Merry Christmas

…to you and yours from the Orlowski family!


Christmas Card 2010


Ain’t No Party Like An HP Party…

Michael and I traveled down to Austin, TX for the annual HP Christmas party.  This was a big deal for us because Caitlin was spending her first night away from us and staying with my parents.  I was a nervous wreck to say the least…and I may have called every two hours to check in on her. 

The hardest part was anticipating how much she would need to eat and making sure I took everything she would need for a 24 hour period.  You never know…she may not like this toy or that toy on any given day!  I was also that first time mom that typed out a three page Word document for my parents on “how to care for Caitlin”…as if they didn’t successfully raise two children on their own.  My mother graciously read the document and pretended that I wasn’t crazy.  Caitlin did great…and my parents did a wonderful job taking care of her.  My mom even did the 5 am feeding! 

Michael and I had a wonderful time at the Christmas party.  The food was good, the band was loud and the bar was “open”!  We always have fun catching up with those from other job sites in different cities and those that we don’t get to see often enough in Dallas.  Michael was a wonderful husband on Sunday and he let watch “Eclipse” on the DVD player (it had just been released the day before) while he drove.  Love you honey!


IMG_0890Tamra & Michael


IMG_0894Angela, Stephanie & Tamra


IMG_0895The coolest people at the party…


Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…

Michael and I both grew up with real Christmas trees for the holidays.  So, imagine the hesitation, confusion and resistance when I suggested we invest in an artificial tree!  I tried all of the selling points…consistency in size each year, no mess to clean up, a tree that Max (the dog) wouldn’t desire to “mark”, pre-lit lights and incenses that can make the tree smell real!  Michael finally gave in and I love him for it!  I think the tree turned out really nice! 


IMG_1959Our new tree




Breakfast with Santa

One of our neighbors held the 2nd annual ‘Breakfast With Santa’.  This is such a wonderful idea and a special tradition.  I wish I had thought of it myself! 

The parents and kids are invited over for breakfast before Santa arrives.  Once Santa arrives, each kid gets a turn on Santa’s lap and the parents can take as many pictures as they wish during that time.  (Meaning no crazy mall picture prices or long lines).  After each kid gets a turn with Santa, he passes out a gift for each child (provided by his or her parents…but they don’t know that).  As a bonus, the adults bring additional toys for charity and Santa takes those with him.

Thank you to the Whiteheads for being such wonderful hosts!  We are already looking forward to next year!


IMG_1738Caitlin & Santa (and no tears!)


IMG_8016Amanda got a good one of Miss C!  Thanks!


IMG_1741Have you been a good girl?


IMG_1744Don’t eat Santa…


IMG_1758Our angel


IMG_1763I just love her tongue sticking out in this one!


Just Because…


IMG_1661My heart belongs to her


J-O-Y to the World

Have I told you that I have some of the best neighbors ever?  A few weeks ago, they decided we should have a craft night and what better craft project than Christmas d├ęcor!  The best thing about this craft project is your can customize it to the colors of the room, you can spell out different words for different holidays and it’s super easy (and cheap)! 

J-O-Y is displayed in my formal dining room and I loved how they turned out! 


IMG_1859J-O-Y letters



Close-up of the details.  You can never go wrong with glitter!


3 Months

Our baby girl is three months old!  Caitlin didn’t have a doctor’s appointment this month, so I don’t have any updated stats, but that also means…no shots!  Caitlin is changing everyday.  She is starting to sleep longer during the night and we are able to put her down without rocking her to sleep.  Caitlin and I are also working on the 3-hour schedule during the day.  She doesn’t like to nap all the time, but usually gets about one good (1-1.5 hours) nap in a day.  The others are just shorter.  Caitlin loves her hands and loves to put them in her mouth all the time.  She is getting more coordinated and can put toys in her mouth too.  With the pacifier, she can pull it out, but hasn’t mastered the art of putting it back in her mouth. 

Caitlin has also started to talk!  Smartest baby ever!  Ok…they aren’t real words, but she is doing the baby babble.  Her favorite times to “talk” are first thing in the morning and just before it’s time for bed.  She is figuring things out to…like how to get mom to pick her up when she wants to be held.  She does a little cough and waits to see if I will scoop her up.  If I don’t, she does another one.  Sneaky girl! 

Her nicknames (mostly given by me) include poodle, chick-pea and sugar booger.  Caitlin is starting to follow things with her eyes, without moving her head.  She doesn’t really like tummy time, but we are practicing.  She is learning to tuck her legs under her and kick them out.  She hasn’t learned to prop herself up on her arms, but she is holding her head up really well.  She loves to stand (with support of course) and watch sports with daddy.  One of my favorite time with her are naps together.  


IMG_1680My 3-month old!


IMG_1684A close-up


IMG_1688Love those eyes!


IMG_1705She has her mama’s hands


IMG_1685Yes Caitlin…do you have a question?

Happy 3-month birthday baby girl!


Please Pass the Pie…

This is the time of year when I really start to reflect on how blessed I am.  I love Thanksgiving and this year was particularly special because it was our first as a family.  I don’t say it enough, so I want to take this opportunity to express how thankful I am for my loving husband, my beautiful daughter, my exceptional family and my incredible friends.

This year, we started the festivities off at the Maddux Thanksgiving lunch in Fort Worth.  It wasn’t the same without my dad (he was in the hospital following knee surgery), but I know he was where he needed to be.  We stuffed ourselves silly (Caitlin too on milk), jumped in the car and headed down to Houston.

Once we arrived in Houston, two of Michael’s sisters (and their families) all joined together for Thanksgiving dinner.  We missed having Emily there, but she works on a cruise ship and couldn’t make it.  There is never a boring moment when we visit Michael’s family and this year was no exception.  This was the first time all four grandchildren were together.  I can’t wait until they are all a little older and can really play together. 

We spent a few days in Houston and then headed back home.  Caitlin was such a trooper in the car and she was a perfect angel during our stay…until it was time to leave…


IMG_0825Our little one fell asleep at the Maddux Thanksgiving lunch…just before we hit the road to Houston.

IMG_0827Present from Gigi and Gumpy (Michael’s parents)

The sign says “Who needs Santa?  I’ve got Grandma and Grandpa!”


IMG_0829Another gift from Gigi and Gumpy.  It’s a doll that looks just like Gumpy!


IMG_0830Real-life Gumpy and large doll Gumpy!


IMG_1349There was a Thanksgiving play


IMG_0843The four grandkids…Zoey, Lexi, Caitlin & Anthony (clockwise)


IMG_1395The Orlowski Family


IMG_1398The Parker Family


IMG_1400The Martinez Family


IMG_1402The guys with the kids…


IMG_1409Gigi and Gumpy with all 4 grandkids!


IMG_0855Some mommy time


IMG_0854I can’t get enough!


IMG_0866Our Lil’ Turkey


IMG_0870Michael and his mini-me


IMG_1419Those cheeks!


IMG_0871Hmmm…I wonder where Caitlin got that from…


IMG_0875I just thought this one was sweet…excuse my lack of make up.


IMG_1536I found this great onesie…perfect for family gatherings.


IMG_1535Close-up of the onesie


IMG_1541Michael was put to work.  His dad is going to start a garden, so Michael created the garden plots .


We attempted to get a picture of all the grandkids in their Christmas outfits because we won’t be in Houston for Christmas this year.  It went a little something like this…






IMG_1550These two know what to do!


IMG_1553Sweet cousins


IMG_1564Had to get a close-up of the onesie…”elf sized”


So…we added the moms in the picture hoping this would help.




Ok…what if we pick them up…would that work?


IMG_1596…and sneak in the other two…


IMG_0878Caitlin and Gumpy

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!