Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!

Hello everyone!  Happy New Year!  I hope you didn’t struggle to wake up this morning after staying up to ring in the new year.  I didn’t stay up as late as we originally planned.  We were going to take our youth group to a neighboring church, but little Elizabeth got sick, so I stayed home.

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This year, I am making a few resolutions.  Last year, I just wanted to get fit and keep my child alive.  I’ve mostly accomplished that, so I thought I’d set a 5 goals for this year.

  1. Pass my first semester of Grad school.  This summer I am going back to school to get my masters in teaching, so I can start teaching high school english.  I’ve been out of school for about two years, but I think I am ready for the challenge.
  2. Be happy with my body.  I don’t want to set the normal goal of lose ___ pounds this year.  There is a weight goal that I want to reach, but more importantly, I want to be happy and proud of my body.
  3. Read 40 books.  For the past few years, I’ve read 36 books each year.  I didn’t purposely set out to read that many; it’s just the way it’s happened.  This year, I am going to push myself to read 40.  I’ve started the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge and set out a list of books that I’ve got on my list here.
  4. Take Elizabeth out to the park more often.  Once Elizabeth is walking, I want to take her to the park as often as I can.  I loved to swing when I was younger, and I think that is something she would like.  Also, we love picnics, so we could do that too.
  5. Be more deliberate with my time.  I watch a lot of television.  Let me rephrase that; I watch a lot of the same television shows that I’ve already seen over and over again.  Usually after an episode or two, I feel horrible for jut sitting around and wasting time.  So I’m going to try to limit myself to one episode, and then push myself to do something productive like reading or playing with Elizabeth.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  Leave them in the comments below!  Good luck and Happy New Year!

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Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Today is the day!  It’s Baby Elizabeth’s first birthday!

I’ve shared my birth story here and her birthday photos here.

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We had her big birthday party earlier this month, so we are just doing something small for the actual day, a little cupcake with a candle on it.

It blows my mind how quickly this first year has flown by.  We constantly marvel over the fact that she has become her own little person.

She loves to watch Princess Sofia in the mornings with her buttered toast; loves her daddy cuddles while watching tv; loves to giggle at the dogs; loves to do her own little thing.

She’s super active.  Even though she isn’t walking just yet, she can crawl SUPER fast.  If she sees something she wants and isn’t supposed to have she takes off!

She has seven teeth and will eat anything that doesn’t eat her first.

She’s an excellent sleeper.  She sleeps for about 10 to 12 hours every night and takes naps.

Bath time is one of her favorite times.  She is a big splasher!

She seems so solemn in public, but around people she knows, she is all giggles and talks a ton!  Wonder if that means she’ll be a little shy.

I just want to hold on to her and cherish each and every minute of her being little because I know it isn’t going to last.

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So today, please forgive me if I’m a weepy mess; my baby girl is one.

We love you Elizabeth!

Decking the Halls Part Two: Christmas Tree!

Decking the Halls Part Two: Christmas Tree!

Hello everyone!  I am pleased to announce that my Christmas tree is FINALLY UP!! YAY!

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I wanted to put it up the day after Thanksgiving, but when I pulled down the tree box it was empty.  I forgot that I had thrown it away to get a better one.  The first tree we had was pretty small.  This is probably the biggest tree I’ve ever had, it’s 7 feet tall and takes up a big chunk of my small living room.

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When we first put it up, I was really worried about Baby Elizabeth trying to pull it down or constantly messing with it.  I almost got a baby gate to wrap around it to keep her off of it. I’m glad I didn’t, cause she is completely uninterested it.  Before we put the ornaments on, she touched it, and I don’t think she liked how bristly it was.  So it’s all the other decorations I have to chase after her for.  I think once she realizes that the candy canes on the tree are actually candy she might be more interested.

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This year I’ve even decided to make a few ornaments myself.  So far I’ve only made one, but I’m going to try to make a few more for my bookshelves.

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Yes, I’m watching Hairspray. I’ve been wanting to see it ever since I saw the commercial for NBC’s live musical.

My favorite thing to do when the house is all decked out for Christmas is to sit in the living room with the main lights out and the twinkly lights on.  It brings a peace that’s a little hard to explain.  It’s cosy and safe.  I could just sit in the lights with a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate forever.

How are your Christmas decorations coming along?  Let me know in the comments.

Christmas Wreath Tutorial

Christmas Wreath Tutorial

Hello everyone!  I am super excited to share this tutorial with you!

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I am a big fan of making wreaths.  You can see my spring wreath tutorial here.  That wreath has held up very well, and I get compliments on it all the time!  So I thought I’d make another for Christmas.

It’s almost always cheaper to make the wreath yourself, so I figured I’d give it a go.  I got everything except the base from the dollar tree and spent less than $20!

Supplies:

Green Floral foam wreath (Hobby Lobby) – $4.99

8 packs of ornaments (Dollar Tree) – $8

2 garlands in two colors (Dollar Tree) – $2

Snowflake ornaments (Dollar Tree) – $1

Total = $16!!

Step 1: 

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First thing you’ll want to do is hot glue ornaments on the outside of the ring.  I did mine in stripes, but you can do it in random patterns with as many colors as you want.  When gluing the ornaments down, have the ends hiding towards the back of the wreath.  (My wreath has a few cracks in it cause the dear husband was throwing it in the air and trying to get it to land on his shoulders around his head.  He missed, and it broke apart.  I was able to hot glue it back together.)

Step 2:

Add garland around the wreath.  I added this to help fill in the gaps that you’ll see between the ornaments.  If you don’t want to add the garland, you don’t have to.  To add the garland, you stick it between the ornaments and hot glue it to the back of your wreath.  If using two colors, thread the garland between every other ornament.  Once you reach the end, hot glue it down to the back of the wreath.  They were both 9 feet long according to the package.  The silver one was just long enough, but the red one was a little too long.  So I cut off the excess and used it where I saw a major hole when I was finished.  (My husband really liked the garland only wreath.  If you’re looking for something simple and elegant, you can just wrap a green foam wreath with the garland.)

Step 3:

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Add another layer of ornaments.  I recommend placing them before you start gluing them down to get a feel for how it will look.  When you glue them down, try to place the hanging end in-between the first layer of ornaments.

Step 4:

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Add a third layer of ornaments.  I also recommend placing them before you start to glue them down because you will use less of them on this third layer than the other two.  If you would like, you can do another layer on the inside, but I stopped here so it would be easier to hang on the door.

Here is the finished three layer ornament wreath.

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Optional Step:

Feel free to add any other ornaments or decorations to this such as a monogram, snowflakes, or even twinkly lights.  I added a pack of snowflakes that I had left over from last year’s decor.

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And that’s it!  It only took about an hour to make and was ridiculously simple.  And for that price you really can’t beat it!

If any of you guys try this, let me know how yours turn out.

Thanks!

Decking the Halls: My Christmas Playlist

Decking the Halls: My Christmas Playlist

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday yesterday!  Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, but now that it is over, it is time to decorate for Christmas! I’m super excited to get all my decorations up this year since we didn’t decorate last year.  Considering I was 36 weeks pregnant, it just didn’t seem worth it.  While I’m decorating this weekend, I wanted to share with you all what Christmas music I have been listening to.

For the longest time I didn’t enjoy Christmas music since I worked retail for a few years.  They start the Christmas music the first of November all the way through the end of December.  It drove me nuts, but that was several years ago, so I’m back on the Christmas music train!  I’ve got two playlists for you here.  The first is what I listen to when I’m in a peppy mood (cause I usually sing along), and the second is an instrumental playlist that I usually listen to when we are busy , or if we are just hanging out.  I’ll add the link to the spotify playlist for you to check it out.


Christmas Mix:

Mary Did You Know by Pentatonix

That’s Christmas to Me by Pentatonic

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Michael Bubble

The Christmas Song by Kim Walker-Smith

Frosty the Snowman by The Jackson 5

Opera of the Bells by Destiny’s Child

O Holy Night by Lauren Daigle

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by Nsync

Jesus, What A Wonderful Child by Mariah Carey

White Christmas by Lauren Daigle

O Come Emmanuel by Kim Walker-Smith

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bubble

Do You Hear What I Hear by Carrie Underwood

My Only Wish (This Year) by Brittany Spears

Instrumental:

O Christmas Tree by Michelle McLaughlin

O Come Emmanuel by Michelle McLaughlin

The First Noel by Easy Listening Music

Christmas Medley by Jon Schmidt

We Three Kings by David Lanz

Where are You Christmas by The Piano Guys

Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi Trio

Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaraldi Trio

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Kenny G

My Favorite Things by Kenny G

The Little Drummer Boy by Beegie Adair

Frosty the Snowman by Beegie Adair

O Come All ye Faithful by Christmas Music Experts

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Christmas Music Experts

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Chemayne

Are there any Christmas songs that you all love to listen to?  Leave it in the comments, and let me know!

Weekend Wrap Up: November 20th

Weekend Wrap Up: November 20th

Hello all!  I hope you had a lovely week.  It has definitely been a fast one for us.  Seems like yesterday was Sunday.  Even though it’s been a fast week, it hasn’t been too eventful.  The husband’s ankle is still on the mend from a really bad sprain, so we haven’t ventured too far from the house.

But the weather here has finally got the message that it’s fall, so everything is cooling down.  I can totally see a few family outings in our future!

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Hopefully Baby Elizabeth will be an avid reader like her parents.

What I’ve been doing most this week is reading.  I’m currently reading two books, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake and This is Where You Belong:  The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick.  Three Dark Crowns is pretty interesting so far.  It’s a scifi, dystopian, young adult novel, so it’s right up my ally.  I’ll let you all know what I think when I finish it.  I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a series, so it will be interesting to see what Blake does to keep the story running after the first novel.  The second book, by Melody Warnick, is something I’ve been waiting to read for a really long time.    I’ve been living in the same town for the past fifteen years (over half my life), and I don’t really love it.  It’s not awful, but I have no real connection to it.  It seems like there isn’t anything to do that I haven’t already worn out.  So, I am taking this books as an opportunity to learn how to love where I am.  Once I finish it, I’ll post a review of the book, and how I am using it to change my perspective.

photo-1471897488648-5eae4ac6686bThe biggest thing that happened this week was my mom gave me my birthday present a month early.  It’s a brand new Macbook!!  I have wanted a Macbook since high school, so I’m super excited.  Hopefully this means you all will be hearing from me more often.  (The first post I published can be found here.)

I’m also really excited to see what next week has in store for us.  This will be the baby’s first Thanksgiving, and we are decorating for Christmas.  I always wait until after Thanksgiving because it’s my favorite holiday.  The first half of the week will be spent hunting down all of my Christmas decorations.  Elizabeth was due on the 24th, so we didn’t decorate for Christmas last year because no one wants to take decorations down when you could be sleeping with your newborn.  So it will be nice to have the house all festive this year.  We might even put up lights on our porch like my in-laws did.

How was your week?  Did you do anything exciting or have any plans for next week?  Let me know by leaving it in the comments below!