Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Whew... It's always hard to believe that the Christmas season has once again come and gone. A whole month of decorating the house, gazing at twinkling lights, baking yummy treats, spending treasured time with family and friends, and most importantly, reflecting on the birth of our Savior ... it always goes so, so fast! I will admit I was a little stressed about how the weekend would go for Lainey but she, in true Lainey fashion, was such a trooper - flexible and SO sweet!

Since we were going to be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Minnesota with my family, we were lucky enough to get a chance to spend some time both with the Johnson's and as a family of 3 before the big weekend. Lainey got to show her Grandma and Grandpa Johnson all of her new tricks!

I wanted us to have a yummy "Christmas dinner" for Jed and myself and then open a few presents and drink egg nog (sick) while we watch 'It's A Wonderful Life." We didn't get around to watching the movie, but it was still a wonderful evening! Jed chose the main dish and I made boneless beef ribs, which was exciting for me since they cook in the crock pot, and if you know anything about me, you know I love to use a crock pot!
Don't worry, I didn't light the candles! :)After dinner, it was time for some Christmas tunes... and then presents!It was such a fun evening for our family of 3!

Our trip to Minnesota was the first time we attempted to travel with both the baby and the pup and I will be the first to admit that I was not looking forward to it... not only the traveling aspect but also the fact that my sister's dog Lacey would also be at my parent's and I just envisioned total and complete chaos. I'm happy to report that traveling both there and back went great and the dogs LOVED playing with each other all weekend. I've said this before and I'll say it again... I like dogs... I LIKE Simon but I don't LOVE him living in my house. I'm working on getting my sister to pick him up on her way back to North Carolina so Simon and Lacey can live happily ever after...
Jed loved taking both of the dogs for walks almost as much as they loved it.
Claire loved being near Lainey and Lainey loved watching Claire show us all of her big girl tricks!
Claire has THE best morning bed head!
Auntie Em loves her Lainey!

My extended family always has the same series of events when it comes to Christmas: soups and appetizers on Christmas Eve and then omelettes on Christmas morning (MY FAVORITE!). My immediate family used to do some gifts on Christmas Eve and others Christmas Day but with the little girls, we ended up just doing stockings Christmas morning, then the rest Christmas afternoon after naps!

Emily and I went a little overboard and got the girls matching Christmas dresses and jammies. They looked sooooo sweet, it was totally worth it. My mom got Emily and I matching pajamas since we made our girls match too, which was pretty funny.
Most of the pictures of Claire and Lainey looked like this... Lainey was mesmerized by her adorable SHOES that Auntie Em got her.Our family of 3 before Christmas Eve church!
Lainey was such a trooper and let many of my family members enjoy holding her!
Matching jammies!
Checking out a puppet from her stocking!Isn't my Grandma the CUTEST?!?
Claire did a great job handing out all of the presents on Christmas afternoon! You can see the puppies were occupied with new toys of their own. Simon's lasted all of 10 minutes.
Lainey's loot!
She was more concerned about the wrapping and bows than her new toys!Claire checking out a new toy!

Happy girl! She's such a sweetie!

We stuffed Lainey into Claire's high chair while we ate dinner and she LOVED sitting up with everyone and playing with a few of her new toys!This was my view on the drive home.

It was a wonderful, wonderful long weekend. We are TRULY blessed in SO many ways!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Tricks

It is so amazing how much babies learn, grow and change in their first year of life! Lainey is figuring out new things every day. It makes me think about the Lord and how we never stop learning about His character and goodness. His mercies are new each day and each day He gives us is another opportunity to learn, grow and change to be more like His son! Here's a verse that I've been thinking about... I'm thankful that God is sovereign.

I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.
{Jeremiah 10:23}

Now for Lainey's new trick...
This newly acquired trick actually has made a few things more difficult... like diaper changes and dressing. She was even showing off this new trick in the bathtub last night, which was quite a sight and made it hard to get her all scrubbed clean! But so funny. I wonder what she thinks of her feet....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Girl's Trip!

This past weekend my dear friend Bo and I headed to Minnesota with our sweet babes. Lainey is blessed to have so many friends, including her BFF, Penelope! The girls were GREAT travelers and barely made any peeps in the back seat. It was a blessing to get such good chat times on the way up and back with Bo. I'm so thankful for her friendship and it's fun to attempt to figure out this motherhood thing together. Not to mention, our husbands REALLY love one another and hung out practically all weekend while their girls were away.

I only managed to take 3 pictures all weekend... I was too busy watching Claire run around and yell MAMA a thousand times a day, helping Lainey show her auntie and Grandma and Grandpa all of her tricks, eating Leann Chin (my FAVORITE!) and Em's homemade pizza, and going to Target. :)

Travel buddies!Which of these presents are MINE?!?Lainey's favorite hobby - eating her hand!

I can't wait to get back to Minnesota next weekend to celebrate CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

You know that feeling...

... when you've got ants in your pants?
And you just...

Monday, December 12, 2011


Lainey Charlotte is 4 MONTHS old today! If I have done my math right (and as a former 5th grade teacher, I would hope I did), she is 1/3 of the way to ONE YEAR! I can't believe how fast the past 4 months have gone! Lainey is a complete blessing and it is a JOY to be her Momma!

Lainey is getting to be SO much FUN! Her sweet smile are the best and her giggles are even better! Right now, she LOVES playing underneath her gym and is getting really good at pushing herself around in her exersaucer. She loves to be held on your lap to stand up and will NOT let you hold her cradled in your arms like a little baby. She has no interest whatsoever in rolling over, even though we try to help her. She is getting really good at starting to grab a toy you dangle in front of her and loves, loves, loves to get those fists and fingers in her mouth. She is still eating really well and will let me know when it's been 3 hours and it's time to eat again, almost on the dot. She's sleeping GREAT at night (usually 9-10 hours) and is learning to fall asleep on her own for naps.
I am really looking forward to her 4 month doctors appt in a couple of weeks to see how much she weighs and how LONG she is. She still fits into some of her 3 month clothes, but is mostly in 3-6 mo or 6 mo things (depending on the brand). I am NOT looking forward to more shots but I know she is a tough little cookie and will be just fine. I am so thankful for her health - she hasn't had anything but just a little runny nose so far.
I hate that she's getting bigger but I love it at the same time. Each month, week and even DAY brings something new for her to discover and gives me even greater reason to be thankful for her and to look forward to watching her grow.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Splish Splash!

Lainey has really come to love bath time. Really, she's just pretty go-with-the-flow no matter what we're doing but tonight she was giving us some good splashes and Jed grabbed the video camera. I think one of the funniest parts of the video is Jed and I in unison yelling "WOO!" when she splashes and then when Jed scolds our dog Simon and tells him that it's her first splash. It's pretty funny to hear some of the ridiculous things and sounds that come out of my mouth in an effort to entertain my daughter. I'm sure there are many more moments like that in our future and Lainey will be totally embarassed by us some day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving might be my FAVORITE holiday. I try and make thankfulness a daily thing rather than just one day/season a year so that aspect, while really important, isn't necessarily the best part to me. I really, really love family gatherings. And I really, REALLY love enjoying the traditional holiday foods. Put those two things together and you've got a happy girl. This year, we were able to celebrate not one, but TWO Thanksgivings. On Thursday, we headed to Cedar Rapids to Jed's sister and brother-in-laws where his parents were also visiting.
Grandpa Paul scooped Miss Lainey up right away and when I turned my back, slipped this Packers jersey on her. Green and yellow... what terrible colors :)
The Packers scored... quite a few times.
Look at me! It's my first Thanksgiving (outside the womb)!
The feast!
Talk about beautiful weather!!
We were trying to get a good family picture - this one obviously wasn't the winner (blurry face Mom) but I just love Lainey's expression.
Jaylen and her Uncle Jed were taking silly pictures and videos.
Grandma Mary and all of her girls!

On Saturday, we headed to my Grandma's house in Knoxville. My sister and niece made the long drive from North Carolina last week and will be with us all the way through Christmas! YEAH! So they and my parents were down and most of the rest of the fam joined us as well. Grandma's cooking never disappoints, the meal was delicious and I can't remember exactly, but there were at least 4 desserts to choose from at the end of the night.

Lainey Charlotte and her Great Grandma Charlotte! Love when these two get to spend time together!
Claire was reading one of her read-aloud books from her Daddy!
Giving Lainey lots and lots and LOTS of love!
Phase 10 ... I stink at Phase 10. Sigh.
Little Miss very happy to be home!

I think Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday from now on because last Thanksgiving weekend, we found out we had a little beanie baby on the way! It was so hard to keep that exciting news secret for a little while but I think I will always remember back to Turkey Day 2010 with great joy!