Sunday, December 25, 2011

Favorite Moments of Christmas 2011

There were a lot of favorite moments of Christmas 2011 and below are a few I captured.
One of my most favorite moments of Christmas each year is late on Christmas Eve. We always go to the Christmas Eve service at church which sets the scene for the rest of the evening. Reflecting the true meaning of Christmas and singing Silent Night in complete darkness except for the small candles we are all holding. I cry every year at that exact moment. Immediately following the candle light service we head home for the intimate part of Christmas. Just our immediate family opens gifts from each other. It's so awesome to experience this with my children now that they are adults.
Christmas morning we head over to Craig's parents.

The tradition Mullauer Christmas morning breakfast. Our table has grown a lot over the years to the point that we now extend out into the hall but most important is that we ALL are around that table. Kay and Roger would have it no other way. That's one of the things I love about them.
Cousins.... who are crazy about each other.
Opening gifts....

Christmas dinner table
Turkey is ready....
One of the things I LOVE about Craig is that he is so sentimental. Something as simple as a framed photo of him at Silver Lake with his girl is his favorite gift.
I think I liked my food saver!
A SpongeBob house for Jordan's fish.
Love, love, love this photo and this moment. Jordan just spotted Craig carrying down her new 32 inch flat screen TV. We love our girl.
This dinosaur has a story but to make a long story short..... Caleb was a huge dino freak as a little kid. He LOVED dinosaurs. I found this at Goodwill a few weeks before Christmas and I just had to buy it for him. It was one of the biggest gifts under the tree and Caleb could hardly wait to dig into it..... little did he know.
We wrapped it in a "Ford Racing Parts" box so Caleb assumed it was something awesome for his Mustang. It was hysterical. I didn't get a very good photo because I was laughing so hard.
Jordan's special gift from Caleb.

Christmas Eve day we spent with my parents.
My mother and I both share a love of thrift store shopping and thrill of the hunt. And we both have the same taste in old vintage things. My mother collects old pictures of mothers with their children so when I found this in a thrift store a few weeks ago I knew she would love it and she did.
My Dad... I love him!

The annual photo shoot with the kids and the dogs. Turned out pretty good but I wish Fiona showed up better. She's so dark she blends right in.
When Christmas was done and we were driving home tonight Craig pulled over at the beach without me even asking. The sunset was amazing and he knew I'd want to get a photo. Another reason why I'm so crazy about that man. He knows me so well. The wind was hollowing and the waves were wild...... So beautiful.
Tonight I am tired and emotional. But for all the good reasons. I am thankful and content. Grateful for another wonderful year with my family. God is good....

Friday, December 23, 2011

It was so Norman Rockwell

We had the pleasure of going to see an amazing concert in Grand Rapids last night. The Grand Rapids Symphony did a Christmas concert in combination with a live show of Cirque De Noel. It was a sit on the edge of your seat, totally fixated type of concert. The music and the acts were fantastic.
After the concert we walked down to Rosa Parks Circle. I could have sworn we were in a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. People were ice skating, lights were twinkling everywhere.
I didn't have my good camera but we snapped a few photos with Craig's i-phone.
My cheeks hurt from smiling so much..... What a great night.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What really matters....

With the help of my wonderful husband and daughter this past weekend I was able to finish preparing for Christmas. Now I can look forward to the BEST part of Christmas and what really matters.
Listening and watching Craig and Jordan make Christmas cookies. I love how Craig teacher her his tricks and how they work so well together.
The gang is all home from college! Watching Caleb and Josh spend time with each other for the first time since August makes me smile. Love, love, love the sound of their laughter filling the house.
I can actually sit back and enjoy my decorations. Simple they may be but they make me happy.
Remembering where each one came from......
Each morning looking out the window to see if snow has fallen. Doesn't look like we are going to have a white Christmas this year.
Sitting in the dark with the Christmas tree on, the TV off and talking to the ones I love.
Snuggling with my tired puppies at the end of the day. Watching them all compete for the best spot next to me.
Caleb and Jordan may be 20 and 22 but Santa still brings them gifts. As I am wrapping gifts it's fun for me to decide what gifts are Santa worthy.
If you open your eyes and really look you can see Christmas everywhere. Jesus is there but you have to look. Sit back and watch and your heart will be warmed by what you see. I saw someone order 10 speciality coffee drinks at McDonalds the other day. Who was going to be the lucky recipients of that nice gesture? Jordan and I were passing a bell ringer the other day and I had no cash to put in the bucket. Jordan quickly dug in her purse and found enough for both of us to put money in the bucket. I've watched the teens at church do a toy drive so they could give Christmas gifts to the children of the food pantry patrons every weekend in December. The list goes on and on.

One thing that I'm trying to do is make more of an effort to strike up conversations with strangers. Try it! You may be the only bright part to that person's day. And what I find is that more often than not I walk away with a wonderful feeling.

An amazing thing happened to me at work the other day. A patient who I have worked with for a long time brought me a book about angels and told me what an angel I had been to them throughout a very difficult time they had been going through. As this patients health improved they stopped in again to see me and brought me another book about miracles. He felt like he had been given the gift of a miracle from God. WOW! It's hard for me to talk about that one without being brought to tears.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ten days from today.....

...... it will be December 25. Am I ready? Of course not. I just never will understand these people who on Dec. 1st make the announcement "I'm all done Christmas shopping, my gifts are wrapped and under the tree". And every year after hearing people like that talk I vow that I will be different next year. And I really believe myself when I say that. But for some unknown reason, year after year, it NEVER happens. But I guess I should just be happy that this year I am further along than I usually am. Not where I'd like to be but better than last year. I have maybe 3/4 of my shopping done and I have it all wrapped which is a major accomplishment for me. I'll be frantically finishing up this weekend.
I just had to post this photo of Caleb. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo. Caleb went to Chicago with one of his buddies last week for a concert and his buddy took this photo. It's better than any of the senior photos I paid $500 for. I already sent it to Shutterfly and had enlargements made.

Have a good weekend. And I hope you are one of those people that is all done shopping and all your gifts are wrapped and under the tree......

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Finally, tonight is the last night of sleeping alone. Craig's will be home tomorrow night after a long two weeks of traveling, actually it's been several months but he's been home on and off in between. He's done traveling until March and I will be so glad to have my hubby home.

I've had plenty to do to keep myself busy. One of my goals this week was to get some Christmas shopping done via cyber shopping. I was pretty successful. And I LOVE it! How wonderful is it to sit in my PJ's in the comfort of my own home and shop away. Why hadn't I done more of that in years past?

I made two calendars via iPhoto and uploaded them to Apple for printing. I made one for Craig's office (it's his favorite gift each year) and I made one for Craig's Mom. The only hard part of making them is trying to decide what photos to use. It's not like I take a million photos each year. LOL

Tomorrow morning I am headed to Kalamazoo Nature Center for the annual Art and Gift show. If I didn't know better I would think that the show was made especially for me. If you are a nature freak you would LOVE this show. All of the artists displaying use natural products to make beautiful works of art. There are also nature photographers that are amazing. I'm getting up early to be there when the doors open.

I woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow. I was surprised how much we actually had. I thought we might get a dusting. It was hard to go to work when I wanted so badly to stay home and feed the birds and take my camera outside. It's kind of hard to take photos when it's dark when you go to work and dark when you come home. That's one thing I really dislike about this time of year. Plus the fact that it was Friday, it was a long with with Craig gone, and I just plain wanted to stay home. So anyway.... TGIF!!!!

Work has been going well. I'm very fortunate to have a job that I love. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have some encounter with a patient that affects me deeply, in a positive way. Some of my patients I absolutely fall in love with. I wish I could share some of my patients stories on my blog. But as you know we are under very strict confidentially policies and even if I didn't use patients names I couldn't risk someone knowing who I was talking about. Maybe someday I will figure out how to write a book because I have so many wonderful stories to tell.

Time to go.... I have Christmas gifts to wrap. Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today I am celebrating Craig! Happy birthday to my amazing husband. I love you Craig.... I really do.