Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Yogi in the Making

Grace Louise always loves to join me in "yoda", but this particular day she was striking out on her own. I will make no bones about it... she is really good for a 2 year old!

Warrior 2
Downward Facing Dog
Standing straddle
And look at that beautiful Triangle Pose!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Surprise! I'm going to be a big sister!"

We are having another baby!

Whew! What a relief! We've been waiting for the perfect time to share our happy news and excitement with everyone for what seems like forever! Five weeks of nausea with no way to complain has been... well, probably a blessing in disguise. Hopefully that is nearing the end anyway, since we are almost out of the first trimester. Wahoo for the glory of the 2nd Trimester... my favorite!

Telling the news is always the most fun, knowing you have the power to bring a crazy kind of joy to a few grandparents. I found an idea on pinterest that we were going to use, but that never panned out. We opted for one fairly traditional idea and one pretty darn original one!

Grace Louise is the proud owner of an "I'm the Big Sister" shirt that she showed off for BeBe, Pops, and Uncle Marsh on Tuesday night. We sent a picture of the shirt to Aunt Lindsey in Kentucky. We practiced all day, "Surprise! I'm going to be a big sister!" which she never ended up saying, of course! It was still a special way of spilling the beans. When I told them the due date, August 7th, I got an interesting response from BeBe. "What's significant about that?" I asked. Only my husband/baby daddy's birthday. Oh dear. I'm in trouble. Pretty neat, although odds are Baby Hurst will not arrive so early.

And mama found out on camera...
Just a sweet picture with her granddaughter.

"Grace Louise, look at the camera. Say 'Surprise'!"
(LaLa clearly didn't know the surprise yet!)

"I'm going to be a big sister!"
LaLa is questioning the surprise...

"Stop it!" she said.
Grace Louise, totally uninterested, is now playing itsy bitsy spider.
"Yep! August 7th. I'm 11 weeks!"

"I knew it!" as she points her gnarly finger at me!

"You're really pregnant?"

"Are you serious?"

"Oh my gosh. I can't believe it."
Lots of love and hugs and chatter to follow these priceless photos.
So glad to share this joy with my family :-)

Our pinterest idea that we obviously couldn't make work...
But we did a cute grin from this 2 year old... who is going to make an amazing big sister!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Family Pics

A little late in posting these. My new friend, Ginger, did an amazing job capturing the light and type of pictures I'd hoped for this year. Our neighbors were gracious to let us use their "yard" (although I'd hardly say this classifies as a yard... more like an estate) which proved to be a lovely backdrop for the pics. As usual, the more candid shots are most special and I thank Ginger for giving us a few of those. Enjoy!

A couple pics from the balcony of our own castle :-)

Swinging next door at Uncle Dave's.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

And more!

Traditionally, we spend Christmas evening with my mom and family, enjoying an amazing prime rib dinner that is a truly heartfelt gift from my mom, born out of the hard work and week of preparation to pull it all off! Not surprisingly, it was delicious again! This Christmas celebration was more packed than usual... family from out of town and friends joining us to make this evening something special. Quarters were close, but I wouldn't exchange the time with friends and family for more elbow room.

A new Minnie Mouse suitcase from CaCa and Rachel.

Showing Aggie the craft supplies she bought with her Christmas money!

Silly girl!

Our most honored guest of the evening... Papa's sister, Aunt Ginny, from North Carolina.

A doll high chair- for more imaginative play!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Christmas...

We were glad to celebrate Christmas on a Sunday this year. We enjoyed some nice family time in the morning- reading the entire Advent Story. Sharing our gifts with one another. And then heading off to church for a really special Christmas service.

Actually the first two pictures are from Christmas Eve Eve, which we celebrated with Jimmy's family here at the house. Grace Louise is sporting her new owl slippers from Uncle Marsh and delivering gifts.

A new baby from Aunt Lindsey! And a fishing pole from Pops and Bebe. More pics of the fishing sure to come... after all fishing is a daily activity around here!

Daddy helping Grace Louise open her "big" gift from mommy and daddy. A cabbage patch baby for the bathtub.
I think
she really
likes it!!!
And a doll house from LaLa and Poppee. We actually waited several days after Christmas for this big gift. It needed a morning all its own! It's been really fun watching her use her imagination with this toy!

Celebrating Advent

So, my blogging during the Christmas season really suffered, but better that than more important things, right?! We had a great and meaningful Christmas, characterized by both great blessing and loss. We incorporated a few new traditions, spent oodles of time with family and friends, and enjoyed some really fun Christmas festivities that Grace Louise wouldn't have enjoyed or appreciated in past years.

We also grieved the imminent loss of Jimmy's Papa Hurst, visiting him at the Sebring Hospice House many times during and after Christmas week. He went to be with Jesus on January 1st of this New Year. I know time does not exist beyond this earth, but I have to imagine it must have been very neat to enter the New Year at the feet of Jesus, with a new mind, a new body and a crown of righteousness to present to the King!

Our newest tradition in helping keep our hearts and minds on Christ Jesus during the Christmas season was adding the celebration of Advent. Advent is a liturgical tradition that hasn't been observed in any church Jimmy and I have ever attended. Our thoughts on including this in our family are very simple... #1 keep in simple #2 no legalism- keep the tradition because you can and want to, not because you have to and #3 let the experience of the tradition draw you closer to Jesus and remember Him more during the Christmas season. I will admit, our first go-round was wobbly. I don't think any of us really understood the meaning of the candles, although at the very end of advent we were given a really helpful handout that gives suggested meaning for each of the candles, scripture readings, stories, etc. Using this new handout will certainly bring more meaning to this tradition next year.

Grace Louise and I made our own version of an advent wreath. Since I had never done this before, I decided to label the candles so we would be reminded of their meanings. Ta-da!

My mom bought Grace Louise and our family The Advent Book as a gift. It is a beautiful hardback book with doors that open for each day (Dec 1-25) telling the story of Christ's birth. Grace Louise really enjoyed this tradition and looked forward to reading the book every evening. Several nights we skipped the book and would catch up later in the week... again, the joy is that we get to enjoy this tradition, not that we have to! I would highly recommend this book for any family looking for another way to point to Jesus during the Christmas season.