Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Sorry that I haven't been online, but I can't believe all we've done in just under two weeks!

We've decorated the tree, put up other decorations, sent almost 100 Christmas cards, and gone to Holiday parties. Even more importantly, we made almost 30 dozen cookies to pass out to friends as gifts, wrapped presents and did lots of great stuff witht he kids! We made gingerbread house (see below) and went to Christmas markets. It is so much fun watching the kids discover Christmas. More pictures to come, but a sample for now...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prayers for a safe flight...

We're going home tomorrow, so please pray for a safe and easy flight. I hope Love Bug will enjoy some movies and have fun with her Col.or Fingerpaints. I hope Dragonfly sleeps a lot. But mostly I hope and pray we get there safely... and so does all our luggage.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Taking Christmas Card Pictures

Well, I thought that having two kids was pretty easy, but that was before I decided to try and take Christmas card pictures! Two-year-olds are generally not known for their cooperation, but Love Bug (I thought) was pretty agreeable and docile. Ahhh, I think I started to cry about 50 times during this process. Here are some lov-er-ly photos from our different attempts:

"Do not attempt to bribe me with cookies, because I'll figure out a way to get them BEFORE I smile!"

"Oh, he's crying so maybe I'll kiss him! That will be a really cute picture!"

"I'm not holding him either!"

And here's a beee-u-tiful one from my Mom's attempts:

Finally, we had success, but only if we held them both for more control! You can see that lovely picture as our new profile pic. I was officially going to boycott being in the pictures, but there was no way around it.

Good luck to all of you in your photo taking adventures!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We're going home... I think!

My weeks as a medical mystery are finally over. My doctor still wants to double check a few things and has called some experts to consult. Basically, my hypothyroidism is probably linked to some other low hormones and we're working out which ones and when I'll need to start treatment. It's all early stages, nothing needs to be done now, but I'm reading up and trying to avoid becoming a walking experiment in hormone replacement.

The cause of all this mess? Stress... and no one I know is surprised. I'm the most stressed person I know. I'm always trying to do more and fit more in a day. Hence the reason this blog is falling by the wayside. I'm working on eating better and exercising more. I've been getting massages and I'm starting yoga again when we get home. I'm a person who needs yoga to be balanced and normal and I think my medical problems reflect this. Certainly my doctors are fantastic and medicine is important, but I can prevent further damage to my body with meditation and de-stressing activities. I'm also, as much as I hate it, cutting out more and more unnecessary tasks from my life.

The other thing I need? More service to others. I did a lot with my church growing up and then joined a service group in college and have always enjoyed helping others. We tithe to our church and give money to organizations we feel are important, but I want to physically do something instead of throwing money at problems. I love helping others and hope to take the kids so they can learn that this is a good habit in our lives. It forces us to think about others instead of ourselves and really look at the blessings in our life. This will be a challenge in Italy, since I don't speak much Italian, but I'm going to go to my church first and see where I can find more service opportunities from there.

B is back in the US to help us with our trip home and I'm so thankful for him. He is amazing. We went to see his family for Thanksgiving (see the picture at left) and had so much fun. His parents and brother were also so nice to give us some time away to go see my Mom's side of the family and my Dad's side the day after. We also went to see my Granny and Grandparents on our way home and B was so patient with all of my family activities.

Dragonfly is really taking to Daddy in just the time he's been back and Love Bug is, as always, Daddy's girl. We have been doing lots of fun stuff together like the Children's Museum and the Aquarium. As we were driving home from the Aquarium yesterday, we were asking Love Bug to repeat all the things she saw, from jellyfish to coral. When we asked her to say "sharks" she said it so well, my Mom asked her to "say sharks again". Her reply? "Sharks again"! Aren't kids just the best?

Other than that we're counting our blessings and praying for a safe flight one week from today.