Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

We started off our holiday weekend at Mark's office. I had stayed up until 4am making all kinds of goodies - sugar cutout cookies, 7 layer bars, fudge (Mark made that), peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate and spritz cookies. Mark was on early shift that week, so I was literally getting into bed as he was getting out of bed. We took the goodies to the office (buttering up his boss and the schedulers) and Ethan got to hang out in the simulators for awhile. He loves going to FedEx.
The week before my family came into town I decided to get the guest room in shape.... I made this bedskirt and we got the room painted - it's a really pretty green..although the picture looks different. Mark wasn't too happy with me for wanting to do a major project the week before Christmas! Oh well!! Here are the kids enjoying the project completed!!!
Aunt Courtney and Nina
Poppa and Nina

This year was Courtney's year to come home for Christmas and we are almost equally distant from my parents and from Courtney in everyone decided to come here this year. It was a great idea when we were talking about it months ago...but the closer it got the crazier it sounded and it was A LOT of work. We are glad that everyone got to come - especially grandparents. Courtney and Landon arrived first and we enjoyed getting caught up with them before everyone else rolled in. Then Poppa and Nona arrived with Papa, Nana and Mema. We had a fun and extremely busy weekend - it went by too fast. We ate a lot of great food including some Corky's BBQ (a Memphis landmark). My grandparents had a great time watching Ethan and Nina with all their toys from Santa and watching them open their gifts too. It's always nice to have them around.

Everyone left around 11am and it was sad to see them go. The rest of our Christmas Day was quiet, but nice. We finished opening our presents and just hung out the rest of the day in our pjs!

Stockings have always been my favorite part of Christmas morning. Mark has big shoes to fill because Santa at the Justice house is always GREAT! This year he put gorgeous citrine earrings in my stocking that match the ring he had bought me for my birthday. I was surprised! The best surprise though was that Mark had gotten Courtney Wells' phone number off my phone and called her and had her make a necklace for me. He just told her to make something she thought I would like - and I love it! She has an incredible eye for making jewelry and I love everything she does. I think he was a little upset when I emailed her and placed an earring order to match the necklace - said I was stealing his thunder or something....That is probably one of the sweetest and most creative things he's done for me - usually I tell him what I want and he goes out and gets it...he isn't the best at thinking outside the box. Mark works well working off a checklist...imagine that?!?! The necklace was my favorite Christmas present!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. It was so nice for all of us to be together and we are so thankful we have each other. It's the things that aren't under the tree and in our stockings that are important - family and friends - and we are so fortunate we have both! Ethan getting to open his stocking from Mema on Christmas EveA tradition around Christmas...coke in a bottle...and Ethan thinks he's big stuff getting to drink this on Christmas Eve And he's making sure he gets every last drop!!!
Getting cookies, milk and bottled coke ready for Santa Santa came!!
Ethan was excited Santa came - but everyone was already up, dressed and waiting for him... so when he walked in he turned around and tried to go upstairs saying he had to go get dressed - he thought he needed to be out of his pjs. It was quite funny! It didn't take him long to realize who had come to his house in the middle of the night and what he brought!

Nina enjoying being held by Papa
Showing off my surprise necklace made by Courtney Wells!!

My mom bought their Christmas pjs....does anyone else think his shirt is funny?????

Santa moved a little furniture around because he knew we had a lot of people in the house...and during his moving of the furniture, he found Ethan's Blue Angel that he had been searching for, for months. Ethan was quite amazed that Santa left this for him!
Ethan loves his new camera from Santa
Nina enjoying her stocking contents

As my parents were leaving, they took this picture - our only group shot of the weekend.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Happenings

We have been extremely busy around here lately. Last week we decided to have our annual Christmas party...we had a great time - wonderful food and wonderful company. This is the first time that Mark has been able to entertain people from the office, so that's what we did. We had some friends from church as well, but mainly FedEx people. Mark did most of the cooking while I finished the decorating around the house - and the 5 Christmas trees, almost 40 Nutcrackers and many many more decorations that I have accumulated over the years. Mark made an incredible cake with toffee bits and delicious chocolate frosting. Our holiday baking has begun!!!

It has taken me forever to decorate this year. Being in a new house has been hard - I just don't know where to put everything. I really wanted to put my nutcrackers in one place, but I have so many of them that it just isn't possible - and you can't enjoy them all together. I don't remember when I started my collection - but I do remember my parents always taking us to see The Nutcracker ballet every year and it has always been my favorite. It's always fun to pull them out of the boxes and set them around the house. Mark and I enjoyed decorating the tree with our many ornaments. Being able to travel as much as we have, we have a great collection of ornaments. Mark was a little irritated at the numerous New York City ornaments I have accumulated. I think they are some of my favorite - and of course my Pink Pig ornaments are special too! When Mom and I were at Perimeter, I bought a metal tabletop tree to display our White House ornaments that the Mark's parents give us every year. We have 6 (hope to have the 7th this year.....) and they are always fun to look at. I miss having them on our big tree, but I do like having them displayed together - I will try and get some other pictures of our decorations to post another time. Mark and I both really love this time of the year and love all the special ornaments and decorations that we have collection over the years. Thank goodness I had a reason to get everything done...otherwise I might still be deciding where to put things!

Nina turned 7 months old on the 8th - where does the time go? She's so precious and is such a great baby! She has really enjoyed all the Christmas lights around the house and loves looking at herself in the glass ornaments.

Ethan is ALL about Christmas - it's just the best when they realize what is going on. The magic for the kids is what it's all about. Santa has called the house a couple of times and that is just hilarious to watch. He just thinks that is great - he loves Santa and he loves talking on the phone...a great combination!

Our friends Donnie and Cathy have been spending a lot of time with us lately. Donnie almost can't go a day without seeing Nina - it's pretty funny. He went hunting Saturday afternoon - didn't shoot anything, but did find something in the woods for Ethan. Yes, I have dead animal things in my house - I'm now officially TENNESSEE REDNECK! HA! That day Santa sent Ethan reindeer antlers and then that night he got the real thing.

We've got another busy week with 3 parties. I'm sure I'll be posting again soon! Enjoy all the latest pictures! Hope everyone is doing well!

One of the MANY attempts to get a good Christmas card picture. I still haven't gotten one yet - but the first picture I posted is my mom's Christmas card picture - aren't I a great daughter...I made sure she had her picture before I even got mine!!!
These are the reindeer antlers from Santa - Nina isn't quite sure what to think! This is what Donnie found in the woods and was so kind to bring it to Ethan.... it's still in our laundry room and it freaks me out everytime I go in there and see it. Ethan loves it!!
With Amy and Dave in front of the dining room tree Mark's yummy cake
The dining room after the party.....I meant to get a picture before, but forgot
Mark and Donnie after the party - they worked so hard....eating....that they had to take a nap!
The Auburn Christmas tree in the office
Ethan's Christmas tree
Our Christmas tree
Nina - 7 months old!!!
Nina's Christmas tree

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Almost December...

It's so hard to believe that it's almost December - 27 days until Christmas! I just uploaded pictures from last week, so I wanted to share a few. We had a wonderful visit to GA - just not enough time to do everything we wanted to do and see everyone we wanted to see. It was nice to visit with Nana, Papa and Mema and then my Uncle Steve and Aunt Dodie and Ryan were at the house for Thanksgiving and that was great to see them. It's always nice to visit with family!

Friday morning, Mom and I took off to Perimeter Mall for some shopping. Neither one of us was looking for anything specific- but it's tradition to go and shop and eat at Cheesecake Factory. This year we took Nina instead of my dad - he decided to work. She was perfect and seemed to enjoy sleeping in the middle of the craziness. We had a lot of fun just walking around drinking our Starbucks. Funny story - Mark and I were supposed to go to the mart while we were home because part of my 30th from him was a "right hand ring". Well, while at the mall, Mom and I were both looking at some rings and we both found something we liked. I called Mark and told him and he told me to get it because we weren't going to make it to the mart this trip. Well, I found 2 that I liked and couldn't decide which one I liked better. So I bought them both. I had hardly walked away from the counter when my cell phone rang and it was Mark....he told me that the fraud department from my credit card was on the other line and wanted to know if I had just charged "x" amount.....BUSTED!!!!!!!!

Saturday we did get to go to the Auburn/Alabama game and we had so much fun! It was our 10 year anniversary - the Iron Bowl game in 97 was our first date. So that brought back a lot of fun memories for us. Auburn is the best little town and we love it so much and actually act like we love each other when we're there. HA! It was sooooo cold, but we had layered well, so were fine. We had great seats and enjoyed the win over Alabama!! This picture is at Toomer's Corner right after the game was over. War Eagle!!!

We got back to Memphis Sunday evening after a long day on the road (and after only 3 hours of sleep the night before). Mark had been busy cleaning while we were gone, but within 5 minutes it was destroyed and I'm still trying to recover. It doesn't help though that when we got back I looked through the mail and realized that Garden Ridge was open until after the kids were in the bed, I hit Garden Ridge at 11pm. I was the ONLY shopper (not in a good area of town either) - the rest of the people were workers trying to clean the store after they had been open since Thanksgiving without closing. You should have seen some of the ugly looks I was getting as I walked around casually with my cart. I did get some good deals though - and that's what it's all about!

Last night we went across town for the town of Collierville's tree lighting. Marion, Kathy, Adam and Madeleine Maund live there and they invited us to join them. It was cold but we got all bundled up and had hot was a very nice evening and all the lights were so pretty. I used to babysit Adam and Madeleine and now they are so big - Madeleine is going to babysit Ethan and Nina sometime soon. I got some good pictures of everyone but Kathy - the women are always behind the camera and the only reason I'm in the pictures this time is because she took them for us. So she was there, just behind the camera. We had a great time with them - It's nice knowing they are just across town!!!

Hopefully my next post will be one with our live tree, decorated. We're hoping to get it this weekend! I'm running in the St. Jude's race this weekend - was supposed to do the half marathon, but am only doing the 5k. So hopefully this weekend I'll have time to get everything completely decorated and I can start painting the guest room. Come to Memphis - I'll put ya to work! Enjoy the last couple of days of November! 2008 is knocking at the door!
Nina enjoying her first taste of McAlister's sweet tea. Of course she liked it - she is MY child!!! Ethan riding on top of Mr. Marion's shoulders looking for SantaNina and Mr. Marion at the tree lighting - Nina loves him - I guess it's payback for Madeleine always snuggling up to my dad when they still lived in GAThis picture is a little blurry - but I still wanted to post it so you can see how big Adam and Madeleine have gotten! They are still so precious! Nina with her newest babysitter