During Thanksgiving, I didn't have time to sit down and blog about all I am thankful for this year. So, I thought I would do it now at the end of the year. We had an incredible 2008 and here is something from each month of last year that I am thankful for:
January:MY LIFE- This is my birthday month, a nice way to start out the year. I am so thankful for a blessed life. I have my health, my mind (most of the time), a wonderful family, and a purposeful existence. A great life.
February:SHOES- I went to my first shoe show this month. I went with Brennan and my mom. Not only did we have a blast, but it really helped develop Cents of Style as a legitimate company. I feel so blessed to have this company and the fulfillment it brings into my life.
March:AMBITION- I had a hard time thinking of something for March, but I knew that John traveled that month, so I am grateful for him, his job and his ambition. He works very hard and has to be away from us often. I know he doesn't love to travel for business, but I know that he does whatever he has to to provide for us. For that, I am grateful.
April:SISTERS- Every spring my sisters, sister-in-laws, mom and I go on a girls-only trip. We laugh, shop, eat and then we shop some more. I look forward to it every year, because I get to be with some of my favorite people in the world.
May: TRAVEL- In May, we traveled to Grand Cayman with John's brother, Joe, and his family. We had a fabulous time. We relaxed in the sun and played in the gorgeous Caribbean water. I don't ever want to forget the chickens, the peanut butter sandwiches or the sting rays.
June:MIRACLES- Heavenly Father blessed us with our son, Chase, this past June. We prayed, hoped and wished for him. He has filled my face with smiles and heart with joy everyday since.
July:FAMILY- We spent the 4th with John's family. We went camping at Deer Creek. Kids got dirty and then cleaned off by jumping into the water. They loved to tube off the back of papa's boat. There is always great food and laughs when the Browns get together.
August:BELLA- She turned 3 this month. She has grown up so much in 2008. She has gone from being a baby to truly a "big girl." She makes us laugh (and scream) everyday. Another miracle that fills our life.
September:EDUCATION- Bella began preschool and private speech therapy this fall. It has helped her very much. I think back to a year ago when all she said was "yeah, mama and dada." Now she won't stop chattering, definitely something to be thankful for.
October:FRIENDS- Since moving into our home, we have made some excellent friends. People we know we can rely on no matter the circumstances. What a blessing to have such good people in our life.
November:HISTORY- The American people elected Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States this month. No matter your political beliefs, this was a momentous day. I teared up multiple times that day, knowing that when I tell my son he can be anything, it is the truth.
December:CHRIST- At this time of year we celebrate the birth of the Lord. I feel so blessed to know Him and the power of His atonement in my life. He makes all my other blessings possible.
I love this picture of Chase. It looks like he is about to take a bite out of the Gingerbread House.
Tonight after dinner we made a gingerbread house. It was so fun. Bella loved it. She was very particular about putting specific colors together and in specific areas of the house. Chase wanted to eat it. And every time Bella got icing on her finger, she did eat it. I think it is another tradition we need to add to the list.
PS- Don't be alarmed that Bella doesn't have pants on...we can't keep clothes on her anymore. We told her she had to get dressed to make the house and the shirt was the result. Better than nothing, I guess.
I got a this great idea from my sister, Erin. We have been collecting Christmas books for several years now. This year I finally have enough to do the 12 days of Christmas with books. We started on the 12th, I wrapped all the books and every night before bed, Bella chooses one and we read it. It is helping us get in the Christmas spirit and a great tradition to continue in the years to come.
Saturday was our ward Christmas party. They had a nice breakfast and then SANTA came. Bella was so excited. When it was finally her turn to sit on his lap she ran up to him and started jumping up and down. When Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas she promptly replied a "kee-cheen" A Kitchen. We will have to see if he listened....
I thought this picture was so funny. This is the boys pretending they were sad they didn't get an individual Christmas present, like the girls did. John can't even act "sad" for a second. Shortly after this Karen went and bought all the boys nerf guns.
We were with the whole Brown family for Thanksgiving this year. Karen and Cecil rented a cabin up at Sundance. We had such a great time. It was filled with food, family, laughs, food, games and some more food. I definitely gained some pounds. Above are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend. Below are several posts about what we did.
Chase got to eat solid food for the first time on Thanksgiving. He turned 5 months the day before, so we thought it was fitting to wait and let him have sweet potatoes and rice cereal on the most gluttonous day of the year. He loved it! Bella was not this into food. He would start crying if I did not get it into his mouth quick enough. He was even grabbing the spoon. Then, later on in the evening we were having pie and he was smacking his lips and trying to grab mine. Maybe this will finally add some chubs to his tininess.
We ventured out the day after Thanksgiving. We walked on trails for a bit and took some family pictures. It was cold and beautiful. Some liked it more than others. Jake's family were troupers, walking further than anyone else, while Carter ended up warm in the car much sooner than anyone else, but in his defense, he was very sick the next day, so I am sure he did not feel very well.
John and Joe were overly proud over themselves for cutting the batting.
While up at the cabin over Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law organized a service project for us to do. We made lap quilts for a nursing home where our Grandma Brown lived, until she passed earlier this year. The kids drew in the squares, hands, feet, dogs, whatever they felt like. Then we tied and binded them. It was a great experience. It was fun to all work together towards something that will bring happiness to those in need.