Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Fun

I hope no one is offended, but should take this as the highest compliment possible, that I am very guilty of stealing/copying holiday traditions from others. The newest holiday theft in the Shurtz home is courtesy of my ever creative and fabulous mommy, my Arkansas girl, Meggan Daniel. The gingerbread house. Aside from making the classic milk box house for Christmas in elementary school, I had absolutely no experience, but thought this would be a very fun and messy experience to start with the kiddos this year.
I found an inexpensive kit at Walmart and unwrapped all the candies before Jackson arrived home from school. I was very excited for this little project with the boys, knowing that this was the first of many gingerbread houses to come. I thought that my Jackson would love everything about this creative process, being my little crafty little artist and always wanting to help in any way in the kitchen. I knew he would be ever so careful placing each candy in its most perfect place and wanting the little houses to look "just right". WRONG!!! He was done about 10 minutes after starting the project, wanting to show Papa his mad skills on Guitar Hero. My sweet goobley Maddox was left at the kitchen table instead, until completion, placing candies and gumdrops in everyplace the icing would hold them.
We began by looking over the instruction booklet and selected a pattern we liked. That was thrown out after about 1 minute, and I am so glad. It looks like my boys created the masterpiece instead of the Wilton decorating pattern book. I love that it is imperfect and there are 3 candies on 1 window and 20 on another. Nana helped with the wreath and cute trees, as Maddox added his final touches.
Can't wait for next years tree and many more following. Thanks Ms. Meggan for letting me steal a holiday tradition from your holiday home!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blessed by my girls

I am so fortunate to have been surrounded by the most fabulous women that have come into my life this year. I must admit, I was in a comfortable slump, happy to be busy mommy to 3 beautiful children and a wife to the most amazing man that I know, but I was friend to a very treasured few, (you know who you are ((t, t, r, and m)) ). That was the sadness in my life. Danno had work friends that he was able to go to lunch with and talk to daily about life and if you know my "talker" husband, debate with. He then began to become active in church and things really began to change for me. Suddenly he had more than just work friends and old high school cronies. He had "NEW" friends, and I didn't. Oooo, did the green eyed monster hurl his ugly head.
So after throwing my own pity party, I decided to do something about it. But, how??
I decided to use my 3 beautiful treasures, my kids, and open myself up to show the "real" me. With those 2 things, hopefully, I could fill the void that I was longing for. I began volunteering and signing up for things, knowing that I was going to not know 1 single person.
I am so thankful that God gave me the courage I needed to show the woman I truly am, and to be comfortable with the fact that some may not find me as their friend so appealing, and that had to be OK.
I am so thankful for the push of 1 new friend, I wish I had her picture to show you. A friendly face amongst the questioning and burning eyes of others. She has been a gift, for she brought so many into my lap through words of encouragement, and I will forever be thankful and indebted to her.
Silly as it may sound, I am thankful for Facebook, for letting me connect with a very special friend from long ago and to reconnect to with many, many others. I can also send a mean piece of Flair, instant message and post fabo SNL sketches with the best of them.
And lastly, thanks to these beautiful, talented, and amazing women pictured. The above 3 are my some of my new girls, who have enriched my life and blessed me beyond belief. They have made me feel so very special and I cannot wait to share many more "martini" nights together giggling.
The picture of the 3 of us below are my girls who didn't leave me as many others have. Calling, emailing or inviting me to things when I no longer lived on their block or could walk across the street and sit on a porch swing and talk. My heart misses those afternoon easy chats. Why do you guys have to work????? just kidding.. Thank you for not leaving me! I would've been very, very lost without your friendship.
As the year of 2008 draws to a close, and we are to reflect and look ahead, I have realized how to be humbled so completely by something I was longing for and to be so completely grateful when it came.

I love you all!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Giving Thanks

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we went to Edmond to visit my side of our crew for food and LOTS of early morning bargains.
Amy,(my baby niece) and I headed to a small boutique Wednesday morning at 5:20 for a 1 hour half off sale. Aims said they had cute stuff and so I awoke early for the cute bargains. When we arrived, we were the only ones in the parking lot. They must've felt sorry for us, because they let us in 10 minutes before opening. I got a super cute vest and some jewelry and am kicking myself for not buying more of their make-up they had 1/2 off. Still some great deal-lios!! Thanks Amy Kay!
Later that day, we had the kids picture taken with the REAL Santa. He lives in Quail Springs Mall during December, trusting the elves to handle all of the craziness back at the North Pole. Seriously, he's incredible! Unfortunately, the disc we purchased of the kids with Santa is MIA and is no where to be found. They did an awesome job and no one cried this year!!!!!
More shopping was to follow, as OKC has the most incredible malls. Of course we had to scout out the deals for Friday morning. Nana and Papa watched the tribe as Danno and I took the mall by storm. I must say, I am rubbing off on my husband a little with the sale bug. He is all about getting a deal with me at some of our most fav stores in their area. It only took 15 years for him to tag along for some of my bargain shopping.
Thursday's turkey was always a yummy treat with a tableful of fab-o food,
thanks to my mother. Some of my all time favorites have got to be my sister-in-laws to die for green bean casserole (no matter how many times I make it, it is never as good as hers), mom's cranberry salad and mouth watering apple pie, and a new favorite for this year ( please don't laugh), my dad's salad. Wow! Really, really good!
We always take the annual family picture on Thanksgiving day and I take everyone else's Christmas card mugs for their holiday mail outs. We conclude by going to a movie and playing some very fun board games. Danno and I broke from the group to see James Bond Quantum of Solace. Very good flick and came back for a new game Kimmie brought over, Buzz Word. Good times!
AHHHH, and then Black Friday shopping morning. Ava had a little bit of a cough and awoke at 2 a.m. Not being able to get back to sleep, I began to get ready at 2:45 and Mom and I left the house at 3:20 for our 1st stop at Kohl's. The weather was fairly pleasant, so we stood outside in line for the remaining 45 minutes before opening. We then headed to Penney's for slippers and my bargain buffet server from my Mom, which I have been eyeing for over a year. We met up with the rest of our crew at Target for their 6:00 a.m opening, then headed to the mall for the remainder of the morning. Danno, actually met us there at around 7:00 and took our fabulous group picture with our team shopping t-shirts, a 1st for this year thanks to my wonderful friend Jessica Lindsey. They turned out oober cute and I hope will be a tradition for many years to come. WE HAVE TO BE A UNIFIED SHOPPING TEAM!! All for one and one for all.
We always have a super fun time when we go to see family south of the Kansas border. Hope they all feel the same coming here for the Christmas holiday!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First Chiefs game

A few weeks ago, Danno took Jackson to see his very fist Chiefs game in Kansas City. I was a little hesitant, thinking that my baby was still too young and would get bored and be ready to come home 10 minutes after they got there. Since Dan was taking a client and his son, I wasn't so hot on the Yb meats guy listening to a whiny 6 year old. Boy, was mommy wrong (this one time). They had so much fun together. Jackson loved that he was with the guys, especially his daddy, hangin out and watching the game. He called at half time wondering if I had seen him on the TV. I asked him what he thought and he simply replied, "It's awesome!!". Ranno said that he joined in with the chants and cheers and loved Kc Wolf, the mascot. He didn't even complain on the 3 hour jaunt back to Wichita.
When they returned home, Danno was so exited about the guy time they were able to spend together, just the 2 of them. I couldn't help but squeeze my big boy a little harder that night. He is growing up so fast; becoming the Chiefs fan daddy always hoped he would be.