to get the tree up and decorated.

I was totally surprised how well Addison did decorating. She actually would hang the ornaments on the tree. I completely expected her to remove them faster than we could hang them. She was so proud of herself.

This year she is all into Elmo and Cookie Monster, so I bought her Elmo and Cookie Monster ornaments for the tree. She was thrilled about the Elmo one. She wanted to hang on to it an not place it on the tree.

Such good little elves!

Audrey took the decorating very seriously. She made sure each ornament was hung on the tree perfectly.

Addison got a little impatient and tried to dig out the ornaments herself. She got a bit "stuck". Haha. I had to be cruel for just a moment while she was crying "HELP" to grab my camera and catch a photo of her predicament.

Once she recovered from the terrifying experience, she continued on with her silliness.

The girls standing proudly in front of their beautifully decorated tree. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Addison is such a silly girl. Here's the proof...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The "Real" Visit with Santa

After our terrible experience with Addison visiting Santa a couple of weeks ago, I was very apprehensive about the "real" visit with Santa. You know, the one where I dress them up real cute and try to get a precious photo.

Well, I found out that I had every reason to worry!

The girls had donned their cute, Christmas attire and they were pumped to go see Santa (aka-Ho-Ho). Then we walked up to him.

Audrey jumped right up on his lap and Addison began screaming "No, Mama, No, Mama" while climbing all the way up my body to my head. Not exactly working like I wanted it to.

Then sweet Santa suggested that we just make it a family photo. PERFECT! Addison sat on my lap and waved at Santa. Corey scooted in on the other side. And Audrey shared with Santa her wish list along with Addison's wish list.

I do believe our picture turned out just PERFECT, for me anyway :)

Then the girls wanted to ride the North Pole Express. Audrey loved it; Addison wasn't so sure about it.

We followed that with a delicious lunch and some Cookie Co. Cookies (YUM!). Of course we had to get in a little shopping.

Before heading home the girls concluded our trip with a few spins on the boats and planes.

It was a wonderful family day full of fun and many memories.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Parade

After our fabulous Christmas tea party, Grammy, Audrey, Addison and I went to the Christmas parade. We all had a great time watching the beautiful floats and catching candy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Tea Party

Each year a dear friend of the family, Mrs. Debbie, kicks off the Christmas season with a beautiful Christmas tea party for the special little girls in her life. Audrey is one of the lucky ones who gets invited.

We both look forward to this day. Audrey gets to dress up fancy and I get to spend one-on-one time with my oldest daughter. Such a sweet time for both of us.

Here is Audrey all dressed up and ready to go. (Her doll has is wearing a matching dress:) )

Mommy and Daughter

Grammy got to spoil Addison a little while we were away.

The girls made adorable reindeer ornaments when we got there.

Then the little ladies enjoyed beautiful, fancy tea pots and tea cups along with some delicious treats while the adults mingled and enjoyed good food outside.

Santa even took time out of his busy schedule to stop by and visit all the girls. Audrey sang him a song.

This is Audrey and the host, Mrs. Debbie.

This has become one of my favorite activities/traditions to do at Christmas time.