Friday, December 31, 2010

The In Between

Does anyone else find the week between Christmas and New Year's kind of odd? The excitement of Christmas is over, the house is pretty much a mess from gifts that need homes and decorations that need to be put away, laundry that needs to be done, groceries that need to be bought, and the schedule is wide open but it's hard to decide where to start. Maybe it's just me, but it's a weird week to me. We hung really low this week and Ellington and I stayed in our pajamas the better part of two days. (Don't worry, different pjs!) Robert and Ellington are both sick so that definitely added another element. I took E to the doctor on Tuesday, but she's still not feeling super great. Anyway, I thought I would share a few pictures of our "in between" week!

Ellington is LOVING her kitchen! I was worried she would be a little too young for it (but it was such a good deal that I didn't want to pass up!!!). She has definitely enjoyed it!

Ellington got this necklace from Aunt Reagan as a part of a dress up set and she has either worn it or has carried it around all week.

She also loves her new doll house!

Our self portrait. Ha! No one will ever accuse me of having Botox! That's a lot of wrinkles!

The box for the doll house is just as much fun as the doll house itself!

Playing dress up. :)

We hope you have a great New Year's! We'll see you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Day {And Beyond} In Brownsville

On Christmas day we enjoyed the snowy drive to Brownsville, TN. I kept looking at Robert with a face that said, "Can you believe it's Christmas day and there is snow everywhere???!!!" It was delightful. Truly delightful.

Once we got there we were so happy to see everyone and Connor got right to entertaining Ellington! He's such a great big cousin!

The game of this Christmas was a dice game called Farkle.

Ellington REALLY enjoyed all of MiMi's Christmas books!

Jake & Julie decorated the cookies.

Robert & Connor were going to play a game of Candy Land, but Ellington insisted on being involved so the game had to be put on hold. :)

Sunday morning cousin love.

Ellington did GREAT at church on Sunday morning! She actually slept through half of the service! She hasn't slept on my lap in public since she was just a few months old. The sleeping might have something to do with not taking an afternoon nap the day before, going to bed late, and then being up from 10:30 pm-2 am. But was much easier because of it!

Ellington & her uncles

Big Bob read the Christmas Story before we opened gifts.

Connor was great at helping Ellington with her gifts!

Ellington ended up in a box and enjoyed staying there for quite awhile!

Ellington showed off her horse riding skills to Big Bob before we left on Monday morning.

Thanks for having us Big Bob & MiMi and thanks to everyone for all of the great gifts!!!

We left Brownsville on Monday via Memphis because there were a couple of places we wanted to stop. I was SO excited to get two things half price that I've really had my eye on. We got a Little People Nativity for Ellington from LifeWay and I got a tree skirt from Pottery Barn Outlet. This is our 3rd Christmas together and I haven't ever had a tree skirt. If I could afford the skirts I saw, I didn't like them...and if I liked them I couldn't ever afford them. Well, on Monday I found a perfect one for $25 and it was originally $100! (By the way...I can't even fathom paying $100 for a TREE SKIRT)

That wraps up our Christmas! We truly enjoyed our second Christmas with sweet Ellington and loved experiencing it with her. This year I really thought a lot about family and simplifying during this crazy time of year as well as how I envision future Christmases. As I tell Robert all of the time, "I am so excited about our whole life together"....and that includes this wonderful time of year!

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning...heading to check out her presents!

Ellington headed for the balls first which was no surprise to us! She LOVES balls! These balls were left over from a previous job of mine and had never been inflated. Her favorite gifts were FREE!

Ellington's gifts, minus the balls because she was playing with them. :)
(Confession of a frugal Christmas...the kitchen, puzzle, and bubble machine all came from Dirt Cheap!)

Ellington is in a stage of LOVING animals so this book was perfect for her!

After we finished with presents I walked into the kitchen and saw that not only was it snowing, but our yard was covered in snow!!!! This was quite a surprise because when we started Christmas morning it was only raining and because Ellington is a toddler with a very short attention span, we really hadn't been opening gifts for long! What a GREAT surprise!

Our house Christmas morning.

Back inside playing with the kitchen a little more!

This is probably my favorite picture of Christmas 2010!

So excited about Christmas!

In the car once again...headed for Brownsville, TN!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve my whole family got together at Bryant and LeAnna's house in Ridgeland since they aren't traveling right now because Emerson is so young. We had a great time and were so glad that they were willing to have us all over!

We tried to get a picture of the grandparents with their grand babies, but Ellington would have none of it!

What a sweetie pie!

After lunch and gifts at Bryant and LeAnna's we headed to Philadelphia to attend the candlelight service. Ellington wore the same dress that she wore last year in Brownsville on Christmas Eve. My mom lowered the hem and she was ready to go!

Here's the dress last year!

After church, we went back to my parent's house to open gifts with them!

We got lots of great gifts and appreciate them so much! I'll have to pause here and tell you about the best gift I got. I opened a present that was just from my Dad...which in itself was unusual because usually they are from both of my parents. I opened up the gift and it was a little frame and in the frame was a piece of paper that said, "Dear Lane, This entitles you to one working garbage disposal to be installed by Craig Brown. May your food always be ground and gone and your days be merry and bright. Merry Christmas! Love, Dad". I burst into tears and couldn't stop crying! I finally got myself together and when I hugged my dad later I started crying again. Then...on the way home Robert and I were talking about it and I started crying AGAIN! It meant so much to me! While I really HATE that our garbage disposal stopped working and it grossed me out beyond words that I had to put food in the trash can, it was about more than that. I don't know how much garbage disposals and installations cost, but I am almost 100% sure I've gotten more expensive gifts. It was the thought behind the gift and the joy that someone saw a need and met it. As an adult, life is different...and much harder than I expected. That gift was truly a blessing. Thanks Dad. :)

After gifts we had breakfast for supper. Ellington enjoyed the pancakes that I made!

After supper Robert, Ellington, and I hit the road once again to go back to Starkville. After all, Santa was coming!