Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Festivities

We spent Christmas in Houston and stayed at Grammy's house, then spent Christmas Day at Cassie's house in Katy.  The girls woke up early that morning, and made their way down the stairs to see what Santa had brought them.
 Decked out in their new scooter gear - Claire is ready to go with her new purse in tow!
 Caroline can't wait to join in on the fun!
 A new Memory game!  Helping sissy open presents at Cassie's house.
 Daddy brought us a new ornament from his ski trip in Winter Park!
 Gotta get that pacifier just right in my new baby doll.
 Fancy girls getting ready for New Year's parties. 
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and looking forward to what God will do in the coming New Year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Christmas to remember

Christmas is only a few days away now; the packages are wrapped and tucked under the tree, the girls are excited to see what that day will bring.  Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because we get several weeks to celebrate and prepare and extend the holiday spirit.  This year, we've continued many traditions as usual: we've seen lights, wrapped presents, sipped hot chocolate, made a fire or two, visited Santa, ridden the train, decorated the tree, looked at pictures, and made cookies, while a few more traditions still wait for us to experience them before Christmas.

 However, this year has been not-so-typical in some ways.  We have added this little booger to the a constant source of entertainment, Minnie is pretty much 1/3 dog, 1/3 monkey, and 1/3 cat.  I have never seen a dog move so fast or climb furniture or gates so quickly, but she is turning into a really cuddly, sweet dog who loves to be with us.
 And this little face is hard to resist!
 Most of all, the hardest event we have had to endure this Christmas is saying goodbye to our sweet buddy, Jack, of 13 years.  For the last year, he had really slowed down to the point where he was having trouble walking, and in the last few months, really couldn't get up anymore.  He loved me fiercely and was so loyal to me since it had just been the two of us for so many years before Paul and the girls came along.  But, in the end, he couldn't get up to follow me anymore and it just wasn't the life he should be living, and the vet agreed that it was his time. 
 I adopted Jack from the shelter when he was close to two, so he lived nearly 15 years, a blessing to all of us.  He was there for so many memories in my life, and will always be remembered as my very first buddy and most special dog.  He was my first dog out of college, and he was so sweet never to bother Paul or the girls or ever get jealous of their presence in our lives.  He loved us all so much, and we will always love him dearly.  He truly was one of the sweetest, most laid back dogs I have ever met. 

One of Jack's favorite spots was under the Christmas tree, so we let him spend his last night under there, and the girls were so sweet with him.  The morning that we had to say goodbye to Jack came only one day before the tragic Sandy Hook shootings, so that is why this Christmas just doesn't feel so typical this year.  Tragedy is hard, but it makes it a little harder to bear when it happens around Christmas.  Despite the sadness and loss, I know that my little Buddy is at peace now, and I'm just remembering all the funny memories and special times we had.  We are so glad that Jack could spend some of this Christmas with us, and we will forever remember his sweet spirit and how much he loved being under the tree.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Festival of Lights

Last night, we visited Lakeway's Festival of Lights at the local community center.  I was really impressed to see how many lights and decorations there were, and they were lined up along a short walking path that was perfect for us to tour without the girls getting tired. 

 The favorite attraction for the girls was running laps around the giant lit Christmas tree.  They probably would have kept running all night if we hadn't stopped them!

Merry Christmas!