Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2 & 3 – Mostly Good, a little bad & one ugly

We celebrated Christmas #2 (our family Christmas at home) on the Wednesday night before Christmas, and it was a really sweet time. I was totally {pleasantly} surprised when Son gave me a GPS & a digital picture frame!! We had agreed not to spend much on each other this year, and I had picked out a new purse when we were in Texas that I bought as my Christmas, but apparently Son didn't stick to the rules {not that I really mind too much} J.
Beau with his new toy!
Collin opening one of his presents - like most babies the bows & wrapping paper were his favorite presents!

Son loaded pictures on the digital frame for me last night so I was able to enjoy it all day at work today…it was really nice when something stressful came up to be able to just take a mini time-out & scroll through the pictures to find a new favorite to display. Now I can't wait to get the GPS set-up in my car! I am going over to my friend Angela's house tonight for an Arbonne party that she is having, and even though I have been there a billion times I think I will try out the GPS to get there J

Christmas #3 (with Son's family in Pensacola) had a really rocky start {here comes the ugly} when we got a call about an hour outside of Pensacola that Son's dad's store had been robbed when he was closing up that day and that his dad was at the ER. The robber hit Son's dad with something (we have no idea what) and he ended up having to get about 30-stitches in his face – it was terrible! Needless to say we were praying for him the rest of the way there & we were so happy to see him when he got home that night! Seriously, what kind of person would so something like that – and on Christmas Eve of all times…the only explanation is that we live in a fallen, sinful world and there are crazy people out there. However, we all kept saying how we know that God was watching out for him because it could have been so much worse. We were just thankful that his injuries weren't any worse than they were.

After we {somewhat} got over the shock of that terrible event, we found out that Son's brother, Hao, with his wife Alex & son Gavin were not able to get a flight out of Colorado like they had planned (they had been there skiing all week). They were stranded there for a day {bad}, but finally made it home to Miami on Christmas Day. Unfortunately only Hao was able to make it to Pensacola the day after Christmas, but we were so glad that at least he was able to come.

On Christmas Day we enjoyed spending time with Son's sister Tram, Brian, and their son, Jaeden {this is the good}. They live in Hawaii & we just don't get to see them enough! I know that Collin & Jaeden would be good buddies if they lived closer together. We also got to spend time with Son's twin brother, Quoc, his wife Kim, and their daughter Lilo {also good}. I think Lilo is just about the sweetest baby in the whole world – but boy does she love her grandmother – any time that Son's mom tried to hold Collin, Lilo was very jealous – it was pretty cute to watch!

Before lunch time I started to work on making some cookies & some of the side dishes for the Christmas dinner when I started to feel sick…uh oh {here comes more of the bad}. Son had a 24-hour stomach virus last weekend, but Collin and I had been able to stay healthy so far – until Christmas Day. Let's just say that Son, Tram, and Kim all had to finish the cooking for me & I was pretty much confined to our bedroom upstairs & the bathroom all day Christmas Day & all the next morning…yuck! I missed Christmas dinner & wasn't able to watch the kids all open their Christmas gifts. The worst part was that once I started to feel a little better Brian was sick, and by the time we left to go home both Kim & Lilo were sick also…I feel so terrible that we brought it with us!!

Unfortunately since I was sick I really neglected the picture taking - but here is a great picture that I got the morning that we left - Tram, Me (Son's mom), Son, Collin & Hao.

So that is a wrap-up of all things Christmas – overall it was a great trip & we are still thankful that Son's dad is doing well!

Definitely a First Christmas that we will NEVER forget…

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Collin's favorite toy

Seriously he will play with this thing forever! Looks like I need to wrap more presents so he can get another one...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas (again)!

Well, I have to admit that after celebrating our Christmas with my family week before last, I had started to feel like Christmas was over…that is until I went to Publix last night! (Yes, I am in love with a grocery store). Anyways, I was looking for jello for Son since he had a stomach bug this weekend, and right next to the jello was the cookie section, and in the cookie section was a package of the most wonderful Christmas cookies ever – Archway Bells & Stars!!!

These cookies bring back great memories – every year I knew that it was getting close to Christmas when my mom & I found that Brookshires had put out the Archway cookies. My mom always had wonderful homemade cookies, but for some reason these store bought goodies were always right up there with the homemade ones! My mom would let me decide which ones to buy (trees, bells, or stars) and they were always covered with Christmas red or green sprinkles…yummy!

I had given up trying to find these in Jacksonville, and figured that it was just another thing I was going to have to live without while in Florida. However, last night when I stumbled upon them I almost yelled with joy in the middle of aisle #7! Of course I had Collin with me – strapped on with our Ergo baby carrier – but when I tried to explain to him how amazingly awesome this discovery was he just didn’t seem to get it :)

I now have a renewed enthusiasm for Christmas (our second & third Christmas) which starts on Wednesday at our house, and then Friday at Son’s parents’ house – yea!!

Although I do have to admit that Archway has gotten a little cheap with the sprinkles, there weren't near as many sprinkles as I remember from the cookies we bought growing up (or compared to the pictures that I got from their website)...but they were still delicious!!

Also, needless to say I ate about half the box last night! But then I forgot to pack any in my lunch today – boo! Maybe I will have time to run to Publix at lunch today to get a box for the office…

Happy Monday!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congratulations Becca & Warren!!

Yea!!! My little sister is getting married!! In honor of their engagement I have been searching the web for some great ideas to incorporate into their wedding & I think I found it! Check out this wedding video…


And don’t worry Becca, I would be more than happy to choreograph a personalized version for you & Warren!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Giant Christmas Posting

We had an AWESOME trip to Texas this past week - we were so busy that it could take me several pages to go over everything that we did, but here are a few of the highlights & several pictures to tell you about our First Christmas!!

My favorite parts of the trip:

1. Date night with my hubby! We saw a move - The Blind Side (I highly recommend it) and went to dinner at a new seafood restaurant in Tyler (Fish City Market - also very good!) Then we stopped by Brookshire's on the way home to pick up baby wipes :) - boy our dates nights sure have changed!!

2. Sewing with my mom - we always seem to have a project to work on & this time it was making stockings for me, Son & Collin. They turned out great & I just have to find somewhere to take them to have them monogrammed.

3. Eating at my favorite "Texas Only" places: Country Tavern Ribs, Schlotzky's Deli, and Luby's Cafeteria

4. Getting my hair done by Sue - she is the best!!

5. Seeing Collin with all of the family & friends that were able to spend time with him!

6. Seeing my parent's house decorated for Christmas! The lights were up on the house & my mom had literally every room decorated for the holiday - that was a great way to get us in the Christmas spirit early!

7. Son's favorite part of the trip = shooting at the gun range with my dad & visiting about every gun shop in Tyler!

And now for the pictures...feel free to just ignore if you are tired about hearing about how great Texas is or how much fun we had with my family!

Son & Collin in the airport waiting for our flight to Dallas - I came back from getting a Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks & Collin was sitting in his own chair waiting on the plane - what a big boy!

Collin opening his first Christmas gift - pj's from Jimbo & Dede!! Santa couldn't wait - Collin opened several presents before the official celebration...but that's probably a good thing because he had so many!!

The new Hartung Family tradition - matching pj's for the girls that we open Christmas Eve - here are me & Son with my sister, Becca, and her boyfriend Warren.

The girls in our jammies - me, Becca & mom :)

Jimbo & Dede with Collin - they were sweet enough to take Collin each morning at 6:30 when he woke up so that mom & dad could get a little more rest! My mom is probably going to kill me for posting a picture of her in her pj's, but I love this picture, so I am putting it up anyways! Plus, I think she looks great!

Me & mom working on our project - stockings for The Vuong Family!

Collin loved spending time with his great-grandparents Nana & Granddaddy!

We didn't have the baby bathtub with us & Collin is too big for the sink, but he was afraid of the big bathtub & cried every time we tried to put him in...so the only logical thing to do was but on my mom's bathing suit from like 1990 and get in with him. Ha ha!!

Collin was fascinated with Jimbo's glasses & his facial hair!

I don't know about you, but I really don't think Collin got enough for Christmas...poor baby! Good thing we have 2 more Christmas celebrations left! (wink, wink!)

Nana helped us out several nights feeding the baby - here he is trying squash for the first time. He wasn't too sure about it at first, but ended up eating the whole jar!

Collin loves his Auntie Becca!! She is the best baby nail clipper ever - thanks sissy!

Dede and her baby!

Half-naked baby in his Christmas pj bottoms!

The Vuong Family just relaxing!

Aunt Becky - she had the magic touch for getting Collin to sleep and putting him in the crib without waking him up...I wish she lived in Jacksonville!

Cousin Landon!!

Chef Jimbo making us a full breakfast each morning - we had homemade biscuits, bacon, eggs, etc...yummy!!

Aunt Becca & Warren after they gave Collin his Christmas presents - lots of adorable clothes!! They also sent him a really cute walker/scooter to our house that he can open on Christmas.
My sister's new house in Dallas (McKinney) - too cute!! I LOVE it!

Becca, Collin & I take a tour of their new house - the are supposed to close tomorrow, but we all know how that can go - say a little prayer that it goes smoothly!

Is it too soon to start planning the next trip? I looked online at Southwest today & found tickets for $64 each way...

Only 2 years late

So I finally got an iphone! I know, I know...I'm only like 2 years late. Huge post on our trip to Texas coming soon - as soon as I can sort through the 10,000 pictures we took!

Happy Monday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Top 5 Gifts For New Moms & Our Three Christmases

Here at The Vuong Family we love Christmas sooo much that we are having 3 of them this year, that’s right, Three Christmases!! (and it has nothing to do with the Reese Witherspoon movie that is advertised on TV like every 5 minutes now…although that is a really cute movie, so if you haven’t seen it you should check it out – definitely with $1 at Blockbuster Express)

Anyways…our first Christmas celebration is this Saturday with my family in Tyler, TX. We always have Christmas Eve with the whole family (Grandparents, Aunt & Cousins), and then Christmas Morning with my parents & sister. We are doing our “Christmas Eve” on Saturday night & I am so looking forward to it!! Mainly I am looking forward to seeing Collin enjoy his first Christmas holiday with family!!

Our Second Christmas will be with just the 3 of us in Jacksonville. We haven’t made any plans yet, but I am imagining us sitting around the tree in the living room watching Collin “open” his presents from Santa & exchanging gifts with each other. Santa will be coming to the Vuong house a little early this year (I am thinking maybe 23rd) since we will be leaving on the 24th for our Third Christmas!

Our Third Christmas will be in Pensacola with Son’s family. We are so excited because the whole family will be there at the same time!! Son’s sister Tram and her son Jaeden will be in from Hawaii, and Son’s older brother, Hao, will be in from Miami with his wife, Alex, and son, Gavin. Son’s twin brother, Quoc lives in Pensacola so we will get to visit with him, Kim & Lilo also! I am really looking forward to having everyone together.

It is a little bitter sweet because this will be the first Christmas in 27 years that I am not in TX with my family, but Son, Collin & I are just being flexible with the holidays to make sure that we get to spend as much time with everyone as possible, and we really didn’t want to miss Tram & Hao and their families if we weren’t there for Christmas Day.

In honor of our First Christmas being just 2 days away, here is my list of Top 5 Christmas Gifts for New Moms:

5. Peterbrooke’s Chocolate Covered Popcorn (www.peterbrooke.com) – seriously I could eat like 10 pounds of this stuff it is SO GOOD!! This is a tradition in The Vuong Family & I know that I am guaranteed to get a bag of it either on my BDay, Mother’s Day, or any other occasion. And bonus for new moms – breastfeeding totally takes care of all the extra calories, so go ahead and eat the whole bag without the guilt! (No, I didn’t get any free chocolate for writing this, but maybe if I send them a link to my blog?? It could possibly work!!)

4. Ann Taylor Loft Gift Card (www.anntaylorloft.com) –because let’s just face it, your old clothes are probably never going to fit you quite the same any more, whether they are too small or too big, it’s just not the same. And if it is the same for you then I really don’t want to hear about it & you can donate your gift card to the rest of us who are practically having to but an entire new wardrobe.

3. Extra Affection / Attention – we all know that babies are ADORABLE, but carrying around the most adorable little bundle ever can sometimes make a new mom feel a little not-so-adorable, so go ahead and give her a few extra hugs & kisses when you see her!

2. A Spa Pedicure – seriously, I had not had a pedicure in 7 ½ months – there is just something wrong with that!! That is, until today when I got one at lunch - yea!!

1. Date Night with Hubby – thanks to Dede & Jimbo (my parents) I will be enjoying this gift at our First Christmas next week in TX!

As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to give that special new mom on your list the best gift ever!!