Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tis the Season......for Christmas Cards

It is that time of year for Christmas cards again. I love creating our family cards and we usually get really into making sure we get a family picture for the card.
I have ordered from Shutterfly in the past and will be ordering from them again. It is super easy. You upload a picture (or two or three or more) and pick a design, then choose the layout, add a greeting and then preview. Once you decide it is super easy to order.
Here is a sample from a card from a previous year that we ordered from Shutterfly (all your projects can be saved and shared on their site). This one is from 2008. It remains one of my favorites because I love the picture with Santa reaching out his hand to C. Although, he told us and everyone who mentioned that picture that it was “Arvey’s hand” the assistant that was helping take the picture.

Christmas 2008:
Winter Snowmen Winter
Unique party invitations and announcements by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

So far these are my choices for this year:
Love Hope Faith Religious
Unique party invitations and announcements by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Joy Sky Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

I really like the “faith hope love” card because it seems so appropriate this year. This year has been so big for us with getting M placed with us in January, then adopted in August. I saw this card and thought it was “perfect” for our Christmas cards this year. I love the “joy and magic” one, too because it also sums up how the year was for us, joyous and magical.
I will probably end up doing a combination of the two so that our Jewish recipients get a holiday season one vs. more Christmas-y and we usually try to stick with a more “holiday” or “happy new year”.
All the grandmas are requesting calendars again this year, they love seeing the pictures of the grandchildren throughout the year. And I need a new mug for my desk because mine is a family picture from 2006, pretty outdated. I have gotten the grandmas mugs, also, in the past but I think they will just get calendars this year.

p.s. I got 50 free cards for writing about Shutterfly, but I would have ordered from Shutterfly without the promotion and the card preview from 2008 was the actual Shutterfly card we sent out two years ago. They have a very good product.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How the kids enjoyed Mexico

Here are some pictures of how the kids enjoyed their time in Mexico.

The kids in the pool, one of my absolute faves. They really do like each other and make each other smile all the time. Makes me realize that I am so happy we were able to finally give C a sibling:

Me, my mom, and Miss M in the pool:

Miss M lounging on the chair under the Tiki Hut (Did I tell you how much I loved the Tiki Huts and chairs on the beach?)

We got to see and hold baby Sea Turtles. They had hatched at the resort so they gathered them up for the governement to come and get and deposit in less populated areas. They were so cute and small. You can also see in this picture that Maya had her hair braided while we were there. A lady on the beach did it and it was super cute!

A great picture of daddy and the kids in the pool:

We went to the Mexican Fiesta night at my mom's resort and the girls paid a lot of attention to C. She gave him a kiss and left lipstick on his cheek that we were not allowed to wipe off.

Monday, November 15, 2010


We took the kids to Mexico last week for a family vacation. We originally had planned to go for Spring Break, but because of M's adoption we had to postpone the trip. Pesky little things like birth certificates and passports kept us in the country.
So we booked the trip for November 6th through the 13th. I hadn't been to Mexico since I was 20 and hubby and the kids had never been. We didn't know what really to expect on the vacation, but loved it and would definitely go back.
We went to Puerto Vallarta which is on the West Coast. It is surrounded by mountains and has very pretty beaches. The water was a little chilly but we did go in the ocean swimming some. C and I even snorkeled while hubby and M sat tight in the boat. The flight from NC was really easy about 2 hours 20 minutes to Houston and then another 2 ½ hours to Puerto Vallarta. It seemed easier than or just as easy to get there as it is to get to West Coast of US.
We booked our vacation at Paradise Village which is just north of Puerto Vallarta in Nuevo Vallarta. The resort was great for families. You can do pay as you go or an all-inclusive package. We opted out of all-inclusive since we had a kitchen and would be spending some time with my mom at her resort, Villa Palmar de Los Flamingos. The food was pretty good at the resort, but glad that we were able to cook some as C wasn’t a huge fan of the food. M loved having guacamole every day though. Paradise Village had great kid activities like pool volleyball, beach soccer, pool basketball, bingo, water polo, bocce ball tournaments, and dancing lessons. C loved playing with the activities staff. I played the pool volleyball, too. The pool was great, it had two large waterslides lots of area to swim, a kiddie section, and nice hot tub. The beach was great and the resort has a ton of little Tiki Huts to sit under while you relax on the beach, very nice for me since I burn so easily so it was nice to sit in the shade while M napped on the beach. There was a market, dominoes, McDonalds, cafĂ©, and Starbucks a very short walk right outside the gates of the resort. The resort also had Tigers on site and a few exotic birds. Our building had a pool and hot tub right outside. The room was really nice, too, it was a 2 bedroom, 2 baths with full kitchen and washer/dryer.
My mom’s resort seemed a little stuffier, but also had a fantastic pool. Our resort had a bunch of kids and there were hardly any kids at hers. But the rooms were really nice, too. We did do a theme dinner night, Mexican Fiesta, at her hotel and that was so much fun, the staff was very entertaining and the food was great.