Friday, November 25, 2011

Pictures and other things

It's been a great past few days. Our trip to Houston was wonderful.

new princess dress from Gigi

We went to the zoo, spent time with aunts, uncles, and cousins, and watched Harry Potter 7.2. JP missed us terribly and was very happy to come home to us on Tuesday night. He's been working like crazy, and is on conference call number four of his six today (with five more scheduled over the weekend). I, on the other hand, have not worked for a single minute since last Friday. And it's a good thing- only one of us is allowed to complain about our jobs at a time. Plus, one adult needs to be available at all times to entertain and/or generally supervise the children.

The Bear, with the bears

Since we returned I've been pleasantly busy crossing off fun (non-legal) to do list items. We baked pumpkin bread, I read the new Lords of Deliverance book (the sequel series to Larissa Ione's awesome Demonica series), and after a brief Target run today, I'm 95% done with my Christmas shopping. I started making my lists for the kids, JP, and my immediate family over the summer- thinking of things they might like and figuring out the price range for each. This year I've done a good job of sticking with it. I have exactly what I want for the kids and spent about $75 for each (most of it is from Santa). Now I just need to avoid stores for the month of December so I don't get tempted by anything else. I have a weakness for children's books and toys, particularly the ones I had when I was little (someday I will re-buy all my "vintage" Little People on ebay... someday).

very intently watching The Incredibles and Papa and Gigi's

But by far my biggest accomplishment has been finishing Landon's "Year 4" photo book on Shutterfly. Those things take me FOREVER- if I billed that time, the book would be worth about $100,000, but I love and cherish them so much when they're finished. My problem now is that I started these books when Landon was an only child, so we have "Landon's 1st year," "Landon's 2nd year," etc. I'm going to make a "1st year" book for Claire, because there's so many milestones in those first 12 months, but I'm not really sure I want to continue making a separate book for each kid. Finding the time each year to make the one book is hard enough. And then what about a general "Lag Liv Family" book for each year? I'm not going to want to hand all these books over to the kids when they move out, so maybe I should be buying two copies? My other dilemma is timing. Because Landon was born in July, each book I've made so far runs from July-July of each year. Claire's will run June-June. But if I make a general family photo book, I'd rather it just be for full the calendar year. So do I start that now for 2011? I'm 6 months behind just trying to make 2 books- and I haven't even started Claire's yet- so I'm not sure why I'm puzzling over the time frame for this hypothetical third series, but I do feel like making a transition to a "family" book would make sense. There's just not enough time in the day- or the wee hours of the night, which is when I work on most of them- to make it all happen.

family picture in two parts
(taken before Claire dumped milk all over herself at dinner)

We ate Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents' retirement center in San Antonio yesterday. It worked out wonderfully. A 60 minute drive, no shopping, no cooking, and no clean up. And we got to eat with all four of my grandparents at the same table- four grandparents who were thrilled to have us there. Landon picked out his outfit (including the bow tie) and Claire finally got to wear at adorable dress I bought for her a year ago (you can't see them, but there's a row of gold buttons down the back, it's very snazzy). Both kids behaved generally well in the formal dining room and Claire made lots of new peek-a-boo friends at various other tables.

if it has wheels, Claire would like to ride in it

JP is now outside stringing up Christmas lights between conference calls, so I suppose I should do something about the three boxes of Christmas decorations sitting on my kitchen floor. But I really just want to play with pictures and make another photo book while the Frank Sinatra holiday station plays on Pandora. I love Christmas, but I'm already kind of over the whole idea of decorating for it. And I don't do nearly as much as my mom did when we were little. I'm just keep reminding myself of the magic of coming home from school one day in early December and finding the whole house redecorated- it was pretty awesome, and I figure I can at least do a slimmed down version of that for my kids.

With a full 9 days off work and UT winning the football game last night (a football game I actually watched- at least for the last thirty minutes- and got seriously stressed out about. Who knew I had it in me?! JP is now glad I usually don't care because I spazzed out on the couch the whole last quarter and kept gripping his arm and repeating things like, "this is SO STRESSFUL!" and "I CARE! I seriously care! THIS IS STRESSING ME OUT."), perhaps the only thing that could have made this Thanksgiving week better is if the weather would drop below 75 so we could pull out the kids very nice Fall clothes and stop wearing the very worn out summer clothes. But I'm not going to be picky.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone. I'm thankful for so much and that includes all of you. I can't tell you how much it means to see your comments and to know you're out there reading. It was only four years ago that Thanksgiving was a little darker and things were a lot less clear. I'm so thankful for where we are now, for the role you all played in that, and for the fact that you're still along for the ride.


  1. Thanks for reminding me how magical it was to come home and find the house decorated for Christmas! Such a special memory. Maybe I'll do that for the kids this year.

    Looks like a lovely Thanksgiving!

  2. A Belated Happy Thanksgiving LL. The Bear (and Landon) look adorable, as always. And it sounds like the break from work has done you a world of good. :)

  3. Hi LL. May I ask what you got Landon for Christmas this year? I'm so uninspired by the gift selection at our local stores, I can't think of anything to get Jacob this year. You always seem to have great ideas, I'd love to hear what was on Landon's wish list.

  4. So glad your Thanksgiving was peaceful. I wish that for you for the whole upcoming season!