Zoe's First Christmas!

Well, it has come and past. Zoe experienced her first Christmas! It was something wonderful. I am especially thankful for good cameras on days like this. These DSLR cameras make it so that normal people can take amazing pictures of their family for memories and to share with loved ones far away.

First we start with Christmas Eve. We attended two services that evening. The second service consisted of us sitting outside of the sanctuary, on the floor so she could crawl around and play with Titus.

We were just messing around, waiting for daddy to get home.

She's such a ham and I love it.

What mom?

What is this big black thing?

Let me take the pictures.

Like a crazy mom, I decided to take pictures of Zoe when she woke up on Christmas morning. This is how it went.

Wake up Zoe! It's Christmas!

What? What is Christmas? It's early.

You said toys? I'm listening.

I'm just joking! I love Christmas!

Let's do this!

We got ready and went to church. When we got home from church, she was ready for a nap.

She woke up to opening presents!

We are very blessed!

Does she want me to climb in the bag?

Oh! There was a puppy inside!

This picture just kills me!




I can totally read this!

That's my girl!

It's my muppet!

She has my name! I love her!

Can you get rid of this paper, Daddy?

Thanks for the Romper, Daddy. I think I'll eat it.

I love bows!

I love my shopping cart!

Here are a few extras!

Zoe and Titus!

Zoe in the outfit that Nate's mom made.

That's all for now. God is good!

The Holiday Season

Hey Everyone! November and December have been super busy. I’m sure all of you can relate to the busyness of the holiday season.

Zoe and I took a trip to Connecticut in early November. It was a great trip! We got the chance to see a lot of Nate’s family. It also gave me a chance to really get to know some of the folks in Connecticut. It was a good trip. Zoe and I survived the trip just fine. The only time I almost lost it was when we were on the way back, and our three and a half hour flight didn't have air conditioning. We survived, though.

The week of Thanksgiving was the busiest! We started the week in Houston for the Texas Church Workers Conference. It was nice to see our Texas friends! We got to connect with the pastors and wives from our PALS group. We also got to visit with Phoebe the Comfort Dog. If you don’t know who the Comfort Dogs are, check out their website. Zoe LOVES dogs! She especially loved Phoebe the comfort dog. She was so excited!

We then continued on to Edmond, OK. This was a quick overnight stop on our way to Omaha for our dear friend, Katie Lane's wedding. We stayed with our friends Jon and Emma Meyer in Oklahoma. I worked at camp with Jon and we got to know both Jon and Emma when we were at Seminary.

While we were in Oklahoma, Zoe developed a low-grade fever. We decided to keep moving to Omaha and monitor her temperature as we went. About an hour and a half out of Omaha, Zoe's fever spiked above 102 degrees, which means that we had to get her urine checked. Because of her condition, this is the rule we have to live by. As a mother of a sick child, my crazy sets in at this point. Zoe is hot, and I am sobbing in the back seat of the car. As punishment for watching Steel Magnolias so many times in my lifetime, my inner M'Lynn Eatenton surfaces every time that Zoe gets the least bit sick. I become a crazy mess: ugly crying, stubbornness, and being bossy. Anyway, the only place that was open the night before Thanksgiving that could catheterize a baby was Omaha Children's Hospital. THEY WERE FANTASTIC! If you live near Omaha and you need good healthcare for your child, go there. Seriously. We were in a room within 10 minutes and out in three hours. This included them catheterizing her and running a test on her urine. Unfortunately, she ended up having a UTI. Poor baby, but we got her on antibiotics and she started feeling better by Saturday. She is a trooper.

My mom flew to Omaha and was able to spend Thanksgiving with us and take care of Zoe during the wedding festivities. It was so nice. We spent Thanksgiving with Katie and Elliot's families. It was great! We spent a good deal of time with Zoe's godparents, Katie, Marcus and Vanessa. Katie looked beautiful on her wedding day and we were able to have a great time spending time with friends and dancing.

Zoe on Thanksgiving, doing a dance. What a ham.

Vanessa and I at the rehearsal dinner.

Katie, looking beautiful on her wedding day.

My mom, Zoe and I.

Nate and ZoZo!

Zoe and her Godparents: Marcus, Vanessa and Katie.

On the way back, we stopped in Weatherford, TX. Our friends Tim and Darci Fraker live in Weatherford. This is a small town outside of Fort Worth. About an hour away from our destination, Zoe had the most extreme diaper blow-out of her life. I was blessed with the privilege of cleaning up this crazy mess in the bathroom of a Dairy Queen. Nothing like stripping a baby down, wiping out the car seat as best as you can and trying not to get yourself covered in poop to round out a 12 hour day of driving. Thank goodness we were stopping to stay with friends that had a washing machine. We had a great time visiting with Tim and Darci. Tim even made us a delicious breakfast in the morning. The next day we had a pretty simple drive back to McAllen.

Bundled up while we traveled through the Great White North.

December is a big month for us. Mine and Nate's birthdays are this month. Not to mention, Advent and Christmas keep Nate pretty busy. Luckily, the students I tutor have had some field trips which freed up some extra time for me. I have gotten back into baking and cooking a little bit in the past couple weeks. I love to cook and bake. I started keeping Food Network on during the day to get the creative juices flowing. Zoe taking regular naps has helped as well. So far I have made Chocolate Chip Cookies, Reese's Cheesecake Bars and Pioneer Woman's Salisbury Steak Meatballs.

I always say that if God gave me one gift in life, it was making Chocolate Chip cookies. There is a reason however, that I should never make them. I am addicted to them. I will eat them all of the time if they are there. Wake up, have a cookie. Get back from shopping, have a cookie. Make a bottle for Zoe, have a cookie. I can't stop. It's dangerous. This used to be full. Addiction is real people.

I made the Reese's Cheesecake Bars as part of our little family birthday celebration for Nate. He LOVES peanut butter and chocolate. He also loves cheesecake. Pinterest provided me with this lovely recipe. It was wonderful. I am not the biggest Reese's fan (I know, it's un-American), but this was good.

Some of you may know this, but I have a food intolerance to tomato sauce. It is very inconvenient. I have tried so hard to eat Spaghetti and Lasagna in my adult life and I end up with a terrible stomach ache. The only things that I seem to be able to eat are pizza with light sauce and ketchup. Ketchup has so much corn syrup, so it really doesn't bother me. Anyway, I am always looking for recipes that have meatballs, but no tomato sauce. Who doesn't love a meatball? They are really delicious. I refuse to give up on meatballs because of a silly food intolerance. Therefore, I found this Salisbury Steak Recipe that was fantastic. We are adding it to the rotation of meals. I served it with a side of roasted asparagus. We picky veggie eaters LOVE roasted asparagus.

Here are some pics of Zoe, just in case you only clicked on this for some cute baby pics.

Nate's mom embroiders beautiful outfits for Zoe all of the time. Here is one of her Christmas outfits.

Mommy and ZoZo.

Being cute at Chick-Fil-A

Playing with a Paddle at Bass Pro. I think she wants to go out on the water. This shirt was also made by Nate's mom.

She doesn't like Santa. After this photo, she started screaming.

Merry Christmas!

That's all for now. God is good!