Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You Can Build It - We Can Help

I forgot to mention our exciting time at Home Depot during Alexa's blessing weekend.  Cassie being quite the entertainer, found out Home Depot was having a children's workshop and all the girls (plus Nick) loaded up the kiddos and headed to town.  

It was adorable to see each of them hard at work on building their little easels.  The parents were more confused on how to put them together than the kids were.  It made quite the entertainment for my Mom and I who were their audience as we occupied Preston and Alexa.  Everyone did a great job, got their own cute apron, and a pin for their accomplishment.  I highly recommend everyone join in on these fun and FREE events that Home Depot does.  I'll definitely be taking our little one there as soon as she can use a hammer.

Christmas Comes Early

Today was the day we got to peek at an early Christmas present.  John and I had our 2nd ultrasound - this one to tell us what we were having.  For the longest time I had been convinced it was a girl simply because my sisters and Mom had girls first.  However, within the last few weeks my confidence fell down to about a 60/40 split and I was thinking more and more of a boy being a possibility.  Obviously we would be THRILLED for either.  Our dream is to have at least one of each so whomever made their debut first would be just perfect.  The ultrasound and doctor's appointment went perfectly.  I was just as relieved to see a beating heart and a moving baby as I was to see it was a girl.  All her measurements were taken and she was perfect.  I haven't been lucky enough to feel her in my stomach yet, and I was paranoid that my tummy was still fairly small so I was definitely glad to put my worries to rest.  The tech did say she was quite a mover so hopefully within the next few weeks I'll be able to witness that first-hand.  We are still expecting her around May 17th and are excited to meet her!  John will now be outnumbered but he's not complaining.  He's excited to have "his girls".   Here are some pics of our ultrasound.  (Belly pics to come soon I promise!)

'Tis The Season

Yep, it's that time of year again!  Time to bust out our favorite Christmas movie of all time...

Have you seen it yet this year?  We got to enjoy it while we played dominoes with my Dad and Marchelle on their visit.  This movie was a long-time favorite for my side of the family long before I met John.  However, when I learned that their family were devoted fans as well, that fact alone could have convinced me to marry him right then and there.  It's such a great movie and the best parts are the quotes.  John got me the DVD last year for Christmas so now we can save money and not rent it every year at this time.  So, if you are a fan too, feel free to post with your favorite quote from the movie!  One of my favorites are....

G-pa:  "The little lights Clark.....they aren't twinkling!....This is it?"
Audrey:  "He worked really hard Grandpa."
G-pa:  "Yeah, well so do washing machines.

AND of course...

Clark:  "Aunt Bethany, can you say grace?"
G-ma:  "Grace?  Ah she died YEARS ago."
Uncle Lewis:  "They want you to say da BLESSING!"

Abuelo's Reunion

John and I got to spend a few days with my Dad and his wife Marchelle a few weeks ago.  This was their first visit to see us and we had to give them the grand tour of Arky.  Our "tour" always includes a dinner at our favorite restaurant Abuelo's and this visit wasn't any different.  Aside from the fact that we had a mini-reunion while we were there.  John and I have eaten there so many times it would be embarassing to give the exact number.  Each time we do, I always see this waiter that I swear looks just like my Dad.  (Yes, my dad does get mistaken as being mexican although it's not in our blood line at all - I swear).  Anyway, each time I point out the waiter John agrees with me on his resemblance to my father.  So, as luck would have it, guess who is working the night we take my Dad and Marchelle to dinner?  Yup!  My dad's "brother from another mother".  Once we show him his look-a-like he not so subtly keeps trying to stare at him each time he comes out.  Finally, John gets up enough courage to call the guy over and asks him for a picture.  I'm sure the guy thinks we are psychotic but he just laughs it off and smiles for the camera.  Such a good sport - just like my dad!! Hahaha.  So, what are your thoughts?  Granted there is a height difference and my Dad isn't smiling but c'mon - can you see it?

After our little reunion we got to finish our tour of Arky.  We toured the Walton 5&10, ate some delicious food at The Station and did some shopping at a flea market for Marchelle's rare find of Roseville Pottery.  We also had some time to reflect on memories from my childhood way back when.  When I was little we traveled to Bella Vista every year to sell sliced caramel apples at the Bella Vista Festival.  We spent YEARS doing this so I have vivid memories of child labor at an early age as I washed apples in the freezing cold, counted money back to customers, and my least favorite - handing out samples to complete strangers.  Did I mention I was a shy girl?  Anyway, in our rare time off, my siblings and I would play on the rock mountain and shop for Christmas presents for each other with our "paycheck".  It provided some great memories and they definitely came flooding back as I walked around the grounds with my Dad on his visit.

Our First Year

So, this post is a bit delayed by about a week but John and I reached a big milestone last Monday.  We celebrated the big 1st year anniversary!!  Yay us!  It was a great day and such a wonderful time to reflect back on our year together as husband and wife.  Everyone always says the first year is the hardest but if that were true then that must mean our marriage is going to be a cake-walk from here on out.  Honestly, it wasn't that hard at all.  There was lots of learning, adjusting, etc.  After all, the whole living with someone and spending 24/7 with was definitely a new thing to us so it's not snag-free but I wouldn't consider it hard at all.  I learned LOTS in our first year.  Mostly about myself and I have grown a TON within the last year.  I'm sure John would agree with me and say he's learned lots too.  Mostly we learned how we aren't perfect but we are perfect for each other.  I'm soooooo glad I made the decision to marry him and have never regretted it once.  I get excited looking toward our future and our little ones to come (first one this May!).  

We spent the day low-key since the big celebration will come Jan 2nd as we fly to the Hookie-lau.  John surprised me with flowers and even got to come home early and spend the rest of the afternoon with me.  Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the River Grille.  We were newbies to the famous restaurant but thanks to Sarah we were instructed on what the best food on the menu was.  And yes she was right - the steak was heavenly!!  Married life is great.  It took me awhile to get here but John was definitely worth the wait.  I'm a lucky, spoiled, blessed, girl!

Blessed Day

We had the opportunity to travel to Camdenton a few weeks ago and share a special day with the latest arrival on the Bell side.  Alexa was blessed on December 7th and she did absolutely wonderful for her big day.  Granted her mother (Cassie) was a bit nervous and planning for disaster.  Whether it be a blowout all over a beautiful white dress or a crying fit through the blessing.  However, Alexa proved to her she was a big girl and had talent even at a month old.  She held in both, her tears and her poop.  Here is a pic from the big day.  Kyle did a great job at the blessing and we were all proud to be there and support such a special girl on a special day.  Welcome to the family Alexa!!

Along with the blessing day, we got to enjoy spending the week playing in Camdenton with everyone.  It was a crazy busy week that included swimming in the hotel pool, watching movies, shopping, and enjoying a barbecue at the LaBrue's home, and sharing lots of love with the nieces and nephew.  

Side note, I posted earlier about my special trip with Alexa just a week after she was born where I got lots of one-on-one time with the sweetie.  As promised her mother provided a picture of our special day.  This outfit was all my doing thanks to a quick game of dress up once I got there.  As you can see she is already looking up to me at such a young age!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Turkey Day

Silly me, once again forgot my camera and thus I've resorted to stealing pictures off of my sis-in-law's blog. She's an avid photographer so I can ALWAYS count on her to come through (unlike myself).


Turkey day this year was spent with John's family which meant we only had a 5 minute commute :D. Tom & Sarah were the most gracious and hospitable and talented hosts/hostesses I've ever seen. And they cook a mean bird to boot!! The holiday was just perfect. The food tasted & looked like it came from the Better Homes & Garden's magazine but the festivities were nice, low-key, and chaotic - just the way I like em. Sarah gave a perfect, tender, butter massage to our bird and I'm convinced it was the moisest I've ever had. The finale was a nice chocolate mousse cake that was sooooo delicious. One of these days, I plan on doing an apprenticeship in Sarah's kitchen. She loves to cook - and I love it when she does.

After dinner we enjoyed quite an interesting game of catchphrase and I think we actually started catching on by the time the game was over. It made for some good laughs...both with and at each other. Yes, Mama Jean interprets the game as charades so it gives us a good reason to switch gears and challenge ourselves. I don't remember who ended up winning, or if we even kept track of points, but a fun time was had by all.

All turkey week we also got to enjoy hanging out with the McKasson clan. Scott & Jenny were both lucky enough to visit Arky and be graced by our presence and coolness. We saw a TON o' movies and I think all of them were good - what are the chances? So, just a review for those who are considering paying good money to see any of the following:

Four Christmases - This I'd have to say was the best. At least the funniest if anything else. Vince Vaughn is hilarious and Reese Witherspoon can definitely hold her own. And just to mention a special cameo by Tim McGraw. I challenge you to see if you can pick him out.

Australia - This was WONDERFUL and very much a tear jerker. And was LONG (3 hours) but it went by fast. I loved every minute of it - it had a different type feel to the filming/movie but was amazing. I saw it with John and Jenny and I think I was the only one who managed to cry a bucket load of tears. Granted it could be contributed to pregnancy. Regardless, bring your kleenexes!!

Twilight - Ok, sorry folks, this one was stupid. Yes, I read the book and had an idea what the plot was before going. However, I wouldn't call myself a "devoted fan" of the series - regardless that had nothing to do with the fact the movie was cheesy beyond belief. Way too much was crammed into the movie, the acting was extremely cheesy, and I'm sorry but Edward did nothing for me. Carlisle could have done without those few extra pounds of baby powder on his face and the creepy "stare straight ahead in every scene" vampire - was well.....wierd....not mysterious. You could easily detect anyone within the vampire family as they had ghost white faces and a mysterious look on their face in every scene that just came across as stupid. Sorry folks....didn't love it and don't recommend it.

Adorable Alexa

(Alexa kicking back, hanging out, and shooting the breeze, during our visit)
Lucky me got to spend a good couple of days with little Alexa just a week after she was born. It was a great time for Cass to relax from her newfound motherhood, for me to spoil Alexa rotten, and for Kyle to get his manly bonding time elsewhere during my visit. Personally, I took it as some valuable M.I.T. (Mother In Training) time. Granted I only had two days to spend with the little family but maybe that means I graduated at the top of my lil imaginary class.

Little Alexa is a nice blend of both Kyle & Cassie's features. She's now 1 month old so I'm excited to see how she has filled out and chubbied-up. Our visit way-back-when was spent perusing the outlet malls (with little success) and then heading over to visit with Kyle's family before enjoying a dinner at Culver's. I'm not a die-hard fan of their "Butter Burger" like my sis-in-law Sarah but I do treat myself to my delicious "Cheese-Curds" anytime I can. I know, I know....how appetizing is the name "Cheese Curd"? Not very but neither is "Butter Burger" either. But, believe you me, they are delish and come highly recommended if you ever happen across the restaurant.

Later that night we got to kick back and watch T.V. and play with Alexa. Then it was all ears and excitement as we enjoyed a nice lazy morning the next day as we prepared for Alexa's first visit with her P.A.T. (Parents as Teachers). I was more attentive and learned much more than Alexa did seeing as she slept through the whole thing. But she aced it all with flying colors....and looked so cute and peaceful doing it. Now that takes talent (and she gets that from her mama, Cass). Afterwards we enjoyed a nice visit to the local farmer's market and bought some delicious fruit. Sadly, I had to leave that evening since John was missing me desperately (or so I like to think ;-). It was a great visit and we look forward to seeing her again this weekend as we head back for her blessing. More to come on that later.

Losing It

Hey devoted blog readers out there. Don't give up on me yet - I'm still here and still thinking about my need to post. Obviously that's as far as it has gotten sadly. But I'm baaacccckkkk!!! And I'm armed with TONS of activities/festivities to post about so enjoy the next several hundred postings!!

In the meantime, I am losing it. Not my mind, as some may be quick to agree with, but my stinkin blog page. Just when I thought, "Now is about the time I should get on and post" - then SHAZAM- all my layouts have been erased right along with my favorite blog links. So, after MUCH editing/re-posting I think we've restored them all. However, I had a few choice words to mutter to the makers of blog-land as I re-typed every stinkin friggin link I could remember. So, if you don't see yourself on the right side of my page - hit me up with a comment! Hopefully I haven't forgotten anyone out there. Has anyone else had these same troubles with their blog? Maybe we should start a therapy group - I'll volunteer myself as President!! Grrrrrrr.