Tuesday, December 31, 2013

toodles, 2013.

 It was such a fun year. Hope next year provides just as many sweet memories.
 
Here are some favorites from this year.

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Happy and safe New Year's Eve!
 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

sweet memories of 2013.

Seems like the whole social media world is flipping over Flipagram. Ha! Myself included. So I've been creating my own little videos from this last year to share as the year comes to an end. I sure hope 2014 is as good to us as 2013 was.
 
First up is our sweet Hadley and how we spent most of 2013 (late February through early October) awaiting her arrival.

Friday, December 27, 2013

#vfamilychristmas 2013

Don't mind Preston, but we're ALL FOUR looking at the camera!
our yearly, Christmas eve family photo
 
HEV, Christmas Eve morning
 

a new bike from Grr.
 
and yet another battery-powered vehicle from his beloved Bubba

 
crashed in the car on the way home on Christmas eve
 
My husband -- telling everyone to look at the camera and he's the only one not looking. ha!
iphone pic of Santa goodies

 

this dude is in L O V E

HEV's first Christmas and first time finding herself in the mirror


 Some iPhone/ instagram shots from our Christmas::


PRV and cousin, River
 
the sweetest baby girl ever.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

a night at the spa {Massage Envy}

 
With two day dirty hair and spit up on my shoulder, I broke free after the kiddos were nestled all snug in their beds to go get a massage one evening this week.   Massage Envy to the rescue!  I love, love, love how accommodating they are over at Massage Envy as far as scheduling goes.  An 8 p.m. appointment window is right up my alley.  Put these kids to bed, pour a glass of wine, then get a massage.  
 

 
I could smell that spa smell immediately upon opening the doors.  I'm a scent person so, trust me, this is huge to me. I love the smell of essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender. So this definitely helped set the mood.  Until my brain started trying to figure out when was the last time I shaved my legs.  My poor masseuse.
 

 
After filling out a quick questionnaire, my masseuse, whose name was Natalie, met me within minutes and introduced herself.  I proceeded  to spill my whole life story to her.  No, not really.  I just informed her that I was breastfeeding and then cried to her about how bad my tendonitis hurts.  She asked if I wanted her to work on that area.  I think I said something like "if you can fix it then do it, if not then let's leave it alone."  After looking at it she opted for leaving it alone --- the less inflammation, the better.
 
 
I have a love/hate relationship with this face pillow.  Love it because it's part of a massage and I LOVE me some massages, but kind of hate it because I know I undoubtedly drool through that hole after I fall asleep.  Yes, I'm a drooler.
 
 
 
I adored my masseuse, Natalie.  She's been with Massage Envy for 2.5 years.  She listened to my concerns and acted appropriately, even applying just the right pressure to my upper back after hearing that I am a nursing mother.  Very important --- she did just the right amount of talking.  I personally don't like to talk during any spa treatments, but I don't want to come across as rude either.  Natalie knew just how to lead the conversation and when to let me sleep.  Ha!  She was super funny when I asked to take a picture with her.  She said she doesn't do pictures, but once I told her it was for my blog she was more than happy to cheese it up with me.  She had no idea prior to that moment that I was there on a blogger promotion.
 
ignore the oil in the bangs

Thanks, Natalie and Massage Envy for helping me feel like a new woman! 
 
I can't wait to try one of their facials.   
 
Don't forget their current holiday special. Buy two gift cards and get a free one hour massage. 
 
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

If Only.

 
Have you guys heard of IfOnly?  It's a new to me, members only (but free to sign up), that sells unique, once in a lifetime, opportunities.  Think One Kings Lane and Ruelala, but much, much more unique and personalized experiences and items.
 
The Holiday Shop is Open, Shop the Most Coveted Experiences of the Year!  Shop Now!
 
Here's what their website says ::
 
At IfOnly, we believe that true luxury is not another bauble or thing, but rather the extraordinary experiences we remember and share. We believe that seizing the moment can transform the world within us, and around us. We believe we can ignite inspiration by connecting individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields. We believe in helping others, so every item sold helps a charity or cause. We believe in transforming "if only" to reality.
 
Umm, yes, please.
 
More importantly, though, is their take on giving back to the community ::
 
IfOnly is equally dedicated to helping others in need. So for every item or experience sold, a donation will be made to the charity of each luminary’s choice.
 
So I signed up today and started browsing.  Each experience or item tells you which charity this will benefit on the purchase page.  Here are some of my favorites.
 
How adorable is this?  A custom and personalized gingerbread house to match your own home or design.  Proceeds benefits Alex's Lemonade Stand, a foundation for childhood cancer. 
     
    This Recipe of the Month sounds fabulous (although it's definitely in my dreams --- I barely know how to turn on a crockpot).
     
    Wine.  Yes, wine!
     
    Your own in home dining experience for you and your guests.
     
     
    This is awesome! Not sure where this place is located, but I think it would be a great family adventure.
     
    Even VIP tickets to the Hunger Games Premiere and After Party were up for grabs last month. The hubby hates that I didn't know about this site earlier and is pretty upset that he missed his chance with Jennifer Lawrence.
     
     Anyhow, many of these are definitely not on my maternity-leave, mommy-of-two budget, but I can dream for now.  That's what makes these once in a lifetime opportunities, right? 
     
    If Only.
     

HoHoHo.

 
Santa was a huge hit this year. So huge we saw him twice.  Once with some sweet friends and the second time at the hubby's corporate holiday party for the kiddos.  I love, love, love that his company offers this each year. This year's theme was the Polar Express so, of course, Preston was beyond thrilled.



 



I spent my first night away from Hadley this month for the Gherkin's holiday party. The Zac Brown Band started playing around 9:30 and ended around 11:30. It was pretty sweet, despite an initial thought of skipping the party and just getting some sound sleep, I made it until 1 a.m. What, what! And it only took two cups of coffee!

The theme of the party was the 1920s era.  Excuse the cheesy, complimentary glamour shot below.
 

 
My favorite instagrams so far this month ::
I adore this PB ornament with HEV's newborn picture.
 
PRV, he's all kinds of obsessed with trains.
 
PRV in his Zac Brown beanie!
More instagrams from our parents' night out.


That's December for us so far minus the severe case of tendonitis I have in my right wrist.  It's seriously no joke.  I could barely pick up my baby on Sunday.  Signing off now, I have a massage get ready for.  Ahhhhh.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

holiday cards

One of my favorite things to do is to display our old Christmas cards from years past during the holiday season. It's fun to look back.
 

 
If you've ever sent us a Christmas card, rest assured that I still have it. Some I bundled with twine and keep stored away with our Christmas decor. And another stack (usually the most recent) I throw in a basket. It's fun to see P look through there and find his friends.
 
Speaking of holiday cards, here is our card this year courtesy of Minted.
 
 
I chose one of Minted's folded cards since I chose to incorporate both Hadley's announcement with our Christmas wishes. So pictured at the top is the cover of the card and below is the inside of the card. 
 


Friday, December 13, 2013

College text books and Operation Smile

Oh, to be a college student again.  No bills, no mortgage, no 8-5 obligations.  Besides all that, I think it'd be cool to be a college student in this generation.  There's so much neat stuff out there available for students via current technology and the internet.  When I was in college, text messaging was just taking off and aging myself here, but the internet was just becoming mainstream during my college years (the very beginning of my college years).
 
Anyhow, these days college students can rent text books online which is super convenient.
 
I'm sure there are a gazillion sites for college students to rent from but Campus Book Rentals is an online bookstore that rents books AND helps a great cause at the same time. Campus Book Rentals donates a portion of every textbook rental to Operation Smile. Here's what they say on their site:
 
Our Making a Difference program is an important part of what we do. We’re keeping our partnership with Operation Smile and have committed to donate a minimum of 80 additional surgeries between June 2013 and June 2014. They are an incredible organization that forever changes children’s lives through reconstructive cleft lip surgeries. The long-term improvement in quality of life for the children that receive these surgeries is almost incomprehensible. We’re honored to support the children of Operation Smile.
 

 
How awesome is that?
 
So if you know someone in college or perhaps you are still studying perhaps you will consider textbook rentals from Campus Book Rentals.

The perks:
-savings, up to 40-90%, off bookstore prices (click here for a price comparison)
-free shipping both ways
-highlighters allowed in textbooks
-flexible renting periods
-help kiddos in need through Operation Smile (that’s the best one of all!)
 
Additionally, one can also earn money now through RentBack. RentBack is a new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they'd make through buyback options! (selling their books back at the end of the semester)
 

all photos via Operationsmile.org
 
I was compensated for this post by Campus Book Rentals;however, it was a honor and privilege to write this post in hopes of helping Operation Smile and all opinions presented in this post are my own.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

preston-isms


This boy cracks me up daily.
This boy also wears me out daily.
Below are some things I want to remember about this time in his life.
The he's-almost-three time in his life.


My favorite Preston quotes of recent:

Baby Haddie, pretty.
Tickle, Tickle, Tickle.
Baby Haddie, crying.

His name is Piston. ha!

It's 9,10,20.   11 through 19 don't exist in his world.

He's got his Thank You and You're Welcome down, but too bad he thinks you should always say both at the same time.  So it's "thank you, you're welcome, mommy." I know I should focus more on teaching him the appropriate time to thank someone and the appropriate time to say you're welcome, but I can't wipe that huge smile off my face when he says both at the same time.

Every toy commercial that comes on (and there's a lot since it's Christmas time) he says, "I buy dat, peez."

He and I were walking just before sun down a couple of weeks ago and he stops in the middle of the street and makes pretend binoculars with his hands and say "I look for owls, mommy."  He looks up in the trees, through his pretend binoculars and then says "neva mind, it's too shiny for owls right now."  Shiny.  I love it.
 

 His first year in early preschool has been great for him. He's learning so much!  He loves school, but still cries (more like whimpers) when it's time to go and especially when he walks into his class room.  Do not worry, though, those tears are only because he knows his teacher (Ms. Margarita) will sing to him when he gets there if he's sad.  He's totally playing the game.  So is she.

Santa sent Zelf to our house this year.  I worried that Preston wouldn't get it yet, but he totally gets it.  He doesn't know how he feels about sharing his trains with Zelf, though.  This ate at him all day long. It made for a pretty sweet conversation though.
 

 
 I can't believe he's three in less than a month. How in the world?
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Memories Book

I'm over at Houston Moms Blog sharing one of my favorite things about the holiday season.  Actually, it's a way for us to record, remember, and look back on all of our special holiday memories. Plus, Bering's is giving away one of these great books to one lucky reader over there.
 
 
 
Check it out here.  


Monday, December 9, 2013

HEV :: month two

 
After they both napped on my lap on this cold, lazy December day, I snapped some pictures of two-month-old Hadley in front of the tree.  We caved and bought an artificial tree this year.  It's our first artificial tree as a couple, but after seeing little bitty spiders on our real tree last year I felt it safer for the bitty one if we did artificial this year.
 
Anyhow, back to Hadley. She's 9.5 pounds on my scale.  She is still nursing every 3-4 hours and sometimes goes for 4 hours or just over at night.  She's a great sleeper at night.  And during the day for that matter ---  I have to fight to keep her awake.
 
On 12.02.13 at exactly 8 weeks old, she gave me her first real social smile. I might be a bit biased, but goodness gracious she has the best smile!  I'm also a little jealous of her complexion.
 
 

 
Her big brother wanted in on the action.  He's doing very well with her.  Lots of kisses on the forehead and he always pats her on the head.  Here recently he tries to "hold Baby Haddie hand." He's a great big brother.
 
HEV 2 months and 2 days   //   PRV 35 months and 5 days