Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We've had a lot to be thankful for this year, especially the family vacation we were able to take this year!  We headed to North Carolina the Saturday before Thanksgiving to meet up with my family near Asheville.

We stayed at an adorable house on absolutely breathtaking grounds.  I could seriously live there!

I was nervous about the long drive with the kids, especially Reese, but it ended up going far better than I ever expected.  Our drive there took nearly twelve hours & we were at a standstill for the last hour of our trip because of an accident.  The kids were such troopers!

We stayed at a place called Cloud 9 Farms about 20 minutes outside of Asheville, North Carolina.  If you're looking for a quite, peaceful place to get away, I highly recommend this!  It was my absolute ideal vacation.  We enjoyed the beautifully cool weather while exploring, hiking & sitting out by a campfire each night.

One of the days we headed to a place called Chimney Rock.  Typically they have an elevator that takes you to the top of the rock, but on this particular day, it was out of service.  I have to admit I had pretty low expectations of making it to the top via the 500 stairs we had to trek up since we had the kids with us.  Amazingly enough, we did it!  I had Reese attached to my hip with my sling, but we made it!  I'm waiting on the pictures from my dad since I wasn't about to carry another thing up with me, but the view was spectacular.

This was the view from the bottom of the staircase.  It's impossible to be stressed when you're surrounded by beauty! 

Afterwards we headed to an adorable mountain town for ice cream.  We explored by the river & listened to the soothing sound of flowing water.  That very sound of flowing water instantly made me need to pee..  Pre-kids, my bladder was awful, so you can only imagine how it is after having two kids.  I was holding Reese as I frantically searched for a place to go when she started laughing which made me start laughing.  Not a good combo.  Lets just say it was a very good thing I had a sweater on that I could take off & wrap around my waist.  Not my finest moment, but I sure did provide a lot of laughs for the family!

Thanksgiving was super relaxing & as the turkey cooked we lounged around outside & explored the grounds.  Mike & I even made it to the top of one of the mountains on the property called Buzzard's Roost.

Here we are at the top!

On our last full day, we headed into Asheville to walk around & eat.  Such an awesome town!  They're very centered on natural living in Asheville which I really admire.  Everyone in town seemed so peaceful & happy.. nice change from the usual grind.

We had such a great trip & I was so thankful to have a full week with my family.  Reese started talking more while we were there & now says, Cameron, bush, moon & doggie.  Of course she doesn't say them perfectly, but we know what she means.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

12 months!

Reese, today is your FIRST birthday!

You were born at 9:39 in the morning on Monday, November 14th.  Your birthday was very calm & happy!  Shortly before you arrived, I watched the Today show as Daddy ate a very large breakfast tray next to me.  That wasn't very nice though since I wasn't able to eat!


It's only been one year but it really feels like you've been part of our family forever.  I always say it, but I just can't imagine what life was like before you & I'm thankful for that!

  So what is my precious little twelve month up to?

Well, you're definitely getting "sooo big!"

You are a very, very spirited, opinionated little firecracker!

Holy moly do you have a lot to say without saying anything at all!


You are an absolute Mama's girl & love, love, love to be held by me.  You would seriously be happy being held 10 out of 12 waking hours.

And you are surely not happy when I have the audacity to put you down.  You throw your head back & cry & cry.  God forbid I have to use the restroom!  You've developed some aggression lately & swipe at people who are trying to take you away from me.  Cameron was sitting on my lap the other day when you crawled over & smacked him in the face telling him, "get away from MY Mommy!"  We're still working on the nice, gentle thing.  But when you're sweet, you are sweet!  Ugh, you melt my heart!

You are such a character & have so many expressions & noises that you make.. you're always keeping us laughing, little girl.

You don't really say any words other than "Mama" or "Dada."  You still point at everything & when you do you say, "Dat" as if you're saying, "what's that?"  You meow when I ask you what a cat says & say, "ah, ah!" when I ask you what a monkey says.

They're transitioning you from the Infant Room to the Beginner Room at daycare, so you're now eating finger foods for lunch over there.  You barely ever eat baby food anymore.

You're in 18 month clothes, size 4 diapers & size 3 shoes.

You're still an awesome eater & sleeper!  You still drink 3, 8oz bottles of breast milk each day but you'll be switching to cow's milk any day now.  Mama is giving up her sidekick, aka the ole' milking pump!

You have three and a half teeth with two on the bottom & nearly two on top.  You're still not walking, but you cruise all around & push things around while walking with them.  You're a very cautious little girl, so I think that's what's holding you back.

Happy first birthday, baby girl!  We love you so much & look forward to discovering all the new tricks that are hiding up your sleeves. 
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Party time!

Sunday we celebrated Reese's first birthday.

I went with a yellow & gray theme since that's the color of Reese's bedroom & I happen to love the color combination.

I ordered clothes pins from Etsy to display Reese's monthly photo shoot pictures.

I loved comparing each picture & seeing her changes month-to-month.  It made me realize how much she changed between two & three months... you could really see her personality come out at three months.  Mike always refers to newborns as aliens, so I guess three months was her official non-alien month!

 Lauren was nice enough to let Reese borrow Taylor's "1" onesie & tutu for the party.

The weekend started VERY rough for my little birthday girl.  Papa flew in from Chicago on Friday so after work we headed to the park to enjoy the gorgeous evening & let the kids play.  As I was holding Reese I noticed some bumps on her neck & as I lifted the back of her shirt, I realized she was covered in hives.

 These pictures were taken a little over twelve hours apart.  Reese seriously looked like a burn victim, it was AWFUL.  I wanted to cry every time I looked at her & sometimes I did.  We put a call out to the pediatrician & talked to the nurse who said it was likely the way her body was responding to the end of a virus.  We tried Benadryl & that did nothing which meant it wasn't an allergy.  I was relieved about that!  By Sunday Reese was looking a whole lot more like herself, thank goodness!

My sister noticed Cam's Mario mustache from Halloween laying around, so she decided we should all take a picture rockin the stach!

We started the party off with appetizers.  We had cheese & crackers & I rolled a log of goat cheese in chopped dried cranberries & mixed nuts which everyone loved.  Simple & tasty!  Put it out with some crackers & you're set.  I'm going to make it again for Christmas & roll another log of goat cheese in chopped herbs for red & green colors.  Melanie & Lauren (my sister) were sweet enough to bring appetizers of deviled eggs & buffalo chicken dip.. yum!  For dinner we did a burger bar with caramelized onions, Gorgonzola cheese, bacon, lettuce & tomato served along side mac n' cheese & a salad.  We  prepped everything on Saturday so the day of the party could be more relaxing.

I ordered a yellow & gray cake & had no idea what to expect since I designed it off the top of my head with no pictures to go by.  It turned out really great & the girl at Publix was a huge help.

Reese was ready to get down & dirty with her smash cake!

"Let me at it!"

"Mmm, this tastes great!"

"Awe yeah, I can get used to this!"

My birthday girl is such a goofball!

As much as our girl loved her cake, she did not love the clean up!

After cake, it was time for presents!

Reese got so many nice toys & clothes!

The weekend was absolutely exhausting!  Hosting a party is hard work, but it was so worth it.

We ended the night with a comparison shot of the girls.  In the picture on the left, Tay was 6 months & Sam & Reese were 4 & 5 days old.  It's amazing how much babies change in just one year!!

And they become a whole lot harder to photograph!

I can't believe my baby girl will be one tomorrow!  One year ago today I was preparing to check into the hospital for my induction.  Today my little stinker is sleeping in the next room & I can't possibly imagine our lives without her!

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