Monday, December 31, 2012

45 years

Yesterday my parents celebrated their 45th anniversary.  That's just incredible to me.
Andy and I have been married 7 1/2, and that feels pretty amazing as well most days.

 Marriage isn't easy, but it's one of the biggest blessings that God has given us....a partner to live this crazy, amazing, sometimes challenging life with.
 I'm so glad to see my parents enjoying this time in their life so much, and it's a huge blessing to watch  our kids with Nana & Poppy, and Grandma & Papa, whenever we get the chance to be together.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Only because it must be documented

Chalk this one up to "kids say the darndest things"...or something like that.

Graham had his three year check up this week.  While we're here, let me go ahead and document for the book....

Height: 38.25 inches (67%)
Weight: 34.5 (76%)


I decided to run really quick with him to Michaels after the appointment (it was the day after Christmas) and I figured I would stock up on some clearance stuff.

I grabbed a few rolls of wrapping paper and Graham insisted on "helping" me while carrying them around the store (and me trying to make sure he wasn't knocking into anything breakable while carrying it like a sword), no small task in itself.

We then stood in a LONG line to check out, surrounded by many people.

He yelled out from behind me.

"Hey mom!!"  "Check out my super long penis!"

I turned around horrified, and he has the wrapping paper roll in between his legs swinging it around for all to see.

I thought I had a few years to get ready for this kind of stuff.


My favorite time of year

I can't believe this month has come and gone...the decorations are all put away, Nana & Poppi have returned to Texas, and I am already filling out pages in my 2013 calendar.  2013.  That just looks weird.

Here is our Christmas re-cap, starting with pictures with Santa.

Graham and Addison had their pre-school Christmas program the Thursday before Christmas.
Here is his sweet class.  Where is Graham?  Refusing to be in the picture....or wear a lamb outfit.

But he did get up and sing, and looked pretty adorable doing it.

Addison gave it her all as well...a huge improvement from last year. 
I just love their pre-school...hard to believe Addison only has a few months left and I'm writing Kindergarden registration on the calendar.

Here is a copy of the picture Graham's teacher, Miss Anne, sent home with him....makes me laugh.

Next up, Nana & Poppy's arrival!
The kids were both so excited and were waiting by the door asking all day when they were going to get there.

 That night we were invited to such a great Polar Express reading/gathering for the kids at my friend, Carrie's house.  First the story was read and kids were all in their pajamas.

 Parents sat and listened under the disco ball where the elf dance party was held later.

There was even a photo booth that was so much fun

And then, Santa showed up with bells for each was perfect.

Each child got to meet Santa and receive his/her bell and pictures were taken...including the classic old school polaroids...awesome touch.

Immediately following the party, Addison told us she didn't feel good....perfect timing for Christmas Eve. The poor girl was absolutely miserable all day.  The elves even came to fill her stockings while she was asleep in bed resting with me and everyone else was out looking at lights.

Graham was super excited to see what the elves left him.

My poor girl felt so awful, it didn't even phase her.
 Here is more documentation for just how puny she felt.

 And the classic picture Andy captured on his phone.
Addison looks like...well, awful, and Graham's look says, "You have got to be kidding me."

Graham starting opening his stocking

 And Addison started to come around...wanting to try out her new "lip gloss" and try on new jewelry.
The elves were working better than the medicine.

Then it was time to read the classic bedtime story for Christmas Eve.

And Andy and I captured these right after Santa arrived...we must have just missed him.
Notice the HUGE guitar on the left?  Addison said she must have spelled it wrong on her list because Santa messed up.  He can't get everything right.
He did plenty of good and we were so blessed.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Ellen Experience...12 Days style

Last week I got to experience one of the coolest things in my life.
Shannon, Carrie, Heather and I drove up to Burbank to attend a taping for Ellen's 12 Days of Giveaways.  We filmed on Thursday, December 6, and the show aired last Friday, Dec. 7th.

I really can't even begin to express how much fun we had.  We were giddy before "go".
We had to arrive by 1:30 for check in for a 3:30 show (the first of two shows that would be taped that day).  We arrived at 11:30.  There was no way were going to risk giving up these tickets!

 The waiting/check in area is actually a small area in a parking garage on the edge of Warner Brothers Studios (across the street from Ellen's set).
We waited, hung out, and took goofy pictures for a good two hours before check in started.
We had brought toys to give to Toys for Tots which they collected at check in.  

Once we checked in (meaning waiting in line, showing paperwork, id, and getting your name checked off the list (twice), we were officially in with tickets.
Lucky 95.

So excited!  Me, Shannon, Heather, and Carrie...waiting int he parking garage before check in.
We still didn't know yet who the guests were for that show, although we had narrowed it down to Christina Aguilera or Fergie.  I thought for sure it was going to be Fergie (Monday's show) since Ellen had already been airing previews for Fridays show with clips of Christina (turns out that meant nothing).

 After we had been checked in for a while a producer came out and told us that it was a "special audience participation day".  There would be no surveys today...which they sometimes do, instead she would walk through the crowd and may ask you to step to the side to be talked to.

EEEEK!!  Who wants to be in a game?? That's what this means!!!

The producer walked very quickly up and down each row and just made simple eye contact with everyone.  As long as you smiled, looked alive and made eye contact with her, she asked you and your group to step to the side.

Yea!!!  We were on to the next step.  I honestly at this point still thought there was no way we (or I) were going to get picked....there were about 60 people pulled out.  I just fun to see how this side of things is done!

For the next part, she walked up and down the row of people and asked your name and your audience number.  That was it.  She quickly told you to either step over to the trailer or go back to the parking garage.

My friend Heather sent me all of these pictures.....thank you Heather!!! So fun to have pics of this.
I think this was the first part where she walked up and down and asked our name.

Our group of 4!  So much fun.

Carrie and I were asked to go over to the trailer.....with about 20 other people.  

Then the fun really began.

We were over here for about 20 minutes with three producers.
They told us all kinds of information...we still didn't know what game we were playing....asked us more questions....what did we do...what was our favorite part of Ellen's show....where were we from..etc, etc....I don't think they really cared about any of it, just wanting to get a feel for how we interacted.  I also think they were honestly taking note of what we were wearing and if there was a chance of any "wardrobe malfunctions".

We were also told if we got called to of course be so excited, but not to run up and tackle Ellen and beware of her back issues.

Then they actually had us each pretend we just got called and run out and down to the front like we would in the studio.  To be honest, after this 20 minutes was all said and done, I was completely wiped.
I was also thinking, "holy crap, I might actually get picked.....what am I going to do if they actually call me??".....what had I gotten myself into?

 Meanwhile, Heather and Shannon were hanging with the Marines in the studio.  We were brought in and reunited in the "rif raff" room.

Just before going in the studio!!!!

This is right before show time.  They sat all of the groups that had people in it who had been pulled aside so I guess we were spaced out and not in the back row (a perk!). Right before show time, I saw one of the producers glance our way and then move our entire group two rows back.
So I started thinking....ok, Carrie or I are probably going to get called and it's for sure going to be Carrie because she is crazy....crazy fun.  Actual fun tidbit about Carrie....she was on the Martha Stewart Apprentice show a few years back and made it to the final three...apparently her and Bethenny Frankel were arch rivals on the show.  I so need to go back and watch this after getting to know Carrie now.

Anyways.....almost showtime.
This is when they told us it would be Friday's show and the guests were Christina Aguilera along with....BLAKE SHELTON....hello!!!

The show was amazing.
Instead of a monologue, Ellen did the game (which turned out to be musical chairs, Santa and shirtless reindeer style).  I did get called down and it was so fun, yet so surreal.  
I will say that I was completely blindfolded and could not see a thing through the entire thing.
I will also say that I clearly did not get picked because of my dancing skills! my defense, she told us to dance, but I feel like I was the only one who heard her....fool.
Also, I should have worn a longer shirt.

Our giveaways included lots of great stuff.....Bodum kitchen stuff like my new little french press and coffee grinder

$1,500 to JC Penneys and I also won a pretty sweet game thingy that I sold on Ebay tonight.  =)
We would have been thrilled with anything....just getting to go to the show was amazing in itself, but Ellen always blows you away.
I will say, I am so impressed by her.  What you see on TV is what you see when you're there...even when the camera isn't rolling.  She's so great.
And now she knows my name....not that she would remember it, but I hugged her and she said my name...and now I have this to show my kids.

Graham keeps asking to watch me sit on Santa's lap. Ha!