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