December 28, 2008

I've Been Tagged Again!

My good friend, Janet Yates has tagged me. So here are seven random facts about me (Melissa):
1. I love Excel & spreadsheets. I loved it when I was a retirement plan administrator, and I love it now that I do flowers. My flwoers spreadsheet has awesome formulas and everything. I'm a total nerd, and I know that you know that I am a nerd. =)
2. I hate watermelon, cantaloupe and berries (any kind). I do like apples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, oranges and pineapple. But i'd still rather eat some broccoli than fruit.
3. I do not like clowns.
4. My favorite movie of all time is The Great Outdoors, with John Candy & Dan Akroyd.
5. I like my coffee with enough creamer in it so it looks like a latte. I KNOW it's a lot of creamer, but I am 30 and pay my own bills, so I can drink it like that if I want.
6. I constantly miss the good Asian food I used to be able to get everywhere in Seattle. There are very few places here in Nashville that have good teriyaki/Thai/Japanese/Chinese, whereas at home every restaurant was good. I also miss the good seafood that living in a coastal state provides. When we go back to Seattle, Tyler and I always list out the places we want to eat while we are back.
7. I am allergic to most lipsticks. Even Clinique which is supposed to be hypoallergenic. They make my lips peel. That's why I always have to same color on. Once I find one I can wear, I wear it forever.

So there you are. Seven very random facts about Moi. Now I tag Kathy Lott, former coworker Angie Freeman, Becky Harrelson, and Amanda DeHoog. Amanda is my cousin Tom's wife, I just found out she's got a blog and it is awesome!!!

December 25, 2008

Christmas Day, it took THREE hours

You read that right. It took three hours from the time we opened our first gift to the eating of breakfast to the emptying of overstuffed stockings. Maggie was a trooper. We instituted a 3-1-1 (Maggie 3, Mommy 1, Daddy 1) gift opening policy so we would finish our gifts all about the same time. She did really well taking turns with opening gifts. It helps that she wanted to play with each. I will not be posting pictures of every item we/Maggie got, so if you don't see what you got us on here, don't panic - we aren't ungrateful in the least. We love every gift that was received, and each one was oohed and aahed over. We just don't want to have to post 500 pictures. Here are some fun ones:

Maggie didn't get to bed until almost 10 Christmas Eve, and still woke up at 7:01, so coffee was required at the gift-opening. Daddy helping Maggie open her gifts. Tyler got me an awesome apron from I had been eying this one for a while, not knowing that my Mom had taken the hint and MADE me one. Now I have TWO favorite aprons for when I do flowers!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Thanks, Mom! The handmade one from my mom. Seth gave Tyler a fanny pack. Thank goodness we knew it was a joke! The special gift from Daddy: a Barbie guitar to replace the one we bought for her in Mexico that has started to fall apart. I got Maggie her very own digital camera. It's a little slow, but once she masters holding it still for more than 1/10th of a microsecond, it will be alright. Tyler's parents bought him a replacement for the green parka he has worn every time it's rained or been chilly enough for a jacket since he was a SOPHOMORE in HIGH SCHOOL. No joke, his green coat was 14 years old, and getting quite worn. We had some rips patched, so it is still in working order and will be donated. And, Tyler really surprised me this year.

The carnage. Wow. What Olive thought about all the hubbub.

We will be rounding out our day with a fancy turkey dinner with all the trimmings, a reading from Luke 2 on Jesus' birth, and maybe take in a movie. We wish everyone who reads this blog (and everyone else, too) a very Merry Christmas!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Christmas Eve Festivities

Here are a couple of pictures from Christmas Eve:

All the presents "under" the tree. As you can see, we use that term loosley. There were so many that we didn't putt hem all out until Christmas Eve, otherwise we would have lost the use of our living room. Tyler and I only got 5 for Maggie and 2 or 3 each for each other, so the rest are from our families. We are blessed by everyone's generosity! Here's the whole gang. We opened our "Sweden Family" gifts Christmas Eve. Maggie got a Pippi Longstocking! I got a tea light holder with a Swedish flwoer pattern on it, I love it. Tyler got a Sweden towel and straws (which were quickly stolen by Maggie). Thank you, Sweden Family: Birgitta, Desiree, Louise, Josephine, Therese, Magnus & kids!

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! (annual letter at bottom of post)

This is our first Christmas in our home in Nashville with Maggie, and we send lots of love and hugs to all our family and friends spread abroad. We miss you all, and hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Tyler and I had to sit down last week to hammer out how our Holiday would play out since we both have strong preferences about how Christmas "should be done" and our families do things much differently. So today, Christmas Eve, we are going to our church's Christmas Eve worship service and are having Christmas like it is at my Mom's, an appetizer buffet for dinner. We'll be joined by Jamin & Christie Dunn and their girls, Aubrey, Nyah and in-utero Piper (girl #3!!!). It is going to be a great time. I got some awesome cheeses and salami at Trader Joe's, and Tyler picked up a great bottle of Prosecco wine that our friends Jason & Kelly turned us on to. We are also going to have a ton of shrimp cocktail, asparagus roll-ups, veggies and dip, mini pigs in a blanket and Christmas cookies. Pictures of our fun tonight and tomorrow will be up in the next few days.

Here is our Christmas letter for anyone I may have missed with a Christmas card. I apologize if I missed you; just shoot me an email with your address, and I'll add you to my list for next year.

Merry Christmas!
Well, hello! Have you lost weight? Changed your hair color? No?! But something’s different. Oh – I see – another year has passed and we’re all a little older. Ha! I almost didn’t want to write another annual letter, but then how would you get caught up with us? Oh, wait, the blog. That’s right. So maybe this letter will tell you stuff you already know from lurking on our blog, but there might be something in all these teeny little words here that you don’t know, so read on.

Maggie turned two in January, and is quickly approaching three. We are going right from the Terrible Twos (which really weren’t so bad) into the Talking-back Threes! Despite that, we could not be more blessed with this little girl, even if she does have a sassy little mouth (“No, Mommy, I don’t have to!”). She looks so much like a little girl now, not like a baby or toddler even. And she talks so much and about so many things. Her favorite things right now are her Disney movies (all of them), lots of books: Busy Bible, Big Picture Story Bible, Green Eggs and Ham, Where the Wild Things Are, Raindrop Plop, There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, Ten Bears in the Bed, and her Cabbage Patch Doll, Baby Jaycee. She loves to sing about anything, and narrates her day as she goes (I used to narrate everything we did so she would learn to talk). She has a favorite sandwich: sliced cheese with Miracle Whip, just like her Mommy. Favorite breakfast: eggs and toast. Favorite fruits: bananas, cantaloupe and watermelon. Favorite vegetables: peas and broccoli (not sure how we managed that, but I am glad). Her lamb is still her very bestest friend and constant companion.

Tyler was promoted at CTS Audio from Controller to Director of Finance this year. He still loves his job despite the long hours, so that is really awesome. He is working on implementing a new financial and inventory software system for the entire company, so while that sounds crazy-boring to me, he is having a blast. This year was also the year of fun travel with his company. In May we went to Phoenix for a company-wide weekend retreat. Maggie stayed with our friends, Seth & Dixie and their daughter, Zayli, Maggie’s very best friend in the whole world. It was a short trip, but lots of fun. Then, in October, we got to go to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with two other couples from his work. I love sales goals, especially when the sales guy sells enough stuff to let 3 couples go on the trip! It was a really wonderful trip for the two of us to have time to ourselves, our first real vacation since 2004. Tyler’s parents came out to Nashville to stay with Maggie for the week, so Maggie had a great time, too.

I turned the big three-oh March 1. My mom came out to celebrate and we tiled the kitchen backsplash, pictures are on the blog for proof. I renewed my license at the DMV, too, and have the most smokin’ picture ever. I LOVE my license picture!!! On the first of February, my flower business became official. I’m now the proud small-business owner of Melissa Marie Floral Design. And, somehow, being official means being busy! I did over 20 weddings this year. It meant a lot of tired Friday and Saturday nights, but I am so thankful for the experience and exposure. I have already started booking weddings for 2009. It has been a blessing despite some challenges balancing Maggie and home. I stopped working at Mother’s Day Out at our church this spring as my weddings picked up, but I kept Maggie in the program on Wednesdays. It gives me a day during weeks that I have weddings to get some things done around the house, run errands, prep flowers and meet with brides. Maggie loves her teacher, Miss Karen, and talks about her all the time. She comes home each week with cute crafts – Mommy’s favorite! And, on December 18, Maggie will be in her first Christmas program, put on by Mother’s Day Out. I will video it, and put some of it on the blog, of course.

We are both still volunteering with the high school group at our church. Our dearly loved youth pastor moved on to an assistant pastor position in February, in Phoenix, so Tyler took on some of the teaching responsibilities to help out while we are looking for a new youth pastor. The time commitment of studying and preparing can be tough when he is already working long hours at work, but he has really enjoyed the extra studying and teaching of God’s Word this year.

This Christmas, we will be staying here in Nashville. It’s our first Christmas staying home with Maggie. We are sad that we won’t be seeing our family and Seattle friends, but are looking forward to making our own traditions with our own little family. Speaking of family, we ask for your prayers regarding the expansion of ours. We have been trying to get pregnant since last summer (2007), and this fall we decided to go to the doctor to see what the deal is. There are some problems which we may not be able to resolve despite our best efforts. We won’t go into all the details, but please pray. It is sometimes painful, but in all this we see God’s hand at work our lives. We are so much more thankful for the daughter that we do have, that we have some answers to our concerns, and I just praise the Lord for the amazing peace that I have about the whole situation. I have taken much comfort these past weeks in the following verses: Psalm 139:16 “in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Romans 8:28 always works on my heart “and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” And finally, Psalm 16:6 “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” I thank my late Grandpa DeWaard for that verse! It has come to have a deeper meaning for me through this trial. More children or not, I am confident that I have a beautiful inheritance because of Christ. This Christmas, may you and your family discover the beautiful inheritance that the Lord God has in store for you through Jesus Christ.

Love- Melissa, Tyler and Maggie

December 19, 2008

See?! Still Cuter than Blitz

Olive gets drug around like that by Maggie every time I turn around, and she will sit next to Maggie when she gets put down (on the rare occasion). What a wonderful kitty. And, those are also Maggie's fancy red shoes for her Christmas dress.

PS - do you see that big box in the background? Maggie plays with it more than any other toy she has in her room or toy box. Ridiculous.

Maggie's First Christmas Program!!!

Thursday Maggie was in her first Christmas program at Mother's Day Out at our church. I apologize for the blurry pictures, sometimes I don't get the settings right on my camera for indoor far away shots (we got stuck towards the back because we weren't 20 minutes early).
She had a cough, so I didn't bring her to class on Wednesday and she didn't get to do the final practice on the stage, so Thursday I got her dressed and brought her to MDO about 10 minutes before the program began. I've got video, but Tyler has to show me how to import onto our Mac and do a quick edit. A group shot. Just look for the lamb.
Our child was the only child who could not give up their lovey for the performance.
Finally OK with being on stage in front of lots of people, singing the end of "Jesus Loves Me".
Maggie finally spots us at the back.
Maggie with Daddy after the program.
Maggie with Andrea and Karen, her MDO teachers. She doesn't look happy in the picture, but I promise you that she loves them and talks about them all the time! Thank you Andrea and Karen for all your hard work with the older two's class!

December 18, 2008

See? Cuter than Blitz

Maggie using Olive as a pillow. Then giving Maggie kisses after being used as a pillow. Seriously, Olive is a glutton for punishment.
On a cat-related note, we think she is in heat. Yowling all the time, etc. So, I called the vet to schedule an appointment to get her fixed. A conversation I had hoped to void my entire life:
Vet's Office: Paws & Claws Animal Hospital, How can I help you?
Me: Hi, yes, I need to get my kitten spayed.
Vet's office: And your last name, ma'am?
Me: Spaid.
Thankfully there were no snickers on the other end of the phone, and the conversation continued. She's going in tomorrow. We have been trying to get Maggie to understand that she CANNOT pick up Olive when she comes home, to no avail. I catch Maggie holding her about 100 times a day. Poor kitty will have to be locked up until she's healed.

December 15, 2008

Look What the Cat Dragged In

I mean, look at the cat WE dragged in. Our friends the Dunns are moving from their apartment to a rental house, and the landlord said "NO" to their cute little kitten. Being the bleeding heart that I am, I caved to Jamin and took in Olive "on the condition that if Blitz didn't like her we'd find her a new home." Yeah, right. Everyone, meet Olive. Blitz can get over it.
So, we have cat #2, again. And it's so funny, because I'd never have picked her out of a line-up as a cat I'd want. She's just a plain, short-haired tabby, and VERY small. She's about 7 months old (Dunns, correct me if I'm wrong) and I think she weighs 2, maybe 2 1/2 pounds, tops. And I like my cats to at least be long-haired, and big. Blitz weighs in at about 16 pounds and is a mass of ginger fur! So she is definitely the opposite of what we normally pick in a cat.

But, I have to say that she really is the sweetest, most mild-mannered cat I've ever seen. The Dunn's girls (and every other kid that came to visit them) would pick her up like little kids do, by the neck, and she'd just be a rag doll until they let her go. Maggie thinks that this cat that will not only let her pick it up, and then lay down on the ground after the pick-up for another round, is the best thing that has ever happened to her.Maggie says (her strong V sounds are not developed yet) "Mommy, Oluff is the bestest kitty I ever had in my whole life," and "Mommy, Oluff is sooo sweet!" I am constantly telling Maggie to "Let go!" and "Put that cat down!" and "Didn't Mommy tell you to stop picking up the kitty?" and "Stop chasing that poor kitty!" And after all that abuse, Olive still will stay right where Maggie can grab her. I'd say we have a glutton for punishment on our hands. And a new friend for Maggie.

So, Olive had joined our crazy family. I'm sure she will be making it on the blog a whole lot more than Blitz because she's so darn cute and fun. Thanks, Dunns. We love our new addition.

December 12, 2008

Snow? In Nashville, before Christmas?

Yep, we even have a little bit this afternoon, which is an oddity. About an inch or a little more. It ice-rained all yesterday morning, and as it got dark I realized that it was snowing! So, in the dark, Maggie and I went outside for a little bit to enjoy it. then I saw dog tracks into the backyard and none coming out (our back yard is fenced so it was still back there) so we scooted back into the house.

This is about 6:30 p.m. and it didn't stop snowing until much later. It was such a fun treat! The house with our lights on and the tree - it looks so pretty in all that snow! Tyler did a great job getting those lights pretty straight with just clips on the gutters. We do not follow the Clark W. Griswold way of doing lights with a staple-gun.
We had been cooped up in the house all day because of the ice rain, so a little trip outside made Maggie's day. Maggie, in her snow attire.
I apologize for not having daytime shots, the camera batteris were dead and we had to get to a birthday party first thing in the morning.

December 10, 2008

Gramma Sue Was Here

Last week my mom came out for a visit to get her "Maggie Fix" since we aren't going home for Christmas. I had a GREAT time with my own mommy! We shopped, went to Opryland to look at the Christmas decorations, shopped, baked cookies, played with Maggie, shopped... basically, we just had a fabulous, but too short time.

Gramma Sue and Maggie make a gingerbread house while Tyler and I were out for the morning. Gramma applied the frosting, Maggie applied the candies - after licking each one. Yum! The finished product. Maggie "helping" me make cookies. The Three Girls. We used flour and royal icing to accentuate our good looks. Our beautiful cookies.
This doesn't really apply to Gramma's visit, but this REALLY old man had a bluetooth and was using it at the craft fair at Oprlyand. He was one the vendors. I had my mom pose nearby so I could take a picture (I cropped her out). See, old people CAN learn to use technology!Some nice stranger offered to take our picture together. Maggie actually looked at the camera!
Other Events while Gramma Sue was here: Maggie gave us a fright Thursday by falling on the 2 stairs we do have in the house. She split open her chin just a little bit. Nothing a Curious George band-aid couldn't fix.

So, like I said, I had a great time. I love you, Mom.

December 1, 2008

Makeup, already?

Maggie had some random stuff in the bottom drawer in the bathroom. Recently she remembered that she has some lip gloss in that drawer from her Halloween costume. Well, when I am getting ready for the day and putting on my makeup, she has to put on her own. That means about 50 applications of lipgloss. She unscrews the tube, applies a little bit very seriously, closes it back up and then repeats the process at least 10 times like she's got OCD. Sometimes, she dots it on her nose and forehead for added effect. But, look at how cute she is!

Some Extra Thanksgiving Pictures

We went to Seth & Dixie's for Thanksgiving, and were joined by Jamin & Christie and their girls and Christie's parents. This is the first year all the big girls got to sit by themselves to eat their dinner! Who would've thought the kiddie table was so much fun? Our dinner was punctuated by giggles, shrieks, and lots of laughing. Nyah drew a turkey placemat for everyone at our dinner. So sweet! The damages. We forgot to take a before picture, but there was a LOT of food. And Christie's turkey turned out absolutely fabulously!!! The turkey was still moist AFTER dinner. Yum Yum! After dinner, the girls watched a Disney movie. The guys chill out to some football. I think the triptophan got to Tyler. Seth didn't like having his picture taken.
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

November 27, 2008

Turkey Bowl 6

It's an annual tradition for the crazy people in our church to get together at 8 a.m. at a local park to play some flag football. This year, the entire Spaid family joined in.

Looks like Maggie is about to hike, it, doesn't she? Yep, I took that shot. I'm so glad it turned out! Here she is, appeasing Mama, for a shot with the football. Tyler didn't get to play this year, he helped man the video cameras for the highlight reel, but he still got some exercise. It was a chilly morning, so Maggie and her friend Shealy got under some blankets to keep warm.The team that won the "Smedly Cup". Smed is our old youth pastor who started Turkey Bowl in 2002. The cup is in his honor. We love you, Smed (and Janet, and kiddos)!