Friday, December 27, 2013

Gingerbread House

I often say that I don't like craft activities in the traditional sense of the word: paper, coloring, glue, etc.  However, I think I compensate for my lack of crafting with Palmer with all the time we spend in the kitchen.  We do a lot of "food crafts" aka cooking.

Making a gingerbread house must fall into that food category because this activity has become one of my favorite holiday traditions.
Our little house decorator is getting better each year (and eating more candy along the way!)
 Our final product:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tis The Season

With Thanksgiving falling later in the calendar this year and an ice storm knocking out a prime holiday weekend, the Christmas season has felt a little rushed for 2013.  We've had a ball enjoying Palmer's awareness of Christmas and have attempted to teach him as much as his little brain can handle.

First stop: Frosty the Snowman, the musical.  Nana and Aunt Amanda joined us for the production and Palmer has had so much fun pointing out every "Frosty" snowman he has seen around town since the show.

Later in the weekend, I was given the opportunity to check out Grapevine's North Pole Express for a write-up in the Dallas Moms Blog here.

Of course, this was a hit for our train-loving son.  I've been reading The Polar Express to Palmer for awhile, so he was all geared up in his pjs for a train ride complete with "hot cocoa".
Palmer hasn't yet nailed the "big smile" WITH his eyes open yet....
Another favorite tradition is our neighborhood's Christmas block party.  As expected, the blow-out is over the top with Clydesdales pulling a hay ride, pony rides, a petting zoo, a band, and Santa.

And of course, the highlight is always the lighting of our favorite neighbor's house:
We did a dry-run of visiting Santa at the neighborhood party.  
Dry-run=success!  Palmer marched up and before even sitting on Santa's lap said, "Hi.  I would like a race car!"

Lastly, Grampi and Grammi planned a special trip to the Gaylord to take in all of the Christmas decorations.  
Palmer was quick to tell me all about the fun ice slide he and Grampi slid down at the resort:
Thru the eyes of a child, this season is even more of a joy.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jesus Likes Chicken Nuggets

Our church puts on a great "Advent festival" every year for the kids.  I tried to explain that Christmas is Jesus' birthday and we were going to "Jesus' Birthday Party".

I know...a stretch...but I'm trying to avoid talking about Santa Claus 100% of the time.

Palmer has the birthday party drill down and in typical fashion wanted to know where Jesus' cake was.  


I told him Jesus doesn't like cake.  The church catered Chick Fil-A, so Palmer was quick to say, "Oh. Jesus only likes chicken nuggets?"

This message has stuck with Palmer and we've had numerous conversations since the festival about how Jesus doesn't like cake.  Palmer is very concerned.  "Mommy, why doesn't Jesus like cake??"  

Face-painting friends at the festival:


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Poor Boston

Poor Boston gets a lot of attention from Palmer lately.  On the one hand, I'm sure the dog hates it, but on the other hand, I think the dog would run away and hide more often if he really didn't like it.

Palmer likes to role play with Boston and the pup is merely his prop and along for the ride.

All day long, you can hear Palmer saying (as he drags Palmer upstairs by his collar), "C'mon, Boston.  We are going upstairs.  We are going to play with our castle and cars." or "C'mon, Boston.  You know you want to sit right over here.  I'll help you up onto my lap."

Meanwhile Boston's poor body gets pulled and prodded all across the house.  It seems I am always on the lookout for Boston's best interests as he gets manhandled day and night.

But then, there are adorable moments like when Palmer came home after being away for a few days.  Palmer ran into the house and gave Boston the biggest hug and kiss: "Boston! I love you! I missed you!  Don't worry about me.  I was just at Gram's house, but I'm back because I love you!!"


Thursday, December 12, 2013

NYSE Opening Bell

Late last week, Rick was invited by a client to join their executive team in ringing the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange.  When Rick shared the news of his trip, I quickly updated him with my plans to join him for a nice holiday weekend in the city. :)

Well, nature prevailed and our plans were cut short by quite the ice storm down here in Texas.
Our flight was delayed a day and our NYC trip was cut to a mere 24 hours.

Nevertheless, we fit a lot into our short time and enjoyed a progressive dinner, of sorts, where we hit up favorite spots for pre-dinner drinks, dinner, dessert, and ended with a comedy club.
The opening bell ceremony was a nice event starting with a breakfast in one of the NYSE historical boardrooms where a representative explained the significance of the room, building, and the exchange.
On the exchange floor and the opening bell...
 I also got to see a good friend from my NBC days who now anchors for CNBC on the NYSE floor.
Congratulations, Rick, on your daily hard work that puts you in positions like these.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Bellies

From the file of: "the things that kids say..."

Palmer and I recently read a book about Winnie the Pooh visiting Piglet and eating too much honey at Piglet's house.  When Pooh was ready to leave, he found that he couldn't fit thru the front door because of an expanded belly and had to wait a few weeks for the girth to go down.

We ate well at Thanksgiving.

So well that I found Palmer laying on the ground in the bathroom that evening yelling, "Help me, Mommy!"

What was the problem?

"Mommy, I ate too much and my belly is too big!  I can't get out of the bathroom door!"

I feel ya, honey.
At least we did the Turkey Trot 5k that Thanksgiving morning...


Saturday, November 30, 2013

2013 Annual Holiday Newsletter

How Stella got her groove back.  For some reason, that popped into my head as I sit and reflect on 2013.  I think this was the year for the Jordans to find a rhythm in our growing family.  

Like many, we are ever-learning to strike a balance in the cadence of modern life, work, and family.

Palmer is so much fun and such a bright spot in many people's lives.  He continues to be independent, funny, fearless, adventurous, and inquisitive.  But in the last six months, we've seen another side of him: Palmer is thoughtful, gentle, and kind.  I couldn't be more proud of the little boy he has become.
Palmer loves golf, riding his bicycles outside, spending time with his daddy, trucks (specifically fire trucks), swimming, jumping off the diving board, and Curious George.

In the spring, we rented a house at La Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico.  We had such a great week of swimming, beach time, and golf.
We got away for a bunch of weekend trips during the summer, including a Texas hill country weekend for the engagement of my brother and Holly.  He outdid himself with a helicopter proposal over some pool noodles that spelled out, "Holly, will you marry me?"  We couldn't be more thrilled with his choice for a wife.
Earlier in the year, I stepped back to part-time freelancing.  Our family harmony has increased and I'm grateful for all the work Rick puts in to allow options that work best for everyone.  I still freelance produce for the main news networks and work on media consulting projects, including the summer launch of the new cable channel, Al Jazeera America.

Flexible time allowed Palmer to take the summer off from school.  We had many days at the pool and got to join our friends Cydni and Charlotte in their hometown, Park City, Utah for a few weeks in August.
Rick and Adam joined us towards the end of our trip where Rick and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.
Rick continues to work at Gardere Wynne in the corporate section.  To his amazement, he's seen the shift in his career from being the low man on the totem pole to being a senior associate within the section.
When not working, he and Palmer like to knock out at least 9 holes on the golf course.  Rick also has a knack for stealing from his grandmother's large Louis L'Amour western book collection and losing himself in the "wild west".

I hope this (online) letter finds you and yours happy and healthy.  We love to hear from each of you and are grateful for all that you add to our lives.

-Bethany, Rick, and Palmer