Friday, December 30, 2011

I'll Be Home for {{{Christmas}}}

Christmas morning was great! Aaron and I stayed up fairly late Christmas Eve making sure everything looked magical for Christmas in the morning. We set out the "Santa" gifts, filled the stockings, made a trail for the boys' cars all over the living room and leading to their playroom with green frog tape (painters tape), and set up their spaceship from Nana and Papi in the playroom.

Since Johnathan and Eli are still pretty young they didn't really know what to expect for Christmas morning. The day started off as usual, with Johnathan sleepily walking in to our room, climbing in our bed and Eli wailing to be let out of his crib moments later. They wouldn't have even known it was Christmas morning if I hadn't told them! I know in years to come this will change, but it is sort of nice that they weren't expecting to go see what they got at the crack of dawn or anything. Very nice indeed!

Here is a sampling of our morning, Christmas 2011...

The calm before the storm.
Sleepy Monkey opening his stocking.
Eli was so wrapped up with what Johnathan got it took him forever to realize he had a stocking too!
Going for the candy, of course!
Look at those little cheeks, full of sugar!
Superhero Johnathan to the rescue!
Tearing into his gift..."Like a wolverine!"...(Aaron's phrase when it comes to opening presents!)
Sweet little snow baby!
Precious boy!
Johnathan loved opening his gifts!
Look at that sweet face!
Matching brothers!
The aftermath!

Happy New Year's Eve, Y'all!

{Aldape} Christmas 2011

Since our collective families are now too big and spread out to "do" Christmas on one day we have to spread Christmas out a little...which is by no means a problem...we actually did Christmas 5 separate times this year, phew! Didn't bother us any at all though, the more days of Christmas the merrier!!! Woohoo!

Our first Christmas was down in Bryan, TX with Tio, Tia and Ava (Aldape). We had a beautiful weekend just hanging out, watching the kids play, eating some good food and exchanging our gifts. It was a great time.

Our second Christmas with Papi and Nana Aldape is documented with photos here...(Our own Aaron Aldape Family Christmas will have to wait as far as pictures go...too many pics for one post!).

We also did a mini Christmas with my grandparents on Christmas Eve, Our own "Dr. Aldape Family" Christmas on Christmas morning and Christmas with my folks, sisters, brother, BILs and nephews on Christmas Day evening. Lots and lotsa fun!!! ;)

Here are just a few pics to enjoy!

Happy eve of New Year's Eve!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care"...

Can you believe it's almost Christmas?!! Goodness, this holiday season is just flying by! Luckily, I just wrapped up my last gift...hooray...and I have my boys' stocking and "Santa" gifts organized so I can just dump them in their stockings/lay them out by the tree and I'm D-O-N-E for Christmas morning. I have my Christmas morning casserole all ready to pop in the oven tomorrow morning and I just finished ironing clothes for tonight's Christmas Eve celebration. And the list goes on! :)

When you're a mom (and honestly, aren't moms the ones that make sure it all gets done??) there is a lot to do around this time of year. It's a whirlwind of shopping and wrapping and making and doing...and somewhere in the middle of all the chaos there are moments of remembrance...moments where the TRUE meaning of Christmas stares you in the face and beckons you to slow down and just reflect.

So, on that note, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Aren't we blessed that the Creator of the universe humbled himself to come to us as a helpless baby, came down to earth to grow up among us and to save us from our sins?!!

Merry Christmas to All, and To All a Good Night!!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Our Firstborn

Dearest Gideon,

Happy Birthday, sweet son. You are eight years old today, in Heaven years, and we love you so much. Perhaps it is fitting that you went to Heaven during the season when we celebrate the birth of a baby...the Christ...the Light that you live in each day. And just as Jesus' mother Mary treasured the birth of her baby and all that surrounded Him in her heart, so I treasure you. Every moment and each second that I had with you. Happy Birthday, Precious and Merry Christmas.

With all my love,

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again...

...where the joyous festivities of the Christmas season are also a reminder of the Christmas that we lost Gideon. His "birthday" is a few days away, the 19th, Monday, and as in Christmases past I seem to get a bit melancholy around this time of the year. Obviously I am beyond blessed in the life that I live, but I can't help but to remember our precious boy and wonder what our lives would be like if he were here with us...for that matter I wonder what our lives would look like if all of our kids were here with us...all's a lot to ponder.

It's been 8 years since our sweet boy went to Heaven. Eight, long and sometimes extremely lonely years. The heartache of losing a child can never be measured, and for anyone who has gone through it you sometimes wonder how the world can keep going when yours has come to an abrupt stop. Yet the world keeps turning as your own is flipped upside down. In the early months and years of grief I found it amazing that I could keep going, and then the grief became such a part of my life that I actually had a hard time letting it go...I think I wrote about it once here, but I can't remember when. I do remember thinking during my pregnancy with Johnathan when it was going fairly well that it was hard to feel happy because feeling such deep sadness was so normal and the happiness felt strangely out of place.

Another thing I remember being concerned about was the happiness and joy over having two dear, living children was that it would completely replace my longing and desire for the children we lost. I didn't want that to happen, and it hasn't. At all. Sometimes the desire for them is so strong that I find myself completely grief-stricken and at the strangest times too. A song, a scent, a brief memory and then I lose it for a while...and if Johnathan catches me he'll ask why I'm crying and then I get to tell him about his big brothers and angel babies in Heaven. It's a sad but sweet moment. (Interesting side note. Since we are often talking to Johnathan about his brothers being in Heaven because they were born too little and died, he wonders when he sees pictures of babies if they are dead because they are little. Also if I tell him about a little baby he wonders if it is going to die. I think that he correlates the idea of being a small baby with death, and it's sort of sad.)

Grieving a child is never easy on the heart, but somehow even after your heart's been broken in two and your soul feels like it's been ripped out of you there is healing. But the pain is still there, and I'm glad about that...I don't want to ever forget my babies.

Blessed Beyond Measure,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eli at 18 Months

Well, looks like Eli is going to need eat some major calories to fatten him up! I took him to the doc for his 18 month check up and he is in the 1st percentile for weight, haha! Talk about tiny! He is only 20 lbs 1 ounce! Such a little dude, he has however grown quite a bit in height since his 1 year visit...he is 31.5 inches tall (the 21st percentile for height), so he's grown about 5 inches in the last 6 months...and his little head is on the bigger side of the scale...19 inches at 61st all in all he is a short, scrawny little dude with a big noggin'! Heehee! ;)

Eli's doc wasn't all that concerned about his weight since he is a good eater. She just said I could start adding extra fattening things to his adding in cream to his mac'n'cheese or real butter into the dishes I'm already serving him...lucky dude! We'll see how he's doing at his 2 year check up, but for now he's fine, just on the smaller side.

He is tracking along fine with all his developmental milestones and aced the autism test...the Dr. said that we could rest assured that he doesn't have autism since he scored a 100 on the test! Phew!

One thing that I thought was interesting on the 18 month check up list that I had to fill out at the doctor's was the method of discipline that we use...the options were verbal, time out, spankings and, sign me up for all of the above! We use whatever method works for the different "offenses" that occur around here. Whenever someone gets hit hard or throws a block at someone's head you sometimes need more than a "no-no, don't do that!"

Anyways, looks like our little man is doing okay. Praise God for our healthy little boy!

Blessings, Grace

Merry & Bright...Our {Home} at Christmas

Hello y'all, and Merry Christmas! It's hard to believe that Christmas less than 2 weeks away! My goodness, the time has flown! We've been in the holly jolly spirit around here since before Thanksgiving, so I figured it was about time I showed y'all some pics of our holiday home! I had a lot of fun this year decorating, and almost every room in our home has some Christmas spirit. Here are just a few pics of our home at Christmastime...

...I found this branch outside in our wood pile and knew it would be the perfect perch for my little Christmas bird!
I had fun making some glitter letters this year...
..."May your days be merry and BRIGHT!!!"
Our mantel with its large stone surround is the perfect backdrop for some Christmas decorating!
The Nativity...which Johnathan had fun setting up!
The empty drawer from this dresser became a shelf on the seen later in this post!
I love our stockings...especially the ones that represent our sweet babies in Heaven...from left to right: Johnathan's, Aaron's, Gideon's, Angel Baby #1, BoBo's, Angel Baby #2, Daniel's, Mine and Eli's stocking. NINE!!!
A Christmas wreath I made using sheet music paper chains.
Just some holiday stuff on a wall in the living room...with the drawer turned wall shelf!
The living room, all decked out for Christmas!
I didn't want to deal with the boys unwrapping presents under the tree before I dragged in a dresser we weren't using and I'm using it as my present table! So far the boys haven't even taken notice of it! ;)
I found these awesome shutter doors in an alley near my sister's house about a month back...they are the perfect place to hang up Christmas cards and photos...just slide 'em into the slot and they are beautifully displayed!
Another view of the living room.

Merry Christmas!