Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It has been a Merry Christmas for Clara and Luke

Clara and Luke are quickly learning the benefits of having loving grandparents! Both sets showered them many, many presents this Christmas.

First, Grandma and Grandpa Nobles came to Richmond and got to play Santa. Clara is just starting to get the hang of tearing into wrapping paper:

Grandma and Grandpa brought Uncle Bunny with them. It was his first chance to meet Luke and he found the perfect Buffalo Bills sweatshirt for Clara.

We shuffled off to New York bright and early Christmas morning, and despite warnings from our pediatrician that the trip would take double the amount of time, the babies were so good that it only took an additional 45 minutes. Nana Kirkpatrick was pretty excited to welcome both grand kids to Fort Plain.

..and this picture pretty much speaks for itself.

And the best is yet to come.. Clara and Luke get to meet Cousin Caleigh for the first time today! More cute pictures to come.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas card preview

It goes without saying that we are pretty excited to send out Christmas cards this year. In past years, we have always tried to be as creative as possible with our cards and that usually meant subjecting our pets to awkward poses and lengthy photo shoots. Photo shoots, that usually left us with cat scratches up and down our arms.

Last year, we took Christmas cards "off". We were busy with a bunch of other things and honestly 2009 wasn't the best year for us, so we didn't feel like we had a ton to celebrate.

Flash forward to 2010 and things couldn't be different. We certainly don't have any additional time, but with two new babies we have a lot to celebrate and so much to share.

A must for any Christmas card that we have ever sent since we've been married is that it has to include a personal photo. Before our "real" children, that meant Sophie Belle was usually the star. One year she appeared as an angel, another with her head through a Christmas wreath. Sophie would generally be cooperative, which meant she always got in. The other pets... not so much. Like the one year when we dressed Jasper (our cat) up in this Santa outfit:

We got her in the Santa suit, but she was so angry that she scratched us, ran off and hid under the bed until the shoot was over.

Despite our difficulties, we usually end up with a pretty fun photo to share. The next issue is getting it designed and printed. A not so easy task. As we were going through the adoption process we discovered Shutterfly. It is an incredibly easy- to-use photo processing web site that can turn your simple photos into really professional cards, letters or whatever you need.

We used Shutterfly to design a photo book that gave potential birth-moms some insight into what our family was like. The result was magnificent. The web site walked us through the process step-by-step and gave us the option of editing our work as we went. For a really cheap price we ended up with something that gave us a useful tool in our search for a son or daughter. We had them ready to send to adoption agencies, private adoption attorneys and other potential leads that could help us grow our family.

As it turned out, a lead on Clara came just as the books arrived. While they didn't turn out to be necessary in our adoption process, they now are fun little storybooks that we can share with Clara and Luke about what our family was like before they became a part of it.

We have returned to Shutterfly for help with designing the most important Christmas card of yet. Just like the photo books, we were so impressed to find the myriad of design options and creative ways we can create Christmas cards. The other cool thing we discovered is that they have a wide range of birthday invitation options. That will come in handy when we are planning holidays and birthdays in the future because, Luke and Clara's birthdays are so close together and so close to Christmas and Thanksgiving. Shutterfly also seems to be a perfect place to find gift ideas for the grandparents who are already obsessed with anything that contains photos of the two.

So without further ado.. here is a preview of what to expect from the Nobles Family Christmas Card 2010. (Not the whole thing.. we don't want to spoil it!)

A pledge to post more

So there is no question that Our Life With Clara has been a little neglected over the past few months, but we have several good excuses.

*We just completed a lengthy, but successful home mortgage re-finance.
*We took the truck off the road, but haven't had any luck selling it quite yet.
*We bought a pumpkin for Halloween, but honestly never got around to carving it.

..oh yeah and then there was this:


Chances are if you read this blog, you are a pretty close friend or member of our family so this isn't really "news". However, it's relevant because "Our Life With Clara" will now have "and Luke" added to the title. Karey and I are going to work at putting out regular updates on what our two munchkins are up to.

Both are already filled with plenty of personality so I am sure there will be a lot to share. Like for instance, this:

Yes.. those are Clara's first steps and yes they did happen IN the hospital the day after her baby brother was born. But don't think she has been off to the races since. While she seemed pretty excited to walk there, she still thinks crawling is a better way around.

Thanks for stopping by and check back often!