Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today we had several visitors. Grandpa David and Uncle Larry are in town for a few days from Toronto to visit. Mara enjoyed playing with them after she got home from daycare. She read a book with Uncle Larry and entertained us all as we visited and ate dinner.

Later on, my best friend Tobi and her husband Ryan came over. They were in town for the holidays, and heading back to Madison tonight, so it was nice to see them before they went home. I was able to give Tobi her early birthday present, which I was excited about (hint hint Tobi...read!! I want to discuss! haha)! Also thank you to Tobi for the beautiful frame and picture! I love it!

8 months old!

Mara turned 8 months old on December 29th! It seems to be getting harder to get a good photo of Mara every month! This month it was hard to get any without her hands in her mouth! She has a few teeth coming in, and just wants fingers in her mouth at all times.

She also didn't want to smile much, although afterwards she wouldn't stop...of course! Oh well. I can't believe she is 8 months old already! I know I say it every month, but time really does fly!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Christmas...

On Saturday we celebrated Christmas with my Dad's family. Mara got several books as gifts, and read some with Grandma. Later on she took a nap on Uncle Dave (check out her little belly!). Not sure how that was confortable, but she didn't seem to mind! She also played drums with Daddy.

Today we took our tree down. I was just ready to get it out of there and get our living room back to normal. Mara enjoyed the lights before we put them away.

This week Grandpa David and Uncle Larry are coming to visit! I'm not excited about going back to work tomorrow, but at least I have Thursday off. Even though I've had quite a few days off, I still feel like I need a couple more, to get some things done around the house, and just relax a little more! But, it will be nice to get Mara back into some sort of schedule - she's a little out of her routine with some late nights lately!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Photos

Just a few photos from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...there are many, many more.... :)

Mara's First Christmas

Mara had a fabulous first Christmas! She was a little spoiled, and was an angel both days -- even though they were both very long days for her. She loved opening her presents, and entertaining everyone around her!

We spent most of the day Christmas Eve at my Grandma's house. Lots of people, food and wine! We went to church that evening, and then spent a little time at my parents house. On Christmas Day, we opened presents from Santa in the morning. After a good nap for Mara, we headed over to my parents house. There was lots of food, and lots of gifts! It was a nice day, and even though we were there until 10pm and Mara didn't take an afternoon nap, she was still going strong until we left! She slept in this morning, which was nice! Today we are taking it easy at home. Tomorrow we have another Christmas party, and next week Grandpa David and Uncle Larry are coming! So, we are still staying busy!

I'll be back later on to share some photos -- there are A LOT to upload and sort through first!

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


It's done!!! And done in time for Christmas! I FINALLY finished Mara's stocking tonight. It took a lot of time, but I'm really happy with the result! It's not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself!

I'm so happy that Mara will have this stocking for her first Christmas, and she'll hopefully be using it for at least the next 18 years! I hope she likes it!

It will be nice to have a little break from working on a project like this, but I've already purchased kits to make Jay and I stockings, hopefully for next year, so I should probably start working on those early in the year so I don't have to stress again next December!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

It was a good weekend for bad weather, since I had a lot of things to get done at home! Christmas is sneaking up on me, and I still have a lot to do! Luckily it looks like the weather has calmed down for a little while, but it's still COLD!!

I did manage to get quite a few things done this weekend, but wish it had been more!

I got several loads of laundry done, finished up my Christmas cards, wrapped most of the presents (I have a few left, but the major ones are done!), and got some more of Mara's stocking done. I need to get back to working on Mara's stocking now. I was hoping to have it finished this weekend, but it's not going to happen, unless I stay up REALLY late tonight (And I mean REALLY late...like..no sleeping at all! haha). I was also hoping to get some candies and goodies made today, but time just seems to fly -- when Mara's awake, I'm entertaining her, and when she's napping I'm trying to get a million things done at once! So, I'll be working on Mara's stocking until I go to bed, and candies will wait until tomorrow night!

I can't believe Christmas is on Thursday! I haven't even watched Rudolph or The Grinch yet!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here he comes, to save the day!!

My Dad came over today to save the day! He was able to fix our garage door -- it's working better than it did before it was broken! We are so relieved and grateful!! THANKS DAD!! He also checked my car, which (of course!) worked fine today! That always happens when my Dad looks at it, I swear! I'm just glad that it seems to be running well!

It's been snowing all day - I'm looking out the window now and I can barely see down the street since it's blowing so much now! Jay took this picture outside earlier this afternoon. He was hoping to go play hockey tonight, but it's not looking good!

I'm getting quite a bit done today so far. Mara took a good nap this morning, so I was able to get some laundry done, and wrapped some Christmas presents. I'm on load #3 of laundry now, and about to wrap a few more gifts. I also got some of my Christmas cards sent out today, with more ready for Monday. I have one more load of laundry to do, and I have to figure out what to make for dinner. After Mara goes to bed tonight we'll probably watch a movie, and I'm planning to work on her stocking while we do. I don't plan to leave the house tomorrow either, so I should be able to get quite a bit done on her stocking, I hope!

A big THANKS again to Derek and Dad for their help with our garage door this weekend!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Will this day ever end??

It's been one of those days. It seems like everything that can go wrong today, is going wrong. I had a bad morning, and was crabby about several things all day.

Things seemed to be turning around after I got home, and we decided to head out for the evening and take Mara to a big Christmas light display about an hour away. Got all packed up in my car...started it up...and something was obviously wrong. I don't know what it was, but it didn't sound good. So, we unpacked, and re-packed everything into Jay's car. Pulled out of the garage, and hit the button to close the garage door. I could tell right away that something was messed up with it. It wasn't coming down straight or something. After trying to fix it for awhile, I finally unpacked the car again and brought Mara into the house (she was screaming by this point). Jay played around with the door a bit, but it was now stuck half open. My dad wasn't home, so we called Jenna, and Derek was nice enough to come right over to help us. He and Jay worked on it for awhile, and finally got it to close at least. So now, we have one car outside, and one in. We aren't sure if the door will work or not, but didn't want to risk it tonight. We'll try it again tomorrow, and my dad might come to take a look at it if we need more help. I'm not sure if it's something covered by our Homeowner's Association, but of course I couldn't get ahold of them anyway, and we're still waiting for them to come and check on something else that we contacted them about over a month ago...so I'm not counting on hearing from them anytime soon.

Needless to say, we stayed home tonight. Hopefully this is it for the bad luck. I'm already getting a little sick to my stomach at the thought of having to pay to get my car fixed, and to replace a garage door. Hopefully it won't be as bad as I'm thinking...

At least I got this cute picture of Mara playing with Oliver tonight.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quiet Week

It's been a quiet, but busy week. Mara is feeling better, so that has been nice. Jay had finals this week -- tonight was his last one, so he has a little time off coming up now -- I'm hoping to put him to work on some projects around the house!

I took the afternoon off yesterday to run errands and finish up some Christmas shopping. I think I'm ALMOST done now. I do need to wrap everything though! I also got some much-needed groceries. Went to a movie with a friend last night...it was really nice to get out of the house and hang out!

Tonight we're watching a movie, but I should really be working on Mara's stocking! I really hope to have it done in time...I'm running out of days!

We were hoping to go to LaCrosse tomorrow night to see the Christmas light display, but we're supposed to be getting snow tonight and tomorrow...so that plan is kind of up in the air right now. It's supposed to be snowing right now, but it hasn't started yet, so maybe it won't end up being too bad.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Is that comfortable?

Mara often has a foot or leg sticking out of her crib when I go to get her in the morning or after a nap, but this morning was something a little new! Both legs hanging straight out in one corner, and she was fast asleep when I opened the door. She didn't seem to mind, and I couldn't resist getting a couple pictures before I carefully removed her from the crib! Our daycare provider has mentioned that she often finds her with a leg hanging out, so I guess that's just the way she likes to sleep...doesn't look too comfortable to me!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

4th Annual Christmas Party

Today we had our 4th Annual Christmas Party at our friends Kiley and Jeff's house. Because three of us have young kids this year, we changed it from an evening party to an afternoon party. We all brought food and drinks, and hung out for the afternoon. I swear, there really WERE adults at this party, although I came home and realized I didn't have pictures of most of them! Oops!

It was fun to see Kaisen and baby Lydia again! Mara and Kaisen were due two days apart, but Kaisen was born 6 weeks early, and Mara 9 days late, so they ended up being a little further apart than we thought. Lydia was born on November 4th. So, all three of them are celebrating their first Christmas this year.

A lot of our good friends were there, so it was fun to catch up with them!

Did I mention that this was the first time Mara's worn a headband?? She looks like such a little GIRL! I know my mom will be proud ;) (check out the fancy girly shoes in the first couple of pictures too!).

When we got home this evening we put Mara to bed (she was pretty tired since she missed her afternoon nap!) Jay and I are having some wine with cheese and crackers while we watch the UFC Finale. Well, PART of that sentence sounds classy at least, right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Poor Baby...

Mara has been sick all week. It hasn't been bad, but it's been apparent. Poor girl has a nasty cough and some teeth coming in. She's been more fussy about things that usually don't bother her, but her moods change so fast it's hard to really know what's going on! This morning she screamed when I put her in her carseat...very unlike her. She was all smiles when I dropped her off at daycare though.

When I went to pick her up, our daycare provider told us she hadn't been herself all day and that the cough was getting worse. We're going to keep her at home tomorrow, and hopefully she can get some extra rest and stay away from all the yucky daycare germs. She was pretty happy tonight, but got sleepy pretty early. She's been sleeping fine. I wake up when I hear her coughing (luckily it's not a constant thing), but she stays asleep, so I guess that's good.

Hopefully she'll be feeling better for the weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mara Met Santa!

Tonight we took Mara to the mall to meet Santa! We figured it would be less busy in the middle of the week, and this is the one night that Jay is home when Mara's awake. We headed over around 5pm, but of course Santa was taking a dinner break. So, we wandered around for awhile, and then came back and waited patiently and gave Mara a bottle. Santa came back, jingled some bells, did a little 'ho ho ho' and then we got in line.

I was nervous that we wouldn't get a good picture...a sign said that you could take two pictures on your own camera, so those are the bottom two pictures here. She wasn't being too cooperative at that point, but they're kind of funny! She did have several smiles, but of course the photographer didn't catch those! So she took about 5, and in one Mara was fussing, and a couple she was staring at the camera with a really sober look on her face. We decided that the best one was the one where she was staring at Santa. I thought it was kind of sweet! She was really checking him out, but didn't seem afraid of him. I could tell she was just DYING to pull his beard, but he kept her hands pretty occupied so that she couldn't get to it. I'm sure he's used to that!

Overall I think it went pretty well. At least she didn't scream the whole time! She got a little coloring book from Santa, and then the guy at the counter gave her a little stuffed animal (not part of the package, just because she's so dang cute!) so I thought that was sweet...even if he did say "This matches HIS outfit" when he gave it to her. Oh well, close enough! ;)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Dentist and Diaper Rash

I had a dentist appointment this afternoon. I always get a little nervous about going to the dentist, but it always goes fine. I've been going to the same dentist since I was a kid. Today he came in after I got my cleaning done, looked at my teeth for a second and declared them perfect. He said "I don't know why I even bother to check, they always look great!"

Now, I know it's not that big of a deal...but hey...everyone loves a compliment! It made me smile (a big toothy smile, full of my perfect teeth!)

Another postitive - no one yelled at me for not flossing enough, even though I admitted that I don't do it very much. I know I should do that more...but I was happy they didn't say anything about it...

On a completely different note (or, maybe it really IS related to teeth?) - Mara has developed a diaper rash. I'm sure that doesn't seem like a big deal, but she's really never had one before. I'm trying to figure out why she has it. We haven't switched diapers or wipes or anything. I'm wondering if she is getting more teeth? I don't know if that can cause that, but she's had a few other 'teething' symptoms, so maybe it has something to do with that. I felt so bad when I saw the rash, my poor little babe. She doesn't seem to be bothered by it, so hopefully it will clear up quickly. The only other thing that's different is that she had bananas (baby food) for the first time on Sunday. She didn't have them yesterday though, and the rash just appeared today. I have no clue...

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

It's been snowing for a several hours now. I actually thought it would be worse at this point, according to what they were predicting, but I guess there's still time! I really hate driving in this stuff, so hopefully it will be ok tomorrow.

I know it's still pretty early in the month, but it seems like a real possibility that we will have snow for Christmas. I don't know why, but it seems like recently that hasn't really been the case, which is weird. Although now that I'm thinking about it, I'm pretty sure we had snow last year. So, maybe I'm just full of crap.

Mara seemed a bit confused about the snow this afternoon when I picked her up. It might have been the wind blowing it in her face more than the actual snow that was bothering her. She makes the most amusing faces!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Tonight the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train made a stop in Rochester. This train has been around for 10 years, but it's the first time it came to Rochester. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but we decided to bring Mara for a little while. It was packed! We had to park several blocks away, and traffic was backed up from cars trying to get in and find a place to park. We found a spot, and then walked over to the train. It had arrived right before we got there. Mara really liked seeing all the people and cars and all the activity going on around her as we walked to it.

Once we got up to the train, we looked around for a bit. All of the cars were decorated with lights and decorations. Then the performances started. First Santa Clause came out (there was a stage on one of the train cars), and then a band. Mara was happy up until that point...but once the music started, she got scared (hence the look in the first picture!). She's always a little unsure about loud noises or sounds that she's not familiar with! We hung out for a little while, but it was really cold, and since Mara wasn't exactly enjoying the music anyway, we decided to head back to the car after awhile. By the time we got there, we were all definitely ready for some warmth!

I think in a year or two, Mara will appreciate things like this a lot more, but it was still fun to take her and watch her reaction!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another Blog

I decided to start a second blog. Since I'm constantly babbling about books, I figured it would be a good subject for me to write about, and a good way for me to keep track of what I've read, what I've liked, and books that I want to read. I am just kind of just deciding what to write about as I go, but feel free to check it out! I'll still be updating THIS blog about Mara and what's going on in our lives, the book blog is a separate thing.



When I got home last night I didn't want to look at the pictures I'd taken. So, I'm posting a couple of them today. It hurts to just look at them. Like my Dad said..."We just have to keep looking at it, and we can't do anything about it."

Thank God again that no one was hurt. It's hard enough without that.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Dad's Shop

Last night my Dad's shop burned down. My mom called while the fire department was there. Thank goodness my Dad was in the house at the time. They happened to look out and see it on fire, and at that point, flames were already through the roof.

Obviously it's a huge loss for my parents. It's my Dad's passion, his dream, and his business. He loves what he does, and building this new shop was a big deal - he built it just how he wanted it, and it was really an impressive shop. He's collected so many tools and pieces of equipment through the years, it's hard to imagine having to just start over completely.

We went over there this afternoon, and seeing it was really hard. Seeing my Dad was harder.

I keep hoping I'll wake up and this was all just a bad dream. Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers as my parents figure this all out and try to move on...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Busy Day

I took the day off today, but it sure didn't feel like a vacation day. I was busy ALL day. I did accomplish a lot, but now it's not even 9pm and I'm ready to go to bed!

I got up at the usual time and took Mara to daycare. It snowed last night, so the roads were a little slick, and several hadn't been plowed yet. But, I survived. I got home and worked on her stocking for a little while, before waking Jay up. We got ready, and headed out. Had to get gas, and then we headed to Target. We needed to get Christmas presents, household things, and groceries. Two hours and two full carts later, we were finally done! Went to the pet store and fell in love with the sweetest cat there that was up for adoption. What a snuggler. Does anyone need/want a cat?? If we could have, we would have brought him home (that's why I shouldn't be allowed in those stores!). We managed to finally pick up our cat food and leave the store. Ran to Best Buy, and then grabbed lunch. Came home to eat, put away groceries, and got ready to go out again...this time to see Twilight. Yes, for the 2nd time. And...I loved it! I liked it SO MUCH better than the first time. I guess because I could really enjoy it this time, and not compare it to the book the whole time. So, I really loved it, and wish I could see it again, but I'm sure that won't happen...so hopefully the DVD will be released FAST! (Yes, I'm a dork!) So, after the movie was done, we picked up Mara, went to the bank, then stopped at Shopko for a little while. Mara had an appointment to get her 2nd flu shot, so we went and got that done. By the time we got home it was time to eat, and then after a little playing and a bath, Mara went to bed. I worked on her stocking for a little while, and now I'm thinking about heading up to bed to read for a little while, and then going to sleep early!

Phew. I'm exhausted. Luckily, we did get *almost* all of our Christmas shopping done. I also put in an order online for a few things last night, and my Christmas cards are ordered. There are a couple things I'm making that I need to finish up, and a couple little things I'll have to pick up, but otherwise I'm in good shape I think! So, overall it was a productive day. Too bad I can't sleep in tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Tonight Mara and I went to my parents house to help frost Christmas cookies. Well, Mara didn't help much - she actually probably made the process take longer. But she's so cute, who can possibly complain?

My mom made a lot of cookies, and we got them all frosted. That's my favorite part. Well, besides eating them! Mara wanted to help frost some, but, as you can tell from the photo, she wasn't interested in EATING them at all. Is she my kid?? Apparenly she doesn't like cookies. She's not a fan of 'solid' foods at all, or even putting things in her mouth (toys, etc). Kind of weird.

Mara played with Grandpa, and got sleepy as we finished up the cookies. A sure sign that she's getting tired is when she starts sucking her thumb. It's so cute! (or maybe I just think it's cute because I was a thumb sucker myself!).

Maybe next year she'll enjoy the cookies a little bit more. Grandma will probably be sneaking them to her when I'm not looking! I guess I'll just be grateful that she doesn't like them yet!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


When we got up this morning, there was snow on the ground. We've had a little snow a couple different times in the last month or so, but this was the first time that it really stuck, so I knew I wanted to get Mara out to see her first 'real' snow. So after lunch, we bundled her up (her coat is way too big, but I wanted to make sure I got something that would last until spring!), and took her outside. She didn't really know what was going on, but looked around a lot and seemed to enjoy herself. She didn't really try to move from where we set her down, but maybe she just couldn't move because her coat was too big! We realized that she needs some 'winter' shoes or boots, and maybe some sort of snow pants, so that she can go out in the snow and play sometime.

We put up our Christmas tree this afternoon also. The snow made it seem a little festive, and I'm glad to have the decorating done (not that I did much besides the tree and a few lights in the window). Oliver loves to lay under the tree and chew on it. Picasso doesn't care much about it. Mara looked at it, and grabbed at it when we took her close enough. I wonder if she'll be crawling while it's still up. She's been doing a lot of 'rocking' when she's on her tummy, and was getting up on her knees tonight too. We may end up having to child-proof the tree I guess!

Seven Months Old!

Mara turned 7 months old on Saturday. I can't believe it's been 7 months since the day she was born! It has flown by so fast, and she has changed so much! She has such a personality now! She's so curious about everything, and loves to babble, smile, and laugh. She loves sitting and playing with toys, catching glimpses of herself in mirrors, reading books, jumping, and pulling my hair. She is a fabulous sleeper, and rarely fussy or in a bad mood. We are so blessed!