LET'S RECAP THE YEAR | 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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January 
+ M's little sister came to visit. We love her so!
+ But shiny new latte bowls from Anthropologie and Harry Potter stamps brightened that week up!
+ There was lots of Downton Abbey screentime.
+ Lia snipped off the teeniest strands of her hair at preschool.
+ A snowday around here consisted of icy temperatures, a few flurries and a mid-week break from life!
+ And, I started this "currently" series which I badly hope to restart in the new year.

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February
+ We transitioned L to a big girl bed & I still think it's amazing.
+ I posted this quote and I should really repost it!
+ M went back to working only one job (yay!) and we reclaimed some family time at the beach.
+ Life this month was full of Barbie movies, peanut butter sandwiches and dress-up all day, every day.
+ My girl and I made some fun animal valentines for her friends at school.
+ And our sweet guy pretended to go to work on Valentine's Day so he could really come back home with flowers and gifts for us! He sure does make us swoon pretty often.
+ This maxi dress made it's appearance and it is STILL her favorite.
+ And I shared a peak into L's room!

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March 
+ I wrote about finding grace in motherhood.
+ There was the time M said this to L!
+ We spent a perfect morning at the beach with friends.
+ The daffodil farm opened up and we happily picked a bunch!
+ My girl and I took an afternoon off from everyday life to explore a fun, local area.

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April 
+ We took L to her first circus!
+ This beauty came to live in our home.
+ We spent more time at the beach & enjoyed the best subs from a local shop.
+ Our girl started soccer and loved it!
+ Lia discovered Polly Pockets, there were trips to the farmers market and a fun little weight-loss bet between the hubs and I.
+ We celebrated Easter.

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May
+ We tried to spend lots of simple weeknights at the beach.
+ L finally got her new swing set and since then it's used as a pirate ship, a place to hang piñatas and the main entertainment for her & some friends.
+ A fun afternoon at Mayfest.

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June
+ And she made the most perfect rose in her ballet studio's production of Alice in Wonderland.
+ We spent the best week in New York!
+ We celebrated Father's Day.

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July
+ I shared moments from our New York visit here and here and here.
+ Lia spent a week in North Carolina and I soaked up the first trimester and a growing baby bump.
+ We went to the zoo!
+ And ate as much Rita's as we could.

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August 
+ Our girl had a rough start to another soccer season and we made the decision to pull her out.
+ There was homemade mini donuts, more cardboard projects and adjusting to summer being over and my second trimester!
+ My birthday was full of Rita's, cake and family time!
+ We taped up a large piece of paper to the wall, gave L watercolors and watched as she made her masterpiece over a few days.
+ It's a boy!
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September 
+ This month came with a messy house and crunchy apples.
+ We painted the house gray!
+ And did some shopping for our little guy.
+ I felt tiny baby kicks for the first time!
+ Lots of The Good Wife screen time.
+ I embraced my baby bump with some boyfriend jeans.
+ We celebrated Toby the dachshund turning seven!
+ We went apple picking in North Carolina and stopped at Ikea for some must-haves.

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October 
+ Mini pumpkins galore.
+ Pregnancy and being sick do not mix well.
+ Oktoberfest in Savannah.
+ I landed in the ER again with breathing problems.
+ We went trick-or-treating!

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November 
+ The guest room was turned into the perfect room for our little guy.
+ I read (and loved!) Gone Girl.
+ We enjoyed cool days, crunchy leaves and time at the farmers market and park with friends!
+ We celebrated Thanksgiving in North Carolina.

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December 
+ We decorated the house for Christmas with our handmade decorations and a tiny silver tree for Lia.
+ Lia sang Rudolph the Red-Nose reindeer almost daily and requested Karmin's Sleigh Ride every time we got in the car.
+ We chopped down our tree.
+ I had a baby sprinkle for Nicolas.
+ There was a trip to our favorite ice cream shop, lots of Pipsi the Elf fun (or dread!), plenty of crafts and a very cheerful little girl ready for Christmas.
+ Lia played a candy cane in her ballet studio's production of The Littlest Nutcracker!
+ And we took her to see The Nutcracker ballet!
+ We celebrated Lia's birthday.
+ I made a lot of mini piñata for our girl's birthday party!
+ And another magical Christmas happened.

2014 was good. SO good. It's our last year as a family of three and it was a year full of embracing life and all of it's ups and downs. It was a harder year as I adjusted to being pregnant while still being there for Lia. But when I look back after writing this post, I see all the calm and happiness that was wrapped up in this whirlwind year we've had.

2015 is right on it's heels and I know it's only going to bring new changes for our family. Changes we'll love and embrace and hope for more. Let's do this 2015, show us all the love and good and madness you've got for us.

FIFTY-TWO | FIFTY-TWO

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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We're rounding out the end of this pregnancy and this girl is in L.O.V.E with her brother. 

We're also rounding out the end of this project. I'll see you in the new year with a new round of it!

I'm doing this series - a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014. Follow along, link up & find more from this project here

THE CHRISTMAS POST

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Christmas came and was full of magic, twinkly lights and lots of family time. Christmas Eve was full of traditions - driving around town to see lights, leaving cookies for Santa (and carrots for the reindeer!), opening new pajamas, a spaghetti dinner (a tradition we started the year Lia was born) and a long night of wrapping presents!

Lia isn't much of an open all the presents at one time kind of gal. She opens one and then has to play with it. Or find all her old toys to bring down and join in the fun. So, opening presents took us a few hours and I have to say I'm glad we didn't buy more than what we did (which was probably too much already!). She got her Barbie Dreamhouse and has been playing with it every day since. The cutest part is when she cleans the inside up when she's done so Santa can see how good she is taking care of her new toy! Her other favorite is her new doll that's been on every errand with us since.

It was a simple, mostly quiet morning with hot chocolate and snowman pancakes. It was cool enough to test out our new fireplace for a little while and we spent most of the day on the sofa or playing with L. I even squeezed in some party piñata making!

It's pretty crazy to know this was our last Christmas as a family of 3 and the year has almost rounded out. Here's to a festive, happy holiday down and looking forward to a new year!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIA!

Monday, December 29, 2014

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And just like that, she turned five.

It's 8:30 at night, we just finished the dinner, cupcake and birthday song round. She's currently playing with her new princess dolls and lucking out with a late bedtime.

Earlier this evening, we surprised her with a trip to the movies to see Annie. She deemed it "not a bad idea" and I called it a win. Cozying up with my loves in a dark movie theatre watching one of the cutest movies I have seen lately wasn't a bad way to celebrate our girl turning 5 on this gray, rainy day. I pretty much let Lia do whatever she wanted this morning including watching too much TV and dragging all her toys onto a big pile of pillows and blankets on the living room floor.

The birthday girl requested macaroni and cheese with deviled eggs for her big birthday dinner. The girl knows what she wants! We cooked up a quick dinner after the movie and stuck a few candles into store-bought cupcakes and called tonight a festive celebration. Her party comes on Saturday but today is the day that holds my heart.

Happy Birthday, babycakes. You continue to amaze me every day. I'm so thankful I was chosen for you and you were chosen for me. You are forever my little sidekick!

FIFTY-ONE | FIFTY-TWO

Friday, December 26, 2014

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A sweet (and slightly awkward) moment I captured of my girl a few moments after she had a little nervous meltdown and backed out of joining in on a round of "Pin the nose on Olaf" at a birthday party. Attention is still not her thing!

I'm doing this series - a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014. Follow along, link up & find more from this project here

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

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Merry Christmas Eve, friends! Things have been busy around here leaving me scatterbrained and pretty sure there's something major I'm forgetting to do before tomorrow. In any case, here's hoping I didn't but I'm sure tomorrow will be magical either way.

Today my to-do list feels like it's a mile long before we have some family fun later tonight. Between tidying up rooms, party prep for L (hello, mini pinatas!), last minute gift wrapping, stockings to stuff,  remembering to eat and a million bathroom breaks (hello, last few weeks of pregnancy...), I feel crazy.

BUT, Christmas magic? It's happening. Our advent calendar was a huge hit around here and we all had so much fun opening a new house each morning to discover a small treat or a fun activity. We painted ornaments, made lots of treats, donated toys and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. We took Lia to the North Pole (AKA Bass Pro Shop) to meet Santa and it was the first year she had her picture taken without one of us holding her! Twinkly lights brighten up the gray, rainy days we're having and we finally have a working fireplace. I'm excited to sit down and open our stockings by a roaring fire tomorrow morning. Stockings were always my favorite part of Christmas. My mom did them up big and right. And since M and I don't usually exchange gifts, we fill up a stocking for each other!

And after all the holiday cheer ends tomorrow night, we get to celebrate our sweet girl turning five (!), throw her a very fun party, welcome a new year and a new baby. Things are getting exciting around here even if most days I can be found with a top knot and yoga pants willing myself to get up and do something or clean anything!

From our family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays wherever and however you celebrate this time of year!

THE NUTCRACKER

Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Our girl loves her ballet. She's always twirling and practicing on her tip-toes. So, we thought taking her to The Nutcracker would be a fun tradition to start. It was sort of a last-hurrah as getting some really good alone time with mom and dad before we turn her world upside down!

And to be honest, she loved being surprised and she loved sitting in the balcony of a fancy theater eating sour patch kids and she loved parts of the show. But parts were lost on her and she was overtired and yeah. Let's just say we're the parents that let our kid lay on the floor in front of us during the show. But when she was excited, she was excited! And it really made it all worth it.

THE LITTLEST NUTCRACKER

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Our girl starred in her second production of The Littlest Nutcracker. Honestly, I was a little bummed knowing she wasn't the tiniest ballerina on the stage anymore. But, she was the cutest candy cane! And she takes herself so serious on stage. I'm always in awe at how she can focus so well on her part and not stress the room filled with people watching her! My mama heart literally explodes every time I watch her on that stage. I may have been trying really hard to hold back the tears this year too...

After, we snapped a few photos and we took her out for a her-choice dinner. Which meant Chick-Fil-A, because it's forever and always her favorite.

Here's to a great Spring season of ballet coming up!