Christmas 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Oh Christmastime..!! It has been SUCH a wonderful season, filled with so much JOY, smiles, snuggles, wonderful food, and family time. Every year I proclaim to be my new 'favorite' and these children of ours continue to make each moment more magical than the next. I found myself on the verge of (happy) tears too many times to count as I watched these loves of mine experience all this blessed life of ours has to offer.
Christmas Eve day we spent with my in-laws; it was yummy, comfy, and fun!!
I never want to forget - when we were trying on Homegirl's dress for Christmas Eve Mass, T ran up and gave her a big hug and said, 'She looks like a princess!! And I'll be the king!!' 
Melt my momma heart..!! Vanity aside, their love for each other, confidence, and imagination make me so proud.
Christmas morning was everything I dreamt it would be..!! 
I was so excited, I was awake early and waiting for the kids to get up. Ha!!
We packed up and headed over 'the creek and through the plains', to Grandma (& Grandpa's) house for more wonderful family fun, memory making, and good times!!
It wasn't necessarily a snowy, winter-y Christmas, but it was COLD - so we braved it to 'blow the stink off us', (attempt to) make snow angels, soak up a little vitamin D, and feed the birds. 
(I couldn't help but compare these outside pics, to last year's 'snow fun'; how much T's grown..!!)
I'm again overwhelmed with the blessings, love, and joy this year has brought us. 
That's not to say it was an easy one, but we most definitely have more than enough to be thankful for. 
With many exciting plans for the new year, I'm likely to anticipate, but will strive to participate in each special (and ordinary) moment.

Stitch fix: [December 2015]

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I recently received a coupon code from Stitch Fix, essentially waiving the 'styling fee', if I scheduled another fix within certain dates, so schedule I did!!
Here's my December 2015 fix.

Mystree - Fred Mixed Material Pullover Sweater
I loved the idea of this sweater - neutral color, chunky knit, extra bottom layer/hem - however, the slits up the sides were a little high for my love handles liking and the price tag was more than I'd spend.
Returned.

Susana Monaco - Erynn Dress
This was a nice, mature style dress but the fit/style wasn't necessarily flattering on me. It was supposed to be 'fitted', but it made me self-conscious of my tummy. I think it's probably supposed to be more of a 'midi' cut, but on a 5'10" frame just hit me all wrong.. Plus $$$. No thanks.
Returned.

Market & Spruce - Ivanna Cowl Neck Sweater
'Ivanna' love this sweater, but it just didn't fit quite right. The chunky knit and color were beautiful, but the sleeves were a little short (again, 5'10"..).
Returned.

Loveappella - Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt
The color and style are perfect, very 'me', but it's still a hoodie. $64 for a hoodie..? Stitch Fix, you cray. I also noticed in this pic it's pretty see-through.
Returned.

Daniel Raninn - Albado Crew Neck Blouse
The style was perfect and it fit quite well. However, I didn't love the pattern/print and the fabric was just asking to be snagged by a little kid's buttons/snaps/zipper/velcro, etc.
Returned.
So, wah-wah - didn't keep anything!! I guess without the pressure of pissing away money, I didn't feel like I had to keep anything - which was a good thing because there wasn't anything I loved, plus these pieces were a little pricey for me for what I'd normally spend on something similar.

Comfy Cozy Christmas Jammies

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas jammies!! Matching Christmas jammies!! 
We are standing..!! She'll take a few steps here and there, but why on Earth would one walk when they can speed-crawl from point A to point B in less than half the time..? 
Look at that grin - my little love, Homegirl, our sour patch kid. :)
If there are 'keew-kies' (cookies), that's where T will be. 
Ever so carefully decorating, generously sprinkling, and definitely devouring..!!

Pajama Party hosted by 
Stephanie // Jen // Liz  // Jessica // Meghan // Whitney // Crystal

Weekend Fun: [Sunday Dinner]

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This last weekend we enjoyed a few particularly festive things--a family Christmas party, cozy movie nights in with sparkly Christmas lights and toddies, and decorating cookies at Sunday dinner.
(Almost every) Sunday, we have dinner at the Mr.'s parents' house. We live in the same town and it's a chance to get together, slow down, and enjoy a delicious meal. This last one was particularly festive as I sat back and watched the kids admire my MIL's Christmas decorations and decorate cookies (keew-kies, as Tyson pronounces).
The other day the Mr. described Homegirl perfectly - our little sour patch kid.
First she's sour, then she's sweet. Ha!!
These two..!! They definitely make the season more magical with every year..

Toddler Talk

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


A few favorite things to come out of our toddler's mouth lately..

One of my favorite requests..
T: I need some little help here..

When he sees something 'cool', or if you show him anything really..
T: Wooow.

Trying to remember 'cotton candy'..
T: What's that fuzzy stuff?

Talking about the carnival..
T: Can we watch a show at the carnivore?

T: When I get big, can I go to football?
Momma: You want to play football when you're older?
T: Yes.
Momma: You have to be tough-tough!!
T: I will try.

Looking at books with Homegirl..
T: This is a really great book, Harper. You have to be gentle!

Momma: How big is Harper?!
T: Soooooo booooooo-tiful!!

Talking about making better choices next time..
T: I won't do that again.. But I will.

Singing his nursery rhymes..
T: Pecker-piper-picker-peppers..

On the way home, he hands a fussing Homegirl his blanket..
T: Maybe she wants my blanket.
(She takes it and tosses it over the side of her seat..)
T: That's not berry nice, Harper.

Seeing two dogs in the back of a truck..
T: I see a puppy..!! And a cat. Oops, oh I thought that was a squirrel. Or a car or something but it's another puppy.

After moving the pack 'n play from blocking the stairs..
T: Don't set her down cause if she comes over here.. Just don't set her down, ok?

After seeing a motorcycle drive by..
T: When I get 5, I can ride a motorcycle.

The Mr. was telling T he'd be gone for the weekend as he had a hunting trip..
T: Can I come?
Mr.: No, when you're a little bit older you can.
(T sat there for a few seconds..)
T: Ok, I'm a little bit older now, can I go hunting with you?
Mr.: No, you need to be 13.
T: Oh, ok.

Talking to Homegirl..
T: Can you say T-Y-S-O-N, that's TYSON!!
Momma: How about we teach her to say HER name.
T: No, T-Y-S-O-N cause that's MY name. And don't give me that pacifier cause I'm not a baby.


Visits with Santa 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.. It is the MOST wonderful time of year!! Twinkly lights, cozy, festive movie nights, garland, ornaments, and perfectly decorated mantles - ALL things (commercially) Christmas!! It's magical, and brought to a whole new level with little ones. One of the most entertaining parts of the season includes.. Visits with Santa!!

As I mentioned, I thought we were headed for a good-BAD shot with the jolly 'ol guy this year, thanks to our little sweet tart Homegirl. But she pulled through, more sweet (than tart), and just checked. him. out. T did great, spoke up like he had practiced, gave an adorable-real-fake-three-year-old grin, and let the big guy know he was hoping for a Paw Patrol truck (to which Santa made convo about specific characters, such a pro).
I absolutely love this year's visit with Santa!! These two, each sweet in their own right, both surprised me with their super cool demeanor and gave the expressions I should expect.
We've been hitting up Bass Pro Shops for the past few years for our free shot with (a very impressive) Santa and festive setup. The best thing has been checking them out side-by-side, year after year.
A few more oldies, from super sweet to NOT havin' it..
Homegirl at 2 months old // T at 17 months old
Don't worry, T was quickly rescued and comforted, and as you can see above, has NOT been scarred for life from this event.
We have another visit planned this weekend at a work party, so I'm excited to snap a few more pics of our little ones with the big guy.

Good-good or good-bad, I can't wait to see them all - tag your photos #visitswithsanta15 and link up with me and these other wonderful ladies:


A manly craft

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This last weekend, we made plans to NOT make plans, well for one day at least.. We had donuts, watched a Christmas show, enjoyed the cozy morning at home, together. I whipped out a craft I had bought at an after Christmas sale (a few years ago) and put the men to work..
It was a cute manly craft that might hang around for a while. I loved watching the Mr. and T working as a team, the small and big hands peeling, snipping, and putting parts together.
 Soon enough, attention spans ran short and little sister woke from her nap. So I hopped in to finish sticking tiny shapes together and hanging the Styrofoam stars and ornaments from the antlers.
With another set of tiny hands trying to 'help', we quickly called it good and picked up.. So keep an eye on Instagram for a finished product shot, coming soon.

We were, and still are thankful..

Monday, December 7, 2015

I know it's now December and Thanksgiving is nothing but a faint memory, but.. After thinking I'd just skip a 'recap' of our weekend, I found this post through another blog and decided, I want to post for my sake. No particular event to recall for years to come, no award-winning, pinterest-worthy photo, recipe, or DIY, but memories that are imperfectly perfect, to be documented in our tiny corner of the Internet.

Without further ado, Thanksgiving weekend 2015.

Watching the parade
Snapping pics and making a fire
 Good food, good company
Did I mention food..?
The Mr.'s family has a tradition of doing gingerbread houses at Thanksgiving, so it was fun to watch T create this year. He asked if he could eat every piece of candy he touched, and I exhibited quite the control of letting him be messy and make it just as he imagined, as opposed to making it picture perfect as shown on the box..
Then over the river and through the woods, we were at grandma & grandpa's for the weekend with more great family and cousin time..!!
The camera didn't come out too much, but these two little girls with matching Christmas jammies/books made for an entertaining photo shoot..
It was a full weekend and perfect time to focus on our countless blessings and call to mind the things important to us that we are especially thankful for, our family, health, and freedom. 

Merry...

Friday, November 27, 2015

As we dive into the holiday season, it's easy to get wrapped up (punny, haha) with the sales, parties, lists, gifts, and decorations. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some of each of those myself, but as a family, we also try to reflect on the real reason for the season.

At this stage in our family (toddler/little kid age), we talk about what we celebrate at Christmas.. Jesus's birthday!! One of my favorite ways to explore, discuss, and play is with a kid-friendly nativity set. It's interactive, fun, and drives home the story of Christmas.

While there are many different ways to celebrate as a family, I want to touch on a little way we share the message with our family and friends. Besides plastering our smiling mugs, we make sure to include a specific message on our cards..
It is important to me to include MERRY CHRISTMAS, specifically, on our cards. Pretty simple, but I find it essential to express the Christmas part. I was excited to see Tiny Prints had such beautiful options, in line with what I was looking for. 
We all know capturing and picking the 'perfect' family photo is hard enough, selecting the card should be the easy part. Tiny Prints is on top of that - they are very easy to filter/find a particular greeting and style. They can be sorted by Christmas, and even Religious (what a great option!!), making the hunt through hundreds of beautiful cards more specific to a particular message.
Call me a barracuda or just festive, but I gravitated towards the sheen of these beautiful foil-stamped cards. I surprised myself and picked a richly pomegranate-colored card, and for an even bigger surprise the Mr. was all for it too!! These unique wrap-around return address stickers help capture the attention of the recipient amongst bills and junk mail, and finish off the whole look.
Disclosure: These Christmas cards/labels were given to me free of charge. Opinions and attraction to all things shiny are my own.

Although a simple greeting, I hope it will have a little more meaning and call to mind the season upon us. Take some time as you read through all the beautiful cards this year, and let your heart be filled with the JOY the Christmas season brings.. Not only in the parties, gifts, hustle and bustle, but in the most special birthday celebration of all.
Do you prefer to give a particular 'holiday wish'?  
How do you incorporate the true meaning of the season into your family traditions?
 
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