Tuesday, January 20, 2015

christmas tree farm

let's see if I can get all of the holiday posts up before the end of January...  that may be wishful thinking :)

To kick off the holiday season this year, we took a trip out to Louisburg to the Christmas tree farm, to pick out our tree!  This is yet another tradition I am super excited to start with Lilly.  We also went last year, but she didn't really know what was going on.  This year, however, she was all about it.

This face.  This face is so her right now.  

We walked around for what seemed like forever (it was a chilly day!) looking for the perfect tree.  I guess we're just a little picky...it took a while to find the right one.  

But we finally found it!!  Matt did the honors and chopped it down for us so we could wrap it up and take it home.

Part of the tradition now includes a family selfie with our freshly cut tree. :)

And here it is all decorated and lit up in the house!

I love, love, LOVE having a real tree in our house.  I also set up our artificial smaller one... another thing I love, love, love is having 2 Christmas trees.  Lilly couldn't agree more. :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

{19 + 20 + 21 months}

Well, here we are, another 3-months-at-a-time update.  And, actually, at the time I'm writing and posting this, Lilly is actually already 22 months.  So, yeah, I'm just generally behind, if that wasn't obvious. :)

As I've continued to say, with every age we come to, I find myself thinking it's my favorite one so far.  And the past 3 months have been no different!  Lilly's personality is really starting to come out, and she is constantly learning and blowing me away with her development.  She is talking up a storm...usually one word at a time, and she pretty much just says one syllable of each word, but she can really communicate with us now and it's amazing.  She has a stellar memory too, and is often trying to tell us "stories", which is again just mind blowing to see her little mind at work.

We enjoyed all of the Halloween festivities this month, which I already posted about, but it's safe to say she had a blast. :)  I also celebrated my 30th birthday shortly after that, which I won't lie I was not the most excited about.  However, I'm happy to report that I survived it, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  When I take a step back, I'm really happy with where I'm at in life at age 30.  I don't think I would have guessed that this would be where I'm at, but that's not saying much, considering that I thought 30 was OLD throughout most of my teenage years and early 20s. :)  So when I looked at it that way, I felt much better about turning 30, and was happy to have my little sidekick with me through it all.

Throughout the month of November, Lilly took a parent/kid swim lesson class at our local community center.  I meant to put her in lessons over the summer, but never quite got around to it, and then decided starting in the Fall would be a good idea so that we kept up her exposure to water even in the colder months. It turned out to be a GREAT idea, because she absolutely loved swimming!!  She did great in the lessons, and it was so cute to see how excited she got before every class.  It was a beginner level class, so we didn't do much beyond practicing kicking, moving arms in the water, and going under a couple of times, but she mastered all of those skills and had a great time doing it!  We'll be doing level 2 in the spring, and I'm sure she'll be super excited all over again.

Like I said, (and keep saying every month...) Lilly continues to grow and change and develop right before our eyes each month, and it's just crazy.  She now has a full mouth of teeth, that she brushes with Daddy every night, and with Mommy every morning, she is thinking about potty training (and by that I mean she's interested in the concept, we've bought her a potty, but that's about as far as we've made it, and that's ok.  I know this is something that comes with time and can't be rushed.), and she certainly has her own opinion about almost everything.  I love seeing the person she's becoming!

Ok, enough blabbing, on to the update...

Stats ~ nothing official...we don't go back to the doctor until her 2nd birthday.

Size ~ tall and skinny is definitely the theme for my girl.  She is wearing 18 month tops, and some 18-24 month pants but getting into 24 month/2T very quickly.  And that just blows my mind.  I think we're about reaching the end of the onesie era, which makes me want to cry uncontrollably.  I love a good onesie!  Seeing her in little jeans and regular shirts, not to mention 2 piece jammies, makes her look so GROWN UP!  I can't take it. But it's adorable.

Sleeping ~ bedtime is around 8 still, and she's still waking up in the mornings somewhere between 4-6am to come into our room and sleeps for a few more hours after nursing.  She's usually up for the day around 7:30, and takes one nap that varies in length - sometimes 45 minutes, sometimes 2 1/2 hours.  You really never know what you're going to get. :)

Eating ~
  she is still nursing before bed and first thing in the morning, but otherwise she eats 3 meals and several snacks each day.  She's a great eater, and will try just about anything.  She's a big fan of dips, and still loves any dish involving cheese.  Oh and bread.  She is clearly my child.

Likes ~
  playing with Daisy, bath time with Daddy, playing with dolls ("Amy" is her current baby, and she is really getting into pretend play with her), puzzles, tea parties, swim lessons, really - life in general.  She is still one happy kid!

Dislikes ~
 the first owl costume I bought her for Halloween..., sharing (we're working on this concept...)

Current Nicknames ~
 boog, boogie, Lills, baby Lills 

Words ~  she has a ton of them, I stopped counting.  Like I said, she is getting better at using words to explain things to us or tell "stories", even though she usually just says one word at a time, and one syllable of most words.  Her language has definitely exploded over the past 3 months!

And there we have it, another three months gone in the blink of an eye!  I am still keeping up with taking these pictures monthly, but chances are the next update will be right around her birthday. I'm just being realistic here. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Moving right along with this catch-up-the-blog adventure... Thanksgiving!

We kicked off the holiday with a little craft.  Let me just say that I am so. excited. that Lilly is old enough to do crafts now.  Seriously.  So for Thanksgiving we made (yet another Pinterest idea) handprint turkeys!  It was a lot of fun, and as you can see Lilly sure enjoyed it!

We turned the final result into cards for both sets of grandparents and aunt Sarah's family.  And I kept one for myself too, naturally. ;)

On turkey day itself, we once again enjoyed a meal with my family and then hosted Matt's family at our house.  As you can imagine, Lilly loved it, and the two giant meals that went along with it. 

Really love this picture of Lilly with my dad and her Great Gram. :)

Once we got back home, I of course had to take pictures of Lilly on the table again.  I think I accidentally made that a tradition. ha!

{last year's picture just for kicks - I can't get over how much bigger she is!!}

Aunt Sarah brought a fruit turkey that was so darn cute I just had to take a picture of it!

Being our second year hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I think it came out a little better than the first. We had waaaayy too much food, but I think that's a sign that it went well. :)  I made mac and cheese from scratch and an old fashioned green bean casserole recipe that both came out quite delicious if I may say so myself.  The turkey was delicious too, and I once again had help from my mother in law and sister in law, which made things much easier!!

We had a kids table. Cutest thing ever.

It was another day of quality cousin time for Lilly and Lexi.  I say it all the time, but I just can't get over how cute these two are becoming together, and I'm just loving watching them grow closer as they get older.

As I'm sure you have gathered, we had a wonderful, albeit busy Thanksgiving this year.  Some say it's a pain to have to travel around to see different family on holidays, but I look at it as a blessing that we have this much family to spend this time with.  I'm so thankful for my own little family, but also for my extended family and getting to share these memories with them as Lilly grows up.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Halloween this year was quite different from Lilly's first Halloween last year. (I think that's the theme of this year...how much different each holiday/experience was from last year...it's just so amazing how much kids change and grow in just one year!  Especially the first year.)

First off, I thought I'd share our pumpkin carving adventures.  The pumpkin we got at the Louisburg patch became Lilly's, and I got 2 others at Wal Mart for Matt and I to carve.  Wal Mart's prices are much more my style. :)  I also got a foam sticker kit for Lilly (from Target I think?) to decorate her pumpkin.  I knew she was just a little young for carving, and thought about doing paint, but saw this and thought it was perfect.  Stickers are her JAM right now.

I was so impressed with her skills.  I gave her slight direction on the placement of her stickers, just a general idea of where eyes, nose, mouth, etc should go, but she really did the work all herself.  Which made the end result SO CUTE!

And as you can see, she was quite proud of it!

She also "helped" with the carving efforts once we moved on to the big pumpkins.  And by "helped" I mean she played in the guts and scooped them from one bucket to another. :)  She loved every second of it.

Here is the final result of all 3 pumpkins - Matt's on top, mine in the middle, and Lilly's on the bottom.

And the lit up versions of the carved ones:

Now onto the fun part - Halloween costumes!  I'll start with the grown up costumes - yes, we dressed up.  We did a group costume with our friends Ash & Zach, and I think it came out pretty darn cute if I may say so myself.

We're going on a cruise together in February, and there is a costume theme night.  We thought we'd represent good ol' KS with our Wizard of Oz theme.  We have a little perfecting to do on our costumes before wearing them again, but I'm just excited we're going to get 2 uses out of them!

Now on to the one you really want to see...

(I know, not her Halloween costume, but still a cute picture.  I love that she insisted her doll and teddy bear - Amy & Teddy - sit with her for the picture)

Now, let me tell you a little story about Lilly's actual Halloween costume.  

One day we were casually strolling through Target, and saw this costume hanging on the rack:

Lilly spotted it herself, and loved it.  I asked her if she wanted to wear it for Halloween, and she excitedly said YES! She carried it around the store, and seemed to really like it.  I was so excited...this was several weeks before Halloween, so I thought I was mom of the year and had her costume squared away well in advance of the actual holiday.  Plus, it was only 20 bucks! It felt like a win win.  Until we got home and I asked her if she wanted to try it on.  I got a big fat NO.  So I let it go, and tried again another day.  NO again.  I thought maybe she was just unsure of it, so I tried putting it on her, not exactly forcefully but against a bit of resistance - BAD idea.  She screamed bloody murder and ran around the house trying to get it off.  Since this was still a few weeks before Halloween, I thought maybe giving it a rest for a while and revisiting the idea later would work - you know, maybe she'd forget about the previous traumatization the costume caused her...  Yeah, wrong again.  She got to the point where the word costume being said resulted in "No! No! No!" coming out of her mouth.  Every time.  

So I decided to cut my losses and returned the dang thing while I still could.  I debated on what to do for a plan B, and ended up going the DIY route, making her costume myself.  The plan was to make it out of just a regular zip up jacket, so that it wasn't technically a costume...no, just a jacket!  I found the idea on Pinterest (shocker) and made the whole thing with a few pieces of felt, some leftover fabric, and a hot glue gun.  It was rather tedious, but came out really cute.  I didn't even show it to her until about 5 minutes before I was going to put it on, and I just told her we were going outside so she needed to wear her jacket.  SUCCESS!  She put it on, along with the owl hat I found (I planned on making this out of felt too but there was a perfect hat at wal mart for $5 so obviously I went that route instead!), and didn't even flinch.  I'm actually not sure that we ever showed her herself in the mirror that night, but she eventually did see in pictures.  We had a few friends and family over for pizza and to go trick-or-treating, and everyone told her what a cute owl she was - which I won't lie made me a little nervous at first (I thought for sure she'd have flashbacks and start freaking out), but she just went with it and was happy as a clam all night!  So, I guess the moral of the story is you never know what crazy thing is going to freak your kid out.  But just roll with it and hope for the best - it worked for us...this time. :)

Here's my cute little owl showing off her costume (I mean, jacket...)

And yes, I took a million pictures.  I felt the need to document this costume, given the HOURS it took me to make. Plus, at this point I still wasn't 100% confident that she'd actually wear it all night, so I wanted to get pictures while I could. :)

And here she is with her cousin Lexi (who was the Snow Queen from Narnia) - if you can't tell, she totally looks up to this girl.  Melts my heart!!

I really didn't expect her to get into the trick-or-treating all that much. I figured she was still a little too young (not to mention she doesn't regularly eat candy, so I figured she may not even get the appeal).  But once again, I was so wrong!  She absolutely LOVED every second of trick-or-treating, and was literally running through the streets of our neighborhood with Lexi for hours.  It was so stinking cute! 

See what I mean?  I can't get over the cuteness.  

She came home with a pretty good haul of candy (most of which Daddy ate...) and passed out pretty quickly after we got back and everyone left.  We did give her some M&Ms that night, and of course she gobbled them right up. 

But overall, it was a really fun Halloween.  And much more so than I expected!  I knew Lilly would be more into it than last year (obviously.  last year she slept through trick-or-treating...), but I didn't expect her to be SO into it.  And I loved watching it!  Hopefully next year we can go without the costume fiasco, but I'm just happy it all worked out in the end.  And I must say, I do like my homemade owl costume better than Target's version anyway.  So there.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

I can hardly believe it's actually the start of 2015.  The past year has gone by SO fast!  2014 was a wonderful year for us, though, and it was such a joy watching Lilly grow and change.  It may have gone by in the blink of an eye, but it was truly a great year and full of great memories.

My goal for 2015 is to actually get this blog caught up - and stay on top of it!!  I love having this to look back on as a family diary of sorts, but it would be much more beneficial if I was posting things a little closer to when they actually happened...  so hopefully over the next couple of days before I go back to work, I can get caught back up, and maybe just maybe I'll actually keep it caught up this year.

Other than that, my goal is to just live in the moment!  Having a child has made me realize how quickly life goes by, and I just want to soak in every minute I have with my family while I can.  We have such jam packed lives, and although I know that won't change, I just want to make a better effort at stopping and taking in the moment around me, whatever that may be.  I love creating memories as a family, and I just want to take more time to live those memories as they are happening.

I could probably list out 100 other goals/resolutions for 2015, but I'll leave it at that.  I'll also leave you with a picture I took today of my loves - these guys are most important in my life, and I want to spend 2015 remembering that, and clocking lots of quality time with them.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2015!!