Monday, December 21, 2015

{2015 Family Pictures}

Growing up, my mom was pretty much obsessed with having professional pictures taken of us kids. With that being said, if you’ve followed this blog for any short period of time, you know that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree… I too am a bit obsessed with capturing pictures of this beautiful little family of mine. Knowing this, you can imagine my shock when the wife told me that her family only had their portrait taken once when she was younger than Gracie and her brother was around 6 or 7 years old. I’ve seen these pictures and they are adorable, but even Georgia wishes she had more photos of her with her parents and brother to hold on to.

There’s just something about looking back on the wonder years when your family was in its infancy and full of new beginnings that will completely melt your heart, no matter how much time has passed.

This conversation that we had all those months ago planted a seed and I knew we needed to remedy the situation all these years later. When we found out that Gracie’s uncles were visiting for Thanksgiving, the timing was just too perfect not to get everyone together for a family photo shoot! I thought I would possibly get some kick back from my FIL because he’s not really a photo shoot kind of guy, but even he seemed excited at the idea! Yay, major points for this daughter-in-law. ;)

Our amazing family photographer cleared some time on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and met us in Old Town to run around capturing memories for us! The weather was nice considering it was late November. Gracie was rested and even my father-in-law who hadn’t taken a professional picture in 35+ years, was all smiles. Lindsey took around 150 (again, she’s amazing) but I’ll save you from having to look through that many, lol!

I’ve managed to narrow it down to my top 20(ish) absolute favorites! I love these pictures and the family I was blessed to have married into. No family is perfect… but these humans are pretty darn close to it. They welcomed me in and have loved and supported me for the past decade. I absolutely know how blessed I am to have that.  

“Family is like music. Some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Visiting Santa!

Last Christmas we found the most amazing Santa! We discovered our super Santa photo shoot the year following our last time ever taking Gracie to meet Santa at the mall. Now please believe me when I say that mall Santas are pretty darn cool. I think we just ran into some bad luck overall when it came to visiting Santa at the mall. One year the crowd was sooo bad. It was full of pushy, angry people and the overall experience was rushed and stressful… Basically the opposite of what a visit to the North Pole should be. Then, year before last we braved the mall crowds for the last time, paid the ridiculously over-priced cost of digital prints on a CD, only to get home and discover that our pictures weren’t on the CD! I was so mad but amazingly, after many calls to the mall, we got our pictures. After all of this we came across an ad for a local photographer this past year advertising a different kind of Santa experience, and we jumped at it!

The photographer, Lindsey has since become a good photo biz friend of ours and basically loves our little gay family. She always wants G and I to jump into a few of Gracie’s Santa pictures and happily posts them on her Photography Facebook page. We absolutely love her and the entire Santa experience she’s creates for us!

The Bean was totally into her Santa visit this year. We talked about what she wanted to ask for and how our visit would go. She still wanted to make sure that both G and I would be near but she really wasn’t afraid. She planned to tell Santa what a good girl she had been and she wanted to ask for Barbies and princess dresses. She told us that she wanted to ask for a Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Princess Jasmine dress, to which we explained that she could ask for one thing from Santa... Not five things. Still, when it came down to it, she was whispering in Santa’s ear for quite some time so I’m pretty sure she asked for it all, haha!

This family picture was our photographer’s idea and because all the other parents were doing it, we figured, why not! There’s no shame in this family’s game!

As we hung around the North Pole, aka the pizza shop patio where the pictures were taken, we enjoyed some hot chocolate and cookies. Grace ran around like crazy peeking through the fence at families talking to Santa having a good old time. She had an absolute blast!

Our beautiful girl. :)

This was a busy afternoon because we also went to the Welcome Home Parade for Holly Holm. You know, the girl who beat Ronda Rousey’s butt and won the title! Yup, she’s from New Mexico! Go Holly!

Happy 10 days until Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015


Every other year G’s brother and his boyfriend Chris alternate between visiting us here in New Mexico for Christmas or Thanksgiving and going to Houston to see Chris’ family. This year we had the boys for Thanksgiving, so we made the most of their visit and essentially blended two holidays into one. We ate turkey, visited Old Town to see the lighting of the Christmas tree. We took holiday family photos, hosted our family and got a kick start on decorating for Christmas. It was a little bit of turkey and a little bit of Santa and we all had a great time! Their visits are never long enough, but we certainly made the most of it. :)

Uncle Dean and his favorite niece having fun on picture day!

Fountain jumper.

For years the wife and I have talked about having pictures taken of our entire family. Not just me, Georgia and the Bean like we do every year, but Gracie’s grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles too. We’ve put family pictures off these past two years saying we would wait until baby number two arrived because we would, of course want our new little addition to be part of these very special photos. Then Christmas came and went (twice) and another 6 months passed. We didn’t expand our family but something else happened during this much needed break from TTC. We figured out that we’re done waiting. Waiting to get pregnant. Delaying vacations, in case we get pregnant… keeping jobs that don’t make us happy, in case we get pregnant… holding off on taking family pictures, until we add a new baby to the family… etc. There’s so much waiting (for some of us) when it comes to TTC and after 2 years of living in limbo, we were over it! It was time to move on. It was time to live in the now and not the future, so we took family photos of the entire gang! Now that our Christmas cards have been mailed out, I’ll share my favorites soon. I promise!

Georgia and I hosted the family for turkey day and if there is one thing I became so very certain of as friends and family came and went, it was that we need a bigger house! Once upon a time we put our house on the market but then pulled it back off when we decided to try IVF. Now that IVF is behind us, I’m thinking this house of ours will be back on the market within the next 2 years. When I think about adding another baby to the mix, I can’t possibly imagine where we would put that little babe and all the gear that would come along with him or her. This Thanksgiving the house was full for sure, but at the risk of sounding super cheesy – it was full of so much love.

Thanksgiving prep. Don’t you just love my wife’s boxers?!

She couldn’t possibly wait until the kids arrived to color.

What would Thanksgiving be without watching the Macy’s Day Parade! Watching the parade and the dog show in our jammies is a tradition that I hope lasts forever!

And only my kiddo would wait until 5 minutes before guests arrived to get into mama’s make-up.

Until next time, brother bears. :)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fun Food Friday {Thanksgiving}

I never thought I would say this, but lately Georgia has become the crafty one in our relationship! She's been making all kinds of cute stuff for Gracie's class and this turkey is just her latest creation. As parent volunteers we're tasked with providing snack for the classroom on our volunteer day. One parent has to bring a fruit or veggie and the other parent has to bring a grain or protein. G recently discovered this delicious gluten/dairy free popcorn and decided to bring that but also wanted to incorporate the Thanksgiving holiday. This is what she came up with - a popcorn stuffed turkey! Isn't it just the cutest?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A day at the fair!

Ok, so our day at the fair was weeks ago but still… Look how cute!

Our little stinker loves the fair and so does her Gaga! So every year we pile in the truck, drive down to the fair grounds and spend way too much money on food and rides that are in now way health for us, ha!

I easily rationalize our gluttonous behavior with the fact that we park far away from the entrance and walk for hours, so even with me eating a huge turkey drumstick and ice cream; the fair’s famous apple pie for Gaga and Grace and Georgia’s extra long corndog, it’s a total wash. No calorie counting for us! Not on fair day anyway. :)

This year our gal was a brave little one! She was not only wiling but also excited to climb up and get strapped into this big trampoline jumper and she didn’t get frightened once. Georgia on the other hand was freaking out the entire time, haha! I wanted to sling shot Grace higher while G wanted her off, so she ended up having a blast jumping at a reasonable and “safe” height.

We went to visit the Ronald McDonald’s Farm, which is a family favorite every year! With this being the Bean’s 3rd year visiting the fair, she looked like a total pro and knew exactly what she wanted to do during our visit. We checked out her favorite animals, climbed tractors, rode bikes, got our faces painted and gathered eggs and produce from different areas of the farm. We found a couple of really awesome books for the Bean and I was happy to see that instead of the farmers passing out sugary snacks like usual, they gave out apple slices this year. It was good to know our gal ate at least one health thing that day… ;)

Last year when we visited the fair Grace was dealing with some serious terrible twos and was newly potty trained, so our visit was pretty quick. This year we had a 3 ½ year old who can still be rather moody at times but doesn’t have to run to the bathroom every 30 minutes and has been tantrum free since early summer. Because of this, we decided to brave the mid-way for the first time and try out a few rides.

Normally I’m one to steer clear of the mid-way because it’s crowded, dirty and a lot of the rides look like they’re falling apart… But after reading that the fair grounds got a facelift and most of the kiddie rides were new, we gave it a try.

In a nutshell, Grace had an absolute blast. We spent the equivalent of a car payment from beginning to end but it was totally worth it. Such a fun day!

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