Baby K Maternity

Baby K Maternity

Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank You Santa

Santa: "Connor, what would you like for Christmas this year?"

Connor:"Um, tucks, cars, airpanes, and choo-choos."

 Christmas has been so fun with this little goober. He LOVES Christmas lights around the neighborhood, and shouts "pretty, daddy, pretty" in the car when we pass lit homes. He won't stop until we turn and make sure to see exactly which house he is pointing at. Cookies, and baking have been a great adventure with him along to help mix the ingredients, decorate with sprinkles, and gobble up the goodies. He's even a pro and turning on and off the Christmas tree, and insists on doing it himself every time it needs to be done. He takes it upon himself to remind us in the mornings when it needs to be turned on."Tree mommy, tree. On, on!!"
 Winter Break started on Friday Dec. 18, and we immediately drove up to Orlando. Disney has always been special to us, and we decided it was about time to start our Annual Passes back up. Connor is ready, and we're looking forward to a year full of Disney Magic. Merry Christmas to us! We thought it may be a little crowded that particular weekend, but it wasn't too bad. We've been there when it was much much worse. We hit Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom this particular trip, and it was the perfect way to start our Christmas holiday.

 Over the past few years our tradition has been to spend Christmas Eve at our house before heading to the Candlelight Service at church. This year's menu consisted of an appetizer of Cheese Bread Dip (that turned out perfectly thanks to my Nelson-Hamilton ladies), then onto potatoes, carrots, and a delicious Prime Rib Roast. I'm always nervous putting this meal together. There have been some interesting stories in the past, but thankfully everything turned out as planned this year. Actually I think the roast even surpassed my expectations, though Connor couldn't be bothered with it. It isn't mac and cheese after all. The Candlelight Service was beautiful and we were able to spend the wee hours of Christmas morning singing praise to the Lord, and with our loved ones.

 Santa certainly visited our home, and Connor was very satisfied with his list he so sweetly asked for. As I write this he is sitting on the floor with his die-cast Chuggington set having the choo-choo's circle round and round. Of course mommy and daddy added some more things to his Christmas haul, but we couldn't help ourselves. The picnic table has been used every day, and Connor loves sitting at it for breakfast, and all other times he plays. We figured he grow into his bicycle over this next year. He was very excited for it and was able to climb right on top of it. He has no idea how much fun that bike will hold in the future, but it has wheels and he's thrilled!
 Connor came out and immediately sat down at his new table! He may have even eaten the leftover cookies that Santa didn't eat. What a cookie monster!
 His stocking had lots of fun toys inside, including plastic animals and lots of Cars Vinylmations to open up. He liked his stocking so much he almost wasn't ready to move on to the other presents.
 Connor got many toys, but a majority of them either related to Mater, or Chuggington. We have attempted to organize and control the amount of track he has, but after purchasing one rubbermaid bin for his die-cast set, and one rubbermaid bin for his interactive set, we have found we need more bins, it doesn't fit!

 Grandma's house on Christmas morning is magical in and of itself. It always has been. The Guise family knows how to do Christmas, and everyone always feels so special and loved. Connor knew the rocking horse was his, and right away became the perfect cowboy on his bucking bronco.

 Grandma Glenda made sure everyone got their perfect present. Aunt Kaitlyn got the boots she'd been dreaming of, Uncle Casey got the DVD box set he'd been hinting at, Daddy got the golf shoes on his list, and little Connor got an iPod! Though he is only 2, our smarty pants knows just how to work the thing and has a list of favorite apps already. From puzzles, to counting, to letters, it is the perfect present for him. Grandma got me the perfect present too, she printed my blog. Hard cover, almost 200 pages, from pregnancy to Connor's second birthday, pages and pages of memories all packaged in a beautiful book. I cried.

 Papa got Connor a Cars scooter that he figured out very quickly. A few wipe outs, but he's learning what it takes to balance on it, and would immediately get back up and try again. He's all boy!

 Great Grandma and Grandpa Hebebrand came down the day after Christmas and spent a few days with us as well. They of course spoiled Connor, and couldn't get over how much he had grown and developed since the last time they were with him. We are blessed to have four generations together no matter how crazy it can get. Family is family, and we will always have one another.
It's New Year's Eve and I am in awe at how fast 2012 has flown by. We are adjusting to our new normal, and there is never a day that goes by that I don't think of Dad and miss him. Some say the holidays are the worst, but I really don't see a difference in holiday or not. I know he would be so proud of Connor and I miss being able to just talk to him. 2013 holds so much potential. I have many goals, hopes, and dreams for the new year. We will see which pan out, and which will wait until 2014.

 “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– the LORD, who remains faithful forever” (Psalm 146:5,6).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

 Top 12 of '12
12. Various travels: Nashville, Louisville, Lynchburg, Gainesville. 
11. Connor's First Haircut at Walt Disney World. (Read more here)
10. Tropical Storm Potty Training. (Read more here)
9. Kristin Directed/Produced "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Play) at her school. (Read more here)
8. Connor's Mater Halloween Costume. (Read more here)
7. Red Sox game at the new Marlin's Park. (Read more here)
6. Guise-Petersen trip to Key West, Fl. (Read more here)
5. Tim ran A1A Ft. Lauderdale Half Marathon. 
4. Retirement Ceremony for Gy Sgt Scott Guise. (Read more  here)
3. Tim & Kristin Celebrate 5th Year Wedding Anniversary in NYC. (Read more here)
2. "Harriet's Family Reunion" in North Carolina. (Read more here)
1. Connor turning 2 at Disneyland in California. (Read more here)

Connor is a constant source of pride and joy! We cannot get over how smart he is! For only being two years old for such a short time he is soaking everything up like a sponge. He has surpassed counting to 10 and now goes onto the teens. We are up to 19 already. It is so cute to hear him say his numbers. Also, over the past few weeks he has been showing off his color recognition skills. You can name any of the colors in a crayon packet and he will hand you the correct one. He especially enjoys pointing to the colors when it comes to Christmas lights. The blue snowflake, or the red mickey peppermint. He is so smart and clever. He is also mastering his name, and even recognizing his letters. While reading books to him, he will point to the letter "C" on the page or "O" etc. I am constantly amazed. He loves to sing, and it's adorable how he tries to chime in on the alphabet song or "You are my Sunshine". He knows all of the names of the Chuggington and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters, and they are his morning friends. The things he says and does are just incredible, there is never a dull moment!

We always have so much fun taking pictures together, and we are usually able to set up and shoot very quickly. We smile, we pose, we laugh, we get pictures taken. Connor was a little harder to keep still this year, but that made it a memory in and of itself. That was the challenge this year. Get Connor to sit still and smile long enough to get the picture. Of course we got creative, and because of that we have such special pictures! I'm so glad that we were able to get my friend Anthony to be our photographer again this year, he always does such a nice job, and we cherish the pictures we get together. It captures a moment in time, and I am blessed to have my whole family involved. When it comes down to the top of my list, they are it. They are my constant, my joy, and where the Lord blesses us the most. They are the ultimate Christmas gift, I need nothing more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful Hearts

We truly have so much to be thankful for! I feel like I say that a lot, but I never want to take for granted what I have. The past two years have put so much into perspective and I feel that my outlook on life is so different from before. From the newness of life and then losing a loved one, I see each day as a treasure. W. T. Purkiser said, “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” I'm grateful, thankful, and living each day to the fullest.

 We decided to spend Thanksgiving this year at Disney World. I mean, why not? We typically spend the day at Grandma Glenda's house and we always go to see the Christmas decorations, so we decided to put the two together. The equation made for a delightful day in the parks. Our first evening in Orlando we went to Downtown Disney and the line to see Santa was very short so we thought...why not?! Our picture with Santa from last year belongs in a photo contest with the extreme look of terror on Connor's face, but this year he was truly delighted to visit with the bearded man. He even said "Hi, Santa". So sweet!

 Being that Connor has such fine blonde hair, the little man has had very little need for a real hair cut ever. I have in the past cut off his little duck tail, but I have never ventured into cutting the top. I loved being able to see the hair he was trying so hard to grow. That hair was starting to look like a comb over and we thought it was high time for a big boy hair cut. Enter the Main Street Barber Shop where they give you such perfect treatment and even save the first cuts and put them in a little bag. It took two years before Connor needed a cut, and I personally love that I don't have a hairy baby. My blonde bundle of joy is just perfect for me. They spiked the little ends on top and he even got special Mouse Ears to commemorate the event. I still can't get over how perfectly still he sat. He was such a good boy, and the lady cutting his hair was smitten with him. Too bad he didn't need a shave, we had the two bits ready!

 After his fancy big boy hair cut we headed over to the new Fantasyland that is still experiencing it's soft opening. Though not as exciting as Disneyland, it is nice that WDW is offering something new. They have gone to great lengths to put great detail into this new section of the park. I enjoyed all of the Beauty and the Beast design and found the Ariel ride to be exactly like the ride in California that we went on 6 weeks ago. Yay Belle, Eh Ariel. Connor got to enjoy LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern and couldn't get enough of it. The bigger kids couldn't get enough of our lunch at the Be Our Guest restaurant, and now we just have to wait for our reservations for dinner! Perfect details everywhere you looked. It brought back so many memories of performing this great show in college. Uncle Casey and I thoroughly enjoyed the piped in music straight from the broadway show. Human Again, Home, and If I can't Love Her were of course being hummed and sung along with the accompaniment. We all got the last meet and greet with Belle after combing over her sweet little cottage. Aunt Kaitlyn played a perfect shivering Papa, Uncle Casey was a shining knight, and Mommy was the high belting wardrobe. We laughed and played, and met a perfectly chipper Belle.

 Connor can never get enough of the Carousel. Without a doubt he giggles the entire time, with shrieks of pure joy! He also can't get enough of Mickey Mouse. He can name all of his clubhouse friends, but "Mittey" is by far his favorite! When the mouse opened up his arms Connor went running right in and the proceeded to give him a big kiss! He couldn't stop talking about him before we saw him, and couldn't stop after we left. You know it was a highlight for him! He points out Mickey wherever we go, and always wants more of his dear friend. Don't worry sweet boy, you will see a lot of him being in this family!

 We even got to show a little LU Alumni pride (vote for our picture here in the contest I entered it in) with the Mouse Man and then headed off to Hollywood Studios for the evening.

 We never fully understood the draw of the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights when it was first described to us. We would continue to end our evening around the world at Epcot until one year we ventured into new territory. There is no going back. The lights really are spectacular and watching the lights dance to music is even more festive. The songs are perfectly suited to the show, and it gets everyone's toes tapping. Connor's dancing is my favorite and I giggle just thinking about his silly moves! If we could all just dance with abandon like that of a child, and if Christmas music played all year long........ (we would probably live in Who-ville!)

 After the dancing lights we went to eat our yummy Thanksgiving feast at Ohana. It is certainly a favorite among our family, and something we look forward to. There was no better restaurant on our list that we would want to eat at. We ate and ate until our little hearts were content, very much like every family on Thanksgiving day, except we didn't have to cook or do dishes!!!

Once dinner was over we thought, "oh Magic Kingdom is still open, let's go"! We definitely closed down the park, and it is always so magical being the last ones around. It is very rare to look out in every direction and only see a smattering of people, most of which are park employees cleaning up for the evening. We're hard core I tell you!

We have so much to be thankful for. I count my blessings daily, and I am in awe of the life I am able to live. My family is amazing, we have a roof over our heads, we don't have to worry about our next meal, we have clothes on our back, we have access to fresh clean water, we have good jobs, and at most we have first world problems. Life is all about perspective. What perspective we take on each situation, and how we view our world really dictates so much. I am blessed. Blessed to be a wife, mother, daughter and sister. Those that are my opposite are my dearest treasures.