Monday, December 29

Christmas at our House

This year for Christmas Andrew's family came to us. It was SUCH a blessing since traveling right now is miserable for me! Also, since my sleeping has been a little sporadic, being able to at least sleep in my own bed was so nice. We had a great Christmas week!
our guests included Andrew's parents, his brother and wife, and their 2 kids, Jack & Emily.

a few added stockings...

explosion on Christmas morning!

hats made by my mom for graham -
I love them!

this gift was a huge blessing!

Christmas dinner

mistletoe, of course!

game times...old-skool mario!, ladderball, monopoly...

light display at the Oceanfront

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Monday, December 22

Hard to Believe...

Friday was my last teaching day at The Music Staff. I have taught anywhere from 20-40 piano students each year there for the last 3 1/2 years. I am so thankful for the job that God provided for me there even before we moved here. I have learned so much about teaching especially from my boss who has been teaching piano for 30 years. She has been a great mentor in this field. I have loved my students there (ok...not all of them. :) But MOST of them have been great and I will greatly miss them! But now I am moving on to stay-at-home-mom (yeah!!), though I will continue to teach students from my home.
my studio
love playing duets with them!

I loved these 2 adult students who were 2 of the very few adults I have had that practiced! They have come so far in the last couple of years and I will miss them the most! It was so nice to have a few adult teaching sessions during my week! They actually understood concepts and followed them!! Such a nice change from my little ones. :)

my TMS students this past fall
a little surprise was waiting for me at my studio on friday!


in all my bigness...34 weeks!

Monday, December 15

Crazy Saturday #2. Done.

Saturday morning started bright and early.
{I actually woke up at 4 am and couldn't go back to sleep, so it started much earlier than I had even been planning!! thank u pregnancy :) }
I had my 2nd Christmas recital. This one was with my 9 Va Beach students. Since it was a fairly small group I decided to try hosting it in our home, therefore not having to work out details of getting a facility. Our regular piano was not coming up 2 flights of stairs, (are you sure, honey?!) but thanks to my parents gift a few years back we used our digital piano along with an amp. It ended up working great - thanks again M & D!!

Shortly after the recital we headed to Norfolk for the seminary Christmas party. This one was hosted aboard the Spirit of Norfolk with a lunch cruise. It was a great time and I am especially grateful that it didn't make me nauseous at all. It was a lot of fun to see friends that we don't normally get to see much.

It's amazing how most of our Christmas activities all ended up being crammed in the first 2 weeks of Christmas. Now the next 2 weeks are relatively calm which I am very thankful for!
We had a special Christmas service at our church yesterday which went very well.
This week is my last week of teaching at The Music Staff. It's hard to believe after teaching there for 4 years that my time has come to a close. I will be sad to say good-bye to my students there, but am also very excited to get this break!

Pregnancy Update...
I have really slacked off on keeping up on my prego pictures. Probably because I am really tired of seeing myself pregnant. :) I'll try to get a new one.
Here's a good word picture for you though...I am getting fatter and fatter. :~}
Hitting the 8th month was definitely a turning point. I am uncomfortable most of the time now and feel much more tired all the time. I am tired of hearing people say "you look good", "you look bad", "you look small", "you look big"... I like how my students say "Graham sure is getting big" that's cute!
God has provided in so many ways for us. We are so thankful for the generosity of friends and family who have provided us with so many baby items. We were just given a jogging stroller and swing for free!! What a blessing.
All in all, I have had a good pregnancy. It is a gift that unless you experience it, cannot imagine it. I praise God for this life that he has given us and we can't wait to meet our baby boy. 7 weeks to go...less than 50 days, yeahhh!!!

Monday, December 8

cookies, recital, decorating and more...!

It's hard to believe we fit it all in one day! It was a crazy one.
Saturday morning began with a church girls gathering and cookie exchange.
Andrew is greatly enjoying the benefits of that.
This was my leftovers that I left for him -
shortbread cookies & rocky road fudge!

my goodies ready to go.

came home with these 4 dozen goodies!

I also made homemade caramel corn for the 1st time,
wow, was it good!!

After the cookie exchange, Andrew & I headed to Portsmouth for my piano recital. These are 20 of my students that I have been teaching at the music academy for the past several years. It's hard to believe, but I only have 2 more weeks of lessons with all of them. When we break for Christmas, I will not be going back there to teach. So it's a sad time to leave all of my little "ducklings"! However, I am more excited for my new job of stay-at-home mommy!!
After the recital, we headed to one of my favorite restaurants...PF Changs! It was my birthday last monday (thank you everyone for the birthday wishes!), but instead of going at 9:00 on monday night after Andrew got off work, I opted to wait for the weekend. Which I am so glad I was a great dinner and I didn't have one eye on the clock thinking about my bedtime!

And then it was on to home...time to Deck the Halls!! I have never gotten my Christmas stuff up this late...but it just couldn't be squeezed in any sooner. I am just so glad it's done!

My first Li Bien ornament that a student gave me - so pretty!

I have always wanted a bannister to I have 3 floors of railing!

I also love to have 2 trees! This year was the first year we were able to get a real tree! We love it! I like to decorate my main tree in a red/gold theme. But we both have so many ornaments from our growing up and I also get a lot of ornaments that are as my friend said, we have the "kid tree" and the "adult tree"! I love them both!

the "kid tree"

bringing home the big one!

where it stood for 2 days "naked" until we had time to dress it!

and then we rested!