Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

This is starting to become my favorite photo op ~ Christmas morning with the girls in front of the tree.  It is still dark out and they have that morning glow and the lights are twinkling. 
It is anticipation and joy and might I say, relief?  All rolled into one. 
 Maybe that is what Mary felt that night in the stable.  We know there was anticipation.  She had already spoken to an angel!  Who wouldn't feel antsy after that?  The joy after giving birth is indescribable.  But the relief that was brought is priceless. 
Because after all the decorating and baking and all the texts about gifts - who wears what and wants what.  The secrets and hiding and surprises and the planning and cooking and preparing.  It is a beautiful thing when it is all over and we can let go and feel the relief.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
~Isaiah 9:6

Snow Day

I don't think any of us slept well the night before with rumors of snow in the morning.  Once it hit morning we were up staring out the window.  Audrey threw on her coat over her pajamas and just raced outside.  Carissa doesn't even really look awake here!

It brought back such crazy memories of our first time in Washington when it snowed.  I wrote about it *here* The girls were so tiny then!
 There is something about that first morning snow.  It is so quiet!  It is peaceful and gentle and calm. 
 It was a good break between the craziness the Christmas brings. 
Here is one case in point... Candy Cane Jane.  She just had to show up in her scarf and snow boots. This little lady caused quite a stir this year ~ especially for doubting daughters. 
I'd take running out into the snow instead of running around looking for the elf any day of the week!

We Danced...

our way right through December!

Carissa started taking Ballet in August. She is with a really tough teacher named Ms. Ann.  The lady doesn't mess around (I am even a little bit scared of her.) But I can't believe how much Carissa has learned and grown in her class. 

 She took an extra 2 months of Saturday classes to be part of the Nutcracker Production.  Performing in two scenes she wowed me with her gracefulness. 
 They had a show on Saturday and Sunday and sitting through that was one of the most enjoyable parts of this Christmas for me. 
Moving on to Audrey ~ who, have I mentioned, is in Jazz Company?  She performed over 10 times during December at multiple locations. This time was at the Seattle Center on the Winterfest stage.

 We couldn't help but take in some of the sights of the "Big City" while we were down there.  The whole town, to me, is just one big giant thing of coolness. 
 Can you see her on the big stage?  Look she is already performing with the Space Needle as her back drop!  Where to go from here?
 Her little group is so professional.  They just amazed me with their stage presence and how they, well, worked the crowd!! 
 A couple times I caught myself just grinning from ear to ear like a big goof.  (I had only seen the performance about 20 times!) 
It was an awesome way to spend the month.  So proud of my dancing girls!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving on the Coast

Lucky, Lucky Us! 
We got to visit Nick and Megan and Aida, and Anderson, and Greyson in Lincoln City, OR for Thanksgiving.  Can I just tell you that the house just stares at the ocean?  You can be in the kitchen.. Ocean.  You can be walking down the stairs...Ocean.  You can be taking out the trash...Ocean. 
Here we are on Day 1:
It's really easy with Anderson.  You just grab a stick and go.  He rocked his red skinny jeans on the beach and we played and played.
 Carissa was adamant she "hated" the beach. Then we walked down and she ran and chased Aida.
You wouldn't know it after 20 seconds.  The love was back.
Dad + Carissa
(Check out the background waves!  I did not photoshop that in!)
Where was Audrey?  In the water, of course!  On Thanksgiving, on the Oregon Coast, my daughter swam in the Pacific Ocean. 
This is what happened after the Turkey, and the running, and the swimming. 

Here we are on Day 2:
Back on the Beach in Linoln City at Devil's Punch Bowl.

We climbed and explored.  It was a little slippery and Audrey was grossed out by the tidepools.  She was even more surprised when I told her it was the ocean floor she was standing on yesterday.  Ignorance just might be bliss!

Here we are Day 3:
Couldn't get enough of the beach.  This time searching for hidden blown glass along the coastline.  Greyson almost smiled for me!
 It was a great November and we achieved some great successes with Justin's work.  We are firmly finding a home here in the Pacific Northwest and it feels great.  Audrey had some stomach issues resolved and I got some new clients.  We are so thankful and blessed.
Looking forward to our next adventure with this crew!!