Friday, January 18, 2013

Sick Baby. Sweet Baby.

Well I thought he had escaped it since he was the only one that didn't get sick over Christmas. But it finally caught up with him and now my poor sweet little Obadiah is sick sick sick.
But who says you can't still be as cute as ever, even when you're sick.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Iced In

How's the weather where you are?
It's pretty cold all over the country as far as I can tell.  We are currently covered in ice. I've never seen anything  like it!
Last Saturday we picked my mom up from the airport and it was 75(F) degrees. Then, after raining for a couple days, the temperature dropped below freezing and all that rain water turned to ice.

We are now covered in a sheet of ice.

I don't think my petunias made it.

The schools are currently closed because of the ice. I've heard of Snow Days but have you ever had an Ice Day from school? Having grown up in Southern California where school NEVER got cancelled, ever. Especially not for weather.   It's all kind of fascinating to me.

I'm still hoping for some snow this year, and I hear we MIGHT get some tomorrow. But until then we will sit here under this sheet of ice and marvel at it's beauty. While avoiding driving anywhere.
But if we do have to go anywhere, Rosie knows how to stay warm in the car while looking super cute.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best Christmas Ever

I don't know how it happened, but some how this year became the best Christmas ever.
 I'm really glad I started getting ready for it September though, because I ran out to time to do all the things I had planned as it was.

The 21st was spent cleaning the house, working on gifts not yet finished, and adding extra decorations for our family's arrival. We had some adorable look helpers too.
We added garland to the fence by the street to help people find our house.
Every one arrived on the 22nd. The house was still not quite ready but MOST of the gifts were done. We (and by "we" I mean my mom) just had a little hand sewing to do and I had to finish crocheting a scarf but everything was mostly done.
Our awesome family was so wonderful and helped us finish cleaning the house when they arrived and we ordered Mexican food for dinner. I don't know why, maybe it's my Southern California roots, but I always feel like eating Mexican food at Christmas time.

After spending most of Christmas Eve wrapping a closet full of presents (that's tradition right?...remind me to start earlier on that next year) it was time to put the kids to bed.
Rosie got into her Christmas Pajamas and we went outside and put Reindeer food on the ground for Santa's reindeer. Then we got some Gluten Free cookies for Santa.  Aunt Annie said we had to put carrots out for Rudolf too. She told Rosie that Rudolf comes down the chimney with Santa every year.  And then Rosie said Santa would like Egg Nog instead of milk. She's so thoughtful.
Then off to bed our little Angel went.
 William, my brother Steve, my friend Yue and I all went to Midnight Mass to sing in the Christmas Morning with the Christ Child. It was so so fun and I came home excited and bouncy.

Don't worry. I put the reindeer antlers on AFTER Mass ended. .... RIGHT after.

The nativity in the church was lovely. They always do SUCH a great job decoration for Christmas. I love Christmas time in our Church because you can see Jesus at every stage of his life all at once.
 Then it was time for Santa to do his work stuffing stocking and doing his best to bury the tree. Here's what our tree looked like at 2am. I think there may have been a few more things under the tree by morning.
 Christmas morning was fantastic. We all got up surprisingly early for not going to bed till 2am on Christmas Eve. But I guess we were all excited about what Santa had left us.

Rosie got to pass out the first gift of the day. And here it is! The big sewing project we've been working on.
Growing up Stevie was always Santa. We always dressed him up as Santa and had him hand out the presents. So this year I wanted to make him a really nice Santa jacket for Christmas. But I wanted to make it kind of cool and hip looking since Stevie is, well, hip and cool.
Rosie got a kitchen for Christmas. Both kids love playing with it and can even play together with it.
Annie got a Rudolf nose. She's now officially the cutest Rudolf Reindeer around.
Stevie and Annie got a new little addition to their family for Christmas and brought him with them. Here is Fin opening his gift.  It was so much fun having him run all over the house with Rosie, give kisses to Obi, and cuddle with every one. He's the sweetest little thing.
Ok. I just thought this picture was too adorable. I got Rosie this head band for her stocking. I have one exactly like it. She has only taken it off to take a bath. Other than that she never takes it off and even sleeps in it. Too adorable.
Nana worked hard on our traditional Breakfast Burritos again this year.  She finally got a  well deserved break cuddling with her babies.
Stevie says he was being Jacob Marly from A Christmas Carol.
Obi was left to explore and climb around in the gifts for a bit...
Then he got caught.
Obi making a phone call.
My adorable William wearing mistletoe in his hair, a ribbon on his hand, and some of my new nail polish while showing off his time travel shirt.
Christmas night brought Carolers!!!  Every year my mom's Cousins Joe and Janna come and sing to us and bring us gifts. They always sing so well and it was a fun surprise for the little ones. Also, Janna makes the most amazing fudge and she brought us some. Thank you guys!!
Obi thought the singing was great and smiled and giggled
Rosie took it very seriously.
William made Christmas Dinner and it was lovely.
One of the highlights and special Christmas gift to me was a dear friend from China joined us for Christmas! We met Yue when we lived in Shanghai and she was with us to celebrate her very first Christmas morning when we lived in China. We invited special friends over and got them all stockings and shared our special family traditions with our friends.
So it was extra special when about a week before Christmas I convinced Yue to join us for a true American Family Christmas. Complete with kids and crazy relatives, wrapping on Christmas Eve, leaving cookies for Santa and people sleeping all over the house.

Yue currently lives in the US now so she now understands what it is to live in another culture and how it feels to try and find our own why in a place completely different from what you're used to. It was wonderful to be able to talk to her about her experiences and to know that finally someone else understood what it was like trying to live in a new culture. I know I really missed Christmas in the US when I was in China, and I know she really misses Chinese New Year with her family when she's over here.

It was such an unexpected blessing to have one of our dearest friends from China be able to join us for Christmas in the US. To be able to know us in China and then see our life here in the US was like two worlds coming together. I talk so much about our friends in China to my family in the US, and I told my friends in China so much of my family in the US. So you can imagine what a wonderful experience and treat it was for the two to come together.

After everyone left and things were quiet at home the kids enjoyed playing with their special new toys. Obi likes to follow Rosie around the house while she goes shopping with her new shopping cart. It's nice to see them playing together.
I'm posting this picture of the Christmas butter we bought because I forgot to use it when everyone was here. We used it after every one left but I want to show it off to anyone... because I'm silly and think it's totally cute.

This was a wonderful Christmas. One of the best ones I can remember in a very long time. Even though we managed to get sick on Christmas Eve eve and I completely lost my voice. It was an extra special Christmas.
Thank you everyone who came and slept all over the house. I know it was crowded but it was so fun to have everyone together.
Thank you to every one who brought and sent gifts and lovely cards.  The love and thoughtfulness that came with them touched our hearts immensely. 

May the magic and joy, generosity and love of Christmas stay with you all year long and may you have a blessed New Year.