Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Video Montage

I'm starting a new tradition this year. I always make a year end photo book, but this year I've decided to make a year in review video montage as well. I did it on a whim yesterday and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Hopefully next year I'll be better at catching even more moments on video. 

I'd forgotten just how many changes occurred this year. To think we started 2011 off with a 3 month old who was drinking formula from bottles and couldn't even sit up to ending 2011 with an almost 15 month old who runs circles around me and grabs food off my plate. It's truly mind blowing to see it all play out.

2011 in Review

Hit the square looking thing beside "vimeo" to enlarge!

Seasons of Love - Rent | New Soul - Yael Naim | Good Feeling - Flo Rida | Moment 4 Life - Nicki Minaj | Awake My Soul - Mumford and Sons | Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift | I've Got the World on A String - Michael Buble | What a Wonderful World - Louie Armstrong

Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Forward to 2012!

I'm in the midst of making a really cool year end wrap up (or well, I'm hoping it turns out cool anyways). In the mean time I might as well skip ahead and talk about what I'm hoping to accomplish in 2012. 

First let's glimpse back at the last couple of years...2009 I focused on learning to let go, 2010 was about becoming a happier person, and 2011 was about learning to become a mom and housewife. 

I feel like this year I'm simply going to aim to build on what I learned in 2011. Motherhood is about rolling with the punches and constantly tackling new challenges. I'll never have all the answers when it comes to raising my child or the perfect system for running our house. I simply want to always aim to do better while being happy with where I'm at. If 2012 brings what I think it is going to bring, then I know there will be lots of new challenges and changes in our lives but I also know there will be some amazing rewards. 

In 2012 I hope to perfect my role as a SAHM, live a little greener, and get our family financially set. I want to concentrate more on my hobbies and hopefully add on a side business of my own so I can contribute to our income. I want to grow in my faith and be more of the person that I would like my son to remember me as being. Most importantly I want to slow down and live in the moment. These years are flying by too fast and I have a feeling that these next few years will be the ones that I miss the most when I look back on life. 

Even years are normally big years for us around here but only time will tell what 2012 will bring!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 Posts of 2011

Solely because I am still in the after Christmas funk and because I'm pretty sure the rest of you are too....I thought I'd share with you the top 10 most viewed posts from 2011. These aren't necessarily my favorites, but they are the ones with the highest page views according to my statistics. Yep, this is a lazy post, but it's a fantastic way for some of you new readers (Hello!) to catch up.

aden + anais Cotton 4 Pack Muslin Swaddle Blanket

(Grouping this together with the meal planning tab and housework tab posts!)

Now I don't know exactly what to make of these stats. These posts aren't the most commented on for the most part, but according to the stats they are the most visited. I'm assuming it's mostly thanks to link ups, google, and Pinterest. With all that said, maybe I'll try to do a few more personal advice posts, how to's, and organizational posts next year...or you know, feel free to offer me your suggestions!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Wrap-Up...err...Unwrapped!

Santa Came

Yep, I made that bean bag :)
Presents were ripped open....slowly.

Favorite Gifts were Determined

Boxes were Played in

Packaging was Cursed

Christmas was fabulous, but this mama is happy to be on the other side of it. The decorations will start coming down today although I don't know if I can bear to take the tree down just yet for Ethan's sake. He still lights up every time he sees it. Christmas magic was truly present this year and I did my best to capture it in every single way possible as I know each age will bring a new look at Christmas. 

We are so truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family! Their generosity and love never ceases to amaze me. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and are ready to gear up for the new year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

This Story is One for the Baby Book!

If you missed it on Twitter last night, my child managed to stump me once again. I knew when I became a parent that there was going to be a learning curve and believe me I've had my fair share of moments where I didn't really know the answer for certain baby related situations. As we all know children do not come with instruction manuals. Sure, most of the times you can try different things and methodically work your way through the situation, but I've found that it's the emergency situations that have completely stopped me in my tracks and the thought of "Oh shit. What exactly am I suppose to do here?" flows through my mind as I stand paralyzed taking in the situation.

I'm not an over reactor. Well, I take that back. I do a lot of overreacting, but when it comes to emergencies...the real ones, not the "I have nothing to wear ones"....I'm strangely calm. I don't spring from the car if there is a wreck, I don't run over to someone if they have fallen. I access the situation, hit up google, call my parents or in this case...ask twitter. 

Yes, this would be my son with a rainbow sprinkle stuck in his ear.

I just happened to notice the little green sprinkle probably a few hours after it had gotten wedged in the wax laden ear (I do clean them from time to time, I promise) and I have to say my first response was laughter. The next response was to grab a camera (I know...probably not the best response but situations like these must be documented because one day I will need to tell these stories to his girlfriend). I'd like to add here that he was never even aware of the sprinkle so no harm was done in my response or lack there of.  

Anyways, I knew I had two options....

1. Try to get it out and risk jamming it further in.
2. Leave it be to let it work itself out and risk infection.

I knew there was no way I was attempting option one without my husband present (let's face it...I needed an extra set of hands) so in the mean time I consulted twitter and my mom who provided some very funny stories along with a variety of options to try. 

In the end, I decided to go with the tweezer method. Ethan was surprisingly still for me. To be honest he had more issues with me getting the wax out of his ear than retrieving the sprinkle. 

The Extraction.

I'm sure this is just the beginning of a long string of "emergency" situations in the life of an adventurous boy. I'm starting to think I might need to take a first aid course so I don't stand frozen trying to remember if it's hot or cold water to use if he burns his hand at some point. I'm pretty sure I won't have time to run ask twitter in those types of situations. 

Oh wild man, I think you are going to keep mama on her toes!

***Disclaimer: No child was harmed during this experience. He never shed a tear and I assure you that in a truly urgent situation I would not run to twitter or to my camera. I am a responsible parent despite the fact that a sprinkle got stuck in my child's ear. End of disclaimer...continue on.***

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Catching up on the Daily Happenings

I feel like it's been such a long time since I've just provided a few daily updates since last week was such a whirlwind with Christmas posts. So here are a few random tidbits that have been happening around these parts.

1. Momma is fed up with having a messy kitchen. Say adios to cabinet access baby boy because as soon as your daddy has a minute to pick up a drill those doors will be baby proofed. It was fun while it lasted but now he is just way too mobile for access like that. A bigger boy means bigger destruction I guess and momma is done finding pasta all over the house and slipping on plastic lids. 

2. We have already gotten a couple of Christmases under our belt this past weekend. The first Christmas Ethan was a little timid with the gifts but by the second one he got it and enjoyed every minute. I can't wait to see what he thinks Christmas morning although I'm afraid to say that it will probably be less than thrilling compared to what he has already gotten from his grandparents. Sorry kid.

3. Yesterday was the first time ever that I had to leave a grocery store without completing my list. I'll go ahead and preface this with the fact that is was most certainly my fault. It was badly timed and my list was uber long since I was picking up all of our Christmas dinner/brunch foods. Let's just say a container of mushrooms might have gotten bit into, all of our bread might be smashed and some raspberries smooshed. Apparently a full cart enables little hands to access everything. I thought I finally had all the damageable foods pushed out of the way, but the final straw came when my son tried to rip open a pack of bacon with his teeth. I unfortunately had to make scene by yanking it out of his mouth in fear that he might eat raw bacon. It wasn't pretty. I'm pretty sure the onlookers were suspecting abuse. I hung my head in shame and dashed to the checkout line with a screaming toddler in tow. Who needs dairy products anyways right? 

4. Now that we have had almost 3 weeks of Christmas festivities going on I can really see things registering with Ethan. He was in awe at first and just taking it all in, but now I can tell that he really wants to be part of it. I'm afraid some real tears might be shed when we take the tree down. 

5. Finally, today is the day of my consultation. I'm sure it won't be a big deal, but I always dread things like this. I'm sure I'll find peace once it's over, but if you wanted to send some good vibes in the meantime....they would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You've Got Mail!

Well it's finally time to show off this year's Christmas card. It was a challenge this year for sure and honestly, I really put it off until last minute. I originally started out wanting to do THE pinterest know...the ones with the pretty lights in the background. Yeah...that didn't quite work out.

So we went to plan B which was to head know...with all the dead grass, barren trees, and a hellacious amount of wind. Did I mention that our toddler was on the run that day? Totally uncooperative. But cute...very cute.

I was in a lousy mood. My camera wasn't focusing properly and yes I am blaming the camera not the user. I'm pretty sure my 50mm has some focus issues but I need to do some more testing before I'm sure. I know I'm no photographer but when everyone is still and I have the little red focus dot right on my child's face and I still get a soft picture...something isn't quite right.


We did start to get some decent shots. I ended up with 5 possible Christmas card worthy pictures out of the 150 plus I took that day.

It took a lot of chasing, some bitching and a whole lot of patience from my very dear husband, but we finally got our shot...

We used Shutterfly for the second year in a row and I couldn't have been happier. It took me forever to decide on a card because they were all so great!  The following picture for the back and it's actually my favorite.

Good thing Christmas card pictures only come once a year right? Shew!

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Make a Peppermint Wreath

I wish I could say that I came up with this sweet little wreath on my own, but no, it is another Pinterest inspired creation! It is super simple to make, doesn't take a whole lot of time and I think it turned out fabulous.

Here are the supplies you will need to get started:
        1 - 18in Styrofoam or straw wreath form (make sure they have rounded edges so the peppermints can wrap around...not the flat square type)
Red Florist ribbon - I had a 4yd roll of this but ended up needing just a tad extra and I do mean a will see in the pics below. So buy more or get that and use some extra you have laying around.
5 bags of peppermints
Hot glue gun
Clear High Gloss Acrylic Spray (or some other protective spray)
Decorative ribbon

Alright now that you have all of your supplies let's get started! If you bought a straw wreath like me be sure to leave the plastic wrap just makes things easier I think. Take you florist ribbon and start wrapping! I used a couple of straight pins to secure the edge of the florist ribbon.

This is what it looks like when it is finished and as you can see I did need a tad extra. Don't worry it will be covered with a bow in the end so if this happens to you, no big deal!

This is the fun part....start hot gluing your peppermints! By the way I found it was waaaaay cheaper to get peppermints at Dollar General than Target. Target was $2.50 a bag and DG was $1.50. Maybe you can find a better deal than me? I found that it is best to lay them in a diagonal brick pattern. You will have spaces in-between them so don't freak out. Also you can pull them off and start over if your pattern gets messed up (this happened to me a couple of times). As far as how many to do on the edges...I just put them where you would see them so use your best judgement.

Once you are done with that, take peppermint wreath outside to spray with the acrylic. FYI, this stuff is super smelly and I attempted this in my garage. Not smart. I'm pretty sure my husband and I could have died from fumes that night as the smell had crept into our bedroom (it's a hop skip and a jump away from the garage). Anyways....this will need 24 hours to dry so plan accordingly. Also this step is super important because it will protect the candy from getting wet and sticky. No one wants to repaint a door right? Right. 

Now for the bow. Once it's dry take your decorative ribbon and make a loop to hang on your wreath hanger. Then take some more and make a pretty bow (mine's a little droopy, but what can you do?). I hot glued the edges to make it prettier and voila...peppermint wreath!

According to Nina

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Looking Back on Christmas

Christmas is a magical time when you are little. Although Ethan is not old enough yet to grasp the whole Christmas concept, he does grasp that something exciting is happening. This year I set out with high hopes that we would make some family memories together. Start traditions. Basically I wanted to cram anything and everything that embodies Christmas into this whirlwind of a month. 

At this point you can probably already tell where we are headed with this. Plans....high hopes....those usually spell disaster right?


This past weekend I had a full day of Christmas fun planned. As much as I love our extended family, sometimes I want to make memories with just the three of us and it just so happened that Sunday was our only day that it would just be us so I wanted to make it special. So we all got bundled up and headed out to the town parade. I just knew Ethan would looove all the people and the hoopla.

We got to the square just as the policemen arrived on their horses. I made sure to point them out to Ethan at which point Michael proceeds to tell Ethan something funny..."Hey Ethan, you know why they put the horses at the end of the parade don't you?" 


What? Are you for serious Michael? 

"Oh yeah, you didn't know that Laura? They always put the horses at the end because of the poop." 

***insert exasperated sigh here and if we are being honest probably an eye roll***

We missed it. We missed the parade. Major mom fail. 

It was okay though. 

Plan number two would be great. 

We were headed to Nashville to see the lights at Opryland. 

30 minutes later we arrive and I'm trying to not be grumpy about the whole situation. We drive around and around...the parking lots seem to be a huge maze and we can't find a way in. Finally we ask someone where to go and turns out parking is $20. Obviously I'm not paying $20 for parking just to walk around a hotel. So we park off the beaten path. I get Ethan out of the car seat only to find that he is soaked. Like soaked up to his chest. I thought it was pee, later we found out it was juice that had spilled out of his cup, anyways his outfit was done for. 

Did I mention I had dressed him up all cute in hopes we would get the classic Santa photo? Yeah.

We changed him into the spare outfit I miraculously had in the car and were on our way.

This place was a maze. A maze of stairs! We of course had a stroller and were less than thrilled with all the hassle of everything.

You know what though?

Ethan had a fabulous time. As soon as we walked in the door his face lit up and all we heard was "Woah!" and "Wow!" and "Ho,ho,ho." It was worth all the frustration of the day. The long waits for the elevator, the $10 burgers, the washing of the car seat when we got home. Every single bit. It was worth it.

I promise he had fun even if this picture doesn't show it...I gave up trying to take pictures eventually haha!

On our way home I reflected on my memories of Christmas and found that most of them involved some kind of mishap.....

Like last year when I had Ethan dressed up in his special Christmas outfit and he had the biggest, nastiest poop explosion I think he's ever had to date. I didn't think that Janie and Jack white gingerbread onesie would ever be white again!


Or almost having a tree fly off our car roof a couple years ago while we were driving down the interstate due to a bad rope purchase.

Or our very first tree as a couple that ended up in our bedroom due to strange apartment rules. We had radiator heating and ended up sleeping in sweatshirts, hats and gloves that whole month because we were too scared the tree might catch on fire if we turned our radiators on.

I realized that night that Christmas memories aren't always made of the perfect days. Sometimes the best Christmas memories are the ones you look back on and laugh about later. 

When we look back on this year, we will most certainly remember that it was the year that Ethan almost got to see his first parade. 

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