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Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas festivities!

What a fun holiday season!  Throughout, we have quickly realized our need for good babysitters! :)  Wishing the grandparents were closer. :)    Luckily, we have great friends who pitched in to help!
The owners and key people from Lee's company in Arizona flew out for a holiday party at Porcupine Grill!  It was so cool to see that the office had grown from 2 people to 7 employees and their spouses!  So fun!  This picture is Joyce and I.  Her hubby is the owner of TPI, and we've been close to their family for many years.  Joyce was responsible for the fabulous food at my baby shower in Utah!  She flew out to do it! :)
It was so much fun to hang out with her with Macie! :) Of course she brought presents!  You are so good to us Cruz family!

Next we had our church small group Christmas Party at our house.  Michael brought a yummy punch!  We all could only handle a glass of it. :) 

Our little house ready for guests.

Our baby tree.  Had to get a small one since a nearly 1 year old would pull down a regular one! :)

Joe Cracking us up!

The spread!  Lee made Kabobs, Marybeth made Paula Deen homemade cinnamon rolls (OMG!), Melissa made a wonderful spinach salad with amazing poppy seed dressing, the Andersons brought funeral potatoes, Nicki brought homemade Mac-n-cheese, and I made a Caresse salad, and we had our chocolate fountain in full flow with brownies, strawberries, rice krispie treats and pretzels for dipping!

Yummo!  James and Luke brought home brewed beer that they've been working on.  It was yum too!

Our dearest Utah friends.  Couldn't do life without them! 
L to R: Michael, (Daisie!) Vickie, Joe, Melissa, Marybeth (baby 2 month old Hugo is to the right out of sight) and James

These people make Utah for us! :) 
L to R: Luke, Nicki (they have little Zac and Lucy), Michael and Vickie (they were the first people we met at our church)

This picture was silly.  Lee put some chocolate on my nose. I didn't know it was there!

Kylie the chocolate nosed hostess...

We had a white elephant gift exchange.  Michael loved his wax santas! :)
We are so blessed by these people.  Michael opened and closed the night in prayer and we thanked Jesus for this time of  year, true friendships and Iron sharpening Iron.  Oh man how these women challenge me to be more like Jesus!!!  Love them!
Kicking myself that I didn't get a group shot!  UGH!

10 months!

And now she's 10 months! This mama is having a REALLY hard time with the thought of my baby girl turning 1 in a few short weeks! It seems like only yesterday I learned I was pregnant, and then was awaiting her arrival last Christmas! How truly fast time flies!
After Macie began to crawl, it seems we didn't get to experience it long before only days later she was pulling herself up to her knees and then to standing.   I have to admit, I absolutely LOVE laying on the floor and letting her pull herself up on me. :) 
With moving and pulling up, comes a speedy course on childproofing this house!  Although we'd installed gates, it quickly became apparent that we needed to remove cords and other items we didn't want her getting into.  If there is somewhere she shouldn't be, this child will be there!  She recently discovered the doggie door and dog food, so we have to be extra careful when she ventures into the kitchen!  I have recently heard myself say "she's a handful!" on more than one occasion of late. 
Macie has also begun to open cabinets and I found her playing with the CDs (see video) which makes perfect sense since she is also taking a keen interest in music.  She loves her silly song cds (thanks Aunt Erin!) and shakes her arms and twirls her hands at the wrist and bounces whenever music comes on.  I make it a point to have music on each day and dance with her!  She loves it! 
I found a music class that ran for a couple of weeks and focused on holiday tunes.  Although I couldn't get pictures, trust me when I say she was the cutest in the class.  :)  She especially loved the Dreidel song (like mother like daughter!) She was the youngest, but absolutely loved playing the instruments, shaking the jingle bells and watching mommy toss the scarves into the air!  At one point during "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" she started doing her little wrist twisty motion and the teacher said "Everyone, twist your hands like Macie!"  To which she smiled the biggest smile and did her "Ah ah ah" sound. :) 
I have several classes scheduled in January to try out and plan to get her enrolled in a weekly class.  I also found a dance class that begins at age 1, and when they are walking.  That I can't wait for!  I mean, hey, I started dance when I was 3, so why not start now? 
We also plan to get her enrolled in swimming lessons. 
Macie claps all the time and also distinctly signs "more."  She especially loves when we say "Yay Macie" to which she bounces, laughs and claps.  She loves playing peek-a-boo, especially when Daddy holds her and mommy disappears behind the wall and then re-appears.  She laughs and closes her eyes waiting for mommy to tickle her. 
Macie loves to take objects that make noise and clang them together.  She also has begun to jabber up a storm and her newest words end in "t" such as "Dat" and "Bot."  She loves when mommy sings "where is thumbkin?" and anticipates me saying "run away" and making my fingers tickle her back and bursts into giggles.   She loves pat-a-cake and loves when I say "put it in the oven for Macie and Mommy!" 
Finally, this month Macie has really begun to love taking clothes in and out of the laundry basket.  Not always the best help if they are clean....but adorable nonetheless. :)
Here are some pics and videos of this month!
Stinker who should be asleep!
10 months!

Telling her that her voice is croaky this particular day after her nap, she loves that word like her cousin Maddie!

A short/small example of her clanging and bouncing
Getting ready to go swimming with daddy
Playdate with Luce!

Playing with the nativity/advent calendar Grammy sent! She loves the little characters

Today we played with pots and pans.  This is her stirring her legos
Mommy voted when we were on our run

Getting into the no-nos.  CDs!
Stinker in pony tails

Playing drums with our pots and pans
We met Daddy for lunch one day

Big time stinker playing with furry sister!

Standing up and dancing!

Macie and the warden of baby jail (Daddy)

"Lemme outta here!"

Finger lickin' good!

Eatin' puffs
Up to NO GOOD!

We did two shoeboxes for "Operation Christmas Child." If you don't know about this charity, they send shoeboxes full of toys etc. to children in 3rd world countries.  We do it every year and its one of our favorite things! (Hello dollar section at Target!)  This year Macie "helped" mommy pack hers.  She really just wanted to sample all the toys.

Uh huh.  Helping.

I love the little "butt up in the air" baby pic. :)  You'll notice her hair is really growing too!

Jumperoo'd herself into sleep land.

Playing with her new lego set from Aunt Erin, Uncle Bubba, Maddie and Hannah!

We finally cleared the junk out of the basement (never mind that its all in the garage!) and painted, turning our odd-shaped "L" space into a playroom for Macie and her brother to come! :)  It turned out great!  Thanks Daddy for all your hard work! Macie LOVES it!
Our little princess of snow

Mama's sweet sweet girl!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

GUESS WHAT??????????????????

Some referrals came in and we are #23 on the boy list!  Woo hoo!  We began storming the heavens for movement!  And 5 referrals came in for our age group!   Remember I said our agency's transition home was FULL?  And that I believed that God could make the kiddos in there paper-ready?  Well, it's happening!  We're almost to the teens! :) 
Last time this happened it was followed by a lull for several months when the referrals dried up.  Will you join us in praying that this doesn't happen???  We're ready to be "on deck" and waiting for the call from the 703 area code! :)

Thank you!

My birthday!

Have you noticed that my blogging frequency has increased significantly?  You are not dreaming because indeed it has!  Lee got me a new computer for my Birthday! :)  YES!  While I am still completely attached to my lil' yellow dell (it has our adoption paperwork, the first 13 chapters of my book, countless photos, documents, etc. etc. Talk about blood sweat and tears!)  its time to move on.  This new computer runs like a dream!!!  Previously, it literally took me days to do a blog entry.  Hours upon hours to upload videos to YouTube, then hours to upload photos to this blog and then write my entries, format it correctly (which stopped happening, hence the extra update of my Macie 9 month entry) and post it.  Now, I have been able to upload photos at a rate of about 10 per 2 minutes.  AMAZING!  Thank you honey for bringing me back to full functioning in the PC world! :)
And now,
Onto my birthday!

I have to admit, in years past, my birthday was a dread.  I struggled with turning 30, and every year thereafter wasn't a picnic.  This year, however was better!  I have the greatest gift I've ever received!  Macie! :)

And this year, my birthday fell on a Saturday, which meant I didn't have to work and Lee didn't either! :) Yippee!!!

The day was L-A-Z-Y!  Lee took Macie grocery shopping and I slept in LATE.  Till 10! :)  I got up and hung out while Lee worked on the basement, and then took a nap with Macie about 1! :)  Then I went for a mani/pedi and came back and got ready for dinner out!  A guy who works for Lee (Duke) and his girlfriend watched Macie while we went to Lowe's (Had to buy a new dishwasher...ugh), and to MAZZA!  I'm no foodie, nor to I get to eat out frequently, but I would venture out on a limb to exclaim that this is the best food in Salt Lake!  I am never disappointed when we go!  It has become a tradition for my birthday and even was a pregnancy craving go-to last year! :)  They carry a wine that I could just die for.  Come to find out it is on the "best of the cheap wine" list. :)  The menu doesn't say it is cheap, but turns out its a 15 dollar bottle.  You can't get it at any of the state-run liquor stores here in you have to go to Mazza!  Its a blend of various grapes.  Cabernet, merlot, malbec, and some more I can't remember.  Let me just say it is fruity, but not bitter, smooth and delicious.  I have to get some!!! It's illegal to drive, fly, or ship into Utah, so not sure how I'm gonna pull it off. :) 
All that said, it was a great night, topped off by a trip to the new Trader Joe's!  Lee and I were in heaven, even though the shelves where bare.  We did however come away with one little gem (see below.) :)
YUM.  Yarden.  This wine was made in the Golan Heights in the area of the Sea of Galilee.  I hiked in the Golan and saw the wineries.  They are high altitude and its just delicious!  Can I tell you how much I love the name, and the fact that there is a BC image of an oil lamp, it says "Galilee" and Mount Hermon is in Golan?  It is my ALL TIME FAVE WINE!  Not that I'm a big connoisseur but once in a while.... :)

Us. :) 

After and appetizer of Israel-worthy hummus and handmade pita, I ordered chicken kabob platter, balsamati rice, Lebanese salad, and two falafel.  Lee got steak and lamb kabobs. 
I was giddy to come home after church today and finish it off! :) 

Too bad this Trader Joe's is downtown!   But I'm just glad its here!
Me. :) 

We headed to Sweet Tooth Fairy for a sweet treat.  Lee's was a "funfetti" confection and mine, peanut butter chocolate! YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

And now...the discovery of all discoveries!  Trader Joe's has FAIR TRADE ETHIOPIAN COFFEE!  In fact, it was the flavor of the week! :)  We don't do Starbucks (they buy Ethiopian coffee for pennies and screw (excuse my gets me riled up!) the Ethiopian coffee farmer out of fair profit for their hard work, thereby directly increasing poverty in Ethiopia which equates to more people giving up their children to adoption!)  So, this is a BIG deal and hard to find.  We can't wait to bring an extra suitcase full of donations to Ethiopia and then bring it back full of coffee! :)  So, in the meantime, this will have to do! :)  Hubby was happy!  He's been kind of spoiled on this coffee since our friend April brought us some back from ET! :)
 Here's to 37! :)


We got to go to Montana for Thanksgiving!  It was so much fun to finally meet Hannah, see Maddie and enjoy family!  Grammy, Grampy, Aunt Erin and Uncle Bubbie! 
Our silly little giggly girl ready for some turkey

Cute little turkey dress Gobble Gobble!

Macie and Hannah!  Can you say "look alike" cousins?

Macie Faith

AWWWW! Hannah!

Macie fell and hit her head.  She is pulling up to standing on anything and everything and her little hands slipped and she fell forward and hit a knob on her way down. The goose egg swelled and bruised immediately!  Poor baby!  This is after she calmed down and was watching "Frosty the Snowman" with Daddy

My dear friend Becke' from high school lives in Billings, MT.  We met half way in Bozeman at a hip little coffee shoppe and caught up!  Man I love that girl!  Its like  no time had passed!

Hannie!  I was THRILLED she let me hold her and wouldn't cry!  She's quite attached to her Mommy right now so that was awesome! :)

Ok, I have to brag on my  niece a little.  This child is 2.5 years old and has an amazing vocabulary!  Seriously!  She reapeats anything you say and her common language includes big adult words and she says complete sentences.  She seroiusly talks like a 5 year old.  I'm not exaggerating!  You have to remind yourself you are talking to a toddler and not a preschooler! 

She is SOOO well behaved and SO sweet. 
She has the best imagination.  She saw Daisie and then said "Grammy, you gave me a delicious treat when I was a brown doggie."  LOL

FIrst Thanksgiving!  She ate turkey and mashed potatos! YUM!

We did Christmas early for Hannah and Maddie so we could watch them open gifts. 

This picture was before "the fall" see the knob?  OUCH!
Playing a game with my Punkins!  I love her so!

The fun fruit cutting toy I got Maddie!  Aunt Kylie wanted to play with it!

Hannah goes for a ride on Daisie! :)

Maddie feeding Puffs to Macie



First Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble!

Happy baby!

Maddie modeling the dress we gave her! She wore it to bed! :)

cutting fruit!

Maddie felt Thanksgiving was dress worthy

Hannah and Daisie Lou

Here's the cutest video of Maddie. She loves the word "CROAKY" :)

We really had a wonderful time!  We opted to stay over one more day due to questionable weather.  Lee played hooky from work to be safe and we got an extra day!  Thanks Brad, Erin, Maddie and Hannah for letting us come! :)  We love you!