Yes, it's true, Jackson loves strings. Whenever I wear a sweatshirt, the ties to my hood are soaked in seconds. They seem to very quickly made their way into his chubby hands then into his mouth. So, as we were packing for our move, a light bulb went off inside my head! I was throwing away lots of old sweatshirts, so I removed their hoodie strings, tied them to a teether, and voila! I give you Jackson's new homemade and wonderfully creative plaything:
We hope everyone is having a great Christmas like we are. Yesterday, on Christmas Eve, we spent most of the day at home with Jackson. He was super excited to wear his "lumberjack man" shirt from Aunt Serena and Uncle Michael. I think he looked mighty handsome, too.
Jax had fun playing with his Go-Baby-Go Dino from Aunt Sharon. Unfortunately, he can only propel himself backwards. It's adorable to watching him scoot back...and back...and back... with no desire to go the right direction. Hey, at least he's mobile!
That evening we went to Christmas Eve dinner with GranGran and PawPaw at Red Lobster. We had an excellent server, and Mommy got her traditional Christmas drink--a Shirley Temple.
When we got home, it was time for Jackson to get ready for bed... because Santa was on his way... In the middle of the night, Mommy and Daddy heard Santa's sleigh upon the rooftop, but Jax slept right through it. Christmas morning came soon enough . . .
And a sleepy-headed little man sure was excited!
Because Santa was gooood to this baby!
Mommy made Cinnamon rolls for Daddy to enjoy.
(don't worry, Mommy and Maggie had some too)
Then, after Jackson's nap, we went to our Christmas staple...Denny's...for lunch.
As always, Jackson charmed the poor souls who were chosen to work today.
Later in the evening, Mommy and Daddy made Christmas dinner. It was the first real meal we've ever cooked in this house (gasp!)...and just in time to move!
We made a Christmas ham ...
(thanks, Victoria, for your instructions)
And the fixins ...
Don't worry, Jackson wasn't left out...not one little bit.
No, no, no, Jackson ... it's time for your bath and bedtime.
A.K.A.-- Mommy and Daddy are ready for some warm cherry pie and Inception.
A friend of mine from nursing school at the University of Virginia just launched a revolutionary new blog. This is the "real deal;" not just a place for family photos and witty one-liners (not that there's anything wrong with that, ahem). Her name is Sarah Cowherd, and she has some pretty good ideas about changing the current state of our healthcare system...nursing in particular (and without Socialism, too!). I will be attaching her blog on the right-side column of this blog, but here's the quick link:
And the only thing that was un-jolly about our Roanoke Christmas weekend was that it had to come to an end.
This Thursday-Monday marked the beginning of Christmas festivities for the Heaths--kicked off with a wonderful roadtrip to my beloved Roanoke, Virginia to celebrate with Justin and my families ... as well as a daytrip to Chilhowie, Virginia on Sunday to celebrate Christmas with Justin's dad, aunts and uncles, and his beautiful Mammaw.
Despite blustery winter weather on Thursday we hit the road around lunchtime headed South. Jackson was so excited to see both of his grannies at once--so we set off into the snow.
On Friday we took a trip to Valley View Mall to shop for this growing boy. Everything we bought was size 12-18 months...and they fit! This little peanut is quickly becoming a chunk, and this was the very first time I have actually had to buy him clothes out of need. It was fun to shop guilt-free that way, too! It helped that we were able to take advantage of the pre-Christmas sales this time of year. That night we had dinner with his Aunt Nancy and Uncle David. Jax gave Nancy a run-for-it at dinner, but I don't think she minded. She was a big hit!
On Saturday, Granny Tori did some last minute shopping at Toys-R-Us, and then she and I spent the afternoon cooking "Christmas Dinner" together. I learned how to make a spiral ham, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn, and rolls. I think next year I am making it my goal to host either Thanksgiving or Christmas at our house--so this year was a practice run--a dress rehearsal of sorts. He might not have any teeth, but Jackson sure enjoyed Granny Tori's home cookin'.
After dinner, it was present time! Don't think for one second that this little stinker didn't know what was going on. He probably won't remember this as his first Christmas, but he still had fun in the moment.
Boy ... did he get spoiled!
Seriously ... between this weekend and the things that Santa just might bring, I think this kids will have every age appropriate toy on the planet. After dinner and opening gifts, we had some fun family time relaxing by the Christmas tree and playing our new Kinect for XBox 360 (thankfully there are no photographs of this--only video--for which I will later kill Jackson's father--cough, cough--right Marney?).
It was such a fabulous night ...
... that we all rested well ...
Until Sunday morning rolled around, and we headed further south to Chilhowie ... another 2 hours on the road that were well worth it. There, we ate a delicious lunch prepared by Justin's sweet Mammaw. She also showed me how to make her famous sausage balls. I, being a very novice cook, turned her "by memory" recipe into a written approximation, although the cook-time remains "until they are brown." I think I know what she means. *smile* After lunch, we enjoyed one another (as well as Mammaws singing hymns and playing the piano by ear) and Jackson opened a few more presents from his family.
Jackson especially got a kick out of his big cousin, Gabe--who was so well mannered and patient with him.
Sunday evening we returned to Roanoke for Mexican food with my Uncle David and Aunt Mary. Naturally, Taco enjoyed that meal too. By the looks of him, you can tell he enjoys most all means, right?
But Monday morning came oh-too-soon, and it was time to return to "Northern Virginia" once again (but not for long!). We are so thankful and blessed for such wonderful family with whom to spend this beautiful holiday season!