Monday, December 31, 2012

Tis the season!

I felt like "Tis the season to get sick!"  What a downer it has been struggling with this flu for almost a month, as we all seemed to get it a week apart.  There is something so heartbreaking as holding your little ones with fevers of almost 104 for days. We missed almost all of the holiday parties, actives and Christmas things I wanted to do with Zoe now that she can understand what is going on a bit more. Much of the month was just snuggling the littles.
 It also set us back awhile in opening the close yet so far, and the bills kept coming. was a struggle with it being Christmas time, knowing that we really didn't have any money for gifts or giving to others.  It's an uncomfortable place...a humbling place....a place of growth. 
 But what a joy now that the kiosk is open!!!  We had no energy left to do a grand opening (not to mention funds) but just so thankful that it is running now!
 Zoe loves to go visit and get her own coffee (don't worry it is just steamed milk) - which she usually has us refill several times!
Shi, also, likes to represent the Loveland Coffee.
These are the happy faces of those that got to sneak out on a date night to celebrate our opening (and to use a gift card before it expired).
 If I did mention that we had the flu to anyone they would usually mention something about the flu shot and how they needed it or were glad that they got it.  I have to say that I'm glad that we didn't get it, even with getting the flu and how hard it was, I'm glad that we all now have natural immunity to it for life and didn't have to put any nasty chemicals in our body.  I try to talk to others about it, sometimes when I get up the nerve, but most look at me like I'm crazy.  How brainwashed our country has become and I wish others would do some serious research on this themselves.
Zoe is still constantly asking me if I am happy.  Oh, Zo.
My little controlling 2 year old likes to boss me around after I put her to bed.  She always wants to tell me what room I am to go in after leaving her, "Go in mommy's room."  Recently she told Beach, "Go in the wiving room and sleep on the couch!"  I have no idea why, he has never slept there better than what she said the other night, "Go in the dog's room to sleep!"
We did make it to a couple of pre-Christmas events!  One at our small group.
And another at a night out to have dinner and see the lights at the zoo!
This was the girls first night out together for dinner as a family and they did really well!  Thankful to have some old groupons to use!
Another sweet package came from my grandmother with a children's Bible and a cat, named "Happy". My grandmother named her such after hearing the story of how Zo asks about me being happy all the time. (Don't mind her still sick face.)
One of the fun things about owning your own business is you get many packages.  One day when daddy was at work we got to play!
He doesn't appreciate the mess this can cause (I have no idea why  :-)  Zoe was nice to wait her turn. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Most Wonderful time of the Year

I always think of good times with family (and awesome food) when I think of Christmas.  A time to slow down and think of our Savior entering the world and the impact that has on all of our lives!  We have never NEVER been in South Carolina for such an occasion and this year marked the first time.  Due to the start of the business and now having two littles, traveling was out of the picture.  
Since we have been married we have alternated between Beach and I as far as who's family we get to spend Christmas with and it was Beach's year.  How blessed were we, though, that Beach's parents came down form Michigan to spend the week with us.  That trip is no joke and it was the best present they could have given us!  
They hadn't seen Shi since she was a newborn (besides Skype), so it was very special.
Zoe is still really into taking pictures (I'm not sure sarcasm translates as strong as I would like it to here) and Shiloh enjoys the lights for our Church dresses picture.
I learned the art of bribery this year.  Zoe responded well when offered a "special treat" in exchange for  a nice picture.  Love this pretty dress that I won from a blog giveaway. 
We served Christmas Eve dinner at our house. 
Beach was proud to cut the turkey.
 I made an amazing raw cranberry sauce with essential oils.  Zoe referred to it as "jelly" and it was her fav by far.  It was so good for you that I didn't mind her eating it by the spoonfuls. 
Of corse we had many other yummy goodies too!
"Special treat!"
Nothing like having both your grandmas!  This is one loved kid!
 Here are some more formal shots.  It is pretty crazy if you could see what is going on behind the camera to try to make the girls look amused.
   Happy baby.  We get comments about her eyes and smile everywhere we go.  I can't imagine why.
 Grandma brought mint brownies all the way from Michigan. 
I stayed up late finishing painting this on Christmas Eve in my closet for my MIL. 
And then the big day was here.  When I think of Christmas mornings in the Loveland house...this always comes to mind.  Donna's from scratch cinnamon rolls.  She even brought her skills to our house.
They were so huge and yummy but I limited myself to a half to spare myself a headache. 
The Loveland grands came bearing many gifts, including this huge castle for Zoe.  It was so fun having it all set out for her to wake up to Christmas morning!
We could take the morning slow, as Zoe doesn't associate Christmas with her getting gifts, which was nice.  So after breakfast and reading the Christmas story we moved on to the goodies.
Money is so tight this year (as in we had none from starting the business) that I was truly humbled when the girls had things to open from our family (who money is also tight for) and from strangers that blessed up.  HUMBLED.  It was really hard knowing that I just couldn't get anything for them.  So tears filled my eyes when I saw how the Lord truly looked out for us in amazing ways with this!
I think she liked her gift!
That night we got together with my family as well.  
Zoe got to wear her new dress from Grandma from MI!
And Shi got to wear a cute outfit I won from another blog giveaway!
Shiloh = 9 months & Adalyn = 10 months
Yes, my kid has very long legs and feet.
This picture cracks me up.  Because we can rarely get a cute cousin shot....they are mostly just craziness in front of and behind the camera.  
A lot of gifts when we had so many people together!
How awesome is this from my sis and got hung up right away.  (Which is really not like us, as it typically takes us years - shameful but true.)
Beach made his amazing cheese cake again...I think this may just be a yearly tradition.  I can't say that I mind!

We had a few days to play with the grands after the holidays, which of course included shopping.  They are amazing at finding a good deal!  AMAZING!
And a trip to visit Daddy to get coffee (he still had to work some days - yahhh for the kiosk being open).
Zoe was all set in her Harley jacket from the grands.
I loved these drooly girl shots that I couldn't pick just one. 
Grandma was a good sport with the girls.
Later Zoe showed Grandpa that she was almost big enough to ride the Harley that he got her 2 years ago.
And she also got a special time with just grandma making cupcakes (another grandma Christmas present).  Zoe loves to cook - I think I know just where she got it from. 
The only consolation for having to say good-bye to these two blessings of parents was to know that they would be back in the spring!