Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009

As I had already posted, this year was our first Christmas in North Carolina. We spent Christmas Eve with the Renslow family which was so much fun. We had a big dinner then went to Mass at the Catholic Church in our neighborhood. John has a lot of good memories of this as a child so the experience was great for him. Emma was a bit of a handful but I enjoyed myself as well.

Santa's handiwork on Christmas Eve...

Emma opening her stocking....

I almost didn't post our pajama picture as John and I look like a truck hit us the night before but, it was Christmas morning and it must be done...

Emma's Gift from Santa this year was a bike. She was so excited!!

Now you see her......
Now you don't....

We ended our Christmas day at TGI Friday's which was pretty much the only restaurant open on Christmas other than Waffle House and IHOP. We will never do this again. We are normally cozy in a warm home with lots of family around us so a restaurant was not what we needed Christmas night. We got through it though and had a wonderful Christmas.

A Christmas Reflection

This Christmas marks the first Christmas that the Pell Family and the Stagge Family will not be together for the holiday season. The first time that gifts were shipped instead of hand delivered. The first time that we were responsible for filling eachothers stockings instead of relying on our mothers to take care of it for us. The first year that we will wake up Christmas morning in our own home instead of our parents home. For some of you, you are is about time...what are you thirty years old (not yet) and your mom still fills your stocking???!! Others of you, that grew up in homes that burst at the seams with Christmas like John and I did, understand how big of a deal this is for our families. As I sit in my PJ's after cleaning my house for Christmas Eve I am thinking of the things I will miss this year:

  • Seeing Emma's face light up when she sees her grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. She just adores them all and has such a great time when we are all together.
  • Hearing a child yell "Auntie Sarah" and knowing it is one of my beloved nephews or niece (I have two but one isn't talking yet :) wanting to show me something.
  • Seeing Meemaw read a story to Luke, Jack and Emma with them piled on her lap. Watching Emma look up into the face that looks so much like her own and breaking into a smile.
  • Seeing Yaya take thousands of pictures of Emma, Hannah and Hailey and watching Emma sit and look through the pictures dozens of times with her. Emma has definitely inherited Yaya's love for pictures.
  • Seeing Pappy sit in the living room and play with the girls. The girls love to climb on him and Emma just squeals when she gets to see her Pappy.
  • Watching the look in all of the cousins eyes when Papa gets home from a long day of work. This is when Chritmas really begins at the Pell house.
  • Singing the song "Sisters" with Auntie Heidi and dancing just because we can while our little girls watch us with glee (or fright, not sure)
  • Seeing Auntie Lindsey try and braid Emma's pitifully short hair while Emma snuggles in her lap.
  • Listening to the quarrels between Luke, Jack and Emma as they fight over one toy while thousands are thrown all over the house (yes I will even miss this)
  • Watching Emma and Hannah set off all of the Christmas noise makers at YaYa and Pappy's house and dance naked in the living room. Everything is better for a toddler when they are naked.
  • Holding Hailey while she experiences her first Christmas
  • Uncle Tim's horsey rides (ok Emma will miss these, not me :)
  • Uncle Nick's love for games and his ability to quit a game just before actually loosing.
  • Watching how excited Emma gets when she gets to see her Uncle Justy. We haven't seen him for a year now and we really miss seeing his hairy face.

While I will miss all of these things, there is someone thing that is keeping my mind occupied so much more than not being with our families for Christmas........our son. My little man that is celebrating Christmas Eve right now so far away from us, his family. Tonight marks the night that we are all to reflect on the birth of Christ. The night that we are to wait in expectation for his coming. I am overwhelmed with the feeling of expectation. So much so that any sadness that I have been feeling is being washed away by pure joy and excitement. A good friend of mine sent me some thoughts on Christmas and in it she describes joy as being birthed out of sorrow. My joy is GREAT this Christmas season as I await the arrival of our son. May the expectation of the coming of Christ be real to you this Christmas season and may you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Skating in Raleigh

Raleigh had an outdoor skating rink set up downtown so we took advantage of visiting our friends Jon and Kelly to check out the skating rink. Emma loved "skating". I tried to pick her up to skate around quicker but she insisted on having her skates on the ice the whole time.

The Happy Newlyweds

It was pretty cold but I think Emma would have skated for hours. We finally called it quits when our backs couldn't take it anymore.

Snow in the 'Boro

We had an extra special suprise in Greensboro this year for the Christmas season.....SNOW!! Snow on a Friday night that was still all over the ground on Monday. We had friends over for breakfast and then played in the snow.

Ethiopian Food

When we were in Raleigh with friends we decided to take advantage and try out some Ethiopian food. We were not big fans. I like lots of different types of food as does John and so I was expecting to like it. The main bread is something called injera which is sponge like and served cold. I am sure you could learn to like it but on the first taste we were not sold. Luckily the coffee was very good so we will just have to drink lots of coffee while we are in Ethiopia. We are both coffee lovers so this is ok with us!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas at the Carolina

Emma was terrified of Santa Clause this year. I tried to get her to sit on Santa's lap and she kept saying "tomowow mommy, on the weekend" ... "he sarry, glasses on". I think she was trying to find excuses as she knew she shouldn't be scared but let's be honest....he is a big fat man with lots of hair and candy.....all other times of the year we tell our little one's to run away from men like this.

For some reason Mrs. Clause was not scary to Emma so this is her Santa picture for 2009.

The Carolina Theater downtown had a great program on a Saturday morning where they showed the Muppets Christmas and had Santa, an Elf and Mrs. Clause show up to entertain the kids. We had so much fun!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Big Hair Lovers.....Eat your Heart Out

This is what Emma's hair looks like pretty much every day when she wakes up from her nap. I wanted to make sure you all knew what we were dealing with so when you see us out and about and think...."did they even try and brush her hair?!" you will know the answer. If you see her and her hair looks like this.....we gave up and let her out in all of her glory.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Storytime with Meemaw

Last week a large box of presents arrived from Meemaw and Papa. On top was an early present for Emma...."The Night Before Christmas" read by Meemaw. Every night since then when we go to bed, Emma asks for her Meemaw book and we get to sit back and listen to Meemaw narrate this great Christmas story. It is hard to be far away from family during the holidays. Thanks for making us feel closer to home Meemaw!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don't Rain on my Parade

Last weekend was the annual Greensboro Christmas parade. We have tried to make this an event we attend each year. We were especially excited to take Emma this year as we thought she would get a kick out of the balloons now that she was old enough to really appreciate a parade. Well, the weather was predicted to be rainy and cold and it was exactly that. We were die hard and went anyway with the Phipps and Windsors....

Emma insisted on sitting in her own chair even though she was freezing...

We lasted about a half hour and then went back to our cozy homes.

The night before some of us went to the tree lighting downtown. It was cold, but at least is wasn't raining...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some of Emma's favorite things to say:

Tank you so much daddy (she says this after pretty much anything said or done for her)

Oh, tank you honey!

Oh my goodness

Oh perfect

Mommy, Emma do it all by self

Emma no nigh night (we hear this every night)

Emma just yooking (when I tell her not to touch something)

Go store eat chewies?

Yisen (listen), I show you, show you

Emma no think so (This means I don't know)

Baby brother yike that

Shhhhh, baby nigh night

Mommy drink hot coppee?

Not yet, in a yittle bit (this is her stalling)

Go ball store? (This is the Apple store as there are balls she sits on to play with the computer)

Daddy, play on putter? (computer)

Oh, you atching funny show? Oh cool! (she says this when she comes out from her room for the 4th time with some excuse at bedtime)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Present Making

We love Christmas at the Pell house and there is nothing better than making your own gifts. Here is a preview of Emma making some Christmas gifts. Can't show the finished product or it will ruin the suprise........

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Disney on Ice

Part of Emma's Christmas gift this year was tickets to Disney on Ice. We live about five minutes from the Coliseum in Greensboro where the performance took place. Emma LOVED it! Here she is telling the women taking tickets that she was here to see Cinderelly dance and sing.....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shop Till Ya Drop

Black Friday was something that my family avoided at all cost. We would glance at the adds on Thanksgiving then decide that saving $20 was definitely not worth the effort of getting up early and battling the crowds.

One of the many wonderful things about joining the Pell family is a new found love for the day after Thanksgiving. I have to admit that the first year I was invited to hit the early morning sales I opted instead to get some more ZZZZ's. The next year I had to go see what all of the fuss was about and have been hooked ever since. After our Thanksgiving meal we spread out all of the adds and plot our course. We very seldom get any great deals or really buy much but it is an experience I look forward to each year. It is crazy what people do and how early everyone is out and about to save a couple of bucks.

On Emma's first black friday we decided that she would continue the Pell tradition and hit the stores with us and my brother who was in town. Emma did great and loved being out and about. Last year we talked Alisa into going with us and she talked Jason into joining us this year. We had a great time as always. Here is Emma pouring over the ads on Thanksgiving day. She circled almost everything in the Toysrus ad .......

Emma at our Starbuck stop in the morning..... the girls got to have her hot chocolate......