Thursday, December 23, 2010

Birthday Celebration

I had the most wonderful birthday this year - especially considering it fell on a Tuesday and was NOT a landmark birthday (although I tried claiming it was). The day started out right with my coworkers completely spoiling me! They had piled my desk high with holiday blend coffee from Starbucks (my fav), cranberry orange cinnamon rolls and cupcakes from Dolce bakery, flowers, and even a princess crown! After a great day at work, we went over to my parents house for my favorite meal of Swiss steak (like only my mom can make it) and I got the most gorgeous boots from my parents.

Tory Burch Rabbit Fur Boots - Happy Birthday to Me!
And since it was a Tuesday, we celebrated the previous weekend with friends by going out to dinner at Trezo Vino (one of my favorite restaurants in town) and then coming back to our house for ice cream cake and champagne. Kim & Alex and Chris & Melissa joined us for dinner, and then Brandi & Scott came for dessert, armed with the most amazing mint chocolate chip ice cream cake!

Note: Candles are not to "birthday scale".
These lovely ladies are the best friends a gal could ask for!
And of course the birthday celebration didn't stop there. We left for Vail the next day and Rollie surprised me with reservations to Sweet Basil (the nicest restaurant in Vail) and a fabulous birthday dessert treat!

It's Santa!

We did the Breakfast with Santa out at Mission Farms this year. It was a nice event because you could go at your leisure in the morning (Hudson's always in a great mood in the mornings anyway) and have breakfast at Room 39 and see Santa (with no line!) over at ARTichokes art gallery. They had hot cider and little finger puppet toys for the kiddos. Hudson loved Santa...or I should say that he loved pulling on Santa's beard!
We also saw Santa at the Indian Hill Country Club family holiday party. Hudson wasn't quite as impressed with this Santa, but he didn't cry either. The look on his face was one of bewilderment! He was, however, really into the balloon artists (he got a wonderful penguin) and the real reindeer!

Great Santa!

Rollie had fun with sticking the balloon penguin to my sweater.
Reindeer are much shorter in person. The little boys had fun feeding them.

Baby Shower for the Clarksons

It's been so much fun having two of my closest friends expecting this year. We hosted both of their showers at our house and I have to say there are few things I enjoy more than entertaining - especially such a great group of friends! Chris and Melissa are due toward the end of January, and we hosted their shower in December. Although it was a busy month, December turned out to be a great time for a shower - it was fun to have the holiday decor up and put their shower gifts under the tree!

My mom made the most amazing Diaper Tricycle (we wanted to do something different than a cake since Melissa already had a diaper cake at a previous shower) and I found an adorable dolly to ride it - she matched all the other fun things I found for the tricyle, including a floral headband (that I got at the Irish Fest in September!), bibs, booties, blankies, a bottle and a pacifier. 

I made both beef and pork tenderloin (first time ever making beef tenderloin) and I think they turned out great. Co-hostesses Whitney and Annie brought appetizers, sides and dessert. Having great co-hosts makes it so much easier to throw a party! It was nice to only do a few food items, and it let me focus on doing fun stuff like tying silverware/napkins together, decorating, buying the group gift, putting together the bar area, etc.

Quite the bar spread for a Baby Shower!

My first beef tenderloin turned out great! I am making it again tomorrow.
The group invited was the perfect combination of fun family and friends. Our house was packed and I think everyone had a great time. We did a feeding theme group gift, so they got all their bottles, bibs, bottle sterilizer, cups/spoons/bowls, boppy and cover, bottle brushes, formula containers, and more! The best part was that all the guys made Chris describe each gift as he opened them - so at one point he exclaimed "It's a floating princess castle!" Too funny.

All the gals from Indian Hills.

The entire gang - host couples and couple-of-honor

The Ladies!
Gift opening!
We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends! I can't wait to meet Baby Girl Clarkson in January!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bath Time

Probably the most fun time at our house lately is bath time. Hudson has graduated from the cute little "whale of a tub" baby bathtub and is now sitting up in the full-size tub. We started with the whale tub in the large bath but he really didn't need it. He was ready to play and splash.

He loves splashing around and is playing with little squeaky ducks. His favorite time, however, is the drying off!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend & Family Reunion

We had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend this year. It felt like we got a lot done, but still had a chance to see family and enjoy the long weekend. We stayed in Kansas City on Thanksgiving Day and Rollie fried a turkey - an annual tradition at our house. We had my parents over to enjoy the Thanksgiving classics (and my mom brought the hard stuff - mashed potatoes, gravy, pie, etc.). Hudson tried mashed potatoes (he didn't like them) and pumpkin pie (he loved it) both for the first time.

Hudson Helping to Fry a Turkey

We left for Nebraska early on Friday morning for the Nebraska vs. Colorado game (played for the last time at Memorial Stadium). The Huskers won and we had a chance to meet my dearest friend Emily and her family for lunch and dinner. We spent the night in Lincoln and met up with my parents at the hotel, where they had brought Hudson.

Go Big Red! Last Big 12 Game at Memorial Stadium

He loved sitting up in the Pack n Play, and slept great both nights on the road in it.

Early on Saturday we set out for Western Nebraska. My great aunt Marietta was having her 90th Birthday celebration in Kearney, Nebraska. Marietta and I actually have the same birthday. The birthday party was actually a wonderful celebration of Marietta's entire life and a full reunion of the Gallagher and Sims families. It was so great to see everyone - especially my cousins and their babies. All three of the babies (Quinn, Olivia, and Hudson) were born within 15 days of each other.

My Dad with Quinn and Hudson. I love the look on Hudson's face - like he wants that bow from Quinn's head!

Emily with Hudson, Chris with Olivia, and Maggie with Quinn

Marietta meets Hudson
And we made it through the marathon trek back to Kansas City (over 5 hours in the car) without any disasters. It was Hudson's first car trip in the big boy car seat, but he loved it. We even finished getting all of our holiday decorations up before the weekend ended!

Go Play in the Yard

Hudson and Molly had a fabulous time in the yard on the last nice weekend in Kansas City. While Rollie did some yard work, Molly looked after Hudson. Or did Hudson look after Molly?  Either way they had a great time. Hudson loves his little chair (a small version of our larger Adirondacks) and I can't believe how close in size Molly and Hudson are. Molly still has him on weight though!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fors Family Photographs

We had family photos taken in the River Market in downtown Kansas City two weeks ago. The weather was perfect and the setting provided some great colors. But, of course, Hudson was the star of the show. The timing worked perfectly so these could be his six month photos and also be on our holiday card. We again used Melissa Pfannenstiel, owner of Captures in Time Photography, and I can't say enough great things about her. We purchased the rights to the ten pictures below.