Thursday, February 27, 2014

Luke's Blessing Pictures

Taking these pictures had been giving me anxiety for weeks! Weeks I tell you! I wanted them to be outside and every time the weather was nice enough, we had a million other things going on! Thank goodness I got these before he grew out of his blessing outfit. 
On our way home from this photo shoot I was feeling super bummed thinking I didn't get any good ones. It just got dark so quickly! 

But as soon as I got home and got them on the computer, I realized that I was so wrong!
I love them! They definitely have a different sort of hue to them. The sunset was particularly orangey on this day. But, I just adore them.

I can't tell you the feeling that comes over me when I look at these pictures. 
They make me cry with happiness and joy. 
I love being a Mother. 
But not just any Mother. 
I love being Luke's Mother.
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A little bit of guilt is mixed in my feelings as well. I so suffered emotionally during this pregnancy. I was constantly thinking, "Is this really going to be worth it?".
Without a doubt. Best decision and worth it ALL.
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This little guy has always been there for me.
I have felt his spirit during races and during hard personal times. 
He's a mighty one he is!
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That may sound silly to you, but it's true.
I've ALWAYS wanted a little boy. 
And I've ALWAYS known I'd get one. ;)
Hopefully two. Did I just say that out loud? hehe.
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I love this smile!!!!! 
He's just beside himself with laughter! I can hear it when I look at this picture!
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He loves his Daddy.
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Money shot. Love the light. Love the clarity. Love that smile!
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This is one of my favorites. 
He looks like such a little man in this one...
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"What's Mom going to make us do now?"
Tyler: "I don't know son. But you'll get used to it."
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Drool= Mommy swooning
You don't have to understand it. haha!
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I love this series! These are the ones I thought would be trash. The sun was just about gone.
But nope. They are the BEST!
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I just love that little baby profile!
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These may all look the same to you... but they are NOT. 
So different.
Handsome boy...
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Kiss me face...
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Pure joy face.
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Thank goodness for Texas sunsets
 and handsome baby boys!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Christmas Day!

Christmas in our own home was..... 
a dream come true.
I'd come downstairs every morning to this beautiful sight...
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I've been collecting ornaments and tinsel for the past several years always storing them away in boxes until I had my own tree to set up.
This year I got to go through them all and put them on the tree.
Seriously, who needs Christmas presents?
I adore our Christmas tree.
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Rachel and Maggies stockings... made by their Great Nana! So special. I love them!
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A Payne tradition!!! 
Every year they put baby Jesus in a manger at the beginning of the month, and as they do kind acts of service and love they are able to add straw to the baby's manager. 
I love this idea!!! Tyler built our little manager and we did this at the end of every day.
On Christmas morning before we can open presents we first sing "Happy Birthday" to baby Jesus and of course, give him lots of kisses... :)
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Rachel and her bow and arrow. She seriously has been asking for this since the summer!
She surprises me with things like this... so girly yet tough too.
She was thrilled!!!!
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And of course we went on a family run after breakfast had settled a bit! And I got to try out my new jump rope at the park! Sweet!
Baby Luke enjoyed his ride!
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Tyler pushed the girls in the double stroller, and I pushed Luke in this... We were a sight to behold running through our neighborhood!
I love my family.
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I wish I had gotten more pictures. Honestly, I'm proud of myself for getting all of these! Luke was only two months old at the time and I was seriously sleep deprived! Oh newborns! haha!
Christmas wore Maggie out! I found her dead asleep on the ottoman with Luke's blanket in the midst of all the family room noise. She was out cold. 
This is my favorite picture of the day...
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Christmas Eve

So the plan for Christmas Eve was to make homemade pizza... but 5 o'clock rolled around far faster than planned, so we headed to Fuddruckers instead. ;)
The girls certainly didn't mind...
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My little baby enjoying the view from his carseat... I can't believe how much he's grown since then!
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I caught this picture of my man... I'm so in love with him. And this picture. ;)
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After dinner we drove around and looked at Christmas lights!
One street was just amazing so the girls and I got out of the car and walked around while Daddy and baby stayed warm in the car.
So magical... I love Christmas.
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Love this one of Maggie...
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Who would have guessed! Santa was there! And here they are putting in some last minute Christmas wishes...
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Such a happy memory recorded. I'm SO glad we have these pictures!
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After this we headed home and read the "Cajun Night Before Christmas" and the Christmas Story from Luke... and then we sent the kids off to bed to dream..
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Main St. Bethlehem

I can't tell you how excited Tyler and I were to have our own Christmas together this year. 
Truly, this is all we wanted. Just a quiet Christmas starting new traditions as a family. 
This is one for the record books! It's called Main St. Bethlehem. 
It's in a little town and every year they recreate the town of Bethlehem. 

We went with a big group from church! This was so much fun!
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It was extremely crowded and I had my 80mm lens on... so the pictures are pretty bad. 
But I just had to post pictures anyway.
Rachel sifting wheat with a local...
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It was very dark- only lit up by candlelight. 
They had everything--- stables, inns, marketplace, Roman soldiers, shops--- it was so amazing.
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It was reverent and quiet. People only spoke in whispers. The girls were enthralled. 
In the distance they spotted the star... 
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This was a wonderful moment for our family. Finally finding Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. 
My two crazy girls were actually quiet and just gazed at them for a moment. I could tell that they caught the true meaning of Christmas in that moment.
This is one tradition that will live on every year for the Payne family! 
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Christmas Cookies 2013

Christmas Cookies! 
The tradition that always survives. The tradition that trumps all the others. 
The day where I don't care how many cookies I eat! 
I'm going to have a million blogposts all labeled, "Christmas Cookies".
That could get confusing. Maybe I should start adding the year. Yes! Yes! I'm changing that right now! Give me a second....
Ahhh... there!
Confusion problem solved.
I'm one smart cookie! 
That was a joke.
You know you laughed. Don't deny it.

Okay, moving on... As you can see from the girls expressions, they were beyond pumped for this! 
It's everything kids dream of--- sugar, frosting, sprinkles, colors, mini candies, and cookies!!!
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Oh, and Texas goes with any season.
Kind of like wearing black sunglasses. They go with everything. ;)
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I love to see how every year their cookie decorating skills improve!
Rachel was a dang pro! 
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So meticulous. 
She gets this from me. 
It's a blessing and a curse. Trust me.
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Maggie--- not so much.
The one single requirement for her cookies to be to code is lots and lots of pink sprinkles! haha!
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Now lets go deliver these bad boys before I gain a zillion pounds!
So good! I just can't resist.
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Princess Painting

Uncle Mike and Aunt Mariela sent the girls two sets of fun figurines to paint. One set was Princess, the other was Monsters Incorporated. 
They loved them!!!
I never buy them stuff like this. It must be a Mommy thing--- No markers. No paint. 
I've got enough to clean, you know what I'm saying? 
However, this thought process is ridiculous! It's soooo easy to clean up! 
And the girls feel so special with stuff like this! 
Thank you Mike and Mariela!!! They had a stinking blast!

As you can tell... Rachel is 4... 
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And Maggie is 3... haha! 
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I'm thinking I should get more of these! It was excellent motivation to be good! And it wasn't treats! Plus, I just love how excited they were!

Maggie's Birthday Party

Okay let me tell you something about Maggie and birthdays--- everything, all year long is about BIRTHDAYS!
Let me explain-
You ask Maggie, "What did you do today?" 
Her response- "I had a birthday party!" (she says this every day)
You say to her, "You look beautiful today Maggie! I love your dress!"
Her response- "Thank you! I got it for my birthday!"
You see her playing with toys and she exclaims,
"Look Mom! I got this for my birthday!"
It's all about birthdays.
And she finally got her party with a big, pink cake! WOOO!
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Here's happy, excited Maggie...
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Here's "what the heck is that?" Maggie...
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Here's "I don't like that" Maggie...
What the heck kid? It's a sparkler candle! Coolest thing ever! 
Obviously, she wasn't impressed! haha!
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She kept that face on for a while but the presents and cake definitely snapped her out of it.
Kids are so unpredictable!
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The girls really enjoyed having their cousins (second cousins!) at the party! It made it so fun!
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And I just couldn't pass this one up. Traveling is rough on kids. Maggie had missed a few naps and finally snuggled up with and passed out. It was wonderful. I don't get moments like these with her often anymore. Such a sweet birthday girl!!!
Happy Birthday Maggie Ila!!!
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