Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Twinkle Toes | Year Three

Our super mischievous Elf on the Shelf, Twinkle Toes turned 3 years old this year! Grace was way more into her little elf than ever before and thank God for that because we used Santa’s little helper to keep our gal in line all month long, ha! Before you judge just know that a lot of parents do this and it works like a charm. Especially when you have a non-stop, often sassy 4½ year old. ;)

You don’t want to pick up your toys? Twinkle Toes is watching you, Gracie!

You were such a great kid at your doctor’s appointment – look at this little surprise TT brought you!

You need to start listening to Mama in the mornings or Twinkle Toes is going to report back to Santa that you’ve been naughty!

We definitely used our super elf for positive reinforcement more than anything else, but on those naughty days, girlfriend came in handy. Thanks T!

Here’s a few of Gracie’s favorite visits from TT this past month… 

The Bean loved finding TT in her tub and asked to take a picture of her with my phone, so this photo is courtesy of our gal who – for the record didn’t break the rules and touch Twinkle Toes a single time all month. She was so worried that she would lose her magic and didn’t dare come in contact with her. It was the cutest. J

And in completely unrelated news, here’s a picture of my beautiful 6 MONTHS prego wife lookin’ all cute with her baby bump while eating saltines (like always). Love you baby boy!

* 3 days to week 25 and VIABILITY *

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Our SUPER Christmas Card // 2016

Now that 2 weeks have passed since mailing out our annual family Christmas card, I can share our superhero Christmas card with Blogland! 

And because our scanner is broken, this is a picture of a picture... but still, Yay!

When the Bean joined our tribe, I promised the wife that I'd only make her suffer through family pictures once a year, and because we took professional pictures to announce our pregnancy in November, a Superhero Christmas card it is! 

I'm so glad Georgia doesn't enjoy getting gussied up and didn't want to take holiday photos like most years because I LOVE the way our card turned out! I plan to frame this for W nursery and will forever have the happiest memories when I look back at it!

Now for some blog goals:
1. Write blog post about our participation in the 2016 Twinkle Light Parade. This was the first year we actually were on a float in the parade and it was so much fun!
2. Write blog post about our Operation Christmas Child event, which took place this past weekend. :)
3. Share this years pictures of our Elf on the Shelf, Twinkle Toes! She was even more active around the house this year than previous years, lol!

Here's hoping I can manage to do this before the month ends... I think I can, I think I can! 

Merry EVERYTHING, friends!   

Saturday, December 10, 2016


We took the Bean to meet Santa this afternoon and watched happily as our big gal took her last picture by herself with Mr. Claus! Next year she’ll have a cute little 9 month old brother sitting next to her and the thought of that makes my heart want to burst into a million pieces!

We did another mini Santa shoot this year with our photographer Lindsey, who we adore. Our gal didn’t smile for Santa pics until we starting going to Lindsey and her husband and I’m not sure how she does it, but we always get the most beautiful, smiley picture of Gracie and Santa with them! I’ve framed my favorite Santa pic of the Bean in different decorative Christmas frames every year since her first Christmas. During the month of December, when the house is all festive and covered in Christmas, I display her collection of Santa pics on the entryway table and I LOVE looking at her with St. Nick through the years. It’s hard to believe that this will be her 5th Christmas! Time flies way to quick when you’re a parent!  

When Santa asked Grace what she wanted for Christmas, she responded, “I want a scooter to ride around the neighborhood and I would like for it to be pink, please”. I’m thinking that the Bean’s Gaga must be a mind reader because she has already purchased that very thing for her baby girl. Gracie’s going to be so excited!

My whole heart in one picture. ¤

And last but not least, Mama’s favorites of our stinker and St. Nick through the years! 

Happy 15 days until Christmas! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Gratitude List | 22 Weeks

In just 3 days we’ll be 22 weeks! Yay, yay, yay! Thanksgiving has come and gone and guess what is a mere 18 days away? Christmas, you guys! Christmas! I feel like there’s so much to be thankful for in our lives right now that I don’t even know where to begin. With that being said, and in the spirit of the holiday season, below is my 2016 gratitude list that I wanted to share because I’m feelin’ all the feels these days! But before you read on, please consider yourself warned… I’m in a happy, cheesy, over the top thankful place right now and I fear it borders on annoying… Sorry, not sorry! ;) 

1. I am thankful for the wish that worked

On the night before Thanksgiving, Georgia and I were doing dishes, mopping and running through our usual holiday host preparations. As we were cleaning the house, I came across something that immediately brought me to tears. Sitting on our kitchen window ledge behind a frame, was our turkey wishbone from last year. G had carved the turkey and set the wishbone aside for us, and when we made our wish on that cold afternoon, we didn’t even have to tell each other what we wished for. It went without saying that we were both wishing for a baby. By that point we were almost 2 years into ttc #2 and had officially decided to take a break for a year or possibly forever from trying with me. Our hearts were beaten up and fragile and we were slipping into a place of negativity. Still, despite all of these things, we somehow held onto our faith and still had hope. I don’t know how we did because it seriously felt like everything that could have gone wrong last year did and yet, we believed that our family wasn’t complete and our baby was still making his or her way to us. When I found our wishbone from last year, it filled my heart with feelings of gratitude and happiness knowing that there was a plan for our family that we did not yet know. Who would have thought that our 2015 wishbone would be our wish that worked! 

2. I am thankful for the health of my children

I think this is the first time that I’ve referred to Grace and baby boy as my children. Just writing that makes me so happy! I feel that good health is something many of us don’t think about, especially if we’re blessed to not have to think about it. This past week we received the most unbelievably amazing news from Gracie’s cleft lip medical team. We went in to have our consultation with the Bean’s Pediatric Oral Surgeon regarding operation #3, dental surgery following her 5th birthday. The appointment required that we complete a ton of paperwork; they examined Gracie’s mouth, teeth and gums and took a bunch of x-rays. Following the complete examination, Gracie’s surgeon came in to tell us that she would NOT need a 3rd cleft operation when she’s 5!!!!!!!!!!!!! No major bone graphing/dental surgery, no harvesting bone from her little hip and no hospital stays for our sweet girl! It appears that the tooth that grew in the split in her gum (that they said would never come in) has pushed her bone into place and will continue to do so as she grows! They told us that they will reevaluate yearly but all looks great and just like that, our minds were blown. Even at 4 ½ years old, our sweet gal had already started stressing about the operation, even though we very rarely brought it up. She would ask questions about it all the time wanting us to explain to her just exactly how much it would hurt, so to be able to tell her that there would be no surgery – well there are just no words for how incredible that felt to say, for us mama bears. God is good. 

And the good health news doesn’t stop there! In our 20-week anatomy scan, not only did everything about our little dude look and measure perfectly, but we were also able to confirm that the blood test was correct and he is most definitely a boy! He showed us his beautiful face, which is something Grace didn’t do until G was 28-weeks. His upper lip looked just as we hoped, cleft free! :)

3. I am thankful for Our Village of friends and family

They say it takes a village to raise a child and I couldn’t agree more! Grace is in her 3rd and last year at her preschool and even though we’re only half-way through the school year, It makes me so sad to think of the day we have to say farewell to her teachers, school buds and all of the amazing parents we’ve meet throughout her pre-k years. Georgia and I have become close friends with many of the parents and have just loved watching our gal build friendships with truly kind kiddos her age. It’s been the most amazing experience and we can’t wait for W to be a student there, one day too! I know our little dude will love it as much as Gracie did!

Gracie’s amazing school, the overwhelming love and support of her grandparents and all the aunties, uncles and friends who have showered our gal with love over the years have helped to shape her future in ways they will never truly understand. To say she is blessed would be an understatement!

4. I am thankful for our super speedy pregnancy this round!

I mean really, how are we nearly 22 weeks? I know that many people who read this will think, well of course it’s been fast for you… you’re not the one pregnant! The thing is, even Georgia feels that it’s flying by! We’re already passed the half-way point, coming up on 22 weeks and come the week of Christmas, we’ll reach *Viability* @ 25 weeks! Talk about the best Christmas present a parent could ask for! I know W is healthy and doing great, but I’m still itching to get to week 25, which I’m sure will come fast!

5. I am thankful for my selfless wife and our 7 years of marriage

The wife and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary, which is just crazy! We kept it low key and stayed in, as is always the preference of homebodies like us. This 7th one really snuck up on me! With our anniversary falling so close to Christmas, we wanted to forgo gifts this year so that we could purchase our dream dishwasher and that’s exactly what we did! You know you’re officially an old married couple when you would prefer to purchase new appliances rather than get jewelry, haha! Seeing G pregnant again has made me fall even more in love with her (because she’s seriously the cutest prego ever) and even though there have been many times this pregnancy that I’ve feared that G may smother me with a pillow in my sleep, there is no one I would rather have as my person. Love you baby.

And here are a few more pictures from our Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving celebrations! Even Gracie got in on the action and prepared a feast of her own! Wishing you all an amazing December with your loved ones!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Turning 35 & Nursery Planning!

Yes, true story… I’m officially 35 years old. I am now mid-thirties and there’s no denying it because I also have two white hairs to prove it’s true. But before we get into that, I have super exciting news…

My beautiful wife is now HALFWAY through this pregnancy! Georgia is 20 weeks, feeling way less barfy, a little less sleepy and looking more pregnant everyday. I feel like there’s so much for us to do and not enough time to do it and yet here we are, halfway to the finish line! I haven’t posted a real pregnancy update since 17 weeks and a lot has happened since then. I’ll share more in a Thanksgiving post this week but until I get around to that, here’s a little nursery update.

As I shared in our pregnancy journal post, Georgia and I have been collecting special things for this little guy since before we even had Gracie. In 2010, when we really started taking steps toward growing our family, I was shopping in a craft store one afternoon and came across this amazing painting of a little boy astronaut in outer space in front of all the planets. I loved it so much I dropped the $$$ and left with it that day. When I brought it home, G loved it too but thought I was cray for buying it before we even purchased sp.erm, haha! Who knows, maybe I am a little crazy and I did end up returning it, but guess what? This crazy lady really is having a son now and guess what his nursery theme is going to be? Outer Space!
I would be lying if I said we haven’t gone a bit overboard with getting started on baby boy’s room. G and I totally have and I don’t even care if it’s too much because planning a nursery is so dang fun! Our first purchase was a piece of string art of a blue rocket ship in a white boxed out frame. We then found these awesome moon rock bookends that look they were found on some far off planet! We have little hanging IKEA bookshelves that we’re going to paint red or white, or maybe yellow. The wifey has a black globe that she’s had since before we met that’s going to look so awesome in little man’s room. We also found a collection of four paintings of aliens and space-ish stuff and they’re adorbs! They match the cutest silver and glass knobs that look like planet Earth that we used to replace the boring brown knobs that were on the changing table drawers.

My two favorite things we’ve picked out for baby boy came from The Land of Nod, which is mama’s absolute favorite children's furniture and bedding shop. The company designs the majority of their items themselves and everything is made in the US, which I also LOVE. Above is a picture of our one and only Black Friday purchase and we didn’t even have to leave the house! I mean, how adorable is this bedding? I’m obsessed! Below is the comfy little seat we picked out for W’s reading corner. Gracie couldn’t stop touching it when the package arrived and is already talking about “reading to brother” on this little pouf. Be still, my heart!

Now, if only we could decide on a paint for the nursery! How are there so many blues and we can’t even decide if we want blue… Thankfully we still have a few months to figure it out.

So, on to the big 3-5! My wife is amazing and made this special birthday of mine so great! She started my morning with gifts and birthday cards, one of which had a special note from Gracie. This is the first birthday that my sweet girl actually wrote me a little birthday note. Heart melts!

I spent part of my birthday week celebrating with the Bean’s class on her school field trip to the museum. We had Halloween treats, listened to storytellers and ran around like crazy. After the fieldtrip, I took my gal on a mama & daughter date to the mall where we shared ice cream, visited Build-a-Bear and did some BIG sister shopping! Its days like this that make me wish so badly that I was a stay at home mom (even though I do realize that it isn’t all shopping and fun outings). I like to pretend that this is what life would be like if I got to hang out with my 4 year old all day, lol!

The big surprise Georgia had up her sleeve for me was a weekend getaway to Buffalo Thunder Resort! It was gorgeous, our room was amazing with an incredible view and even though we arrived later than we planning and completely forgot Gracie’s luggage at the front door (at home), it was an absolute blast!

We ordered room service, had the best gourmet coffee, ate delicious food and shopped our little hearts out! Of all of these things though, I would have to say that swimming in their indoor/outdoor heated pool and hanging in our cabana was my favorite part! Grace swam the entire time back and forth across the pool, by HERSELF and made me so proud!

Wifey-poo got some napping in thanks to the most comfortable beds on the planet! As in, I wanted to steal one and take it home! We went to the Plaza, introduced Grace to the world of marbles and satisfied G’s craving for chocolate at the coolest chocolate cafĂ© that even served chocolate covered ginger chews. It was like killing two birds with one stone! Ginger for the barfiness + chocolate for my wife’s chocolate craving = one happy Mommy. :)

We ended our weekend getaway visiting the Meow Wolf Exhibit in Santa Fe, which was the weirdest, coolest thing ever! They were having a special Halloween event, which meant we got to spend as much time as we wanted exploring! It was so much fun and was the first time that I really noticed G’s baby belly, as she ran around after Gracie!

You can totally see it in the last picture posted below. Oh, my happy heart!
35 is going to be an amazing year!

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