Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christmas at the cabin (and Happy New Year)

They say when you get married, you don't just marry your spouse, you marry the entire family. Um, lets just say I hit the jackpot! The biggest blessing in my life other than my children, are my families. It's just unreal how fortunate we are. You will see by the photos that we may be a version of the Brady Bunch or the Griswolds, but I also know that we have the MOST fun together! All I can say is thank you God for my husband and my family. I love, love, love being a member of the Darby fam.

To clean up a very inappropriate but funny quote from National Lampoon's Vacation, "This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest, a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're gonna have so much "stinking" fun they're gonna need plastic surgeons to remove the smiles from our faces. We'll be whistling zippity-doo-dah out of our (fill in the blank)."

The two words I would use to describe our Christmas are chaos and perfection. We loaded up and drove to the Darby's cabin for a 10 day holiday. We rotate holidays with both families, so every two years the entire Darby-Masters family gets together. This year we had two rounds of company-- the Masters crew and Nathan's grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousin from Tennessee. After everyone else headed home we decided to stay and ring in the new year with Brandon & Andrea (and the 3 boys) and DeDe and Pops. It was the perfect combination.

A few highlights (to spare you from a 10 page dissertation):
*28 people (18 adults, 10 children) under one roof. Really.
*Entire family wore custom Christmas shirts with antler hats and everyone complied.
*Wore no make-up which you will see from the pics unfortunately, but it was heaven.
*The Masters doctors (Dr. Reid & Dr. Jenna) came from Seattle and filled us in with life as married doctors living in different states. Jenna was named intern of the year (anesthesiology) and Reid is in training to become a doctor for the divers in the Navy. STUDS! It was essential to have two doctors in the house with a gazillon children. Countless injuries!
*The shock game. We were stupid enough to sit around in a circle and play a game that administers an electric shock to the person that has the slowest reflexes. We played it for a long time. We laughed so hard we cried and someone may or may not have peed their pants.
*Knitting. We knitted hats for 10 days. I am laughing as I write this because lets just say it wasn't my gift. Whatever. I made a freakin' hat. I have a picture to prove it.
*CanJam - awesome new game (like washers but using huge barrels and a frisbee). You have to play it to get it, but we had a blast. N8 & Uncle B played a modified version using a football...hours of fun.
*Carmel Apples (Thank you Erin)
*Extreme Cheesy Eggs (or "Aiggs" as DeDe refers to them)
*"Somethin's burning nu-nu-nu-nu-nu-nu-nuh"-- love you DeDe!
*Mel had a Fear Factor moment and ate duck the guys shot while hunting(it was actually very good). I grew a chest hair for that one.
*Guys duck hunted....and hunted and hunted.
*Kids were fort experts and built amazing forts and got lost in them for hours.
*Nathan and Dr. Reid got major arm workouts from stunting with all of the kids.
*Carson fell down the stairs, fell out of the highchair, etc. Mom of the year!
*Sweet Nathan, the rule explainer (ha!)
*Amazing fondue dinner for New Year's Eve.
*Texas Hold 'Em tournament
*My other mom of the year moment: we arrived late on Christmas Eve and had been driving for many hours. We were exhausted so right before bed I threw the "Santa" cookies and "reindeer food" in the trash can...and I DIDN'T COVER THEM UP! Awesome Mel, way to go. So when Dru wakes up and goes to throw away his breakfast I hear, "Hey, Santa threw away ALL of his cookies. I guess he didn't like them." And Alex says, "and there is all of the reindeer food!!!" I am thankful the kids believed our stories about Santa and the reindeer getting too full to finish the food. Whew. I almost single handedly ruined Christmas. Way to go mom!

I know I am forgetting many more memories, but here are a thousand pictures so you can get the idea.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Successful surgery

We are home and Carson is napping. The surgery was a total success. I am so glad it's over with. The ENT said on a scale of 1-10 for ear infections, he put him at a nine and it was imperative that we had the tubes put in. I am thankful for this doctor in particular because he saw Carson on Wednesday and we were scheduled and done by Friday AM. Carson was such a joy...even sick as a dog and at a hospital, he was all smiles and winning over the staff. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and support. Another one checked off the list....

Pre-op patient
My precious boys

Here's the video of Carson just minutes before his surgery. Clearly, the Versed had kicked in.

PS-- Random side note: I am SO glad we live in Texas. It's 17 degrees here and it is misery. I only want it to be this cold if I am snow skiing. Glad we will be back to 100* temps soon.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Carson's surgery

Please say a prayer for our little man. He is getting tubes at 7am tomorrow.
The surgery is minor, but he will still be under anesthesia which is the scariest for me. He is so little and there are always risks....after Alex's complications from her tonsillectomy, it leaves me a bit anxious.
Doc said his pain level is at a 9 and this isn't optional -- so at least there is no room for questions. He has blistering in the middle ear in both ears.
Love to all!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Speaking of mess...

Introducing Alex's "magic friend, the most beautiful girl in the whole wide land." You have to hang in there until the end. Priceless!

If you can't view the video, click here:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beautiful Mess

The song in the background is Beautiful Mess, by Jason Mraz. Sums up a lot for me, really.
I always use the term "mess" as a term of endearment. If you a are loved, by me.
When someone is a mess they are authentic and real...and that always means they are a mess....and I love that.

My sis-in-law gave me an album titled "Beautiful Mess" for Christmas and I am anxious to load it up. In the meantime, enjoy this version by Jason Mraz, one of my favorite artists.
I am most certainly a mess! ;)

New Decade

Here we are in 2010. Do you remember where you were when you entered the new millennium? I look at 10 years and see an amazing marriage, a home full of memories, two amazing families, two beautiful children, and MANY lessons learned.

There is so much to look forward to. My dad got a job!!! Praise the Lord. They are doing great and I know they will be back before we know it. God has HUGE plans for them....He always has.

"Over every mountain, there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley."

"In the path of silence the soul finds the path in clearer light and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after truth."

I thank God TODAY for the path I am on. I thank God that He loves me enough to see what is best for my life and has kept me on that path...even when I may have tried to take another. I know this path, this truth, is the one I don't deserve, but I gratefully accept.

Sorry for the ramblings...we all get inspired around this time of year. I wish you and yours the absolute best.

I have HUNDREDS of pictures to sort through....stay tuned.