Monday, December 31, 2012

Babies' Second Christmas!

I feel kind of like the odd mom out, because it seems like it's normal for most new-ish moms (and Wham! too, of course) to be sentimental about last Christmas. I'm not at all sentimental about last Christmas. While it was clearly the best up to that point, since I was a mom for the first time, it was also the HARDEST of my life. Though already 11 weeks old, my babies were finally considered full-term on Christmas Eve, since that had been their due date. Nights were long and endless, and days kind of turned into nights because we were never getting much sleep at all. Plus, we were still in full-out quarantine mode, where any sickness on T or E's part would have landed us right back in the hospital -- which we had been so thrilled to get out of. Thankfully, that never happened -- but only because of the grace of God, our constant vigilance, and the Synagis shots that the home-health nurses would come out to our house and administer to them once a month. 

Christmas was especially bittersweet last year, because my Mom had been staying with us for the greater part of December, giving us a much-needed extra set of hands during those early days at home with the girls -- but on Christmas Day, it was time for her and my Dad, who had been in town for a couple of days at that point, to return home. The cost of being so far from home was sinking in for really the first time, and it just didn't seem worth it anymore, considering how close I was to graduation and that I could finish my classes online, plus the fact that Chris wasn't even planning on pursuing his seminary education after all. When they left, I was terrified of handling everything on my own, with just Chris, who, of course, would be at work all day. I'm thanking God as I write this for getting us through. 
Mom and Evangelyn last year in Louisville
I had to include that extra pic of Evie, because she's not looking at the camera in this one -- but Tamsie's trying to smile here! :)
This Christmas was infinitely better! The girls were old enough to enjoy (and even talk about) the tree and dance to the music. We loved having family in town and at our house -- which is now back home in Memphis! We have also been able to get out of the house, of course, and attend church and just truly soak in the season. I really can't articulate how delightful it has been, and I can't thank God enough for getting us to this point! :) Here are a few pictures, to give you a glimpse of this fabulous second Christmas of theirs!
Hanging out with Aunt Jennifer on Christmas Eve

Present time!

The newlyweds and Evangelyn

Christmas Eve with my in-law fam!

Cute boots from Jennifer for her mama

So sweet! 
Tamsie and Evie got crazy good at opening presents by the time it was all over. Tamsie loved tearing off bits of paper, which she would then tear into tinier bits and give to me. How thoughtful. :)

What a face!

Coming in 2013: Pearl and Rose Designs! I will be making this sort of thing (custom, of course!) and selling it on Etsy. I'll also be addressing envelopes, and I'm hoping to start painting some canvases and frames to sell! More on this as it comes closer to reality!

This is the look Tamsie started giving the camera. She's not too fond of the flash. She is, however, crazy about this toy train, and whenever a train goes by and it's near, she grabs it and starts saying, "Choo Choo!"

Daddy helps Evie with her presents.

"What is this contraption, Dad? You say it's a PHONE?!"

Chairs from my parents

There was a lot of clapping going on.

Cheesy Tams face!

Christmas morning

Taking in all the new presents from Santa! 
Crawling over the puzzle to get to the dog!

E: "This sure beats last Christmas, Tams, when all we got were mobiles!"


Tearing into presents at Great-Grandma's house 
Presents from Uncle Myron and Aunt Lauren: a Little People castle for Evangelyn and a book that lights up and plays music for Tamsie!

This is how Evie preferred to ride to her Great-Grandma's house Christmas morning: one flap of her hat pulled up over her face. I tried to fix it for her, but it made her cry. 

Uncle Myron asked to play what he refers to as "The Talking Game:" Apples to Apples. When Uncle Myron makes such a request, you go along with it. :)

Mom was serious competitor.

My cousin Chris and Grandma getting into the game

Meanwhile, Chris was on baby duty in the abridged version of the gate, which we brought from home to make our lives easier.

The day after Christmas, this is what we woke up to. 

This Christmas was definitely the best yet. We are so thankful to be where we are this year, and we are especially thankful, as always, to God for the gift of His Son! Hope your Christmas has also been very merry!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Fraser!

Last Sunday, Chris's sister Jennifer married her high-school sweetheart, Tyler! It was a fabulous day from start to finish. 

We realized Sunday morning that this would be the first day EVER that both T and E have been out of the house for an entire day, from morning until bedtime, so it took us an eternity to pack all their stuff up accordingly! Consequently, we missed out on Sunday School, but we made it to church and then to my Grandma's house for lunch.

Tamsie moseying around in her Great-Grandma's living room. By the way, all pictures were, of course, taken with the iPhone, since I couldn't ever get around to getting my actual camera ready. It's kind of hard to leave T and E long enough to go hunt it down when the occasion calls for it these days, if I'm not thinking enough in advance! :(

Granddaddy and Tamsie time

Same expression, looking in opposite directions!

Tamsie's big cheesy smile that she flashes on occasion! I think she was saying, "Mama," which, of course, melts my little heart every time. Seriously.

Chris totes Evie around to admire her Great-Grandma's Christmas decor...

... and then attacks her with kisses.

Between T and E, E is definitely...


... squirmier!

So much that she eventually winds up like this on her Daddy's shoulders!

And she seems pretty happy about it too -- she's clapping her hands! Chris says she usually does that once she's up there.
When we left Grandma's house, we stopped by Starbuck's (of course), and then it was on to the wedding, which was held at the Robinson Gallery downtown.
Dr. Morris, who founded the Church Health Center, where I used to work, was the minister who officiated the wedding. Tyler also worked as a Clinic Assistant at the CHC before he started med school. Herbie gave the bride away.


The first dance at the reception, which was held upstairs at the gallery

Chris danced with Tamsie as soon as the dance floor opened up!

They were so cute!

My dad brought Evie out there to join in the fun!

I kept double-checking with Jennifer to make absolutely sure that she wanted the girls there that day, and she made it clear that she truly did! They did GREAT! They missed part of the ceremony, because they wanted to start chatting whenever it would get quiet, but other than that, they were amazing little troopers.

Dancing the night away... but those shoes weren't making it easy!

E sure does love her daddy!

She also loves his tie.

With my dear old buddy and my sister-in-law's BFF, Melissa!! We go waaaaay back... so far back, in fact, that she and Jennifer once conspired to set Chris and me up on a date, but before they could get around to it, he had already found me on his own and asked me out! True story! :)

The cake perfectly matched her dress, and it was yummy, too!

She looked so incredibly glamorous!

Chris was so proud of his little sis.

I'm so proud to call her my sis-in-law!! I just love this girl.

The Vafs

Mom fed Evangelyn some cornbread bites, and she couldn't get enough of them!

She can also never get enough of her Grandma.

See what I mean?

Little twin sisters do strange things sometimes.

But it's all in love...

... I think.

Alex is such a wonderful uncle! Ladies, this guy is single, too! ;) (He's gonna kill me for saying that, but it's quite true!)
Settling in with YaYa

Cutting the cake

I was loving those shoes!!!

Evangelyn eventually partied as hard as she could....

... and Tamsie pooped out right about the same time.

The handsome groom!

Jennifer wanted to be sure and dance with her brothers! Unfortunately, Noah had already left for the evening, but here she is dancing with Alex...

... and Chris!
There is no photographic evidence of it here, but one of my favorite parts of the night was when a bunch of us girls got out on the floor with Jennifer and rocked out to some classic Spice Girls songs! Of course, I showed my age because I knew ALL the words... since I would have been 13 back at the peak of their career - ha! ;)

The evening was truly splendid, and I am so thrilled for my sister-in-law and new brother-in-law, who are off celebrating by honeymooning in NYC! I just love them, and it's so exciting to watch our family expand!