Friday, December 30, 2011

We had a Holly Jolly Christmas!
{It's the best time of the year!}

We had a fabulous Christmas this year! Grandma, Grandpa & Nana were here to celebrate Christmas morning when Julianna woke up to see what Santa brought her.
I can't say Julianna truly understood Christmas or Santa Claus. But she did get the concept of ripping open 'her' gifts... and that there were toys hiding behind the wrapping paper... then she wanted to open EVERYONE's gifts! Ripping open wrapping paper is funnnn!

Julianna is 19 months old now. She had fun opening gifts and playing with some of her new toys. It is 4 days later, and she still has yet to play with all her toys. One doll I was so sure she would love, she wants nothing to do with. Maybe she'll like it next month. She did however love most of her toys - more so than I was expecting. That made me a super-duper happy Mama! It made me feel great that everything we picked out (except that doll), she liked!

OK, so she did have a meltdown when we tried to get her to sit with Santa for pictures. Better luck next year. She was completely overwhelmed with too many gifts, too many people and too much going on around her on Christmas day. She had a Richter scale 10 meltdown right before Christmas dinner. I am thinking next Christmas will be less overwhelming for her, and more exciting because I think at 2 & 1/2 years old, she will totally "get" Santa Claus! (I hope I hope I hope!)

Here are some pictures from Christmas...

Santa took a couple bites of the cookie Julianna left for him!

                                          Oooh yeah - Santa left lot's of great stuff for Jules!

 Right before the frenzy of present opening began!

Here is the "Habba" doll that Julianna wants nothing to do with. She looks lonely doesn't she?!

Mickey & Minnie hanging out happily together. 
"Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" is her new love. She loves anything Mickey or Minnie. 

She loves her new Kitty Kat! 

Julianna enjoying her new "Anywhere" chair that Santa brought for her!

Julianna loves her Minnie Mouse shopping cart

Santa brought me the Speed light I was hoping for! (External Flash for my Canon T2i DSLR) 
I love it!! OK so it's not a toy for Julianna.... but I had to throw this in here. 

Julianna loves her Fisher Price barn and her Elephun ball popper!

Ooooh Alligator!

Bring on the gifts!! 

We love Rockin' Elmo! 

Ahhhh Elmo! 

Rip that box open!


"I love Christmas"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 11 from 2011...

And here we are.
Christmas is over. The Year is coming to an end. The New Year is about to start.
Time to look back at the last year at some fabulous memories from the past year!

This post is a linkup to Click it up a Notch's post "Top 11 from 2011" contest... (This is one of my favorite photography blogs!)
I am submitting my top 11 {kid or pet} images from the last year... she's got some pretty great prizes over there - this should be fun! (It's a random entry contest, not a photo contest). 

Here’s how it works:
-Go through your images from the past year and pick your favorite 11 images of your kids or pets. I remember when my dogs were my kids :O)
-Post your top 11 pictures on your blog or Flickr account starting December 28th through January 4th.
-Link up at with the link here at Click it Up a Notch, Click.Pray.Love or Naptime Momtog.
-Put our button on your post. If the button is not there you will not be eligible to win

Click It Up A Notch

Top 11 of 2011 

In choosing my top 11 pictures, which was a very difficult decision, I realized just how much Julianna has grown/changed in the last year. She has changed from this 7 month old chubby, 'barely sitting up' baby to a full-out running, climbing toddler at 19 months. Her face & body have changed so much in just one year! 

 1.) This was taken in March of 2011. I think it was one of the first good pictures I got of Julianna and Pepper. 

2). I like this picture from April of 2011 because you can see she is just starting to grow some curls in the back of her head! 

3). This was taken in the beginning of May at the park. Love her eyes here. I did notice her eyes were much bluer at the beginning of the year. They have turned into more of a hazel color now. Some days they look grayish blue and other days they look greenish. 

4). This was taken in August at the park. I love putting a hat on Julianna... she's a hat person for sure! 

5). This was taken at the park in August. Yeah, I love to take my camera to the park. I'm "that" mom. 

6). Windy - At the beach house in the Outer Banks, NC 

7). At the beach ... Julianna loves the beach! 

8).  Pepper looking so serious. 

9). Julianna smelling the flowers in the pumpkin patch 

10). Julianna and Daddy - one of my favorites. 

11). Saving the best for last. I just *LOVE* this picture! I think I might print & frame this one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Meme

OK I may have fibbed {just a little} about taking a Hiatus.
I had  to include this post before Christmas. I thought it was a fun idea.

My friend Stacia, over at FORTY SOMETHINGdid this post yesterday and I love it. I am 'borrowing' this Christmas Meme from her.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly paper. Unless it is a weird shaped gift. 

2. Real tree or Artificial? Fake. We used to get a real one - always had a real tree growing up too. Someone gave us our fake tree, so we tried it out... and now I hate to admit, I doubt we will be going back to a real tree ever! I love being able to put up the tree on thanksgiving and not worry about it shedding, drying up, catching on fire, watering it, and cleaning up needles for 5 months after we take it down.

3. When do you put up the tree? Right around Thanksgiving. I love putting it up as early as we can! 

4. When do you take the tree down? After New Years. By then, I am ready for my house to be back to normal.

5. Do you like eggnog? No. Yuck. 

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I am going to say my bike ... and my cabbage patch doll I was wanting sooo bad!

7. Hardest person to buy for? my friend's older kids. I have to ask them what they want b/c I have no clue. 

8. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter. I love buying her EVERYTHING. It's a sickness.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?  At least 4 of them in the attic. Our house is too small to put it up anywhere... 

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Hands down. I am a big email and text person but when it comes to Christmas, I love old fashioned cards you put in the mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A hair client from years ago gave me a clearly re-gifted little house that lights up from the dollar store. It looked as if someone gave it to her who had already re-gifted it, then it got run over, then her dog chewed on it, then it sat in her attic for years... then she re-gifted it to me - I guess it's the thought that counts. BUT she HAD to know that I knew she didn't buy it for me. 

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I love Elf. But my all time fav has to be "Rudolph" if that counts as a movie.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Right around thanksgiving... I do try to get mostly done by the 2nd week in December. I can't deal with the stress of last minute shopping. Blegh. 

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies. Cookies. Cookies. Turkey. Cookies. 

16. Lights on the tree? Multi-colored. They came with the tree pre-lit. I would have preferred white though.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I Love Michael Buble's songs this year. But my favorite songs are "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys.... then Sleighride & Winter Wonderland (by whoever)... oh and I LOVE the Vince Guaraldi Charlie Brown Christmas songs. I listen to that while I work. Very calming. I start with the Christmas music around thanksgiving! (Yeah, I am one of 'them'!) 

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home. I now understand why people with kids want to stay home on Christmas day. I get it totally.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Of course. (I have to sing the Rudolph song to do it)

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel. I would like a star. I nice silver one that lights up.

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Morning. 

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The fact that every day now has a name - like "Super Saturday" or "Green Sunday" or "Small business Saturday" - Almost as if those are new holidays in and of itself. The media ruins Christmas if you pay too much attention to the ridiculous commercialism. And those crazy people that stand on line for 4 days, so they can fight 50 other people for a tv that they save $10 on. Yep that's the holiday spirit.

23. Favorite Ornament theme or color?  Brian and I have all of our ornaments from when we were kids. Our parents gave them to us (and we will pass them down to Julianna for sure!) We call those the 'antique' ornaments. This year, we did not do any glass balls. We went with only the antiques and the tree looks very personalized & special. 

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I would say my favorite traditional dinner is Turkey.... but I also like spiral ham.... My mother in law has done Prime Rib a couple times, and that was delish too. Who am I kidding? I like it all!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I asked Santa for some camera 'stuff' and a lens.... but we'll see. I will be happy with anything Santa leaves under the tree for me :)  
I am blessed with the most beautiful daughter anyone could ask for - and the most fantastic husband in the world. I am thankful that everyone is healthy and we are not in need. There are so many local families even in our town alone that won't be able to give their children gifts at Christmas time, or won't be able to enjoy a big turkey on Christmas day like we have the luxury of having. I am thankful for everything we have. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

** Christmas Hiatus **

I am taking a little break while the holidays kick into full gear here! (Reality check - 9 days left!) 

I'll be back after the New Year. I just don't have enough time lately to write any meaningful posts or dedicate myself to this blog like I need to. I've been putting out some shabby stuff. 

I'll be taking plenty of pictures during the Christmas and will be sure to post plenty when I am back from Hiatus! This is going to be a fun Christmas for Julianna & for us. I can't wait to see her face on Christmas morning! 

I also want to mention how incredibly fortunate I am to have a healthy family & have each other during this holiday season. I've been seeing some pretty crappy & sad stuff in the news lately and it makes me thank God every day for everything & everyone that I am blessed with in my life. 

See you all real soon. 
Have a fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year! 

I leave you with some pictures of Julianna playing and a picture of our first ever outdoor lights. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Drawer...

Julianna has discovered "the drawer".

It's the drawer that holds her spoons, plastic plates & bowls. She has figured out what is in it, and she can reach it, open the drawer and pull out every spoon & bowl. And then scatter them throughout the house... play with them and pretend to feed herself ... and now she has learned to feed her stuffed animals.

It's cute but the floor gets untidy very fast - however, if we tell her to pick up the bowls/spoons, she will pick them up, put them back in the drawer, and then close it. Lucky us. Unfortunately, it's not a drawer that we can physically put a baby-proof lock on, so we just have to deal with it for now until the spoon thrill is over.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingerbread everything ...

Last weekend, Julianna, Brian and I went to a big Gingerbread Display at the local arboretum near our house. There must have been about 200 Gingerbread houses. The display was not limited to just houses... there were all kinds of gingerbread displays. It looked like you could design anything as long as gingerbread was used. There were all different entries from children, schools, scouts, adults, etc... What a festive & fun afternoon it was! I can't believe some of the creativity & talent we saw! Keep in mind, everything in the displays were made from gingerbread, icing & candy! Amazing! My husband kept asking "who" gets to eat all this when the show is over? {He was ready to line up as a sampler!}

They did not allow strollers, so we had to park the stroller & hold Julianna. Did I mention she is getting heavy!?!  Real heavy. I truly need to invest in one of these Ergo Carriers. Their weight limit is 40 lbs! I saw a woman carrying her toddler in one at the Gingerbread show, and the little boy was completely comfortable and she told me it did not hurt her back. They were both smiling.

....And there we were, holding a wiggly, squirmy, cranky toddler who kept trying to escape our arms. Hmmm, that Ergo carrier was looking real good. Julianna was somewhat interested in the gingerbread displays, but about half way through, she was done. She wanted to get down and run around. And since that was not allowed.... Daddy took Julianna outside to confine her put her in her stroller while I went through the rest of the Gingerbread displays to take some final pictures!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Subscribe.What a great idea!

I started subscribing to blogs recently. I have to tell you that I just love this idea! And what I mean by 'subscribe' is signing up for an email subscription in the box that looks like this:

I love getting emails when my favorite bloggers publish a new post. The way it works is, I sign up for email subscription, and then any time the blog has a new post, I get an email with the post header & link. Perfect. This cuts down on me having to go search for new posts. The update comes to me. Easy! I like getting the emails delivered right to my inbox, then I can quickly see what the topic is, and read it if I want then & there. The email gives you a few lines of the blog and then a link to click on that will bring you directly to that blog entry.

 I find this very convenient, especially when I get the emails on my blackberry & I can read them on the go! I love when blogs have the "Subscribe" option set up for their followers. I strongly encourage you to make use of the "Subscribe" option on anyone's blog that has it. It's a great feature!

I also encourage you to set up the subscribe gadget on your own blog so that your readers can receive emails from your blog any time you post something new! And it's a great way to keep your readers up to date! It's easy-peasy to set up.

To set this up on your blog:
You just edit your blog... go to your Layout, and add a gadget...

Then choose "Follow by Email" - and it will set up your Subscribe box through feedburner & put a gadget on your blog like I have over to the right  -------->>>

I set mine up through the feedburner website, but it is much easier to do it this way...

Good luck and Happy Subscribing! Have a fabulous day!


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