Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas to Remember

There's been a lot of holiday action going on around here. And by action I don't mean baking and shopping and caroling. Action of a very different sort. I'm talking hospital visits. This Christmas season has already proven to be one I won't soon forget.

You see, we're spending the holiday in Utah with Mark's family. And on Saturday night Mark's pregnant sister (who has been in the hospital on bed rest for several weeks now) went into labor. The problem is she is only 26 weeks along in her pregnancy. We waited and wondered and hoped things would stabilize. And they did.

So on Sunday morning we decided we should go to church. It was the Christmas program afterall. Yet not more than 30 minutes into the meeting we found ourselves abruptly leaving and heading to the hospital. But not for Mark's sister this time.

Gavin had gotten wiggly and Mark took him out to the hallway to wander a bit. Gavin busied himself with opening and closing a classroom door, and in the process caught his middle finger in the door. This heavy wooden door didn't just pinch his skin. It nearly severed the tip of this finger. So off to the ER we went. Not long after that we found ourselves at Primary Children's Hospital getting an x-ray of the finger for bone damage. Luckily the laceration did not fracture the bone, but they needed to stitch the finger back together. So they decided to put our little Gavin under for the surgery.

Mark and I sat in the room while the doctors gave him oxygen and worked to repair the damaged finger. It was all so surreal. I'll never forget seeing his little body on that large hospital bed. Limp and hurt. And then sitting by his bed after surgery and waiting for him to wake. He looked like a little doll.

We spent nearly half the day in the ER. But we had a remarkably good experience there. The staff quickly brought activities to entertain Owen during the ordeal. We were served food and drinks. And the doctors and nurses were so sweet with Gavin. We felt very well cared for.

However the action was not over yet. Early Monday morning we got word that Mark's sister was delivering her baby, ready or not. Pins and needles! She delivered a 1 lb 15 oz baby boy. T-I-N-Y but breathing on his own.

Today we headed back to Primary Children's Hospital for our first follow-up on Gavin's finger. Everything looks really good and the finger is healing well. Then this afternoon we headed to the hospital again to meet our newest nephew, lying in an incubator in the NICU. He is the tiniest human being I've ever seen. He is beautiful and precious. And I love him.

All these holiday happenings have kept us busy and left us a bit tired. But I can't think of a more perfect way to remember this season than seeing my happy boy with a healing finger and a newborn baby boy making his way into the world.

(Gavin's hospital souvenirs: a soft reindeer blanket, a plush dog, wristband and medical supplies)

(Owen's souvenirs: Hospital Buddies he decorated and cared for during our stay)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Handmade Gifts

It is a tradition in my family to do a gift giving swap each Christmas where we draw names and give to three different people. This year we incorporated a new rule that one of the items must be handmade. And I happened to draw my sister's husband for that one. So...what, what, what to do? I think it'd be a whole lot easier to make something for my sister or sisters-in-law. But no. I had to get creative. Since my brother-in-law is in a band, I decided to make him a guitar strap cover. And because he isn't a reader of this blog I won't spoil anything by sharing the finished product:

I also spent some time creating a few handmade crafts to sell at a holiday boutique my friend hosts in the area. These are the countdown blocks I made:

And while looking around the boutique I met a grandmother who hand knits these lovely little baby sweaters. They were so cute! I just couldn't resist. I had to buy this adorably festive one (for only $8 I might add). It is just tiny and sparkly and I love it.

One other thing I should share is a fun kit we put together this year for our neighbors. We gave them an assortment of goodies to make gingerbread houses. I like the idea of giving them something they can do together as a family. And who doesn't love to eat the leftover sweets!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

'Tis the Season

It's gift giving season already! I can hardly believe it! And as part of our annual church craft fair I put together a table of gift ideas. Simple ones to give to friends and neighbors. I found a lot of cute ideas online so I thought I'd share.

1. Candy Cane Mint Milanos - Milano cookies are great as is, but this idea makes them even more festive and delicious.

2.S'mores Kit - I love this idea for a cozy winter evening!

3. Produce from Santa's Orchard - What a lovely little way to give fresh fruit!

4. Reindeer and Snowman Pops - I took this idea and altered it to be even easier. I dipped Oreos in chocolate and made both reindeer and snowmen.

5.Caramel Apples and Granola - A perfect holiday snack. I used a can of sweetened condensed milk as the caramel (turns to caramel when microwaved)

6.Donut Snowmen - This couldn't be simpler...or more tempting.

7. Hot Chocolate on a Stick - A tad tedious, but it turns out absolutely delicious!

8. Drink Toppers - Break out the bubbly! Dress it up and drink it down.

See? Cute AND easy. Now go get your giving on!