December/January are full of all sorts of Anniversaries for us.
Last year before we left for Philadelphia we took the kids to build a bear. To be honest, it sounds a bit cheesy. But I was so heart sick about leaving Ashlyn and Tanner at home I was trying to think of anything I could do before we left to make our absence easier. So we let them pick out an animal at build a bear and Brad and I kissed the little hearts that went inside the animals and told them that when they missed us or were sad they had our love in their stuffed animals. Ashlyn has kept track all year of her bunny's birthday- the day they were put together at the mall. December 20, 2010. So this year on December 20th we had a birthday party for all of their animals. Ashlyn's bunny, Tanner's dog, and Logan's bear. Complete with birthday cake, singing and presents. The kids were adorable they planned it all out, made the gifts and everything. It was such a cute/fun night.
This was last year when they were making their animals.
Christmas was absolutely delightful this year. I loved it all (minus the few times the kids were so high on sugar there was no control!)
Christmas Eve we had our own little Nativity.
Ashlyn took her role as Mary very serious. This is the only benefit in her eyes of being the only girl (she really wants a sister) but there is no debate on who gets to be Mary!
Tanner as a Shepherd.
This kid cracks me up- he has something against wearing costumes. I couldn't get him to dress up for Halloween and he refused to wear the robe to be Joseph so we finally found a happy medium of a shepherd holding a lamb!
Ashlyn really wanted Logan to be baby Jesus... look how big he is! He is not a baby anymore!
He made a pretty cute Shepherd when we could get him to hold still long enough to get his costume on!
Christmas was chaotic and so much fun!
Tanner can never have too many puppies!
Logan has a bit of an Elmo obsession that my sister Tiffany feeds more than anyone!
Ashlyn rockin' her Rollerblades even in a skirt!
Brad and I were the crazy college students that crammed a wedding in between semesters. So we celebrated our 11th Wedding Anniversary on the 27th. Last year we spent our anniversary flying to Philly. Our date consisted of leftover casserole at the Ronald McDonald House- which neither of us could stomach because we were so nervous.
This year we got to have dinner at Rodizios. It was a lot better tasting and a lot more relaxing!
December 30th last year
And this year...
You've come a long way
baby BIG Boy!
New Year's Day we held our annual scones and bacon feast. (Despite my paranoia of germs and Logan's anxiety in large groups- we had a huge crowd here.) We have scones because it is a Gunnell family tradition. Bacon because it literally saved our lives New Year's Day 2003 from carbon monoxide poisoning. The smell of my mom cooking bacon woke me up just long enough to crawl up the stairs and pass out. What a story! But what a reminder about how lucky we are to be alive.
I was warned not to even look downstairs with all the chaos and kids... I didn't! But it was great to celebrate with our family. We love and appreciate all of their love and support.
Brad and I have both been blessed in our jobs. His work has been so accommodating with Dr. appointments and time off. Also offering the much needed insurance coverage. Hitting our out of pocket max. in January was a blessing too... it made the millions of Dr. appointments throughout the year a little less stressful!
My job teaching at the gym always seems to work out with the schedule our family needs. I teach enough to keep me sane, but am not away from home very long. We have a great neighbor that watches Logan while I am at the gym (and so we can have a date night every once in awhile). She has been one of our greatest blessings this year.
We have family that never tires of hearing about oxygen levels, Dr. appointments and petty concerns. We are so blessed.
Ashlyn LOVES school and is healthy and happy.
Tanner also loves (not enough to capitalize every letter though) school, is healthy and happy.
I could go on and on and on. I don't ask why us anymore. I know Logan's heart is a gift and it has made our family better, closer, and so so grateful for everything.
Happy New Year!!