Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Card

Happy Holiday Season my fellow friends, family and blog readers (who are really my friends and family I'm most certain, if not - then happy holidays to you too!)

After going back and forth, trying to decide on a Christmas card theme, picture and note -- I decided to skip the whole thing altogether. While, I love the tradition and excitement of receiving one - to maybe see a new photo or hear some new information - we are never home to receive the bulk of them. By the time we get back home, Christmas is over, and well, so is the spirit. I can't hang them up or lay them out for our guests to see how  popular  many friends well loved we are. That being said, I feel like I give more information and photos in this blog than I ever could in a Christmas card. Most of my friends and family read this (hopefully... if not, then it's YOUR fault you aren't receiving our most loving holiday wishes). So... excuse me for copping out and using this 'ol blog as our Christmas card cheer. I like saving paper and money. Everything around the holidays is so much in excess, which I fall victim to every year as well. This is one way where I'm scaling back, but still spreading our warm wishes. 

I'd like to say what a happy year this oregonholt family has had in 2011. Noella continues to warm our hearts even more every day. She is amazing to watch, listen to and interact with. I can't wait to see what kind of a girl she grows to be. She's known her ABC's for quite some time now and talks our ears off all day long. Noella has made it very clear what kinds of phrases we say on a regular basis, as she begins to say them herself (e.g. "actually, it's a airplane", "daddy wants a red one, I fink (I think)")

Adam and I continue our passion for cycling, exploring trails and the rest of the outdoors. Cyclocross racing was more exciting and involved this year for us. We both took it to another level, which was fun. By another level, I mean moving up categories and attending more races. Noella's imaginary play every night includes bike racing, falling in the mud, crashing and needing a band-aid. 

We are finally putting down some roots out here, at least for a little while. We are moving East to Bend, OR and building a house. We are VERY excited about that. 

Here's to new beginnings in the upcoming 2012. I hope each and everyone of you can look back on the past year and be thankful and contented in your hearts and minds. Peace, Love and Joy to ALL!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Parade

Because I am terrible at things like that, I always forget my camera at the most important events: Noella's first Christmas parade, for example. But, because I am lucky, I have friends who bring their camera and send me pictures that they take of my family. Whew! Thanks Jennie!

I am really late on posting this, and really poor on keeping up with this whole blog thing. Last friday, we headed into downtown Hood River to watch a bunch of trucks advertise their businesses by driving down the main street with Christmas lights strung to their bumpers the Christmas parade. Noella, as this was her first parade, thought it was the coolest thing since candy canes (which she more recently discovered and thinks are pretty cool, to say the least). Adam and I, on the other hand, have seen more impressive parades in our day. But, in it's defense, the whole atmosphere of downtown was truly magical. The whole evening, they close main drag, so everyone can spill over into the streets..... There were beautiful lights all around, the communal lighting of the giant town tree, the live Christmas carols afterwards, the hot cocoa, the CANDY CANES! Noella danced her little heart out - they even played Jingle Bells twice (her favorite holiday song so far). She still asks me when we drive into town at night - "No-yeh-yuh go see the pah-wade? No-yeh-yuh wants a candy cane?" I didn't even know anyone liked candy canes. I surely don't.

Noella and Gavin, one of her very first friends. Nate, his daddy, is holding him

I can't tell you how long its been since we've had a family photo taken. See - I'm horrible! Thanks Jennie for giving me some documentation of a very fun night. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Single Parent for the Week

This is a reflection about how challenging it is to be with an almost two year old for a whole week by yourself. Now, I know there are so many single parents out there, and I know there are other parents out there who do maybe more than their share with their kids b/c of traveling spouses or whatnot -- I tip my hat to you all. It is a test of patience, stamina, creativity, patience, willpower..... did I say patience??

The little dear was mostly a little dear. We did have some moments, but I think it was more me than her. I think the hardest part is the lack of adult interaction. It's really hard to maintain your sanity when your conversations all revolve around: "mommy, you a big girl?", "does Thomas want a purple cupcake?", "No-yeh-yuh wants bike race music"..... All of these conversation starters make only slightly more sense to me than they do to you. I still haven't, for the life of me, figured out what "bike race music" consists of. So far, "Hey-Ya" by Outkast does the trick. While, I love the fact that she is so verbal and can carry on somewhat of a conversation with me, it is really exhausting trying to remain engaged with her and sound excited about every off the wall comment and question she has (which she usually asks at least 10 times each). But, I do love it. I really do. I just like it better when Adam is here and can answer her the other half of the time, and I can just listen.

Noella, talking to someone who really cares on her cellphone. Obviously, Foxy (the animal she's dining with) and Mama just don't get it. 

Speaking off that, thank goodness Dada's back tomorrow evening. Noella is practicing for his homecoming on a tiny trumpet ornament.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Good Morning. The Sun is Gonna Shine

Noella has been really getting into her pretend play. Her mornings are usually dedicated to teaching her "music class" to all her stuffed animals that she lines up on the floor or the couch. It's pretty adorable, but of course she does the cutest stuff when she knows no one is watching or recording.

I absolutely love this stage she is in and wish I could take advantage of all the busy time she's engaging herself in - but all I can do is try to secretly watch her.