Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Family Christmas

With it being Mia's first Christmas, excitement boomed in our house as we anticipated the fun that was going to happen around the holiday happenings. I was so excited to dress Mia up for Christmas eve service; my mom made Mia a beautiful black velvet jumper and white eyelet blouse. I bought her some sparkly red shoes, and her "aunt" Amanda bought her a cute crocheted headband with a big red and black flower. She was the Belle of the Ball!

After Christmas Eve service, we headed over to mommy's parents' house (Grandpa and Grandma Samuel) to have hors d' oeuvres, Christmas cookies, and open gifts. Mia's little finger was getting quite a workout as she was pointing at all the sparkly, pretty gifts under the tree, the lit candles and beautiful Christmas lights. She could hardly stand herself as she slowly inched towards the presents just waiting for that exact moment when she could finally unveil their secrets!
Mia got tons of presents! She got some Curious George books, some PJ's, a brand new car seat (wahoo!), a handmade teddy bear from Grandma, her first Christmas ornament, and a rocking horse made by Grandpa with a cute gold ribbon around it's neck!

Mia had no qualms about helping mommy and daddy open their presents too! We probably could have given her a bag of tissue paper for Christmas and it would have made her day!

After a morning of opening presents, just our family, and having our friends, the Millard over for lunch, we headed over to Casey's parents' (Grandpa and Grandmama Gerster) house to open gifts. It was so much fun to spend some time with them and allow them the experience of Mia's first Christmas as well. Mia got many fun things from them. She just loves "Lilly" and the many songs she sings. She is also walking really well with the stroller she got for Lilly! So much fun!
We also spent time with Great Grandpa and Grandma Gerster and Great Grandpa and Grandma Price. Mia wowed everyone with her excited spirit and joy she brings into every room. She was giggling and screaming....thoroughly enjoying every moment of every party!

I was a beautiful holiday! I'm already excited for Christmas 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Drumrole Pa-LEASE.....

Tears formed in my eyes last night as I suddenly saw the bright, neon sign that flashed over my daughters head….DADDY’S GIRL *blink blink* DADDY’S GIRL *blink blink*. As I attempted to rock Mia to sleep, the velvet curtains of life opened wide; the orchestra began to play, and the number one act came out on stage…My Husband.

As the evening grew dark, we sat, for hours…ALERT…giggling, laughing and begging for daddy to continue on. His act was nothing special. For most moments he just sat, trying to be discreet, but capturing Mia’s attention none the less. When daddy would pay attention, Mia giggled and giggled, only enabling the show to continue on. “BRAVO! BRAVO!” she would shout, forcing an eternal encore. She even shared some of her acts with her super star. “I’ll show you my peek-a-boo” she would say, seeking a never disappointing approval from her hero.

The night was full of class-acts. Daddy was the star of the show, capturing our daughter’s full attention, and causing her to not want to miss a moment of the happenings. Eventually, we ran out of time. The audience was leaving, and the stage hands were tired; it was time to take the final bow. So, as daddy performed his final act, he snuggled Mia into his arms and carried her off into “La-La Land;” a place where, evidently, Daddy is the only acceptable form of transportation these days.

Monday, December 15, 2008

One of the a long time

This weekend was one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. I title it My Birthday Weekend…not to be confused with My Birthday Week, which follows the actual birth day.

Thursday night was a beautiful evening. Mia stayed with Grandpa and Grandma while Casey and I went to a Christmas banquet at the Antlers Hilton. We got all dressed up for our “night on the town.” It was so much fun being out and about, and a nice treat not having the pink diaper bag and baby stroller in tow.

Friday we spent the day just the two of us. We slept in, and then lounged around making a delicious egg casserole for breakfast and not actually getting ready for the day until about noon. After lunch at a “hole in the wall” Chinese restaurant, we did a little window shopping at the mall and then headed off to watch…duh-duh-duuuuh

"The Day the Earth Stood Still"

The movie was, um, ok. Not my favorite of all time, but it was fun to be out at the theaters! I took advantage of a little snuggling and the feeling like I was on a real date!

After the movie, we headed to my parents house for a birthday celebration! And…SURPRISE!!!! My brother, Nate, surprised me a with a weekend visit for my birthday! I was so ecstatic! I haven’t seen him in so long, and am not going to be able to see him until after Christmas.

Saturday, Casey took me up to the Cheesecake Factory, in Denver, for dinner – which actually turned into just dessert since the wait for dinner was almost 2 hours. I do love being in the city. We had Mia bundled up in the stroller and we walked around downtown, enjoying the city feel and all the Christmas lights. Mia’s little finger was going crazy as she pointed to all the fun and interesting things catching her attention. It was so adorable, especially as her cute little cheeks began to show a red, frosty tint. She, of course, fell asleep in the middle of dinner, so we wrapped her up in a coat and allowed her to sleep in the booth. Seriously, life is so much better when you are all together!

Sunday…equals…MY BIRTHDAY! I absolutely love my birthday! I woke up and there was a beautiful blanket of snow covering Colorado Springs. With flurries in the air, I knew it was going to be a perfect day. We went to church where the pastor spoke on a wonderful subject. It just touched both Casey and I in our current situation. Then we headed off to the mall (again…seriously. I got my husband there twice in one weekend!) for some birthday shopping and casual dining! It was so fun. Mia and I headed off to spend birthday money, as Casey went to by me some birthday presents. It was so lovely. After an afternoon of present opening and long winter naps, we closed the evening with one of the best movies made this year…

"P.S. I Love You"… seriously, everyone should watch this movie. I absolutely love it!
It was a wonderful weekend, full of anything “birthday” I could think of…LOVELY!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Christmas Season...Finally!

Transiberian Orchestra - Christmas Style

Merry Christmas Season!

Monday, December 1, 2008

"THE" Picture

Here it is. The one, AND ONLY, 2008 Christmas Card Picture:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My top ten

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and Internet access limited today, I am feverishly jotting down my Thanksgivings. At first I thought, don't do anything corny like a top ten or anything. But. Really? Is the tradition of listing out that which one is thankful for really all that corny? I don't want to commit a major blog faux pas, but I embrace the importance of truly remembering all those things that I take for granted and should always remember to be thankful for.

Without further ado, my top ten thanksgivings:

  1. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who bears my horrible sins upon His own shoulders in order to rescue me from an eternity of despair and utter damnation
  2. My husband who loves me through all my flaws, idiosyncrasies, and stretch marks
  3. My beautiful daughter who lights up my face and my heart at the mere mention of her name
  4. A family who loves me through thick and thin, and who decided that normal just wasn't going to be them
  5. Friends that are there to the very end...even when the distance seems cavernous
  6. A job that helps provide for our family financially and bring me a little bit of joy throughout the day
  7. A house, two vehicles, lots of "stuff" and all the other little comforts that put me in the world-wide minority rather than majority
  8. A country that allows me to practice my beliefs and live my own life without fear of losing it
  9. Belonging to a church that believes in preaching the truth, protecting orphans and widows, and being involved in the community we live in
  10. The gifts and abilities that the Lord has blessed me with for a certain purpose, revealed at only those perfect moments

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Try looking at things optimistically this weekend. You truly do have it better than you probably remember.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Good mom book"

Over my few months of parenting, there are many things I have learned that not only spur my daughter on to greatness, but allow her the ability to be herself and explore all the ways this can be achieved. Through wise council, a library of full of those who have paved the road before me, and pure mother instinct, I pass on these few tidbits to you.

Good nutrition. I have all the basics to cover the "color wheel" of nutrition. I'm teaching her to not be a picky eater and to enjoy the meal times we have together. She loves the dinner table, talking to Jesus (unless she's a Hungry Hippo), and entertaining us with the many different sounds that truly mean "more please." She's a good, healthy one will ever accuse her of eating like a bird!
Appropriate dress. Yes. I'm already teaching the importance of accessorizing. I tell her that, of course you don't need those cute, size 2 shoes, but they sure make the outfit! Alongside this important concept, I am teaching her the importance of bundling up and above all, how to be modest and not over-expose to those young little boys.

Self-esteem. We always laugh at each other. We laugh at daddy. We laugh at mommy. And we laugh at Mia. Mia will always know that her personality is exactly perfect the way she is. Not only that, there is concern in our eyes when we sense something wrong. And there is excitement on our face when something is positive and good natured. Mia will be raised in an environment where expressing your feelings and concerns are never looked down upon or brushed aside.

Physical Fitness. We have a strict policy with Mia to always put the time into her overall fitness level. With a mandatory amount of arm curls, we control the amount of flab hanging off Mia's cute little arm.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Over Night

Was there something in the formula I gave her? Maybe it was all that spinach she just gobbles up? Over night, our adorable little Mia has grown up. She almost looks like a little toddler instead of that once wee little baby. I don't know if I'm good at this growing up thing...I think mommy needs a little more time!

But, she sure is adorable!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Political Plug

I'm not one to throw politics in ones face. I'm passionate about our country in my own little way, but expect everyone else to be adult enough to come up with their own decision and views about our country's future just as I have. It's a freedom that I take very seriously.

I heard someone say once that "it isn't our duty to choose our future leaders. It is our duty to be faithful to the Lord and His truths, voting solely on what we believe His truths and passions are for His people." What a sobering, yet freeing, thought to know that this decision isn't mine. The future of our country rests in our Lord's hands no matter what direction it goes in. Our future leader is already ordained for our nation; the Lord already knows where we are going.

So, why do we vote? First, the beauty of living in a country as we do, is that we have the freedom to speak up and give our opinions. We have a say in how our country is operating, with the freedom to present concerns and bring about changes. Because we are a unique country in this way, we must take advantage of the freedoms we are allowed, knowing that there are many across this world who are not as privileged as we are. Second, it is our chance to be faithful to the Lord and the ways He is leading us to govern our own lives.

  • Life is sacred to our Lord - stand up and protect those who can not protect themselves! Choose a leader who will fight alongside you in this effort.

  • Marriage is a perfect institution designed by our Lord - fight for your family and the holy commitment called marriage

  • America is full of freedoms allowing one to be their own person and make decisions pertaining to their individual family. Choose someone who will allow you to make these decision and not allow the government to creep into every area of your life and decisions.

So, Vote! Stand up for this country...but most of all, be faithful to the Lord and stand up for His causes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank you, Gerber

We love your Spaghetti!

The images you are missing are the way Mia styled her hair with this new found product, and the pretty ways she tie-dyed her adorable clothes. The adventure into new dietary options resulted in a "Picasso in the making."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Giggle, Giggle

The sweet, innocent sound of a little one's giggle. There is nothing more precious. The wrinkling nose, the quickly grasped hands, the squinted just melts your heart!
Daddy, by far, is our biggest form of entertainment. He is such a wonderful daddy! These are some things daddy plays:
Baby helicopter
Football carry
Chasing bunny rabbits
"Snugs" (snuggling)
Jumping off the couch and daddy catching
Funny sound effects and silly faces

Each of these fun activities are followed by a rewarding giggle and full out body excitement. It's the only reward and motivation daddy needs to continue on in the same pattern. Mommy gets so jealous that so much glee is aimed in daddy's direction, that she tries to join in, BUT, it just isn't the same. That father/daughter connection is just too strong in our house (I even heard daddy tell Princess Pretty that she had him wrapped around her precious little finger! ... it's true! I heard it!).
So, alas, mommy has settled for trying to capture these endearing moments on film. But the moment Mia sees the camera she just poses, enamored by what could be happening with that "small, shiny thing"... So, until I can be sneaky enough, you will have to settle for this:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fun times with Aunt Emily

Aunt Emily gives me cookies...
Aunt Emily snuggles with me...
Aunt Emily plays with me and buys me toys...
Aunt Emily makes me laugh...
I love Aunt Emily!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Because you asked

Thank you, all, for your encouragement off of my last post! I'm encouraged by everyone's stories of the same struggle to lose the baby fat and the dreams of the "what used to be" bodies. It's fun to suffer through this change with others.

In an effort to answers your "what works for you" questions, I have pondered, polled, and investigated the things in my life that may be helping. Unfortunately, I'm not coming up with anything that looks significant. However, there are a few things that, in theory, could be contributing to my weight loss victories:
  1. Green Tea - my husband read a few studies on the fact that green tea can help with weight loss. He uses a natural green tea extract that has no sugar, no thank you. However, I've tried my hand at the green tea phenomenon, drinking the all so delicious "Green Tea and Orange Spice" combination, and have notices a more rapid decrease in weight since then.
  2. Portion Control - I'm not even going to pretend that I'm anywhere near being great at this, however, I'm trying to train myself to eat only when I'm hungry and to slow down in my eating so my brain can catch up. I have noticed that my snacking desires have slowed down because of this, and that I'm not overly stuffing myself at dinners. Plus, I do have an 8 month old who requires most of my time at the dinner table. So in the midst of feeding her dinner, my bites get few and far between!
  3. Sugar - My husband and I have been fairly sensitive to items containing a lot of sugar. We have tried to stay away from these things, and use substitutes when necessary. Yes. We do have a box of Fudgecicles that forever reside in our freezer, but we do get the "no sugar added" kind (which are amazingly delicious and fudgy) and they have much less carbs then the regular kind. I have also tried to cut down on the continuous candy munching. This proves to be difficult when wherever I turn there is a candy bowl full of all my favorites...but it helps!
  4. Chicken, Chicken, and, did I mention, chicken? - We eat a lot of chicken. Yes, because it has good protein, but mostly because it is cheap. Canned Chicken, Chicken Breasts and Ground Turkey are staples in our house. You can make numerous healthy and quick meals with all three, so we stock up. As you already know, chicken provides your body with many things you need without the added "junky" stuff.
  5. Working Out - Anyone who knows me pre Mia, is aware that I did my fair share of working out. My husband is a regular at the local gym, and I would eagerly (for the most part) tag along, working out beside him, and watching my body slowly tone up. Even during pregnancy, I was at the gym, doing all I could between nausea fits and Braxton Hicks, trying to keep my body healthy. Post Mia has been a different story. In the first few months, I could tote her along to the gym, as I tried to shed those ugly leftovers, knowing she would sleep wherever she was. However, as her schedule solidified, trips to the gym for mommy has become more of a past-life. So, I am now stuck with Saturday and Sunday being my workout days, and the occasional day off work. As my husband tells me, though, "every little bit helps."

Ok. I know it's not that helpful, but I have noticed that through implementing these the last few months, the pounds have disappeared much quicker. Hope this gives you some ideas! Good luck on your efforts, too...I feel the pain!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


pre-pregnancy weight. 148 lbs.
pre-delivery weight. 202 lbs.
7 months post-pregnancy weight. 147 lbs.

So. We celebrated! Beer brats and fudgecicles. YUM!

Final goal. 140 lbs.
And we will celebrate then, too. Fancy style.
Happy Day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Fall!

warm spiced cider...
burnt orange and cranberry red...
homemade pumpkin pie under fluffy whipped cream...
turtle-necked sweaters and knee high boots...
smell of wet leaves underfoot...
roasted pumpkin seeds with cayenne pepper...
brisk wind blowing through ones hair...
crusty boogers on the baby's nose...
hay bails and scarecrows...
Ah, yes! It's Fall!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Why's it so dusty...

I sit. Staring. Trying to get my fingers to communicate the thoughts mixed up between my heart and my head. I can't even sift through the mental and emotional boxes scattered across the confusion I call a brain, and yet I hope that my fingers can magically categorize and inventory all that is happening.


This lids dusty. *cough cough* Really dusty! That's what I thought. "The Lottery." This box contains all those exotic trips, time offs from work, dreams of grand adventures. A huge house, many children, - both adopted and natural. The beach house. The vacation house....yes. We probably shouldn't open this lid...

Over here is the "Options" box. I try not to visit this one too much, but keep it close for easy access. There are job options in here. Housing options. Children options. Areas where we can improve or do something different that would benefit our family.

Is this a box? Oh yes. This is what I call "Drama." Need I say more? It's been kicked, tossed, damaged and bruised. I get so stinking sick of this box I could just scream! There are memories of nasty comments and cutting remarks. There are engraved plaques of pointed out failures and rulers of just missing the mark. There are awards for the "biggest loser" and IOU's to those we love. I get so frustrated with this box and the hurt that it tells of, especially from those where "blood flows thicker than water." It's more full than it should be, and that's unfortunate, for these things are never forgotten - especially between those you once trusted and held in high regard. You just don't do that to family. This box has been abused and all because of pride and selfish ambition. Can we throw this one away, please?

Ahhh...the "Creative" box. I love this box! I want to make this box a little bigger so I can fully crawl inside and be enveloped by all of the creative juices that continually flow. I desire to see my creative visions of home and entertainment come alive - to relax in the comfort of pure creative makings. I want to smell nothing else but the hot glue gun, scraps of paper, or hear the constant sound of, what would be, my sewing machine making beautiful masterpieces. I want to splatter acrylic paint across my jeans and call it a work of art! I love to escape to this box. Unfortunately, this box has more cobwebs than I'd like to admit.

This box is a mess. Actually, I need to get an over sized, Rubbermaid tub for this box. The sides are busting at the seams; the duct tape will no longer hold it all together. "Real Life." The bills. The priorities. The schedules. It's all out of control with no way to reign it all in. The minutes that fly by. The hours that turn into days that seem wasted through the toil of everyday labor. The wants that slip through the cracks, as the list of needs grow longer. The headaches that plague from who knows where. It's all there. Bursting at the seams. Ready to explode at anytime. This one we hide, under a pretty, fuzzy blanket, so no one can see the true chaos that we call "real life."

It shines. I polish it. It's "Family." I crave the time when I can pull the lid of this box and let all the contents escape into pure perfection. I crave the moments when we gather around the table for dinner and talk to Jesus, thanking him for all of our blessings. I love the moments where we sit to watch Jeopardy and Mia tries to talk louder than the volume of the TV. I love sitting by the bathtub as I watch Mia splash with so much excitement that she topples over in the most un-graceful way possible. I love wrapping up my little "papoose" in her purple towel and carrying her to daddy for her "wet kisses." I love driving in the car as Casey and I sing made up songs to Mia Bella. I love listening to my handsome husband tickle Mia to the point of hysterical giggling. I love listening to Casey's baby voice as he whispers sweet nothings to our beautiful daughter. I'm proud to be known as Mrs. Casey Gerster, and proud to be known as Mia's mommy.


I'm exhausted. No more box hunting for now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

I love the COLORADO air...

Seattle. We had fun.
But. Colorado, we never want to leave you!

Our trip to Seattle was fun! Busy. But fun. It was great to see some family we see almost never, and even see people whom Casey has never met before. Mia was a huge hit, and did really well on our trip. She took the flight well, sleeping all the way except for those brief minutes she woke up to look around at everyone and flash them her gorgeous smile. She was a hit. During the wedding preparations, while mommy was knee deep in details and coordination, Mia floated from person to person and was calm and lovely the whole way.

The wedding was perfect. The details came together nicely. The wedding was right on schedule, and there wasn't too many hiccups to ruin the day.

Here are some pictures of our time there.

(we took a limo to the Melting Pot. It was delicious! And we got Emily a bunch of embarrassing gifts!)

(there was plenty of rough play!)

(Uncle Spencer put Mia right to sleep)

(Mia danced the night away with Uncle Nate)

(So sleepy!)