Looking back at 2013

I spent some time last night looking back through some of my blog posts in 2013. It reminds me why I keep this journal of our lives; I love looking back & seeing things I had forgotten about! It's safe to say that this year was a great one for our family.

I feel like we really came together as a family of four. Griffin was 6 months old at the beginning of the year & was just starting to interact with Grayson more. Watching their relationship develop over this past year has been one of the greatest things I think I will ever experience. They fight like brothers do but they love each other so much. 

We took several long road trips over the past year & they only taught me one thing: babies and  toddlers who don't want to be in the car anymore are actually more distracting than cell phones.

This year has been a busy working year for Ben. I am happy to report that we are closing out this year with him moving to a store just a few miles from our house! We are all so excited that he won't be so far away & the boys are happy that we can drop by and see him at work. This a great change!

Looking back I also remember just how exhausted I was early on in 2013. Boy oh boy, did Griffin teach us a thing or two about how all babies are NOT the same.  I expected this easy, sleep trained baby & I swear he did not sleep through the night until 8 months. I was a zombie mom for part of 2013.

I can't believe how much Grayson has grown up over the past year. I think the 2 biggest changes for him were being potty trained and losing all that cute blonde hair. I mean, he's practically a teenager now! (except for the fact that he still prefers to wake up before the sun)

As great of a year as it was, it was also a year of loss. We lost my Grandmother just days before Grayson's 3rd birthday and one of my best friends, Michelle, passed away earlier this month. Losing people you love is so hard, but I do think it brought my family & my friends closer together.

2013 definitely had some hard times, but it also had some really great times. I won't be making any resolutions this year, because let's face it, I never stick to those. However, I do want to just slow down & enjoy my little family. I want to make more time for my friendships that are far away. I have realized recently just how much I need those girls in my life. 2013, you were pretty good to us. Let's see what 2014 will bring!


A Christmas Recap

We had a great, busy Christmas. I can't believe it is already over! We spent Christmas at our house with Ben's family & then went to Atlanta the next day to spend time with my family. It was a jam-packed week but the boys loved all their grandparent time!

I love this real life Christmas Eve picture. Grayson is preoccupied with his cracker and Griff was so ready for bed. 'tis the season!

Santa came--the boys were very good this year! :)

This was such a fun Christmas. Three is a magical age & Grayson loved everything about Christmas! He was so excited about everything. Griffin was so happy to finally be able to rip the paper off his gifts!

Christmas round 2 in Georgia!

It was so nice having Ben off for the entire week. That has never happened & we will be sad when he goes back to work today! It was crazy & busy, but, we had a great Christmas. It's just so much fun experiencing it all through the eyes of kids!


Five on Friday

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It's FRIDAY! I feel like this week has been dragging on and creeping by at that same time. How is that even possible? I can't believe Christmas is next week! I got my act together & am linking up with Natasha and Darci for Five on Friday! 

ONE. I feel like life is slowly getting back to normal. This was the first week since before Thanksgiving that I was actually home ALL week. It was nice to not go anywhere. I also want to say thank you for all the kind words & prayers over the past week or so. They were very much appreciated! 
TWO. I found some knock-off mercury glass at KMart after Thanksgiving that was practically free & I grabbed it for our dining room table. I really didn't want to spend money on anything to put in the them, so I shopped our house & yard. Grayson and I cut some branches and then spray painted them bronze. Then I collected some small ornaments off our tree to hang on the branches. I love how festive & happy it looks! I also had some whole coffee beans I will never, ever use & put them in to hold the branches still. It smells like Dunkin Donuts coffee every time I walk through the dining room--can't beat that! 
THREE. I'm a crazy animal lover. A crazy animal lover who has a tendency to come across homeless animals and rescue them. It happened more frequently in college because stray dogs are a huge problem in Mississippi. It's actually how we found Hudson...or how Hudson found us, rather. Anyway, About 6 weeks ago I met a cat on our street that was living underground in the drain. Me & the boys named her Gutter. I am not a cat person, but Gutter was so sweet. We fed her, gave her water, let her sleep in warm blankets on our porch. The good news of the story is that I eventually found Gutter's owners. The bad news is that I found Gutter's owners; I will leave it at that. Griffin still yells her name and blows kisses every time we go outside & it's enough to make me want to go kidnap a cat. We miss our little homeless friend.

 FOUR. If you follow me on Instagram, then you have seen the Daily Giant Elf pictures I post almost daily. that. Our neighbors have a GIGANTIC Elf on the Shelf that is in a different spot on their house or in their yard every day. It makes me laugh every time I drive by. I mean, it's a life-size elf hanging from their porch.

108649409734076617 Master bedroom colors
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 FIVE. Our master bedroom is next on my room list for painting. It's the last room that I don't like. It's BRIGHT blue. Not quite what we had in mind. I think it should be our January project! We have dark brown furniture & I love this wall color. A little calmer than turquoise, right?


Merry Christmas!

I wish I could send ALL my internet friends a Christmas card from our family, but this will have to do! 

Thank you Tiny Prints & Shutterfly for some beautiful cards this year!


Our Halls are Decked!

Christmas is my favorite. I started getting decorations out a week before Thanksgiving because it takes much longer to decorate with 2 toddlers. You can say I don't respect the turkey, but trust me, I respected it so much that a lot of it ended up in my stomach. That turkey is respected AND our house was decorated. Without further adieu, here is some of the May Casa 2013.

I linked up with Kelly today for her Christmas Tour of Homes! Go check out the other homes--so fun seeing all the decorations!


moving on

We celebrated Michelle's life on Monday with a beautiful memorial service full of friends, laughter, & really old (and fantastic) pictures. I spent 3 days with some of my best friends. We cried, we laughed, we hugged, we grieved together. 

Now I am back in Tennessee. Life is going to keep on moving & somehow we are just going to have to pick up the pieces and keep on moving, too.  At this moment, that seems so hard to do. It feels so strange to do the mundane every day tasks now. I feel like time should be frozen.

I sent a group text today to show the joy of traveling with a small toddler. See also: the text included a picture of Griffin screaming in his carseat. The group text used to have 3 names; it now has only 2. I had to catch myself when I started typing in Michelle's name. Moments like that are hard. I know they will come & go, but when they do come, they are the type of moments that take my breath away. Life isn't fair. Cancer just plain sucks.

I know this will get easier & I know that where she is now there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more cancer. But right now it's still fresh & it's still so surreal. It's just hard.


a heavy heart

 I wasn't expecting to have to write this post. Not this soon, anyway. My amazing friend, Michelle, went home to be with the Lord yesterday morning. She fought a short, but very difficult, battle with cancer with such courage & grace.
I met Michelle in middle school & she was the kind of person that could just light up a room. She had such a great personality & a contagious smile. She was the kind of person everyone wanted to be around. I don't think it has really sunk in yet that she is gone. It doesn't seem real. 28 seems too young to deal with losing a friend. I'm sure it will hit me when I am surrounded by my friends tomorrow at her visitation; or when I am wanting to send her a random snapchat picture. But right now? I just can't believe that she is gone.
I will hold close all of the fun memories we had together. I went through TONS of old pictures last night & just laughed over how ridiculous some of them were. We have some great memories & I know we will keep laughing when we see each other again! 
Michelle was SUCH a blessing in my life. Especially my freshman year of college. I spent a very hard 2nd semester at home & she was my only friend still in Marietta. We spent so many nights that semester together driving around East Cobb & taking frequent road trips to Athens. I will cherish those memories forever.
I just saw Michelle last Sunday when I was home for our friend, Alex's, baby shower. She looked great & was feeling pretty good. We had fun reminiscing & making bows for baby Ellie. I hugged her & told her I would be back in a month. I really wish I had known that was the last time I would get to hug Michelle. I selfishly want her back for just 10 more minutes so I could make sure she knew how much I loved her & how big of an impact she has had on my life.  I wish I could tell her how much it meant to me that she adored my boys & it made me smile when she asked me to send her pictures of them. I wish we could have one more girls night at El Jinete (is that even still there??) & end up piled in Carly's hot tub wearing Mrs. Rachman's old one piece bathing suits. I wish so badly that she was still here with us, but I am so thankful that Michelle is healed & no longer in any pain. I had 15 years of friendship with her & I know I will get to see her again one day. For that, I am thankful.


Griffin is 16 months!

Griff, you are 16 months old now! 
The Stats:
Weight: 20.5lbs
Height: about 30.5in
Clothes: all 12 month clothes; 12-18 month pajamas
Diaper: size 4
Shoe: size 4.5
Here's what has been going on this month:
  • You are running! 
  • You are such a bookworm & love to read your books. Board books are your favorite because it is easy for you to turn pages. You love any book with animals or trucks!
  • You are saying: see it, go, ew, & Gu (for our unofficially adopted outside cat, Gutter. haha!)
  • Speaking of Gutter, you are an animal lover (see also: sucker) just like your mama. Gutter is the neighborhood cat that happens to live in our street drain & we have been feeding her. You LOVE her and want to run over there every time we are outside. She likes you, too. 
  • You have started throwing some pretty epic tantrums. You are a feisty little guy!
  • We went to Georgia and you spent time with Nana, Poppy, & Grandaddy. You also saw Mimi, Pops, & Thomas this month!
You are currently loving:
  • books
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • the Christmas trees, Christmas lights, & pretty ornaments
  • Little People toys--we find them all over the place because you like to hide them!
  • dogs & cats
 Griffin, you have the biggest smile & such a great personality. We are having so much fun watching you grow up! Happy 16 months, Griff!