Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hardwick Christmas

First up of the holiday celebrations - the Hardwick Christmas. My parents ended up staying with Ellie and I the week leading up to Christmas, so they were able to celebrate with us while Jesse was away. On Christmas Eve, we went to Providence for their 5pm service. As expected, it was an adventure to have a toddler in their for too long. Ellie made it about half way through and then I ended up taking her out into the foyer to run around with some of the other kids and their parents that had the same problem. The service was great - really put the holiday into perspective, especially after our church had finished a study on the 7 churches of Revelation.

We came back home and had Italian Beef sandwiches for our dinner. After bath time, we all went into the bonus room and my Dad read the Christmas story (a tradition we did when I was a kid) and I showed Ellie the story with her Little People Nativity. That was a great activity for her to put names with the story. Once Ellie was in bed, I, I mean Santa put out the treats for the morning. :)

Christmas morning, we had Ellie wake up and come see her treats. Jesse and I decided to wait on her presents from us for when he got home, but we went ahead and did Santa with her. She was very excited about her new toys and treats!

We had our birthday breakfast for Jesus and then went upstairs to the bonus room and did presents with my parents.
Afterwards, we showered and got ready to head up to Cincinnati to get their in time for Christmas dinner at my brother's house. It was fun to celebrate with Jonathan, Jennifer, Baby Langston and Jennifer's dad. We ate a yummy dinner and then opened presents. It was fun to see Langston surrounded in gifts and in total observation mode! We had a great time together, even though it was short. My parents, Ellie and I headed back to Knoxville the next morning so my parents could start their trip back to FL the following day. Merry Christmas, Hardwicks!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baking with Ellie

Each year, one of the gifts I give to family members is a tin of cookies. I also tend to do a lot of baking for the holidays in general, including for Ellie's birthday. It was a tradition my mom did with me that I have always wanted to pass down to my kids. Well, this year, I incorporated Ellie into the baking, teaching her how to do a few things to help Mommy. My mom made her an adorable apron that she loved to put on when we would make something new. She got to where as soon as she saw me start taking out a few items, she would go get a chair from the table and push it over so she could stand next to me and help. She helped me make her birthday cake, several batches of cookies and some of the dishes we brought for Christmas dinner. Here are some pics from our baking adventures this year, some even including Mimi!

Making Ellie's Cupcake Birthday Cake
Making Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
3 Generations Making Iced Sugar Cookies

Dancing while we wait for cookies to bake

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ellie is 2 Years Old!

Because of Jesse's deployment causing him to not be home for the holidays, we decided to go ahead with Ellie's 2nd Birthday party and make it as special as we could for her with friends and family. We started off her day with a birthday skype with Daddy where he was the first to sing her Happy Birthday. I had found an outfit at a consignment event that inspired the theme for this party - cupcakes! It was a house full of people who love Ellie and it really made my day to see how happy she was with so many people around. After all the kids made their own cupcake, Ellie was showered with TONS of great presents, many of them showing how well they know Ellie. We missed her Daddy being there, but my baby girl was shown so much LOVE on that day, making it a special time with family and friends. Thanks to everyone who made it!

Pa, Mimi, Pippa, Poppi, Grandmommy & Grandaddy
BFF Kinsley, Cousins Taylor & Parker, The Denny Boys, Ace and Cousin Langston
Ellie & Cousin Langston having a Birthday Tea PartyHAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY GIRL!

Ellie's 1st Classroom Birthday Party

Crazy as this may sound, but one of the aspects of motherhood that I have looked forward to is taking birthday treats to my daughter's "class" so she can celebrate with her "friends". Yes, I know she is only 2 years old, but the people she goes to her Mother's Day Out Program are kids that she plays with 2 times a week, every week. So, I decided to send some Cake Pops with her and some goodie bags for her school friends. If you have never made the Funfetti Cake Pops for your kids, you should definitely look into them - they are GREAT for toddlers and they tasted amazing. Happy early Birthday, Ellie!

Ellie's 2 favorite friends in her class - Kennedy & Sonny (Kenelly & Nonny in Ellie language)


Lilypie Third Birthday tickers