Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Cards and more!

Every year we send out Christmas cards to family and friends. We have always had the greatest experience with Shutterfly and wouldn't think to use any other company. They have such a large selection of cards it is hard to choose a favorite because they are all so great. Shutterfly is also known for their other products as well, such as invitations, stationery, mugs, and calendars. What makes this company so special is that you get to customize your products with as little or as many pictures as you want.

Here is the picture from the first card we sent out a few years ago. Not bad for a self-timed picture! This year we will be using professional pictures we had taken in the fall. You will just have to wait and see those!

Here is where you can find the Christmas cards. Trust me, you will have a hard time choosing your favorite because they have such a great selection.

We have also used Shutterfly for photo books. This is the easiest way for us to organize pictures from the last year. Since all of our pictures are kept on the computer, it is easy to upload them to Shutterfly and have them put into a book. Shutterfly makes it so easy to share our memories with other family and friends.

Shutterfly also offers discounts throughout the year. For example, just for blogging about the experience I have had with them, they will give me 50 free cards to use this Holiday season. If you would like to get in on this deal as well, go here. Happy Shutterfly-ing!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

so thankful

So thankful for these two...

they bring much joy to my life...

and many smiles to my face.

Happy Thanksgiving to my loves!

Monday, November 22, 2010

tis the season

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is just a few short days away! I can't wait to have some of my moms pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie. These are the only pies I like so I will indulge my self a few times a year when they are available to me. Despite the fact that Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, I am itching to put up our Christmas decorations. It will just have to wait until Friday. However, we (or should I say AJ) managed to put up our lights outside on the house this past weekend. It was literally a few degrees above freezing and we somehow survived. (I survived the cold weather but AJ survived climbing a two-story ladder. Ah!) But somehow this crazy Indiana weather has already warmed up and will nearly hit 70 degrees today despite the clouds and passing showers from this morning.

Since it is Thanksgiving season for a few more days, I might as well list some things I am thankful for (not in any particular order).

-an extremely healthy child (there are many families who can not say this and I do not take it for granted)
-being pregnant (I thought this would have been on our list last year, but I am even more thankful that it is this year!)
-of course, my husband (he is perfect in every way!)
-our jobs (that provide us with necessary things and unnecessary things)
-close friends that encourage me every week (especially Gretchen)
-knowing that Jesus is my Savior (and I am just thrilled to know that my holiday season will be nothing short of reflecting His birth and what he has done for us)

Obviously this list has been simplified and there are many more things I could go on about. However, I will spare you and end this post without any pictures, again. Hopefully I will get some up soon!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Mayonnaise Jar and Coffee

My mother-in-law passed this little blurb on to me this morning. I thought it was a good example of prioritizing our life-and if we do it correctly we will even have some time to spend with a friend. I believe this came from

"A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes'.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided. 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things-God, family, children, health, friends and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else-the small stuff.'

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the tings that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'"

I do think it's important to realize that some of the small things can just wait. But at a certain time you can't always go out to dinner, or play another round of 18. Sometimes the time to clean the house and fix the disposal is now. Or in my case to fix the dryer. (Yes, it's been nearly 3 weeks since it first broke.) But I suppose we managed this long without it and I could really go for some hot chocolate or coffee...anyone care to join me? Anyone? Bueller?

Monday, November 8, 2010

random update

This post doesn't really have a purpose, except to entertain you daily blog readers who have noticed it's been a week since I last posted.

Nothing new or exciting has really happened. AJ has been working hard on replacing our mulched landscaping with rock instead. We also added a fire pit in our back yard so hopefully we will get to enjoy that soon. Pictures to come when it is all complete!

I always love the holiday season but for some reason I am looking forward to it more this year. I just want to eat or buy anything with pumpkin or peppermint. I think this year will be a lot of fun with Ari. He gets so excited about the little things. I know he will go nuts over Christmas lights, the decorated tree, all the baked goods, and even snowmen. And maybe by then I will have a little baby bump to get excited about. For now it looks like nothing (to most) but to me it just looks like fat. (I know, I know). But just to make you feel better, I am pretty confident I will be wearing maternity jeans this pregnancy.

I am really excited now because I can feel the baby move already. But at 15-16ish weeks, that is much earlier than what I remember with Ari. I was at least 20 weeks when I first noticed some action with him. This makes me less worried. We really don't know a due date, but the least I can say is that it is due towards the end of April. Since Ari came 11 days late, I will just assume this one will be late too. So we might end up with a May baby. As of right now, we are not planning on finding out the gender. We should have an ultrasound some time in December just to make sure all is going well. We are not sharing any potential names at this point, but are very interested in suggestions. We are in need of a girl name, so please share if you have an idea!

Monday, November 1, 2010

a party to remember

This little guy enjoyed his birthday very much. It started out with dress up, like Mr. Potato Head.

And then his very own cupcake.

I think he was in a sugar coma by the end, he couldn't even finish it.

Being a cheese-head, which we often call him because of this cheesy smile he likes to give.

Sometimes he will even call himself a cheese-head.

Oh, deliciousness.

This little one also got to enjoy a new gift from grandma, even though her birthday isn't until Christmas Eve.

Signing "thank you" to everyone for the awesome gifts. You can never have too many guitars!

This is his buddy, Wil. Ari just LOVES him and can't wait to play with him during our Bible study on Thursday nights.

And this...this is my brother.

He's hilarious and enjoys entertaining everyone. Especially Ari.

The night ended with a nice cold, glass of milk. Mmmm. Ok, not for many of us, but for this sweet little cousin that Ari just adores. He often talks about Lynlee throughout the day and will sometimes carry her picture around off of the fridge. I think he is preparing himself to be a big brother.

And what a good one he will be!