Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 13, 2013

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Happy New Year! I have a pretty good excuse for the lag time in our post - our Mac crashed! We used our Mac to upload photos from our camera and to upload the blog, so we've been out of commission for a while. The saddest part of losing our Mac is that we lost all of our photos from April - September 2012. Before that they were backed up on an external hard drive, luckily. Lessons learned: 1. Back up photos on the external hard drive more regularly and 2. Upload photos to an online program - Patrick created a SmugMug account for us, so hopefully we'll be all set (at least for a couple of years until technology changes).

This post coming to you from our snazzy new computer with Windows 8, which will take some getting used to. We had a lovely, wonderful Christmas and couldn't have asked for better. Here is how we celebrated...

Charlotte loves Sunday School and church. She definitely makes sure Patrick and I get there if at all possible. The 3-year-olds were angels in the Christmas Pageant, and all of Charlotte's grandparents, Aunt Kelly, Uncle Tim Molly, and even our neighbors came to watch her. Here she is after her Christmas Pageant looking just a little excited:

 

The week before Christmas we stole a few extra days to celebrate the holidays by taking a little mid-week trip. Our first stop was to Duluth, and while Patrick attended a meeting online (super-dedicated U of M employee!) Charlotte and I enjoyed a peaceful lunch at Va Bene, an Italian Cafe, with a fantastic view of Lake Superior. That evening we visited Bentleyville with Grandma and Grandpa Russell. Charlotte slept during our first walk through the lights display, but conveniently woke up as we were leaving...so we walked through again.

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We spent the night at the Edgewater Inn and Waterpark - Charlotte loved it! Our room was just around the corner from the water park, and there were hardly any other families there. I've heard it is much busier on the weekends, and we loved having the run of the place!

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But wait, there is more! After a night in Duluth we drove south to Eau Claire to have dinner with Santa (and the whole Russell family - including Great Grandma and Grandpa!). Charlotte was not the least bit shy, dominating Frosty and Rudolph's time, giving Santa big hugs and high fives, and ringing bells with the carolers. Here she is with her favorite holiday friends:

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After a couple days at work it was time for more vacation! We spent Christmas Eve in Eau Clare with the Russell's. Charlotte wore the jingle bell antlers as we opened gifts:

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And even posted for a Santa Hat picture with Molly.

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Charlotte woke up at home on Christmas morning and couldn't wait to try out the scooter from Grandpa Russell while wearing her snazzy Hello Kitty outfit from Grandma Russell.

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Santa delivered on her wish for Baby Jaguar and Diego Rescue Pack. She was very excited.

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So excited that she couldn't contain herself. Here she is jumping up and down with joy.

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After opening gifts at home we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Distad's house. Charlotte demonstrated her now well-mastered gift opening skills, but was caught off guard when Grandpa and Grandma escorted her to the basement to pull a sheet off of her last gift. With Daddy's help she uncovered her very own Gator. She climbed on eagerly and jumped off just as eagerly after driving it into the wall. Come Summer 2013 Charlotte will be traveling around Grandma and Grandpa's yard at 2.5 mph. Little does she know there is the potential for work here - I have memories of picking up sticks in spring time...

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Charlotte and I had restful Christmas week at my parent's house while Patrick returned to work. We enjoyed watching Brave, which Charlotte received for Christmas, approximately 5 times and playing games with Grandma and Grandpa.

We wrapped up our holiday celebrations with extended families and began 2013 feeling very blessed. As Charlotte opened her gifts I couldn't help but think of kids who do not receive any at all, an important reminder to teach Charlotte gratitude and compassion - in addition to the joy and love she felt a lot of this year.

We haven't taken any photos since Christmas Day! Patrick did upload a video recently of Charlotte's dance skills. She loves dancing, and does it whenever possible. Despite what Grandma and Grandpa Russell may comment (see previous blog post), Charlotte has excellent moves. Just last night she was break dancing during a dance contest at our neighbor girl's birthday party - so sad to have missed getting video of that!

Happy New Year!



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2, 2012

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Christmas Dance

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