Monday, December 17, 2007

We Believe in Santa Claus

Sunday was such an amazing day, it's hard to find words to explain it. The ward Christmas program was yesterday and i don't think there was a dry eye in the room. The choir (which Seth & Dad were apart of) sang some fabulous arrangements of many Christmas songs that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. This is such a special time of year, i get chills just thinking about it. Christmas is our favorite time of's so magical... and the urge to give to others is so strong at times it's overwhelming. Our Savior gave all He had...even His life... for you and for me. What a perfect example of how we should be, not only at Christmas time, but all year round. We were reading scriptures with Nicci last night and telling her the Christmas story, and we couldn't help but get a thrill of joy and excitement for the day when she's old enough to understand and feel the magic of the Christmas experience the celebration of Christ, HER Savior's birth...and to feel the excitement of Santa. Seth and i watch Christmas specials every night on the Hallmark channel and i don't think we've made it thru one without crying. (haha!) And after EVERY movie Seth jumps up with excitement and joy and says, "See Brandi, Santa IS real!" And it is so true. He lives in each one of us, he lives in the twinkle in every child's eyes as they wait to hear the sound of bells and footsteps on the roof on Christmas Eve, ...he lives in the symbols of Christmas. He represents our Savior, he is a magical symbol for who Jesus Christ is. From Santa we learn to give & receive, from Jesus we learn to love and be loved. Last night while sitting by the fire we read a book called, "I Believe in Santa Claus" ...and we do. We believe! And let me tell you why. ... Here's the story, "I Believe in Santa Claus"...

Imagine Santa: He wears red. His hair is white. He comes in the night. He loves little children. He wants us to be good. And he brings gifts.


He wears Red and His hair is white...

He comes in the night & He loves little children.

He knows we are good & He brings gifts.

Santa Claus is a symbol of Christmas. The symbols of Christmas can remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

The symbols of Christmas remind us of Christ.

Isn't that an amazing story?! It's one of our favorite books that remind us of the symbols of Christmas and the excitement of Santa. We can't wait for Nicci to share in our joy! Jesus Christ always went to teach the poor...why? Because they were humble, meek, teachable, giving, and selfless. Let us be humble this holiday season and truly take His name, Jesus Christ, upon us and celebrate His birth...let the magic burn within your heart and let the twinkle* in your eyes shine brighter than it ever has before. *Just Believe*!


Friday, December 14, 2007

Miracle After Miracle on Hacienda Street!

We've had 2 miracles lately that we feel worthy of publicly being thankful for...First and most importantly is our precious daughter Nicci. We found out that she has a fracture on the left side of her skull (I know you're thinking 'how is that a miracle?') but the miracle is that her brain is 100% ok! The Dr.s can't do anything until her swelling goes down though, and so as soon as that happens we will be going to Salt Lake to see her Dr. (which will hopefully be the first week in Jan.) and he will then let us know what needs to happen. She's looking A LOT better already, she just has 2 black eyes ... which makes her look like a cute little raccoon! :) It is a miracle that she is ok! Thank you ALL for your supporting comments and your prayers, you will never know how much it has meant to us.

Now the 2nd miracle is...i baked cookies!! I
know, its unbelievable, but i actually baked cookies for NO reason other than to surprise my dear husband. And OH was he happy! I don't know why i am so scared and bugged by the whole concept of cooking...maybe it is because i'm so scared of failing at it ...but i really do dislike it! However, i am venturing out this season and trying out some new recipes...desserts & dinners! Happy day for ALL!!

My adorable hubby is SO happy!!

...and they actually taste really good too!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

An Amazing Night...Ends in the ER.

Last night was our ward Christmas dinner and for the first time in 2.5 years Seth was able to come! He has always either been working or at school, and had always come to help clean up after, BUT this time he was able to be with us for the dinner & everything! It was so fun to sing Christmas carols together and watch the amazing traditional Nativity Scene performed by the adorable primary. It was all going so perfect...

Fernando (Seth's old boss) & his wife Julie were able to come as well! It was more than a treat to have them there. Fernando is one of the most amazing people we've ever met. Seth has a special place in his heart for him. :)

Nicci found her friend 'Bennett' and they walked hand-in-hand throughout the church & all around the gym. It was hilarious! Bennett has took a liking to Nicci ever since her surgery and they've become pretty good pals. So precious.

...Everything was going so perfect until the end. Seth, Mom, & Dad were helping clean up and i was talking to some friends. My mom had just said to me, "Brandi, where's Nicci?" I told her that I had just talked to some 11 year old girls that wanted to play with her and they were with her in the gym...and i assumed everything to be fine. Mom told me i better go find her but i brushed it off, and continued talking...Not long after that one of our friends came running through the door with our precious Nicci and blood was dripping down her mouth. She ran her into the kitchen where Seth, mom, and i followed. Our friend handed her to me and told us what happened. Nicci had climbed up the stairs to the stage ... and fell off, head first. I can't even write this without crying... After everything she has been through... Because i was off 'chatting with my friends' my daughter took a head dive off the stage onto the wood floor. She bit her lip as she fell and took a good chunk out of it but the very worst was her head. The whole left side of her head was swelling right before our eyes. We held ice on her mouth & head and then decided she needed to go to the hospital and get a CT scan. We rushed right to the ER and were surprised to see that they took us back immediately. Mom & Dad were right behind us and Seth & Dad gave Nics a blessing. It was so comforting for me to watch my husband's hands & my father's hands on top of my baby girl's head. Even though Seth, Mom, & Dad were comforting me & telling me i wasn't responsible, it felt like they were just echoing around me. I sat there watching our dear helpless Nicci screaming because of the neck brace and the undeserved pain she was feeling, and my head was swimming with guilt...I still can't believe i wasn't watching her...assuming that she was "playing with the kids"...she's 18 months! What was i thinking? We are the most careful, paranoid, OVER protective, parents...and I, her mother, was responsible for her while everyone else cleaned up, not the cute kids playing with her...she was my ONLY priority...and worse than ever, i failed. ... The Dr. came in and looked at her and gave her a CT Scan of the brain & neck. After what seemed like an eternity the results came back good! He said she had a minor concussion but should recover ok. The swelling seems to be getting worse though, but we're hoping that's normal. Today her entire left side of her head, even her eye, has almost doubled in size from last night, and it's really squishy where the swelling is. She will be seeing her pediatrician on Monday, and we are calling her Dr. in Salt Lake as well. We are praying all will be ok. It's amazing how the Lord protects his dear children while teaching their mother's very important lessons. She is such a tough little girl. Nicci has been through so much and yet always finds things to be happy about. She's our little miracle.

Major lesson learned...never let your most treasured & prized possession out of your sight...not even for a moment.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Best Thanksgiving...Ever.

This Thanksgiving was by far the most special we've ever had. We had so much to be thankful for and especially being able to spend it with my amazing parents in their wonderful home! Jeff came down and joined us as well! Jeff's been in Russia on a mission for 2 years so it was MORE than a treat having him home for the holidays! Mom & Dad worked beyond very hard and cooked the food to literal perfection! Mom even got out all of her fine China, it was so beautiful! Not only was the food perfect, but so was the day! It was full of delicious food, swimming (Mom & Dad heated the pool & the was amazing!), games (Catch Phrase specifically!...Mom & i dominated until it ended with Seth & I arguing over his cheating! ...LOL...and of course everyone was on Seth's while we duked it out Mom & Dad showed off their 'Catch Phrase' skills & smoked us all!), football (of course!!), endless laughter (until we almost passed out!), caterpillars (we found a Caterpillar outside and showed it to Nics & she named it "Bubbs" :) was priceless!), and we created family memories we will cherish forever! Our food menu was better than a restaurant's! We had...a HUGE Turkey, homemade Gravy from the Turkey, Mom's Yams (which are by far the best Yams you will EVER eat in your ENTIRE life! Just ask us...we'll tell you ALL about it!), Carrots Leanees (i don't know how to spell it but it's delicious!), Deviled Eggs, Strawberry Jello Salad, Waldorf Salad, Stuffed Celery, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing (stuffed in the bird AND out!) Cranberries, Parker House Rolls, Potato Rolls, Green Bean Casserole, ...Banana Cream Pie, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Razzleberry Pie, & Pecan Pie! And that's just off the top of our heads...we feel like we are forgetting something though... BUT, to sum it all up, it was the most special, tender, fun filled, cherished Thanksgiving ever. Thank you Mom & Dad for all of of the hard work and love you put into Thanksgiving to make it perfect, simply perfect. We love you :)
Here are some pictures of our wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nics is calling Grandma to tell her we're on our way!

Our amazingly beautiful girl never stops smiling!

That's our girl!! She made sure we had the football!

The GORGEOUS table decorations! The picture doesn't do it justice! :) Way to go Mom!

Seth & Jeff watching football! Of course... :)

Jeff & Nicci watching DORA...she got a little tired of football and needed some 'Dora Time'

I LOVE her.
The family sitting down to have the best Thanksgiving dinner EVER.

Our cute little Trio!

Nicci's favorite place to Grandma's arms!

This is us... in a nutshell! :)

My mom is amazing...i want to be her when i grow up! :)

Nicci playing with her daddy! They are adorable aren't they?

Could i be ANY luckier??

Are they twins OR what?!
Nicci LOVES the Bambi quilt! Every time she goes to Grandma & Grandpa's, even if it's just for a minute, she HAS to cuddle with Bambi! After she ate her dinner this is where she landed :)

She loves her Uncle "Beff"

Nicci & Daddy are so excited to go swimming in the warm pool!

This was soooo fun!

Hanging out in the spa!

The "Thanksgiving Swimmers"!

"Nicci where's Grandma?".... "THERE SHE IS!!"

A cute candid of me & my girl!