Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy 2010!

It is about 9:30 on Wednesday night and we are finishing up the last minute details to start the trip to Illinois. Since I'm not sure when I'll be on the computer again I wanted to go ahead and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It has been fun blogging this year and I look forward to sharing more with you next year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Addie's First Christmas

We have a full day tomorrow and still have youth service tomorrow night, and we will also be leaving late tomorrow night to make the drive to Illinois, so today we celebrated our Chaney Christmas.

We were ready to go when Addie woke up from her first nap of the day. Her presents were waiting for her under the tree and the video camera was rolling. Of course she loved the paper and the bows, but she did pretty well at unwrapping her gifts. These are just a sampling of the many photos we took today.

We are looking forward to seeing our families and spending Christmas with them. We are hoping that by driving through the night the trip will be easier on Addie and in turn, easier on us. The last time we drove all the way through to Illinois was when she was two months old. In between we have flown and driven but stopped halfway through. Here's to hoping she'll sleep most of the way, especially since her car seat is not her favorite place to be these days.

It is fun celebrating Christmas with a baby. Even though we read the Christmas story from her children's Bible, we look forward to when we can explain to her what it is really all about.

I am thankful for God's provision and for the good day we had as a family, marking Addie's first Christmas together. I am also thankful that we are able to go home and celebrate with our families.

O Christmas Tree

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I would put up some photos of us decorating our tree. Turns out I have maybe six pictures and they're not really of the process...more of the end result.

The tree we have right now is the tree I bought for my first Christmas in my apartment in Belleville. It was just the right size for my small apartment and I got it at a good price. Plus, at the time, I did not have many ornaments so it was small enough to make it still look well decorated with the few I had. Since then I have been intent on stocking up on ornaments, but we have yet to upgrade. I keep telling Sabian we need to get a grown up tree. This one is simply too small for the ornaments we've collected and it just seems like we need something bigger. Whether real or fake, next year (or maybe with a deal on a tree this year) we need a new family tree.

While we were in Pigeon Forge in October we found our yearly family ornament.

Addie looks a bit tired because we toted her out to the beach that afternoon to try to get a Christmas card shot, but she was more interested in the sand and it was a little chilly and very windy while we were there. We did end up using one of the shots from that day as one of the photos on the card, but I think it wore her out a bit.

Addie helped me place our topper.

Here is our little tree with our many ornaments:

It is fun going through our ornaments each year at tree decorating time and remembering where and when we got them.

Addie is intrigued by the tree and has a few strategically placed ornaments she is able to play with, but it is when she goes for the lights, or pulls up on her knees and is able to reach to other off limits ornaments when the fun begins. This has been a good opportunity for teaching her what "No" means.

I am thankful for our tree and the time we had decorating it. Maybe next year we'll have a grown up version!


To be quite honest it hasn't felt much like Christmas to me. I'm sure there are several factors involved, but it really didn't start feeling like Christmas until this weekend. I finally broke out the Christmas CDs and we did a little shopping and then I jumped head first into some baking. I think it was the combination of those things that really got it started. I wanted to feel more "Christmas-y" especially for Addie's sake since this is her first Christmas, so I am happy that I finally feel like it is.

I'd decided to make a few sweets for a few people around town, namely, some neighbors and friends. I'd love to be able to give gifts to everyone but, like many families, we've scaled back a little this year and besides, who's going to turn down something sweet? So, I turned out some chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate, mint Oreo truffles, graham cracker yummies and a sweet staple, pretzel sticks dipped in milk chocolate and white chocolate. Due to my initial lack of wax paper the peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate didn't come out quite like I wanted to, but lesson learned for next year. It was fun making it all and putting it together. We still have a couple of bags to hand out before we leave town.

Addie played with her dad while I toiled away in the kitchen, and when she needed a glimpse of mom, this is what occupied her:

We had several things going on over the weekend, but we took time out to take in the Wewa Christmas parade. We missed it last year because we were already home by the time the parade took place, but I was glad we were here to see it because I had heard good things about it. Addie really enjoyed all of the floats, the sounds, and especially the lights. Oh, and we discovered that the key to getting all the goods at a parade is taking a baby. We brought home plenty of candy and beads, but gave away the stuffed animals (yes, the Shriners threw stuffed animals!) that were thrown to us.

I must say, Wewa and the surrounding communities put on a good show. We saw horses and fire trucks and a few people we knew. Addie didn't flinch at the loud sirens and did really well through the whole thing. It was as little chilly, but I suspect we were quite a bit warmer than parade goers at Christmas parades back home!

I kept meaning to take a picture of Addie wearing all of her beads but as she is snoozing now I'm going to leave it to your imagination. Unless I remember to do it tomorrow. Although as soon as she sees them around her neck they're sure to go in her mouth.

I am thankful for a fun, good, productive weekend and for feeling more like it is Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

Oprah, Ellen - admit it, we all wish we were on one of their shows when they are giving away a crazy amount of amazing gifts including Kindles, iPods, Blue Ray players and oh so much more. It leaves us all wondering, "How can I get on one of these shows?"

I realize I don't have the fame of either of these women, nor am I able to bestow gifts to all of my friends and their friends of friends, but I thought it might be fun to share a few of my (way more affordable) favorite things. We're less than a week out from Christmas and while many of you probably have your shopping done (not that I think that my favorite things would necessarily gift choices of yours) I still thought it would be fun to do. In no particular order:

1. The Bubble Calendar
Sabian saves me the bubble wrap from shipments because he knows I love to pop the bubbles. I think if we were all polled, many of you would also say this is fun. With this calendar you can pop a bubble a day. I think the hard part would be to not pop ahead.

2. Threadless Tees
My favorite t-shirt site! These guys have been offering crazy cheap Christmas deals on their tees, which are voted on to determine which tees will be sold on the site. They also sell shirts for kids and babies, as well as the hard-to-pass-up Hoodsies for babies. Join their Facebook group for special offers throughout the year and if you sign up for their emails you'll always know when new tees have been added and when sales are happening.

3. Method Products
Cleaning products for Christmas? I get excited around Christmas when I know I can find limited edition products by Method in holiday scents. I usually buy a festive hand soap (this year my choice is Peppermint Vanilla). They usually release new scents in candles, hand soap, diffusers, and other items around the holidays. This isn't a terribly exciting favorite thing, but it's just a little something to make it feel more like Christmas and you can find them at one of my favorite places - Target.

4. Cheesecake Factory cheesecake
Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a good sweet treat and who can pass up a cheesecake from this place? Some friends from home sent us one when we had Addie and I have to say, it ranks up there as one of the most fun gifts to open. I was so surprised to get it and even happier to eat it. My favorite is the brownie sundae, especially the hot fudge they give you to pour over it. No matter what flavor you choose, if you send one of these to someone I'm pretty sure they'll remember it always.

5. Fitz's Rootbeer
The way I see it, you really can't go wrong if you send someone the gift of food. Unless, of course, it is a fruitcake. You can have a case of any of Fitz's flavors sent straight to a friend so that they can enjoy it. I'm just sad they no longer carry Hip Hop Pop.

6. Philosophy Body Wash
This 3 in 1 shampoo, body wash, and bubble bath comes in scents including peppermint hot cocoa, belgian waffle, strawberry shortcake, and many more. I currently have it in cinnamon buns and I must say, it does make me look forward to my showers!

7. Little Pea
The Giving Tree is my all time favorite children's book, but Little Pea is a favorite, too. It follows a little pea who must eat all of his sweets to get to his veggies for dessert. Nevermind that he himself is a pea eating is still a sweet gift to give. Books are good to give anyway, especially if you're not looking for more toys to take over your house.

8. Etsy
I could go on and on about Etsy, and I keep meaning to post about my obsession with this site. I could probably give a top 10 just of items and sellers I love on this site. It is the first place I look when I need a gift or when I'm looking for something for myself, for Addie and Sabian, or the house. If you don't know about it already and you like handmade items, take a look and get addicted.

9. Snuggle Pod Doll
I just ordered this for Addie for her birthday. Yes, we are still a couple of months away, but it was too cute to pass up.

10. Clinique Superbalm Lip Gloss
This stuff is awesome. It feels great on your lips and comes in a wide range of sheer colors, although I prefer the clear.

It's funny, as I was contemplating this post I thought of so many things to include on the list and then when it came to writing the post I seemed to have forgotten some of them. But, these are still some of my favorite things nonetheless. There are plenty more items I could put on the list, many of which are on my "wish list" for sometime in the future, but for now these are the ones that are a little more "feasible."

Today I am thankful that I feel a little more in the Christmas mood.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Starring Addie as....Baby Jesus

Yes, that's right, Addie made her acting debut over the weekend and she started off with a big role...Baby Jesus.

About an hour before our morning church service started Sabian called to ask me if it would be okay if Addie played the part in a living nativity our pastor was wanting to use for his sermon illustration. "Sure, " I said, fully knowing that Sunday morning service is always the same time when Addie would normally be taking a nap, so how long we last in service is always a gamble.

So, we got to church, hunted for something she could wear, and waited. When Mary and Joseph made their way to the stage, Sabian took Addie up and handed her over. The good thing was that "Mary" was being played by one of our teenagers from our youth group, a girl Addie already knows.

Waiting to go on:

Sabian took some video and I will post the shortest one. It is just over three minutes - really, you don't have to watch the whole thing, but here is a taste of how our little actress did. (Check out the historically accurate pacifier.)

For booking inquiries, contact mom.

I am thankful for a healthy, nine month old (!) Addie who is lots and lots of fun. Oh, and flexible. Not just any girl can play Jesus.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lots O' Happenings

Phew. I guess I decided to take another blogging vacation - a blogcation?

Just a few days after my last post Addie and I were preparing to leave to go back home so that I could stand up for my friend, Kim, in her wedding. I was really happy to be going home and was looking forward to seeing my friend Kim, who I have missed seeing the last couple of trips.

Cold. It was cold in Illinois and even snowed while we were there. You can't tell in this photo, but it is snowing outside. Addie's first snow!

There really wasn't enough snowfall to speak of, but it was fun to know that we were there to see a few flakes nonetheless. Addie is sporting her PJs because we were at my brother's house hanging out with my niece, Eden. A taste of two babies - lots of fun but lots of work, too! One does not have enough eyes or hands to keep track of both. Hence, Eden dining on a little dirt as an after dinner snack. Oops!

The trip to and from home via airplane requires a layover each way. This time we stopped in Memphis and had fairly short layovers - just long enough for a diaper change and a little wait before we boarded the plane. The weather wasn't supposed to be great on the way back but our flights were on time and our last flight even left us with a free seat for Addie to play in while we traveled the last leg. She did really well both ways and we had great seat mates, people who understood what it was to have a little one. I was so grateful for their patience and kindness and even their help as we got off the plane. I was pretty glad that our last flight home was fairly empty, as Addie had a blowout diaper and I had the pleasure of squeezing ourselves into the bathroom, changing Addie without getting mess everywhere, all while bumping and bouncing to turbulence.

Oh, the turbulence. I'm not so great with motion sickness and both of our flights back to Florida provided many drops, bumps, and bounces, which was tough to handle. I think at first Addie thought the bouncing was a lot of fun, but I sure didn't agree. It was rough. Really rough. But, like I said, Addie did do well flying. No crying, a little fussing, but a whole lot of playing and smiling at our fellow passengers. Her favorite toy? The safety card. Curiously enough her favorite time to fall asleep was during our descent. It never failed, she was always snoozing by the time we landed.

Waiting for the plane:

One tired girl on the way to see Daddy (notice her "toy" in the seat with her):

The trip itself was a whirlwind. Never enough time at home. We spent time with my family, hit up my nephew's hockey game, and did a little shopping.

Addie was able to hang out with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and Eden while I was at the wedding. We had a great time marrying off Kim and Vince and enjoying a good time at the Tap Room, celebrating their day. It felt a little weird, being out without Addie, but I think part of that had to do with leaving Sabian back in Florida, too.

The beautiful bride!

All in all it was fun to take a quick trip home before we'll head back for Christmas. I like when our trips are close together because then the goodbyes aren't so bad.

Hopefully in the next post I can share photos of Addie's first tree decorating experience. For now, we're battling what I think is a stomach bug, so rest is the first thing on my mind. We were sick right before we left and now when we get back. Hmm, is it something about Wewa? Ha.

I am thankful for safe flights to and from St. Louis and that Addie did so well on the trip. Oh, and for the clean house sans dirty dishes and dirty laundry when I got back. Even vacuum marks in the carpet!