Friday, December 31, 2010


[Are you getting tired of these family pictures yet?]

Over the past 25+ odd years (yes, I was a child bride! :)) I have received some, say we say interesting, gifts from Mr. Tennis. A couple that really stand out include a bed pillow for an anniversary gift (odd and not well-received by moi at all) and one year, a coupon stating he would pay for me to have the spider veins in my legs zapped! Obviously, he never heard the way to a girl's heart is jewelry. Although now, I would love a coupon for some Botox*. [He actually is a great gift-giver and has the biggest heart, but thought I'd have some fun with some of his ideas over the years. All gifts mentioned are true and not fictional!]

His gift giving expertise has improved a bit over the years. One of my all-time favorite Christmas gifts was seat heaters for my jeep! Oh my -- I love them and say thank you every single time I hop into that cold car. They heat up really fast -- way quicker than the car heater! Guess I do love practical gifts after all! This year, I received a wide stretchy belt and he thought it was just the thing fashionable (ha!) me would love! Picture a big corset-type belt --yeah, really! Well, truthfully, I hate tight things around my waist (waist, what waist??) and am afraid such a belt would accent my flab rather than hide it, but it was a sweet thought.
He did figure out one great item this year -- a six-pack of tonic water, some limes, beverage stirrers and a bottle of the finest gin around. Yep, guess he heard about how much I enjoyed that "Death by Gin" drink I had in Chicago last summer!
Anyone care to join me in a G&T??

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Quick Update!

While I planned to get lots of blog-reading and blogging done over the holidays, it clearly hasn't happened. Remember how I thought how my new Black Friday laptop would make me a speed-demon on blogland and I would be blog-hopping and posting like crazy? Well, not so much. The laptop is a bit different (duh) than a desktop, and it's taking me some time to get used to it and the keyboard, etc. So, basically, I'm slower than ever!!

Laptop stuff aside, we had a wonderful holiday. Made up luminaries on Christmas Eve to light in the evening. Our street has the most beautiful glow -- it's so special. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with Cboo and Maddy, visited my dear sweet parents on the 26th and had Christmas with Philip, Catherine and Janie on the 28th. We are spreading out the joy and it has been fun! Would post tons of photos, but I didn't get many and, oh yeah, haven't figured out how to get the photos from my camera to the laptop! (Another big duh, for me, eh!).

Miss Muffy, our Scottie, had a great Christmas too! She's enjoying staying home with us this week out of puppy daycare. At least, I think she's enjoying it! :) However, the yard is taking a beating. You know those little solar lights you might have in your yard? We had some --had being the operative word as she has pulled them out and chewed up whatever she can. Yes, I am buying her some more outdoor toys! She's also chewed up mulch, torn apart tennis balls and hunted down squirrels -- I'd say she's having fun!

We are looking forward to all the possibilities and promise of the new year!
Even though it's an odd-numbered year (not generally my faves),
I think 2011 will be fabulous!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

To My 9 Year Old!

My dear sweet Maddy -- it's time to celebrate your 9th birthday!

The years since we met you have simply flown by and your sweetness of spirit and generosity has grown just like you.

What a busy year it's been! One of the biggest events of the year was your preparation for First Confession and First Communion. Oh my, there were lots of prayers and sacraments to learn about and you did a fabulous job. Dad and I are so proud of how much you've grown in your faith in the last year.

Another big event was the birth of Philip and Catherine's baby girl, Janie. It was a little difficult at first to no longer be the youngest, but you've grown into your role as Auntie Maddy. I know that Janie is going to look up to you and want to be just like you. You and she had so much fun together at Thanksgiving! Being an Auntie is great!

You and Dad managed to acquire that puppy you've been patiently longing for during the past couple of years. And what a special puppy you decided on, a Scottie! We met and brought home sweet Muffy in July. I know that you two will share many secrets in the years to come and that you are most definitely her very best friend!

School has been a little bit trickier in 3rd grade, but you (and I) with help from our wonderful tutor and friend, Courtney, have managed to figure out the best way to study and learn. Your teachers love you and your determination (I do too)!

A fun trip to Chicago completed our summer where we met up with Amy and Grace and Cboo too! You girls know how to have fun and showed us that you can be Big City girls! From now on, a "girls only" trip is going to be our summer tradition every single year!

I hope you know that I have the most wonderful job in the world of being your Mother. You make my heart sing with your sweet drawings, sayings and our fun car-dancing! I've been blessed beyond words and wish you the very best year to come as my special 9-year old!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Program!

[Getting ready to go!]

Maddy's school Christmas program was held the other night at church with the K-4 grades singing. It was so much fun to see the kids all dressed up and out of their uniforms.
The girls looked so pretty and sweet! And the boys . . . well, you know boys . . .
they looked uncomfortable and very squirrely!

[Striking a silly pose!]

They sang from the altar and Mr. Tennis said the altar was full of angels -- he was right!
It was a wonderful program and the songs filled the air and our hearts with the joy of season.
Wow -- I'm getting a little mushy, aren't I!?!
I can't help it -- it just gets to me every single year!

Maddy loves her teachers! Here she is with Mrs. S -- who is truly an incredible teacher.
Her love for the kids and teaching shines through every single day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Girl and Her Puppy

Brrrrr -- hello Winter! OH MY WORD!!!
We had an Arctic blast over the weekend and it's wasn't a fun one!
It was so incredibly cold and windy. The high temps were around 10 with wind chills at -20, and it was incredibly windy with blowing snow all over the place.
It was a day to stay inside on Saturday!

Our pup, Miss Muffy, wore her puffy vest outside whenever she ventured out.
Unfortunately, she moves so fast, we never got a photo of her in her little vesty. But, rest assured, it did its job and kept her warm! We tried to call her to come in right away on Sunday, but no, she had her own plans. There she was . . . out in the backyard --
throwing her ball around and playing in the snow, all on her own.

Yes, Scotties are one of the smartest dogs ever!!

Maddy and I are trying to train a little bit. She loves treats and will sit and stay.
We actually haven't gotten much beyond "come, sit, stay and crash (lie down)."
Someday we hope to teach her to speak and maybe shake, but for now,
we're going with the easy tasks. She and Maddy just love each other so much!
They are already "besties"!

Even though, I complain (what, me complain???) about Muffy sometimes,
she is a good little dog,
and I know that she will be a trusted companion and confidante
for Maddy in the years to come!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Zoo in Winter

Let me tell you -- the zoo looks a whole lot different in the winter! For one thing -- not very many people are visiting. The zoo is now closed, but is having "winter weekends" and open each weekend in December. For some crazy reason, Maddy and I decided to visit on Sunday, when the high temp hit a balmy 20 degrees! Can you say BRRRRR!! It was so cold!!

Maddy visited the reindeer. They are preparing for an epic journey soon!

Pretended to be an Eagle!

Visited famous zoo landmark, Leo the Lion -- he eats trash -- really, he does!

Saw the new Penguin habitat.
Our new penguins are warm weather penguins and
were off in an indoor heated pool somewhere - aren't they smart!

And posed with our fave little bear wearing shades -- she said he was really cold!

And we ended our visit with someone very special in the Zoo boutique --
more about that later! :)