Looking back at 2012

January 1, 2013.  Not really a super important day, but one that marks a special anniversary. It will be the 4th anniversary of this little ol' blog! 

When I started this blog 4 years ago I was a newlywed and I'm pretty sure my mom was my only reader. (Hey, Mom!) It started out as just a way to document our lives since we lived in a different state than both of our families. My gosh, we've come along way in these 4 years. I love that I have this blog as a way to look back at our lives & I have met some fantastic people on this little corner of the internet.

I had grand plans to take a walk down memory lane and highlight the past 4 years, but a very sick baby boy that has required lots of snuggles kind of stole my time. I'm totally okay with that, by the way. So, instead, I'll highlight 2012. It was a great year.

Here are my Top 12 21 Moments of 2012:
  1. We started off the year sharing the details on Baby Dos.What a sweet baby he is! Look how little G looked--SO much has changed!
2. Grayson, my mom, and I took a roadtrip to Baton Rouge in January to visit family.  G had so much fun with his cousins & running around my aunt Joy's huge yard. I'm so glad we got to take him!
3. In February I finally got to meet some of my favorite internet ladies when they came to town for Blissdom! I even got to have a slumber party with my sister from another mister, Jen! It was so much fun. I wish all of these girls lived in Nashville...and I'm happy that some do!
That very same weekend my sweet Grayson broke his right arm. Womp, womp, womp. Such is the life of a mama with a very active & fearless little boy! 
4. In March we found out that Baby Dos was a BOY! It took us a little while, but we decided to name him Griffin Andrew. That was the moment that baby #2 felt real! 
5. Our big boy, G, hit the 18 month mark in March!
I remember thinking he was such a big boy in this picture & now he looks so young! 
6. I became a Kelly's Kids rep! Shameless plug? SURE, why not?! 
It's been fun & of course I have loved buying matching outfits for the boys. Feel free to shop my website
7. We spent Easter in Alabama with Ben's family & Grayson had such a great time! 

8. In May we went to Cape San Blas, Florida with my parents for a week. I was so glad we went to the beach before I got huge. Grayson had such a great time and is already asking when we are going back. He was such a cute beach bum! 
9. In May I also celebrated being at my new "job" for a full year. What a blessing it is. I'm so thankful that I get to spend my days with these boys! 

10. We moved G into his big boy room in June! We let Griffin keep the nursery and Grayson a room he would love...full of trucks! He is still in this room but now he's in a double bed. It's truly a big boy room  now!

11. I turned 27 almost one month before Griffin's arrival. 26 was a great year & 27 is proving to be the same! I celebrated with a day at the zoo with my boys (in 105 degree weather. ick!) & dinner at Wild Wing. We topped it off with a Double Doozie cake of course...my favorite tradition! 

12. Ben and I celebrated 4 years of marriage on July 19th!

13. One of my favorite memories was spending the week before Griffin arrived doing all of G's favorite things.  We had such a great week & I'm glad I got to spoil him a little before Griffin arrived. 

14. This little boy stole our hearts on July 30th. I didn't know I could love two little boys like I love my boys! We were so excited to finally meet, hold, & love on baby Griffin! 

15. 3 weeks into this whole "mom of 2" thing, it finally felt real. And by real, I mean crazy. Ha!

16. Grayson turned TWO in September! We had a fun little truck party for him & he, of course, loved it.

17. In the beginning of October our neighbors and great friends brought their little boy, Eli, home from Africa! Watching Grayson, Gray, & Eli play now is still surreal..I can't believe this precious boy is actually here for good! 

18. We spent Halloween trick-or-treating with our friends. G was a fireman (shocking, I know.) and Griff was his dalmatian! They were the cutest trick-or-treaters I have ever seen. For real.
19. I spent Thanksgiving being thankful of the sweet baby that joined our family this year. We found out about him the day after Thanksgiving last year!

20. One of my absolute favorite things about 2012 has been watching Grayson become a big brother. He acted like an old pro from the beginning & I love watching our boys interact. They are so sweet!

and last but not least,

21. Christmas as a family of 4. Hasn't even been blogged about yet, but it was a great one! More about that later:) and no, NO baby announcement was made this year! 

Whew! That was a whirlwind. This was definitely a crazy & busy year, but I would not have it any other way! We can't wait to see what 2013 brings!


Griffin is 5 months old!

Griff, you are 5 months old today! 
The Stats:
Weight: 13.4lbs at his sick appointment on Monday
Height: no idea, but he is definitely longer! At least 25 inches.
Clothing: either 3-6 month or 6 month clothes
Diaper: size 2
Eating: We just got you on a 4 hour schedule a couple of weeks ago! Finally! It makes the day so much easier to schedule now. We are still breastfeeding & going strong. I'm pretty proud that we have made it this far! You are nursing 3 times during the day & get a bottle at night before bed. Of course, you've been really sick for the past week and our schedule is completely off. Hopefully we will be back to our normal 4 hour routine again soon! We've introduced you to solids this month. We tried rice cereal & oatmeal right after your 4 month well visit. Last week I started doing purees. You've tried pears, carrots, & apples and have loved them all! 
Sleeping: This is actually kind of a funny topic. Funny if you are sleep deprived, anyway. I got desperate about 2 weeks ago & bought the Moms on Call online seminar.  You were waking up every hour & it was making me a crazy person! After watching that & talking to one of our pediatricians, we decided it was time to let you cry it out at night. The first night was horrible. I cried, too, buddy. But, within 2 days you were a rockstar & were sleeping 10-11 hours all night without nursing. The funny part? Well, after 5 days of that you got your first ear infection & an awful respiratory virus. All that sleep went out the window. BUT, we will get there again. :) When you are healthy, you are taking a 1-2 hour morning nap, a 1-2 hour afternoon nap, & a cat nap in the late afternoon. 
Firsts this month:
  • You sat in your high chair for the first time! Now I don't have to worry about you sitting up in your lamb seat & leaping out! 
  • You started sitting up ALL BY YOURSELF about 10 days ago. I was so surprised! You are so little & it looks ridiculous to see you sitting...you are a strong little peanut! 
  • You ate your first solids this month.
  • Yesterday you sat in a highchair at a restaurant for the first time! You were not very impressed. 
Right now you are loving:
  • the infamous paci. shocker.
  • eating pears
  • trying to drink water out of my cups. He is actually pretty good at that!
  • grabbing your toys
  • reading books (and trying to chew on them)
  • your big brother. He is your favorite!
  • the dogs. You just started noticing them recently & they make you smile and laugh! 
Right now you are NOT loving:
  • your infant carseat. No worries, Griff. We are moving you to a new big boy seat very soon!
  • being sick. You have been SO pitiful for the last 7 days. It was so sad. I'm glad our happy boy is back & you are on the mend!
  • the nose sucker.
My sweet little Griff, I can't believe how big you are.  I constantly go back and look at pictures of you as a newborn and it blows my mind how much you have changed already. You are such a smiley boy & have the most easy going personality. You make our days a little brighter! I think you have the sweetest eyes & you get compliments on them wherever we go.  I love watching you learn & discover new things everyday. You are such a joy! 

Happy 5 months, Griffin!


Merry Christmas, friends!

I'm going to take this next week off to spend some much needed time with my family.  I can't believe it is already Christmas again--it feels like we were just celebrating last year! 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! See you next year!

"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them,'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people . Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.' " 
Luke 2:9-11


Santa! I know him!

We took the boys to see Santa a couple of weeks ago. You may recall our experience with Santa last year.   It was pretty hilarious. 

This year was less dramatic. G was a little unsure at first but Santa read him a story and had time to talk with him. Grayson made sure that Santa knew that ALL HE WANTS is a firetruck. Of course, Griffin was just his sweet self as always. 

 And there you have it. A successful 2012 Santa picture.


all Christmas'd up!

It took me FOREVER to get all the Christmas decorations out this year. Little toddler hands & little babies make everything take a little extra time! But, it's almost Christmas and our halls are decked!

Here is a little tour of our decorated house!
This is the buffet in our dining room. I made the ornament wreath last year.  I actually took it out of the container this year & it was in shambles. Note to self: hot glue & attic temps do not mix. Luckily, I was able to salvage it! You will also notice my happy little wine bottle sweater & RAZ nativity set. That is one of my favorite pieces! I love it!
Our dining room also has a small tree with gold & bronze ornaments.
This is our foyer. I love my red entryway table & I always keep it pretty simply! The dog stockings no longer fit on our mantle so I hung them on our banister. I love their stockings! I ordered them from Ballard after Christmas a few years ago..they are so cute! This was also my first successful-ish attempt at deco mesh. I failed miserably last year. I love how cheery the red & green make our foyer look!
These are some of the details in our family room. I added my old collection of Snowbabies (anyone remember those?!) to our shelf & we now have a box of our 25 Christmas books!
I LOVE my new door hanger! I love it so much I don't want it to get ruined outside. I love having TWO little boy stockings this year! I hate having a gigantic tv over my mantle at Christmas. I want to decorate a mantle!  I wanted to add something to our coffee table this week so I just grabbed some empty wine bottles, soaked them in hot water, peeled off the labels, & added some gold twigs. I love how it looks!

I actually did something this year that I swore I would never do. I traded in our real tree for an artificial. I just couldn't handle one more mess. This tree has all of our special ornaments on it & I love it!
Here are my favorites for this year: Griffin's first Christmas ornaments & 2 ornaments that Grayson has made this year.
Is it awkward to show you the decorations in our downstairs bathroom? No? Great, because I love the fun little arrangement I threw together with leftover ornaments & tree toppers! 
I think one of my favorite things to get out now are the Santa pictures. I can't believe this will be Grayson's third Christmas! It's so fun to see how different he looks each year...and now there are TWO boys in that Santa picture! Want me to show you what real life looks like?
Yep. True story. The toys make it.....festive, no?!
This is our red & silver tree in the front computer-turned-toy room. Don't mind the Hudson photobomb. 
I love, love, love looking at all these Christmas cards everyday in our kitchen! However, I accidentally bought glitter ribbon and that was a huge mistake. I'm still sweeping up red glitter off our our floor and I find it on our dogs constantly. But look at all those pretty cards! 
Last but not least, our house all lit up! 

Now if only I could keep everything up all year!


So What! Wednesday

So What Wednesday

This week I am saying SO WHAT if...

  • I completely bit all of my nails off yesterday? Watching the Moms on Call seminar & prepping for a cry-it-out night made me super anxious.
  • I crave sweets more now than I did when I was pregnant?
  • I wore 2 different pairs of shoes yesterday & didn't realize until I was inside Grayson's school? Um, yep. Gray chucks & blue chucks. Can you tell I haven't slept in months?
  • the bags under my eyes are so dark it looks like I have been punched? 
  • I don't know I parented before I joined The Twitterverse? Seriously. It's a miracle G made it to a year old successfully. I learn so much from my twitter mamas! 
  • The people on Instagram that use 98734987 hashtags drive me CRAZY? 
  • I've become a big wuss with the 2nd baby? He is rotten & I hate when cries. Ever.
  • I already dug the bones out of the dog stockings & let them eat an early Christmas present? It wasn't so much about being a nice mama...more about them driving me nuts & needing some entertainment. 


People let me tell you 'bout my best friend..

There are so many moments that I still look at my two boys & can't believe they are actually mine. I love these boys so much. Griffin is at such a fun age right now & is actually starting to interact with Grayson. Their relationship is already so special. Griffin adores Grayson and gives him the best smiles. Grayson is such a proud big brother & it just makes my heart so happy. We've had a lot of sweet moments lately. 

How sweet are they? Life is crazy with 2 boys 2 and under. Sometimes I think I may lose my mind. But? These are the moments that make it all worth it.


my hope is in You

Yesterday started as a normal & fun family day. We went to Opryland Hotel with the boys to have some Christmas fun. As we got in the car to head to lunch, I saw lots of tweets about a tragedy in Connecticut. When I read what had happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school my heart broke. As a former 1st grade teacher & as a mom, I couldn't even fathom being on any side of that horrific event. 

Things like this are happening more & more. Our world has so much evil & so much hate. But, it's times like these that bring me to my knees. I am SO thankful that this world is not my home.  My time here is just a small speck when you think of eternity & this is not as good as it gets. I am thankful for a God that was the same yesterday, today, and will still be the same tomorrow.

"And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:7


Christmas traditions

I think one of the best parts of being married is starting traditions in your own little family.  Now that Grayson is at such a fun age & knows what is going on, we are having so much fun starting new traditions with him! I thought I would share some of our traditions & would love to hear what other people do! 

G's Christmas Tree
This tree was actually mine when I was younger & I kept it in my room. It has been passed down to Grayson & he loves having it in his room! His tree has ornaments that are special to him & I'll continue to add to it as he gets older! Notice all the sock monkey ornaments? He picked out a dinosaur and rhino ornament this year. Such a boy! Griffin will also have a tree but I'm hoping to score one on sale after Christmas. He doesn't know the difference right now, right? oh, second child. 
Elf on the Shelf
 We started doing Elf on the Shelf this year. I was a little worried that Grayson may still be too young, but he thinks it's fun! Our Elf arrived on our doorstep one afternoon & G decided to name him "Doodle." SO, Doodle the Elf has been in our family for the past 2 weeks. I'm not one of the crazy people who uses the elf to do ridiculous things...he just hides in a random spot every morning. The first thing G wants to do every morning (other than drink his owange joose) is find Doodle. It's been fun! 

25 Books of Christmas
I've been collecting Christmas books over the past year so that we could do this. I have our box of 25 wrapped books by our main Christmas tree & every morning Grayson gets to open one.  Let's just say that he has now mastered the art of ripping into a present. Some of the books are traditional Christmas books, some are just fun stories, & I have several different books about the birth of Jesus. I think this is such a great way for our kids to hear the story of Jesus throughout December. 

The Lights at Opryland Hotel
 We took Grayson to Opryland Hotel last December and he LOVED it. We had such a great time walking around, looking at the millions of Christmas lights, & going to the huge ICE! exhibit. We're actually taking the boys today to see the lights & go see the Shrek Ice exhibit. This place is seriously magical at Christmas! It's beautiful!

I want to always make sure that Jesus is the focus of Christmas. Yes, we will do the whole Santa thing, but he will definitely not be what our focus is on. I always looked forward to our Christmas Eve service at church growing up & I look forward to our boys being a little older so that they can go to the service with us.  

What are some of your family traditions at Christmas?