Monday, December 27, 2010

Little Sweden USA

We had a fun time making memories during our Christmas weekend in Little Sweden USA -aka Lindsborg, KS. We didn't know anyone there - my brother-in-law heard fun things about the town so we went. It helps that our heritage on my dad's side (and some on my mom's) is Swedish.
Walking around the town after our awesome lunch at the Swedish Crown Restaurant. It was a wee bit cold.

A store display. Very...Swedish.

"Please sign our guestbook." Can you see where Eli signed??

Finding some of the "Wild Dalas." They weren't that hard to find.

The Inn that we stayed in was very festive for Christmas time.

"Am I in your shot??"

The Cornell's on Christmas day. We got up at 5:00 am to make a Christmas service at the Lutheran church. It was definitely an experience and Haylie is about to pass out in this picture.

The kiddos on Christmas. Dresses & bow tie made by Mimi. Bows in the girls hair made by Emily.

Haylie just couldn't stay away from Umpy's iPod. It was like a magnet to her.

We went out to Coronado Heights with the intention of geocaching. But our bodies were frozen from the waist down and we decided to forego that.

The Castle at Coronado Heights

Creepy face in the rock.

Christmas lupper at Ihop!

It was a good weekend. It didn't really feel like Christmas - but it was a weekend full of new experiences and fun times with the family. I think Lindsborg would be more fun in the summer time, but it was neat to be in a town full of my family's heritage on Christmas. Thanks for the fun weekend family!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Since I'm mad at the Post Office for not delivering our Christmas Cards on time, this will have to do until I get them. If I get them, I mean.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Memories

When I was a junior in high school, my parents took my sister and I on one of the best Christmas vacations ever. No, we didn't go visit Clark Griswold, we went to Amsterdam, Holland; Paris, France; and Belgium. We visited some of our BFF's from PA who had recently been transferred to Holland. We were there for two weeks and spent Christmas weekend in Paris. It was AWESOME. There are so many memories of that trip...but I mostly remember being on top of the Eiffel Tower and looking out over Paris. I think the tower is so beautiful, I'm borderlined obsessed with it. Anyway, all that to say is that this year my family is fore-going presents and are going to try to make a memory (definitely not in Europe though) like we did back in 2000. Some people look at me funny when I tell them what we are doing, but honestly, this is the year to do it. The kids aren't really into Santa yet and this might be one of our last years to cheap out on Christmas before we will have to be in line at 3:30 am on Black Friday to get the IT toy. We might not be visiting grandparents, eating turkey on Christmas or opening lots of gifts. But I'm pretty sure we will remember the year we did something different for Christmas for a long time. It's been 10 years since we went to Paris and I still remember so much of it.

Make a memory this Christmas! You'll be glad you did.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meeting Santa

We took Haylie to an open house a few weeks ago hosted by Kim & Terra. They had Santa there and then sent us this cute picture of her first encounter with the big man in red. She did awesome! She just sat there on his lap and looked at him. Hopefully she'll be this happy every year. Doesn't she look so big?

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I'm not sure where she learned this from, but Haylie whistles. She does it quietly so you'll have to blast the volume.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Read your Bible and pray everyday..." She is learning so much in her Bible class. Now I just need to teach her to read the Bible not upside down. Oh and to actually read.

The Good Old Days

It's amazing how everyone's lives take different journeys. This holiday season, I have been thinking a lot of friends that used to be in my life daily. I have a different situation than most - my parents don't live where I grew up anymore. I am so happy they are here with me...nothing is better than close by family. I just sometimes wonder what it would be like to go back to PA for Christmas or various holidays. To show Justin & Haylie where I grew up and to meet up with friends who might still live and/or visit the area. To go to church at Newark and throw up smelling the rank mushrooms in West Grove. I read on Facebook of all my high school friends who are still connected and try to get together often. I honestly think of them a lot! I just miss the "good old days" but know that my life is so blessed right where I am. I wouldn't change it for the world. I guess this is the time of year to reminisce though. If any of my Avon Grove or Newark buddies just happen to read this, just know that I miss you, think of you often and the fun times we had during the most awkward time of our lives - middle & high school. You made a huge impact on my life and I'm who I am today because of you. I am thankful to Facebook for connecting me back to many. Hopefully the trip Justin and I have been talking about of going back to PA next year will pan out. Whoo hoo!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Programs

Eli had his Christmas program last night at his school. He was the cutest boy there! Look at him cheesin' with that bow tie on! They sang a few songs, rang the bells, Eli might have rolled down the stairs on accident and yawned during one of the songs, but it was all pretty cute.

Haylie and Evie enjoyed it as well.

It's going to be so much fun to go to Haylie's school programs when she gets older. All those kids are super funny to watch.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Flash Mob Got Us!!!!

I do not go to the mall. I either get lost or overwhelmed by the teeny boppers that hang out there. But, because I love my cousin Kimmy THAT much, Justin, Haylie & I braved the mall on a Saturday before Christmas. Word was out - a flash mob was going to be at the food court at 12:30. A flash mob is when random singing breaks out in a public place. My cousin Kim is a singer in Canterbury and told us there might be something at the food court. We apparently were not the only ones who knew about it...

It was awesome! We were on the outskirts of the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus - but it was still beautiful. See someone's video here. I think it would have been even cooler if we would have been surprised, but nevertheless, I loved it!

My beautiful cousin Kim! She is the only reason I braved the mall this past Saturday. Totally worth it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just Another Friday Night

We are old and don't go out anymore. Our Friday evening doesn't consist anymore of newly released movies in the theater or dinners at 8pm...but we still have lots of fun just hanging out at the house.

Haylie entertains us with her shopping cart. Pushing both forwards and backwards, it's the new mode of transportation.
Caramel lounging on the chair ...must...touch...ottoman.
Even with her saggy pants, Haylie loves to walk now holding your hands. It won't be long now until she is off and running...and talking the entire time. To really shake things up, we tried something new tonight - H going to bed without a paci. Easy, breezy.
You are so jealous of our Friday night. I just know it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Threw Up

We put up our Christmas decorations the other night. We didn't decorate the bottom 1/4 of our tree due to a certain someone...but apparently we forgot to really finish the tree. We have maybe 15 decorations on it. Aaand that's it.

I love being in a new house because it helps me try new things with our decorations.

I needed a new wreath because the one I made 2 years ago disintegrated during the move or something. It was a disaster (probably because I made it and that's never a good thing.) I went to Hobby Lobby to buy a ready made one and they wanted $80 for one! Forget that! So I found the decorations aisle all by myself and created this wreath for less than $7. Yes, much better on my budget.
Let the holidays begin!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Kitchen

On a recent roadtrip to see our friend Katie in Wichita, I saw her daughter Coralie had a kitchen in her bedroom. I thought it was so cute and asked if Coralie liked it. Katie said it was the best thing she ever got her! So I thought it would be great for Haylie to have a little kitchen since I like to copy my good friend Katie.

Since Haylie's birthday was coming up, my sister wanted that to be her gift to H. So, she and her hubby created this wonderful little kitchen! (Emily breaks it down here)

Complete with pots and pans for cooking

A stove and faucet with turning knobs!

And even a place to put her tupperware. Haylie is going to have so much fun!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Pink Elephant Party

The verdict is in. I'd totally do another birthday party for Haylie...cake mishaps and all. I had a lot of fun scouring blogs to come up with ideas and then get crafty with some scrapbook paper. I think that I thought I made more decor than I actually did (balloons helped fill it in)...

I made some pink elephant circles to hang on the mirror...

and the favors were jungle {elephant} crayons that I made from a candy mold (idea here).

The cake is a cake mold from Hobby Lobby and is supposed to look like this...mine is a little bit different due to the fact that it was a cake blob in the beginning. I have a new-found respect for people who work with cake!!

A scientific fact for you...if you leave pink tinted frosting out with the sun shining on it, the sun will bleach the frosting. Who knew!

I wanted Haylie to have a keepsake from her party and from her friends who came. So they all signed a paper for her to remember! It's now on her wall.

I didn't want people to be bored, so I thought I could have craft of sorts for the kids to do. It was supposed to be an "elephant" hand print...lots of fun, right? I think it was more stressful than anything. Hey, come to Haylie's party and be traumatized! Alllright!! The parents were all pretty cool about giving it a try though! We had Haylie do one the night before...

Haylie had a great time with her cake. A little slow eating it at first, but by the end, had cake literally all over her. We had to take a mini-bath in the sink!

The party "pooper".

Cousin Eli helping Umpy put together Haylie's new shopping cart! Looks complicated.

I'm glad it's over and very pleased with it all. Thanks everyone who helped make the day special for Haylie!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

If you come over between now and whenever I feel like taking it down, you will know exactly how old my daughter is by way of our front door. Yep, I'm going to be that mom who is so excited when it comes to her daughter's first birthday. You have to celebrate at least the first year. The second year - eh, I might go with Summer's style of party.

A year ago today, I was scared and nervous about becoming a mom, but looking back I shouldn't have been so stressed out about the little things. At 10:35 am we got to meet our little bundle of screams! We were so naive and didn't have a clue as to how our lives were going to change.

She's grown a lot but has definitely kept her sassy attitude.

Tidbits of Haylie fun:

-H is into EVERYTHING! You can not let her loose without finding a huge mess where she has been.
-H LOVES the water! Toilet water, the cat's water, bathwater...she just wants to play in it all day long!
-H giggles hysterically when she gets to be up on our bed. It is truly her playground.
-H likes to blow spit bubbles and flick her tongue on her lower lip.
-H can still scream & cry with the best of them. She just thinks about getting upset and big crocodile tears just come pouring out.
-H can not stand to wear socks.
-H will get very upset if she sees a cell phone and she can not touch it. Same response if you are eating and she is not.
-H will eat anything you give her. No questions asked.
-H gets upset if she is sitting in the cart facing the "driver" when in fact she much prefers to be facing outward so she can see where she is going.

All in all, she is so fun. She can play by herself and be entertained by plastic cups. She is adventerous and pretty independent...but a few times here and there, we can get in a few snuggles.

I love my little girl!! Happy 1st birthday, little one!!