Wednesday, December 26, 2012

and to all a goodnight!

this christmas was the first year in many that we were able to really enjoy the season, for the most part. we got back from the states, and as soon as we hit the ground, we were running (literally people, it was dang cold outside and a long walk to our car). clay was back in the office from the day after we got back too, so with all the catching up on what we missed and all the planning ahead that goes along with christmas when leading a church, it was quite a busy season. but not like the years past! with the coffee stall in the Christmas markets and all...(how many more times can i say "christmas" in one paragraph? christmas christmas christmas christmas!)
PLUS, this is the first year that we HAVE A BABY (who isnt in utero!) and a pretty awesome one at that. she made the season all that more fun. and our city really stepped it up for the christmas here too. complete with a santa's village, a train ride around the city, a carousel, night showings of christmas movies, light displays, market stalls, a giant christmas slide and much more. (none of which we actually did....whoops! but it was nice to know it was there? aw dangit, we will try harder next year...) 

anyway, here are some pictures of our christmas season.

picking our tree from the tree nursery right up the hill. it didn't take long, considering it was an old farmer man, with a grand selection of about ten trees...but we did find the best of the lot, and proceeded to fork over way too much money. (live christmas trees around here are just plain silly expensive. we had a fake one for the first year but i just couldn't do without that know the one? its something that a even a yankee candle cant replicate!)

here are some outtakes form our annual christmas photo. we always have the camera on a timer and tripod, and i say that we do pretty great considering! do you know how hard it is to get four individuals looking somewhat decent for those ten consecutive clicks of the shutter? and even with all that, the picture still turns out pretty goofy. but i think that kind of captures us as a family anyway. 

now, onto christmas day!

willow likes to eat her presents as she is opening them, and she does get alot done, in her intense tearing of the packages, if only to just eat it. but still! i had to re-wrap a few of the presents under the tree in the week leading up to christmas, because as soon as i was gone she would be eating them again. she would have been happy as a clam if her christmas presents were letting her eat wrapping paper...this girl and her hunger for paper, im telling you!

her and i both did really well this christmas. she got some great wooden toys, and i got some cookbooks and other kitchen needs. hooray for us!

after all that excitement and before i became chained to the kitchen to prepare the christmas dinner, we went for a nice walk on the beach. right out our front door! it was an amazingly beautiful day, for irish winter standards. (heck, for any standards!)

and here is our spread! 
it was only us three this year, but come on, if im going to make christmas dinner, I'm going to make a proper one! none of this two (and a half!) portion nonsense. but seriously, this could have fed a dozen, its just that ridiculous! leftovers for days! 
includes: a large homestyle turkey, honey and rosemary leg of lamb, baked garlic and butter brussel sprouts, roast parsely parsnips, roast salted carrots, sweet potato classic with pecans, garlic and cream mashed potatoes, all of which was swimming in gravy (well, at least on clays plate it was.)
ask my husband how it tasted, he is the truth teller! and willow too, she enjoyed some sliced carrots, parsnips, and a few strips of turkey. she will tell you!

after that dinner, we were pretty much done for. we just lazied around. i mean, really, could you move? (BONUS, clay cleaned the kitchen!) 

and finally, ill leave you with some incredibly cute pictures of our babe, dressed up as a little christmas pudding. and also, a naked one by the tree. because it just isn't christmas without a naked baby being poked by pine needles, now is it? 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

one of those naps

let me tell you something about willow and her naps...
she likes to keep them short and sweet. (kinda like herself.)
but on the odd, once in a long while days, she decides to sleep longer than 40 minutes on the nose. and during some of those odd, once in a long while naps, I'm telling you, she wakes up a different baby than the one she went to sleep as.
I walk into where she is sleeping, and I look at her and see it straight away. I say, "willow, you had 'one of those naps' didn't you?" and she smiles and makes some kind of noise or expression, that didn't exist before that nap.
once, her nose was slightly less upturned than before.
once, her eyes had widened, and had a different little sparkle than before.
once, her voice had lost that baby sound that she used to wake herself up to.
once, her teeny teeth had showed themselves more than before.
once, (and I swear this is true) she grew another roll on her thighs.
and once, she looked up at me, lying there in her crib surrounded by all her baby things, with a look so grown up, I felt like the child.

Friday, December 07, 2012

california: week 6 (also known as the week that disappeared because i have no pictorial evidence) + back to ireland

ohhhhh my goodness. this last week in america has been one filled with so many weird emotions. we've been sad, excited, blessed, and exhausted. i can't really put my finger on it. maybe it was this 6th extra bonus week that we booked this year that just was too much? or maybe it was because willow was around this time, and seeing everyone say good bye to her, just yanked our hearts out? i dont know.

but either way, we did eventually make it back to ireland, without much event. and now, we are trying our hardest to get back into the swing of things. jet lag is the worst in this direction, we get tired late, then we want to sleep in late. ew! and you, cold cold irish winter, you arent helping any! all of this not wanting to get out of our warm beds business is making it very hard to adjust!

but we're getting on. clay is already back into work these past two days, and willow is trying her hardest to not go to bed at 2am.  and hey, im back in full swing at this whole housewife thing too!


cant exactly publish this post without a cute picture of willow, now can i?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

being willow worrell mother: month 7 (or, the month she was an American)

being willow worrells mother means discovering these incredible little edible things called baby puffs and ALWAYS (and i mean always!) having them on hand if willow needs a happy moment, because I know that nothing can put a smile on her face quicker than a handful of puffs!

being willow worrells mother means being red and scratched all over from two little pinching fingers, and still being okay with it, because i know that its a motion which she mastered after many a puff was picked that way.

being willow worrells mother means loving her silly little smile that shows off two very cute incisors that somehow managed to sprout through before her two front teeth, because even though she looks like a miniature vampire, i love her anyway. and hey, even our dentist was impressed!

being willow worrells mother means having to get really creative with her sleeping arrangements, whether it be in a car, plane, stroller, floor, playpen, travel cot, etc. because i know that she is kind of like her mother in the way of sleep. if she doesn't get it, on comes the cranks and the moods!

being willow worrells mother means watching with wonder as she starts to crawl for the first time, in a tiny trailer in the middle of nowhere, because i know that when she sees something that she wants (yes, it was food) she'll get to where she wants to go. even if it is a strange method of crawling, thats ok, she is kind of a strange girl...

being willow worrells mother means showing her many interesting things by pointing at them, because i know she is a very curious girl. and because of all that pointing, she quickly learned how to show me many interesting things too.

(month 6)
(month 4 & 5)
(month 2 & 3)
(month 1)

Friday, November 30, 2012

california: week 4&5 (disneyland, northern california + a day in the dirt)

oh man, we have had a crazy few weeks! we are looking forward to getting some normalcy back in our lives, or at least to not live out of a suitcase any longer! there has been some endless nights/days/early mornings, and some tired tired faces on those days, BUT we have enjoyed every second of it, and so has little willow.
and while im on the subject, (do you really want me to get started? cause i could go for awhile!) let me tell you something about this girl...she is up for anything! she has gone with us everywhere, done everything we have done, had some late nights and early mornings herself, but has not made more than a few peeps! (then, it was no more mr nice baby, not joking!)

a few weeks ago we went to disneyland with some very special people, clays sister and her cute cute little girls. maile came too! she loved all the sights and sounds and colors! serious, she was in baby heaven. here is what the day looked like....

her first impression, main street madness!

then she met mickey,

then she rode the jungle cruise (with her cousins and grandma maile, of course).

she rode the tea cups,

then she took a sleepy disneyland nap.

she rode its a small world, and pirates of the caribbean too.

and to top off the night, we rode the carousel. it was indeed a happy day. 

the next day we started the drive up the 101 to northern california. we drive up every year to visit some dear friends of ours. it breaks our hearts to only spend a few days with them, but its better than nothing! 

we stopped in san luis obispo to see our friends, josh and faith sarr. she was just days away from holding her baby girl! 

we finally made it, and got to spend a few sweet days with the brodersen family. they are the best, and their boys the cutest, are they not?

we also popped down to the city a few times to have lunch with some more dear friends.

and even brought willow along to her first concert, to see yet another friend release his first ep. 
(look him up guys, here)

and thennnnn, the day after we got back from sf, we started the long and tiresome week that is, a day in the dirt. yet for some reason we look forward to it every year, its like we forget about the crazy dirty madness? its a great time to spend with friends, work hard in the sun, and get paid for it all!

the super awesome, waiver signing, wristband giving, money taking, no baloney accepting, crew.

willow was like the front gate mascot. to us, she was the only very-important-person in attendance that year.

i think we got about three showers that week? yes, ew. its called "a day in the dirt" for a reason. willow, however, managed to get a bath every night in our camper van of a home (even with  lack of running water the last two nights. mothering success!)

and that concludes this disneyland-northern california-day in the dirt segment of our california trip. we leave for ireland in just a few short days. dang, time to start packing.