December 28, 2010 - Thank You Papa!!

Strollers and snow/ice don't mix, but a Radio Flyer wagon... well, that's another story. Thanks to this awesome Christmas present from Papa (my dad), we got outside today for a walk through the neighborhood and a chance to brush off a little bit of our cabin fever.

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No surprise, she likes to reach down to touch the wheels and the dirt.

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Is there anything much better than that feeling of a beautiful walk outside after days, weeks, months cooped up inside with stale air? Blue-skied days like these are a blessing to be treasured during a Nebraska winter.

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I treasured every moment of this stroll.


December 27, 2010 - Make Sure You Get the Back Ones!

Oh wait, she doesn't have any back ones yet. There are one year molars though, making 12 teeth for Georgia in all and a good reason to brush every night.

Since I'm usually at work, it's a daddy/daughter ritual.

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A ritual which includes a lot of Georgia drool and slobber.


December 26, 2010 - Still on a Toy High

She always looks like this in my mind, an angel...

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... even when she's knee deep in a pile of new toys, going a mile a minute, crawling, jumping and falling from toy to toy with a look of "stay out of my way" on her face.

Welcome to our toy-high.

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December 25, 2010 - Ho, Ho, Ho Mixed with Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!

Ah Christmas, the day of mixed messages.

This morning at our house, mounds of presents surrounded a small nativity scene with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. We spent the morning together as a family, but then it was off to work like any other day for me this afternoon. The TV programming was full of a mixture of Christmas Day sermons, family movies and reality shows. The days of the beloved "Norman Rockwell Christmases" are certainly long gone.

Georgia just had to start the morning off absorbing one thing - those mounds of presents.

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A little overwhelming shock quickly turned into a lot of excitement as Georgia went for her presents.

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In case you were wondering, mounds of presents do turn into mounds of toys.

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Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!

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Merry Christmas and God bless every one!


December 24, 2010 - Santa Stayed Up Late Tonight

Thankfully, we are not to the days yet where my husband and I have to stay up well past midnight to play Santa Claus. Georgia is in bed no later than eight p.m. So when I got home at 11 p.m. tonight, the hubs and I were able to don our elves hats and get right to work.

I already had the presents wrapped and hidden in a closet, so we just had to get them to all fit under or near the tree. I think we did pretty good for our first time.

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At first glance, I thought, "too many gifts for one girl?" Then I thought, "nah, she's too wonderful to ever have too many gifts."

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Our family ornament for 2010:

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And Georgia's ornament to mommy and daddy from day care. My husband says it's just his favorite thing. I can see why. :)

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Merry Christmas Eve!


December 23, 2010 - ROOAARR!!!

Georgia has a blow-up lion, you know the kind you punch and it rocks backward and then comes right back at you?

Georgia likes to spontaneously attack said lion.

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December 22, 2010 - A Day Off for Cookies!!

I have the day off of work today, a feat not easy to accomplish this close to Christmas. Trust me, I think I sold my soul to get this personal day granted. But I'm glad I have it because it's time I can make up with my little lovely after not being home with her on Monday.

And what are we doing today? Baking cookies!!

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Georgia loved the bottles of sprinkles and decided they made great toys.

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And with bottle of sprinkles in hand, I caught Georgia practicing her walking today. Take a look at what happens when she hits the glass door with the sprinkles.

I swear I can hear her saying, "I meant to do that."

We (thankfully) boxed most of the cookies up for Georgia's daycare teachers.

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And did I mention we (I) made a gingerbread house?

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December 21, 2010 - Sweet High Flying Bounty

I arrived home around midnight last night, so of course Georgia was fast asleep. I wondered all yesterday if she noticed I wasn't home and if she missed me. Well, when she woke up this morning and I picked her up out of her crib, she clung to my neck as usual, then paused and pulled back to look me square in the face, then she let out a little cry of joy and hugged my neck harder and longer then she ever has. My heart - pure mush. I think she missed me!

After her breakfast and a little bit later in the morning, I pulled a little treat wrapped in red out of my purse. I don't know if you ever fly Delta, but they have these amazing ginger snap-like cookies that are one of your *free* options among the peanuts and pretzels. It's amazing something is still free. I always opt for the cookies because, as I mentioned, they are amazing!

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And this is how much I love my little Georgia. On my last leg, the flight attendant gave me two cookies, and I saved them both for the little girl I had missed so much in my day and a half away from home. She is just like her mama - she gobbled them up!

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December 20, 2010 - A Day Without My Little Lovely :(

Today’s post has nothing to do with Georgia really, at least not my daughter Georgia. Today I was far away from her in Maine, my first full day without seeing and holding and loving on my baby. As I write this though, I am on the plane heading back to Omaha and back to my baby and husband. How I’ve missed them so.

Anyone who lives in Omaha and flies a least a few times a year will tell you there are no easy routes to get to and from Omaha. I rarely find non-stop flights to the east coast, and even my one-stop flights are not always very logical. Many times it seems I must go out of my way to get back home, never a straight line. Such was my route today. I left Maine and drove to Boston where I boarded a Delta plane. Instead of cutting west toward the Midwest to change planes in some snow-covered, cold city, we headed the direction I love best – south. Delta to me always means Atlanta, and that’s exactly where I was headed for a layover and plane switch.

Oh, my beloved Georgia. It’s one of only two places in this country I feel at home, and Omaha is not the other. It was dark by the time my plane crossed the state line, and even though I couldn’t see it in the light-speckled darkness below, I knew we were flying over that red dirt ground, and it was comforting. It was like a mother’s hug to me. And all I could do was look northeast, to what I imagined must be the upper right-hand corner of the state, and I knew I was looking in the direction of where my mother will always lie. I missed her so at that moment. For a fleeting second, I had the wild thought of walking out of the airport the moment we landed, renting a car and driving there, driving to my mom and the place where she raised me, the place where I have almost no memories without her. It was a tempting thought, but responsibility and reality were not far behind it.

As my plane came within sight of Atlanta, as it always does when I first catch sight of the skyline, my heart danced and warmed. Home. I’ve lived far from here on several occasions, and the sight of Atlanta from the sky has always been my first indication that I’m home. Only this time it was not a true trip home but just a tease of my emotions. Still, I did smile when I walked off that plane and into Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and knew I was walking on sweet Georgia clay. For a while I saw familiar sights within this airport I’ve visited so many times through the year. The stores, the AJC in the newspaper stands, the southern accents generously sprinkled among other voices from all over. But I knew my time was short, and before long I heard a woman’s voice announcing the boarding for my flight to Omaha. It was time.

My eyes never left the ground as we climbed higher in the sky and I said goodbye to my land of peaches, peanuts and pecans – I’ve always loved that they’re all “p’s” and I don’t know why. Even though the plane continued to put distance between me and that red dirt, I still felt it under my feet and squishing between my toes as I always felt it as a younger barefoot girl. And I looked into that far right-hand corner and said a goodbye to my mom and an I’m sorry I couldn’t visit and sit by your headstone for a while. I do miss you so.

When I knew we must no longer be over my home, I turned from the window and opened the only thing fitting at this point, a copy of “Southern Living” I had brought along with me. I turned it page by page, remembering the copies always scattered around my mother’s house. She always seemed to be cooking and testing another recipe from its bounty. In fact, one of the last times she had the strength left to travel to Omaha to visit me, she gathered up the energy from somewhere within her cancer-ridden body and cooked a salmon cake recipe, a page torn from “Southern Living” as her guide. As I closed that December 2010 edition, I noticed something I had not before. Right above where my name and address were marked on the cover was my mother’s name, and it read “Gift from.”

My mother had always given me a subscription to “Southern Living” for Christmas, but it has been 15 months since she was buried in that red dirt. I had wondered a few months back why I still received copies in the mail. I just figured I had paid for a subscription and forgotten that I had. But no, my mother is still gifting me with southern memories.


December 19, 2010 - Giddy Up!

After the Radio Flyer wagon post of the other day, I had to catch Georgia on her other Radio Flyer delight - the horse!

She is so proud of herself that she can climb up on it.

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We're still working on the whole rocking motion, so today daddy helped a little bit.

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December 18, 2010 - Christmas Pics, Yeah Right!

I tried to get some kind of Christmas picture of Georgia today in front of the tree.

Eh, she wasn't in a very cooperative mood, so these will just have to do.

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