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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year In Review: 2011

2011 was a fantastic year!!! I'd have to say it was the best year yet, thanks to the newest member of our family!

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In January, we rang in the new year with my family. We started the weekly baby updates. We cheered the Steelers on in the playoffs. We played in the snow.

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In February, we cheered on the Steelers in the Super bowl (they lost). My belly shrunk. Grant got a new car. My sweet baby girl celebrated her 4th birthday!

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In March, my belly continued to shrink (Thank you, hyperemesis. I wouldn't wish you on anybody.)! We saw our healthy baby at the big ultrasound, and chose not to find out the sex for the third time!

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In April, I celebrated my 31st birthday. I lost even more weight. The kids welcomed a new pet into our family: Toby the hamster. The kids attended their first Pirates baseball game and went to the circus for the first time...and loved it! We had a wonderful Easter with our family! Dylan moved up from T-Ball to baseball, and our days were filled with practices, followed by opening day at the end of the month!

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In May, little Nugget finally started to grow! Our lives revolved around baseball games. Dylan got the game ball after one game! We had a big family wedding, and I got to see my family from Texas, and they got to meet Lexie for the first time. We kicked off summer at the end of the month with birthday parties and picnics!

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In June, our sweet friends threw us a baby shower for little Nugget! Dylan got a new pet (a hamster named Madison). Dylan "graduated" from Kindergarten, and finished out his season of baseball. It started getting really hot in May, and June was scorching, so we swam a lot! We had a preterm labor scare, but Nugget hung in there!

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July was a busy month! We celebrated 4th of July. Lexie gave up her crib for the new baby, and got a big girl bed. I saw my Texas family again. Sadly, we lost our chihuahua, Pepe. That was very difficult for us. Grant celebrated his 32nd Birthday, and we had "dates" with the kids. Grant and Dylan went to a big convention, and Lexie and I got ice cream.

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August was the best month! I miraculously made it to 39 weeks, but went into labor right after! We welcomed little Nugget into the world...a perfect baby girl! We became a family of five, and fell in love with the newest family member! Lily came home and fit in perfectly. Lexie went to the dentist for the first time and did great! Lily was tongue tied and got her tongue snipped at the end of the month. We enjoyed the end of summer break, and life with our new baby girl!

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In September, summer came to an end. Dylan started first grade, and adjusted quickly to being in school all day. Lexie started her first year of school! Lily turned 1 month old. Grant and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. My family from Texas came back for a third time and got to meet Lily. Dylan decided he finally wanted to learn how to ride a bike, and learned right away! The month ended with a bang on the last day, when a speeding car lost control and landed in our garage!

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October was filled with Halloween activities. Lexie had her first field trip to an orchard. Lily turned 2 months old, and got her first shots. The kids enjoyed a rare October snowfall. Lily had a great first Halloween, as the sweetest little pea (and pumpkin!).

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In November, Lily turned 3 months. The kids enjoyed playing in the leaves. Dylan had two birthday parties. We had another sad incident, when our cat, Cosette, and Dylan's fish died on the same night. The month got happier with Dylan turning 7, Thanksgiving, and the start of the Christmas season!

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The month of December was filled with Christmas activities. Lily turned 4 months old, started (and hated) solids, and got her ears pierced. We celebrated the best Christmas yet!

We were very blessed this year. This year was amazing! Here's to an incredible 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas Day was just as wonderful as Christmas Eve! I felt so blessed all day!

After the encounter with Santa, a few presents appeared under the tree!

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Our morning began shortly after 9 AM. We heard Lexie wake up in her room, and begin moaning and whining. After a few minutes, the house went silent, and then I heard little feet running down the hall. She dove onto the bed, eyes wide with astonishment, shrieking, "Presents!!! There are presents UNDER THE TREE! PRESENTS!"

She was crazed! She dove onto me, yelling, "Wake up! There! Are! Presents!" She leaped off the bed, and ran into Dylan's room shouting the same thing!

Best Christmas morning wake-up EVER!

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Dylan and Lexie were super excited, and Lily was super smiley, so we got right down to business, opening Santa gifts!

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After the piles of Santa gifts were opened, it was time to open the Santa bag. Every year, Santa leaves a special present for each kid (typically what they asked for) in a cloth Santa bag. This year, Lexie got a Moxie Girl, Dylan got a Star Wars:Force Unleashed 2 DS game, and Lily got Sophie the Giraffe.

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Finally, the kids emptied out their stockings.

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Dylan and Lexie were extra good this year, and received everything they had asked for, and more!

One of the biggest things I love about my kids are their big hearts. They were SO excited to exchange gifts with each other and give Grant and I our presents! Dylan bought for all of us at his school's Santa workshop and made a gift for Grant and I at school. Lexie made a gift for me at school, and bought a small gift for Grant, Dylan, and Lily. Lily bought for Dylan and Lexie. I think this gift exchange was the most memorable, and all the gifts were loved!

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After the gifts were exchanged, we set each kid up with one gift, and then Grant and I exchanged gifts. I'm a lucky lady!

We opened presents for over an hour, and then set to work opening boxes while waiting for my dad to arrive for Christmas breakfast (my sweet mom usually joins us, but she offered to work so a single mom could be with her 6 year old on Christmas morning).

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Papa entertained the kids while Grant and I cooked a feast of eggs, bacon, and toast.

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Our sweet baby girl was so worn out from the excitement of her first Christmas morning!

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After breakfast, we headed over to Grant's parent's house to open presents with them!

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And once again, Lily was worn out!

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We headed back home to exchange gifts with my parents!

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The kids were thrilled with their special gift from Nina and Papa!

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We opened gifts for a grand total of 5 hours! It was just a bit insane, but there's nothing better than giving presents to the ones we love so much!

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We had an early dinner with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. It was quieter than our normal chaotic dinners, but everybody was still busy with Christmas. To be honest, the quiet was nice!

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By the time dinner was over, my kids were getting tired, so we went home and had a quick, hour-long, family nap. That was a first for us, but everybody ended up refreshed and happy for our last stop of the night!

We spent the remainder of Christmas evening with Grant's family at his Nannie's house.

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I think Lily had a wonderful first Christmas! She was definitely my favorite gift of the year!

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As Christmas neared an end, I counted my blessings. It was an incredible Christmas spent with the ones I love most! I was surrounded by love and happiness, and that's what Christmas is all about!

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