Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On the Fifth Day of Christmas...We Look Forward to a New Year!

The fifth and final day of The 5 Days of Christmas link up party is today with myself, as well as Jenny from Growing up Jacobson, Jenesha from Books, Looks, & Babies, and Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me. I apologize for missing last week's link up, but I thought it would be a real hoot to get sick. Naturally it also is one of those sicknesses that lasts forever, so I am still under the weather. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to me...
But anyway, today we look forward to a new year. I don't really do 'resolutions', but I thought this year I'd like to have a few goals.

#1. Be more organized and pro-active.
There are not enough hours in the day when you have a baby. And, there are not enough hours during naptime and after baby's bedtime but before mommy's bedtime to get all the things done. Unless you start early and do a little bit at a time. That last bit I suck at, because it is not something I've had to do. Ever. But, leaving things until the last minute adds so much needless stress and takes away so many precious hours of sleep that it just isn't worth it. I think the first step in being more organized is to get a really cute planner!

#2. Set a realistic Good Reads reading challenge.
I'm way more bummed than I should be that I didn't meet my 2013 reading challenge. I set a goal of 50 and only made it to 45. 45 is pretty awesome. But, it is that whole not meeting the projected # bit that irks me. This new year I am going to go with 35. I think.

#3. Follow through on meal planning.
Dinner is the hardest meal for me to get on the table because Aria's neediest chunk of time is after lunch and before dinner. So, I just find it difficult to get anything done during those hours. But, if I had a plan in place for eating I could get some of the prep work done ahead of time or even put something in the slow cooker early when I do have the time. You think this wouldn't be rocket science, but I fail miserably at dinner day after day. Ugh. I like breakfast better anyway.

#4. Learn more about photography.
I've got my new(ish) camera, and there are all sorts of fancy manual settings I can play around with but I haven't figured them out yet. I'd like to. I love to take pictures. I'd love to take better pictures.

#5. Paint my nails more often.
This makes me happy, and I should do things that make me happy that are just for me.

2013 was a great year for our family. Aria was technically born in 2012, but just barely so 2013 was the year of Aria. It is unbelievable how much she has changed in a year, and there are so many amazing milestones still ahead. I can't wait to enjoy watching her grow and develop and learn right in front of me in 2014.

Sweet Turtle Soup
Now it is your turn! What are your goals for 2014? Do you set resolutions and actually follow through on them? What are you excited for in the new year? etcetc. We'd love to hear all about it! So, write a post, grab the button above, link up on any of our 4 blogs, and most importantly have a jolly good time! Don't forget you have until next week to add your link.
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 I hope everybody has a magical Christmas this year!

I thought it was a great time to get sick, so mine is a little less magical than hoped for. I think I am already on the mend though, fingers crossed it was just a short little blip of misery.

I'll be taking the rest of the year off for the most part to visit family, but I should have time to pop back for a link up next tuesday - the topic is looking forward to a new year!

Be merry, and bright.
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Mommy & Me Monday - Santa Baby!

The Christmas spirit, it has hit me! I wish the weather was feeling the Christmas spirit (record highs...disgusting), but the weather will be decidedly more festive when we get to Pennsylvania. But, despite the near 90s outside, it is still feeling downright Christmas-y.

I think our visit to Santa did the trick!
 Even if we had to wait in line for nearly 3 hours, and my back was just about broken after holding her in line that long (because, of course, we didn't think to grab the stroller), and Aria fell asleep about 20 minutes before our turn with Santa. Not to mention the additional 3 hours in the car to get there and back again. And, I'm not even going to say how much these pictures cost us. Because, yes, I am insane and insisted we see the best Santa around! Makes for a few mommy and me (and daddy and me) pictures while we waited too.

 But, there is just something about a visit with Santa that puts you in a good mood. I can't wait to do it again next year. Plus, it will be interesting to see how much Aria has changed in a year and how she will feel about Santa. This year it was mostly a wash because she was asleep followed by a brief period of zombie.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve...TWO days until Christmas!
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sweet Sunday

December 15th - 21st
I've been so busy I've barely picked up my camera this week. I'm knee deep into my annual goodie box send out. I'm making more this year than ever before, because clearly I love everybody!, but I think next year I should go with a staggered release. My feet are protesting. But, enjoy the few moments I did capture - I think they are extra sweet this week!

 Oh, look what Aria learned to do this week. I suppose it was inevitable after she learned how to climb up on the foot stool last week. Now I have to keep the thing upside down because she has already fallen on her noggin once, no need for round two.

 I need a toy storage solution stat! The living room looks like a toy bomb went off all day.

Before I went with the stool upside down strategy I thought just moving the stool to the other side of the room would work. She pushed it over to the chair and climbed right up. Stop being so smart!

Oh, hi mom! Just doing a little yoga on top of the stool.

 Dada came home - time for some much needed snuggles!

Have a sweet Sunday with three days left until Christmas.

Linking up with:

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Aria's Birthday - Winter One-derland: Part Three

Time for the last birthday recap! Check out parts one and two if you missed them.

I thought it would be a semi random yet fun idea to make a time capsule for Aria to open at 18. I saw the idea somewhere, probably on pinterest, quite some time ago and I liked it enough to remember to actually do it. I'm not sure if we will add to it every year, or just shut her little gold box up once all the prompt cards find their way back and call it done.
I also wanted it to be easy, so I made cards with prompts for people to fill out. There were 6 cards in total.
Before people left I asked them to fill out a set of cards, and as it happened everybody passed around the cards and filled them out at the same time.
I also sent a few sets out to friends and family that couldn't make it to the birthday party. And, they are still drizzling back in. I'll probably tuck a few mementos from the party in there too. Possibly all the pictures from her 'first year in photos' banner.
I think this photo banner was the only actual party decor, apart from the balloons tied to Aria's high chair and the 'one' banner. I didn't see any reason to decorate much beyond the normal Christmas decorations. But, I love how the photo banner turned out. Although, I am pretty sure I mixed up the sequence of time in a few places. It was mostly from 0 to 1. I loved glancing at the pictures every time I walked past them, this little girl has brought me so much joy the past year. I can't believe so much has happened in such a short amount of time and that there are so many memories jam packed into year 1. I also can't believe year 1 is already over and we are moving on to year 2. I'm ready to see what wonderful things the new year brings.

And, that wraps up Aria's first birthday party! But, because it was on the 1st and her birthday was on the 2nd, I also wanted to include some happenings from her birthday too.

Mostly she opened presents at her party, but not much playing was had. So, when she got up on her birthday we opened up/took out all the toys one by one over the course of the day. And, we kept the routine on repeat for days. So many toys, so much fun. And, we are still enjoying them all.

Doesn't the cheese in this picture kill you? It kills me.

The balloons were all at half-mast, so I liberated them from their strings and Aria had a friggin blast with them. She chased them all over the place and tried really hard to bite one. Thankfully she didn't succeed in popping one with her teeth. It would have scared her out of her tree along with her mama.

I wanted to do a little something fun for her breakfast so I made some birthday oatmeal, which was even more fun after a few eaten spoonfuls because the confetti sprinkles melted and swirled. I had planned on something a little more elaborate, but all my energy was zapped from an intense week of party prep. Turns out the oatmeal was perfect.

After breakfast, we got right back to the playing. It was a noisy relaxing pleasantly fun sit on the floor kind of day. Perfect after eating 5 lbs of cake/frosting and being the center of attention the day before.

We were off to St. Augustine shortly after her birthday, and when we returned home there was a present waiting for her from Uncle Ian and Aunt Arianne, whom Aria will get to meet this Christmas.

And, in case anyone is interested in making their own prompt cards (with a festive red plaid border and moose stamp) I'll include the download for the blank card. You can upload it to picmonkey and customize it any way you'd like.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On the Third Day of Christmas...We Deck the Halls!

The third day of The 5 Days of Christmas link up party is today with myself, as well as Jenny from Growing up Jacobson, Jenesha from Books, Looks, & Babies, and Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me.
Today we deck the halls! I love decorating, and I love, love, love decorating for Christmas. I am usually a black Friday decorator, but because I wanted to have the house decorated in time for Aria's birthday party (on the 1st) coupled with the fact that decorating with a baby is 400 times harder I decided to decorate early. Thanksgiving was also so late this year that it cheated you out of decoration days, so having all the decor up a little bit longer just made the holidays a little extra cheerful for me.

Normally I litter every available surface with Christmas, but I assumed it would all end up broken or eaten if it was anywhere Aria could reach. So, it was more of a minimalist out of reach Christmas this year. And, I wanted a plaid focus because it was a theme for Aria's birthday. I think everything turned out lovely.

So, welcome to our Christmas-ed abode. I'd love for you to take a peak! Let's start with the tree.
I was worried that Aria would topple the tree the first time I turned my back on her, but she leaves it pretty well alone and listens when I tell her to be gentle if she touches it. The presents, however, are a new addition as of last night so I wonder if her restraint will hold together.

A few of my favourite ornaments.
Aria wasn't suppose to make her debut until mid January, so I was not anticipating the need for a baby 1st Christmas ornament until this year. But, Aria had other plans and her Godmother Sana was on top of things and got us her ornament last year. It was the first on the tree this year, front and center.
Aria's Great Aunt Shirley gave her this ornament for her first birthday. It lights up and makes train sounds and plays a little music. We hit the button every morning when we light up the tree, and Aria loves it.
This one is a favourite of mine for obvious reason - I'm a nut for Disney, but I also love the Victorian feel.

And, Lizzy makes an excellent tree skirt.

This was a total pinterest inspiration project. The bows are my favourite, I think they add the perfect touch.

Another pinterest inspired decoration. It is Aria's favourite, she is slowly ripping off each one she can reach. On second thought, maybe it is her least favourite.
And, the outside. I've seen a lot of tasteful greenery and a sprinkle of white lights on houses, but I prefer the crazy colourful lights that make kids exclaim 'look, look!' when they drive past. My favourite bit is that I didn't have to put them up, followed closely by how Aria points out the window to them in the evening. I look forward to the age when she comprehends a little more and gets super excited for this time of year.
Thank you for having a look around, and happy holidays!
Sweet Turtle Soup

Now it is your turn! How did you decorate your home this season? Did your littles get involved? Did anybody end up with a half decorated tree because you couldn't keep your babes away? We'd love to see all of your trees, lights, and decor! So, snap a few (or a lot) of pictures, write a post, grab the button above, link up on any of our 4 blogs, and most importantly have a jolly good time! Don't forget you have until next week to add your link.
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