A Wonderful Christmas!

Well, Christmas morning came, and although the sickness wasn't totally gone, we were feeling MUCH better, which was a HUGE blessing! We really had a wonderful Christmas in every way! We were able to spend time with family, enjoy the kids, pulled off some great gift surprises, and got so many great things ourselves! Whew, but were we worn out when it was all over!

I even remembered to take pictures this year (if you will remember, by the end of the day last year, I hadn't taken any, and was quite sad about it!)

Here is Allie opening up her first gift. She went on to carry that bag around as purse all night, and had much more fun with it than the gifts that were inside! =)

We were all occupied with our gifts, and Allie felt like she'd take advantage of the situation! She is happily entertaining herself with all of the contents of mimi's wallet!

Here she is at Jannie and Smokey's with her new rocking elephant!
And, of course we can't forget little Rudolph!

Here's the whole fam on Christmas night. If we look a little rough, please remember that we were sick, going on little sleep, and on gathering #4 for the day. I'd say we were doing pretty good, all things considered!

What a wonderfully full day! Our schedule may be a bit crazy, but we're so glad to be able to spend Christmas with both our families every year! We love them all and are so blessed! Our kids were also pretty much as perfect as they could've been! So, despite the yucky sickness, we had a wonderful and blessed Christmas! I hope you did too!


An upgrade.

Well, I've now traded my spot from laying in bed all day and upgraded myself to sitting on the couch! After 4 days of being in bed, with no makeup, hair brushing, sore throat, achy, fevers of 102+, I'd say this is something to celebrate, despite the fact that's its Christmas eve and I'm STILL sick! (And for those curious, I'm flu and strep free.. just some other infection) The good news is that I only have a few more hours to go until I've been fever free for 24 hrs! Yay!

The bad news? Hubby has taken over my spot on the bed and is not quite so fever free.

So, I figure, as long as I'm not contaminating people, why let a silly thing like knife-shooting pain in my throat wreck my most favorite day of the year? I think ill just have to toughen up and push through it! Hopefully tomorrow ill be looking a little better than today!



This has been my view from my bed for the past two days now, and let me say I'm very grateful to be able to lay here and at least enjoy Christmas in the form of movies, since I'm missing out on our family Christmas festivities. Tonight, the crummy sickness is causing me to miss Christmas lights in the limo bus with my family. Being sick at christmas time just plain stinks. I am, however, immensely grateful to family who have been helping me with my kiddies. Here's to hoping I get better REALLY soon. It's just hard to enjoy your favorite time of year when you feel just plain miserable.


A Pictureless Post

Yesterday I put allie down for a nap in her adorable Christmas nightgown. The downside to this nightgown is that she apparently discovered that her diaper was easily accessible.

So, you can see where this story is headed... Yep, I find her in her crib diaperless in a puddle of pee. I should note here that we were playing with stickers before bedtime. So, there allie was naked and apparently ashamed, because instead of a fig leaf, she made do with what she had and covered herself there with a big pink flower sticker. What a sight! But I'm sure you see now why, unfortunately this had to be a pictureless post!


A Productive Day:

I've come to the realization that this is all relative. You, for instance, may complete a large project, make a gourmet meal, do spring cleaning, run loads of errands, etc. in order to consider it a productive day. What does a productive day look like for us in this stage of life?

Well, let me share. Today, I:

  • Cleaned the bathrooms for the first time in about a month. (can anyone say gross?)
  • Did laundry for the first time in over a week.
  • Took a shower for the first time in TWO days.
  • And, maybe, just maybe might be about to take a nap for the first time in what seems like a year!

Productive? I'd say so!

Disclaimer: I know that you are sitting there with all sorts of judgmental thoughts pouring through your head right now regarding my uncleanliness, but you are definitely not allowed to judge unless of course, you find yourself in this same stage of having young ones. And, if you are, and try to tell me that you've never experienced a day or two without bathing or clean clothing, well then I'd just say you are most likely one big fat liar! =)

Since angie hasn't...

I just figured I'd take this opportunity to introduce you to sweet baby Graham Luce! Now, I'm sure you've been cutting Ang some slack, thinking, well that's ok that you haven't updated your blog... you are probably overwhelmed with the newness of being a household of 5, and just trying to get sleep while you can, and blogging is the last thing on your mind... Well, don't be fooled my friends, yes, she has been busy since their homegoing, but not so much around the house. In typical Angie style, they've been out and about running errands, going to my family's and the inlaws' homes, etc. So, yes, she apparently has been too busy to introduce Graham to the blogging world, just probably not the busy you were imagining! So, I'd say it's safe to say that mom, baby, and family are adjusting quite well to being a family of 5!

Graham was born on December 10, weighing in at a respectable 6 lbs. 11 oz. While he was only a pound below his cousin at birth, I'm afraid that Pierce is at least DOUBLE his size now! YIKES! Hopefully that will not hold true throughout their lives!

Isn't he just adorable?

Sweet sisters anxiously waiting to be able to hold their precious little bro:

Well, Adrienne may not have been quite so anxious to do this as Marianna, but she definitely warmed up to the idea of it by the next day!
Aunt Rach holding this sweet bundle of joy! It's amazing, because I feel like we are really still in the newborn stage ourselves, but compared to Pierce, Graham felt like a little feather!


It's Quite the Accomplishment

To not only catch ONE kid smiling in a pic, but BOTH of them! Aren't they cute!?


Oh, dear...

Allie is all about her hair, makeup, and jewelry these days! We just bought her a play makeup, curling iron, and battery operated blow dryer set, and she has pretty much abandoned all other toys to devote her time to these the past few days. She will happily brush or dry your hair for you at any time, whether you need her to or not (brother has the bump on his little bald head to prove it...)

Hopefully we haven't created a monster... =)



It's nice to know

That even though I did get up to go shopping at 4 in the morning, that there were people out there who were crazier than me...

Happy Black Friday!


Bloggers can get 50 FREE Holiday Cards from Shutterfly!

Yes, you heard me right! 50 Christmas Cards - for FREE!! Well, I'm sure it's no big secret by now that I am a HUGE sucker for anything FREE, so I know you can imagine that seeing this promo peaked my interest, to say the least! But, I mean, doesn't it almost sound too good to be true? Well, I thought so, too, but then I went to the entry site to check it out and carefully read the fine print, and guess what?! It's for real!

All I've got to do is simply tell you about the awesome products that Shutterfly has to offer! And, since they actually do have awesome products, I feel like it's a pretty simple task! =)

Truthfully, I had already picked out my Christmas cards for the year, but then we had our family pictures taken, and there were SO many great ones to choose from, and I visited Shutterfly's site to peruse through their holiday card collection, and I simply fell in love with the folded Christmas cards. I've never been a huge fan of cards that have multiple pictures on the front, because they usually end up looking cluttered, if you don't have just the perfect pictures for the layout. The folded cards, however, give you the option of just putting one on the front, and more on the inside, AND even get to include a great, personalized note, instead of only having room to say, "Merry Christmas! Love, the Kendalls", like most "flatfolds" do. This one, for example, is adorable, and non-cluttered looking, and when you open it up you have room for 4 additional photos! Now, I don't know that I'll go with that many, but then again, I just might! Cute isn't it?

The thing about Shutterfly is that you could literally spend hours on their site looking at all of their great products! Whether you're looking for personalized Christmas gifts for your family or a way to preserve precious memories, they have just the thing for you!

I mean, what grandparent wouldn't love to open up one of these on Christmas morning? Notice how you can add pics and notes on different dates!

Or how about one of these for your husband's office at work!?

Ok, so I think I'm def gonna get to shopping now... I've really given myself some great ideas! (congrats, shutterfly, I think your marketing strategy with this promo was effective - for me at least!)

Oh, yeah, and all these great things come with FREE SHIPPING on orders of $30 or more (enter this code at checkout: SHIP30), which I'm sure only lasts for a limited time, so be sure to go check them out!

A Winning Combination:

A little of this:

Combined with a little of that:
Mixed with a FULL night of sleep (courtesy of Pierce)
= A Winning Combo in my book!

Happy Friday, Everyone! Hope you're enjoying your morning as much as I'm enjoying mine!


My Hero

5 Years ago today, I can remember so vividly being woken up by the phone ringing in the wee hours of the morning. I didn't have to hear who was on the other line. I knew what the phone call meant. I immediately jumped out of bed, got dressed, and headed downstairs to embark on the ominous journey to Baptist East. The phone call meant it was time. By the time we arrived at the hospital, the doctor met us in the deserted halls to give us the news. He was gone. My Papa had breathed his last breaths and had left his earthly body and was now with Jesus. My heart could hardly bear the news. We knew, though, by this point, that it was all but inevitable. We had said our goodbyes. Still, you are never ready for such a thing.

While our lives these past 5 years since then have been full and blessed, his presence has and always will be greatly missed. He was, in all respects of the term, the life of the party. He was the kind of person that you could just sit and listen to for hours, because he was truly that entertaining and compelling. But, he, unlike some, didn't simply just talk on for hours, (don't get me wrong, he could talk...) but he was also always sincerely interested in YOU. This was the same whether you were a young preacher, an important politician, or a 5 year old granddaughter. He was sincere, and he made you feel special, because to him, you were. Knowing how much time he made for his family, it is simply amazing to me to have read countless stories from preachers all over the world of the personal time he made for them, too. We were certainly never slighted by this fact. No, he was the kind of grandfather that you could call, and say, "Papa, can you take me shopping and buy me an Easter dress?" And, he would clear his schedule and go shopping with you for several hours and wait patiently as you tried on dress after dress, and act interested. =) He was the kind of grandfather that came up with all kinds silly games to play with his grandchildren. Whether it be songs, stories, secret clubs, or countless other things, time with Papa was always a treasure. He was also the kind of grandfather who you knew genuinely cared - when you were happy or when you were heartbroken (no matter how trivial the matter), he was right there rejoicing or grieving with you.

His life was a testimony to us. He did not have to preach to us at home (although, we did have many Bible studies around the breakfast table) to preach to us. His life was an example. It is because of this, that I am constantly challenged in my marriage, in my family, and my relationships with Christ and with others to follow his example. He was an optimist through and through, he was warm, genuine, and loving. He was fun, creative, and silly. There is simply no one like Papa. He was one of a kind, but my hope is that I can live each day and remember, not only his rock solid stand for following Christ, but also his love for others and for life.

He is my hero. He is and always will be missed. And, while it is true that he was one of a kind and simply irreplaceable, these words, written by Kie Bowman, a pastor in Texas, is such a beautifully written reminder, that he indeed invested his life in so many of ours, and in turn, his legacy will forever live on in those he invested in.

"Adrian Rogers was a hero. He was a hero to the thousands who called him "pastor" and a hero to thousands of preachers who found a mentor and a model for their own ministries. And he was a hero to me. I join thousands who will miss him.There will be those times when our preachers, our denomination and even our nation will need him, but he has gone to be with Jesus. Like all great men, however, when we need him, and those days will come soon enough, he will still help us because he has left his sermons, his books and his legacy to remind us of the path. More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that when we need his heroic prophetic vision, courage and voice, we will see him and feel him and hear him in the lives in which he invested.Adrian Rogers was one of a kind. We are not likely to see anyone quite like him again soon. He was a preacher, a statesman, a warrior, a mentor, a giant, a leader, a true friend, but most of all Adrian Rogers was a hero. May God bless us all for having known him. We know what God has already said to Dr. Rogers early one Tuesday morning, but we want to add our echo, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

I am proud and blessed to know that his legacy will continue to live on through me and my family. My prayer is that we're able to teach our children about their Papa, and, although they won't have the privilege of knowing him this side of heaven, I pray that the way we raise them is so colored by his presence in our lives that his legacy will live on for generations to come. It brings a smile to my face to already hear little Allie in the backseat whenever Papa's voice comes on over the cd player saying, "Papa, Papa!"


all i want for christmas is...

Apparently A LOT!

I never really have trouble with coming up with a nice, long Christmas wish list! No, my problem is always in honing it down! Maybe this is because I'm often quite cheap during the year and don't splurge a lot, so my list just adds up from January to November... or maybe I'm just extremely materialistic, so judge for yourself. At any rate, I do, in fact, also LOVE gift GIVING every bit as much as I love the receiving! There's nothing better than to carefully and thoughtfully handpick out gifts that you KNOW will both surprise and delight your gift recipient! So, for those of you who have asked for gift cards in the past, forgive me if I've bawked at the idea.... I'm trying to get better about that, but somehow it just takes a bit of the joy out of it for me...

I know that many of you are already nearing the end of your Christmas shopping, but I really enjoy dragging mine out throughout the entire holiday season! There's nothing more festive than fighting the crowds, getting the deals, and listening to Christmas music along the way! We'll see how festive all of that will seem this year... as I can imagine the festivity will someone be diminished when fighting the crowds with the double stroller, two kids in tow, and the potential of one or both throwing a tantrum at any given moment!

Perhaps this is why I've been doing some "online window shopping" during my moments of peace and quiet (which, have I mentioned are few and far between... haha).

Here are a few items on my list....


This item, I consider to be more a necessity than a pure need. Our everyday dishes are as cute as can be, but totally impractical. If they are heated in the microwave for so much as 1 minute, they will scald you, literally, if you touch them within 5 minutes. They've also chipped like crazy, and I'm just sad to say, it's time for the red dishes to go. I've been searching long and hard for new ones... and this is what I've found. The price is right, the look is beautiful, and last but certainly not least, the reviews give it great ratings on microwave functionality! Where could you purchase such a thing for me? Well, since you asked, right here! I'll need 3 sets in all, and it's just your lucky day, since Walmart (yes, I know, can't believe I found them there of all places...) has just marked them for FREE SHIPPING!

This one is really an anytime appreciated gift! I LOVE pedicures, but usually just don't get them unless I've gotten a gift card for one! My place of choice? Well, anywhere will do, but my favorite nail place just happens to be Eric's Nails! Ha! It is literally within walking distance from our house, and I love the nail techs there!
Spa products from BeautiControl are always a nice treat as well! I also asked for massage gift certificate(s) from LTS massage at Christmas in the Valley. I wonder what it says about me that MOST of the items on my list involve pampering myself one way or another? Hmm...

This one, I'm very much hoping to get as well! It's a wallet/cell phone holder/wristlet. You could take it by itself, attach it to the diaper bag, or throw it in your purse (on the rare occasion that I can actually take a purse somewhere... what with one and sometimes two diaper bags that we tote around...)
I like this:

But in this fabric:
Feel free to go here to find out where to get these. Remember, though, I like the Wallflower in Sky fabric on this wallet.
I think she'd simply love this Baby Alive doll from Target that eats and giggles!

I have been looking for a good letter learning toy, and I think she'd really get into this cute little turtle, also from Target!

And, I was looking to get her some simple refrigerator magnets, when my friend, Karlye, told me about this! It's magnetic, and you match the animals, and it plays songs, animal noises, etc. She would LOVE this!


Well, the poor guy doesn't need much, but I always wanted to get one of these for Allie, but never did. I think it'd be a huge help! It goes in the crib (or wherever) and plays music, lights, etc. to help them fall asleep! In my book, anything that aids a baby in going to sleep is a very wonderful present!

So, there you have it, lots of ideas (even though you didn't actually ask for them), but you've got them now, just the same! I can't wait for the holiday season to officially begin in just a few short weeks!

And, on that note, I think I hear a baby crying, so I better go see which one it is! =)


Back into the swing of things...

Well, we made it through Christmas in the Valley, and it was a HUGE success! Eric even survived a day of taking care of both kiddos, which, as you well know from my previous post, is no easy task!

Since my last post so vividly described with words the craziness of our day to day lives, I thought it'd be appropriate to show pics of our daily lives, which capture the cuteness more so than the craziness!

Whenever Pierce is within reach, Allie is not far away! Thus, the days of leaving the baby unattended on the floor are out the door. While she wouldn't intentionally hurt him, she's all about kisses and hugs (which often involve trying to crawl on top of him!) She is one very sweet big sissy!

We've also been doing a lot of going to the park, the zoo, Big Back Yard, etc. Pierce does really well sleeping the day away in our wonderful, double-stroller monstrosity, leaving plenty of time for Allie to play her little heart out! (can you tell I've got a love-hate relationship with this thing - afterall, although it makes it nearly impossible to shop at some places, gets me lots of stares, and sometimes hardly makes it through doorways, leaving the house would be virtually impossible without it! don't get me wrong, as far as doubles go, this one is top of the line... I just never envisioned myself as the double-stroller type!)

I am thankful that he is still in the sleeping-most-of-the-day-stage, but I'm also thankful for the times of alertness, when I can see this cute little face!


See You Tomorrow!

Can't wait to see you all tomorrow at Christmas in the Valley!


Confessions of a Worn out Momma

Yes, Christmas in the Valley is just 2 DAYS AWAY, but really, I think I've said just about all there is to say about that, so today, I decided to give you a little update on "a day in the life" of our crazy world!

I know many of you are probably thinking, wow, how do you do it? You've got two kids 15 months apart, and you're planning this craft fair, and you seem to have it all together (well... those of you who see me on a regular basis, already know that isn't true). But, for the rest of you, I decided to give you a peek into what life is really like.

Yes, with two precious kiddos comes great joys! There are the first smiles and coos from little bit, and the sweet and crazy new things precious allie is doing and saying each day....

But there are also days where:

You realize that you haven't done laundry in over a week and everyone in the house is about to run out of clean clothes... so when you complete a load and realize a diaper was indeed washed in the load with the clothes, you decide to wipe off the "diaper lint", hope it was an unused one, and move on rather than rewashing that load.

There are also days where you discover that the days of shopping at Hobby Lobby that were once joyous have turned into dread... afterall, you simply cannot fit both kids (one being in the carseat) in those teeny carts, so you must lug out the double stroller and load both kids up simply to run in to grab a few supplies for a craft project that you probably won't even have time to complete. The situation becomes more and more irritating when you leave the store to discover that it is indeed pouring down rain... so out you go, double stroller and all to load the kids back in the car. After you've successfully loaded all kids, stroller, and bags, you realize that due to the 1 yr old, you've accidentally become a shoplifter. It is at those times, where you say, "Who cares," because you are not about to load up the stroller and the kids in the rain to go back in the store to pay for stolen item. (Don't worry... I have the package in my wallet and will prompty pay for this $2 item on my next Hobby Lobby visit).

There are days when you really don't have a minute to sit down by yourself to just relax, so in an attempt to get a little rest, you just load your 1 yr old in the bath with you and let her play while you "relax".

There are days when you start to feel bad that in 7 weeks, you have YET to make a homecooked meal for your family... but then at 5 each day when both kids are crying, needing attention/bottles/sippy cups/diapers/etc.... you don't feel so bad about that fact, and you realize you just can't do it all.

There are days when you remember back to a time where you looked down on people who had kids toys strewn all over their house all the time. How hard is it to keep things picked up? Why would you want your living room turned into a playroom? Yes, you remember those days, as you look around your house that has toys and who knows what else strewn all over. Because, afterall, a toddler apparently needs lots of things to keep her entertained while you're feeding the baby.

There are also days when the greatest part of your day is discovering little things like DRY SHAMPOO, because, after all, taking a shower is just not something that is possible every day. (don't worry, though, it is possible MOST days!)

Some days things like these may tend to stress you out, but most days, you just accept that, for now, this is your life... it is full and it is blessed. There are definitely moments when I just tell God it's too much for me to handle, and He'll have to take over, and He does! And, of course, there are days when I joyfully accept the help of our wonderful mommas to help lighten the load, too.

Yes, things are crazy; yes, sometimes we just need a break from the madness! And, yes, sometimes I don't quite has the "roll with it" attitude that I'd like to. I'd love to pretend that I haven't lost it once or twice, but the fact is, I have. Yes, our life it a bit crazy. Yes, I knew it would be. But, all in all, we have a wonderful, full, fun kind of crazy that I just wouldn't trade for the world!

So, there you have it: A day in the life!


Vendor Spotlight 18

Today's vendor is Tastefully Simple! Tastefully Simple offers a wide selection of convenient, easy to prepare foods designed to help people spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the rest of their lives! They offer a huge variety of mixes, where you typically add a few ingredients, and you get end up with something delicious! From beverages, dips, spreads, and breads to soups, and desserts, there is something for everyone! Whether you're planning a holiday party, or need a quick and easy meal for your family, you can be sure to find something that will be wonderful!

They will have items out to sample and consultant, Tracy Moore, will be available to tell you just how easy each item is to prepare! She will be offering a one day special: when you buy $60 or more in product, you can purchase a dessert for half price! And, trust me, they've got some delicious looking desserts to choose from! She will also give you a FREE Nana's Apple Cake when you book your own in-home tasting party!

Be sure to stop by her booth and check out their delicious products!

And the winners are...

The results are in, and the winners, chosen by random.org, are:

Julie - BeautiControl Gift Card

Karlye - Blue/Brown tote from MAH Creations

Jenny Thomas - Hot fudge sauce from Karens Kasseroles

Winners can pick up their prizes at Christmas in the Valley!

Thanks SO much to everyone who entered and helped us spread the word about Christmas in the Valley! I really look forward to seeing you on Saturday!!


Vendor Spotlight 17

Today’s vendor is Premier Designs Jewelry! Many of you know that mom, Janice Edmiston, has been selling Premier for over 20 years now! Not only is Premier a fabulous company offering, in my opinion, the best benefits for sellers and hostesses around, but they also have some really amazing jewelry! Whether you are a jewelry diva or more of a plain jane, like me, they have pieces to fit every style!

All items will be buy 1, get one ½ off! What a steal! Also, she will offering some TERRIFIC purses like the one shown below (valued at over $40!) for anyone who books a home show before the end of January! Be sure come take a look at these – they are SO cute (more styles available)! With a free purse and lots of free jewelry in store, why would you NOT book a show?!

Be sure to stop by her booth and take a look at their new line of jewelry! I already have a few items on my wish list! =)

Vendor Spotlight 16

Today’s vendor is The Personalized Peacock! This is, of course, my business! We have some new and exciting things that we will be offering at Christmas in the Valley including child and adult aprons, Christmas towels, Team bibs and burps, and an assortment of Christmas onesies, bibs, and burps, to name a few.

Any orders placed that day will be buy 2, get one ½ off! Have items of your own that need personalizing? Be sure to bring them to us that day and you can receive that great deal on those items as well! Check out our site for more pictures and for our price list.

Here is a sneak peak of some of the things that we will be offering: