Sunday, December 30, 2012

Annual Christmas Dinner

Every year we have a Christmas dinner with close friends. These friends are closer than some family-like the be with you through everything kind. It's alway so much fun to get together even though we don't all live close. My parents alway host this dinner and my mom plans for weeks! She always has a theme and goes all out in decorations!

We hang out, play, chat, catch up...

Before dinner my mom usually has a reading prepared and my dad blesses the food.
This year the kids were moved to the "adult table" because we have kids of our own and need more room. We felt so cool! Ha!

Sister was really into the tree that night too!

At the end of the evening always take a group photo. This requires a self timer. It can be pretty crazy and! My mom has been displaying the past years pictures. It's so fun to look back at past photos. We only had to take the picture twice this year. Sloane's face was covered in the first! (Thanks Ryan!)

Another successful Christmas tradition!
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Morning

*I am trying to post all our Christmas pictures before the New Years. (For the "blog books" sake) ;)

When Mark and I got married waking up at our own home on Christmas morning was something we valued. It's something we decided to make an important part of our family's Christmas. So...Christmas morning we woke up and headed out to see what goodies Santa left for us.

(Santa wraps in shiny red paper.)
He even set the table for breakfast...a Happy Birthday Jesus party!!!

By this point Wyatt was understanding the opens gifts part of Christmas.

We opened at our own pace, ate cinnamon rolls and celebrated "vesus" b-day together.

That afternoon we got dressed and headed to Mark's parents house for another celebration.

Mark's moms side of the family was over there celebrating. They all watched our kids open gifts.

We all played games and with our new toys!

The holidays really worn little Buddy out!!! He fell asleep watching a movie sitting up in a chair!

We had a great Christmas Day! We are so blessed with great family and friends. It was another great day of celebration!!

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Date Night

Thursday afternoon my MIL called and offered to watch the kids over night Friday night. At first I was a little nervous due to the supply of milk I have stored for Sloane and well, the fact I haven't ever left her overnight. After talking with Mark (and hearing his "excited husband" voice) I decided it was a good choice and something we needed as a couple. Recently I read a blog post about time alone with your husband. By "time alone" I am not talking about a dinner or evening out here and there. I am talking about time spent with him my undivided attention for an extended period of time. I have heard mom's talk about how they are just "too involved" with their children to be able to do something like that well...we are involved in our children's lives. We also know and understand what the Lord has called us to do as husband and wife. To put our fears, anxiety, selfishness, and such behind and follow his will...the post I read quoted Gary Thomas,
"Simply living life changes us; we've go to keep pursuing our spouses or risk becoming a stranger to the person we married." For Mark and I the part of simply living changes us is MORE THAN TRUE! We have been through so much together as a couple and as individuals throughout our mere 5 years of marriage. If you are a regular reader you know we have been through things many will never, and we pray WILL NEVER experience. It's not often we talk about the "before" children time. As some couples can reflect on that time it's extremely painful for us. That may change someday but for now it is still too raw. We had the early afternoon/evening together. We visited a few stores we like to browse without children. ;) We exchanged looks, held hands, laughed, and reconnected. We took a break from the rat race we have been running not only the past few weeks but the rat race called "life." It was GOOD! The post I have been referencing talks about getting married and what that means. She states that even though getting married we continue to still grown and learn. She states "getting married doesn't mean you stop, you just do it together."
We have almost hit that 5 year mark in our marriage. I am not the woman he married and he is not the man I married. Life changed us. We have embraced it...not feared it! No matter what though we will remain in pursuit of each other's hearts.

If you fear leaving your child or can't "justify" that time I pray you take this post and think, pray, and discuss with your spouse. It will do a body good. ;) We had a great time together-we loved being "us" together!
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve morning we woke to "Christmas morning" at my parents. My sister and her "little family" came over and we opened gifts and stockings together.

I didn't take many pictures. We were enjoying each other and having a great time playing with the kids. Just for doc. sake...Mark now owns a hammer...

(Don't judge his Christmas morning hair. ;)
My brother and baby Zetta:

We spent the day relaxing and being together. The kids played with their new toys and we ate...too much! Later in the evening we got ready and headed to the Christmas Eve service at the church where I grew up, also where my parents still attend.

This is BY FAR my favorite part of Christmas. The service is always so awesome! Brother Mark called all the children to the front to listen to the Christmas story.

The last song "Silent Night" by candlelight is breathtaking.

Growing up Christmas was celebrated with family, presents and were exchanged but the memories from our Christmas Eve service as a family will be with my longer than the rest. The presence of The Lord is felt...he is the reason for the celebration. It was truly amazing watching Wyatt hold a candle and the beginnings of understanding the reason for this awesome celebration.

We were able to get a family photo in the foyer before heading to my Aunt and Uncles house to celebrate with my mom's side of the family.

Cousins in their first (of many) matching dresses!

Wyatt with my mom and her dad.

My g-pa painted portraits of his children and their spouses. It was a thoughtful gift.

The ladies!!! ;)

Sister with her family!!!

Family Shot 2012
(using self timer)
I wish we could be so many places at once to celebrate Christmas. It just doesn't work like that. :( Christmas Eve in J-town this year so Christmas Day was celebrated in coming soon!!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas #2

We celebrated Christmas with my dad's side of the family on Saturday evening. Since they get together on Christmas Day and Mark and I wouldn't be in Jackson on Christmas they were kind enough to get together for us. My mom always does such a great job coordinating it all. The food was great...and we all just visited. It was so relaxing!!!

Sloane and Wyatt both had fun opening gifts...

We were even able to snap a photo of us with my g-ma and dad.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Today we celebrate the birth of "Baby vevus." (from the mouth of Wyatt)
Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

We pray you and your family enjoy today and are blessed through 2013.
The Schmitz Family
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from our family to yours...

It’s that time again…the Schmitz Christmas letter! Without sounding cliché this has been one crazy year for our family! We had numerous monumental events happen throughout this year.
Most of January and February were spent celebrating family b-days (We have a lot the first 2 months of the year.) and enjoying our last few weeks as a family of 3. We were given a baby shower for Sloane and worked on getting all the last minute things in place as we prepared for her arrival.
                  March 13th we welcomed little Sloane Michelle into the world! Uncle Billy was so close to getting the BEST birthday gift ever. Ha! She was (and is) PERFECT! We couldn’t ask for a cuter little girl.  It was “love at first site” for Wyatt. He has been an amazing BIG brother.  It’s been so precious to watch their love for each other grow. For a while we had 2 children under the age of 2 at our house…let’s just say it took some time for all of us to adjust.  Sloane cried the first 8 weeks of her life but woke up one morning with a smile that has yet to go away. She has a smile that is SUPER contagious! We get stopped daily by strangers who want to see, talk, and stare at her-sometimes it’s cute and other times it’s creepy. Ha!
                  April was another big month for us.  We celebrated Easter and had our first “big” holiday as a family of four.  We also found out Sloane and Wyatt were getting a cousin on my side of the family! My sister was pregnant, it was such great news! In April we also dedicated Sloane to the Lord during the baby dedication ceremony at church. The service was great, and we enjoyed having family and friends to our house after service to celebrate something very special to Mark and I.
                  May marks the beginning of summer at our house! The many trips to the pool, STL zoo, and outside activities get underway.  May is also a very special month at our house.  Wyatt and Ryder both turned 2 this year. We are so honored God gave us Wyatt to celebrate with on Earth and even though we KNOW HOW TO PAARRRTTYYY at our house we can’t help but be a little jealous of Ryder as he gets to have a b-day party in Heaven! This year we also celebrated the college graduation of Mark’s sister Kirsten. We were so happy to be able to attend the ceremony as she walked across the stage-what an accomplishment Kiki!
                  June and July were HOT! We tried to spend as many days as possible by the pool. STL even broke a record by having the most consecutive days over 100 degrees. It was crazy! In June we found out Erin and Pete were having a baby GIRL! We celebrated July 4th with family that came to visit from CA. It was an awesome time in Jackson and so great to be able to visit with family that live so far away. In July Mark and I celebrated year 2 of owning EXPEDITEstl. We are still making 1 trip a month to IKEA and are so thankful for all the help my parents have been with this growing business!
                  August was a “milestone month” for us as well. Mark graduated from Logan and finally fulfilled his goal of becoming Dr. Mark Schmitz. It was an amazing ceremony! I am so honored to call myself his wife. He received 3 awards and his brother was able to “hood” him as he crossed the stage. I have many snap shots in my memory from that day I don’t ever want to forget!
                  September we were able to take our 1st “family of 4”vacation to the beach.  We spent the week with our friends, The Dumey’s, and had a blast! It was such a relaxing vacation. It was a perfect way to spend the last week before Mark started practicing at Schmitz Chiropractic. We spent the rest of the month adjusting to having a daddy that goes to work and not school. J_
                  October flew by! We were beginning to prepare for the holiday season and get ready for another family vacation. The weather was beautiful! We had many play dates and spent lots of time outside. At the end of the month we flew to CA! We had a CRAZY but fun filled vacation. We crammed Lego Land, Disney Land, Sea World, Universal, and even an aquarium into an 8 day vacation. (Thanks to Maw Maw and Paw Paw for helping to make it possible!)
                  November was so exciting! On the 14th we welcomed baby girl Zetta Mae into the family. My sister is a champ and I can’t wait to experience the journey of motherhood with her! Wyatt couldn’t get enough of his baby cousin so we spent lots of November in Jackson. (Ok, so maybe Aunt Em couldn’t get enough either. J) Thanksgiving was a blast as usual and BLACK Friday shopping was crazy too!
                  As Christmas (December) approaches we plan to really relax and spend time with family. Mark and I strive to be Godly examples to our children and to raise them in a Christian home where GOD is #1. At this stage of our life it’s our daily actions that our children are watching. We pray you take time this holiday season to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
                  Bring on 2013…..

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas #1

Friday night we celebrated our first of 5 Christmas celebrations.

We went to Mark's parents house. There was just his immediate family members. It's fun to have a little intimate celebration together.

We opened gifts together with a fun game Mark's sister created.

The kids played so well together-they did NOT want to stop playing at 10pm!!!

I am so blessed to be part of such an amazing family!!!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

1st Annual Gingerbreading

Last weekend Sloane and I went to Mark's parents house for a little holiday party.

We decorated gingerbread men and made a craft. It was so fun! Most of the ladies in his family were there too.

It was fun to get together before the craziness starts.

Even sister got in on the action...

We had a great time!! I love traditions and look forward to next year!!

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