Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from The Day Family!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

*I ordered our card from Shutterfly this year and I just love how it turned out! Their site is so user friendly and they have adorable designs for every occasion!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A visit with Santa

Last weekend, we went with the Simpson's to see Santa in downtown Fort Worth. This Santa was a good one - and it only cost $7 for a 4x6 picture and they also used our camera to take a picture. So I have a digital copy and can make as many copies as I want. Way more economical than going to the mall. Anyway - Cayden wasn't excited about the jolly old man and the only way we could get him not to cry was to be in the picture with him.

My two cuties. Don't you just love Cayden's hat?! I could just eat him up in this!

Posing in front of the giant Christmas Tree downtown.

The Simpson's posing in front of the giant tree downtown.

The kids had a blast hanging out downtown. We saw Santa, went to dinner, and then walked around and enjoyed the lights. I just love this time of year and all the fun it brings!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's been lookin' a lot like Christmas...

I would title this post, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas", but seeing as it's less than a week away, I think this title is more appropriate. Ha! I was really excited to decorate this year because Cayden is at such a fun age.

I got this sign at Chi Omega Christmas Market this year and I just love it!

I was also excited because I redid our tree to be more kid-friendly this year. Before, our tree was all gold and burgundy with poinsettas and while it was pretty, it wasn't much "fun". So, our tree is now full of red, lime green, white, and Christmas green. I collected things gradually over the year and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out!

I got these Jesus is the Reason for the Season ornaments from Cracker Barrell and I just adore them so much!

This Happy Birthday Jesus ornament came from Chi Omega Christmas Market and it just might be my favorite ornament on our tree.

Our family ornament this year.

Our sweet friend Theresa gave us this ornament last year because Cayden was Raggedy Andy for Halloween. I LOVE it - such a sweet reminder of that special memory of his first dress up day.

These are some of Cayden's first Christmas ornaments - he has three or four of them.


This is one of Cayden's ornaments from this year - I also found it at Chi Omega Christmas Market.

I had them write his name and the year on it.


I made these ornaments a few months ago. I painted our names on with paint pens. I made one for all of us but sadly, Cayden's broke last week. And it wasn't his fault! He's actually done really well and hasn't broken any ornaments.

Part of the reason that I think he has done so well with the tree is that there are ornaments on it that he knows are "his". There are these little pillows that are soft and cannot be broken along with several other types of ornaments that he can take off the tree and play with. It makes it easier to teach him that there are some ornaments that are off limits if he has some that he can play with!


I love this picture of Cayd that my sweet friend Stephanie took last year. His eyes are SO blue!

A picture on our mantle

Our stockings that my mom made. Mine she made me when I was little, Collin's she made him while we were engaged, and Cayden's she made while I was pregnant with him. I love them so much and will treasure them always.

Collin calls this his tacky Christmas sweater but I think it's sweet! It would be tacky if he were our age and wearing it, but for a 1 year old, I think it's adorable. I don't have too much longer to be able to dress him like this!


The advent calendar that I made that counts down the days until Christmas. Can hardly believe it's only 6 days!

I got this tree on sale at Cracker Barrell this year and Cayden loves it! It lights up and dances while singing Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. He smiles, gets excited, and dances everytime we turn it on. Cracks us up!

Some stuffed gingerbread people on top of the armoire in the playroom.

I saw someone selling these frames at the Chi Omega Christmas Market this year. I fell in love with them but they were a ridiculous price. I came home and made this one for about $5. It's not as cute as the ones I saw, but it was a whole lot cheaper and I think it turned out kind of cute. That reindeer I found at the Peddler show in Arlington.

This is a side table in our family room but I'm including it because this is where we keep Cayden's nativity and where we gather as a family to do advent.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year and I have loved having a more kid friendly looking home this season. Since I basically started over with all my decorating, I'm excited to expand on it and maybe get some cute stuff after the holiday's on sale!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My New Favorite Holiday Find

So as I sit here awake at midnight, waiting for my NyQuil to kick in (I have an allergy attack that is trying to wreak havoc on my holiday plans!), I have to tell you about something that I recently discovered that I LOVE! My mother-in-law got me addicted to Williams Sonoma's Spiced Chestnut soap and I love to use in in the fall and throughout Christmas time. But this year, I decided to also pick up some Winter Forest hand & dish soap. I liked it in the store but I liked it even more when I got it home. It's kind of woodsy but not in a masculine way, in a kind of sweet way. It's heavenly... It makes me want to hand wash all my dishes. Well, not quite but it does make hand washing dishes seem like less of a chore.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our tiny dancer

The first Saturday night in December, we went to my cousin's wedding in Waxahachie. There was dancing and thus, our tiny dancer was born. I'm kidding. Actually, he's loved to dance for months. One of his favorite things to do is for us to have dance parties at home. He says, "wiggle, wiggle!" as he shakes his little body around to the music. It's hilarious.

"You mean there's dancing here?!"

Dancing with cousin Macy

Bustin' a move

Showin' them his moonwalk. Just kidding, but doesn't it look like it!

Totally worn out after a busy evening of shakin' his stuff!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent

Do you know what Advent is? It’s the 4 week period leading up to Christmas where we focus on Christ – on His first coming to Earth as a baby to save us and on His second glorious coming back to get us.

Here’s what Noel Piper has to say about Advent in Treasuring God in Our Traditions.

We are a people of promise. For centuries God prepared people for the coming of His Son, our only hope for life. At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made – that He would make a way to draw near to Him. Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before December 25, sometimes in the last weekend of November, sometimes the first Sunday in December. First Peter 1:10-12 is a clear description of what we look back to during Advent. For four weeks, it’s as if we’re reenacting, remembering thousands of years during which God’s people were anticipating, longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. That’s what Advent means – “coming.” Even God’s men who foretold the grace that was to come didn’t know “what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating” (v.11). They were waiting, but they didn’t know what God’s salvation would look like.

In fact, God revealed to them that they were not the ones who would see the sufferings and glory of God’s Christ. “They were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven” (v.12). They were serving us. We Christians on this side of Jesus’ birth are a God-blessed, happy people because we know God’s plan. The centuries of waiting are over. We have the greatest reason to celebrate.

And yet we are still waiting. Our spiritual redemption came to us with the baby of Bethlehem. Nonetheless, as Romans 8 says, “we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (v. 23). There is suffering and tragedy still, even for Christians. Someone we love is dying. We may be in pain. Sometimes we have trouble believing God’s promises. In other words, our redemption is not complete. We are waiting for the redemption of our bodies – waiting for Jesus’ second advent, for Him to come again.

So here we stand in the middle. Advent is a season of looking back, thinking how it must have been, waiting for the promised salvation of God, not knowing what to expect. And at the same time, Advent is a season of looking ahead, preparing ourselves to meet Jesus at His Second Coming.

We really want to make Christmas all about Jesus in our house. It's so easy, even as adults, to get swept up in the chaos of the commercial holiday, so we're trying to be intentional with our actions and plans this Season. We want to make the reality of Christmas and what it's about so captivating for Cayden that everything else pales in comparison. This year it's not too difficult because he's still too young to fully grasp what's going on, but I think this is a good place to start and build on for the future. One of the things we're doing is Advent as a family.

I had researched it and prepared months in advance. I made a cute toilet paper calendar to keep the daily readings in and had activities I wanted to do with Cayden planned. And I am thrilled to tell you, we are loving it! We started out doing it a certain way, but after noticing that Cayden wasn't getting much out of it, we switched it up. Here's what we do with our 1 year old, in case anyone's interested. After Cayden gets a bath and has his jammies on, we congregate in the living room. We turn all the house lights off except the Christmas tree and we light that weeks Advent candles. We talk about how Jesus came to be the light of the world. We pray asking God to prepare our hearts to worship Him and give us spirits that long for Him. Then Collin reads some of the Christmas story. I've divided it up in portions so that we expand on it every night and Cayden, and all of us really, benefit from the repetition. As Collin reads, Cayden and I act it out with this.


His Little People Nativity set. Then we sing a couple Christmas carols and that’s it. It’s a lot less stressful than what we were doing before and Cayden enjoys it a lot more. I feel like he’s actually benefiting from it whereas before, he was just sitting there listening to us talk. I'll post more later on some activities we've done and are doing over the next week and a half.

It's been a very neat thing to do as a family and has really helped me to keep my focus on Christ this Christmas Season. There WILL BE another advent of Christ - He is coming back to get us!!!

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

1 Peter 1:13

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Turkey Day 2010

We spent Thanksgiving in Houston this year and had a great time! Collin needed to make a trip to Houston for business reasons so we actually went down there the Sunday before and were able to stay until Saturday. It was nice to be able to spend almost a week there with family. We did lots of fun things - saw friends that we haven't gotten to see in a long time, ate at restaurants that we love, and spent lots of time just hanging out with family. I wish I had taken more pictures. On Wednesday, we took a trip to the Houston zoo and I did actually snap a few pics. They have redone the area around the zoo and we didn't really even recognize it. It was weird to be in an area that we once knew so well (we actually took some of our engagement pictures in that area) and not be able to recognize it. I had forgotten how much I like the Houston zoo.

I love this sweet picture of Cayden and his GG.

Watching the seals with Uncle Nick

Starring at the fishies with cousin Eden

Sweet McKenna and Jillian - they are THE MOST calm tempered, easy babies. I am constantly amazed at their sweet dispositions! They just chilled in the stroller and looked around. Cayden would never have been happy in a stroller for that long when he was 4 months old!

Cayden's face in this picture makes me laugh outloud!

Feeding the goats in the petting zoo.

Thanksgiving Day was spent at my sister-in-law, Carissa's, house. She did a fabulous job hostessing and everyone pitched in to help with the sides. Well, everyone except for me. Ha! Since we were traveling, I didn't really have a way to do much. I was planning to help my mom-in-law do her 3 things and then she whipped it up in advance while Cayden and I were napping one day! I have not done that little to help with a Thanksgiving meal in 10 years! It was a nice day of relaxing with family and some very yummy food.

Aunt Cathy with cutie pie Jillian. Jillian reminds us of Cayden when he was her age. We always talk about how Cayden looks like Collin's Grandad, Ralph, and Jillian tends to favor him too.

Uncle Collin with sleeping McKenna

Sweet Eden - playing blocks. Isn't she just the cutest?!

I did not get one cute picture of Cayden on Thanksgiving and it makes me sad because he looked so cute in his smocked Thanksgiving Jon Jon!

Collin playing with the kids in Eden's room. Eden has taken a major liking to Collin and it's so cute! I think he needs a little girl of his own...eventually! :)

The Friday after Thanksgiving, Cayden started acting like he felt bad but it didn't seem serious or anything - he was still playing and was running no fever. To make a really log story short, we ended up taking him to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night Friday night. He was having coughing fits - horrible sounding coughing, like wheezy barking - and was acting like he was having trouble breathing. Since he has asthma, we didn't want to take any chances. He was diagnosed with croup at the ER and after a breathing treatment, a steroid shot, and some popsicles, we were headed home. He was able to sleep the rest of the night and we made the journey home the next day. It took him a good week to get over the croup and it was NOT a fun week. After some oral steroids prescribed by the pediatrician, a few nights of very little sleep, and a day full of my mom coming over and doing all of our laundry (I love her so), Cayden was over it. It was awful watching him feel so bad. He was sooo tired and just couldn't sleep due to all the coughing. He threw up several times and had to stay off milk products for several days in order to keep things down. I hope that was his last visit from the old croup bug!

Stay tuned because Christmas posts are coming! Can you believe it's only 16 days until Christmas?! Crazy!