Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

As I mentioned in my last post, we were able to visit with Brian's family for a few days and we did a lot in those few days!

Nana picked up a Cozy Coupe for Jake at a yard sale, it was a huge hit!

He also got to bake his first batch of cookies on Saturday--don't worry, Nana did most of the supervising, I was in charge of reading the directions to her, so the house did not burn down. Jake loved helping though, so I might have to suck it up at some point soon and try it with him at home. (check out Gracie in the back of the 2nd picture, just hoping for something to drop to the floor)

His favorite part was when we would turn on the stand mixer...look at his face!

We also took a trip to the park, though it ended up being much colder and windier than we had realized, so we didn't stay too long. But don't worry---all 3 of the kids had a great time while we were there!

And of course, we went Black Friday shopping!! The shopping trip was to include me, my mother-in-law, Sally and our friend, Joy; since none of us were looking for any of the crazy hot items, our plan was to leave at 5:30am. Since I'm like a 2 year old, I woke up at 3:15am and I was too excited to go back to sleep. I finally gave in at 4:15, woke up Sally and texted Joy to see if we could depart early :) We were out the door by 5am.

As I said, I had low expectations since I wasn't looking for anything in particular. But I did end up getting some great deals, and I was able to scratch a few people off of my list to buy for. We had a great time, enjoyed a yummy breakfast then came home & crashed. Another successful Black Friday!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

We were able to take off Wednesday from work and make it an extended trip to visit Brian's family, it's always nice to have the extra time!

I had promised Jake that he could watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade; I wasn't sure if it would hold his attention, but I remember that I always looked forward to watching the parade at my Grandma's house on Thanksgiving, so I figured we'd give it a shot. He loved it!!

We weren't going to eat our meal until late afternoon because of Jake's nap, but the excitement of the holiday morning must have really worn him out because he woke up after 1 hour, 45 minutes and when I went in to get him he said (while rubbing his eyes & yawning), "I not ready to get up yet". um...ok? So down he went for another 45 minutes.

Once he managed to drag himself out of bed, we enjoyed a delicious meal!! Jake wasn't a huge fan of the turkey, but he put away carrots, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce like it was his job.

What's Thanksgiving without some football? After the meal, Jake & Brian's Uncle Pip played a little game of their own. At one point, Uncle Pip hid from Jake & he was wandering around the house saying "Where aaaaaaaaare ewwwwwwwwwww?" When we asked him who he was looking for, he said "My fwiend". Duh, mom.

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoyed some good company and ate way too much food...we certainly did!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We have so many things to be thankful for this year, too many to list. I noticed on Jake's sheet from school yesterday that they had been talking about what it means to be thankful and they've been learning about Thanksgiving for weeks now. So on the car ride home yesterday, I asked Jake what he is thankful for. His answer? "Stuffin'". Yes, as in stuffing. I'm not sure he's ever even had stuffing? If he doesn't want to eat any on Thursday, I'll have to remind him that he's thankful for it.

They were having a Thanksgiving meal at school today, which he was super excited about. Here is is this morning, all fancied up for the festivities!

And, of course....he's obsessed with the Terrible Towel that Uncle Dennis bought for him over the weekend :) (it went to school with him today)

We hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Annual Christmas Card Connundrum

Every year, I say the same thing to myself: "Self, you will take pictures for the Christmas cards in early November, have the card designed by mid-November and ready to go as soon as the turkey is off the table".

Yet, here we are, almost the end of November and I have yet to do any of the above steps. *sigh* I don't have the pictures taken yet, but I figured it can't hurt to start checking out some card designs and at least have that out of the way. After browsing Shutterfly, I've narrowed my choices down to these cards (it kind of goes without saying, but the pictures in these cards don't belong to me...unless I've inherited some children and family members that I'm not aware of):

I'm a sucker for brown paired with anything, so why not add it as a holiday color?

Another brown one:

Festive in red:

And the last one:

Narrowing down the card selection is half the battle....now, to take some decent pictures and get these cards out before Christmas Eve!

Also, if anyone is looking for a good grandparent gift, we design photo calendars for both sets of grandparents every year...they're always a hit!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Decor

I know, I know....enough with the Christmas posts! But I came across a website today that had some fabulous ideas, so I just had to share.

Every year when I get out my Christmas decorations, I really try to weed some stuff out; if I don't love it, it doesn't get put up that year. I know I got rid of a lot of stuff last year and with the new house this year, I'm really hoping to revamp my decor.

How gorgeous is this garland on the stairs?? I'm not normally a gold person, but I love this look.


I've been trying to think of centerpiece ideas for Christmas dinner, and I might have found it. Last year, I did all silver & white:

While it looked really pretty, I wanted to change it up this year and I had visions of sparkles. Sparkly red things, to be precise. Then, I stumbled across this....love! And so easy! Just picture it with red instead of gold. I have some clear glass serving bowls, I'll just need to pick up a package of sparkly, shiny ornaments, put out my candlesticks & china & I'll be set.


All images from www.styleathome.com

Monday, November 15, 2010

Follow up to Gracie's birthday....

Jake was informed on Friday that it was Gracie's birthday; his excitement about the special occasion seemed to be driven by his love of sweets. After learning it was her birthday, this was what we heard the rest of the day:

"When we eat birthday cake?"
"We go to party?"
"I want to have birthday cake."
"We go to party now?"

While Gracie enjoyed her apples & peanut butter, I think Jake was a bit disappointed that doggy birthdays are not the same type of celebration as people birthdays.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Gracie Lou!

It's hard to believe that Gracie turns 6 today...it seems like just yesterday that we brought home the tiny, 3 pound fluff ball that resembled a guinea pig, more than a dog.

Gracie will be celebrating her birthday with a relaxing evening at home and enjoying her favorite treat....apples and peanut butter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Black Friday Preparation

It's no secret that I love Christmas; and to me, the Christmas season officially kicks off with Black Friday. There is something about being out that day that gets me in the Christmas spirit; the hustle & bustle, the music, the decor....or maybe just the fact that my mom & I always went shopping together, either on Black Friday or on Saturday, if she had to work on Friday. It was something that I always looked forward to and still do.

So how do I survive the chaos that is Black Friday?? I follow a few simple rules.

1. Go in with low expectations.
I've never stood in line at walmart at 2am, been shoved by a crazy shopper or cried when I wasn't able to get an item. Generally, I'm not looking for anything in particular, or at least nothing that is an absolute must have. If I get good deals, great....if I don't get exactly what I was hoping for, I move on and will just buy it another day.

2. Have a plan of attack.
One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving day is scoping out the ads from the papers and plotting out the best plan of attack for the next morning. I'll cheat ahead of time & check out the websites that post the ads early, but there's nothing like looking through the actual fliers that night.

Some stores open obnoxiously early (3am, Kohls? Really?)...while I lack the motivation to get there in the middle of the night, I'm generally ok with getting up around 4:30 and trying to make it somewhere by 5:30. Some places have early bird specials, so we try to hit those first based on priority.

3. Come armed with coupons and know the sales.
Some places are picky & won't let you use coupons that day, but others will so make sure you have them with you. Also, be aware of the promos that stores run...for instance, Kohls always gives you a $10 gift card for every $50 you spend. So if you are carrying around $48 worth of merchandise, you'll want to go find a $2 item, so that you get $10 back!

4. Make time for food! And coffee!
This is one of the best parts of the whole day....do a bit of shopping, take a break & stuff your face. It gives you time to regroup and figure out the rest of the morning.

5. A hint for outlet shopping...
The outlets near my mom's house open at midnight...however, the sale prices remain the same through the night/early morning (6 or 8am). We aren't adventurous enough to get there at midnight, but we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived there at 5:30 that we practically had the place to ourselves and still got some great deals.

5. Enjoy the company.
Good times with friends and family...that's what the holiday season is all about, right? I would never want to go out by myself on Black Friday....if I couldn't talk someone into going with me, I would just skip it that year, it would suck the fun right out of it if I didn't have some company for the day. As I mentioned before, my mom & I have always gone....the first Thanksgiving I ever spent away from home, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were nice enough to go with me (they even dealt with me being 7.5 months pregnant, waddling around the crowded stores!) This year, we'll be heading out to spend Thanksgiving with Brian's family again, and I'll be enjoying that day with my mother-in-law and friend, Joy. (Thanks for agreeing to go with me, Sally & Joy!)

6. Don't make any other plans that day.
Come home, eat some leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, and collapse on the couch!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I need to hibernate after all of these Halloween festivities; since when did 1 holiday become a 3 day marathon event? I can't complain; Jake had fun & I've been enjoying the candy.

On Saturday, we headed down to my parents' house to celebrate a few things: Halloween, Nate's 25th birthday, and the fact that he recently passed the bar exam...Go, Nate!

First up, trick or treating....Jake seemed a little too comfortable with the idea of going door to door, as he waltzed right into the first person's house!

Gracie & Larry got into the spirit as well:

Later that night, we went to dinner (Old Mexico...mmmmm) then back home to open presents.

Sunday was trick or treat at our house; I stayed behind to pass out candy, but Brian said that Jake was much more interested in running around the neighborhood, playing with other kids, than in actually collecting candy. They were able to meet a lot of our new neighbors and Jake made some new friends....a tiring, but fun, weekend!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Party Time!

Last Friday, I took the day off of work to help out with Jake's Halloween party at school. I'm not sure who was more excited, me or him :) I'm so glad I went, it was so much fun seeing him with the friends & teachers he spends so much of his time with and learning more about what they do there every day. The morning started out with Circle Time, where they reviewed the day, weather, letter of the day & number of the day.

They did some stretches:

And sang some songs (excuse the bad lighting in the video):

After that, it was time to decorate cookies and do an art project:

Next, it was time for the parade and trick or treat! There's a retirement community that is affiliated with our daycare, so they led the parade through the halls of the retirement home, which was really nice.

After that, it was lunch time and time for mommy to depart so that Jake could take his nap. He must have enjoyed himself, they had to wake him up from his nap after almost 3 hours :)
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