Friday, December 26, 2008

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I am so excited to share with you all my favorite gift of 2008.  Drum-roll please!!!!!
My new Canon EOS Rebel XSi!!!!  AHHHHHHH!  I am so excited about it.  After Drew went to bed last night, I couldn't put it down.  So now everyone will start seeing our lives through a whole new lens!  Our little jump drive converter that we've been using does not work with this memory stick, so we've got to go do a bit of shopping before I can post any pictures that are taken with this new Romeo of my life, but very soon.  Here he is..... my new baby.

Christmas Morning

We had such a wonderful Christmas. I truly couldn't have asked for anything more as a mother and a wife. Drew woke us up (not too early might I add, so we'll enjoy that while it lasts) and we all walked down stairs to see the goodies that Santa left for us. Drew spotted his trike right away and ran straight to it. He circled it a few times and then started to play with all of the buttons and controls. Then he finally climbed on (with a bit of assistance from Daddy to start out with, but I have to say that it didn't take him long at all to learn how to hop on and off by himself).   His little legs aren't long enough, but that's ok, because he made-do Fred Flinstone style. He pushed himself around for a bit and smiled and laughed the whole time. He loved it. That was definitely the favorite Christmas gift of 2008. We sat and opened our stockings (while Drew pushed himself around the living room and what is for now the "Christmas Room." Then Colin and I opened our stalkings.  I got lots of surprises in my stalking. Colin and Santa were very good to me this year. It was very sweet and so thoughtful.
Then on to the tree. Drew just couldn't get over the fact that he just kept on getting new toys to play with. He especially loved anything on wheels this year. We took all day to open presents. Drew would open a present, want to play with it, and then the next thing we know, it's nap time. So he went down for a two and half hour nap and then woke up and started the whole thing over again. We had a great time and I will cherish it forever!

Drew's first reaction!

Drew playing with all of the controls on his new "Harley"

We all had such a great time. I love this picture because it really captures what happens around our house all of the time. We do have such a great time.

Drew being such a sweetie and giving a Daddy a huge hug for his gifts.

Thank you Nana and Papa for the WallE book. It reminds us of going to the Gem Theatre for my first movie with ya'll when you were here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"The Best Gifts Are Tied With Heartstring"

Before I get into all of the details of our Christmas morning, I just wanted to say thank you to you all.  Everyone made this Christmas so special.  All of the wonderful gifts and thoughtful details meant the world to us.  Drew's second Christmas was a day that Colin and I will cherish forever!  The magic of Santa is starting to sink in with him, and it was amazing to watch our little boy light up with each surprise of the morning.  We have started many traditions with him already, and I am so excited to share them with you all.

Just a Quote About Capturing Moments and Documenting Them

It's not that I belong to the past,  but that the past belongs to me.  ~ Mary Antin

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Drew Is Preparing For Santa

Drew is really helping to prepare for Santa.  Tonight, before we went to a Christmas Eve Party, we made our reindeer food and sprinkled it on the lawn.  We made it extra sprarkly to make sure that they see our house.  Then, after we got back from our party, we all jumped into our Christmas jammies and took one last look at the bare tree, because we just know, that when we wake up in the morning it will be stock full of presents from the man in the big red suit.
Merry Christmas Everyone.  We'll be keeping all of you in touch through our pictures and our phone calls.  

Drew making the reindeer food (with a bit of assistance from mommy)

It's ready to be taken outside for the reindeer

Drew did a great job sprinkling the food on the lawn

My two handsome men taking a pose in front of the tree before we leave for the party

A picture of a very pregnant mama on Christmas Eve

Daddy and Drew taking one last look at the tree before bedtime

There is nothing sweeter than this picture of Drew marveling at the tree on Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Merry Christmas Snuggle

One of my favorite things to do this year (especially considering the pregnancy) is to snuggle up on the couch with my family and watch Christmas movies. Last night was "Polar Express" which is a movie that I hold near and dear to my heart because it had become one of my father's favorites.
It was late enough in the evening that Drew actually sat and watched the movie all wrapped up with me in our favorite Christmas quilt. "Hot Chocolate" was our favorite part of the movie. Drew really seemed to enjoy it and repeated it over again the best he could. It was so cute and a moment that I will cherish forever. I just kept looking over at him sitting there with me, my arm around him, thinking that I will never have this very moment again. He is growing so quickly that he changes every day it seems. I know it's funny, but I never want to forget my thinking at that moment. I kept looking at his little head with his little baby hair and thinking to myself "I need to remember what this looks like. I can never, ever forget what this feels like." It makes me emotional thinking about it now. Colin and I really try and remember to live in the moment. Kids are the best way to make you realize that it's what's happening now that matters.... it is this very moment. Obviously I was not thinking of capturing that moment on film, it was way too important for that, but as I'm always thinking of documenting our lives, I did snap this picture thinking of building memories about it today.

"I will never, ever forget these precious moments"

To Have and To Fold

Well, the shopping has been done (I have to pat myself on the back and say that it's been done for a while),  and most of the gifts have been wrapped.  Every night I've been working away at it.  It's kind of been my little time of relaxation and crafting.  I really enjoy it.  It's been a little challenging this year considering that I have been sitting on the floor for at least an hour per night and I am quite large (I'm actually full term now..... can you believe!?!)  but it's well worth it.  I took a picture of the gifts that I wrapped last night and the night before, most of the other gifts have already gone out to family and friends.  I wish I would have had it together enough to have them all done at the same time to look at all of them together.  Oh well.  It's always a "work in progress" right up until Christmas Eve night.  One of my favorites this year were the little jars of Reindeer food that I gave away to all of my friends with young children.  They were adorable!  I love all of the ribbons and tags and really making the jars look custom.  It was a fun project.  I really can't wait to make ours with Drew on Christmas Eve.  This will be one of my favorite traditions.  Maybe we'll get lucky enough one year to see the sugar glitter atop of snow.  Who knows.  
The gift that I most look forward to, though, will not be wrapped this year.  "Hanta" will be bringing Drew a tricycle this year..... Harley Davidson, no doubt.  That is, if Drew has been a good boy and made it onto Santa's Nice List.  This is the first gift that we will experience as parents that will be waiting to surprise Drew under the tree Christmas morning.  Colin and I are really looking forward to that.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Promoting the Family

Usually mailing out mass productions of photos would be a very "ticky tacky" (as my mother would say) thing to do in the south.  Outside of the birth of a new baby, Christmas is the only time you can get away with this.  Otherwise this is type of production is reserved for attorneys and realtors.  Now of course I must explain that in this technology rich era that we are in the midst of, this does not include mass emails of pictures, which grandparents, family, and friends always enjoy.... well, almost always.
These are some of the pictures that we took for our Christmas cards this year.  We had a great time putting them together... aka, we fussed and flustered over the whole ordeal.  Anyways, these are some of the cute moments that we captured.

This is my favorite card holder from Southern Living At Home no doubt! I've kind of covered it up because I can't stop myself from decorating!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Every year our neighborhood conducts a luminary night. It's really a beautiful thing. I look forward to it every year. We all buy our luminaries and the money goes to charity. We also "adopt" a needy family to give gifts to. It's really nice. I'm usually involved in this process because I was on the "social committee" before, but with such a busy year this year, I was unable to contribute by volunteering, but we were still able to participate of course. Anyways, it was beautiful as usual. We bundled the little guy up (he looked like the little one in "A Christmas Story.... everyone I'm sure remembers the scene: "Mom, I can't move my arms!!!" Yeah, that was Drewby, poor thing).   Anyways, we bundled him up, grabbed our lanterns and hot chocolate and off we went to stroll the streets and look at the lights. The pictures don't do it justice, but we thought we would try. Maybe the cheery season spirit will capture your hearts through these pictures or maybe through knowing what all of these luminaries mean to our community.

The Cabinets are Done

Well, Colin and I are amazed. Rick did it. He finished the cabinets in only two days. Here's the final pictures of the cabinets. Now remember, we still have to install appliances, countertops, gas co., paint, plumber, and decorate. So it is still (obviously) a work in progress. I think that the crown moulding really topped it off. I love it. We had so much fun picking this out, there's part of me that thinks I might even miss this remodel a little bit..... Nahhhh.... not once I have my new kitchen

Santa Clause (or should I say "Hanta" Clause) Is Coming To Town

I absolutely love Christmas! I also love the ceremonies that go along with Christmas. I love all of the ornament exchanges, wrapping gifts oh so perfectly so that they all coordinate under the tree, I love making reindeer food for my family and all of the young families that I know, and of course I love all of the baking. This year I was not able to do all of the baking because of the kitchen remodel, but other than that, we had a great time exhuasting ourselves over the rest of it. Here are a few pictures of us enjoying the Christmas spirit with Drew.
Drew in his Santa hat. When we ask him "Whose the man in the big red suit," his response is "Hanta!"

Drew unwrapping a gift just a little bit early. He loves giving his "monkey hugs"

"Hanta" Clause is coming to town!

I love interesting ornaments. It's ornaments like these that make our tree ours...that make it special to us.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Update on the Kitchen

Hey everybody, we just thought we'd give you an update on all of the craziness that is ensuing at our house. I couldn't imagine....never mind...I'm not going to say it, I'm not sure if knocking on wood stands up to the typing "sprees" and "fairies."
Anyways, here are pictures of how far along the kitchen is coming. On top of that, of course, is me being pretty much 9 months preggers, playing with Drew (and chasing him around) Drew and I both being sick, keeping all of the traditions that I love about Christmas, making sure that all gifts were perfectly wrapped with the perfect bows and shipped out to those who are far away, oh yeah, and still building a nursery. (more on all of these later).
The kitchen is going very well though. It's not going to be finished for Christmas, but we'll be ok. Thank goodness we have such a great "support team" around us. Our friends and family have been so wonderful to us and so helpful. Thank you to you all.
Anyways, with no further ado..... our kitchen update (so far that is)......
Drum roll please.......

Ta Da! That is the difference that Rick made in one day! I can't believe how quickly he can do this and how high the quality is of his work. He's coming back tomorrow to finish up the cabinets....then we'll be ready for the granite people, the appliance people, the gas guy, and the plumber..... whew.

This is what it looked like the night before Rick got here!

Another angle of the night before. Crazy!

We had so much fun shopping for our granite as a whole family. We got to go to the warehouse and pick out the actual piece of stone that will go in our kitchen. (please excuse the fact that it was a no-makeup kind of day)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Giving Thanks (for getting away from the snow)

Colin's parents were able to come down for Thanksgiving again this year to escape the "great snow of Barrie."  We had a great time just being with family.  We also got to spend some time with my family as well.  We went to Aunt Debbie's for Thanksgiving day and had a wonderful time surrounded by all of our family.  I really love it when both families get together.  It was a lovely week, the weather was fine and Drew was on his best behavior for Nana and Popa.
Popa and Drew took some time to read a story together

Daddy and Drew are relaxing together in our bed. Drew thinks it's pretty swell to be in a big bed.

The Westgarth-Taylor clan

Popa and Drew sharing a pillow

Our little boy enjoying the fall leaves

Nana and Drew enjoying the beautiful weather outside and "mowing the lawn"

Drew's favorite spot to hang out when Mama's not in the room....

uh oh, here she comes...better get down!

Drew driving his race car... he loves his Radio Flyer