Sunday, December 18, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Day Six

Six Geese a-Laying: Gifts Galore

This Christmas will be quite different for us with the gift-giving because now it's all about Lucas.  Both sets of families will be spoiling him rotten with who knows how many gifts.  Will there be a bunch of toys that a two month old won't be able to play with until later next year?  Will there be a ton more outfits that will make him even more handsome?  How about more diapers, bath stuff, bottle stuff, etc?  What I do know is that our car will be full of so much to carry back home with maybe at least 75% of it being Lucas' stuff.  That's okay.  It really is all about Lucas.

I do have to say that most of the gifts we've purchased are for other family members and very few for Lucas.  I guess the mindset is that everyone else will be giving him so much, as well as he is still so new and received so many gifts the past few months.  I know I'm running out of ideas of what to get for him.

And because of Lucas' arrival seven weeks ago and the bills we are starting to see we are trying to keep this Christmas a little on the small side.  Although I have to say that there may have been some splurges.  I could probably even tell you the "big" gift I got Hubby this year since he doesn't read my blog.  But I shouldn't take that chance.  I will say that the retail value of the gift is pretty pricey but that I got it on a deep discount and with a rebate, so I did stay within our predetermined price range.  It also has a few accessories.  I think he'll be really surprised!

Ooh, and what do we have here??  Remember how I said previously that my stocking is the green one?  Well it already has a few gifts in it!  I wonder if they are from Hubby and Lucas??  Any guesses on what they might be?  I guess we will just have to find out Christmas morning.  :)

As you can see from the photos above the pile of gifts is larger than our actual tree!  Check out tomorrow's blog hop post to continue with the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge.

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Day Five

Five Golden Rings: Decor and Baubles

Again, we are having a "small" Christmas at my house this year since we are actually going to celebrate at our families' homes instead of ours.  So I decided not to get carried away and break out everything from our Christmas storage boxes. 

In addition to our Christmas tree (which by the way, we added a few more special ornaments from my parents), I also have the wreath hanging from our door outside.  It was a great find from last year and I kinda like it.  I also have a Santa standing up in our entrance/foyer.  He's cute.

Of course, we also have our stockings up.  We do have a mantle but it's kind of small and we have our recliner sitting in front of it with no way to really position it temporarily.  So I am hanging our stockings from our entertainment center - it totally has a huge "mantle" at the top and looks even better with them hanging from it anyway. 

The three stockings in the middle are the most special as I made them myself several years ago when I got married.  I also have a matching tree skirt which is still in the works Mom was making it for me because it seemed to be a bit more complicated for me, she's the expert!  BUT...she never finished it.  It's still at her house though pieced together waiting for some TLC to complete it.  It hasn't been too big of a deal the past few years since we've had a small artificial tree.  Hopefully we can get it completed after this Christmas so that we can get a real big tree to showcase the tree skirt next year!

Back to the stockings however!  The red one is for my Hubby, the green one for me (my favorite color) and thus the golden one would be little Lucas' stocking.  Off to the sides are some furrfriendly stockings; to the left with the doggy on it of course belongs to our Miley Jane.  To the right would be a joint stocking for our cats, Oliver and Elijah.  And the stockings are hung by some cute holders.  (Disregard my dying plant on top!)

I also have a huge nativity scene that I really didn't think I had the room to set up this year, BUT it's such a great set that I found a place for it so I can show it off.  We never use our dining room table anyway!  I picked up this set several years ago when we lived in Wisconsin.

That's pretty much what I have for decor this year and hopefully next year we can have something bigger and better.  Check out more about this blog hop here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Day Four

Four Calling Birds: Holiday Cards

We typically send out the generic holiday cards that come in those boxed packs that are really cheap.  No reason to get all fancy, right?  It's only on those rare special occasions that we splurge.  So over the last six years that my hubby and I have been married we have only customized two cards for the holidays.  We've only had two special occasions in that time...well, three really, but we didn't send out a holiday card the year we got married.  Enough money was spent in 2005!

2007: The year we adopted my Miley Jane from a lovely farm.  We lived in Wisconsin at the time and had settled into our new home.  We had my orange tabby, PeeWee, who was nearly 15 years old (and coincidentally she was also born on Christmas all those years ago).  I had her FOREVER.

Miley was, of course, named after the famous singer...  She's half Border Collie and the other half consists of one eighth German Shepard, one eighth Rottweiler, and the final quarter is a mixture of two Labs.  Everyone of course notices the German Shepard.

So to the right is our Holiday Card for 2007.  Don't hate on the outfits I made them wear!

2011: The year our son, Lucas, was born.  Writing this makes it sound like it was so long ago, but he's not even seven weeks old yet.  I actually already posted a blog about this Holiday Card just last week.

I chose three photos in progression, starting with my lovely Maternity days resulting in our brand new baby and then ending with a soft photo of his feet in my hubby's hand.  (I took so many pictures just to get the right shot!)

I haven't actually sent out this year's card just yet, but it should be out in the mail by tomorrow.  I know y'all are anxious to get it.  Now that we are a family we may need to think about creating customized Holiday Cards every year from here on out.  I'm actually looking forward to it!

Happy Blog Hopping - continue to check out the rest of the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge and view others through here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Day Three

Three French Hens: Holiday Travel

As I mentioned in yesterday's "Loved Ones" Challenge, our travel plans this Christmas include visiting both sets of families, mine and my hubby's.

First, we plan on driving the 2.5 hours to my parents home in the Charlotte area and spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning enjoying each other's company.  Most importantly it will be my baby's first Christmas so all the attention will be on him.  (He will be spoiled rotten I'm sure!) 

It will just be us along with my parents and my two older brothers.  The majority of my extended family lives in New Jersey so we won't be able to celebrate with them.  It would be nice to see snow this Christmas and let's face it, there's a much better chance of that in Jersey than down here in the South.  But it's not impossible!  Here's a picture of last year's White Christmas at my parent's (in the South!).

That's not just a small dusting either.
Christmas 2010

And then after our early morning celebrations we will be traveling back the 2.5 to 3 hours to my sister-in-law's home.  Her family of three plus my parents-in-law and other brother-in-law will be waiting for us to get there around lunchtime so we can begin our own celebration.  Again, the new baby along with his nearly two-year-old cousin will be the focus of course.  (Always about the kids!)  And I'm sure yet again, baby will be spoiled rotten... 

Here's a picture of their tree (the top portion anyway).

That's all the traveling we haved planned for Christmas, then back to the sister-in-law's house again for New Year's Eve celebrations with a bunch of my hubby's cousins, aunts and uncles.

If you haven't started your own 12 Days of Christmas Challenge yet then you are already behind - better catch up!  Here are the details again for you to get started.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Day Two

Two Turtle Doves: Loved Ones

This year we live centrally in the state and so now we are in the middle of both sets of families.  A very BIG plus.  So now it's just a few hours to visit either grandparents.

The plan this Christmas is to visit my family first, spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with them.  Hopefully we will be enjoying a scrumptious deep-fried turkey this year on Christmas Eve!  I hope they like their gifts.

Then late morning we will be treking back near our house to visit my in-laws.  We won't actually be going all the way to my in-laws house but instead we will be celebrating at my sister-in-law's home, and fortunately she lives nearby.  So just a few short hours and we should be at her place Christmas afternoon.  Just in time to exchange our set of gifts and eat another yummy Christmas meal.  Hmm, what will we have there?  Maybe a nice ham?  Or another turkey?  Can't wait to find out...I'm getting hungry!

Unfortunately I don't have too many Christmas family photos that are digital, but this Christmas you better believe we will take tons.  So I'll leave you now with a family photo from Christmas' Past!

Totally 80's...soooo, I'm holding a JEM doll!
Again, don't forget to try out the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge yourself. Check out the details here.

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Day One

Today starts the 12 Days of Christmas.  I found this Blog Challenge online so let's try it out!  You can also find the details of this challenge here.

ONE...The Partridge in the Pear Tree.  For this challenge it begins with "Christmas Trees".

I have collected several new ornaments over the past few years; those that I have found on my own to mark something special to me and those that have been given to me to mark a special occasion.  I'd like to show you some...
About two years ago I was searching and searching for some ornaments for my "kids" which of course at the time were my pets.  I finally found some that are the closest I could find that resemble them. 
And then this year we had our most important life change to date...we had a BABY.  Yeah, one of those really changes EVERYTHING.  So for Luke's first Christmas we have several new ornaments to put on our tree.

I have to preface these first two by saying that anyone that knows me knows that I like turtles.  So given that tidbit...  The first image is a representation of the three of us as a family.  The second is my little hatchling, representing baby Luke.

But of course I had to get an actual Personalized ornament as well...

And then there are the Baby's First Christmas ornament(s).  The first one we received from my in-laws, Grammy and Granddaddy, which I put Luke's recent picture with Santa.  The second one we haven't actually received yet...but I know that my parents, Nana and Papa, have it and should be giving it to us real soon!  ;)

Those are the most special ornaments on our Christmas Tree currently.  We actually have a really tiny tree right now for various reasons so we don't have much more than those and some standard balls.  Here is the finished look.

So don't forget to try out the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge yourself.  Check out the details here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Keeping in Touch

We live just a few hours away from both of Lucas' grandparents so we don't see them too often.  Both of them live in the opposite direction on either side of the state so we have to plan our weekends to see either family.  

In order to keep in touch with my parents we try to video chat every few days.  Some times Lucas cooperates - wide-eyed and cooing.  And sometimes fast asleep.  Tonight Nana and Papa got to see him at his best.  Look at those handsome eyes!

Hi Nana!!  Hi Papa!!  Look how much I've grown!  I can't wait to see you this weekend.  :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Six Weeks to Daycare

First I have to say...  Happy Six Weeks Lucas!!

We have made it to six weeks of age, and you know what that means?  DAYCARE.  Yes, he is now old enough for daycare!  Now, the only thing is that I'm currently a Stay-at-Home-Mommy so we don't actually need daycare.  But a girl could dream, right?!

So on this special occasion, here's a little video of my Baby Lucas for all to view.  :) 

Caption: "Mommy!!  I'm HUNGRY!!  I want more of the BOOB!! 
No, you can't go get something to eat for yourself - you have to feed ME!!"

Footnote: This 35 second video took FOREVER to upload.

His Majesty

His Majesty would be Lucas, especially the past few days.  GROWTH SPURT - yet again.  Last time all he wanted to do was eat and sleep, but this time he just wanted to eat and NOT sleep.  (Except at night, he still sleeps soundly through the night, and yes, I'm going to rub it in!)

 So the last few days have been a bit more exhausting.  No time to do anything but feed and feed and feed His Majesty.  And of course, the first day of this growth spurt Daddy was out of town for work and got home late in the evening.  As soon as he walked in that door the shift changed.  Have fun Daddy!!  ...that would have been nice but no, I still helped out.
And the second day fortunately Daddy was home.  YAY!!  So I got to go run a few errands, did some Christmasy stuff, got a book from the library, but oh, I forgot to pick up stamps.  Add that to the next list...  But at least I got a break!  So for Daddy he may have been a little devilish.  Hehe.  Wouldn't that have been fun for Daddy?
The decorative bibs you see in this blog, and you may see others in the future, are courtesy of Friends and Family from one of our baby showers.  Don't they look like they were made with LOTS of LOVE?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa's an East Carolina Fan

I met Santa last night!  Most importantly of course was that Lucas met Santa too, although he probably wouldn't remember much since all he wanted to do was sleep.  But we have proof indeed...

We went with Lucas' cousin Payton and of course her parents are East Carolina fans and one of them happened to be wearing an ECU sweatshirt.  Santa commented on that to me so he must be a Pirate fan.  Too bad.  GO NINERS!

So my little turtle couldn't put his hands down away from his face in the pictures.  Yes, that's normal.  Apparently he came into the world that way.  Must be a comfort thing.  But he's so darn cute!

All in all I'd say they both did really well with Santa.  No crying, nope, nada.  They were both very well behaved.  And, Santa, yeah he was too.  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baby's Day In - Mama's Day Out

Today I got to run around town and do some shopping while Hubby spent some time at home with Baby.  FREEDOM!!  It is SO much easier to get stuff done when you don't have to tote around a baby with carrier and diaper bag.  Not that I'm complaining!...Just definitely a time saver...

Anywho, I got a little bit of Christmas shopping done for my family and I have some custom gifts in mind to work on so I stopped by here and picked up some crafty stuff to do.  But for what I have in mind I have a deadline of Saturday in order for it to be completed by Christmas.  No procrastinating here!

I suppose whatever I don't get done today for Christmas shopping will just have to be ordered online.  It's just easier that way.  Hooray for!  Now only if the Hubby would stop opening the boxes that are delivered to the house before I get to them.  Yeah, he did that - that's one less surprise for him.

Now I'll leave you with a picture of my boys!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My very own kind of "Newborn"

Yeah, I'm new to this blogging thing, can't you tell?  And I have to say that this was my brother's idea, so blame Nicholas Brown!  <insert picture of the two of us actually getting along below>

The main reason for this blog is actually to keep family and friends updated on Lucas' progress.  At least that is my intention for now.  Who knows?  Maybe it will evolve.  Perhaps I should say it is to keep family and friends updated on "Our Family's progress" instead.  Yeah, that sounds better.  Even though everyone really just wants to see tons and tons more pictures of Lucas...  Yeah, I know your priorities people!

So we'll just have to see how it goes.

The Holiday Card

So we don't usually send out customized cards but this year we've had a very big reason to do so.  It was finally time to create the holiday card for 2011, and of course, the most important occurrence for the year was our new addition.  Thus, Lucas is the feature of the card!

So if you want one you better hope I have your address!  Otherwise you'll miss out and will have to wait for next year.

Stationery card

Mod Snowflakes Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.
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