Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Van Dwellers

It seems I took an unintentional blogging vacation.  We were just so busy with family that I really didn't get a chance to do any updating.  I can assure you, I have a plethora of pictures to share when we get home.

We started this morning on the long trek back to NC.  I have to say we are looking pretty rough.  Rosie is still in her jammies and her hair may or may not house a few birds.  Mark is in pajama pants, a grubby white t and crocs.  Melissa gave him an amazing haircut last night, so his hair is at least in order.  I'm the worst of us.  Pajama pants and a nice sweater...a very homeless looking combo.  My hair is in a pony tail, but because it's still a bit too short, I have what Mark lovingly refers to as my "rat tail" hanging down the back.  Kiki looks the most normal in a little sleeper.  With all of our gifts and such packed to the brim in here, it must totally look like we live in this van.  What's worse is that we will probably stop and eat somewhere.  Last trip we stopped at a nice Indian restaurant in our full van dwelling uniforms.  We got lots of looks.

Well, I better go.  We've only got 12 hours left on our trip and I've got a lot of ballads to sing to Mark.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I almost forgot...

I ended up buying the face thing.  I didn't read reviews until after I got it home and I have to say, they weren't stellar.  However, I love the thing!  After using it, my face feels so soft and clean.  I can't wait to see the result after a few weeks...if it works for that long.  According to the reviews, there is a good chance it won't.  I guess I get what I pay for.  I just have to keep saving for the real thing.

Also, Fake Bake is AMAZING!  I just got done with my first application.  You'd think I just stepped off of the plane after a week in Hawaii.  Well, at least my face and arms...that's all I sprayed.  I don't seem to have a very even trigger finger, though.  I am a little splotchy.  I think I might need help the next time I do it.  I LOVE it though.  A little color can really do wonders for a person.

Well, I better sign off.  Have a great night and if I don't get a chance to touch base, a wonderful Christmas.  Love to each of you!    

Fake Baked

Today was kind of a blah day.  I got a lot accomplished, but it was really rainy out and just kind of dreary.  I had to drag myself to Zumba, but I'm sure glad I did.  Our instructor was on fire tonight.  It was a very small class tonight.  In fact, it was just two other ladies besides Maria, Jackie and I.  The exercise really upped my mood and then our teacher gave us a little Christmas gift...

Yes, it's a Zumba bracelet to wear when doing the class.  Those little bells are pretty great.  Can't wait to jingle next class:)  We were all laughing about how we really don't need anything to distract us.  We have a hard enough time.

Then, on the way to our cars, Jackie surprised us with such an amazing gift...

Fake Bake!  Jackie brought this to the Christmas Party as her favorite thing, and every one of us wanted it.  We all know I am so white that I am practically translucent, so this was much needed.  I can't wait to try it out.  She swears by it and she always looks amazing.

Then, Maria just stopped by and brought me this wonderful gift...

I can't wait to use it!  It will be perfect for Zumba!!!  So anyway, my so-so day became much brighter.  I still can't get over the fact that we leave tomorrow for TULSA!!!  Yay!  No matter what, Tulsa will always be home to me.  I just love it there and I especially love the people.  It will be so fun.  Then, on Monday, we head back to Kansas City and get to spend a late Christmas at Mom and Dad Murrills!  It's going to be so fun and I know the girls are going to have so much fun being with both sides of our families.  

I tried a new recipe tonight for dinner.  It is supposedly the Broccoli Soup from Panera.  I don't think it tasted just like it, but it was good.  Here's the recipe if you are interested.  It was very easy to make.


  1. 1
    Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.
  2. 2
    Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.
  3. 3
    Add the vegetable stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. 4
    Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.
  5. 5
    Add salt and pepper and cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Focus Stephanie, Focus

Last night I ran out to Target and Marshall's to get a few last minute things.  While I was at Marshall's we found a faux Clarisonic face thing for MUCH cheaper than the real thing.  I am really contemplating going back to get it today.  I'm sure it's not quite as amazing, but it definitely would work for my needs.  I'll let you know what I end up deciding.

Today was going to be Christmas Cookie decorating day at Jackie's house with the kids, but Maria's kiddos are still a little sickly and Mitchell fell and hurt himself last night.  Poor little guy ended up in the ER and they patched him up with that glue stuff.  Monroe has been coughing a lot to, so we decided to postpone the cookie time for another day.  I guess we can call them holiday cookies instead of Christmas cookies!

I have so much to get done today (laundry, putting away clean laundry, packing, cleaning wrapping, etc.) that it actually worked out okay to postpone cookie day.  I just really need to buckle down and get everything done.  Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and find myself on the computer right now.

So, I guess I should go and get started on all of my projects.  Hope everyone is having a great day so far!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Haw Jaw Christmas To You and Yours

Monroe kept repeating the same phrase over and over the last few days, "Haw Jaw Christmas, guys!"  For the life of me I couldn't figure out what she was saying, then one day it hit me...Holly Jolly Christmas, guys!  So from our family to yours, Haw Jaw Christmas!

The Keekster's Stats--Month 4

Today I took Kiki to her doctor's appointment.  I just adore her doctor.  She's an amazing lady and is very knowledgeable.

Kiki is doing awesome.  The doctor still couldn't believe that she was preterm.  She just went on and on about how great she is doing.  That definitely made this mama very relieved.  Her weight gain was great and she said that she's thriving on breastmilk.  She said that she was developmentally ready for solids if I wanted to start her, but since she was pre-term it might be best to wait until five months.  She now weighs 12 lbs 13 ounces (18th percentile) is 25 inches long (62nd percentile) and her head circumference is 16 inches (22nd percentile).

The only bad part of the visit, was the shots she had to have.  Those are never fun.  It breaks my heart every time.  Why do those needles have to be sooooooooo long?!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grown Up Christmas List

Mark surprised us and came home for lunch.  Plus he brought lunch with him which was extra wonderful.  I just love it when he's around.  From the time Mark and I got married we have always worked at the same place.  I got so spoiled to be able to pop in and see him any time I wanted.  We almost always did lunch together.  It's been hard to get used to not seeing him throughout the day.  I really miss him.  I know it must sound pretty ridiculous, but it's what I've known for seven years!  I sure love being at home with the girls though!  

Zumba was extra hard tonight.  I think because we missed one day last week.  It was good for me, though.  The holidays have been kind of hard on my eating habits.  Meaning, I eat just about anything put in front of me.  It's times like these that I'm glad I don't work anymore, though.  All of the treats people would bring were so hard to resist.

This year Mark and I aren't getting each other Christmas gifts since we got the van.  I couldn't have asked for a better gift.  What's funny though, is this is the first year when I really have things that I would love to have.  Usually, I have to wrack my brain to come up with gift ideas, but not this year!  This just gives me something to save my money for.  The two top things I am saving for are:

1)  Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System

I have heard amazing things about what it can do for your skin.  A friend of mine said it lightened her age spots, made her skin smoother and made her pores smaller.  I think that sounds pretty great.

2)  A Keurig
Jackie has a Keurig and I used it the night of the Christmas party.  I can't get over how fast and easy it is and I love that it makes hot chocolate and teas, as well as coffee.  Yes, this isn't a great need, but it would be fun to have.

Kiki did really well on her napping today.  We put her to bed at 6:15, instead of 8ish like we had been doing.  This is all part of the master plan I read about last night on that website.  Hopefully this will help with her waking up. We will see how it goes.  She has become my little roly poly!  If you put her on her back she's on her tummy before you can say, "boo"!  She cracks me up.  She just loves to roll and will roll across the room if you let her.  It's very cute to watch.

I was chatting with my sis-in-law, Michelle tonight and she asked me to sing with her this Friday night for a special service at their church.  I haven't done any singing up front since Monroe's dedication!  I love singing with her and Stephen so, although I'm kind of nervous, I'm also very excited.  Should be fun.

I think I forgot to mention that we are having Kiki dedicated on Sabbath at my brother's church.  I know it's not OUR church, but I really wanted Stephen to do the dedication, since he did Rosie's.  It just makes it more special.  I can't wait.

Anyway, I better run.  I need to take a shower.  Love to you all!

Checking things off my Christmas list

So no one warned me about four month old babies regressing in sleep.  Monroe didn't, so I guess I never worried about it or just assumed Kiki wouldn't.  I was wrong again. I assume way too much, huh?!  One of my best friends is dealing with lack of sleep of her own with her newbie, and told me about this website.  It was a Godsend!  In fact, I was up late reading it when I should have been sleeping, but it helped me with some ideas to get Kiki back on track.  I have to do something...she went from sleeping through the night to waking up three times a night to eat.  That is killer on me because, as you all know, I need my sleep.  Fingers crossed that it will work!  If your kiddo is having a rough time with sleep, no matter how old they are, I would definitely recommend that site.  There are many great articles for a variety of sleep problems.

I'm starting to get worried about the binkie going bye-bye for Rosie.  I think it's going to be a pretty traumatic thing for her.  We have started taking it away while she is playing, but she asks about it constantly.  Her doctor said not to conquer it until after the holidays, but we want her to be aware of what's about to happen.  The poor girl just adores that thing.  If you have anything that worked with your kiddos, please share the wealth!  

Our weekend was very nice.  We had a wonderful lunch with friends on Sabbath after Church.  On Saturday night we watched "Water for Elephants".  Have you seen that yet?  It was such a good movie.  Mark and I both really enjoyed it.  Now this is random, but I also drank some IBC root beer and I was reminded of how much I absolutely love that stuff.  It transports me right back to childhood.  Are you with me, Kaylee?!  You know, I must have a pretty tame life if drinking root beer ranks on the list of my weekend highlights!   

On Sunday, I had a bit of a migraine, but after some medicine and a nap, it cleared up and I was able to conquer my craft closet.  I spent a few hours organizing it and it feels oh-so-good to have it done! I always end up buying things I don't need because I can never find anything.  Now everything is clearly marked and easy to get to.  Now I just need to keep it that way!

I think I'm pretty close to getting my ginormous black hutch sold.  A couple came by last night to look at it.  It would be so, so, so wonderful if we could sell it.  I would be relieved to get it out of our garage.  It takes up so much space and the extra money would be amazing.    

I finally finished up my Christmas cards!  I'm so glad to have them done.  They are in the mail as of this afternoon.  I ended up writing a letter and I sort of regret it.  It's pretty corny, but I think it's hard for a Christmas letter to not sound corny.  I have also completely finished with Christmas shopping.  Now that feels extra good.  I need to start the long process of wrapping.  Pinterest has given me some fun ideas for creative wrapping, but we will see if I end up doing any of them.  

I can't believe we will be home in just a few days!  It seems like forever since I've been there.  My whole family will be together and I can't remember the last time that has happened.  Since it is a rarity we are going to get pictures made.  My sister-in-law, Tami, bought the same Christmas dress for Kamryn that I have for the girls and my mom got Vivi the coordinating skirt and shirt.  The guys are wearing black suits and all of us ladies are wearing black and red.  I still don't know what I'm going to wear though, so I'm a bit stressed about that. My parents still have the picture of our family hanging above the fireplace from when I was in 9th grade, so this picture may last awhile and I don't want to be captured in a so-so outfit.  I might try to find something new this week.  

I dressed the girls in their Christmas dresses for Church.  We tried to get some pictures of them before we left, but they didn't turn out very well.  Rosie is just not interested in having her picture taken these days. 

I forgot to mention that the Coca Cola Cake turned out good.  It is unlike any cake I have had because it is so extremely moist and very sweet, but with a little vanilla bean ice cream it is pretty yummy.  If you are looking for a new dessert to try out, I would definitely recommend it.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

My First CAKE!

So, I've made cakes before, but I've never in my life made a cake from scratch.  Sad, I know.  Although, making a cake with a boxed mix can be just as fulfilling.  It makes me so annoyed when people say, "Is this cake from scratch?" in a condescending tone, because it's not like the box opened itself and cooked right up.  No, I had to open it and add the eggs, etc.

Anyway, so I am attempting my first cake "from scratch" as I write!  It's actually in the oven right now and I'm just about to make the glaze.  I'm super excited because it looks like it has the potential to be super moist.

The cake I'm making is a Coca Cola Cake.  Here's the recipe:

Coca Cola Cake

In a bowl mix:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a sauce pan:

1 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup coca cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
Cook until a boil. Add to flour mix and whisk.  Then add two eggs and 1 tsp vanilla.

Bake in a greased 9x13 pan for 30 minutes.

When cake is close to being done, heat the following in a saucepan:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coca cola

Once it boils, remove and slowly stir in 4 cups of powdered sugar until smooth.  Then add 1 cup chopped pecans.

Pour over warm cake.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Favorite Things and Goose Eggs

What a great time the "Favorite Things" party was!  I loved meeting new people, eating yummy food, and laughing a lot!  I was a little nervous, scratch that...A LOT nervous about leaving Kiki with Mark for so long because she has been so crazy hungry lately.  I've really been freaking out that my milk production is low and that's why she just doesn't seem settled.  However, she was perfect for Mark.  She slept pretty much the whole time.  I had to wake her up to feed her when I got home!

 The lovely food table
 Some of the girls
Girl time 

I ended up taking these measuring cups and the cutest little tea towel that I loved.  I have been drooling over some measuring cups similar to them from Anthropologie and when I found the ones at Pier 1, I had to get them.  Kirsten, a friend that is getting married soon, ended up with them, so it was a perfect fit.  The gift I came home with was a gift card to the movies.  I guess that means Mark and I will be going on a hot date sometime soon.  

Our hostesses for the evening, Jackie and Clarissa, let everyone know that they are starting a book club and wanted everyone to be apart.  I love reading new books and am very excited about it, although I'm a little nervous about how I'm going to find time to read them!  The first book they are reading is called, "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty.  I just ordered the book a few minutes ago.  I'll be sure to let you know what I think.  Feel free to read along with us!

Here is a pic of Jackie's finished craft project.  Don't you love it?!  I'll have to get a picture of Maria's soon.

I haven't bought my ribbon yet, but I used some red ribbon I had on hand until I can pick some up.  For now I have it hung vertically on my front door, but I don't think I'll keep it there because it doesn't offer a lot of room for cards.   

Monroe had a horrible fall on the hardwood floor today.  She landed on her head and it was devastating to the both of us.  I ended up crying it was so bad.  My least favorite part of being a mommy is when one of my babies get hurt.  It kills me inside.  She has a goose egg on her head bigger than anything I've ever seen.  It is so swollen and black and blue.

It's kind of hard to see just how big the goose egg was, but you can get the gist!  Poor little thing.  Luckily, she has bangs that cover up the huge bruise.  

I'm pretty tired this evening, so I'm going to run.  Hope you all have a lovely evening.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Craft Night, Etc.

Yesterday was a pretty full day.  In the morning, we headed with Elizabeth and the kiddos to the gingerbread exhibit at the Grove Park Inn.  Grove Park Inn is an absolutely beautiful and huge old inn in Asheville.  They do a yearly national gingerbread house competition and then display the winners.  We had a great time! 

Elizabeth and Maryanne  
Lauren, Rosie and a huge gingerbread man!
 I was, of course, drawn to the Gingerbread Tepee, being Cherokee and all!  
I loved this little birdhouse!  So cute!
The staff of the Inn do a little Christmas show for visitors every day during the month of December.   
 This lady did some hula hooping during the show.  It was strange...
 But it sure kept the girls' attention!
The kiddos

After naps, Mark came home and we decided to meet Maria and the kids for dinner at the worst Italian restaurant ever.  I mean ever.  I pretty much love all food, but this place was bad.  The alfredo sauce was like tasteless gravy.  Oh, well.  At least the company was good!

We've been talking about doing a craft night for quite awhile and last night we made it happen.  Maria and I headed over to Jackie's to embark on what hopefully becomes a tradition.

Maria had pinned the cutest Christmas Card Holder on Pinterest and we thought it would be a fun and easy first project.  It turned out to be just that.  

I brought Kiki along with me, just in case she needed to nurse and boy am I glad I did for Mark's sake.  She ate about half the time I was there.  She also refused to sleep, which put her in bed at midnight.  

Here are a few pictures from the evening.  We had a blast and I can't wait until next time! 

 The girls 
 Some of our supplies 
 Keeks, kicking it with the girls!  She didn't seem to mind the late hour at all!  
Getting closer to being done!  

I would love to show you the finished product, but I'm not quite done.  I'll be sure to post pics as soon as I have it displayed. 

This morning I got together with Maria to attempt our own Zumba class at her house.  We have the "Favorite Things" party tonight and will have to miss Zumba.  The thought of missing it killed us, so we figured we were good enough to do it on our own...WE WERE WRONG.  Oh, to be a fly on the wall.  It was hilarious.  At least we got a good workout with all of the belly laughing going on:)!

I was going to show you what I got for the "Favorite Things" party, but then it hit me that it is a secret thing.  I will show you what I come home with though.  Should be fun!

Well, I better run.  I need to start thinking about getting ready.  Hope all is well.  I got a text from Mom Murrill about Grandma and although she is still in the ICU, she is stable.  Keep sending up prayers for her!  Thanks!   

In need of more Prayers!

So, I'm pretty sure that it's obvious how amazing that I think that Grandma Murrill is.  I have never met anyone with such an incredible attitude in spite of circumstances.  She always seems to have a kind word, an optimistic twist on things, a funny story.  She makes everyone feel welcome.  If there is a more hospitable person in the world, I haven't met them.  When we got the call yesterday that grandma was in the hospital, we were so upset.  Like I said, she's not one to complain, so when she was in pain, Mom and Dad knew something was up.  It turns out that she had blood clots in her lungs which is super serious, but when caught in time is definitely reversible.  The doctor felt very positive about her prognosis.  She will have to be in the ICU for a few days, but what a relief.  I know that she has had so much stress and grief these last few days and there's no doubt in my mind that had to contribute to this.  Please keep Grandma Ruth in your prayers!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cheese Him Kitchen, anyone?

Are you familiar with Ken-taco-hut? You probably are and don't know it.  I'm actually not sure if everyone calls it that, or if it's just a Mark thing, but it's those fast food restaurants that have KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in one.  I know, sounds pretty classy.  It's for that person with such refined tastes that they crave cole slaw and a side of refried beans with their slice of cheese pizza.  Well, I wouldn't call those three places my ideal restaurant combination, but it got me thinking about what it would be and actually gave Mark and I quite a bit of conversational enjoyment on our 14 hour drive home yesterday.  Yes, Mark and I like to tackle the hard-hitting issues.  We did come up with our perfect restaurant combination.  It's called Cheese Him Kitchen and combines Cheesecake Factory, The Himalayan (our favorite Indian place) and California Pizza Kitchen.  Doesn't it sound pretty perfect?  What would your version for the Ken-Taco-Hut be?  I would be very curious to see if your combo could rival ours.

So, as you can tell, we made it home safe and sound.  It was definitely a long (and short) trip, but it was completely worth it.  It was wonderful being with family, celebrating such an incredible man's life.  The service was amazing.  It was so neat hearing the accomplishments of such a humble man, because many of the things you would have not known because he would never brag on himself.  He accomplished so much and touched so many people's lives.  His legacy will continue to live on.

My parents came up as well, so that was a special treat.  Everyone made them feel so welcome and they were able to spend the day with all of Mark's family.  I'm so glad that our families get along so well.  What a blessing!

Kiki did really well on the trip.  She brought her "A" game and kept the smiles coming the whole time.  Monroe, however, was in rare form due to the fact that she didn't eat or sleep well--a very lethal combination.  I felt horrible that she wasn't her usual jovial, sweet self, but I think everyone understood.  Kids will be kids!  Hopefully our trip home for Christmas will be easier on her and she'll be in better spirits.

She was so sweet today.  You wouldn't have known she was the same kid.  We had a pretty lazy day doing laundry, reading books, and spending quality time.  I had Zumba tonight, so now I'm pretty worn out.

In completely unrelated and boring news, my phone has been giving me fits.  It barely keeps charge for more than two hours.  That can be so frustrating!  In fact, it was dead most of the trip home yesterday, even though it was plugged in!   Mark had to run to Sprint today to pick up his new phone, and decided to take my phone in to tell them about all of the issues.  I've had to take it in numerous times, so I wasn't expecting much.  But Sprint went and surprised me and they gave me a new battery.  They said if that doesn't help the problem, they will give me a new phone!  Yay!  So, anyway, I apologize if I haven't gotten back to you yesterday or I mentioned, my phone was out of commission.

I watched the most enjoyable Christmas movie this evening.  It was called "The Twelve Dates of Christmas."  It really was cute and totally put me in the spirit.  I sure love the Christmas season!

Well, I need to take a shower and head to bed.  Here are a few shots we got during the weekend.  I sure wish I had taken more...the story of my life.

A big smile first thing in the morning. 
 The Keekster...still a little sleepy.
 Mason, Great Grandma and Keeks
 Great Grandma and Keeks!  They hit it off right away!
 This picture sums up Monroe's attitude during the weekend.  Just angelic, huh?!  
 Murrill Men.  They are each wearing one of Grandpa's ties. 
 My beautiful Mama! 
 The Murrill Family 
The whole group 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Amber Alert

Cheese and crackers, twizzlers, a hershey's bar with almonds, mint m&m's and pringles make a balanced meal, right?  Good.

We just stopped to let Rosie run around a little.  We happened upon a life-sized nativity scene and she was ecstatic, since we read the story of Jesus in the manger upteen times a day in her Sabbath School lesson.  Sadly, baby Jesus had been stolen and that has greatly troubled her.  She hasn't stopped asking about it since we left.  If you have a brilliant answer for her, please let me know.

Pain in the neck

We are on the road.  We got off a little later than we hoped, but when you aren't going to reach your destination until the wee hours of the morning anyway, what's another hour?  The girls have done great and Mark and I have enjoyed our usual roadtrip jam session.  When Elton John's, "Tiny Dancer" plays, you know It's a Murrill roadtrip.

I really can't "get down" like I normally do because there is something terribly wrong with my neck and back.  I've had some issues since having Keek's, but last night was crazy.  I woke up around 2am and I was in the most intense pain I have ever experienced.  I couldn't turn my neck and I couldn't get up or move without Mark's assistance.   I kept a heating pad on my neck for a few hours and that seemed to loosen it a little.  I'm still in pain and have limited mobility, but it is better.  I think I'm ready to trade my body in for a newer model, preferrably the super model kind. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In case you were wondering... day got a lot better.  I really didn't do too much besides enjoy my sweet little ladies, clean the house, make dinner for my main man and go to Zumba, but I changed my outlook and it made all the difference.  You may wonder why I am constantly cleaning my house.  To that question I would answer, get yourself a  toddler and then get back to me.  

I've been invited to a "Favorite Things" Christmas party.  You are supposed to bring a wrapped gift containing one of your favorite things (no more than $20).  I am really looking forward to it, but I am completely stressing about what my favorite thing should be, especially since Jackie said she found the best thing ever.  That's a lot to live up to! :)  I've decided to dedicate some of my morning tomorrow to finding my favorite thing.  I'll let you know what I come up with.

I also plan on doing our packing for our trip tomorrow.  I guess I don't need to pack too much because most of the trip will be spent in the car, but any traveling with kids requires planning.

I think that our lives are going to be pretty gray for awhile.  It's hard to write anything and not think how ridiculous it sounds when I know the loss our family has just suffered.  The loss of such a wonderful, caring, generous and thoughtful man.  I know we will be mourning this loss for ages.

Well, I better wrap this up.  I need to make up for the sleep I missed out on last night.  No, my nap this afternoon didn't seem to do it.


Let's try this again...

Do you ever have one of those days when you wish you could go back and start it all over again?  That pretty much sums up my morning.  I think I got a total of four hours of sleep last night, and for a girl that needs a solid eight, this started me out on the wrong side of the bed.  My dear Keekster has regressed the last few days and last night was her all time worst night.  She was up every two hours.  I really can't be sure what the problem was.  The time in between her crying, I should have been sleeping, but my fitful mind wouldn't allow that.  It was just rough.

Then I woke up and was just not nice to anybody and now I wish I could erase it all and start over.  It's not helping that every Christmas radio station is playing that Chipmunk's Christmas song over and over.  Is there anything more aggravating than that song?  I don't think so!

So anyway, send up a prayer for me this morning.  I think spending some time in prayer might be just what I need.  I'm so thankful for a God that forgives and forgets and allows for do-overs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Embracing Lazy

Our family is complete and it sure feels good.  Poor Mark was beyond exhausted when he got home.  He literally curled up in a ball on the floor just a few seconds after getting here and yet, he still let me go to Zumba.  What a guy!  When I got home, he went up to take a shower and I put the girls to bed.  I went and laid with him and we chatted for a bit.  I told him I would take a quick shower and come back and we could talk.  I was gone just a few minutes and by the time I got back he was snoring so loud.  He never snores, so I knew he was pretty wiped out.  That was around 7:45 and he slept the rest of the night.  He really needed it!

Rosie was so sweet when she got home.  She screamed with delight and ran to me.  She's been super loving and wanting to hold me constantly.  I am eating it up!  I swear it felt like they were gone for weeks.

This was quite a lazy day in our house.  It's been raining for the last couple of days, and I don't know about you, but it makes me want to curl up with a good book and nap.  Today, we did the latter.  And it wasn't just any nap.  It was a nap for the ages.  We all three slept for at least two hours.  I wasn't even intending to. I thought I would just shut my eyes for a few minutes.  Oh, well.  It felt great!

I also went to the gym for awhile and did some running.  I'm the worst runner ever.  I don't enjoy it at all...never have.  I hear my friends say all the time how much they love running.  In fact, many of my friends are either training for or have done half or full marathons.  Then there is me.  I get winded thinking about running.  So anyway, I just started this new run/walk plan that helps you improve your running.  For the first week, I just run for a minute and walk for 90 seconds and repeat that eight times.  Very doable.  Hopefully, someday I will see the "running" light and learn to embrace my inner runner.  Who am I kidding...I have an inner walker.  Actually, probably more like an inner napper.

Tonight, we went over to David and Elizabeth's for dinner.  It was nice to get out of the house and spend time with friends.  They are also headed to Kansas City this weekend for Grandpa's memorial.  We were contemplating renting a huge van and all going together.  The thought of 5 kids and 4 adults in a van for 14 hours doesn't sound super appealing to me, but hey, I'm nothing if not open-minded.

Well, I better head to bed.  By the way, keep Melissa in your prayers.  She is super sick.  We are talking sinus infection, ear infection and pneumonia.  I KNOW!  I didn't even know it was possible to have all three of those at the same time.  Poor girl!!!  

Here are some pics of my ladies...

Wearing her cute dress from Auntie Nicole on Sabbath!  Thanks, Nicole.  We love it!!!

I found Rosie resting under the Christmas tree one morning last week.  I remember doing that as a kid, too.  I love that she enjoys the wonder of Christmas, too! 

Monday, December 5, 2011


Grandpa Murrill passed away this morning.  It's raining and gloomy out and it really fits the mood of the day.  The memorial is next Saturday, so we will leave on Friday and come back on Sunday.  It's going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but Mark really can't miss anymore work and there is no way we are missing the memorial.

This picture is from Christmas 2008.  We were so glad that Mark's grandparents came down to see us.  

The only good thing about today is that Mark and Monroe are on their way home and we cannot wait to see, hold, hug, kiss them.  I am so looking forward to Mark's comforting hugs and Monroe's rather loud cackle.  I love them both so much and it truly has felt like a part of me has been missing.

I've been making sure the house is ready, which isn't too hard when it's just me and an immobile infant.  I just finished with dinner.  I didn't end up making Kelsey's chili the other night since Mark left, so I made it tonight, along with the Tippin's cornbread.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Zumba is tonight and I am really thinking it will be good for my spirits.  I always feel better after exercising.  I really do feel like I'm starting to notice some results.  Not anything too obvious, but I have seen some tightening and toning of my body.  I'll take anything I can get!

I think that Monroe's table has found a new home.  We always bring it down when we have company with kids so they have a place to eat.  I've decided that I like it downstairs.  Monroe loves sitting at it during the day to read, or color or snack.  Right now the table is pretty full with the girls' Christmas trees.  I let Rosie decorate both of them this year.  She choose some pretty big ornaments, but that's okay:)  

Well, I hear the little lady waking up.  She's had an incredible nap, so that's been nice.  Love to you all.  Please continue to keep the whole Murrill family in your thoughts and prayers.  I know this is going to be a rough Christmas.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Quiet Time

I can't get over how quiet a house can get!  As I sit here, I hear absolutely nothing, and I have to admit, it's pretty nice.  Especially after a pretty rough night.  I don't know what happened, but I ended up feeling sick and throwing up for a portion of the night and morning.  I absolutely HATE throwing up and this bout proved no different.

Kiki hasn't been feeling her best, either.  She has a little cold.  Yesterday, she was incredibly needy and it felt like I was feeding her ALL DAY LONG.  She is in good spirits today though, and has slept a lot better.

My thoughts are constantly with my family in Kansas City.  The news hasn't been good and at this point, it's just a waiting game.  My heart is breaking.  Grandpa Murrill is such a Godly man.  He has a way of making you feel so loved and comfortable, but also makes you strive to be the very best you can be.  He is so passionate about helping people and telling them about God.  He really is an inspiration and a hole will be left in so many hearts with this news.  Every time that Mark calls, I almost don't want to answer for fear of what he might say...ugh.  Please continue to pray for peace for our family.

I thought it would be best to continue on like normal so that I didn't get too sad or lonely.  Yesterday, we went to Sabbath School and then to the Nudd's for lunch.  The Wrights stopped by and we all ended up making a night of it and I didn't end up going home until after midnight.  That's when the yuckiness started.

Today, I haven't done much at all.  I just haven't felt like it.  So, Kiki and I have taken it VERY easy.  We are both missing Mark and Rosie so much.  Life isn't the same without them.  I did receive our Christmas cards in the mail yesterday.  I had really gotten nervous because I kept trying to look at my finished product after ordering them and it kept giving me an error message.  I was so scared that I spelled Murrill wrong or that the pictures would look horrible.  Now, they aren't amazing, but they turned out better than I had imagined them being.   I started addressing them today.  I also ordered some address labels from a little shop on etsy, Posh Girl Boutique this morning.  I'm excited because the lady is putting them in the mail tomorrow!  Hopefully, I will have them all done by the end of the week.  I still haven't decided if I am going to write a letter yet.  It seems like a lot of work.

I almost forgot to tell you that Candler Truck Stop #221 was right on the way to Kansas City.  Mark stopped in on his trip down and was able to take back the awesome Camouflage LED Light Hat and the Preparation H and got me $22!  So, it's settled, my white elephant gift was actually pretty great!

Well, I better go.  Keek's just woke up.  Love to you all!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prayers NEEDED

Grandpa Murrill is not doing well, so Mark started looking early this morning for a plane ticket to fly down, but after little success, he decided he would drive and take Rosie.  He thought it would be good for Grandma Murrill to get to see her.  We decided that it probably wasn't wise to take Kiki on the long trip, since we will be headed that direction in just a few weeks.

As soon as Mark made the decision, I ran to the grocery store and bought tons of food and snacks for him and Rosie.  Then I ran home and started packing a bag for her.  Traveling with a toddler is always quite a production, so I tried to make things as easy for Mark as possible by packing all of her favorite toys, books, etc.  I also convinced him to take the van, so that she could watch dvd's if things got tense.

They left about an hour ago, and I can't help but be so sad.  I keep thinking about poor grandpa and it is just breaking my heart.  I can't imagine how grandma must be feeling, as well.  My whole heart and thoughts are with them during this time.  Please send up some prayers for Grandpa and the whole family.  Love to you all!  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Preparation H anyone?

Tonight was Mark's work Christmas party and I really had a lovely time.  I was nervous because I'm not the best in large groups, but luckily I have two friends that also suffer from social anxiety disorder and we were able to hang out together.  The food was great and the white elephant gift exchange was pretty hilarious.  The only horrible thing was that we had to tell a funny Christmas story from our past before we chose our gift.  I need like weeks to prepare something like that.  Luckily, I was number 29 so I had a little while to prepare what I was going to say.

I ended up with absolutely the worst gift there.  It was a box of travel Preparation H wipes and a camouflage hunting hat with a built in LED light that doesn't work.  However, things took a surprisingly good turn when I found that the person accidently left the receipt for it all in the bag.  I just need to find out where Truck Stop #221 in Candler, NC is and I will be $22 richer:)

The kids did great at Elizabeth's and had so much fun.  What a relief!  The Wrights really are the greatest people.  I feel so blessed to have them here.  We might be hanging out with them a little tomorrow, so that will be great.

On the way home from picking up the girls, we got a call that we have been dreading.   Grandpa Murrill is in the hospital.  His vision went out today and his blood pressure is extremely low.  He is on oxygen and he's just not doing very well.  We are so worried!  Please keep him and Grandma Murrill in your prayers.

I better head to bed.  I can hardly keep my eyes open.