Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Time + Family Time













With the holiday season upon us and Mikey coming home from Russia, we've had tons of family time crammed into the last week. Every time I'm around my extended family, it causes me to reevaluate how I'm doing as a mother. Through all of this contemplation, I've come to two realizations: love and honesty are the two essential elements of a healthy relationship. I know it sounds simple, but it is something that has taken me 25+ years to learn. By giving my children unconditional love and providing opportunities for them to show love, they have the ability to learn compassion, confidence, charity, sacrifice, and humility. By showing my siblings love, I can be a source of refuge and comfort for them. I just pray that I can always have the serenity to face life's challenges with love forward in my mind.
Honest is also a characteristic that I've had to learn. I remember as a child being restricted by the web of dishonesty that I had created, and I have learned that I can handle absolutely any situation when it is presented in truth. I hope my children can learn these traits through me, trust that they can come to me in honesty for unconditional love, and always thrive in healthy relationships.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One Year and One Day







Maddi's first birthday was yesterday! What a blessing it has been to have her join our family.

At One Maddi:
LOVES to dance
says please, mama, dad, dog, go go go & baba regularly, and will try to repeat just about anything you say
hates wearing anything in her hair
walks around if she can hold on to something and has even taken a few steps on her own, but finds it more convenient to crawl
loves to sing, bang on the piano, look at books, and watch Little Einsteins
claps when she's happy and nods yes and no
still doesn't sleep with any pattern of normalcy
loves to cuddle

Happy birthday Moo Moo!!

We had tons of family & friends over to celebrate. I LOVE spending time with my brothers & sisters. So with ALL of our brothers home at one time, I was one happy girl :)















Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Little Einsteins


Little Einsteins is the ONLY cartoon that Maddi will watch. She dances & jumps & claps & sings. If you change the channel to another cartoon, she will crawl away. If you turn it on she will stop what she's doing and immediately start dancing. I'm so glad she loves music, and I am SO glad that I know have thirty minutes of free-time (laundry/dishes/blogging time) each day.

Sorry about turning the camera sideways. For some reason I thought it would turn the picture too. I'm a technical retard sometimes.

video

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snow Day






After living in Utah, I think it's kind of silly that Alabamians get so excited over a little dusting of snow. Even the slightest chance of snow causes adults to run to the grocery store in a giddy fury for surplus milk, bread, and batteries. I know. weird. I refuse to buy into the madness since the little flakes rarely make an appearance around here. So, it was an extra nice surprise to wake up to a beautiful blanket of soft white snow, and to my shame I ended up being the giddy adult, bouncing on Drew's bed, waking him up to go outside and play.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Show Me Love

Every family has a rock... someone you know will always be there... a place you can go for unconditional love and encouragement when life gets tough. Grandma and Grandpa Glouner are my rock. They have taught me that love can both endure and blossom in time. I feel so honored to know them and to love them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Naples Zoo

Drew's favorite part: the alligator feeding and the snake show
Maddi's favorite part: it's a toss up between the nap and the snack :)





Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Naples Botanical Gardens












The Naples Botanical Gardens opened the week before our trip, so we were able to check it out while we were down there. It is, hands down, the prettiest garden I've ever toured, and they had an AMAZING kids area with an herbal garden with watering buckets, a butterfly house, tree houses connected by rope swings and a miniature cottage. I guess it's just the biologist in me, but after studying animals and plants for so long, I have a unique respect for them. Plants are so similar to us. We have the same basic needs of cellular food and water to create energy, and I've always been fascinated that they can breathe in harmony with us.... they can take our used up air and recycle it for us. What a gift these beautiful creatures silently give us every second of every day.